"Ippan Shihanki," I called out while sailing full speed to reach the deeper waters of Wailua Bay before turning into the wind and launching several flights of Zeros. With one of the towns being attacked less than thirty miles away, I absolutely needed to get my Combat Air Patrol in place.

Immediately after, reconnaissance aircraft flew in all directions. With an unknown enemy out there causing havoc, all avenues of approach to the island of Kauai needed to be covered. Being a World War Two aircraft carrier, I was well aware of what type of enemies could be out there. Thankfully, I had the planes to do it properly.

All sorts of scenarios rattled around in my head as I watched the afternoon sky. Were these Abyssals just opportunistic raiders, or maybe a scouting force for something worse? Would I find a massive task force offshore preparing to assault the island?

I would readily admit that this whole thing terrified me on some level. On the other hand, Akagi was an old hand at this. However, getting into a gun duel wasn't high on my list of things to do today, and my lack of escorts wasn't helping the situation either.

With additional Zeros added to the CAP, I started to sail in crazy eights, contemplating my next move. Neither I nor the US Marines had any clue whether there was a need to prepare for a ground attack or to engage enemies on the sea—an ironic decision, to be sure, as the Japanese Navy faced something similar at Midway.

Thankfully, by then, my other worry had vanished; the civilians had disappeared from the beach back into the trucks on their way south. I hope they think fondly of me and aren't too angry at my subterfuge, but it was no longer safe for them to be here with what was happening less than thirty miles away.

Unfortunately, Cloe, her mother, and the rest of those who had traveled with me didn't appear to be getting off the island, at least for today. Civilian evacuation off Kauai had been placed on hold as more reports of demonic sea-based attacks on the island's northern towns continued to come in.

According to Major Hittle, some people still refused to be evacuated, so I had no idea how many of the seventy-thousand-odd residents were waiting down in Niumalu for the three-hour boat ride to Oahu. With the Abyssals appearing, did the US government plan on evacuating the rest of the population? It would be a massive undertaking, with the Hawaiian Islands home to over a million people.

While on the beach, the Marines also mentioned the enemy had been given an official name. During a BBC broadcast, an announcer called them 'Demons from the Abyss,' which was shortened to 'Abyssals.' So, the enemy now had a name.

I had to smile, though, as my signalmen acknowledged a message from the beach—a simple and effective means of communication. I would at least be able to remain in contact, a good thing, too, as the newly dubbed Abyssals' location had been confirmed.

Target Kalihiwai Bay.

"There you are," I whispered after spotting two eldritch monsters floating on the water.

Reports of two whale-like destroyers sunning themselves directly across from the burning remains of the Kilauea Lighthouse were accurate. From what I could see, the pair were doing little more than firing a shell or two inland every few minutes or so.

Unfortunately for them, a group of six Aichi D3A "Vals" dive-bombers and their escorts were circling overhead. I noticed that they were oblivious, totally unaware of the dangers that were about to befall them, which was fine by me.

However, these soon-to-be burning wrecks weren't the most concerning. One of my reconnaissance aircraft had spotted a much larger and closer force consisting of a light cruiser and six destroyers coming around the coast just north of Moloa's Bay. These, too, appeared not to have a care in the world, sailing lazily while randomly shelling the shore.

Well, that was to be expected. There was little chance they thought a shipgirl, much less an aircraft carrier, would be in the area. I just needed to make sure there were no survivors to report back.

While I readied to launch a follow-up strike on either target, my Nakajima B5N or Kate torpedo bombers were already lining up to pounce on the cruiser while a group of Vals flying overhead picked out their own. Although the enemy wasn't as oblivious as I thought as anti-aircraft began to fill the sky, it was a little too late.

Two Abyssal destroyers blew apart in a flash, their hulls cracked by five-hundred-pound bombs, causing the rest to scatter. At the same time, three Type 91 torpedoes struck the light cruiser midship. A tad bit overkill, perhaps, but it broke in two, quickly sinking. As my Zeros continued to harass the survivors, I contacted the beach of my success and began the search for more targets.

The sun was beginning to set by the time the last of my reconnaissance aircraft got back on board. Besides dealing with a few errant Abyssal destroyers from the original force, there had been no other signs of the enemy. Which was a good thing, as I imagine I would be doing the same thing tomorrow.

But it had been a rather long day, and I was getting hungry. So, holding back a yawn, I sailed toward the darkened beach. With the Marines enforcing a 'Blackout,' it would soon be hard to see, but thankfully, there was still plenty of light left to find a safe location to land without getting my socks wet.

I also noticed that the military had been busy staking claim to the State Park with sandbag-protected anti-aircraft emplacements now sitting under the trees and numerous tents raised in the field beyond. What I didn't expect was to find a group of Marines on the beach cheering as I approached.

It was well after dark by the time I settled in for some dinner. The military had taken over a local Hilton, so at least I wouldn't be spending the night in a tent.

"I thought the amount of food a shipgirl could put away was a meme," I overheard Private Anderson wonder in awe.

Well, a girl with a healthy appetite shouldn't be discouraged. Still, I would have to admit that the amount of food I have been given and now eaten would shame a football team's appetite. Thankfully, it didn't come as a surprise; the Marines were ready for it. Information had come from various sources of shipgirls' enormous appetites. I had no clue how eating regular food restocked my depleted ammunition and fuel stores, but I wouldn't complain.

On the other side of the conference room, a small group of navy personnel, including Commander Carlyle, were talking quietly while passing around paperwork. Before I even sat down, I handed them after-action reports to look over. At least they were written in English instead of Kanji, although Tom could probably translate. What surprised the group but shouldn't have been that they were on official Imperial Japanese Navy letterhead.

One of the things that they were also discussing was where I fell into the chain of command as I was neither US Navy nor Marine personnel. My civilian half was slightly annoyed, as I wasn't even part of their military. In fact, the one I once belonged to no longer existed. Although technically, the chrysanthemum on my bow proclaimed that I was the personal property of the Emperor of Japan, which both bothered me and made me inordinately proud.


I looked up, setting aside another tray next to the rest of the dishes stacked up like some obscene culinary tower next to me.

"Yes, Private."

"If you're finished, the Commander would like to have a word with you," he said respectfully.

With a nod, I rose, wiped off my face, and crossed the room. The group needed clarification on a few things and perhaps added some observations before everything was forwarded to Pearl.

One of the, I believe, Warrant Officers who had been looking over one of my reports asked, "Ma'am, can you explain how you recognize these whale-like Abyssals as destroyers?"

"Because that's what they are," I replied with a frown, then nodded with clear understanding. "You don't or cannot see what I see. Although I am aware that they are some sort of eldritch abomination, I can also see the destroyer that lies beneath. Although I use the term loosely, those I engaged this afternoon appeared to be some sort of hybrid of a Clemson and Momo-class destroyer."

"And the light cruiser?" another sailor asked.

"A Nagara-class light cruiser, maybe," I replied sadly. "Hard to tell as it was so corrupted by whatever created it."

"Other shipgirls have said something similar, sir."

Before anyone could say anything more, I found myself asking, "Has the Japanese Navy been made aware of my presence?"

Which surprised the heck out of me. Thankfully, Commander Carlyle appeared to understand.

"Yes, we were just talking about that. Admiral Wright managed to reach Yokosuka Naval Base; however, he wasn't able to speak with Admiral Hasegawa directly, but he did speak with his adjutant, Commander Goto. Unfortunately, it wasn't for long. But you will be happy to know that the Battleship Haruna, who was also in the office, expressed great happiness to hear that you have appeared."

"Haruna," I whispered with a soft smile. Of the Kongou sisters, she was the most soft-spoken but also a fearsome warrior.


The Commander shook his head. "Nothing yet; we will try and communicate with them tomorrow another way. The JUSCN, sorry, the submarine telecommunications cable system between the United States and Japan, was one of the first casualties. Thankfully, the trans-Pacific telephone cable between Hawaii and the mainland has remained intact."

I nodded. "I see."

"What are your intentions?"

"Nothing has changed, Commander. Considering my history in these waters, it would serve Japan and myself well to remain and protect the citizens of these islands. I am at your disposal until I am ordered by an authority I recognize."

He, well, everyone in the room, looked relieved at my proclamation.

News of enemy carriers had me on edge all day, so shouts from my crew quickly drew my attention skyward. We had been so proud of our pilots who had successfully shot down one enemy aircraft after another all day, so finding American dive-bombers right above my deck came as a complete shock.

And as their bombs fell into the sea, sending great columns of water into the air, I couldn't help but stare at a single aircraft descending from above. My helmsman tried his best, but nothing mattered. Neither maneuver nor a sky full of anti-aircraft fire deterred this pilot from his duty, and as the enemy aircraft pulled away, a black dot fell from the heavens, sealing my fate.

The bomb slammed into my deck, sending great sparks like summer fireworks and great plumes of black smoke into the sky. At first, it didn't appear to be too bad. Surprisingly, I almost didn't notice it, but then the detonations started below, forcing me to grab the bulkhead, feeling like I had been punched in the gut.

That explosion rapidly spread, sending me to my knees where the torpedoes and bombs were being replaced. One after another, they detonated, and soon, with the additional aircraft fuel stored there, engulfed my world in smoke and flames. Even as I attempted to stand, a chain of induced explosions continued to pummel me.

I knew that this might be the end.

Finally, when the inferno reached the bottom of the bridge, I could see the crew struggling to breathe. But the horrors didn't stop there, as I stumbled onto my deck and looked out to sea. Soryu was on fire, and then I turned to find…


I opened my eyes to find myself staring at the ceiling of my hotel room. The best in the house, so I was told not that it mattered. Checking my ship's clock only confirmed that I had been lost in the world of dreams for only a few hours.

With little chance of falling back to sleep, I started my day. Strangely, these little human inconveniences weren't apparent on the water, but once without my rigging, knowing the location of a bathroom became important. The shower felt strange, too; the water was clean, but I missed the sea. Would it be odd if I asked for a saltwater shower?

But the normalcy of a bathroom ritual was precisely what I needed. It came as no surprise to me that my dreams included the day I sank as Akagi. The conversation with the naval analyst didn't last for long. They could see I was tired, and they, too, had other work. But before I went to bed, Commander Carlyle took me aside, wanting to brief me on some things I might not be aware of. He informed me that his direct boss, Admiral Wright, Commander U.S. Pacific Fleet, wanted to make sure I had all the possible information.

As a carrier, I appreciated that. However, it didn't bode well when he pulled reports out of a locked briefcase and began with, "The situation is a lot worse than most people know."

Guam, Wake, and most of the Marshal Islands; in fact, almost all of the smaller islands in the Pacific have gone dark in the last few days. Most assumed there were very few coastal countries by now that had not been attacked, with only the Mediterranean calm; most analysts believed that to be the quiet before the storm.

In the Atlantic, wolfpacks of Abyssal submarines made it almost possible for modern ships to sail without issue. Although, on the bright side, HMS Warspite, along with a handful of destroyers and a cruiser, had suddenly appeared, coming to the aid of a British force in the North Sea.

There was no way that this could not impact global shipping, which he confirmed. The Suez Canal looked like a parking lot with so many ships anchored there. I then felt bad about the food I had just eaten when he spoke about rationing that would soon begin on the Hawaiian Islands.

"In the last few weeks, all but two of the six core battlegroups of the Pacific command had taken substantial casualties. Other modern navies haven't fared any better."

Why was he telling me all of this?

Because as far as they knew, I was the only shipgirl to appear on this side of the Pacific Ocean.