In the midst of a vast murky sea, engines roar to life under the suffocating cloak of thickening smoke, smoldering metal splashing aimlessly into the world’s bottomless chasm of an ocean. Streaks of white flash across rippling crests, the empty blare of cannons firing and the sharp groan of dented metal. The scene erupts with the roar of the wounded; animalistic cries that fall upon ears deafened by gunfire and the ceaseless ring of war.
Clad in soot-stained torn clothing, the sole survivor of her fleet heaves laboured breaths as her last hours dawn upon her. Her cannons, severely damaged, still functioned and her Type-3 Shells are limited in number. The golden hair ornaments that she had received upon her second remodel, a symbol of her pride, are now bent in the wrong direction and dirtied. Her finger has a beautiful now stained ring on it; she remembers seeing her own joyous smile in it when the admiral slipped it onto her finger the first time, when it was shiny and in mint condition. The accessory is now battle-worn, chipped at the edges and blood stuck to it and beaded over the smooth surface, a terrible brick-like crimson.
The Abyssal before her sneers. Sneered at the half-submerged remains of her allies, her sister ships ; sneered at her incompetence, lips curled back at the way her head hung grievously in mourning. Tears leave clear tracks on her soot-covered face. The strong taste of metal hangs thick on her tongue and makes her eyes prick at the corners. Hiei, Kirishima, Kongou … All gone within the span of a single battle. Fubuki is nowhere to be seen.
She had come to the base alone, and she would depart alone.
“Kongou-class fast battleship, Haruna,” Ooyodo’s voice starts softly, barely heard over the machinery and cannon fire. The voice was soft yet commanding, a tone that Haruna had grown accustomed to over the years. “The admiral orders that you withdraw immediately.”
A soft laugh; humourless. “I cannot. I must avenge my sisters.”
“You are violating the admiral’s orders by doing such.” The fleet commander speaks much more firmly this time.
“Do you think I don’t know that?” Haruna exclaims. Her voice begins to raise, boiling anger that no one had seen in the years she’d been a kanmasu. Instead of a reply, she hears silence and continues as though speaking to herself, “I’m sorry.”
The other ship is cut off as the grey-haired woman discards her communication equipment into the cold waters of the ocean. Her steady gaze is affixed on the abyssals. Her enemies. It’s her own fight, a battle for vengeance as the remains of her sister ships float, dented metal that barely breaks the surface of murky and pollute waters. The Kongou-class battleship’s cannons line up with her opponent’s, fire in her veins and lightning at her heels when she slides across rippling water. She is - wants to be - unstoppable. A freakish force of nature.
The first shot drives itself straight into the Abyssal aircraft carrier, right through the chest and tearing a hole as it lets out an animalistic roar. Haruna spins on her heel and fires another round at the metal monster coming up from behind her. If she were a blazing inferno, the Abyssals would be her firewood, fueling her and driving her to the height of her intensity. And then suddenly, it stops. Before she can turn, the smell of gunpowder fills the air, reverberates and pierces her.
Unrelenting cannon fire drives her into the still silence of the sea, the ocean that tasted strongly of lead and salt.