**One Year Later - POV Fubuki

"Do you miss your world, Imp, Wrench?"

Imp stared out the window as she stirred her ice cream. "Yes, and no." She sighed. "I had friends there that I miss. Friends that I knew I could trust, and who trusted me. It's very hard to leave that behind."

Wrench's mouth tightened. "No. I don't. Too many bad memories. If you're going to continue talking about it so I can hear it, I'll leave you to the conversation."

A vast improvement over the old Wrench. Not even a single curse word, and understandable grammar too.

Imp looked at Wrench for a moment, then shrugged and grinned at me. "She can't hear me now. I miss my old world, and I miss my friends there, but despite my friends there, I was lonely because of my power. Here, there are hundreds of people across the world who can see me. I've even been able to attend school again with the destroyers, without giving myself fits trying to juggle my power so that teachers don't forget about me when I'm concentrating on schoolwork."

I nodded. Imp had grown a lot, though nowhere near as much as Wrench, and they had both thrown all their effort into helping us. Both of them been shocked when we arranged to show them what Abyssals had done to human coastal cities and communities on our Earth. Scion had been capable of far more destruction than the Abyssals, and killed trillions, but he hadn't used that potential on one world.

The Abyssals were very industrious and thorough about their destruction. Entire cities were nothing more than low piles of rubble. Any coastal areas outside of cities that looked like they might be a place where people could live or grow food were dead and barren, the earth burned and salted.

Human communities on this world did not exist within a hundred kilometers of water over a hundred meters deep. There were prospectors for old tech, outlaws, and desperate people who lived closer to deep water, but we found evidence of their deaths on patrols fairly frequently. Only shipgirl facilities were near the water, and they were staffed with very few humans. Humans did provide us with supplies, but those supplies were generally airdropped directly on base or to prearranged locations where we would collect them.

Wrench and Imp had each responded in their own way when they saw the state of humanity in our world. Wrench added a second zero point generator to Big Lug, and improved the lightning generator to the point where it could obliterate Abyssal cruisers with a single shot at up to line of sight. Big Lug's lack of long range attacks was not critical. Hoppo tended to accompany Wrench on supply runs, supplying long range gunfire, and air support. When she didn't, we sent a task group.

Hoppo also built several airfields and dozens of huge warehouses on the cargo dirt of Big Lug. Human supply aircraft could land, trans-ship cargo, and then take off. Even the largest cargo aircraft could take off with moderate loads.

Imp tried to go to a naval academy, but failed the entrance exams and was required to go back to school. She joined the destroyers in their school on base, and brought some of that education with her back to Wrench.

"You know, you don't have to go with us, if you want to stay here and live." I offered.

Imp and Wrench both looked at each other than back at me.

"The Admiral put you up to this, Fubuki?" Wrench asked.

"Sounds like it. He was trying to convince me to try to qualify for naval academy classes again." Imp looked at Wrench.

"Imp, you would make an excellent Admiral." I tried to sound encouraging. It didn't think it worked. Imp's power was a serious command handicap.

"In a navy of humans? Who can't see me unless I think about it?" Imp scowled in irritation. "I wanted to be a human/shipgirl liaison officer, not a human navy officer. People just don't understand how hard it is for me to interact with humans. I want to stay with you because my power doesn't make me an outsider. Not only that, you might need me. Humans aren't always reasonable, and I can get in and out of places none of you can."

Wrench waited for Imp to finish, anger, irritation, and then understanding crossing her face. "Don't try to protect me. Abyssals are as bad as the S9, and Big Lug will be a huge benefit for your logistics and tactics. I'm going with you no matter how dangerous it is. End of discussion."

"Haha! I told the admiral they would come with us!" Kongo popped her head out from around the corner where she had been hiding with Hoppo. I had seen and heard them when they arrived. Fast Battleships were not quiet or unobtrusive, even if Hoppo could be uncannily sneaky for someone as massive as a small island.

Hoppo came out of hiding as well, grinning, but nowhere near as intense as Kongo. Fortunately, Simurgh was nowhere in sight. It was probably sitting over Big Lug again, a few miles out at sea.

I could have sworn I saw a quick smile on Wrench's face when Hoppo popped out from around the corner looking happy, but I was probably imagining it. "Well, if you're coming with us, the Admiral asked me to pass on the message that you are welcome to show up tomorrow at 0700 for preliminary invasion planning."

**POV Simurgh

The new primary is growing more mentally mature and capable. It is impossible to quantify exactly how, due to the primary being almost entirely unreadable, but there is a great deal of indirect evidence of increased confidence and self-control.

There are no more enemies of the primary on this world. Based on the data gathered from the readable and partially readable individuals in proximity to the Primary, travel to the next world will occur in less than a week. The next world will contain more and more powerful enemies, which would be ideal.

The primary requires stronger enemies to grow to their best potential.