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  • Accidental Pervert: in chapter 295, a National Guard soldier looks up out of an APC roof hatch to talk to Shiranui, forgetting that he'll be looking right up her skirt because of the way she's standing on the vehicle. Only when Shiranui reminds him of what he's doing does he realize, and he has to duck down when the destroyer points her cannon module at him.
    • Done again in Chapter 314, when Haida asks Kuroshio for a boost-assist to reach the upper floors. The way the request was phrased, however...
    Haida: "Hey, Kuro! Can you do us a quickie?"
  • Accidental Truth:
    • In chapter 62, Damon deflects Zuikaku's questions about what he's speaking to Shoukaku about by flatly saying that he was just discussing how much Zuikaku hugs Shoukaku while sleeping. Which turns out to be spot-on.
    • In chapter 89, Yuudachi somehow gives Shigure the same nickname that Damon had secretly given her.
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  • Accomplice by Inaction: In chapter 54, Damon executes a mook who, although not a direct perpetrator of a certain evil, did nothing to stop it from happening and can't offer a good reason why.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Many of the ship girls experience this, either due to author preference or the progression of in-story events. Here are some of the more significant examples:
    • Furutaka has become a lot more bitter and cynical due to having been active and living the post-apocalyptic life for ten years already by the time Damon meets her. In Chapter 201, the author explained that fan works at the time he had introduced her into the fic had given him an incorrect interpretation of her, and it wasn't until he had actually listened to her in-game voiced lines did he realize that he had made a mistake. This led to the personality change being justified in-universe in chapter 113, which reveals that this personality change was the result of mistakes that had been made when Kiyoshi Araki, her creator and the descendant of her final historical captainnote , located and activated her. Later events try to defy this and get her back to how she's supposed to be, but no one can forget how she was, not even herself.
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    • Kaga can get very passionate about her previous life. She's also not as antagonistic towards Shoukaku and Zuikaku.
    • Takao is also a lot more cynical due to first landing in the hands of the creep Arrechea.
    • Akagi is deeply depressed over both her failure at Midway and her role in Damon's death.
    • Suzukaze has picked up some serious Jerkass tendencies.
    • Kikuzuki is also quite different from her canon self in that not only is she very willing to fight and participate in war, but she's also sharply confrontational when it comes to the well-being of her sisters, both physical and emotional.
    • Naganami is not nearly as hot-blooded as she is compared to her canon self, in that she's not so keen on fighting like her sister Asashimo is.
  • After the End: The fic starts off almost 20 years after a nuclear exchange between the United States and Iran.
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  • A House Divided: The city of Philadelphia suffered a schism within its population a few months before the start of the fic after the Feds came down and offered to buy the live, unexploded Iranian, or rather AAHW nuke that's sitting in one of the cities' cemeteries, and offered an exorbitant sum for it. The decision as to whether or not to go with this effectively split the population into two factions, the Quakers and the Shakers, with the Shakers controlling the neighboring city of Camden, New Jersey (just across the Delaware River), and the Quakers controlling Philadelphia. To hammer this division in, the leader of each faction are brothers, who have never argued with each other once in their life prior to that event. By the end of the Suzukaze's Voyage side-story, both brothers are dead, and so are both their factions.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg:
    • Sendai tries this in chapter 102, but fails to avoid getting killed anyway.
    • Kisaragi prostates herself before Murasame in chapter 106 as penance for her role in the previous chapter's events.
  • Airborne Aircraft Carrier: It may be a stretch, but during the Battle of Mobile, Kaga rides in Sanford's Bell 412 helicopter, alternating engaging key targets with her DSR-50, and providing air cover by launching aircraft with her crossbow.
  • A.K.A.-47: mostly averted; the author is an enthusiast of firearms and guns, so expect most of the firearms featured in the story to be called exactly what they are in Real Life. However, there are a few exceptions here and there, the most notable of which is Damon's MK-14 Juggernaut Chassis, which in the story is referred to as the "MK-14 Rogue Chassis".
  • All Just a Dream: following Damon's first death after Little Rock, he gains access to a dreamworld that he can only access when he goes to sleep. There, he can meet his deceased mother Losira, a copy of whom dwells in her son's subconscious through means unknown. He can train with her to master his control over his YRC power, and it will all stay within his subconscious. The one exception that this has not been the case are when Losira managed to materialize using Ushio's body as a third-party vessel, once in Baltimore, and twice through Ushio's YRC power.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Damon's misanthropy can be partly blamed on the mocking and disdain he received for his odd appearance.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Some ship girls believe this to be the case and don't believe that Damon has no sexual interest in them, despite the fact that his behaviour more than bears this out.
  • All There in the Manual: If you want to learn more about the members of Seal Team 6, more specifically, what they were doing prior to the Great War, and things such as Losira's "Hellflower" ability that her 17-year old self mentioned to her son Damon in his dreams, a lot of the relevant information is found in Naraku No Hana, a Touhou Project fanfic that the author previously wrote.
  • Allohistorical Allusion:
    • In chapter 135, the narrator starts talking about Fallout 4, then corrects it to Fallout 3, because in this reality the nukes fell before 4 could come out.
    • In 266, Damon remarks that if the nukes hadn't been launched, Urobutcher might have come up with a grimdark magical girl show.
    • In 319, Prince of Wales wonders why the UK didn't leave the EU before World War III.
  • Alpha Strike: the fleet oftentimes does this when first engaging the Abyssals in a naval battle, either through massive airstrikes or massive battleship bombardments - or both.
  • Alternate Self: naturally, this is the case due to the author turning the story into something of a mass crossover among franchises that involve ship girls, mashing the original Kantai Collection together with Warship Girls, Pacific, and now Victory Belles. While there started off not being too many at first, with the first two being Iowa and Warspite, with the introduction of the Victory Belles characters, this will now be much more prevalent, as there are now, in-story, repeats of Chiyoda, Pola, Kumano, Kitakami, and I-8.
  • Alternate Universe: heavily implied that A:AFS and Ambience: Platoon (Moebius Four) are these to each other. While no explicit mention exists, several characters and entities are, by themselves, evidence of connections between the two fics.
  • Alternate Universe Fic: this story basically puts ship girls from Kantai Collection into a nuclear apocalypse-stricken world with a supernatural twist to both them and the world itself, in which the Abyssals, while they still remain their most dangerous enemy, are by no means their only enemy. Later events also firmly establish this story as Intercontinuity Crossover territory, involving characters from Touhou and Madness Combat, due to both this story's Stealth Prequel and the author's roots of writing fanfiction starting with Touhou Project.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: Chapter 142 features a C-130 making a landing on the USS George Washington. It sounds pretty unbelievable and several readers commented as such. In truth, C-130s have actually been successfully landed on and launched from a carrier, though the idea was later rejected as too risky to be made a routine operation.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Combined Fleet, or any other organized navy of ship girls like the British, German, and Italian fleets.
  • Anachronism Stew: Combined with In Spite of a Nail, there's references to goods and such that, in reality, made their debut after 2010, despite the nukings during WWIII. This is most readily apparent with post-2010 North American-made products, despite the US being the hardest hit by nukes during the war.
    • The very first chapter itself has one in regards to one of Damon's firearms, in particular, the M14 sitting in Juggernaut Tactical's Rogue bullpup chassis, as this chassis did not begin production until 2012 at the earliest. However its predecessor, the Bulldog bullpup chassis by SRSS, did exist before March 2010.
    • In Chapter 74, during the Fleet's visit to Pop Jones' auto shop in Granite Quarry, as preparation for Operation Charlotte, all but one of the cars featured in that chapter were produced after 2010, the most recent of which is the 2015 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS. Germany was one of the countries that got nuked.
    • In Chapter 77, while preparing to infiltrate the Fantasy Express (formely the Charlotte Convention Center), Damon thinks the PAYDAY 2 soundtrack would be appropriate. That game was not released until 2013. In fact, the franchise shouldn't even exist in this version, as the original game's release date was October 2011, 19 months after the nukes went off in-story. In a later chapter, Damon's even seen listening to a track from that game's soundtrack.
    • During Mogami's debut during the Germany arc sees her armed with the HCAR, a modernized Browning Automatic Rifle produced by Ohio Ordinance Works. The HCAR first started production in 2013.
    • During an inventory of arms in the middle of the Vacation arc, some of the girls are listed with the FNAC, a variant of the FN SCAR-L assault rifle submitted for the Advanced Carbine trials. The trials did not start, and therefore the FNAC did not exist, until 2014.
    • In general, the appearance of any real-world firearm or modification in the fic that, in reality, did not exist prior to March 2010, falls under this trope.
  • And I Must Scream: Chapter 296. A shipgirl can starve for up to 5 years without supplies. Their shipping containers are designed to keep the shipgirl's ship modes deactivated, so that the more unruly ones couldn't get out. These shipping containers are usually stocked with 2 weeks worth of supplies in case of holdups in the shipping process. It is revealed how Yamakaze had been accidentally reactivated while still in her shipment box during the flight to mainland USA. With no means of breaking out, she was forced to spend 19 years alone in her box, unable to make any contact with anyone on the outside. Yamakaze somehow managed to make her supplies last her 14 years, and spent the next 5 starving before she was finally released.Into !Samidare's hands.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Chapters 224 to 228 follow Franklin Kevinson's perspective.
  • And Show It to You: In chapter 87, Damon disembowels a mook who was about to rape Akebono, then shows him his intestines.
  • An Ice Person: Umikaze's Icewater Protocol allows her to perform cryokinesis with abilities like Stasis. Taken literally when, in Chapter 184, Umikaze jumps on Damon's back for a piggyback ride and uses Icewater to cool him down after a long afternoon of training.
  • Apocalypse Anarchy: After the nukes finished falling, there was a second American Civil War that ended with several parts of the US seceding to form their own private sovereignties. Gangs and bandits rule much of the rest. The governments that survive, whether the Feds in America or elsewhere in the world, are little better than the rebels. Reawakening to this brave new world is what has soured many ship girls to the idea of being subordinate to humanity.
  • Appeal to Audacity: In chapter 29, the reason why Damon doesn't think the interrogees were lying about Baxter Harrison actively searching for ship girls is because they could easily have given any number of other reasons to be in the area, and they also probably wouldn't be lying about their mother being in need.
  • Arc Words: "Listen only to the sound of my voice..."
  • Armchair Military: Almost all of the other factions that have ship girls tend to the Rear Echelon Mofo commanding style. Thus, Damon's Frontline General methods come as a surprise, a welcome one to most but sadly not all the girls.
  • Armor Is Useless: there are members in both the ship girl fleets and the Abyssal fleets who are armed with special melee weapons or abilities that allow them to totally ignore any armor that their enemies have. Subverted, however, because the tougher ship types' armors are in fact strong enough to resist these weapons/abilities that are meant to cut through their armor.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: applies to any weapon made of Smartsteel that the ship girls come with because they can easily pierce Smartsteel skin that normally protects them from anything else.
    • Kane, during her stay in Australia, invented a new type of ammunition, SSP (SmartSteel Piercing) rounds, designed to defeat Smartsteel that can be loaded in conventional small-arms with no modifications. To that point, SSP was produced in pretty much every caliber of ammo in use by the Australian Armed Forces, all in the name of helping them fight off the Abyssals, as they had no ship girls for support.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: In chapter 72, Damon does this to Shoukaku as a Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!. In chapter 78, it's Kaga's turn to take one.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In chapter 238, after three ship girls make serious complaints, the fourth one's is about there not being proper toilets.
  • Artificial Limbs: Admiral Kevinson has a cybernetic arm and cybernetic legs - he even states that his cybernetic limbs are the predecessor to Damon's ATLAS exosuit.
  • Artistic License – Nuclear Physics: In this story, people can gain mutations from radiation that, if it doesn't kill them, can give them quirky powers like radiation resistance, radiation vision, etc, though these cases do seem to be rather rare, and the more realistic situations of people dying of radiation exposure, poisoning, or sickness is more frequent. In addition, the story's background premise is that the global human population got to work cleaning up radiation around the world immediately after the end of the nuclear war and have managed to clean up a good portion of it, though rad zones of varying sizes still linger in areas where human habitation is limited or nonexistent, when in reality nuclear radiation takes a long time to clean up, if at all.
    • Certain abnormalities of the radiation and the clean up efforts, such as how easy it was to clean it up, and how quickly supplies were provided with which to do so, lead certain characters, like US President Tawney Blackwood, and Lukenstor Corp. CEO Eagle Clinton, to believe that something was very fishy about the bombings. Blackwood was very close to finding out who was really responsible for WW3. After Eagle succeeded him, he orders the remaining members of ST6 to conduct an op in Iran to find the truth. In Chapter 360, there is clear proof that the A.A.H.W. was responsible for launching the first strike using concealed missile silos from within Iran, which explains how everyone thought that Iran was the instigator despite them not possessing any nuclear weapons.
  • A-Team Firing: By carrier standards, Chiyoda's marksmanship is atrocious. Objectively, it's not stormtrooper bad, but she's more concerned with putting lead downrange than grasping the skills behind sharpshooting, making her far worse than she should be.
  • Author Appeal: now, where do we even start?
    • from the beginning, obviously. The initial setting and atmosphere of the story starts out as a gritty, post-apocalyptic world, where radiation is rampant, the environment is generally hostile, and finding a friendly face in the abandoned wilderness is rarer than finding a bottle of fresh, clean water sitting on the side of the street. This is because at the time of the story's initial genesis, the author had been playing a lot of DayZ Origins throughout the past year; if you look closely at the narration, there will be mentions of items like morphine auto-injectors and GAZ vehicles and weapons like the MK-16 EGLM RCO.
    • the author is also an avid watcher of fighting games and fighting game tournaments; his author's notes throughout the story indicate as such. A lot of fight scenes in the story, particularly in melee battles when ship girls engage hand-to-hand, are frequently narrated with spinkles of fighting game lingo, and the ship girls themselves frequently exhibit moves seen in fighting games; for example, Amatsukaze uses a lot of Ken's moves from Street Fighter IV, and Shigure and Yuudachi both use a few moves from Sol and Bedman, respectively, from Guilty Gear Xrd.
    • and speaking of those two, the Shiratsuyu-Class. Initially, with the author's relative unfamiliarity with Kantai Collection characters at the beginning of writing the story, the Shiratsuyu-Class weren't as favored by the author anywhere near as they are now. But over time, the author began to favor them more and more until they became the Creator's Favorite. The author even admits in a few author's notes that the Shiratsuyu-Class is bar none his favorite destroyer class in the game; hence, their concentrated focus for many chapters and their boosts in story significance that have been occurring recently.
    • since there are too many to list, simply look at the Shoutouts page. It's safe to say that if the author is a fan of a certain franchise, game, manga, or anything, really, he'll include it in some way, shape, or form in the story, with varying degrees of influence on the story as a whole.
  • Automatic Crossbows: The archery-themed carrier girls wield, in place of the traditional bows seen in canon, the Izanagi pump-action repeating crossbow, fed by a 5-bolt under-barrel detachable tubular magazine. The bolts that can be fired range from conventional kinetic energy penetrators, to the usual ship girl aircraft bolts. Kaga and Shoukaku lose their crossbows while fending off Abyssals during Operation Norfolk and are subsequently captured. After their rescue by the fleet from an Abyssal outpost in Concepcion Bay just off of Gander, Newfoundland, they are able to summon Abyssalized versions of their canon longbows.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Addressed by Damon in regards to weapons he came across during his trek to Houston. In one particular case, he came across an M60 machine gun in a prepper's cache, which he rejected as it was too heavy for him to carry for long distances. He once also found a Desert Eagle, but the small amount of ammo he found along-side it were soon expended in two bandit encounters, and made the heavy pistol useless afterwards. When he came across the Juggernaut Tactical Rouge M14 and the Glock 37, both were found with plenty of ammo, which led to those being his weapons of choice from that point on. This gets a Call-Back later on in chapter 170, where Damon has to carefully shepherd his new Hand Cannons' ammo and reloading is a pain in the arse because speedloaders don't come in that size. He gladly picks up some weaker guns that have more readily available ammo.
    • the Yamato Cannon that several battleships possess as an innate talent is this as well. Despite being a very powerful artillery attack, it's so powerful that the battleships using it must always think twice about using it in the first place to avoid causing unintentional collateral damage. See Reality Ensues below.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: Sir Hunter Stormrider, the member of the Royal Family the Royalists want to put back on the British throne. Except, as it turns out, there's no such person by this name. It is actually a Collective Identity formed by the Britain sisters.
  • Ax-Crazy: Some of the ship girls, like Tatsuta and Yuudachi, love violence a bit too much. The Re-class is the same.
    • Damon also falls under this category during the Baltimore arc, at least until he starts regaining his proper consciousness with the help of his ship girls.
  • BFG:
    • Damon manages to get his hands on various .50BMG anti-materiel rifles, such as the DSR-50, the Barrett M82, and the McMillan TAC-50.
    • Damon's late comrade Ghaffey had a double-barrelled 8 gauge shotgun as his Weapon of Choice.
  • Back for the Dead:
    • Before setting off for England, Damon and co. encountered a Federal officer named Major Lester. Many chapters later, the man returns only to die shortly after.
    • In chapter 164, Suzukaze shows up again only to be consumed by the Darkwater Protocol.
  • Back from the Dead: the ship girls...and even Damon. The ship girls because even if they are sunk, so long as their bodies are recovered and their main processing units aren't destroyed, they can repaired back to life. Damon because...well, thanks to his YRC, if he has external assistance, he can revive even when considered clinically dead.
  • Backstab Backfire:
    • In chapter 7 a young bandit Damon had interrogated and intended to spare tries shooting him once he started walking away. Damon is faster on the draw.
    • In chapter 130 a mook Suzukaze was interrogating tries to stall so one of his allies can sneak up on her. She takes out the flanker, then, when the interrogee tries to attack her, quickly turns around and puts him down too.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Johnston and Haida.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: The Inner Circle mooks in Germany are dressed in business wear. In chapter 149, Shimakaze wonders about the incongruity of this, unlike the properly-uniformed NDP mooks. They were already in use pre-war, back when the Inner Circle was still the Advanced Administration of the Holy War, explaining Sanford's strong reaction to seeing them enter the field.
  • Badass Preacher: ties in with the above - it's the Pope, no less.
  • Balkanize Me: In chapter 51 it's briefly mentioned that Germany has split up into many smaller territories.
  • Barrier Warrior: Murakumo's "Waterfall Shield" allows her to project a barrier that can withstand quite a lot of incoming fire.
  • Battle in the Rain:
    • the end of chapter 372, when Shigure stays behind to delay the Abyssals so that the rest of her fleet can escape and lose them, and it is raining as she begins to fight the Abyssals alone.
    • the first day of Operation Goldmine has the fleet fighting in the rain against both the Abyssals and the Inner Circle Agent troops.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: In chapter 289, the US President says that if Whitewater wants to take its conquered territory and secede from the US, well, he'll just have them declared no longer American citizens then. Eagle's doing so also clears the way for Iowa and Wisconsin, who've been trying to avoid harming other Americans, to deal with them with extreme prejudice.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game:
    • Subverted; Shoukaku's attempt to use Abyssal energy to destroy the Abyssals trying to capture her fails. One of the enemies even lampshades the absurdity of trying to do so.
    • Played straight in chapter 195, where Kaga's Abyssal-powered rapid fire archery is what puts down the Re-Class.
  • Because I'm Good at It: In chapter 105 Suzukaze admits that she's always had a mean streak and never been good at being nice and comforting like Murasame or Samidare. The only thing she can do well for her sisters is fight for them, so don't deny her that.
  • Being Human Sucks:
    • In chapter 8 Damon rants about how squishy humans are compared to ship girls.
    • In chapter 249 Blackwood laments that humans are just too fragile for Genesis Thesis. Ship girls, on the other hand...
  • Berserk Button:
    • Shigure takes being called "Guncannon" quite badly.
    • Talking about the Pacific War negatively gets Kaga's goat. This is her major flaw. She also blows up at Zuikaku when the latter calls Akagi a step-sister.
    • Suzukaze was going to stay out of the quarrel in chapter 105 since it was about Damon, who she never liked. But one of the belligerents trying to hurt her ship sister, who- or whatever the aggressor was, was something she couldn't allow to happen.
    • Shiranui hates being called Nui Nui by anyone who isn't Kagerou.
    • A number of Japanese ship girls have bad memories of the war and bear grudges against America for it, and this becomes a issue once the American ship girls join the fleet.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed:
    • In chapter 298 Imwalle tries to kill himself than be taken alive.
    • In chapter 314 several Whitewater mercenaries choose to fight to the end or even turn their own guns on themselves than let themselves be taken alive for interrogation.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Chapter 124 reveals that despite her withdrawn personality, Jintsuu was one of those who very much approved of what Damon did to the Harpers at Nashville.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • In chapter 16, Damon and co. intervene in a battle between the Savannah inhabitants and another group who made off with the ship girls at Charleston.
    • In chapter 65, the strike force reach the battle in time to disrupt the enemy advance on the wounded main force.
    • In chapter 87, Damon foils some Attempted Rape by the Atlantans.
    • In chapter 92, it's Jeannie's turn to do so, saving Damon from Nashville's soldiers.
    • In chapter 103, Jeannie does it again, saving Murasame from a foe trying for a Taking You with Me.
    • In chapter 230, Damon and co. return to Savannah in time to thwart a mercenary attack on it.
    • In chapters 249 and 250, Damon confronts and battles Blackwood in a fight to the death for possession of the combined Japanese and British fleets.
    • In chapter 296, Saratoga saves a few heavily wounded Delta soldiers just in time from an enemy Little Bird by throwing its pilot and co-pilot out.
    • In chapter 336, Damon does this again to save Haida from a Ru-Class battleship.
    • In chapter 378, surprise surprise, it's Damon again, but this time Samidare joins him, and in fact, Samidare is the one who does most of the heavy lifting during their fight against the Agents.
  • Big Eater: The capital ship girls can put away inhuman amounts of food. Clearly demonstrated in chapter 237, where two battleships and two carriers (with one heavy cruiser tagging along) put away $562 worth of udon.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Shiratsuyu-class turns out to be full of neuroses. It says troubling things when the Ax-Crazy Badass Adorable Blood Knight is one of the most well-adjusted of the lot, poi.
    • And don't forget about the first-generation Samidare, the second-generation's sole surviving aunt/mother, who wants nothing less than to have all of them dead.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Damon has to do this a few times when some of the more unruly ship girls give him lip.
  • Bilingual Backfire: In chapter 136 Ise recalls how a lot of people spoke to her in baby-like English under the assumption that she wasn't fluent.
  • Bilingual Bonus: In chapter 298, Samidare utters the line さみ...?誰...?. This translates into Sami... who? while the romaji goes Sami... dare?
    • Toshi, the fleet puppy who's an Australian heeler mix, is implied to be able to understand human speech. His name means "wise" in Japanese.
  • Black and Gray Morality: Damon is caustic, rude and violent and will gladly admit he's not the most moral of people, but he'll go to great lengths to protect his subordinates and innocents, and his targets usually deserve what they get. Between the predations of the bandits and private sovereignties, the neglect-at-best the Feds and other surviving governments have for anyone who isn't a fat cat, and the sinister goals of the Inner Circle and Abyssals, the villains can and do much, much worse.
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands:
    • In chapter 74, Damon does this to a Granite Quarry gangster.
    • In chapter 158, Jeannie does this to the guns of General Brownlow and the men in his office.
    • In chapter 298, Saratoga does this to Jared Imwalle, leader of Whitewater.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Compared to vanilla Kantai Collection off of which this story is based (and even some of the darker light novels like Kagerou, Setting Sail! and Bonds of the Wings of Cranes, depending on who you ask), this story doesn't bother holding back with the blood and the gore. When in Kantai Collection you may have to worry about certain ship girls creepily calling out the names of other ship girls who may or may not exist in your base yet, in this story a little bit of creepiness is a godsend. To list a few examples...
    • The fight scenes. In the game, you can see your ship girls' moderately damaged CGs usually involve Clothing Damage, with only a few visibly showing blood and injury. Here, Shimakaze is shown putting her arm through Amatsukaze's chest in chapter 20, Shigure and Yuudachi going protocol-happy on a squad of enemy soldiers in chapter 30, Yuudachi herself getting stabbed through the back of the neck with a javelin in chapter 48, and the discovery of Kisaragi in chapter 53, among many, many others. And the list just keeps going on and on...
    • It's not just the ship girls and how they fight, with their cyber augmentations and, later, magical abilities: Damon, the main character of the story, oftentimes brutally executes people in what can only be described as cruel and unusual. Even the gunfight scenes that are heavily prevalent throughout the story are sometimes a bit too detailed in its descriptions of the exact kinds and degrees of wounds inflicted, and the descriptions can sometimes fill up the screen when reading.
    • and with the introduction of magic abilities, some ship girls like Shigure and Samidare take this trope extremely literally and use powers that employ or manipulate blood.
    • If you need an example, read the chapters of the Suzukaze's Voyage arc or the fight scenes between the Shiratsuyu-Class and !Samidare.
  • Blood Knight: Iku, Satsuki, Sendai, Tatsuta and Yuudachi take to combat a lot more enthusiastically than most of the other ship girls. Though some are more Ax-Crazy about it than others.
  • Body Armor as Hit Points: Warspite (canon) and Iowa (canon) have the Armored Core ability (no, not the game) that causes their armor points to take all incoming damage first before their health.
  • Body Horror:
    • In chapter 100 Tatsuta tears off a He-Class light cruiser's mask to reveal a single eye set in bulbous, veiny skin that's charred like a burn victim's.
    • In chapter 115, Suzukaze meets a girl so grotesquely mutated she looks more like a Starfish Alien.
    • The Baltimore mutants. Missing body parts, Nightmare Faces, stakes where forearms should be...
    • In chapter 298, Suzuya rips Jared Imwalle's left foot off.
  • Bomb Disposal: the Search and Destroy simulation in chapter 287: Shigure manages to plant the bomb, and Hatsushimo is the last one on her defender team who must defuse it with a defusal code. She doesn't make it in time, however.
  • Boom, Headshot!: the ship girls' eyes are their weakest point on their bodies, as it is the only sensitive organ that is explicitly exposed to bullets.
  • Borrowed Biometric Bypass: In chapter 174, Damon takes the thumb of an Inner Circle Engineer so he can access a device.
  • Boss Battle: Damon's fight against Blackwood can be seen as one.
  • Boss Battle: Damon vs. Blackwood, chapter 250.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Shoukaku, after her complete Abyssalization into Aircraft Carrier Water Demon.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: the narrator sometimes does this from time to time.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: Most of the German ship girls wield recreations of wartime firearms.
  • Break the Cutie:
    • Having to recover the bodies of the girls sunk during Operation Dualsight did Imuya's psyche no favours.
    • Being the 'sacrifice' for Little Rock, including a period of Go Mad from the Isolation, resulted in Suzuya becoming a Broken Bird even after an attempt to repair her personality. Somewhat disturbingly, her old persona resurfaces when she gets to fight.
    • Shiratsuyu was on the verge of this after her experiences in Charlotte, but was rescued by Damon's fleet in time.
  • Bullet Catch:
    • In chapter 8 Amatsukaze catches a shotgun slug.
    • In chapter 101 the Re-class's tail does this to ship shells.
    • In chapter 149 Bismarck catches a tank shell.
    • In chapter 294 !Pacific Iowa catches an anti-tank rocket.
    • In chapter 301, Erin catches an 8-inch shell.
      • In the same chapter, Amatsukaze doesn't catch a shell, she punches it, and it goes flying over its shooter's head.
  • Bulletproof Vest: the fleet administrators like Sanford, Lauren, Chuck, and Damon all wear ballistic vests into combat, which are usually backed up by AR-500 armor plates. Ship girls only need to wear load-bearing vests that will help carry their infantry ammo because bullets aren't the most effective against them.
  • Bullet Time: the stat sheet on chapter 169 has a listing of bullet time abilities inspired by the Tier 5 Zed Time perks seen in Killing Floor 2, implying that the ship girls, who have much faster than normal reflexes compared to humans, perceive the world around them with their faster reflexes in a form of bullet time.
  • Bullying a Dragon: In chapter 54, the captured mooks taunting Damon really should have known better. If killing all the other rebels around wasn't enough of a hint that he wasn't the wuss they thought he was, they should have figured that he'd known of a certain most heinous crime they perpetrated.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: heavily subverted from the game. The quirks, over-the-top personalities, and oddities that the ship girls had in the game are downplayed a lot in the story, yet the girls themselves still remain effective soldiers and warriors in-story.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • After not being seen for a long time, Khal is mentioned again in chapter 140 and reappears in person in the next.
    • Dee Jay makes his return in chapter 209.
  • Cain and Abel: Inevitable, since Damon isn't the only person looking for and/or in possession of active ship girls.
    • In chapter 20 Shimakaze and Amatsukaze fight because the Atlantans got to the former first.
    • Subverted in Operation London. Although Kongou was sent out alongside the Orion-class dreadnought girls by the terrorist organization "The Inner Circle", she never directly exchanges shots or blows with Haruna.
    • Operation Norfolk. During the second half of the operation, the actual assault on Naval Air Station Norfolk, all factions of the Coalition round up as many of their ship girls as they could muster and send them off to defend the base and intercept Damon's girls. Needless to say, most of these girls are sister ships of girls that are under Damon's command.
  • Call-Back:
    • In chapter 148, while searching through an airport, Kitakami brings up Damon's doing so before.
    • Remember the Mexican Army soldiers at Corpus Christi? In chapter 174, we find out what they discovered there.
    • Chapter 296. Before Sandman lets Damon view his memories, Damon hears him whisper:
    • Every time a Shiratsuyu-Class succumbs to her demon angel form.
    • In chapter 412, when Tenryuu deals the fatal blow to the Armored Carrier Demon, she remarks how Shigure was the one to kill her last time, and that it's a shame Shigure isn't here to do it again.
  • Calling Your Attacks: once ship girls start acquiring magic powers and abilities, this trope begins creeping up much more frequently.
  • Came Back Wrong: Chapter 187 - Suzukaze's back! Wait a minute, why is she burning everything around her, and why are her voice and eyes messed up?
  • The Cartel: The Inner Circle are collaborating with Mexican gangs and have facilities on their territory.
  • Cast Herd: becomes more and more this when more international fleets enter the story, with each of them getting their own arc or mini-arc in one way or another.
  • Cat Scare: In chapter 111, Suzukaze gets spooked by what turns out to be a falling brick.
  • Caught with Your Pants Down: in chapter 255, Damon walks back up to his room to change shirts, only to unwittingly discover Shigure in his closet, holding the shirt he intended to wear that she's been "using".
  • Chainsaw Good: Damon employs this during the Baltimore arc. And what's better than one chainsaw? Two of them.
  • Character Class System: several chapters throughout the story, most notably chapter 169, also referred to as the "stats sheet" throughout this tropes page, set up gameplay-like mechanics as if the author was envisioning the story as a game, rather than just a story. The characters in the class system naturally deal with the ship girls, specifically the ship types:
    • Destroyers: the fleet's bread-and-butter soldiers, more or less. They fill all roles of the fleet, in both sea and land operations, and can be assigned to complete basically any task that needs to be done, as reinforced by their ability options listed in the stat sheet. Not quite Mooks because, other than the fact that they're the main focus of the story, many destroyers come with their own special "protocols" that give them extra power in combat; and because there are so many destroyers, some come already specialized in certain fields of combat expertise. They typically use Assault Rifles and Submachine Guns, with a few using handheld Machine Pistols or Handguns that they use dual-wielded - in fact, destroyers are the most proficient ship type at dual-wielding firearms (typically machine pistols or regular pistols), or learning how to do so - while one destroyer even uses a sniper rifle like a carrier. They are also almost always weak but fast, having the lowest health and armor pools in exchange for better base speed and boost gauges (barring the submarines). Typically, the destroyers are divided into two divisions during operations, and it's almost solely based on their personalities:
      • the more reserved, passive, or shyer destroyers perform escort duty and other defensive roles during combat, protecting the more advanced ship types, as they (theoretically) can't fight off ambushes from enemies as well as the destroyers can simply because there are more destroyers than there are capital ship girls, not because the capital ships can't fight them off themselves. (The carriers, having only sniper rifles, might actually have some difficulty if they were swarmed.)
      • the more aggressive, bloodthirsty, and faster destroyers are typically put to work being part of what the story refers to as the "vanguard" unit(s) that attack enemy formations headfirst to give the fleet an opening into the enemy forces. These girls almost always have a protocol or some kind of special power or weapon to augment their damage output, as, being the first ones to get into the thick of the fight most of the time, they need these additional powers to make sure that they can stand a chance against the enemy forces without risking their lives - at least not as much.
    • Submarines: the stealth fighters of the fleet. Their designs being an explicit Shoutout to the Ghosts from the Starcraft series, their swimsuits are described to be made of a special fabric that can render its wearer invisible, though it's implied that these swimsuits are specifically manufactured for use by the submarine girls, and that your average Joe off the street can't just wear one and go poof. Naturally, their innate ability to Cloak defaults their services to stealth missions, and in large-scale battles, to support roles to stealthily take out enemies and take pressure off the rest of the fleet wherever the fighting gets intense, and their abilities listed in the stat sheet focus on accentuating their stealth capabilities and survivability while out in the field. They always use suppressed Submachine Guns and suppressed sidearms, as using unsuppressed weapons would mean that the muzzle flashes of such guns could give away their positions due to the disturbance that the muzzle flash creates in the submarines' Cloaks at least, and could even break their Cloaking effects at worst.
    • Light Cruisers: the specialists of the fleet. Their abilities as listed in the stat sheet allow the light cruisers to specialize their damage against specific enemy ship types in their fight against the Abyssals and power up certain story mechanics that only the light cruisers can tweak to their advantage (generally speaking), like increasing their parry strength and being able to give more EXP for actions they and surrounding allies take for completing various tasks. Their infantry weapons of choice are Assault Rifles, with only Sendai actively using an SMG as her base infantry weapon to suit her CQC nature. Of note, all light cruiser classes featured in the story thus far have a class-specific role in the fleet:
      • the Sendai-Class (except for Naka) are night battle specialists, true to their canon reputations. Sendai is the only non-submarine ship girl who has an invisibility skill of some kind, though in her case, it's both an optical camouflage and noise suppression system rolled into one that can only be used when it's nighttime.
      • the Tenryuu-Class are melee specialists; their canon weapons of the sword (which the story refers to as the "Dragon Sword" and the glaive are made of Smartsteel, making them capable of ripping through both human and Abyssal flesh with equal impunity; naturally, this means that they are front-line fighters like the more aggressive destroyers, though thanks to their smaller than average health/armor pools for light cruisers, they're definitely the Glass Cannons of the CL's.
      • the Kuma-Class are, like their canon selves, torpedo support specialists: the ones featured in the story (Kitakami, Ooi, and Nisei Kitakami) all have special torpedoes by default that they can configure at will to be free-fire torpedoes or homing torpedoes, whereas only the destroyers have the option of converting their own torpedoes into homing ones, but not only does this require them to equip an augmentation called the JDAM Converter, but it also makes all their torpedoes homing.
      • Yuubari, the experimental cruiser, sacrifices health and armor (she's basically a glorified destroyer as far as durability goes) in exchange for greatly expanded peripheral power; the story compares her peripherals with those possessed by capital ship girls like battleships and carriers, who have by default the strongest peripherals of any ship type. This makes her an excellent Target Spotter for destroyers and other cruisers, as she'll be in the center-forward positions of the fleet, assisting other girls by alerting them to enemy presences since she's got the mental processing power to handle seeing and calling out so many enemies at once, in the confusion and chaos of a battle.
    • Heavy Cruisers: the heavy hitters of the fleet. Bridging the gap between the weaker destroyers and light cruisers and the capital ship types, they have big guns that hit hard and are fast and mobile enough to participate in front-line activities, as Ashigara best demonstrates. Their abilities in the stat sheet emphasize their power, both offensively and defensively (as in their weapon power and personal durability), and they also allow the cruisers to specialize against enemy shields and armor to further emphasize their killing potentials. They currently use exclusively Battle Rifles, the only ship type to dedicate themselves to using battle rifles, which may serve to further emphasize their mobile but powerful offensive capabilities.
    • Battleships/Battlecruisers/Dreadnoughts: the big guns of the fleet. The single most durable ship type of the fleet, their healths are, as described by the stat sheet, generally in the thousands, whereas for comparison's sake, many destroyers don't even break a thousand in health. Slow and strong, they typically are not seen fighting in the front lines, because if they have to, you know there's something that's gone wrong with the operation. The only exceptions to this is the fact that fast battleships or battlecruisers or dreadnoughts can get away with fighting up close and personal because they have the health to tank damage that other ship girls who are faster would be able to dodge and outrun; typically these battleships also have melee weapons or powers of some kind to justify their close-range fighting nature. They use Machine Guns, DMR's, and powerful Assault Rifles - some even use Shotguns. The Long Range Fighters of the fleet, along with the carriers, they provide suppressing fire from afar with their large volumes of infantry fire from their machine guns and artillery bombardments from their big battleship guns to cover their more mobile friends fighting in the front lines for them so that the battleships themselves don't have to.
    • Aircraft Carriers: the snipers of the fleet. Indeed, every single carrier in the fleet in the story so far wields a Sniper Rifle as her infantry weapon, and the story even describes the carriers as the one ship type that's been innately made proficient with usage of sniper rifles. Since they are currently the only ship girls in the fleet who are capable at all of launching airplanes of any kind, the carriers stay with the battleships and support destroyers who can protect and cover them as they launch their ever-important squadrons of attack planes to establish favorable air superiority for the fleet and also cover their front-line allies with close air support. The story also makes explicit mention of the carriers' ability to individually control their planes, much like a Marionette Master, to do certain specific tasks in battle, like attack a specific high-value target or even take control of a plane to make sure that it survives a dogfight. And because the planes are automated and electronic, they even boast on-board observation cameras that anyone in the fleet can access, so long as the carrier makes sure to tether connection to her planes' cameras and make them available to her allies so that they can download the feeds and see what the planes see for themselves, thus making carriers also support ship girls as well.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The Project scientist who Damon interrogated and whose home he had recovered Murakumo from. Read the spoiler below to know the importance of this.
    • The fact that other non-government factions know about the existence of the ship girls is a great concern to Damon and Sanford, due to the secrecy of the project that made them. The latter was even one of the leads on the project. It is of even more concern when they encounter foreign nationals looking for ship girls at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi. During Operation Charlotte and Atlanta, the leaders for both factions spill the beans on who gave them that info. It was Ken Simpson, the scientist that Damon had interrogated weeks earlier, and has been working with not only the Coalition, but also with the Mexicans. And then we find out that he not only divulged the project's data to the Abyssals' creator (known only as "Mr. Abyssal"), he's also in cahoots with the Abyssals' admiral, The Sheriff.
    • In chapter 58, Sanford reveals that ship girls have no EMP resistance, as the materials that would've given them that resistance were simply too costly for the project. Chapter 88 adds on that the deadline got pushed up before they could be implemented anyway. This has severe consequences during Damon and co.'s campaign against the Coalition. During Operation Atlanta, an EMP weapon is deployed against the girls immediately after they breach the hotel conference room that O'Reily is taking refuge in, rendering all of them combat-ineffective and helpless to his armored Juggernaut until Damon comes to save the day. It's during Operation Little Rock where the girls' lack of EMP resistance leads to fatal consequences for one of the fleet's human members, as Alastor Scott of Little Rock saw fit to retrofit HIS ship girls with EMP-shielding, leaving them free to retaliate while Damon's girls are helpless, and Damon himself is cut off from comms due to the EMP frying his headset. By the time the fleet finally gets its hands on EMP shielding, the damage is already done.
      • however, when Imwalle tries to set off an EMP charge near the Mogami-Class to disable them and all other ship girls in the area, their Reverse EMP Field augmentations that the entire fleet had been assigned renders Imwalle's secret EMP trap next to useless.
    • During Operation Atlanta, there's a lot of concern that a damaged skyscraper might collapse. No prizes for guessing that it does, eventually, collapse.
    • Also during Operation Atlanta, as Damon enters the west building of the Georgia World Congress Center in search of Room 335, Benjamin informs him that the fleet's airstrikes have taken out the sky-bridge that links the east and west buildings together, and in the event that his target isn't in the current building, Damon will have to go all the way back down to street level in order to access the other building.He really did end up in the wrong building and wastes precious time switching buildings.
    • Back in London, Damon confiscated a nuke the Inner Circle tried to have Kongou use. It eventually gets used to nuke Baltimore.
    • Damon's coffin at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery. Not only is the body of the Ru-Class that was somehow slipped into the coffin to replace Damon's body itself a Chekhov's Gun, being used to create the exosuit that Damon later uses, but when Damon and his new team returns to the grave and dig it up, the coffin is now filled with a small cache of high-grade military weapons, ammo, and gear that supplies them adequately for their upcoming missions.
    • Remember the Madness Mantra that Damon was blabbing to himself when Ushio found him in the middle of Baltimore? Samidare recites the entire same mantra to Yamakaze to calm her down.
    • During his solo journey with the Slugs down to Mobile/Houston at the start of the Stolen Fleet arc, Damon fights a small group of rogues in a town called Satsuma, Alabama and stumbles upon a makeshift greenhouse growing orange trees and plucks a few oranges to take with him. This is all the way back in chapter 211 - !Samidare visits this same greenhouse in chapter 331, with the implication that she may be the one who set this greenhouse up.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • In chapter 50, an unknown woman Damon encounters takes a look at him and wonders if she knows him. In chapter 52, Sanford says that might have been an aunt. Confirmed in chapter 56.
    • During the early chapters, Damon and his girls stay the night at the Savannah survivor community led by Khal. In chapter 140, Khal, or Dr. Kolomon Faust, is revealed to be a close friend of a German chancellor who presides over the German state that leads the Social Democratic Party, and it is this party Blackwood wants to support and is also sending the fleet there to deal with the Inner Circle.
    • When Suzukaze and Samidare both activate their respective protocols, the letters "XYZ" are seen being repeated over and over and over again. In chapter 176, Damon's browsing of documents drafted by an Inner Circle engineer reveals mentions of "Substance XYZ".
    • Sandman, who helped Damon out back in Mexico, and Kevinson are revealed in chapter 207 to be the same person.
    • Warspite/Winifred is briefly glimpsed in chapter 246, a few chapters before she is properly introduced.
    • While not mentioned explicitly in name, Jared Imwalle, the Whitewater PMC commander, turns out to be one of the many men who raped Suzuya at Little Rock during her time of imprisonment there under Coalition control when Suzuya confronts him in chapter 297.
    • Earlier on, the Combined Fleet encountered failed Aircraft Carrier Water Demon clones at an Abyssal base. They encounter a fully armed and operational one many chapters later in 303.
      • It appears that an operational clone escaped the Abyssals, along with her DNA baseplate. Commandant Teste and her Abyssal clone. They both now reside in France.
  • Clark's Third Law: this story hinges its magic on advanced military technology, but before the characters explicitly discovered that their advanced military technology actually hinged on magical foundations, some of the ship girls' powers in the beginning seemed like actual magic to those who didn't know otherwise.
  • Cloning Blues: averted from the game. The story seems to establish firmly with its setting and plot that all ship girls in the Japanese fleet have already been constructed (which may raise a question of how newly implemented ship girls in the game would be treated in this regard) and have been shipped to the United States or elsewhere, meaning that it's impossible for there to be a clone of an already existing ship girl.
    • ...or so it seemed at first. Things get complicated when, for example, ship girls like Warspite and Iowa show up, where the story features both the canon and external incarnations of the exact same character, meaning that these two girls are the exceptions. And things get even more complicated when Lukenstor demonstrates the ability to construct additional ship girls, meaning that, if they so wanted, they could very well begin pumping out clones of ship girls who already exist and are active, but they haven't done that. Yet.
  • Clothing Damage: both maintained and averted from the game. Maintained because clothing is very obviously going to be damaged by high-explosive ordnance that the ship girls get hit by when fighting Abyssals, but averted in that this story, striving for as much tactical realism as possible, clearly describes blood and gore that results from injuries like these.
  • Cold Sniper / Friendly Sniper: Though Kaga's more on the former side, the main role for the carrier girls under Damon's command is to provide precision support fire against key targets with their sniper rifles, and provide air cover with their aircraft. As a last resort, they'll even bring their rifles to bear on enemy aircraft and down them with ease.
    • Enteprise and Yorktown provide this comparison almost perfectly.
  • The Comically Serious: Kaga's Big Eater antics cause a lot of unintentional hilarity.
  • Combat Medic: Samidare and Umikaze. While Harusame and Ushio could technically be considered such, these two aren't known for their fighting and would rather just focus on healing and taking care of their friends and allies, while Umikaze is just as willing and proficient at fighting as she is at healing. Samidare would have been classified with Harusame and Ushio as just plain medics, but in light of the recent chapter 378, Samidare now has the fighting skill to put her as a combat medic too. And while we're at it, maybe Damon too.
  • Common Crossover: subverted; this story, from quite early on in the story, in fact, pulls in characters from the Chinese equivalent of Kantai Collection called Warship Girls, which essentially a Kantai Collection with much more emphasis on foreign ship girls, so given these premises, one may believe that the two franchises would be more commonly depicted in crossovers, but it's not very common at all.
  • Concealment Equals Cover: Repeatedly averted starting from chapter 2, where bullets go through the decayed wood and brick Damon was hiding behind. Bullet (over)penetration is something that the author clearly bothers to take into account.
    • specifically averted in chapter 287: during the Search and Destroy simulation, several of the attackers attempt to hit the defenders through walls by shooting directly through them. Shigure accidentally shoots the other side of a reinforced panel, so in her case, her bullets really can't punch through.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror: In chapter 115 Tatsuya just doesn't react to the horrible things around him, like the Body Horror of his sister or subsisting on meat carved from human corpses. Suzukaze, on the other hand, takes such things much more poorly.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: A few of the girls, most notably Shiranui and Zuikaku, struggle to prioritise between their ship sisters and the needs of the fleet as a whole.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: perhaps a squad of ship girls fighting against a human army with infantry guns is believable, but the story is guilty of pitting ship girls fighting against a numerically superior force of Abyssals - and winning. It gets to the point where even destroyers can go toe-to-toe with Abyssals who are supposed to be stronger than them simply due to the difference in ship type. Subverted, because there are times when the ship girls do in fact lose.
  • Cool Guns: since there are so many that could be listed, only the ones that are listed under the written entries of the Cool Guns page will be shown.
    • Handguns:
      • Amatsukaze uses for a while a standard US Army-issue Beretta M-9 that Damon finds and gives her during their excursion to Corpus Christi Naval Air Station. The Mogami-Class, as per the fleet's equipment upgrade in chapters 285-286, now carry Beretta M9-A3's as their sidearms.
      • Fusou uses a Beretta PX-4 Storm as her sidearm.
      • Haida, the Canadian destroyer, uses a Browning Hi-Power in a Mk. III variant, a Shoutout to the one featured in Rainbow Six Siege, used by both Buck and Frost as their sidearms.
      • Quite a few examples of the M-1911: Hatsushimo and Nisei Nenohi carry Nighthawk Custom GRP Recons, which are custom-made M-1911's; the American destroyer Johnston carries a Para P-14, another custom-made M-1911 that features a double-stack magazine that allows it to carry double the magazine capacity of a normal M-1911 mag; Iowa, Wisconsin, and Saratoga all use M-45 MEUSOC's, standard-issue M-1911's for Force Recon Marines, and the first gives one to Lauren during the first assault on the White House, which Lauren still keeps and uses; and Shoukaku and Zuikaku both use Para P-16's, customized M-1911's that are chambered for .40 S&W rather than .45 ACP.
      • several light cruisers early on in the story carry CZ-75's as sidearms, and Furutaka and Kako, as per the fleet equipment upgrade, now carry IWI Jericho-941's, which are closely based on the original CZ-75 design.
      • Retia Wedekind, President-Chancellor of Germany, carries a fifty-caliber Luger as her sidearm. One may wonder how on Earth she even managed to get her hands on a weapon like this.
      • Asashio, Arashio, and Kasumi all carry FN Five-seveN Mk. II's to complement their primary weapons that all use the same ammo type, the 5.7x28mm.
      • many ship girls use various models of Glocks: the Fubuki-Class (barring Murakumo) carry Generation-6 Glock-19's (the Glock 19 exists as a gun, but currently in Real Life it only goes up to Generation 4); the Ayanami-Class carry Generation-6 Glock-17's, the Yuugumo-Class carry Glock-34's, and Shimakaze carries a selective-fire Glock-18, called the Glock-18 "Cobra", a Shoutout to the weapon featured in Combat Arms.
      • the entire Shiratsuyu-Class use H&K USP.45's, specifically their Compact Tactical models, as per the fleet equipment upgrade.
      • the Russian destroyer Engels carries a Makarov PMM as her sidearm.
      • the Kuma-Class cruisers use P-250's, the Myoukou-Class cruisers use P-226 Navy's, and the Kongou-Class use P-320's after the fleet equipment upgrade.
      • Taihou and Wakamiya both use Springfield XDM's.
      • The Russian cruiser Kirov carries a Tokarev TT-33 as her sidearm.
      • the Mutsuki-Class all use Walther P99c-AS pistols as their sidearms.
      • Hibiki uses a MP-443 Grach as her sidearm after the fleet equipment upgrade.
    • Revolvers:
    • Submachine Guns:
      • Kasumi uses an FN P90-TR SBR, a short-barreled rifle variant with a Picatinny rail system to accept different optics rather than the original P90's default dot sight and various side-mounted attachments.
      • MP5 variants have been frequently used by the fleet over the course of the story: the submarines for the first half of the story used MP5SD-6 variants to fit their invisible stealth roles before swapping them out for Honey Badgers with the fleet equipment upgrade. The Mutsuki-Class, also before the fleet equipment upgrade, used MP5 variants as their primary weapons. I-8 of the German fleet also uses a suppressed MP5, this time the MP5SD-N2.
      • Z-3 Max Schultz uses two MP7-A2's as her primary weapons, and she even carries special reloading mechanisms with her utility belt that let her dual-wield them and reload them in a practical and efficient manner in combat.
      • Asashio used the UMP-45 as her primary weapon before the fleet equipment upgrade.
      • Wakaba, a Guns Akimbo enthusiast to the extent that her entry in the stat sheet explicitly gives her a passive trait that allows her to dual-wield guns by default, has always used a pair of Mini-Uzi's as her primary weapons and still keeps them, even after the fleet equipment upgrade.
      • Satsuki is also a Guns Akimbo enthusiast like Wakaba, and she herself carries around a pair of MAC-11's, guns that she received even before the fleet equipment upgrade - and still uses.
      • Z-1 Leberecht Maass uses a modernized MP-40 called the HG-40, a Shoutout to the gun featured in Call of Duty: Black Ops III.
      • Russian cruiser Murmansk uses not one, but two PPSh-041's.
      • Saratoga uses a Lukenstor-built Thompson SMG, fictionally dubbed the M-2029 with classic fifty-round drum and thirty-round box mags.
    • Assault Rifles:
      • plenty of AK's and its variants/derivatives show up in the story, perhaps too many. The more prominent examples are as follows - the Fubuki-Class all use AK-12's as of the fleet equipment upgrade; a few battleships used to use AK-M's prior to the fleet equipment upgrade. In Operation Goldmine in particular, the Inner Circle Agents use mainly AK-M's and other variants, and several of the Russian ship girls also use AK's.
      • Hibiki uses an AKS-74U carbine after the fleet equipment upgrade; an AEK-971 has also been used by several of the destroyers before the fleet equipment upgrade.
      • Beretta ARC-160's show up in the hands of the Italian Army soldiers - makes sense, as the ARX-160 is the Italian Army standard-issue rifle; several ship girls in the Combined Fleet have also used it as well. Jintsuu in particular once used the ARX-100 as a marksman rifle before the fleet equipment upgrade.
      • the ACR is used by several ship girls before the fleet equipment upgrade; now, Iowa and Wisconsin use ACR's chambered for 6.8 SPC.
      • the English dreadnoughts (except for Erin) use L85-A2's; Kongou at one point used one too, in the early days of her admission into the Combined Fleet. Erin herself uses the L86 LSW variant.
      • the FS-2000 Standard, simply called the FS-2000 in the story as a Shoutout to the one featured in Combat Arms, has been used by a few ship girls at one point.
      • quite a few SCAR's are used by the ship girls: the Kagerou-Class (except for Amatsukaze) have always used SCAR-L's, called by the story MK-16 SCAR-L EGLM RCO's, a reference to the variants seen in DayZ Origins. After the fleet equipment upgrade, they've traded in their SCAR-L's for FNAC's, but still with the same attachments. Benjamin used the MK-16 CCO SD, also a reference to DayZ Origins, and Shoukaku and Zuikaku used the MK-20 SSR SD and the MK-17 Long Barrel SD (though these are considered battle rifles/DMR's rather than true assault rifles), all of which were used specifically for Operation Night Tide. Ashigara and Haguro both use MK-17 SCAR-H's as their primary weapons after the fleet equipment upgrade. Mutsu also now uses the FN HAMR, the LMG variant of the SCAR design, after the fleet equipment upgrade.
      • Yuudachi's very first primary weapon was the G36-C. Sanford also uses the G36-E, the export variant and also another reference to Combat Arms.
      • Furutaka's first primary weapon was the IMI Galil.
      • Shigure's first primary weapon was the TAR-21. Hatsushimo also currently uses the CTAR-21 variant, and Nisei Nenohi uses the X95-330, or the MTAR-21.
      • M16 variants frequently show up in the hands of rebels and rogues that Damon and co. encounter in the early parts of the story, and naturally they also show up in the hands of American army soldiers too. Samidare uses an AR-15 with a simple red dot sight as her primary weapon for the first half of the story, and Johnston uses one with an undermounted grenade launcher only, which the story calls the M16-A4 M-203, as her primary weapon.
      • M-4's are used widely by the Combined Fleet in the story, even amongst the fleet's administrators: Chuck used a SOPMOD variant during his participation in the Coalition Wars, and currently, after the fleet equipment upgrade, many of the Shiratsuyu-Class now use Colt M-4's with various customized skins inspired by those seen in CSGO. Shigure herself used an M-4 Carbine for the Germany campaign after her TAR-21, and then upgraded to an AR-15 chambered for the .50 Beowulf round with the fleet equipment upgrade, as does Yuudachi. Canadian destroyer Haida also uses a Canadian version, the C-8 SFW carbine.
      • Ashigara and Haguro both used SIG 550 variants before the fleet equipment upgrade, Ashigara in particular using the SG-556 variant.
      • Ayanami and Shikinami have traditionally used Steyr AUG's, at first AUG-A1's, then upgrading to AUG-A3 Carbines with the fleet equipment upgrade.
    • Battle Rifles:
      • both Samidare and Suzukaze eventually end up acquiring Arisaka rifles, the Type 38 and the Type 99, respectively. Both were once part of private gun collections, the Type 38 being part of one of Baxter Harrison's friends' collection who had recently passed away and was given to Damon to take with him heading out of Mobile to Cape Canaveral, who then passed it on to Samidare to keep, and the Type 99 also being part of Eagle Clinton's friends' collection and then passed onto Damon, who then gave it to Suzukaze. Both are captured relics from World War II itself, the original American GI's who'd captured them having brought them back home with them to America. They have both been, perhaps to the ire of gun collectors, modernized to accept the more modern 7.62x51mm cartridge and have better handling and ergonomics, as the Arisaka rifles had various problems in their original states.
      • Takao uses the FN FAL for her entire career with the Combined Fleet. Even with the fleet equipment upgrade, she simply upgrades her FAL to the OSW variant, a paratrooper version with a folding stock.
      • Kinugasa used the H&K G3-A3 as her first primary weapon. Chitose used the PSG1-A1 as her primary weapon upon first joining the Combined Fleet, but this is a sniper rifle rather than an assault rifle.
      • Damon's Weapon of Choice in the first half of the story is an M-14 placed in Juggarnaut Tactical's Rogue bullpup chassis. Currently, Hiyou and Jun'you use marksman variants of the M-14, the MK-14 EBR and the M-39 EMR, respectively.
    • Sniper Rifles:
      • Wakamiya used an AW-F, a variant with a default folding stock, as her sniper rifle before the fleet equipment upgrade. Now, after it, she uses an AX-50, a .50BMG anti-materiel cousin of the original AW sniper rifle. Murasame, also after the fleet equipment upgrade, now uses the AW-P sniper rifle - complete with the Redline skin from CSGO, the only destroyer in the fleet to use a dedicated sniper rifle.
      • One of Mutsu's first primary weapons is the M82-A1, which she uses during the first half of the first assault on Atlanta; Musashi receives and has faithfully used the grenade-launcher variant of the M82, the XM109, though she uses a fictional variant called the M109-A2. Yorktown now also uses an M82 variant called the M107CQ-Airforce, yet another reference to Combat Arms.
      • Taihou's first sniper rifle was the Cheytac M-200 Intervention, and after the fleet equipment upgrade, she upgrades her rifle to the M-200 Carbine variant, a more portable version.
      • Damon finds in a special weapons case that he and Murakumo capture in the second chapter of the story a DSR-50, the anti-materiel variant of the DSR-1. He uses this as his own personal sniper rifle, then passes it on to Zuikaku once she enters the fleet since a carrier like her can get a lot more mileage out of it than he can. Zuikaku still uses it, making the DSR-50 the longest-serving firearm still in use in the fleet.
      • Chitose once used a PSG1-A1 as her sniper rifle before the fleet equipment upgrade, as mentioned above.
      • Kane carries an M-110 SASS.
      • Saratoga uses an M40-A5, an upgraded version of the R-700.
      • Damon briefly uses a Steyr Scout, acquired from the supplies Baxter Harrison gives him for him, Samidare, and Suzukaze to use while on their way to Cape Canaveral from Mobile. It's presumably lost after they reach Cape Canaveral, however.
      • Chuck used a Dragunov SV-U as his marksman rifle of choice.
    • Shotguns:
      • Remember the DSR-50 listed above that Damon found in a weapons case in the beginning of the story? There were actually two more weapons cases, and one of them contained not just one, but a pair of AA-12's. Amatsukaze was initially assigned one to suit her role as a close-quarters combat ship girl, but she then passes it along to Shimakaze, and the second one is given to Suzukaze when she joins the fleet. Currently, only Shimakaze uses the AA-12, which she's faithfully kept even through the fleet equipment upgrade.
      • Barry gives Suzukaze a customized M-1014 when they go to kill the men who injured Baxster's girlfriend.
      • Damon's late teammate, Ghaffey, once carried a custom-made 8-gauge double-barrel shotgun.
      • Iowa carries an Ithaca Model 37 - as an umbrella shotgun.
      • Russian destroyer Engels carries a Saiga 12K 030 variant.
      • Haida uses the M-26 MASS as an underbarreled attachment for her C-8, also a reference to Buck's special ability in Rainbow Six Siege.
      • Yuudachi once used a Remington 870 MCS as part of her loadout before the fleet equipment upgrade.
      • Yorktown uses two Model 1887's to fit her cowgirl, gunslinging image, and as a reference to those seen in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
    • Machine Guns:
      • Mogami and Mikuma both use the Ohio Ordnance Works HCAR, or Heavy Counter Assault Rifle, a modern reimagining of John Browning's original BAR weapon.
      • Russian cruiser Kirov uses a Degtyaryov DP-M as part of her loadout.
      • Amagi uses the Barrett M-240LW, a significantly lighter variant of the original M-240.
      • New Jersey uses the M-249 SAW as her primary weapon, and Hyuuga and Ise use the FN MK-48 MOD 1 variants.
      • Miniguns are frequently featured mounted onto attack helicopters and Harriers, but several other examples stand out: both the Metal Slug and the Slug Gunner have them, the former having Vulcan Miniguns that fire blue tracer rounds in full reference to the original game and the latter having a fictional MTS-S/A 60mm Autocannon. Iris and New Jersey also sport their own miniguns, a fictional variant called the M61-A3 Vulcan Rotary Autocannon that fire 20x102mm M-246 HEI-T-SD rounds.
      • Russian battleship Sovetsky Soyuz carries a PKP Pecheneg LMG.
      • Mutsu used an RPK-74 as her LMG of choice before the fleet equipment upgrade.
      • Nagato now uses the M2-A2 Browning LMG after the fleet equipment upgrade.
      • Bismarck carries a modernized MG-42 that will fire 7.62x51mm NATO rounds.
      • Several battleships have at one point used the Ultimax 100 LMG.
    • Rockets, Missiles, and Grenade Launchers:
      • The FGM-148 Javelin has been used against the ship girls during the second Atlanta assault, severely damaging a few destroyers - in particular taking off the legs of Mutsuki.
      • Air-launched versions of the Stinger missile (known as the ATAL or ATAS) mounted on helicopters and aircraft are featured in the story.
      • Enterprise uses an XM-6 Bazooka, a futuristic prototype variant that fires both 60mm rocket explosives and her own planes. She is unique for being the only carrier in the story to be able to launch her planes right out of an explosive platform.
      • Kagerou, Shiranui, and Kuroshio's MK-16's and FNAC's use EGLM grenade launchers, and they are the only destroyers to use rifles with undermounted grenade launchers - until Johnston shows up, and her rifle, too, uses an undermounted M-203. And after the fleet equipment upgrade, Iris now uses an undermounted M-203 as well, but it's attached to her KAC Chain SAW, a light machine gun that's designed to be fired from the hip. A possible case of Aluminum Christmas Trees - it must be seen to be believed.
      • The Mark-19 mounted grenade launcher has been seen mounted on various vehicles throughout the story.
      • The newly introduced Richard P. Leary uses an M32-A1 MGL as part of her loadout.
      • RPG-7's and their variants like the lesser known RPG-29 are now being more frequently used against the ship girls, particularly by the Agents, since they've had experience fighting the ship girls before, though that doesn't make them any less easily killable. Seeing that explosives are a much more efficient and faster way to damage ship girls, rather than bullet weapons, this comes as no surprise. Nagato herself even uses a captured one during the Germany campaign - see Missing Backblast below.
    • Fictional: Damon's Daemonbane and Daemonedge Revolvers. They're chambered for an entirely fictional .80caliber "Lilith Express" cartridge that are specifically manufactured just for Damon to use against the Abyssals and is powerful enough to rip a normal human man in half; the revolvers are so powerful that Damon must use them while wearing his exosuit because it would break even his wrists if he attempts to shoot one without the suit. Daemonbane sports a neon red/black color scheme, while Daemonedge has a neon blue/white color scheme.
  • Cool Plane: Some examples here.
    • The Merlin HC-3 transport helicopter.
    • The Bell 412 utility chopper. Foreign nationals who rode into Naval Air Station Corpus Christi had modified their 412s with a chin-mounted M60 machine gun.
    • The Lukenstor-built XV-29 Banshee, a Shoutout to the Banshee from Starcraft II. It can Cloak, mask all the noise that it makes, stay hidden off enemy radar, perform amphibious combat duties, and even has a sophisticated auto-pilot computer capable of taking remotely spoken orders by both the ship girls and the fleet administrators. It is also a tilt-rotor helicopter, similar to the MV-22 Osprey, that allows it to transition from helicopter to airplane mode on the fly.
  • Cool Ship: There are some examples.
    • The USS Alabama museum ship, moored at Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, Alabama. It is clear that there is something up with the ship as it's able to somehow open communications and talk to Murakumo. It is also here that Damon picks up his first cube of Navitasium and also his communication headset.
    • The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones is part of the Atlanta faction's naval force during their attack on Mobile.
    • A certain ship girl's voyage has her making a stop at the USS New Jersey museum ship. She's got the same shtick as Alabama. Further questioning by Suzukaze reveals that both Alabama and New Jersey have been loaded with ship girl routines, created by none other than the FLEET project.
    • A later takes place on the very last dreadnought still afloat, the USS Texas museum ship. She's been loaded with ship girl routines, or rather loaded with the base components for them by parties wanting to cultivate the reward, as had been done with New Jersey and Alabama.
  • The Corruption: ship girls can be corrupted either if they are loaded with corrupted navitasium energy cubes that slowly convert them into Abyssals over time, as Murasame demonstrates, or if the Abyssals physically capture one and subject her to conversion processes that turn them Abyssal as well.
    • as demonstrated by Shigure, Yuudachi, Samidare, and Suzukaze, the entire Shiratsuyu-Class can fall into "alter" versions of themselves if they let their emotions run rampant intensely enough or for long enough and take over their powers and protocols, effectively becoming evil, bloodthirsty demons that take the place of normally sweet, well-meaning destroyers. Sanford implies that this corruption is actually a built-in failsafe process that he and his Moebius team installed in the Shiratsuyu-Class as a way to divert their enormous magical energy along a different route that is less powerful and ultimately less potentially destructive and world-ending as opposed to if the destroyers went straight to their ultimate demi-god forms instead.
  • Cosy Catastrophe: Zig-zagged. On one end there are places like Inner Chicago that were not hit by the nukes and are barely changed from pre-war. On the other end are bombed out, irradiated and abandoned places like Houston or Atlantic City. Then there're places that are anywhere in between. These rich people are even able to spend money on imported goods from France, simply because they have nothing better to spend their money on.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: In chapter 74, Damon points out to the leader of the Granite Quarry gangsters that he was perfectly willing to pay and go his way in peace, but the other guy just had to be obstinate and pull a gun.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Charlotte is a glitzy, glamorous casino city, as long as one doesn't look too closely at what Premier Kerrigan Badeau is up to.
  • Crapsack World: the first half of the story - much of the setting of the story takes place in irradiated or abandoned towns and cities, and the first time the fleet enters Chicago, it's a dystopian city where the rich live in the center, and everyone else lives outside the walls that surround the rich.
  • Creator Thumbprint: have problems with the author of the story writing it up in such a way that a perceptively overpowered male main character ends up with a fleet of cute girls who can shoot and fight and grows his own harem within said fleet? The very first fanfic the author wrote, a Touhou Project fanfic called Lacrimaeque Laetitia Cantus: Exposition, is more or less the same way.
  • Creepy Child: Due to the things that have been done to her, Jeannie acts in a mechanical manner.
  • Critical Hit: subverted from the game; according to the stat sheet on chapter 169, critical hits do exist in the story's made-up game parameters, but given its lack of mention besides being explicitly par of ability descriptions, it can be implied that critical hits don't have a great prevalence in the story.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death:
    • Even by the usual standards of War Is Hell, the Re-class is prone to killing people in an excessively brutal, gory and visceral manner.
    • The fate of the Harpers in Nashville at Damon's hands, so horrible that even Tatsuta was scared and it made him an In-Universe Base-Breaking Character.
    • What happened to Major Lester at the hands of Suzukaze, who literally vaporizes him with a Darkwater-powered punch.
  • Culture Chop Suey: In chapter 131, Kongou expresses her annoyance that the developers made her so British and then seemingly arbitrarily gave her a "desu" Verbal Tic.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • In chapter 150, we learn that back in 2015, the Inner Circle tried to bomb the White House. In response, Delta Force was mobilised on a search and destroy mission so effective that they were suppressed into inactivity for years afterwards.
    • Chapter 190. !Samidare defeats all the present Shiratsuyu-class while only taking a few hits that aren't enough to stop her.
    • Chapter 213, Damon vs Suzukaze. The chapter starts with him having been mauled in the time between the end of the previous chapter and this one's start, and when the two fight again, what few hits he manages to land have little effect.
    • Chapter 291, Damon vs Admiral Kevinson. Despite tag-teaming with Jeannie against Kevinson, Kevinson is able to handle both of them while taking no damage himself.
    • the very first battle of Operation Hammer Down: once Damon gives the go-ahead to his fleet that they're allowed to use their magic abilities, they absolutely crush the Abyssal ambushers whom they run into. Yuudachi herself single-handedly deletes the Abyssal base complex in Cuba off the map and practically insta-kills a second Re-Class who's apparently been housed there.
    • Chapter 434, Abyssalized Shigure single-handedly kills at least 5 of her sisters before the chapter is finished.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion:
    • Though the Re-class beats all the ship girls attacking it, it doesn't do so unscathed; Yuudachi manages to break its ribs and Furutaka hurts it enough that it drops its Slasher Smile.
    • In chapter 292, the Shiratsuyu-Class girls manage to get !Samidare to bleed before she destroys them.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Zuikaku has this opinion of her luck, since it seems that Shoukaku is absorbing all the misfortune in her stead.
    • Yuudachi also feels this way when she activates her Demon Angel mode: the problem she has isn't with her power itself, but rather the reasons why she's using it. It's heavily implied that she hates that she's using this power specifically because she's both sad and angry over Shigure's death at the hands of the Abyssals, and given that she's talked with Damon before about how she doesn't know how to control her emotions or how to work off them well, this comes as no surprise.
  • Custom Uniform: Played for Drama in chapter 110. Samidare feels that Suzukaze and her having different uniforms from the rest of the Shiratsuyu class was one of the things driving a wedge between them.
    • can be put into Hilarious in Hindsight territory when, later on, when Samidare Alter shows up, she changes her own uniform to black, red, and blue instead.
  • Cycle of Hurting: the stat sheet specifically mentions that ship girls perform worse the lower their health gets, which means that, in the middle of combat, becoming slower, having worse accuracy, and worse reflexes leaves injured ship girls more vulnerable to taking even more damage.
  • Cyber Punk: has shades of this in the first half of the story: a post-apocalyptic world almost twenty years after a global nuclear conflict, where law and order is rare to stumble upon and ship girls who are powerful androids designed to be as human as possible are beginning to emerge into activity, with the question of just how impactful the ship girls and the technology that makes them exist in the first place will be on a global scale growing more and more as the story progresses.
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