"So…can anyone remind me WHY we're helping the humans kill these whackjobs?"
"Don't you ever pay attention to the briefings, Reggie? Apparently they have these things called 'nukes' that can basically destroy the entire Earth and they wanna throw them everywhere for shits and giggles. Can't really take over the planet if there ISN'T a planet, can we?"
The Abyssal Fleet sailed across the ocean towards the war zone, skiing atop the waters at a casual pace. They'd go faster if they weren't totally unmotivated. The Re-class Reagan and the Aircraft Carrier Water Princess Hornet hanged around the front with the other Princesses, both sitting atop the Water Princess' ship-like demon and discussing their faction's recent change in priorities.
"Well why do we have ta work with those humans then? We can just shell both!"
"Highers' orders, they wanna get rid of those crazies fast, and since they're super inland, a ceasefire with the less crazy people's the most effective way to kill them fast and keep the planet from exploding. I don't really care, long as we get to kick some faces in~ I heard they even have custom Fleet Girls of their own, so they should put up a decent fight."
"I dunno, feels ta me like a really obvious trap. Like ya said, it's super inland, it'll be a pain to get outta there if they try an' stab us in the back! Plus, where the hell did those wackos get something so powerful anyway, and why now 'a all times?"
"Hell if I know, probably came out of hiding once the humans chased us out. Those tank and plane girls can still get shot up with enough human firepower, we can't afterall, major advantage for us. As for all this being some trap, I say it probably is, HQ knows it too, that's why they only sent us to help. Cut their losses."
What remained of the Re-class' enthusiasm for the mission evaporated at the last part of the Princess' reply. "…Ya think they're still mad at us after Admiral betrayed us…?"
"Who knows, maybe, it's been what, three, four months now? Not like it's any of you girls' faults, if anyone it's mostly ours…by our I mean me and the other Princesses. We were sent here to keep tabs on her in the first place, and then THAT happened anyway, of course highers would be pissed off!"
"Wait, ya gals came here just ta spy on her?" Reagan asked incredulously, to which Hornet merely shrugged half-heartedly.
"It was more of a side thing, but yeah. They sure as hell weren't going to have a meek little Ri spy on an Admiral. Anyway, we had our suspicions at first, but I didn't think she'd actually stab us in the back and twist the blade, not after everything…I thought we had something special together…"
"…For once, I can't tell if ya being sarcastic or not."
"She likely did it because of your stupid April Fools."
"How long were you eavesdropping for, Yorky?" Surprise and mild annoyance overtook the gloom on Hornet's face as her fellow Princess slowed down her own demon to join the two. "And there's NO way I ticked her off that much! Even if I did, YOU agreed to it too, so it's your fault as much as it's mine!"
"Sarcasm, learn it." Yorktown muttered with a sigh, lacking the usual condescending tone in her retort. "It's not any of our faults, the massive amount of reserves and new units during the humans' counter strike proves she's had it planned all along."
"All along…Her friendliness seemed so genuine though…" The Re-class mumbled with a depressed sigh before a new voice joined the conversation.
"Maybe it was."
Hornet raised an eyebrow as the Midway Princess left the leading position to Hoppou and slowed down as well to sail alongside the little group, sitting atop her own demon. "Seriously, how many of you were eavesdropping on us?"
"Perhaps her friendship with us were genuine, only that there were others she held dearer." Ignoring Hornet's rhetorical question, Middia spoke in an attempt to console the young Re-class, despite her own melancholy that she tried her best to hide.
"So she'd rather free the Fleet Girls from their comfy prisons and get thousands 'a us on land slaughtered than stay with us? That doesn't make me feel any better!"
"To be fair, she's spent much more time with her old fleet than us, and we're invaders against her species and planet in the end, we should've all expected it." The ponytailed Princess lay down, looking up at the blue sky. "Truth be told, I'm more surprised Luna went with her."
"THAT I'm not surprised by. She acts like Cassie's own daughter and she treats her like one too, of course she'd follow Cassie to the ends of the Earth!"
"Speaking 'a Luna, didn't she get ta go after Admiral because ya let her go?"
"What, it's not like I actually thought she just forgot something basic, it was obvious she was up to something, but how was I supposed to know she was going with Cassie to screw us over? Even if I didn't let her go she'd just run off to find Cassie again some other time, if anyone can figure out where she's gone, it's Lunie afterall."
"Even then…I thought we were buddies, how could she just leave us like that?"
"What Middi said, Reggie. You were friends, just…not on top of her priority list I guess. Either way though, it's been months already and what's done is done, no point mulling over it. Gotta move on at some point, y'know?"
"The real Hornet would never be so mature. Who are you and what've you done with her?"
"Hahah, says the one who trashed Cassie's office in a fit of rage, Yorky. I can be very mature if I want to be, I just don't."
"You vowed, and I quote, 'I will curb stomp that f*cking bitch for playing with our feelings like that, and her little lapdog too'."
"I was angry and confused, shaddup."
The Abyssal fleet sailed on in silence for a few minutes before Hoppou waved her hand in the air, signaling the Fleet Girls sent to meet them were in sight.
"Looks like the welcoming party's here, girls." Seeing Hoppou and being reminded of the subject, Hornet's voice dropped to a low whisper, leaning closer to the side so that only the Midway Princess could hear her. "Hey, Middi, did Hoppy figure it out yet?"
"Not to my knowledge. She still thinks the Admiral and Luna were simply reassigned for a top secret mission."
"That's some deception inception, telling her the whole betrayal thing is a cover-up for their 'secret mission'. Is this really okay though, lying to her like this?"
"I don't think she's ready for the truth. Perhaps one day, when she's more mature, but not yet."
"Your call, not like any of us wanna see the kid bawling her eyes out or something. Hope she doesn't get trust issues from this though, first Cassie and Lunie, then even her mommy, who can she trust?"
The Midway Princess went eerily silent after that, until a distant shout came from ahead.
"Kaga-senpai! Akagi-senpai! Shoukaku-nee!"
"Alright, girls, smiles up! Don't let them think our morale's down just 'cus of some little setbacks!"
"You seem awfully cheerful all of a sudden, Hornet. Are you glad Zuikaku's survived?"
"Of course I am, she's my lil' sister! Not like you don't have a smile on your face, Yorky~"
"Big sis Biscuit!" The Northern Princess ran ahead and jumped at the blonde battleship for a tackle-hug, sending them both tumbling onto the ocean's surface. Zuikaku did the same with Hornet when the Princess jumped off her Demon, though she wasn't strong enough to knock her sister over. Despite the serious atmosphere, the sight still brought a smile to many faces on both sides.
"So they sent the last survivors of the Gen 1 Fleet Girls to meet us? I see Tenny and a few others, and the ones Hoppy recognizes must be the Germans."
"We're just half of them, but pretty much. It's great to see you again, Shoukaku-nee! Kaga and Akagi-senpai too! We're even going to be fighting on the same side again! This is like a dream come true!"
"Yeah, this should be fun. I think I can trust you not to shank me in the back like Cassie did?"
"O-Of course I won't betray you, Shoukaku-nee! This is a genuine ceasefire until the terrorists are dealt with, hopefully this will be the first step towards a permanent peace treaty too!"
"Permanent peace treaty, huh…Normally I don't like boring old peace, but if it means you won't get hurt, I guess I'd be okay with it~"
"Aww, Hornet's going soft for her lil' sister, that's so cute!"
"Your Mapo Haru, commander."
"Thanks, Luna, and again, just call me Cassandra. I'm not exactly an admiral or a commander anymore, am I?"
"S-Sorry, co…Cassandra. Force of habit, yes…"
Stuttering out an apology, the wheelchair-bound Abyssal placed a bowl of Mapo noodles in front of her former commander, then wheeled herself opposite to Cassandra. She looked around after taking a bite out of her own dinner, the simple furnishings of their home for the past 4 or so months. Inazuma had taken them in, and with help from her adoptive father Harrison, they had built an underground compartment connected to their basement for the two refugees to reside in and operate from. It wasn't anything fancy, but it was more than anything she could hope for, yes. Harrison had given commander…no, Cassandra, surprising amounts of information about the Abyssals' true leaders, something even Luna herself weren't savvy of, and even helped her contact them herself. Despite Luna's initial fears, the Abyssals' high command were surprisingly reasonable and, after some negotiating, agreed to Cassandra's plans.
The young Abyssal gently blew on her noodles and took another bite while the woman opposite her took out her laptop to contact their allies again. Thanks to her connections in the military, she had been able to find fellows who also wished for a peaceful resolution to this long struggle. They were few, but enough, and the frustrating stalemate had persuaded more than one of the more stubborn to accept an alternate solution than wiping out the enemy. It wasn't long before she connected to her contacts' contacts and so forth, slowly but surely reaching enough at the top to assist her plans. From there, they simply did what they did best, pulling strings from backstage, making excuses, funding the wrong people, or in this case the right people, and suddenly there's an 'unexpected' betrayal from one such fundees and a growing global terrorist threat, the perfect excuse for a ceasefire between human and Abyssal to unite against a common enemy and protect the planet that both sides wanted.
"I heard the ones deployed for this initial joint operation were our fleet, yes?"
"Yeah, and the military sent the surviving Fleet Girls from the break out. It's a small-scale operation, basically sending them in as super-soldiers to clean out a few captured cities in Africa of insurgents. Both sides are testing the waters right now, not very trusting, but hopefully this will be the first step towards more serious cooperation. If everything works out, this should prove to the world that Abyssals aren't savage monsters and can be co-existed with, then we can move on to some more permanent peace treaties. For now, most of the guys on our side are willing to let the Abyssals stay in the ocean long as they don't screw with the traffic, in exchange for some of their alien technology. The Abyssals' leaders are content with that too."
Luna simply nodded and took another bite, silence taking the room save for the clicking and clacking of the laptop's keyboard. It was a few minutes before she asked again.
"…When do you think we'll see them again?"
"Who, Fleet Biscayne or the Abyssals?"
"Who knows? Months, years, whenever the war ends, assuming the plan keeps running smoothly." Cassandra sighed and took a sip of her drink, shaking her head. "To be honest I'm kinda scared about Middia and the gang. No amount of gifts and good intentions is going to make up for me betraying them in what was essentially their moment of glory."
"I-I'm sure they wouldn't hold such a grudge, yes!" The Abyssal was quick to defend her friends, resulting in a minor coughing fit from being too quick while eating. "I'm sure they'll –cough- understand –cough- in the end…"
"Easy there, Luna, not saying they'll wanna tear me to pieces on sight, just that they'll be upset with me, which is understandable but with their strength, y'know…"
"I –cough- suppose…"
Another moment of silence.
"…Any news on those sunken?"
"Heard they found Samidare and Suzukaze yesterday, both Princess class. They should be sent to join Middia's fleet after a week or two of orientation stuff. No new news on the others."
"I see…Think they'll remember us?"
"Same with you, in time they will. Being able to see us will probably help."
The Destroyer Princess finished her last bite and sat back, closing her eyes. Hopefully one day they could all be together happily again, Fleet Girls and Abyssals alike, one big family. There's still a long way to go to achieve that, but she was certain her commander would achieve that goal one day. One day, the rain will clear, as Shigure would say.
"I'll go do the washing up then. Want to play some games to relax when you're done?"
"I'm up for Borderlands! You?"
Author's Note: And that's the end for Abyssal Diaries: Infiltration. If it feels rushed, that's because it mostly is. Truth be told I kind of ran out of steam for the story by chapter 6, I really had nothing planned after the break out, the whole concept of the sequel was started by me wanting to do something with the new Abyssals that were released after I finished the first Abyssal Diaries afterall. In fact, the first Abyssal Diaries was started because I wanted to write something with Abyssalized Fleet Girls, especially the 6thDesDiv, and the idea went quite a bit further from there.
With AD:I finished, I can now fully focus on my third story, Abyssal Diaries: Requiem. It's not a continuation of AD:I or AD despite the name, with a better planned plot and a different world setting, and I hope to put the skills I learned from these two previous stories to good use while writing Requiem. If you haven't already, I encourage you to check out the new story and see if it takes your fancy. Thanks for sticking through Infiltration, I hope you've enjoyed the read and will continue to enjoy my writing with Requiem!