>"Hattori, make a note: I'm 99.8 percent sure we're about to be the first people
>ever to air drop a heavy cruiser, but we'll need to make sure before we apply for
>the world record."
I wonder, would the body certifying such records argue that dropping the spirit of a heavy cruiser embodied in the form of a young witch doesn't count since they didn't drop the actual, physical warship? I can see that being a point of contention (even if G meant this in jest, which is likely, someone is still likely to argue the point I bet.)
>Lucchini's ears picked up the familiar sound of magic being released as both
>the captain and her cat began to glow—but the sound was lower-pitched than
>usual, and the glow was not the blue-white of normal magic...
>... It was red. The deep, angry red of Neuroi plasma beams.
>Lucchini felt a chill race up her spine as duplicates of Oskar's ears and tail
>materialized on the captain. They were not, as was typical of a witch's
>familiar's manifested features, direct copies. Rather than being organic and
>covered in short black fur to match the cat's, they were smooth, geometrically
>perfect black crystal.
>Captain von Preußen raised her head, her eyes snapping open—and they, too, were
>black glass, their irises and pupils shining with blood-red light.
Well, now we know why Eugenie speaks Neuroi-chan. It does make me wonder if she can communicate with any other Neuroi, though later bits of at least this story make it seem like communication on any sort of human intelligible level might be limited by nature or by choice to Neuroi-chan.
>Yoshika saw the seaborne witch take the hit. Evidently she either didn't have
>an automatic shield, or it had crashed instantly, because she disappeared in a
>cloud of spray as the beam exploded something in that strange combat rig she
The Strike Witches canon plays very loose with how witches learn any magic, shielding in particular (Yoshika, for example, just seems to innately know how toss up shields in her very first combat,) but the way things have been portrayed in the UF version of this world it seems like a skill/spell that can be learned, so I hope Mogami can pick it up before her next life or death escapade. Even Eila learned that you can't always dodge your way out of trouble.
>Marisa nodded. "Mine too. What outfit they got you with these days? MI5? SIS?"
>Alice looked her steadily in the eyes for a moment, then sighed. "MOE."
So this reference is explained in the Annotations, but I couldn't help but chuckle at an organization called MOE turning up in something Strike Witches related. Was this happy coincidence, or intentional convergence?
>"Probably impatient, too," Marisa agreed. "'Why take ten days to get it across
>when Karlsland's fastest liner can have it in New York in four?' I can hear
>some yonk at the Admiralty sayin' it now. I do like the codename, though," she
>added, holding the companionway door for Alice and the dolls to precede her
>out. "Got kind of a ring to it. It'll look good in the history books."
It took me to about here to realize the answer to "what's int he box?" At which point I could only really quote Henry Cavill's version of Geralt of Rivia.
>"Sorry we're late," she said in a tiny, piping voice with a distinct Kansai
>accent, and then, with a wry smirk, "Took ya damn time about fully
So I'm deeply amused that the fairies, and only the fairies, seem to have any idea what is going on here, and they seem to regard it as perfectly normal, to the point of being a bit annoyed that it took Mogami this long to trip over it.
>The blonde in white and blue had a whole squadron of miniature helpers with
>her, evidently deployed from cards like old-fashioned spirit summonings.
Are these a variation on the spell cards the Scarlets use, or something physically similar but magically distinct?
>Up forward, Nos. 1 and 2 turrets changed shape, their twin gun tubes partially
>retracting and then splitting apart into what looked like three-pronged
>antennae, while the sides of the turrets narrowed to sharp angles and sprouted
>rakishly angled rows of glowing red crystal.
I know that a "don't jump to conclusions" type response has already been given regarding the Fleet of Fog-ness vibes in this, but this turret reconfiguration pinged that hard for me. It just seems a lot like Eugenie the captain is something much like a mental model for Eugenie the ship when she ramps up her magic and they engage whatever techno-mystical whatsit they have going on. Even if there is no direct link, it's an interesting bit of coincidentally convergent evolution.
>"Oh, for—aren't they ever going to learn?!" Ursula Hartmann burst out, sounding
>so unlike her usually reserved self that Shirley had the momentary impression
>that she'd somehow been replaced by her extroverted twin sister Erica.
They're military brass, so no probably not, at least not on anything resembling a useful timetable.
Though to be fair, they do at least keep refining their safeguards for these Frankenweapons. Hopefully for Eugenie's sake they got it right this time.
>"She doesn't really understand why she changed, either, but what's happening to
>the other Neuroi is different."
The long, proud tradition of some otherworldly invader making a version of itself that is human-like to learn from humanity, and ending up becoming fond of humanity in the process. If there isn't a trope name over on TV Tropes for this there probably should be.
Meanwhile, the larger point is that the Neuroi aren't just adapting and learning based on observation, as they seemed to do during the various anime seasons set in that world, but Something Bigger™ is afoot. <cue ominous music>
>"Tracking, huh?" said Gryphon. "I know someone who's pretty good at that."
I can make some wild guesses, but I'm really not sure who G's speaking of here. Are we supposed to know and I'm just having a dense moment, or is this hinting at things to be seen later?
"This Space For Rent."