Hello, author here! Here am I taking up a new project story while effectively putting all my others on hold. Sorry :p

Well, that aside, I'm now writing a story for Haifuri, so wish me luck! I've always had something with WW2 naval stuff, plus I've written half a story about warships a few years ago.

As always, obligatory disclaimer that I don't own anyone that isn't my OC, and please post a review if possible!

Prologue

Welcome to 2015 of another world.

This world you are about to see is very similar to ours, don't worry bout it. Even the people act the same, so relax.

And yet, this world also has major differences from ours as well.

For example, maritime trade is more developed here, and ships are still the definite long-distance mode of transport, still flourishing up till today. For some reason, two major world conflicts never happened as well, and most if not all countries are at peace with everyone else today.

"How did this all happen?" you may ask.

Well, everything was completely identical to our world up till a certain point in time. You wouldn't be able to tell the difference before then; everything was literally the same, even down to the smallest detail.

The world-changing incident that wasn't supposed to happen happened on December 17, 1903.

On that day, it crashed hard nosefirst on its maiden flight, ejecting and killing both of its creators as a result.

And that is when everything deviated away from ours. There was little to no attempt to achieve heavier-than-air flight after that.

After the Russo-Japanese War, Japan had decided to excessively mine for methane hydrate on the seafloor in order to meet its energy demands, which eventually led to much of the country's landmass sinking into the sea. As a result, floating cities were built to replace the sunken cities, and these cities were vulnerable to attack from pirates. The need to defend them quickly arose, and in order to not project an aura of war (how that works is still up for debate), women began to man warships, not only sticking to the cities but also defend sea routes as well. An organization was established, and its name and the fine ladies who serve in them will forever be known as...

The Blue Mermaids.

An international peacekeeping organization made up of only females. Well-trained, they are the guards of the seven seas, always answering calls for help and saving many lives.

Many young, aspiring girls from all around the world join maritime high schools and train on older warships in order to graduate as Blue Mermaids, and in Japan in particular a culture has been created around them.

But even with the additional protection of the Blue Mermaids, piracy continues to thrive today.

The usual kind that the Blue Mermaids regularly manage to subdue and capture are those that are poor and disorganized, almost always working alone and usually randomly attacking civilian vessels with no real cause in mind. Their ships, mostly old, outdated, ill-maintained destroyers such as mothballed Minekaze-class destroyers that were stolen before they could be scrapped, are easily shot into submission by the Blue Mermaids with their superior equipment, organization and if necessary numbers, with these pirate crews quickly thrown behind bars once they were hauled back to port. If you were lucky you could find an obsolete light cruiser being crewed by such pirates, but these are few and far between, and pose no threat to the Blue Mermaids on their own.

However, there also exists organized pirate factions, fashioned into more-or-less "professional" navies by themselves. These are wealthy organizations with the capability to properly maintain, repair, rearm and even design and build their own vessels, weapons and other stuff, the ships themselves of various types and are all up-to-par with the older but combat-viable training ships that maritime high schools use. Furthermore, these crews are also more-or-less properly trained in seafaring, which meant that these crews are actually competent sailors with a good grasp on their jobs. As such, these factions pose a far greater potential threat to the Mermaids than the "rustbucket pirates", if they ever encounter them at least.

These factions have different main agendas; for example, most stick to the raiding of civilian ships for riches and get away before help shows up, others seek out and hunt the Blue Mermaids and vessels from any other country's navies that they could take on, and a few do the Mermaids a favor and hunt down the vessels of the above two groups.

Yes. Vigilante pirates.

These pirate-hunting "navies" plunder the vessels of other factions, gaining a good sum of riches for themselves in the process as valuable items were sold in the naval black market. The money they obtain from these sales is used to buy resources, maintain, repair and resupply their existing vessels, pay the salaries of their members, further hire people, research, build and design new ships, weapons bases, floating drydocks and such, and the list goes on. Some even donate part of their gains anonymously to needy people around the world as well, for even more various reasons of course.

With that mentioned, it isn't surprising to know that these factions are a common source of debate by people, even within the Blue Mermaids themselves. The official statement from the Mermaids and navies, however, is that while these factions are not a direct threat to the safety and security of ships and can actually prove beneficial, they are still against the law and as such will be eventually dealt with. But with the possibility of leniency or pardon, of course, and the Blue Mermaids have openly invited the vessels of such factions to surrender themselves and be pardoned, perhaps even potentially becoming part of the world-protecting naval force if they're eligible. Of course, nobody took that offer up.

Somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, away from civilization, stood the floating headquarters of one such vigilante navy. This was a decently-sized base, with enough space for a dock that can hold up to three medium-sized battleships and a flourishing garden field outside of the main building itself.

In the admiral's office, the admiral herself was about three quarters done with paperwork, both physical and digital. Tired, she reached for her mug to get yet another sip of coffee.

Three knocks came from the door.

"Enter," she called out before taking her sip.

The door opened and the admiral's personal secretary, tablet in hand, stepped in, shutting the door behind her. "Ma'am, I've received good news. Number 8 is complete and is ready for commissioning."

The admiral stopped and looked up, renewed energy and excitement gleaming in her eyes. "About damn time! What about 5 and 6?"

"They've resumed work after we got back the necessary resources," the secretary reported faithfully. "Number 6 is nearer to completion than Number 5."

"Hm, I see," the admiral replied, resting back into her chair. "I still don't get why the boy chose those numbers specifically for these ships. The names he chose for them are perfectly fine and so are the insignias he provided, but why choose 5 and 6, then skip 7 and jump to 8?"

"Well, who knows?" the secretary shrugged. "We don't even know how he got all the blueprints for that class and the aircraft these ships will carry. Speaking of which, will they even work?"

The admiral leaned forward and crossed her arms on the table. "We spent a good amount of money to train people to operate them, along with the research and manpower we used to modify these to good safety standards before making them, because I see the vast potential the kid claims they possess. If this works out, we'd have the three most powerful ships in not just our fleets, but all the navies of this world. Just thinking about it sends shivers down my spine. And then we'll build the successor ship design he provided, refine the newer aircraft blueprints from him and replace the older ones with them, and by that time even the Blue Mermaids will be afraid of us."

"I hope that turns out that way as well, ma'am."

"Mmh."

Just then, the admiral blinked, remembering something. "Wait, what's the holdup with the commissioning?"

"We don't have a crew and we haven't decided on a captain for the ship, remember? You were the one who wanted the final say for the latter."

"Oh, right, sorry!" she chuckled. "Give command to the boy and let him pick his own people."

The secretary blinked. "Really?"

"Yes, really! I've been observing his training for the last few months, and he's pretty decent, you know. Plus, he's the reason why we're building these three special ships in the first place, so I thought it'll be nice for him to take command of the first one to be commissioned, with a crew to his liking of course."

"Ah, that's reasonable. What about the girl he learnt under?"

"She'll be the captain of Number 6!" the young woman beamed.

"Aye, that'll work."

"We still have a shortage of these so-called 'pilots', right?"

"Yes, Ma'am. As of now, only 35 of them are combat-ready. I've allocated 25 of them to Number 8, the remaining ten will be sent to Number 6. We'll have 50 more that will be ready shortly before Number 6 is commissioned, so Number 6 will receive 38 of the new batch while 12 will be sent over to Number 6, giving them an equal number of pilots; 47 each."

"Will that girl that's good friends with the boy be on Number 8?"

"Yes, definitely," the secretary grinned.

"Great! Why are we referring to them with their registry numbers, though?" the admiral suddenly wondered. "They've got names!"

The secretary blinked. "I'm… just following you, ma'am."

"Oh. Well, maybe we're concealing their names so that the hypothetical viewers or observers watching us will not directly learn the names of our new, revolutionary vessels?"

Silence.

"... What are you saying, ma'am?"

"I'm kidding!" the admiral laughed. "Well, no particular reason at all. Tell ya what, I'll start referring to them by their names tomorrow! They definitely sound cooler, you know!"

"Heheh, agreed. You say the darndest things, ma'am."

"Yeah, guess I do. Alright, that's all for now. Give the boy his good news and send him to Outpost Base 10. His new command's at Outpost 10, right?"

"Yes she is. I'll see to it right away."

Bowing, the secretary walked towards the door, tapping on her tablet and stopping to open and close the door.

Smiling to herself, the admiral laid back into her chair. Reaching for her mouse, she clicked into a few files in her computer. Reaching a classified folder, she entered her three passwords and a code.

The file opened, the screen displaying a set of blueprints. Specifically, the blueprints for the revolutionary vessels the admiral was just talking about.

The title, in bold black, read "YORKTOWN-CLASS AIRCRAFT CARRIER: DESIGN SCHEMATICS".

"Hm."