An ongoing quest/group-game on /tg/, started by 'planefag', set in a universe that blends Strike Witches with the 'real' World War 2 and an invasion from Mars (which replaces the Neuroi with the squid-like Mars People from Metal Slug).You are Lieutenant Young, a twenty-year old American P-61A Black Widow pilot, with all that entails - narcissistic, cocky, a bit of an asshole - and something more, as well. After making ace in a day and saving one of theirs during a daytime scrap, your superior officer, Frank Luke, gets you and your crew, Only Sane Man Ian, and Big Guy Sean, assigned as liaison to the pantsless witches of the 501st Joint Wing, operating out of Castle Barin, whom you bounced the night before under cover of anonymity.Of course, the little witches aren't used to having men around. Or, you know, mature adults - for a given value of 'mature.' Not that they're much better themselves, homicidal sparkle-bitches. Relations are strained, especially between you and Wing Commander Wilcke. Still, things are bound to improve, and you'll assuredly teach the young women invaluable life lessons about friendship, trolling and wearing some goddamn pants.By the nature of quest threads, /tg/ has input on most of Young's decisions. This can only end well.This image◊ eloquently sums up the difference between the emotional tones of Strike Witches canon and much of SWQ.Here is a link to download the entire collected works of the Quest and all its spinoffs/post-thread stories in word format, plus all the fanart.
Coming In Hot: Naturally, you wouldn't be a hot shot ace pilot if you couldn't do this with style.
Commanding Coolness: Commander Nicholas Mackintosh, the one-eyed executive officer of the USS California, proves he is this when he not only comes to bat for you to save your ass from a vengeful Maloney via a rigged show trial (and 30 heavily armed Marines), but also in the words of another Marine: "He kinda... beat a Martian to death with a helmet,".
Cool Plane: Name an Allied fighter that made its bones in WW2, and it's probably appeared. Of course, "The Widow" is the headliner.
Cool Shades: A requirement when doing the Bounce. Young grabs a bunch for these for the witches.
Dynamic Entry: 'The Bounce' may be your primary M.O., but a lot of other characters are fond of it. One could be forgiven for thinking it's SOP at Castle Barin to announce your presence to someone by punching them in the face.
The USS California announces her arrival with a barrage of fire that wipes out an escort screen of Martian torpedo boats.
Dysfunction Junction: All of the witches are child soldiers and most of them are riding the ragged edge of battle-fatigue on top of their canonical quirks, the sole exceptions being Sakamoto, Erica, and possibly Lynnette. Not that the main character is much better.
Fan Nickname: among others, /tg/ has dubbed Mio "Sakabroto" and Conrad the "Clock Gnome."
Fantastic Racism: Witches are not well regarded by the rest of the military (barring some specific examples noted in the world-building documents), partially because it's hard to take young girls seriously in a war, partly because of how magic is seen as an unearned substitute for actual skill, and partly because of the extremely low casualty rate. The last part is painful for both sides, as Sakamoto put it, "Witches would take off with a squadron of escorts and come back alone."
On the other hand, in cases where witches integrate well into their assigned units they're frequently adopted as pseudo-mascots by the troops they're working with. 'Faith, Hope, and Charity' from the history documents are only one of several examples.
Fire-Forged Friends: The Allies and the former Axis powers are this by way of the martian Enemy Mine. Made significantly less problematic because the Nazis, Fascists and Imperial Japan have been removed from power in their respective territories. Stalin's status is unconfirmed but suspected to be Not Quite Dead.
Patton and Rommel are also this with each other.
For Want of a Nail: Having the witches around means several famous battles turn out rather differently and WWII history is subtly different in places. For example the sinking of the Graf Spee and the Bismark are both averted because of their assigned spotter witches.
Interservice Rivalry: Exists between witches and normal units, due to normal units essentially serving as meat shields for single witches. This is less prevalent in the Joint Wings, however, as only aces invited to join, as they can hold their own with witches.
Of course, there's also the same issues between various branches of the military (USAAC, Marines, Navy, RAF, Luftwaffe, etc), but you find one thing that unites everyone all: your hatred of the brassholes.
You glare at the two English-y men. Caldwell is Evil and Bader is a Big Wing faggot, and BOTH of them hail from a service that gives their borrowed US fighters FRUITY FUCKING NAMES, but today, you are all NEON SAMURAI.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Our main character again. You means well, but you've got a fighter pilot's ego, a big mouth, nine yards of ammo and two inches of patience.
Mad Scientist: Tesla enforces this. It's petty revenge against the people who called him mad in the first place.
Man Child: Most of the main cast is slowly revealed to have shades of this. Even Ian.
Manly Tears: You get a case of these after finding out your sister enlisted.
The Messiah: Averted. 90% of the Magical Girl tropes have been removed from service so Yoshika is reduced to New Meat who can't shoot for shit and is only good for her shields and healing. She's slowly getting better thanks to your part-time job as a Big Brother Mentor.
This is further adverted when Yoshika goes on a small rant about how she couldn't even express weakness due to being the daughter of the designer of modern strikers and her potential. Also doubles as a Take That, Audience! for always fawning over Sanya and how they see her as a Mary Sue character. She gets better though
This also applies to an extent to the witches as a whole; whereas in canon they were more or less humanity's only hope against the Neuroi, here they're reduced to being just another branch of the international war machine, if also a powerful and very useful one.
Midair Repair: You do this without noticing on the way down the runway.
Mood Whiplash: ... where to begin? Not to mention cases of it happening two or more times in a single thread.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: The martian attack on Earth opened with (an attempt at) simultaneous strikes at major cities all across the globe as well as major battlefields in order to kill several birds with one stone. In theory this would be a good strategy. In practice the martians killed off Hitler and Mussolini, gave Admiral Yamamoto an opening to oust the IJA from power over Imperial Japan, turned The Battle of Pearl Harbor into a Back-to-Back Badasses moment between the Japanese and American navies, and ultimately opened the way for the Axis and Allied powers to become Fire-Forged Friends.
Nose Art: During the height of waifufagging, you have your one true love painted on the nose of your Widow. Your true love, of course, is the Widow.
No Sell: At one point, you attempt to appeal to Commander Nicholas Mackintosh to protect you from Maloney's RAF goons by mentioning your Medal of Honor, that you're a press darling, and your girlfriend is a witch. Mack is unimpressed, because he's got all three as well.
Not So Different: You are debriefed by Patton, with several court-martials hanging over your head:
"Trouble. Describe this... trouble," he says, making a little rolling gesture in the air with his cigar. "Summarize the events of the action last night."
You tick off the points on your fingers. "Woken up by Sean - my radar operator - led into the hall, he kicks in Erica's door, tentacle drags her out, HE jumps out after her. I run downstairs, find Miyafuji, we go around the castle, find Erica, Sean, Martians, kill Martians, come here, find THOSE assholes -" you point to the pureed Martian gun crew - "go through the building, find Minna attacked by Martians, kill Martians, get to hangar, ambushed by Martians, kill Martians, Miyafuji and Erica take off, me and Minna borrow Charlotte's motorcycle, circle around front, Sakamoto gets on, we charge the Martians on the motorbike and Sakamoto jumps off then we get off and Minna goes stupid and I headbutt Minna and charge into the alien ship and get my ass kicked and Sakamoto fucks them all up and then I went to sleep."
General Patton is silent for three entire seconds.
"Son, you have just emulated over half my career in less then twenty-four hours. I can't do jack shit to you."
Refuge in Audacity: When the prototype Widow gets shot up on a flight back to Castle Barin, Patton threatens to have you court-martialled for smuggling ridiculous quantities of alcoholic beverages onto an Allied airbase aboard an aircraft belonging to the Army Air Corps. You counter by claiming the added weight gave you a tactical advantage, advocating the use of beer as an aerial fire-suppression system, and threatening to repeat his outrageous story to any reporter who'll listen. Patton has an MP write you a two-dollar fine for being out of uniform. You eat the ticket.
Though his real reason is more realistic than "artistic"
Schedule Slip: When it initially started, there was a new SWQ almost every day. However, due to various real world commitments, there's now barely one thread every few months. However, Word of God assures us that things will pick up again in Summer 2013.
Spinoff: Tons. There are several serialized stories posted in each thread after the quest ends. Planefag writes several side stories himself, with particular mention going to N'oo'p Martian Quest. In addition, you have Tank Witches Quest, Submersible Witches Quest, [[Fanfic/Strikers89 Strike Witches '89/Top Gun Witches Quest]] (no prizes for guessing where it draws some of its inspiration from)...and rumors of another quest in the works. Each story and quest is written by a different author, but all in the same universe.
The New Quest is confirmed as Strike Witches Crimson, a continuation of one of the serials. It's set in Canada and features a mix of canon and created characters fighting a Martian invasion and some Soviet skulduggery.
To his credit, Caldwell recognises what he has become, and doesn't shoot at any Germans now because they're all allies, and has a well-hidden sense of self-loathing over his actions.
Troll: Young, Ian and as of late, Minna among others.
Planefag, full stop.
Un Favorite: Planefag specifically chose the Widow because he thought it was underrated.
War Is Hell: One of the fic's major themes is the effect that fighting in a protracted war with an alien race would actually have on a team of magical girls. To their credit, most of the witches are surprisingly well-adjusted as Child Soldiers go but it's still obvious that the war is having unpleasant effects on them.