Author: Not-as-Thrilling-as-Advertised PM
Finally, the crossover you weren't demanding: Azumanga Daioh and Battlestar Galactica with a dash of Yotsubato! thrown in for good measure .Rated: Fiction T - English - Sci-Fi/Humor - Chapters: 14 - Words: 32,058 - Reviews: 12 - Favs: 12 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 06-21-08 - Published: 06-01-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4294345
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I don't own Azumanga Daioh, Yotsubato!, or Battlestar Galactica, blah blah blah. I don't know why I should point that out since this is a fan fiction site and not an original fiction site, but there ya go.
The Colonial Battlestar Sea Slug wasn't a ship built for looks, but she had her own brand of sleek and deadly grace anyway. Covered in armor plating and bristling with anti-ship and point-defense gun turrets, the Mercury-class vessel glided through the pristine silence of space with deadly authority, as if she were animate and aware that her model was the top of the line, the largest, toughest, and most advanced warship in the Colonial Fleet. Prowling on her rim patrol surrounded by her gnat-like Viper air patrols, the Sea Slug almost dared anyone to try to tangle with her.
Dragging her feet into the Combat Information Center, the Sea Slug's commander shared almost none of the ship's qualities, save perhaps for a belligerent attitude, the fact that they were both referred to as she, and the fact that they were both composed of solid matter. At only five feet, two inches Commander Yukari Tanizaki was far from physically imposing, and at this hour she carried herself with none of the authority and dignity so commonly associated with an officer of her rank. She barely even acknowledged her crew as she yawned cavernously and staggered to the Command and Control station.
"Commander on deck!" Colonel Minamo Kurosawa, the Sea Slug's Executive Officer, snapped to attention and saluted. All around the CIC asses left seats as the command crew followed protocol.
Yukari reached the plotting table and leaned on it a moment before glancing around at her crew and giving them a half-assed salute. "As you were," she said disinterestedly.
As the routine morning activities resumed the XO stepped foreward and tapped the edge of her clipboard on the table's surface. "Rough night, Commander?" she asked, though she knew full well the answer.
Yukari glared at her with bloodshot eyes. "You know it really burns my ass that you get up earlier than me and you're so awake," she finally said.
"I get up every day at reveille, just like you," Kurosawa said a little defensively. "I just don't spend the whole night drinking with the pilots."
"Well aren't you just perfect!" Yukari all but shouted. Only a couple heads turned their way; this sort of conversation happened almost every morning, and the crew had learned to just ride out their Commander's period of early morning surliness.
Kurosawa closed her eyes and sighed. Couldn't they have one morning when she didn't act like a dumbass? "Anyway, here's the morning comm traffic," she said and handed over the clipboard. "Not much, but there never is out here." She hated being stuck out patrolling the edge of Colonial space. "Apparently the armistice shuttle is overdue to return and they're requesting that any nearby ships go check out the situation, but that's clear on the other side of Colonial space."
"Yeah, frak that noise." Yukari blinked tiredly as she reviewed the list. Finally she looked up at her XO. "So what's the plan for today?"
Kurosawa reached over and flipped the page on the clipboard, revealing the itinerary for the day. "Command wants us to finish our sweep of that stretch of the Abraxas belt, and then I thought we could get our Vipers out for some combat exercises." Hastily she added, "With the Commander's approval, of course."
Yukari tossed the clipboard onto the table and waved her hand. "Ahh whatever, do what you want. 'Freedom of the people,' and all that crap."
"Um, sir, this is the military."
Yukari's expression turned hostile. "Are you questioning my orders, Colonel?"
Kurosawa shook her head. "Of course not, but that sort of attitude-"
"Silence!" Yukari snapped imperiously, and put her hands behind her back. "They say that on a ship at sea, or in our case, in space, the captain's word is scripture," she said as the paced around the table before coming to a stop on the other side of her XO. "And I am Captain of this ship!"
"I think you just demoted yourself," Kurosawa said.
"Miss Mizuhara!" Yukari ignored her and turned to the spectacled Tactical Officer.
"Yes sir!" Lieutenant Koyomi Mizuhara said.
"Plot a jump!" Yukari ordered. "Abraxas asteroid belt!"
"Yes sir." Mizuhara nodded and got to work.
"Are you sure you want to jump there?" Kurosawa leaned in and asked. "It's not that far, we can get there by sublight in a couple hours."
"Nyamo, you ignorant slut." Yukari said condescendingly. "The sooner we get this sweep over with, the more time we have to spend blowing up asteroids."
Kurosawa shook her head. How did this lunatic ever get command of a Battlestar at all, let alone a Mercury-class? She asked herself that question almost every day.
"She's bluffing," Kaori Aida whispered to Chihiro Inoue as they watched Takino stare intently at the hexagonal cards in her hands.
"Come on Numbnuts, make your move," Captain Mai Kagura said impatiently. "You've been staring at those cards for ten minutes."
Lieutenant Tomo Takino, callsign Numbnuts, looked over at her CAG, then at the Raptor pilot and her ECO, and then back at the cards in her hands. She was in trouble here; her hand stunk. How did she get dealt the rules card, anyway? She was pretty sure you were supposed to take that one out of the deck. She stalled by taking one of her cards and moving it to another spot in the row, as if that could make a difference.
"We all know you've got nothing, so just face up already," Kagura told her.
Tomo finally straightened in her chair and puffed out her chest. "Well gentlemen . . ." she began with a proud smile, before crushing the cards up and stuffing them in her mouth.
"Hey, those are my cards!" Kagura yelled as she got up and grabbed Tomo's arm as she tried to back away and chew the cards at the same time. Chihiro grabbed her other arm and Kaori grabbed her head. Tomo shook her head and squealed as she dug her fingers into her mouth and pulled out the soggy crumpled cards.
"Ewww," Kaori said as she dropped the cards onto the table and wiped her fingers on her shirt. "You could have just folded, you know."
"How do you think she got her callsign?" Kagura asked as she straightened the cards, then gave up and took them over to the trash. "You owe me a new deck, Tomo."
"I actually had a good hand this time, too," Chihiro whined.
"Don't worry about it," Tomo said with a smile as she gathered up her cubits from the table. "Game's off, so we all get our money back!"
Kagura grabbed her wrist. "Not so fast spudnik, you still owe us from the last game."
Tomo grinned and laughed nervously. "Yeah, about that, ya see . . ." Then she shoved Kagura away and took off running out of the pilot's rec room. The others stood around the table and watched her run, then looked down.
"She left all her money," Chihiro said.
"Hey Yomi!" Tomo waved and caught up to her friend in the corridor, shoving a petty officer out of the way.
"Oh, Tomo." Koyomi turned and acknowledged her before continuing on her way back to CIC. When she got in close Koyomi had to push her away. "Not in front of everyone, are you stupid?"
"What's the problem?" Tomo asked. "I don't report to you."
"There's a time and a place for that sort of thing," Koyomi whispered. "And besides, you know how the Commander is about relationships among her crew." She paused, then: "Of course if you got that transfer . . ." She'd probably get put on the Galactica, she thought. That's where they send all the other frak-ups.
"If you're thinking I'd be at home on the Galactica, they're turning that scrap-heap into a museum," Tomo said with an annoyed look on her face. "Anyway, you won't be rid of me that easily."
"Oh joy," Koyomi said dryly as they reached CIC. "Haven't you got somewhere to be?"
Tomo shrugged. "Not really."
Koyomi stepped between the glass panels that marked the boundary between corridor and command center. "Well I do, so I'll be seeing you around."
"Aye sir!" Tomo gave a salute that would have earned her pushups in basic training and headed off down the corridor. Who else could she annoy?
"Does this hurt?" Yuri Sakaki asked as she squeezed experimentally on the wrist in her hand.
Ensign Wada shook her head. "Not really," she said.
"Now?" Sakaki squeezed in another spot.
Wada winced slightly. "A little."
"How about now?" She bent the hand back and Wada yelped.
"Yeah! Yeah, ow!"
Sakaki nodded and stood back. "I think it's just a sprain. I'll give you a brace for it."
Wada worked her fingers and nodded. "Thank you."
Sakaki smiled quietly. "Don't worry about it, it's my job." She began writing something on a pad of paper. "Just take this to Mister Janson and he'll set you up."
Wada took the note, thanked her again, and left. Sakaki leaned back on the bed and looked across the sickbay. It had been a slow day, as could usually be expected during peacetime. The Sea Slug's sickbay didn't see an awful lot of activity, save for when there was an accident involving heavy equipment or the days after shore leave when the crew began flowing in with all manner of horrifying rashes and sores. It was times that that that made her appreciate the boredom of today.
"So how was it?"
Sakaki jumped and turned to see Major Kimura, the ship's chief medical officer, standing behind her on the other side of the bed with his usual slack-jawed stare. That man seemed to pop up out of nowhere, sometimes.
"How was what, sir?" she asked uncertainly.
He simply stared at her, adjusted his glasses, and then left. As Sakaki watched him go she thought to herself that she should have been used to Kimura's eccentricities by now, but he never failed to confuse her. Sometimes she wondered if she shouldn't apply for a transfer to another Battlestar.
"Wooo, frak yeah!" Kagura whooped over the wireless as her missiles detonated against the asteroid and it blasted apart. "Didja see that one go?!"
"I can beat that," Tomo said, already looking for a suitable asteroid.
"Shiisa and Numbnuts, this is Sea Slug Actual," Yukari's voice said over the wireless. "You'd better be getting those explosions on your gun cameras!"
"Roger that Actual," Kagura said.
"That one!" Tomo said and pointed her Viper towards an asteroid the size of a small building.
As Kagura watched her accelerate away she shook her head. "I don't know Numbnuts, isn't that a little big?"
"Ahh sit on it Shiisa," came the response. "Tone and lock . . . firing!" Two white trails of exhaust shot away from the hardpoints under the Viper's wings as Tomo fired her missiles. There were two blossoms of flame as they impacted, and then the entire asteroid vanished in a blinding fireball that shook their Vipers and threatened to engulf Tomo's.
"That was solid tylium, you idiot!" Kagura shouted as she watched Tomo's bird flip end over end and zip past her in a rush to escape the expanding cloud of debris. As a chunk of rock nearly as big as she was spun past her cockpit Kagura did the same. "Do you have any idea how much fuel could've been refined from that?!" she asked as they high-tailed it back to the barn.
Tomo's maniacal laughter came over the wireless. "Wahahaha! Not much now!"
"Shiisa Sea Slug, what the hell happened out there?!" Kurosawa's worried voice demanded.
"Numbnuts just blew up enough unrefined tylium to fuel a Battlestar," Kagura said with a glare at the Viper beside hers. She could see Tomo grinning to herself.
"Are you two okay?"
"Yeah, we're fine."
"Okay, come on home then."
"Roger that." Then to Tomo: "How did they ever let you behind the stick?"
"Bad judgment, I guess."
"Is everyone in your family as dumb as you are?"
"No," Tomo said. "My sister decided to work for the family business instead of enlisting." The Takinos owned and operated PanGlobal Express, an independent shipping company based on their home planet of Tauron. Both Tomo and her twin sister Torako had been offered jobs as transport pilots in the company, but Tomo had chosen to join the Colonial Fleet instead. It wasn't like the company would be around much longer anyway, Colonial Movers were outcompeting them almost everywhere they looked.
"Smart of her," Kagura said as they neared the Sea Slug. "Sea Slug Shiisa, beginning my approach and request initiation of autolanding sequence."
"Negative on that, Shiisa," the LSO's voice came back to her, "autolanding is down at the moment. You'll have to do your approach hands on."
Kagura shook her head. "Roger that, beginning hands on approach."
"Mizuhara! What the hell is going on with the computers?" Yukari slapped her hand down on the plotting table.
"I don't know sir, they've been acting buggy all night."
"Why wasn't it reported?!"
"It was," Kurosawa said and pointed at the forgotten clipboard on the table.
"Well get 'em fixed!" Yukari ordered.
"Yes sir!" Koyomi turned to a shorter officer. "Mihima, can I get a hand here?"
As the two Lieutenants checked diagnostic screens and lines of code Yukari leaned on the table and sighed. "Man, this is the last thing I need. If Admiral Goto finds out I broke this thing I'll be lucky if I can get command of a garbage transport."
"There are a lot of corrupted files in here," Mizuhara said. "They seem to be interfering with the CNP's operation." She turned to the Commander. "I suggest we take the CNP network offline until we get things cleaned out."
Yukari shrugged. "Sure, go ahead." She thought for a moment, then added, "Deactivate the CNP software in the Vipers and Raptors, too."
Mizuhara looked confused. "Um, sir, I don't see how the Vipers and Raptors are-"
"You have your orders!" Yukari snapped. "I don't want my birds flying with buggy software!"
Mizuhara sighed and decided not to bother trying to explain that the problem wouldn't affect the planes. "Yes sir," she said.
"Um, Miss Yomi?" Mihama asked, looking at one of the files listed as interfering with the CNP. "What's 'triple penetration'?"
Kurosawa cast an accusing glance at her Commander, who was suddenly very interested in the clipboard.
It turned out there were over sixteen terabytes of foreign files in the CNP's computer space, and half of those were either corrupted or carrying spyware. Mizuhara and Mihama predicted it would take nearly forty-eight hours to purge the files and do a complete sweep of the system. When Kurosawa asked why they couldn't just reformat and start clean from the backups, it was revealed that Yukari had been using the discs as coasters in her quarters.
Kurosawa leaned forward on the plotting table and rubbed her forehead. "Honestly Yukari, couldn't you have found a better place to stash all your porn?"
"What makes you think it's mine?" Yukari asked defensively as she scratched at her armpit.
"Because I somehow doubt there are two people on this ship who are into rape porn," she said. They had known each other since high school, and Yukari's bizarre tastes in pornography were well known to her, as much as she wished they weren't.
Yukari just shrugged. "You never know."
They both looked at Petty Officer Ohyama, the communications officer.
"What is it, Four-eyes?" Yukari asked.
Ohyama looked at the print-out in his hands. They were shaking. "Um, sir, we've just gotten a priority one alert message from Fleet headquarters," he said. "It was transmitted in the clear."
Yukari and Kurosawa's eyebrows both raised as they exchanged glances. In the clear? "What does it say?"
Ohyama licked his lips nervously and looked up at her. "It says 'Attention all Colonial units, Cylon attack underway. This is no drill.'"