Kidou Kishi Warviour
(Mobile Knight Warviour)
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters in Strike Witches, nor the initial setting.
Chapter 9: Brother
Naval Air Station Midway Islands, Leeward Islands, United States of Liberion. April 16, 1946; 0605 hours
Midway Atoll, once the main outpost of the Liberian forces in the northern Pacific Ocean, was now a ruin. Despite the appearance of reinforcements to not only defend the atoll but to also rebuild the air station, a lot had to be done. Body bags mostly filled the atoll as they hid the corpses of dead Liberians.
Behind a destroyed airplane, one Marine sat on the tarmac looking at a heavy watch. However, he was no Marine but rather, the Stavrosian spy who infiltrated the atoll and stole a Marine's uniform. The watch began to ring with the spy looking around to see if anyone heard it and as he saw no one else approaching him, the spy answered the call and as he did, a shadowed figure appeared on top of the watch.
"Wan, how was the experiment?" asked the shadowed figure.
"It went better than we expected, Master," replied the man called "Wan". "I was able to record the whole thing and was just about to send it to you."
"Wan" continued what he just doing earlier and began to press buttons. A meter appeared before the shadowed figure that increasingly became blue. After five minutes, the meter was now entirely blue. The shadowed figure moved its right arm and as a result, a projection played that showed a black-colored egg hatching with miniature Neuroi leaving. The Neuroi began to approach Midway Atoll.
"I can now say for certain you succeeded," added the shadowed figure. "Anything else to report?"
"The same as in earlier tests – only a small number of humans can survive being selected. Naturally, Witches survive being selected. However, there was someone who interfered."
"The traitor!? How!?"
"I honestly don't know. He showed up at fifteen hundred of the video file. You can simply zoom there."
The projection was sped up at fifteen minutes. It showed the blackened human that was Shinta Himemiya killing other blackened humans.
"… Impossible!" exclaimed the shadowed figure. "Siks appeared just to kill those selected!?"
"I hate to admit it but that's what happened. He could be a threat to future experiments."
"Where is that traitor now!?"
"I honestly don't know. Maybe he'll appear depending on what happened to that other meteorite we launched."
"Until that time comes, you're to remain where you are," ordered the shadowed figure before it vanished from the watch.
Now that Siks is here, things should be interesting now, thought "Wan" with a devious grin.
In the command center of Naval Air Station Midway Islands, six men occupied two sides of one table. Nicholas Kirkman, Wayne Grayson, and James Hodges on one side and Colonels Park and Liam Griffin, along with Captain Wilkins, on the other side.
"What do we do now?" asked Wilkins. "Sure we're getting extra reinforcements but should we be attacked now, I doubt we can keep holding Midway."
"If I were you, I'd suggest abandoning Midway," argued Kirkman. "Not much left to defend here anymore."
"You shut up, Kirkman! It's because of you we were-" shouted Wilkins before Parks and Griffin restrained him.
"Calm yourself, Wilkins!" said Parks.
Wilkins did as Parks said and kept quiet. Both Griffin and Parks resumed looking at the three men from the Mayflower.
"However, Wilkins does have a point," added Griffin. "I can imagine those Stavrosians attacked us because they've been following you since South Seas Island but it's because of that Midway hardly has any defenses left. I recommend that your refugee fleet best leave the archipelago. I can imagine you've wasted enough time here."
"And we'll leave soon," replied Kirkman. "However, we could use a few supplies."
"Take whatever you need," replied Parks. "Consider it a reward for saving us and showing that Mobile Knight."
Hodges and Grayson nodded to each other behind Kirkman. Immediately, Grayson began to whisper to Kirkman with the latter nodding then facing Parks, Wilkins, and Griffin.
"There is something I'd like to request," continued Kirkman. "Those three Marines from the 16th Field Depot. I'd like to have them join the Mayflower."
"Are you out of your mind!?" angrily asked Griffin. "They're-"
"Niggers?" asked Kirkman as he disrupted Griffin. "I've heard that before. They saved me, Lieutenant Commander Sakamoto, and Private Granger. I owe them that."
"Normally, I wouldn't agree with applying racial matters at a time like this but as Colonel Griffin said earlier, we're completely defenseless despite all the help Admiral Halsey is providing to us right now."
"Since my mission is a secret one, I need all the help I can get. If it will cause concern, I can always assume responsibility."
"… Fine," conceded Griffin. "But I do have to ask: where's that Mobile Knight pilot? We never got to thank him for saving us yesterday."
"Seaman Recruit Himemiya?" asked Kirkman with his tone showing that he was taken aback by Griffin's question. "Lieutenant Commander Sakamoto needed to talk to him about certain matters."
U.S.S. Mayflower. 0734 hours
In the interrogation room of the U.S.S. Mayflower, three individuals were the only occupants of the room – Mio Sakamoto, Shinta Himemiya, and Oliver Granger. Sakamoto and Shinta each occupied one end of the only table as they were seated while Granger remained standing with an M1 Thompson on his hands. There was only one lamp providing light in the room and Shinta was handcuffed as he was seated.
"I apologize for taking you to the brig but that's exactly why we're here," said Sakamoto. "What happened yesterday at Midway?"
"I… I don't know," replied Shinta without looking at Sakamoto.
"Answer the Lieutenant Com-," angrily shouted Granger before Sakamoto used his right palm to silently tell Granger to calm himself.
"Miyafuji's unconscious right now. Do you happen to know why?"
"From what Oka and Miyazaki told me, you seemingly turned into something like those Marines after they were touched by those miniature Neuroi. What are you not telling me!?"
"I… I don't know."
Shinta stood up and began to scream. Granger attempted to grab Shinta but he was pushed back by the latter instead. Shinta then charged at Sakamoto and began to strangle her but after a second, he stopped and continued his screaming. Granger then hit Shinta at his stomach with the buttstock, rendering him unconscious.
"Shit, what was that about?" asked Granger.
"I don't know," answered Sakamoto. "Get Himemiya back to his cell but get Korbel in here first."
"Yes, ma'am," said Granger with a salute before leaving.
Damn it, Himemiya, thought Sakamoto as she looked at the unconscious Shinta. What the hel are you?
April 15, 1946; 1809 hours
PT-109, which miraculously survived the attack in Midway, arrived at the gangway of the U.S.S. Mayflower. Nicholas Kirkman was the first to get off the PT boat with Mio Sakamoto following. Next to get off were Oliver Granger and Lieutenant Horst Braun, both of whom were carrying the unconscious body of Shinta Himemiya.
As Kirkman and Sakamoto made it inside the Mayflower proper, they saw James Hodges, Chieko Oka, and Kei Miyazaki approaching them and saluting as they stopped. Kirkman and Sakamoto saluted back.
"Welcome back, Captain," said Hodges.
"I need a stretcher here, now," ordered Kirkman.
Rather than answer, Kirkman showed the unconscious Shinta carried by Granger and Braun.
"Right away, Captain," said Hodges with a salute before leaving to fulfill that order.
"Damn you, Himemiya!" shouted Kei at the unconscious Shinta. "First Miyafuji-san, now you!"
"Calm down, Miyazaki!" loudly replied Sakamoto. "What's this about Miyafuji?"
"Earlier, Yoshika-san lost consciousness. She's in the sick bay now being tended to by her mother and grandmother."
"Why did she lose consciousness?"
"We don't know," answered Kei. "After she did, Shinta began to feel strange before a red light engulfed him. Just before that happened, Miyafuji-san said 'Don't go'."
April 17, 1946; 0752 hours
Why would Miyafuji say that? wondered Sakamoto in the present.
Sakamoto then saw Granger return to the interrogation room with Phillip Korbel, another fair-skinned Marine in his early twenties with dark brown hair underneath his M1 helmet and green eyes. The latter two picked up Shinta and left the interrogation room.
Sakamoto then stepped out of the interrogation room. She then saw Chieko and Kei and as they saw each other, both parties saluted each other.
"Is that Shinta-kun?" asked Chieko as she saw Granger and Korbel carry Shinta.
"Is he going back to the brig?" asked Kei.
"For now," answered Sakamoto. "We don't know if he'll cause trouble should that happen again. Given that you two are here, I need you to take Himemiya's belongings to his cell."
"Are you sure about this?" asked Kei.
"I'd rather have Himemiya be comfortable in his cell. Maybe his usual hobbies will calm him down."
"Ryōkai," replied Chieko and Kei in unison as they saluted.
At the sick bay of the Mayflower, Sakamoto proceeded inside. At one bed, Sayaka Miyafuji, beside her unconscious daughter Yoshika, turned her attention to Sakamoto.
"Ah, Sakamoto-san, you're here to see Yoshika, aren't you?" asked Sayaka.
"I am," replied Sakamoto. "But-"
"She was just about to wake up."
At that instant, Yoshika's eyelids opened. As her vision increased, she saw her mother and Sakamoto.
"Yoshika, thank goodness you're awake," said Sayaka.
"W… Where am I?" asked Yoshika.
"You're in the Mayflower's sick bay," answered Sakamoto.
"I'll leave the two of you to talk," said Sayaka as she began to leave the sick bay. "I'll be at the kitchen to get you food."
Yoshika turned her attention to Sakamoto as her mother left the sick bay.
"Sakamoto-san, why am I- Wait, where's Shinta-san!?"
"That's exactly why I'm here," answered Sakamoto. "Before I explain, I need to ask this out of you: will you help Himemiya as much as possible?"
Sakamoto closed her eyes after listening to Yoshika's reply. The latter saw that what the former had to tell her about Shinta will disturb her as she began to remember that red light engulfed Shinta the previous day.
Elsewhere in the Mayflower, Nicholas Kirkman and Wayne Grayson had returned by riding on PT-109 as the former did in the previous day. As Kirkman and Grayson left the PT boat, three Afro-Liberians in Marine uniforms followed them; two of whom were among those who defended Naval Air Station Midway Islands the previous day. A Marine who guarded the entrance past the gangway saw Kirkman and saluted him.
After Kirkman saluted in return, he and Grayson proceeded forward. However, the Marine, who was fair-skinned, blocked the three Afro-Liberians from proceeding further. Kirkman then stopped and turned his back as he glanced at what happened.
"It's alright, son, they're with us," said Kirkman. "Let them through."
"Yes, Captain," replied the Marine before complying with Kirkman's order.
As the three Afro-Liberian Marines were allowed inside the carrier, they continued to follow Kirkman as he and Grayson continued to move further into the Mayflower.
"Grayson, I need you to find Lieutenant Commander Sakamoto," ordered Kirkman to Grayson. "I'll be at my office with Howard, la Salle, and Farnham so please tell her to see us there."
"Yes, Captain," replied Grayson.
"I see, so that's what happened," said Yoshika listening to Sakamoto about what happened in Midway Atoll the previous day. "Is Shinta-san alright?"
"He is," answered Sakamoto. "We had him placed in the brig for the time being to isolate him. We don't know how he could assume such an appearance but whatever it is, it troubles him too. That's why I asked you to help him out whenever you can."
"I'll do it."
"Lieutenant Commander Sakamoto," said Wayne Grayson as he appeared behind the Fusoan officer.
Sakamoto then turned and Grayson saluted her with the former saluting in return. Yoshika, while still in her bed, nodded.
"You needed something, Grayson?" asked Sakamoto.
"The Captain's waiting for you at his office," replied Grayson.
"Got it. Please tell the Captain I'll see him soon."
Grayson then left the sick bay with Sakamoto facing Yoshika again.
"I best be going now. Miyafuji, get up soon."
Sakamoto then arrived at Kirkman's office. Both saluted each other but the former wasn't aware of the three Afro-Liberian Marines in the office even if they were beside her.
"You called for me, Captain?" asked Sakamoto.
"I did," replied Kirkman. "Please turn to your right."
Sakamoto did as Kirkman ordered. However, she was shocked to see the three Afro-Liberian Marines; two of whom appear to recognize her as they smiled in embarrassment.
"W… What are you three doing here?" asked Sakamoto.
"They'll be joining us," answered Kirkman. "They saved our lives yesterday. I figured that would be best to repay them like this as they're the last of the 16th Field Depot."
"I… see," said Sakamoto with regret in her tone before facing the three Afro-Liberians again and bowing. "I apologize for my outburst. Please introduce yourselves."
"Steven Howard," said the first Afro-Liberian Marine as he and the other Afro-Liberians beside him saluted. "Private."
"Peter la Salle," said the Afro-Liberian Marine beside Howard. "Private."
"Albert Farnharm," said the Afro-Liberian Marine beside la Salle. "Private First Class."
"A pleasure to be working with you," replied Sakamoto as she saluted in return. "As you can tell, this ship is full of refugees and we're to drop them off at Victoria in Faraway Land. After that, we're to go to Toumika as we're to deliver three prototype weapons. I can imagine you know what I'm referring to."
"The Mobile Knights, ma'am," replied Farnham.
"That's right. One of them was the white one you saw yesterday. While the Captain may have allowed you to serve here, I regret to inform you that you'll need your own table in the mess hall if you eat there and you'll need your own room."
"I imagine that will be all?" asked Kirkman as he faced the Afro-Liberian Marines.
"Yes, Captain," replied Howard, la Salle, and Farnham in unison.
"You're all dismissed. Farnham, la Salle, Howard, Private Korbel outside will take you to Sergeant Hodges. He'll inform you of where you'll be needed."
"Yes, Captain," repeated the three Afro-Liberian Marines before leaving the room.
"Captain, there's something I need to talk to you about," said Sakamoto as she remained where she was, forcing the Afro-Liberian Marines to do the same as well.
"What might that be?" asked Kirkman.
"I'll wait for Farnham, la Salle, and Howard to leave first."
Kirkman used his head to silently tell the Afro-Liberian Marines to continue leaving the office. As Howard closed the door, Sakamoto faced Kirkman.
"It's about what happened yesterday," announced Sakamoto.
"What of it that you needed to discuss with me in private?" asked Kirkman.
"Wait, that humanoid could be a Neuroi!?" exclaimed Kirkman after he listened to Sakamoto's mission in Orussia and relating it to what happened in Midway.
Outside, Gregory Tanaka was outside Kirkman's office. He hugged the right wall and placed his right ear near the door.
"Calm down!" replied Sakamoto. "Someone might hear us."
"But that humanoid was Himemiya!"
"I know. That's what irks me about yesterday. He was like those poor souls affected by those miniature Neuroi but he killed them too."
"If I remember correctly, Warviour also turned black and fired a wave of energy at that meteor the Stavrosians launched toward South Seas Island like we saw yesterday."
"That's right. I've asked Himemiya about that Neuroi I encountered in Orussia but he claims that he isn't familiar with it. I can imagine he's lying despite what he's been telling us."
"Is he still in his cell?"
"He is. I imagine Miyafuji is helping bring food to him as we speak."
"Did you tell her?"
"About him in the brig? No. I'm sure Oka or Miyazaki will tell her."
"If I remember correctly, Miss Miyafuji began to lose consciousness when according to Oka and Miyazaki, Himemiya was engulfed in red energy."
"That's right but I'm concerned as to why Miyafuji is connected to this?"
"Does Dr. Miyafuji know about this?"
"I doubt he doesn't. I just wish I can ask him."
"We keep this to ourselves for the time being. Is that understood?"
"Aye aye, Captain."
Both Sakamoto and Kirkman saluted each other followed by the former leaving the room. Outside, Tanaka stopped hugging the wall and stood in attention by the time Sakamoto opened the door. To her surprise, she saw Tanaka saluting her.
"Tanaka, what are you doing here?" asked Sakamoto.
"I wish to see the Captain," answered Tanaka.
"How long have you been standing there?"
"I just arrived, ma'am."
"Good. Captain's just inside."
Sakamoto closed the door and began to leave. Tanaka then knocked.
"I heard everything," said Kirkman in his office without Tanaka saying anything. "You may come in."
Tanaka then let himself inside. After he closed the door, he and Kirkman saluted each other.
"What did you need to see me about?" asked Kirkman.
"Permission to go to Hilo," answered Tanaka.
"My family lives there. After what happened yesterday, I fear the entire Hawaiin archipelago will be turned into a battlefield. Please, Captain, may I take my plane? I promise I won't be long."
"… Fine. However, you can't use your F6F Hellcat. We have yet to get extra fuel and that won't happen yet until we rendezvous with I-402. Please wait, I'll see if I can get Midway to help by having the Skytrain there right now take you to Hilo. It's there to deliver extra troops to defend the atoll."
"Thank you, Captain," replied Tanaka with a salute before leaving.
As Tanaka left the office, he closed the door. However, as he turned to his left, he saw Sakamoto with her back at the wall and folding her hands.
"… Lieutenant Commander, you didn't leave?" asked Tanaka as he instantly saluted.
"So you wish to go to Hilo?" asked Sakamoto.
"It's just to see my family."
"Don't worry. If the Captain will allow it, that can get past me. Just wait for him."
At the bridge of the Mayflower, Kirkman was beside the radio. The operator reached the frequency used.
"This is the U.S.S. Mayflower," announced the radio operator. "Calling for Naval Air Station Midway Islands. Please respond."
"This is Captain Wilkins, Naval Air Station Midway Islands," announced Wilkins over the other end of the radio.
"Captain Wilkins, it's good you've responded," replied Kirkman.
"What's this about, Kirkman?"
"Is that Skytrain still in Midway?"
"It is. Why?"
"I wish to use it. Do you remember that Hellcat that also defended Midway yesterday?"
"The pilot wishes to visit Hilo in Hawaii while we're still here. I figured the Skytrain would help."
"… I'll see what I can do but I can't guarantee anything. Please wait, Kirkman."
Naval Air Station Midway Islands. 1144 hours
At the command center of Naval Air Station Midway Islands, Wilkins faced the direction of the radio operator.
"Get me to the frequency used by General Lyman Field," ordered Wilkins.
"Aye aye, Captain," replied the radio operator as he began to switch frequencies before finding the one Wilkins requested.
"This is Naval Air Station Midway Islands calling for General Lyman Field," said the radio operator. "Please respond."
"This is Colonel Long of General Lyman Field," responded a male voice over the radio.
"Colonel Long, this is Captain Wilkins," said Wilkins. "There's a request I'd like to make."
"What might that be, Captain?"
U.S.S. Mayflower. 1153 hours
"Captain, I've just gotten back from Midway," said the radio operator to Kirkman in the Mayflower's bridge.
"Kirkman, do you read?" asked Wilkins over the radio. "Colonel Long agreed to your request. However, the Skytrain will only be free tomorrow."
"This is Kirkman," responded Kirkman. "Thank you for this."
The radio was then turned off. Kirkman moved to the controls for the 1MC.
Gregory Tanaka raced to the bridge. As he found Kirkman seated, Tanaka approached him but stopped to salute.
"You called for me, Captain?" asked Tanaka.
"That I did," replied Kirkman. "Please face me."
"Aye aye, Captain," responded Tanaka before facing Kirkman.
"Now then, I've called up Midway over your intended leave. They've agreed to have that Skytrain take you to Hilo. Colonel Long at General Lyman Field has also been informed."
"Thank you, Captain."
"However, I suggest you pack up and leave early tomorrow. It'll be a nine-hour flight from Midway to Hilo by Skytrain and by the time you arrive, it will be nightfall. After that, you're to immediately return because thanks to this request, we have to leave in two days."
"Aye aye, Captain."
"Now that that's settled. Shall we have lunch?"
U.S.S. Mayflower. April 18, 1946; 0803 hours
That morning, Gregory Tanaka was already in his F6F Hellcat as it was being brought from the Mayflower's hangar deck to the flight deck. After it was delivered to the flight deck by the flight elevator, the Hellcat was brought to the center of the carrier.
Tanaka then began to start up the Hellcat. At the bridge, Nicholas Kirkman saw the Hellcat about to leave. Tyler Seioge was beside him.
"Captain, are you sure this is a good idea?" asked Seioge to Kirkman.
"I gave Tanaka the order to leave as soon as he's finished," replied Kirkman. "He should know what he's doing?"
The Hellcat began to lift off and leave the Mayflower.
Naval Air Station Midway Islands. 0844 hours
Tanaka then saw Midway Atoll and began to use his Hellcat's radio as he saw the air station.
"Midway Control, this is Lieutenant Tanaka," said Tanaka. "Requesting permission to land."
"This is Midway Control," replied a male voice over the radio. "We've been informed as to your purpose for your arrival. Permission to land granted."
As Tanaka neared the tarmac, "Wan", still dressed as a Liberian Marine, hid in a wrecked SB2C Helldiver bomber and saw the approaching Hellcat.
If I remember correctly, that Hellcat fought in the attack two days ago, thought "Wan". This could be interesting.
Tanaka then landed his Hellcat. As he got off, Tanaka approached the Skytrain with his luggage in a duffel bag and as he saw two men from the Liberian Army Air Force, presumably the Skytrain's pilots, Tanaka stopped and saluted with the latter two saluting in kind.
"You're Lieutenant Tanaka?" asked one Liberian Army pilot.
"I am," replied Tanaka.
"2nd Lieutenant Wilbur Fisk. Beside me is 2nd Lieutenant Elmer Grossman."
"I hear that you need our help because your parents live in Hilo," said Grossman.
"They do. I was warned by Captain Kirkman that it will be nightfall by the time we arrive at Hilo."
"It will," replied Fisk. "Once we dropped you off at General Lyman Field, we're to wait until you've finished your business with your parents, even if it will be night. After that, you're to return to General Lyman Field as early as possible."
"Shall we get started?" asked Grossman.
"Of course," replied Tanaka as he picked up his duffel bag and followed Fisk and Grossman to the Skytrain.
Above the Leeward Islands; 1,900 meters. 1055 hours
In addition to Fisk, Grossman, and Tanaka, two other men in their early twenties were also on board the Skytrain. One, who was of Fusoan descent like Tanaka, had short brown hair and dark brown eyes and he was the Skytrain's radio operator. The other man, a Caucasian, had short blond hair and green eyes and was the Skytrain's navigator.
"So, how long have you lived in Hilo?" asked the navigator to Tanaka.
"I was born there," replied Tanaka.
"And you chose now of all times to visit your parents?"
"I just wish to see if they're alright."
"What exactly do they do for a living?"
"Traditional household. Pop was the breadwinner, Mom was a housewife. Other than me, I have a younger sister named Ami. Her friends and I call her 'Amy' without our parents hearing us."
"Is she a Witch by any chance?"
"She is. We both enlisted into the Navy during the Second Neuroi War and unlike her, I stayed."
"What else is there for a man like me? I mean, I guess I could inherit my Pop's dojo but growing up under him makes me feel inferior to Amy."
"Dojo? Your father teaches martial arts?"
"Judo. He trained both me and Amy. I was to inherit after I finished my studies but Amy was treated more favorably because she's a Witch."
"So why did you enlist?"
"I wanted to fight the Neuroi even if I didn't have magic powers."
"We all did."
"Well, at least I'm not alone," snarked Tanaka, making everyone in the Skytrain laugh.
Naval Air Station Midway Islands. 1204 hours
In Midway Atoll, "Wan" was alone facing the waters behind the destroyed hangars of Naval Air Station Midway Islands. While shirtless, he looked at his left and right while removing the trousers of the uniform he stole.
I best hurry, thought "Wan". They'll catch me like this!
As he had removed his belt, "Wan" began to untie the boots. This took time as they were boots and as a result, "Wan" threw them to either his left or right. He moved to the socks next followed by the trousers, which reduced him to the underwear.
"Who do you think that uniform we found belongs to?" asked a male voice "Wan" anxiously heard.
Shit, I best hurry.
"Wan" had dropped the underwear to his knees yet he wasn't finished yet. As he continued, two men who were Marines saw the man and aimed the M1 Garands they were carrying.
"Who are you and why-," said one Marine before seeing "Wan's" naked body. "What on Earth are you doing!?"
"Escaping!" shouted "Wan" just before red light engulfed him.
The Marines dropped their weapons and covered their eyes not because of "Wan's" naked body but because of the red light. It didn't take long and as the Marines felt that the red light vanished, they quickly picked up their Garands and aimed again only to see a humanoid figure in black with hexagons across his body, the head covered by a helmet that resembled a knight from Medieval Europe, and spikes on its back with its tips in red.
"Y… You're a Neuroi, aren't you!?" shouted the other Marine.
"Yes, but I have to go," replied the humanoid figure before lifting itself into the air with red light appeared from the spikes.
U.S.S Mayflower. 1206 hours
In the brig of the U.S.S. Mayflower, Shinta Himemiya screamed and shook the bars of his cell. This was just as Yoshika Miyafuji brought food with Oliver Granger guarding the cells.
"G… Granger-san, what's wrong with him!?" asked Yoshika.
"I don't know," replied Granger as he got close.
"… Please, make it stop!" shouted Shinta before he continued shaking his cell bars.
Shinta then kneeled on the floor with Granger deciding to open his cell.
"Are you okay, son?" asked Granger.
"Private Granger, is that you?" calmly asked Shinta.
"Yes. Miss Miyafuji is here to deliver your lunch."
Granger stepped out of Yoshika's way just as the latter brought the tray with food and water for Shinta. Shinta sat down on the bed provided by the cell with the tray brought before him.
"Arigatou, Yoshika-san," replied Shinta. "Also, sorry about that."
"Does that happen frequently?"
"It does. Luckily, it's whenever I'm alone."
"I see. As I was told, I'm to remain here until you finish your meal."
Near Oahu Island; 1,900 meters. 1449 hours
"Well, we're nearing Oahu… or what's left of it," said Fisk in a grim tone as he continuously piloted the Skytain as it neared a crater from where Pearl Harbor in Oahu Island once stood.
Tanaka got out of his seat to look through the window in front of him. As he kneeled on the seat below the window, Tanaka saw the crater that was made on January 1 which started the war. Beside him, the navigator looked as well.
"Are those Stavrosians even human?" asked the navigator. "How could they do such a thing?"
"I honestly don't know," answered Tanaka.
"Where were you when Pearl was struck?" asked the radio operator as he looked at Tanaka.
"China Lake," answered Tanaka as he looked at the radio operator in return. "I was testing new weapons for the Navy to use after the Second Neuroi War ended. What happened here made me beg my superiors for combat duty."
"So that explains why you're here?" asked Grossman.
"Knock it off everyone," interjected Fisk. "Lieutenant Tanaka, I suggest you get back to your seat and continue resting. We still have a long way ahead of us."
Tanaka did as Fisk suggested while the navigator and the radio operator resumed their duties. As he sat down, he began to close his eyes and cross his arms.
Those damn Stavrosians, thought Tanaka. I can never forget how they simply showed off who they are and their declaration of war.
Naval Ordnance Test Station, United States of Liberion. January 9, 1946; 0918 hours
Across the Californian wilderness was the Naval Ordinance Test Station. It neared a dry lake that was called "China Lake" as Chinese miners harvested borax there. In the 1930s, the Works Progress Administration established a landing field that the Liberian Army Air Force acquired in 1943 during the Second Neuroi War but later that year, ownership of the landing field was transferred to the Liberian Navy. The base built around the landing field became the Naval Ordnance Test Station as it was to test newer weapons being developed.
A lone truck rushed to the Naval Ordnance Test Station but was stopped by the guards. The driver presented any form of identification he could find on such short notice and presented it to the guard. The guard allowed the truck to proceed further into the base.
"Someone's in a hurry," remarked Gregory Tanaka as he and another man beside him saw the truck park and its driver rushing out of the vehicle.
"Hey Al," said a serviceman who approached the driver. "What's the ru-"
"Where's the base's commanding officer!?" hurriedly asked the truck driver. "I found something while I was out getting supplies."
"Let me guess, those things that fell out of the sky?"
Everyone stationed in the Ordnance Testing Station, except the guards, gathered at the base's assembly hall. The base's commanding officer, Captain James Godley, appeared on the stage of the assembly hall. Godley was a well-built man in his early thirties with fair skin, dark brown hair, and blue eyes.
"I apologize for having you all gather here on such short notice," announced Godley. "However, our usual supplier, while in Ridgecrest, has heard of disturbing news."
Godley then brought out what appeared to be a television yet it was small enough to be held by one hand. As if he remembered what to press, Godley pressed a button and showed what the "television" showed to those before him. Through the screen of the "television" was a shadowed figure yet his arms were visible.
"Good day, inhabitants of Earth," said the voice that belonged to the shadowed figure. "If you haven't heard what was happened, the cities of Chelyabinsk, Ura, and Magnitogorsk in Orussia have been conquered by us, the Stavrosian Empire. Now, allow me to introduce myself. I am Stavros Loizou, Emperor of Stavros. Before we started our invasion, we have built a base on your Moon and it has what we call a 'Mass Catapult'. We used that to bombard Pearl Harbor, Portus Divinus, and Sevastopol. Then, we began our invasion by striking those aforementioned Orussian cities. Now, as to why we wish to invade you, we have big plans for your planet and don't even try to plan negotiations because we have allies that wish for your destruction – the creatures you've called 'Neuroi'. That's right, we're in an alliance and we can spare you any more damage if you surrender unconditionally. If you don't, we'll leave that to your imagination."
Everyone in the base talked amongst themselves. Godley refused to diffuse the discussions as he was of the same mind as his subordinates. After a while, he coughed, signaling the men to stop talking and pay attention.
"As you saw, these Stavrosians aren't messing around. Now, I suggest you return to your posts until we hear that we're at war. Good day, gentlemen."
Above the Hawaiian Islands; 1,900 meters. April 18, 1946; 1549 hours
Good day my ass, thought Gregory Tanaka in the present.
"What was that!?" shouted Fisk, waking up Tanaka.
Tanaka rushed to the cockpit and saw a red-colored orb fly past them. As Tanaka reached the cockpit, it was too late.
"That was fast!" shouted Grossman.
"It's gone now," added Fisk before he saw Tanaka behind him. "Lieutenant, what are you doing here?"
"You woke me up," replied Tanaka.
"Well, it's over now," added Grossman. 'Please resume resting."
Suddenly, a sound familiar to Tanaka was heard. He rushed back to his luggage and found the transceiver he received from Koji Himemiya ringing and answered it.
"This is Tanaka."
"Tanaka, it's Sakamoto," announced the Fusoan officer. 'Where are you now?"
"Just past Oahu."
"Did you happen to see something red fly past you?"
"The pilots of my Skytrain just did."
"Better be careful once you reach Hilo. That thing was reported to be some sort of a humanoid-looking Neuroi because the Captain was contacted by Captain Wilkins about it."
General Lyman Field. 1752 hours
The Skytrain reached General Lyman Field. Formerly Hilo Airport, it was turned into an airbase for the Liberian Army Air Force after Pearl Harbor was hit by the meteor launched by the Stavrosian Empire which signaled the beginning of the current war.
As the Skytrain landed, Tanaka picked up his luggage and began to exit the plane. As he did, he saw three Liberian Army personnel, one of whom was a man in his early forties with black hair underneath his garrison cap, fair skin, and green eyes.
"So you're Lieutenant Tanaka?" asked the officer.
"I am, sir," replied Tanaka as he saluted with the officer saluting in return.
"Colonel Long. I was told you're here to visit your parents."
"That I am."
"A truck will take you to where they live. However, you're to return by 700 tomorrow so that you still have enough sunlight for you to return to your carrier once you reach Midway."
"Will do, sir."
Tanaka Residence, Hilo. 1849 hours
The CCKW truck Tanaka rode on stopped before a Fuso-styled house surrounded by wooden fences. The house had a walnut brown-colored roof and white-colored wooden walls.
"This is the place?" asked the driver with Tanaka beside him.
"It is," replied Tanaka.
"I guess you get off here. Like Colonel Long said, please get up early because I've been ordered to pick you up here tomorrow at 600 hours."
"I see. Thanks."
Tanaka got off the CCKW and as the latter left, the former proceeded to his childhood home.
Hard to believe it has been years since I left, thought Tanaka as he continued to the front door.
Here goes, thought Tanaka as he stopped just a meter before the door. He began to untie his boots as he remembered that a Fusoan household doesn't allow footwear inside. After placing the boots aside, Tanaka knocked the door.
"Hai, chotto matte kudasai," said a female voice followed by a smile by Tanaka.
The door was opened by a woman with long black hair and dark brown eyes. She appeared young despite being in her fifties and her eyes widened upon seeing Tanaka. Tanaka placed his right hand behind his head and chuckled as if he was embarrassed that he appeared before the woman.
"Gregory, you're here?" asked the woman.
"I guess I am, Mom," answered Tanaka.
"Minami, who's-" asked a man in his fifties with short black hair that appeared to be graying and light brown eyes before seeing Tanaka. "G… Gregory, what are you doing here?"
"I came to visit, Pop," answered Tanaka. "I apologize for being in uniform but I barely managed to ask my captain if I can visit so I'm afraid I can't stay long."
"How much time do you have?" asked the woman named Minami.
"Naruhodo," said the older man. "Sa, haite kudasai."
Outskirts of Hilo. 1848 hours
At the same time, "Wan", now clothed, had reached the outskirts of Hilo. He saw a patrolling MB 4x4 utility truck driven by Liberian Army soldiers.
"Wan" jumped into the nearby forest to hide. However, the Liberian soldiers saw and stopped.
"What was that?" asked one soldier who held the MB's steering wheel.
"Probably just a fast animal," answered the other soldier. "Can we please get out of here?"
The Liberian soldiers began to leave. "Wan" watched to bide his time.
Tanaka Residence. 1851 hours
"So, why are you here?" asked the older male Tanaka as he and his son Gregory sat down.
"I came to visit," answered Tanaka. "My carrier stopped over and will leave tomorrow so I have to leave early enough to catch up to it."
"Funny, I thought your carrier was the one that sank off South Seas Island?"
"Soichiro!" shouted Minami while she was in the kitchen.
That's right, my mission is still a secret one, thought Tanaka with regret filling his face. All that's changed is where I'm stationed at. I can't tell them the whole thing… What do I do?
"Well, it's a long story but I ended up rescued by another carrier and had to be stationed there for the time being," explained Tanaka. "That carrier will be heading for Toumika and I'll get off there."
"Ah," replied the man named Soichiro. "In any case, because you showed up, you best do something to wait while your mother finishes dinner. How about walking around for a bit?"
"Domo," replied Gregory before he stood up.
In a bombed out city, explosions and the sound of machine gun fire rocked the evening with smoke striking the sky. A Panzerkampfwagen I (Panzer I) light tank moved across the street between two destroyed houses with fourteen soldiers in uniforms and Stahlhelm helmets colored blue. The Panzer I bore a marking of a blue triangle with the hanzi for "Nánguó" written in white. The soldiers escorting it mostly carried Type Zhōngzhèng rifles while one carried an MP18 submachine gun.
In one wrecked house, two adolescents, a boy and a girl, hid from the Panzer I while lying on the floor. They wore civilian attire yet the girl wore a blue-colored Stahlhelm helmet and both had white-colored armbands on their respective left arms. The boy carried an MP18 submachine gun while the girl carried a C96 pistol with a wooden buttstock attached to its handle.
As the Panzer I kept on moving, the girl attempted to move but the boy stopped her and shook his head. The girl reluctantly agreed and let the Panzer I move. Suddenly, an explosion occurred, forcing the Panzer I and its infantry escort to stop.
"It came from nearby," said a soldier in blue with the MP18, presumably the squad leader. "Lí, Hé, take your respective units and find who's-"
However, the soldier was killed as a bullet flew across his left chest. He fell to the ground, creating a puddle of blood.
"Sni-," shouted another soldier carrying a Type Zhōngzhèng just before joining his squad leader.
The rest of the squad scattered as a result. This didn't help as more were shot by the sniper. The Panzer I moved to where the sniper was presumably located and fired its MG13 light machine guns.
Both adolescents looked and nodded at each other. They crawled backward and got out of the house. One soldier in blue hiding from the sniper found the two armed adolescents running.
"Rebels!" shouted the soldier. "Kill them!"
However, the sniper continued firing upon the soldiers, forcing the latter to turn their attention to the former instead. As a result, the adolescents found a new hiding spot in a house that was still standing. The Panzer I also reverted its attention to the sniper.
Unbeknownst to the crewmen of the Panzer I, the adolescents carried with them "bundle charge" impoverished anti-tank hand grenades". As the adolescents brought out the bundle charges and prepared to unpin them, one of the soldiers in blue carried a vz. 26 light machine gun fired at the sniper. The machine gunner was then shot by the sniper, allowing the girl to unpin the bundle charge and come out to throw it at the Panzer I but just as she was about to throw it, one soldier with a Type Zhōngzhèng shot her. As the girl fell into the pavement, her bundle charge exploded in front of the wall the boy used to hide.
U.S.S. Mayflower. April 18, 1946; 0829 hours
In his cell, Shinta Himemiya woke up. He breathed heavily and faced the wall in front of him.
It's that dream again, thought Shinta.
"Shinta-san, are you alright?" asked a voice Shinta recognized and saw that it was Yoshika Miyafuji with Oliver Granger beside her.
"Y… Yoshika-san… how long were you here?"
"I just showed up to bring you dinner."
"I see. Sorry you saw that."
"Just a bad dream. Don't worry about it."
"I hope it wasn't that bad of a dream because I'm opening this cell," warned Granger. "Miss Miyafuji, please stay back."
Tanaka Residence, Hilo, United States of Liberion. 0735 hours
"Gochi sou sama deshita," said Gregory Tanaka after he and his parents had finished their meal while closing their eyes and clasping their hands.
"So, what were you doing in South Seas Island?" asked Minami.
"We were at a routine patrol," lied Tanaka. "Then, the attack by the Stavrosians and the Neuroi started and in the midst of that, the Cowpens was sunk. I was then saved by another carrier and that it ended up in Midway, which gave me the idea to see you."
"I see," replied Soichiro. "I just wished Ami stayed a little longer."
"Wait, Amy- I mean, Ami was here?" asked Tanaka as a change of discussion.
"Sou desu," answered the man named Soichiro. "All she could tell us was that she came in here in a carrier because of how the Liberian military plan on fortifying the islands."
I don't blame the higher-ups for that, thought Tanaka. After Midway, I can imagine the Stavrosians and the Neuroi would want to take the rest of Hawaii.
"How have you been behaving?" asked Soichiro. "You haven't been making any trouble concerning girls, have you?"
"Nonsense," replied Tanaka. Damn you, Ami. You were supposed to not tell anyone.
"In any case, how about you and I practice in an hour? I can tell being in the military allowed your skills to diminish."
"Why now, Soichiro?" asked Minami. "Gregory just came to visit us and he'll have to leave really early tomorrow."
"It's okay," said Tanaka to diffuse what almost became an argument. "I do miss practicing with Pop."
"That's my boy! Maybe when this war ends, you can inherit the dojo."
He just had to go there, thought Tanaka turning his hope for a simple sparring match into regret.
Tanaka and his father Soichiro were now in their respective judogi in the section of the Tanaka residence that served as the dojo. Soichiro's belt was black while Tanaka's was white. After the two bowed toward each other, they got into the same stance, which involved separating the legs and making their respective right feet face each other and making their respective left feet face elsewhere, bending their respective arms upward, and created a "C" with their respective hands while separating the hands.
"Gregory, before we begin, do you remember the rules for practice?" asked Soichiro.
"Hai," replied Tanaka. "No punching or kicking, no deliberate attempts to injure the opponent, don't touch the face of your opponent, and no head dives."
"Good. However, I'll allow punching and kicking. I may want to see how much you need to improve but consider this advice for you to use while you're out there fighting."
"Domo arigatou gozaimasu."
"Hajime!" shouted Soichiro as a signal to start with Tanka silently complying.
Both Tanakas, however, opted not to charge at each other. While Tanaka moved to his left, Soichiro moved to his left that the former saw as his right.
As Pop said, this will help me in future fights, thought Tanaka. Charging in recklessly is stupid and I know this as a fighter pilot. It should be the same here in Judo.
Gregory isn't charging at me like he used to before the Second Neuroi War, thought Soichiro. Maybe allowing him to be in the military was a good idea after all.
Both continued to circle each other as neither wished to be the first one to attack. If one attacked first, the other would be able to easily retaliate. Tanaka, who learned Judo directly from Soichiro as they're father and son, knew this the most.
How do I make Pop let his down his guard? anxiously wondered Tanaka. I let my guard down every time we train.
Getting anxious now, are we? wondered Soichiro as he saw how Tanaka was feeling.
Come on, Gregory, think!
Both Tanakas continued to move around the entire dojo. Neither continued to move against each other but the younger male Tanaka had stopped.
"What's the matter?" asked Soichiro. "Giving up already?"
"No, this!" shouted Tanaka as he began to charge at Soichiro with his right hand raised, turned into a fist, and aimed at the older Tanaka.
I knew this would happen! thought Soichiro as he saw his son charge at him.
However, while Tanaka got close to his father, he moved to his left and immediately caught Soichiro's right shoulder with his left arm while getting close. The former then separated his right hand dissolve its fist and used it to grab the left hand of the former. Tanaka then bent his left knee toward Soichiro while having his right leg bent backward. What followed next was Tanaka moving his right leg forward as he began to fall into the wooden floor but as he got lower, he pressed his left foot toward Soichiro's chest. Then, as he landed his buttocks to the wooden floor, the former flipped the latter into the floor with his left leg just as his back landed to the floor. Tanaka got up and faced his father.
"Daijobu ka, Oyaji?" asked Tanaka.
"Daijobu desu," replied Soichiro.
Soichiro was then raised up by his son. Afterward, the two men faced each other and bowed, which signaled the end of their practice.
"That was an impressive Tomoe nage," said Soichiro as a compliment. "Of course, you had that feint there. How did you come up with such an idea?"
"Regretfully, I can't tell you that," answered Tanaka.
"In any case, we must wash before going to sleep. I imagine you're needed at General Lyman Field early tomorrow."
Hilo. April 19, 1946; 0515 hours
Across Hilo, the CCKW moved to reach the Tanaka residence with the same Liberian Army soldiers driving it. However, they saw a police car in their way.
"What the heck?" asked one soldier. "Barnes, should we stop?"
"We should," answered the soldier named Barnes.
The CCKW stopped as a result. The two soldiers got off to investigate and brought out flashlights as the sun had yet to arrive. As they got close, they saw the owner of the police car.
"Hey, what's wrong with you!?" shouted Barnes. "Please get out of the-"
However, Barnes was unable to finish as he and the other soldier saw that the policeman had his neck sliced.
"Boyd, get help," requested Barnes to the other soldiers.
"Right," replied the soldier named Boyd.
Boyd, upon turning back, saw a man with long black hair. The latter grinned as if he planned all of it. Barnes turned back to also see the man behind him and Boyd.
Outside the Tanaka Residence. 0604 hours
Gregory Tanaka had finally stepped out of his childhood home just as sunrise came to Hilo. He returned to the boots he left outside and placed his feet inside. After tying them up, his mother Minami came out to see her son off.
"Please stay alive," requested Minami.
"I'll do what I can, Mom," replied Tanaka. "I suggest you and Pop prepare to evacuate immediately."
Tanaka distanced himself from Minami to at least a meter and bowed with the latter following. The former began to leave.
"Ja ne, Ofukuro," said Tanaka as he glanced to Minami and raised his left hand.
"Itterashai," replied Minami.
Tanaka began to leave. However, he saw that the CCKW he rode on had yet to arrive.
Strange, that truck said it would be here by 600 hours, thought Tanaka.
"That truck isn't here yet?" loudly asked Soichiro as he saw his son waiting just in front of the house.
"I don't like this," replied Tanaka.
However, the Tanaka men hear engines. As the younger male Tanaka looked to his left, he saw a glimpse of the CCKW.
"Never mind, it's here," said Tanaka.
The CCKW then stopped just in front of Tanaka. After waving to Soichiro, Tanaka began to face the CCKW's driver seat only to see a long-haired man at the left side who aimed a Single Army Action revolver at Tanaka. Tanaka was at a loss for words as it would be unwise to argue with a man aiming a gun at him.
"Get in," demanded the long-haired man.
Tanaka briefly glanced at his childhood home, fearing what will happen if he didn't obey. He then opened the door in front of him.
U.S.S. Mayflower. 0810 hours
In the hangar deck of the U.S.S. Mayflower, the League of Nations' prototype Mobile Knights were being maintained. Despite being too advanced, maintenance was needed. The men in the hangar deck were given instructions on how to maintain the Mobile Knights prior to the carrier leaving for South Seas Island.
Each Mobile Knight had one particular engineer assigned to it. One of them, Matthew Lawrence, was assigned to the LNX-03 Wardar. Twenty-five years old, Lawrence was a man with fair skin, short blond hair, blue eyes, and an average physical build. He had enlisted in the Liberian Navy during the Second Neuroi War but despite its abrupt end, he stayed, even when the current war had started. After the operation conducted by the Empire of Orussia and the Kingdom of Manchuria that ended with the LN Armed Forces acquiring their own Mobile Knights to reverse-engineer and build, Lawrence was promoted to Petty Officer Third Class as he was assigned to the Wardar, even before Miyazaki Industries finished assembling it and the other two Mobile Knights.
Just as he approached the Wardar in order to inspect it, Lawrence heard a sound coming from the cockpit despite it being closed. Remembering how to open it, Lawrence found the button to open the cockpit and after pressing it, the sound was louder. Moving his body inside, Lawrence saw the frequency 100.05 on the main monitor of Wardar's cockpit.
"Lawrence, what's with that racket!?" shouted an older man outside the Mobile Knight.
An exhausted Lawrence reached the Lecture Room. As he did, Mio Sakamoto spotted him and turned her attention to him. Chieko Oka and Kei Miyazaki, also in the room, remained where they were and didn't look at Lawrence.
"What are you doing here, Lawrence?" asked Sakamoto.
"… Pardon the intrusion," replied Lawrence as he gained enough energy to stand up, face Sakamoto, and salute. "We have a problem."
"What is it?"
"Someone with a different voice is using the frequency Lieutenant Tanaka uses to contact us."
"Hello, is anyone there?" asked a male voice over Wardar's communicator with Kei seated in his cockpit.
"Who is this?" asked Kei.
"Ah, you must be one of the LN prototype Mobile Knight pilots? Finally. In any case, I have Lieutenant Gregory Tanaka as my hostage. I can let him go but I have one demand."
"And what might that be!?" shouted Sakamoto, who was outside the cockpit.
"Give me Shinta Himemiya. You have until tomorrow, otherwise, Tanaka here will get a bullet in his head. Farewell."
The frequency vanished from the monitor. Kei moved his body without leaving the cockpit to Sakamoto.
"I was able to record the whole thing," said Kei to Sakamoto.
"Good," replied Sakamoto. "The Captain needs to hear this."
"This is not good," said Nicholas Kirkman as Sakamoto was in his office and carried her transceiver with her, having played the transmission to the former.
"What do we do?" asked Sakamoto.
"I'd rather not have Tanaka killed but it's a problem if that man didn't tell us why he wants Himemiya."
"I can imagine he's a Stavrosian spy as he knew about the frequency being used to contact our Mobile Knights."
"Where's Himemiya now?"
"Still in his cell. I was going to ask if we could let him out now."
"Keep him in there for now. I need to think. I need you and Commander Seioge to enact a gag order. We can't let Himemiya know about this for the time being."
Outskirts of Hilo. 1007 hours
"What do you need Himemiya for anyway?" asked Gregory Tanaka as he remained in the right front seat of the CCKW with "Wan", the man who took Tanaka hostage, outside smoking a cigarette.
"Are you even listening to me!?" shouted Tanaka while "Wan" ignored him.
"You're just bait, that's all," answered "Wan" without looking at Tanaka. "Your fate depends on how that carrier of yours responds."
"Fine," replied Tanaka before remaining silent.
I hope you can feel this, Shinta, thought "Wan" as a small, red-colored icosahedron appeared on his forehead. I'm here on Hawaii Island.
U.S.S. Mayflower. 1108 hours
In his cell, Shinta Himemiya continued reading and summarizing the textbook he was allowed to take from the Shinkyo Public Library weeks before. Although he was imprisoned for what happened in Midway Atoll, Shinta was allowed to keep his belongings with him and was given a gas lamp should he wished to read.
However, another icosahedron also appeared on his forehead. Shinta stopped reading and pressed his right hand against his forehead. Shinta then heard footsteps and moving wheels and turned his head, briefly, to see Yoshika Miyafuji and Oliver Granger outside his cell.
"Shinta-san, we brought you lunch," announced Yoshika. "Please wait, Granger-san will open the cell door."
Please, don't… anxiously thought Shinta.
Granger began to open the cell door. The icosahedron on Shinta's forehead increased its red glow to Yoshika and Granger's shock.
"W… What the-" asked Granger before Shinta screamed and forced himself out of the cell, bumping Granger in the process.
Shinta, without looking, pushed Yoshika and the tray she was moving out of his way and left the brig. A sailor saw Shinta leave and as he remembered who he was, turned to his rear and saw two other sailors.
"Himemiya's escaped!" shouted the sailor.
"We're here," said Sakamoto as she and Nicholas Kirkman neared the hangar deck.
"Stop him!" shouted a male voice, catching Sakamoto and Kirkman off guard as they began to see Shinta appearing.
"Himemiya, why are you here!?" shouted Sakamoto. "Stop!"
Shinta paid no attention to Sakamoto. Seeing that he was near the hangar deck, he turned. Both Sakamoto and Kirkman nodded and rushed inside after Shinta.
However, the two saw that Shinta was jumping a great height above the engineering personnel. As he landed, Shinta rushed to the flight elevator.
"Sakamoto Shosa, what's going on?" asked Kei Miyazaki as he and Chieko Oka appeared beside Kirkman.
However, before Sakamoto or Kirkman could answer, a red light forced everyone in the hangar deck to cover their eyes. The red light engulfed Shinta just as he reached the flight elevator. The red light vanished, only for Shinta to now appear in the form he assumed three days ago and left.
"Was… that… Shinta-kun?" asked Chieko.
"Unfortunately, yes," answered Kirkman.
"U.S.S. Mayflower, this is Khyber, please respond!" shouted a male voice that Sakamoto recognized coming from Wardar's cockpit.
Without saying anything, Sakamoto nodded and Kei immediately rushed to his Mobile Knight's cockpit. He saw that on the monitor was the frequency 100.06 and pressed the buttons to respond.
"This is the Mayflower," replied Kei Miyazaki. "Please state the purpose of your transmission."
"You're Wardar's pilot?"
"Kei Miyazaki, Fuso Imperial Navy, Seaman Recruit."
"Where's Mi- I mean, Lieutenant Commander Sakamoto?"
"I'm here!" shouted Sakamoto as she climbed onto Wardar through its left leg. "Why are you calling?"
"I saw a red light leave the Mayflower. You have to hurry. I'll take you to Hawaii Island myself."
"You have our thanks!" shouted Kirkman from below the Mobile Knight before facing Sakamoto. "Sakamoto, I leave this in your hands."
"Roger that," replied Sakamoto.
"Oka, please find Sergeant Hodges and tell him to assemble a team," ordered Kirkman to Chieko upon turning to her.
"Aye aye, Captain," replied Chieko with a salute.
Outskirts of Hilo. 1117 hours
"Looks like he made on his own," said "Wan" as he saw a red light move fast toward him and the CCKW with Tanaka inside.
The red light vanished and in its place was Shinta Himemiya in his blackened appearance, who then landed on the ground. Tanaka moved his head to its left to see what was happening.
Who or was is that? anxiously wondered Tanaka.
"I'm glad you made, Siks," said "Wan".
"I'm here now, Wan," announced Shinta. "Let Tanaka Dai-i go!"
"I find it hard to believe that a Nezura such as you cares for these humans. Oh right, I mean, you insist on being a human, right, Shinta?"
Shinta!? That thing is Himemiya!?
"Just let him go, brother!"
"Fine. He can even use the truck."
"Tanaka Dai-i, please leave!" shouted Shinta as he faced Tanaka.
Without saying anything, Tanaka found that the keys for the CCKW were already by the ignition switch and began turning it on. In the midst of this, "Wan" raised his right hand toward the sky and as a result, was engulfed in red light. As the engines of the CCKW were started, Tanaka saw that "Wan" assumed a blackened form similar to Shinta's, albeit with an appearance of a knight from Medieval Europe with black-colored spikes coming out of its back with red-colored crystals as the tips.
Okay, that's it, I'm leaving! thought Tanaka just before turning the CCKW and leaving.
"Now then, let's begin!" shouted "Wan" as he charged toward Shinta.
U.S.S. Mayflower. 1220 hours
Sakamoto and James Hodges, along with Steven Howard and Phillip Korbel, gathered at the flight deck of the U.S.S. Mayflower. Both Hodges and Korbel carried Thompsons while Howard carried a Garand.
"I see something coming," said Korbel as he pointed at something.
Everyone else turned to what Korbel was looking at and what they saw was none other than the Fusion Wanderer. The plane then stopped just above the Mayflower and its Lifter Beam appeared. Coming down from the Lifter Beam was "Khyber", who Sakamoto secretly knew was Ichiro Miyafuji.
"Long time no see, Lieutenant Commander Sakamoto," said "Khyber".
"Why are you here?" asked Sakamoto.
"I heard about what happened in Midway then while I was coming, I heard about this. I imagine you wish to get to Hilo so I suggest we best get moving."
"I agree," replied Hodges.
Sakamoto and her team boarded the Fusion Wanderer through the Lifter Beam, albeit one by one. Ichiro was the last one to board the plane and as he was now inside, Ichiro found Sakamoto and her team seated down.
"What kind of plane is this?" asked Hodges. "Lieutenant Commander Sakamoto tells me you two used it during the operation in Orussia?"
"We did," answered Ichiro.
"How can we get to Hilo from here?" asked Sakamoto. "I doubt we can make it in time."
"We will. However, you need to fasten your seat belts."
"Why?" asked Howard.
"You'll see," said Ichiro before sitting down beside Sakamoto and fastening his seat belt.
The Fusion Wanderer then turned away from the Mayflower. However, it remained in the air to the confusion of Sakamoto's team.
"Attention all passengers, this is your captain speaking," announced the male voice both Ichiro and Sakamoto are familiar with. "We'll be approaching Hawaii Island but due to specific instructions from Mr. Khyber, we'll be using our boosters. So please sit tight and find something to hang on to because it will be a bumpy ride."
What have we gotten ourselves into! anxiously thought Hodges.
The Fusion Wanderer immediately left the Mayflower and by extension, Midway Atoll, as if it were a rocket. The plane traveled very fast that Sakamoto and her team struggled not to fall off their seats.
Hilo. 1133 hours
Hilo had now become a battlefield between Shinta and "Wan". The latter kicked the former into a house, leading to its destruction. No one was hurt or fleeing as the house was evacuated already.
"I should have known retaining your humanity would make you weak," said "Wan".
Shinta got up and charged at "Wan" while screaming. However, "Wan" evaded Shinta and as he appeared behind him, "Wan" kicked Shinta.
"See?" asked "Wan". "You should just come back and help us kill these mortals."
"Never!" shouted Shinta when he attempted to punch "Wan" with his right fist only for "Wan" to evade it again.
"How weak," dismissively noted "Wan" as he appeared again behind Shinta. "To think that we're brothers… "
"You… are not my brother! He died long ago!"
Shinta not only turned toward "Wan" but also moved his right leg. As he now faced "Wan", so did his right leg. The leg managed to push "Wan" backward.
"There, that's what I'm looking for!" exclaimed "Wan". "More!"
Shinta increased his altitude while turning his right hand into a fist and after one second, descended while attempting to land his punch against "Wan".
Above the Hawaiian Islands; 2,000 meters. 1235 hours
The Fusion Wanderer had stopped with its "boosting" and had reached Nihau. Everyone at the passenger cabin was barely able to open their eyes. Ichiro struggled to use his remaining energy to keep his mask on.
"Attention all passengers, we have now arrived at the Hawaiian Islands," announced the captain. "We will reach Hilo in five minutes."
We better hope so, worriedly thought Sakamoto.
General Lyman Field, Hilo. 1239 hours
Gregory Tanaka had reached General Lyman Field with the CCKW. The guard, equipped with a Garand, stops Tanaka. The latter moved his body outside and raised his hands.
"Don't shoot!" shouted Tanaka.
"You're Lieutenant Tanaka!" exclaimed the guard. "Why are you in that truck?"
"Bit of a long story. Can I come in? I can explain everything to Colonel Long."
The gate was now open for Tanaka to proceed. As he entered, Tanaka parked the CCKW and as he got out, Long and two guards appeared in front of him.
"Tanaka, how did you escape?" asked Long just as Tanaka saluted.
"The one who abducted me let me go," answered Tanaka.
"And I assume he's the one who killed Privates Barnes and Boyd?"
"Where is he?"
"Up there," answered Tanaka as he pointed to the sky.
Tanaka, then Long and his two guards, saw two red lights hitting each other in the sky. Tanaka, as he was overwhelmed with what he heard minutes before, kept his mouth silent. However, his transceiver rang and he separated from Long and his men to answer it.
"Tanaka, where are you?" asked Mio Sakamoto over the transceiver.
"Lieutenant Commander, I'm so glad to hear from you!" shouted Tanaka.
"You sound safe. Where are you now?"
"General Lyman Field."
"I'm almost there with a team led by Hodges. How did you escape?"
"That guy who abducted me let me go. He's-"
"Save it for later, we're here."
The attention of everyone in the base, including Long, was now diverted as the Fusion Wanderer arrived. The Lifter Beam was then activated with Sakamoto landing first.
"You're Mio Sakamoto," said Long as he approached the Fusoan officer. "What are you doing here?"
"I'm here for him," answered Sakamoto as she pointed to Tanaka. "And, for one of them!"
Sakamoto then pointed at one of the red lights in the sky. Suddenly, one of them was aiming for the base.
"Shit, run for your lives!" shouted Long.
Everyone scrambled as one red light fell into the base. It was none other than Shinta Himemiya in his inhuman form. "Wan" then landed and as Sakamoto saw him, she widened her eyes and opened her eyes as she recognized "Wan" as the same humanoid Nueroi she encountered in Orussia months before.
It can't be! thought Sakamoto. It's alive!?
"Get up!" shouted "Wan" toward Shinta.
Shinta got up. However, as he did, a small red icosahedron on his forehead emitted a red glow. Shinta began to scream, press his hands against the forehead, and kneel.
It seems I found your weakness, thought "Wan". "I'll take my leave now."
"Wan" flew into the air and left. Shinta managed to revert to normal but was unconscious again.
"Howard, Korbel, get Himemiya out of here!" ordered Sakamoto to the aforementioned Marines.
"Yes, ma'am," replied Korbel as he and Howard rushed to Shinta.
"Lieutenant Commander, there's something I need to tell you," said Tanaka as he approached Sakamoto.
"Like I said earlier, save it for later," replied Sakamoto. Damn it, Himemiya. You're not telling us anything!
Judo – "Soft Way". A contrast to Jujutsu ("Soft Art" in Japanese), which Jigoro Kano, the founder of the former, devised to differentiate his philosophy from that of the latter.
Chotto matte kudasai – "Please wait"
Ashita – Tomorrow
Naruhodo – "I see"
Sa, haite kudasai – "Now then, please come in."
Gochi sou sama deshita – "Thank you for this delicious meal."
Hajime – "Begin!" (used to start a match for martial arts such as Karate and Judo)
Daijobu ka? – "Are you alright?" (Daijobu desu being the positive reply that means "I'm fine" or "I'm alright")
Oyaji – casual honorific meaning "Father". Closest equivalent would be "Pop", which was used by Tanaka when talking to Soichiro prior to their practice match when it's long sentences instead of simple phrases.
Tomoe nage – "Circle throw"
Ja ne – "Goodbye"
Ofukuro – another honorific for "Mother". Derived from how mothers in Japan sometimes place belongings from their households into bags ("bag" in this case is fukuro). Tanaka using it for his mother Minami will be explained later in the author's notes.
Itterashai – "Please take care"
Stahlhelm (German) – "Steel Helmet"
Hanzi (Chinese) – "Han Character" (see Translations in "War Without Restraint" for further details)
As to that racial slur Griffin used, I couldn't think of anything else so I settled for "Nigger". I only did that as this story is set in the 1940s.
Despite the title, I, unfortunately, dedicated most of it to Tanaka. I did that to expand on him. I made him a trained judoka as a contrast to my original idea of him being a karateka like Chieko and Kei. I opted for Judo because it would have been too repetitive if Tanaka was another karateka.
As to why I had Tanaka address his mother Minami with "Ofukuro", it's a reference to Metal Armor Dragonar where its protagonist Kaine Wakaba addresses his mother Wakaba as "Ofukuro".
That portion involving the civil war in Nánguó was a shout-out to The Terminator. Specifically, the scene where Kyle Reese, a member of a resistance movement fighting against Skynet's machines, remembered a mission where he and a female resistance fighter destroyed an HK (Hunter Killer)-Tank. The female Nánguó resistance fighter getting killed is primarily from that scene from the aforementioned film.
If in case no one got it, Shinta was that male resistance fighter who fought that Panzer I. As mentioned back in "The New Weapon", Shinta was a refugee from Nánguó. Only he and his adoptive father Koji know about that and the ramifications of that will be explored in future chapters.
In relation to the above, I can imagine people wanting to know why Nánguó soldiers are wearing Stahlehlms, using MP18 submachine guns, and driving Panzer Is even though those would be Karlsland equipment. In reality, relations between Germany and China went as far as back as the last decades of the Qing Dynasty and by the 1920s, the Guómíndang Party under Chiang Kai-Shek sought to learn much from Germany as they feared an eventual showdown with Japan. This cooperation continued after the Nazi takeover of Germany in 1933, allowing the Guómíndang's National Revolutionary Army to acquire Stahlhelms and Panzer Is. The Type Zhōngzhèng rifle, also called the Chiang Kai-Shek Rifle, was one fruit of this cooperation as it was based on the Standardmodell Rifle, the forerunner to the Karabiner 98k. Like in real life, I had Karlsland provide plenty for Nánguó and as discussed in part 1 of "Reunion in the Snow", Karlsland continued its aid until after the end of the Second Neuroi War. More on all of this in later chapters. As for the MP18, the ones used by both government forces and Shinta would be locally-built MP18s with box magazines. I originally wanted MP35s but I was told by someone who studies Chinese history that MP18s were more accurate.
The fight between Shinta and "Wan", with the both of them assuming Neuroi-esque forms, is primarily from Space Knight Tekkaman Blade. Even Shinta and "Wan" being brothers is based on how Tekkaman Blade/"D-Boy" and Tekkaman Evil are brothers. Shinta's relation with "Wan" will be explored later.
As for the Fusion Wanderer having a "boost" where it can increase its speed, yes I invented the idea to make it that Mio and her team can reach Hilo. Of course, it also shows how advanced the Fusion Wanderer is compared to aircraft in the 1940s.
Overall, the reason why parts in Hilo are depicted to be an hour behind parts in Midway and/or the Mayflower is because of time zone differences. The Leeward Islands, of which Midway Atoll is a part of, is within UTC-11:00. The main Hawaiian Islands, with Hilo being in Hawaii Island, were within UTC-10:00, thus making Hawaii an hour behind Midway.