Kidou Kishi Warviour

(Mobile Knight Warviour)

A/N: I apologize for the long delay. I had difficulty in coming up with the flow for this chapter.

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters in Strike Witches, nor the initial setting.

Chapter 5: The Hunchback Hunt

U.S.S. Cowpens. April 3, 1946; 1713 hours

One Gregory Tanaka sat alone in the bottom bunk of one of the U.S.S. Cowpens' staterooms, which were for the light carrier's pilots as they were officers. It was natural for Tanaka to be alone as he had lost his entire squadron and that he shared the room. While he survived, the rest of this squadron died.

To Tanaka, it was a new and harsh experience to survive a battle with the Neuroi, especially if one wasn't a Witch. He knew first-hand the difference between a male soldier in the military and a female with magic powers – a Witch – because of his upbringing. From the Hawaiian Islands, Tanaka was the descendant of Fusoan immigrants who settled in Hilo, located in the namesake of the Hawaiian Islands. Tanaka had a younger sister named Amy, insistently called "Ami" in writing and pronunciation by their parents as the latter was out of respect for their Fusoan roots.

It wasn't a secret within the Tanaka family that Amy was born with magical powers and as she was old enough to, she enrolled in an aviation school operated by the Liberian Navy. Despite being a male and his parents' opposition to it, Gregory had enlisted into the Liberian Navy and found that being a naval aviator was something he can do to support Amy. Tanaka was then able to graduate from an aviation school for males but as this happened, the Second Neuroi War had ended. Amy, who finished her Witch training ahead of her older brother, saw more combat in areas in the Pacific and Southeast Asia that the Neuroi threatened. For Gregory, there was no excitement in returning home and leaving the Navy without actual combat experience and thus remained in the Navy despite continuing opposition from his parents.

A knock was then heard on the other side of the door of the stateroom. Tanaka responded by standing up, going to the door, and as he arrived, opened it. To his surprise, outside was the Cowpens' captain and his superior officer, Jacob Fenton. Tanaka then immediately saluted.

In his late forties, Fenton was a fair-skinned man with a completely bald head and blue eyes. Although he was still Tanaka's superior officer, he had a look on his face that was filled with the same look Tanaka had on his face after the Neuroi's attack that claimed the lives of everyone in the Cowpens' squadron but him.

"Good afternoon, Captain Fenton," said Tanaka as he continued to salute his captain.

"At ease, Lieutenant," replied Fenton. "I needed to talk to you alone. Mind if I sit with you?"

"Of course, sir," said Tanaka as he stopped saluting and led Tanaka to the bunk he sat on earlier.

"If you don't me asking, sir, what might you need from me?" asked Tanaka.

"First of all, please allow me to say that I also grieve for what happened to the rest of your squadron, especially Lieutenant Commander Boggs," answered Fenton. "They were all good men.

"Second, I have an order for you."

"What might that order be, sir?"

"I've contacted Captain Kirkman from the Mayflower about our mission and we concluded with this – Lieutenant Gregory Tanaka, you're to be transferred to the U.S.S. Mayflower tomorrow."

"Wait, what might this be about, sir?"

"As you saw, the Cowpens has taken a lot of punishment in today's battle and the rest of the squadron are dead. We're dead weight at this point. We also lost the Boyd so now I'll explain why I need you transferred to the Mayflower – this ship will be scuttled."

"... Scuttled?"

"As I said, we're dead weight. We can't slow down the Mayflower and its mission. I need you and your Hellcat to continue defending the Mayflower until it reaches Liberion."

"With all due respect, sir, I always found this mission to be suspicious. Why would a carrier need an escort for its shakedown cruise? I got my answer and it's those things that launched from the Mayflower."

"I know how you feel, son. They're the reason Boggs and the others, along with the Boyd, are gone. However, as Captain Kirkman told me, those Mobile Knights are the key to winning this war. That's also why I need you to go with the Mayflower – I need you to protect not only that ship but the Mobile Knights and the three pilots in it. Captain Kirkman also told me three local teenagers sneaked inside the naval base here and took the Mobile Knights for a joyride. That had its fair share of consequences."

"If it means avenging the Lieutenant Commander and the others, I'm in."

"Good man. You can't take everything with you onboard the Hellcat so decide wisely what to take with you."

"Captain, if you don't mind me asking, what will you do?"

"As for me, the senior officers and I talked about this. Once this ship is scuttled, we'll stay here in Shinkyo."

"Captain, are you sure about that? Once this ship is scuttled, you won't be able to leave."

"Well, I talked about this with Captain Kirkman. Reluctantly, he agreed. We owe it to the people of Shinkyo, who died in droves because of us. That's exactly why those Mobile Knights need to be safe – so that all those deaths won't be in vain. If the rest of the evacuation of this island goes well, maybe we can go home but it'll require being refugees ourselves until we too can go back to Liberion."

"Very well. I'll leave tomorrow."

"I best be going now. Have your last meal here. I'll be dismissing myself."

Both Fenton and Tanaka stood up again and saluted each other – for the last time. As Fenton leaves the stateroom and closes the door, Tanaka was left alone again. This was to be his last day in the Cowpens.


U.S.S. Mayflower. 1738 hours

"Is… is what I heard just now true?" asked Nicholas Kirkman in his office in the U.S.S. Mayflower as he had heard something from both Mio Sakamoto and Koji Himemiya, who were in his office.

"I'd like to say that we're lying but no," answered Sakamoto. "Dr. Miyafuji is alive and he was involved in making the prototype Mobile Knights."

"Ever since I became captain of this carrier, it's been nothing but surprises," bemoaned Kirkman. "…. What of your son, Dr. Himemiya?"

"He has yet to wake up," answered Koji. "After what happened, I don't blame him."

"Despite that, he managed to save the entire island," added Kirkman.

"But I find it suspicious that boy had such power," interjected Sakamoto. "Dr. Himemiya, are you sure you're not hiding anything from us?"

"I assure you, I didn't know Shinta had such power," answered Koji.

"Now, anything else?" asked Kirkman.

"Speaking of Dr. Miyafuji, his family is here in Shinkyo," answered Sakamoto. "As you know, Dr. Miyafuji was married to one Sayaka Akimoto, a doctor from Yokosuka. She, her mother Yoshiko, and her daughter Yoshika came here to visit relatives."

"What?!" exclaimed Kirkman. "You mean the same Yoshika Miyafuji whom you fought with in the 501st Joint Fighter Wing?"

"The same," answered Sakamoto. "She assisted me with the Reikan during today's attack. Apparently, Dr. Himemiya's son ran into her and her mother prior to the attack and because they witnessed the Warviour launch, Miyafuji somehow found out I was here and rushed to assist me."

"But if she's here, she'll find out about the letter," interjected Koji.

"Not if we keep this amongst ourselves, especially for the time being as her father said in his letter," added Kirkman. "I trust the both of you to inform the boy when he comes about."

"Leave that to me," replied Sakamoto. "Also, with regards to Dr. Miyafuji's family, they plan on volunteering to assist. I can vouch for them because the Akimoto women are known for their healing magic. Miyafuji has it too and I was hoping to get them to talk to you tomorrow morning."

"Very well, I'll hear them out," replied Kirkman. "We could use as much help as we can. Anything else?"

"There is something: what do we do with the refugees?" asked Koji.

"Dr. Himemiya, don't assume that I'm willing to abandon the refugees due to what has happened here but we'll be behind schedule," replied Kirkman. "It'll also cause problems between me and Naval Command that we took refugees with us, especially as they've witnessed the existence of the prototype Mobile Knights."

"Wait, that's just it!" interjected Sakamoto. "I have an idea."

"What is it, Lieutenant Commander?" asked Kirkman.

"We can drop off the refugees to Faraway Land," answered Sakamoto.

"Faraway Land!?" exclaimed Kirkman. "We can't delay the mission any further by dropping off the refugees there. Other than that, we'll have to explain well to the Faraway Land military why Liberian and Fusoan warships came to their shores with refugees."

"That's actually why I suggested the idea," added Sakamoto. "I can imagine the Stavrosians who attacked us the previous day with Mobile Knights must have launched from a submarine. In addition to Shinkyo, all of South Seas Island has to be evacuated because the island might be conquered. I'd rather have the rest of the Imperial Navy finish the evacuation without delays."

"And you want us and the refugees to be a diversion?" asked Koji with concern.

"It's the best I got," retorted Sakamoto. "If South Seas Island is conquered, there's no telling what could happen and I know this mission comes first but we do owe it to the people here in Shinkyo."

"… Fine, we'll go with your suggestion," replied Kirkman. "We launch tomorrow at twelve hundred. No more delays. Lieutenant Commander Sakamoto, please get me Dr. Miyafuji's family first thing in the morning. However, after I'm done talking to them, I need you and Dr. Himemiya to come to me after I'm done talking to Dr. Miyafuji's family."

"Roger that," replied Sakamoto.

"You two are dismissed for the evening. Good night."


April 4, 1946; 0939 hours

Gregory Tanaka, coming from the U.S.S. Cowpens about to scuttled that day landed himself and his F6F Hellcat into the U.S.S. Mayflower. After he had sorted out why he came to the ship with the surviving crew members, he was taken to the door that led to Nicholas Kirkman's office by one sailor.

Kirkman, at the other side of the door, had already received Mio Sakamoto and Koji Himemiya into his office. The sailor at the other side of the door knocked with Kirkman hearing.

"Pardon the intrusion, Captain but I have Lieutenant Gregory Tanaka from the U.S.S. Cowpens," said the sailor. "He says you called for him through Captain Fenton."

"Please let him in," replied Kirkman.

The door then opened. The sailor saluted then excused himself as Tanaka came inside and closed the door.

"Lieutenant Gregory Tanaka, reporting for duty," said the naval aviator.

"At ease," replied Kirkman. "I presume that Captain Fenton has told you this but starting today, you've been transferred to the U.S.S. Mayflower under my command."

"Yes, Captain."

"Now, allow me to introduce to you Lieutenant Commander Mio Sakamoto from the Fuso Imperial Navy and Dr. Koji Himemiya," said Kirkman as he opened his palm and directed it to the two other individuals in his office to Tanaka.

"We've been told by Captain Kirkman that you'll be joining us," said Sakamoto. "Please get seated because Dr. Himemiya and I will be explaining the whole reason behind this mission."

As Tanaka got seated on the sofas in Kirkman's office, Sakamoto and Koji sat on the other sofas and began explaining the whole mission, especially about how three prototype Mobile Knights were developed and that the mission was to pick them up from Miyazaki Industries' South Seas Island branch and deliver them to Liberion for mass production.

Tanaka listened to Sakamoto and Koji's tale with a mixture of wonder and hidden agitation. While having the Mobile Knights mass-produced will turn the tide of the war, as he understood it upon listening to the latter two, he was still in shock that he lost his fellow naval aviators because the Stavrosian Empire and the Neuroi followed the Mayflower, the Cowpens, and the destroyers Boyd and Izard, starting the attack that made Tanaka the only survivor of the Cowpens' squadron.

"So that explains everything," concluded Tanaka with a subtly rising change in emotion. "You know, if we need those Mobile Knights mass-produced, I'd say I'm in."

"I'm surprised you've gotten adjusted to all of this," replied Koji. "What about those pilots from the Cowpens?"

"Yes, I still feel bad that all of this happened because of what this carrier was to carry but that's war," replied Tanaka. "If it means getting Lieutenant Commander Boggs and the others avenged, those Mobile Knights need to be mass-produced."

"I'm glad you'll help with this," interjected Kirkman. "However, other than protecting this carrier as Captain Fenton has told you, there's something else we need your help with while you'll be stationed here."

"With all due respect, what do you need, sir?" asked Tanaka.

"Lieutenant Commander Sakamoto has more on that," answered Kirkman.


1205 hours

The U.S.S. Mayflower, along with the U.S.S. Izard, were prepared to leave South Seas Islands yet they couldn't move yet. Accompanying the two surviving Liberian ships were all the civilian ships of various sizes acquired to evacuate most of Shinkyo's residents.

While a cruise liner was procured for evacuating civilians, more ships were needed. Smaller vessels such as tugboats and wooden boats used by fishermen were also procured. In order to make sure all ships followed the Mayflower, the wooden boats were connected to the tugboats by rope. The latter in turn were then connected to two warships – the Liberian destroyer Izard and the Fuso Imperial Navy light cruiser Yahagi.

Prior to the arrival of the Mayflower, the Cowpens, the Boyd, and the Izard, the Fuso Imperial Navy had sent a detachment to protect South Seas Island due to the Miyazaki Industries branch in the island involved in the manufacture of the prototype Mobile Knights. The Yahagi was a part of the detachment and miraculously, it survived the Stavrosian-Neuroi attacks. As a result, it was to go with the Mayflower and the Izard to Liberion. In addition to protecting the civilian vessels and the Mayflower, the Yahagi was also to carry some refugees from Shinyko. Likewise with the Mayflower and the Izard.

Another Fusoan vessel that also survived the attacks was the destroyer Fuyutsuki. It too was to assist the Mayflower but it was given another mission before leaving Shinkyo.

The Fuyutsuki faced the damaged Cowpens. Although the order laid before their eyes, all of its crew members from the captain to the lowliest sailor, had reluctance in their minds to carry out their order. However, the Fuyutsuki's torpedo tubes began to open.

Two Type 93 610mm torpedoes were launched from the Fuyutsuki. The first one that was launched hit the Cowpens, creating a large explosion behind the bridge tower. The second Type 93 followed, creating another explosion before the carrier's island, where commands are issued in the carrier as a whole. As a result, the Cowpens began to split into three and sink, leaving behind a spill of oil.

Watching were the high-ranking officers of the Cowpens, which included Jacob Fenton. As the pieces of the Cowpens began to sink, the officers saluted.

At the same time, the enlisted and the officers in the Mayflower also saluted as they saw the Cowpens be scuttled. Gregory Tanaka, its last naval aviator, watched by himself as it was personal for him to see the Cowpens sink.


1234 hours

Elsewhere, in the Mayflower's sick bay, Shinta Himemiya then came about and began to breathe loudly. He saw that he was no longer in the cockpit of the Mobile Knight Warviour, which was what he could remember before losing consciousness, and saw that he was in a bunk bed.

"Shinta-san, please calm yourself."

Shinta heard a female voice that was close to him and as he moved his head to his right, he was surprised by the voice he heard a second ago. The person with him was Yoshika Miyafuji.

"… Yoshika-san, you're safe?" asked Shinta.

"That's right. You saved me and Sakamoto-san."

"That's right, I… Wait! Where am I? What happened to the Neuroi?"

"Again, please calm down," repeated Yoshika as she pushed her palms toward Shinta's chest as he attempted to leave the bed. "You managed to destroy the Neuroi yesterday."

"Wait, what do you mean by 'yesterday'?" asked Shinta feeling that he'll have to ask more questions rather than get answers.

"From what I heard you were able to destroy that Neuroi while you saved me and Sakamoto-san. You were also able to destroy a meteor that came above South Seas Island but you ended up unconscious and taken here in the Mayflower's sick bay."

"I'm in the Mayflower?"

"Yes. After that, the evacuation began in earnest and it seems that this ship and a few others are going to Liberion given that this is a Liberian ship."

"Alright but what are you doing here?" asked Shinta to change the subject.

"I volunteered with my mother and my grandmother to join this ship and assist with the extra people on board," answered Yoshika as she directed Shinta to the rest of the Mayflower's sick bay.

Other than Shinta, men were also in the Mayflower's sick bay. Some were civilians from Shinkyo and some were also Liberian sailors as the Boyd was sunk the previous day and the Cowpens scuttled hours ago.

"How long was I unconscious?"

"Since yesterday. It's already April 4, past noon."

I was unconscious for that long!? thought Shinta. That definitely means I did it again. Dad was right.

"Shinta, there you are!" shouted Chieko Oka as she was carrying something while she and Kei Miyazaki arrived at the sick bay and saw Shinta awake, rushing to him as a result.

"Chieko, Kei, you're alright," replied Shinta, who then saw that the two were in Fuso Imperial Army uniforms. "Why are you in those uniforms?"

"We were given these to wear by Lieutenant Commander Sakamoto," answered Kei. "As you recall, we were drafted. We're all in the same rank – Seaman Recruit."

"That's right… where is Lieutenant Commander Sakamoto?" asked Shinta.

"We were told to get you and report to the squadron room," answered Chieko. "Lieutenant Commander Sakamoto allowed us to take our time because you were unconscious but I guess we just need you in uniform now."

"And I see you've already been acquainted with Miyafuji-san here," said Kei with a grin, causing Yoshika to subtly react with embarrassment.

"Knock it off," replied Shinta. "In any case, where's my uniform?"

"Hai, dozo," replied Chieko as she gave what she was carrying – the same uniform she and Kei were wearing – to Shinta. "As I said, we were told to take our time with you and now that you're awake, we'll go on ahead to the briefing room and report to Lieutenant Commander Sakamoto. Please get changed."

Chieko and Kei then left the sick bay. Shinta and Yoshika resumed looking at each other.

"They helped me get you to the sick bay," said Yoshika.

"I see," replied Shinta. "Don't get embarrassed with Kei. He reads up about Witches most of the time."

"I saw that for myself when I first met Chieko-san and Kei-san."

"Well, I best get going now," said Shinta as he stood up carrying the uniform he was to wear. "I wouldn't want to keep Lieutenant Commander Sakamoto waiting."

"I see… Good luck."



I.S.S. Buffalo. 1249 hours

Unbeknownst to the newly-made fleet of refugees and warships, the Stavrosian submarine I.S.S. Buffalo watched. However, it had managed to avoid detection by the ships it was watching but despite that, the submarine's captain Otto Schneider saw the fleet through the Buffalo's periscope. Also on the surface was the antenna used for communication. Because the refugee fleet and the Buffalo were far from each other, the former wasn't able to see the antenna.

The antenna then received a green light. In the Buffalo's bridge, Evelyn Andrews saw something on the communicator that made her turn her attention to Schneider, who was at the periscope.

"Captain," I'm picking up a transmission," interrupted Andrews.

"Who's it from?" asked Schneider as he continued his attention to the refugee fleet.

"Hold on," said Andrews as she looked at the communicator again to find the source of the transmission. "I've got it. It's from Rear Admiral Huang."

"Please patch it through the main screen," ordered Schneider as the mention of his superior was what got his full attention and stopped him from looking through the periscope further.

"Aye aye."

After five seconds, Huang then appeared on the main screen of the Buffalo's bridge. Schneider already had his attention to the monitor and both he and Huang saluted each other.

"I've been told by Vice Admiral Alon that the Liberian carrier has left South Seas Island," said Huang.

"I was just seeing that, sir," replied Schneider. "Shall we give chase?"

"Not exactly. Just follow them and disperse from the route they're taking. I've talked to Captain Volkov of the Hunchback. You're to rendezvous with him at this location."

Replacing Huang on the main screen was a map of the Pacific Ocean from Asia until the Liberions. Red dots were placed near South Seas Island while one blue that also neared South Seas Island, which Schneider knew was the Buffalo. Another blue dot was placed near Haiphong that had a route marked out with its end being an "X". The screen then returned to Huang.

"I can see that Volkov will be launching from Haiphong," replied Schneider. "I'd take it that where the Hunchback will be going is where we're to go?"

"That's exactly right,' answered Huang. "Once you've met up with the Hunchback, you'll get the new parts for Lieutenant Bauer's Legionarius, his new team and their Mobile Knights, and upgrades for Lieutenant Bauer's Mobile Knight if he so wishes to use them."

"Thank you, Admiral."

"I'll also send you files on Bauer's new subordinates to your office in advance. Please look at them."

"Aye aye, Admiral."

"Farewell and good luck,' said Huang as he faded from the main screen, returning it to the map he showed earlier.

"Get this submarine to the target location marked out in this map," ordered Schneider. "But make sure we use a route that the Liberian carrier will not notice us."

"Aye aye, Captain," replied everyone else onboard the bridge in unison.


U.S.S. Mayflower. 1315 hours

Shinta Himemiya, now in Fuso Imperial Navy uniform, reported to the Mayflower's squadron briefing room. Other than Mio Sakamoto, who was at the stand, and Chieko and Kei, who were seated at the first right column of seats, those also in the briefing room were Koji Himemiya, James Hodges, other sailors, and Gregory Tanaka.

Sakamoto then saw Shinta inside. Both faced each other with the latter coming closer and saluting.

"Seaman Recruit Himemiya Shinta, reporting for duty," said Shinta.

"Good," replied Sakamoto. "Please be seated."

Shinta joined Chieko and Kei at the row of seats where they were seated. At that instant, Nicholas Kirkman, the Mayflower's captain, then appeared.

"Captain on deck!" shouted Sakamoto.

Everyone who was seated in the briefing room stood up as Kirkman arrived. Sakamoto then stepped away and let Kirkman take to the stand.

"Good day, everyone," said Kirkman. "I am Captain Nicholas Kirkman, commanding officer of the U.S.S. Mayflower. As you know, our objective, publicly claimed to be a shakedown cruise after this carrier had its hangar bay modified, was to acquire the three prototype Mobile Knights Warviour, Wardier, and Wardar, from Shinkyo and deliver them back to Liberion to have them mass-produced in order to turn the tide against the Stavrosian Empire and their Neuroi ilk.

"We have achieved only half of that objective and as a result, we unknowingly drew the Stavrosians and the Neuroi to South Seas Island, leading to a loss of a significant number of our crew and thousands of civilians. That is why, although it will cause more delays, we will drop off the refugees that escaped Shinkyo with us to Faraway Land before we go to Liberion. Should we fail here, it will be dire for all of humanity. I expect every man and woman on this ship to do their duty."

Kirkman then left the stand. He silently signaled two men, one of whom being James Hodges to take to the stand. The other man, who was fair-skinned with black hair and brown eyes as a contrast to Hodges, took the stand first with Hodges beside him.

"Attention all," said the fair-skinned man. "I'm 2nd Lieutenant Marvin Grayson of the Marine Detachment for this ship. Now, I've only been placed in charge of what's left of this detachment. Not only that, most of the detachment, including Captain Mitchell, was killed back in Shinkyo and now it's only me. Sergeant James Hodges beside me and seven other men. In addition, we have refugees from that city on board so I request that order and discipline be maintained more than ever. Thank you and I hope to work with everyone on board this ship."

Grayson moved away to allow Hodges to speak.

"It's as Lieutenant Grayson said," added Hodges. "I expect everyone to help maintain discipline in this ship. I've only been promoted so please do not make it any harder on me. That's all."

Hodges left the stand and Sakamoto returned to it.

"That will be all for now," announced Sakamoto. "You're all dismissed. For those who haven't eaten yet, I'd suggest going to the mess hall."

Everyone seated stood up, saluted, and began to leave the briefing room. Shinta, however, saw Koji using his right hand, directing Shinta to come to him. Although confused, Shinta still went to his adoptive father.

"You needed something, Dad?" asked Shinta.

"Yes," answered Koji. "Let's go to the hangar. There's something with Warviour I need to show you."



1334 hours

The Himemiya men arrived at the Mayflower's hangar. Although the modifications that Kirkman spoke of were to make sure the carrier fitted the prototype Mobile Knights, Gregory Tanaka's F6F Hellcat was brought inside and was able to avoid being too close to the Mobile Knight. Arriving at the Warviour, Shinta opened the cockpit.

"What did you need to see with Warviour?" asked Shinta.

"Turn it on," ordered Koji.

"Got it."

Shinta did as Koji asked. As he used the key and said his password, the systems on Warviour's control panel were activated and the latter looked on.

"Now, find the Combat Record," continued Koji.

"Combat Record?" asked Shinta.

"The Warviour's AI records everything it sees and what the pilot experiences. It's essential for the mass-production of the prototypes because pilots will need the data gathered from battle and this date will help them in battle."

"Got it," said Shinta who was then prepared to say what was in his mind next. "Xiaoying, please access Combat Record."

"Acknowledged," replied "Xiaoying". "Accessing Combat Record."

On the main monitor of the Warviour's control panel, dates and words appeared like a log book. The former, the date in numbers divided by two periods, in one rectangle and the latter, providing the location as to where the battle was fought, in another; both being divided by one line. The first rectangles were colored in dark blue. However, Shinta saw that two rectangles were dated April 3, 1946 – the day of the previous battle.

"Why are there two recordings from yesterday?" asked Shinta.

"That's what I want to know," answered Koji.

"Currently, I can access the recording of the battle from two days ago if you so wish," suddenly added "Xiaoying".

"Could you please go to the second?" asked Shinta.

"Acknowledged. Accessing combat record from April 3, 1946. Timed from 1340 until 1607. Shall I proceed?"

"Yes, please."


The second rectangles were darkened. The screen then showed a small rectangle slowly becoming dark blue with the word "Loading" on top. Although it appeared advanced, the Himemiya men looked on with familiarity.

As the small rectangle fully became dark blue, the screen showed the Warviour on one of the flight elevators used to deliver aircraft to the flight deck for launch. At the screen, various words and letters were colored green and below was a small and long rectangle with a circle that was slowly moving. The recording then proceeded to play a conversation that Shinta was shocked to hear again.

"It even recorded the conversation I had with Captain Kirkman," said Shinta.

"That's right," replied Koji. "Anything that occurs in the cockpit is recorded. You can have it muted but that's for another time."

"Got it."

"Now ask if you can fast-forward the recording?"

"I'll ask Xiaoying that first," answered Shinta to Koji before facing the control panel again. "Xiaoying, could you fast-forward to… 1600 hours?"


The recording was now shifted to 1600 hours. In the screen was the Warviour dodging energy beams from the Large-Type Neuroi. However, as eight more minutes passed, the screen now showed the F1M seaplane Sakamoto and Yoshika rode in getting hit by one beam. Suddenly, the recording ended.

"That's how long the actual recording lasted," immediately said Koji. "The third one was shorter and yet, it was still from yesterday. I can feel you knew what really happened."

"I won't deny it," replied Shinta. "However, all of that happened because Sakamoto Shosa and Yoshika-san were in danger. I felt it in my body and suddenly, I found the Neuroi destroyed and myself carrying the F1M with Sakamoto Shosa and Yoshika-san inside it. I can imagine that was all in the third recording."

"Even so, it's too dangerous to do such a thing. I did warn you two nights ago."

"But it didn't feel like I left Warviour's cockpit."

"That's true. From what I heard, Warviour did all of what I feared you would do. Sakamoto Shosa found you unconscious after Warviour managed, or rather you, destroyed that meteor the Stavrosians launched."

"Did you know Warviour could do such a thing?"

"No, but maybe Ichiro-kun would since he supervised the construction. In any case, we best keep this to ourselves, and maybe, Sakamoto Shosa. You best get going to the mess hall and have your meal before doing any tasks asked of you."

"Got it."

Both Himemiya men left the Warviour. As they got down, Shinta left the hangar bay while Koji watched with a question in his mind.

What on Earth did you do, Ichiro-kun?


1421 hours

Shinta then arrived at the mess hall. However, Sakamoto appeared in front of him.

"Where were you?" asked Sakamoto.

"Da… I mean, Dr. Himemiya told me to come with him to the hangar bay and look at the Battle Record in the Warviour," answered Shinta.

"I see. It's important to know what data should be collected for mass-producing the prototypes. Just eat and when you're done, report to the Lecture Room."

"Lecture Room?"

"We had it prepared before the ship left Liberion. That'll be where you, Oka, and Miyazaki will learn how each of the Mobile Knights operate. Finish your lunch first and ask around for a Private Bates. He'll guard the training room in order to prevent you three from leaving it. I must go now."

Sakamoto then got out of Shinta's way and began to leave. The latter proceeded further into the mess hall, which was filled with both the personnel of the ship and civilians. He then got his tray filled with plates of food and a glass of water.

"Oi, Shinta-kun!"

Shinta heard a familiar voice and looked around. Immediately, he found Chieko Oka and Kei Miyazaki at one table with the former attempting to get his attention. It worked as Shinta joined the two yet some also inside the mess hall were initially disturbed only to resume having their attention elsewhere.

"What took you so long with your father?" asked Chieko as Shinta got seated.

"Dad wanted to show me the Combat Record," answered Shinta. "It'll help provide data for the mass-production of the Mobile Knights."

"That's nice to have," added Kei. "Now that we're here for now before we report to Sakamoto Shosa in the Lecture Room, I'd like to ask you something?"

"What is it?" asked Shinta as he was curious as to what Kei will ask him.

"How did you and Miyafuji-san even meet?'

"Really!?" asked Chieko with disbelief. "That's your question!?"

"I just ran into her and her family when I was at the Public Library," explained Shinta. "The police were chasing this one person, presumably after he stole someone's purse due to how I saw him carried it, bumped in Yoshika-san. I prevented that man from escaping and the Miyafuji women invited me to lunch."

"I can finally be proud that you're my friend!" loudly announced Kei, attracting attention to everyone else in the mess hall and embarrassing Shinta and Chieko. "Not only that, you call her 'Yoshika-san'!"

"Cut it out!" angrily replied Chieko.

"It's not that big of a deal," added Shinta with a hint of embarrassment in his tone. "All I did was help a gi-"

"Don't you just put it that way!" argued Kei as he focused his attention to Shinta and grabbed him by his uniform. "You met a Witch. And not just any Witch – it's Yoshika Miyafuji from the 501st Joint Fighter Wing. In any case, I'm so proud of yo-"

"Proud of what?" asked a female voice that the three knew.

Shinta, Chieko, and Kei turned to see that the Miyafuji women were watching them. The latter three had trays with food and water and with the exception of Yoshiko, her daughter and granddaughter were subtly embarrassed.

"… How long were you standing there?" asked Kei with embarrassment in his face losing its subtlety.

"It was getting awkward when we got here," answered Yoshiko.

"May we please join you?" asked Sayaka.

"Yes, you may," answered Shinta as he regained his composure.

Shinta stepped aside on his end of the table's adjacent seats to allow Yoshika and Sayaka to sit beside him. In their side, Chieko and Kei do the same for Yoshiko. All six began to eat with Sayaka having finished what was in her spoon as something was in her mind.

"It seems you three like to talk about Yoshika here," said Sayaka.

"Actually, just Witches in general," replied Shinta as he finished what was in his spoon.

"I'm glad you do that," replied Yoshika.

"It's just Kei-kun who does that," dismissed Chieko with her tone combining embarrassment with a lack of patience. "He's a subscriber to Leak."

"You mean that magazine?" asked Yoshika.

"You know Leak?" asked Kei.

"Not really," replied Yoshika. "However, I did hear from Lynn that it's controversial in Britannia."

"Not a surprise," added Shinta. "Although it's legal in places such as Fuso, Britannia, and Liberion, it's garnering controversy for its discussions about Witch life."

"And Karlsland's one country that illegalized the magazine," added Kei with a tone that indicates disappointment.

"What for?" asked Yoshika.

"Allow me to elaborate," interjected Shinta. "In one issue, there was a story that concerned Flying Officer Hartmann stealing Pi-"

"I understand which incident you're referring to but could you please stop elaborating any further?" asked Yoshika with closed eyes, a smile, and a tone that indicated her embarrassment.

"As you wish," replied Shinta with a compliant tone.

"And you talk as if you're uninterested about Witches," added Kei as he remembered all the times Shinta criticized his obsession with Witches.

"I read those magazines with you," replied Shinta. "I'm just not as enthusiastic as you are."

"Enough," interjected Chieko. "We best get these trays back before we see Sakamoto Shosa."

"Agreed," replied Shinta.


1505 hours

Shinta, Chieko, and Kei arrived at the door leading to the Lecture Room as it was guarded by one Marine. Shinta realized that the Marine was the Private Bates Sakamoto had told him about in order to look for the training room.

"Lieutenant Commander Sakamoto is just beyond this door," said Bates as he stepped away to let Shinta, Chieko, and Kei inside. "Right this way, Seamen."

"Thank you, Private," said Shinta as he, Chieko, and Kei proceeded to the room.

The Lecture Room was simply another room in the Mayflower with proof of what Sakamoto had told Shinta about its preparation before the carrier had left Liberion. However, there were only three wooden desks, each with a chair. There was a chalkboard with the respective blueprints of Warviour, Wardier, and Wardar laid out. Sakamoto stood in between her desk, with its chair out of her way, and the chalkboard. As Shinta, Chieko, and Kei entered, Sakamoto turned her attention to the three recruits she was to teach.

"Seaman Recruit Himemiya Shinta with Seaman Recruit Oka Chieko and Seaman Recruit Miyazaki Kei reporting for duty, ma'am," said Shinta as he, Chieko, and Kei stopped and saluted.

"At ease," replied Sakamoto. "I'd take it you're late because you had problems finding Private Bates?"

"No, ma'am," interjected Kei. "We were able to find Private Bates through Private Korbel."

"Good though I expect you three to remember where to find this room. Is that understood?"

"Yes, ma'am," replied Chieko.

"Good. Now please be seated," ultimately ordered Sakamoto.

"Yes, ma'am," replied Shinta, Chieko, and Kei in unison.

As they got seated, Sakamoto brought back the chair she pushed aside and as she sat down, she raised a book titled "Basics of Mobile Knight Piloting." Chieko and Kei saw that their respective desks have each a copy of the same book and Shinta noticed he doesn't.

"Before we begin, I have this announcement to make," stated Sakamoto. "I talked with Dr. Himemiya and Captain Kirkman about your service. Although you three were drafted, we decided that, once we reach Liberion, we'll make sure you have the option to leave the military."

Shinta, Chieko, and Kei remained silent upon hearing Sakamoto's announcement. Shinta showed no emotion upon hearing what Sakamoto announced but the latter two grinned upon the announcement.

"However, until then, you three are a part of the Fuso Imperial Navy," continued Sakamoto. "Is that understood?"

"Hai," replied Shinta, Chieko, and Kei in unison.

"Now then, we'll begin the first lesson," said Sakamoto as she grabbed her copy of Basics of Mobile Knight Piloting.

"This book is what we'll use for these lessons. Go over the book every night and on occasion, I'll provide written exams from certain pages dedicated to it."

"Pardon me, Lieutenant Commander," interjected Shinta as he raised his hand which Sakamoto saw that he wished to ask her a question.

"Yes, Seaman Recruit Himemiya?" asked Sakamoto.

"I noticed that Seaman Recruit Oka and Seaman Recruit Miyazaki have copies of the book you have. Might I please know why I don't have a copy?"

"I was just about to get to that… That's because I'm holding my copy right now. The copies were respectively given to Seaman Recruit Oka and Seaman Recruit Miyazaki were for Captains Aiba and Inagaki."

"… I see. My apologies for asking this question."

"Never mind that. Can I please resume?"

"Of course," answered Shinta before submitting to silence.


I.S.S. Buffalo

At the same time, Siegfried Bauer looked at his Legionarius. While the repairs were to be done as soon as the Buffalo met up with the Hunchback, the Mobile Knight was being painted in gold.

"Lieutenant Bauer, please report to the Captain's office," said a female voice over the Buffalo's public address (PA) system. "I say again, Lieutenant Bauer, please report to the Captain's office."

There goes that, thought Bauer.

It hadn't taken long for Bauer to find Schneider's office. As he did, he knocked on the door.

"Yes?" asked Schneider on the other side of the door.

"Captain, it's Lieutenant Bauer," replied Bauer. "Permission to enter?"


Bauer then opened the door and closed it. Afterward, he saluted with Schneider responding in kind. On Schneider's table were three files laid out.

"At ease," said Schneider with Bauer ending his salute immediately after.

"You needed something, sir?" asked Bauer.

"Yes, please come closer."

Bauer came close to Schneider's table. He saw the files on the table and in each file was a full name. As the former glanced at the files, he saw one full name and widened his eyes in surprise.

"Sir, these are-"

"That's right, the individuals in each file will be your subordinates for this mission."

"The first one's on Padolina."

"You can start with him."

Bauer then grabbed the file with the full name "Segismundo Padolina" on it. As he opened it, he saw a picture of a man close to his age with less than fair skin and black hair. Also in the file was a profile on Padolina from his birthday up to how he finished his education.

"I believe you've met Sub-Lieutenant Padolina before?" asked Schneider.

"I have," answered Bauer. "It was during my second year in the Naval Military Academy in New Kure. I haven't seen him since I graduated two years ago and was placed in Imperial Guard Command.

"Padolina, along with Yam and Weber, have just graduated recently."

"If I remember, Padolina befriended two other cadets when he started out in the academy. I believe those are Yam and Weber. Wait, they're the-"

"That's right, they'll the pilots of the extra Mobile Knights we'll receive from the Hunchback. I figured you should who they are before giving them orders. You can take the files with you to continue studying about them."

"Thank you, sir," replied Bauer, followed by a salute.

"You're now dismissed," ultimately replied Schneider.

Bauer then took all three files with him and left the office.


U.S.S. Mayflower, 1604 hours

"Now then, before we conclude today's lessons I'm going to ask some questions, so please remember what I've been telling you," ordered Sakamoto. "And I'll call out each of your names one by one."

"Yes, ma'am," replied Shinta, Chieko, and Kei at the same time.

"Himemiya, how tall are each Mobile Knights?"

"3.01 meters," answered Shinta.

"Oka, what's the power source of the Stavrosian Mobile Knights?"

"…. S… So… " incompletely said Chieko as she struggled to remember what Sakamoto had discussed.

"Its solar power!" shouted Sakamoto due to Chieko's inability to answer.

"Oh… "

"… Miyazaki, can the Wardier and Wardar be fitted with Wing Packs?"

"Yes. However, that cannot be done until we've arrived at Liberion," answered Kei.

"Excellent. Again, keep reviewing the book every evening. You're dismissed for now. Rest up for thirty minutes then report to the hangar for Mobile Knight maintenance."

"Yes, ma'am," replied Shinta, Chieko, and Kei in unison as they stood up and saluted.


1823 hours

"Really?!" exasperatedly asked Kei as he and Chieko see Shinta reviewing a copy of the handbook the former two used during their class under Sakamoto while the three were at the mess hall. "You just got that book from Sakamoto Shosa and you're reviewing it now!?"

"Why not?" dismissively asked Shinta.

"We're eating right now," added Chieko.

"Hold on," replied Shinta as he was reading one page.

However, Shinta immediately closed his book and began to eat. Chieko and Kei found it awkward that Shinta would read fast all because of what they had said earlier.

"Mind if I join you three?" asked Yoshika Miyafuji as s she appeared with her own tray.

"… Sure," replied Kei.

Yoshika began to sit beside Kei, unaware that the latter grinned about the aspect of sitting beside her. The former then noticed the book Shinta read earlier.

"Do you always read whenever you eat?" asked Yoshika to Shinta while the latter ate his meal.

"Not always," answered Chieko. "It's only just now because we're learning under Sakamoto Shosa how to pilot the Mobile Knights."

"I see."

As Shinta continued to eat, he saw that Yoshika had joined him, Chieko, and Kei. Shinta then stopped eating and focused on Yoshika.

"… Yoshika-san, my apologies for noticing you were here," said Shinta. "Did you need something?"

"Not really. However, did you notice the Miso with your meals?"

"Now that you mention it, we also had Miso with our meals," interjected Chieko as she looked at a bowl in her tray with the aforementioned soup. "I didn't think the chef on board would know how to make Miso."

"Actually, my mother and I assisted," answered Yoshika.

"You did?" asked Kei.

"We went to Kirkman-san and asked him if we could help in the mess hall. He allowed it."

"I see," replied Shinta before he put the food in his spoon into his mouth.


2105 hours

Shinta, Chieko, and Kei had returned to the Lecture Room with Sakamoto before them. However, the blackboard was empty of the Mobile Knights' blueprints.

"The three of you are to wake up at 600 hours for exercise," announced Sakamoto. "The uniforms you have right now are the only ones provided to you so you'll receive attire for exercise tomorrow morning. After exercise, you're granted breakfast. The rest of the schedule is the papers you possess."

"Yes, ma'am," said Shinta, Chieko, and Kei in unison as they stood up and saluted with Sakamoto responding in kind.

The former three got away from their respective desks and began to move their chairs forward. As Chieko and Kei leave, Shinta stays and goes to Sakamoto as she was collecting folders with papers attached to them. Kei noticed and stopped to watch with Chieko following.

"You needed something, Himemiya?" asked Sakamoto.

"Will you be seeing Kirkman Kanchou?" asked Shinta.

"Yes but why?"

"If I may, there is something I wish to ask him."

"I'll see what I can do. Just come with me."


Both Sakamoto and Shinta left the Lecture Room. Chieko and Kei stepped aside but remained silent as they were confused as to why Shinta wanted to come with Sakamoto and that speaking up wouldn't be worth the trouble.


2149 hours

Both Shinta and Sakamoto had arrived at the door to Kirkman's office. The latter knocked first which got Kirkman's attention.

"Yes?" asked Kirkman.

"It's Lieutenant Commander Sakamoto, sir," replied the female Fusoan officer. "Permission to enter?"


Both Sakamoto and Shinta entered Kirkman's office and saluting. The latter was surprised Shinta came with Sakamoto despite saluting the two Fusoans in response.

"Might I please know why Seaman Recruit Himemiya is with you, Lieutenant Commander?" asked Kirkman.

"He has a request," answered Sakamoto. "However, he can wait."

"And why's that?"

"Here are the evaluations I made about Seaman Recruits Himemiya, Oka, and Miyazaki," said Sakamoto as she gave the folders she took with her to Kirkman. "Your turn, Seaman Recruit Himemiya."

"Permission to go up to the flight deck if I have free time?"

"What for?" asked Kirkman with curiosity in his tone.

"I practice both Xíngyìquán and Wing Chun Kuen and I wish to find somewhere I can practice alone"

"And neither Seaman Recruit Oka nor Seaman Recruit Miyazaki are aware of this?"

"They are, sir. However, I'd rather not force them into this. However, they do practice Karate."

Kirkman thought about his answer while looking away from Shinta and Sakamoto. Shinta had remained firm as to what the former will say next and was prepared for either one. After ninety seconds, he had stopped thinking and resumed facing Shinta and Sakamoto.

"Very well," answered Kirkman. "Request granted but think you could please have Seaman Recruit Oka and Seaman Recruit Miyazaki come here tomorrow?"

"Consider it done," interjected Sakamoto.

"Thank you, sir," replied Shinta with a salute.

"Anything else?"

"None at all, sir," added Sakamoto.

"You two are dismissed."


2219 hours

Both Shinta and Sakamoto left Kirkman's office. As they walked, the former turned to the latter.

"Sakamoto Shosa, might I please know where my belongings went?" asked Shinta.

"Good question, I was just about to tell you," answered Sakamoto. "You and Miyazaki Nitosuihei will sleep in your own bunk. Your belongings were taken there while you were unconscious."

"What about Chi- I mean, Oka Nitosuihei?'

"Miyafuji and her family offered Oka Nitosuihei to sleep with her. I believe you should know why."

"I see. Thank you for entertaining my questions."


I.S.S. Buffalo. April 5, 1946; 0546 hours

That morning, Otto Schneider had returned to the Buffalo's bridge after sleeping for four hours. Although a voyage at sea would allow for more hours of sleep, they were still in a war and vigilance is needed yet rest was needed as well. Despite that, Schneider was able to walk to his chair without his limited sleep compromising his movement.

"Slept well, Captain?" asked Evelyn Andrews upon seeing Schneider return with her eyes indicating that she needs sleep as well.

"I did," answered Schneider. "I recommend that you do too."

However, a sound came from the communicator. Despite needing sleep, Andrews focused her attention to it.

"Who's that from?" asked Schneider.

"Let me see… " replied Andrews as she looked at the communicator only to find where it was coming from and turned to Schneider again. "It's from Captian Volkov of the Hunchback. "

"Patch it to the main screen."

Appearing on the main screen of the Buffalo's bridge was a fair-skinned man with a bald head and a graying beard. Although it wasn't shown, it was shown that he has a portly physique below the neck.

"Morning, Captain Schneider," snidely greeted the man named Volkov. "Enjoyed your sleep?"

"What's with that attitude?!" asked Schneider in response to Volkov's tone.

"I didn't think you'd ever call me for supplies."

"Did you not hear that I lost three of my Mobile Knights."

"I know but it's so hilarious hearing that you, Otto Schneider, would lose three Mobile Knights."

"Keep laughing it up. You'll soon know why I lost those Mobile Knights," warned Schneider before facing Andrews. "Andrews, please send the footage from South Seas Island to Captain Volkov."

"But… " hesitantly replied Andrews.

"That's an order!"

"… Aye aye, Captain."


U.S.S. Mayflower. 0640 hours

Elsewhere, in the U.S.S. Mayflower, Shinta Himemiya, Chieko Oka, and Kei Miyazaki had gathered in front of the carrier's island. In front of them was Mio Sakamoto and as a result, the former three had their arms firmly facing down and their feet touching each other.

Sweat filled the former three as they wore the attire assigned to them for exercise, which consisted of a white shirt, beige pants, and the same shoes worn in their Fuso Imperial Navy uniform. That was the result of the warm-ups Sakamoto had devised for them. Shinta stood firm despite sweating but Chieko and Kei weren't as resolute.

"I hope you three slept well because until this carrier reaches Liberion, I will work you like dogs," announced Sakamoto. "However, Kirkman Kanchou placed limits as we're in a moving carrier but that doesn't allow you to take this lightly."

I can't tell if this is a dream or a nightmare, thought Kei. Damn it, Shinta. What have we gotten ourselves into?

"This is what you'll be doing," continued Sakamoto. "You're to run from here to the front end of the carrier and back. Each of you have turns. Himemiya first, then Oka, then Miyazaki. You are to keep on doing this until I say you three can stop."

Sakamoto then pointed as to where in the Mayflower she was referring to. Shinta, Chieko, and Kei as Sakamoto pointed. While Shinta had no facial response, both Chieko and Kei silently dreaded what will happen to them as from where they stood, the front end of the carrier was still far.

"Did you get any of my instructions!?"

"Hai," collectively replied Shinta, Chieko, and Kei.

"Good. Himemiya first."


Shinta then stopped facing Sakamoto and instead faced the front end of the carrier. After he had re-directed his body to where he should run, Shinta began to run but slowly as he understood that he'll need the energy for later runs.

As he was a meter away from the island, Shinta increased his running speed. Sakamoto looked on with amazement but Chieko and Kei feared that they will have to do the same.

As two minutes passed, Sakamoto looked at a stopwatch and as she looked at Shinta again, she saw that he made it to the rear of the carrier. Shinta then continued back without pause and as he returned, Sakamoto looked on with a smile.

"Made it at the front end in two minutes and here in one minute," said Sakamoto as she looked at her stopwatch before looking at Shinta. "Impressive, Himemiya."

"Arigatou, Sakamoto Shosa," replied Shinta with a bow.

"Oka, you're next."

Despite her hesitation, Chieko began to face the front end. She began to think how Shinta was able to run to the front end and back in order to help herself.

If Shinta can do it, why can't I? wondered Chieko.

Chieko began to move to the rear end. However, she only moved slowly for ten seconds before increasing her running speed. As she neared the front end, she was almost exhausted. Upon reaching the front end, Chieko slammed her knees with each corresponding palm to preserve what little energy she had in standing up.

"Get back here this instant!" shouted Sakamoto.

"H… Hai," exhaustedly replied Chieko.


I.S.S. Buffalo. 0651 hours

"And those Mobile Knights can be mass-produced?" asked Volkov over the main screen of the Buffalo's bridge to Otto Schneider. "Are you certain about that?"

"If the LN can make them, they should be capable of mass-producing them," answered Schenider. "Though the LN shouldn't even be able to do so at this point in time."

"In any case, I'll provide you with the supplies and the Mobile Knights you need. How near are you to the rendezvous point?"

"We're at full speed so we can make it in an hour."

"I'll see you then."


U.S.S. Mayflower. 0734 hours

"That was exhausting," lamented Kei Miyazaki while he, Shinta Himemiya, and Chieko Oka were at the Mayflower's mess hall.

The three had gotten their breakfast after they had finished

"I suggest you eat before Sakamoto Shosa orders us to the next lesson," warned Shinta before placing butter into a dinner roll, which was a part of the breakfast being served to crew members and refugees alike, and eating it.

"Mind if we join you?" asked Sayaka Miyafuji with her mother Yoshiko Akimoto while carrying trays that contained their breakfast, startling Shinta, Chieko, and Kei.

"M… Miyafuji-san, s… sure!" replied Chieko. "You two can sit beside me."

"Thank you," replied Yoshiko as she and Sayaka began to sit down and put their trays on the table.

"So, how was your day?" asked Sayaka.

"Exhausting," replied Kei.

"You're young so you can get used to it," added Yoshiko.

"By the way, where's Yoshika-san?" asked Shinta.

Chieko, Kei, Sayaka, and Yoshiko were surprised by Shinta's question. Kei then closed his eyes, crossed his arms, and grinned as to what will happen next as he assumed the reason Shinta asked his question. Sayaka then giggled, which surprised her mother and the three teenagers they're facing.

"… Anything wrong with my question?" asked a confused Shinta. "My apologies for th-"

"You don't have to apologize," said Sayaka as she interrupted Shinta. "Why did you ask?"

"Nothing really. I was just wondering."

Both Chieko and Kei were surprised by Shinta's response. Despite their friendship, the former two were surprised that the latter gave such a response. Kei's shock was due to how Shinta casually asked about Yoshika.

"She volunteered to assist in washing the clothes of those on board," sternly answered Yoshiko. "I believe that will be all?"

"Hai," replied Shinta. "Arigatou gozaimasu."


0802 hours

In the Mayflower's bridge, Nicholas Kirkman sat on his chair. Beside him was the ship's executive officer, Commander Tyler Seioge. Forty-five years old, Seioge was a tall gangling man with a cold expressionless face and straightened reddish-brown hair.

Seioge looked to the horizon beyond the bridge with binoculars. He didn't have too but it helped identify whether the Mayflower was to be threatened. Although hidden by the binoculars, Seioge's eyes widened upon seeing two horizontal metal objects far from the carrier. He stopped looking and turned to Kirkman.

"Captain, I believe we have two ships straight ahead," warned Seioge.

"Are you sure?" asked Kirkman.

"I can tell. If they were whales, they would have left by now."

"Let me see."

Seioge gave the binoculars to Kirkman, who then rose upon receiving them. He saw the two metal objects. Another object appeared to connect the two which forced Kirkman to stop looking and turn to Seioge.

"Now that I saw what you saw, what do you suppose we should do?"

"For now, have Tanaka scout ahead."

"Very well. I'll have the ship slow down and signal the other ships to prepare for further instructions."


I.S.S. Buffalo. 0805 hours

"You're here!" excitedly said Volkov through the main screen of the Buffalo's bridge to Otto Schneider.

"If we arrived late, I apologize for that," replied Schneider. "I didn't want that Liberian carrier to detect us."

"Nonsense. In any case, we're preparing the conveyor belt now. As for those new Mobile Knights, we'll send them in first once we've laid out the conveyor belt."

"Much obliged. I imagine you consumed plenty of power to get here?"

"Regretfully so."

"I suggest you get energy from the solar satellite now. We'll do the same."

"Captain, I do-" interjected Evelyn Andrews before Schneider cut her off.

"Very well. We'll work as fast as we can. Volkov out."

Volkov then vanished from the main screen. Schneider faced Andrews; his face upset with what happened.

"My apologies, Captain but I don't think it's wise to re-charge at a time like this," said Andrews. "That Liberian carrier could detect us."

"I know," replied Schneider. "But we already wasted enough power diverting our course away from that fleet. We won't be able to use our radar but we need those supplies. All we can do now is count on Volkov and his men to give us those supplies."

"I see. Again, my apologies."


U.S.S. Mayflower. 0844 hours

On the Mayflower's flight deck, Gregory Tanaka had arrived. His F6F Hellcat was already prepared for him. Just as he was about to board his plane, Mio Sakamoto had appeared from the carrier's island and approached the former just as he had gotten into the Hellcat's cockpit.

"Tanaka, you have a minute?" asked Sakamoto.

"Anything you need on such short notice, Lieutenant Commander Sakamoto?" asked Tanaka.

"Nothing really. Good luck out there and make sure you escape before they do anything."



0917 hours

Tanaka had already left the Mayflower and neared the two supposed objects. However, he had to deviate from his original flight path to avoid detection by going to his right.

After thirty minutes, Tanaka turned to his new left, straightening his flight path again. At this point, Tanaka was sure he would be detected – if the objects were Stavrosian submarines. Tanaka then lowered the altitude of the Hellcat at 5,700 meters to prepare for seeing what he needed to see and it he couldn't stay for too long. In addition to avoiding detection, Tanaka's inability to remain as long he wished to was because a Hellcat wasn't a two-man bomber nor a Catalina flying boat as those allowed anyone but the pilot to carry a camera.

Seeing that he neared the objects, Tanaka began to use his plane's radio to contact the Mayflower. He widened his eyes upon seeing that one was longer and larger than the other but that didn't stop him from preparing his radio.

"Control, this is Tanaka," said the Liberian pilot. "Nearing the objects detected by Commander Seioge. Will get closer to see what they really are."

"Acknowledged," replied a male on the other end of the radio. "Make sure to avoid being detected."

"Roger that."


I.S.S. Buffalo. 0922 hours

"We've already prepared the conveyor belt," said Volkov to Otto Schneider from the main screen of the Buffalo's bridge. "I'll need your crew to assist."

"Consider it done," replied Schneider as he sat in his chair.

Volkov then vanished from the main screen. Schneider began to use the submarine's PA system.

"Attention hangar bay, this is your Captain speaking," announced Schneider. "We're about to receive supplies from the Hunchback. Please open the launch hatch to receive our supplies and the new Mobile Knights."

As Schneider finished, he stopped using the PA system and turned to Evelyn Andrews.

"Andrews, how is our solar charging?" asked Schneider.

"We started almost thirty minutes ago so we're only at nineteen percent," answered Andrews.

Schneider looked at Andrews with a concerned face. The former knew that the latter would bring up the risk of detection by disabling the radar to allow power management.

"I see. I recommend you should rest now. If you're hungry, just go to the mess hall."


I.S.S. Hunchback. 0926 hours

"Captain, the Buffalo's opening its launch hatch," said a male crewmember to Volkov, who was seated in his chair in the Buffalo's bridge.

"Place it at the main screen," ordered Volkov.

"Aye aye, Captain."

The Buffalo now appeared on the main screen on the Hunchback's bridge. Volkov began to use his submarine's PA system.

"Attention all, this is Captain Volkov," announced the submarine captain. "The Buffalo is preparing to receive our supplies. I ask everyone to get to work now! Radar is disabled until we've finished recharging our solar battery"


0931 hours

Tanaka then tilted the Hellcat to the left, nearing it to the objects. Risky as it was, this would allow Tanaka to see what the objects were. He knew he could be detected if he wasn't quick enough. However, he wasn't aware that the two objects he came for, which were the Buffalo and the Hunchback, didn't have their radar on as they were charging their respective solar batteries, which gather rays from the sun and convert them to energy that goes to their reactors for power.

From his cockpit, Tanaka began to see what he came for, despite being ten kilometers away. The objects he now saw were submarines. However, they weren't designs he recognized, which made it easier for him to immediately escape by turning right.

Those submarines must be Stavrosians, I'm sure of it, thought Tanaka. However, that isn't enough for Captain Kirkman to decide what to do next. I'll need to make another turn and go even lower.

Tanaka continued into his new path without looking back. After five minutes, Tanaka lowered the altitude again. This time, he was now at 5,000 meters. He turned left again in order to see what the two submarines, which he knew were Stavrosian, were doing in the middle of the ocean.

As he finished turning left, Tanaka made another left then a right. This was in order to know what the Stavrosians were doing. Afterward, he moved his head to the left to see what he can see. What he saw then shocked him as the object connecting the two submarines was a large conveyor belt.

I can tell the shorter one is the one that needs the additional supplies because the larger seemingly brought out a conveyor belt, thought Tanaka. Still, how could they have large subs much less one large enough to have its own conveyor belt!? I have to stick around a little longer. I don't think one Stavrosian sub would just stop out here in the middle of the ocean just for supplies.


I.S.S. Buffalo. 0933 hours

In the Buffalo's hangar, Siegfried Bauer stood. He saw that the lift used to launch Mobile Knights was descending into the hangar itself as it was used to load supplies from the Hunchback into the Buffalo. As the lift landed, two men and a woman in their twenties wearing the Imperial Stavrosian Navy officer uniforms with the corresponding caps on their heads, appeared with their belongings. As they left the lift, they got closer to Bauer but stopped a meter between them, put down their respective bags and saluted with Bauer saluting them in kind.

Bauer knew the three of them as Segismundo Padolina, Loyiso Yam, and Caroline Weber. Yam had skin darker than Padolina's but the same black hair, albeit shorter than Padolina's. Weber, by contrast, was fair-skinned with long blonde hair tied to a ponytail.

"I assume you're my subordinates from here on it?" asked Bauer.

"We are, sir," replied Padolina.

"I know that all three of you are Sub-Lieutenants like I was when I graduated before you so just state your names and ages."

"Padolina, Segismundo. Twenty-three years old. An honor to see you again, Mr. Bauer."

"You too, Padolina. I see you managed to graduate with honors?"

"I have. Truth be told, I was glad to be assigned here upon hearing that you were here now."

"That's good," concluded Bauer before going to Yam. "And you are?"

"Yam, Loyiso. Twenty-two years old. Studied with Mr. Padolina at the Naval Academy."

"I hope you learned plenty from Padolina's example."

"I have, Lieutenant. I hope to be of use."

"Good," said Bauer before stopping at Weber.

"Weber, Caroline. Twenty-three years old. Graduated with Sub-Lieutenant Padolina and Sub-Lieutenant Yam."

"What do you make of them so far?'

"They're good men to serve with. We hope to serve under you well."

"Glad to hear it."


0944 hours

Outside the Buffalo, Tanaka decreased the speed of the Hellcat. This allowed Tanaka to see while keeping the plane flying. Because he was still far from the submarines, Tanaka couldn't ascertain what supplies were being given. However, as he kept looking, he saw what appeared to be a Capri-colored Mobile Knight. Tanaka's eyes widened as he saw that a Mobile Knight was being delivered.

Okay, I've seen enough, thought Tanaka. Now I have to get out of here!

Tanaka shifted the Hellcat to the right and increased the speed in order to escape quickly. After another thirty minutes, Tanaka diagonally raised the altitude of the Hellcat to the original altitude he flew in when he left the refugee fleet led by the Mayflower.


U.S.S. Mayflower. 1019 hours

Tanaka had managed to return to the Mayflower. However, as he landed, Tanaka immediately jumped off the cockpit and as he ran into the island, he bumped into Mio Sakamoto.

"What's the matter with you!?" asked Sakamoto as she was startled by how fast Tanaka was running to the island. "Did you get detected?"

"No," replied Tanaka. "I need to see the Captain now!"

"Got it. However, take me with you."


1035 hours

"You mean those were Stavrosian submarines?!" exclaimed Kirkman with Seioge, Tanaka, and Sakamoto in his office.

"I'm not lying, sir," replied Tanaka. "They couldn't have been ours!"

"And are you sure that was a Mobile Knight being loaded?" asked Seioge to Tanaka.

"It is," answered Tanaka. "Other than crates for food, ammunition, and other necessities, why else did one submarine have a large conveyor belt? More could be loaded as we speak."

"But why re-supply out here?" asked Sakamoto.

"That could be it!" shouted Kirkman.

"What do you mean?" asked Seioge.

"The submarine being re-supplied must have been the one that started the fight in Shinkyo."

"Could explain the Mobile Knight Tanaka found given that Himemiya, Oka, and Miyazaki destroyed three of them while one escaped," added Sakamoto who then turned to Tanaka. "Were you spotted in the midst of this?"

"No," answered Tanaka. "If I was, I'd be dead."

"What do we do now?" asked Seioge to Kirkman.

"I have an idea on that," answered Kirkman.


I.S.S. Buffalo. 1047 hours.

"So these are your Mobile Knights," said Siegfried Bauer as he looked at the Capri-colored Mobile Knights that mostly populated the Buffalo's hangar deck with Segismundo Padolina, Loyiso Yam, and Caroline Weber.

"The PMK-03 Eques; 'Equites' for plural," stated Weber. "Manufactured by the New Nizhny Manufacturing Plant. Three have been built."

The four looked at the Eques, whose head was smaller in length and width by contrast to the Legionarius that Bauer uses. One had two cannons; each between the body and the elbows. Another had a large antenna on top of its head. The only thing in common with all three Equites was that they had Shock Knuckles for each arm and machine guns on each hip like the Legionarius.

"One of them doesn't have anything special with it," said Bauer as he looked at the Eques beside his Legionarius. "Though there is something underneath its left arm."

"That will be mine," interjected Padolina. "It has an Energy Saber."

"An Energy Saber? On a Mobile Knight!? I only heard one prototype exists."

"The Eques is supposed to serve as a testbed for future Mobile Knights," added Weber. "Sub-Lieutenant Padolina will pilot the Eques with the Energy Saber, Sub-Lieutenant Yam will pilot the Eques with the Energy Cannons, and I will pilot the Eques with the antenna used for long-range communications and reconnaissance."

"Impressive that we'll get newer Mobile Knights," replied Bauer. "I assume you three have been told as to why you've been assigned here?"

"We have, Lieutenant Bauer," answered Yam.

"Good. You three follow me. I'll take you to your respective rooms then we report to the Captain."


U.S.S. Mayflower. 1104 hours

In the mess hall of the Mayflower, Nicholas Kirkman and Tyler Seioge stood before Mio Sakamoto, the Himemiya men, Chieko Oka, Kei Miyazaki, and some refugees along with some other crew members, including James Hodges. He had finished telling them about the two Stavrosian submarines.

"We don't have time to get everyone's opinion on the matter at hand so our discussion here will affect the whole refugee fleet," announced Kirkman. "We have two options: either we attack the Stavrosian submarines ahead or we leave them alone and continue to Faraway Land. We will now vote on the matter and those who wish to not vote on either choice may do so. Those who wish to do the latter vote now."

Those who voted to ignore the Stavrosians were mostly from the refugees. The Miyafuji women, however, refrained from voting. Koji, Chieko, and Kei voted with those who wished to ignore the Stavrosians.

Only Kirkman, Seioge, Sakamoto, and Tanaka voted to attack the Stavrosians by raising their right hands. Hodges and the rest of the ship's personnel at the mess hall had yet to raise their hands for either option.

"Captain, pardon for going out of line but I have a suggestion," said Shinta as he raised his left hand.

"What might that be?" asked Kirkman.

"A third option: we attack but we make it quick and withdraw."

"Might I know why you make such a suggestion?" asked Sakamoto.

"If it's the same submarine that attacked Shinkyo, it'll take a while for it to get additional supplies. We don't have much ammo for any weapons ourselves so I believe that if we attack quickly and leave with one submarine destroyed at most, the other submarine won't be able to pursue us for a while."

"Hit and run," said Kirkman as he summarized everything Shinta had said. He turned his back on everyone else in the mess hall to think about Shinta's suggestion. "You could be right, Seaman Recruit Himemiya. If we just leave the Stavrosians alone, they will pursue us and we wouldn't have enough ammo to defend ourselves. If we attack slowly, we'll waste our ammo and Stavrosians might last longer than we will."

"So what now?" asked Seioge as Kirkman resumed facing everyone else at the mess hall.

"We'll go with Seaman Recruit Himemiya's suggestion as an option to vote for," replied Kirkman with his right hand raised.

The rest of the personnel in the mess hall, including Hodges, raised their right hands to vote. Kei then instantly raised his right hand, surprising Chieko and Koji.

"Why vote for that?" asked Chieko to Kei.

"I just remembered something," replied Kei. "The Wardar has a function called 'Jamming'. I think it'll prevent the Stavrosians from instantly retaliating should we make our attack by harming their radar and communications."

"Good thinking, Miyazaki," complimented Sakamoto who then turned to Kirkman. "Captain?"

"Are you certain it would work?" asked Kirkman to Kei.

"I only remembered it just now," answered Kei. "I think I can get the AI to help."

Sakamoto then raised her hand. This surprised Tanaka and Kirkman.

"What happened to your earlier vote?" asked Tanaka.

"No choice," answered Sakamoto. "Besides, I think it's a good opportunity to test what Wardar has to offer before we have the Mobile Knights mass-produced."

"I agree with Lieutenant Commander Sakamoto," replied Kirkman with the addition of his raised right hand.

"Very well," said Tanaka as he did the same.

"I believe we now know which option wins," concluded Kirkman. "Seaman Recruit Himemiya, Seaman Recruit Oka, Seaman Recruit Miyazaki, launch in the Mobile Knights this instant."

"Yes, sir," replied Shinta, Chieko, and Kei in unison with salutes.

"Lieutenant Tanaka, you're in command of the operation," said Kirkman as he turned to the Fuso-Liberian naval aviator. "Get into your Hellcat as well."

"Aye aye, Captain," excitedly replied Tanaka with a salute.


1133 hours

Tanaka, Shinta, Chieko, and Kei were now in the ready room. Sakamoto stood before them with a paper on the scores board that had a large paper with drawings on it.

"Listen, we have to make this attack quick per Himemiya's suggestion," announced Sakamoto who then pointed to two oblongs at the far right of the paper. "These would be the two submarines Tanaka detected. At most, we can only destroy one submarine with what little ammunition we have. Because Warviour is the only Mobile Knight we have with the Wing Pack, Himemiya is to launch but not until I say so."

"Ryōkai," replied Shinta with Sakamoto focusing on Kei.

"Miyazaki, you and Wardar will be deployed first but at the rear."

"Ryōkai," replied Kei.

Sakamoto then grabbed a pencil and pointed it to another oblong at the left side of the paper.

"This is us," said Sakamoto as she used the oblong at the left to represent the Mayflower. "No one is to do anything until this ship gets close enough."

Sakamoto began to draw periods from the oblong representing the Mayflower. After twenty oblongs, Sakamoto then drew an X.

"After getting close enough, the carrier will stop," continued Sakamoto. "Afterward, Miyazaki is to use Communication Jamming because once we are close enough, I can imagine the Stavrosians would be finished getting their supplies and that Tanaka wasn't detected because they're collecting energy from the sun which would necessitate strict power allocation. That is also the reason why we can't attack yet until we move a little. Once Communication Jamming is used, Himemiya is to launch and begin his attack."

Sakamoto temporarily stopped explaining the plan for attacking and faced Tanaka.

"Tanaka, you'll launch after Himemiya and you're to assist him," explained Sakamoto. "We were given one bomb from the Cowpens before we had scuttled. You're to use it against one submarine only. Is that understood?"

"Ryōkai," replied Tanaka with Sakamoto turning to Chieko.

"Oka, after Tanaka launches, you're to launch next in Wardier," said Sakamoto. "You're to attack with the Particle Cannon but only after Himemiya begins his attack. Is that understood?"

"Yes, ma'am," replied Chieko with Sakamoto turning to her default position.

"That will be all now," concluded Sakamoto. "To your stations."

"Yes, ma'am!" replied Tanaka, Shinta, Chieko, and Kei as they stood up and saluted in unison.


I.S.S. Buffalo. 1149 hours

"How much solar energy have we gathered?" asked Otto Schneider in the Buffalo's bridge to Gallo, who was at the main monitor of the bridge.

"Eighty percent," answered Gallo. "If it's about the radar, personally, I'd recommend not using it until we're at ninety-five percent."

"Fine. How many supplies have we gotten already?"

"We have enough food to last us three months at best. As for ammunition, we're almost done I believe. However, there's also the spare limbs we're to also get for our Mobile Knights."

I hope we don't get attacked before we finished getting our supplies, desperately thought Schneider.


U.S.S. Mayflower. 1215 hours

The Mayflower was already moving toward the Stavrosian submarines. Kei Miyazaki was already deployed in the Wardar and positioned at the rear of the carrier. As he waited, Kei read the handbook he was given the previous day in order to learn how to properly use Communication Jamming.

"Miyazaki, are you there?" asked Mio Sakamoto over the Wardar's communicator, startling Kei.

"Hai, Sakamoto Shosa," replied Kei.

"We'll be able to see those Stavrosian submarines soon. However, we're to wait until Kirkman Kanchou gives his authorization for us to act. Are you ready?"


"Sakamoto out. Will contact as soon as I get the authorization from Kirkman Kanchou."


1217 hours

"There you are, Lieutenant Tanaka," said Koji Himemiya as he found Gregory Tanaka at the Mayflower's ready room.

"Dr. Himemiya, you needed something?" asked Tanaka as he turned his attention from the magazine he was reading to Koji.

"Not really. Before you go, I need to give you these."

As Koji got close to Tanaka, he gave his transceiver to Tanaka. Next was a small piece of paper.

"These are-" said Tanaka as he knew what Koji was giving him but couldn't finish his sentence due to the fact it was the transceiver he used to contact the communicators in the Mobile Knights.

"You'll need them to talk to Shinta, Chieko-kun, and Kei-kun," said Koji as he cut off Tanaka. "The paper is where you can find their frequencies."

"I imagine there's another reason you're giving these to me."

"There is. You'll be working with my son, especially now. Help him out as possible."


1219 hours

Sakamoto was at the Mayflower's bridge beside Kirkman, who was at his seat. Tyler Seioge was using his binoculars to see how far the Stavrosian submarines were. Sakamoto held her transceiver in order to use it when the ship stopped for Shinta, Chieko, and Kei.

"Commander, how near are we?" asked Kirkman,

"I can see one submarine that's longer than the other," answered Seioge. "After a minute or two, we can stop."

"Fair enough," replied Sakamoto.

As the Mayflower continued to move, Seioge began to see more of the two Stavrosian submarines. He now saw the conveyor belt Tanaka talked about and stopped using the binoculars, then turned to Kirkman.

"Captain, I believe this should be enough," announced Seioge.

"You think so?" asked Kirkman.

"I'm sure. I saw that conveyor belt Lieutenant Tanaka talked about."

"Very well," concluded Kirkman as he immediately faced Sakamoto. "Lieutenant Commander Sakamoto, please have those Mobile Knights launch."

"Roger that," replied Sakamoto.


1223 hours

"Miyazaki, you there?" asked Sakamoto as she contacted Kei in the Warviour again.

"Hai," replied Kei.

"We're about to launch Warviour. Get to using Communication Jamming now."


The communicator went silent. Kei began to sort out the programs in the Wardar and as he found Communication Jamming, he found two options: "Yes" or "No".

"It's obvious what to pick," said Kei as he knew what to do next.

"You're about to use Jamming," said a female voice Kei knew. "This is will prevent the enemy from using anything to detect this unit or communicate amongst themselves."

"It's you, Kaguya," said Kei as he knew the female voice was that of the Wardar's AI. "Yes, we're going to use Jamming."

"Commencing Jamming in 3… "


I.S.S. Buffalo. 1225 hours

"How much power do we have now?" asked Otto Schneider in the Buffalo's bridge to Gallo, whose face was shown through the bridge's main screen.

"Ninety-four percent," replied Gallo. "Just one more minute."

Every minute counts at this point, worriedly thought Schneider. Andrews could be right.

"Captain, we're now at ninety-five percent!" happily said Gallo.

"Good," replied Schneider before turning to Ishiguro. "Ishiguro, please turn on the radar and patch it to the main screen."

"Aye aye, Captain," replied Ishiguro from her console in the bridge.

However, the main screen was now filled with lines of gray that constantly moved. Angered, Schneider faced Ishiguro.

"Captain, we have a problem!" shouted Ishiguro.

"I can see that!" replied Schneider with a quiet tone filled with anger.

"Hold on, I'll try to contact Petty Officer Gallo if he can inspect the radar modules."

"Do it!"

"Aye aye."

Ishiguro began to go through various other buttons in her console. However, as she was able to reach the frequency the Buffalo, it showed the same gray lines.

"Petty Officer Gallo, come in. Petty Officer, are you there?"

"Please tell me we can contact the hangar bay?" asked Schneider.

"I'm afraid we can't," replied Ishiguro.

"Try contacting the Hunchback."

"Aye aye."

Ishiguro then switched out of the frequencies of the Buffalo and reached the frequencies of the Hunchback. However, she saw the same lines of gray.

"Captain, I can't get anything from the Hunchback!" exclaimed Ishiguro.

This can't be happening! thought Schneider.


U.S.S. Mayflower. 1228 hours

"Himemiya, Miyazaki's already using the Wardar's Jamming," announced Mio Sakamoto over the Warviour's communicator with Shinta Himemiya listening. "You're clear to launch."

"Ryōkai," replied Shinta.

The Warviour, with its Wing Pack attached, began to move to the elevator used to deliver aircraft from the hangar deck to the flight deck. However, Yoshika Miyafuji had appeared in the hangar and began to run up to Warviour.

Inside the Warviour's cockpit, Shinta saw Yoshika. The former saw Sayaka Miyafuji running after the latter. Despite the risks it contained, Shinta opened the cockpit and faced Yoshika.

"Yoshika-san, what are you doing here!?" asked Shinta.

"I just wanted to see you off," replied Yoshika.

"… Thank you," said Shinta before he closed the Warviour's cockpit and resumed walking to the flight elevator.

Unlike the first time I saw combat, there wasn't any hesitation from Shinta-san, pondered Yoshika as she saw Shinta and the Warviour make it to the elevator.


U.S.S. Mayflower. 1231 hours

The Warviour was already in front of the Mayflower's island with its Wing Pack attached. Far behind it was the Wardar, with the dish on its backpack spinning.

"You're late," chided Sakamoto over the Warviour's communicator.

"I offer no excuses," replied Shinta.

"Never mind that. Miyazaki's managed to interfere with the Stavrosians' radar and communication. You're clear to launch."


"However, the Stavrosians might have regular turrets like in this ship. Watch yourself and destroy them before Tanaka begins his bombing run."


The communicator went silent. Shinta, remembering how he used the Wing Pack the previous day, began to move out of the Mayflower.

"Himemiya Shinta, Warviour, Ikimasu!"


1244 hours

Shinta then made it to the two Stavrosian submarines – the Buffalo and the Hunchback. Due to Kei's actions, the Stavrosians weren't able to detect Shinta while he had Warviour at an altitude of 10,000 meters.

After looking for about one minute, Shinta began to decrease altitude and dive toward the two Stavrosian submarines. As he got lower, he began to prepare the machine gun found in Warviour's left arm.

As he reached 5,000 meters, Shinta pressed the trigger in the left crank that corresponded to the left arm.


I.S.S. Buffalo. 1244 hours

Siegfried Bauer had appeared at the Buffalo's bridge. From his seat, Otto Schneider turned his attention to Bauer.

"Captain, what's going on!?" frantically asked Bauer.

"I'd like to know that too, Lieutenant," replied Schneider. "We couldn't contact the hangar bay nor the Hunchback. My guess is that we were detected by that Liberian carrier and because we had to charge up our solar reactors, we couldn't detect them because we disabled our radar while we were gathering energy from the sun."

"But the LN couldn't possibly have equipment capable of do- That's it!"

"What is it?"

"One of those prototype Mobile Knights must be behind it. If I remember, it had a round object attached to its backpack and I think it handles electronics warfare. Prior to the formation of the Empire, aircraft with such capability existed."


"Allow me to launch."

"But we haven't gotten the spare leg parts for your Legionarius yet."

"We'll handle it!" loudly announced Segismundo Padolina as he appeared in the bridge.

"Padolina, what are you doing here?" asked Bauer.

"We figured you came here to talk to the Captain and seeing that your Legionarius hasn't been repaired yet, I felt that Sub-Lieutenants Yam and Weber, as well as myself, can help."

"But we haven't loaded ammo into your Equites' rifles nor the Flight Packs we've received from the Hunchback."

"No need. Sub-Lieutenant Weber will just track movements and transmit them to you and the bridge. Sub-Lieutenant Yam and I will do the fighting."

"Captain?" asked Bauer to Schneider.

"Personally, I don't think it's a good idea because you've just arrived here," answered Schneider. "However, the longer we sit here, those LN forces would destroy us while we finish getting our supplies… Fine. Sub-Lieutenant Padolina, launch immediately with Sub-Lieutenant Yam and Sub-Lieutenant Weber."

"Yes, sir," replied Padolina with a salute which was then interrupted by the sounds of machine guns.

"That could be one of the Mobile Knights," said Bauer as a preemptive answer before Schneider or Padolina opened their respective mouths. "I doubt a fighter can reach that high for us not to notice, even if we had radar working, and fire as it descended."

"If you wish to launch, launch now!" shouted Schneider at Padolina.

"Right away!" replied Padolina as he left the bridge in a hurry.

"Bauer, can you work with the CIWS operators?" asked Schneider as he turned to Bauer next.

"I can."


I.S.S. Hunchback. 1246 hours

"That sounded like machine gun fire hitting the Buffalo," said Volkov in his seat in the Hunchback's bridge before he turned to a man beside him. "Yamada, how are we on the supplies going to the Buffalo?"

"Last I heard, we were delivering spare limbs for those Mobile Knights, including a leg for Lieutenant Bauer's Legionarius," replied a man named Yamada.

"Good. I'm going out. Send for someone to coordinate with the CIWS personnel."

"But Ca-"

"That Bull will need those supplies! You're in charge and if something should happen to this Beluga, prepare the self-destruction device, abandon ship, and join up with the Buffalo."

"Aye aye, Captain."


1248 hours

Outside the two Stavrosian submarines, it was as if a fireworks show had started despite the presence of the sun. In truth, it was machine gun fire from the two carriers attempting to hit the Warviour.

In the Warviour's cockpit, Shinta Himemiya knew what could happen should he attempt to get closer. Shinta also knew that he was against the clock as the raid was to take up to thirty minutes at most.

"I'm detecting two objects appearing on both sides of the shorter Stavrosian submarine," said "Xiaoying".

What now? wondered Shinta.

Two metallic oblongs appeared on both sides of the Buffalo. Each had a gun, allowing Shinta to assume that they're turrets with autocannons. Again, the Buffalo was hit by machine gun rounds, allowing him to raise his altitude.

"Sounds like I caught you in a pickle," said Gregory Tanaka over Warviour's communicator.

"Lieutenant Tanaka," replied Shinta. "How are you able to contact me?"

"Your old man. Figured it'll help if I can reach you. Those objects can hit me because they're guns and they're not the type we have. Just destroy them and leave the small fry to me."

"Got it."

As Tanaka in his Hellcat made rounds while firing at the smaller turrets of both submarines, Shinta decreased altitude again to confront the oblong-shaped turrets. This time, he brought out Warviour's Particle Sword.

As Shinta began to make his descent, the two oblong-shaped turrets on the Buffalo predictably began to fire at Warviour. However, Shinta was able to evade the rounds coming from the turrets, which had six barrels. Shinta then directed Warviour to the left turret and as he got close enough, swung the Particle Sword at the turret, destroying it.

Shinta then turned his attention to the other turret. He flipped the direction of the Particle Sword and gripped it with both of Warviour's hands. As he got the Mobile Knight closer to the turret, Shinta managed to stab the Particle Sword into the turret and after removing the former, the latter exploded.

The same oblong-shaped turrets then appeared on the Hunchback. Shinta charged the Warviour at them.


I.S.S. Buffalo. 1251 hours

In the hangar, Segismundo Padolina, Loyiso Yam, and Caroline Weber rushed to their respective Eques. Despite everything, the lift that was used to bring the former three inside was still receiving the supplies from the Hunchback.

"Sub-Lieutenant Yam, I need you to launch first," shouted Padolina to Yam.

"Why!?" asked Yam.

"According to Lieutenant Bauer, there's a plane outside. It destroyed the manned turrets here on the Hunchback. The White Mobile Knight is probably going to destroy the Flytraps on the Hunchback. Just destroy that plane and I'll deal with that Mobile Knight."

"Got it."


I.S.S. Hunchback. 1257 hours

Volkov then appeared, carrying a helmet for piloting Mobile Knights with his left arm, in the cargo bay of the Hunchback. The submarine as a whole shook after an explosion was heard.

Damn, that must be one of the Flytraps, thought Volkov.

"Captain!" shouted a young male crew member who rushed to Volkov. "What are you-"

"Never mind that," said Volkov as he cut off his subordinate. "How are the supplies to the Buffalo?"

"Not good. We delivered that spare leg needed for the Buffalo's Legionarius but we haven't delivered the spare limbs for the Equites."

Volkov pressed his right fingers into his forehead and shook the entire head slowly. Suddenly, another explosion shook the submarine.

"Not the other Flytrap!" shouted Volkov, who then turned to a Mobile Knight that resembled a Legionarius but without the legs on the wheels.

The Hunchback shook again. Volkov, not caring what caused the shaking, began to rush to the Mobile Knight.

"Captain, what are you doing!?" asked the crew member.

"Going to help out!" answered Volkov before he resumed rushing to the Mobile Knight.

Volkov then reached the Mobile Knight. After he got inside, he put on his helmet. As he closed the cockpit, Volkov started it up and got it to stand.

"What are you all waiting for!?" shouted Volkov from the Mobile Knight's cockpit. "Where are the other limbs?"

The other crew members pointed to the limbs that were colored Capri. Volkov then closed the green-colored Mobile Knight's cockpit and moved to the limbs, forcing the crew members to get out of the Mobile Knight's way.

"I'll handle the arms," announced Volkov. "Do any of the cranes still work?"

"The one on the right, Captain," answered a dark-skinned female crew member who pointed at one of two cranes on the ceiling.

"Get the legs on that crane. I'll handle the arms."

As Volkov grabbed two pairs of arms, he walked to the conveyor belt that was connected to the Buffalo. There were two conveyor belts; one on the left and one on the right. The latter was connected to the Buffalo and as Volkov reached it, he placed the arms at the conveyor belt.


U.S.S. Mayflower. 1257 hours

The Wardier was already on the Mayflower's flight deck. Chieko Oka then saw Tanaka's Hellcat, the Warviour, and the two Stavrosian submarines.

"Oka, you there?" asked Mio Sakamoto over the Wardier's communicator.

"Hai, Sakamoto Shosa," replied Chieko.

"Prepare to provide covering fire should Tanaka Dai-i and Himemiya Nitosuihei should they need it."

"Ryō- Hold on, I see something!"

"What is it!?"


1307 hours

"Enemy detected," said "Xiaoying" to Shinta in Warviour's cockpit as the latter stood on top of the Hunchback.

"Please show me," requested Shinta.

On the monitor in Warviour's cockpit, Shinta saw a Capri-colored Mobile Knight appear on top of the Buffalo. It had two cannons from the back and they aimed upward. Shinta began to use the communicator and tuned in to the frequency of Koji's transceiver as it was with Tanaka.

"Tanaka Dai-i, come in," said Shinta.

"What is it?" asked Tanaka on the other end of the communicator.

"That Mobile Knight you detected earlier has appeared!"



I.S.S. Buffalo. 1315 hours

Loyiso Yam in his Eques appeared on a metallic square in the rear of the Buffalo. He then moved the Mobile Knight and kept walking until he spotted both the Warviour and the Hellcat.

"Sub-Lieutenant Yam, are you there?" asked a female voice on the other end of Yam's Eques' communicator.

"Sub-Lieutenant Weber, is that you?" asked Yam in response as he recognized the voice.

"Yes. I'll stay in the hangar and provide a channel for us to communicate. I'm to inform you Sub-Lieutenant Padolina will intercept the White Mobile Knight."



1318 hours

"Please evade as much as you can, Dai-i," warned Shinta in the Warviour as he saw Yam's Eques as it stopped near the rear tip of the Buffalo. "I'll attack from my end."

"Please do," replied Tanaka.

As the communicator went silent. Shinta then faced Yam's Eques as the latter fired yellow-colored energy beams. Gripping the Particle Sword with both hands, Shinta jumped off the Hunchback and attempted to use the Particle Sword. He slightly used the boosters in the Wing Pack to make sure he would reach the Eques.

Just a little more, thought Shinta.

However, Capri-colored metallic feat began to appear from the square where the Eques originally came from. A sound was made across Warviour's cockpit but wasn't enough to stop Shinta.

"Incoming enemy," warned "Xiaoying".

What!? anxiously wondered Shinta.

Another Eques appeared to face Warviour. It had no cannons from its back but it summoned a metallic stick from underneath its left arm and it was grabbed by the right hand. The stick then emitted a yellow-colored energy beam. From the cockpit, Shinta looked with shock as if he had seen a ghost.

Like Shinta with Warviour, the Eques gripped its weapon – the Energy Saber – with both hands. As Shinta neared the Buffalo, the Eques began to swing its weapon.


I.S.S. Hunchback. 1321 hours

"How many more do we have to deliver to the Buffalo?" asked Volkov in his Mobile Knight from his cockpit to his subordinates.

"Just the spare legs for one more Eques," replied the female crew member.

"Give it to me now! The sooner we c-"

"Anyone in this frequency, this is Sub-Lieutenant Caroline Weber," said a female voice over the Mobile Knight's communicator "Can anyone please come in?"

"Is that you, little lady?" asked Volkov.

"Captain Volkov, you're safe."

"I am. How exactly can you use your comms?"

"My Eques can do so and anything else within its vicinity. However, that's as far as it can go."

"I hear a battle rages on outside."

"Sub-Lieutenants Padolina and Yam are holding off the White Mobile Knight and the Liberian fighter attacking us."

Damn it! silently cursed Volkov. We just delivered those Mobile Knights and if this keeps up, they'll be finished.


I.S.S. Buffalo. 1321 hours

Damn it, I need to do something! desperately thought Shinta as Warviour was in the air with its Particle Sword crossed with the Energy Saber of Padolina's Eques. I can't remain in the air like this. Tanaka Dai-i is in danger… that's it!

"Xiaoying, can you see if that Mobile Knight has any other weapons?" asked Shinta.

"Scanning right now," replied "Xiaoying". "Please hold for one minute."

A battle of endurance. I've done that before.

Shinta continued to push Warviour in order to keep its Particle Sword crossed with the Energy Saber of Padolina's Eques. On the monitor of the former, a meter was being filled with red to the right to indicate how much "Xiaoying" scanned from the Eques.


U.S.S. Mayflower. 1324 hours

"Sakamoto Shosa, I see something opening at the larger submarine!" shouted Chieko Oka in the Wardier's cockpit.

"What is it!?" asked Sakamoto.

Chieko saw a ramp opening on the left side of the Hunchback. To her shock, it was another green-colored Mobile Knight.

"It's another Mobile Knight!" shouted Chieko.

"Don't just stand there!" replied Sakamoto. "Hit it!"

"… Hai!"

"For aiming at long range, I suggest crouching on one knee," interjected a female voice across Wardier's cockpit.

"Is that you, Shin?" replied Chieko.

"Crouching will increase the effectiveness of your aim, thereby increasing the effectiveness of your shots."

"Wakatta. Arigatou."

Chieko then looked to her right leg and began to kneel with it while bending her left leg. The Wardier followed and once it was kneeling, Chieko resumed aiming at the Mobile Knight.


I.S.S. Hunchback. 1325 hours

On the Hunchback was a hangar behind the cargo bay. Its ramp opened and behind it was the green-colored Mobile Knight Volkov boarded.

"Now that Sub-Lieutenant Weber fixed our communication problems, let's see if I ca-" said Volkov before he saw something outside.

In his cockpit, Volkov saw the Mayflower. What struck his curiosity was blue light gathering.

That's not good! thought Volkov.

The blue light got close to the Hunchback. Volkov then evaded but as he did, the blue light tore through the other side of the Hunchback's hangar.

Those LN forces must have developed some good weapons but that can wait! thought Volkov.


U.S.S. Mayflower. 1326 hours

"That was so cool!" exclaimed Chieko as she saw the hole she made on the Hunchback from Wardier's cockpit.

"Continue firing on that sub!" interrupted Sakamoto on the other end of Wardier's communicator.

"Ryōkai," replied Chieko as she continued to aim at the Hunchback.


I.S.S. Buffalo. 1327 hours

"Scanning complete," announced "Xiaoying" as the monitor switched to that of the Eques.

Shinta looked while making sure the Warviour's Particle Sword kept the Eques and its Energy Sword pinned down. He saw that the only weapons the Eques had as opposed to the Energy Saber were machine guns for each hip. Shinta remembered that the Legionarius' machine guns were the same and that they could only be used against infantry then looked at his left leg.

Shinta then moved his left leg, which made Warviour move its left leg. Both legs were at the rear and as Shinta then moved his left leg toward the right, the Warviour followed. The metallic leg then hit the Eques, disorienting it and forcing it to fall before it grabbed the edge with one hand while keeping its Energy Saber in the other.

"Mr. Padolina!" shouted Yam as he saw Warviour kick Padolina's Eques while aiming and attempting to fire at Tanaka's Hellcat.

Yam then stopped firing and aimed at the Warviour instead. Shinta in the Warviour diverted his attention to the other Eques and readied its Particle Sword. However, as Shinta took a step with his right leg in order for Warviour's right leg to do so, a rocket was fired.

"Incoming projectile," warned "Xiaoying".

Shinta then jumped Warviour backward and got it into the air with the Wing Pack. He now saw who fired the rocket – the Mobile Knight Chieko detected.

"Another one?" asked Shinta before dodging another rocket.

"Sub-Lieutenant Yam, are you there?" asked a voice Yam recognized from the communicator of his Eques' cockpit as he saw the Mobile Knight that saved him.

"Captain Volkov, is that you in the Tiro?" asked Yam as he saw a green-colored Mobile Knight that resembled a Legionarius – the Mobile Knight who attacked Shinta – in his Eques' HUD.

"Yes. Please help Sub-Lieutenant Yam from here on in. I'll deal with that Mobile Knight."


"You two need to help the Buffalo from here on in. We've given all the supplies the Buffalo needed, including your Mobile Knights."

"Roger that," replied Yam before turning off the communicator and rushing to help Padolina.


U.S.S. Mayflower. 1329 hours

From the flight deck of the Mayflower, Mio Sakamoto stood beside the Wardier using a pair of binoculars. She saw the Warviour diving toward the Mobile Knight called Tiro as the latter fired another rocket at the former until it dodged.

Didn't expect a lack of resistance but this is taking too long! thought Sakamoto in frustration before she brought out her transceiver and accessed Chieko's frequency.

"Oka, do you see what's happening?" asked Sakamoto.

"I do," replied Chieko on the other end of the transceiver. "Aiming now. Could you please stay back?"

Rather than reply, Sakamoto walked away from the Wardier as it knelt on its left knee. As the former reached the island, Chieko in the Wardier's cockpit began to aim at the Tiro.


1331 hours

As Shinta in the Warviour neared the Tiro, Volkov in the latter fired again but Shinta evaded it. He attempted to fire again but he saw that his rocket launcher had used up all of its ammunition.

Angrily, Volkov threw away the empty rocket launcher. He then prepared the Shock Knuckle on his Mobile Knight's right fist.

"Come closer, I dare you!" boasted Volkov. "I'm going to show you how Ivan Romanovich Volkov di-!"

However, Volkov's boasting was interrupted as Chieko, through the Wardier on board the Mayflower, firing near Volkov. While the blast didn't damage the Tiro, it threw it off balance, allowing Shinta and Warviour to get closer.

Volkov then resumed looking at Warviour but it was too late. As it was close enough, Shinta swung the Particle Sword toward the Tiro's head. After the slash, the head of the Mobile Knight came off. Shinta saw the corpse of what used to be Ivan Romanovich Volkov as it had no head anymore but the Tiro began to fall off the Hunchback. Shinta remained in the air as he realized what he had done.

"Himemiya, are you there?" asked Tanaka over the Warviour's communicator.

"… Lieutenant Tanaka?" asked Shinta as he regained his composure.

"Get out of there now! It looks like I can drop my bomb into the sub you're on."

"Shinta, you there!?" interjected Chieko over Warviour's communicator.

"Chieko?" asked Shinta.

"Nice work with that Mobile Knight. Those blue Mobile Knights seem anxious to get you from where I'm standing. I'll cover you so please stay back."

"Got it."

Shinta and Warviour escaped into the air. At the Buffalo, Segismundo Padolina and Loyiso Yam stood there having seen what Shinta did to Volkov.

"That Mobile Knight killed Captain Volkov… " said Padolina.

"That plane is coming in closer, I can still ave-" said Yam before he was cut off.

A blue-colored beam of energy hit Yam's Eques at its right arm. It had come from the Wardier.

"Padolina, Yam, are you there?" asked Siegfried Bauer over the communicator of Padolina's Eques.

"Lieutenant Bauer," replied Padolina. "That came from the-"

"Never mind that. All the spare parts have been loaded. Return inside. The Hunchback's lost and the crew are abandoning the ship to join us."

"… Roger that."

"Wait, Yam goes inside first. As for you, I need you to destroy the conveyor belt. That way, the Hunchback will sink without taking us with it."

"Got it."

Yam went inside the metallic square first as it lost its right arm. Padolina reached the conveyor belt and as he did, Gregory Tanaka dropped the bomb carried by his Hellcat – which weighed 910 kilograms – onto the Hunchback.

Because the conveyor belt from the Hunchback was still connected to the Buffalo, Padolina had to use the Energy Saber to destroy it. Holding it with both of his Eques' arms, Padolina had the Energy Saber pointed downward. As he stabbed the conveyor belt with the Energy Saber, the bomb from Tanaka's Hellcat landed above the cargo bay, destroying it. Padolina then went back inside the Buffalo.


U.S.S. Mayflower. 1339 hours

"Submarine hit," said Tyler Seioge as he looked at the burning Hunchback and the withdrawing Hellcat and Warviour from the Mayflower's bridge with his binoculars. "Captain, I believe that will be enough?"

"Indeed," replied Nicholas Kirkman as he was seated.

"Shall I signal the rest of the fleet that we'll be re-joining them?"

"Of course."


I.S.S. Buffalo. 1346 hours

As the Mayflower withdrew, everyone in the Buffalo stood up as they looked at various screens across the submarine. In the bridge, everyone stood up, including Evelyn Andrews. The Hunchback's former executive officer Yamada was in the bridge.

"How long until the Hunchback self-destructs?" asked Otto Schneider.

"Three seconds," answered Yamada with everyone else remaining silent.

"Two seconds."

Schneider closed his eyes. Everyone else followed with some removing their caps.

"One second."

The explosion began to be heard from the Buffalo. Schneider, Andrews, and Yamada then took off their caps. Schneider then turned to face everyone else in the bridge.

"Ivan Romanovich Volkov was a good man and a good Captain," announced Schneider. "At the risk of his life and his submarine, the Buffalo was given the supplies it needed. We will withdraw to drop off Commander Yamada and his men at Davao then resume our pursuit of the Liberian carrier."


U.S.S. Mayflower. 1356 hours

Mio Sakamoto, Gregory Tanaka, Shinta Himemiya, Chieko Oka, and Kei Miyazaki came into the bridge. Nicholas Kirkman stood and faced the four Fusoans and the Fuso-Liberian from the U.S.S. Cowpens. Both parties saluted each other.

"Well done, ladies and gentlemen," said Kirkman as she stopped saluting with the five following. "We didn't accomplish this raid in thirty minutes but we were able to prevent the Stavrosians from immediately attacking us once they got their supplies. I imagine you haven't had your lunch yet so you may do so now."

"Thank you, sir," replied Sakamoto, Tanaka, Shinta, Chieko, and Kei in unison.

"That will be all. Dismissed."


501st Joint Fighter Wing Headquarters, Kaiserberg, Empire of Karlsland. April 5, 1946; 0859 hours

Near the city of Kaiserberg in the Empire of Karlsland's northeastern province of East Prussia was an airfield built after the Second Neuroi War had ended. When the new war with the Stavrosian-Neuroi alliance started, the airfield was made into the headquarters of one particular unit – the 501st Joint Fighter Wing.

Formed in 1941, the 501st Joint Fighter Wing, also known as the "Strike Witches", was formed as a unit comprising of the best Witches from various countries. During the last two years of the Second Neuroi War, the 501st efforts contributed to the liberations of the Republic of Gallia, the Duchy of Venezia, and Karlsland before the war's abrupt end.

In one particular office, there were two chairs separated by a table with an envelope on it. Two Witches respectively occupied a chair. One of them was the 501st's founder and commanding officer – Minna-Dietlinde Wilcke.

Twenty years old, Minna had fair skin, long reddish-brown hair, and hazel eyes. From Posnania in the east, Minna had initially wanted to take up music before the Second Neuroi War started. Despite that, she had become one of Karlsland's, if not humanity's, best Witches.

Seated opposite Minna was Adolfine Galland. Twenty-four years old, Galland had fair skin, long black hair, and gray eyes. She was a part of the contingent of Witches from various countries that came to the defense of the Kingdom of Hispania in 1936 when it came under attack by the Neuroi before starting another year three years later. During the latter war, Galland had campaigned for the creation of the Jet Striker, a Striker Unit using the first jet engines. This succeeded due to the support of Wilhelm IV, Kaiser of Karlsland.

"To what do I owe the pleasure for this visit, Air Chief Marshal Galland?" asked Minna.

"That will be answered by the contents of the envelope between us," answered Galland. "Before we discuss that, how's re-organizing the 501st so far?"

"It's gone well. Flight Lieutenant Yeager and Flying Officer Lucchini were able to make it here a week ago."

Both Karsland Witches paused their discussion as to what to talk about next. Galland knew that Minna hadn't fully answered her question.

"I'd take it you're still expecting a few more, aren't you?" asked Galland with suspicion.

"Unfortunately, yes," answered Minna with regret in her tone. "I've managed to request Pilot Officer Hattori to join us after her valued assistance a year ago in liberating Karlsland but its Pilot Officer Miyafuji I'm worried about. She had volunteered for a medical mission in the midst of her studies when this new war started and I haven't anything about her since."

"I believe that's what I came here for," interjected Galland as she pointed at the envelope between her and Minna. "Go on, open it."

Minna grabbed the envelope and opened it. Inside were blueprints of the Mobile Knights Warviour, Wardier, and Wardar. Another batch of documents caught Minna's eye and as she read, she found that two of the documents each have a picture of Yoshika Miyafuji and Mio Sakamoto.


Fuyutsuki – "Winter Moon"

Hai, dozo – normally translated as "Here you go"

Miso – a seasoning where soybeans are fermented with salt and koji, the Japanese name for the fungus Aspergillus oryzae for the soup bearing its name. The soup in question is called misoshiru

Kanchou – Captain of a ship. Not the same as Captain as a rank, which would be Daisa in the real-life Imperial Japanese Navy. The equivalent in the Imperial Japanese Army would be Taisa.

Nitosuihei – Seaman Recruit. The lowest rank in the real-life Imperial Japanese Navy after November 1, 1942.

Ikimasu – normally "to go". Further explanation of Shinta saying it when launching with Warviour is in the author's notes.

Dai-i – Lieutenant. Tai-i in the Imperial Japanese Army. Comparable with Senior Lieutenant in the United States Navy, First Lieutenant in the United States Army and United States Army Air Force, and Oberleutnant in the Heer and Luftwaffe of Nazi Germany's Wehrmacht with Oberleutnant zur See as the equivalent in the Kriegsmarine.


The Yahagi and the Fuyutsuki were respectively an Akutsuki-class destroyer and an Agano-class light cruiser of the real-life Imperial Japanese Navy. Both participated in the ill-fated Operation Ten-Go late in the Second World War's Pacific Theater. The former was sunk during the battle and while the latter survived, it struck a mine off Moji, Kyushu and her crew surrendered.

The incident brought up by Shinta and Kei to Yoshika concerning why Leak Magazine is banned in Karlsland is a reference to "Nice n' Breezy", episode 7 of Strike Witches' first season.

The second half of this chapter is based on "Vote to Attack", episode 3 of the original Mobile Suit Gundam. Schneider and his Buffalo needing supplies and getting them from the Beluga -class Hunchback is the stand-in for the Musai captained by Char Aznable needing supplies and getting them from a Papua-class ship captained by one Gadem. Like the latter, the Buffalo and the Hunchback get ambushed by the Mayflower after people inside voted on whether to ignore the Stavrosian submarines or attack them. Volkov using an older Mobile Knight is also a reference to how Gadem tried to fight the RX-78-2 Gundam with an MS-05 Zaku I only to fail and get killed in the process.

The "Ikimasu" used by Shinta while launching in Warviour, which I wrote as such to indicate he's speaking Fusoan/Japanese, is also a nod to Mobile Suit Gundam, specifically the Japanese dub, where its protagonist Amuro Ray says "Ikimasu" when launching.

Other than the Tiro, which Volkov used, being a stand-in for the Zaku I, the PMK-03 Eques is based on the YFMA-08 Gelf from Metal Armor Dragonar. Both the Eques and the Gelf use light shades of blue and that there are three units each with a specific function based on the equipment. Segismundo Padolina's Eques is based on Dan Kruger's YFMA-08A Gelf as they're both lightly armed yet utilize melee weapons. Loyiso Yam's Eques is based on Karl Geiner's YFMA-08B Jagd Gelf as they both have shoulder cannons. Caroline Weber's Eques is based on Welner Fritz's YFMA-08C Reb Gelf as they both handle reconnaissance and communications.

Other than the Legionarius, the Tiro and the Eques also owe their names to the Roman military. Tiro, or Tirones in plural, is one who has undergo six months' worth of training upon joining the Roman military. The Eques, or Equites in plural as pointed out by Weber in the story proper, were a social class in Roman society who initially made up the Roman military's cavalry during the days of the Roman Republic, which changed after the Second Punic War. They're the inspiration for knights from Medieval Europe and the term "equestrian" derived from eques/equites.

After what I did to Mami Inagaki and Tomoko Aiba two chapters ago, I decided to outdo myself with how Volkov died in the form his beheading. That will not be the end of it, however.

On ranks, "Dai-i"was used in excerpts where Fusoan/Japanese is used because much like how I had "Shosa" turned into "Lieutenant Commander", "Dai-i" was the equivalent for Liberian Navy/United States Navy Lieutenant. As for "Kanchou", I would have wanted to use "Daisa" but it had the same kanji as "Taisa"; the former used in the Imperial Japanese Navy for their equivalent of the rank Captain (commander of a ship) while the latter was used as an equivalent to Colonel in the Imperial Japanese Army. Other Japanese works of fiction, as I've observed, use "Kanchou" even though it isn't an actual rank so I have no choice to but to play along. In the case of "Dai-i", however, because it was used amongst Fuso Imperial Navy personnel in their actual language, it stays but as shown after Shinta killed Volkov, "Lieutenant Tanaka" was used. Like with how Kirkman addresses Sakamoto as "Lieutenant Commander Sakamoto", this will be addressed later into the story.

As to that excerpt involving the 501st Joint Fighter Wing, that will have to wait. That was, however, a preview of things to come.