Episode's under way, though I've had a busy day and can't finish it tonight. Here, however, is a little something I thought of a while back, and doodled today during the downtimes of an all-day conference class.
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.
Lieutenant de Vaisseau, Forces Navales Galliaises Libres
Lieutenant, Free Gallian Naval Forces
Date of birth: June 11, 1930
Familiar: Mediterranean flying fish (Cheilopogon heterurus)
Striker model: Cherbourg Arsenal Minerve-class Sea Striker
Weapon of choice: Type 47 Jet Harpoon Rifle
Notes: While the flying witches get most of the press and the tank witches have their devotees, few outside of the world's seaports are aware that there are undersea Neuroi as well - and that there is a small corps of magic-wielding young women tasked with hunting and destroying them. These women, the sea witches, tend (unsurprisingly) to come from nations with long-established maritime heritages, many of them islands. Britannia and Fusō have produced many distinguished sea witches, as have Liberion and (mostly northern) Karlsland. Baltlandic sea witches, though rare, are renowned for their ferocity and their navigational skill.
But among the witches of the waters themselves, few names are more highly regarded than that of Jacqueline Cousteau. Sometimes described as "the Professor Miyafuji of the sea," she is renowned among her peers for having developed the first truly practical undersea Striker Unit. She would be the first to admit that she didn't invent most of the technologies incorporated in it herself - Sea Strikers are, for instance, based on the Miyafuji Magic Engine - but she was the first to bring them together and apply them to the problem of underwater counter-Neuroi operations. Before 1942, witches fought undersea Neuroi either by bombing them from the air, or simply by swimming to the attack. The latter technique was highly specialized, very dangerous, and not known for its overwhelming effectiveness.
The Sea Striker changed all that, enabling underwater-specialist witches to fight on terms similar to those enjoyed by their aerial cousins. Coupled with the development of effective undersea weapons such as the Type 47 Jet Harpoon Rifle, it made direct one-on-one engagement of aquatic Neuroi a practical reality. Sea witches are still uncommon, and rarely seen in action, but no military fleet goes anywhere without at least one somewhere in the vicinity. They take their obscurity as a point of pride. "If we're doing our job right," Cousteau has been quoted as saying, "you'll never notice us."
What fewer people realize is that the inventor of the Sea Striker had more in mind for her creation than combat against the Neuroi. From the start, Cousteau's mind was on the device's usefulness in a world without the Neuroi; her heart is that of an explorer, not a warrior. She dreams of a day when she can use her Striker to delve into the ocean depths she loves and share their majesty with the world, rather than fight desperate battles against alien aggressors.
Cousteau's magical specialty is called limited flight; through concentration, she can propel her Sea Striker out of the water and perform short-range aerial maneuvers. This makes her a more flexible combatant than most, but is a very demanding technique and can leave her vulnerable to counterattack.