5880/Stares Back

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Stares Back
Date of Scene: 14 June 2018
Location: Hikari Sea Port - Main Courtyard
Synopsis: The Fifth Fleet, and a group of others make their first foray into the fog bank hiding a dangerous Demon-class Abyssal.

Information is gathered, but the abyssal force is stronger than expected. forcing a retreat.

Thanks to: Everyone who came.
Cast of Characters: Shigure, 901, Nagato, Neuroi Girl, Leyanne Mace, Kotone Yamakawa, 385

Shigure has posed:
    The call for Muster has been put out, and the entire Fifth Fleet is waiting at the coordinates. Shigure, Yuudachi and Kuma flank Yamashiro, all decked out in their rigging. Several dozen miles away the giant fogbank looms, inscrutible and horizon-consuming.

    As people begin to gather, Shigure slides forward to greet them. "Thank you all for coming. I will be flagship for the attack force. The Fifth Strike will press in to confront the Demon directly, while the rest of you search the fogbank for the base, transport ships, and anything else that might help us end this threat to shipping and human life." She turns to look around at those arriving, waiting until everyone's gathered before dividing out the teams.

Hoshi Amakasu (901) has posed:
    For the first time in a long time, Hoshi Amakasu was ready for a real sortie on the waves. Training on her own and with Mairead had gotten her (mostly) used to her destroyer rigging again after the three-year gap, but she still feels the smallest bit nervous... After all, the last sorie she'd been on was still pretty fresh in her mind. REgardless, she takes her position in formation and listens intently to Shigure's plan, flexing her hands slowly, gripping the handle of her sword stuck into her belt.

    When Shigure is done, Amakasu raises her hand and waits to be called. Upon being recognized, she asks, "Will I be joining you to fight the Demon, Miss Shigure, or would you prefer I work with the others on the second objective?"

Nagato has posed:
    Nagato's by herself, opting to leave the majority of the Northern Force back at home. "Understood, Shigure." the stoic battleship mutters out. There's a look between everyone gathered, an eye is given towards Hoshi curiously. She doesn't say anything, this is Shigure's operation. "Assuming there's no issues, I do not mind if Amakasu joins you, Shigure." there's a pause, "Of course, she's only just gotten back to sortie, so it may be a bit much to start off with."

    A hand clasps at Hoshi's shoulder, "Good to have you back, regardless."

Neuroi Girl has posed:
     As part of the Hikari Defense Force herself, the little Neuroi known as Evangeline had to respond. She gives a light nod to Shigure as she thanks them, then listens quietly while floating there a few feet above the water. Anyone who hasn't met the unusual girl might be a bit unnerved by her completely black form and the lack of any facial features on her mannequin-like head. She looks over as Nagato speaks up and offers a small wave before looking back to Shigure. "...search and destroy...or just recon...?" she asks in her soft voice.

Leyanne Mace has posed:
Leeroy is one of the first to arrive at the RV point. The PT boat approaches slower than usual, his engines barely above idle. The mice on the bow wave to the others. The little PT boat looks to have been overhauled fairly completely, with fresh paint, new planks, and possibly even some armour underneath it. It's hard to see, but he's sitting slightly lower in the water (when not on-plane) and the gentle whine of his gas turbines has a throatier note to it.

Leyanne carefully guides the PT boat into position, giving a jovial salute to the others. "Evening all."

Shigure has posed:
    Shigure looks over at Hoshi. "The Fifth Fleet will be in the thickest of the action. You've only just come back on duty. I would rather you be in the search team... however both groups have a chance of being overwhelmed by what might be hiding in there. We have a severe lack of recon data, in no small part because radar is useless within the cloud." Blue eyes turn to look at Nagato next. "Admiral, I would like you to take flag of the recon team, take Amakasu and Evangeline with you." The destroyer's gaze shifts to the floating Neuroi. "Search and Destroy. The more damage we can do in this first sortie, the better our followup campaigns will be. I doubt we'll be able to end this threat in one sortie."

    Shigure looks over her shoulder toward the fog bank. "The main objective should be to find and disable whatever is maintaining that fog bank. Without that cover, we can bring in our long range options, like Akagi and Zuihou to bombard any abyssal surface targets without engaging directly."

    The Leeroy earns a smile from the destroyer. "Glad to have you. Your speed will be invaluable in locating and harrassing targets in the bank." Shigure then passes out pieces of paper with frequency codes on them. "Feed these into your radar systems. They should allow some basic use of radar within the cloud bank, based on Kagurazaka's findings in our first recon pass." She then slides back into formation with the rest of her own fleet. "Recon group, break off and come around from the east. Fifth Strike will head in from the south and draw the Demon and any support craft we can away. May we find victory on the dawn's horizon!"

Hoshi Amakasu (901) has posed:
    The thickest part of the action is where Hoshi should be, or so she feels. Nagato's hand on her shoulder earns a small smile, but her expression turns a little troubled when both Shigure and Nagato express their caution given her status as newly returned, but she makes no comment about it. Instead, she nods her head once. "Yes Miss Shigure. Yes Admiral. I won't let you down."

    TUrning to face the fogbank, Hoshi's eyes take a determined cast. "I can do this," she tells herself quietly. "Kambei, Heihachi, Kyuzo. It's been awhile, but I know you guys won't let me down." The adorable little spirits still seem bemused with how she named them, but as Shigure gives the cry for victory, Hoshi draws her sword and raises it above her head. "Victory on the dawn's horizon!" Then, she waits for Nagato's direction before she goes to make her move towards the operation theater.

Leyanne Mace has posed:
Leyanne takes the frequency code and nods, reading it over. The mice feed the frequency into Leeroy's radar and then broadcast it at low power, getting a 'feel' for the freuency. "We got your wing, Shigure." Leyanne replies, settling back into her PT boat's wheelhouse. "Tell us where you need us!"

When the Hikari Battlecry goes out, there's a very brief discussion amongst the crew, before Leyanne holds her fist in the air.

"ROCK AND RIDE!" It's the traditional Martian battlecry, after all.

Kotone Yamakawa has posed:
The call to muster had gone out Kotone had been quick to suit up and it wasn't lost on her. How strange her life had become even more so than just becoming a cyborg. She had become ally and friend to spirits of long sunk warships from the second world war. She had honestly long ago forgotten they were ships. They were her friend her allies and people. She was also glad to see Hoshi was back in action, after all? It was Hoshi that had dragged a reluctant Kotone into working more closely with the fleet after all.

"Good to see you."

She noted to her but it was not long before it was time to set out, with her equipment ready? She was ready to set out with the rest of the fleet. She knew her orders. They were, were search and destroy she will fall in where she's needed and she had her Recon planes at the ready to launch the moment she was in the water. ALso it had come to her mind fleet had helped her just by accepting who she was not what she is.

Neuroi Girl has posed:
     Evangeline would also prefer to go with the main assault force but understands that both are important. She quietly takes the provided paper and memorizes it before with a small burst of red energy disintegrates it. She has no place to carry such things and it keeps it from falling into enemy hands. After that, she takes a moment to wave to float over to Leyanne. "...glad to see you are are doing well..." she says, then is still a few moments...

     ...before she slowly reaches out and slowly and very gently punches Leyanne's shoulder. She then floats back a bit and waits for Nagato's orders.

Nagato has posed:
    A nod is given towards Evangeline, "Understood." she replies to Shigure, looking towards the recon team. "Alright, we're going in expecting combat, that will not excuse us from being safe. Engines at half, line ahead formation. Evangeline, I need you in the air please. Relay all information across all ships radars." there's a pause, a look between everyone present, then she turns to Shigure. "May we find victory on the dawn's horizon." she replies, "Be safe."

    Nagato turns herself around and starts heading east, "Alright, everyone. Let's go. Full speed until we hit the location, half speed once we arrive." there's also a pointed look towards Tiny, "No premature engagement of the enemy until I give the order, understood?" and assuming everyone understands, off the Battleship goes. "Been a moment since we did a full sortie like this."

Yuna Kagurazaka (385) has posed:
Kagurazaka is indeed present in full light-cruiser kit, her guns and turrets fully loaded for whatever may be waiting in the unnaturally thick fog. She might seem a little distracted to most of the others who are here, but she reacts quickly enough when her name is mentioned. She's already dividing her attention between her fit-out's radar and sonar, plus her own two eyes - and that's not all she'll be depending on.

Because as promised, she's brought Elner with her. The little robo-faerie is roughly the size of an equipment fairy, although slender and sleek where the fleet daughters' support crew tend to be more traditionally "super deformed" in appearance. "If either of us detect anything," Elner says, "Yuna and I will alert the rest of the fleet immediately. I'll be transmitting on Yuna's radio, as usual."

"But everyone else keep your own eyes open, too," Kagurazaka adds. "Like they say, any instrument except your eyes can be jammed artificially." She gives the fog a rueful look. "Although I don't think actual physical fog was something on the mind of whomever said that first." She salutes the assault force briefly, then forms up with the recon team and banks away, ready to come through the fog at an angle - just as was planned.

Shigure has posed:
    Shigure turns and leads the Fifth fleet toward the fog bank. She's going directly from the muster point, and not making any attempt at hiding her intentions. The others should be able to skirt around and come in from a different vector with little issue. "Spread out, Double line! Keep your eyes open, Jutland is submersible. Kuma, keep your eyes on your sonar, and prepare depth charges." she says. The group vanishes into the fog bank, and not long after, flashes of gunfire can be seen lighting up the white clouds.

Leyanne Mace has posed:
Leyanne smiles to Evangeline, giving her a thumbs up. "I'm glad to see you too, Evangeline." She smiles to the Neuroi. "Let's all watch eachothers' backs out there."

She forms up on Shigure, the little PT boat weaving back and forth in her wake as she tries to restrain her eagerness to get into battle. She blushes a little at Nagato's words, nodding. "You heard the boss, let's keep it tight until we get the call."

At Shigure's call, Tiny grins. "We borrowed plans for the K-gun... we've now got a wider dispersion pattern for depth charges... if that doesn't work we'll look into fitting Hedgehog projectors for next sortie."

As the gunfire lights up the fog, one can briefly hear the theavy thunk of the Bofors gun...

Hoshi Amakasu (901) has posed:
     Hoshi falls into line ahead behind Nagato on her order, and her eyes are sharp as they make their way towards the location they've been directed. Of course, the fog will soon make this even more difficult... Reaching into her shirt, she takes out her silver locket and pops it open before setting both hands on the handle of her sword, keeping it at the ready. No sign of conflict yet as the fog swallowed them up and muted the sound around them, but even that couldn't entirely drown out the pops and booms of cannon and gunfire.

    "They must have hit something already," she says quietly. It puts her more on edge, knowing that she wasn't there to help protect her friends, as well as that there was probably more danger in this miasmic cloud of fog besides whatever monstrosities the Fifth were dealing with.

Nagato has posed:
    Nagato nods a bit, "The fighting's started." she comments, hearing the gunfire coming from the fogbank. "Shigure and crew has them distracted, time to do our own recon and 'smashing', as they say." she hmms a bit at this, nodding. "Aircraft in the air, be careful. Evangeline, watch out for Yamakawa's aircraft. Focus on scouting for now." she orders, sailing towards the east and then into the fog bank. Nagato's cannons make a loud 'thunk' sound as they're loaded, aiming towards the fog.

    There's a deep breath from the Command Battleship as she looks behind her. "Don't worry about the Fifth, they can handle it. And they have Tiny." she sails forward, eyes looking around while radar pings for anything around...

Neuroi Girl has posed:
     Evangeline increases her elevation when the order is given and flies high above the fleet, relaying any information that needs to be relayed and providing a bird's eye view...at least until they hit the fog. The radar codes help some, but the effective range is greatly reduced for Evangeline. And those below might notice a few moments of hesitation before Evangeline actually enters the fog. The small lights on her body dim in an attempt to avoid detection, and her general lack of actual flight noise should help. The only sound she makes as she flies is a slight metallic sound much like fingers on a guitar string.

     "...understood, Admiral..." she says to Nagato over the radio. She is used to flying with others, but usually she is flying with things comparable to her size. She isn't sure if her radar will pick up plane fairies on this fog. "...visibility reduced...I am not sure how effective recon from this altitude will be..." she radios in her quiet voice.

Kotone Yamakawa has posed:
Kotone Yamakawa falls in with Nagato on her orders she'll get Recon planes up in the air right away. They are after all their eyes out here, or at the very least? Extra pairs of eyes, she has them off and away now runing recon and now she'll hae another arrow ready to go at teh moment it's needed.

"Looks like they are engaged." She knows her orders though and she follows suit she'll trust in them and Tiny to get their part of the job done.

"Aye Admiral."

With the order? She starts launching more planes a mix of fighters and bombers are launched.

"Fighters in the air."

Yuna Kagurazaka (385) has posed:
Kagurazaka glances around at her allies on the search team, then turns her attention ahead. "Elner, start full scans," she quietly instructs the robo-faerie. "Use passive sensors as much as you can, I think - we don't want to draw *too* much attention." Even though, she thinks, they're armed heavily enough to make Jutland regret it if she does come out of hiding to get in their faces.

And with that thought, she splits her attention once again between radar, sonar, and strictly visual searching. She's intermittent with sonar, 'listening' for signals in the water more than she's sending out pulses to see what's hiding; her radar is more consistently active.

Elner is, as instructed, sweeping and probing the fog with every sensor the little construct possesses. Kagurazaka's dictum about 'use passive sensors' is noted and weighed, but if the Abyssals can detect the more exotic sensors being utilized by Elner in the *first* place, somebody's been giving them a leg up ... or so Elner believes. Rather than sticking to one relative place, too, Elner is flitting about, never getting *too* far from Yuna but not staying where it'd be easy for anyone to take a potshot at the robo-faerie.

Shigure has posed:
    The recon fleet enters the fog bank, and it becomes eerily quiet, it's almost like the entir ocean has a massive blanket that absorbs sound tossed over it. It becomes clear that there's something about the fog that's not natural. The various looking, sensor sweeps and general moving through the fog, start to reveal things.

    Yuna's sonar would start to 'hear' the creaking of wrecked ships below, radar would return ghosts, as before, but they're slowly resolving into proper returns.

    There's so many surface contacts in the fog, it's amazing the group didn't ram into any last time. There's mostly transport returns, dozens of them and they're clustered to the north. Another signal returns from due west, opposite of where they came in, it doesn't seem like a ship, what could it be?

    Meanwhile, the returns from where the Fifth are, become chaotic at random. blips vanish, then reappear, and the sound from that direction on sonar is an almost constant rumbling boom of depth charges and torpedoes exploding.

Nagato has posed:
    "All those transports." she mutters, looking around curiously, eyes closed slightly to listen to radar. She hears Evangeline's comments and she nods, "See if you can ID it, Evangeline." she orders, sailing slower into the area. She'd tap her foot if she wasn't sailing. "We need to keep an eye out." her guns slowly move towards Evangeline's direction, a just in case measure. "All ships, half speed, prep for full speed." a pause, "Weapons ready."

    She takes a deep breath, something about this doesn't feel right to her. "What to do... what to do.." she mutters, "Be on heavy guard, something doesn't feel right here."

Neuroi Girl has posed:
     After a bit of calibrating to her sensors, Evangeline moves toward what could be an enemy contact. She breaks off from the bulk of the recon fleet and heads toward the contact, lowering altitude to just above the waves in order to minimize her own radar signature and try to maximize the effectiveness of her own. She flies at a modest speed, not wanting to suddenly crash into a fog-obscured enemy.

     The radio chatter that comes in from Shigure does not sound good at all. "...Admiral...should we divert to Shigure...?" she asks even as she continues toward her current objective. "...it sounded like the Fifth Fleet might be in trouble...and if so the Jutland might be headed for us..."

Kotone Yamakawa has posed:
with the transports up ahead? She knows what she needs to do here, her torpedos bombers are launched they fly one after the other as she draws them from her quiver. She has the planes up she skates across the waves. She keeps in formation and holds her planes to strike until the order is given.

Hoshi Amakasu (901) has posed:
    The hollowed, false silence, the shifting and twisting of the fog that makes one think there are monsters hidden within it, the lack of any real contacts so far... all of it is putting Hoshi off immensely. Contact from the Fifth over the radio isn't helping either; it sounds like they're in a warzone, while everyone on the recon team hadn't so much as fired a shot... Not yet, anyway. It all bleeds together and has Hoshi scowling and looking around her as if she was expecting something to come up behind her and drag her into the depths.

    At least they have radar contact from Yuna, Elner, and Evangeline giving them some idea of what was happening around them. All the contacts underneath make her feel uneasy, like she was walking over a mass grave. "I'm ready to move whenever you want, Admiral. Just say the word..."

Yuna Kagurazaka (385) has posed:
The sounds of combat - particularly with the additional indications of a very violent battle, and the Fifth Fleet getting brutalized - put Kagurazaka decidedly on edge. Hearing her friends getting beaten up, possibly killed, *never* sits well with her - but Yuudachi's reassurance that they're holding their own helps her stay focused on the mission at hand. Besides, there's little way of being sure that the sounds of battle and the fragmentary transmissions aren't *another* trick by Jutland, or whichever other Abyssals she's working with ... charging to assist their allies could mean blundering into a trap.

Kagurazaka maintains her course, throttling up to half-speed per Nagato's orders, and makes sure her cannons are ready to fire the instant she sees something worth firing at. Evangeline's going to investigate that smaller contact ahead to the west, so Kagurazaka stays in formation, conferring subvocally with Elner - trying to work out how to filter out the 'shadows' and get a better picture of what's *really* here.

Shigure has posed:
    Evangeline would find she'll have to pull up quickly as she gets closer. The radar return was an island! A fairly small one, with a large mountain in the middle. It's a good thing she's moving so slowly.

    Approaching the transports earn some opening shots from the Elites and Flagship Wa-class. but they have no other escorts, should be easy pickings for the combined force.

    Elsewhere, Yamashiro is grappling with a Ru-class battleship, hurling the other battleship over and slamming her into the waves before firing point blank into her center of mass. "This is a much larger force than we anticipated. We should warn the others to fall back."

    Kuma is in a torpedo duel with a Chi-class, while Yuudachi and Shigure are alternatively slashing at, or grappling with Jutland as the Demon surfaces and submerges, firing cannons and torpedoes with each transition. "Signal the retreat. Fire a signal flare. Something is jamming my radio."

Hoshi Amakasu (901) has posed:
    The sounds go on and on, and Hoshi is strongly considering asking Nagato for them to fall back so they can take the fight to whatever it is is attacking the Fifth. It's Shigure's operation, but wasn't this too much? Just as she's about to open her mouth, however, a far closer attack has taken her attention. "There they are. Look out, Admiral!"

    Hoshi breaks the line to swerve around Nagato, pointing her right arm towards the Wa-class. "Kambei, fire one! Kyuzo, fire three!" Her cannon shell goes flying towards the Wa-class, while two torpedoes drop from her hips and make their way towards the transports. It's time to start clearing house.

Neuroi Girl has posed:
     Evangeline pulls up quite quickly to avoid crashing into the island! She pauses a moment and floats above the beach as she tries to take readings on the island. After a little scanning she continues toward the mountain at a slow pace. She hears more gunfire from the direction of the transports and realizes that if there is any trouble here she will be on her own. She again tries to keep low to make it harder to detect her. "...perhaps this is the base..." she says quietly as she flies along.

Yuna Kagurazaka (385) has posed:
Transports ... seemingly *just* transports. That's pretty far from what Kagurazaka expected to find - but she opens fire with the others, most of her firepower focused on the Wa-class flagship, the biggest threat of the bunch. Then she'll help sink the transports, if they don't show some open sign of surrendering.

But she's still staying alert to her surroundings, radar and sonar still probing at her surroundings. She's even maintaining scans to confirm that all of her allies are where she knows them to be - sort of a 'control group' to confirm that the positive returns are in fact *real*, and to make sure that whatever jamming is going on within the fog, it's not stopping her from identifying where the rest of the recon force is located around her.

Kotone Yamakawa has posed:
As the battlke goes on? The Transports arte getting closer and they will be in range now, her bombers will start making their attack runs on the transports. She's not caring about glory today, nay she wants to go after whatever the enemy is carrying on those transports. The less supplies they have?? The better it will be for the rest of the region she thinks.

The Fighters will give the bombers cover as they drop down form on high.

Nagato has posed:
    All the combat flashes and now they've ran into the transports.. "Just transports?" she mutters, something doesn't seem right. Not right at all. She hangs back a bit, allowing her group to push forward and take care of them. "Kill all but one of the transports. One of you techies, see if you can get a tracker on the live one. I want to see where they're going, if we can get that done." She hmms a bit, taking aim, then her classic battleship rapport.

    "Reloading. I heard something from Shigure, unclear... Press on!"

Shigure has posed:
    Evangeline's flyby and scan at close range would reveal that this is indeed some kind of base building. A large metal hangar door is wedged into one side of the central mountain, leading directly out into the water. There's no defenses to be seen, but the top of the mountain appears to be wreathed in thicker than normal fog. Perhaps that's the source?

    The transport fleet is easily dealt with. They're all at anchor, only opening fire because they knew they were already spotted and had nothing left to lose. The lesser craft sucumb to incoming fire, exploding with large rends in the bulbous 'transport pod' that makes up their lower bodies. The Flagship puts up a bit more of a fight, but eventually she's lft stricken, but not sunk.

    Shigure tchs. "The flare didn't work... Fifth Fleet, form up, we need to break through and warn the others. Move!" She stabs her knife into Jutland's armpit, hoicks her over a shoulder, then kicks away, beelining for the other firefight. Yuudachi, Yamashiro and Kuma all break contact with their own opponents, and join up. "Admiral! Fall back! Something's jamming our radios and the force that engaged us was stronger than expected. They may have a major operation center here." calls Yamashiro, her voice the loudest and carring furthest, even in the stifling fog bank.

Hoshi Amakasu (901) has posed:
    This was so much easier than Hoshi had thought it would be... why? It doesn't make much sense, but soon all of the transports have been terribly wrecked. "That... was that it?" She says, unconvinced. She even tries looking around for the terrifying force of their enemies, but the fog conceals everything. "... Huh. I guess they're not like Shadows, at least."

    The thick fog can't cover Yamashiro's voice, and hearing it has Hoshi turning quickly towards Nagato. "It sounds like they got caught out. Are we gonna retreat, Admiral?"

Yuna Kagurazaka (385) has posed:
Kagurazaka makes sure all of her cannons are reloaded. "If the Abyssals have a bigger force here than we thought," she replies to Hoshi, "retreating is a better plan than trying to fight our way through forces we don't even have a reliable count on. Besides which, we *have* learned more, which was part of the point of this mission. Right?"

Granted, the other part of the mission *was* to try and wipe out whatever was causing the intense fog cover ... but Kagurazaka would far better leave a mission incomplete and return home with everyone alive, as opposed to fight through insurmountable odds and lose even *one* ally. But she's waiting on Nagato to actually order the retreat, and in which direction.

Nagato has posed:
    Nagato doesn't even get a second shot out when she hears Yamashiro's voice. She gives a confirmation nod, "All ships, tag the location, tag the remaining transports and retreat, post haste. Meet up outside the fog bank with the Fifth Fleet!" she calls out to her allies, slamming her motors into reverse... slowly trudging backwards. "No one needs to sink here today or take severe damage." she mutters something, her instinct was right. She grumbles and looks around...

    "Move it, on the double girls!" she yells out. "Yamashiro, we're on retreat, meet us at the initial location!"

Neuroi Girl has posed:
     Evangeline circles the mountain a few times to check for movement, then moves around to the water entrance of the base. She comes to a stop directly in front of it. She raises her arms and the sinister red glow of Neuroi beams appears on the flat tips. She is just about to fire her Breaker Beam when...the retreat is called. She pauses for a few moments, then slowly lowers her arms and the deadly glow dies down. After some radio chatter she nods lightly, then looks around. "...it might be hard to pinpoint the location in this fog..." she says, then tilts her head before flying upward. If she can break through above the fog, perhaps she can give a better location on the island. "...attempting to fly above the fog..."

     Once she breaks through the fog (or it becomes clear that she can't) Evangeline starts toward the initial location as well.

Kotone Yamakawa has posed:
Kotone Yamakawa scores several kills as the enemy fleet goes down she's still troubled by things and then comes the call t0o pull back? She starts recalling her planes, holding up her flight deck to get them as they return, she's moving back now kepeing with her friends.

"Yamakawa withdrawing."