AN: It is my little experiment... And it is basically a sidestory to my another story.
THE FALLEN MOON
CHAPTER ONE: SHADOWS OF THE PAST
"Two days ago we lost contact with garrisons stationed on the northern islands," – Amagi put stack of papers on the deck and handed some of them to Souryuu and Shoukaku, the flagships of the Second and Fifth Carrier Divisions of the Sakura Empire. The fox sighed and massaged her temples – "The Admiralty want us to sortie and reclaim our land from the aggressor…"
"Amagi-san, do we know who is so brazen enough to attack the Sakura Empire? Is this Northern Parliament or Eagle Union?" – Souryuu flipped through documents that were handed over to her. Based on reports and civilian witnesses this unknown aggressor was able to destroy all Sakura garrisons on islands at the same time. Aerial reconnaissance managed to get several pictures of rapidly build naval base there.
There were only two nations capable of such decisive operation against the Empire: Eagle Union and Northern Parliament. The former had strong naval fleet and enough cargo vessels to do this if they would put enough forces. The latter, despite lacking strong navy, had considerable military presence in the region and could utilize air force from the continental bases.
Shoukaku looked at the blurred photo. Despite low quality, she managed to identify several features that made her frown – "Maybe they are related to Dragon Empery?" – The kansen on photo was clearly one of the fox kind, similar to Sakura's strongest battleships and battlecruisers.
"No… It is not possible… Dragon Empery has no technology nor industrial capability to build a fleet that could rival ours…" – Amagi calmly pointed out then continued – "Additionally, we managed to intercept their open radio transmissions. Our enemy seems to underestimate us or clearly feel that we are inferior to them."
"Daji?" – The rabbit carrier found translated intercepted message in her own copy of papers and raised her brow – "Based on this, the northern islands currently protected by several mass-produced ships and one battleship, the flagship of the First Assault Carrier Division, Daji."
"What an ominous name for the ship," – Shoukaku shivered and once again looked at the blurred photo. Her mind even imagined a ferocious and maniacal smile on the fox kansen on the picture.
"Yes. I believe that is the second reason that it could not be Dragon Empery?" – Souryuu looked at Amagi who just slightly nodded in return. Dragon Empery would never name any of their ship with such sinister name. Who in his or her right mind could name any ship with the name of demoness that ruined their own country – "Well, name aside… Our enemy is certainly not a simple battleship, at least she is aviation battleship," – It was obvious that part of the enemy rigging looked like flight deck similar to her own. Of course, massive artillery-like turrets behind Daji's back left no doubts that she was a battleship, at least partially.
"I think it is a trap," – The crane felt uncomfortable – "Our enemy performed such precise and synchronized attacks on all our garrisons on the north islands without being detected despite amassing their strike force near our borders… And now we managed to intercept their radio transmissions?"
Amagi agreed with this point. Their new adversary would not make a simple mistake like this. It was obvious invitation them, they even allowed aerial reconnaissance of their movements. Currently they had not enough information to form a proper battle plan. How many kansen their enemy deployed, how many mass-produced ships were there to support them and were there any submarines to hinder the Sakura fleet from the depths of ocean.
"I don't like this," – Shoukaku expressed her opinion.
"I second this…" – Souryuu rummaged in her bag and handed small stack of papers to Amagi – "Hiryuu spotted Siren controlled area around two hundred miles to the south of our coasts two weeks ago. If we are to sortie against this new enemy, we would be vulnerable to any scheming of Sirens. Our homeport could be endangered."
"I know. I have read reports about it," – It was really troublesome. There was quite high probability that enemy included Siren's presence in their plans. Still, Amagi had her orders – "The admiralty requires immediate answer to such bold actions. I can do nothing about this. Higher-ups believe that our strength is enough to deal with "upstarts". While we are away, Nagato-sama would hold Sirens in case of their attack…"
"We?" – Shoukaku asked while looking at Amagi – "How many ships are to be dispatched to this mission?"
The fox sadly smiled – "Not as many as I wanted and too many for my conscience to accept in case we are to be routed. I would lead, both of you and your sisters, Akagi would sortie as well… Ise, Hyuuga and Haruna will provide fire power while Yukikaze will scout ahead. The admiralty wants us to deny air superiority to enemy…"
"So… The plan is to load mostly fighters while our battleships would get closer and plummet enemy kansen in close combat," – Souryuu adjusted her glasses and went on – "Amagi-san, don't you think it would leave us vulnerable to sudden enemy attacks? What about enemy submarines? Yukikaze alone won't be able to deal with two or more…"
The light knocking at the door interrupted their discussion.
"You may enter," – Amagi slightly raised her voice, so it could be clearly heard from other side. It was strange for her to be interrupted during mission briefing so whatever it was, it should be quite important.
"Amagi-sama," – The door opened and the head of Hanazuki popped out – "Eto… You have a guest…"
What kind of guest would require her personal presence? However, before Amagi was able to reply the door was kicked fully opened and all present inside saw a woman adorned in white kimono with blue-and-gold embroidery. Her long silver hair and puffy nine tails of the same color were perfectly groomed and on her face was confident, some could say overbearing smirk – "Yo! Amagi… Long time no see!"
"I am glad to see that you found new home, Kaga," – Amagi politely smiled to her and almost ceremonially pushed teacup toward her old friend. They moved from the briefing room to her personal quarters for more comfortable atmosphere.
"It is good to see that your health improved after refitting, Amagi," – the ex-Sakura Empire battleship took light sip from the teacup. It was nostalgic taste, the one she missed at her new home. She was glad to see old friend after her abrupt leave all those years ago.
Some were not pleased to see her, some were happy to know that she found new home and some, like, Amagi were cautious about her. Considering the circumstances of her visit, the silver fox was not really surprised.
"After you left, the higher-ups were left without any choices and they put a lot of effort and time to turn me and Akagi into the leading force of the Sakura Empire carrier fleet," – This fate was the one Amagi prepared for Kaga, who was better suited for retrofit.
"Well, I was a little desperate that time…" – Kaga smirked. Her desperation got better of her and she left to "die in battle" instead of being scrapped. She entered Siren controlled territory and start the fight she could not win.
"We believed that you had been sunk by Siren forces," – The quiet voice of Amagi was barely recognizable. The Sakura carrier commander remembered her despair and sadness when they got to Kaga's location amidst Siren infested water and only found part of her rigging and ripped flag of Sakura's navy.
"I was rescued by the New United Nations carrier Bifrost," – The ex-Sakura battleship told evenly, without any emotion behind – "Actually, I came here to make a deal…"
"Well, I never had thought that you came to reminiscent about days long gone, Kaga," – All pleasantries aside, Amagi was pragmatic and would not believe that her old friend decided to come after that much time to chat about past. It was obvious for her that this visit somehow related to attack on the northern islands.
"You were always sharp," – A carefree smile appeared on the silver tailed fox – "I joined the New United Nations as Naval Destroyer…" – The teacup was placed to on the table – "Well, putting it aside, the New United Nations want the Sakura Empire to cede some territories…"
"Kaga…" – Amagi steeled her voice while she glared at the fox on other side of the table – "Did you really think that the Sakura Empire would accept that kind of deal?"
Despite the calm facade, Kaga felt that her friend was burning with anger and disappointment. She could understand Amagi but if she failed to persuade her the only future that awaits the Sakura Empire was destruction.
"I just don't want to see my homeland in ruins." – Kaga slowly said with sadness. It took her all she got to persuade the head maid Chang'E, the de-facto leader of the New United Nations to stop one sided beating of the Sakura Navy – "I undertook two deep modernization projects and still was reclassified to Naval Destroyer. New United Nations battleships and battlecruisers are of different level to everything you know, Amagi…"
"We are not weak to accept that kind of ultimatum!" – Amagi put her teacup on the table and looked directly into Kaga's eyes, who glared back.
"You… Of all people saying this… To ME?" – These words were said with opened hatred and disappointment. Despite passed time, Kaga still felt bitter about the reason that forced her to leave her homeland and friends – "The Sakura Empire is WEAK! If the Empire was strong, we would not sign that humiliating treaty and I still would be part of the Imperial Navy!"
"Everything changed, Kaga… Everything changed," – Amagi slightly deflated after the other girl outburst. She understood deep loathing in the words of her old comrade in arms but it didn't mean that she had to accept that kind of a deal.
"Nothing has changed, Amagi… The Empire is WEAK and you know it!" – Kaga continued her cold outrage, she didn't shout but it made her words heavier in return – "If the Sakura Empire accepts this deal, it would become stronger, considerably stronger and get an ally in the New United Nations," – She believed in these words, she believed in her new comrades – "It is a chance for Empire to become strong!"
"And what… The people of the Sakura Empire would need to bow to your new masters!?" – Amagi replied back.
"They would not need to bow, Amagi… At least not in the same manner that your precious leaders forced others!" – Kaga slowly, words by word, continued through her teeth. Unlike Sakura Empire kansen, she was able to witness cruelty of Imperial Army through air surveillance. Firstly, through her new friend Bifrost and later through her own variable fighters – "The Empire would need only to cede territories and execute people from the list…"
"Are you out of your mind, Kaga?" – Why the Sakura Empire should sacrifice her own people to please another nation. Right or wrong, those people are citizens of the Empire and should not be handed over – "You became hypocrite, Kaga... You are talking about alliance and friendship between nations and at the same time ask us to execute our people and give up our territories."
"The Sakura Empire are full of hypocrites as well…" – Kaga snorted after hearing such declaration from Amagi – "The territories that were absorbed by the Empire? Did those people asked to be part of the Empire?" – The white-tailed fox paused for a moment and looked at Amagi – "No, they didn't. We at least give you a chance to join us and form an alliance."
"You sure has changed, Kaga…" – Amagi could not hold her trembling voice. She could not comprehend how… It was hard to believe that the same person, who would be eager to protect the Sakura Empire from foreign forces and Sirens, now proposed for them to became protectorate of another nation. If one was so strong to one-sidedly shove their proposal this way, it would certainly turn the Empire into the protectorate…
"I did not change, Amagi. I still the same… I still believe that only strong have the right to stand on the battlefield…" – Kaga sighed – "Our enemies are not other nations. Our enemies are Sirens. And in comparison to those wretched ones, the Empire is weak…"
"The Sakura Empire is strong!" – Amagi raised her voice and steeled it once again – "We would not follow your new masters in their endeavors!"
Kaga stood up and turned her back to Amagi – "I hope you will think it over… You have time to think it over… I will wait at the same place tonight…" – The girl slowly left the room, leaving Amagi alone.
"Sister, Kaga has left… I heard that you argued with her about something…" – Akagi entered the room and looked at her older sister who hanged her head and started silently cry…
"You have come, Amagi…" – Light waves washed over Kaga's ankles when her old rival and friendly adversary arrived to the appointed place.
"I had thought it over, Kaga…" – Amagi's voice was soft, with a bit of tenderness in it – "The Sakura Navy will not bow its head to your masters…"
"So be it… We should meet each other next time on battlefield. Not as rivals or friends but as mortal enemies…" – Kaga turned to Amagi and bitterly smiled – "Make no mistake… I didn't ask for this deal out of spite toward you, the Admiralty and our corrupted political leaders. I did it not for the Sakura Empire either. What I learned in the New United Nations is that only strong should fight on battlefield. And they should do it in order to protect those who can't…"
"Kaga… I know that the Sakura Empire failed you but… The higher-ups would not accept New United Nations terms," – Amagi once again told her position, the position of the Sakura Empire. After all, it was not a proposal to form an equal alliance; it was an ultimatum to force the Empire to be a junior member in the alliance.
"Lady Daji said that she can wait. Sooner or later, the Sakura Empire would agree to our terms," – Daji was feared even among the natives of the New United Nations, only the maid corps was not afraid of that bloodthirsty battlecruiser. She enjoyed battle but she enjoyed playing with her prey even more this – "She mentioned that she has a lot of free time to play with Imperial Navy."
"Why?" – After brief pause, the Sakura carrier asked the question she was curious about – "Why your superiors want that piece of land?"
Both women stayed silent for a while, looking at each other with complicated feelings.
"Resources… The northern islands had rare resources that are required for the finest weapons of the New United Nations," – Kaga sighed. Those resources were so important that the New United Nations began construction right after they gained foothold there…
"And what about that peninsula…"
"I asked the same question…" – Kaga looked at Amagi – "It seems that Lady Daji's admiral surname was Yi."
Amagi was confused – "So… Kaga, are you telling me that one of New United Nations battleships act like this because she wants to please her commander?"
"No… Not really… It was something that Lady Daji would not do without orders," – All ruthlessness and bloodthirst, Daji was level-headed whenever it needed and followed directives of her admiral to the letter. Kaga shrugged her shoulders and answered unasked question before the Sakura career was able to open her mouth – "And no… I don't know why she received that these orders."
"Putting orders aside… Why did you change so much?" – It was obvious for Amagi that the silver-haired ex-battleship in front of her was not the person she knew in the past.
"You have the right to not believe me, Amagi… But… When I was learning to utilize my new rigging I saw a construction bay…" – Unlike the Sakura Empire, Royal Navy, Eagle Union and other nations construction yards for ships, there were no presence of humans in New United Nation one. Only humanoid machines and flying strange things were there, building a massive gargantuan abomination made of metal and unknown materials – "The New United Nations are preparing to unify the world under one government and they have means to do this. They managed to create something as ridiculous as one and half mile-long battleship, named Daji."
"Do you think I would believe that some backwater nation would be able to build that kind of ship?" - No matter how far from engineering Amagi was, she still had some knowledge about shipbuilding by being a ship herself. Even Royal Navy had no such knowledge… So, how could unknown nation, likely made of refugees, possess that knowledge and industrial capacity?
"I don't know," – There was no way for new member of the navy to get a hold of such classified top secret information.
"Of course, Kaga could not know anything about our technology," – Another melodic voice responded and from the darkness of the night, without any noise appeared another girl. She had no rigging on her but her ability to float slightly above water surface clearly identified her as kansen. Wearing black-and-white maid uniform on par with Royal Navy ones, the newcomer curtsied toward Amagi with a polite smile – "Amagi, I presume… Heard a lot about you from my friend here…"
"Bifrost? What are you doing here?" – Kaga recognized the black haired maid who should be at the Antarctica's base.
"There was a change in orders," - Mischievous spark in Bifrost's eyes surprised the silver-tailed fox – "We are not to force the Sakura Empire into our alliance. We are ordered to eliminate all continental the Sakura Empire ground forces…"
"Eliminate?" – Amagi amusingly asked. Kansen were strong but it was because of their powerful rigging which gave them unparalleled power on the seas. They were not capable to support humans far away from larger water bodies.
"Yes… Like full, total annihilation…" – Bifrost giggled and after brief pause told the Sakura carrier – "No need to look so bewildered… Our little big battleship Daji can efficiently fight on the ground…"
NEW UNITED NATIONS
Determined to unify humanity under one banner this nation went out into the world from their hidden base in the frigid lands of the southern continent. Their numbers are limited but their technology is more than enough to level field in their favor. Their base in depth of everlasting glaciers contains even greater secrets…
Type: Naval Destroyer
Class: Kaga Class
Size: 255 meters
Displacement: Standard - 25.550 metric tons
Power System: Reaction Engine Cluster
Auxiliary Systems: Can be equipped with ODB system.
Armament: 2 x Twin 72 mm RF-72 Converging Cannons, 2 x SCT-6 "Scylla" Torpedo Launchers, 4 x ASHM-320 Missile Launchers, 4 x CIMM-8/96 Micro-Missile Launchers, 24 x RFPL-2 CIWS (Rapid Fire Pulse Laser CIWS), 2 x DCCL "Charybdis"" (Depth Charge Cluster Launcher).
Craft: 4 x Variable Fighters.
Originally a Tosa-class battleship, Kaga was a victim of Naval Treaty signed by the Sakura Empire. Desperate and feeling betrayed by her own nation, she charged deep into Siren controlled territory in order to die like a warrior. After her defeat, unconscious, she had been found by New United Nations Spacy escort carrier Bifrost and was towed to Antarctica base where she was repaired and joined ranks of New United Nations Navy.
To better suit her new nation doctrine, Kaga underwent two deep modernization projects. The first one replaced her hull armor with modern materials, enabling ECA reinforcement. Her engine was changed to standard issued BASTER class Reaction Engine Cluster, additional upgrades increased her top speed to 110 knots. The second modernization took place right after the first one was confirmed successful. All Kaga armaments were removed and replaced with New United Nations standard weapon and auxiliary systems, including sensors and targeting improvements. Based on her displacement and modernization program, Kaga was reclassified from Battleship to Destroyer and became the core member of the New United Nations Navy.