5816/Stare too deeply

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Stare too deeply
Date of Scene: 03 May 2018
Location: Hikari Sea Port
Synopsis: Pending
Cast of Characters: Shigure, Leyanne Mace, Gaonoir, 385, Reina Kinney, Nagato

Shigure has posed:
    Three Hours ago, Northern Sector Patrol Base Staging Area.

    Two members of the Fifth Strike Squadron are stood around a large table, pointing to the map laid atop it and discussing the route. "I suggest a standard Double Line, It maximizes our firing angles and lets us buddy off if need be." says Shigure, arranging non-descript 'pieces' into the recognizable formation.

    The taller, black-haired woman in a modified miko robe shakes her head. "Line Ahead. Keeps all our gunports open, and allows all units to focus their firepower without fear of hitting allies. And it allows torpedo strikes at any angle." Yamashiro adjusts the pieces into the single line, all six lined up like little ducklings behind their mother.

    "We have to take into account the non-Kanmusu that will be joining us. Air power and those who can't traverse water like we can." Shigure sweeps the pieces off to the side, then shakes her head. "Adaptable, something we can and will have to change... the route, however..."

    She runs her finger up from the big black X where the base is located, then traces a dotted line up to a set of grid coordinates about 200nms north... the line then terminates with a red X, with the symbol of 'Lost' near it. "Something happens here... we need to find out what."

    Present, 180nm north of Patrol Base Delta.

    Shigure leads the formation Yamashiro trailing at the back. "Alright everyone, lets go over the plan one last time before contact." says Shigure in her low, soft, but forceful tone. "Air squad, maintain CAP until contact, then adapt to the situation. Engage or defend as you see fit. I'm counting on you." she then turns to the others, coming full about and 'skating' backwards. "THe rest of us, maintain formation as best we can, use your radar as well as your visual tracking, long range search is picking up inclemet weather at the site, this may be part of the reason so many patrols go missing. Stay sharp." Shigure turns back around, and begins the final course adjustment, bringing the group on course for the indicated zone. A large cloudwall appearing over the horizon.

Leyanne Mace has posed:
Leeroy's engines are essentially on idle as the nimble PT boat holds his spot in the formation. Should things go south, the little PT boat stands ready to depart the formation and begin harassing any foe who engages; if he's stuck in formation, he can't use his speed to evade firepower. A little Martian flag flutters from his radio antennae as Tiny carefully pilots the boat, watching her radar screens; one of the more recent additions to the boat is a basic scanning radar set, and a smaller pair of dished targeting radars for the Exocet launchers.

"Inclement. It's a lovely word, isn't it...? It paints a picture, doesn't it? A grey picture, but a picture just the same." Leyane comments to her navigator, reaching for her radio handset "Leeroy's ready to break and engage should shit go south. Hope there's not too much lightning in that cloud, it'll play merry fuck with my antennae if there is."

Gaonoir has posed:
Patrols disappearing only to return days later exhausted and traumatized? Sounds like a conspiracy! So of course Erika intends to be on top of it.

And by on top I mean on top of Gaonoir, straddling the Mach Gaogamon's shoulders as he cruises above the squadron. "Storm seems a little passe... though it could be a cover-up for something else!" Despite the potential risks the girl was giddy, to say the least. "What do you think? Aliens? Though that might be too cliche for the Multiverse despite it's diversity. Ederitch fiend? Bermuda Triangle?"

Gaonoir's eyes roll behind his visor. "I don't think we're even -near- Bermuda."
"And the Multiverse doesn't always maintain typical chartographic layout," Erika retorts.
"Touche," Gaonoir relents with a sigh, then quiets down as Shigure speaks up to explain the matter.

"Copy that. We'll keep an eye open on those dark skies as well." Pulling up a bit higher in the air Gaonoir taps the side of his visor with two metallic fingers. "Switching scanners to Search Mode." As the D-PORT bleeps Erika pulls it out of her bag and thumbs to the SCAN screen that shows her a radar-style readout of whatever Gaonoir may pick up.

Yuna Kagurazaka (385) has posed:
"Got it," Kagurazaka nods to Shigure, having her equipment fairies do one more check that all of her light-cruiser gear is working as it should be. She turns a bit more of her attention, at least inwardly, to the radar; her actual eyes are kept busy, looking around herself both close and far, low and high, covering as many angles as she can conveniently. "Should I launch my scout plane for good measure," she wonders, "or are the current aircraft enough?"

For all her outward alertness, even wariness, Yuna has to admit internally that it's nice to be out on a mission with the Fleet Daughters again. Maybe it hasn't actually been that long, objectively, but it's more relaxing - somehow - than some of the other missions she's ventured out on lately. Then again, it could just be that she likes working with the Hikari Defense Fleet as much as she does ...

She pulls her attention back to here-and-now, and looks around one more time, her gaze lingering on that cloud formation. If there are enemies hiding in the storm, then her usual anti-air role is going to get a lot more challenging, trying to take out enemy planes between their emergence from the cloud cover and their actual attack runs on the fleet and their allies ... sure, radar will probably help a little on that front, but she still needs to see what she's aiming at to have any real hope of accuracy.

Reina Kinney has posed:
"I apologize for not being here for awhile. I have my reasons for not being here for a while, but I personally do not wish to disclose them since the matter concerning these reasons is of trivial relevance to this situation right here and right now." These are the words spoken to those who have not seen Reina for a while. While it sounds like something she would say in her sarcastic tone, the reality is that she's just being firm and to the point.

That was right before the briefing began, now let's get to the current time and place.

The Neo Osprey is waiting in the water for whatever comes next. On the deck, Reina stands attentively looking through her binoculars and surveying the general area. Meanwhile, numerous recruits from GUARDIANS are on deck, awaiting orders from Reina herself. After a moment of surveying things, Reina lowers her binoculars and turns to face the others. "All right, you all have your assigned stations, you know what to do, and I expect you to do it as best as you can! Now move out!"

"Aye aye," The recruits reply, saluting, before moving out to their positions as assigned by Reina herself. At the same time, the red-head narrows her eyes. "Neo Osprey is ready to go at a moment's notice," She says through her headset. She then turns and nods to Shigure. "Will do," She says in a respectful manner, before speaking through her headset again. "Radar, I want a full, thorough scan of everything. If you see even the tiniest PIXEL that doesn't look right, then I want to know!"

"Affirmative," A male voice says through the headset. Reina nods a little, then looks forwards again. "It's good to be back on the water after a long hiatus. I've missed it far too much." With that, a slight smile forms on her face.

Nagato has posed:
    Nagato is with the formation, the Battleship falling in line behind Shigure in the number two spot. Silent during the initial plotting of the plan, there's not much the Admiral says during this trip, her guns are aimed and a scout plane in the air, "Type zero observation plane in the air." comes a few words from the otherwise stoic ship. With the events going on, Nagato herself is curious on this issue, "I don't believe Ooyodo's got this sector on her map, and if she does... I am not sure why this was not marked."

    Nagato's eyes close, her turret barrels drop slightly as she scans the area with radar, listening to the fairies in the aircraft and the bings of contacts around her... a word from Gaonoir catches her ear, "Bermuda?" it's an inquistive remark, but not one of any urgency to be answered, a turn back towards Yuna with one of her questions, "I'd suggest you do, more area we can cover, the better our intel will be." and with that, she goes back to gazing on the cloud formation, guns raised back up.

    Poking up out of her hair, a small Repair Goddess looks on, her mighty pose as her eyes scan the sky. She pats Nagato on the head before dissapearing into the mass of hair, a comforting effect for the Battleship.

Shigure has posed:
    Shigure nods. "Maintain formation... cloud bank ahead... contact in two minutes." she says eyes beginning to glow as she radiates radar, sweeping it back and forth across the approaching wall of cloud. Yamashiro aligns her upper right turret with the wind. "Type Zero Recon Seaplane. Sortie!" she commands, the little seaplane spinning up its prop, before the catapult launches it into the air to join the search pattern.

    The cloudbank is like a giant wall of radar return, it's next to impossible to see anything within from outside... but that changes once the threshold is passed. and it isn't any better. Radar starts to return 'ghost' signals, that appear and disappear at random on the screen, visual tracking, limited by the fog, will see 'skitters' of motion just outside of direct sight... Something is certainly /wrong/ about this weather pattern.

Gaonoir has posed:
"... That's not good." Shortly after passing the perimeter of the storm Gaonoir pulls upright into a hover, tapping the side of his visor a few times to switch through modes... and then giving a good thump with his fist. Fortunately he doesn't have his full gauntlets active. "I've got nothing more than limited visual coming thro--"

"SEE!" Gaonoir ducks his head a bit as Erika thrusts out her arm to point vagely upward. "Unnatural weather phenomenon!"

"Settle down. There's a reason for it, unnatural or otherwise." His engines shift down to a silent running mode as he hovers, squinting, ears craning forward.

"-Something- is here. It's moving just out of sight... kinda of like I do in the shadows." Gaonoir clenches his hands, the full mechanical gauntlets manifesting in clenched fists with a flash of digital lines and texturing. "And that doesn't reassure me."

Yuna Kagurazaka (385) has posed:
"Recon plane, launching," Kagurazaka chimes in, mounting her scout plane on its launch rail and sending it aloft to join the others. She's increasingly uneasy about that cloud bank - and Erika talkng about the Bermuda Triangle in all its mystery doesn't really put her at ease, either.

Said unease intensifies as the fleet sails into the cloudbank proper, and Kagurazaka winces as her radar goes crazy. Still, even if her equipment is from the equivalent of a given era, she knows enough from her own time to try and come up with alternative approaches. Shifting her radar's frequency along the spectrum to see if there's a 'window' that's less interfered-with, for one thing; after all, if this fog is somebody's trap, it isn't a very good trap if it blinds *them* as well as the Fleet and allies.

Meanwhile, the Matrix of Light is on its way to assist Yuna in case she has to resort to her Light Suit and its capabilities - although the transition from light cruiser fit-out to Light Suit is going to be a very risky one, with no dry ground to set foot on before going into Marine Form. Just knowing that Elner will be close enough to rescue her is somewhat reassuring for Kagurazaka, even though she hopes she won't need it.

For now, Kagurazaka keeps alert, her radar still pinging away - and sonar too, in case anything is lurking *below* the water's surface - along with keeping her eyes busy.

Leyanne Mace has posed:
Leyanne Mace tunes Leeroy's radar to match Shigure's frequency, enhancing his own sensors. However, the ghost signals rapidly cloud her screens.

The mice are also picking the echoes up with their antennae, along with other ghost signals and 'feelings'. They shiver, clearly on edge and not happy, looking around warily. They really don't like it. Leyanne's hands remain warily on the throttles as she looks around, tail lashing back and forth behind her. "Not good..."

Reina Kinney has posed:
As Reina returns inside to the bridge so she can get a better look at things from a safer position (since there's no telling what those clouds might bring,) her headset beeps. "What is it?"

"We've got something on radar... we... *static*"

"Sorry, I didn't quite hear you. Say again?"

"Something's up with the radar... we can't quite get a pin on it." At that, Reina grabs for her headset as if attempting to slam it down, but then she thinks better of it, as there are other recruits watching her. She sits back down in her chair.

"Try adjusting the frequencies." She says, trying to keep the annoyance out of her voice.

"No good, it's still messing around."

Through gritted teeth, Reina mutters a curse word in Gurhalian, then says, "Keep an eye on it. If anything changes, I want to be first to know!" She shifts her frequency to the entire ship's communications system as she adds, "Move to Code Yellow and await further orders!" There are numerous acknowledgements given as Reina stands up and walks to the main view of the bridge, looking out straight ahead. "We got ourselves into this and we're gonna get ourselves out!"

Shigure has posed:
    Yuna's shifting frequencies finds a sweet spot, and a LARGE return appears, right next to Shigure.

    A huge black mass boils out of the fog, snapping jaws and flailing tentacles, latching onto the Destroyer with an all-too-human sounding giggle... a feminine giggle full of malice.

    Yamashiro bellows "CONTACT!" her turrets swinging around to aim at the thing... but it vanishes, taking Shigure with it into the fog.

Gaonoir has posed:
"What the--" Gaonoir almost launchs but stops with a snort as Erika yanks on the back of his scarf. "--What!"

Erika holds up a finger with the other hand to her mouth. "It WANTS us to rush in without thinking, so it can ambush others," she whispers.

"You're sure?"

Erika has a simple response. "What would -you- be doing, former dark hunter."

Metal fists squeeze tight for a moment as Erika uses his past to make her point. ".. I hate when you're right sometimes," he growls under his breath, but relents to remain in his airborne position. "Holding overwatch."

But digital energy can be seen starting to krackle around his clenched gauntlets all the same.

Yuna Kagurazaka (385) has posed:
Kagurazaka lets out a loud yelp of surprise when that big black shape suddenly looms out of nowhere; her turrets traverse and elevate, and she brings her 'rifle' up as well - but the big dark shape is gone before she can open fire.

And so is Shigure.

"At least we know we're dealing with Abyssals," the blonde says quietly. For the time being, she keeps her radar on the frequency which detected that shape, and relays it to the others - just in case that's the frequency which really *can* penetrate the fog. If it is, she should be able to pick up on the presumed Abyssal again no matter where it is ...

But at this point, she's also paying more attention to sonar, because hiding underwater *would* be the best way to disappear off of the air-oriented radar sweeps.

Leyanne Mace has posed:
Leyanne Mace tunes Leeroy's radar to match Shigure's frequency, enhancing his own sensors. However, the ghost signals rapidly cloud her screens.

The mice are also picking the echoes up with their antennae, along with other ghost signals and 'feelings'. They shiver, clearly on edge - not happy.

But then someTHING looms out of the fog to grab Shigure. Leyanne's already pushing the throttles foward when the counter-order arrives; the roostertail has just begun to form when the little PT boat drops back out of plane, pulling in tight to the formation.

Tiny's hands dance across the radar console, tuning its primary frequency to the one offered by Yuna. "Igor! Concentrate on the radar echoes of the first person you pick up shifting frequencies!" She orders. "Stampy, you're next. Steve..." she lists off her crew. "Shout out who you're listening to, so we know not to follow. Tash, you have the conn."

She leaves the helm position and sprints back to the Bofors gun, setting herself in the main gunner's seat and starting to track around. She herself is monitoring Yuna's frequency with her antennae.

Nagato has posed:
    Nagato's scout plane returns back to her, finishing its duty... it can't really scan anything in here, much like her radar. "This isn't good." she mutters to herself, clenching her hands tightly, balling them. "Stay calm and collected." she whispers, the whirr of the turrets as they shift around, moving, echo a bit over her engines... until Yamashiro bellows out.

    Nagato whips around, pointing her guns in the direction Yamashiro's swinging, but when her Flagship is taken by a black mass, it takes all of Nagato's willpower to /not/ shoot. "Nagato, taking flagship position. Priority is rescuing Shigure. Line ahead formation. Cover all angles and stay calm." there's a twitch in her eyes, adjusting her radar frequency to match Yuna's... then a soft breath...

    "Are you sure they're Abyssals, Yuna. What did your radar tell you?" pause, "Yamashiro, description of the contact, I only caught a black mass." there's another pause, "Gaonoir, sitrep in the sky. Tiny, Reina, get ready and stay calm."

Reina Kinney has posed:
Reina is so busy focused on the front that she initially doesn't hear her headset beeping. And when she finally does hear it, she says, "What is it?"

"We've got something on radar... it's... OH MY GOD!"

"What is--" Then Reina trails off as she looks out the front view of the bridge and sees what 'it' truly is. Her eyes widen like saucers and her jaw hangs open for a moment. In a mixture of emotions, she throws her headset off and screams at the top of her lungs, "I just KNEW IT!" Obviously, she doesn't want the whole ship to hear her getting pissed off, even though everyone on the bridge can hear her. After she's done screaming, Reina grabs her headset again and throws it back on. "We've got confirmed contact! All stations, stand by to engage! Repeat, all stations stand by to engage!"

Then she looks to the others on the bridge. "Sorry about my outburst but..." She trails off. "Look, never mind that. Just stand by and await further instructions!" Reina then falls back into her chair and grits her teeth. "I just KNEW we were going to be dealing with one of those Falzing buggers!"

Shigure has posed:
    The new frequency cuts the ghost returns out completely... but there's nothing on surface or air search. Until there is. Another contact, smaller than before appears to ping slowly closer from the direction the mass fled in. It's smaller and slower... but that just makes it worse, somehow.

    Sonar picks up many things under the water, including returns from wrecks on the ocean floor... And fast moving contacts coming from the surface contact.

Gaonoir has posed:
By this point Erika is huddling down behind Gaonoir's shoulders. "I think we got a bit more conspiracy than I anticipated." She's not afraid per say, not after some of the other things they've faced with the Fleet. Anxious? Certainly. The atmosphere for the encounter was haunting.

"Sssh," Gaonoir hisses back. "I can't hear with you whimpering in my ear. And right now I trust my ears and my nose more than my eyes."

The digimon lowers himself to a point just above the other's figurative heads in the formation. The creature that once hunted through the darkness, trying to trace something hunting through the same. The irony is not lost on him.

Unfortunately that is anything BUT comforting....

Nagato has posed:
    The ghost contacts are cut and everything seems to be clear, which is a step in the right direction. "Mmm..." Nagato mutters, unfamiliar waters, unfamiliar situation. This wasn't something she trained for or read in tactics manuals... but when that contact comes in... "Strange contact detected... dead ahead. Switch to Double Line immediately." Nagato gets back into her Command Mode, eyes scanning the horizon, guns trained directly ahead.

    With commands given, and radio acknowledgement, Nagato sails slightly ahead, not by much, but enough to try and bait out the contact. "Load all guns, fire on my mark." with Gaonoir hovering overhead, she gives a brief nod... and calls out.

    "Unknown entity." she starts, a booming voice, stoic and firm, "Come to a complete stop and prepare for approach. We have questions for you." diplomacy before destruction, a tactic not lost on her, "Please refrain from any aggressive action."

Yuna Kagurazaka (385) has posed:
On the plus side, not having to deal with the ghost returns *is* a step up from the infernal clutter-noise. Kagurazaka would still be happier knowing what they're actually dealing with, besides 'trouble' - and she's not even entirely sure, thanks to Nagato's questioning, if these really are Abyssals. But so far, there's nothing to explicitly demonstrate that the hostile force here *isn't* Abyssal, so as long as normal tactics work as they're meant to ...

She stops herself from further woolgathering again, focusing on what her sensors are actually picking up. The massive number of wrecks detected on sonar are, unfortunately, the exact opposite of reassuring; at best, she can track where there might be something to investigate later when they can bring some of the Fleet's submarine members out (and/or Yuna can return in Marine Form to help investigate). The much more pressing concern, at the moment, is those little traces closing in so quickly on the fleet - and Kagurazaka's own first thought is that they're torpedoes.

Fortunately, there's something she can do about those - a move she's had quite a few opportunities to practice. Hand-grenade-sized canisters, the kanmusu verison of depth charges, are drawn from their storage slots on her rigging - and Kagurazaka tosses them out ahead of herself, aimed and timed and set so that the charges should go off at the optimal moment to destroy the torpedoes, ideally detonating them while they're still a safe distance from herself, Nagato, and their allies. However, in keeping with Nagato's orders, Kagurazaka refrains from launching any attack more aggressive than her attempt to neutralize the presumed torpedoes.

(Hey, if they can resolve this and get Shigure back without fighting, *all the better*. And not just because Kagurazaka is creeped out.)

Reina Kinney has posed:
"Ma'am, we've got more on radar. We've also got a lot of movement on sonar as well. Looks like we're in something big."

By now, Reina is grasping her head and trying not to let fly with any obscenities. After a moment, she regains her composure. "Prepare to deploy depth charges on my order! Do NOT deploy yet, though. Only on my command."

"Aye aye, ma'am."

Reina then looks towards the navigational recruits. "Adjust our heading, move us in a slight zig-zag pattern. Don't worry about speed, just do the best you can."

"Aye aye," The navigational recruits reply, adjusting Neo Osprey's heading.

After that, Reina looks forwards again, narrowing her eyes. "I was expecting a fight, but if we can get out of this peacefully, all the better." She sneers a little. "Although, if we do it THAT way, they won't get any actual combat experience." She shakes her head. "Can't win 'em all, Kinney..."

Leyanne Mace has posed:
The mice are already starting to crank their guns in that direction when Nagato's voice comes through. Leyanne nods. "Tash, get ready to punch it. Move us into formation. Keep line of sight on the Admiral!"

The PT boat moves to his place in the new formation, weaving back and forth slightly so the boat has a clear line ahead of him should they come under fire. They're ready to swing around to assist Nagato. The mice on the waist 50-cal positions release their guns and raise high-tech binoculars to their eyes, keeping watch on Nagato. Should anything loom out of the fog, they should have enough warning to hit it with at least one burst from the bofors. That, at least, is the hope.

As the little PT boat weaves, At the same time, his K-gun projectors fire, adding four (admittedly oildrum-sized) depth charges to the anti-torpedo barrage.

Shigure has posed:
    The contact appears out of the fog... and slumps down flat on its front... it's Shigure, heavily damaged with her rigging in a complete shambles. She floats there on the water's surface, unmoving.

    The torpedo spread is disrupted, two outright destroyed and the other two thrown off course, missing the group by a good margin. Then, the large contact reappears, looming out of the fog behind Shigure's prone form... resolving into a teenage girl seated on a massive throne made from black oily tendrils three of which tipped with huge, snapping jaws, one of which making up her seat. "Fufufufu~, It's been a while since I've seen your kind around, Ad-Mi-Ral, Na-Ga-To~." she singsongs, resting an elbow on her palm, and cupping her chin with the other hand. "I am Jutland Water Demon, your little destroyer was delicious~." The Abyssal then fades back into the fog, vanishing again from sonar and radar with that unnerving giggle.

Gaonoir has posed:
Literally the only things that keep Gaonoir from blasting the Water Demon as soon as she appears being 1) She tossed a wounded Shigure right out before her, putting the damaged shipgirl in harm's way & 2) Because Nagato was attempting non-violent communications first.

And by the time both of those are cleared up, Jutland has already slipped back into hiding.

"Okay," the jetdog growls. "I'm starting to see why people thought I was a horrible creepy monster, doing tricks like that."

"Um. Yeah." Erika murmurs, still hunched down behind his shoulders. "You were kind of creepy back then."

"Not. Helping." Gaonoir turns his head towards Nagato. "Admiral, I highly suggest having this region of waters quarentined off until farther investigated. We need to find a way to more reliably detect and track this threat before attempting a direct confrontation."

And that's advice coming from someone that typically hates waiting.

Leyanne Mace has posed:
Leyanne Mace is pretty much in the same boat (ba-dum tish) as Gaonir. All of Leeroy's weapons are trained on Jutland as she looms out of the fog, and they hold because it's too risky to hit Shigure.

On board, the mice have a quick discussion about surging forward to quickly rescue Shigure, before Tiny puts the idea to the Admiral. The admiral has a smarter plan so Leeroy remains in formation, his bow still twitching back and forth to maintain a clear path should they need to pour on the power. Should that happen it'll be unpleasant for whoever's behind him, because he's just going to grow a rooster-tail and give them a shower.

Igor, the big mouse-ogre that runs one of the exocets, jogs back to Tiny. he talks with her a moment and she nods, getting back on the radio.

Reina Kinney has posed:
"What do we do, ma'am?" Reina hears from the head of the recruits handling the weapons.

"Hold ALL fire," Reina responds sternly as she heads off the bridge onto the boat itself. "We're not here to fight. We're here to rescue Shigure and get the hell out of here!"

"Aye aye, ma'am."

"Navigations, get us closer to Shigure. But keep it slow, we don't need to hurt her any worse than she already is!" As she's saying this, Reina's running towards the bow, preparing to bring Shigure aboard with the help of additional recruits. "Hang in there, Shigure," Reina says after muting her headset. "We're coming for you, just hold on!"

Once the Neo Osprey is close enough, Reina and the deckhand recruits work quickly to bring Shigure aboard. "Get her to sickbay immediately! We need to stabilize her!" As soon as the deckhands move off with Shigure carefully, Reina radios navigations again. "Get us out of here now. Don't ask questions, just do it!"

"Aye aye, ma'am," The navigations leader of the recruits says. With that, Reina turns and faces the direction of the sickbay, sighing. "You're gonna be OK, Shigure."

Nagato has posed:
    Nagato isn't sure what's worse... Shigure heavily damaged or the Water Demon who can fade in and out of fog. There's no information about this new Abyssal... or this area and Nagato is deeply unnerved about this. Even basic recon before engaging is something she's used to but this? Nagato shakes her head... getting information from the current facts at hand, she gives a brief nod. With Shigure in front and the new Water Demon now gone off contacts... "Reina, gather Shigure. All ships prepare for withdraw."

    There's a brief pause as her radio's assaulted with information and words, she radios some information to Ooyodo and with that... "Once shigure's recovered, line ahead out of here." she opts to wait for everyone else to take the lead, keeping Flagship in the back... "Nngh, this bothers me." a pause, and a private radio comms. "Musashi, Mutsu. Acquire historic texts upon World War One, specifically the British side. I have some studying to do."

Yuna Kagurazaka (385) has posed:
Kagurazaka grits her teeth a bit as Nagato orders the group to withdraw. Her feelings are, to put it mildly, mixed; while she's relieved to be pulling back out without a fight - and not just for reasons of her normal gentle nature - the fact is that Jutland Water Demon has managed to get on Kagurazaka's bad list, and not just by being phenomenally creepy.

The Abyssal has already hurt Shigure badly - not fatally, as far as they can tell, but seriously enough to incapacitate her - and as always, Kagurazaka is fiercely protective of her friends, combatants just as much as otherwise. And leaving the Water Demon alone in these waters, even if they're going to reroute traffic away from this part of the ocean, just goes against the grain.

More than that, though, Kagurazaka finds herself wondering how many of the wrecks dotting the ocean floor hereabouts are the results of the Abyssal's handiwork. How many innocents has she sent to a watery doom? It's pretty much impossible to tell, without a more detailed inspection of all those wrecks - and they can't take the time to search for clues while the Water Demon is stalking them.

The decision's been made, though, and it's out of Kagurazaka's hands ... possibly for the best. The blonde girl in light-cruiser gear keeps her turrets readied, covering Reina while the Guardian goes about recovering Shigure; rescue operations would be an easy target if Jutland wants to make their lives even harder ... but once Reina is back in formation with Shigure safe, Kagurazaka shifts back into line-ahead formation with the others, keeping pace as the fleet heads back towards known waters, and thence towards home.

Gaonoir has posed:
Gaonoir hovers closer to the ground, one battle gauntlet derezzing so he can lay his normal hand on Nagato's shoulder instead. "We'll find an answer to this. It's the sort of situation that requires more forward thinking though."

He then raises it into a salute, Erika doing the same from his shoulders. And then Gaonoit throttles his engines back up and takes off with the rest of the squad.

Shigure has posed:
    Nothing else comes out of the fog to accost the group as they retrieve. Shigure is heavily damaged, her rigging shattered and a large wound on her midsection leaking a fuel oil like blood. She groans softly, much like the sailors who showed up after a few days... battered, delerious.

    The group turn, and leave the fogbank, and those that look back, would see the form of the Water Demon, just inside the fog, wiggling her fingers in a mocking wave fairwell... sending that eerie giggle across the waves once more, before fading back into her fog.

Leyanne Mace has posed:
Igor hears that giggle and snarls in rage, turning his launcher around and preparing to fire. He gets tone - with what little radar lock he's got, and he jams his thumb down on the button. Nothing happens. He tries several times, before looking back to Leyanne at the Bofors gun. There's an angry shout in Russian, and a brief argument between Skipper and gunner ensues - and a compromise reached - she'll put it to Nagato; she agrees with Igor's arguments and it doesn't feel right to retreat with one of their own injured and not a shot fired in return. Even if they'd blazed into the fog with all of the effectiveness of a black ops team against a Predator, it would have at least made them feel a bit better.

Leyanne listens to the reply, looking at Igor. "I told you she'd say no. I mean I don't disagree, even if it don't hit her, I'd sure as shit feel better if we'd at least thrown /something/ at the bitch. But... the Admiral's right."

Yuna Kagurazaka (385) has posed:
Kagurazaka does her level best to suppress the shiver which runs down her spine at the sound of that giggle floating out of the fog. She may or may not have actually succeeded.

And while she knows exactly where Tiny is coming from, she exercises fire discipline - making her turrets safe, unloading the cannons, engaging the safeties on her smaller guns. She can gear back up for combat in a hurry if anything shows up to threaten them further ahead, but it's easier to suppress the desire to shoot if your guns aren't already primed for firing.