AN: First off, I know I am evil with that Cliffhanger, I bet it raises a lot of questions. First is, who's attacking? Second is, why are they attacking? Third is what is the enemy force composition? The list goes on. However what the crew of the Tokoro and the rest of Task Force Sword will find out, is that it will not be pleasant.
With that out of the way, let's weigh anchor and sail into this story!
"WHAT!?" Everyone on the bridge yelled in surprise. This was an unexpected development! Who could be attacking? Some many questions came to the minds of the bridge crew. However, Akeno got over her shock first.
"Tsugumi, confirm it! Figure out what's going on there!" She barked sharply, her voice firm. This sudden report just sent all thoughts of sleeping tonight right out the window.
"Confirmed! Confirmed! First thing I did was that I asked the other ships in the task force if they picked it up! They all did!" Tsugumi replied quickly.
Akeno bit back a sharp curse, because she knew that in just a few seconds things would begin to get a little crazy. She strode to the ship wide speaking tube, knowing that she was about to make a few people pretty upset in terms of being rudely awakened. "All hands to your stations!" She ordered sharply. A few seconds later, ringing sharply throughout the ship, was the sound of Kaede playing her bugle, this was followed quickly by some cursing and the sound of people moving as quickly as they dared while half asleep.
It didn't take long for Mashiro, Tama, and Mei to show up on the bridge looking very sleepy. "What's going on?" Mei asked, yawning.
"Singapore is under attack from forces unknown!" Akeno said sharply, almost instantly Mashiro, Tama, and Mei were wide awake; looks of surprise etched on their faces.
"Captain! Picking up more chatter from Singapore! This time it's coming over the radio and not repeat not morse!" Tsugumi said quickly through the speaking tube.
"Patch it through, quickly!" Akeno ordered.
"Yes Captain!" Tsugumi replied and a few moments later, a voice with a heavily accent began to come over the bridge speakers.
"Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! This Commander Dara binti Derman of the Singaporean Blue Mermaid Stealth Frigate Stalwart! We're under attack! I repeat we are under attack! The outlines of the attacking ships don't match any known ship anywhere! Closest thing we can wager, is that we are under from what appears to be one possibly two Admiral-class Battlecruisers, two Zao-class Heavy Cruisers, a single Gussiano-class Light Cruiser, and eight maybe twelve Mogador-class Destroyers! They are tearing us to pieces! We require assistance ASAP! Please help us!" Commander Derman cried, the tone in her voice was fearful, and heavy explosions could be heard over the radio feed nearly the entire time.
"That's it captain; it just keeps repeating. Wait a minute! Getting more communication chatter! It's really long range! Patching it through!" Tsugumi said.
Moments later a hearty female British accent came over the bridge speakers. "This is Sophie Saunders in command of the British High School Fleet Battleship HMS Prince of Wales sailing in company with HMS Repulse, HMS Exeter, HMS Cornwall, HMS Dorsetshire, HMS Durban, HMS Delphi, HMS Danae, HMS Dauntless, HMS Electra, HMS Encounter, and HMS Jupiter! Hang on Singapore! We are on our way! ETA Four Hours!" The commander of the Prince of Wales said, responding to the frantic mayday call from Singapore.
Then the Talk Between Ships began to squawk. "This is Captain Higgins on the Nome all ships listen up! We are the closest to Singapore! If we push our engines, we can arrive within ninety minutes! So we are going to respond. Because, the mission statement of the United States Navy is the following! The mission of the Navy is to maintain, train, equip combat ready Naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression, and maintaining freedom of the seas!" Thomas barked sharply.
A few moments later Tsugumi began piping the response for Task Force Sword onto the bridge. "This is Thomas Higgins commanding officer of the United States Junior Naval Academy Armored Cruiser USS Nome sailing in concert with the Protected Cruisers Durango and Silverton, the Japanese High School Fleet Exchange Ship Tokoro, and destroyers Whippie, Paul Jones, Cole, and Ingraham! Our Estimated Time for Arrival is 2 hours 15 minutes! Just hang in their!" Thomas barked over the radio.
"Ten-four Nome! We'll try our best!" Came the response.
Akeno looked around at the rest of the bridge crew; they all had stunned expressions on their faces. Mainly because here they were, sailing to the rescue of the coastal/floating city of Singapore which was under attack by forces unknown. Against ships that would easily tear Task Force Sword apart. Unless careful coordination was used, either way. The battle that was coming up was bound to be a tough one. It was going to be a planned action as well.
As if to prove that the TBS squawked and Mr. Higgins on the Nome began speaking. "Listen up all ships! The upcoming action we are about to engage in, is bound to be tough on all of us! However, we work together, we can win! The plan is going to involve having the Nome, Durango, and Silverton get in close and hammer that Battlecruiser! Tokoro, your job is to take care of the enemy cruisers, and destroyers you are to engage enemy destroyers and engage the cruisers and the battlecruiser with your torpedoes! If we do this right, we can win no problem!" He said, his voice so full confidence in the ability of the crews of the ships in his task force. A chorus of replies, each one filled with gusto and bravery.
"Roger that Nome." Akeno said, with bravery in her tone than she felt.
The task force quickly adjusted course, and began making best speed for Singapore. While on the United States High School Ships, they went to General Quarters, a thunderous gonging that resounded through the air, that was quickly followed by sound of people running to various stations, the sounds of hatches being slammed shut. Another order went out, all ships were to douse all lights, that way they could approach under the cover of night.
Either way the night was bound to be long one.
Royal Singapore Blue Mermaid Ship Stalwart
Commander Dara binti Derman commanding
The Stalwart shook violently as another furious salvo of shells from that funky looking Admiral-class Battlecruiser bracketed the Stealth Frigate Stalwart, whoever these rotten bastards were, they had caught the Singaporean Blue Mermaids with their pants down. They caught entire force for the most part in port, they had steamed in from an unexpected direction and the first hint that they gave the Singaporean Blue Mermaids, was when the shells and torpedoes started hitting ships and floating buildings. The enemy had opened fire indiscriminately, who knew how bad the casualties were by now, but they had to be high.
The only consolation that Commander Derman took, was the fact that these sons of bitches couldn't seem to hit a wildly maneuvering, Formidable-class Stealth Frigate, the problem was, they had to dance a fine line between the main battery and the secondary battery, too close and the secondary battery would tear them to pieces, too far and the main battery would clobber them. The fact that the OTO Melara Super Rapido 76mm Gun didn't seem to be really scratching the bastard, in terms of doing damage to the hull, it was tearing the crap out of the visible secondary and anti-air guns that the monster had.
"Commander! Report from ship two! They just clobbered by a pair of destroyer launched torpedoes! They're done for, they're sinking!" Derman's first officer said as the Stalwart shook violently from another straddling salvo.
"FUCK!" Derman snarled, the ship designated ship two had been the Victory-class Corvette Vigour, with that ship down, that meant the Independence-class Littoral Combat Ships the Dauntless, Fortitude, and Justice as well as the old Fearless-class patrol ships Unity, Freedom, Brave, and Daring were going to have a much harder time stopping the destroyers from breaking through and raising utter hell in the city.
Then the circuit for the engine room started up and almost instantly, the Chief Engineer began begging for permission to secure the portside shaft, that last salvo had either snapped it, bent it, or had caused the propellor on that shaft to throw a blade, either way a really bad vibration had started up and if they didn't secure it, they could wind up destroying the seals around the shaft and flood the engine room. "I don't give a damn, Chief! We slow the fuck down, we will die! So don't secure that shaft! Keep it going!" Derman snarled, and thus the begging quieted down but it didn't stop completely.
"We can't scratch that son of a bitch with our gun! Commence torpedo warfare!" Derman snapped and thus, as the Stalwart came out from the thunderous brackets from 15in shells, she turned to port and a door opened and a triple torpedo tube system was pushed forward.
"Ready to commence torpedo warfare!" The chief weapons officer said.
"Fire!" Derman snarled, and with three wha-chuffs, the torpedo tube mount spat three Italian Made AS-244S Lightweight torpedoes, each torpedo had a speed of 57 knots and packed a 120 pound warhead. Realistically, they likely would rattle the hell out of the crew on that Battlecruiser, but probably wouldn't even crack the hull, however it was better than nothing. However, when the Stalwart turned, and that door opened, her radar return that she gave off became a lot bigger. At around the sametime the torpedoes were fired, fireballs erupted down the length of the battlecruiser as her guns boomed in anger.
"HARD TO PORT! AHEAD FLANK, OVERLOAD THE GODDAMN ENGINES!" Derman screamed, and the Stalwart began turn. It did throw the solution off, however one High Capacity round connected with the Stealth Frigate and tore vast holes in the ship with its sheer mass, and then it exploded. The Stalwart shuddered so violently that it was as if the ship had been smacked by an angry god and everyone tumbled to the deck. A few moments later damage reports began reaching the bridge.
"CIC here! That shell went off likely on our deck! Almost every single computer in here has had it! Auxiliary Conn is out as well! Only weapons that we can still control is the main gun and the Harpoons!" Someone in CIC reported.
"Captain! The portside turbine has been thrown from it's mounting! It's a goddamn mess down here! I have two dead down here and the rest of us are injured! I've already secured the fuel lines for the damn thing, but either way fuel oil is splashed all over the compartment, one spark down here and we are going to be in serious trouble." The chief reported sharply, that meant there was simply carnage down below.
"We have a major fire in the galley! The refrigerator and oven have been practically destroyed by shell fragments!" A report from the galley came.
"Damage control to the galley!" Derman said as along the flanks of the monster that had just brutalized the Stalwart, three large dirty plumes of water erupted as the torpedoes impacted.
"That battlecruiser barely noticed it! Speed is unchanged, she's still going fourteen knots." The weapon officer said, Derman sighed she had expected that.
However, time had seemed to slowly pass, yet relief beyond measure was expressed when the remains of the Stalwart's radio crackled. "This is the Nome, we're on station. If you can just take care of that Battlecruiser! We'll take care of the rest!" Higgins said.
Feeling relieved that they had lasted so long, Derman grabbed the talker and spoke into it. "Consider it done!"
"Helm! Bring us about! I want to be pointed at that bastard! Commence Missile Warfare! Fire Harpoons!" Derman barked.
"Yes ma'am!" The Helmsman and the Chief Weapon Officer said as sluggishly the Stalwart came around, and then her bow was pointed at the battlecruiser.
"Missile warfare ready!" The Chief Weapon Officer said.
"Commence firing!" Derman said and just a few seconds later, the bow was encompassed in fire, as the Harpoons shot out of there launchers and screamed toward the enemy battlecruiser. Missiles exploded as the AA guns and possibly something else engaged the incoming missiles. Yet, the Stalwart had fired two dozen of the damn things, so while enemy flak and point defense systems were going to get some of them. There were just too many missiles. Six missiles got through the flak, did a "Pop-up" maneuver, nosed over and dove, they slammed into the target, punching deep into the hull by tearing through the deck and then they exploded, ripping the ship to pieces. A magazine touched off for a gout of fire, leaped upward, with a groan of steel the hull rose upward amidships and then it slammed down and the ship seemingly exploded. With a series tremendous secondary explosions, which blasted the turrets in the 'X' and 'Y' positions right off the ship as blasts tore the warship apart. What remained was gone in moments.
Seconds later, with a rattling roar, the other Battlecruiser made it's presence known. Derman's eyes widened in shock and fear. She hit the ship wide comm. "ALL HANDS! BRACE FOR IMPACT!" She bellowed. Several seconds later, out of eight rounds fired, six hit the Stalwart, with a scream of tortured steel, a series of powerful explosions, and lastly grinding, shuddering, bone rattling boom the Stalwart was split in twain. Water poured in at the rate of hundreds of gallons per minute into the Formidable-class Frigate and she sank like a stone. With some effort, Derman somehow managed to get out of her chair, swam out of one the bridge windows and then toward the surface as what remained the Multi-Mission Frigate plunged into the depths. Derman looked around, a few other Blue Mermaids had managed to get out of the Stalwart as she had sank, but not many maybe six others at the most.
She looked around, Singapore was burning, the water was on fire from burning oil, fires raged out of control in various structures across the city. When suddenly a huge fireball got her attention. As she rubbed disbelieving eyes, one of the Zao-class simply blew up.
USS Nome ACR-15
Thomas Higgins Commanding
"MOTHERFUCKER! There's two Battlecruisers! All ships, commence combat!" Thomas roared as the Stalwart took multiple large caliber hits then broke in two and then seemed to just drop beneath the surface of the ocean, a moment later, the four 10in/40 Caliber Naval Guns on the Nome thundered, this was quickly followed by the four 8in/55 Caliber guns on the Durango and the Silverton. The sudden appearance of more warships caught one of the Zao-class Cruisers off guard. The Nome got two hits, the Durango got three hits, and the Silverton got a hit, the rounds burrowed deeply into the armor of the enemy Heavy Cruiser and exploded. One of the rounds light something important for moments later amid a tremendous explosion and a huge pyre of burning powder. The enemy Heavy Cruiser ceased to be as a magazine touched off and it tore the enemy ship asunder.
The other Zao ceased its bombardment of Singapore and moved in quickly. It's 8in/50 caliber guns booming, and heavy shrieks of shells rent the air. The Destroyers of task force Sword broke away and dashed into the chaos that was the battle against the enemy destroyers. The Tokoro, blew past the Nome, the Durango, and the Silverton as they began to engage the enemy warship, obviously racing to prevent the Gussiano from joining the battle. The Zao focused it's fire on the Nome as she was the biggest threat.
However the Zao-class forgot one important detail; the Nome packed a hearty secondary battery composed of 3in and 6in rifles. "Heave too! Bring our secondary battery to bear!" Thomas ordered as the Nome shuddered as 8in rounds crashed into her armor and either bounced, or in the two separate cases, penetrated and exploded; causing the Armored Cruiser to shudder. The Nome's main battery fired again, four 10in rounds crashed into the Zao and tore her superstructure and one of the two aft turrets to pieces with Armor Piercing shells. However, now the Nome was broadside on as she finished heaving too.
With a thunderous series of booms, the eleven 3in and eight 6in guns in the secondary battery opened fire, sending HC rounds screaming into the Heavy Cruiser, tearing areas to pieces as 8in/55 Caliber rounds from the Durango tore into the ship. With a roar, shells from the other Battlecruiser plunged into the sea, three hit the Silverton, and took her apart. The ship lurched, and turned away from the Zao-class heavy damaged, flames were spewing from deck and the cries wounded reached them. "Torpedoes! FIRE!" Thomas yelled; the Nome had four 21in submerged torpedo tubes. Two torpedoes were launched at the Zao-class and both impacted, two large plumes of water screeched upward.
Another salvo screamed in from that Battlecruiser and this time caught the Silverton in a tight bracket, with two more hits. This time a large explosion rocked the protected cruiser, and burning oil was blasted all over the ship and the flames quickly took hold and the Silverton came to a groaning stop. Figures were seen running too and throw across the Silverton's deck, wrestling with hoses, to get that fire under control. However the Silverton was definitely out of the fight.
They needed to put this Zao-class down quickly, else the long range gunfire from that Battlecruiser would tear them to shreds.
Onboard the Tokoro
Misaki Akeno Commanding
Everyone on the bridge was staring in shock at the Silverton which was aft, and now heavily afire and was beginning to slow down rapidly. She was crippled and out of the fight. "Bring us into position for torpedo attack against that Giussano-class!" Akeno ordered sharply as a salvo from the remaining aft gun turret on the Zao-class bracketed them, it was obvious as to what the enemy Heavy Cruiser was trying to do was trying to alert the Giussano-class that the Tokoro was approaching.
Another salvo from the Battlecruiser screamed overhead and this time seven out of eight shells came down like Thor's hammer onto the Silverton, a tremendous explosion convulsed the protected cruiser, ready rack ammunition cooked off causing even more damage and the ship began to sag and developed a heavy list. It was clear she was doomed and her crew seemed to notice that, for lines were cast over the side and crew members without thought leaped over the side of the dying warship and into the ocean, while motor launches were lowered into the water likely carrying the wounded and the fires continued to spread.
"Jesus Christ, doesn't the gunnery officer on that enemy battlecruiser realize that the Silverton was not a threat anymore? Yet the bastards are still shooting her!" Mei snarled angrily as she gazed at the shattered Protected Cruiser. She was almost completely engulfed in fire.
"I know that! Noma! What bearing are those muzzle flashes from that Battlecruiser on?" Akeno ordered, speaking into the speaking tube for the Crow's Nest.
"They are on bearing, 335! Long range, no change in bearing. I don't think he's moving!" Noma replied over the same speaking tube.
"Thank you!" Akeno said.
"Rin! Bring us about, new course bearing 335! Mei, prepare to launch a torpedo attack! All tubes!" Akeno said sharply.
"Understood! Course change, bringing us about to bearing 335!" Rin replied as she spun the wheel and the ship turned away from her course that would put them in position to attack the Giussano-class and on a course that would allow them to launch an attack at that Admiral-class Battlecruiser. Fire pulsed angrily along the horizon and tremendous fiery projectiles raced overhead, sounding like a goddamn freight train. The shells came down in a tight bunch around the Silverton; a huge explosion ripped the Protected Cruiser to pieces. Flames, smoke, burning oil, and pieces of the ship were hurled skyward amid a massive burning pillar of powder, the Silverton in an instant disintegrated as the 15in rounds ripped her asunder and light off the aft magazines. The now shattered Protected Cruiser settled rapidly rolling onto her port side and then slipping beneath the waves in a matter moments after that hit. The Silverton was gone.
"Sonofabitch" Mashiro breathed angrily however her voice was laced with shock at what had just occurred.
"Aye!" Tama said agreeing with Mashiro.
"We're in range! Perfect position to launch!" Mei exclaimed, her voice tinged with anger, as she spun from the binoculars that also doubled as torpedo directors.
"Bring us to bearing 270! Launch torpedoes!" Akeno ordered and Rin spun the wheel, bringing the Tokoro on to her new course. Moments later, four wha-chuffs resounded followed by heavy splashes as four Type 93s, arguably the best damn straight-running torpedo ever built entered the water and streaked toward their target.
Meanwhile the Tokoro turned away and began to sprint back the way she had come to engage that Giussano before it could become a problem. The violent brawl that was still going against the Zao-class Cruiser, the Nome and the Durango were beginning to tip the scales in their favor, they had the heavy cruiser on the ropes. Plus the arrival of the destroyers had managed to tip the scales.
Four loud booms resounded and flames and smoke shot skyward, as did four large plumes of water. Meaning that the Type 93s had hit home and had ripped gaping wounds into that Battlecruiser's torpedo belt. The Type 93 was one of the best torpedoes ever made, and once again it proved it. Flames were shooting skyward, just one Type 93 could tear a hole 35 feet wide and 20 feet high into the side of a ship, having four such holes torn into the side of the ship, was easily fatal.
Suddenly eight splashes bracketed the Tokoro. "IMPACT!" Noma yelled.
"Where? Where? What's shooting at us!?" Mashiro asked frantically as another salvo raced in and bracketed the Light Cruiser.
"It's the Giussano! It's engaging us with guns!" Noma shouted in order to be heard above the sounds of combat.
"Thanks Noma! Commence Surface Combat, prepare for Artillery Battle! Commence firing! Target is that Giussano!" Akeno said curtly.
"Aye!" Tama said before giving instructions to the gun crews.
Hearty booms resounded as the forward turrets engaged the enemy Light Cruiser. Before they knew it, they were engaged in a fierce artillery duel. The Giussano had the advantage of having more guns, a more powerful secondary battery, better fire control, and speed. However the Tokoro had advantages of her own, she was smaller, more agile, and unlike the Italian Light Cruiser her guns were more accurate and more reliable as well. Those factors played a critical part in the outcome of the battle.
The Tokoro quickly began to tear the enemy light cruiser apart. However, suddenly as another salvo screamed in from the enemy light cruiser, one of the rounds from the Tokoro impacted the torpedo mount that contained four 21in torpedoes. With a thunderous explosion, the torpedoes detonated, a huge fireball roared skyward and the enemy ship slowed suddenly. "Yes! Direct hits!" Mei said energetically, moments later the salvo of shells that the Giussano had fired landed. This time it was a surprisingly tight bracket, shells landed on either side of the Light Cruiser and two rounds connected. One round, literally tore two twin 25mm AA gun mounts right off the ship as it screamed toward the ocean. The other one, impacted hull and with a loud sickening crump it detonated, considering that no high pitched screams or damage reports came through it probably had done minor damage.
"Keep at it! That thing can still fire!" Akeno ordered, and as if to prove her point, the guns on the Giussano flashed, moments later the 14cm guns on the Tokoro let out a ragged salvo. It was obvious that the detonation of the torpedo mount had crippled the enemy light cruiser, but it could still fight. "Mei-chan! Are our torpedoes reloaded?" Akeno asked quickly.
"Yes they are!" Mei replied as she suddenly had to grab the starboard side torpedo director to stop herself from falling as another set of shells bracketed the Tokoro. "Good to hear, commence torpedo warfare! Two torpedoes! Target is that Giussano! Commence firing!" Akeno said quickly.
"Yes captain!" Mei said as she stared at the Giussano through the torpedo director on the other side. With two shrieks of air, two torpedoes discharged and they streaked toward the crippled Light Cruiser but it was still firing at them. There was ringing crash and everyone staggered. "What was that?!" Rin shouted.
"New hole in the smokestack!" Noma barked as she looked at the stack, which now had smoke pouring out of both the main area and a pair of new holes in the stack.
"Oh! Hehehe!" Rin said as realized the hilarity of the statement, just a new hole in the smokestack nothing to worry about. Suddenly two large large plumes of water erupted against the hull of the enemy warship and it came to almost dead stop in an instant as one torpedo carried away the bow with ease and the other opened her hull up like a sardine can.
"Bullseye!" Mei shouted and then high-fived Tama as the Giussano finally went quiet, done in by a pair of Type 93s.
"Damage report!" Akeno ordered quickly.
"Maron here! Engine room is fine and so is everyone else, although it's probably 48 degrees celsius down here!" Maron said, reporting in.
"Irako here, no one is injured, but we have a lot of shattered cups and plates down here! Other than that were fine!" Irako the head chef for the Tokoro said.
"Kaburagi here, no damage, and and no injured." Kaburagi the medic for the Tokoro said.
The reports streamed in, however than an interesting report came in. "I found where that round that hit us us and exploded had gone off. Uh, Deputy Captain I hate to say it, but your quarters have been well, completely shredded, almost nothing is recognizable in here." Aoki Momo, a member of the Tokoro's Damage Control Team said.
"You have got to be kidding me; I mean, bad luck still finds me every now and again." Mashiro said dejectedly, saddened at the fact that her quarters had been completely shredded.
The TBS then squawked. "This is Ingraham, I don't believe it! They're running! The three surviving enemy destroyers are bugging out! Can someone confirm this?" Luciana said, her voice stunned.
"Confirmed! I don't believe it, there running! However I wonder why, they are doing so!" Rollins who was on the Cole said, he was shocked as well.
As if to prove why they were running, with a sharp crack, the night which had been light pretty well by fires turned into day as a brilliant flare erupted over the battlefield. Approaching rapidly from the southeast was an amazing sight, HMS Prince of Wales, the rest of the British High School fleet ships that were responding to Singapore's mayday call sailing behind her in a ragged echelon formation. The flare did a damn good job of showing the carnage.
The Zao-class was very low in the water and had very heavy list to starboard, having been taken apart by the Durango and the Nome. However, sitting rather low in the water, wounds all over her, was the Durango, the Protected Cruiser had taken a hell of a battering, her forward main gun battery turret had exploded, and a gun barrel had snapped on the aft main gun battery turret, not to mention her bow was gone, her superstructure was utterly smashed, and a spectacular wound was in her flank near the waterline, with smoke gushing out. The Nome was making headway toward the battered Durango but she had taken a pummeling as well, three of her funnels had been utterly shredded and the fourth and been simply shotaway; most of her casemate guns were knocked out as well, and smoke gushed from an impressive wound in the center of the casemate where the 6in guns were mounted, right between two levels, the guns around the wound were all askew. It was clear that while the Nome and the Durango had succeeded in sinking the Zao-class, the Zao-class had pummeled the Nome and the Durango and it appeared as if the Durango might be done for.
"Wow! Look at the British Ships, they are so pretty!" Rin said as she eyed the British Ships, they were painted Light Tan and had an impressive stripe that ran from the pilothouse aft, the color that made up this stripe was Light Sea Green.
"I can concede to that. They certainly are a pretty ships, more so than the Nome, Durango, or Silverton." Kouko said as she looked at the British Ships.
However, as time went on, it became clear that whoever had attacked Singapore, had hit hard. When day finally broke, it revealed pure devastation. Fuel oil fires were everywhere, numerous structures were on fire, worst, the floating quays that the Singaporean Blue Mermaids used to support their Formidable-class Multi Mission Stealth Frigates, had been just utterly ripped apart, it was heavily listing into the water, flames and oil were everywhere. It was clear that five of the six powerful frigates had been sunk at anchor, and the sixth had been lost with only seven survivors out of a crew of fifty two. Granted, the Stalwart the one that had been lost with the majority of it's crew, had managed to set sail, and had engaged the enemy for two solid hours maybe more before being smashed.
However, just as heart-wrenching was the fact that, two of the hardened shelters; which had been designed to take a hell of a beating. Had been cracked open like eggs, by enemy gunfire. Resulting in stupendously heavy civilian casualties. Most of the other ships, except for the ones that had managed to cut their lines, had been completely destroyed. All that was left of the Singaporean Blue Mermaids, was two old Fearless-class Patrol Boats and one Independence-class Patrol Boat.
"Captain, orders from the Nome; they want us to scuttle the Durango. Captain Higgins said that the Durango has a tremendous amount of damage, and that she will sink sooner or later; however he fears that if we let her sink on her own, that she will drift into the city before she does sink and will cause quite the snarl up trying to raise her, so he wants us to sink her now." Tsugumi said.
"Thank you Tsugumi." Akeno said.
"Rin, bring us abreast of the Durango. Mei, once we are abreast of the Durango, put our last two torpedoes into her. That should sink her, damn I never thought we would have to scuttle a ship." Akeno ordered softly. She couldn't wait to get to her bed, the stress of the battle that they had just endured was starting to get to her.
The Tokoro pulled abreast of the Durango and from a range of 3,000 meters fired her last two torpedoes. Both ran straight and true, but one was dud and it bounced off the Durango's hull with a infuriating CLANG! However, the other one proved to be more than enough, because with a tremendous boom and a scream of tortured steel. The other Type 93 blew the Durango in half and the two halves sank very quickly and what remained of the proud Olympia-class Protected Cruiser, finally slipped beneath the waves two minutes after the Type 93 hit.
"We had a dud?! Damn, they weren't kidding when they said that it rarely happens. They weren't joking." Mei said, shocked at the fact that they had gotten a dud.
"Captain! We are getting an emergency message from United States Junior Naval Academy, Asiatic Flotilla!" Tsugumi said frantically through the speaking tube.
"What does it say?" Akeno asked curiously.
"Message reads; All United States Junior Naval Academy Asiatic Flotilla ships. A terrible disaster has unfolded within the span of few a hours, someone has launched attacks on Singapore, Surabaya, Manila, Cavite, Balikpapan, as well as any other city that had a Blue Mermaid presence was hit. According to reports, almost nothing has survived in terms of Blue Mermaids ships and personnel. As such, we are faced with a difficult choice. The logical choice is to leave the area behind and retreat to Guam or we could do the right thing and stay, because with the Professionals devastated, there is no left to keep these sea lanes safe; worse, communications have suddenly become temperamental, we can barely receive Guam, which means if we take the later, we are on our own. In light of this, I am recalling all United States Junior Naval Academy Asiatic Flotilla ships, effective immediately; return to Manila for we have to, as a class come to decision on what to do." Tsugumi replied curtly.
"Thank you, Tsugumi." Akeno said, before she looked around.
"Shiro-chan, think you can handle the bridge watch? I am going to go to bed. I haven't gotten any sleep, since yesterday." Akeno said groggily.
"I can handle it, you go get some sleep Captain. You need pretty badly, the last thing we need is for our captain to be dead on her feet." Mashiro said fixing Akeno with a warm smile.
"Thank you, unless it's an emergency until the next watch I am to be disturbed." Akeno said and everyone nodded.
USS Nome ACR-15
Captain Thomas Higgins Commanding
"Run that by me again, please Number One? How many people did we lose?" Thomas asked his first officer incredulously.
"I am not joking, sir. Our casualty figures are, the entirety of the Engineer Division on the Silverton, so that's eight plus five out of seven for one of the two seven men damage control teams and three for the other damage control team. Also no one has seen Captain Hazel Wyatt either. She likely went down with the Silverton. Everyone else from the Silverton is injured, two severely. For Durango no deaths despite the fact that she was stomped into the ground, worst injury suffered aboard her was a shattered femur. It's a similar story for the destroyers, no dead although a lot cuts, scrapes, bruises, and a pair of sprained ankles, other than that they came off scot free. The Tokoro apart from some frayed nerves and wits, as well as couple of bruises, no deaths. We didn't suffer all that bad, despite the fact we got pounded, but we did suffer two fatalities, both damage control men, they were trying to repair the automatic loader for one the 6in guns when we took that hit that knocked four guns out of action and damaged the rest in someway. Almost everyone else is injured, I heard that Boats is complaining about the fact that a bullet punched through the goddam hull and hit him in the ass." The first officer of the Nome, Lana Diaz said.
"Fucking hell, that means we have lost Nineteen?!" Thomas said stunned; never in the history of any High School Fleet anywhere had so many students been killed in a battle. It had happened, but rarely so.
"Yes Captain, we have lost nineteen all I have to say is thank god that our ships have the three layers of protection, it could have been a lot worse, and we might lose two more if we don't get them to a hospital ASAP!" Lana replied.
"FUCK! This is bad! I don't fucking need this! However get them to a hospital! NOW!" Thomas snarled, he didn't want to lose twenty-one, nineteen as it was; to put it simply, it was sobering. However given content of that radio message they'd received a few days ago, something told Thomas, that list was likely going to get longer.
"Yes sir!" Lana said and then promptly left the bridge.
"Fuck! I need a drink or something!" Thomas snapped angrily, this mission to save Singapore had been a bit of a fiasco, from having the Silverton pounded into twisted, mangled wreck to being forced to scuttle the Durango on the account that she had been pounded into an irreparable hulk. It drove home the fact that, not only had Thomas's command been ravaged, but nineteen dead; that just sucked! It meant he had some very tough letters to write.
"You sure sir? I mean, I understand you're mad at the fact that, we have lost nineteen. However you have admit. We were fighting superior ships, I mean Heavy Cruisers are supposed to tear the crap out of Armored and Protected Cruisers. It could have been a lot worse." The helmsman said.
"You are right. It certainly could have been a lot worse. I just can't believe it. I mean, losing the Silverton the way we did and then having to scuttle the Durango. It just fucking sucks beyond belief!" Thomas seethed angrily, it had been his responsibility, he had made the call for Task Force Sword to engage the enemy, to come to the rescue of Singapore and it had cost nineteen students there lives. Fighting an enemy who obviously wasn't some small time terrorist cell who had decided to do this for shits and giggles, but was in fact a major terrorist cell that was certainly up to no good and was out to likely destabilize the entire Malay Barrier area and then conquer it most likely.
Sighing Thomas grabbed the talker for the TBS. He had to inform the British about this! This was a dire situation that needed to be rectified. "HMS Prince of Wales come in, come in Prince of Wales." He said.
"This is HMS Prince of Wales, whose transmitting?" the Captain of the King George V-class Fast Battleship said.
"This is USS Nome ACR-15; were transmitting Prince of Wales." Thomas said.
"Okay, Nome, roger that. I am reading you five by five. I am Captain Sophie Saunders. What can I do for you today?" Sophie asked over the radio, her voice curious.
"Listen up Prince of Wales. About an hour ago, every single ship in my task force got a radio message from our school. It has revealed that this was not, I repeat not, an isolated incident were some terrorist cell decided to utterly destroy a city state and the Blue Mermaid Force that protects it and its sea lanes. Whoever these murdering, rotten, sons of bitches are let's just say, they didn't only hit Singapore. These fucking bastards hit every other major Blue Mermaid Base within the Malay Barrier. Destroying the majority of the ships at those bases and inflicting murderous casualties on both Blumer Personnel and Civilians. We are being given a choice, we flee to Guam the 52nd State in the Union or we stay and do our damndest to protect the sea lanes here. I am giving you an offer, come with us to Manila, we stand a better chance against this enemy together then separated. It's likely going to be our best hope for coming out of the ordeal to follow, alive." Thomas said tersely, he didn't want to sugar coat this, oh no, this was something you just simply did not sugar coat.
There was silence on the other end of the line for a few minutes. It was obvious that Captain Saunders was weighing her options. Nearly ten minutes passed before she responded.
"Captain Higgins, I have to say. I do agree with you. I am going to place some calls to a couple of friends in the Dutch East Indies High School Fleet and to the Australian High School Fleet; because I am certain that, while the Aussies would be, nervous to send in their Blumer force after well, so many Blumer forces have been ruthlessly destroyed. Maybe it's fate calling to us, maybe it's just the fact that we are doing the right thing. I just dunno. Either way I agree were in." Captain Saunders said over the TBS.
Thomas chuckled. "You know what they say. The United States Navy, a Global force for good." He said earning a laugh from Sophie.
"Too true mate! Either way, I have to alert my friends and find out what's going on and I will see what I can do. However something tells me we will be desperate for hulls!" Sophie said curtly, it was at this point that Thomas was finally able to pin down her accent, likely from Dover.
"Good to hear. Listen, we'll have our most badly wounded people left here in Singapore. We will leave for Manila this afternoon." Thomas said.
"Ten-Four, just let us know when your leaving. Also I will have all of my ships maintain pressure in their boilers." Sophie said, her voice curt.
"Roger that Prince of Wales, over and out!" Thomas said before replacing the Talker back in it's cradle, he then sighed before going down to the wardroom to get a cup of Navy Coffee, brewed strong with a dash of salt.
The one thing that Thomas knew what this unprecedented attack against the Maritime Security forces of East Indies, was that this was beginning of major conflict, possibly the first real major conflict to occur on the high seas since the infamous Armored Fleet Incident in Japan 16 years ago and what had just happened over the course of the night, in terms of damages and death toll had likely already surpassed the damages and death toll for the Armored Fleet Incident. Thomas also had a hunch that considering what had just happened, whoever these bastards were, they were going strike again and again, until the nations in the East Indies bent to there will. Not if I can help it! I know I won't go down without a fight! Thomas thought angrily.
However and no one knew this at the moment, but this was just the first step in an elaborate scheme by a terrorist organization called the Kraken Fleet which was descended from the infamous Armored Fleet, however this time, they were going to conquer of the East Indies and use that as a springboard to launch invasions of Australia, Taiwan, China, and Japan. They were going to cut shipping routes and not open them until various demands were met, among them was the recognition of the lands they had taken over as it's own nation; the United Imperial Republics.
They figured that they had succeeded in being able to do the first part of that, with the decimation of every single Blumer force in the East Indies. Yet they were going to find that one unexpected group was going to say "no" to that plan.
AN: There you go boys and girls! Another chapter in Haifuri: Gone Asiatic! Word of warning, this will be a dark fic. If you can tell by what has occurred. Either way, this is bound to be a wild ride! If you have ideas, then I am open to them! I always am.
Anyway take care folks, and I'll catch you next time!