A gloomy sky loomed over the heads of a fleet that was retreating from a battle, multiple rips and scratches adorning their clothing and equipment. Morale seems to be at an all-time low as the flagship, a young, dark browned haired, female teenager wearing a wide collared, black and white sailor uniform with red highlights and a red ribbon.
"That was a horrible battle," complained one of the members, a younger girl with a lighter shade of brown hair, wearing a white collared shirt with a torn, grey and white pleated skirt held by matching suspenders, showing her black sports shorts. Long black armbands stretched from the middle of her arms to her wrist. Her brown leather shoes, bearing the symbol of an anchor, gave a spluttering sound every once in a while as she held onto her left thigh, covered by knee high black socks. Her armaments are badly beaten up, smoking heavily as she focused on keeping up.
"That's a battle group for ya: Full firepower, and no pulled punches." Another brunette giggled, her dark green sailor uniform filled with holes from multiple shelling. As with the other girls, her armaments are badly damaged, smoke trails leaving her back rigging, torpedo launchers cracked and used. Even her favourite hand cannon was not spared.
"It's all The Admiral's fault, sending us to defend against a fleet like that." Another girl, dressed similarly to the previous girl, but with shorter brown hair instead of the long, braided black hair. As before, all of her rigging is damaged, smoking heavily with cracks and scratches. "Kitakami and I may be strong, but they are at another level!" She grumbled angrily.
"Mah, don't be so mean to the Admiral, Ooichi. It's not like he knew about it, after all." The other girl clad in the green tried to reason.
"No, Kitakami, I will, as the admiral refused to add a battleship to our fleet—" Ooi scoffed angrily.
"Both of you, stop arguing, please. Our top priority is to get back home safely." The first girl demanded.
"Why should I, you insufferable—"
"— Alright, Shigure-san—"
"— why are you letting her push you!?" Ooi wailed at Kitakami, who shrugged noncommittally.
Shigure then turn behind, facing the last two members of the fleet.
"Harusame-san, what's the status of our pursuing enemies?"
"They're not giving up, but we should be escaping then in a few minutes time." A pinked-haired girl, wearing the same attire as Shigure, reported.
"Good, keep a look out for them; Aoba-san, how about our front?" Looking at the final girl, an older girl with shoulder-length violet hair tied into a ponytail, wearing blue and white sailor top and blue pants instead of the regular sailor skirt. A yellow ribbon, slight torn, fit snugly into her collar, and she wore black, thigh high socks with matching shoes. Her face was contorted into one of fear and shock.
"Aoba-san?" Shigure called again.
"E-E-Enemy fleet, s-s-spotted!" she screamed. Almost instantly, the girls straighten up and began scanning their surroundings.
"Heading toward us from our front! Three Standard Aircraft Carriers, one Battleship and two Destroyers! Contact in thirty seconds!" Aoba's stuttering had gone, but the look of fear is still visible on her face.
Immediately, Shigure check the compass for a possible escape route. To her disappointment, the compass only pointed forward. The weakest point of the Abyss is still in front, but Shigure knew that if they entered the next battle, most, if not all, will be sunk.
"If you have any suggestions, please tell us now." Shigure shouted to her fleet, fear gripped her as hard as the others, and the fact of having not the faintest clue of what to do shook her even more.
Silence filled the air as all six fleet girls racked their brains for a solution.
"H-H-How about we surrender to them?" Kitakami suggested nervously.
"W-We could try r-r-running past them." Harusame stuttered.
"They'll just shoot us down if we tried that; we should go with Kitakami-san's suggestion!" Ooi growled.
"T-Twenty seconds till contact!" Aoba stated fearfully.
"Shigure-san, we could try running into the Abyss." The still unnamed girl suggested.
"Eh? B-But Asagumo-san, we will not know what would happen if we do that." Shigure answered nervously, but listened when she continued.
"So we have a chance of escaping the field alive, I'd like to take that than to go down fighting a one-sided battle." Asagumo explained.
"Are you crazy!? To defy the compass, who knows what would happen!"
Shigure thought hard over her suggestion. It's true, none of the Navy actually knew what would happened if the girls had ignored the Abyss; it was educated well into their minds never to go against the compass, no matter how much they hated it. But in this time of desperation, what should they do?
"Ten seconds! Shigure-san, please decide quickly!" Aoba yelled.
If they were going to die anyway, what's the use trying to fight a losing battle? Any damage they did would be regenerated back by the time the next fleet arrived. Her mind made up, she turned around to face the fleet again.
"Everyone, please listen to me. We will try running into the abyss—"
"—Shigure!?" Ooi screamed at her, shocked.
"Please! Listen! Running past them would cause us to die, so would surrendering; we had cases like these already. If we escape the pincer by running into the Abyss, it would prove that the Abyssal Fleet has no connection to the Abyss, and we could actually use that to our advantage in the future. No need to follow the compass anymore, we could plot our own route for our strike into the enemies base of operations."
A brief moment passed as the three others mused about it.
"Well~ it would make an interesting way to go out." Kitakami joked lightly.
"If Kitakami-san is fine with it… I guess so…" Ooi sighed.
"Even a percent is better than none…" Harusame uncertainly agreed.
"Five seconds, Shigure!"
"Fleet, line abreast formation! We'll minimize any possible effects of the Abyss by going in a straight line!" Shigure ordered. As quick as lightning, the fleet sailed into formation and entered the abyss.
"If we make it back to the base unharmed, I'll treat you to anything."
"Not that I asked for it, but I'll take it." Asagumo replied cheerily, unaware that they had leapt out of the frying pan, and into the fire.