Vandread Volume 1 Chapter 2

Chapter 2: A Gallant Entry, the Female Pirates of Magno’s Family

Part 1

As the bridge of the New Warship Section shook from the impact, a red light started blinking to demonstrate the emergency situation.

“What’s this!? I thought I’d canceled the exercise maneuvers!!”

Having recovered from his stumble the Prime Minister was shouting hysterically.

The crew members who didn’t have seats earnestly replied as each tried to cling to any protruding objects.

“This is not from the exercise maneuvers!!”

“Women! It’s a female surprise attack!!”

Even as the the crew were reporting on the situation, the bridge was incessantly assaulted by impacts from the attack.

“Spatial coordinates, Majere mobile squad from the three o’clock direction! Star three, red one!”

“Formation has been destroyed!”

“A message to all warships! Safeguard the Ikazuchi!”

The situation on the bridge fell into chaos as though the tranquil atmosphere that had existed up until then was a lie. Even the Prime Minister, with all his arrogance, was now standing still in shock as his forehead twitched dangerously.

“What the hell……on this ceremonial day……”

 

In order to guard the Ikazuchi the fleet of five escort vessels that had taken on battle formations frantically attempted to return fire. However, in addtion to the Ikazuchi’s outrageously enormous size, the speed of the Majere attack ships called ‘Dreads’ that were swooping down on them was absurdly fast. The scene was exactly like that of bees swooping down on a beast.

 

At a place a little away from the center of this dogfight, a single spaceship was steadily approaching. This battleship was the very ‘mothership’ that was launching the assault on the Ikazuchi. It was only a third of the Ikazuchi’s size if one were to compare, but her streamlined form that was easily approaching had an appearance that felt no less impressive.

“Captain, it seems we caught a big one.”

Since it was during the battle, the single woman spoke within the mothership’s bridge whose illumination had been dropped. The owner of voice was the adjutant of the ‘Female Pirates’, Buzam A. Calessa. The jewel of the choker wound around her neck shone faintly, her hand gripping the chair where the other person was seated.

“You think so? Then today must be my lucky day huh.”

Although this person could not be seen very well due to the darkness, the wrinkled eyes that could be seen from beneath the priest’s robes that completely covered her entire body narrowed as she replied; this was the leader of this gang, Magno Vivan.

For these women this action was ‘business as usual’, so even if it was the huge Ikazuchi, it was nothing more than merely a ‘big catch’.

 

By the proclamation of the Prime Minister the Ikazuchi had entered orbital trajectory unaccompanied. Hence it was that several minutes after entering the battle, the sun of the star system that was home to Majere and Taraak peeked out from behind the shadow of planet Taraak. Regarding this, given the orientation of the pirates main offensive trajectory, it took on the appearance of divine providence. Due to the Dreads charging with the sun at their backs the Taraak was deprived of their eyesight, to the point that when when did become visible to them they were already being bombed.

Due to the handicap of the unexpected outbreak the escort ships were successively cut off from the lines of battle, and gradually the Ikazuchi was driven into a state of exposed isolation.

“Escort ship Hijiri seriously damaged! The Maboroshi is similarly disabled!”

“Ikazuchi new warship section, outer hull damaged!!”

“Majere mobile squads, still attacking in files directly from the sun’s trajectory!”

In addition to the flickering red light, steam was sprouting from here and there which only added to the sense of danger. In the midst of this critical situation, the Prime Minister was waving his fist that was tightly clenched in anger.

“How cowardly! Hiding themselves in the background radiation!”

For some time now he hadn’t issued any orders. The Ikazuchi was being driven steadily into a crisis.

063

 

“The warship is listing! Maintain course!!”

Next to the unreliable Prime Minister, the captain who had been knocked down by an impact stumbled to his feet and covered for him. However, it already seemed to be a hopeless situation. Nevertheless the captain frantically rallied the warship as the Prime Minister beside him muttered to himself.

“……If we send out the Bangata……”

At this voice the captain looked over at the Prime Minister in surprise.

“Impossible. Don’t you realize? We don’t have anyone aboard other than students in training!”

“I understand that!”

“That’s……”

The captain was determined to stop the beyond reckless proclamation of the Prime Minister, but the Prime Minister cut off his words, shouting as he intently focused upon his desires.

“If we were to turn tail without deploying our newest weapons how would we explain ourselves to Gran Pa!?”

He became defiant in this moment of crisis to the point that he feared nothing. However, as one would expect at the mention of Gran Pa, not even the captain could say any more.

Part 2

‘UU∼∼∼∼!!’

The siren was resounding in the ceremonial hall.

The previously calm faces of the graduates stiffened in anticipation.

‘Young Cadets! Now is the time, the time to repay our founding father Gran Pa!! All hands man your posts, pulverize the enemy!’

At the completion of this announcement the cups the graduates were holding all struck the floor, as simultaneously they each scattered to their respective stations.

“ALRIGHT∼! LET’S GO, YEEAAH!!”

 

The violent impacts from the battle had already spread throughout the entire warship.

Although the vibrations beneath their feet were shaking their bodies, including Duero the graduates had rushed to the crew member managing the launch room, where they were scrabbling to change into pilot suits.

“Those who have finished donning their uniforms should launch in order! It doesn’t matter who’s using which machine!”

The commander’s heartbreaking scream encouraged them to be much more hurried.

“Huh? Where’s Bart?”

“Who knows!”

Bart’s figure ought to have been among the crewmembers but this was not the case. However, with all of the hustle and bustle he was the least thing on people’s mind.

 

After the graduates had left the ceremony hall, the collapsed tables and the broken sake cups that were dropped on the floor were jolted by vibrations. The alert resounded throughout the abandoned hanger along with an automatic voice.

‘Accompanying the launch of the Bangata, from now we will initiate zero gravity conditions. All personnel be advised.’

The gravity that had existed in the room until then vanished together with a low sound, at which the broken sake cups began to float through space. And then, at this moment, an extremely miserable shriek was raised within the supposedly uninhabited ceremony hall.

“Eh? ……WA……WAWA∼∼∼∼!!”

Due to the gravity vanishing even the tables had started floating in midair. As for what appeared from beneath the tablecloths that had gone flying into the air, it was the owner of the shriek, Bart.

He had hidden beneath the table during the confused pandemonium, apparently thinking it would help guarantee his own safety. It was more pathetic rather than sly.

However, it seemed as though this was poetic justice. Having been thrown into the air in an unseemly pose, Bart was now floating lightly through the assembly hall, barely managing to to cling to the very same bust of Gran Pa Hibiki had jumped onto a while back.

“Keh! I don’t want to die in a place like this! Escape, escape, there must be a way to escape!”

Bart carefully examined the resentful space. However, had he had the tenacity to put his energy towards using this ‘way to escape’, it’s possible his entire way of life would have been different.

 

*BACHBACHI! DODO∼N!*

Sparks were running through the engine block of the New Warship Section. The attack of the Majerian female pirates was drawing steadily closer.

“Engine block is taking fire! Output is dropping!”

“Firefighting squad! Hurry!”

“Closing supply pipes number four through eight!”

The actions of the military personnel who were hurrying about were already proving to be futile. The likelihood of the Ikazuchi’s victory at this time was low.

 

The New Warship Section’s indicators were showing the effect of the damage, namely each path that had been cut off. The bridge crew member who realized this delivered a report in a voice close to shrieking.

“Power to the Bangata launch gate has been cut off! It’s impossible for the platoons to mobilize!”

Hearing this the Prime Minister raised his shrieking voice another octave.

“I don’t care if it’s only one machine! If there’s only one then launch one!!” {TN: That last part is a pure guess. Unless someone can translate “一騎一殺だ” I’m stumped.}

These were unreasonable words. Already the Prime Minister’s statements could no longer be treated on the level of orders.

 

“What was that!?”

Upon receiving that order even the Bangata control member unintentionally asked for a repetition. However, refusing the order wasn’t an option.

“Muu……I got it!”

Saying this, he then cut the transmission in annoyance, and in partial defiance raised his voice towards the graduates.

“Crewmembers whose Bangata is ready to go are to sortie at their own discretion!!”

 

With that voice, the Bangata that were standing by at the sortie gates, as though they had fallen through a trapdoor, simultaneously sucked downwards. However, no more than about one in every five machines departed; whether because the crewmembers were unable to sortie or in the middle of a delay or such, it was the height of disorder.

A short distance from this state of affairs the bust of Gran Pa had thus far been left as it was. Even in this chaotic situation his image was still orderly and was seemingly unconcerned. Still, there was what appeared to be strange sounds coming from within the statue of Gran Pa.

The bust of Gran Pa included a pedestal by the way, the interior of which was hollow. Thus, it was in this interior that Bart had secluded himself. In some sense, this was his strong male spirit.

He stealthily spied on the situation through the transportation-use keyhole.

“Oioi……if it’s like this I might stand a chance……”

Bart had muttered as though it was someone else’s problem.

Part 3

Regarding the progress of the battle, it was obvious that the female pirates of Majere had the advantage. With the group of destroyers having completely withdrawn from the front the Ikazuchi was currently exposed. Although they had just managed to launch a number of Bangatas from the ejection hatches on the Old Warship Section, they were unable to seize the Mejerian Dreads, and were just barely able to cling to the dreads and fruitlessly pound on the solid armor. From the start, they were weapons that were developed for land based assaults so this was only natural.

The most nimble among the female pirates’ dreads was one with a white fuselage that was mowing down the Bangatas that popped up in front of it.

‘Ahn……mou! These guys are irritating!! Meia, what should we do!?’

Inside this abrupt complaint was broadcast over the communicator.

“Don’t mind the small fry! All fighter, lock on and target the mothership!!”

‘U……understood!!’

The one on board who was called Meia’s face was unclear since she was wearing a strange protective piece of clothing that was affixed to her face, but judging from the conversation it seemed she was the leader of the battle group. As the sparkly white airframe made a sharp inversion that stripped off the Bangatas and sent them flying into space debris, at that moment she suddenly started rushing towards the Ikazuchi’s rear catapult. She was one who possessed considerable ability. Other crafts followed behind her as though there were being pulled along.

Unaware that the female pirates were steadily beginning to board the ship, Hibiki Tokai was as yet still in his cell. However, having a strong competitive spirit for better or worse, Hibiki, who carried the special skills of a mechanic, and having managed to extract the Hi-Type Number Six’s code, had been attempting to remove the beam shield on his cell.

‘BI……BACHIBACHI!’

He had become skilled at rewiring circuits by hand. Thereupon, together with a small electronic sound, the magnificent shield was turned off.

Seeing that Hibiki showed a broad toothy grin of satisfaction as he said, “Hehe……roughly what I expected,” and as he regained his usual tone, he carefully leaned out of his cell and surveyed his surroundings.

‘PI……GAGA……VU~~~~N……’

At that sound Hibiki suddenly turned his head around, where the Hi-Type Number Six that ought to have ceased functioning was vibrating as though it was struggling. Seeing that Hibiki suddenly stopped moving, and seemingly having thought of something he grabbed the Hi-Type Number Six and carried under his arm as he broke into a run. Perhaps he did so because he felt some ‘familial connection’ towards the machine. Even though he liked to talk big, he seemed to have a warm disposition.

 

As she was charging towards the catapult a countless number of shells were fired at Meia’s Dread . As one would expect from attacking the main unit the Ikazuchi’s guns were firing away furiously. However, the Dread team of Majere didn’t flinch in the slightest and continued to charge straight at the catapult.

The trailing Dreads efficiently destroyed the airtight shield generators that were on either side of the catapult. The Dread team with Meia’s machine as vanguard stormed the interior without hesitation.

And then all of the Dreads simultaneously emitted white smoke. This did not mean they had been hit, for what they had purposefully emitted was an ‘antiseptic’. Just like how on the men’s planet of Taraak they had permeating propaganda stating that ‘Women eat innards’, this was the effect of a similar purposeful manipulation on Majere. What had been even further implanted in their heads was the  image that, ‘Men are a mass of germs. You will get sick if you touch them,’ and while some may say that’s simple, for them who were women this was sufficient to disgust them.

Starting with Meia who was the leader, all of the pirates were equipping uncouth protective gear that was covered with pipes.

 

Before their eyes was the ceremony hall that had been so lively until just recently that was now filled with white smoke. Of course, there wasn’t anyone moving in the room with the exception of the bust of Gran Pa.

“UHII~~~~! *geho, goho*……” {TN: Coughing sounds}

The interior where Bart had hidden instantly became a place that was literally pure white.

 

As the alarm resounded fruitlessly in the passageways that had been completely emptied, the red light that emerged from within the smoke hinted at the warship’s future. As he was running through this place Hibiki involuntarily stopped walking in response to the ship’s internal broadcasting.

‘Enemy trespassers in the Old Warship Section! Assemble all hands and proceed to eliminate them!’

“Adversaries……is it!? Since s-something like that is happening, then what about this ship?”

It was at this moment that Hibiki first became aware that he was right in the midst of a ‘battle’.

 

Regarding the hanger of the Old Warship Section that the Dreads that had forcibly infiltrated, it had become hazy due to being shrouded in mist. Reaching the the interior of the warship the hull section covering the cockpit of the Dreads slid back with a grinding sound releasing the airtight seal, and gradually emerging from within part of the bulkheads the ‘women’ covered in airtight clothing made an appearance. They couldn’t be seen due to being obscured by the white smoke, but one could make out the silhouette of their uncouth protective gear which had bulbous protuberances extending from the tips of the shoulders. From their faces there was a mysterious light coming from the searchlights that served as camera-eyes. This was exactly like the image of the ‘demoness’ spoken of in legends.

Regardless of whether the antiseptic they had spread would paralyze one’s sense of balance, the women were dancing through the air as they advanced. Suddenly they stopped as though one among them had signaled something, and they turned and gazed at what was behind them.

“……!?”

The bust of Gran Pa was before their eyes, and Bart who was concealed inside of it involuntarily gulped.

However, the women, having fortunately not yet noticed Bart’s presence, turned around once again and vanished into the smoke.

“Awawawawa……”

No longer able to remain standing due to excessive fear Bart tumbled out of the bust of Gran Pa. This wasn’t unnatural considering this was his first time seeing women. Literally, the his guts instantly relaxing, Bart had just let out a relieved sigh, and then the next moment,

*GAN! GON!! GIRIGIRI, GOOOOO!*

“Eh!?”

As Bart reflexively turned his head around at the strange sounds, a blue Dread equipped with a huge cannon was plunging forward in a manner reminiscent of drunk driving.

“WAH~~~~! Idiot! Don’t coomme~~~~!!”

As Bart turned ghastly pale in his panic, the blue Dread plunger into the battlefield that had developed into one of close quarters combat.

“KYAAH~~~~! SOMEBODY STOP THIS~~~~!”

Inside the cockpit the one piloting it started panicking herself. Judging from the impression of her voice, she was still a young girl.

‘Dita! What are you doing!? Halt!!’

The transmission that came in was from Meia the leader. The girl called Dita, for some reason, had a mask resembling an old imaginary space alien, the little green man, attached to the face of her protective gear. Also, the entire interior section of the cockpit had space alien and flying saucer mascots swinging around.

“I am trying to stop but it is not stoppiinng~~!”

By the time Dita’s voice became a cry, the craft had already long since passed all the way to the forward area of the close combat zone, where both friend and foe leapt back, as it plunged straight towards the barrier wall near the back of the hanger.

“KYAAH~~~~! I’M GOING TO CRAASH~~~~!!”

Tensing her body together with a shriek, due to the recoil Dita pulled the trigger in her hand.

‘DOWAA——!’

A flash that was nothing but dazzling was released from the cannon loaded on Dita’s Dread, and the vicinity was enveloped within that light.

 

At  that time, Hibiki had gotten lost in the engine block of the Old Warship Section. In addition to the shocks of battle from all around there was steam spurting out, and with all that being released from the battlefield he had the annoying feeling that his sense of balance was being paralyzed.

“Haa, haa……. Where’s the exit……?”

Carrying the Hi-Type Number Six under his armpit, his expression was quickly becoming cramped. The place where Hibiki was was a large room like a limestone cavern. Although it was not currently in use, at the heart of that place was a large sphere covered with radiators, the ‘Pexis Pragma’, that was filled with a suspicious orange colored light.

If one were the describe the Pexis Pragma in a few words, it was a crystalline mineral utilized for energy systems.

The crystalline body known as Pexis emitted a unique energy when it grew which was utilized to power the system, and since it was a technology used by both Taraak and Majere, Hibiki was not presently astonished by it. However, it was uncanny how the Pexis Pragma had been left here unattended with no one around save for himself.

A low vibration was being released by the Pexis as though it were sleeping as the crystal had grown radially, it having spread to the point that it had pierced all four walls. Thus, each of the branches of the crystal respectively had ducts and cables creeping upon them, which had collected the energy that was generated, and was the system made to control it.

Hibiki was running along the maintenence catwalks that were in this engine block.

“I don’t plan to die in a place like this!!”

Contrary to instinctive behavior, Hibiki had climbed higher and higher and just as he was reaching his hand for the door, it happened. Together with an abnormal sound that came from behind Hibiki, the barrier wall suddenly was melting rapidly and a flash ripped through the engine room. This was the beam that Dita had fired a short while ago.

“W-what’s thiiis~~~~!?”

Shortly after Hibiki’s scream resounded, the flash enveloped both Hibiki and the engine room.

 

From the captain’s seat in the New Warship Section the Prime Minister’s face was deep in thought as he operated something on the console he was facing. All of a sudden a panel to the Prime Minister’s right marked ‘Emergency Use, Handle with Caution’ opened as a colorful lever rose up from inside.

The captain who had thrown to the floor by the shock of an impact rose to his feet unsteadily. However when he caught sight of the lever, his expression immediately darkened.

“P-Prime Minister! T-that is!?”

What the Prime Minister was tightly grasping was an emergency evacuation use lever used for separating the Old and New Warship Sections. In other words, it seemed the Prime Minister had decided to cut the Old Warship Section that had been invaded by women loose and escape from the battlefield. However, in such a case, the Ikazuchi that was the symbolic warship of Taraak would become something that was no longer the Ikazuchi. It was understandable that the captain would be flustered. Nevertheless, as the corner of the Prime Minister’s grim eyes slightly filled with tears, he muttered a soliloquy.

“We cannot permit the shame of being taken as captives……. We must at least save the New Warship Section……”

At these words an atmosphere of despair began to strikingly drift throughout the entirety of the bridge. They were all thinking of the men who as of then still remained in the Old Warship Section. However, from these men who had been trained to offer their lives for the sake of their country as though it was normal there was no one who opposed the Prime Minister’s decision.

“For the glory of the Taraak Empire!”

As he shouted this the Prime Minister threw the lever that he had been tightly grasping all this time.

 

With a thunderous roar fireballs spread through the connecting sections fastening the New Warship Section to the Old Warship Section. The separation mechanism was functioning, and the joint sections were being blasted apart. As this was ongoing the New Warship Section started to withdraw from the Old Warship Section with cool precision.

From the start the Ikazuchi was created by forcibly linking two ships together. The arm sections of the Old Warship Section were being torn from the entirety of the upper structure to which they had been coercively welded in order for them to separate.

As it gradually separated from the New Warship Section the shape of the portion called the ‘Old Warship Section’ was laid bare. The bridge section gave the impression of a large spade from which an arch shaped gate extended to the spherical section that was the engine block, while from the rear three catapults extended in a fan shape like wings.

Having peeked through the window beside these catapults one of the soldiers cried out in a hysterical voice.

“What!? The warship is separating!”

Hearing that the Bangata Crew of the Old Warship Section began to raise a commotion. This group had sought shelter from the hangar which had turned into a battleground. Among them was also the figure of Duelo wrapped in a pilot suit.

“How could this be! What do expect will happen to us!?”

However, cold heartedly leaving them behind, the New Warship Section separated from the Old Warship Section as it glided away.

 

‘GISHI……GISHIGISHI……’

Dita’s Dread was still experiencing vibrations all over from the beam that had opened up the hole in the bulkhead. Directly below the Dread was a catwalk that was barely held in place by a supply valve, and further down was the figure of Hibiki who had been blown away by the shock. At this point Dita was thrown from her cockpit and thus ended up lying on top of Hibiki who was below.

As though sensing Dita’s weight, Hibiki extended his hand despite being unconscious and pushed up on Dita’s breast.

“……Uguh……Heavy……!?”

Even though his consciousness was as yet still waking up, perhaps holding doubts regarding the strange sensation from his unconscious fingers, Hibiki’s hand was rubbing Dita’s soft breast.

As for Dita whose breast was being lifted, she also began to regain consciousness in response to the strange back and forth sensation.

“U-u~~~~n……”

“!?”

Hearing for the first that sweet voice that was released, Hibiki suddenly came to his senses. As for what had forced itself before his eyes, that would be Dita’s little green man mask.

“GA~~~~H! MONSTEEER——!!”

Hibiki screamed. Pushing Dita aside with all his might, he quickly jumped up as though powered by the Pexis.

“W-wait!”

“!?”

Emitting a language he himself could understand, Hibiki involuntarily stopped moving. As he reflexively turning around, having  torn off her protective gear, he caught sight of Dita’s face that was inclined forward, her large pupils sparkling with curiosity and vigor.

“WO~~~~H! It’s a real alien~~~~!!”

In response to Dita’s unexpected statement, Hibiki’s movements once again stiffened.

“A……al, i, en?”

Hibiki was flabbergasted at how unmindfully Dita’s excitement continued to steadily increase.

“Whoopee!! First contact just like in my dreams! I’m Dita Liebely! I have always had an interest in things like aliens and UFOs. Now that it’s come to this, let’s talk about ourselves. Ah, that is……can you understand Dita’s language?”

The entranced Hibiki who had been staring at Dita in a daze finally regained his senses, his stiff face managing to form a smile.

“He, hehe……see you!!”

Quickly saying that, carrying the Hi-Type Number Six rolled up at his side, he twisted around so as to run away from that place. Speaking in regards to Hibiki, in his understanding women made use of black magic to paralyze the body, after which they consume your innards.

“Ah, w-wait just a minuuute——!!”

Having seen this even Dita became flustered and pursued.

“You must be joking! Like I could bear for my innards to be eaten——!!”

“What are you going on about? I didn’t even get to take a picture yet!”

Thus began the strange chase scene involving a ‘man’ and a ‘woman’.

As these two left the apparent jungle gym that was the grove of the Pexis Pragma, strange vibrations began to manifest within the Pexis that should have been dormant up until now. The radiators were trembling slightly, and the light that was visible fluctuated in strength. It was as though it had started in accordance with Hibiki and Dita’s encounter, and that which had been frozen in time seemed to come alive once again.

However, this phenomenon is surely only the beginning of the opening act in this tale.

Part 4

Due to the heartless Prime Minister, the men who were left behind on the Old Warship Section, having lost their fighting spirit, surrendered one by one. Agreeing to this, the women gathered the men who were now prisoners in the hanger. By now even the white smoke antiseptic that enveloped and obscured their vision had finished settling, and the men were introduced to the women who each had respectively removed their heavy protective garments.

“A~Ah……I understand the disinfectant is important, but as for this odor, I still haven’t grown accustomed to it…….”

081

One of the pilots, Jura Basil Elden, was complaining while leaning against one of the Bangata that had been abandoned by the sortie gate. With blonde hair that was close to transparent that easily reached her waist along with a figure with the proportions of a model, plus the voluptuous floating movement of a certain trait that looked about to overflow.

She was the kind of existence that in our universe could be said to induce watering at the mouth, but as far as the men of Taraak were concerned it could be said to be the most unpleasant of objects. To be faced with that ‘Female Paradgim’ as they were standing there with their hands raised, their emotions of complete disgust were completely laid bare.

“Jura! Don’t forget to stay vigilant.”

The one who showed up at this point was the leader, Meia Gisborn. While like Jura she seemed to be approximately about twenty years old age wise, from the way the other women looked over at the sound of her voice with heightened tension, she was held in esteem commensurate the intimidating air that had been bestowed upon her character.

Garbed in a pure white pilot suit, her attire was one that conveyed a ‘rigid’ image. Enfolding her blue hair that had been cropped short was her only form of individuality, a hair ornament that formed a border around her left eye.

“What about Dita?”

Meia spoke while directing her sharp gaze over the surrounding area.

“She went plunging through the hull firing her damn beam, hmph! Thanks to that……ouch! Just a minute Pai!  Be a little more careful will you!! My skin is delicate I’ll have you know!”

This one pirate of unwielding character, who was angrily pointing out the injury on her arm, was Barnette. She was among several women who had suffered injuries and were enduring the pain from their wounds, and was currently sitting down. And then, the one beside her, who seemed to be about ten years old, was the nurse Paiway Underberg wearing a frog apron, who was providing medical treatment with her unreliable hand movements. That she performing for so many people poorly was not improbable given that she was alone.

“You are not allowed to complain! This is to be expected since we don’t have the usual medical systems!”

For the men this conversation of women was nothing other than painful, but yet there was just one person amongst them, none other than Duero, who for some reason was listening attentively in great interest.

 

At that moment, a detachment of three female pirates forced open a door, and entered the bridge of the Old Warship Section. Looking at the surroundings, from how there were hanging cables with the appearance of dead wood coming out here and there from the panels, it could be understood that this place hadn’t been used in  a long time.

Confirming that there were no hostile individuals here they each removed their protective clothing and started towards the consoles.

The executive officer Buzam removed her clothing considerably quickly and produced a communication device. With silver hair that one might expect to be fake, her slender and tall figure that was stretched thin gave an image filled with resolution.

“Captain, this is BC! The men escaped by partitioning the ship, we’ve secured the sub-bridge.”

As Buzam briskly made her report, the remaining two checked the systems.

“Ara, what should we do……. It’s nothing but men’s language that I can’t read…….”

Thinning her narrow eyes even more, the one who was calmly perplexed was the operator Ezra Vieille {TN: Pronounced like VA}. The men’s writing that she spoke of was Kanji words. {TN: This is a play on words since ‘men’s handwriting’ (otokomoji) is another term for Chinese characters (Kanji)} On Majere, alphabet and kana characters were mainstream due to the necessity of easy translation software.

Another crewmember, Parfet Balblair, produced this very translation software device while grinning broadly. Her chestnut colored hair was tied up in two bunches, and her distinctive trait was the large googly spectacles that were unsuited for someone her age.

“Please leave it too me! For an occasion such as this, we have this Miss Translator-chan! ……Fufu……ah! Vice chief, I even have another one for you……”

She turned as she spoke brimming with confidence but,

“Meia, how are things over there? We have no need for the men that have been secured; it’s okay to dispose of them.”

The Buzam in question though was reading something on the console easily, and was moreover holding a communication device and giving instructions to the combat unit.

Seeing that Parfet became completely dejected.

“It can’t really be, since the Vice Chief is elite among the elites after all……”

“Moh! ……That is to say, we’re just fools then?”

“It’s not like that……”

 

Buzam’s report was received by the female pirates’ mothership which then started to approach the Old Warship Section. Aboard the New Warship Section that had retreated to a safe distance the Prime Minister gazed at this in annoyance.

“The Majere pirate ship, it’s currently approaching the Old Warship Section.”

“Signals are being emitted from inside the warship.”

The bridge crew’s reports continued. Hearing these the captain was filled with frustration.

“Those guys, so they’ve started taking it over then!”

His eyes completely still, the Prime Minister who had become serious spoke calmly.

“Prepare to fire the space-faring torpedo ‘Muramasa’!”

All at once the facial expressions of the crew stiffened at the Prime Minister’s proclamation.

“Certainly not!? Do you intend to destroy the Old Warship Section!?”

The captain was expressing the sentiments of everyone present as he drew new the Prime Minister. However, for the Prime Minister who had been driven into a corner there was no longer any time to pay attention to the opinions of others.

“Rather than helplessly letting it fall into enemy hands……I’d sooner, with this hand……”

 

‘GASHAGASHA! GRAA——N!’

By pushing his way through the junk scattered about the Old Warship Section’s passageway that was now a storage room, Hibiki continued to run through it. The satchel he was carrying became snagged on a projection, but in his hurry he didn’t notice this.

While snapping the shutter on the circular camera she was holding, Dita was pursuing from close behind him.

“Hey! Why are you running away! Dita is from a peaceful race!!”

“Uhi~~~~! I don’t understand what you’re saying!!”

The two of them kept up the comical pursuit in spite of the impending crisis.

 

In the hangar that had been completely taken over, the women, in accordance with Buzam’s instructions, were leading the men who had become prisoners of war to the escape capsules and stuffing them inside. They were urged forward like sheep by a pack of sheepdogs.

From among them, Duero alone separated from the line, and without wavering pulled open a hatch mounted on the wall marked ‘Emergency Medical Use’.

“Don’t get out of line! We’ll shoot if you resist!!”

One of the pirates, having noticed Duero, threatened him with the ring gun worn on her finger.

Duero however, without showing any sign he was perturbed,

“It’ll be fine if I go afterwards……” {TN: Duero refers to himself with the female ‘watshi/atashi’.}

so he muttered, and drawing out a white coat and the included medical kit, he pulled the sleeves on right over his pilot suit.

“D-don’t just say things arbitrarily! I really will shoot you if you disobey!”

As though he completely didn’t hear that voice, Duero acted calmly as he straightened the robe’s collar, and together with a suspicious smile, he slowly turned as he spoke.

“No need to worry. I’m a doctor.”

Duero was the elite of the elite. It was only to be expected that he possessed medical knowledge. It was thus for this precise reason that he took such abrupt actions.

As far as he was concerned the most important thing was to satisfy his own intellectual desires. Seeing women for the first time, he was filled with curiosity regarding the unknown ‘body of a woman’.

“I’ll step aside and leave this warship once I’ve examined those who are injured.”

This he said while displaying an ominous smile, as he steadily approached in the direction of Barnette and the others.

 

Several new lights appeared on the New Warship Section’s control monitor.

“Lifeboats have been ejected from the Old Warship Section. Although unconfirmed it would appear to be the majority of the crew that was left behind.”

When he heard that the Captain turned to face the Prime Minister.

“Prime Minister, those guys are pirates after all. Through proposing peaceful negotiations, if we offer them resources then the Old Warship Section……”

Speaking as though he hadn’t heard what the Captain was proposing, the Prime Minister interrupted his words and said, “Is the Muramasa ready yet?” as he averted his eyes. It was too late as there was no one to stop that his reckless actions.

 

In an abandoned passageway on the Old Warship Section two silhouettes passed by. They were Meia and Jura.

“Dita! Where are you!?”

Meia shouted while keeping a close eye on their surroundings. The pair of them were searching for Dita who had gone astray.

“Geez! This is why I didn’t want to bring the trainees along!”

Jura followed after her while grumbling.

“The decision was mine. If you have any objections……”

“I get it already, geez! We just need search alright!!”

Jura may be selfish, but she was apparently no match for Meia.

 

The dorsal armor of the bilaterally symmetrical New Warship Section opened, and from inside machines slowly emerged, each one equipped with one Muramasa space faring torpedo respectively.

From each of the massive main bodies extended eight long sensors that shined ominously, and it was fixed on the Old Warship Section.

A response also appeared on the sensor console of the Old Warship Section. Even someone who couldn’t read Kanji could understand the warning indicator. Ezra remained calm as her cheeks became flushed.

“Oh my, this is serious. A missile has locked on to us……”

Upon hearing this Buzam reacted sensibly.

“What!? Paiway! Can we move the ship!?”

“It’s impossible, the engine is currently still dead.”

Paiway spoke despairingly as she raised both hands and shrugged her shoulders. Buzam instantly raised her eyebrows and proceeded to shout at the communication device she was holding.

 

‘Captain! Those guys, they intend to destroy us together with the ship!’

Buzam’s voice reverberated on the pirate ship’s bridge. Gazing at the monitor that was at hand Magno agreed with this, and thus replied in frustration.

“We see it even over here……it’s regrettable since it’s such a large catch, but we’re going to have to get out of here promptly!”

‘Understood!!’

 

Following Magno’s order, the pirate ship positioned itself between the Old Warship Section and the New Warship Section to cover for the evacuation of the combat forces. Following this the New Warship Section as well started a bombardment to cover for the Muramasa.

 

“With this it should be okay.”

Duero muttered this as he finished wrapping a bandage around the upper arm of the last patient, Barnette.

Having heard this Barnette backed away while flustered as though she was scared. Even for her this was the first time she’d been touched by a man since she was born.

Without paying any mind to this reaction of hers, Duero gazed at Barnette as though licking her body all over. To a great extent, it appears something had tickled his intellectual curiosity.

“W-what is it!? There’s isn’t anything of interest after all.”

In contrast to Barnette who said this with a suspicious tone, he said, “……On the contrary……, it’s extremely interesting,” while once again showing that ominous smile.

“I’m not going to say thanks you know.”

To Barnette who said this while trying to display a tough attitude, Duero said, “No problem. ……Now, it’s about time I left,” as he got up.

The warship once again shook violently from an impact. It seemed as though the bombardment between the mothership and the New Warship Section had started to develop at that time.

 

‘Dread Team! Withdraw from the warship at your own discretion!’

Buzam’s transmission even reached Meia who had been investigating the currently open canopy of Dita’s ship.

Receiving this, Meia yelled towards the communication device that was equipped on her wristband.

“Dita has gotten lost! Since I’ll join up with you once I’ve found her, until then everyone……”

While she was in the middle of speaking a curious shriek was heard from down below.

“HI~~~~! Don’t come near me! Don’t touch MEEE——!!”

Jura and Meia were shocked by what they saw down below, where Dita was still persisting in chasing after Hibiki.

“……No way……That child is chasing after a man?”

Meia shouted from behind the astounded Jura.

“Dita! Come back!”

 

On the bridge of the New Warship Section unpleasant vibration once again started to arise. It was the beam attacks from the pirate ship.

Although the bombardment was a screen that exploded at point blank range the sound was sufficient to fan the Prime Minister’s irritation.

“Is the Muramasa ready yet!?”

“It still has not finished fueling.”

Hearing this the Prime Minister, appearing to have already reached the limit of his patience, shouted vigorously as a vein visible on his forehead looked about to burst.

“It has plenty already! FIRE AT ONCE!!”

The crewmember seemed to jump at that threatening look, and proceeding to press the firing switch.

 

The vigorously fired space faring torpedo Muramasa let out a roar as it plunged towards the Old Warship Section.

 

At that moment, the female pirates’ mothership had pulled up alongside the Old Warship Section, and was now undertaking the recovery of the crew members who had infiltrated it.

“Missile incoming! 300 seconds until impact!!”

The bridge crew member shouted hysterically.

“BC!!”

Magno cut her off with a look and yelled while gazing at the monitor.

As Buzam was pushing through the gate with the rest of the crew, she operated the communication device restlessly.

“Apart from myself everyone has evacuated! Three pilots under Meia have not returned!”

Magno replied to this information without faltering.

‘They’ll have to leave on their own Dreads! You return as well, BC!!’

“Roger!”

From Magno’s response, Buzam instantly perceived how urgent the situation was.

As she feared the Muramasa was already close enough to be seen.

 

“KYAAH!”

Next to the Pexis that had steadily started to greatly pulsate suspiciously, Dita’s small shout reverberated. To she who had gotten engrossed in chasing after Hibiki, Meia took the necessary measure of throwing herself on top of her.

“The abandon ship order was given! Don’t arbitrarily separate from the group!”

At Meia’s harsh cry Dita immediately became despondent.

“……HII~~~~N……I’m sorry leader……”

Hibiki on the other hand was climbing up the Pexis’s branches while carrying the Hi-Type Number Six.

 

The two Muramasas that were released from the New Warship Section were rushing towards their prey like hound dogs, having been targeted at the Old Warship Section and the pirate ship.

 

“150 seconds remain until the missiles reach us!”

The bridge crew member’s yell was hysterical. With the crew members having finished boarding, the pirate ship began to rapidly separate from the Old Warship Section.

 

“Meia!!”

Looking through the window, Buzam, having returned to the mothership, called out to Meia’s group that had not yet escaped.

 

Meia, having received the transmission while cramming Dita into her own Dread, finally returned to the white hulled Dread that was hers.

“All three members accounted for. Abandoning ship immediately!”

Yelling this, she lightly disappeared into the cockpit.

Hibiki poked his head out from where he’d been hiding and cast his eyes over the surroundings.

“……About my Bangata……”

Suddenly he saw one of the machines lying sprawled in the middle of the hanger, with what was certainly the character ‘ヒ’ visible on its nether region. Having fallen off of the sortie gate, whether luckily or unluckily, it had been left as it was on the floor.

“OW! I’ve kept you waiting huh, partner!!”

Merrily running over to it, he jumped into the cockpit placed in its chest without hesitation. Simultaneously the protruding left shoulder of the Bangata slid to envelope Hibiki’s body.

“Alright then! Let’s get out of here right away! …………!?”

Letting out a vigorous yell, the moment his hand reached around for his shoulder, Hibiki’s face turned blue.

“The satchel……is gone……”

The Bangata piloting manual had been stored inside of that satchel. However, in the middle of his being chased by Dita, he ended up losing it somewhere.

“……How, do I make it move……?”

Gazing at the complex equipment installed before his eyes, Hibiki was at a loss.

 

‘Hyuiii——n……’

Activating their engines Meia and Jura’s dreads started to rise. However, from behind them Dita’s ship which was still piercing through the wall was rattling as it shook.

“Dita! You’re too slow!”

Concerned about Dita, Meia shouted. However,

“Fue~~~~n, I’m stuck and can’t move at a~ll……”

Frantically shifting the levers was making no progress. Dita’s face stiffened and tears began to well up.

 

“25 seconds till impact!”

“We cannot avoid a direct hit!!”

The crew’s shrill voices resounded on the bridge of the mothership. Even Magno’s face stiffened when she heard that, muttering something like a prayer.

“Hit or miss, it’ll either hit or miss…………”

These words were typical of Magno who had originally been known as a priestess.

 

“Move! MOVE IT!!”

Hibiki recklessly moved the levers, however the Bangata didn’t so much as twitch.

 

“12 seconds remaining!”

 

“Dita! There’s no time left!!”

As Meia yelled frantically in her cockpit Jura’s transmission cut in.

‘Meia, we can’t wait any longer!’

 

Even as everyone was desperately trying to escape, the Muramasa’s warhead responded to its target, and began to release a chilling light.

 

“It’s no good! Somebody save me!!”

Dita’s heartbreaking scream resounded within the engine block, and in the next moment it happened.

‘Viiii————n, ZUBAAAAAAA!!’

Together with a thunderous roar, the Pexis that was below Dita’s ship released a flash.

From the gigantic crystalline mass, a shockwave laced with sparks spread out, not only engulfing the engine block but even overtaking the entire ship, spreading with amazing force.

“U, ……UWAAAAAAA————!!”

The screams of Hibiki, Dita, Meia, and Jura all piled on top of each other, and before long even those were drowned out by the thunderous roar released by the Pexis.

 

Regarding this phenomenon that was suddenly generated, the surrounding star system was painted white together with the dazzling flash. And then, this flash rapidly broke away from the unseen Old Warship Section and even enveloped the pirate ship.

One thought on “Vandread Volume 1 Chapter 2

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