A/N: Consider this an experiment. This story will be a crossover between Kantai Collection and Taylor Anderson's The Destroyermen Series; before you say why is this not a Crossover I couldn't find anything for Taylor Anderson's Book Series.
This has never been done before however I do enjoy both greatly so maybe I can make an effective crossover as well. I also don't own anything.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: I am going to be rewriting the first chapters to correct all of the grammar errors and expand upon the chapters. Also my headcanon with Kanmusu in general is that when they aren't in their rigging, they are more squishy than when they are in their rigging. That said when out of their rigging they are a lot tougher than a normal human to a degree but it depends of classification.
June 14th, 2030; 1645 Hours
Mutsuki ran for her life, all around her the sounds of war echoed around her. Gunfire, the shriek of rockets, thunderous explosions, barked orders, shouted battle cries, and the screams of the wounded and dying.
The Abyssals had come out of nowhere and where now hitting the base hard with infantry and light armor. All of this just thirty-six hours after the battle that had put the final nail in the coffin for the time being around the Java Sea area. Right now though, it was clear that Surabaya was lost to the demons of the abyss which made the situation after the battle against them that had resulted in the total annihilation of the remains of the Indonesian, Myanmar, and Vietnamese navies as well as the near total annihilation of the remains of the Philippine Navy. Worse the multinational Kanmusu force composed of British, Australian, Japanese, American, and Dutch Kanmusu had their numbers savaged by disaster and bad luck.
"Run for it! Go! Go!" Witte de With screamed as they ran around a corner as fast as they could.
"I am going as fast as I can!" Mutsuki cried as finally salvation came into view. The docks, if they could just get to them, they could don their rigging and finally get away from this hellhole and to safety that was either Darwin or Perth-Fremantle.
Just as they sprinted past what had been one of the cafes on base. The distinctive, trumpeting battlecry of an Abyssal Wo-type infantry officer rang in front of them as it tossed a deceased Indonesian Army trooper aside, that had been impaled on the end of it's cane sword. It was huge, easily seven feet tall and had purple-eyes that seemingly blazed with righteous anger as it leveled it's iron hard gaze on them, the angular armor that protected her upper body was this dark goldenrod color and was accented by glowing malachite lines of energy that formed vague circuit board esque patterns, the four swept back crystals on it's hat were midnight blue and subtly glowing with power, and finishing off the assemblage was it's Imperial Red cape that hung from it's shoulders to roughly halfway down it's thighs.
"CHAMPION LEADER, don't stop!" Mutsuki yelled in terror and Witte didn't need any prompting in the face of something wielding cane sword and had the strength to wrestle most Capital Ship Kanmusu into submission.
The two destroyer girls tried to sprint around the threat. But then the thing moved with stunning speed and whacked Mutsuki hard in the chest with the flat of it's sword, there was a set sickening cracks as ribs broke under the hammering impact. Mutsuki explosively exhaled from the blow and was knocked off her feet, landing on the concrete with a loud thud, her vision went blurry as her head smacked hard on the cement. Groaning and groggy she shook her head, slowly her vision cleared and she promptly gulped with fear for planted firmly on her stomach was the Wo's black combat boot. She looked up into its face and it grinned, a smirk that sent a shiver of mortal fear rocketing down Mutsuki's spine at the sight.
The Wo leveled it's cane sword at her chest and she knew she was about to die. She didn't have the durability to survive becoming a destroyer kish-khab when stabbed through the heart. At least she hoped it was relatively painless. Suddenly a young sharp voice bellowed "Verras kankerkut!" and then Witte de With tackled the Abyssal soldier right off of her allowing her to sit up and take several deep and painful breaths.
The Abyssal snarled as both of them crashed to the ground and they both recovered quickly. Witte whipped out her preferred melee weapon from somewhere, a Naval Dirk. She unsheathed the short blade and lunged at the Wo with a roar, her blade aiming for it's chest. The Abyssal backhanded the Dutch destroyer girl and knocked her to the ground with a painful sounding thud and her Dirk flew out of her hand clattering to the ground several feet away from her.
Witte quickly scrambled to her feet dodged several strikes from the Abyssal's sword, then lunged for her Drik and scooped it up. She swung around on her heel and then her eyes widened with pain and shock as the Abyssal's cane sword sliced upward, carving a deep and bloody gash upward from just below her navel up across her chest, through the right side of the chest slicing through meat and bone with ease before finally erupting up through her right clavicle in a large spray of thick oily blood.
She staggered in pain and struggled to stay up on her feet, her balance was unsteady. Blood poured down her front, thoroughly soaking her dirted white naval uniform in a matter of moments. Her gaze landed on Mutsuki and although Witte's iron grey eyes while they were beginning glaze over from blood loss and shock, she somehow managed to say one sentence the words sounding wet "Mutsuki," a painful sounding gasp emanated from her before she finished speaking "run for it.". Then it become too much and her eyes completely glazed over and she collapsed in a bloody lifeless heap.
Mutsuki scrambled her to feet turned to towards the dock and bolted. Not that it mattered, she only managed to run for only a couple of seconds before a tremendous force smashed into left shoulder blade. She spun to the ground from the force of the blow, scraping her left thigh and arm across the gritty concrete. It sent stinging pain jabbing up her thigh and arm. She shook her head, came to her hands and knees in an attempt to stand when pain erupted in her back as the Wo buried it's blade in her back.
A long strangled scream of pain tore away from her throat and she collapsed to the ground and struggled to catch her breath as the Abyssal promptly planted it's boot on the small of her back. The pain in her midsection was absolutely blinding and then the pain doubled as the blade was brutally twisted and then yanked out. Leaving her gasping and stuttering for breath and then suddenly there was a loud thundering bang followed by a thud.
She looked over her shoulder and through the tears that had welled up in her eyes from the pain and what she saw shocked her. The Wo was dead, a large hole occupying where one of its eyes had been that was probably a half-inch in diameter and the back half of it's head was completely gone with blood, bone, and brain matter scattered for easily dozens of feet behind the Abyssal Company commander.
W-w-what? B-b-but who could've shot that thing? Mutsuki thought stunned at what had happened before she heard the sounds of running footsteps which caused her to whip her head around to behold a new sight, one that caused her heart to leap into her throat with joy and happiness for running to her aid was another Kanmusu, an American Wickes class Kanmusu.
To her knowledge there was only two of those practically ancient girls on base, both being only slightly younger than Kongō was in terms of actual age, in terms of actual appearance they both appeared to be nine or ten years old and were both about four feet nine inches tall. Like all Wickes class Kanmusu she wore the distinctive uniform of the American Expeditionary Force from World War I, at her waist was a heavy scabbard that contained a heavy Naval Academy Saber instead of the usual Pattern 1917 Naval Cutlass that most Wickes class Kanmusu preferred to carry, while slung over her shoulder was a rifle of some type and stuck in a holster was a Browning M1911A1 pistol. The bronze doughboy helmet that was perched on her head while slightly battered proudly bore the rate number in white outlined in black so that the owner could be easily identified, in this case it was '163', that meant this was Walker. Her green eyes beheld tons of worry and moderate relief as she hurried to where Mutsuki was.
The fellow destroyer girl crouched beside her and glanced at her stab wound; a grimace found its way across her face at the sight. "Can you move? Also where's Witte?" she asked.
"I think so, not entirely sure. As for Witte, she's dead." Mutsuki replied as she struggled to her feet and almost immediately became dizzy and nearly lost her footing. But Walker caught her before she fell and steadied her. Mutsuki then glanced at the wound in her gut and became queasy, it was a wound she could survive but it was going to hurt like hell until it did heal.
"Right, let's get to the docks. Don the rigging and then bug the fuck out. We need to de-ass Surabaya, again." Walker snarled angrily and it caused Mutsuki to remember that Walker hated being run-off and thus was simmering with anger for it occurring, again. Regardless however, Mutsuki was grateful that Walker had come to her aid.
"Whose left to flee?" Mutsuki asked as they started as quickly as they could towards the docks. But with the stab wound in her gut, she wouldn't be able to run as fast as she normally could, thus forcing them to jog.
Walker tilted her head and looked thoughtful for a moment before answering. "Just yourself, me, Mahan, Fubuki, Pope, Encounter, and Exeter. However at the moment only Exeter and Encounter have their rigging on, but when I left Fubuki was suiting up. Mahan, and Pope haven't even suited up yet, mainly because they are covering entrance to the docks so we don't get cut off from our escape route." she replied.
"Why did you come out and rescue me though?" Mutsuki asked they got ever closer to the docks.
"I did that the moment I saw you and Witte get jumped by that Champion Leader." Walker said simply and then her satellite phone began buzzing. She pulled it out and glanced at it before answering the call. "Walker here, what is it Exeter?" she said.
Mutsuki didn't hear what Exeter had to say and she had to focus on maintaining her balance anyway. Thus when Walker swore and said "Why didn't you spot those fuckers sooner?" she got worried.
"How long?" Walker replied to something Exeter said and judging by how her expression changed whatever the response had been wasn't good. "Alright thanks." she said before hanging up and looking at her. "Can you run?" Walker asked.
"I dunno, maybe for a short sprint." Mutsuki answered and Walker scowled.
"Alright, ready?" Walker asked and Mutsuki nodded. "GO!" she shouted and both Kanmusu sprinted for the docks. Together they managed to cover the four hundred twenty five meters between themselves and that location in thirty-four seconds flat. They burst into the room and instantly were staring down the barrels of two M1918A2 Browning Automatic Rifles, but the moment the wielders saw who they were they relaxed.
"Thank Christ! It's you!" Mahan said as she lowered her BAR.
"Yeah it's me, listen Witte didn't make it. A Wo-type practically disemboweled her but I managed to save Mutsuki though, killed the goddamned Wo too before it could really ruin Mutsuki's night." Walker replied.
"Nice work Walker! I am going to try and get you decorated for that hair-brained stunt that you did." Pope hooted.
Mahan smiled. "That's my sister." she said lightly.
Walker beamed slightly in response.
"Let's get our rigging on and split." Pope said with a smile and together they moved out, in order to don their rigging and escape.
Ten hours later
Somewhere in the Java Sea
Walker's legs ached with pain as her turbines pushed her battered hull forward at a speed of twenty-five knots. The previous battle that had decisively beaten them only forty-six hours previously was still fresh in her mind for the simple reason that she was suffering a case of deja vu. Just like another situation that was incredibly similar to this one, seventy years ago. They had been soundly beaten and were now trying to runaway, limping would probably be more accurate actually. Hard to believe that there numbers had been reduced to just seven and that the implacable Abyssal juggernaut had thoroughly beaten them.
She shook the unpleasant memories of 2nd Java Sea off and focused at the task at hand, which at the moment right now was simply surviving. She looked over the force that was trying to get to safety. It wasn't much, just one Heavy Cruiser and screening her ravaged flanks were six destroyers. Plus all of them were nursing damage to some degree, from solemn Mutsuki who had her aft stack cleaved in half as well as Mount two knocked out and about five or six holes above the waterline to poor old Exeter who had taken a savage kicking from the Demons of the Abyss with the vast majority of her AA-guns destroyed, her seaplane catapults wrecked, and could just barely make twenty-five knots.
But she knew that somewhere behind them was the enemy, at least one Heavy Cruiser that was in a merciless pursuit. High above them, flitting just out of range of their anemic anti-aircraft defenses was a nightmare black floatplane; likely alerting every Abyssal in range of it's radio, which meant they had noose around their neck and it was more than likely steady tightening. Sooner or later it would get tight enough that once the Abyssals kicked whatever they were standing on, that the noose would snap their necks, or in other words they would all be dead.
"Are we going to make it?" Mutsuki asked in low tone that Walker barely heard.
Pope looked at her with sympathy, she didn't know what it was like to get run down by a hostile force with no chance to escape from them. Regardless however, when she spoke to her; Pope kept her voice in a tone reassuring. "We'll make it, the bastards know that if they come at us with a single Cruiser that they'll eat an Oxygen Torpedo and that always ends in disaster for cruisers!" she said with a predatory growl and Mutsuki's mood brightened.
"Really?" she asked hopefully.
"It sure does, the Type 93 torpedo is incredibly lethal. It'll have no problems blowing the guts out of an enemy warship. Plus the Abyssals aren't stupid, well most of the time." Pope replied.
"What do you mean that Abyssals aren't stupid most of the time? I've seen them do some pretty stupid things. Like trying to go head-to-head with a battleship and two Heavy Cruisers with only Light Cruisers that don't have torpedoes." Mahan quipped.
Walker despite how jittery and anxious she was feeling, laughed out loud. She remembered that operation, the Abyssals had gone full blown Grik (or as many would call it, going full on Leeroy Jenkins) when they had been ambushed by a force involving herself, Mahan, Pope, Stewart, Prince of Wales, Houston, Perth, Boise, Exeter, as well as the Japanese Destroyer Division Six. The enemy's only Cruiser division decided that it would be a good idea to zerg rush Prince of Wales, Boise, Houston, Perth, and Exeter, which went about as well as one would expect when six light cruisers with no torpedoes attacked a group of Kanmusu with much heavier firepower and armor.
At that moment though, it changed when Exeter spoke the words that they'd all been dreading to hear ever since they had first tried to make it to the Sunda Strait, only to get a strangled message from Perth and Houston as they were torn apart by the demons. Which had forced them to double-back at which point they'd picked up a trail. "Enemy in sight!"
"Force composition?" Pope asked nervously.
Exeter chuckled drily. "Two Ne class Heavy Cruisers, accompanied by at least two destroyers, unknown classification." She replied.
"Should we make smoke ma'am?" Encounter asked wearily.
"Not yet, lure them in a little closer." Exeter stated eyeing the monstrosities. Their nightmare black wave-piercing hulls was rushing forward after them. An absolutely tremendous bone in her teeth as they raced to get in range.
Then they heard it, a muffled wha-boom followed by a panicked cry from Mahan. "The enemy's opened fire!"
Moments later there was a howling screech that set everyone's hair on end, followed by twelve tremendous darkly colored plumes of spray erupting around them. "Jesus, here we go!" Walker breathed as Exeter's aft turret twitched and then rose.
"Turret X! Commence firing!" Exeter roared and a moment later her stern was completely enveloped in a dark brownish-grey cloud of gunsmoke as that turret spat defiance at the enemy.
More plumes erupted, they were trying to focus down Exeter. Understandable, she was the only one would could hope to fight them on relatively even terms and not to mention, if the Cruiser bought it then the destroyers would lose their will to fight. Thing was that Exeter seemed to know it too and X-turret roared it's defiance much quicker than it normally did as more shells fell around her.
On the horizon, a bright flash suddenly erupted and one of the Abyssals exploded violently as one of Exeter's shells munched through steel and chitin with extreme ease and found a magazine. "Hell yeah! How do like that, you sons of bitches!" Exeter whooped gleefully at the sight of the enemy warship getting eviscerated.
Apparently the remaining Abyssal Cruiser didn't like having it's friend blown up. For an eight-inch shell slammed into Exeter and exploded, causing the British Heavy Cruiser Kanmusu to swear loudly.
"You alright?!" Encounter asked fearfully.
"Oh I am peachy! That hit took out my last 4in gun! I am officially totally helpless from the air!" Exeter snarled and her 8in guns voiced their wrath angrily, but despite that the number of splashes that were near constantly bracketing her was absurd.
Every now and again their would be a loud crunch followed by Exeter cursing while her guns kept up the spirited fire at the monsters. But it couldn't last forever because sooner or later the Abyssals would score a crippling hit and Walker knew it, as did Exeter.
"Girls" the Heavy Cruiser said. "Make smoke astern, let's try and throw off their aim shall we?" she added.
"Yes ma'am!" The destroyers all chorused and they promptly maneuvered quickly and effectively behind Exeter. Raw fuel oil gushed into their exhausts and rapidly they began producing a thick black pall that rapidly expanded till it appeared to block out the entire horizon with impenetrable smoke cloud.
Walker threw a glance over her shoulder and grinned broadly. "I don't know about you lot, but seeing that? Blocking out the horizon with a smokescreen always gives me a hoot." she said.
Mahan giggled. "Tell me about it! Makes you feel like you can do absolutely anything!"
Encounter rolled her eyes. "Bloody hell you two; the endless the banter between you do is nothing short of optimistic, I swear to fucking god." she snarled.
"Oh lay off of them Encounter, they're both good ships to be around. Besides I know you get a hoot out of laying smokescreens." Pope said and Encounter blushed slightly.
The salvoes became more sporadic, churning the water with incessant ferocity as the shells plunged into the water and exploded. Regardless it brought them time, maybe they could make for a squall and use that to open the distance. That said, the collective breath that they all seemed to have been holding had been released.
"Uh-oh! Surface target! Bearing 130! It's enemy destroyers coming through the smoke! I count at least four of the things!" Fubuki barked.
"Dammit! Alright, here we go! Screen Exeter's flank, assume line ahead formation! Execute!" Pope barked and as one the Kanmusu maneuvered expertly, quickly and effortlessly forming a battle line as seven Abyssal destroyers, each with a flush deck, a plumb bow, three saimsed funnels just aft of a pilothouse, one twin gun turret forward and three single gun turrets aft, and two quadruple torpedo launchers rushed onwards out of the smoke screen with a tremendous bone in their teeth. Their portholes glowed a sickly malachite green while their hulls were a color that was a terrible mixture of nightmare black and carmine, indicating that they were Elites.
"Range estimate?!" Mutsuki asked in a nervous tone as she eyed the enemy warships, Ha class Destroyers with a thunderously angry glare.
"Estimate 14,5-double-00!" Walker yelled in response.
"That can't be right! Walker I think your rangefinder suffered more damage than you thought at Java Sea." Mutsuki exclaimed in surprise and shock.
"I am sure of it!" Walker snapped.
"We'll run with it! Commence firing!" Pope yelled and then seemingly as one, six 10cm/65 caliber, six 102mm/50 caliber, three 127mm/51 caliber, and seven 120mm/45 caliber guns voiced their wrath.
Shell splashes erupted all around the Abyssals, drenching the monsters in plumes of water and atomized spray. One of the demons shuddered as it took several hits and black smoke, sooty steam, sparks, and fire vomited out of the ship's aft funnel. Almost instantly the monster's speed dropped from thirty-seven knots to twelve knots and the hostile destroyer quickly fell out of line crippled.
The remaining six destroyers plowed on, heedless of their loss. Four of the bastards opened fire on the destroyer kanmusu and two opened fire on Exeter. Shells shrieked and splashed around the two distinct groups of Kanmusu.
There was a loud crump which was followed instantly by a pained shriek from Encounter as an Abyssal round slammed into her and exploded. She staggered from the pain that when racing across her side as the round tore her wardroom apart, a thin stream of oily blood ran down her side.
The destroyer Kanmusu fired and kept on firing. But the Abyssals returned the favor admirably and while the two Abyssals shooting at Exeter kept up their spirited barrage as they knifed ever closer to her. However they sensed blood in the water and more shell splashes began to bracket Encounter with such ferocity that the others began to see more spray and less hull.
"Put them down! Quickly! Quickly!" Mahan shouted as Encounter began to yawol with pain more and more often as she took more and more hits.
Walker's main battery fired again and this time three four-inch-fifty-caliber high-explosive shells slammed into her target with brilliant flashes of fire and smoke. -That's it gunny! Let em have it, five rapid fire salvoes!- She ordered briskly.
In response her three guns slammed out five rounds as fast as they could cycle their guns. Five plumes of water erupted around the hostile and several yellow flashes erupted along it's flanks. The thing shuddered under the hammering impacts and with a roar, a fuel bunker blew apart and sprayed burning oil all over the place and at the sametime both funnels vomited thick gritty black smoke, a brief flash of fire, sparks, and sooty steam.
The Abyssal seemingly staggered under the force of the blows and began slow, falling out of line. Moments later more shells tore through into it and one of the three aft single gun turrets was blown apart with a chest-pounding roar, then seconds later a tremendous fireball erupted aft and tossed the two remaining gunhouses clear of the ship and easily several hundred feet into air as if they were matchsticks as the stern distingreted as the ammunition store exploded.
The shots looked like they came from Encounter, something that was proven when the British Destroyer Kanmusu gave an exalted whoop of glee, before shrieking in pain as she got hit again. Her howl of agony took Walker's heart and brutally twisted it as a pair of Abyssal 130mm/50 caliber rounds plowed into her deckhouse underneath her 'B' turret, munching past the relatively thin steel with ease, and then exploding with the combined force of just over fifteen pounds of Amatol. Tearing the entire area apart in a maelstrom of fragmented steel, flames, and smoke. With the horrific sound of metal rending and breaking, the roof supporting 'B' turret collapsed in on itself. She staggered drunkenly from the agonizing pain that raced across her arm as it was effectively shattered and rendered useless.
Fubuki and Mutsuki quickly opened fire on it with their main batteries. 4.7in and 3.9in shells bracketed the Abyssal responsible for hammering her and quickly began landing hits on it. It shuddered under the force of the blows but quickly lashed out at Encounter again for it had her range and it wasn't going to spoil it's firing solution on her when it could easily remove her from the fight.
And it did.
The British E class Destroyer girl let out an unholy shriek of agony that sent chills down everyone's spine as the Abyssal destroyer slammed five shells into her, effortlessly plowing through steel with ease and detonated within. Tearing her fragile hull apart, with a hurricane roar a gout of dirty steam erupted from her deck and enshrouded her amidships and at the sametime black smoke, soot, sparks, and flames erupted from her aft funnel as her guts were decimated. Deep and bloody gashes erupted into life across the front and left side of her torso, resulting in copious amounts of thick oily blood and fuel running down her and swirling into the water. Encounter's speed dropped away, to nearly nothing as her boilers were violently blown apart. Mutsuki who was trailing behind her swore as she swung hard to port in order to avoid running headlong into Encounter's rapidly slowing from at a speed in excess of twenty knots and Fubuki swerved effortlessly to port as well to avoid Encounter.
Walker could only watch this occur over her shoulder as Encounter fell away from the formation, her guns firing constantly until she was swallowed up by the smoke screen and vanished from sight. She felt a wide variety of emotions flow through her as the E class disappeared completely: sorrow, anger, helplessness, regret, and hope. Sorrow that Encounter was likely going to die a horrific death, anger that Encounter's fate was bound to be horrific and would likely involve target practice, helplessness that she couldn't do a thing to prevent that fate, regret that she hadn't been able to get know the British Destroyer girl better, and hope at the fact that when Encounter finally breathed her last and slipped below that she would be reunited with her closest sister, Electra once again.
Walker changed targets, focusing on the two destroyers that were trying to get Exeter but fire from Mahan was detering them slightly and the fact that Exeter was menacing them with her forward eight-inch guns in local control. She was furious and wanted these sons of bitches to die, plain and simple! BOOM! Her main battery voiced her fury and two plumes of atomized spray erupted along either side and a glorious ball of flame erupted at the base of the lead destroyer's funnel, causing the enemy DD to shudder under the force of the impact.
The two Abyssals that had been trying to get an angle on Exeter suddenly realized that the consorts who had apparently tried tangle with the destroyers had come off worse and that their torpedo run wouldn't work. They swung around and charged towards the Destroyer Kanmusu, their forward guns blazing. Plumes of atomized spray erupted around them with unending ferocity as the Destroyer Kanmusu focused fire on them, Walker swung her guns on them and guns one and four bellowed their wrath and two plumes bracketed the lead destroyer.
Her guns reloaded and fired again this time both shells slammed into her target, one shell wiped out it's bridge tearing it's structure apart and the second shell punched into its forward gunhouse right under the gun barrels and promptly exploded tearing the entire structure apart in a fury of fire, smoke, and syncthing metal. With a tremendous roar a thundering gout of fire howled upward from where the gunmount had been, Walker grinned as she felt and heard the whoops of glee and the thunder of stamping feet within her hull.
"This is for Encounter you mad bloody bastards!" Exeter suddenly roared and swung hard to starboard, bringing her entire main battery of six 8in guns to bear on the destroyers at a range of less than ten thousand yards. One of the destroyers saw the threat and frantically came about to face Exeter bow on, but not fast enough for Exeter's eight-inchers roared their rage. Only two shells missed throwing two enormous plumes upward along the ship's flank and the other four shells ripped the entire midsection apart with all three funnels vomiting thick gritty black smoke, soot, fire, and sparks while steam roared out of numerous orifices and burning fuel oil was blown all over the place as they muscled past the thin steel plating that formed the thing's hull and detonated within.
The second destroyer was quickly focused by the three American Four-Piper Kanmusu and was torn apart, dying with a climatic explosion as it's forward magazine ignited and blew it's entire bow clean off, the forward speed that the thing had quickly doomed the ship for water hammering against bulkheads at thirty-seven knots were like sledgehammers.
The other two Abyssals made their own smoke and turned away. Just like that, the brief surface action was over. Exeter readjusted her course and powered away from the Abyssals. Suddenly the shell splashes that had been bracketing Exeter slacked off completely and dread surged through Walker's chest. Mainly because it meant only one thing, Encounter's time to meet her maker had finally come and she sobbed openly for the fate of her fellow destroyer girl.
"Let's press onward. Try and make for a squall and put more distance between us and them." Exeter said and together they pushed onwards. Despite everything however Walker couldn't help but look back towards where Encounter had most likely wallowed to a stop, the thick black pall between where she was and Encounter thankfully shielded her from view.
Walker resisted the urge to do something incredibly stupid as they plowed onward. "I fucking hate this. Poor Encounter, she doesn't deserve to die like that!" Walker snarled angrily as the destroyers assumed a line abreast formation behind Exeter and continuing to make smoke.
"I share your opinion, Encounter doesn't deserve to die like that, being used for target practice by that Abyssal Cruiser and those two Abyssal Destroyers. But we can't afford to turn around bail her out and then rig a tow. That will slow us down even more and if we come under air attack, we'll have to cut the tow lines and the attack wave wouldn't focus on maneuvering targets, even one as damaged as I am, and instead would focus on Encounter and the fact she wouldn't be able to maneuver and thus they would bomb her into a smoking ruin. A death like that would be slow and agonizing." Exeter hissed in response and Walker's body language shifted to near hostile towards the heavy cruiser and she blinked with furious rage.
"Goddammit Exeter! I fucking hate leaving people behind! I just fucking hate it!" Walker yelled in a thunderous tone that seemed to carry a towering pillar of authority behind it. Mahan edged slightly closer to Mutsuki who was white as a ghost with mortal fear and shock clear in her eyes and Fubuki was staring in slack-jawed astonishment at the small Four-Piper because of the tirade she had unleashed and how unusual it was for her. Pope however merely sighed, she knew that Walker hated leaving people behind.
Exeter narrowed her eyes at Walker and said in a low and threatening voice. "Walker, your out of line. If we get out of this alive, consider yourself on report and expect to get hauled before the Captain's Mast."
Pope then spoke up. "I'll gladly accept any punishment you have in store for Walker ma'am. We've all been run ragged and because of her past, Walker hates leaving people behind." she said.
Walker blinked apologetically and she visibly relaxed but her body language indicated that she was ashamed of herself, still that was one thing that had always befuddled the British Heavy Cruiser and just about every other Kanmusu that had worked with Walker and Mahan was the fact that in addition to body language, eye blinks also played a large part in silent communication. "Sorry ma'am. It's just I can't stand leaving people behind, the 2nd Battle of the Java Sea and The Loss of Nerracca. Never again. I hate leaving people behind, not unless I can do something to prevent it." Walker replied in a low somber tone.
"I can understand 2nd Java Sea. But what the hell was The Loss of Nerracca?" Exeter asked, it wasn't an angry tone but more curious.
Walker tensed up again immediately and she quivered almost imperceptibly. Memories flooded her mind, an enormous three-masted wooden sailing ship the size of an Essex class Fleet Carrier, burning as she was pounded from an impossibly far distance by 10in/45 caliber Naval Rifles, flames roaring hundred of feet into air consuming her and the screams of mortal terror and pain from the thousands of people who were still aboard as well as the ship's soul. "You don't want to know, it's just something awful okay." she said in a weak tone.
"Right, your going to be explaining what the Loss of Nerracca was to me after we get to safety." Exeter replied in a firm tone that brokered no room for negotiation.
"Exeter, would it be alright if I accompany Walker while we explain Nerracca? It's a very touchy subject for her." Mahan said, less question and more statement.
"Count me in too. I am her XO and only Peary her CO knew the full extent of Walker's past, which is something that I would like to learn very much." Pope added.
"Alright." Exeter said.
The day wore on and while they managed to put some considerable distance between themselves and the Abyssals. Not to mention dotting the horizon now were squalls; some were tantalizing close but others were just beginning to form. If they could get into one then it was possible that they could escape.
Walker's turbines ached in pain and she was exhausted. The last time that she had been pushed this hard had been in the months leading up to the Battle of Baalkpan or the Battle of Formosa Strait or the Battle of the Bone River and of course during those battles as well. It had however been the first time since this new chance at life had begun for her that she had been pushed this hard.
Regardless she had to suck it up and keep going, regardless of pain. "Surface target! Surface target! Bearing 034! Range, dammit, best guess is 21,5-double-00! Enemy force is one Heavy Cruiser at least with probably a single Na class Destroyer Leader." Fubuki said and everyone else swore sharply.
Mutsuki glanced at her watch and swore again. After the loss of Encounter, they had continued onward for several hours afterward and she had been hoping that the Abyssals would be too distracted by the cripple. While their original pursuers had probably lost their scent, they had obviously succeeded in alerting their comrades. Which were now racing to intercept them to dash any hope of escape.
"Cease making smoke! It'll make you a harder target!" Exeter ordered sharply and as one the destroyer girls ceased making smoke.
The two Abyssal Heavy Cruisers were spaced about 1000 yards apart. Together their forward triple turrets each one mounting three 20.3cm/60 caliber SK C/34 naval guns twitched and then traversed towards them.
Exeter traversed her forward guns and she got the first salvo out faster than the Abyssals thanks to her Type 284 Gun Fire Control Radar. The thundering over pressure pounded in their chests, while the heaving roar assaulted their ears, and the gun blasts blew great craters into the water. Moments later the Abyssals retaliated with their own fire and a howling shriek rent the air as the shells screamed in. Six enormous plumes of water erupted around Exeter in a tight bracket while six more shells landed in a wider spread.
Moments later three glorious plumes of water erupted around the lead Abyssal Heavy Cruiser and it violently shuddered under the force of a hammering blow but the ship didn't slow.
The Abyssals retaliated with more shells and four plumes erupted around Exeter and she shrieked with pain as her 'B' turret took a penetrating hit and was blasted apart with such force that one of the gun barrels snapped like twig.
"Shit! Walker and Mahan with me! We're going to make smoke and screen Exeter! Assume Echelon formation! Mutsuki and Fubuki on my signal you'll make a torpedo attack!" Pope snarled.
"Yes ma'am!" All of the destroyers voiced and once again a thick black pall erupted from their funnels. Quickly blocking Exeter from view and thus providing some protection from the Abyssals, however the British Heavy Cruiser ceased firing.
"What's wrong Exeter?" Fubuki asked nervously.
"I can't throw that much steel down range. 'B' turret is out of commission and I don't want to push my luck too much because of that. Fubuki, Mutsuki after you launch torpedoes we're going to make a course change to the south east and start bugging out." Exeter replied.
"Yes ma'am!" The two Japanese Destroyers chorused.
Once again the near constant plumes of water that were bracketing Exeter slacked off as the Abyssals lost sight of their quarry. But it never slacked off entirely, for occasionally ranging salvoes would ravage the water and the spray was thoroughly soaking all of the Kanmusu. If anything the Abyssals seemed to be walking the fire up and down smoke screen. Obviously trying to hit the destroyers.
Swearing Exeter barked more orders as she took another hit, the round plowing through armor and hull with ease before detonating, eviscerating her chain locker. As one the Kanmusu turned to bearing 320 towards a mighty squall and Exeter opened fire with her with her 'A' and 'X' turrets as they ran in a northerly direction.
The squall they were making a beeline for was less than three miles away. It was a massive dark grey foreboding thing that excluded an air of safety for the Kanmusu. Which the various Kanmusu were grateful, for it gave them the chance to escape, and thus they would take it. More shells were shrieking in and enormous plumes of dyed water were erupting around them.
Just before they reached the squall however Exeter's 'A' turret fell silent. As the guns in that turret could no longer be brought to bear on her opponents. Shells continued to fall around them and then disaster struck.
It was something brief, it happened so quick that Walker thought it had been a trick of the light. A small flash appeared on Pope's amidships deckhouse and then with a heaving roar a sheet of flame was vomited upward, burning globs of fuel was thrown everywhere, while three of her four slender funnels vomited flames, smoke, soot, sparks, and steam upward with a thundering rattling roar. Fire rapidly began to engulf her amidships deckhouse and she shrieked in agony as her two firerooms were utterly annihilated.
The effect on Pope's speed was almost immediate. Her forward speed dropped from a blistering twenty-five knots or so to a nearly helpless seven knots. Walker seeing her friend and DesDiv executive officer begin to fall behind tried to go after her. But Pope seeing her beginning to maneuver away from the formation to come after her and probably rig a tow, but she knew that it was suicidal.
"Walker, don't even think about coming after me!" Pope roared over the radio and to her eternal gratitude the Wickes class corrected her course. Swinging back around to come onto her previous heading, but a moment later her voice reached Pope's radio room.
"But you'll die XO! I can't in good conscious abandon you!" Walker yelled obviously wishing to come about and save her.
"You do that Walker and you'll die as well or at the very least get crippled. I won't allow it as your superior officer, it's my responsibility to ensure the safety of those under my command. Even if it means ordering those under my command to escape even though it means I won't." Pope said, ignoring the searing pain that was in her back from the flames that were blazing across her decks as well as the blood loss from the gaping wounds in her torso.
"But Pope! I watched you die during the 2nd Battle of Java Sea. I don't want to lose you again!" Walker said fearfully, a barely noticeable stutter in her voice.
"I am sorry Walker, listen. I am sorry, but if you escape to live another day. It will allow me to die happy, just go! That's a goddamned order!" Pope barked sharply, it was going to be the last order she would ever give.
"B-b-but," Walker stuttered before stopping and taking an audible deep breath before continuing, her voice steadying. "Wilco, goodbye Pope and God bless." she said.
Thanks my friend. The knowledge that your going to live is good enough for me. Pope thought with relief coursing through her as she glared at the enemy as they approached her.
Then her eyes widened instinctively as she had the forward six guns pointed right at her. The maws of the Abyssal guns gaped at her like something Walker had explained as a "Gri-Kakka". The barrels aligned and then they flashed, with a hellacious roar the guns discharged and she actually saw the malignant shells streaking towards her glinting black in the afternoon sun.
Seven enormous plumes of water erupted around her and five shells hit; the pain was unbearable as they exploded within her hull. With a heaving whoomp, her bottom blew out painfully. She let out a horrific screech of agony and fell to her hands and knees, thick currents of oily blood flowed from her wounds and mixed with the water creating interesting swirls in the water. Her hull shifted violently and groaned, causing her to fall onto her side bringing her face to the water's surface. It lapped at her and with a great rush of air that escaped her shattered hull and with an unavoidable finality the water closed over her head and she slowly descended further and further from the surface thus as a consequence closer to the bottom and her grave, a swirl of bubbles surrounded her for a moment, blocking her vision before clearing and revealed something beautiful. Pope couldn't help but be amazed at the effects that the sun had on the water below the surface. Then blood swirled up in front of her and tinted her vision dark red and it got very dark, followed by nothing.
Walker was relieved when she plowed head long into the squall right behind Fubuki but before Mutsuki did. The reason she was relieved about entering the squall was because no one would be able to see her tears. She wept openly at the death of her Destroyer Division Executive Officer, Pope had been a very close and good friend.
Thus she was surprised when Mahan called her over the Talk-Between-Ships or TBS. "Walker, how are you holding up?" she asked, the rain audible in the background as it pounded on their hulls and soaked them to the bone.
"Not well sister. Pope was a good friend and practically a sister. We've been through so much together and now she's gone." Walker replied with a sniffle.
"I understand that, but we need you Walker. Your one hell of a fighter and we need one hell of a fighter right now." Mahan said soothingly.
The rain continued pounding her hull and she thought deeply. "Was I this much of a mess after Pope was sunk during 2nd Java Sea?" Walker asked weakly.
"To a degree, but you were more mad than anything." Mahan said in a calm and soothing tone. Walker sighed as she remembered that fact and despite herself she knew that not only was she angry as hell but also completely terrified.
"True, but Pope had been an excellent friend and comrade." Walker said as she stared straight ahead.
"Believe me, I know. Pope was the one who helped me improve my station keeping after all and more than once she took the fall for something stupid that I had done." Mahan replied in a nostalgic tone.
"True, very true. I can't help but agree. I am going to miss her." Walker said quietly before shaking herself. She couldn't distracted by mourning for her friend and superior officer. It would just end poorly for her and likely those around her, plus she wouldn't be able to live with herself if her being distracted by Pope's death resulted in someone dying.
They remained in the squall for as long as possible, but eventually Walker couldn't see any places that were darker than the rest indicating heavier rain. That wasn't a good thing, for it meant that either the squall was dissipating or they were exiting the damn thing. She wished that this break from running away as fast as possible from certain death would last longer. But unfortunately that wasn't going to happen. "Exeter, this is Walker. I am exiting the squall!" she said.
"Affirmative Walker." Exeter barked.
The sunlight dazzled her as her slender hull knifed out of the squall and the rain that was splattered across her decks glistened in the light. She looked to her right and saw Mutsuki's distinct hull come plowing out of the squall before seemingly shaking itself like a dog. The poor girl had taken an absolutely savage beating at the hands of the Abyssals, guns number four and two were a mess, she had spectacular wound in the base of her pilot house, most of her AA guns were destroyed, and her hull was somewhat riddled with holes. She blinked and their was Mutsuki, she looked unsteady on her feet and the poor girl's uniform was badly shredded, scorched, and damp with her blood. Regardless she was still had a determined if somewhat exhausted air around her, that said her left arm hung limply broken and she had a chunk about the size of her thumb taken out of the base of her neck as well as a smattering cuts and gashes across her front oozing blood.
Moments later Exeter's extremely battered hull burst out of the squall, water sluiced off her hull and swirled into the ocean. If anything the British Heavy Cruiser looked worse than Mutsuki did, her 'B' turret was a mangled ruin and her four-inch DP guns were utter wreckage as well as her few 40mm Pom-Poms and Vickers Machine Guns. The area near the smashed remains of her seaplane catapults was also fire blackened but her hull was thoroughly riddled with holes and numerous dents were all over the place.
Mahan and Fubuki appeared together and both shook themselves off of excess water. Somehow they didn't look that bad, with some holes in their hull but not many. Although Mahan had her 3in/23 caliber AA gun that had been on her fantail shot completely away but otherwise she had was fine.
"Look ma'am! Another two squalls!" Fubuki cried gesturing to a pair of squalls that were are on the horizon. One of them was a towering grey thunderhead, soaring easily twenty-thousand feet into the air and it was dumping sheets of rain.
The other squall was an absolutely gigantic and magaliant thing for it soared to easily fifty-five thousand feet into the sky. It had a pitch blackish-green coloring to it's clouds and brief blue flashes of light strobed within it occasionally. The thing was nearly opaque and tremendous sheets of water were being disgorged from it's belly. The thing excluded a menacing presence as if it wasn't a mere squall but something far more dangerous and mystical. For some reason however, Walker felt extremely uncomfortable gazing upon it. The thing felt familiar somehow and she wasn't sure why she felt that way about the second squall, but she just did. As she watched the first squall seemed to be rapidly weakening as if the second squall was absorbing the first somehow.
That's when Fubuki shouted "Holy shit!" and pointed at something that was emerging from the first squall. Walker turned her gaze upon the first squall and she gulped fearfully while her heart dropped into the pit of her stomach. For emerging from the first squall, racing to prevent them from escaping to the safety of the squalls was a pair of lethal Abyssals. One was an I class Destroyer Late Model Elite which wouldn't be problematic considering that they had Exeter with them, she could easily munch that thing.
But the other Abyssal was absolutely immense capital ship. The two massive forward gunhouses each mounted three gigantic guns that gaped at them like an enormous predator and they were hungry to draw blood and rend steel, something they would have absolutely no trouble doing. It's massive germanic style aztec pyramid mast gave off a foreboding air and the thing's broad blunt bow that had a large bow wave peeling away from it's hull. The tremendous warship had a nightmare black hull, dark grey chiseled gunhouses and superstructure, the faces of the gunhouses themselves however were a bright blood red and the superstructure had angry slashes of the color, the few viewing ports that the hull and superstructure contained glowed an pantone orange, and finally along the waterline was what appeared to be teeth the shone bone white.
Almost as one the destroyer Kanmusu all gasped in shock and fear. Exeter however didn't do that instead she brought a powerful pair of binoculars to her face and gazed at the two Abyssal warships. Her mouth became a tight line grimace as she analyzed the huge capital ship. Finally she lowered her binoculars and spoke in the tone of someone delivering a death sentence, all but confirming the sinking dread that all of the Kanmusu had in the pit of their stomach. "That ladies is an Abyssal Battleship Water Demon, the absolute epitome of the Battleship."
She chuckled darkly. "That thing doesn't even need the help of the other Abyssals. It can take us all by itself, that thing's armor is immune to my eight-inch guns even at point-blank range. That said it's very vulnerable to torpedoes, it's great length and tonnage puts an incredible detriment on it's maneuverability." the Heavy Cruiser said.
The massive battleship began to heel over and it's tremendous turrets swung towards them. It's stern flicking out as it revealed it's aft turrets till finally they had no less than twelve 51cm/50 caliber naval rifles, each capable of hurling an Armor-Piercing Capped Projectile weighing 4,500 pounds some thirty-eight kilometers and they were capable of decimating nearly anything with ease thanks to their massive bursting charge of ninety pounds of explosive, and they were pointing right at them, the maws of the great guns looking all the world like some ferocious predator. It's monstrous secondary battery that could bear was composed of seven quadruple Model 1932 130mm/45 caliber Dual-Purpose turrets and five dual 15cm/55 caliber SK C/28 turrets, as well as her imposing array of 37mm/67 caliber 70-k and 25mm/60 caliber Type 96 AA/AT guns were entirely superflorious that monster didn't need them to swat them from existence and if anything they would only make the end come that much faster.
"Damn, so we got a Water Demon and a destroyer in front of us, at least two heavy cruisers and a destroyer leader behind us. No matter which way we turn we'll just be making things easier for the bastards." Fubuki said glumly.
"No," Walker said, her sorrow at Pope, Encounter, Witte, Electra, Houston, Perth, and all of the various servicemen and women she had seen die at the hands of the monsters fading away and in its place a furious white hot anger blossomed. "We can't turn back, we can't go around them, thus that leaves us with one option; we go right through those sons-of-bitches." she growled deeply.
Exeter allowed a slight smile. "I like that idea! Starboard standard rudder, come to course 035! Ahead Flank!" she ordered and as one the five greyhounds swung onto their new course and accelerated to the best of their ability.
Six miles ahead of them, the massive Battleship Water Demon finished it's turn to port and brought it's entire broadside to bear. The Abyssal Destroyer seemed to be almost hiding in the lee of the great big battleship as if it were a mere timid child. Then the gun barrels finished elevating and for several long seconds there was nothing from the battleship as it's optical gunfire control system locked down variable after variable and then it got the average. A moment later it's main battery spoke, tremendous fireballs blew great craters into the ocean and the sheet of flame thrown up made it look as if the battleship had exploded.
The enormous black shells came roaring like several thundering freight trains, Walker noted that they sounded even deeper than the 13.4-inchers that Savoie had fired at her so long ago in another life on another world. Moments later the first salvo landed and hell itself clawed out of some godforsaken hole and engulfed them.
An enormous plume of spray easily eighty meters tall was thrown high into the air directly in front of Walker and the enormous detonation of the round rattled her teeth. Her guns didn't fire because her fire control party couldn't see anything.
Moments later she slogged through the spray and gun number one spoke with a pathetic sounding crack as the Water Demon's main guns dropped to their loading angles but the massive secondary battery spat shells at them almost continuously, stabs of fire visible all across its length; the rattling roar of incoming shells was absolutely incredible while splashes erupted around them nearly uninterrupted. That's when one of her lookouts brought something to her attention, she glanced towards Exeter even as she began weaving through the splashes and gaped in shock and horror.
The British Heavy Cruiser had been savaged, a single enemy main battery shell had connected and it's tremendous bursting charge had transformed her bow from once its sleek shape into a twisted mess of steel, nearly snapping it right off. Her speed was dropping rapidly and the Cruiser's face was contorted in agony as she powered through the rough swells. With a rushing overpressure and a thunderous boom, A turret spoke and two eight-inch shells shrieked towards the Battleship.
They bounced off the sixteen-inch inclined cemented armor belt with an explosion of sparks and fell piteously into the water with a pair of pathetic splashes.
The air that the battleship suddenly gave off as it's guns went to a new elevation was one of smugness. It's guns roared like a some enraged beast and amid the cacophony of shell impacts, was the sound of rending metal and even as Exeter began to shriek in agony from the 20in projectiles that had plowed through armor and steel as if they were tissue paper. Then an immense explosion equal to easily several thousand pounds worth of explosive rent the air and in an instant blew Exeter's stern apart as if it was thin sheet metal that had been on the receiving end of an C4 explosion and not solid structural steel and Krupp cemented armor; at the sametime 'X' turret was flung out of it's barbette and twenty or thirty feet into the air as if thrown by an angry god, moments later even as with a hurricane roar the boilers exploded, a massive secondary explosion erupted from Exeter amidships as her 4in/45 caliber HA/LA magazines exploded throwing a gigantic sheet of flame upwards and ready ammunition lockers for those weapons erupted like volcanos. With a terrific shriek of rending metal, the Heavy Cruiser jack-knifed and vanished beneath the surface in a matter of moments. The only sign that she had ever existed was rapidly growing slick of the thick oily blood that all Kanmusu had running in their veins. The slick reminded Walker of what would see after sinking a Mountain Fish.
"Son of a bitch!" Mahan roared in surprise and Walker grimaced, not from Mahan's language but from the fact that she barely managed to hear it over the sounds of battle.
"Up and at them!" Walker snarled as shells continued to fall around them.
"Walker! This is insane! Like Taffy III levels of insane! We're not going to survive this!" Fubuki cried out fearfully, using her wireless so she could be heard over the fracus.
Mahan barked out a laugh. "You know what they say Fubuki. Live fast, die young, leave a good looking corpse." she said as her forward four-inch-fifty boomed and a glowing tracer arched into the massive behemoth.
"Not helping!" Fubuki snarled angrily.
"Got any other ideas Fubuki? It's either blast past this bitch or try our luck with those Cruisers!" Walker snapped at her and the Special-Type remained quiet.
Mutsuki shrieked in pain as a round impaled her hull and detonated just behind her starboard side anchor, which snapped the chain and sent a good portion of the anchor and chain clattering over the side.
Another salvo of gigantic twenty-inchers roared at them, the arcs of the shells almost flat as they shrieked towards them. Enormous plumes of water erupting all around them as they hit, some of the shells actually skipped off the surface of the water, tumbling end over end as they did so.
"Let's make her maneuver! Mahan, torpedo action port, do not I repeat do not turn broadside on, only turn as far as you need to turn to unshadow your tubes before firing!" Walker ordered as she did exactly that, turning just enough so that she unveiled her portside fish.
"Affirmative!" Mahan barked.
Together the two four-stackers maneuvered and unshadowed their portside torpedo tubes, eyeing their targets. "FIRE!" Walker roared and with a series of wha-chumfs, six late-war MK XV torpedoes leaped out of their tubes, their burnished metal bodies gleaming in the sun. Then they entered the water with heavy splashes followed by energetic streams of bubbles tearing through the water as they knifed towards its targets.
The great battleship fired once again, but this time the enormous 20-inchers tore their through air right over their heads. Goddamn! We're getting close! Walker thought as she fired again and this time her round blotted an anti-aircraft mount of existence. The range was now less than three miles, the Water Demon looked even more impressive now than it did at six miles, the size of the thing becoming absolutely apparent.
More shells continued to splash harmlessly across the thick armor of the leviathan. The same couldn't be said however for the more vulnerable AA guns, as the continuous stream of shells from the destroyers began to do serious damage to those defensive batteries.
That's when a pair of glowing tracers from Fubuki impacted, they plowed through the splinter shield and one of the Dual Purpose turrets blew itself apart as if a bomb had gone off.
Suddenly the Abyssal turned hard directly towards them. It's stern swinging out wide. The maneuver seemed to be beyond the maneuvering capabilities for the Battleship Water Demon to do, unless. Unless the thing was goosing it's own tail to evade the torpedoes.
The sudden maneuver caught the Abyssal Destroyer off-guard and with horrific sounding crunch, the destroyer's bow crumpled like a beer can being hit by an eighteen wheeler and rebounded away from the dreadnought as if struck by an angry god. Despite the harsh maneuvering however, it wasn't enough and two enormous plumes of water erupted near the bow with gratifying thunderclaps.
Walker glanced at the others and frowned. They were battered sure but thanks to the little torpedo attack that herself and Mahan had launched. The thing was now facing more or less bow-on, which gave them a chance to kill this monster and thus throw the Abyssals into disarray and escape to safety. Thus she gave her next set of orders.
"Fubuki, Mutsuki. Run up this fucker's portside while myself and Mahan will run up it's starboard side. Hit this motherfucker with goddamned torpedoes!" She snarled.
"Yes ma'am!" They all chorused and together their hulls cut intricate geometries through the water as they maneuvered and raced towards there prey. This is going to get hairy, that thing has a lot of guns of all sizes and soon all of them would come into play as they raced along side. Walker thought as she thundered forward, her blower roaring and her twin bronze screws thrashing the water vigorously.
"Walker! I got three Abyssal Heavy Cruisers coming out of the squall behind us! They got us pinned!" Mutsuki cried fearfully.
"Good!" Walker roared angrily, albeit with some glee in her voice. "Let'em watch!"
"Hai." Mutsuki squeaked out surprised.
The four greyhounds sprinted forward, an enormous bone in their collective teeth. As they entered the broadside arcs, the entire Abyssal came to life with gunfire. Tracers spat from nearly every single gun that could bear and churned up the ocean with such intensity that one could see more white spray than water, it was a forest of tracers that reached out to smash them to pieces.
Walker gritted her teeth in pain as she continued her sprint, her hull plating was drumming almost constantly from the shell impacts now. Her tubes swung out and steadied, her three four-inch-fifty caliber guns were slamming out near constant rapidfire salvoes and pumped shells near constantly into the thing. "Ready Mahan?" Walker called back over her shoulder before swearing as an enemy shell utterly eradicated the area for her anchor and severing the chain. It fell into the sea with a metallic roar.
"Ready!" Mahan said, her teeth gritted in pain. It was obvious they were going to need a lot of repair time after this.
"Fire torpedoes!" Walker roared and moments later with a series of wha-chumpfs, both destroyers fired their six remaining MK. XV torpedoes, while continuing to slam out 4in/50 caliber salvoes with a rapid-fire drumbeat cadence.
Wham! A burning sensation as if dozens white hot needles had poked her simultaneously erupted in the small of Walker's back and she barely managed to stifle a scream of pain. -Chief, what the fuck was that?- She demanded from her Chief Boatswain's Mate.
-The three-incher's a wreck and another separate hit tore the absolute hell out of the pullman guinea. We're taking a hammering ma'am!- Came the deep and gruff reply.
"Time on torpedoes!" Mahan yelled through her radio, nearly deafening her probably so she could be heard over the roar of battle.
Walker checked her clock. "Twenty seconds!" she yelled back. Before fixing her gaze back on the Abyssal. She noted smugly that the thing was being thoroughly battered, a decent number of it's secondary guns were a mess and it had several small fires burning.
She glanced at the pocket watch once again and then shouted to Mahan. "T-minus five, four, three, two, one…" Walker said before waiting with tripediation before snarling "Goddamnit! They were-" before suddenly being cut off with no less than seven thundering booms and enormous plumes of spay being sent skyward. With a chest-pounding roar, smoke, soot, sparks, and flames erupted from the ship's forward funnel.
The Demon's speed dropped noticeably but it continued onwards, every gun that could bear blasting away at the four Kanmusu that were on it's flanks. Stabs of flame and smoke illuminating the rapidly darkening sky as the massive squall bore down on them, causing the tracers to glow with such intensity that it was as if they bolts of malignant lightning that were being thrown around by angry deities.
Then an absolutely enormous sound that was beyond description ripped over the water as no less than fifteen Type 93 Model 3 Torpedoes speared the monster's hull and tore it to pieces with their immense explosive charges, a great geyser of flame vomited upward before a tremendous explosion snapped the ship in half as if it was a twig while secondary explosions blew watertight compartment after watertight compartment apart. The warship's death roar as it's hull was torn asunder and surrendered itself to the sea was an awesome sound to behold and knowing they had killed this monster, it made Walker realize that even if she died later this day, she could die knowing that just four destroyers managed to kill the most powerful Abyssal Warship known to exist.
Then after giving a final glance towards the Abyssal Cruisers, she then dove into the squall at over thirty knots and to safety. Enraged salvoes from the Abyssal Heavy Cruisers churning the water up behind her.
Suddenly, the roar of her blowers cut off. Walker blinked in surprise, dismay, and alarm. Had she been hit? Where her blowers out? If they were then she was in deep shit, without her blowers then she wouldn't be able to maneuver because the fires in her boilers would go out from oxygen starvation! She was about to ask for damage report when she finally noticed her surroundings.
Oh fuck me sideways! Walker thought with a start as she noticed the dark greenish-black void of nothingness that surrounded her and thousands of raindrops surrounded her but they weren't falling. Then her blowers started roaring again as she powered deeper and deeper into the void.
Then her blood turned to ice as she heard someone let out an unholy sounding shriek of mortal fear and surprise that rapidly dopplered away from her, as if it was dropping away from her. -The fuck was that?- her helmsman asked worriedly.
-Wasn't Mahan, that's all I can tell you.- Walker responded dryly before clenching as her screws ran away as they were brought clear of the water, her CHENG shut them down almost immediately but it was very unnerving to be completely clear of the water and not in dry dock.
Then the floor seemed to drop out from under her and a vast sensation of falling overtook her, it felt like her four thrumming broilers suddenly clawed up into her throat. She screamed in fear for she had no horizon to turn her gaze on in order to figure out where she was. Then to make matters worse this high-pitched whine began, the nearest comparison would be to a ball bearing that was on the verge of failure. The sound built and built as did the sensation falling. It seemed to go on forever and then just before it became too much, everything changed as suddenly like the Coney Island Cyclone hitting the bottom of a ramp the sensation of falling was replaced with what felt like a rapid upward sweeping motion. The suddenness of the change played such hell with her inner ear that she slumped over in her rigging, unconscious.
The first thing that Mutsuki did once the great upward sweeping motion stopped and she felt the coolness of the water against her hull and felt the rain pounding her decks like it should have from the start was that she promptly vomited into the ocean. She hated roller coasters, they always made her queasy and that had been the mother of all roller coaster rides.
"That was the strangest squall I've ever had the displeasure to go through." Mutsuki thought aloud before finding to her relief that she could get underway. But something didn't feel right about how she was moving, the level of thrust that her screws were providing felt wrong, then one of her legs began to throb painfully as if someone was taking a white hot gyrating needle to her calf. She clenched her fists and fought back the urge to shout in pain and then suddenly the pain began to subside but the thrust level became even more uneven.
-Damage report, CHENG why the hell is my thrust uneven?- Mutsuki asked calmly.
-Simple ma'am. I think during the engagement against whatever had that metric ass ton of guns, best guess is that we've bent the starboard side propeller shaft at worse we've probably thrown a blade on the screw itself. It's fixable with what we have on hand although it'll probably take a couple of hours to do so and before it's fixed you'll be down a shaft until it is. But if we've thrown a blade, then we aren't fixing that without some serious yard time.- Her Chief Engineer replied and Mutsuki scowled.
Suddenly another form became somewhat recognizable in the heavy rains. It was Fubuki and she looked somehow to be not shot pieces, which was how Mutsuki felt at the moment. She raised her hands and formed a speaking trumpet. "Fubuki! Over here!" she called and was gratified when Fubuki swung around approached her.
"You alright?" Fubuki asked when she got close.
Mutsuki groaned. "I'll manage, but if more Abyssals show up. Just leave me behind, I am down a shaft, CHENG thinks I've either thrown a blade on my starboard screw or bent the shaft on that side. Till it's fixed, my speed is severely handicapped." she said weakly.
Fubuki put a comforting hand on Mutsuki's shoulder. "It won't come to that, I swear." she said.
The sky was getting lighter and lighter around them. The squall was dissippiating around them and Fubuki fought down the urge to bolt. She would not leave Mahan and Walker to there fate. Not if she could help it, and judging by the look Mutsuki had on her face it was much the same with her.
Suddenly the long mournful whooping of a horn caught their attention and Mahan's battered form slowly appeared. Something seemed off about her approach however, she seemed to be straining at some great weight that was behind her and sure enough another form began to materialize. This shape too was heavily battered, but her heart still beat for they heard the thunder of her blower but she wasn't moving under her power.
"Oh Kami! Mahan!" Mutsuki cried before rushing over to the mauled Wickes class. Mahan had seen better days, if her numerous cuts and gashes that were seeping blood was any indication.
"I am fine, Walker's out cold though. Not sure why, but I got her under tow. Regardless, we need to move." Mahan said gesturing to the other girl who was slumped over in her rigging.
"Is she alright?" Fubuki asked.
"She'll live, she's been through worse." Mahan said with a grin and pointed a finger at her knocked out compatriot. "Still, that squall gave me the heebie jeebies."
"I got something over by where that destroyer sank. Bunch of imps in the water, something seems to be among them. Possible enemy submarine trying to pull a rescue?" Mutsuki asked.
"Not sure, I'll check it out!" Fubuki said and her slender hull began to pick up speed, throwing a rooster tail several feet high as she rocketed toward the target that was swimming among the Abyssal Imps.
Several minutes later they heard Fubuki's forward guns bark out a ragged repostle. It was obvious her fairies were probably exhausted, two plumes of bright white water erupted near the shape and the thing staggered visibly. But before it could recover two more plumes of water erupted, and then moments later the sharp report from her 10cm guns washed over them.
Then came a report that they didn't expect. "JESUS CHRIST! GUYS! THAT ISN'T A SUBMARINE, IT'S A FUCKING KAIJU!" Fubuki screeched in shock and alarm.
"What do you mean?" Mutsuki asked confused.
"It's a long necked shark thingy! I don't fucking know what it is but it's a good fifty feet long! Worse it's eating those imps! Oh kami, oh kami!" Fubuki cried out, the fear in her voice so thick Mahan could practically taste it.
The effect on Mahan was immediate, she instantly went white as a ghost with surprise and shock. "Fubuki, get your ass over here. I know a nice place where we can hole up and thusly explain one of the best kept secrets in the entire American Kanmusu program." The Wickes class said.
Mutsuki tilted her head, a look of confusion spreading across it as she gazed at Mahan. "What?" she asked in a flat tone.
Walker's eyes fluttered open and she groaned in pain. The first thing she noticed was the sensation of warm seawater lapping against her hull. The second was the hearty of rumble of her blowers. The third and final thing however was all of the mist that enshrouded her, the air was thick and humid but it felt good regardless. Relief washed over her at the fact that she was alive and apart from the pain that was from likely battle damage was relatively okay.
She listened and was relieved to her the rumble of more blowers. Not her own, but those of her compatriots. It was actually a minor relief that she could hear them, for it meant that they still lived. She was about to get underway when she noticed something swimming in the water, a very familiar sleek silvery shape, a Flasher Fish.
"About time you woke up." A new voice, one that she recognized as Mahan spoke.
"How long was I out?" Walker asked groggily looking in her direction.
"Better part of nine hours, I had to tow you all the way here." Mahan quipped.
"Your not going to let me live this down are you?" Walker replied.
Mahan laughed heartily. "Nope!" she said cheerfully.
"Dammit. Alright, where are we then." Walker grunted.
"Menjangan." Mahan replied with a grin and Walker scowled, she had bad memories of this place.
A new voice spoke, one she recognized as Fubuki. "Walker, I got to ask. If what Mahan has told us is true, your war record is bar one of the most incredible things imaginable, I can't think of many ships who would have a war record like yours. Hell, the only ones that come to mind that has a similar war record would be probably Enterprise and Warspite. So is it?" she asked.
Walker sighed. "It is true, all of it. Hard to believe it, but it's true. Me a mere Wickes class Destroyer has probably one of the best war records outside of the Grey Ghost or The Grand Old Lady. I was thirty years old at that time and certainly wasn't state of the art, instead I was an old, outdated, and decrypt ship that was lucky if I could crack thirty knots and that was before World War II even started. Yet the intensity of some of the fights I have gotten into, only the actions of Iron Bottom Sound come close to their intensity and ferocity." she said, her tone somber.
"Damn, I can't imagine what some of those battles were like." Mutsuki said awed.
"Trust me, you don't wanna know. Plain and simple, those battles were incredibly difficult for a variety of reasons. I just consider myself lucky that I am still sane or mostly." Walker replied stiffly.
"Still, what are we going to do?! We're cut off from were in a completely different world and one that doesn't even known about Kanmusu to boot! What are we going to do!?" Mutsuki sobbed.
"Calm down Mutsuki. There's a couple of places we could go. Aryaal and B'mbaado would be the closest to us since we are at Menjangan. But despite being part of the Union of Homes, they don't have much of a port, in a pinch it could support a Home, but it's not designed for it. A better bet would Baalkpan, the capital city of the Union of Homes not to mention it has a major harbor and naval base. But on the other hand you got lot's of civilian traffic and it's a common anchorage for Homes, plus there is a pair of good sized fortresses guarding the mouth of the bay." Walker said looking thoughtful.
"What about Tarkan Island?" Mahan asked.
Walker sighed before shaking her head. "Baalkpan will be far enough, considering our damage. That and well, it is the stormy time of year and I don't want to go through a Strakka, not in our condition." she said.
"What's a Strakka?" Mutsuki asked befuddled.
"A Super-Typhoon on crack." Mahan deadpanned.
Both Mutsuki and Fubuki gained alarmed expressions on their faces. A Super-Typhoon was no laughing matter, to hear that this new world apparently had storms that were more powerful than such a storm was incredible.
"Alright, so we're currently at Menjangan Island and it's roughly about a thousand kilometers to Baalkpan. We got the fuel and considering how well everything has gone. We got luck on our side as well, let's go!" Walker said and together they raised anchor and began to accelerate out of their little anchorage.
Several hours later however, a low rumble like thunder began to sound in the distance. Fubuki didn't notice the sound at first, she was busy watching an approaching squall line that they were heading towards. According to Walker, squalls here were just like the ones back home, unpleasant for a Four-Piper like her but not too bad for a Special-Type like her. Regardless she kept throwing nervous glances at Mutsuki who was going to have to handle the squall with only one engine.
"You sure your alright Mutsuki?" Fubuki asked and her friend looked at her before shrugging.
"I should be fine with just a little squall. Even with a snapped propeller shaft I should be able to handle it. Won't be pleasant but I should be able too." Mutsuki replied, but Fubuki could tell that she was worried.
A part of Fubuki's mind noted that the low rumble was getting progressively louder but she ignored it. "Are you sure?" Fubuki asked worriedly.
Mutsuki smiled slightly. "I am sure!" she replied.
Suddenly Mahan's head snapped around and she looked up. "Aircraft sighted!" she yelled.
Walker suddenly looked around nervously. "Where?! Where?!" She demanded hotly.
"Uh, bearing 320, long range!" The older of the two Wickes class yelled.
Mutsuki snapped her head up in that direction and beheld no less than six gleaming fighters. They had a tailed delta wing with a single vertical stabilizer, with a relatively short and blunt nose and two protruding engine exhaust pipes from a sort of lower fuselage, while the vertical stabilizer was supported by an upper fuselage. The nose of the craft had a vicious looking shark mouth while emblazoned on the wings and fuselage was a roundel with a Navy Blue field, with a bright white five pointed star, with a dark red circle inside of it.
Walker gained this interesting expression on her face. One of not only relief but melancholy? Why did she suddenly look melancholic, it didn't make sense. Then she spoke and Mutsuki got her answer.
"Well, well, well. Hello Flashy Squadron." The Wickes class stated, waving at the fighters.
A/N: Alright! There we go! The rewrite of the first chapter is completed.