A/N: Well, here's chapter 3 folks. I gotta say, I am rather surprised at how many favorites and followers I'm getting for this fanfic. Considering there are only 10 fanfics, including mine in this entire category I expected to only get a few. But who cares, off to the story!
Disclaimer: See prologue
Chapter 3: We're Having a Match
Daisuke couldn't believe that he was in the seat of one of these again; it had been four years since he ever set foot in one and yet here he was, inside the cockpit of a fighter plane. The last time he was in one, was before his father had died and he had not stepped inside one since. He still flew in other planes, including a couple of airliners, but it was the first time in a long time since he was flying in a fighter and here he was now, trying to get used to the instruments and controls of the Ki-43 that the school had. He was about to go into his first mock dogfight since the last one he had with his father when he was 13 years old. To say he wasn't nervous would be a lie; he was quite nervous, but he allowed years of discipline and training his father gave him to kick in.
One of his father's first rules about flying was to never allow your fear to control how you fly. He had seen pilots grow nervous in planes before and have "crashed and burned" as the saying goes for pilots. Well…crashed, but not burned if anyone took that literally. His father taught him a few breathing techniques to calm himself before takeoff and he was glad he remembered them. But while his concern for his flying was justified, he was more concerned about a certain sandy-haired girl who was getting ready to enter her first mock fight in a tank since she left her old school.
He and the other pilots of Oorai had to load their own planes of the paint rounds given to them by their instructor, Akio Chouno. Normally the plane would be prepped by the ground crews who were responsible for maintenance and overall performance of the plane would load the guns of the plane, but because the other boys in the school's dogfighting class were busy doing thirty laps around the hangar, the pilots had to load the guns themselves. While Daisuke knew how to do it by heart, from all the times he had to load his father's plane, the other pilots knew very little how and were given a crash course in doing it from their instructor.
But seeing as they did need the ground crews, Major Akio decided to give the others a break and allow them to help, much to their relief. He had assigned the ground crews based on who found what plane or at the insistence of the pilot. Daisuke, of course, insisted that his friends Junichi Tomonaga, Toshiro Watanabe, and Goro Suzuki or "Goose" worked on his plane. So, here he was making the final checklists for his takeoff and noticed that the other pilots were doing the same.
"Be careful when you remove those blocks, you guys." He called to Toshiro and Junichi from his cockpit. "I don't want the prop to chop you to pieces."
"Thanks for the comfort!" Toshiro called back sarcastically while loading the last of the paint rounds into Daisuke's forward machine guns.
"You'd better get the engine started, Daisuke." Goose suggested after checking the said engine for any kinks before jumping off. "Major Akio will want you guys ready soon."
"Did you find any problems with the engine, Goose?" Daisuke asked him. "I wouldn't want it to sputter out on me while I'm in the air."
"I checked and double checked everything from the pistons to the fuel injectors," Goose said as he climbed up the wing to talk to Daisuke. "She should be good to go, just start it up."
Daisuke nodded and brought his hand to the engine starter; he made a silent prayer that it worked before flicking it on. It started low at first, but then a sound started to get louder and the propeller started to turn slowly before picking up speed. A few seconds later the distinct sounds of the plane's engine and propeller filled the area like a growl of a tiger; it brought a wide grin to Daisuke's face as it did.
"She's working!" Daisuke shouted over the sound of the engine before letting out a loud laugh and shouted even louder, "She's working!"
This made Junichi, Goose, and Toshiro cheer loudly, but their cheers were slightly drowned out by the plane's engine noise. The other ground crews soon followed as more airplane engines began to roar like a pride if lions across the tarmac. The smell of airplane exhaust began to fill the air as it was expelled from the muffler pipes on the side of the fuselages of the aircrafts. Two of each of the ground crews, including Toshiro and Junichi, grabbed the ropes that would help drag the stopping blocks that prevented the planes from moving the wheels of the landing gear and looked to their respective pilots to await the signal to pull them.
Daisuke took the headpiece containing his microphone and radio receiver and plugged it in before placing it on his head to listen for Major Akio's instructions. Before he did, he saw the girls leave with their tanks while waving goodbye from the hatches. Daisuke saw the Panzer IV slowly exit the hangar and saw Miho from the right hatch. As if sensing his eyes on her, she turned her head towards his plane, smiled, and waved at him. He smiled and waved back before giving her a thumb's up; the boys did the same as they watched the girls leave.
"Alright gentlemen," Major Akio's voice came in from his Mitsubishi F-2 model F-16 fighter over the radio. "Now that the ladies are off, it's time for us to get going. You all have clearance for takeoff so as soon as you tell your ground crews to release your stopping blocks, close and lock your canopies and prepare for takeoff. Once you're in the air, you are to fly off in different directions until I give the signal to begin." He instructed them. "The fight ends once everyone is out of paint rounds; to acknowledge you are out you are to radio me and say 'ammo depleted' or something along the same lines, understood?"
"Roger." The answer came from all four pilots, including Daisuke.
"All right then; begin takeoff procedures."
Daisuke poked his hand out to Junichi and Toshiro and waved them to clear out. They nodded and pulled the ropes holding the stopping blocks away from his plane's landing gear and his plane slowly began to taxi away from the hangar and towards the runway. The other ground crews followed his friends' example and did the same with the other planes. As soon as they began to move, Daisuke slid his cockpit canopy closed and locked it shut, muffling the sound of the propeller inside the cockpit. As he continued to taxi, he saw his friends waving at him and giving him thumbs up each as though wishing him good luck; he returned the gesture and made his way to the runway just as he saw the Major's fighter take off at high speed into the air.
'This is it,' Daisuke thought to himself as he brought the wing flaps down. 'Time to re-polish my dogfighting skills.'
He reached the end of the runway and slowly turned his plane towards the other end. With a heavy sigh, he eased the throttle forward. The sound of the engine grew louder and the propeller spun faster, almost becoming invisible at the speed it was moving and then his plane began to move down the runway at steadily increasing speeds. Daisuke felt the tail end of the plane start to lift off from the ground along with the landing gear. A moment later, his wheels were finally off the ground, and he was in the air.
From the ground, everyone in both the dogfighting and tankery classes watched as Daisuke's plane took off from the ground like a bird in awe. One girl in particular kept her eyes trained on the green painted fighter that took off first. The other girls in the Panzer IV also kept their eyes on it as its landing gear and flaps were slowly retracted into the wings.
"Good luck, Daisuke-kun." Miho whispered as the plane flew out of sight.
Minutes passed and Daisuke had already flown towards the west as soon as he had gained enough altitude to see the town warship was about the size his hand from how high up he was. He took a moment to look around him from the bubble canopy that protected him from the cold, fast moving air around his plane and couldn't help but feel amazed. All around him was a blue sky, clouds as far as the eye can see, and a vast blue ocean that was as vast as the sky above him. It was one of the things he missed about flying; no matter how many times he sees it from other airplanes, it still amazes him at how small everything seemed from how high up he was.
He was taken out of his amazement as his radio crackled and Major Akio's voice came through. "Alright gentlemen, the girls have started their mock fight, so I think it's time you began yours. Remember, as soon as you are out of rounds you are out of the fight. Good hunting!"
With that said, Daisuke eased his control yoke towards the opposite direction he just came from and began scanning the skies for anything that looked like either a Zero, a Wildcat, or an Fw-190.
Back at the hangar, the ground crews had decided to watch all the action from the same watchtower where Captain Ami Chouno, Major Akio Chouno's wife and the girls' instructor, watched the girls head for their starting points she had indicated to them on the map. She cheerfully greeted the boys just as they managed to reach the top of the tower, almost collapsing as they did so. She then turned her attention back to the girls just as they had all arrived at their designated starting points before taking a radio microphone out.
"Well it looks like you've all arrived at your starting points." She said to the girls as a whole. "Now the rules are simple: you must knock out all other tanks. In other words, shoot up a storm and take out your opponents. Got it?"
"Kinda." Anzu Kadotani replied with a laugh.
"That's not something I want to hear from you madam president." Yuzu Koyama's voice mumbled to her.
"Tankery starts with a bow and ends with a bow." Ami said into the radio. "All participants bow…" Though they couldn't see them from where they were, the boys could tell that they all complied with her instructions. "Now let the match begin!" She announced before switching frequencies and spoke into it again. "Major, the girls have begun their match; I believe the boys can start theirs."
"Understood," Major Akio's voice replied. "I'll have them start right away."
"Uh…Captain?" Goose timidly asked, gaining the woman's attention. "How will we watch the guys fight?"
Her reply to him was with a smile. "Not to worry, given how dogfights are, I'm sure they will start to end up flying down here sooner or later."
The boys all looked at each other in confusion before they made a collective jump as they heard a loud booming sound in the distance.
"What was that?!" Toshiro cried as he looked to where the sound came from, as did the others.
Ami smiled and brought her binoculars up to her eyes. "That was the sound of a tank's main gun firing."
Miho and her team had difficulty deciding who would do what inside their tank, so Saori suggested that they drew lots to decide. Since there were four of them, and the Panzer IV required a five-person crew, one of them would have to double as the radio operator while the others did their chosen duties. Miho was the loader, Saori was the commander, Yukari was the gunner (much to her delight), and Hana was the driver.
Their start to get their tank moving wasn't easy as Hana had difficulty moving the gear and easing off the clutch at the same time; in fact, before they left the hangar Hana accidentally put the tank in reverse and they almost hit the other end of the hangar before Hana corrected herself. Saori wasn't fairing any better as she didn't know how to instruct Hana on where to turn. Thankfully, Miho was there and she told Saori that tank commanders usually kick their drivers to the direction they want the tank to go. But Saori didn't like the idea of kicking Hana, but Hana insisted that she would do so; unfortunately this made Saori kick her hard and Hana asked her to do it softly next time.
Some of the other girls weren't having much luck either. The group of first years didn't know the first thing about operating a tank so they texted some of their friends to ask for help; after a few useless replies, one of their friends came through and told them how to do it. The girls operating the Type 89B were once part of the school's now defunct volleyball club and like the group of first years they knew nothing about tanks; their driver kept running into trees and they kept making volleyball terminologies as though it applied to tanks. The only teams who seemed to know what they were doing were the student council team in the 38 (t) and the team in the STuG III.
Thankfully, after much trial and error, each of the five teams made it to their designated starting points. Once they had done so, Captain Ami had given them the overall rules of the match. It was basically a free-for-all battle until only one tank remained. It sounded simple, but the fact that it was a free-for-all didn't mean that the other teams couldn't gang up on another team.
"Time to start attacking!" Yukari said, catching their team's attention. "You wanna practice shooting?"
"Uhh, we can't just start shooting randomly." Miho nervously protested, waving a hand to Yukari.
"You wanna take out the student council first?" Saori asked causing Miho to look at her questionably. Saori then crossed her arms and looked rather grumpy. "Our instructor turned out to be a woman, a married one at that." Her face contorted into a frown. "Then the boys' instructor shows up and he's a total hotty!" She then looked as though she was about to cry. "And the worst part is: he's married to our instructor!"
"You're still going on about that?" Hana questioned her as though she were nuts.
Saori then turned to Miho with a grin. "I can make the decisions here, right? I'm the tank commander."
"Uh…yeah." Miho nodded uncertainly.
Saori then winked at her and said, "Besides, we owe them for dragging you and Daisuke into this when you didn't want to." This made Miho gasp and turn away with a blush, making Saori grin in triumph. She then turned towards the front of the tank and brought her hand out. "Right then, let's head to where the student council's team is!" She then turned back to Miho with an uncertain smile. "Where exactly is that, by the way?"
But before Miho could make any sort of response…
A loud explosion rocked their tank making them all scream in surprise.
"What was that!?" Saori shouted while holding onto he rim of the top hatch.
Miho opened her hatch and looked around to see where the explosion came from. Sure enough, there was a small impact crater just inches away from their rear treads still smoking from impact. The crater was small enough to tell Miho that it came from a tank with a 57mm cannon shell; and there were only one tank among them that had that kind of ammunition. After another look around, she saw where the shot had come from. The Type 89B was a few meters away with its smoking main gun aimed right at them!
Inside the said tank, the girls of the former volleyball club were rather dumbstruck at the sound of the tank's main cannon.
"That was loud." Shinobu Kawashini, the team's driver commented.
"You could feel it in the air." Taeko Kondou, the team's radio operator agreed.
"I want to hit a spike like that." Akebi Sasaki, the team's gunner said, still gaping at the shot she made.
While they were talking, Noriko Isobe, the team's loader and commander had reloaded the main gun with another shell and said, "We'll go after the A team in the Panzer IV first!"
"I'm scared, let's get the hell out of here!" Saori cried out in fear.
As if to answer her pleas, Hana switched gears and pressed down on the gas pedal and their tank drove off just barely avoiding another shell from the Type 89B as it fired again. Wanting to see around them, Saori poked her head out of the top hatch and saw something that caused her stomach to turn. In front of them was a fork in the road…with the STuG III heading towards them from the left side of the fork aiming its cannon right at them.
Inside the StuG, the commander of the team, who dressed with an old German army officer's cap and trench coat, was looking through the tank's periscope directly at the Panzer IV. Her name was Satoko Matsumoto, but she went by the nickname Erwin after Erwin Rommel. Next to her, the team's loader Takako Suzuki, or Caesar as she preferred to be known as, had just loaded their first shell into the main gun. If one were to ask if she and Goose were related due to them having the same last name, they would deny it of course since Suzuki was a very common surname in Japan. The Team's driver, a bespectacled girl named Takeko Nogami or Oryou as she referred to herself as, was keeping the tank's chassis aimed at the Panzer IV as it came into view. The team's gunner, Kiyomi Sugimiya or Saemonza as she was nicknamed, grinned as she looked through the scope at her target.
"There's our prey!" Caesar exclaimed joyfully.
"O Great God of Arms, I beseech your aid against my enemy." Oryou said in a prayer.
Earlier they had heard the Type 89B and spotted it attacking the Panzer IV. They agreed to take it out first with them silently and now their target was in their sights just ripe for the picking.
Inside the Panzer IV, Hana was growing nervous herself.
"What should I do?" She asked Saori, not turning her eyes away from the opening in front of her.
"They've got us trapped!" Saori cried and then pointed to the right side of the fork. "Let's go that way!"
"I can't hear you!" Hana cried before she felt Saori kick her right shoulder signaling her to turn right.
"Take the right fork!"
Hana did so and the tank took the turn just as two more cannon shells were fired at them. Miho was still looking ahead from her hatch, wincing as the shells kicked up dirt and dust from their impact. She then saw something in front of them; or rather, someone! There was another female student lying down by a tree stump with a book covering their face as though they were sleeping.
A mixture of fear and confusion ran through Miho's mind as she wondered where this student came from and what were they doing in the middle of the meadow where they were having their mock battle? But that didn't matter at the moment, right now Miho was more concerned about her safety.
"Look out!" She cried out, hoping the girl heard her.
Back in the skies, Daisuke had been flying around for almost five minutes. He had been swiveling his head around, scanning the sky for anything that looks remotely like an airplane with a propeller engine. So far, no such luck.
'Okay,' Daisuke thought to himself as he continued to look around while keeping an eye on his instruments. 'Depending on who I see first will be my target, the same thing applies to them if they see me. The question is, who will it be?' His face contorted into a scowl as he already had one person in mind. 'Personally, I hope it's Sugita-kaichou; I owe him for dragging me and Miho into this and he owes me answers.' Daisuke then thought back to that day when he and Miho were called to the student council room and remembered how they pressured the two of them into taking the Tankery and Dogfighting classes when neither of them wanted to; he remembered the conversation he had after they had dismissed them when he decided to stay behind and question them.
"You comin' Daisuke?" Toshiro had asked him as they left the room.
"You guys go on ahead," Daisuke answered him, not bothering to look back. "I'll catch up with you later."
"Okay man," Toshiro said with a nod before leaving and closing the door.
The fact that he was staying behind confused the student council as Yoshi asked him, "Is there something else Nishizawa-kun?"
Daisuke narrowed his eyes at them. "I told you that I wanted answers, and I am going to get them."
Anzu quirked her eyebrow at him. "And what answers would that be, Nishizawa-kun?"
"Why did you force us into this?" Daisuke said with a determined look on his face. "I'm sure there are other people you could've hired to teach everyone into these classes, but why were you so adamant about me and Miho joining those classes?"
"We simply needed yours and Nishizumi-chan's experience in those classes." Yoshi shrugged dismissively. "Isn't that reason enough?"
"The hell it isn't!" Daisuke snapped, his face scowling at them ignoring Hayao and Yuzu jumping in surprise. "I told you that neither of us wanted to join these classes and then you go and blackmail us with the threat of expulsion if we didn't agree! I haven't had a dogfight in a long time so my experience isn't that great anymore, and I know you have gone through my records to look up my heritage and I doubt that is the reason for this! I only agreed to join for Miho's sake, not yours!" His eyes narrowed into slits as he glared at them defiantly. "So I ask again, why?"
"Our reasons are our own concern, Nishizawa-san." Momo answered him plainly, unaffected by his tone.
"All you need to know is what we just told you." Takeo added in the same tone as Mako.
"That's not good enough!" Daisuke argued again.
"I would suggest you watch your tone, Nishizawa." Yoshi warned him with a serious look, dropping the 'kun' suffix he had put on Daisuke's last name with a level tone. "If you continue to act in this manner we will put you on suspension."
Daisuke gritted his teeth and growled silently, his fist shaking at his side. He took a deep breath to calm himself slightly before looking back at them, his scowl not leaving his face.
"I will get my answers from you one way or another," He warned them in a low voice. "Mark my words, I will get them." With that he turned around and left with a light slam of the door.
Needless to say, the student council had grown weary of him ever since then. But Daisuke had decided to play it cool for now and not seek his answers for the time being. But that didn't mean he didn't want to let out his frustration on one of them; and since Yoshi was piloting the Zero, he had his chance to do so. That is, if he could find it.
'Why were they so desperate to have me and Miho-chan join the Tankery and Dogfighting classes?' He asked to himself, turning his attention in front of him. 'Could it have something to do with what Koyama-fuku Kaichou said?'
PING! PING! PING!
He was taken out of his thoughts as he felt his plane jolt from the sudden impact of something hitting it. Turning his head and saw fresh splotches of black paint on the right wing oozing from having been splattered onto it. He quickly swiveled his head to look at his seven o'clock and saw the distinct outline of a Focke-Wulf Fw-190 on his tail. It was Fredrick Goering, he had spotted Daisuke and fired a burst from his MG 131 machine guns at him while he was distracted and landed a couple of hits on his wing.
Fredrick smirked from inside his cockpit as he placed his crosshairs over his target.
"You should be paying more attention to your surroundings, Herr Nishizawa." He taunted his opponent as he fired another burst.
Daisuke immediately pulled his stick to the right and turned into Fredrick's attack, just barely avoiding the tracers that zoomed past his plane. Fredrick gave chase, continuing to get a bead on him. Daisuke jinked is plane hard left, pulled back on the throttle, and turned his rudder so that his plane would turn left sharply. The action worked as his plane sharply spun left just as Fredrick fired another burst. His Hayabusa now faced the Fw-190 and Daisuke saw that it was now in his sights. Pressing the trigger on his control stick, he fired a burst from his own machine guns just mounted behind the propeller.
Tracers screamed across the sky and struck the underside of Fredrick's plane leaving behind splotches of green paint where his paint rounds impacted. But before Daisuke could revel in this victory, more tracers zoomed past his cockpit from the right. Looking to where they came from, he saw Johnny Doolittle's F4F Wildcat streaking towards him, firing another burst from two of his six .50 Caliber machine guns at him. Daisuke turned again to the right into Johnny's attack; now both planes were head to head and firing off bursts from their weapons at each other. Daisuke wasn't sure if any of his rounds hit, but he knew that the Wildcat's shots struck his plane or at least one of them did as a few tiny splotches of blue paint splattered against his windshield. The round must have impacted in the middle of his propeller. But Daisuke adjusted his aim and fired again, this time landing a clean hit across the F4F's fuselage right before the two planes zoomed past each other.
Daisuke craned his head back to follow Johnny, but spotted Fredrick turning to get on his tail again. Looking ahead to change direction, Daisuke spotted a glimmer of white ahead of him and the outline of an A6M Zero flying at him and firing a burst from its 7.7mm machine guns. It was Yoshi, he must have spotted the furball and decided to join in. Daisuke came to the distinct conclusion that he had hoped would not happen.
'They're all going for me!'
Back on the ship, Miho had just warned the girl in front of their tank. To her surprise, the girl got up and then jumped onto the tank and tripping to look at them. Miho was again surprised as she recognized the girl from earlier that morning. While it was true, she had overslept that morning and that was part of the reason why she was late; she had another reason for being late. On her way to school, she had come across this girl as she was barely walking towards school herself and grumbling something about life being a waste.
"You're the girl from this morning…" Miho said as the top hatch opened for Saori to see who had climbed up on their tank.
"Oh, it's Mako." Saori said, a little shocked to see the girl.
"Saori." The girl now known as Mako said plainly.
"Are you two friends?" Miho asked her, looking in between the two girls.
"Yeah," Saori answered with a nod. "We've known each other for a while." She then turned to Mako with a frown. "What are you doing out here anyway? We're in the middle of class."
"I know." Mako said making Saori sigh in frustration.
Just then another shell struck the ground behind their tank, making the three of them shield themselves instinctively.
Miho then turned to her and said quickly, "It's dangerous out here, so get inside!"
With that, the three of them entered the tank and closed their respective hatches. Once inside, Mako sat down close to Yukari's lap and then allowed her head to list backwards.
"There's not much oxygen in here…" She said weakly, almost looking like she was about to pass out.
"Are you okay?" Yukari asked worriedly at the girl she was holding.
"Mako has low blood pressure." Saori told her.
"She didn't seem to be doing very well this morning, either." Miho said with a sheepish smile.
"Huh? You met her?" Saori asked in surprise and Miho answered with a nod. "So that's why you were late."
Mako then turned her eyes to Miho and asked tonelessly, "So, where's that boyfriend of yours?"
Miho gasped and waved her hands at Mako with a blush that threatened to cover her whole body. "H-he's not my boyfriend!"
"Ooh? A boyfriend?" Saori echoed with a catlike grin. "Who is it, is it Daisuke?"
"Ahh!" Miho looked at Saori with wide eyes and her blush grew even deeper, making Saori's grin even wider.
"I knew it!" Saori called in triumph, but her triumph didn't last as a couple of more shots struck around them making her cover her ears and yell, "I've had enough! What should we do!?"
Miho opened her hatch and looked out ahead of them. They were coming up to a bridge suspended across a wide and deep creek. While there were wooden planks underneath it, there were some metallic tracks for tanks to drive across. But the bridge was also very narrow, one wrong move and the bridge would collapse, with them on it. Miho knew what she had to do.
"Stop the tank!" Miho called just as they came right up to the bridge itself. She then hopped out of the bridge and ran up to the bridge. The others, minus Mako, popped their heads out of their own hatches and watched her.
"It's dangerous to be out here right now!" Yukari warned her.
"We've got time before they fire another round, so I'll be fine!" Miho reassured her as she observed the bridge.
It was built with steel girders and steel cables. It was sectioned so that wind could pass through it and not cause any trouble. But as stated, if not properly guided, the bridge would be the end of them. So Miho ran out onto the bridge and turned towards the Panzer.
"Move forward, but move slowly!" Miho called out, and gestured Hana with her hands.
Hana to slowly eased the tank onto the bridge and followed Miho's gestures. But the gestures seemed to confuse Hana as they came close to the middle of the bridge. She had difficulty steering the tank and she ended up turning towards one of the suspension cables and struck it. The tank's treads continued to spin, causing sparks to fly out before they cut the cable and the bridge began to list with the weight of the tank, making the girls cry out in fear.
"We're gonna fall!" Hana cried fearfully, trying to regain control.
"I hate this!" Saori cried, desperately holding onto the rim of the top hatch.
Behind them, the StuG III had caught up and remained off the bridge, aiming its cannon right at the rear of the Panzer.
The StuG fired and the shell struck the Panzer IV, pushing it out of the way of where the cut cable was, inadvertently saving it and Miho's team from falling. The girls cried out in surprise as the round hit them, making them duck back into the tank. When it was over, Saori and Yukari poked their heads out but then Saori saw something that made her blood cold.
"Isuzu-dono!" Yukari cried as she too saw her.
"Hana, are you alright!?" Saori cried as she saw her friend with her head tilted to the side.
The impact had caused Hana to bump her head onto the tank's armor knocking her out.
"Our driver is knocked out!" Yukari called as Miho ran back up to the tank. "We're sitting ducks!"
Daisuke grunted as he made another sharp turn to avoid another burst of gunfire from one of his opponents behind him. He didn't know how it happened, but just after Yoshi had joined the fray, all three of the other Oorai planes had gotten on his tail, putting Daisuke on the defensive. A few rounds from Yoshi's machine guns did hit his plane's left wing so now his plane had splotches of blue, black, and white paint all over. If not for his adrenaline, Daisuke would be having paint all over the plane's fuselage and cockpit.
He had made all kinds of crazy maneuvers to get them off his tail, from a split S, to barrel rolls, to even the stunt he had pulled earlier. But they were stubborn, but they also knew that they had limited amount of bullets so they only fired short bursts so that they wouldn't run out so quickly. Daisuke had only fired three bursts at them so far and now he was down to 100 rounds in each of his two machine guns. The others, however, had to be running low on bullets faster than him since they were the aggressors.
"I've got no choice," He said to himself, gripping his control stick tightly. "I've gotta take this fight close to the deck!" With that, he pushed the stick forward and his plane dove towards the ship with the other three planes right behind him.
He jinked from side to side so that if they fired more shots at him, he wouldn't give them the benefit of an easy target. He was lucky he did so, Yoshi had fired another burst from his machine guns as they continued their descent. The deck of the school warship grew bigger as his altimeter ticked away at his altitude. He just had to time this right, otherwise he would crash.
From the watchtower, the boys had observed the whole mock fight the girls were having. From the opening shots to the point where Miho's Panzer had reached the bridge. Toshiro, Junichi, and Goose had worried looks on their face as they continued to watch.
"Oh man, this is bad!" Toshiro shouted gripping his hair. "They're both going after Miho's team! They're not even bothering with each other!"
"I agree," Junichi said calmly, but still looking very worried. "But I'm more concerned about that bridge."
"Yeah," Goose nodded, gripping the railing tightly. "If they don't get off of it soon they might not be able to make it."
"I don't think they will be able to, Suzuki-kun." Captain Ami said, getting everyone's attention. "From the looks of it, the 38 (t) and the M3 will both be joining the attack soon from the other side of the bridge."
"That's not fair!" Toshiro called out angrily. "Four against one? I mean, c'mon!"
"I didn't say that no one could team up against another tank, did I?" Ami chided him playfully.
"Hey, does anyone hear that?" One of the other boys said, looking around.
"Hear what?" Another asked him, but then they quieted down to listen.
From the distance it sounded like low buzzing sound; but it grew louder as though it were getting closer. They could also hear the distinct sound of something heavy coming down from the sky mixing in with the buzzing. They all jumped as Ami's radio crackled to life.
"Captain Ami, come in." Major Akio's voice said, prompting her to grab her microphone.
"Go ahead, Major." She said into the mic.
"Eyes on the sky," He replied in a warning. "The boys are coming down to the deck with Nishizawa leading the pack."
"What does that mean?" Hayao asked, unfamiliar with terms like that.
"It means that Daisuke is diving down towards the ship with the others on his tail." Goose clarified, turning his attention towards the sky with a hand over his eyes; the other boys soon followed.
Suddenly, Toshiro stopped looking and pointed towards something. "There!"
Everyone, including Captain Ami looked to where Toshiro was pointing and saw a group of specks in the distance. Ami brought her binoculars up and confirmed her husband's words. Daisuke's Hayabusa was being chased towards the ship with the Wildcat, the Fw-190, and the Zero hot on his tail.
Daisuke knew it was now or never, because if he didn't pull up he would crash into the ground of the ship. So with that he pulled back on the stick and his plane began to level itself. The G forces pushed Daisuke into his seat, almost causing him to blackout from the blood leaving his head. But after a few seconds, his plane leveled out and he was now several meters above the ground zooming past the trees of the school's forest. As soon as the blood began to rush back to his head, Daisuke looked behind him and saw that the other planes had also pulled up, albeit higher than him. The Zero and the Fw-190 fired another burst each at him, but Daisuke barrel rolled to avoid the shots before straightening out and flying towards the very same creek Miho and the others were fighting at.
The girls had managed to pull Hana out of the driver's seat and into the radio operator's seat as gently as possible. It wasn't easy, but they managed to do it without hurting her. But now they had another problem; with Hana knocked out they didn't have a driver and that made them an easy target for the other tanks. But they didn't realize that Mako was looking at the driver's seat quite intently.
"I'm really bad at driving a tank," Miho said with a sigh. "But I've got to do it."
But before she could get to the driver's seat, the tank suddenly moved causing the girls to jump in surprise. The tank then backed up away from where it had cut some of the support cables and straightens itself out on the bridge. The girls looked to see who was driving and to their surprise it was Mako. She was in the driver's seat driving the tank and reading the instruction manual at the same time.
"Mako, you can drive?" Saori asked her eyes wide in surprise.
"I just learned now." Mako answered plainly.
"Just now!?" Yukari asked in surprise.
"There's a reason she's top of the class." Saori commented with a relieved smile.
The tank continued to reverse just as the Type 89B fired its machine gun at their tank. The bullets simply ricocheted off the armor harmlessly. The StuG III and the Type 89B had not given up their efforts to take them down. But up ahead of them, the M3 Lee and the 38 (t) were traveling along the road that led to the bridge they were on. Like the other two teams, they agreed silently to take out the Panzer IV first.
"We're going backwards!" Saori cried out.
"I know." Mako replied.
Mako then adjusted the tank's drive and the tank began to move forward again, just as both the StuG and the Type 89 fired their cannons again and hit the bridge in front of them creating a smokescreen in front of the Panzer IV. The impact shook the tank a little and it in turned woke Hana up with a jolt.
"Are you okay?" Miho asked her in concern.
"Yes," Hana answered and then looked down shamefully. "I'm so sorry."
"Don't worry about it," Miho shook her head. "Just rest for a while." She then turned to Yukari. "Akiyama-san, rotate the turret."
"You got it!" Yukari replied as she began to rotate the tank's main gun towards the StuG III since it was the bigger threat.
"Hurry up and rotate it!" Saori cried frightfully as she watched from one of the observation holes near the top hatch. She then looked back at Yukari and said, "Shoot them before they shoot us!"
"Right!" Yukari answered just as the turret was aimed perfectly at the StuG.
"Prepare to fire!" Miho called out, prompting Mako to stop the tank. After a few tense moments, Miho then gave the order. "Fire!"
Yukari pulled the trigger and with a loud "thud" the main cannon for their Panzer fired the pre-loaded shell that they had loaded just before the match started. The recoil mechanism pulled back and expelled the shell casing harmlessly behind them. The shell they fired flew straight and true and struck the StuG III just inches to the right of the barrel of its main gun. The impact was strong enough that it damaged the tank destroyer to the point where a small hatch containing a white flag popped out indicating that it was out of the match. Smoke from the shot had filled the inside of the tank leaving the smell of gunpowder in their noses. But at the moment, the girls, minus Miho, were gobsmacked from what had just happened; even Mako was now wide eyed for the first time since Miho had met her.
"Wow…" Saori said in amazement while Miho reloaded the gun with another shell.
"My ears are ringing." Yukari said in shock.
"That actually felt…good." Hana said while hugging her chest with a twinge of pink coloring her cheeks.
From the watchtower, the boys had seen the shot as well and were quite surprised that the Panzer IV scored the first kill with the first shot it actually fired during the whole match. They were quite surprised that after Daisuke had brought the dogfight down towards the ground and were now flying towards the fight the girls were having with the other three planes firing their weapons at him. They then turned their attention back to the girls and were surprised that the Panzer IV had gotten back on its feet, so to speak, and finally return fire against the StuG III and take it out with just one shot.
"A good hit," Ami said watching through her binoculars. "C Team is out of the match!"
"Alright!" Toshiro cheered as he and Goose shared a high five from their victory. "One shot one kill baby!"
Junichi, however, was not celebrating. "Don't start cheering too soon; they still have the other tanks to deal with."
Back with the girls, Miho turned to Yukari and said, "We'll take out the Type 89 next."
"Right!" Yukari nodded to her before returning to the sights of the main gun and readjusted her aim.
In the Type 89, the volleyball girls were starting to panic.
"They're turning around!" Noriko shouted. "Formation B!"
"Right!" The rest of her team answered her and fired another round towards the Panzer IV.
But the round flew harmlessly above the Panzer and their target returned fire. The shot hit dead center of the Type 89's front armor shaking the girls inside around. The damage was enough that a white flag similar to the one that popped out of the StuG III popped out indicating it was unable to continue fighting. On the other side of the bridge the 38 (t) and the M3 Lee had just arrived and were now training their weapons on Miho's tank. They didn't escape Saori's notice as she saw the tanks coming.
"Here come the others!" She gasped, prompting Yukari to turn the tank's turret at them.
From inside the 38 (t), Momo Kawashima was grinning menacingly as she had the tank's sights aimed straight at the Panzer IV.
"Fufufu…This is where you die." She said gleefully as she kept her sights set on her target.
A few seconds later, both tanks fired at the same time. But while the 38 (t)'s shot missed and cut another support cable, the Panzer's shot struck home and took the 38 (t) out, prompting it's surrender flag to pop out. Inside the same tank, only Momo was shaken up from the hit, but all three of the girls' student council girls were now dirty from the impact.
"Well, they got us." Anzu said nonchalantly with her hands folded behind her head.
"Momo-chan, you had to miss didn't you?" Yuzu said with a sheepish smile to the said girl, who was fuming from their loss.
"Don't call me 'Momo-chan!'" She yelled, shaking her fists.
Inside the M3 Lee, the first year girls had just witnessed Miho's tank take out all three of the other tanks with one shot each.
"Nishizumi-san is strong!"
"Let's run away!"
They tried turning their tank, but the treads suddenly got stuck in a patch of mud. The team's driver, Karina Sakaguchi sped the tank's treads, but it only made it sink deeper into the mud patch. It covered the right tread in so much mud that it jammed and snapped in half and overheated the engine, prompting the white flag of their tank to pop out. With that, all four of the other tanks were defeated, leaving only the Panzer IV still standing.
"D Team, M3," Ami's voice over the radio announced. "E Team, 38 (t), B Team, Type 89B, C Team, StuG III, all are unable to fight. The A Team in the Panzer IV wins!"
The girls all opened their hatches and looked out to inspect their work.
"We…we won?" Saori said, blinking her eyes in surprise.
"It looks that way…" Hana said in the same tone.
"Yeah!" Yukari shouted as she wrapped a surprised Miho in a bone crushing hug. "Nishizumi-dono got us here!"
"All teams are to remain in their tanks for the time being." Ami said causing everyone in the tanks to blink in confusion. "The boys' fighter planes are currently heading in your direction with the Zero, the Fw-190, and the Wildcat with their weapons firing at the Hayabusa."
"What?" Saori cried in shock. "You mean they're ganging up on Daisuke just as the others ganged up on us!?"
"I hear them…" Mako said suddenly, prompting the girls to be quiet.
Sure enough they heard the distinct sound of airplane engines coming towards them along with the sound of gunfire. All tank crews turned their attention to the left of the bridge and sure enough, they saw them. All four of the Oorai planes were flying towards them with the Ki-43 flown by Daisuke leading them with the A6M Zero, the F4F Wildcat, the Fw-190 all in hot pursuit and each of them firing bursts from their machine guns at him.
"Back in the tank!" Miho cried prompting the girls the duck back into their tank just as a few of the paint rounds struck the bridge coating splotches of blue, white, and black paint all over it.
Seconds later, the Ki-43 zoomed just meters above the bridge causing it to sway slightly from the tailwind making the girls inside the Panzer to scream in surprise. The other three planes zoomed after just over the other tanks creating the same wind to blow past the girls and it even knocked Erwin's hat to fly off. After it was all over, Momo suddenly popped out of the top hatch of the 38 (t) and shook her fist at them.
"HEY YA LOUSY FIGHTER JOCKS," She shouted at them. "WATCH WHERE YOU'RE FLYING!"
Daisuke grunted as he continued to pull all the stops to avoid more gunfire from the other planes. He had managed to fly low enough that he could see some of the action below, but managed to stay far away enough to see Miho's tank take out the last of the tanks just as the others had seen him. When he saw the bullets from the other planes fly past him and hit the bridge he was flying towards, Daisuke immediately pulled up so that they couldn't fire at them again. But this was starting to frustrate him.
"C'mon," He scowled at the planes behind him. "They've got to run out of ammo some time!"
Inside their planes, Yoshi, Fredrick, and Johnny were all training their weapons on Daisuke's plane one last time, hoping to end the fight once and for all.
"I've got you now, Herr Nishizawa." Fredrick grinned as he pulled the trigger for his weapons.
"Sorry, pal, nothing personal." Johnny apologized as he pulled the trigger for his machine guns.
"This is it for you, Nishizawa-kun." Yoshi said with a grin as he pressed his firing trigger.
But nothing happened with either plane. Surprised, all three of them tried firing again, but nothing was coming out. They had wasted all of their bullets in giving chase to Daisuke.
"NOW!" Daisuke shouted as he suddenly opened up his plane's brakes, pulled back on the throttle lowering his speed, and pulled back allowing him to climb slightly just as the other planes zoomed past him. He then punched his speed back up, closed the brakes, and aimed his plane at the three pursuers and fired.
The paint bullets from his plane shot out and zoomed at all three planes as he adjusted his plane so that they would hit them all. Sure enough, green splotches of paint began to coat all three aircraft especially the Zero. Daisuke just kept firing until all remaining bullets in his plane had been fired. When it was all over, almost all four planes were just covered in different coats of paint, but the color that seemed to be the most dominant was green.
Daisuke then brought his radio to his mouth and said, "Ki-43, ammo depleted."
"Fw-190, ammunition depleted." Fredrick followed in a disappointed tone.
"F4F Wildcat, ammo depleted." Johnny said tonelessly.
"A6M Zero, ammo depleted." Yoshi added with a more dismissive tone.
"Confirmed," Major Akio's voice sounded over the radio. "All aircraft return to base."
Almost a half hour later, all the girls were told to leave their tanks and return to the hangar just as the boys landed their planes. Then they taxied up to the hangar, they were greeted by their respective teams commenting them on their flying. But Daisuke was greeted with Toshiro grabbing him in a headlock and giving him a noogie while Goose patted him on the back and Junichi simply said congratulations to him. They then met with Miho's team and were introduced to Mako, whose full name was Mako Reizei; she was the girl Miho was dragging to the school that morning and had asked if he was Miho's boyfriend, which they both denied. They were all then told to line up just as Major Akio had arrived and stood in front of the classes with Captain Ami.
"Everyone, you did a good job! Very nice!" Ami said with giving them all a thumb's up.
"And gentlemen, you all did quite well in that dogfight." Akio said giving them a grin of his own. "I've seen plenty of pilots pull some crazy stunts, but that was just fantastic."
"We couldn't have asked more of you since you all moved and shot so well on your first try." Ami said to all of them before turning to Daisuke, and Miho's team. "Especially Team A and Nishizawa-kun." Her comment took them by surprise. "Good job, all of you." Everyone in Miho's team but her and Daisuke seemed to bask in the praise from their instructor.
"All you need to do now is practice your flying, your moving, and your shooting every day." Akio said to them all. "If there's something you don't know, don't hesitate to send us an e-mail.
"Everyone, bow!" Anzu called to them.
"Thank you so much!" All of the students said with a bow, which their instructors returned with a salute.
"Dismissed!" Momo called out and the students began to disperse.
As the students began to leave, Ami and Akio couldn't help but watch Daisuke and Miho in particular. Akio couldn't help but feel a twinge of sadness when he thought about Daisuke's father, Nobusuke, and the day he died. The fact that his son resembled him quite well made him think that he was looking at a ghost. But he also noticed how he was around a certain tank girl and it reminded him somewhat of how he and Ami were when they were younger.
"Isn't it a strange coincidence," He said gaining his wife's attention. "The fact that your instructor's youngest daughter and my former teammate's son are at the same school?"
"Mmm…" Ami mused with a nod. "It is, but I think it's more than that." This caused Akio to look at her and she turned to him with a smile. "I think it might be fate that those two are here."
Miho, Saori, Hana, Yukari, Daisuke, Toshiro, Junichi, and Goose had opted to go to the local bathhouse so that they could clean up from the sweat they worked up from their classes earlier that day. They even invited Mako to join them, and to even Saori's surprise she agreed. Of course, being a bathhouse the two bath locations were separated so that both genders can have their own respective privacy. The bathhouse itself was massive with individual baths to a large hot spring. It had fountains shaped like anglerfishes and a closed off shower area so that those who come to the bathhouse can wash up before entering the bath.
"Sigh…That was more exciting than a guy telling you he loves you for the first time." Saori sighed in content, stretching her arms above her head.
"A guy has told you that he loved you?" Hana said in confusion.
"My dad always tells me that he loves me." Saori replied snootily.
"He sounds like a nice dad." Miho commented with a smile.
Hana then gained an evil glint and looked at Miho coyly. "Of course, I don't think I could compete with you Miporin."
"Huh?" Miho blinked.
"Don't be shy," Saori pressed, getting uncomfortably close to Miho. "Mako did say that Daisuke was your boyfriend," Miho's face went immediately red at that. "Is it true?"
"N-no! Daisuke-kun's not my boyfriend!" She denied, waving her hands frantically.
"But you want him to be, right?" Saori said slyly, making Miho gasp and her grin to widen. "I knew it!"
Hana decided to change the subject quickly before Saori got any further, much to Miho's relief. "Anyway, I wasn't sure how things would turn out at first, but it was really exciting." She said with a delighted smile.
"Yeah, it was great!" Yukari pumped her fists.
"Yeah," Saori said closing her eyes in content. "But you know, I think Miho should be the commander."
"Huh?" Miho reeled back in surprise when Saori said that.
"We don't know much about tanks…" Hana said, bringing a finger to her chin in contemplation.
"And Nishizumi-dono sure knows what she's doing too." Yukari agreed easily.
"I-I do?" Miho was just surprised that they were all willing to allow her to be tank commander after everything. But she looked down dejectedly and said, "But I'm not that…"
"Please, take care of us…" Hana said with a slight bow to her.
"Please, take care of us, Nishizumi-dono."
Miho was silent for a moment before she gained a determined look and said, "R-right! I'll do it!" This brought a smile to everyone's faces.
"How else do you think we should split things up?" Hana asked now that she thought about it.
"Well, what do you think I'm good at?" Saori pointed to herself.
"Well…You can get along with just about anyone," Miho said looking at her friend. "So maybe you can be our radio operator?"
"That sounds nice!" Saori nodded in agreement. "I can type texts on my phone really fast too."
"I don't think that will do any good here…" Hana commented with a slight frown making Saori pout.
"So who else should do what…?" Miho said pondering what the other girls could do.
"Um, could I please operate the turret?" Hana suddenly blurted out surprising the others. She then shifted nervously in the water. "I haven't been able to forget that incredible feeling that made me go numb. Also, I think I'll become a stronger girl if I do it."
"In that case," Miho said with a smile. "You can work the turret."
"Then that makes me the operator!" Yukari declared, pumping her fist.
"That leaves us with only a driver now…" Miho mused as she tried to think of someone to drive the tank, but her thoughts were interrupted as the sound of water moving distracted her and the others to look and notice that Mako was getting out of the water and wrapping a towel around her body.
"Hey Mako," Saori indicated her. "You can drive our tank for us!"
Mako looked at them with her usual deadpan look and said, "I already took up calligraphy."
"You could really help us our Reizei-san!" Miho pleaded to her.
"Please Reizei-san?" Hana begged.
"Your driving was brilliant!" Yukari commented, hoping that it would convince her.
"Sorry, not happening." Mako said, as she opened the door to the changing room and left.
But before she could go any further, Saori yelled, "Mako! You're not gaining points because you're late all the time! If you take Tankery you'll get all kinds of extra credit and stuff! You'll get held back!"
After a few seconds, the door reopened and Mako was staring at them with almost a glare at Saori before saying, "Fine…I'll do it. I still have to repay Nishizumi-san after all."
The girls were ecstatic at this but Saori murmured, "You just want the extra credit points."
"I'm just repaying a debt." Mako retorted.
"We have our five teammates!" Hana declared happily.
"Thanks for joining us!" Yukari said with a salute which Mako returned with a bow.
Meanwhile, on the other side where the boys were bathing, Daisuke and the others could help but look at the wall that separated them and the girls. They had heard the girls' voices, especially Saori's when they were talking. Needless to say they were curious as to what the girls were talking about.
"Any idea what they're doing in there?" Goose asked, sitting next to Toshiro, who just shrugged.
"Who knows," He said. "Girls talk a lot when they're in private."
"Well, it certainly is not our business to eavesdrop." Junichi said with his own shrug, seeing as how he didn't have his glasses on to adjust and neither did Goose.
Toshiro then had a leery grin on his face and looked at the others. "Hey, wanna take a peak and see what they're talking about?" His question was answered when Daisuke hit his head with his fist. "Ow!"
"Absolutely not!" Daisuke shouted at him, clenching his fist at Toshiro.
"I am a gentleman," Junichi reprimanded him. "I do not participate in such vulgar activities!"
"I kinda want all my body parts intact Toshiro-san." Goose said with a nervous laugh.
"Party poopers…" Toshiro grumbled before slumping into the water.
While the boys' bathhouse wasn't as grand and fancy like the girls' bath, it was still bigger than the norm and had enough room to fit several men at once. Daisuke had to admit, he actually liked this bathhouse better than the few he's been to in his youth. It was certainly bigger and had much more comfortable water. Plus he was glad to get a bath after that dogfight he participated in. Something that intense did build up quite a sweat.
"Say Daisuke," Toshiro caught the attention of his friend. "That was some pretty cool flying up there."
"I'll say!" Goose joined in. "You flew like you were born to up there!"
"Oh, thanks guys." Daisuke thanked them.
"I'm serious, Daisuke." Toshiro said again, wrapping his arm around Daisuke and giving him a noogie, much to Daisuke's protests. "You were awesome up there!"
"That last maneuver you did was quite impressive." Junichi finally said with an impressed smile. "Where did you learn that?"
At this Daisuke finally pried himself free from Toshiro's grip and rubbed the back of his head nervously. "Actually, I kinda learned it from a movie I saw when I was a kid."
The boys all laughed at this one before Junichi finally stopped and looked at them. "Well, now that we've established who our pilot is, what will happen to the three of us?" He indicated himself, Goose, and Toshiro.
"Well," Daisuke said looking up at the ceiling thoughtfully. "My plane won't run properly without a proper technician or electrician. Plus I'll need someone who can load my weapons before takeoff."
"Well, I'm an expert on all kinds of aircraft," Goose said rubbing his chin. "Maybe I can be the mechanic?"
"That sounds good to me, Goose." Daisuke said with a smile.
"My dad taught me a good deal about electronics," Toshiro said. "Maybe I can be your electrician."
"Loading weapons can help my reflexes in kendo, perhaps I could do that." Junichi added his own bit.
"Then it's settled." Daisuke said looking at his three friends. "I'll be counting on you guys to keep my plane in tip-top shape."
"No sweat pal!" Toshiro said, patting Daisuke's back.
Daisuke said nothing for a moment before looking back up at the ceiling with a smile and said, "You know, I actually had fun." His statement made the others look at him. "Flying in that Hayabusa was really fun. I got to do things I had almost forgotten how to do since my dad died. I almost forgot what it was like to be up there flying through the clouds and seeing the world from up there." He closed his eyes almost imagining himself being back inside the cockpit of the Ki-43. "I actually missed all that."
His friends all looked at him with thoughtful smiles on their faces, almost imagining for themselves as to what it would be like to be in Daisuke's position.
"Hey Daisuke!" Saori's voice interrupted their thoughts through the wall.
"Yeah, Saori-chan?" Daisuke called back.
"Are you boys almost done?" She asked them.
"Just about!" Daisuke answered for them all.
"Good! 'Cause there's some place where we can all go before going home!"
The boys all looked at each other, curious as to what Saori had meant.
Later the whole group found themselves in a home and garden store with Miho pushing a cart and the others walking with her. Saori had dragged them to the store in the hopes of making their tank more comfortable to ride in. She said that riding in the tank was a little uncomfortable after riding in it for a certain amount of time. They had already grabbed a few pillows for the seats and were looking to grab a few other things, much to Yukari's disappointment.
"I don't see why we had to come along," Toshiro said, with his hands behind his head. "We're not riding in the tank with you girls."
"No," Saori said, looking at them. "But don't you boys want to be comfortable on the ground while Daisuke's up in the air?"
"Well, I suppose when you put it that way…" Junichi said thoughtfully.
"Plus we can give Daisuke a cushion for his plane so he's a bit more comfortable." Saori added cheerfully.
"Pass!" Daisuke finally said, crossing his arms in an "X" shape. "I'm plenty comfortable in my plane, thank you very much."
"Aww, c'mon Daisuke!" Saori pleaded with him.
"The answer is, no!" Daisuke argued back.
"Fine…" Saori finally relented, making Daisuke sigh in relief. But it didn't last as she finally grinned. "Then you're buying dinner, Daisuke!"
"What!?" Daisuke yelped in shock making everyone laugh at his expense.
The next day, the group of 9 friends came to class with a shock awaiting them. Almost all of the tank teams had painted their tanks in bright colors or in some fashion to make their tanks look more appealing. The Type-93 had been painted with kanji markings that said "fight" or "guts" along with a volleyball painted on the armor. The M3 Lee had been painted a hot pink color all around. The StuG III had been painted blue, red, yellow, and white along with the words "Veni-vidi-vici" painted on the front, emblems of certain figures in history, and to complete the look four Japanese style flags were posted on the tank destroyer. The Student council's tank stood out the most, it was painted a bright gold color.
The planes were the same colors they came as, but the boys had painted their planes a little bit. The F4 had its tail panted a crimson red, and the number 302 painted on the wings alongside the school's emblem. On the nose, was the image of a black anthromorphic cartoon cat carrying a cartoon black bomb was painted on it.
The Fw-109 was still in its black color scheme, but with the words "Team Oorai Luftwaffe" painted on the nose along with a yellow spiral painted on the tip of the propeller. The Zero was still it's white paint scheme with the school's emblem but with the image of an anime girl that looked almost like Anzu was painted on the nose. The kanji term for "Banzai" was also painted on the plane. The only plane that was not changed inside or out was Daisuke's Hayabusa; the only thing it had painted on it was the school's emblem on the wing and fuselage and its serial number stenciled on the left side of the tail.
Earlier, Miho, Yukari, Saori, Hana, and Mako had put the stuff they had bought the previous day into their tank. Each of their seats now had a cushion or two, along with a few other miscellaneous items to make the tank a bit more…homey. But needless to say, while most of the guys were gobsmacked at the paintjobs the girls did to their tanks, Yukari and Goose were completely livid!
"What the heck…" One of Johnny's mechanics said as he stared at the tanks in utter disbelief.
"Why did they paint their tanks like that?" One of Fredrick's mechanics said to no one in particular.
"Haven't these girls ever heard of camouflage?" Johnny added his own two bits.
With the student council, Yoshi and Anzu nodded to each other.
"Shall we give them a call?" Momo asked the two of them.
"Might as well," Yoshi answered with a nod. "We won't get a proper field test if we don't."
"Huh? What are you guys talking about?" Yuzuko asked in puzzlement.
"Give who a call?" Hayao asked himself. But neither of the other student council members answered them as both Momo and Takeo walked away towards the main building.
With our main group of friends, Saori was fuming at the sight of the other girls' tanks and how they all had been repainted in these flashy designs.
"We should've repainted ours!" She cried indignantly.
"Ahh! Those tanks are completely ruined!" Yukari cried.
"They're just asking for their tanks to get blown to bits!" Goose cried as he too was appalled at what the girls had done to the tanks.
"Well, this is the first time any of these girls have operated a tank so we can't blame them for wanting to be a little flashy at first right?" Daisuke reasoned a little but not wanting to be truthful with his statement. His thoughts were interrupted as he heard Miho starting to laugh. "Miho-chan?"
Miho turned to them with an amused look on her face. "I'm sorry; I just couldn't imagine tanks being turned into something like this." She said with a laugh. "But it's kind of fun. This is the first time I've ever thought that tanks could be fun."
They just stared at her a little before they returned her amused look with laughs of their own.
"Well, when you put it that way, Miho-chan…" Daisuke said as he walked up to stand next to her. "I guess I could probably say the same about airplanes."
Meanwhile, several miles away onboard another school warship, a young lady who had light blonde hair tied in a bun on the back of her head had answered an antique telephone while having tea and sweets with her fellow student council girls. On the other line was none other than Momo asking her if their school would be interested in having an exhibition match against their school alongside another school for their newly reopened tankery and dogfighting teams. This girl was known as Darjeeling, the captain of the St Gloriana Academy's tankery team.
"Oorai High School?" The girl asked in a prim and proper tone. "So you have reopened both your tankery and dogfighting classes? Congratulations." She paused slightly as she listened to Momo on the other end. "No, that's alright. We don't run away from a challenge, and I'm sure our counterparts in St Arthur won't either." She paused again. "But of course, I will personally tell Pat about the match myself. Goodbye." She then hung up the phone and turned to her two companions. "Well, ladies, it seems we have a match in a couple of days against Oorai High School. They had just restarted their Tankery Class and their Dogfighting Class. So we'll be teaming up with our old friends at St Arthur Academy."
"That's exciting news." A girl with the same hair style as Darjeeling said with a smile. "I'm sure Pat will be excited to face their planes."
"I will see to it that our tanks and their crews are ready." A girl who had even lighter blond hair than Darjeeling said.
"Of course." Darjeeling nodded before sitting back down. "In the meantime, I'll pay our friends at St Arthur Academy a visit in the morning." She took a sip of her tea and smiled, looking out the window. 'This will be an interesting match, I just know it.'
Darjeeling was right about one thing, the upcoming match between their schools would be an interesting one.
A/N: Whew! That was a LONG chapter! Took me forever to get this done! Sorry it took so long for me to get it done folks, so many things have happened that kinda hampered my progress. But now...*sniffle* Girls und Panzer is over! But I have to say, it was exciting from start to finish. I'm praying that there will be a season 2, because just 1 season isn't enough. Now you all know what to do, post a review!