Bringing Modern Weapons to a Fantasy World
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As the Expeditionary Fleet was in the process of capturing Gloria, the first to encounter a looming creature was the 7th Submarine Squadron on patrol 100 Kilometers away.
「*Sigh*…. It’s really dead out here. XO, what are we doing?」
At a depth of 150 meters in the pitch black waters of the sea, moving at 10 knots was a Virginia-Class nuclear powered submarine, it was the SSN-774 “Virginia”.
A top of the line fast attack submarine with a photonic mast (unlike traditional periscopes, it utilizes high-resolution cameras, light-intensification and infrared sensors, integrated electronic support measure and a laser rangefinder), the ships control system is operated with optical fiber fly-by-wire yoke, rather than the traditional electro-hydraulic control systems of past submarines.
As one of the few female Captains in Parabellum’s Navy much less in charge of a submarine, sat in her chair with a disinterested mood was Captain Fran Mayfield. Around her the bridge was decorated with various electronic displays and console equipment with her subordinates attending to their duties.
At her front, directing and monitoring the crew was her second in command Commander Arthur Maxwell. Shaking his head and responding back to her comment, he looks over his shoulder and reminds her of their mission.
「Ma’am, it may be a mundane task to be on patrol…. but we have our orders. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have mission to do」
Treating his superior like a spoiled child, Commander Maxwell shakes his head as if the situation can’t be helped. This causes Captain Mayfield eyes to twitch with annoyance as she crafts a plan to tear off her second in commands dignified and proper attitude. And like a queen she decides to get his attention.
「I know that, but…. *sigh*… with nothing to do it’s really boring~」
「*Sigh*…. Please endure it, Ma’am」
Right as Commander Maxwell turned to reassure his senior leader, he abruptly spat out as if he swallowed something unpleasant while facing the other way. His superior, Captain Fran Mayfield a young woman with short blonde hair, paired her knees together as she closed her long slender legs, she crossed her arms in a way that accentuated her figure. Having pronounced her cleavage in such a way that it made Arthur Maxwell speechless, unable to even reply.
「Hey….why’d you look away? What’s making you blush?」
Argh this woman!!
Having caught her XO blushing, his cheeks stained like a rose, Captain Mayfield smiled at him amusingly, and continued to maintain her grin as he turned away from her.
With the bridge filled with officers and sailors, the crew all chuckled to themselves having witnessed Maxwell’s embarrassed reaction, being caught up in his Senior Officers bored antics.
Arrrgh forget it…..I should ignore all these idiots.
As much as he wanted to retort back, as his pride had been wounded. From past experience he knew it wouldn’t matter, as she would do again anyway. It would be the same as the incidents before this, so Commander Maxwell grit his teeth in displeasure, holding himself back from causing a bigger scene.
「Ah geez XO, don’t go all silent on me now. Hahaha, I’m just killing time」
「……Haha very funny. Captain, you shouldn’t do things like this, what if “something” actually happens, because you’re bored? I’d rather not deal with a troublesome situation」
But while Commander Maxwell tries to correct Captain Mayfield’s reckless behavior, something actually occurred.
「――Huh!? Ma’am!! 3000 meters at our 12’, we’ve detected something rapidly approaching towards us, with a speed of 10 knots from a depth of 800 meters!!」
Utilizing passive sonar to listen in on the ambient sounds in the water, one of the sailors suddenly spoke aloud, after hearing something from his consoles headset.
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「Wh,why are you staring at me like that!? It’s not my fault something happened!!――Dammit, Red Alert! Notify the crew, battle stations, get on it now!! 」
The ships Captain ordered her crew in a panic, as her second in command, Commander Maxwell shot her an expression of ‘This is your fault’.
Immediately following Commander Maxwell’s cold gaze directed at his superior, the ship went into red alert as the lights changed from normal to red. In swift succession the crew moved into their respective battle arrangements.
As the crew followed what they’ve been trained to do, Captain Mayfield and Commander Maxwell moved towards the bridge consoles horizontal large screen display (HLSD), where they could view tactical information, simulate target tracking and analyze various information.
「I need a sitrep on the approaching contact. It is a possible enemy submersible?」
「Reporting! Negative sir, I can hear the sounds of swishing in the water, similar to a fishes tail or fin, it’s highly likely to be some kind of sea creature」
「A Sea Monster?….. There was a sea monster in this area? Ah perfect, something to kill time then」
「Captain, we shouldn’t waste time, going out of our way to fight this….. 」
「What are you saying? A Sea Monster is coming straight at us. Therefore we are just responding in kind, it’s only self-defense」
Twisting her words a bit, Captain Mayfield claimed they were only firing at the Sea Monster in self-defense, when it was quite obvious she was only doing this to kill her boredom.
「Don’t worry, we’ll contact the Kuroshio and Vyborg to assist and we’ll strike it all at once」
Resigning himself to his superior officer’s logic, Commander Maxwell’s shoulders drooped. As they got in touch with the SS-596 Kuroshio, an Oyashio-Class submarine and the retrofitted B-227 Vyborg a Kilo-Class submarine. The two other ships were notified via an acoustic transmission, in order to coordinate their attack.
「Load torpedoes in tubes #1 through #4」
「Loading torpedoes in tubes #1 through #4」
「Now prepare to fire torpedoes #1 and #2」
「Preparing to fire torpedoes #1 and #2」
It was a routine action as they periodically transmitted to the fleet, the Vyborg had risen to the surface. Informing the Expeditionary Fleet near Gloria of their actions, and having received confirmation, the Submarine patrol moved into position.
The Kuroshio moved 800 meters starboard of the Virginia and began preparing its arsenal. Likewise the Virginia loaded all four of its tubes with Mk 48 torpedoes, 530mm in diameter these heavyweight torpedoes were designed for sinking deep-diving submersibles and high performance surface craft. At-the-ready, the Virginia opened torpedo shutter doors of tubes #1 and #2.
Following the Virginia’s lead, the Oyashio-Class Submarine loaded its 6 torpedo tubes with its 533mm Type 89 Homing Torpedoes. At-the-ready, they opened the torpedo shutter doors of tubes #1 through #4.
「Activate the ships Sonar」
「Aye aye, Ma’am」
Two submarines activate their Sonar arrays, pinging the surrounding waters to find the exact location of their target, before launching their torpedoes.
「――Holy shi….uh this things huge! Target’s size is roughly 500 meters in length! It’s still 2500 meters away from us!!」
Receiving the return signal from sonar, the sailor raises his voice in shock, surprised by the sheer size of the sea monster.
「What was that!?」
「XO, don’t get riled up. We’re going to kill that thing anyway」
「Ha~, my apologies Captain, I didn’t mean to raise my voice」
Unlike her second in command who was shocked by the sailor’s report, Captain Mayfield was undaunted by the sea creatures size, she considered it insignificant as she decided not to give the creature any leeway of escape.
「All right then…. Fire Torpedoes #1 and #2」
「Launching Torpedoes #1 and #2」
Repeating their superior’s orders, the crew launched their ordinance, two Mk48 Self-guiding Heavyweight torpedoes left tubes #1 and #2 into the sea.
Following Virginia’s lead, four Type 89 Torpedoes launched from the Kuroshio.
「The target’s course remains unchanged. Distance is 2000 meters at our 12’ with a depth of 300!! 」
「15 seconds until contact!!」
A total of six torpedoes were en route to the approaching sea monster, guided with its own internal passive sonar.
「Striking the target in 3… 2… 1… Contact」
Both the Mk48 and Type 89 Torpedoes stream through the water, emitting low frequency pings which would bounce back off the sea monster, dialing in their internal guidance mechanisms. The sea creature continued to swim straight, without as much as deviating. Those observing believed it a foolish action as it did nothing to avoid them.
After several flashes of light, the sea turned dark once more, as shockwaves reverberate through the area.
「All torpedoes have struck their mark!!」
「See, that wasn’t all that hard. All right, rescind the red alert, have everyone stand down and go back――」
Believing the matter with their sea monster settled, Captain Mayfield wanted everyone to return to their normal duties. But one of the sailors who had concentrated his efforts listening to the sonar array, creased his eyebrows as he spoke up in dismay.
「……Um Captain? There’s something you should see..」
「Hm? Why, what’s wrong?」
「…..Um the.. The target is still active! We’re detecting that its still on a direct approach towards us!! Distance 1500 meters, depth 150 meters moving at 15 knots!!」
Within seconds the active sonar which had been sending out pings at designated intervals, had confirmed the target had not been killed and that it still was on a direct approach towards the ships.
「What was that? How is that thing still alive!? Fire torpedoes #3 and #4!!」
「Launching torpedoes #3 and #4」
「Reload the torpedo tubes, on the double!! 」
As both Captain Mayfield and Commander Maxwell gave swift orders, the crew of the Virginia moved with the purpose of killing the sea monster.
「The Kuroshio has fired two of its torpedoes!!」
「Holy―!! Detecting torpedoes from aft!! They’re moving at high speeds, they appear to be Shkvals (squall) launched from the Vyborg!! 」
Following the Virginia’s salvo of torpedoes, the Kuroshio fires additional torpedoes as well.
Having reported their current situation back to the Expeditionary Fleet, the Vyborg dove down and joined the underwater battle. Threading itself between the Kuroshio and Virginia, the Vyborg launched six of its VA-111 Shkvals at the sea monster.
Known as supercavitating torpedoes, the Shkval (pronounced like squall) are like underwater missiles, launching from their tubes at 50 knots. With its solid-fuel rocket it doesn’t take long before it reaches 200 knots (an equivalent of 370 km/h or 230 mph)
It achieves frightening speeds by creating a gas bubble (supercavitation), deflecting water with its specially shaped conical nose and the expansion gases of its engine, this reduces the water contact surrounding it, as well as external drag forces.
While the Shkval torpedo was the greatest in terms of its speed, what followed after it made contact with the Sea monster was the same in comparison with the Mk48 Heavyweight Torpedo and the Type 89 Anti-Ship homing Torpedo. It did little to nothing against the large sea monster, even after subsequent torpedo launches.
「Grrrrr, the torpedoes aren’t having any effect…. What should we do?….. This isn’t going well」
「Captain, we should temporarily withdraw from the area」
「……Nnnngh, I guess it can’t be helped. Set our engines to max propulsion, steer us starboard!! We’re turning around!!」
Upset that their current armament had no effect on the creature Captain Mayfield spoke her mind as Commander Maxwell urged they should withdraw. Taking her XO’s advice into account she orders the crew to turn around.
「Engines at maximum output!! Steering starboard!!」
Following their captains orders to leave the battlespace, the two helmsmen steering the ship pull on their yokes turning to their right.
「Woah! Easy there, that was dangerous!」
Following the orders to turn the ship around, the Virginia had tilted in a way which caused Captain Mayfield to lose her balance, causing her XO to immediately react and catch her before she fell.
「Kuroshio and Vyborg are following our lead and are retreating as well」
Following the Lead ships actions, SS-596 Kuroshio and B-227 Vyborg immediately turn their bows.
In order to maintain their balance the sailor in charge of sonar gave his report to the captain while holding onto the nearby handrail.
「Target has increased its speed!! Moving at 20 knots, distance is 800 meters, depth 150!! It’s still picking up speed, at this rate it will catch up to us!!」
「Damn it!! Inform the crew, prepare for impact!!」
Captain Mayfield barks while holding onto her second in command.
「Set the pinger to max output and blast the active sonar at the rear just before the monster makes contact!! 」
Opposite from his superior officer, Commander Maxwell orders for a last ditch effort, while Captain Mayfield yields to the inevitable.
「Aye aye sir!! The targets distance is 700 meters…. its closing in on us….. 500 meters….. 300….. 200….. 100…. 50 meters…. 10, Blasting Sonar!!….. Bracing impact!!」
When the distance between the two was as close as 10 meters, the Virginia activated its Sonar Array’s pinger at maximum power.
And in moments the creature closed the distance and a tremendous shock ran throughout the hull of the Virginia.
The entire crew of the Virginia cried out after their hull was struck, the shock of the impact was near enough to shatter something.
「Ugh――…. Someone give me a damage report, stat!」
Crying out after being dazed, Captain Mayfield was able to crawl out from under Maxwell’s arm, after they were thrown to the deck from the impact. Everything was already dim as the ship switched to emergency power.
「……Ugh…After the creature came into contact with the stern of the ship, we sustained critical damage!」
「Compartments 7 and 8 are filling up with sea water, the engine room is also flooding!!」
「We lost our propeller from the attack, we have no thrust at all!! 」
「We’re currently limping at 4 knots and losing speed!! We’re sinking, our depth is increasing, we’re at 170 meters!!」
「This is bad! Seawater has begun to fill the nuclear reactor compartment!!」
「Fuck!! The Hull’s stern is compromised, close all bulkheads leading to the reactor, immediately!! We have to stop the reactor from taking any more water!! Initiate an emergency blow of the main ballast tanks!! Don’t let the ship sink any further!! 」
Commander Maxwell smiled to himself, his quick thinking of having the crew activate the Sonars pinger at the last second, managed to disorient the sea monster. Causing the monsters attack to be less fatal towards their ship.
It really was thanks to that specific action, that they were able to escape certain death. While they were certainly sinking as the stern of the ship had been bitten right off, seawater had begun flooding various compartments.
The Virginia sustained critical damage along the aft end, as their means of propulsion had been destroyed, even the towed array sonar system was wrecked. With the aft part of the ship taking on more seawater, they were slowly descending to the bottom.
「……We lost Contact with Kuroshio and Vyborg….」
「――…. We heard sounds of metal being crushed as well as pockets of air being released」
The tension in the air became somber with the reports of Kuroshio and Vyborg being sunk. Captain Mayfield could only swear with regret, reflecting the room’s mood.
「――…..Augh, it hurts….. Captain, are you okay?」
Groggy from having struck his head at the corner of a console , Commander Maxwell who had regain consciousness not long ago, got up while his forehead bled.
「XO you’re up? ―― No, wait don’t move, are you okay? You’re bleeding…」
「Don’t worry, I’ll do something about it」
Turning towards Maxwell, she rushes towards him after noticing his injury, checking on his condition.
「So Captain, how’s everything? Are we safe?」
「Ah~, all thanks to you. *Mumbling* Thank you」
Right as they exchanged a few words with each other , the ship rocked once more as they ran aground the sea floor.
「We’ve reached the bottom, we’re on the seabed, our depth is at 230 meters below sea level」
The SSN Virginia tried an emergency main ballast tank blow, but seawater had already inundated certain compartments, leaving the ship to limp onto the seabed, before stopping.
「…….So now we wait to be rescued?」
「……. That seems to be the case」
「……. Do you think our forces will come in time?」
「Since we can’t get in touch with our forces, they’ll have to send a search party for us」
「Yeah…. that makes sense」
「…… Rather than rescue, the question is, will we have enough oxygen by the time they find us?」
「….. We have no other option but to pray that they do」
Crippled from battle the SSN Virginia lost all propulsion, with primary power systems offline, all they could do was wait for rescue amidst the ocean in total darkness, 230 meters below the sea.
This Chapter was translated by Kuro_0ni
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Chapter Technical References
Hull Classification symbol (SSN)
XO – Executive Officer (Aka 2iC)