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Fanfic / Ambience: Platoon (Moebius Four)

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Ambience: Platoon (Moebius Four) is a Kantai Collection Alternate Universe Fic by Hieda no Akyuu.

Set in an alternate 2014, it is presented in the form of a journal written by the viewpoint character, United States Navy Commander Franklin Roosevelt Kevinson. It details his assuming command over the Moebius Four Armament Program, a clandestine joint Japanese and American programme to employ female humanoids colloquially referred to as "ship girls" to battle mysterious hostiles codenamed "Abyssals".


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Complete at 118 "entries".

Three sequels follow, continuing the story from three different perspectives: Contingency Summer, Evaporated Summer, and No Thought Summer. Beware Late Arrival Spoilers!

See also Ambience: A Fleet Symphony by the same author, which shares some background elements and can be considered an Alternate Universe.

Platoon contains examples of the following:

  • Adaptation Personality Change: For unknown reasons, Naganami has gained Jerkass tendencies. Franklin initially mistakes it for being an Alpha Bitch in general, but later reconsiders after noticing that it only triggers on contact with Hayashimo or himself.
  • Alternate History:
    • The divergence from our reality starts after 9/11, when the US begins work on "Project Constitution", which serves as a predecessor of the ship girl project.
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    • A Third Gulf War is mentioned, during which ISIS became powerful enough to reach all the way to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, and even built up an air force small yet potent enough to attack the carrier Franklin was stationed on back then.
  • Alternate Universe Fic: The ship girls are an offshoot of a classified American research programme. Abyssals are only active in the Japanese Pacific region rather than a worldwide issue and it's implied they are also a human creation. Contingency Summer reveals that the Abyssals are the creation of the international terrorist organization "Advanced Administration of the Holy War", and notes that they are about to become a worldwide issue.
  • Ambiguous Robots: Ship girls straddle a thin line between Bio-Augmentation/Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke and Ridiculously Human Robots. The official line given for ship girls in a Fictional Document is that they are genetically modified humans constructed from a biological counterpart of steel that gives them Super Strength and Super Toughness yet mimics human tissue. They don't have brains the way humans do, but computer-like processing units instead that can be loaded with programmes and retrieved on death. Yet they can bleed and feel pain, and several times it is suggested that they are... anatomically correct.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie:
    • On April 20th the Abyssals turn the captured Kitakami and Yuudachi into Abyssals, who end up fighting the rest of the fleet.
    • From No Thought Summer, it seems Harusame has been turned into Destroyer Princess by the Abyssals.
  • Archnemesis Dad: Franklin really doesn't like his parents.
  • Artistic License – Military: The fic displays so many errors and lack of research in general about the US armed forces that it is insulting to anyone serving in any of the three branches.
    • Franklin's career progression in the US armed forces makes absolutely no sense. To give you an idea of this......
      • He's full Commander in the US Navy while only in his early 20s.
      • He's an officer, who had previously been a drill instructor. Drill instructors are enlisted, so that clearly doesn't work.
  • Bad Boss: On April 16th the captured Ta-class reveals that the Abyssals have their own admiral, who isn't seen much and mistreats them when he does bother showing up.
  • Berserk Button: Franklin doesn't like people asking him about his parents and it has taken him a lot of effort not to snap at someone over it yet.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: For how deadly it is in battle, the captured Re-class acts more like a kid with ADHD when off-duty.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Franklin has had to send men to their deaths before many times.
  • Collapsing Lair: On April 20th, after the ship girls raid Dog Five, it proceeds to self-destruct.
  • Composite Character: Amagi is a composite of the original battlecruiser and the Unryuu-class standard carrier bearing the same name.
  • Culture Clash: A large part of the early story is occupied by the cultural differences between the American Franklin and his Japanese charges.
  • Death Is Cheap: The Kai programme not only upgrades ship girls, but also allows them to be brought back to life as long as their brains are intact. However, see Final Death below.
  • Downer Ending: Assuming May 1st actually turns out to be the final entry, as it currently seems. The Abyssals, far from defeated, shell the base, killing some of the ship girls and damaging almost everyone else. Franklin is wounded so badly that he's unconscious and, even if he wakes up, he'll most likely have to be invalided out and forced to relinquish command. Where things go from there is anyone's guess, but given that the girls have spoken poorly of previous admirals, it probably won't be good.
  • Final Death: Kiyoshimo suffers this fate after her brain is fried by radiation from overusing the prototype Yamato Cannon. Even if a new Kiyoshimo is constructed, it won't have her memories.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Samidare's first onscreen words to Franklin were "But- but I'm sure we'll be able to grow closer as time goes on, Commander!" Some time later, Samidare offered to let Franklin "use" her, though he refused then. On April 24th, it actually comes to pass.
    • When he starts drilling the Starter Five, Franklin notes that if officials came down for an inspection, a parade would be expected. It takes many chapters, but this does come up again.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Between Loners Are Freaks and actually taking Franklin up on his offer to shoot him as vengeance for sending Kiyoshimo to her death, Hayashimo quickly becomes this.
  • Glory Hound: Franklin's parents turn out to be obsessed with gaining prestige for themselves. When they got too old to advance much further, they turned their attentions toward pushing Franklin to his limits so that he would excel and they can vicariously gain glory through his achievements. This involved actions that skirt close to if not outright become Abusive Parents. This is why he dislikes them.
  • Got Volunteered: Franklin's father all but shoved him into the position.
  • Government Conspiracy: There are a group of far right-wing ultranationalists in the Diet that want to take control of the ship girls and have absolutely no qualms with making attempts on Franklin's life. With Franklin's incapacitation at the hands of the Abyssals, they get their wish.
  • Gunship Rescue: On April 3rd the fleet run into heavier-than-expected Abyssal resistance. Fortunately, SEAL Team Six's Ospreys were in the area and sent down plenty of Death from Above.
  • Hidden Depths: Inverted with Takao; Franklin discovers to his disappointment that beneath the serious disciplinarian is an irresponsible drinker.
  • I'm Not Here to Make Friends: On January 7th Franklin makes this declaration when addressing the girls' dislike of his harsh training methods. Later events have him eventually change his mind.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: The namedrops of Third Echelon suggest this takes place in some version of the Tom Clancy-verse.
  • Interrupted Suicide: On March 29th Shigure, appalled by her own fratricidal tendencies, attempts to self-terminate. Akashi manages to pause the process, but doesn't know if it'll start back up again later.
  • Jerkass: Akebono is still this. It's noted that she would have gotten insubordination charges many times over if not for being a ship girl.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Franklin eventually turns out to have a caring side beneath the abrasive demeanour.
  • Lighter and Softer: For all the personal drama and losses, the fact that the Abyssal threat here is restricted to only a part of the Pacific rather than being a global problem means Mankind as a whole is faring much better than in many other interpretations of KanColle.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Having been on the receiving end of this when younger, Franklin empathises with Hayashimo over this.
  • Magic from Technology: Some of the things Abyssals can do straddle the line between extremely advanced tech and magic.
  • Man Bites Man: Yuudachi finishes off the Southern War Demon that killed her the first time around by tearing its throat out with her teeth.
  • Mildly Military: Franklin tried to defy this at first by drilling the Starter Five in proper discipline. However, being adolescent girls, it doesn't work out and he eventually relents after much persuasion. He later goes on to let slide actions that should have gotten the perpetrator brig time or worse.
  • Military Brat: Both of Franklin's parents are higher-ranking officers. He gets it from his mother, whose whole family is or was military too.
  • Misanthrope Supreme: On April 13 Franklin goes into a long rant on why he doesn't like other humans.
  • Nepotism: Franklin's parents have used their positions to pull strings for him, much as he'd rather not. It's left a mark on his relationships and psyche.
  • No Name Given: Downplayed - it isn't until quite far in, in the Fictional Document, that we learn the protagonist's given name.
  • Not So Different: On April 15th Naganami points out the hypocrisy of Franklin giving her trouble over her dislike of Hayashimo when he himself shuns his parents.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Franklin finds it strange that Kirishima is so adamant on having the criteria for choosing Kai upgrade candidates be based on "hard work and dedication to the fleet rather than on strictly performance, math, and statistics".
  • One-Man Army:
    • On March 31st the fleet encounters Hoppo, who proceeds to single-handedly hold them off.
    • On April 3rd Akebono returns from her Kai upgrade and takes out 40 Abyssals by herself in the first battle afterwards.
  • Overranked Soldier: Inverted. Franklin was once commanding officer of the USS George Washington's carrier strike group, which was way above the pay grade of a 20-something commander.
  • Painting the Medium: The title for the May 1st entry is in Japanese rather than English. Because it's not Franklin writing it.
  • Possession Implies Mastery: Averted with Abyssal tech - SEAL Team Six doesn't understand the underlying principles, even as they reverse-engineer the stuff. Franklin is naturally worried about this.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Similar to Stardust, this fic doesn't constrain itself to the game mechanics-imposed limit on squad sizes.
  • Rant-Inducing Slight:
    • The day after Franklin lets Hayashimo shoot him as penance for letting Kiyoshimo die, Samidare and Shigure yell at him over his action.
    • On April 31st Ooyodo has stern words with Franklin over what looks like his refusal to fight to stay on as their admiral.
  • Real Men Cook: Franklin is a pretty good baker.
  • Shout-Out:
    • After receiving an augmentation called "Standalone Complex", Franklin bemoans the lack of tachikoma.
    • After an incident on April 7th, Akebono wonders if she ought to call Franklin "Masochist Admiral". Such a moniker was given to the Admiral in man arihred's fancomics.
    • Takao trying to corral Akebono's antics brings to mind the "Miss Akebono and Shitty Admiral" fancomics.
  • State Sec: While SEAL Team Six is highly classified in Real Life, one suspects they don't actually have the resources they command in this story. They're on the side of good, but the protagonist is acutely aware that they're not telling him everything.
  • Super Strength: All ship girls have this, but Shigure has it particularly good after her Kai Ni. On April 11th Franklin recalls that she and Hiei had an argument that turned physical and ended with the former throwing the latter into the pier.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Shigure and Yuudachi have this. A way is eventually developed to turn Yuudachi's into a controllable Super Mode instead. Shigure, on the other hand, horrified by her own fratricidal tendencies, attempts suicide. It takes a while before she gets an equivalent to Yuudachi's controllable version.
  • Survivor's Guilt: Shigure has a lot of guilt about repeatedly surviving incidents where her comrades sunk.
  • This Is Reality: A few times, Franklin insists that his life isn't a harem anime.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Franklin becomes much less of a hardass as the story progresses.
  • Trojan Prisoner: The Re- and Ta-class turns out to have let themselves get captured so they could bring down SEAL Team Six's Osprey in Abyssal territory and deliver the ship girls on board for conversion.
  • Uriah Gambit: According to Big, the point of Operation Rising Sun is for the Japanese ultranationalists to stick Franklin in the vanguard with the rest of the USN ships deployed in the hope that the Abyssals will recognise him as the ship girls' commanding officer and kill him off for them.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: It's not exactly a spoiler to say that some of Franklin's relationships with his allies and subordinates get quite strained.
  • Wham Episode:
    • March 25th. Kiyoshimo is Killed Off For Real.
    • April 19th. The Osprey carrying the ship girls meant for Kai upgrades goes down deep in Abyssal territory.
    • April 20th. The Abyssals reveal that they can turn ship girls into Abyssals, having done so to Kitakami and Yuudachi.
    • April 22th. Kiyoshimo is back. Sort of.
    • May 1st. The Abyssals make their counterattack by shelling the Naval Base and rack up a rather horrific casualty list among the ship girls and base personnel.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: Discussed on April 25th. Franklin is convinced that the Abyssals aren't finished as a threat, firstly because the resistance to Operation Rising Sun was too light, and secondly because Hoppo hasn't been seen in action since the first encounter despite her sheer power. The morning of May 1st proves him completely right.

The Summer stories contain examples of the following:

  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: The * Summer stories are from the perspectives of people other than Franklin.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • The terrorist organization "Advanced Administration of the Holy War" was first mentioned in the alternate universe fic, where it was reformed into "The Inner Circle" after the Great War.
    • The German Chancellor, Gernot Wedekind, was also first mentioned there.
  • Horrifying the Horror: In No Thought Summer chapter 15, Harusame notes that the inner power behind Shigure's Standalone Protocol is a something that terrifies her.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In Contingency Summer chapter 10, Yuu's new rifle is described as something "taken straight out of a military science fiction book or game".
  • No Name Given: Retia's mother, the viewpoint character in Contingency Summer, is unnamed. Thealternate universe fic, however, reveals her name as "Grecia".
  • Painting the Medium: In Evaporated Summer chapter 9, certain words are missing letters where Samidare has been crying on her diary.
  • Party Scattering: Evaporated Summer reveals that after the Abyssal attack on the Okinawa base and Franklin's incapacitation, the ship girls were split up and reassigned to other bases.
  • Reality Ensues: Contingency Summer tells us that the rest of the world, not realising how big the threat really is, is getting nervous about Japan's rearmament to fight the Abyssals.
  • Required Secondary Powers: The new weapon Yuu gets in Contingency Summer chapter 10 cloaks along with her new outfit.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: After the Summer 2015 Event introduced some new ship girls to the game, they also showed up in the stories.
  • Shout-Out: In Contingency Summer chapter 10, Yuu gets a C-10 Canister Rifle.
  • Unwitting Pawn: No Thought Summer reveals that the Abyssals think they're fighting for a world in which they can live in peace, unaware that to their creators, they are simply a means to an end.
  • Veteran Instructor: Evaporated Summer reveals that as part of the Party Scattering, the experienced girls got reassigned to train New Meat girls.
  • Villain Episode: No Thought Summer takes place from the Abyssal point of view.
  • We Have Reserves: Played for Drama in No Thought Summer chapter 9, where we learn that the Abyssals are entirely aware that they are expendable clones.


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