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Old 2015-12-11, 18:28   Link #61
Eisdrache
Part-time misanthrope
 
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Goose View Post
I'm going to recommend The Greatest Generation by sasahara17, which is on ff.net atm.

Basically, a USN intelligence officer goes to Japan to learn more about kanmusu and figure out what's the deal with the Abyssals... but that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Can someone enlighten me why the story was removed? I greatly enjoyed it.
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Old 2015-12-11, 18:33   Link #62
Sheba
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Iwakawa base and Chaldea
Age: 39
Drama at the place where it was originally posted. Stupid drama to boot.
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Old 2015-12-12, 06:46   Link #63
CrowKenobi
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Stupid drama combined with real life dumping on the author. However, a group of users from the Spacebattles forum have taken over with the author's blessing and will eventually get the story back on ff.net and continue where he left off.
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Old 2015-12-31, 16:16   Link #64
LoweGear
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: 3 times the passion of normal flamenco
So here's a New Year's Snip I suddenly had the urge to write. Wanted to finish it before my country's New Year came around, but what the hell.... this is a crossover story:
__________

She was no stranger to tranquility for the short life that she had, known to the darkness of the night sky above her, the depths of the pitch-black waters beneath her feet, and the ever present silence broken only by the occasional soft rolling waves by her feet. The cool breeze that blew through her sent no more than a light shiver, despite her outfit consisting only of her traditional sailor uniform - afterall, her engine rigging was more than enough to keep her warm, and she wasn't exactly human either, so a little cold and solitude shouldn't hurt.

The cold she was sure of, but the solitude... it was one of the things she hated about being part-human.

When she had been but a ship, a construct of steel that made its home on the waves, solitude was a fleeting sensation, if she even knew what it was back then. Between the presence of her crew busy with the hustle and bustle that kept her working, and her own sister ships in the fleet, she supposed she was never really "alone" before.

The first time she had been reincarnated as a shipgirl, loneliness became a tangible sensation, the feeling of being so utterly alone given meaning whenever she spent her nights away from her sisters, waiting for her namesake event as she performed her secret morning jogs day after day. Yet even then, she was only alone in the sense of not having her sisters or any other shipgirls or people within proximity, and when she came back to the dorms and reunited with her waking siblings that feeling disappeared.

But now, looking up at the void that surrounded her in this cold, dark night, for the first time she realized just what it meant to be alone.

Her sisters were not here with her. None of the other ships had returned. Why would they, when they rested so far away, out there in their home planet among the sea of stars. She was the only one to have returned once more as a shipgirl, and on a completely different world no less.

Why her? Why had she appeared in a place so foreign to her, so alien? Why had only SHE appeared, and not any of her sisters? There were no familiar faces here, no one with which she could relate the experiences of her past life with, no one who understood what it meant to be her, an existence unable to decide whether it was flesh and blood, or built of steel.

Every night since she came here weeks ago, she had wished to whatever god granted prayers here, that she would like to see her sisters again. Ushio, Oboro, Sazanami... Then she prayed that she would like to see the shipgirls from the Naval Base back then, Nachi-san, Yamato-sama, Hiryuu-san, Mogami-san...

As the weeks went by, she started praying for anybody, anyone that she knew, a face that she would recognize anywhere. She'll even take seeing that cursed Admiral- no, she wouldn't, why would she think that? It wasn't like she missed him or anything... it's not like she missed the times when she would call him out on his most unbelievable of failures as a human being; it's not like she missed the times when he was patient with her faults, when she expected the finger pointing and the blame shifting to become a scapegoat once more, and instead had surprised her time and time again by his fair judgement and due credit of her accomplishments. It wasn't like she missed seeing his stern, solid figure in the office, a pillar of strength and wisdom in the madness of the Abyssal War.

It wasn't like she missed him.

It wasn't.

She didn't miss him.

She didn't miss just him.

She missed all of them, the days of fire and fury in the open seas when every thrilling moment teetered on the edge of life and death, the nights of laughter and warmth with her sisters, her comrades, that cursed Admiral and the times they walked the sunrise waves together...

The distant pitched whine that rose from behind her caught her attention, and at first she couldn't see its source, as blurred as her eyes had become. Yes, she just had bad eyesight tonight that's all... she blinked, and clearly saw the bright yellow dotted lights in the distance, and the lights clad in a myriad of colors that rose into the heavens before they burst into an explosion of beautiful colors. Silence gave way to the distant, intermittent staccato of light and sound, of festivities that would last till the morrow.

The fireworks were as pretty as she had ever known since her days as a fighting ship, and as a ship girl. Yet they felt so lifeless, so dull, monochromatic. The people over there in the city by the waves had much to celebrate in the passing of the year for a new one.

For her, there would be nothing new, just another year.

Just another year that she would be alone.

"AKEBONO-SAN!!!"

Her name cried out into the night broke her out of her thoughts, and she turned to the source of the call where she found another light, larger and closer than the lights of the city beyond. Compared to the glare of searchlights she had seen the light was soft and gentle, and thus she was able to make out the figure behind it, a young girl standing atop a dark gondola, sculling with the long oar held in both hands. A familiar face, only because up until now, she was one of the only people she was company with.

"You," the shipgirl growled in annoyance - Akebono might have an inkling of why the girl was approaching her, and she'd rather not deal with it right now. A dinky gondola was something her engines, already primed, was capable of outrunning even at quarter speed. She'd rather not have to resort to such a thing afterall, since she might easily capsize the gondola with her wake from this distance, but there was nothing the girl could do if she really wanted to escape. She didn't want to go back, not right now.

The girl, oblivious to Akebono's thoughts, closed the distance between them.

"I finally caught up to you!" she declared cheerfully, as though she didn't just row a gondola 30 nautical miles away from the city. Considering that the shipgirl left two hours ago, Akebono had to admit she was rather impressed with how fast this girl had caught up to her, enough to ask:

"How did you do that?"

"Do what?"

"Catch up to me."

"Ah, I picked up a few tricks..." the girl admitted sheepishly, and it was then that Akebono saw that there was something wrong with this picture: she had seen enough of the gondolas in the city to know that the gondolier should be rowing at the back of the boat, yet this girl was at the front. No, on closer examination the girl was at the back, but she was rowing the thing backwards. What kind of unholy...

"Whoever taught you that trick must be out of their minds," Akebono sighed in resignation, still trying to process the madness behind it all.

The girl laughed nervously. "Akari-senpai would be very shocked if she heard that..."

And with that name, the brief respite from her melancholy was broken.

"Akari... senp-"

"Akebono-san, can I join you?"

And once more the shipgirl's thoughts came to a halt at the unexpected. Of all the things the girl could say, that was not what Akebono had in mind.

"Ah- " the shipgirl tried to find the words, but her lips found them before her brain did. "I don't mind."

"I'm glad," the girl sounded sincere in her relief, as she descended into the gondola's seats to rest, but not before producing a lunchbox that tickled Akebono's nose with promises of delicious food. "This was all I could pack on short notice, but I guarantee they're still good!" the girl reached for one of the packed sandwiches, one of those cream cheese panninis that Akebono loved, and handed to over to Akebono who accepted with barely audible gratitude. Truth be told, the shipgirl was ready to kick herself silly not having packed anything to eat. What use is sulking if she didn't have the resources to keep it up, and she thought she was a veteran of the Tokyo Express runs...

"Itsh goof," Akebono appraised with her mouth full, unwilling to let it become empty enough to show her true appreciation of the food she just received, delicious in ways that she never imagined such a simple sandwich can have. Compared to Mamiya-san or even Yamato-sama's cooking, Akari-senpai's cooking was godlike!

Yes, it was truly delicious in lots of ways, because of Akari-senpai...

Akari-senpai...

"Akebono-san..." the questioning concern in the other girl's voice was plain as day, but Akebono was having none of it, so she tried to stifle as much of her emotions as she can.

"It's.... it's... just the onions in this d-d-damned sandwich.... bad for.... eyes..."

The girl never pointed out the obvious lie and let her be in silence, which the shipgirl was silently grateful for. She didn't know how long she spent like that, mechanically consuming the food handed to her, but by the time the lunchbox was emptied Akebono felt similarly devoid of emotion.

"How was it?" the girl asked.

"It...was very delicious," Akebono replied weakly, though perhaps some of her sincerity went through, for the other girl smiled at the answer.

"Of course it is, Akari-senpai made them afterall."

"I know tha-"

"She made them especially for you, Akebono-san."

The shipgirl flinched at the factual way it was delivered, and the truth of it stung her more than anything today.

"Why...." Disbelief permeated every aspect of Akebono's trembling question. Confusion, anger, irritation, annoyance. "Why would she... when I..."

"Akebono-san, do you really believe Akari-senpai is such a weak person?" with a finger on her chin, the girl asked with an innocent confusion that told Akebono that the thought never crossed her mind.

The flighty Akari-senpai, who needed help in the home, who could be airheaded at times, who was far too na´ve for her own good... who showed her that expression that haunted Akebono's thoughts as the shipgirl's words threatened to tear apart everything the other knew about this idyllic, fragile life.

"She wouldn't make that face if she wasn't." Just recalling it made the shipgirl glad she was as far away from the subject of her thoughts as possible.

"Of course she will," the other girl spoke with such agreement that Akebono didn't know whether she was messing with her. "Akari-senpai was my best friend before she became my mentor, and she has her own worries and failings. Of course she'll feel distressed at you saying those painful things."

Of course, she'll feel distressed, of course she'll start to fear her, of course she'll...

"Then shouldn't she ha-"

"Akari-senpai is strong, Akebono-san." The conviction from the girl's earlier statements followed through to her declaration. "Did you know, Akari-senpai was almost killed by a ghost once?"

The factoid certainly threw Akebono's thoughts into disarray by the horror building up within her. "She what?!"

"It's true, just remembering what she told me..." the young girl shivered, holding her arms together. "It was during one summer, when she encountered a woman who requested to take her to the cemetery at Isola di San Michele in the dead of night. Akari-senpai didn't expect the woman would have no head, or that it'd try to kidnap her..."

"That Akari-senpai is too trusting..." Akebono growled in frustrated irritation, "you Undines shouldn't even have to take requests at night, yet to do so..." she paused, realizing that she was holding up the girl's story, "so how'd she escape?"

The girl's eyes shone with admiration, "She was saved by Cait Sith-san like a dashing prince!"

"Ah, that fat cat guy," Akebono muttered, remembering the name of one of the few other inexplicable beings in this world, herself included. "He seemed like a show-off when I met him."

"Now that you mention it, he does have the habit of showing up at the best times for Akari-senpai and properly dressed too. Stalker?" the other girl mused, before suddenly letting out a surprisingly clear giggle. The thought somehow amused the shipgirl, and soon she let out her own soft giggle.

"As I thought, Akebono-san, you look cute when you smile."

Abruptly, the shipgirl's mirth was ruthlessly ended, though not as well as Akebono would've liked from the remaining blush on her cheeks. "T-t-that was..." she cleared her throat while looking away at the now interesting stars, "so, what happened next?"

The girl's amusement showed no signs of disappearing, much to the shipgirl's chagrin. "Akari-senpai was taken home, woke up, and went back to practice," the girl took a sip out of the cup of hot tea she had somehow produced sometime in her story, "though she's been afraid of going to the Isola di San Michele at night since."

"At least she's learning," the shipgirl sighed in relief, and thus missed the mixed expression on the other girl's face.

"But you know what she told me the other day when we passed by the cemetery during practice? She asked if the woman was alright, and if she's found a friend who'd willingly keep her company in there."

Something snapped in Akebono then, and for a moment she felt her 12.7cm guns load.

"That idiot, what is she thinking?! Does she want to get herself killed again?!"

"Ahaha," the girl laughed nervously once more, "I asked her the same question, why she would be worried about something that scary." Her eyes took on a gentle expression. "She admitted that she'd been afraid at the time, but that just because she was afraid didn't mean she shouldn't try to understand. Because as scary as the ghost woman was, it was still an experience beyond what she imagined, a mysterious encounter." Her lips curved into a similarly gentle smile. "Yes, for her, it was another wonder that Aqua gave, and she accepts that no matter what happened."

Inexplicable. That's what Akari-senpai was in Akebono's eyes. For someone like her, a destroyer living up to her name of eliminating the things that scared or threatened her and her companions, the thought was unbearable, unimaginable.

"It's foolishness that's what it is... "

A more earnest laugh came from the young girl, before settling into a wan smile. "But that's why Akari-san," the change in honorific didn't go unnoticed by the destroyer, "can't possibly be angry at you."

"Why?" The destroyer asked once again, this time resolute.

"Because she accepts even the you that hurt her so much."

"BUT WHY?!" Akebono raged startling the girl, unable to hold the conflicting emotions within, "why would she accept me after what I said, why would she..."

Her knees touch the inky dark waters, and she grabs on to the gondola's side as if it was the last thing keeping her afloat. It was then that Akebono felt the girl's hands on her own, giving her the first taste of human warmth she had tonight.

"Akebono-san, do you think Akari-san's foolish and idiotic?"

There was no hesitation in the destroyer's reply. "Yes, she's an idiot, a very big idiot!"

"Then... do you hate her?"

"Of course not!"

Her own reply was so sudden that even Akebono was taken aback, but it was true. All the while listening to this girl's story, the worry, the anxiety that built up with the growing dread of just what their mentor went through, and Akebono could no more deny what she felt than she could deny her very nature as a ship of war: that she could never hate Akari-senpai.

"Akebono-san, I think you've been mean to us, to Akari-senpai and myself." The girl's choice of words made Akebono look up, and for the first time tonight she saw a frown on the girl's face, and the pain that lingered in her eyes. Yet the hands that held hers maintained their firm, yet gentle grip. "And yet I was also worried about you when you went out. We were worried when you left without saying goodbye. Despite what you did, I don't hate you. I can't."

"You should."

The lone tear that fell along the girl's cheeks was unbearable to the destroyer, a seeming affront to existence. "Don't say that. I won't."

"... why won't you?"

"Because..."

The words died on the girl's lips, so she simply released Akebono's hands, and with an embrace pulled the destroyer close to her, sharing the girl's warmth with her own. "Because I won't hate someone who only wished for her friends to come back to her, to be with the people who understand you the most. You say we don't understand, but that's why I want to get to know you better, so one day I might understand the you who does all this. So I can understand what makes you mean, and what makes you laugh. I want to know what you like, and what you don't."

The girl pulled away, and for a moment Akebono wished she hadn't. But then she saw her eyes once again, almost pleading.

"Akebono-san... you're all alone in this world, where there are no wars, no battles to fight with your guns. I... don't understand that. But until your sisters and friends who understand that about you do, can I not try to know the you right here? I want to know the Akebono-san who likes Akari-san's cooking, the Akebono-san who has a mean tongue, the Akebono-san who secretly buys idol-"

"Hey, I'll really get angry if you mention that..." Akebono threatened weakly, but without anger, prompting a strained giggle from the girl.

"This Akebono-san, who would get angry for something so silly." The girl pulled Akebono closer again. "This Akebono-san who worries about the people she's wronged to the point where she wants to be hated for it. The Akebono-san who wants to be punished even when she did nothing wrong. I want to know Akebono-san more..."

The distant, uneven melody of fireworks were dissipating now, but still their last throes filled the pregnant silence between them that seemed to last an eternity.

"... can I?"

It was so weak, so faint that Akebono could dismiss it as her imagination. But like all things she was certain of, she would not hesitate to say them.

"Yes."

For a moment, the stillness in the air worried the destroyer, the girl who had bared her heart to her unmoving and silent. Then she felt the wetness on her cheeks.

"I'm glad Akebono-san, I'm glad..." the girl's reply was broken, strained, but through the sobs now erupting from the girl, was a very evident relief.

"You... don't cry here.... my clothes..." the destroyer wrapped her arms around the girl who had buried herself in the shipgirl's chest, "Why are you the one... crying anyway? Didn't you come here... to comfort me... how foolish..."

She groaned out a laugh, forcing it out as her vision blurred. Even as the weight of the girl in her arms grew heavier by the second, perhaps minutes, maybe even hours, Akebono felt might lighter than she had before, lighter than she had been since her arrival in this world, as if the world had become clearer, the haze in her mind dissipating from the revelation laid out in front of her: that in this world, she would be accepted, that in this world, perhaps she could have friends here. For this girl who had chased her down - no, for the friend who had chased her down on the night when the world was in celebration at the turn of the year, forsaking her own enjoyment in the process, away from her own family, from friends, from Akari-senpai... there was still guilt in Akebono at having forced the girl to do that, set up the circumstances leading to it due to her own pride and fear, due to her own weakness. Akebono shook that feeling away as much as she could. It was guilt that led her to this, and she would not allow it to trip her up into another mistake.

It was that moment of clarity when she realized an expectation of hers that had not come to pass, when her mind was still addled by fear at the bonds she had broken. It was something she thought they would ask of her... but it was time that this destroyer did what she did best: eliminate the problem that plagued her. It was time she owned up to her own foolishness.

"Ai-chan..." Akebono called out the girl's name for the first time, making the other girl still, "... I'm sorry. For what I did."

Ai, buried herself deeper onto the shipgirl's chest. "It's alright," she replied faintly, but Akebono could hear the relief from the girl, and that was enough.

"Guess I should apologize to Akari-senpai too..."

Even with Ai wanting to be friends with her, there were still remnants of trepidation within Akebono, fear of what she would see if she met Akari-senpai again. Would she see fear? would she see disappointment?

As if picking up on her thoughts, Ai released herself from Akebono's embrace, and put her hands on the destroyer's hands.

"Akebono-san, the same feelings that make you care for the Akari-san whom you think is foolish, and that which makes me want to be friends with you, is also the same that Akari-san feels at this moment. Please don't worry."

Could it really be so simple? All of them with the same feelings? Was it that easy to understand?

"Oh...."

As if the word was a switch, Akebono's realization went out unto her lips.

"Oh."

And then, it spilled forth unto the clearest and heartiest laughter that Akebono had brought forth into this world, a pleasant sound not heard since her days at the Naval Base.

"Akebono-san?" now asked a confused Ai, pleasantly surprised but uncertain of her friend's actions, prompting the destroyer to calm herself.

"You should've just said that earlier Ai-chan," Akebono replied, wiping tears from her eyes. "Thank you."

The young girl smiled, laughing sheepishly, "You're welcome, I guess..." it was then that the girl looked up, making Akebono realize what she saw: the first hints of violet tinting the sky. "It's almost morning!" the girl pointed out in panic, "We should be getting back!"

Akebono was about to agree, but the sliver of light encroaching its way through the darkness called forth a memory she had thought long forgotten, of a similar situation in days of distant past, a deja vu. Of an act she shared with a human she was with, or was it a stunt?

Ai had already missed the New Year's festivities, and Akebono would damn herself if she let the girl row back to shore and miss the first sunrise of the year. The words from that memory came back to her, words of the only human she had ever trusted, and with those words, she knew what to do next.

"Ai-chan," she called out. "Do you trust me?"

"Of course." The girl's immediate reply warmed Akebono's heart almost as much as her boilers. With those words, Akebono took Ai's hands into hers, giving them an assuring squeeze.

"Then, hold on to me, and follow what I say." She got a nod in response. "Stand up, and no matter what happens, don't let go."

The gondola rocked slightly as Ai, followed by Akebono, stood up for the first time in hours.

"Ai-chan, when I say so, step onto the water with both feet as fast as you can."

The young girl's eyes widened in surprise. "Akebono-san?"

"Please..." Akebono's tone, and the look in her eyes was almost pleading. "Trust me."

To the destroyer's relief, Ai smiled. "I don't know what's happening, but I'll place my life in your hands."

"Right." Akebono breathed in deeply, inhaling the ocean's cool aroma. "Now."

With a hop, Ai stepped out of the gondola, and unto the seawater slowly gaining a azure hue. She opened her eyes, and to her visible surprise found herself standing on the water, tiny rolling waves washing around her shoes. The slack-jawed look of astonishment that Ai gave Akebono that moment was one the destroyer was sure to remember as long as she lived.

"Akebono-san, this is..." Ai uttered breathlessly.

"Try it, take a step forward."

Akebono took a step back, extending her arms to give Ai some space. The young Undine took an experimental step forward, her left foot landing unto the water, and once more staying on the surface.

A pleasant laugh escaped Ai's lips. "Aha, how mysterious... how are you doing this?!"

"I picked up a few tricks," Akebono replied cockily, and before long both girls were giggling the time away.

With each step Ai grew more confident, and soon Akebono had lead the girl far from the gondola, but still within sight. Finally, when the sky bright enough to see the first outlines of dark purple clouds hanging over a dark blue sky, Akebono led the girl to where she wanted.

"Stand over here, and I'll let go of your left hand. Don't let go of my other hand no matter what."

Hesitantly, Ai loosened her grip on Akebono's hand, and the destroyer found herself holding the other girl by one hand as she stood beside her.

"What now, Akebono-san?"

"Now we wait."

They didn't have to wait long, as first light broke over the horizon, and crowned the clear blue horizon in a brilliant gold. And by the waters surrounding the two girls in defiance of natural law, golden light spilled over them, reflections blanketing the water with a magnificent sparkling layer, as if the oceans were made of shining crystal. In the middle of nowhere, surrounded by the cold ocean breeze and the countless waves, all that was around them was light.

"It's... beautiful..." Ai forced the words out of her breathlessness, as though not speaking of it would be injustice to what she beheld, before all her words were taken away. Akebono let the girl bask in the moment they shared, the moment she had only shared with one other before. When the golden horizon began to fade, Akebono broke the silence.

"Ai-chan, do you know what my name means?" the shipgirl asked, receiving only a muttered moan of reply and a shake of the head from her companion. "It means daybreak. And I thought that if you wanted to understand me better, then letting you see my most cherished moment in the manner in which I see it might be a good start..."

"Akebono-san..." the young girl teared up with a smile as bright as the morning sunrise that dawned over them, "this moment, I'll treasure it too, forever!"

"Y-you better, I'm only doing this once you hear!" Akebono tried to quell the happiness welling up at the sight of her friend, but let the smile on her own blushing face show through. "Oh, and how do you say it? Auguri Buon Anno," she greeted as an afterthought.

Ai's hands gave her a gentle squeeze in reply. "Auguri Buon Anno, Akebono-san."

Fubuki-class Destroyer Akebono, part ship, part human, was alone still, the last of her kind in existence. But in the upcoming year, perhaps she need not be lonely anymore.

Daybreak
A Kancolle x Aria One-Shot

-------------------------------------------------------

Happy New Years AS!
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Old 2016-02-09, 23:16   Link #65
CrowKenobi
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowKenobi View Post
However, a group of users from the Spacebattles forum have taken over with the author's blessing and will eventually get the story back on ff.net and continue where he left off.
And finally that has come to pass: The Greatest Generation (RESTART)
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Old 2016-03-01, 03:21   Link #66
Wild Goose
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Doing Anzu's paperwork.
Age: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowKenobi View Post
And finally that has come to pass: The Greatest Generation (RESTART)
Just when I was thinking I should amble along here to make a note that The Greatest Generation is back.

For those wondering, part of why it's taken so long to come back is well, while the original story was good, it could be made better, and I've always been a little dissatisfied with my first BETA run at the story, so a lot of the past few months was spent on polishing and revising, as well as assisting the committee with plotting out the future direction of the story. As you can see, from some minor touchup and retcons in Chapter 1, Chapter 3 has had some extensive revision which IMO improves the story a fair bit (tl;dr more development to Tenryuu, some pretty hilarious lines, and the replacement of the admiral from generic random wise old dude Admiral with Japanese!Gibbs!Admiral).

I am also helping Sheo Darren out with Eternity, an AU with several interesting points of depature:

- Yamato was damaged in an air raid on Kure, meaning that Nagato was sent to Ten-Go
- US Marines, securing Kure, captured Yamato
- MacArthur, in full ego, had the surrender ceremony on Yamato, and later had Yamato used to support Iowa and New Jersey in naval gunfire missions during Korea
- in 1957, Fleet Admiral Bill Halsey offers MacArthur a deal: Help him save Enterprise from the breakers by selling her to the JMSDF, and he will use all his influence and pull every string he can to help MacArthur keep Yamato as an American war prize.

It's basically a vehicle for modern!Japanese!Enterprise and modernised!American!Yamato. Surprisingly enough though Nagato has made more appearances.
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