Strikers 1945: Project Shinden

A fanfiction by: Drake_Renault@yahoo.com

"Like a grain of rice tipping a weighing scale, so can a man turn the tides of war." -Chinese proverb Foreword Hi, this is the first time to write a fanfiction. It gives me a sense of achievement to write this story and let everyone in this world to know a unique story, the first of its kind. I was inspired by the computer game when I saw the ending. It showed the picture of the pilot making a salute, and as time passes by, the picture gets old. Then I just remembered someone very special. She was my classmate. She is so special that I regret letting time pass by without making good use of the opportunity I have to be close to her. Now she's gone. I don't know if we will meet again. If so, would I be too late? Well, enough of the introduction. Shall we?

Joining the war

November 25, 1943, the battle of Tarawa has just ended, with victory siding to the allied forces. However, the Imperial Navy of the empire of Japan inflicted heavy casualties against the United States Navy. In urgent need of replacement pilots, the naval force is willing to recruit anyone, including those who doesn't have any experience in aviation. One of the new recruits is Jin O'Hara. A half-Japanese, half-American who works for the postal service as an airmail pilot. He decided to join not for the cause, but for his loved one in Japan. He was born on August 16, 1923. His father is a seaman, so he grew up with his mother in Japan, where he had happy childhood days. During his adolescent days, he met this girl, Ayumi Yanagi. It wasn't easy for Jin to become her friend first. Something within him stops him from doing so. Time is precious. He can't let himself be Ayumi's admirer forever. So, "Hi." He said in the best way he can, with his knees shaking. "Hi Jin." Just hearing her voice made his heart beat faster. But as time passes by, they become close friends. Soon enough, they're closer than ever. His interest in aviation made him work at the postal service. It took a while for him to learn how to fly an airplane. He traveled almost around the world doing his job. 1938, World War II is about to begin. None expected of the chaos that is about to happen. As Jin watches the propaganda back in Japan, he had a feeling something terrible will happen. After all, Japan is already at war with China. But life goes on. He is still working in the postal service. December 8, 1941, he just left Hawaii after bringing mailbags. Just right after he left, swarms of fighter planes attacked Pearl Harbor. Now, there's no way he could go back to Japan. Not until the war is over. For two years, he worked in the postal service in Europe, Delivering mail from the Jewish refugees in England to anywhere around the world. And vice versa. The news of victory in Midway and Tarawa spread around the world. Rumors spread that the United State would prepare for the attack against Japan. Jin thought if he would enlist himself, he might be able to save Ayumi. One of the worst things that he heard is that the United States will make a bomb that is capable of destroying a city in a single drop. If he would fight in the war and stop the Imperial forces, the war may end before the bomb would be made. He joined the United States Navy on December 9, 1943. A new chapter in his life begins. Aboard an aircraft carrier, Jin along with other new recruits, wakes up early in the morning. They form a line that is almost as long as the cruiser beside it. They spent the whole day training to fly a fighter plane. Some of them had a hard time flying, but not Jin. His hope of seeing Ayumi again brought the best out of him. With his adequate performance, their commander finds him worthy of flying the best aircraft they have. The long day of hard training is over. It is nine in the evening, "Hey japs, What 'ya doin'?" Jin hears the voice of Joe Hardy, a fellow pilot, probably the most annoying of them all. He doesn't take things seriously, so everyone thinks he'll be the first to die in the battlefield. He knew about it. But he always make the reply, "Who cares? If it's your time, there's nothing you can do about it." Why did he call Jin "japs"? Well, everyone does the same thing. Jin doesn't take it as an insult. In fact, he prefers it that way. "Hey japs, I'm askin' 'ya, what 'ya doin'?" Still no rely. He decided to look and see what is happening. He saw Jin reading a letter written in Japanese. "What's that?" He asked. Jin smiled and blushed, "It's a loveletter." "You have a girlfriend?" "Yeah." "Tell me more 'bout it." Jin did him the favor. While doing so, he felt more inspired than ever. That was the last time Joe bothered him. Every night he reads the letters. Doesn't get tired reading those letters over and over again, because those letters are the only things that remind him of Ayumi.

Battle of Saipan The long days of hard training came to an end. It was July 8, 1944 when their aircraft carrier began to bring these inexperienced pilots to their ultimate test on how much they have learned from their long, hard training days. That night, everyone on board started a party. Despite of the merrymaking and the laughter, everyone was sad to know that the party may be their last. Some are drinking so hard that they can't even remember their own name. While some are talking about the rumors of the might of the Imperial forces. "Have you heard, one 'Zeke' fighter can knock a dozen flying tigers!" "That's nothing! These guys are brave enough to commit suicide just to blow up a ship!" Then another one butts in, " If you fear their fighter planes, their battleships are worse. If I remember right, There's a battleship named Katana. Even though they lost the battle of Midway, the Katana survived, knocking down a hundred Mustangs. Some say if it wasn't of the flying fortresses, we've lost the battle." Unlike the rest, Jin isn't afraid of the Japanese. Yet he was afraid to die; He went into the war for Ayumi. He doesn't want his efforts to be in vain. He reads one of her letters one more time. He can no longer wait to see Ayumi. He goes to the deck for silence. He looks up to the stars, "I wish I could see her again." He said to himself. Then a comet flew across the sky. The comet gave him the hope of making his dreams come true. The dawn of July 9, 1944, Every pilot prepares himself for the battle. While doing so, they watch the Japanese fleet fight against the American naval forces. Almost a dozen of American destroyers sank while the Imperial navy suffered no casualty. Something tells the pilots that it's up to them to save the day. As soon as everyone takes off, they encountered Kamikaze fighters flying straight towards them. Jin gets out of the way, while some shoot the suicide pilots down. Jin looks back and he saw some are very unfortunate to become victims of the Kamikaze. Just a few more fighter planes and it will be a fight against the Japanese fleet. Fighting in a dogfight isn't easy. As each of them locks down an enemy, they should be careful not to be hit by stray bullets, whistling rockets, and the worst of all aside from enemy fighter planes, flying artillery shells that explode in the air. After exploding in the air, shrapnel fly across the sky, forming clouds of death. As Jin, like the rest, fights for survival, he saw some of his friends die in different ways. As one is blown out of the sky by a direct hit from a rocket, another one crashes into the sea after hundreds of shrapnel hit his plane. The scariest thing he saw is the gruesome death of a friend a few meters away from him. A stray bullet hit his head, then blood covered his windshield as his plane crashes and blows into bits. After a few hours fighting the 'Zeke' fighters with luck siding with them, it's time to face the Imperial navy, Japan's most powerful force. As they approach the fleet, they can see the battleship Katana in the midst of cruisers, destroyers, and gunboats. "Alright boys, we gotta knock the turrets out." It's the voice of Lt. Harry Douglas, the man who leads their formation using a larger, twin-tailed fighter. Each of the planes comes closer to the battleship, but only a few made it. At the perfect distance, they dropped their bombs, destroying each of the turrets. Believing that the Katana is destroyed, the fighters expected that the entire fleet would retreat. They were wrong. Each of the battleships continues to fight to the last. Meanwhile, a gigantic robot jumps out of the Katana's hull, "Oh shit!" Joe Hardy's voice echoes through the radio. "Hey Joe, you're the last guy with a bomb. Drop it into its back." Lt. Douglas commanded. Armed with hundreds of machine guns, it fired thousands of bullets while hovering on the sea. One of its armaments aimed at Joe's plane. Jin used his plane to protect his friend. Jin's plane got hit. He is lucky that it didn't hit the engine, but his right hip was injured when a bullet pierced through its chassis. " At least Joe is safe." He said to himself. While flying back to their aircraft carrier. As he lands his plane, Joe's voice was heard in the radio, shouting, " Direct hit!" Jin knew victory is with them.

The Purple Heart After landing his plane, Jin looks back. He saw the Japanese fleet retreating. He couldn't speak. There's nothing in his heart but happiness, for he got a step closer to his goal. He seemed to be absent minded until a crewman shouted, "Medic!" He just remembered that his right hip was injured. He tried to get off his plane, he couldn't. So the crewmen pulled him up, and brought him into the infirmary. In the infirmary, Jin saw the navy personnel who were injured. Some were hanging in a fifty-fifty chance of survival. A medic walks across the infirmary and tells him, "Consider yourself lucky, just a few months and you'll be back in action." Then the Admiral, along with some high ranking personnel, comes inside the infirmary to give each of them the purple heart award, a medal given to anyone in the military who got injured while in the tour of duty. Some are very happy as they receive their medal, for they were rewarded for their efforts. But for the most of them, it is not even enough for the pain they are suffering. For Jin, he felt sad because he feels helpless to save Ayumi. "Lying in bed as the war goes on." He said to himself. All those who were injured in the battle were left in the island of Saipan. That is the last time Jin saw some of his friends in the aircraft carrier. Before the ship left the island, he met Joe for one more time, "Hey japs, look what I got, a Distinguished Service Award!" And he shows off his medal. "Hey japs, thanks for saving me. I owe you one." Jin watched the sea as he stays on island while the aircraft carrier goes away. He watched the sunset as the sun shows its beautiful rays shining over the horizon. He wondered when he would meet his friend again. February 28, 1945, Jin has completely recovered from his injury, as well as every navy personnel in Saipan. But none came to bring them back in action. On that day, while dreaming of Ayumi in the sunny afternoon, he saw a flying fortress drop a bomb. The bomb created a very bright flash of light. So bright that it blinded everyone on the island. As Jin regains his sight, he saw a gigantic, mushroom-like cloud, ".That must be ." He whispered to himself. He began to lose hope. He feels so helpless that he can do nothing but cry. The next day, a new, but smaller aircraft carrier came to Saipan. The captain of the ship called every pilot in Saipan to become part of the Shinden squadron. For one more time, there's hope shining in Jin's heart.

The Shinden This is the story of a Japanese aircraft, the J7W, also known as the Shinden. It means 'Magnificent Lightning'. It began as an ideal fighter plane when the Japanese lost in the battle of Tarawa. They lost because of the flying fortresses of America. Prompted by the need to intercept such gigantic bombers, the project Shinden has begun. Its unique design made the J7W a very fast, but a bit fragile fighter. Its efficiency depends on the pilot who flies it. February 20, 1945, as the Shinden is still under development, the US marines attacked Manila. Inside the Fort Santiago, Japanese engineers are still busy developing their masterpiece. Suddenly the marines blasted the wall inside the fort. The Americans took everything, including the engineers. The Shinden, having no use in the army, was sold to the navy. Eight days after the assault on Manila, the navy took the experienced pilots who stayed in Saipan. Thus, the Shinden squadron is formed. The Shinden squadron never saw action in Iwo Jima and Okinawa. They spent moths training to fly the Shinden with skill, for it requires skill to use it in combat. Jin did his best to become the best pilot, if possible. "One day I'll see her again." Inspired by the memories of their love, Jin's hope grew stronger. For months, they were trained the best way their captain could.

The Battle of Hiroshima With the Imperial navy defeated in Iwo Jima and Okinawa, it's time to face the Imperial army, Japan's last line of defense. The allied forces find it hard to execute invasion against Japan. However, They have one chance of victory, they must cut off the army's supplies by attacking Hiroshima, Japan's industrial site. Dawn of August 5, 1945, on board the aircraft carrier while preparing for his greatest battle, Jin looks at the sky, while whispering words to himself, "This is it. Back to my homeland.For Ayumi." His heart is filled with excitement. He remembered the words written in the last letter she wrote, it says that she is living in Hiroshima. From the Bay of Shikoku, 150 km away from Hiroshima, Jin takes off to save his loved one by putting an end to the war for once and for all. A few kilometers away from Hiroshima, Jin saw the allied forces fighting against the Imperial army. As he goes nearer to Hiroshima, the whole Shinden squadron, including him, evades every explosion in the sky caused by anti-aircraft artilleries on the ground. Upon reaching Hiroshima, the Shinden squadron helped the allied bombers by protecting them from Japanese fighters. Only one member of the Shinden squadron was killed when an enemy ace gunned him down. Jin avenged his fallen friend by fighting the ace. He watch his enemy crash to the ground, "I'm sorry." Jin whispered when a thought of guilt knocked upon his heart. They thought victory is with them when they blew up every anti- aircraft weaponry their enemy holds, every aircraft has retreated, and when the Allies have captured the airfield near Hiroshima. Suddenly four gigantic robotic legs came out from one of the largest buildings in the city. As it is about to stand like a spider, machine guns as big as cannons sprung out of its trapdoors, making it look like a cross between a porcupine and a spider. Firing in a very fast rate with accuracy, it gunned down almost every allied aircraft fighting in this decisive battle. Jin got lucky that he didn't got hit by the enemy. Looking around him, he saw only a few planes left fighting, some are retreating, "I'm here for Ayumi, and nothing can stop me!" He said to himself as he flies below the spider like robot. When he got there, he fired one of his rockets. A direct hit towards the left hind leg crippled their gigantic enemy, leaving its defenseless underneath exposed to enemy fire. Seeing its weakness, Jin fired his second rocket. Its powerful blast destroyed the mechanical beast in an instant. While on his way to the airfield, Jin saw how Hiroshima was torn by the war. He feared that Ayumi might be hurt. The sad thought overwhelmed him. Everyone in the airfield was cheering, but not him. He left the people in the airfield and went to the city to look for Ayumi. He walked around the ruined city. He saw people picking up whatever useful in piles of rubbles. But there's no sign of Ayumi. He kept walking for the whole day, still searching for her. In the middle of the ruined streets, he saw Japan's ultimate weapon, now a big pile of scrap metal after he defeated it. Evening came, still looking for Ayumi; Jin is about to lose hope. He stopped for a while. Then he heard a familiar voice, crying. He turned around to see who is it, it's Ayumi! "Ayumi!" He shouted. She turned around and went to him, then she cried on his shoulders, "My parents." "I know. I'm sorry." Then everything became calm. Jin felt so good when he found out that it is worth all the trouble. "What are you doing here?" She asked. Jin told her everything, "I did all just to be with you." "You know, you did a crazy idea." "It doesn't matter, the end justifies the means." "But what if something happened the you." "It's okay now. I'm here with you. That's all that matters to me." Both became silent, then Ayumi holds Jin's warm hands and said, "I love you." Jin hugged her, "I love you too."

The Enola Gay After spending the night with his loved one, Jin goes back to the airfield by dawn. He saw fighter planes taking off, "What's going on?" He asked one of the guards. "The Enola Gay is going to kill us all!" "What!?" He rushed to his plane. What he has feared is about to come. The Shinden took off once again, to fight the mightiest weapon of the allied forces. At the Bay of Shikoku, a battle has begun. With the Enola Gay escorted by a swarm of flying fortresses, the fighters who were defending Hiroshima have died in vain. As one of the last fighters to oppose the flying fortresses, Jin seemed helpless against their powerful enemy. "I can't let them pass through, No on in Hiroshima is going to be hurt by these bombers." He said to himself. With only a few fighters to stop the Enola Gay, their only chance to stop the bombers is to destroy the Enola Gay. He flew towards the bomber, hiding in the midst of its escorts. He wondered why the escorts aren't gunning him down. He looked back, and he saw Japanese fighters helping them. Now it's time to face the Enola Gay and to put an end to the chaos for once and for all. Jin flies around his enemy, dodging bullets while thinking of a way to defeat it. The glare of the sun blinded him for a few moments. Then his plane was hit by one of the Enola Gay's gunners. In those few moments gave him an idea. He flew up above the clouds. There he saw the beauty of the skies. There is nothing but tranquility. "Ayumi." He whispered. His mind became calm until his plane stalled and dived like a meteor to bring him back to reality. It dived so fast that none of the Enola Gay's gunners noticed it. As it is about to crash to the ground, Jin regained control of the Shinden and flew up again, this time towards his enemy. He fired his machine guns while getting closer to the bomber. Bullets pierced through its thick armor. Jin kept firing until it splits into two. At the exact moment the Enola Gay crashes into the sea, the sky seemed to darken when the bomb it carries exploded. A huge cloud, similar to the one saw before, rose from the horizon. Jin felt the heat of the radiation. He felt like flying above hell. His plane shook like an earthquake shaking the ground. His flight above hell lasted for almost a minute. Finally, it's over. With the Enola Gay destroyed, its escorts flew back to Midway Island, but they were intercepted by the remaining battleships and fighters of the Imperial navy. None of them survived. The worst thing that happened is no one was held responsible for the Enola Gay's flight. But the good news is Japan already surrendered on August 5, 1945, at the battle of Hiroshima. Jin flew back to the airfield, where everyone, including Ayumi, is waiting for him. His plane is heavily damaged. There are holes on its wings, the tails are slightly bent by the impact of the explosion, and the engine emits black smoke. Such conditions would cause the Shinden to crash. Everyone in the airfield watched Jin make a rough landing. After getting off his plane, Jin was given a hero's welcome. "Yo japs! Long time no see!" That voice, it's Joe Hardy! "Joe, what are you doing here?" "Well I'm here to stop the Enola Gay. But I guess I'm too late. Hey, I almost forgot, I'm looking forward to fight with 'ya!" Jin smiled and replied, "I'm sorry, I can't. That's my last one." "No way! What made you quit?" "Ayumi's here. So there's no reason for me to fight anymore." "You mean your girlfriend?" "Yeah" "So I guess I'll see 'ya somewhere around." And Joe went away. "Jin!" He heard Ayumi's voice calling him. She hugged him and said, "You have me worried, do you know that?" "Don't worry. There's nothing to fear anymore." She hugged him tighter and said, "I don't want you to do foolish things again." Then she gave him a kiss. Everyone cheered. Both Jin and Ayumi blushed. Their faces gave a reddish glow. Joe, accompanied by a war correspondent, came back to give his friend something to remind him of this day. "Hey, how 'bout a picture for the two?" The correspondent took a photograph of Jin and Ayumi standing beside each other. Behind them is the Shinden. After the photograph being taken, Jin looked back, "Shinden. Thank you." He whispered, as if he was talking to the aircraft. That was the last time Jin fought in the war. He was awarded with a Distinguished Service Award. He immediately retired with a rank of first class airman. Two years later, Jin and Ayumi married and settled down in Japan. Jin went back to the postal service, still working as airmail pilot. Ayumi became a mother of two. The photograph of the two, the remembrance of the day when Jin's adventure for his loved one has ended, became the most important treasure of the O'Hara family because of the story behind it. A fascinating story to tell for generations to come. The End Acknowledgement:

The author would like to thank: "Agits" for the artworks. J-aircraft.com for providing research materials for my fanfiction. Psykio for the computer game Strikers 1945. Please mail me if you like the story. Drake_Renault@yahoo.com