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  • Darker and Edgier: ties in with Bloodier and Gorier above.
    • The overall setting and atmosphere immediately establishes this story as Darker and Edgier territory. To give an idea of this, the main character shoots a baby who's been exposed to radiation as a Mercy Kill.
    • The Abyssals are indeed an antagonist force in the story, as with the original game, but they're not the only ones who cause trouble, and that's only putting it lightly. Very lightly.
    • A lot of darker themes are explored and discussed in the story, some of which is unique to the story. These include ship girls succumbing to the stress of possessing overwhelming power, being exposed to the stresses and horrors of war without adequate treatment, and being captured and commanded by people who are just about the very last people who should get that responsibility. And beyond the ship girls, many other themes and events are explored, such as civil war, government conspiracies, genetic experimentation, rape, the incarceration of Japanese-Americans during World War II, etc.
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    • Some of the ship girls, as a result of Adaptation Personality Change or not, also count as this - the two most glaring examples that come immediately to mind are Furutaka (before her personality codex glitch was fixed) and Suzuya.
    • All of the Shiratsuyu-Class destroyers. As mentioned above, most of the destroyers of this class are given very extreme depictions and behaviors, alongside being given powers called "protocols" that take said extremes to...whatever is above extreme. Granted, not all of the Shiratsuyu-Class are deranged (or have shown the potential to yet, anyway), but certainly their trials and tribulations over the course of the story's events have changed them enough to consider them as this.
    • And let's not talk about what happened to the first-generation Shiratsuyu-Class...
    • the "alter" versions of the Shiratsuyu-Class are definitely these. Just take a look at Samidare Alter.
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  • Dark Fic: see Darker and Edgier above; Ambience: A Fleet Symphony is easily one of the darkest, if not grittiest Kantai Collection fanfictions, a fact that many potential readers have been turned off from reading too far into it.
  • Dash Attack: Kasumi performs one of these with her special YRC power in chapter 367.
  • A Day in the Limelight: The Fleet Logs are short vignettes that show various ship girls reflecting on their past and their interactions with Damon.
  • Deadly Gas: in chapter 378, Kongou's squadron gets subjected to a gas attack when the Agents who overwhelm and subdue them set off a canister full of an unknown blue gas that envelops the ship girls and visibly and swiftly harms them.
  • Deadly Upgrade:
    • Shiranui's Vengeance Protocol lets her become a One-Man Army, but also damages her.
    • In chapter 100, Amatsukaze sets her reactor to overdrive, which will cause her to burn from the inside out if used for too long.
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    • Yuudachi's Nightmare Protocol is normally just a Super Mode, but becomes this if kept on for too long.
  • Death Dealer: In chapter 77, Damon uses studded playing cards as a weapon.
  • Death from Above: there are times when ship girls flying in airborne helicopters provide manual close air support with their guns - sometimes even their ship guns, though this has only happened once or twice. And as the story progresses and the fleet makes friends with various militaries, they themselves are supported by modern jet fighters and helicopters who provide close air support during combat operations.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Damon is revealed to have resurrective powers after his death at Little Rock in chapter 95, though he can't resurrect on his own and requires external assistance to revive him, but each time he comes back normal - full memories and all. Subverted, however - each time he dies, he gets transported into his dreamworld during his death period, where he meets his mother Losira in the exact same setting, and certain signs suggest that the more he keeps dying, the more this setting will change...
  • Deconstruction Fic: this story deconstructs a lot of elements of Kantai Collection that are either only vaguely explained or not mentioned altogether, such as psychological stress from wartime and environment, the origins of ship girls and the Abyssals, the technology and the processes by which ship girls are produced, and the cruel realities of war. It also pitches ship girls in a far different world than the norm for most Kantai Collection fanfics and explores the various situations in which ship girls are pitched and their reactions and adaptations to them. However, the story still reconstructs these elements to stick to the basic Kantai Collection formula of a fleet of ship girls fighting the Abyssals as its core, with an Admiral who cares about his fleet members and leads them to the best of his ability against enemies both expected and unexpected.
  • Defector from Decadence: In chaper 310, the Seaplane Tender Princess is revealed to be living with the President of France.
    Seaplane Tender Princess: [firmly] They... are not my kind. I wish to have nothing to do with them. They are not my people. You know this, Commandant.
  • Defiant to the End: In chapter 190, Shiratsuyu throws a Cluster F-Bomb at !Samidare as the latter prepares to finish her off.
  • Deflector Shields: The Kai upgrade provides a ship girl with passive regenerating shields that can stop attacks. They must be broken before attacks can begin affecting the ship girls who possess them.
    • a slight caveat: these "Kai shields" only prock when a ship girl is attacked with ship weapons or any attack that the shields consider physically big enough to present a serious threat to the ship girl, meaning that Kai ship girls can still be shot by firearms because the bullets are too small to trigger the shields.
  • Depending on the Writer: Kantai Collection is known for having not a lot of actual lore established, meaning that fans are free to establish their own headcanons however they wish. So in the case of this story and its writer, several points of lore are firmly established.
    • The overall tone of the story is gory and grimdark, but mixed with a splash of slice of life, (crude) humor, and supernatural and sometimes even horror elements (see Genre-Busting below).
    • The origins of ship girls are based on something along the lines of Super-Science (as described on the main Kantai Collection page), combining advanced military technology with magical elements. Fleet girls are explicitly constructed in Japan and then brought over to the US to serve out their terms of being American naval auxiliary units, but their services are interrupted by a nuclear war.
    • Projectiles and planes stay true to the anime, in which projectiles seem not to change form after firing, but planes expand to their full sizes after deployment (the planes themselves are drastically altered, but their usage in combat remains roughly the same). This being said, it is implied that shells still have the same ranges as they historically had.
    • Unlike most fan depictions and interpretations of the ship girl-Abyssal conflict, this story does not only focus on the Abyssals as the antagonists of the story, and by no means are the Abyssals the end-all, be-all for the rest of the human world. Conventional forces, while normally at a severe disadvantage against Abyssals on their own, are shown to be quite effective against the Abyssals if they coordinate with a fleet of ship girls who fight the Abyssals with them.
    • The Abyssals themselves are explicitly established as a Henchman Race for an international terrorist organization known as the Inner Circle, who constructs and maintains their numbers to send around the world to wreak havoc wherever the ship girls show up, apparently. In addition, the Abyssals have a leader-ish figure known as the Abyssal, but it's unclear and still very vague as to how the Abyssals actually operate beyond the aforementioned.
    • And lastly, ship girls themselves are androids, computerized humans with augmented senses, strength, skill, and abilities that essentially make them Super Soldiers if they weren't first called ship girls. And not only are they used for their intended naval duties, but given their Super Soldier status, they're also used for infantry duty because, well, if they don't even get hurt by bullets, why the heck not? And later, it's revealed that the technology with which the ship girls have been built has its roots in magic research, meaning that the ship girls also have a magic streak in them as well.
  • Despair Event Horizon:
    • In chapter 12 Chad finds his raped and murdered girlfriend and, after killing her killers, asks to be put out of his misery. Damon obliges.
    • Chapter 143 ends with the implication that, after a long Trauma Conga Line, Suzukaze has lost herself.
  • Desperately Seeking A Purpose In Life: Invoked; chapter 227 reveals that ship girls are deliberately programmed to experience psychological degradation if they spend too long away from an admiral or other commander out of lacking an authority figure to give direction, so as to discourage them going rogue.
  • Destination Defenestration: At the end of Operation Atlanta, Malcolm O'Reilly gets kicked out of the window of his office by Damon and goes splat on the street many stories below after spilling the beans on everything he knows about the person who told him about the project. One of O'Reilly's mooks, who had beaten Suzukaze into unconsciousness, also gets his corpse tossed out of the window.
  • Determined Defeatist: As revealed in the monologue that starts chapter 147, Retia doesn't think it's possible to make a better country, not after World War Three, merely prevent or slow its descent into being a worse one. But that doesn't mean she's going to lay down and let her nation rot away.
    • Damon qualifies as one too.
  • Deus Sex Machina: according to the natural magic laws in the story world, human male semen is one of the most powerful and rawest sources of magical energy known due to the fact that sperm helps create life, and it can supplement a human female's energy should she be magically talented. Damon does this with Shigure, Umikaze, and Kawakaze thus far as of chapter 332, and all three have received and demonstrated definitive boosts to their magic ability. However, it's also explicitly mentioned that energy provided this way is limited in the sense that the girls with Damon's power must treat it like an exhaustible resource, implying that if they want to get more when they run out, well, it's back to the bedroom for them.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: In chapter 107, a distracted Suzukaze accidentally broadcasts her monologue aloud.
  • Didn't See That Coming:
    • Said by Sanford to Damon in chapter 65 when they realise that the South Norfolk Jordan Bridge they were planning on taking has been destroyed.
    • No one was expecting the Abyssals to appear in Germany, so initially few of the girls are equipped with the necessary firepower to kill them at range.
  • Diegetic Interface: Saratoga's ELO sight on her M-2029 Tommy gun has the bullet counter etched in the lower left corner to let her know how many bullets are remaining in her magazine/drum mag. But on second thought, given the fact that all ship girls already have Heads-Up Displays that automatically tracks their weapons' current ammunition counts for them, this might be a little redundant.
  • Disappointed in You: In chapter 105, Murasame saying this to Suzukaze is the cherry on top of the preceding Et Tu, Brute?, the straw that breaks the camel's back and causes the latter to abandon the fleet.
  • Dissonant Serenity:
    • Ayanami's Nightmare Protocol manifests as calmness and elimination of her emotional factors, in contrast to Yuudachi's Laughing Mad or Tatsuta's Slasher Smile bloodlust.
    • In chapter 121, Suzukaze's tone is described as unexpectedly soft and droning, "with the calmly insane listlessness of a mass murderer".
    • In chapter 361, Kawakaze decides to channel some of Damon's energy in order to power up her protocol briefly, and as a result, rather than getting more aggressive like Shigure and Yuudachi become when they pop their protocols, she instead gets calmer and more focused.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • In chapter 117 we learn that at Boulogne-sur-Mer, the Re-class tore off the head of an Inner Circle personnel who refused to give it fuel he wasn't authorised to give, then slaughtered the rest of the Inner Circle personnel present.
    • In chapter 213, Suzukaze goes on a Motive Rant where she admits to wanting to Kill All Humans as payback for what was done to her.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Invoked in chapter 77. When infiltrating the Fantasy Express, Damon has the battleships and carriers doll up and draw the eyes of the patrons while he takes the rest of the fleet in less eyecatching suits and slips in.
  • Divided States of America: After the nuclear exchange, a second American Civil War (known as the Border Wars), occurred. In the aftermath of that, private sovereignties developed within the American South. Together, they form the "Coalition", led by Malcolm O'Reilly of Atlanta, Georgia. However, with the conclusion of the Coalition campaigns arc and the Stolen Fleet arc, the new government headed by Lukenstor CEO Eagle Clinton is taking steps to reunify the country and begin proper reconstruction.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: In chapter 81, Damon has Benjamin hack Orlando's loudspeaker system to deliver an ultimatum to its leader.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: Ship girls suffer a major mobility penalty if their ship armaments are deployed while on land. This is why the girls keep their armaments stowed and rely mostly on their firearms in ground combat, deploying their armaments only when they're firing from moving vehicles, from cover, or as seen when the second part of Operation Norfolk kicks off, from a stationary position. The Kai upgrade removes this restriction, which Yuudachi demonstrates during Operation Trenton as she runs up and down the streets surrounding their defense target with her ship armaments deployed, firing and laughing mad the entire time.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Several times, ship girls unintentionally injure Damon or aggravate existing injuries by being too enthusiastic or rough with him.
  • Doing In the Scientist: The revelation that magic and the paranormal actually are a thing answers some questions about the ship girls... and raises a whole lot more.
  • Don't Make Me Destroy You:
    • In chapter 99, Shoukaku receives a communication from the Abyssal reinforcements warning the Combined Fleet to withdraw, or else.
    • In chapter 106, after another incident that threatens the unity of the fleet, Sanford says that the ship girls had better stop pushing their luck, unless they want him to start giving out punishments.
    • In chapter 162, it's Shoukaku, now fully Abyssalised into Aircraft Carrier Water Demon, who delivers such an ultimatum to some of the girls.
    • In chapter 249, Warspite/Wikolia issues one to Iowa/Iris to gain access to Blackwood's main laboratory.
  • Doorstopper: As of chapter 383, published on 1st June 2017, the story is sitting at just over 4 million words and still doesn't look near completion.
  • Dope Slap: In chapter 145, Chitose gives Chiyoda one of these when the latter gets a little too joyful about the possibility of getting a Japanese admiral.
  • Double Tap: In chapter 95, Shoukaku is shot three times. A fourth shot, presumably with the intention of destroying her Cranial Processing Unit and inflicting a Final Death, is blocked by Damon's knife, but she was already dead anyway.
  • Dramatic Drop: In chapter 251, Samidare drops a tray of food after seeing Damon is awake.
  • Dramatic Gun Cock: Damon gives one to Sanford in chapter 292, when he finally confronts him on the truth about the Shiratsuyu-Class and ship girls in general. This also doubles as an Homage to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, when Captain Price confronts Yuri about his ties to Makarov, and Damon even uses a Desert Eagle to do it.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • In chapter 220, Alabama, Samidare and Suzukaze's musings on American ship girls become tinged with this considering 219 revealed that American ship girls have been op.
    • In chapter 239, Damon warns Sanford of his potential displeasure if he discovers the latter has been hiding something important. Without going into spoilery detail, he actually has.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: In chapter 86, Damon disguises himself as an Atlantan mercenary to get close to their leader. This does lead to him taking fire and getting hit by his fleet when they mistake him for one. Thankfully, his body armor took all the hits.
  • Dungeon Bypass: The various times a shipgirl charges a wall to clear enemies on the other side. See There Was a Door below.
    • Taken up to eleven by Chapter 313, with various shipgirls actively employing the tactic to flush out enemies in cover.
  • Dying Dream: bizarrely inverted - Damon has a very specific dreamworld sequence that he only sees after he dies and is in the process of being revived, a Shoutout to the dreamworld sequence seen in CLANNAD. And with each time he visits it, the dreamworld sequence changes slightly, with implications that it's degrading each time Damon dies.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: In the alternate universe entry Contingency Summer, Gernot Wedekind's daugther Retia is an infant and thus a Satellite Character, as the primary viewpoint character in that entry is her unnamed mother. When she makes her debut here in chapter 144, she does so as a teenager.
  • Easy Logistics: This trope becomes more and more apparent as the fleet grows, and the variety of infantry small arms fielded by both the ship girls and the human members of the Combined Fleet increases. Compare and contrast the following two lists: This one is the loadout list for the girls prior to Operation London. This one is the loadout list for not just the girls, but also the humans as well, prior to Operations 300 and No Exit, MANY chapters later. The primary issue that brings this trope to the forefront is that, as mentioned, there is a large variety of guns in use, as well as ammunition and even magazines for the weapons. Some of the weapons even use proprietary ammo that's either exclusive to the weapon (eg. Modern Sub-Machine Carbine) or shared with only one or two other guns (eg. AR-57, P90, Five-Seve N).
    • and it would appear that the Inner Circle Agents are all exclusively armed with Desert Eagles for their sidearms. Just how and where are they producing enough Desert Eagles and ammunition to equip an entire army's worth?
  • Eldritch Abomination: it's not the Abyssals who take the cake for this, but the monsters that Damon and some of the ship girls fight in Baltimore.
  • Eldritch Location: two examples: Damon's dreamworld, which, with one exception, always presents a unique location every time Damon visits it in his sleep, and !Samidare's reality marble, which is a sea of pure blood littered with literal piles of dead mutant bodies, the same ones that are seen in places like Baltimore and Moscow.
    • Silva Gelida, when Damon visits it the second time. For some reason, it mirrors the same path that he took when he first gained access to his own dreamworld and met his mother for the first time, but instead of Losira, he meets the older Jeannie instead, after walking past a grove of bleeding and talking redwood trees littered with corpses and meeting a silent baby that explodes in his hands as a result of swords that burst out of it.
  • Elemental Punch: in chapter 301, with the power of her Burning Love, Kongou punches a Ne-Class about forty meters and lights her head on fire in the process.
    • Kongou does it again in chapter 305 in a bid to break Aircraft Carrier Demon's (a.k.a. Abyssalised Kaga) shield. It fails.
    • Also in chapter 301, Amatsukaze executes a burn kick onto an enemy Ri-Class.
  • Elite Mooks: elite Abyssals with differently colored eye hazes show up in Australia, during Operation South Town.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: the story follows a group of ex-special forces in the former Seal Team Six. The fleet itself isn't exactly supposed to be an ordinary military company, either, and the story certainly doesn't portray them like one.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: the case for Kikuzuki, whom Damon simply calls "Cookie" after butchering her actual Japanese name rather badly. This becomes her nickname ever since they meet, and Damon, even after learning how to say her name properly, will occasionally call her Cookie just to get under her skin.
  • Emergency Transformation: Lauren had put Jeannie through the second phase of FLEET because she would have died of complications at birth otherwise.
  • Empathy Doll Shot: In chapter 21, Damon bumps into a ruined dinosaur doll in an abandoned mall.
  • Empathic Weapon: Kaga and Shoukaku's partial Abyssalization eventually extend to their anti-materiel rifles. Their rifles no longer allow themselves to be held, much less fired, by someone that's not their owner. Damon shocks Sanford and these two girls when Shoukaku's TAC-50 responds to him as if he was the owner, leading to speculation that the Genesis Thesis Project is related to whatever the hell Mr. Abyssal is up to.
  • Emotional Powers: as Yukari's video that Shigure watches reveals, it's a well-established magic law in this world that emotions can be utilized as magic enhancers - the more turbulent one's emotions, the stronger one's powers become. Emotions are what are referred to as "internal supply providers", or "ISP"'s for short.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • When the Abyssals crash a battle between Damon's fleet and the Coalition ship girls during Operation Norfolk, both sides give the Abyssals their undivided attention and firepower.
    • In chapter 235, it is recounted that during the Typhoon Wars, American Federal forces cooperated with Mexican cartels to repel the South American hegemony forces invading Mexico.
    • Franklin hates Sanford's guts for what he did and would love nothing more than to have him cut down, but tolerates his continued existence so long as Blackwood remains alive.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: the NDP troops in Germany whom the fleet fights against are noted to have both male and female soldiers. Averted with most other enemies they fight - including the Abyssals, since their members are either female or gender-neutral, with no male members except for the Abyssal himself.
  • Equipment Upgrade: in the case of the story, the fleet receives its first major equipment overhaul in chapters 285-286, when Lukenstor supplies them with repeating cannon modules and torpedo launchers, the latter of which the fleet was severely lacking because only a few select ship girls came with them by default as their starting equipment, which includes the submarines, whose torpedoes are their biggest form of naval attack. The fleet had equipment overhauls before in the past, but those were almost entirely infantry equipment-based, not naval weapon-based.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • When Xenolith first appears, he boredly slaps aside a RPG like it was nothing.
    • Damon and co.'s first contact with Eagle Clinton has the latter admit he's planning a coup to depose Blackwood and sending data right through Benjamin's firewall and other defences like they didn't exist.
    • The first time we see the Sheriff, he leers unashamedly at the captured Shoukaku and declares his vulgar intentions. Cue chapter break...
  • Et Tu, Brute?: In chapter 106 Suzukaze comes to the recognition that she wouldn't have taken the words in the previous chapter so badly had they not come from her ship sister.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • The mercenaries employed by Atlanta may be amoral and Only in It for the Money, but they're still professionals, and have only disdain for the thugs playing soldier that make up the rest of the Atlantan military.
    • Alastor Scott may be a Holier Than Thou Jerkass with The Fundamentalist delusions, but even he isn't so far gone as to approve of his men's sexual abuse. Or perhaps it's precisely because of his religious convictions that he disapproves. Whatever the reason, he has the culprits executed when he finds out.
    • The Whitewater Mercs in Little Rock. When briefly interrogated by Kagerou, he refuses to give up the locations of the remaining mortar positions they were guarding, instead calling her a slut. He is immediately shot by Shiranui.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Damon is very lax as far as discipline is concerned, but even he draws the line at the ship girls coming to physical blows with each other.
    • In chapter 280, Akebono's antipathy for Damon reaches such a fever pitch that even Kasumi, who's hardly a fan of him either, is disgusted by it.
    • In chapter 295, Suzuya's refusal to let herself be helped is so bad that even Mogami wants to give up on helping her.
  • Everyone Is Armed: Invoked in Mobile, where everyone above 18 is required to bear arms in order to deter troublemakers.
  • Evil Counterpart Race: In one of their encounters, the Re-class tells Shigure and Yuudachi that Abyssals are just shipgirls but uglier both in appearance and in heart.
  • Evil Old Folks: Malcolm O'Reilly, leader of the Atlanta faction, is 70 and an unabashed white supremacist.
  • Evil Power Vacuum: Discussed in chapter 144. The reason why the Royalists need Holmwood's itinerary is so that they can coordinate to have Sir Stormrider in London to take power as soon as Holmwood gets assassinated. If Holmwood gets assassinated without Sir Stormrider in position to take over, the feuding of Holmwood's generals might plunge the UK into another civil war, which no one wants.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Suzukaze ditches her twin-tail hairstyle in favor of a ponytail while staying in Ablett Village.
  • Extreme Mêlée Revenge: In chapter 53, Damon subjects a New Jersey rebel who did a bad, bad thing to a major beatdown.
  • Eye Beams: Furutaka's Electronic Eyes double as this.
  • Eyepatch of Power: besides the ship girls, there are a few story-specific characters who have this, like Losira. Currently, Shikinami is wearing one too, to hide her left eye that's been glowing blue after her interaction with Damon's YRC power.
  • Eye Scream:
    • In chapter 63, Shoukaku gets shot in the left eye.
    • In chapter 86, Kisaragi takes a piece of shrapnel in her left eye.
    • In chapter 92, Damon plucks out Harold Harper's right eye.
    • In chapter 99, Ushio also suffers a chunk of shrapnel in her left eye, to the point where it may have instantly killed a normal human being.
    • In chapter 102, the Re-Class plucks out Furutaka's searchlight eye after defeating her.
    • Abyssal destroyers' eyes are a small arms vulnerable weak point.
    • Damon does this to two gangsters in chapter 275.
    • Then, it's Damon's turn to get it in his right eye in chapter 359, Red Samidare having shot it out with Umikaze's sidearm.
    • In chapter 370, Kikuzuki gets shot in the left eye at very close range by an AK round. Kikuzuki herself inflicts this on the Agent who shoots her in the eye by trading hits with him with her pocket knife, which she throws at him and hits him in return in his own right eye.
    • in chapter 382, Shimakaze gets her eyes clawed by a Ne-Class after being distracted mid-fight.
  • Fantastic Racism: Mutants are despised by the unmutated and even have a slur, "chunkies".
  • Female Gaze: In chapter 61, Damon ends up on the receiving end of this from Kagerou after the summer heat gets to him and he takes his shirt off.
  • Fictional Document:
    • Chapter 34 contains a document on the F.L.E.E.T Project.
    • chapter 189 features a part of an after-action report which is later revealed to be written by Sandman dealing with the Baltimore incident.
  • Final Death: Unlike its alternate universe, this has not actually happened, but is of much greater concern here. While new cores could be made in the alternate universe, they can't in this one as all the original plans and blueprints were destroyed after the completion of all the girls. Any ship girl that dies and can't have their core recovered and can't be rebuilt within seven days (after which the core decays beyond a point of no return) is gone forever.
    • as of chapter 394, Shigure, after Operation South Town, is the story's first true fatality. Or so it seems...
    • A subversion happens later in the story though. Lukenstor Corp. and an unnamed outfit out of Huangzhou, China, are both capable of producing new ship girls, presumably having access to cores and the resources required to produce them.
    • The trope comes back on the discussion table in Chapter 443. While Lukenstor Corp. has the resources and/or accessibility to them otherwise, plus the know-how to produce ship girls, what they don't have is the ability and/or know-how to produce wisdom cubes, which is what serves as the "blueprint" for making ship girls (The cores are one of the products of the wisdom cube). Eagle tells Damon that with the introduction of canon!Johnston into the fleet, they've pretty much depleted their stash of wisdom cubes, and until they figure out how to get/produce them, there will be no further reinforcements. Any instance of core destruction or decay until such time will result in this trope happening for real.
  • Fingerless Gloves: many of the characters in the story wear these as part of their clothing, to the point where it could be classified under Author Appeal.
  • Fingore: In chapter 99, Shigure does this as part of her No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on Armored Carrier Demon.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: New Jersey carries a pump-action Franchi SPAS-12 shotgun with half her ammunition being orange Dragon's Breath rounds.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: the Shiratsuyu-Class demonstrate this - Shiratsuyu has the lightning, Shigure, Yuudachi, (Red Samidare to an extent), and Kawakaze have the fire, and Umikaze has the ice.
    • by chapter 335, it's also revealed that New Jersey, Haida, and Johnston also form this trio as well, boasting black fire, black ice, and black electricity powers, respectively.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: In chapter 106, Fusou remarks that Sanford has only recently been informed about certain recent events and might need time to decide the next course of action. The man shows up shortly afterwards.
    • in chapter 331, Damon at one point wonders why it tasted like grape when Umikaze kisses him. When Umikaze wakes up, she discovers that she can now use violet flames.
  • Flawless Victory: what ends up happening whenever you put ship girls against humans in a gunfight. Though, it's noteworthy to mention that there have been times when ship girls have been shot and wounded, either because they were shot in the eye or something was wrong with their Smartsteel constructs that enabled them to become wounded like a normal human being would be.
  • Foil: Chapter 110 suggests that Shigure and Shiranui are this to each other. Shigure is tormented by the extreme negative emotions like bitterness, anger and hatred that she experiences, while Shiranui is fueled by and revels in them.
    • Shigure and Yuudachi are this to each other as well; Shigure is hesitant and thinks twice about using her protocol (most of the time), while Yuudachi never thinks twice and never hesitates.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In chapter 20, Damon yells Shimakaze's name when she's attacking one of his ship girls, and which the latter somehow interprets as an order to cease and desist. In chapter 432, one of the people involved in the Genesis Thesis project, which Damon is the only survivor of, reveals that the objective of it was to produce a new breed of humans with the ability to control ship girls.
    • In chapter 27, Damon expresses concern that another faction could have its own large collection of active ship girls.
    • Holy shit, just how many death flags were raised in chapter 94?
    • When the Inner Circle exosuits were first mentioned, it was noted that they would crush any normal human trying to use them. Well, Damon isn't exactly a normal person, now is he?
    • Chapter 247. Anyone who's been keeping up with the references would have felt a sense of foreboding on learning that one of the goals of the missions was to retrieve a DSM.
    • When Kikuzuki gains a new pocket knife and a set of crescent moon eyes with Damon's YRC intervention, compared to her sisters, who receive a shape-shifting scythe, an invisible sword whose blade length can change at will, and a katana, it really does seem like Kikuzuki got shafted in the power-lottery department. But Kikuzuki claims that she doesn't mind this as much as her sisters think she might. Come the next chapter, she reveals that she possesses the ability to slice people cleanly into nineteen pieces.
    • For those who actually pay attention to the stat sheet, some ship girls' new powers as given by Damon's YRC are actually quite predictable. Case in point, Shigure and Yuudachi.
    • In chapter 296, Damon is pondering possible connections between him and his own ship girls, specifically the Shiratsuyu-Class, due to Suzukaze's XYZ code infection and his own sighting of the XYZ syndrome as an after-effect of witnessing Sandman's memories. Three chapters later, Samidare is seen reciting Damon's Madness Mantra from Baltimore...even though there's no possible way she could have heard it from anyone except for Ushio.
    • In chapter 303, the Ta-class battleship mentions fighting "Demon Angel" in her conversation with Wo-class. In chapter 314, Harusame suggests that Suzukaze's transformation in Chapter 312 is angelic, and yet not angelic. An angel that is not an angel... can be considered a "Demon Angel"
    • in chapter 377, the submarines operating in Conakry secure Bravo site and find a weapons stockpile with weird labels on them, but when Goya tries to grab the manifest that's sitting on one of the crates, it explodes into a heavy blue gas that sits and lingers around the weapons stockpile, and the submarines don't go near it, fearing that, since they don't know what that gas is, it could be a weapon that could harm them or otherwise have some kind of malicious effect on them. Come the next chapter, the gas indeed is shown to be harmful towards ship girls.
  • The Four Gods: referred to: the four leaders of the A.A.H.W. called themselves the Four Gods.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble:
    • the four Seal Team Six members in Operation Sandblast can be considered as such: Irene is Melancholic, Chuck is Phlegmatic, Lauren is Sanguine, and Sanford is Choleric.
    • the original American ship girls also can count as such: Wisconsin is Melancholic, Enterprise is Phlegmatic, Iowa is Sanguine, and Yorktown is Choleric.
  • Fragile Speedster: all destroyers, all submarines, and several light cruisers. There are outliers within the other ship types as well that count as this within their respective ship types. And on the Abyssal side, all their destroyers.
  • From Bad to Worse:
    • Operation London. First, Kagerou gets wrecked by a salvo of 35.6cm shells from Kongou. Then Yuudachi is killed during the Battle of Hyde Park by HMS Swordfish and Javelin. Oh, did we mention the introduction of THE ABYSSALS??
    • Operation Norfolk. Shoukaku gets her left eye shot out during the first part of the operation (capturing and holding Oceana Naval Air Station, across the bay from NAS Norfolk) while providing sniper cover for the infiltration teams. Then the Coalition ship girls show up during the second part of the op to attack the ship girls sailing into Chesapeake Bay to cover the land assault on NAS Norfolk. And then the friggin' Abyssals show up. When the dust clears, both Shoukaku and Kaga have been kidnapped by the Abyssals.
  • Fun with Acronyms:
    • Damon grew up in a CCPL Post, which stands for Controlled Center for Protected Living.
    • the fleet's main base is called the Mid-Atlantic Provisional Seabase - or "MAPS" for short.
    • the fleet's HAVOC low-orbit attack satellite - Heavy Assault Vulcan Orbital Cannon.
    • two different types of magic providers are the internal supply providers - "ISP"'s - and the external supply providers - "ESP's".
  • Gender-Blender Name: the sole American destroyer so far, Johnston, is the straightest example. And just to reinforce it, her nickname is Johnny, and she's perfectly okay with either. The other American ship girls may qualify, as following American ship-naming conventions, they're all named after states (for the battleships) and famous historic American battles (Yorktown).
  • Generic Ethnic Crime Gang: A quartet from gangsters from the Chinese gang Righteous Fist appear in chapter 275.
  • Genius Bruiser: The members of the old SEAL Team Six were not just elite special forces operators but also very technically proficient.
  • Genki Girl: generally speaking, given the darker nature of the story, all examples of this from the game are subverted and watered down. But during times when the girls can let loose and just be themselves, their Genki Girl tendencies do resurface. They are, after all, young women - both in mind and body. At least, they've been designed as such.
  • Genre-Busting: It's post-apocalyptic action with superhumans, but there are also conspiracy, technothriller, horror, mystery and Science Fantasy elements.
  • Girls with Guns: par for the course in a story about anthropomorphized warships, but in a way that most Kantai Collection fans would be unfamiliar with: this story puts an awful lot of emphasis on infantry combat and falls off the deep end with the Gun Porn.
  • Glass Cannon: many of the destroyers with protocols, the submarines (as torpedoes are very effective against both ship girls and Abyssals alike), and the melee light cruisers.
  • A Glitch in the Matrix: Damon's dreamworld sequence plays the same scene during his recovery period each time after he dies. And with death he racks up, something about the scene changes, a fact that Losira is keen to make him aware of, but not directly...
    • The entire second sequence of Jeannie's Silva Gelida in chapter 417. It harkens back to Damon's first time gaining access to his dreamworld, only it turns it much, much bloodier.
  • The Glomp: Everytime the destroyers dogpile Damon. See Does Not Know His Own Strength above.
  • Godzilla Threshold:
    • In chapter 228, Franklin considers the situation desperate enough to reveal the existence of American ship girls.
    • Averted in chapter 229. As dire as the situation is, Damon doesn't consider things bad enough for him to break his agreement with Ooi.
  • Goggles Do Something Unusual: in chapter 377, when the ATP soldats make their appearance, their one-eyed goggles are capable of seeing the submarine girls even when they are Cloaked.
  • Golden Snitch: averted from the game, there hasn't even been a mention of flagships for the Abyssal enemies (and the story makes it clear it doesn't care for the game's mechanics that don't exactly adhere to realism). Moreover, ship girls who are assigned as flagships in the story are not magically immune to sinking even if magic does come into play in the later parts of the story.
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Evil: Baltimore turned out to be this. The Feds, doing sinister experiments and things that would be war crimes if anyone actually gave a fuck about Geneva any longer. The southern rebels, raping, pillaging and burning their way north. And a small number of ordinary people who just want to get out alive.
  • Goomba Stomp:
    • In chapter 45, Murakumo kills a mook by landing on him.
    • In chapter 156, the Slug Gunner pulls a Big Damn Heroes moment by squashing an enemy on landing.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: perhaps the purest similarity between the story and the game; Damon's main goal is also to find all the ship girls constructed in the F.L.E.E.T. Project (or as many as possible) and consolidate them all under one fleet.
  • Gorn: the narrative can be merciless with the exact descriptions and nature of wounds and other ailments.
  • The Government: Negative portrayal. After the war, the US Federal Government has gone to shit, prioritising the welfare of the rich and powerful. Relief aid to everyone else is scarce at best. At worst, the so-called aid... isn't, and comes from scum unworthy to be called soldiers, little better morally than the petty, violent bandits and secessionists in the Deep South. This also extends to the English government under the regime of Prime Minister Holmwood; really only Retia's government under the SDP political party in Germany is the only one that doesn't seem outright oppressive, but it's mentioned that Retia basically rules the country alone, like a dictator, by holding both titles of President and Chancellor. There's also the chance that she's killed her own father to gain her power.
    • improves, however, after chapter 250. Eagle, the CEO of Lukenstor Defense Systems, replaces Blackwood as President after Damon assassinates Blackwood and is working both to get the country back on track and to help the fleet with improvements, upgrades, and information. In addition, during the Germany campaign, the Royalist movement to put the British Royal Family back in power succeeds, deposing of Prime Minister Holmwood and restoring Sarah Britain to the throne.
  • Government Conspiracy:
    • The fact that it was The Abyssal who brought Lauren into the second F.L.E.E.T. Project, and that Lauren and Jeannie's escape from it led to an executive order for their capture by none less than the US President himself, implies two possibilities. Either the Inner Circle is directly in cahoots with the Feds, or they have deeply infiltrated the Feds. Neither possibility bears thinking about. It gets worse when Shoukaku's Abyssalised weapon reacts to Damon, suggesting a link between the Genesis Thesis Project and the Abyssals. Chapter 235 then reveals that the President is in cahoots with Mr. Abyssal himself, but the latter appears to be acting in his own interests, and not in the interests of the Inner Circle or any of the other Abyssals.
      • As of chapter 432, the link between the Genesis Thesis Project and the Abyssals has been fully established, through one common connection: The original FLEET Project. To elaborate: "Serenity", a substance that powers up Abyssals had been clandestinely obtained by members of ST6 that infiltrated the project, and it's also how the US and ST6 found out about the Abyssals in the first place. Project Constitution was re-purposed into the FLEET Project and its objective changed. Now what about the connection from FLEET to GT? Ken Simpson, FLEET Project dev, defected to the GT Project after the war and presumably took with him a sizeable quantity of the "Rebirth" virus in the Moebius Four sub-project, which had resulted in the birth of the Super Prototype Mk2 Shiratsuyu-class. The "Rebirth" virus was then modified for the GT Project, in such a way that when injected into a test subject, would give them administrative powers over the ship girls.
    • Baltimore. As revealed in chapter 189, the Feds were working on something, and when it resulted in a mutation-inducing outbreak, quarantined the whole city far faster than they should have been able to, then hushed the whole thing up.
  • Gratuitous English: averted wholesale, to the extent that all Japanese ship girls even come already being fluent in English. The foreign ship girls the fleet run into also know how to speak fluent English, though with their own cultural accents. And again averted when the American ship girls show up, and they, too, speak perfect English.
  • Gratuitous French: averted; Commandant Teste in the story speaks fluent French, given that she's the French president.
  • Gratuitous German: averted; all German ship girls speak German fluently.
  • Gratuitous Latin: Silva Gelida, Jeannie's personal rendition of Damon's dreamworld when she hacks it.
  • Gratuitous Russian: averted; all Russian ship girls speak Russian fluently, including Hibiki, who even worked as a Russian-English translator for the Federal government for a short while before the events of the story.
  • Grave-Marking Scene: In chapter 31, Damon visits his mother's grave and offers Libation for the Dead.
  • Great Offscreen War:
    • The Border Wars, which was essentially a second American Civil War.
    • The Typhoon Wars, where the Abyssals and the American ship girls were first used.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Kisaragi and Murasame's quarrel in chapter 105 is provoked by the jealousy the former feels over the latter using Damon's old gun.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: In chapter 174, Damon kills a mook with a Coke bottle.
  • Grow Beyond Their Programming: Sanford explicitly mentions that the protocols that the Shiratsuyu-Class destroyers have have been intentionally designed to grow on their own, implying that they all have a potential to fulfill this as time goes on.
  • Gun Accessories: ties in with Gun Porn below. The author goes out of his way to list down real-life gun parts and attachments while describing and depicting the various guns featured throughout the story and even makes a few fictional ones up, usually named after video game franchises as Shoutouts.
  • Gun Porn: The amount of attention paid to firearms can get a bit indulgent and excessive at times.
  • Guns Akimbo: Destroyers are the only type of ship girl innately proficient in dual-wielding guns. Their knowledge of this is initially limited to pistols and machine pistols, but can learn to dual-wield other types of guns. They also predominantly use a dual-wielding ship cannon equipment setup that allows them to bring standard infantry firearms into naval combat.
  • Gunship Rescue:
    • In chapter 103, a healthy dose of air support finally breaks the back of the enemies facing the fleet.
    • In chapter 149, a group of friendly helicopters destroys an enemy Zerg Rush.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Shiranui shoots a mercenary in chapter 314 for bad-mouthing Kagerou.
  • Hand Cannon:
    • Baxter Harrison gives Damon a decorated IMI Desert Eagle to use on the scientists behind the Genesis Thesis Project.
    • Alastor Scott has a Smith & Wesson Model 29 revolver chambered for .44 Magnum.
    • Damon, newly back from the dead, has two .80 revolvers, powerful enough to inflict Half the Man He Used to Be. Even using them on humans at all is There Is No Kill Like Overkill; they're meant to destroy Abyssals.
  • Heads-Up Display: being computerized humans, essentially, ship girls have heads-up displays built into their augmented visions that provide real-time tactical information about their surroundings, usually in combat.
  • Healing Factor: Damon, being a mutated human thanks to his involvement in the Genesis Thesis Project, has naturally hyper-accelerated healing and can heal back anything, even lost eyes and body parts, so long as he's given sufficient amounts of time to rest.
  • Healing Hands:
    • As of chapter 137, Suzukaze has gained this ability courtesy of the Colossus Reactor. Except, as chapter 143 reveals, it doesn't work right on humans. After apparently healing Celsie, it turns out some time later that it did so by emitting Darkwater radiation, which caused its own problems. As chapter 169 reveals, humans are hurt a lot more by Darkwater radiation than ship girls, so what might have been acceptable for ship girls is definitely not for humans.
    • Harusame, Samidare, and Umikaze all invoke this with their new healing powers via Damon's YRC. Suzukaze, too, is mentioned to now be able to properly heal, but her power still remains a double-edged sword - just not as much as before.
  • Heal It with Fire: In chapter 170, after Damon gets shot in the right side of his abdomen and extracts the bullet, Kawakaze cauterizes the wound with her Firewater Protocol.
    • Kawakaze does it again in chapter 314, this time to treat Damon's arm after it had been blasted off.
    • New Jersey does this as well with her own Colossus Reactor, healing the civilian man whom Asashio had accidentally fatally shot with black flame in chapter 313.
    • It's Ushio's turn to do the same in chapter 325, also healing a wounded Italian Army soldier hit by frag grenade shrapnel with black flame, presumably borrowed from Losira's Hellflower.
  • Health/Damage Asymmetry: according to the stat sheet, there are a few attacks and abilities that deal staggering amounts of damage. For example, Shigure's Raging Demon scales tremendously with three variables: her own current level, her own insanity level, and her enemy's insanity level. Just throwing a few hypothetical numbers in, according to the damage equation given by the stat sheet, if Shigure is level 50 and has a 50% insanity bar, while the enemy whom she's attacking with the Raging Demon also has 50% insanity, Shigure will deal a total of 7125 damage. To put it in perspective, Iowa (canon) has the single highest health of any ship girl featured thus far in the story at 4300 HP, meaning that, given these conditions, if Shigure hits Iowa with a Raging Demon, she will instantly die. And Shigure is just a destroyer.
  • He Knows Too Much:
    • In chapter 121 the Feds try to kill Tatsuya because what they're doing there is supposed to remain unknown.
    • In chapter 133, Suzukaze ends up having to eliminate all the Quakers who are holding the Shakers' leader's grandson captive on the USS New Jersey, as she absolutely could not allow any of them to escape after they saw her super-human abilities. This act of leaving no witnesses to her actions comes to really bite her in the ass later, as the Quakers blame the Shakers for the losses, leading to them launching a raid on Ablett Village in retaliation. To see how screwed she was, scroll down to Kill 'Em All
  • Heroic BSoD: In chapter 102 Sendai has a nervous breakdown as her death approaches.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: the end of chapter 372. While attempting to return to Hawaii, the Operation South Town fleet are caught out in the middle of the Pacific by a sizeable fleet of Abyssals. The last scene of the chapter opens with Shigure already having cut herself off from the rest of her fleet with a wall of Guilt flames, boxing her in with the Abyssal fleet so that the Abyssals cannot pass through, except for their air fleet, which Enterprise holds off by mass-launching her own planes, knowing that they, too, have no chance of returning to her. The chapter ends with Shigure, having activated her demon angel form, fighting the Abyssals so that the rest of her fleet can escape.
  • Heroic Willpower: during his fight against Blackwood, Damon suffers having his exosuit ripped right off him - since the exosuit must be directly linked with his central nervous system so that the suit can obey Damon's neural commands as responsively as possible, doing this means that it will undoubtedly cause huge pain and damage to Damon's nervous system, and according to the narrative, it's essentially no different from tearing Damon's nerves straight out of his body; yet, despite this, he manages to get up anyway for one last attempt to beat him.
    • the Shiratsuyu-Class standing up to Suzukaze while in her Demon Angel form in Houston also counts, as they manage to stand up tall in an area where gravity is much, much stronger than usual and keeps everyone else pinned flat against the ground.
  • Hidden Buxom: Kawakaze is the sole explicit example of this. Damon remarks after he spends a night with her and her sister Umikaze that without her uniform and the sarashi that she wears around her chest to suppress it in combat, Kawakaze actually has a pleasantly well-endowed chest.
  • Hidden Depths: While Tatsuta has genuinely embraced her Ax-Crazy sadism, she also hides quite a bit of brokenness.
    • Damon also qualifies, once more details about his involvement in Baltimore are revealed.
    • The events of chapters 224 to 228 firmly establish Sanford as this, and, perhaps by corollary, !Samidare as well.
  • Hidden Villain: averted from the game, a post-nuclear war international terrorism organization called the Inner Circle is mentioned to be the villains behind the Abyssals.
  • High-Speed Battle: several ship girls engage in this in a training simulation in chapter 350.
  • High-Tech Hexagons: mainly seen in the story in the form of Beehive Barrier shields, be it the Abyssal shields that some of their boss characters are seen to have or the Kai shields that remodeled ship girls receive as part of their remodels.
  • History Repeats Itself: the Moebius Sub-Program and the F.L.E.E.T. 2 Project are both secret projects intended to create super prototypes of their corresponding generation of ship girls - and both succeeded.
    • For reasons unknown, when Jeannie drags Damon into her dreamworld, Damon goes through a journey that closely mirrors his first time discovering his personal dreamworld.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: employed by the vanguard destroyers who fight in the front lines, most notably by Shimakaze and Amatsukaze, the fastest destroyers in the fleet. Justified, since the destroyers are all Fragile Speedsters who need to rely on their speed, evasion, and reflexes to dodge incoming damage rather than tank it.
  • Holding Back the Phlebotinum: Sendai and Sanford independently suggest in chapters 280 and 286 respectively that the girls who have been upgraded with powers from Damon's YRC hold off on using them outside of dire situations out of the fear that the Abyssals will either accelerate their plans or carry out their own upgrades in response.
  • Holier Than Thou: Alastor Scott, the Controller of Little Rock, considers himself to be on a Mission from God.
  • Hollywood Healing: Subverted. Despite Damon's enhanced physiology, several of his wounds take a long time to heal and reopen when stressed.
    • Damon mentioned getting his arm ripped off by machinery when he was 9 years old. The arm apparently grew back.
  • Homage:
    • The fate of Premier Kerrigan Badeau of Charlotte is one to the opening of Call of Duty: World at War.
    • Jeannie's telekinetic Bullet Catch And Return is reminiscent of The Matrix.
    • At the end of chapter 146, the Sheriff recreates the "I like war" speech from Hellsing.
    • In the beginning of chapter 172, Damon's very first encounter with his dreamworld is heavily influenced by the mind-hacking procedure the Player inflicts onto Hall in Call of Duty: Black Ops III.
    • Halfway through chapter 172, Eagle recites the G-Man's opening monologue from Half-Life 2.
    • The formal introduction of Moebius Four's Samidare and her outfit are one to Lady Maria of the Astral Clocktower form Bloodborne.
    • The end of chapter 247 takes a leaf out of Modern Warfare 2's book, with one group of heroes, after having retrieved a DSM, undergoing Cavalry Betrayal, and their allies radioing in to give a warning too late. Another homage is made in chapters 249 and 250, where Damon and Blackwood's confrontation plays out similarly to Soap, Price and Shepherd's, all the way down to Blackwood's end being the same as Shepherd's.
    • The formal introduction of Moebius Four's Kevinson and his character design in this story are one to Gehrman, the First Hunter from Bloodborne.
    • in chapter 391, Damon recreates the most famous scene from Pulp Fiction.
  • Horrifying the Horror:
    • Tatsuta is an unrepentant Ax-Crazy, but what Damon did to the Harpers at Nashville scared even her.
    • During Operational Dualsight, some of the ship girls fight in such a brutal, vicious manner that the Abyssals are terrified by the sight.
  • Human Resources: The Inner Circle exosuits need to be made from the Smartsteel of an activated ship girl. An Abyssal is fine too.
  • Human Subspecies: Shipgirls are biologically distinct from baseline humanity and some of them see themselves as separate from mankind.
  • Human Weapon: the ship girls are these, naturally. Quite a few ship girls buy into this mentality themselves, that they are nothing more than weapons built to serve their roles in their new lives as ship girls.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: While ship girls are flawed, it's baseline humans who commit or order most of the worst atrocities in the story. As Damon himself says on a few occasions, despite their artificial nature, ship girls generally are more humane than the actual humans.
  • Hunter of His Own Kind: Jeannie eventually reveals to Damon that the objective of the F.L.E.E.T. 2 Project of which she was the "prototype" was changed by Blackwood to turn Jeannie into a secret "assassin of ship girls", or an "anti-ship-girl ship girl" so that Blackwood could have an emergency contingency plan against his own fleet of ship girls, should they turn rogue against him. She also mentions that she still possesses the skills and abilities necessary to perform her task as this assassin of ship girls, and that Damon need only give her the word for her to fulfill her intended purpose.
  • Hypocritical Humour: In chapter 187, Damon has to restrain himself from pointing out how hypocritical it is for somebody surnamed Britain to comment on the implausibility of the name Hunter Stormrider.
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