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/qst/ - Quests

>Statistics: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1p2K_evlFKjbblbSTf3ZSf-0xECyNHEeiQEgyiFdADcw
>Character: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1F43-0W17qNQ3Q_FwOOQPYw8Rf4HmSCFrEcAv-uOPQD0/edit?usp=sharing
>Tasks: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1agFmzgoNb0jeqd2G9H2voZ5Zm4N6fxPTQXQyt_GY9ec/edit?usp=sharing
>Rolling Rules: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1D6xlxpzfqF_rC2iemL-OGhFkNK4uiy8PZdvjkkdVBPU/edit?usp=sharing
>Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?searchall=shipgirl+commander
>Twitter: https://twitter.com/DiceToTableTop

‘Ooyodo, relieve this man of his position.’

Startled, he slides his feet off the table in one swift movement, almost dropping on his back at the sudden jerk. Ooyodo, who you’d just called out to moments ago, doesn’t respond to your call, although judging by the expression on the face of the Chief, it’s not that far from moving into a probable zone of agreement with your proposition of his removal.

He clumsily straightens his table, giving you a forced smile and a wave of his hands, conveying that it had not been a serious proposition of exchange – at least, that’s what you think he’s getting at.

‘Whoa, whoa, hey, hey, let’s not get trigger-happy here!’ The Chief waves his hands wildly, occasionally throwing a glance at something – probably Ooyodo – behind you. ‘I was only joking, ease up.’

‘I’d rather you to stick to a safe spot when it concerns inquiries on the undergarments of my subordinates, Chief.’

That roguish exterior returns, and he leans over the table, smirking again.

‘Why?’ He snickers smugly, eyes shining. ‘She your woman?’

He hits very close, but weeks of building up a resistance against Kaga’s jibes make them nothing more than hot air and verbal pebbles.

‘If she is my woman, Chief,’ you lean in yourself, propping your elbows on the table, ‘wouldn’t you think it would have been a stupid decision to ask me for her panties in her first place?’

He puffs his cheeks, looking thoughtful.

‘Fair enough, sir.’ He answers with a nod, dropping back into his seat. ‘Still, I can’t give you what you’re asking for.’ He folds his arms, giving you ‘Regardless of the what and the why, the patrol schedules are classified and for my eyes only. I can’t release the documents to you without due cause.’ He taps the table a few times, his lips thinning into a line. ‘Mind enlightening me on this investigation?’

‘I’d think that as the head of MP operations, you’d know.’ You throw back – a little more harshly than you’d intended.

‘Come on, Commander – we’re not going to get anywhere playing it cool.’ He chuckles, leaning casually on his elbow. 'You help me so I can help you. That's how this game works, yeah?'

You consider your next words.

>Share your findings and suspicions
>Ask him if he knows anything in regards to the incidents
>Don’t share anything with him (LEAVE)
>>Share your findings and suspicions
It's doubtful that he would be behind the attacks.
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You relent. Even if you had a personal dislike of him – which you most definitely do, given his demeanor and manner of conduct in the last several minutes – it would be hypocritical and stupid on your part to withhold information; whatever his behavior had been and disagreeable as he appears to be at the current moment, you still needed his help. Besides, you don’t think he’d, of all people, been the mastermind behind the attacks.

He didn’t seem that petty to be someone who’d beat up someone and chew a bao just to rub it in.

You bite your lip, stopping yourself – maybe he did, actually.

‘There’ve been attacks on the crew working the commercial district in the last few days.’ You explain, leaning back into your chair. The demeanor of the Chief doesn’t change one bit, in fact, he does look thoughtful – and most of all, curious. You go on, tapping the table absent-mindedly. ‘I have reason to suspect that the MPs patrolling the areas at the time of the attacks have knowledge of those responsible.’

He copies your manner, leaning back and raising a hand to his chin. He raises his eyes to your one good one and back to the desk – he takes a file out from the bottom of the messy stack, dislodged from its sorted state by the wild movement of his foot before. Despite appearing to be a boor, you suspect there's a bit more to him than panty requests; he opens the folder, frowning.

You don’t say anything – you suppose he’s taking your inquiry into the matter seriously and doing some checks of his own.

‘So, what do you think?’ He suddenly grins, shoving the folder right under your nose. ‘Check it out.’

Your eye immediately wonders to the folder – which concealed, of all things, a gravure model catalog, with girls barely out of their teenage years in provocative poses and barely two weaves of clothing between them – and reel over not so after, so surprised are you by the sudden exposure.

It isn’t so much the nature of the object… but in broad daylight, in public… it was a moronic thing to do in the workplace, as makeshift as it is.

‘What in the world are you doing?!’ You hiss in a low voice as he frowns, taking back the folder and the magazine within, lest you tear it in half – which you really are about to, your patience running out fast. ‘Do you – ?’

‘Chill, Commander, I’m just trying to break the ice.’ He harrumphs, as if you had been the one acting out of line. ‘You could do with a few jugs, if you know what I me – !’

‘I don’t need to break the ice.’ You cross your arms – you weren’t for that brief instant, though. ‘What I need is information on the attacks on my subordinates; and if you’re not willing to assist me, you can at least hand me over something that can.’

He looks thoughtful… and hands you over the magazine again.

You count backwards from 10 again.

>Play his game (Take the magazine)
>Press him (Roll a 1d6 each)

while we wait and what not a resume on investigation:
-our boys attacked while using shortcuts outside the controled area ("ruined town")
-our boys are ex-thugs, so whoever atacked has to be pretty strong
-he was not seen or heard and attacked by the back, it can be supposed it just one person

thats the facts i managed to catch so far

it could be a disgrunted MP (as they dont have us in good eyes, and are strong enough), a town citizen (can be strong enough, and vengence is one hell of a motive) or a hired thug (theorie goes from the yakuza or the slimeball major who tried to fuck with us)

i think i got it right
>>Play his game (Take the magazine)
Something tells me that there's more to the Chief than meets the eye.
Rolled 1 (1d6)

>Press him (Roll a 1d6 each)
we are a commander damn it
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Your shoulders slump as you, by some miracle, manage to keep your temper in check. You take the magazine from his hands with a quick snatch, leaning back to read through it. Reading, though, would hardly describe you shuffling through the wares – around you you find that the rest of the MPs are throwing the both of you disgusted looks or blatantly ignoring you. One of them barely spares you a glance as he drops a stack onto the Chief’s table.

As arrogant it is for you to say as you go through the books, being a man of experience – and proud of it – you really find that none of them held quite the attention as the form of your previous partners had.

Of course, you don’t declare it out loud – the last thing you needed right now is a confirmation on his side of things.

‘Hey, Hey, if you’re interested, I can show you the rest of my stash.’ He grins widely – around you, you hear the grumbles and mumbles of the MP workforce. He gets to his feet, giving the place a good once over. ‘I’m taking a break, folks, see you in ten minutes!’

The grumbles around the room grow louder. None of them seem particularly happy about it – only Ooyodo is remotely positive… at least, her non-indication translates to it. She merely shuffles her paperwork faster as you get to your feet, following him to the middle of the room – he does a melodramatic spin, humming as he makes his way out the door with you in tow.

A female MP gives the both of you a salute – she glares daggers at him, though.

His response is a quick pat on her butt with a wink – her counter is a kick to the back of his knee, one that you find an amount of catharsis in witnessing.

The grin doesn’t go away, though.

You pinch your temples. You remind yourself that you’d elected to follow this particular path – you’d stick with it the best you can; either until he decided that you’d jumped through enough hoops to give you another lead or until you give him a sock in the jaw when you’d decided that the hoops just aren’t worth it. You cross the street with him – you notice messy white paint on the bricks of the building you’d passed before, former shoplots converted into…

Pats Only

He shoves the entrance grill open.

The stairs leading upwards looks anything but safe… but you don’t think he’s going to do anything moronic or inappropriate – or more inappropriate than he has been, anyway. You wonder just how he had landed this gig as the Head of MP Operations, anyway.

‘Would it kill you to smile, Commander?’

You’d reached the top of the stairs… and see the playful look in his eyes vanish. His arms are crossed as he stands in the middle of a room lined with sleeping bags and makeshift water containers.

‘What do you want to know?’

>‘Hang on, what?’ (Confused)
>‘What do you know? (Redirect)
>'I'm starting to doubt you know anything.' (Accuse)
>>‘What do you know? (Redirect)
>‘What do you know? (Redirect)
aint dealing with that right now
>>‘What do you know? (Redirect)
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‘What do you know?’ You glare at him, finally beginning to feel the first strands of your patience snapping – slowly, but violently. ‘I’m starting to think that there’s nothing in that noggin of yours worth prying, if I’m being polite.’

He grasps his chest, gasping and pouting.

‘Hey, below the belt, Commander.’

You’re not amused by the melodramatics – not one bit. The Chief lets out a huge sigh and slumps his shoulders, walking over to one of the foggy windows, giving it a good look outside and resting his elbows on the sill. Your arms cross as you wait for him to say anything more – you decide that if nothing worthwhile leaves his lips in the next few seconds, you’d continue your endeavor elsewhere.

‘I actually know what you’re talking to about, believe it or not.’ He admits – you see a reluctance in his features as a troubled gaze comes upon his eyes. ‘That old lady that you brought in the other day is someone I’ve actually had dealings with before.’

You relax – now, at least, you could get somewhere – and take a few steps towards him.

‘Troublemaker?’ You inquire, putting in your own two words. He spares you an unreadable glance as you go on. ‘She doesn’t look like it to me. It’s hard to believe that she’s able to – !’

‘Not her.’ He frowns, scrunching his lips. ‘You brought her in the other day, right? You notice the kids she’s taking care of?’

‘You’re telling me that the kids are responsible for this?’

‘Eh, I’m not.’

You let out a sigh – this was going nowhere.

‘So what are you getting at, if there’s anything at all that you have worth telling?’

‘Hey, I’m trying to play nice here.’ He frowns at you, looking very much the offended party again. ‘I actually gave a patrol assigned to the area that she’s acquainted with – thing is, after you took down the old Boss and absorbed the remnants, not all of them gave you the throne and gavel, yeah?’

You remember Fingers’s words.

‘My men mentioned the stragglers.’ ‘How do they key in to this?’

He looks thoughtful.

‘I don’t know.’

You let out a grunt, reminding yourself that as a man of rank, it is – and always would be, so long as you breathed – your responsibility and burden to act the part of a mature, level-headed and patient Officer.

‘All I got from my reports since you took over is that there haven’t been any complaints. Which is weird – I know that there aren’t any of those types you let loose, yeah, but no complaints means that something’s going down.’ He chimes.

You look thoughtful. It did seem strange – even if the Admiralty and the townspeople had a hot and cold relationship, they did on occasion still go to the camps for their necessities and the MPs for protection.

The old lady shooing them away did seem an anomaly, taking that into account.

‘You think there’s another crime lord making rounds?’ It’s an unlikely theory – Fingers would have thrown it in from before, you reason.

‘The only one I can think of is you, actually.’ The Chief jabs a finger in your direction, grimacing. ‘But if you’re not sure of who’s playing on that field then I don’t have any reason to suspect you either.’

It dawns on you.

‘You’re saying that you’re suspecting that I’m the one behind attacks on my own men.’

‘No.’ The suddenness of his defense says that you hadn’t been far off with the accusation, though. ‘I’m saying that you might have something to do with the fact that from the old lady’s zone and south and north… we’re not hearing a peep.’ He raises a finger in each hand, emphasizing his point. ‘Not one iota of trouble.’

‘I’d throw the theory that my men scared off anyone planning to make trouble, but considering that they were the ones being attacked, it’d be insubstantial.’ You nod. ‘So are we saying the stragglers are the ones behind the attack?’


‘There’s something else – you know about the schedules, right?’ He runs a hand through his hair, an expression – annoyance – coming upon him.‘I can’t hand them over to you, but I do think that there’s something I can share with you.’ He looks right at you. ‘It might be nothing, but there’s an irregularity in the timetables – and the sign-off times.’

‘You’re going to have to elaborate better than that.’ You say crisply.

‘The names on the schedule sign-offs are different.’ He mentions. ‘They’re not the same ones I assigned to the allotted times.’ He further elaborates. ‘We’re pulling double shifts as it is, but no matter what my men think of me, any changes or whatever… it’s signed off by yours truly.’

‘Are you suspecting your own men of being involved?’

‘I wouldn’t hold it against them – or myself.’ He says enigmatically – you wonder what he means by that. ‘We’re not very buddy-buddy with you and yours, you know.’ You nod as he goes on. ‘Although I wouldn’t mind getting to know one of your Division a little better, if you get what I’m saying.’
You don’t respond to that.

‘Anyway – they’re all being signed off by the Afternoon Block. So either I have one patrol playing hooky or I have two patrols in the know.’

'Are we theorizing that the schedule changes have something to do with the attacks?'

'You are.'

You bite your lip, thinking.

>‘You’re going to let me meet up with these people you think are involved?’
>‘What do you mean by no complaints?’ (Inquire)
>‘Wouldn’t it be better to just suspect your men covering each other?’ (Inquisitive)
>‘I guess this is all there is, then. I’ll let you decide what to do.’ COMPLETE TASK
>>‘Wouldn’t it be better to just suspect your men covering each other?’ (Inquisitive)
>‘Wouldn’t it be better to just suspect your men covering each other?’ (Inquisitive)
there is something that doesnt sound right here
can't put the finger on it
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‘Wouldn’t it be better to just suspect your men of covering each other rather than being involved in this?’ You offer – it did seem pretty strange that his willingness to offer his own subordinates as suspects. ‘If we’re going to go by coincidences, this is a pretty thin lead to link the two incidents.’

As much as you wanted to take it, you had to be sure.

‘Don’t you sound like you have something to offer?’ He snaps, surprising you. His piercing blue gaze mirrors your previous impatience with his actions. ‘Didn’t you come here in the first place because you thought the MPs were somehow involved?’

You gather yourself, throwing back your own question.

‘Didn’t you think that I was the one behind the quiet state of the patrol routes?’

He bites back something, giving an apologetic smile after.

‘Look, I’m just giving you some leads.’ He sighs – he really does sound like he’s trying to help now, strange as it is. ‘God knows I don’t like pinning a target on my own, and as much as I’d like to lay the law down on your men, hit ‘n run tactics are not part of the parcel.’

‘So you’re admitting to not liking my association to the former gang members.’

‘You’re saying we don’t have a reason to?’ He jabs a finger in your direction, frowning deeply. ‘Need I remind you that we had to restrain some of your goody-two shoes when they raised trouble on camps.’

‘I’m well aware of that, yes.’ You sigh – you’re definitely aware of it.

‘Then you should know you should be thankful that I’m at least helping you here.’ He looks taken aback with his own tone, rubbing the back of his head. ‘I’m sorry – that’s not fair.’

‘You’re showing a surprising amount of care for your charges.’

He grimaces.

‘I didn’t sign up for the job… but I’m the only police officer left in this town. The badge sticks with you, even if the pin doesn’t hook.’ ‘I talked with the old lady – all she’s telling me is that she’s responsible and that we should drop it.’

You give him an understanding nod.

‘So you’re not sticking by the theory that your men are just covering lazy bouts with each other.’

‘Not with the timing. Before you took over, they ran the patrols like… well, not like clockwork, but they didn’t go off-rails.’ He raises his hands. ‘They kept to it and whenever there was a change, I’d drop one in. Them doing it by themselves makes a mess for everyone involved.'

‘How considerate.’

‘The timing fits too well… and if I learned anything as an officer of the Law, a coincidence is always worth looking into.’

‘Even if it’s – ?’

He snorts.

‘Trust me. Anorexic doesn’t mean nothing.’

>‘Can you arrange a meeting with the ones you think are involved?’
>‘No complaints?’ (Inquire)
>‘I guess this is all there is, then. I’ll leave it in your hands.’ COMPLETE TASK
>‘No complaints?’ (Inquire)
dont want to drag the damn thing but my gut tells me something
>‘No complaints?’ (Inquire)
>>‘No complaints?’ (Inquire)
>‘No complaints?’ (Inquire)
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>The Commander
>The Major
>The Chief

It seems that "everybody's dead and you're the only one left for the job" is a recurring theme of more recent leader characters
In the case of the Major it's "we're short-handed, young man. People aren't signing up because they don't see the point" and "you're the big fish in a small pond. Have a gold star".
‘You mentioned no complaints.’ You return to a point in the discussion. ‘I don’t think I get all of what you’re saying there. You mean a quiet route, right?’

‘A quiet beat still has the occasional time where you have to stick your head out and tell ‘em to cut it out – what I mean by no complaints I mean no complaints.’ He twists his lips in thought for a while, probably wondering how to go on. ‘No one’s come forward to tell us we’re doing a horrible job on that beat or telling us they saw a cat stuck in the rubble or anything.’ He makes a motion with his hand, emphasizing his point. ‘No complaints.’

‘So, nothing at all.’ You nod, frowning.

‘Have you ever heard about the cliché it’s quiet, too quiet?’ He inquires of you – to which you nod before he continues, ‘Pretty much the same thing applies here. If you don’t see anything it’s because they’re doing their darn best to not be seen – and going back to my guys I’m not above them making sure that things keep from being seen.’

‘Kind of a lot to go on for just two attacks.’ You throw in your own opinion of it – there is still the distinct possibility that you’re – the both of you, really – looking too much into it.

He raises an eyebrow at you.

‘Crime’s crime and assault means I’m throwing you into the dock.’ He crosses his arms, a hint of annoyance in his voice. ‘Unrest leads to chaos and the last thing I need is a wave over a bunch of rowdy, needy townsfolk.’

‘I think you’re taking a little too much away from them, Chief.’

‘Oh, believe me, as much as they’ve gone through, this town didn’t exactly have a good relationship with the Admiralty before the attack,’ he smirks, ‘but you don’t need to be Conan to deduce that, huh?’

‘They’re just scared.’

Anyone would be.

‘They’ve been scared for a long time.’ He points a finger in your direction, his voice taking a tone you wouldn’t have expected. ‘Sometimes you need to just buckle down and realize that if someone’s not getting the job done you need to look yourself in the mirror and ask what can I do to help?’ ‘That’s why I’m thankful for the post – they look at me different now, but at least I can tell myself I’m doing something instead of having someone else solve my problems for me.’

‘Though, back to the matter at hand. No complaints means someone’s making sure any news goes out – that means they’re playing it cool and subtle. They don’t want any attention.’

‘You suspect your men and the change in schedules having something to do with that.’

‘Timeline fits.’ He leans on the sill again. ‘Coincidences are always worth looking into.’

>‘Can you arrange a meeting with those you think are involved?’
>‘I guess this is all there is, then. I’ll leave it to you.’ COMPLETE TASK
>‘I appreciate your input.’ (Continue Investigation)
>>‘Can you arrange a meeting with those you think are involved?’
>can you arrange a meeting?

Maybe we should explore the kindly grandmother route a little too...
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‘If you’re not able to hand over the schedules, I’d at least like to be able to talk to them to ask what they saw or what the timetable change would have meant.’ You try your luck – perhaps there could be another lead in there.

‘I can’t give you that, Commander.’ He answers, his expression turning more stony than you’d seen from him before. ‘That is an internal affair.’

‘You’re going to leave me high and dry after all that?’ You joke, smirking.

He throws one right back at you, his eyes flashing dangerously.

‘Of course not. You got enough to set you working, right?’

‘I suppose – but it wouldn’t kill our chances of getting to the bottom of things if you do suspect that your men have something to do with the incidents now, would it?’ You tentatively prod, wary of his response.

‘There’s a difference between me handing over my own personnel over to you and me confiding and discussing a case.’ He crosses his arms, having pushed up from the window sill to approach you. The humor in his voice is gone, and there is an aged quality that comes upon the corners of his eyes. ‘I’ve said my part so you can do yours.’

‘You wouldn’t exactly be hampering your own inquiries if you bring me on board.’

He looks away, laughing mirthlessly. You keep a cool gaze on him, unmoving.

‘I don’t know if you realize this, Commander, but,’ he throws you a wide grin, ‘I don’t like you.’

You chortle – more in relief than anything – now you had a mood to build on.

‘I think I got that from the moment we met.’

‘I do respect that you’re looking after your own men, though, and I’m looking out for mine.’ He says with a wry smile. ‘So you can throw your hunting party together, but I’ll be sticking with what I have – and that’s an unauthorized schedule shift.’ He puts his hands on his hips. ‘The timelines fit, wouldn’t you agree? That means you have something to build off right there.’

‘You wouldn’t have thought that the incidents had something to do with one another without my input.’

He raises an eyebrow, smirking once more.

‘I wouldn’t have, but now that you’ve told me what you have, I’ll look into it from my own end on my own terms.’ He doesn’t budge on his plans, gesturing with his chin. ‘Besides, you wouldn’t have anything at all if I was as horrible at accommodating your detective work as you think I’m trying to be.’

‘And if your men really are the ones responsible?’ You shoot, right from the hip. ‘For the attacks, among other things?’

‘Then you’ll know.’ He answers simply.

‘That’s it?’

‘That’s it.’

>Insist (Roll a 1d6 each)
>‘I guess that that’s all there is to it, then. I’ll leave it to you.’ COMPLETES TASK
>‘Regardless of how you feel about me… thanks.’ CONTINUE INVESTIGATION
>>‘Regardless of how you feel about me… thanks.’ CONTINUE INVESTIGATION
>>‘Regardless of how you feel about me… thanks.’ CONTINUE INVESTIGATION
>>‘Regardless of how you feel about me… thanks.’ CONTINUE INVESTIGATION

Let's talk with old grannie in the locker.
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There are times you find yourself less than confident at reading the mood than you usually did. Being at the frontlines to a head chef with a disposition that could have frozen over volcanoes, you had always at least been confident enough to avoid saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. With the Head of MP Operations, though… you find yourself tip-toeing to gauge his mood.

You hadn’t taken much of him in the several minutes of exposure, granted, but the one thing you could be sure of him right now is that this man, was – is – really good at keeping his emotional deck stacked. His mannerism, unorthodox and brazen, had proven to be a distraction from what could either be an arrogant interior or a calculative mine; to be fair, it could be both.

If you couldn’t read him that well at all, you suspect that you shouldn’t trust him one bit, regardless of whether he had been spouting the truth or not – you’d learned enough that almost every other thing and the way he’d acted… it was a glass-and-mirrors act.

One saying reaches you – If you can’t trust a man to be bad, you can’t trust him at all.

It’s poor application to the context of the matter, but the idea did echo the same sentiment.

‘Regardless of how you feel about me, Chief,’ you sigh, giving him a nod. You had a few smokescreens of your own, but right now… courtesy dictated. ‘thank you for sharing this.’


‘So we’re done here.’ You relax, turning on your heel for the stairs after another nod.

‘Not quite.’

You frown, turning back to face him. Whatever humor in his tone is gone, replaced with a look laced with disdain and a half-scowl, regarding you with his hands in his pockets and a stiff stand. You can tell, even in the dim light that there’s a glare barely held back in there; you tense yourself, wondering what he had in mind with that reply.

‘I don’t want you snooping around my jurisdiction.’ His tone is still neutral, but there is an authoritative jut in his stance. ‘I’ll sort my end so you sort out yours.’

You raise an eyebrow in curiosity. A territorial warning? How macho.


‘Regardless of what you think of me and what I think of you, we’re both mature enough to not intrude on each other’s worlds too much, right?’

You snort. He doesn’t budge one but.

‘On that, I think we have an understanding.’ You give him a nod, agreeing to the terms. ‘So you’ll be running your own hunt on this?’

‘I’ll leave your side up to you.’ He shrugs. ‘If you find the Joes before I do, you’re welcome to charge ‘em and put them into our custody – just make sure you fill out the forms and I’ll do the rest.’

You turn to leave, not bothering to wait for a salute.

‘Have a good one, sir.’

>TASK: Continue Investigation
>TASK: Nagato’s Inquiry
>Look for KanMusu
>See Officers/Staff
>District Management
>>District Management
We should take care of our official responsibilities.
>>TASK: Nagato’s Inquiry
But since we're here already we can talk with the old woman?
Refer to the Tasks tab in


and tell me what you wish changed.
Any changes with District Management must come for a proposal of the distribution of the workforce. Provide the new input.
>TASK: Nagato’s Inquiry
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You head on outside, feeling a little heavier than you had been going inside. The MPs are looking a mite bit busier than they had been before, and with the late afternoon coming along, you decide that now would be the best time to consider the rest of the tasks for the day – there must be a shift change going on now if the barks are any indication. You’d at least been able to get a slender lead on the investigation – and found out that the man in charge of the MPs had a clear dislike of you.

It’s at least nice to have something out in the clear with all the intrigue.

You make your way to the Command Tent. Along the way you bump into Ikazuchi and her sisters, who have the day off as per the Admiral’s orders – taking part in the Open Mic Night, no doubt. They don’t talk to you long, of course – being busy enough with their preparation.

It isn’t that much longer after that you find yourself back in a now-bustling Command Tent, where the Admiral and Yuubari appear to have a heated discussion in the main space.

Right now, the only thing on your mind is to answer the riddle of Nagato’s missing friends.

You are stopped from barging in by a tap on your shoulder.

‘Excuse me, I believe I was here first.’

You turn to see a man in a suit and tie, clutching a briefcase, worn and used with cracks in the leather. He’s a little bit taller than you are, a lot thinner with a pair of hideous-looking buck teeth in crossbite and a head of hair that probably hadn’t seen care since the day he was born. His cheeks are sullen and his nose is pointed, with eyes that carried a hawkish quality to them.

Despite his years, the youth in his voice made him out to be just ahead of you – you estimate that he would probably be closer to the Chief’s age than the years his manner of dress seem to suggest.

‘It’ll have to do for now, I suppose.’ The Admiral puts his hands behind his back, turning away from Yuubari. She doesn’t look like she’s pleased with the answer though, whatever it is that they had been talking about. ‘Being battle-ready’s the priority for the RAY. The tech’s still adequate, isn’t it?’

‘Yes, it is.’ Yuubari says through gritted teeth, slapping a palm upon the holographic apparatus. ‘I’m not getting any compatibility clashes between the two units, but if you’re going to put a tick in that red box and want me to sign off on my approval for it, I’m not going to; you know just how dangerous this is.’

‘I’ve consulted with the Vice-Admiral – there isn’t a risk he isn’t willing to take.’ The Admiral mentions, almost uncharacteristically cold in his manner – you don’t think you’d seen this side before now; he’s always been so open, but right now… ‘Yuubari, if we can have both units up, it’ll give us a better chance of getting things back to speed… I don’t need to tell you just what kind of numbers we’re moving at now, do I?’

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‘Of course not, sir.’ Yuubari says, her lips thinning into a line – she speaks with him in the same manner that she’d spoken to you. Brashly, with barely any restraint and less than a cup of patience. ‘But. Please, the possibility of the shielding being inadequate could more than – !’

‘I’m well aware of the consequences of a failure in that particular piece of hardware, Yuubari.’ The Admiral practically growls, making her take a step back. ‘Although that may be the case, we’re already operating with one RAY that has inadequate shielding – if you can have a second one up we’re not going to be any worse off.’

‘You’re comparing a Vice-Admiral’s strain to that of a Commander’sthe Commander’s!’

You frown – you wonder if you should take offense to that.

‘The Vice-Admiral was a Commander until recently.’ The Vice-Admiral says pointedly.

She struggles with something – probably something that isn’t fit for children’s ears if her red eyes are anything to go by.

Fine.’ Yuubari growls, raising her hands and spinning on her heel. ‘I’ll sign it off – just don’t come crawling back to me when you end up less one VA and up one VEGETABLE!’

She storms out of the space, stomping past you without so much as a glance. The man in front of you harrumphs, putting on a professional smile, waltzing right in with his briefcase.

‘Good afternoon, Admiral, I – !’

The Admiral looks less than pleased to see him, though.

‘No. Out.’ He tips his cap down, pointing in the general direction of the exit.

He looks thoroughly offended, opening the locks on his briefcase.

‘But you haven’t even lis – !’

Out!’ The Admiral emphasizes – his glare and growl leaves no room for argument.

You don’t see his face, but you can bet it looks somewhere between cross and indignant. He turns on his heel – and you find that you’d guessed right. He mutters in a manner that mirrored Yuubari’s huffy exit, before turning on his heel right next to you

‘The Deputy Mayor will hear of this! The Lord will come bearing arms!’

‘Commander.’ He chuckles behind a grimace. ‘Good to see you. What can I do you for you?’

‘Was I – ?’ You gesture to the exit, wondering if this had been a good time to start prying on Nagato’s behalf.

‘No, it’s just… well, it’s my problem.’ He lets out a displeased noise, looking very much his years. ‘Is there a reason you want to see me or is this just another social visit?’

>‘Nagato’s worried about her friends… Musashi and Yamato.’ (Reveal Nagato’s Worry)
>‘Do you know anything about two particular Battleship KanMusu, Admiral?’ (Be Discrete About It)
>>‘Nagato’s worried about her friends… Musashi and Yamato.’ (Reveal Nagato’s Worry)
I'm not sure we can even bullshit a reason we're interested in two battleships that weren't even posted to this base
>>‘Nagato’s worried about her friends… Musashi and Yamato.’ (Reveal Nagato’s Worry)
You consider hiding Nagato’s hand in this and just playing it off as curiosity, but considering how sharp the Commander was – is – and just how out of left field your inquiry is as an independent investigation, it’s not as if you could pass it off as a mild subject of interest. You bite your lip, taking a seat on the projection apparatus, wondering just how to slot it into the conversation.

As the frown of the Admiral, deepening from your silence makes itself apparent, you decide that the best way to go with it is to be as direct as you can.

‘Nagato has an inquiry she’d like answered.’ You let out – you hope this didn’t leak back to your Sub-Commander – you have an inkling she wouldn’t take it so well that you’d made her out to be a worry wart in any capacity. ‘I was wondering if you’d be able to help me with it, sir?’

The Admiral gives you a look, before crossing his arms and letting out a chuckle.

‘First Takao’s request and now Nagato’s?’ He waggles his eyebrows slightly, taking amusement from the situation. ‘Commander, don’t you think that you’re being a little bit of a pushover here?’

You ignore that last part. While it did seem that you’d given in to the whims of your subordinates, you don’t think – at least you are not of the opinion – that any of them had requested execution of affairs childish or unreasonable. Although, you do feel a little bit… used… in the wake of a few events that had happened since given your rank, you don’t feel like you’re a pushover at all.

After all, you had learned to say no to one or two things… right?

‘It’s about an inquiry into her friends – the Court of Admirals, the Admiralty have given her a reply that they’ve gone MIA.’ You try to remember the exact words that Nagato had given in regards to the affair, but that’s all your head had latched on to then. ‘She wants to know what exactly happened that gave them that status.’

The Admiral gives you a gaze that makes you doubt your own intelligence.

‘If there was ever a wrong question to ask, that’s it.’ The Admiral takes his pipe out of his coat, frowning.

Above him, you notice the fairies giving him disapproving looks, rolling in mid-air.

‘With due respect sir, I do believe that for someone with her record of service… that she’s at least entitled to an answer.’

‘She has one.’ He says in an uninterested voice. ‘MIA.’

‘It’s not one that she thinks is satisfactory… and it may be selfish, but for Nagato… the fact that she doesn’t know what’s going on…’

You trail off, unable to go on.

A distressed Nagato wasn’t a sight you wanted to see again.

>‘What do you know about Yamato and Musashi?’
>‘Would their assigned base been up to anything?’
>‘Is that what your gut tells you, sir?’ (Discuss)
>‘I suppose that’s as good an answer as any, sir.’ COMPLETE TASK
>>‘Is that what your gut tells you, sir?’ (Discuss)
Also, sorry for never getting back about district management. I got pulled away from the computer for a couple of hours. But after looking at the personnel numbers, everything looks good to me.
‘Is that what your gut tells you, sir?’ You question, frowning.

The Admiral gives you a surprised look, before throwing his head and letting out a loud bark of laughter. After it subsides, you find him clutching his gut, letting out a smaller, more mirthless, chortle.

‘Ain’t you one to be cocky?’ He grunts, striking a match and lighting his pipe. You turn a little red at the accusation, but other than stiffening slightly, don’t betray your apprehension. ‘I’m surprised that you’re able to even hold onto an inquiry like this coming back on a mess.’

‘What can I say?’ You chuckle yourself, fake as it is. ‘Maybe I am a pushover.’

‘If you’re asking for my unsolicited opinion, an MIA, especially for two Battleships of that magnitude and value means that there’s an on-going search effort, a lie going out to keep morale from dying out because they’re dead or – or Hell, because they’ve been assigned on a Covert Op and are on assignment.’

You blink – that was definitely something to build on.

‘Is that what you think?’

You try not to be too pushy.

‘Yamato and Musashi are capable enough to carry a battlefield on their own, short of taking a Princess one-on-one. If you think you’ve seen Nagato at work, you haven’t seen these two.’ He says pointedly – you hadn’t assigned her to any missions; if she had come at such a recommendation, you believe that perhaps if it called for it, you could…

‘If they’re operational, wouldn’t that mean that there would be an Admiral or a Commander still linked with them via a RAY?’ The thought hits you – you don’t think the RAY would be able to be operational independently for more than a few days.

That, and an MIA meant that the Commander linked to them would always have a lock on their presence. An MIA did seem nonsensical – you’d been in the Stream; a melding of minds and souls meant to lose one another would be virtually impossible.

‘I don’t want to think about that possibility.’

His words come back to you.

Bad for morale.’

‘I like to think that they’re too busy running Covert Ops and keeping it quiet.’

‘You believe that?’

‘If I don’t that means they’re down for the count.’ He sighs. ‘And that means there isn’t much stopping us from getting rolled over after.’

He gives you a tip of his pipe to go with an encouraging smile.

‘Although, loath as I am to admit it… the Admiralty keeping quiet about things means they have a damn good reason for not releasing the information to any of the Bases. I’ll keep some hope up, for a while, anyway.’

You would too.


>‘What do you know about Yamato and Musashi? You work with them before?’
>‘Would their assigned base have been up to anything?’
>‘That’s as good an answer as any, sir.’ COMPLETE TASK
>>‘Would their assigned base have been up to anything?’
I dont remember, were we to ask the admiral about army schedule syncing?
>complete task , no need to bug him excessively about this, yet anyway.
COMPLETE TASK means you end the task as is and don't follow-up. That means you end it there and then and it goes into the COMPLETED section.
>>‘Would their assigned base have been up to anything?’
>>‘Would their assigned base have been up to anything?’
‘Would their assigned bases have been up to anything that would have… you know, required them to have an extended mission? Maybe a joint operation?’ You question – it might be a small hope, but the Admiral was still a man of rank… he would – !

‘I wouldn’t know.’ He lets out, a firmness in his tone.

The Admiral looks thoughtful as he takes a puff of his pipe, a fairy dropping onto the brim of his hat and reaching over as though the embers are some sort of bonfire. He gives you a look, a little defeated, a little tired, going on – you can tell it takes a little bit of effort for him to even attempt this.

‘Musashi and Yamato operated right out of Ominato – incidentally, prior to the assault, Ominato was our most decorated base. Out of the three bases, it had the highest mission success rate and served as the primary offensive point – we operated right out of there to get our push as good as we did.’

He grunts, stopping. You frown as you notice him mumble under his breath, evidently pondering how to continue. He struggles with his next sentence, but

‘The Grand Lieutenant, as you know, is the highest ranking individual outside of the Court of the Admirals. He’s the most powerful person in the Admiralty.’ He sighs, chewing on the tip of his pipe. ‘He operates right out of Ominato – and if anyone knows anything, he’s your best bet.’

You remember the Grand Lieutenant.

You also remember holding in the urge to sock him in the jaw, which the Admiral had done on your behalf.

‘You’re kidding – he’s in charge there?’ You let out in disbelief, pushing off the apparatus.

‘Which part of Grand Lieutenant do you not understand?’

‘I thought he was a hands-off sort of guy – I didn’t think he’d be in charge of a whole base.’ You admit.

The Admiral gives you a withering gaze, apparently annoyed.

‘Kid, did you even read any of the textbooks on the hierarchy?’

‘I don’t know,’ you don’t answer his question, shrugging in a move to misdirect, ‘he just doesn’t seem like a hands-on sort of person, let alone being in command of his own base.’

‘Before he was Grand Lieutenant, he was a Commander,’ he says pointedly – you suppose everyone started somewhere, ‘and on a professional level, I don’t think I’ve seen many operate better.’

‘So he’d know, right?’ You sigh, the answer obvious.

‘It’s his base. He would.’ The Admiral says, almost grimly.

At the back of your mind, you envision your inquiry being doodle over with pictures of genitals and turned into a paper plane.

‘I doubt he’s going to be open about any details.’

‘I doubt he’ll appreciate you asking around, anyway.’

>‘What do you know about Yamato and Musashi? You work with them before?’
>‘I guess I know where to go next.’ CONTINUE TASK
>‘I suppose that’s all there is.’ COMPLETE TASK
>>‘I guess I know where to go next.’ CONTINUE TASK
At least we have a lead, even if it's not a particularly savory one.
>>‘What do you know about Yamato and Musashi? You work with them before?’
>>‘I guess I know where to go next.’ CONTINUE TASK
>‘I guess I know where to go next.’ CONTINUE TASK
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‘I guess I know where to go next.’ You mention with a nod, pushing yourself up from your seated position. ‘I appreciate your help, Admiral.’ You really do – he could’ve just sent you on your way without so much as an acknowledgment of your inquest and you would’ve had nothing to build up on; now you at least had a name to refer to. ‘Although, I would’ve appreciated it if it was a lot more substantial.’

You joke that last part – the Admiral gives you a good-natured smile, taking a puff from his pipe.

‘Mine are tied, son.’

‘I know, I know.’ You are aware of your general mode of incompetence, starting fights, almost getting your Squadron killed and having a KanMusu your own Division had a severe dislike for put on your head. It had been a Hell of a first few weeks on the job. ‘I don’t think I’ve had a chance to apologize for all the ruckus I’ve brought up since my appointment.’

You really hadn’t – save for that time at the hospital, hadn’t had the opportunity to do so personally and formally. Even after that first bust-up, the Admiral had still put enough faith in you to keep your person on the roster with but a slap of the wrist – and you know that in better times he would’ve probably found a reason to throw you into the brig for a court martial on the grounds of general incompetence.

He doesn’t look at you, apparently digesting the words.

‘Words mean less than action.’ He says sagely – you can’t help but not in agreement as his eyes take an almost fatherly shine. ‘You want my forgiveness? Bring me results.’

A smile almost makes its way to your lips at hearing him say that – that definitely does sound like the Admiral you’d grown used to. You give him a salute – a little more casual than usual, but with all the appreciation you can muster; he gives you a curt nod in return.

Of course, sir.’

You make your way to the cubicle, wondering what to do next. If the Grand Lieutenant was truly the only way to find out what had happened… then you had your work cut out for you. You didn’t – !


The Admiral calls to you, breaking you from your train of thought.

‘Yes, sir?’

He struggles a little, as if his throat had trouble keeping certain words from leaving his lips.

‘There might be another option, if you’re willing to explore it.’

‘Another option for – ?’

‘To find out about Yamato and Musashi.’

You instantly brighten. The cheeky old man really did have a way around things.

His expression, though, looks very much solemn.

‘It’s a bit – very – risky; and now that you have the attention of the Court of Admirals…’

>‘Sure, not like I can get into anymore trouble than I already have.’ (Inquire into the option)
>‘With the SS on my back and my name off the Grand Lieutenant’s birthday list, nope.’ (Decline)
>‘Sure, not like I can get into anymore trouble than I already have.’ (Inquire into the option)
May as well see what the option is, it could be worth it.
>>‘Sure, not like I can get into anymore trouble than I already have.’ (Inquire into the option)
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‘Well,’ you weigh your options carefully, deciding that there’s probably nothing more you can do save for defecting that would up the alarms in the Court, ‘It’s not like I can get into anymore trouble than I already have.’

The Admiral observes you for a few moments, before grimacing – he removes his cap and sets it on the apparatus

‘Yeah, of course.’

‘The Grand Lieutenant, as you know, is the man in charge of most of our Operations – chances are, if he’s not the head of a Campaign, it’s going to be the Court of Admirals.’ He raises a finger, pointing at you. ‘Though I don’t think you’ll get any further with the Court of Admirals than you would the Grand Lieutenant – he may be a bag, but he’s less liable to explode than that circus.’

You find your mouth slightly open – had the Admiral really referred to the Court of Admirals as a… circus?

‘This is my option.’ He says – almost grimly, in fact – taking out what looks like a notepad from his front pocket and ripping out a page, handing it over to you. ‘I don’t encourage it, but if you think you’re willing to have a go…’


‘She used to serve under me.’ It’s a stiff elaboration ‘It was only for a while, but if you mention me as your reference, she might…’

He trails off, grumbling – this action didn’t seem to particularly appeal to him.

‘Who’s – ?’

There is the raising of his hand and you quickly shut up. The Admiral doesn’t look the least bit accommodating of any more inquisitiveness on your part – you find that much to your chagrin. It seemed rather strange that your Admiral was reluctant on sharing anything more than just a name.

‘That’s all I’m going to say.’ He gives you a neutral look, but with a gaze enough that tells you anymore curiosity on your part would probably end up with a boot down your throat. ‘That and if you’re going to ask her a question make it direct, quick and drop that I was the one who referred you to her. Don’t dilly-dally, don’t add or subtract – get to the point.’ The words come more like a warning than an instruction. ‘If you’re going to write a letter to her, just make it one sentence – if you want me to arrange a meeting with her I can do that, too – rules are the same.’

Rules? Now you really couldn’t keep the curiosity out of your noggin – the vice is just too tempting a call.

‘Seems like a lot of fuss for just a con – !’

The Admiral doesn’t glare at you – but the cold expression he wears is just about enough to keep

>‘Who’s Taigei?’ (Roll a 1d6 each)
>‘Wouldn’t it be better to just refer Nagato to her?’
>‘I’d like a face-to-face meeting if you can arrange one.’ CONTINUE TASK
>‘I think I’ll just write her a letter of inquiry.’ CONTINUE TASK
>>‘I think I’ll just write her a letter of inquiry.’ CONTINUE TASK
>‘I’d like a face-to-face meeting if you can arrange one.’ CONTINUE TASK
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‘It can’t be that bad, can it?’ You cross your arms, looking thoughtful – the Admiral didn’t look panicky in presenting you the option, but he did come across as fighting with himself in revealing it to you.

You reason that Nagato’s part in it – her worry above all – had something to do with him giving this to you. It didn’t take an expert to figure out that the Admiral cared for Nagato far more than a military asset – as perception would put it – should have been given attention to. He taps the bottom of his pipe, his shoulders slumping; regardless of your suspicions, you think this was one avenue he really didn’t want to go down.

‘Kid, trust me on this.’ He says simply, peering into the bowl of his pipe – there’s a clear lack of emotion on his part saying it; you could almost go as far to say he had a perfect imitation of Ooyodo.

‘If you’re able to, sir… I’d like it if you could arrange a face-to-face meeting with her.’ You decide – whatever it is, she seemed to be the lesser evil to deal with in this whole affair.

‘When the schedules are clear enough, I’ll arrange for transport inland so you can get whatever it is you need to know from her.’

An outstation assignment? That was a surprise.

‘You can’t send for her here?’

No.’ He says – you spy a hint of a glare, before it vanishes behind a puff of smoke from his pipe.

‘Why not?’

Now he definitely is glaring.

‘I have my reasons – and I’ll leave it at that.’ You don’t pursue it – every warning alarm goes at the back of your head to not look this horse in the mouth. ‘I’ll send out a permission form saying that you want an appeal; that’ll at least give you a reason to go straight to Admiralty Headquarters.’ He looks thoughtful, stroking his chin. ‘Maybe something like a special requisition form or something, I can get it done by the end of tomorrow.’

Admiralty Headquarters?’ You frown now, confused. ‘I thought Musashi and Yamato operated out of Ominato?’

‘Taigei used to – but…’ He lets out a violent snort, ‘the nature of her post requires her to work a little closer to home.’

‘I’m not sure I get it,’ you really don’t, but you do know at least to heed the warnings, ‘but if you’re telling me to be careful around her I think I can do that.’

‘Just so you understand.’ He lets out a chuckle, giving you an amused upturn of the lips. ‘You owe me big for this, by the way.’

‘I owe you big anyway, sir.’

‘Good to know you’re aware of that much, Commander.’ He nods, walking out the briefing space – presumably to his own work station. ‘I’ll see you tonight.’

See you tonight?

‘Oh, yeah…’

Open Mic Night

>Head back to the Barracks
>Head straight to Open Mic Night
>Wander around town
>>Head straight to Open Mic Night
>>Head straight to Open Mic Night
I don’t know if I’m losing Questers or if people are just having a good time reading/lurking and not participating.

Both are bad.
>Head straight to Open Mic Night
My Comparitive Politics professor doesn't allow cell phones in class, so that's why I've been sort of spotty.
Considering the number of previous votes per post, and the IDs attached to them, I'm betting it's more the screwed up time zones everybody's got
Workon' all day sleepin' early
i can quest seriously weekends only
I just cant be regular :( love this quest though
>Head straight for OPEN MIC NUIIIGHT!
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You leave the tent, sparing one last glance to the Admiral. You suppose you could head right over to Mamiya’s now – the evening is on your heels and with the last few hours of your alleged period of rest and relaxation, you might as well use it to curry more favor with the KanMusu and crew that had been kind enough to accommodate your stomach as well as the other KanMusu that were on-site.

Outside, it looks like the men and women of the army were definitely making busy. You see several MPs jogging beside trucks, hauling army equipment and personnel – you don’t know how they’re doing with each other at a glance but you’re thankful that it looks good enough that you don’t suspect there’d be a brawl anytime soon between either party.

In summary, it actually looks like a military site – all that looked to be missing was a helicopter pad for a landing… and you’re not so sure, with the Deputy Mayor having such a fixation on Yokosuka that the Army wouldn’t install one here with an extended stay, not to mention a more permanent fixture for the personnel to stow themselves if the Lord would have it.

There’s a hope that it wouldn’t come down to that – as much as you appreciate the so-called assistance, you have the sinking this is more of a political move by the aforementioned party than a real attempt at providing relief to the denizens of the devastated city.

You spy a familiar face – the Major – with what looked to be a Platoon – there looked to be over a dozen of them in file, a variation of age and gender among them; some grizzled, some young enough to have spots and feel a twitch at the corner of your lip. At least… to you, anyway, there could be one of them with intentions pure and honest.

There’s hope for it, in any case.

You decide to make a beeline for Mamiya’s – not that it’s hard or anything, being just down the street. You even notice several Imperial Army personnel across the street in the distance and make out someone putting up signs and whatnot outside before a passing truck wholly blocks your view.

Pocketing your hands, you make your way over, passing by a few jogging personnel – and noticing an abundance of tents and tables set up along the roadside. You spy more familiar faces – belonging to your men – turning odd items into what looked like sets of tables and chairs; they stretch out on the street opposite and a few shops up.


You feel a hard knock at the back of your head, almost making you tumble over; you drop to a knee, wincing. Your relaxed mood fades as you rub the sore spot, groaning and rising.

‘Oh my, I’m so sorry!’ You hear a panicky voice to go with a hand under your arm, dragging you up… before you find more blunt force hitting you at the top of your head. ‘Sorry! This thing is too big to – !’

You lift your head, glaring at the responsible party.

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Pretty woman or no, you did not appreciate being hit at the back of the head by a… was that a cable… no, it’s a spool. Most definitely a wooden spool that – really looks big enough to knock someone out with the right force. Your eyes widen that it’s what had been used to coil the cables for the maintenance crew and this woman had it on one shoulder, carrying like it was a typical rucksack.

The first thing you notice about her are her eyes – they’re wide, innocent, and looking down at you with apology and worry. Never mind that just how easy on the eyes she is, you’re more impressed by the feat of strength she seemed to do – and the rippling, compact muscles that she had. Her deep brown hair clings to her skin with beads of swear, indicating that she’d probably dropped herself down to manual labor for quite some time.

She’s a pretty one, all right – but the strap on her otherwise bare arm states that she’s from the Imperial Army, and the stripes on straps state that she’s a Sergeant. She’s in a tank-top and army bottoms, with combat boots that you notice are big enough to do more than adequate damage to your noggin.

‘I am so sorry for the – !’

You let out a word of warning – her hasty action in bowing had – !

Shit, Sarge!’

Behind her, several Army personnel, also hauling several items, look worriedly at the man that had been hit by the swing of the giant spool – he’s less lucky than you are; his nose looks to have given up the ghost from the swing of the Sergeant. She lets out a hiss and a wince as she turns around, barely missing you in the process, as they pick up the downed man.

‘Gah!’ He cries out, tears streaming from the corners of his eyes. ‘Ah dink ah broc eht.’

‘MEDIC!’ She cries out, looking around frantically.

No one comes – you realize that you don’t have any medics stationed nearby, but…

‘The MASH is on the other side of town,’ you cut in, not knowing why you suddenly felt helpful, ‘but one of the Quartermasters is down by the beach,’ you point in a general direction, ‘and I think she can fix you back up.’

They give you a look, before the Sergeant turns back to her – you presume, anyway – her men.

‘Thank you!’

Without another word, they’re gone. You scratch your head, wondering just what had happened. Thinking nothing else of it, you cross the street to Mamiya’s, where Irako is sweeping the street, her back to you.

You tap her on the shoulder…

And are greeted by a broom handle in your face.


‘Oh, Commander, I am so sorry!’ She winces, giving you a once over. ‘I’m… uh… what are you doing here so early?’

‘I… wanted to see how things were going?’

‘Oh.’ She looks behind you, muttering to herself. ‘Right. Right.’

>Ask who’s participating
>Ask why she’s so jumpy
>Offer to help around
>Ask why she’s so jumpy
>Ask why she's so jumpy.
>>Ask why she’s so jumpy
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‘You’re a little jumpier than usual.’ You point out – Irako was a ball of energy most of the time you’d seen her; the only time you’d seen her act reserved was when Zuikaku was around, and even then she wasn’t that much more restrained than usual.

‘You think?’ She pouts, glaring up at you and clutching her broom tightly – so tight that her knuckles turned white; yes, she’s most definitely a lot more jumpy than usual.

‘What’s wrong?’ You frown, looking at her with concern – a bad feeling in your stomach churns as you remember the incident with Ikazuchi – when you’d stepped in and almost broken a wrist; you really hope there hadn’t been a repeat performance. ‘Something happen?’

‘N – No, why do you think that?’ She laughs, fake as anything.

You cross your arms; she stops immediately, sighing as her eyes focus on the cracked pavement at your feet.

‘I… I think I’ve been threatened.’ Your eyes pop wide, surprised – threatened. ‘I went to the MPs but they just said that this wasn’t their kind of thing!’ She looks on the verge of tears, shaking like a leaf. ‘I know I’m a KanMusu, but what do I do? What do I do?’

You put both hands on her shoulder, trying to appear as supportive as you can – of course they’d chosen to ignore Irako.

‘First thing we’re going to do… is calm down.’ You say, hoping it’s as serene as you’re tried to make it out to be. ‘Irako, I don’t think there’s anything short of an Abyssal assault that can take you down. I don’t think you have to worry about anything if someone’s threatening you…’

‘That’s what you say!’ She whines tearfully, her lips quivering. ‘But you don’t even know the half of it.’

‘Is it the townspeople?’ You frown, feeling your ire rising more than you’d thought it would – if they had, you’d probably have to break a few more wrists. ‘Are they telling you and Mamiya to leave because you’re a KanMusu?’

‘I don’t know!’ She cries out – you squeeze her shoulders, and she hiccups, looking up at you. ‘All I know is that I got this letter this morning and when I opened it, I – I – !’

‘Irako, calm down.’ You repeat, before frowning. ‘What letter?’

You had a really bad feeling about this now.

It almost makes your guts implode when she takes out a familiar black envelope – half from holding in a burst of laughter and half from the horror that you’d been the unwitting instigator.


She puts it into your prosthetic’s tentative fingers.

‘‘It’s black too – you know who uses black envelopes? The executioners in that radio show! That’s who!’

‘I – Irako, I think you’re over – !’ You try to be diplomatic.

She has none of it, however.

‘Here, look!’ She flips open the flap, where you see a folded letter. ‘Read it!’

You grimace. Maybe it had just been a poorly-written poem.

i know that letter...

inb4 fingers letter is a love letter
inb4 we try to play matchmaker AND EVERYTHING GOES HORRIBLY
thats gonna be fun
the letter was to mamiya, no irakonothing is gonna happen but im giggling like a schoolgirl at the idea
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he... need some more tact, and a better vocabulary
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[laughter stops]
what, where you expeting a street tug to be fucking shakespeare or somethin'?
I get that he's using a lot of metaphor, but regardless, that's pretty fucking creepy.
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‘See? See?’ She shrills – if she hadn’t been tearful before, now she definitely is. ‘It’s someone with a grudge, I know it!’

You yourself hold the offending item with your index finger and your thumb, as though it was a burning bag of garbage, right away from your person. As much as you had been loath to admit it, there was most definitely an evil to it… although, you could read between the lines enough to tell that this little number must have been Fingers’s charming attempt to – you feel something implode in your throat – woo the tearful Food Ship.

‘I – Irako.’ You regain your bearings, although you still hold the letter at arms length. ‘I don’t think the person that wrote this letter means anything bad by this.’

‘How can they not mean anything bad?!’ She cries out, catching the attention of the passing-by maintenance crew, MPs and army personnel; you respond by raising a hand up and down, calling for calm.

‘I think the intention is – !’

‘They want to rape me and turn me into some sort of incest breeding machine and make me explode after strangling me!’ She rubs her eyes, her shoulders shaking – you see a vague resemblance to Ikazuchi’s own tearful demeanor those weeks ago. ‘I thought I was a nice girl; I knew I annoyed some people, but – but not like this!’ She looks right into your eyes, her cheeks red. ‘Am I that bad a person, Commander, am I?’

‘You’re a KanMusu… I don’t think that anyone on this world could actua – !’

‘You don’t hate me, do you, Commander?’

You go quickly on the defensive – there had always been something about a pretty, crying face that you just couldn’t say no to, regardless of the owner.

‘Of course not, Irako.’ You pull her into a comforting embrace, patting her back as though she were a hysteric child. ‘There, there.’

‘I feel so unclean… like… like I’ve been violated.’ She rubs her arms up and down, shivering as though caught in ‘It’s a Demon! Or a Beast that wrote this! Nothing so evil could come by human hands!’

No, but it could have come from a human named Fingers, you think to yourself.

‘Irako, it’s not that ba – !’

Something rumbles at the back of your head, a thought not far from the truth on the matter.

Yes, it really fucking is.

‘It’s not that bad.’ You finish, despite yourself, going over the letter again.‘They’re just… words.’

Although, you do think it’s probably a syllable or an apostrophe away from calling on some cosmic being from the netherworld – but that’s just you.

‘You’re a good girl. A real good girl, trust me.’

She sniffles, picking up her broom.

>Reveal who wrote the letter to her
>Tell her you’ll look into it (Confront Fingers about it later) INITIATE TASK
>Convince her that it might just be a prank (Lie)
>Tell her to buck-up
>>Tell her you’ll look into it (Confront Fingers about it later) INITIATE TASK
We're gonna have to break it gently to him that he REALLY needs to calm down.
>Tell her you’ll look into it (Confront Fingers about it later) INITIATE TASK

civilizating Fingers, ho!
I'll be going to bed now, Try not to go too hard on Fingers. He really is trying.
>>Tell her you’ll look into it (Confront Fingers about it later) INITIATE TASK
Proceed whiteknight?
I feel like we can fix things between him and Irako. We just have to get him to articulate (and subdue) his thoughts a little better.

Honestly I think they could have a wonderful life together if he can just chill out with the macabre stuff. We should see about getting him some better friends. Maybe take him on a pub crawl with us, the Vice Admiral, and the Major.
>>Tell her you’ll look into it (Confront Fingers about it later) INITIATE TASK

>Even Red Text agrees it's horrible
>>Tell her you’ll look into it (Confront Fingers about it later) INITIATE TASK
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‘If it’ll make you feel better, I’ll look into it.’ You give her shoulder a squeeze and throw her your most fake and assuring smile. Irako’s expression doesn’t change, prompting you to continue, ‘I don’t think there’s any malice behind it… it does seem like one of those kiddy things kids throw around just to scare people.’

‘That’s horrible!’ She squeaks – you wonder if she and Samidare had any link, their mannerisms are practical mirrors of each other by now.

‘I wouldn’t take it seriously.’ You try to take a more fatherly tone to your voice – you copy more of the Admiral’s manner of delivery; she slumps a bit, the twitchy state of her person thankfully subsiding. You continue, encouraged. ‘And you have my word the other girls aren’t going to let any monstrosity get close to you to do whatever it is you think they’d have in store.’


Irako pulls her head back, looking to the sky.

‘You’re right.’ She mumbles, just enough for you to hear. ‘Mamiya’s right. The old guy’s – !’

The Chef, unexpectedly pops his head out of the entrance, shaking an angry fist.

‘I’m 52, woman!’


He gives you a friendly salute…

‘Evenin’, Commander.’

And disappears back into the shop, as if he had never been.

‘Look at it this way.’ You go back to Irako, surfing on the momentum before it was wholly lost – you tap the wooden handle of her broom, giving another assuring smile.‘I don’t think anyone can survive you and your trusty broom… so what do you have to be scared of even if there even is someone out to get you?’

‘All right… but I do have your word that you’ll look into this, right?’ She looks up at you with hopeful, worried eyes. ‘Right?’

‘Of course you do.’ You chuckle. ‘Cross my heart.’

‘Thank you.’

‘You mind if I hang on to this, then?’ You flap the envelope around. ‘I mean, if I’m going to be running an investigation on your behalf I’m going to need this… as, you know… evidence.’

I don’t even mind if you throw it into the ocean, to be honest.’

You bite the inside of your cheek, fighting a laugh. By Irako’s reaction to the offending object, you think you could probably dump it into the sea and end the war overnight. You can see the headlines now: Mankind Glorious: Horrors of Psychotic Love Proclamation Ends Conflict – Seas Safe Again.

‘I… I don’t think it burns.’

It’s more of a struggle to keep the laughter in after her words, but manage to do so – you’ll have a word with Fingers later about his choice of words… although the fact that he had a crush on Irako of all people was probably the most surprising take from all this.

Even if he didn’t convey it that well.

‘So, ah…’

>‘So, who’s rocking the joint tonight?’ (Ask about the participants)
>‘Need some help? I’m free enough.’ (Have a shower)
(Have a shower)

I have no idea how that got there.

It's supposed to be (Offer to help with preparations)
Yeah, right...we know how you *really* want to help ;)
So, who’s rocking the joint tonight?’ (Ask about the participants)
>‘So, who’s rocking the joint tonight?’ (Ask about the participants)
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‘So who’s rocking the joint tonight?’

The envelope is folded quickly and put in your pants pocket – you would have words with the author of it later; right now, though, getting Irako’s mind as far from the thought of its contents and implications as possible was on your mental checklist. You suppose straying to a relevant context wouldn’t hurt – you were curious yourself.

Irako looks up at you, cocking her to one side.

‘I thought you’d know.’

‘Hm?’ You frown – no one had bothered to tell you about participating… and you hadn’t bothered to find out or put your own name in, considering you had virtually no talent to showcase…

‘There’s a few acts coming from your barracks, after all.’ Irako says cheerfully, a small giggle escaping her throat.

‘I know that Houshou’s taking part – I didn’t know any of the others actually took an interest.’ Your mind strays to the memory of your embarrassing duet with your CVL… and the subsequent rhythmic jibe from a particular song you hope you wouldn’t hear again tonight.

‘Why don’t you stick around before the show starts?’ Irako offers, smiling. ‘I imagine it’ll be a bit of a chore to go back and forth between now and then.’

You had actually intended to do so – mostly to curry a bit of favor with the two food ships, but also to at least pay back the niceties they’d been so generous to bestow upon you with the offer to teach you their ways and the drop-off of free food every now and then. You give Irako a small smile, looking mock-thoughtful at the idea.

‘It did cross my mind… but really, who’s taking part?’ You get back to your initial curiosity.

Irako raises a hand, counting off her fingers, biting her lip.

‘From your Division we have… Houshou, Tenryuu, Kaga…’ She trails off.

Kaga?’ Now that was an oddity.

‘Yup.’ She doesn’t look up at you, mumbling under her breath – it appears she’s trying to recall a bit more. ‘She’s put her name in with Zuikaku; they’re running a double act.’

‘The Carrier from the other day?’

She hums as she nods, confirming your inquiry.

‘Although I can’t see why – Zuikaku can’t tell a joke to save her life.’ Finally looking up at you, she shrugs. ‘It might be something else – a duet maybe?’

‘Who else?’

‘Well, we have the maintenance crew putting together their own show for the act – they’re explicitly putting together a musical performance.’ She grumbles, holding up a hand and tapping a finger with every name. ‘Then there’s Fusou-san, Amagi-san,’ She says the second name in a declaration of surprise, before taking a neutral tone, ‘Hibiki-chan… and some others. Can't recall.

That’s actually a bit more than you’d expected for one night.

>‘Need some help? I’m free enough.’ (Offer to assist)
>‘You don’t mind if I just sit around until it starts, right?’ (Hang around)
>‘Need some help? I’m free enough.’ (Offer to assist)
>>‘Need some help? I’m free enough.’ (Offer to assist)
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‘Need some help?’ You offer, hoping to put her even more at ease. ‘I’m kind of free for the rest of the day.’

The relief that sweeps across her face is palpable – it is as if she had expected your offer to help to come around.

Maybe you had made a habit of going around and sticking your nose in when you could have relaxed a bit more, but the way your life had headed since, you figure you might as well make the most of your time as a figure of authority before whatever storm hit. Besides, it’s not as if you were the type to shirk away from a friendly – or, if it came to that, pretty – face.

‘Well…’ Irako looks thoughtful – or she attempts to; you can tell that she’d already had the list of tasks to be done up and running for your hands the moment your lips had given the offer.

Irako really didn’t do the part of subtle well, try as she might.

‘There are quite a few things to do.’ She says in an almost sing-song voice.

‘Such as?’

‘I’d ask you to help with the food, but Mamiya and… well… you don’t want to go in there, I think.’ She nods – you give her a grim sigh of understanding in return; having worked in the kitchens before, you don’t know if you want to go back to it anytime soon with anyone but you as the one doing the cooking. ‘They can sort that out, I think.’

‘I can dig it.’ You nod, letting out a low voice. ‘So what can I do?’

‘I think I can sort out the interior myself… but the ones outside could use a bit of sprucing.’

You turn your gaze to the tents and tables outside. You count about 9 seating spots to be spruced, by her terms.

‘First, there’s the speakers and the projector – those need to be set up and the cables need to be sorted out; I’d do it myself but I’m useless when it comes to getting that kind of thing done. Then there’s the menus and the food. I’m a bit short-handed until Hamakaze and the rest come along… and in the case they don’t, I have plans for a small buffet laid outside on the other side of the street.’

‘So why not have the buffet just laid out, then?’ You frown.

She frowns right back at you.

‘Well, I don’t like seeing food go to waste, but I’ll leave it up to you on whether or not you’d rather set up a buffet outside. Whichever one you think is more convenient, I’ll go with it.’ She nods. ‘Just a word of warning – Mamiya doesn’t like to see food wasted, either.’


‘There’s also the cloths and extra chairs that need to be put out.’ She looks up, biting her lip.

Irako throws a glance across the street.

‘We don’t have much time. You’re going to have to sort out which you want to do first.’

>EXECUTE TASK: Projector, Speakers and Cables
>EXECUTE TASK: Furnish the Tables Outside
>EXECUTE TASK: Set Up A Mini-Buffet OR Arrange For A Menu Outside

Get things done withing 8 units for a satisfactory result or within 6 units for a prize!
>Arrange For A Menu Outside
We got this.
>>Arrange For A Menu Outside
And then we furnish the tables
>Arrange For A Menu Outside
>Arrange For A Menu Outside
>Arrange For A Menu Outside
‘I’ll go with the menus.’ You agree – you didn’t like to see food wasted, either. ‘If you’re reluctant to have a buffet out, I don’t think it’ll be any – !’

Something hits you – you look at the sun to see the evening setting in, then back to Irako.

‘Wait, you guys are sure you want to run the menus?’ You frown – back when you’d worked in the kitchen, even with the size of the servings, a buffet had always been preferable. You just did everything en-masse and didn’t have to consider individual orders and turn-numbers. ‘Wouldn’t that take quite a lot of work?’

You cross your arms, giving her an accusatory glance. Irako grins, before turning it into a smirk and making a heart-shaped symbol with her hands, giving a wink to go with it.

‘Trade secrets.’

Irako’s smirk is infectious enough to amuse you, and you find yourself giving a small smile back – trade secrets were always the best kind.

‘All right, if you say so.’

Irako sets her broom against the wall.

‘The menus are inside.’

Once you’re inside the shop, you feel a sense of deja vu sweep over you. The upturned chairs, the stacked cloths and candle -holders and wires give you a feel of your days as a hand in the kitchen, to say nothing of the impressively swept floor. At the back of your head you can tell that any floor manager worth their salt would have been whistling at just how much Irako and Mamiya had done to get things up to speed for tonight.

‘Wait here. I’ll tell Mamiya and the Old – !’

She quickly puts a hand over her mouth… and runs behind the counter and into the kitchen.

The moment the door swings open you hear several bouts of swearing from an obviously-male voice and something to do about croutons and how ramen was never an option – you don’t hear the rest of it, however, as Irako is out soon after, cheerful as she always was.

‘A menu at every table outside, please.’ She gestures to the tables, turning on her heel… before turning back around. ‘But don’t put the green ones outside. Those are specifically for the ones eating indoors.’

You heed her warning, heading out and across the street to place the menus.

You’re done within 15 minutes… although you did have to use something to hold the menus down – the wind occasionally blew them away.

‘Commander!’ Irako suddenly runs from across the street. ‘We’ll be going for a special menu for the non-KanMusu and... alcohol? What do you think?’

>‘Maybe I’ll go check on what they’re preparing back there for synergy.’ (Check on Mamiya and The Chef)
>‘They’re going to be here to have fun. Why not let the taps go?’ (Free taps)
>‘Maybe we should moderate on the alcohol we serve.’ (Restrict it)
>‘A loud atmosphere and alcohol aren’t good combinations. Maybe we should use an afternoon menu.’ (No alcohol)

>>‘Maybe we should moderate on the alcohol we serve.’ (Restrict it)
Buzzed, but not roaring drunk. And we've seen the assholes that occasionally pop up here, so everybody being drunk just means flaring tempers and brawls.
>‘Maybe we should moderate on the alcohol we serve.’ (Restrict it)
‘Maybe we should restrict the alcohol we serve.’ You point out, remembering the incident from before – maybe they weren’t that drunk, although some would argue they had a foot in the tipsy zone – and not very keen to have it going on again.

‘You don’t think we should have any?’ She blinks, cocking her head to one side again.

‘No, I don’t mean that.’ You look thoughtful – you didn’t want to seem like a prude when it came to this. ‘I mean… maybe keep the stronger stuff away from the patrons for tonight.’ You elaborate further. ‘I don’t want to take anyone’s fun away, but if we’re expecting a loud atmosphere, we don’t want people to be throwing a frat party on the premises.’

‘What’s a frat party?’

You immediately get past visions of several rowdy males downing more than you thought humanly possible; a car on a rooftop blaring horrible music; somehow, a Professor is dressed like an Abyssal Unit, strumming on a guitar by the sidewalk as young men barely out of their teens shout their love for their campus and how the neighboring schools can vacate their testicular privileges… and of course, the scantily-clad flirts of women and the odd glasses-wearing protestor who calls for order because Finals are around the corner.

Not forgetting the bucket of vomit. Or buckets. Whichever one related better.

‘Something I don’t think you’d ever want to be a part of.’ You say solemnly, rubbing your thumb and index finger together. ‘Trust me on that.’

She doesn’t look deterred in the least, however.

‘Aw, come on, tell me!’

You change the topic… before frowning and realizing something.

‘I’m surprised you came to me for an ask.’ You indicate the door to the kitchen – it was a strange thing that of all the people that she had to ask, it was you. ‘Shouldn’t you ask Mamiya on that?’

I’m in charge of drinks.’ She answers huffily. ‘What do you think I did here all this time?’ She turns her nose upwards, evidently feeling the oncoming snootiness. ‘Besides, if I ask Mamiya or the Old… him…’ she lowers her voice, throwing a glance to the door, ‘they’d give me weird looks and say that I should know these things!’

So, Irako doubled as the bartender.

‘That explains quite a bit, really.’

You don’t answer her, instead getting to work putting white pieces of paper across several of the drink menus – which were strangely more dollied-up than the others – it takes a while, but not too long. You think that you’re still on schedule… but you hope that the lack of stronger booze didn’t come off too badly.


‘Okay, so what’s… next?’

>‘Maybe I’ll go check on what they’re preparing back there for synergy.’ (Check on Mamiya and The Chef)
>EXECUTE TASK: Projector, Speakers and Cables
>EXECUTE TASK: Furnish the Tables Outside

>>EXECUTE TASK: Furnish the Tables Outside
hmm maybe setup the system first, so we can place the tables better?
‘I’ll sort out the tables outside.’ You decide.

Irako sends you off carrying several deceptively light-looking pieces of cloth and a bucket of utensils. Crossing the street is a bit of a chore as halfway across a gust of wind almost blows the sets out of your arms and onto the street; you somehow manage to hold on, and get right on at your task.

It isn’t until you begin rearranging the third table when a large shadow looms to your right… and you notice the maintenance crew that you had seen setting the tables when you had made your way to Mamiya’s giving you a confused look.

‘Hey, Commander, what gives?’ The man at the head of the group indicates your task.

‘I’m just helping Irako and Mamiya set-up the tables for their night.’ You explain, going back to your task – you were only one person, and despite your experience, a table a minute was still an undertaking.

‘Wait, hang on, wasn’t that our job?’

‘Huh?’ You look up, genuinely confused.

‘Mamiya-san asked us to sort this out just now, tables, I mean – I thought we…’ He looks to one of his companions, frowning ‘Were we supposed to do the tablecloths, too?’

One of them, a thin man with a burnt-out cigarette in his mouth, lets out a growl.

‘I still say we should’ve had ‘em in sets of two. The whole thing stretches too far from the shop!’ He shows a hand to Mamiya’s and then throws one in the opposite direction upstreet, voicing his ire. ‘Right?’

You look up – you see about a dozen more tables, all in one row under their tents, probably lent by the Admiral. The man might have had a point – even with a projector and speakers, it did seem like a little bit of a stretch for anyone that far out to be able to see, and you very much doubt that Irako or any of the other servers would enjoy the trek from one end to the other.

Still… you hadn’t been asked to do any of that, and didn’t want to upset any prior orders Mamiya had allegedly given this bunch.

‘No, I was asked by Irako to – !’

‘That’s what she asked us to do.’ The man from before gives his friend a concerned look and crossing his arms. ‘I ain’t pissin’ Mamiya-san off. If she wants it this far, that’s what she wants!’

‘I’m just helping Irako set up the table-cloths.’ You get in quickly, hoping they would leave you so you could sort this out as soon as possible – it didn’t really concern you how the tables were arranged.

‘You think anyone sane would want the tables stretched this far?’

‘Commander, what did Irako tell you?’

You sigh – when were you a part of this conversation?

>Refer back to Irako
>‘You’ve set up the tables in a row together. I think that’s good enough.’ DOES NOT CONSUME TIME UNIT
>‘Maybe sets of twos’ll work fine? There should be enough room to walk.’

>Refer back to Irako
>>Refer back to Irako
You elect to refer back to Irako. Perhaps she would know.

It takes some time to find her, of course, being as busy as she is. After about fifteen more minutes looking you hear her clattering some pots and pans from upstairs – or what looked like pots and pans, anyway. They looked more like containers than anything that someone would use for cooking. After helping her (she almost tripped on the last few steps) set down the offending items, you find it the right time to answer the inquiry.

‘Mamiya had a few men set up the tables and chairs outside…’ you begin – she cocks her head to the side, listening. She seemed to do that quite a bit, you realize, ‘They want to know how the tables are supposed to be set up because there’s some kind of argu – !’

‘Argument? Really?’ Irako finishes for you. Sighing, she puts her hands on her hips. ‘Why? They have everything set up as is, right? That should be fine.’

‘That’s what I said.’

‘Wait, hold up.’ She raises a hand to your face, apparently thinking. You frown at this action – it is rather rude and sudden… and she does seem caught up in her own world, her brows furrowed and her lips scrunched into a frown. ‘What did they want again?’

‘Well… they don’t know how the tables are supposed to be arranged.’ You think back to the conversation. ‘Apparently one of them says they’re all supposed to be in a row… but it does look like a long trek between one end to the other – and I don’t think that you’d appreciate having to hike from kitchen to table for an order.’ You go on, finding that you had her full attention now. ‘The other guy thinks it’d be better for you to to have them by twos, but I don’t think anyone’s in the mood for rearrange – !’

‘Hold on a sec.’ Irako quickly cuts you off, zooming for the kitchen.

The instant the door is open you hear curse words that would make the populace blush, something involving the use of coriander and pepper stalks and just how Mamiya compared to a sister of the Chef’s… and how poorly she stacked up to her, apparently. There are also profane descriptions of cabbage, how no one in any branch of military appreciated pepper and mustard and if the KanMusu liked it they would wolf it down regardless of how dead or alive the fish in question was.

‘Mamiya says two by twos works better!’

You don’t comment on the rest and go outside. The rearranging would have taken more time, but thankfully, the maintenance crew were there to give you a hand. You don’t think you could have done it all at once alone, really.


>Execute Task: Projector, Speakers and Cables

TASK 2 STATE: Tables Furnished, Arranged In 2s.
TASK 3 STATE: Individual Menus Set Up Outside
>Execute Task: Projector, Speakers and Cables

Alrighty. Crunch time.
>>Execute Task: Projector, Speakers and Cables
The maintenance crew goes on their way soon after the task is done, leaving you and Irako to the rest of the work.

‘Okay, now that all of that is done, I guess that cameras the last thing on the list. I’ll leave it to you to sort out, okay?’ She says cheerfully, handing you several items – cables and stands – before making her way inside again; you call out to her, ball that she does in return is throw you a small wink.

At least, that’s what you were thinking when she rushes back out with several pamphlets and old binders, dropping them onto your already-overburdened arms.

‘Irako!’ You say with a measure of annoyance. ‘What am I supposed to be doing here?!’

‘Set-up the projector!’ She says with a huff, stepping back and putting her hands on her hips.

‘How do I do that?!’

‘You have everything that you need there!’

That’s all she mentions, running off again with your arms covered in an assortment of cables, wires, contraptions… light they may be (thankfully), but so bulky are they that you have to balance yourself so as not to spill any of them over. Finally, gathering your patience, you sit down on the sidewalk – an Imperial Army truck zooms past you, its driver giving you a curious glance – and opening one of the pamphlets.

It’s all jargon, but there’s some of it that you do understand.

The High Power Cables are large and used for heavy duty items, the Medium-size ones for occasional, moderate loads and are long but not quite thick and the Short Cables are barely more than an arms length and are for everyday usage. NO HINT

There are Units – the auxiliary one that Mamiya was lent and the shop itself. You can use just one, but it may be prone to overload. HINT: The Speakers need to be loud, but the Projector doesn’t need to that much power.

The chain of the view begins from the BROADCAST CAMERA to the PROJECTOR to the SCREEN

Which connector cables are you going to use?
>Use the High Power Cables
>Use the Medium-Size Cables
>Use the Small/Short Cables

Which Power Supply goes where?
>Connect the Speakers to an Auxiliary Generator
>Connect the Speakers to the Building Main

Which Power Supply goes where?
>Connect the Projector to an Auxiliary Generator
>Connect the Projector to the Building Main

Set-Up The AV Feed
>Yellow Cable from Projector to VIDEO-In
>Yellow Cable from Projector to VIDEO-Out

Set-Up the AV Feed
>Red Cable from Broadcast Camera to VIDEO-Out
>Red Cable from Broadcast Camera to VIDEO-In

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Every time you get the combination wrong, imagine a pouty KanMusu of your choosing in chibi mode coming out of nowhere saying

>Use medium-size cables.
>Connect speakers to the building main
>Connect projector to auxiliary generator
>Yellow cable from Projector to VIDEO-OUT
>Red cable from Broadcast Camera to VIDEO-IN

I h-hope I get it right then.
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As self-serving as it is, you can’t help but give yourself a pat on the back as you observe the lot of work you’d managed to get done – with plenty to spare, too! The tables were rearranged and set, the screen and the projector, your latest endeavor, had been set up properly and the cables had worked just fine upon the flipping of the switch. You now sit on the sidewalk, boots on the tar and your black top stripped, revealing the white shirt beneath.

It had grown stuffy since that time.

‘Nice job.’

You look up to see Irako, hands behind her back and peering down at you with a look of gratitude and satisfaction – you’d done it right, you supposed… there were no complaints on her end; at least, for now, there aren’t.

‘Thanks.’ You give her a short nod, looking back to the setting sky – evening would make way for night soon.

‘Here.’ She says, making you look up.


You give her a tentative glance as you take a shuffle in place, feeling the comfortable, cool touch of something against the back of your neck.

‘A cold one. On me.’

You take the can from Irako, giving it a once-over.; there’s a smile you keep down as you see the familiar face of the fat child leaping for a fruit – this time a cherry – as a wave of nostalgia sweeps over you. Some cities had stopped getting these cans during the war, what with most shops closing down in quite a few cities and the factories mainly transporting their goods inland. You give her a nod of thanks, popping open the can and downing it, savoring the cool flavor.

There’s no particular liking for cherry soda on your part, but the gesture is enough for you to give your gratitude in return.

‘Thank you.’ You allow yourself the first gulp of the evening, feeling the tingle of the gas. ‘How’d you get – ?’

Irako giggles.

‘Trade secret.’

Of course that would be her answer.

‘How is it?’

You shake your head to one side, taking another sip from the can.

‘It’s okay.’ You answer – truth be told, it’s… spicy, but you’re not about to complain about something someone had just given to you with a pair of eyes like Irako’s.

She might not be Takao or Samidare, but she could hold her own.

It was either that or the Admiral’s accusations of you being a pushover weren’t that far off.

‘I hope tonight goes fine.’ Irako mentions almost distantly, taking a seat beside you. She huddles her knees to her chest as several Imperial Army members march on by, holding their rifles, catching your brief attention. ‘I miss the old times…’

You spare her a glance, seeing for the first time… a sad quality in her eyes.


>‘Why did you decide to have an Open Mic Night, really?’
>‘How much of a change of pace is this?’
>‘How does this compare to your last post?’
>>‘Why did you decide to have an Open Mic Night, really?’
I suppose right after a major attack is a somewhat odd time to start doing this. Also I'm glad I got it right, setting up home theater systems for relatives must've payed off.
>‘Why did you decide to have an Open Mic Night, really?’
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The first thing that crosses your mind leaves you lips – you’d been curious about it since you’d heard about it, but hadn’t had the opportunity to actually ask the ones organizing it. Now, you suppose, would be a good chance as ever.

‘Why did you decide to have an Open Mic Night, really?’

Irako gives you a curious gaze, which you meet with your own. Of all things to have, a night of laughs, stand up and music wasn’t the first thing that would have come to your mind when

‘Well, the timing doesn’t come off as right – I mean, we’re still at the frontlines, not out of bad straits yet, and…’

‘You find it weird that now, of all times, we’re holding a party?’ Irako redirects your question to you.

You nod back at Irako, prompting her to stretch her arms above her head, throwing you a gaze that reminded you of Takao’s shining eyes when she had gone in for the kill at the conference meeting. You feel instantly apprehensive, wondering if you’d asked the wrong question. You take a quick gulp of your cherry soda, waiting patiently for her to gather her thoughts.

Irako lets out a sigh.

‘Commander, we’re coming off the biggest ass-kicking in the history of war campaigns; half our forces are down for the count; a whole base is obliterated since the beginning of the war, nothing to mention of the hundreds of thousands of humans to disappear or die with its fallen city; the Admiralty being down to 5 Commanders and most jarring of all,’ she taps you in the arm, smirking widely, ‘you being on the list of prospective last hopes.’

The lips upon your face freeze – any smart retort that could translate from thought to words stays there, so stunned you are by Irako’s specific and wide-ranging tirade.


Her grins resembles that of a shark in a feeding frenzy, daring you to dart in the face of it.

‘You tell me, Commander, when is it going to be a better time to have something like this?’

Despite yourself, you laugh, setting down the can on the sidewalk.

‘You got me.’

She gives you an apologetic smile, looking to the calm ocean as you had been.

‘It’s… not an attack on you,’ she says – there’s an apology in there, you suppose, ‘but I feel that right now, I think… we need something to remind people that the world isn’t just about fighting.’

Your mind, for some reason, goes back to history class – despite your best efforts, you let out a sarcastic snort.

‘Plenty to say when you’re referring to the world.’

‘I know,’ she hugs her knees tighter, ‘but it’s a good way to take your mind off it.’

‘Hiei loves battle.’ You say – a lot more pointedly than you’d intended to.

‘All KanMusu do.’ She sighs. ‘I think that’s why we… eh, what’s up with me?’ She shakes her head. ‘So, anything else on your mind?’

>‘How much of a change of pace is this?’
>‘How does this compare to your last post?’
>‘How much of a change of pace is this?’
>>‘How much of a change of pace is this?’
>>‘How much of a change of pace is this?’
‘How much of a change of pace is this?’

She looks thoughtful, tapping her lower lip with a finger.

‘It’s a lot slower than what I’m used to.’ She admits, nodding with affirmation before raising a hand, making it wobble left and right like some sort of suspended bridge. ‘Not much of a profit to be made… not that we were rolling in cash before, mind you.’

‘Used to get a bigger assortment, huh?’ You snort – you can tell how much of a difference it is between establishments, one having a different peak, another one having a more frantic peak – the change could be disorienting for some.

‘We weren’t very popular with the humans, as you may suspect…’ She jokes, prompting you to give an amused smile and roll of eyes before she went on, ‘but it was a lively time in Ominato. You know we used to do take-away dinners for late patrols?’

‘You did?’ You give an interested hum – you had never seen them do that for you; maybe because there hadn’t been call for it since your appointment.

‘Yup.’ She rests her chin on her forearms, smiling fondly. She nods upwards, eyes on the shop as well as she could, leaning slightly back. ‘We didn’t have a shop like this one back then – it was more of a cafeteria. Orders to go, almost every other night.’

‘That does sound like quite a change from what it is now.’

‘Well… we get more humans here.’ She says, a crisp quality to her voice, giving you a curious look. ‘I’m surprised that you guys are more open to being served by KanMusu than most.’

You snort – open was very much stretching the definition, after what you had seen. You want to let out that the most that the populace seemed to think, barring the permanent staff, of the KanMusu were oddities that became necessities. Personally, you occasionally wondered if it was – and it was, with no room for doubt – conduct unbecoming of an officer to tell their detractors just how much blood and sweat the KanMusu poured into allowing them breathe another day… with chokehold.

Then again… you supposed that war did bring out the worse in people.

You just didn’t think it’d extended to those doing the protecting.

‘I don’t think ordering food on a dare and chewing just to see who’s able to last the longest before vomiting or fainting a form of appreciation for your line of work.’

‘You got me there.’ She snorts in agreement, raising her hands.

Irako gives you a warm smile.

‘It’s slower here – the nights are louder and Mamiya drives me crazier than before.’

‘So is that a good thing or a bad thing?’

‘It’s a different thing.’

You nod as she puts her hands on the pavement, letting out a content sigh.

‘Although, I can say I miss fixing late-night stew up for Shigure and the girls.’

>‘How does this compare to your last post?’
>‘Wait, you knew Shigure?’ (Latch on)
>>‘Wait, you knew Shigure?’ (Latch on)
Now this is interesting
>latch on
>>‘Wait, you knew Shigure?’ (Latch on)
‘You knew Shigure before she came here?’ You blink in surprise – although you may have had a suspicion that Mamiya and Irako had been around enough to know everyone, for her to know Shigure in particular and point her out came as a genuine shock to you.

‘She and her sisters used to be my regulars.’

As if you hadn’t had enough bombshells dropped, you find more than you’d thought and expected to know of Shigure since you’d begun opening up channels with her. You hadn’t even expected more than her favorite song when you’d walked her to her spot and suddenly you found out that she had sisters!

‘Sisters?’ You repeat, soaking deeper in a pool of disbelief.

Yuudachi and Shiratsuyu.’ Irako holds a fist to her mouth, humming… and giggling. ‘You know she tried to sneak in once when I was assigned to her base in Maizuru?’

You grin – not quite maliciously, but you’re not sure if your intent is completely void of it.

‘Oh.’ You hold back a chuckle, giving Irako a waggle of your eyebrows. ‘I’ll definitely use that against her.’

‘See that you do.’ She gives a playful order, not at all meaning it. ‘The three of them snuck in to get some food – they’d been issued the standard stock for KanMusu for some time before my arrival and found my stashes of soup for the next day. That was my second meeting with her sisters – she’d just got back from a mission that time. They wouldn’t eat without her.’

You really can’t help but smile at that. The thought of an exhausted Shigure coming home to a welcoming pair of arms and giggles to go with a plan to break into a cafeteria for some after-hours snacks was just too… innocent not to. As stoic and as giggly as she got, you don’t think you’d ever seen her do that…

‘I didn’t know Shigure had sisters.’ Your interest in the subject piques.

‘She does.’ Irako says with affirmation, dusting off her apron. ‘She never told you?’

‘No, I…’ You remember the morning’s encounter with a grimace. ‘She’s not much of a talker.’

And you’re not a good one. It’s a bad combination.

‘It’s a pity – she used to be quite lively. She and her Vice-Admiral – that was a happy bunch, that was.’ Irako stretches her arms overhead, mirroring your grimace. ‘Now, though…’

Irako smiles sadly, pushing a lock of hair behind her ear.

‘I think that’s what wars just do to peo – KanMusu.’

You correct her.



‘People.’ You assure Irako, giving the most encouraging smile you could.‘That’s what war does to the best of people. Even Shigure.’

Irako’s eyes widen in surprise… before giving you an affirmative nod.

>‘How does this compare to your last post?’
>>‘How does this compare to your last post?’
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>>‘How does this compare to your last post?’

Considering that the Shiratsuyu-class contains quite a few other destroyers, in what capacity are Nightmare and Shiratsuyu the only sisters to Shigure?
‘So, how does this compare to your last post?

‘Well, I’ve told you that it’s a lot more quiet.’ She pauses, before adding. ‘In some aspects.’

‘Where was your last post?’


‘How long were you there for?’

‘Most of my time since I was summoned.’ She answers. Frowning slightly, she raises a hand, counting down with her fingers, ‘I was one of the later ones – I think I was one of the hundreds summoned? Can’t tell. Can’t bother, either.’ She immediately stops the action, giving you a glance. ‘Anyway, I was at Ominato most of the time – and other times, I was at Maizuru when a request came in for my transfer there.’

‘So you split time between being stationed at Ominato and being stationed at Maizuru.’ You try to affirm – at least that’s what you got from the explanation.

‘I’d have to say it’s a three-way split.’ She holds up three fingers, before bringing one down so it was just two. ‘More time spent in Ominato than Maizuru – this is my first time actually being requested to be posted here.’

‘Like it better or worse?’ The question is impulsive and is right out from your survey days.

Irako’s expression immediately goes blank… then thoughtful, and finally, melancholic. You try to take your words back, but find that saying something might aggravate her further; it had been a spontaneous ask on your part with nothing behind it other than an intent for more small talk.

Her shoulder slump as she finally speaks.

‘The Admiral’s here now… he’s mellowed out a bit since Ominato, but that’s understandable…’ She grumbles the last few words, mumbling something after, before continuing, ‘Ominato as a lot livelier – a lot more grim, too, but that place there… that was more than just a base for some of us. That was a… well, I don’t know if it’s presumptuous to take the term from you humans, but…’

An expression comes over her face – one you can’t quite place. Fondness? Sadness? Melancholy?

She lets out a small hum, closing her eyes… content.

‘It was home.’ She finally says. ‘We cried, we laughed… and we soldiered on. It was home.’

‘Don’t like it here?’ You joke, before biting your tongue; what a question.

‘It doesn’t have the same feel, I guess.’ She admits reluctantly. ‘I don’t have Yamato and Musashi to exchange gossip with, for one and Nagato transferred out eight months after the Admiral was reassigned to Yokosuka – and last I heard from the Admiral that took over after he came from Yokosuka was that he was killed in the attack.’

‘I’m sorry.’

‘He was a nice man.’ She recalls, holding a tough smile. ‘He and Nagato got along really well. I hope his wife is doing okay.’

>‘Hang on, back up… Yamato and Musashi?’
>‘The Admiral used to be stationed at Ominato?’
>‘Night’s approaching.’ END CONVERSATION
>>‘The Admiral used to be stationed at Ominato?’
Pretty important place to be assigned. Makes me wonder why he was transferred here.
>>‘The Admiral used to be stationed at Ominato?’
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‘The Admiral…’

You recall a few tidbits of conversation, latching on to several parts of interest within… namely those that implied the Admiral’s…

‘Our Admiral?’ You turn to her in a sudden, jerky motion.

‘Sorry?’ Irako looks up from her staring, confused.

‘The Admiral, he…’ you continue carefully, not wanting to sound too nosy with the sudden discovery, ‘used to be based in Ominato?’

‘Nagato didn’t tell you?’ Irako blinks, looking very much the picture of surprise.

‘No, she didn’t,’ you wince internally – had she not trusted you with that bit of information, or had it just not come up? ‘but…’

However, looking into things it did make sense when things added up. The Admiral and Nagato had a pretty close relationship, all things considered – you might even go as far to say that there might be a familial quality of sorts there – and if Nagato had been a transfer in, by her reputation, she wouldn’t have done so willingly. With, of course, you yourself being an exception. The Untameable Mustang had been the Admiral’s favorite… and if you put 2 and 2 together, the Admiral’s familiarity with her added up in a sum.

She must have requested a transfer and been granted one to Yokosuka after his leaving.

‘It does make sense, somewhat.’

‘He only transferred here after the last Yokosuka Admiral was killed.’ Irako says grimly, running a hand through her hair. ‘That, and… well…’

She hesitates to go on, reluctant to say more than she already had.

‘There were a lot of things that happened.’ She says with a sigh of frustration. ‘I think it’d have something to do with his Vice-Admiral. I heard he had a falling out.’

‘He doesn’t strike me to hold a grudge…’ You say – he really didn’t, if he did come off as wily old maverick at times, ‘especially not something like a pissing contest over command.’

Irako shrugs noncommittally.

‘I’m not sure either, and Nagato’s not one to gossip about a superior.’ Especially not an Admiral she trusts like yours, you reckon. ‘Yamato and Musashi are free reign, though. I don’t think I’ll ever get over the story about armpit hair.’

Your smile of curiosity presents itself once more; enough so that it instantly makes Irako backtrack on her tease.

‘You know what?’ Irako laughs nervously. ‘Forget about it. I don’t think you’ll ever look at her the same way either.’

‘Is this worse than Untameable Stallion?’

‘That’s a title.’ She smirks. ‘This is something you have to hear from the horse’s mouth. If the Mustang ever speaks of it ever again.’

You elect not to follow it… but you do feel you finally have something to hold over Nagato, even if it was incomplete. Maybe helping out in the evening hadn’t been so much a charitable endeavor as it was an exchange.

>‘Yamato and Musashi?’
>‘Night’s Approaching.’ END CONVERSATION
>>‘Yamato and Musashi?’
>>‘Yamato and Musashi?’
‘Yamato and Musashi?’

It takes you a bit to process just why Irako brought the both of them up with such a startling amount familiarity… when you keep the urge from hitting yourself – how had you not followed the conversation from before, really?

‘Oh, wait.’ It comes to you fully – Nagato’s recollections and Irako’s own stories. ‘They’re from Ominato too, aren’t they?’

To your surprise, Irako gives you a grimace and a shake of the head.

‘It may come as a surprise to you, but they’re transferees from Yokosuka. Musashi was under a Vice-Admiral and Yamato was under the Admiral here before they exchanged hands to the Admiral, who was in charge of Ominato at the time.’ The terminology was getting confusing, so you just nod. You expect the worst when she hums to herself, looking thoughtful. ‘Or that’s how it went… I think Musashi served in Maizuru for a bit. I remember seeing Yamato around Ominato when she arrived before Musashi did.’

She taps her knees impatiently, evidently trying her hardest to remember the details – not that you really wanted to know that badly, but every detail helped.

‘Though, to be fair, it could have been during the Kure period.’ She finishes, frowning.

‘Kure period?’

Wasn’t there a Base proposed that Takao had been somehow involved in?

‘Yeah, they were building a 4th base in Kure around that time.’ She hums again, scrunching her eyebrows. ‘I think there must have been 2 Admirals on the base… I can’t remember that part too well.’

You could barely remember a conversation with Nagato from a few weeks back – you could forgive her for not being able to recall something a few years prior.

‘Anyway, they were under the Admiral for about 2 years – compared with Nagato who’s been pretty much under him since her summoning.’ She says with a satisfied huff, continuing confidently. ‘Before his transfer out. Yamato and Musashi… I don’t think Nagato would have found better friends than those two.’ She turns to you, giving a pleading look. ‘By human terms they were… what?’

You have a sudden flash to Zuikaku’s invasion of Kaga’s personal space, cheering like a chipmunk.


She snaps her fingers.

‘Besties. That’s it.’

A somber mood returns, along with a melancholic smile.

‘Yamato and Musashi are the load-bearers in this war.’ She says… without conviction; gentle and fragile. ‘By morale and by strength. There aren’t many others that you can say hold a better grip on it than those two.’

‘Nagato hasn’t heard from them since the assault.’ You put in.

‘I try not to think the worst, but…’


Mamiya stands in the doorway… idle conversation would have to wait another time.


Please don’t unplug Memory Card or Controller...

Start brainstorming. Will be back in half a day.



So what parts of the Quest have surprised you folks this edition?
I'll admit: the sheer weirdness of of Fingers' love letter caught me by surprise. Also, it was pretty nice to hang out with Irako and get her opinion on things.

I'm definitely hyped for open mic shenanigans.
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>So what parts of the Quest have surprised you folks this edition?
The sheer number of things on our to-do list
You only have, what, 5? Not including the Main Quest.

Takao's Application
Investigating Yamato and Musashi's Status
Fingers Romance
Tenryuu's Inland Adventure
Investigating the Attack
I'm pretty excited for the Inland adventure myself. We haven't really seen any place besides Yokosuka.

Plus seeing Tenryuu in a sundress will be excellent.
Remind me why Tenryuu's going inland again
fashion sensibilities i think?
we can us the excuse to rope as man shipgirls we can an pull a roadtrip
Yeah we really need to pull in as much of our division on this roadtrip as possible, after all it cant just be Tenryuu that has needs to satisfy inland.
>inb4 Yokosuka gets attacked and only our division survives since they were on a roadtrip, thus initiating the outer-heaven protocol.
i suspect oh shit he's rogue protocols out the wazoo
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Something tells me that it would be a very bad idea to take a large portion of our Division inland. I could see the brass being wary abut just us and Tenryuu going, especially with the Admiralty's suspicion of us. Also:
>Outer Heaven

We're gonna need a lot more powerful friends before we can pull something like that.
a second base would be quite imposible, we are kind of barely holding toghether our city, a 2nd will break us, plus not enough shipgirls to not pull double shifts just for patrol duties
The trip itself shouldn't be too suspicious since we got the Admiral to set us up with that meeting Inland about Yamato and Musashi, we could just use that and take Tenryuu with us, it would just be nice to give the entire division some R&R Inland, so hopefully we end up successful in our next operation.
Speaking of our next operation, do you guys think we should take a higher-level one? If we have a major success, it could help get the Admiralty off our back quicker.
we will see, one thing is getting honors, the other is getting the girls killed because we bit more than we can chew
Very true. However, we got kind of lucky by having Nagato and Kaga in our division, if what we've heard about them is correct, they're practically forces of nature on the battlefield. Who knows? Our division might be better suited to high-level missions than low-level ones.
We should defenetly take on a combat focused operation next, hopefully the level 3 one will be just that, and send both Nagato and Kaga along with Nachi leaving us with the choice of which DD to send.We really need to witness how much combat power our division actually has.
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We're past the 3 day autosage point right? No updates after this?

QM, now that Warspite is in the game, will there be teaboats in the quest?
aparently kongo fears her or somethin'?
can make heads or thails about that hourlie
as a unit its a mixted bag, she is good but take ass and half to max her out
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>aparently kongo fears her or somethin'?
It's because she out-Britishes the Bongo
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Kongou is insecure because Warspite speaks the Queens' English, while she can only speak in broken nonsense that barely qualifies as English.

The Italians are the ones who should truly be afraid.
they actually are, pola and zara evacuated the premises so hard they are still patching the walls
warspie has hourlies on them
also on italians, aquila sucks so hard its unbelivable, the stats are bad, belong to a cvl tier bad, still damn shes a beauty
any plan on how to tackle the yamato/musashi thing? becouse other than trying to own a favor to notWesker, im straigh outta ideas
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Aquila is a surprisingly cute spaghetti. Going by her lines, it's like she's desperately trying to be friends with the other carriers but nobody gives a damn about her for being such a useless boat, but she's gonna keep on trying anyway.
well she is pretty much an akagi knock-off, or so says my limited knowlege on the actual ship, so its trying to get on with the jap side of hers?
We could potentially ask around while we're visiting the Main HQ. Obviously there's the meeting with Taigei that we've arranged, but the Admiral makes her sound about as scary as I would expect the submarines' mission handler to be. Who knows? Maybe we'll get lucky with asking the Grand Lieutenant and he'll give us even the smallest lead to follow.
oh, yeah forgot taigei
boys in case we do meet her, think her as THE fucking yakuza boss/don vito corleone

id bet my life on that she knows each and every dirty secret the admirals and the navy knows

so nice polite and CALM
keep your shit together

i doubt we can get her to our side but a trade or a favour might go long...
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Houshou’s performance had been first.

Somehow, it wasn’t as memorable as that duet the both of you had pulled – it didn’t garner as loud a rumble of applause, for one… and for two, she had been oddly stiff in her delivery; the more analytical side of you assumes and deduces that she’d probably had a bout of stage fright prior to actually stepping up.

The maintenance crew and their stand-up act right after was decidedly hilarious, though.

‘So, you guys read the latest scoops?’

You turn to the other patrons at the table you’d been so graciously offered a seat at. A varied bunch of folks, the four of them – and the one you’d presumed to be the most excitable of the lot holding, surprisingly, a newspaper… you hadn’t picked up one of those in more than a month.

‘It’s either gossip or propaganda, and I ain’t interested in either.’ The oldest-looking man, raises a hand.

‘Pass.’ A fat, short man gives him a look, stretching upwards.

‘Pass.’ The blonde – you suspect him to have had it dyed – crosses his arms, focusing on the stage.

Tenryuu and a bunch of destroyers were hauling what looked like a bunch of instruments… a keyboard, a drum set, a couple of guitars, a xylophone; the rest of the patrons had taken it as an intermission and took the opportunity to do things like chat, take a smoke and get their toilet breaks done.

‘Come on, guys, don’t be like that.’

‘We’re trying to enjoy the show.’

‘Come on, it’s in transition.’ He puts the item on the table, almost knocking over a bottle. ‘Look, you see this? They say that the Congregation’s trying to push for a better hand on Admiralty works – we might actually end up being government-sanctioned.’

‘Aren’t we already government-sanctioned?’ The blonde man says tiredly. ‘The League of Nations were – are the main backers to the Admiralty. At the very least they’d be in agreement through majority.’

‘Yeah, but the Congregation also voted that each Branch of the Admiralty had to answer to the government for each country.’

‘Didn’t the Vanzer Kingdom say that it was unnecessary?’ The fat man offers.

You take an interest. You hadn’t heard of that since… the war began, really.

‘There probably is a point to it… thing is, none of them know how magic works or whatever the Fairies do except for the Shamans.’ The oldest-looking man shrugs. ‘Plus, last I heard, our country’s the one that had… what? Hundreds of KanMusu summoned?’

‘I think we’re the only one that broke single digits.’ The fat man smirks. ‘I don’t know if that’s good or bad.’

Long live The Imperial Taiyouga!’ The young man mockingly salutes.

‘Hey, don’t you think – !’

‘All right, folks, sorry for the wait, yeah!’ Tenryuu’s voice takes your immediate attention.

>Pay attention to Tenryuu’s performance
>Talk to them about the article
>Pay attention to Tenryuu’s performance
Why wouldn't we pay attention to best girl?
>>Talk to them about the article
Worldbuilding ho!
>Ask to borrow their copy of the Article
>Pay attention to Tenryuu
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‘Do you mind if I could borrow that?’

He gives you an incredulous look, as if you’d just held him up in a robbery.

‘Eh?’ He gives you a look, folding the ‘No way, Commander! You know how hard – ?’

You don’t find yourself paying attention to the rest of the words, as the first strums and notes are hit and you see Tenryuu, Shimakaze, Teruzuki and another KanMusu on stage, beginning their act.

Whenever I sang my songs
On the stage, on my own

You find yourself speechless as Tenryuu… sings.

Whenever I said my words
Wishing they would be heard

Her voice is sad, her lips upward in a smile that looked as though it was years away.

I saw you smiling at me
Was it real or just my fantasy?
You'd always be there in the corner
Of this tiny little bar

To your left you see several of the men completely – completely – stop and look at Tenryuu, the dimmed lights and one spotlight on her. She wears that smile, eye closed and hitting keys gently, her comrades following right behind.

My last night here for you
Same old songs, just once more
My last night here with you?
Maybe yes, maybe no

She opens her eye, casting a glance to the flabbergasted men in the audience.

I kind of liked it your way
How you shyly placed your eyes on me
Did you ever know
That I had mine on you?

There’s a light crescendo reached by Shimakaze.

Darling, so there you are
With that look on your face
As if you're never hurt
As if you're never down
Shall I be the one for you
Who pinches you softly but sure
If frown is shown then
I will know that you are no dreamer

Teruzuki takes point, blowing into her flute in an impressive, powerful, sad melody.

So let me come to you
Close as I want to be
Close enough for me
To feel your heart beating fast
And stay there as I whisper
How I love your peaceful eyes on me
Did you ever know
That I had mine on you?

An energy comes into the performance – the KanMusu you fail to recognize and Teruzuki bringing the tempo as Tenryuu raises herself, hitting the keys with power and emotion.

Darling, so share with me
Your love if you have enough
Your tears if you're holding back
Or pain if that's what it is
How can I let you know?
I'm more than the dress and the voice
Just reach me out then
You will know that you're not dreaming

The notes hit hard.

Darling, so there you are
With that look on your face
As if you're never hurt
As if you're never down
Shall I be the one for you
Who pinches you softly but sure

You feel something tug as Tenryuu's voice lowers... the song is finishing now.

If frown is shown then I will know
that you are no dreamer

It ends.

The place is silent.

>Do Nothing
>Clap and cheer
‘Yeah, that’s my girl!’ Yours is the voice that breaks the stunned silence.

You give out a huge shout, making her blush as she gives a tentative wave to the audience – soon enough, the whole bar, for the first time that night, erupts into a huge round of applause. You even spy some of the crowd calling for an encore, hooting and hollering like you’d never seen before. The place may be small, but it rumbled like an arena.

‘Th – Thanks, y’all!’ Tenryuu speaks into the microphone, her face red. ‘Hope you enjoy the night!’

Teruzuki and the other two push the instruments to the back; the next act would be on soon.

You hear a conversation to your right – apparently the topic had taken a serious turn since you’d given your full attention to Tenryuu’s ballad.

‘Can’t believe you actually think it.’ The older man looks at the youngest of the lot in disbelief.

‘That’s what I’m saying, though… but we’re not like the Church, if that’s what you’re trying to imply.’ He shrugs, lips purse. ‘If we’re going to actually be one, we might as well be one.’

‘That’s like saying that if you’re a bystander, you’re automatically incriminated.’ The fat one crosses his arms, balancing on his chair as he gives the both of them a look. ‘It’s a round of logic that doesn’t work.’

‘Yeah, but if you’re going to tell me that it’s a good decision on both fronts – !’

‘That’s not what I’m saying. The Imperial Lords have the power, but this organization isn’t – !’

‘They still foot the bill, though.’ The blonde man grimaces, turning around on his chair to look at the table’s other patrons. ‘That’s leverage if anything is.’

‘What about the rest of the world, then, huh?’ The youngest of the lot raises a hand, beckoning him for an answer.

‘Who cares what they think? The way things are going, the only news that we get is from The Union, anyway, and they’re not doing shit about the war – they don’t give two – !’

‘Of course they do. You think they’re so damn moronic to just let a bunch of monsters terrorize their waters?’ The oldest one looks at him in disbelief as you look thoughtful.

The Haszad Union was a bit of an enigma… and while you were young enough to not pick up the finer details back then, the fact remained that the Abyssals were a threat; on that basis alone you don’t think that they would actually abandon the effort.

Then again, it had been years since any news came.

‘Not if they don’t care about them. Remember, they’re the only ones that abstained from the vote.’

‘Were they?’ The oldest one leans in. ‘Thought they were all for it?’

‘On paper. As far as I know they just footed the first few bills and called it a day.’

You look to the stage… Ikazuchi and her sisters are on it now.

>Enter the conversation
>Pay attention to the act
>>Enter the conversation

I'm betting this is their act:
>Enter the conversation
But kind of keep track of the act between what they say. Might be something good.
‘You guys talking about The Union?’

The four of them turn to look at you, apparently surprised you had followed their conversation – you really hadn’t heard that much, having paid full attention to Tenryuu’s show, but since the short intermission, the talk of the Union and the Congregation had caught your interest. Especially the implication from the exchange that the former had no stake in the war and had effectively pulled out after their big donation.

‘Eh, uh… not really, sir.’ The young man scratches the back of his head, looking very much apologetic. ‘We were… actually, we were talking about what’s been going on with the Imperial Lords and the Admiralty.’

You frown. You’d had enough to piece a few parts together, but all-in-all felt rather lost.

‘What made you guys bring that up?’ You lean in curiously.

The boom of music hits your ears and you briefly turn to the stage – the three of them had started doing quirky little dances… but you find yourself uninterested, as rude as it sounded. You were more curious in the topic of the table; you turn to the oldest gentleman at the table, gesturing at him to clue you in. He looks hesitant for a moment, giving a glance to the other four.

‘Well, there’re rumors… going around that they’re planning a takeover of Admiralty operations.’ The blonde man answers in his stead, looking grim. ‘If you ask me, there’s no reason that they can’t seize control… considering how things have been going.’

You shift uncomfortably in your seat, looking to the wooden surface of the table – you’re not sure if he’s referring to your recent misconduct or the way the tide of the war had turned in that one stroke. You can hardly blame the Lords or the Congregation for either accusation, especially with how much promise the KanMusu had held in being the solution to the Abyssal armada… and how just how much that promise had faded, replaced with disillusionment and anger… and frustration. You look up from the tapping fingers of your prosthetic to the blonde man.

‘And I’m telling you, they can’t do that.’ The older man tiredly chimes in, raising his glass to emphasize his point. ‘As far as the laws go, the Admiralty is sanctioned by the League of Nations on an operations basis and is not claimable by any government. The Admiralty works alongside them… not for them.’

The young man folds his newspaper, putting it aside and stretching his index finger accusingly at him.

‘When was the last time The League of Nations had any say in anything? Seven years ago, that’s what. Half the world’s practically cut off from each other thanks to the Abyssal threat not to mention how badly we had our butts kicked in one attack.’ You wince internally – it might not have been directly attributable to you, but it still hurt, considering that the aforementioned butts belonged to those that you now called comrades.

‘We’re down to two bases and we’ve barely made a dent in the effort after… what? 10 years?’

‘Everyone’s trying.’ You say quietly, taking a sip of your drink; it’s a small protest, but one you feel that you need to have out there – more to defend yourself than to allay worries.

It doesn’t do much of either.

‘Feels like we’re the only ones.’ The fat one enters the conversation, putting his elbows on the table and adjusting his seat. ‘I heard that the Vanzer Kingdom and the Romerians couldn’t even summon one KanMusu.’

You give him an incredulous look – if Taiyouga had been able to summon hundreds, you’d expect the other participating nations under the Admiralty’s banner to do be able to do at least the same… if not better. That you were the only ones fighting… the accusation was absurd; it wouldn’t make any sense on any rational level.

‘Now I know you’re kidding.’

‘I’ve been a maintenance jockey for the Admiralty since it was approved and I tell ya, we’re the only ones really doing the fighting.’ He gives a solemn, grim nod. ‘At least, that’s what I heard.’

‘The Shamans are the ones in charge of that, right?’ The youngest cuts in, looking at your ‘The Summoning?’

‘The Shamans and the Fairies.’ You answer, almost automatically.

‘You’ve been at it for 10 years and all you got to show for it are abandoned cities and thousands, if not millions… missing or dead.’ You feel like this is more of an accusation – you feel your ire rising as you meet his eyes with your uncovered one, folding your fingers. ‘You don’t think some sides are going to be so accepting of that? I don’t think so.’

‘I think faith and trust should go hand in hand.’ You answer, again, a little too defensively for your personal liking. It felt like you were being grilled rather than having a conversation at this point. ‘The fact that we’re trying counts for something.’

‘Not if the body count doesn’t stop going up, it doesn’t.’

‘You’re saying that the Congregation might vote to seize control of the Admiralty.’ You try a more rational approach, putting your elbow on the table.‘The Lords will only end up making the League of Nations angry if they do that; we don’t operate under them.’

‘Who says there’s still a League of Nations still standing around at this point, yeah?’

You’re about to throw more than just a retort when a whining sound reaches your ears.

It’s the next act – Kaga and Zuikaku are on stage, clad in a pair of rather well-detailed kimonos.

‘Testing, testing, One. Two. One. Two.’ Zuikaku taps the mic. ‘Is this thing on?’

>Pay attention to the act on stage
>Continue to talk with the table
>>Continue to talk with the table
I feel bad for not paying attention to them, but we can't just leave a discussion like this.

Also, the Congregation would be Taiyouga's version of the National Diet, the Union of Haszad is the...Sino-Muslim bloc? And I'm guessing Vanzer is not!Britain?
>Watch the act, but occasionally listen in to the conversation.

We should at least pay some attention to the act, considering it's Kaga up there. She'd do the same for us.
This. We've already managed to glean quite a bit of information from their conversation. And it's all basically "Shit's fucked."
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Kaga and Zuikaku pick up guitars from the stand in the back, hanging them on their shoulders. A few murmurs go around – the crowd was apparently growing impatient for the next bout of entertainment. You can hardly blame them – Tenryuu’s performance had some of the folks in the crowd wiping away tears and a small number calling for an encore. The both of them began to strum their guitars violently, but melodically in a toe-tapping opening… before stopping.

‘Hang on for a bit.’ Zuikaku grabs the microphone, grinning apologetically. ‘Mamiya!’

The organizer of the event stops in her tracks some distance away at a table, setting down several bottles – you can only see her back from where you’re seated.

‘E – Eh?’ The squeak in her voice is loud, the surprise more than evident.

‘Would you mind hitting the drums with us?’ Kaga speaks into the mic – the patrons had their eyes on the brown-haired KanMusu, who practically shakes at the address.


‘Come on!’ Zuikaku’s grin widens. ‘It’s Open Mic Night!’

The crowd begins to cheer her… and Mamiya shakily, complies, walking up the stage... and behind a set of drums.

‘You know our number!’ Zuikaku’s energy comes back, Kaga following right behind. Personally… you’re surprised that Mamiya could hold a decent beat. ‘Let’s go!’

And Mamiya starts them off.

Been working so hard
I'm punching my card

‘Why worry? We get paid out either way.’

‘Why worry? You’re putting the first last and last line of defense into the hands of a side that got stomped withing a month of combat and left it to the others!’

Eight hours? For what?
Oh, tell me what I got

‘The Admiralty has a whole base gone – do you think they’re going to stop them?’

I've got this feeling
That times are holding me down

‘Army or Air Force, it’s nothing to the Abyssals… and the Admiralty knows how to deal with them better!’ You feel a force shake the table.

I'll hit the ceiling
Or else I'll tear up this town

Kaga grabs the mic, throwing you a look.

Now I gotta cut loose, footloose
Kick off your Sunday shoes
Please, Honeys, pull me off of my knees
There, get back, come on before we crack

You frown in frustration as you find yourself trying to follow the conversation and Kaga’s act – you even notice a small hint of ire as, despite the bad lighting at your particular section, she notices that you weren’t paying full attention to her as you had Tenryuu. In your ear, you feel the chatter cutting almost uncomfortably into your enjoyment of the song.

Lose your blues, everybody cut footloose

‘Commander, wouldn’t you agree?’

>‘I’m sorry, you mind holding that thought? (Keep attention on Kaga)
>‘I didn’t catch that last part.’ (Pay full attention to the table)
>‘I’m sorry, you mind holding that thought? (Keep attention on Kaga)
Wouldn't want her to be angry with us.
>>‘I’m sorry, you mind holding that thought? (Keep attention on Kaga)
It took me a while but I'm happy to catch up and be able to participate in this quest now.
Always nice to see new Questers.
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‘Mind holding that thought for a bit?’ You raise a hand, giving him a quick glance. ‘That’s my team up there.’

Kaga takes the lead.

You're playing so cool
Obeying every rule
Deep way down in your heart
You're burning yearning for some
Somebody to tell you
That life ain't passing you by

It shocks you that Mamiya – now sans her ribbon and apron, hitting the notes as though possessed as Kaga and Zuikaku expertly work their instruments. It’s then that you notice the both of them are in fact in a pair of tanks and shorts, improbably prancing as they rasp out their lyrics in a manner that reminded you of those dinner crews.

Only thing they were missing were hula hoops.

I'm trying to tell you
It will if you don't even try

Zuikaku joins in with Kaga in the chorus. Around you, the place breaks out into a toe-tapping, frenzy with some of them clapping to the beat of Mamiya’s drumming. The whole place doesn’t look less than a mosh pit, even with everyone seated – Kaga and Zuikaku’s surprising energy had given the place a shot in the arm.

You can fly if you'd only cut loose, footloose
Kick off your Sunday shoes
Oo-wee, Ladies, shake it, shake it for me
Whoa, my Lords, come on, come on let's go
Lose your blues, everybody cut footloose

They share a mic, meeting the roaring audience.

Oh, Oh, Oh!
Cut footloose!
Yeah, Whoa-Oh-Oh!
Cut footloose!
Cut footloose!

Zuikaku smirks as she takes the lead – even the with it being so dim you can see Mamiya’s impressive drumming at the back.

You've got to turn me around
And put your feet on the ground
Now take the hold of all

You didn’t know Kaga had that kind of capacity to shout – especially not with such force following a rhythm.

I'm turning it loose footloose,
Kick off your Sunday shoes

Please, Louise, pull me off of my knees
Jack, get back, come on before we crack
Lose your blues, everybody cut footloose

Footloose! Footloose!

Kick off your Sunday shoes
Please, Honeys, pull me off of my knees
There, get back, come on before we crack
Lose your blues, everybody cut, everybody cut


Everybody cut, everybody cut


Everybody cut, everybody cut


Everybody cut foot – !

Zuikaku and Kaga stop abruptly, their eyes fixed on…

The Admiral?

He stands in the middle of the floor, hands behind his back; you see him out of what his usual formal wears would be, donning a singlet and a pair of wrinkled and unkempt. He looks like he’s lost a year’s worth of sleep, looking haggard and sour – at his side, you now notice, is a worried-looking Ooyodo, holding him.

You’re on your feet when he speaks to the whole bar in a voice that is weak and low... and left no room for argument.

Everybody suit up. We have a mission.
To be continued in next thread! DUN DUN DUN!
As always, discussions are open for folks wanting to know more about this little verse.

We've finally opened up - a bit - on the other nations combating the Abyssal threat... or are they?
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I have an excruciatingly bad feeling about this mission.
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If we're going by XCOM comparisons, this might be the equivalent of a Terror Mission, the Abyssals attacking a main city/naval base to cut at us logistically. inb4 Abyssal Chryssalid
Regardless if we get the chance we should pick a combat mission that isn't level 4 and work a bit on upgrading our division. Also the sub is going to arrive during the operation day, so we should atleast do our best to keep hostilities to a minimum in hopes to actually have a working relationship with the admirality.
clech teeth, stay calm, and remember rule number one and two
-our troops and civies first
-know when to pull off
can i ask where in the map the Vanzer Kingdom and the Romerians?

any official explanation on the ship girl summoning number would be nice, too
Repeating myself above, Vanzer is not!Britain, the Union is the Sino-Muslim bloc you mentioned, and Romeria is who?
Panzer Kingdom is 1/3 of the US of A. The Romerians are the British, Germans and the French under one flag, essentially.
Is that you MECH? Can you post with your trip on?
Yes, that's me.
Redid the world map. How is it now?
Nor QUITE like that.
So what do I need to modify?
Don't worry about the map. I'll sort out the geography if it ever comes to that.

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