The sun slowly rises over the horizon causing the water to sparkle around the small destroyer Harekaze and light up the base, the birds are up singing their morning songs but walking slowly along the runway with her katana sheathed at her hip is Mio Sakamoto. As normal she is up before the sun rises over the horizon and is ready to begin her usual morning training as the sun rises into the sky, the only other people awake are Sanya who is effortlessly floating down from the sky to land and bring an end to her night patrol and another hidden witch. In her room which overlooks the runway and beach is a certain blond haired Gallian witch, still not properly dressed watches her beloved Major from the window of her bedroom as Mio unsheathes her sword. She just stares and watches the Fuso witch swing her sword around but what no one else spots is another pair of eyes watching the sword master train, a pair of small red eyes stare at Mio from the bushes before it quickly runs off.
Only for a split second, it is visible as it moves from one bush to another heading straight for the witches castle base, its white rat body scurries across the grass with its red eyes shining but no one notices it. It quickly makes its way inside the hanger, and up to the barely conscious girl, as she dismounts from her Striker Unit, the rat sits on the ground next to the witch’s feet and stares up at the silvered haired Orussian night witch. Even in her drowsiness the young girl notices the rat, she sleepily looks down at it, and for a second her green eyes meet its red ones, she slowly bends down reaching a hand out towards the red eyes rat.
“Cute” She yawns as she picks it up, she holds it close as she walks back to her room wanting to give her new pet a good home.
The tired young girl walks straight to her room avoiding her usual stop at her friends Eila’s room where she normally sleeps; she turns the door handle and pushes on the door which creaks open a lot louder then she remembers. She lightly places her new friend on her dresser before she strips out of her clothes falls onto her bed, her bed feels so differently to Eila’s but she so tired that doesn’t bother her. As soon as her head hit her pillow, she’s out like a light, lightly snoring as her chest moves up and down the red-eyed rat too starts to move. It drops down landing on the floor like a feather without making a sound, then Sanya’s new pet just as quietly moves towards its sleeping owner avoiding the clothes the young girl stripped out of moments ago.
When it reaches her bed the rat quickly and quietly jumps onto the soft matters and bedding, the slight weight causes a change in pressure and does make Sanya stir in her sleep, but she is just too tired to wake up. So the rat continues to move until it is right in front of her face and you can see its fur move with each breath the sleeping Sanya takes like wind gentle blowing across the grass of a field. The rats red eyes turn purple and glow so brightly they light up the darkened room like a nightlight, Sanya’s emerald green eyes quickly change to the same purple shade. Even though her eyes are closed, you can still see them light up, her eyelids begin to look like paper over a lamp, but she doesn’t wake up.
Meanwhile onboard the Harekaze the crew is only just waking up, everyone was so tired and worried last night after hearing what about the Neuroi and their new role that both Misaki and Shiro agreed to give everyone the night off to let their current situation sink in. But now that a new day is starting they all have to get back on duty, so most of the crew makes their way to the mess hall while Misaki and Shiro walk up to the deck and enjoys the view. Both girls are worried about what is to come; they are trapped in a strange world where girls walk around half naked and witches exists. Not just witches live but so does a powerful alien race that is intent on wiping out all of humans on this strange new earth.
The Neuroi, even just thinking about them sends a chill down both girls’ spines. Two months ago they were high school students; they were rescuers trying to save their fellow student but today soldiers. Soldier fighting in another world’s war, against an enemy their newly found allies say are nearly unbeatable and are extremely dangerous. Yes, both girls are scared but so is the rest of the girls that crew the Harekaze, but they are also ready to fight and will fight. That’s why the two commanders of the destroyer are on the deck of their ship, trying to calm their fears and take their mind off of the danger everyone onboard their ship is facing right now. Both girls know they need to hide their fear, they know if the rest of the crew sees them afraid then they will feel their fear too, and it will spread like wildfire throughout their boat. So they walk to a place they can be alone, a place where they can try and find peace.
“It’s a beautiful view,” Misaki says leaning over the ship’s railing. “It’s hard to believe this place is the front line of war.”
It is a good view, green grassy fields, blue sky and a warm rising sun. With the castle in the background its just like a picture from a fairytale. Some birds start to take flight, some of the base personnel start to appear. Both Misaki and Shiro can sense today is going to be a busy day.
“I know,” Shiro replied as she too enjoys the view. “We still need to come up with a plan as to how we will fight these Neuroi things.”
“We are the backup,” Misaki reminds her second. “We just need to stop anything that gets past those girls, so apart from lighting our boilers all we can do is wait for orders.”
“Knowing my luck every one of those things will get past them,” Shiro says depressingly. “We should go and get something to eat, Minna told me she wanted to meet us in an hour.”
“What are we meeting about again?” Misaki asks she stand up straight causing Shiro to sigh.
“What we were talking about just now,” Shiro answers as the two commanders start to walk towards the mess hall. “We are going to talk about how we are going to defend this area, Minna is going to tell her about the Neuroi’s weakness and then we are going to discuss tactics.”
Back in the base of the Five-oh First Yoshika and Lynne are both just finishing up making breakfast for everyone, it’s a mixture of leaf overs from last night’s beach dinner they just warmed up and added a few other ingredients. They only just finish plating the food up when Mio and Minna entre the room quickly followed by Perrine who’s still tailing her crush from a distance, Shirley is the next to enter carrying a giggling Lucchini on her shoulders. Everyone looks at the pair but only for a few seconds, it’s rare but not entirely uncommon for Shirley to carry the squad’s youngest member like that. Lynne and Yoshika quickly move to serve those present and have just finished when the next pair of witches enter, Trude walks in dragging Erica by the collar of her shirt. Like always Erica looks sleepy, and Trude looks angry, Trude roughly pulls her friend towards her seat and just as roughly throws her into it.
“I swear Hartmann you need to start waking up on time,” Trude says to her friend as Lynne and Yoshika sever them their breakfast. It isn’t Trude’s comment that wakes up the super ace though because the smell of the leftover breakfast has her drooling and wide awake within seconds of a plate being placed under her nose. “Yoshika’s and Bishop’s food will not always be there to wake you up every morning.”
“But it’s the best way to start the day,” Erica replies as she starts to eat. “You’re so fun in the morning too when you come and wake me up, Trude.”
“Please stop speaking with your mouth full,” Perrine asks sounding disgusted at the sight of food being spat out of the aces mouth while she talks. “I swear you have no manners at all.”
Before anyone can say any more the large doors slam open and an extremely worried looking Eila storms into the room, she quickly looks around the room scanning for something or someone before her eyes lock onto Yoshika who is staring at the mischievous witch both scared and worried at the same time. She then quickly runs up to the young Fuso witch and grabs her, the swiftness and surprise of Eila’s actions catch everyone off guard, and all they can do is just sit there and watch.
Eila quickly and harshly forces Yoshika back several paces causing the Fuso girl to drop what she is carrying; plates smash, cutlery crash and food spill everywhere on the ground. Everyone is stunned at this move apart from Yoshika who’s is shaking so much you can see ripples in Eila’s skin and feel it on the floor, Yoshika is scared beyond straight and winching as Eila’s grip gets painfully tight. Yoshika can already tell she will have bruises, but right now she can’t escape, Eila is too strong for her to fight off and her mind is so frozen in fear she can’t figure out a way to get out of this situation.
“Where is Sanya?” Eila loudly demands showing her teeth and acting like they are fangs, and she is a dangerous wild animal. “I know you have something to do with this!”
“I don’t know,” Yoshika quickly replies through gritted teeth as she begins to feel her bones being crushed under Eila’s vice-like grip, it is now that everyone realizes that there is a difference in Eila’s eyes. Her eyes aren’t the same purple they normally are, they are brighter and look so menacingly that Yoshika can’t help but do everything in her power to avoid making eye contact. “I haven’t seen her.”
“I know you…” Eila begins to hiss, but she is quickly ripped away from the terrified Fuso witch. Yoshika immediately falls to the ground rubbing her sore bruised body parts. Lynne moves right away to her friend’s side while both Shirley and Trude pin Eila down on top of the table. “Let me go she has Sanya!”
“Eila calm down,” Minna calmly tells the livid witch who’s thrashing so violently on top of the table that both Trude and Shirley are both struggling to control her, more plates shatter and more food covers the floor as Eila’s flailing arms and legs knock everything on the table to the floor. “Yoshika doesn’t have Sanya; she’s been here cooking all morning.”
“What’s wrong with her eyes?” Lucchini asks sounding terrified as she hides behind the kitchen counter, only her little shaking head is visible as she looks up to see what’s happening.
“Her eyes?” Minna quietly asks herself as she looks, she takes a step back as Minna sees a demonic pair of purple eyes have replaced the playful eyes she was used to seeing. “I don’t know… I haven’t seen anything like it before.”
“I think the new girls might know something about this,” Mio says as she joins in the struggle to hold the enraged Eila’s body.
“Lucchini go ask Misaki and Shiro,” Minna quickly orders knowing this is the best course of action. “They should be coming any minute ashore now to meet with me, Lynne please take Yoshika to the medical room.”
“Where’s Sanya?” Eila continues to yell demanding the heavens for an answer. “Tell me where Sanya is right now!”
Misaki and Shiro are only just trying their boat to a large rock when Lucchini runs up to them, even from a distance and although Lucchini hasn’t said a word both ship commanders can tell something is wrong here. The young witch’s eyes are wide with fear, and small drops of tears drip from her eyes, those droplets of water sparkle as the still rising sun hits them. Also, the girl is running as if the devil himself is chasing her. She moves so fast and hard towards the girls that her feet can barely stop in time and she ends up slamming into Shiro’s body bring the girl down to the sand.
Shiro groans as she hit the ground, and Lucchini tightly wraps her arms around her while burying her face in the chest of the Harekaze Deputy Captain. Misaki seeing how scared Lucchini is gentle kneels down beside the two girls and gently touches Lucchini’s shoulder. At first, the young witch flinches, and Misaki can feel her body , as soon as she sees Misaki’s warm smiling face, she starts to calm down and look less scared.
“Lucchini, what’s wrong?” Misaki asks as she feels the young witches start to relax.
“Somethings wrong… With Eila, she…” Lucchini replies sounding just as terrified as she looks.
“It’s ok,” Misaki says in a kind and gentle voice sensing the young girl’s hesitation. “Just tell us what’s wrong, and we can see if we can help her.”
“She… attacked Yoshika…” Lucchini continues.
Misaki feels something hearing that, she can’t place those feelings, but it is defiantly something she felt when anyone else she knew was attacked. It’s much stronger, so much so that it scares her. She feels as if something is stabbing her in the heart as if there is a real knife in her chest right now.
“She just attacked her?“Misaki questions.
“Yes and now she’s acting like an animal… She’s thrashing around so violently that the others can barely hold her down. Screaming and, and her eyes are glowing brightly” Both Misaki and Shiro look at each other, both girls knowing right away what’s happening now thanks to Lucchini’s description. “Everyone is trying to calm her down but she just won’t…”
“It’s ok,” Misaki tells the young girl in the most soothing voice she can manage. “We know what is happening and can help her, we have seen this too many times before.”
“Captain, do you think it’s just like in what’s going on in our world?” Shiro asks as Lucchini lets her go, and both girls start to get to their feet.
“Yes, I do,” Misaki answers. I need you to go back to the ship, tell Minami what is happening and bring her and Macchi back here with you… Wait also bring Isoroku here too. We are going to need him.”
“Why would we need him?” Shiro asks freezing as she usually does whenever Isoroku is around or mentioned.
“To find the rat,” Misaki tells her before she looks back down at Lucchini. “Take me to Eila I’ll see what I can do in the meantime.”
Lucchini leads the Misaki towards the dining room where it sounds like someone is performing an exorcism. Screaming, loud bangs and the voices trying to calm someone down all leave the room and echo through the corridors of the base. No wonder Lucchini was scared, Misaki is getting more and more scared with every step she takes closer to the stuff of nightmares.
They both walk into the room to see it completely trashed, Lynne is on the floor next to Yoshika helping to hold bags of ice to Yoshika’s bruised body, Eila is now pinned to the floor, the table is broken along with most of the chairs, and Trude is bleeding from her nose. Misaki can’t help but freeze at sight of this; this must have been what happened on the other ships she thinks as she stares at the scene in front of her. She shivers at the thought of watching her crew tear each other apart; she doesn’t think that is something she could stand to watch.
With a quick silent thank you to Isoroku for sparing her and her crew this horror Misaki walks forward towards where Minna is pinning on of Eila’s arms to the floor and trying to calm her friend down. Horrified at the scene, Misaki does her best to keep focused on the task at hand as she kneels down next to Minna.
“Misaki do you know what’s wrong with her?” Minna asks as she struggles to keep Eila’s arms trapped on the ground.
“I think it’s the virus, the one I mentioned when we first met,” Misaki answers looking over Eila’s raged filled face which causes her to remember all the time when Tama was infected by it and nearly sank two supply ships. “I already sent for the cure, so we just need to hold her down until it gets here.”
“Isn’t there anything you can do for her until then?” Yoshika asks as she stands up and walks overlooking just as horrified to see Eila like this as Misaki was.
“No,” Misaki tells her. “The only things we can do is ever pin her down or knock her unconscious until the cure gets here.”
Back on the beach and just coming ashore is the Deputy Captain Shiro who’s looking uncomfortable as she holds Isoroku, Macchi armed with a pair of water guns and the ships doctor Minami carry a bag containing the vaccine. They start towards the beach when spot a silvered haired barely dressed girl, she is stumbling around wearing only her bra and panties. She slowly moves her head, turning it painfully slow until her glowing eyes meet those of the newly arrived girls. She then charges, screaming like a banshee and charging like a berserk she rushes the girls with her teeth showing and her fingernails ready to act like claws.
Macchi fires from both water guns, filled with a sedative ready to knock out the charging infected witch. But at the last minute the processed Sanya raises a shield blocking the shots, the sedative infused water splashes harmlessly against the bright blue circle while the intended target continues to charge. Only now she isn’t screaming like a mad little girl, now she is growling like a beast ready to kill. The girls of the Harekaze stare at the charging girl too stunned to move and they can only stare as the infected girl gets closer and closer before they can recover Sanya attacks.
Sanya tackles Shiro, and for the second time today the Deputy Captain is thrown onto her back landing on the sand of the beach, only this time she hits the ground harder and her breath is knocked out of her lungs. As Shiro lays there on the sand gasping for air to fill her empty lungs, as she lays their struggling to remember how to breathe and what it’s like to have air flowing into her body Sanya moves to her. She slowly moves, so she is straddling the gasping body of Shiro and looks down at her hissing loudly as a red eyes rat appears out of nowhere, seconds later it is right in front of her face, and its eyes start to glow.
Only nothing happens, not to Shiro at least. To Sanya she is ripped from her position on top of the Deputy Captain’s body by the powerful, long arms of Macchi, to the rat, well Isoroku has it in his sights and is starting to chase it off. Meanwhile, Macchi is rolling around with Sanya looking like she is going to win when the Orussian witch gets her feet underneath the eagled eyed lookout, she throws the much bigger girl off of her, but Macchi doesn’t go down that easily. She quickly rolls back to her feet, and soon the two girls are staring each other down, both ready to fight. One to infect and one to save, one growling while the other is silent. Minami moves to help the Deputy Captain up as both girls watch the stare off. Finally, Sanya makes a move and charges her opponent.
“We need to help Macchi,” Shiro says as she finally regains the ability to speak. “She won’t be able to fight her alone.”
“We can’t do much,” Minami says watch as the two battling girls grapple with each other. “Your hurt and I are not good in a fight.”
“The guns,” Shiro says suddenly remembering Macchi’s primary weapons. “Where are the water guns?”
“Over there,” Minami answers pointing to them, they are both a few meters away and look like they will still work.
“We will take one each and attack from both sides,” Shiro tells the young doctor as they move towards the guns. “She can’t block us with whatever she used before if we attack her from both sides at the same time.”
“Ok you take this side,” Minami says as they both take a water gun each. “You can’t run right now, so I’ll get behind her.”
Both girls move into position pumping their water guns, so they are ready to fire their watery sedative load at the infected witch, soon they both are ready to shoot and not a moment too soon. As they were moving the fight started to go badly for Macchi, the magically enhanced witch was too much for her, and now Sanya has her pinned on the ground. Showing her teeth as if they were fangs she hiss’s like a demon and looks like she’s ready to kill, Macchi is struggling beneath her, but Sanya has her pinned in all the right places making escape impossible for the lookout.
Luckily for the ship girl in this position her fellow crew members have a perfect shot on the possessed witch, they both fire together and as expected one of their shots hits its target while the other hits her shield. Sanya goes down instantly and starts to peacefully snore as Macchi gently frees herself, with Sanya in this state it isn’t difficult for Minami to work. Her needle pieces the pale skin of the young witch and her fingers push the plunger down ejected the cure that will free the witch from this virus.
“We need to move there are still other that need this vaccine,” Shiro says as the girls catch the breath looking down at the now cured sleeping girl. “Can you carry her Macchi, we can’t leave her here, and from what I was told the other infected girl is pinned down by her friends in the dining hall, so we don’t need to use force this time.”
Back in the dining hall Eila continues to violently thrash about trying to free herself as she calls out for Sanya demanding to know where the young Orussian witch is. Minna sent Yoshika and Lynne to go and at get the night witch, but they return empty handed saying they can’t find her anywhere, signing Minna orders everyone to hold their friend down as they wait for help to come.
The backup from the Harekaze arrive and are all horrified just like their Captain was by the scene; it looks something like a demon possession horror movie in the room. Smashed furniture, a screaming girl being held down and all around her are more girls who look terrified as to what is happening. But they push aside their fear; they quickly move towards Eila where the combined efforts of both Trude and Minna has one of the infected girl’s arms for Minami to inject her with the cure safely. Almost as soon as the liquid enter her body the other can feel her muscles relax and her breathing slow, seconds later she stops fighting altogether and starts to blink as if she is only just waking up from a long nights sleep. Eila looks startled to see the other holding her down and confused to find the room a mess unaware of what just happened, what she just did.
“What happened here?” Eila asks as the others as the slowly release her from the ground, the confused girl sits up to see everyone looking at her and the dining hall destroyed. “Where am I? And what happened to this place?”
“Eila what do you remember?” The girl Eila remembers as Minami the Harekaze’s ships doctor asks her before she can get the answers she wants to hear.
“I woke up and didn’t see Sanya sleeping beside me like normal; I went to see if she went to her room and then…” Eila says to think back to early that morning. “Then everything went black, the next thing I know I am waking up here.”
“While it’s over now,” The Harekaze’s doctor assures her. “Both you and Sanya were infected with a virus that makes you very aggressive, but we cured you both.”
“Is Sanya ok?” Eila asks suddenly snapping her head from side to side looking worriedly for her friend. “Where is she?”
“She’s fine,” Minna tells her stepping aside so Eila can see Sanya sleeping on the floor behind her. “She had to be sedated, but she’s fine,” Minna assures the troubled girl before she turns to the doctor. “Do you have any more of those vaccines?”
“Fifteen more but the back on the ship,” Minami answers. “I think we should give you all the vaccine.”
“Me too,” Minna replies clearly shaken by what happened here this morning. She never once thought she would have to struggle with a member of her squad like she did today, she never believed anything like what just happened could have ever occurred. “I’ll send the girls over in group to receive the vaccines.”
“But I hate needles,” Erica moans.
“Me too,” Lucchini adds.
“It’s for your good,” Trude tells them.
“What caused this?” Mio asks Misaki when Isoroku is walking in with a dead rat with ruby-like eyes in its mouth.
“That did,” Misaki answers pointing to the rat Isoroku just dropped in front of her; he looks up looking proud with his catch. “They were created in some experiment and can make people do what you saw today.”
“Is there any more?” Minna asks worriedly for the base’s security but most of all the safety of her girl’s.
“I don’t know,” Misaki tells them. “I think you should keep Isoroku in the base just in case there is more; he’s excellent at catching them.”
“Ok, now I believe that we should send the first group to be vaccinated,” Minna says looking around. “Mio go with Trude, Shirley, and Yoshika.”
“Why us?” Mio asks looking at her girlfriend. “You are in charge here you should go first.”
“I can’t; I need to stop a supply plane from landing,” Minna tells her. “I need you to go in case I get infected so we are not leaderless and the others because they will be necessary in case the base becoming infected, Trude and Shirley to restrain the girls and Yoshika to heal them if anyone gets hurt.”
“Ok,” Mio relents seeing the logic. “I don’t like leaving you here, but I can see your point.”