Took a bit of time. We are reaching the peak action chapters of the story finally which means they are distinctly longer. Anyways, have a fun long read of my insanity.
After the grueling battle for Tokyo, Kaga and her ragtag fleet still had a mission to continue south and return home. Yokosuka was their next destination and would be home to another large battle. Akagi was struggling a bit after the loss of her best fighter, Shinden 1 “Ace of Spades.” As a result, she assigned ,the number 2 fighter, Shinden 2 “Ace of Hearts” as the new leader. “King of Spades,” of the King Flight was now assigned as the new Spades of Ace Flight but will be under the guidance of Hearts. We’ll refer to this character as King Spades.
“We’re just one more step away from home.” Kaga said.
“Well it’s not too far. We passed Yokosuka when we entered Tokyo.” Akagi reminded her.
“Oh yeah. Hey wait a minute. We just bypassed our home. Why didn’t we go there first?”
“Does it have something to do with plot?”
“Sorry that was a strange thing for me to ask.”
“Well it’s cool that you are returning home but don’t you remember that I’m not from Yokosuka. Sasebo is a place I want to get back to.” Kitakami told them.
“We’ll get there in due time. Let’s be thorough here.” New Jersey rationalized.
The fleet moved towards Yokosuka. The base appeared abandoned, but Kaga didn’t want to risk it. There might be stragglers leftover for the Parallel to use. Budyonny was put in charge of the front line, since he was a cop. It was possible that he could make an arrest. Kaga dubbed the mission as Operation Mini. Once they entered the base’s limits, it was eerily quiet, but out of the dark corners came some Parallel torpedo boats that charged towards the group. Friedrich der Grosse used her secondaries to blow them away while everyone else was on high alert. Sakura Squadron was on scouting duties to find anything suspicious. Land forces were soon arriving from the north to take back the base. The UN and Japanese tanks later fought the Parallel’s ground forces within the district. The cruisers in Kaga’s fleet were providing artillery support. Meanwhile, Kongo was busy writing song lyrics as she trailed the group.
“Hold on, I see someone in the distance. Who is it?” Kaga examined.
“Looks like a Minekaze class.” Zuikaku spotted.
“It is. Isn’t that Minekaze herself?” Akagi wondered.
“I’m the queen of this base ha ha ha! Thank the Parallel for freeing me from prison.” Minekaze proclaimed.
“You, stop there. Just what do you think you’re trying to pull!” Budyonny attempted to stop her.
“I don’t know who you are but you must bow before me. I have to Parallel to back me up here!”
“Looks like they freed you and offered you a chance by joining them. Well it’s too bad, your help won’t arrive.” Kuma said.
“Bring it. I’m a master escape artist. You won’t catch me!”
“Oh I know, but she can.”
Sakura 0 dived from the sky and peppered the destroyer with bullets. Minekaze looked up and recognized the all familiar emblem of the cherry blossom. Then she looked passed Budyonny to see Kaga herself. There was no chance of her escape and the sight of the carrier put a good fright into her.
“It’s you! Please don’t hurt me! I surrender!” Minekaze gasped and gave up.
“That’s what I like to hear.” Kaga said.
“What took you kids so long?” A familiar voice was heard.
Kaga looked ahead and saw an old pre-dreadnought encased in concrete. It was Mikasa.
“Elder Mikasa? You’re still alive?” Kaga was bewildered.
“Of course I’m alive. You think I can’t die if I can’t sink?”
“Maybe if you got blown to pieces by a bomb maybe?” Akagi suggested.
“Well I’m glad you are still with us. Besides, what was it like during occupation?” Kaga asked.
“Let me tell you this up straight. Them Parallel bastards were quite the oppressive ones. They’ve been forcing everyone to worship their version of you. They even monitored me 24/7. I deserve some respect and privacy. Anyways, where was I? Oh yes. You haven’t asked me this yet, but the ship you captured is a criminal freed by the Parallel. Not all ships you will fight are from there. They have already convinced some of our own to fight for them. These include Yakuza members and former terrorists. Several prisoners from our jails have been freed to become their own pawns.” Mikasa discussed.
“Unbelievable. They’re using our own prisoners against us. I wonder what their rationale is. How can these prisoners think their liberators are any good?” Kaga was angry.
“In the eyes of a prisoner, any freedom from jail is a personal freedom one does not want to give up.” Taiho explained.
The group continued discussing other topics with Mikasa about what she experienced during occupation. Minekaze was ushered out again and placed in prison under solitary drydock confinement. Kaga returned to her home dock and found there was enough room in the submarine pen for I-168 and her friends to rest. She too could finally rest for the night, but she could not sleep, knowing that the rest of the country still needs her and the war was far from over. She thought of different scenarios and drew up plans in her mind about how the future operations would go down. In the coming few days, replenishment of supplies came in and Kaga’s fleet continued to make their push south. Osaka and the capital, Kyoto, were freed. Taiho was in charge of the interim government and the government in exile was no longer needed. Kure was later liberated. Further advances were made until they finally reached the outer limits of Sasebo. This time, they were able to join up with Nagato and her fleet.
“Good to see you again Kaga. Once we capture our last major base, the Parallel should be kicked off the main islands.” Nagato welcomed.
“Indeed, it has been a few weeks. Are you leading?” Kaga asked.
“Well as flagship of all of Japan, it is my duty to save this country from chaos. I will put you in charge of air operations. I can guide your fleet at the surface level. There are plenty of ships and ground targets locked up in Sasebo. I want you to soften them up for us before we make an entrance.”
“Sounds simple enough for me.”
“Then let’s proceed with Operation Touch.”
Kaga ordered all her squadrons to freely attack the Parallel ships in port. She also ushered the other carriers to do the same to make sure the Parallel witnessed a living nightmare. Pink flight of the Sakura Squadron of course were the first to enter by flying low. The reorganized Shinden Squadron followed after them. Taiho’s Phoenixes followed next, then Zuikaku and Yorktown’s fighters soon followed. Ark Royal provided spotting and then the masses of torpedo and dive bombers later followed. Ships with catapult fighters launched their interceptors to defend themselves.
“I can see the ships. Black Town classes or Edinburghs. They have at least 4 here. Plenty of black painted Fletchers. Hold on, there seems to be a couple ships that are not in black.” Sakura X observed.
“Who is it then?” Kaga wanted confirmation.
“It’s a Tone class. Specifically Tone herself.”
“Oh no.” Kitakami was shocked.
“What’s on your mind?” Kaga was surprised at Kitakami’s reaction.
“Tone is a Yakuza leader. She was the one who killed my sister and pushed me towards the life of a mercenary. I thought I paid my debts away, but I have no choice but to kill her.”
“Whoa, we don’t know what side she is on.”
“If you listened to Mikasa, she should be one of them to assist in the Parallel’s efforts.”
“We sunk a few ships. Looks like they are waking up. That Tone is now starting to fire at us.” Sakura 0 noticed.
“I guess she is hostile. All planes, you have my permission to sink a ship of our nation. Heavy cruiser Tone is a traitor.” Kaga ordered.
“Hold on, I see more ships ahead. 1 Allen M. Sumner class destroyer. It’s tagged as the ROCS Yue Yang.”
“The hell? She’s here too!?” Kitakami was more surprised.
“Former USS Haynsworth. She transferred to the ROCN before later joining the Pan Asian Union terrorist organization. Looks like the Parallel had freed her from political prison.” New Jersey analyzed.
Meanwhile, the sheer amount of planes caused panic among the other Parallel ships.
“We’re under attack! Someone help us!” One of them was in a hopeless situation.
“Those fighters just dropped bombs. It’s quite accurate!” Another panicked.
“One of them is using laser weaponry!” Another noticed before being cut in half by Sakura X.
“I see the emblem of the Cherry Blossom. The Cherry Blossoms are here!” A Parallel cruiser warned.
“What!? We’re dead if we don’t do anything. Do whatever it takes to shoot them down!” A fellow destroyer ordered.
With the attention aimed for Sakura Squadron, other squadrons made their way to sink their targets including Momiji and Sugi Squadrons who sunk a large bulk of ships with bombs and torpedoes alone. Coming from the north was the Japanese and UN army groups making their way down to the base. The Allies have trapped the Parallel in the port. Once the first wave of airstrikes came through, Nagato ordered all cruisers and destroyers to move forward. The surviving Parallel ships were also underway and were ready for battle. But they weren’t the only ones fighting. Yue Yang and Tone are still alive.
“Well well well, if it ain’t the Demon Lord.” Yue Yang identified Kitakami.
“This little twerp? She should really fear me after I killed her sister. Those who wish to stand up are asking to be killed.” Tone scoffed.
“Kitakami, stay safe. That’s Tone. She’ll kill us if we don’t back down.” Tama worried.
“It’s alright. I’ll be fine. It’s time that I stand up for myself for once.” Kitakami ensured.
“But you can’t take on a heavy cruiser with planes and a destroyer alone.” Kuma warned.
“But I’m not alone. Shimakaze, Tashkent and Le Fantasque, form up on me. Together we will bring back Torpedo Division X. My sisters, join up with Haida to deal with the other Parallel ships. I’ll handle these two.” Kitakami then raised her battle flag. A black flag with two golden torpedoes crossed to form an X.
“Well I’ll be. I haven’t seen the flag of Torpedo Division X in years.” Belfast noticed.
“Really? You know about that secret division?” Black asked.
“Of course. I worked closely with that division before. After all, things get serious when the Demon Lord comes to play.”
Kitakami and the Fast 3 approached Yue Yang first. Yue Yang noticed and started firing back and launched torpedoes. They narrowly missed Kitakami and she bounced her shots.
“It’s time we unite all of Asia as one Demon Lord. Don’t you see? The Parallel is a blessing for us all. There will be no more conflicts on this continent. Only the path to join the Parallel will achieve our goals for united peace with Asia and the world.” Yue Yang monologued.
“You’re delusional you know that right? Your dream of a united Asia will never happen. Criminals like you deserve to be scrapped.” Kitakami told her off.
“You don’t see it do you? We want the world to change. You clearly do not believe in change. But let me remind you, the world has already changed.”
They continued fighting at close quarters with the Fast trying to pick off Tone. It wasn’t clear what was going on in the brawl but finally, Kitakami came out on top when she found a weak point in Yue Yang. She dropped 4 torpedoes at the destroyer’s broadside, and blew her out of the water. The terrorist was now dead. Tone, the gang leader was all that was left. Theheavy cruiser had enough and managed to get a hit on Tashkent.
“I’m hit! Losing speed!” Tashkent called out.
“I’ll smoke you up.” Shimakaze provided.
“She’s dodging our torpedoes. This crime boss is the real deal.” Le Fantasque noticed.
“Fools. The criminal underworld knows me as the most deadliest Yakuza leader. Chumps like you don’t match up.” Tone touted.
“You think you’re really that tough? Come and fight me solo.” Kitakami told her to back down.
“Then come at me Demon Lord! You failed to save your sister. Hell you failed to save 2. What makes you think you can save yourself from me? I’ll make sure your whole family is dead.”
Kitakami was angry about what Tone just said. She could feel the pain she had when she lost Kiso and Ooi. This time however, she was not letting it happen again. She made a suicidal charge towards Tone and for whatever reason was able to dodge every shot coming for her. She launched her catapult fighter, Samejima 1, and used him to knock out every plane Tone possessed.
“What makes you think you can join up with the Parallel?” Kitakami asked before moving in.
“I was promised power and good fortune. Now stop moving so I can kill you.” Tone answered while firing.
“As expected. You’re just in it for the money. Just like how you exploited me and my family. Now it’s time for you to pay up for the demon you had created in me!” She rushed in very close to Tone that her guns could not depress. At that moment, Kitakami used her battle hardened skills to finish Tone in a single blow. All 20 tubes on her starboard side were launched at close range that there was no way Tone could dodge them. All of them hit and the criminal mastermind screamed before going down in a blaze of fire. The Fast 3 were in awe of such destructive power as Kitakami tried to catch her breath. She could now finally seek peace. Kuma and Tama came over to her to see if she was okay and Kitakami said, “I’m fine.”
After all of that, was the battle really over? Of course not. Sasebo was no pushover. The Parallel are doing whatever it takes to keep a hold of it. Suddenly, Scharnhorst B is the B Team returned. Asashio B was also trailing behind.
“False Kaga. I have returned! I’m going to mess you up so bad. Hahaha!” Scharnhorst B called her out.
“Kaga is our VIP. All battleships, target the black Scharnhorst.” Nagato ordered.
“Torpedoes detected in the water. Nagato look out!” Friedrich der Grosse warned.
“What? Oh-” Nagato took a hit and started to list. “Dammit, where did that come from.”
“You best stay back. My torpedoes can hit you battleships no problem.” Asashio B told everyone to stay away.
“False Kaga, I’m going to kill you. You will die!” Scharnhorst B told her.
“I think she wants to fight me alone. Very well, I’ll do it.” Kaga accepted the challenge.
“What? You’re a carrier, you can’t fight a battleship with your secondaries.” Nagato was flabbergasted.
“Just watch me.” Kaga then turned into her battleship form.
“I knew this would happen.” Asashio B noted.
“Impossible. But very well then, I too would like a fair fight, even if it’s a carrier that lacks experience of being a battleship.” Scharnhorst B said.
It was a one on one battle and the Tosa and Scharnhorst class duked it out with each other. Kaga dodged torpedo attacks with the help of the music DJ Kongo was providing. Her planes were still in the air but the bombers had already spent their munitions so they were no help. Sakura Squadron was on standy. Scharnhorst B ended up bouncing shells off Kaga’s angling as she started to close in. While the battle at close quarters was going on with all the battleships watching, Sakura Squadron noticed a flight of Hellcats coming towards them. They all had eagle emblems on them.
“Warning to all planes, a squadron of Hellcats have been spotted flying towards us. I can see the emblem of an eagle. It’s the Eagle Squadron.” Sakura 0 alerted.
“Eagle Squadron? You mean the squadron that’s based on my sister, Enterprise?” Yorktown needed an answer.
“All units, take down the Cherry Blossoms. No single ship attacks.” Eagle 1 ordered his fighters.
“They’re attacking!” Sakura 2 warned.
“Yes Yorktown, those are your sister’s planes.” Akagi explained to her while Kaga was still brawling with Scharnhorst B.
“But Enterprise wouldn’t join the Parallel, would she?” Yorktown wanted to deny the fact.
“Well there was a bit of history. I think Kaga told me that the last time you met your sister was when she visited you in the Coral Sea last year. Kaga was also present. I think you remember about that treasure hunt.”
“Oh right. Yeah she was quite obsessed with Captain Kidd’s treasure back then.”
“Well in the last stages of their teamwork to find the treasure, Kaga was betrayed by Enterprise and was promptly sunk. It was only by good deeds that Kaga could be resurrected to sink Enterprise in return. From what I can tell, Kaga sank her so hard, that Enterprise was sent into the Parallel as a specific kind of hell. Only then, did she plot her revenge to return here and sink Kaga again. She is also working closely with the Evil Kaga. We are aware that she is stalking us as if we are prey.”
“So my sister came back from the dead and she haunts you guys like a ghost.”
“A grey ghost perhaps?” Zuikaku muttered.
“I just can’t believe she would go this far for her own interest.”
“I find it hard to believe too, but I will take Kaga’s word.” Akagi said.
“I know it’s not your fault. Heck, I’ll even forgive Kaga for blowing her up, but just maybe… maybe there is a way to bring my sister back.”
“It’s a fact that’s hard to swallow. If anything, you might be the only hope to stop her madness. I don’t think Kaga has the love you have for your sister, even when your duties as a hero in the Coral Sea has kept both of you apart.”
The dogfight above them got more intense and Kaga’s brawl with Scharnhorst B was similar. Both involved a lot of dancing around their opponents. Who would be the first to crack? Sakura X shot down a couple eagles with his laser. Sakura 0 acted as bait while his new prodigy, Sakura ∞ took out any plane that tailed him. Eagle 1 continued dodging attacks while Sakura 2 was doing the same thing with other Eagle Squadron members. Suddenly, I large explosion appeared over the skies above Sasebo. It was a great ball of fire and a blast so powerful it could shatter glass from miles away. The shockwave was strong and almost ripped the wings off of Sakura 0.
“Whoa, what was that!?” Kaga was caught off guard.
“Red Sakura flight was taken out!”
“Half of Momiji Squadron is gone.”
“The hell was that?” Hearts was shocked.
“You telling me. I’ve never seen anything like it.” Sakura 0 said.
“Whoa, that blast took out half my dive bombers.” Akagi could not believe it.
“What’s going on? I need answers.” Nagato requested.
“Oh no. It can’t be.” Yamato looked down on her computer and realized something was bad.
“That blast does look familiar.” Yubari pointed out.
“What is it? Yamato, what do you know that we don’t?” Nagato wanted an answer.
“Those blasts are from a special type of burst shell. They have strong anti air capabilities similar to a type 3 but were heavily modified to be used in taking down asteroids. I call them multipurpose burst shells or MPBS for short.” Yamato explained.
“Now that I think about it, I think I’ve faced something like this 4 years ago.” Kitakami recalled.
“You may have experienced a prototype since I remember the Pan Asian Union raiding my labs to obtain my weapons. Still, these are no ordinary burst shells. These shells were launched from my anti asteroid railgun network, Project Stardust. They have an effective range of 1200km and Sasebo is within the attack radius. I never factored in the Parallel using it against us.”
“So what do we do?” Sakura X asked while still fighting the Eagle Squadron.
“I’m still connected to the network. Stardust shells coming in at high speed. All aircraft, lower your altitude!” Yamato warned.
“What do you exactly want us to do? Fly underwater?” Sakura 2 was perplexed.
“Stay below 800m and you should be fine.”
“That isn’t a lot of space to dogfight. I feel like we’re cramped under an open sky.” Sakura 0 said.
“5, 4, 3, 2, 1, impact!” A shell from the railguns burst in the air and covered the sky with fire.
The fighters grunted at the force but were all still alive.
“King Spades, stick behind me. Don’t fly higher than me.” Hearts warned the new member of her flight.
“Damn, we should have had some warning. Luckily none of us have been hit. All units, continue to shoot down the Cherry Blossoms.” Eagle 1 ordered his team.
Sakura Squadron reacted and thought back hard. They were outnumbered but skilled enough to shoot them down. Slowly, more Eagle Squadron members were taken down. Eagle 1 was getting frustrated but he knew that if her took down the squad leader, the rest of the squadron would collapse. He pursued Sakura 0 relentlessly and the Zero had trouble evading. Sakura ∞ noticed his leader was in trouble and pursued the lead Hellcat. All of this was happening while Stardust shells were being fired overhead. Finally, after a relentless game of extreme cat and mouse, Sakura ∞ shot down Eagle 1.
“Curses. Hear me out Cherry Blossoms. Even if you shoot us all down, more will take our place. Our Enterprise is more than capable. Mark my words.” Eagle 1 said before crashing into the ground.
“What does he mean by that?” Sakura 2 wondered.
“If anything, Enterprise will be back with a new set of fighters. This won’t end unless we cut the head off the snake.” Sakura 0 explained.
Meanwhile, back on the surface, Kaga caught the broadside of Scharnhorst B. She launched a full salvo of 16 inch shells and obliterated the battleship’s upper hull. A torpedo tube was detonated and damaged Scharnhorst B enough to start sinking. She was on fire and different compartments were about to blow up too.
“AARRGH!” Scharnhorst B cried.
“Serves you right.” Kaga finished her off.
“Shit! I’m alone again. I better make a run for it.” Asashio B escaped yet again.
“Take that asshole.” Kii said.
“Urgh… False Kaga!” Scharnhorst B called her out while she was still sinking. “It’s just as I imagined. No matter what we do, this is how we end. But know this, False Kaga. I’d rather go to hell than live in a world shaped by you. So yeah, I’ll be heading there now!” She laughed maniacally before sinking beneath the waves. The explosions by the Stardust shells ceased and Kaga returned to her normal form. Sasebo was liberated and the main islands of Japan are about to be freed. The battle had come to a close once all the planes could safely land.
“Well done everyone. We saved Japan, and with your help Kaga, you carried us for the win.” Nagato congratulated.
“The battle may be over, but the war isn’t over yet. Okinawa is the last place we need to be in order to eliminate the Parallel threat. Plus they are controlling this air space with my railgun network.” Yamato objected.
“We’ll make it there in due time. I got word that the UN led fleet is arriving soon to finish this war once and for all.” Akagi said.
“Still, I feel like I need to help the British in a little side quest they gave me.” Kaga mentioned.
“And what is that exactly?” Zuikaku asked.
“We need to free Hong Kong from the siege made by the Parallel. I heard a certain princess needs to be saved.”
“I thought you’d say that. Don’t worry, Torpedo Division X is back to help rescue her again.” Kitakami promised.
“Kitakami, we’re back home. Try not to push it.” Kuma warned her.
“Sis, the life of war has changed who I am. I am no longer the same Kitakami you had before. I have a sense of duty right now, and as a new knight, Warspite needs my help.”
“And I finally get to see my favourite Takao Bell franchise. It’s been so long I missed it a lot.” Takao cheered.
“Yes Takao. I’m finally glad you are back home in your favourite shop.” Atago encouraged.
“You think they’ve still got some Pensa-Cola back there? All this fighting makes me thirsty.” Missouri asked.
“Enjoy your relaxing break. Tomorrow, crew, we will head for Hong Kong to finish up a loose end before reaching the shores of Okinawa.” Kaga ordered.
TO BE CONTINUED…
Too long. Whew. Two more battles of this long adventure remains. Hong Kong and Okinawa. Hey, this sounds similar to one of my cruise vacations. Oh and see you next time.
Previous Chapter: Tokyo Liberation Front
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