Black Jack shudders under the blast of the 90mm T54 main cannon. The first shot, an armor-piercing round, had detonated against a tree before hitting the target- the HVAP round used sheer kinetic energy to cause damage instead of an explosive filler- it would hopefully pass through any obstructions.You are Commander Russells of the M26E1 Pershing Heavy Tank "Black Jack" and as the deafening boom resounds, you close your eyes, waiting for the Firefly's return fire.It doesn't come."Confirm kill, Commander?" Rose says impatiently from below you.Your eyes snap open. What? You immediately go to the commander's scope- there's a smoking hole through the coax-.30cal port. Not a true penetration- the round had more than likely shattered itself pre-impact, but the evidence of where the round struck was still there. Directly above it was a small white flag. "Confirm! Firefly is down!" You say, sighing heavily. You hit the tactical frequency. "Firefly is down!" You repeat, this time a bit calmer and collected. Yeah, you totally had this- no way you didn't!>"Miho, what's our orders?">Pull back before they start hitting our position.>Push forward- we are the hunter now.>Other.
>>29101449>Push forward- we are the hunter now.We have them just where we want them.
>>29101449>Push forwardTHE HUNT BEGINS
>>29101449>Push forward- we are the hunter now.Time for the great Saunder Turkey Shoot!
>>29101449>>Push forward- we are the hunter now.Violence of action gentlemen
>>29101449>Push forward- we are the hunter now.We have good frontal armor, cover, a T54 gun and enemies with zero cover. What more could we want?
Can we play Thunderstruck now?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2AC41dglnMalso:>Pull back before they start hitting our position.We've got what we came for.
>>29101449>Pull back before they start hitting our position.
>>29101449>Push forward- we are the hunter now.
>>29101559No, it is time for Rapid Fire:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhXUutpELRA
>>29101449>>Push forward- we are the hunter now.ORDERS ARE ORDERS COMRADES. STRAIGHT TO VICTORY AND GLORY.Also, anyone want me to repost Ob'yekt No. 768 earning his name?
>>29101449>"Miho, what's our orders?"
>>29101449>>"Miho, what's our orders?"
>>29101786Is that Saki with glasses in the audience?Next to the one with short blonde hair?
>>29101549They're still fully capable of hitting us in the turret ring or other shot traps.>>29101449"All victors, this is Blackjack, I need one of your pretty ladies on each side, we're goin' on a duck hunt."
>>29101449>Pull back before they start hitting our position.>"Miho, what's our orders?"Just to be the Devil's Advocate.That, and I can't shake the feeling that this is a trap. Chalk it up to paranoia.
>>29101449Are we flag tank?
>>29102061The 38 is the flag for this match
Time for Tanks!Jan 2014 edition
>>29101449>Push forward- we are the hunter now.lets do this.
>>29102189That's not how you do it.HAHA TIME FOR TONKS!
>>29101449I'll bet they have a second firefly.
>>29101746No, it is time for Dare.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NouZB6QuCys
>>29102597Eh, not feeling that for armored combat. Sounds like something for fruitbooting in short shorts down in commiefornistan to me.
>>29101449>"Miho, what's our orders?">Pull back before they start hitting our position.
Reposting because this is really great, in my opinion.Small destroyed town- roughly one hundred miles from BerlinJanuary 30th, 1945"Up!" Loader Putin called enthusiastically, jamming the 122mm shell into Object No. 768's gun. They had driven hard for Germany, sleeping over the warmth of the tank's engine compartment, once even participating in hand-to-hand around their IS-2 as a German counterattack formed a salient in the Red Army lines that had penetrated into the tank lager. Engine rumbling at full throttle, the IS-2 came crashing down the other side of the hill, Commander Baranov cackled madly as Comrade Gunner Markin placed a shell directly into the soft spot of a Panzer IV."Infantry on our front, twenty degrees left, Comrade Kandinsky! They're wearing the gray of the imperialistic bastards! Adjust course!" A loud 'TING' echoed through the tank as the turret's front armor bounced a 75mm shot from a Panzer III. "Gunner Markin, when reloaded, please remove his face from EXISTENCE.""UP," Putin screamed once more, and Markin fired again, blowing the turret off the Panzer III as the 122mm armor-piercing shell found the ammo rack. The IS-2's engine purred in satisfaction at the damage he was dealing to enemies of the Rodina, when his driver bellowed at their commander."The scum are surrendering, Comrade Baranov!""It matters not, Comrade Kandinsky! Orders are orders! STRAIGHT TO BERLIN!" And Object No. 768 knew what was about to happen. CRUNCH, went the infantry beneath his treads and mighty chassis, and the fellow Soviet infantry riding on his back were sick at the thought that might have been them beneath a German Tiger. "Mighty is Red Vanya, Comrade Kandinsky. He crushes all enemies of the Rodina beneath his treads!" And Red Vanya was happy, for he had been baptized in fire and the blood of the enemies of his people.
>>29101449>OtherConfirm if Duck team is alright. Thank them for a job well done, and see if they are able to continue the fight.Then, we push forward.
"We're moving up-" You say, allowing the same subdued confidence to reutnr to your voice. "Think we can finish this by lunch?" You say. "Richard- take us up through the woods." You call, unbuttoning the hatch to put your head up. "ONWARD! TO GLORY!""Russells." Miho chimes in over the radio. "Be careful, alright?""Anything they bring against us is outclassed." You say. "Don't worry- we've got this." They have nothing left that can go toe-to-toe with Black Jack."Alright- but you're not going alone. Duck and Hippo Teams: protect the flag." She says. "Meet at E-7- we'll hunt as a team." You look down at the map- it'll take twenty minutes to get there without breaking cover. And then another ten minutes to get to where you last saw Kay's tanks. They'll have more than enough time to change-position. Miho's being cautious- maybe overly so.>We should have someone watch our back- meet her there.>She's being too cautious- she can catch up to us later.>Meet at a more forward position.>Other.
>>29103104>>We should have someone watch our back- meet her there.She's the overall Commander. We do not want to make things bad by disregarding orders. This isn't even taking into account it would be disregarding our girlfriend.
>>29103104>Meet at a more forward position.
>>29103148agreed. A team only works when it plays together and follows the plan
>>29103104>We should have someone watch our back- meet her there.
>>29103104>We should have someone watch our back- meet her there.This match is practically in the bag, don't piss it away.
>>29103104>We should have someone watch our back-meet her there.trust in the strategist who believes in you.
>>29103104>Meet at a more forward position.Gives Miho the option to flank, support, or follow through with a second wave when we are engaged.
>>29103104>>We should have someone watch our back- meet her there.We got the priority target and a few others besides. As long as the 38 stays out of trouble, we have it made.
>>29103104>We should have someone watch our back- meet her there.Let's be a good boyfriend and listen to the young lady who definitely knows her shit.
>>29103104Stop to smell the flowers
>>29103104>>We should have someone watch our back- meet her there.She knows her shit. Listen to her!
>>29103104>We should have someone watch our back- meet her there.Hands're tied, no one to help us now, and she's not going to task anyone else to us.Also, pic related.
>>29103306Is... Is that a firefly with a 75mm coax?
>>29103263Go to bed, Hana.
>>29103331How would they have room in the turret for that? The 17 pounder had to be mounted sideways with the radio on the outside to fit.
>>29103331Maybe a Firefly with a flamethrower from a Crocodile?
>>29103104>We should have someone watch our back- meet her there.there is always a plot twist. there is likely another shoe to drop. we can't let our selves get over confident.
>>29103104>>We should have someone watch our back- meet her there.
>>29103415>>29103416Dummy gun. What you think you kill is not necessarily what you killed.
Is this the time for the Summoning?*checking watch*
>>29103334Hana to Darjeeling's bed asaphttp://sgcafe.com/2013/12/new-pvc-figure-tea-beach-queens-darjeeling-girls-und-panzer/
>>29103961You're ten minutes early, like usual
>>29104000somehow, its starting like a running gag. no really.
>>29104028the summoning business has been a running joke for months nowget with the times!
Blackjack post timer is upWhat happens if he actually IS dead?
You frown- Miho's giving Kay too much time to regroup her forces. But she's the Commander and your Girlfriend. And you aren't sure you'd like to know what an angry Nishizumi is like. "Roger. Moving to E-7." You say, a bit deflated now that your roaring rampage of victory has been postponed. "Richard, bring us around- get us there quietly."As you stare at the map though, you realise that there is no friendly cover for nearly two miles- more if you'd went further. If you had gotten trapped or ambushed, there would've been no help. Yeah. Alright. Miho was right.Despite your previous estimates, Richard manages to cut nearly five minutes off what you estimated, but it's still a lot of time for Kay to regroup her team and prepare a concerted defense or move to a position to threaten the flag tank. When you arrive at the position, it doesn't take long for you to spot Miho's Panzer IV just inside the tree line.She puts her eyes up to a pair of small binoculars before you see her reach up and trigger her throat-mic. "So Russells, got any ideas?" She asks- a sign of trust that she'd ask for your input.>"Their only hope is to go for our flag tank...">"We find their tracks and hunt them down one by one.">"We should go straight for their flag tank- the M4A1.">Other.
>>29104135Y'know... I've never actually *planned* to post right after people discuss my probable demise. It just always fucking happens that way.
>>29104166Happens to a lot of QMs.>>29104138>their only hope is to go for our Flag Tank>We find their tracks and hunt them one by one
>>29104138>>"We should go straight for their flag tank- the M4A1."DECAPITATE THEIR LEADERSHIP
>>29104138>>"Their only hope is to go for our flag tank..."
>>29104138>"We should go straight for their flag tank- the M4A1."L'audace! L'audace! Toujours l'audace!
>>29104138>>"We should go straight for their flag tank- the M4A1."How does that one saying go? Cut the head off the snake, the body will follow?
>>29104138>>"Their only hope is to go for our flag tank...""Perhaps we can play the same ploy with the radios. Worth a shot at least. Perhaps signal a rendevious over the radio somewhere silly, set us and the excelsior with a line of fire on the area.
>>29104138>"Their only hope is to go for our flag tank..."
>>29104135>>29104138>>29104166HOW DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING>"We should go straight for their flag tank- the M4A1."Let's end the game already, but be cautious about it.
>>29104138>">No war was won by static defenses. We should go straight for their flag tank- the M4A1.">"If you can spare the Excelsior, the two of us should be able to take out the rest them down while the rest of you hunker down."
>>29104138>"We should go straight for their flag tank- the M4A1."Violence of action motherfuckers, never give up momentum
>>29104138>We should have someone watch our back- meet her there.
>>29104138 >"We should go straight for their flag tank- the M4A1.""Tout hussard qui n'est pas mort avant 30 ans est un Jean-foutre!"Patton is a pussy. We Lasalle now.
>>29104138>"We should go straight for their flag tank- the M4A1."
Feels with Katyusha or killing things first, guys?
>>29104404"Mon coeur est à toi, mon sang à l'Oorai, ma vie à l'honneur"
>>29104535Lasalle is basically the ideal cavalry commander.
>>29104138>"Their only hope is to go for our flag tank...">"We find their tracks and hunt them down one by one."
>>29104138>"Their only hope is to go for our flag tank..."It's really too bad we shot that balloon. We could flip the script on them and start pulling them into ambushes
You smile. "The enemy's gate is down." You quote, realising a few seconds later that perhaps a Japanese schoolgirl didn't read the same books in Freshman English as you did. "...Alright, so we win the game if knock out their flag tank, right?" You say, the plan coming together in your head. "If Duck and Hippo can get to a defensible position with Turtle protected, they've got the firepower and armor to take even a concentrated assault."You see Miho's head nod from across the meadow- she's actually quite pretty in the forest-filtered light. Not that she isn't pretty anyway. "Gives us the time to find their flag tank..." She continues your plan. "What if they leave a detail?" She asks- from her tone she's not poking a hole in your plan, so much as asking you to flehs it out."They only have six tanks left- if they leave a rear guard then it dilutes their ability to attack into our rear-guard." You say after thinking a second. "They'd risk an unsuccessful assault that could further reduce their numbers. We'd only need to probe their guard, confirm numbers and figure out our play from there."There's a moment of quiet while you wait for Miho to come to a decision. "What if it's a trap?">"Assault into the ambush- do as much damage as possible.">"Black Jack can take a beating from them, just keep them from flanking me.">"We'll just have to make sure we don't fall for it.">Other.
>>29104879>"Black Jack can take a beating from them, just keep them from flanking me."We all saw what Kay did to Pravda.
>>29104879>"We'll just have to make sure we don't fall for it.">Other.counter trap!
>>29104879>"Black Jack can take a beating from them, just keep them from flanking me."We only really have to worry about shot traps and side/rear shots. If we go hull down we're pretty much invincible.
>>29104879>>"Black Jack can take a beating from them, just keep them from flanking me."Katyusha feels soon, comrades.And then killing things.
>>29104879>"Black Jack can take a beating from them, just keep them from flanking me."
>>29104879>>"Assault into the ambush- do as much damage as possible."We took their heavy hitters, we can afford to trade at this point. We can slug it out alright if it comes down to it.
>>29104879>"Black Jack can take a beating from them, just keep them from flanking me.">"We'll just have to make sure we don't fall for it."
>>29104973>>29104918but how well does our blackjack take hits in WoT?
>>29105210The Pershing has a fairly bouncy turret mantlet and face
>>29104879I have a feeling it is a trap. We're going to get fucked with when we find out they have a second Firefly waiting for us.
>>29105309Pretty sure that Yukari only saw one.
>>29105443"If you know yourself, but not the enemy, for every victory gained, you will also suffer a defeat."We know what we've taken out, but we don't know what they have left, only how many.On that note, did we hit Alice's tank yet?
>>29105228I miss when the Spershing was good. Matchmaking seems to be against it on top of the nerfed armor.
>>29104879>Other"Let's find one of their disabled tanks and get the crews attention, then ram it until the give us information."
>>29105616Are you *trying* to get us disqualified?
>>29104533Do you think you can do one about a Finnish StuG III?
>>29105608Only the hull armor was nerfed. The turret is still bouncier than a Lowe or a T29's.The gun was never good, sad to say.
>>29105616I'm not voting for this, but it is pretty funny.
>>29105509>On that note, did we hit Alice's tank yet?Only an attack against the radio intercepting balloon.If Alice was in close proximity, Miho would've capitalized on it to take out the flag tank already.Oh yeah, we might want to confirm which is the flag tank of the enemy team to be sure.
>>29105654Well, I still think they tweaked its matchmaking. I always seem to end up at the bottom of the list in tier 9 matches. Maybe it's just me.
>>29105695Can't be as bad as the Lowe ending up in tier 10 matches. Could've sworn half the point of premiums was to not be fighting stuff that's way out of your league.Oh well. Still rakes in the credits and exp for the KT's crew, so I suppose I shouldn't complain too much.
"I can take anything they throw at me head-on." You say. "Black Jack's got the armor to move up through their fire. I just need you to keep my flanks clear." You mind goes back to the Pravda video. "Keep them off my sides and rear and I can push the fight right up to their flag tank.""You put a lot of trust in your tank." Miho says quietly. "You're sure Black Jack can take a frontal assault? They still have an Easy Eight."You smile. "You can only trust two things in tanking- your crew and your tank." To tell the truth, you don't know which you trust more- it's more like Black Jack is just the sixth member of your crew, and you and your crew are all part of Black Jack- but you prefer not to wax philosophical at this time. "So, think it'll work?"Miho's silent for a second. "It's aggressive, audacious and could very easily go wrong at any point." She says. "It's also the last thing they'll expect from a Nishizumi." She laughs. "It'll work perfectly."You're not exactly sure, but you think she just used you to come up with a strategy too dumb and reckless for Kay to expect. You're actually kind of okay with that. Sometimes you don't need fancy moves and slick strategy- sometimes you just have to find a really big stick and just hit them with it. Repeatedly, if necessary."So, we need to find the Flag tank then." Miho says- you look down at your map, and then your watch- whatever time you'd Richard had saved getting over here had been eaten up by telling Miho to use a bludgeon instead of a scalpel.>"Any ideas on the map?">Think we could find the M4A1's tracks?>Find the tracks from the M4A2/A3s that chased Miho earlier.>Other.
>>29105608Actually, it's often lost in all the Armor nerfs, but the SP actually received a nerf to it's matchmaking weight, meaning that it balances against tougher tanks and has a larger chance to be in Tier IX battles.
Warum "Girls und Panzer" anstelle "Mädchen und Panzer"?
>>29105906Because Japan, Germany.
>>29105843>>"Any ideas on the map?"Yeah, I got nothing. We haven't seen the enemy for a while, but following their tracks seems like suicide.
>>29105843>sometimes you just have to find a really big stick and just hit them with it. Repeatedly, if necessary.The eldest Nishizumis approve.>Find the tracks from the M4A2/A3s that chased Miho earlier.We'd have a better luck with finding a pack of Shermans than a lone one.
>>29105843>>Find the tracks from the M4A2/A3s that chased Miho earlier.>>Other."I'm going to try following their trail, let me know if you have any thoughts over the set." While holding up our phone.
>>29105843"Blackjack's taken hits from 85s before, I'm sure we'll be fine.""If you've got a guess for gridloc, I'm all ears, otherwise form echelon left and follow me.">Other: Perform a perimeter sweep centered on the 38(t). Most likely they'll be coordinating an attack, and their best shot at it would be to throw all the tanks into the attack, flag tank or no.
>>29105843>"Any ideas on the map?"
Blackjack is dead, long live Blackjack!
I'll go get a goat someone else prepare the summoning circle
>>29106524This is serious.We need a cow or an ox for this one.
>Note: Tie vote so I flipped a coin. You sigh. "Well... Kay probably pulled back to regroup right?" You say, taking a hopefully educated guess. "To assign defenses to the the flag tank, or ralley her tanks for an attack..." You bite your lip- it seems like a longshot. "We know where those A2s and A3s that were chasing you ducked back into the woods- shouldn't be hard for us to follow their path through the forest." You shake your head. "No... too risky- could lead us right into a trap or right into their offensive force." "No." Miho says. "No- I like it. If it's a trap, well, you said it yourself: Black Jack can handle it." She pauses for a second. "And if it leads us to their attack force we could potentially take them from the rear. We'd be free to use our entire team to hunt down the flag tank and its defenders."Well, when she puts it that way it sounds a lot better than diving headlong into the forest and waiting for the first round to hit before you realise they know you're coming. "So, we've got a plan then?"Miho looks across the meadow from her map and nods. "We've got a plan." She says, pausing to have Yukari switch her over to the larger tactical frequency. "Alright, Hippo team- Caesar, Erwin: Check your maps and look around- find a good Alamo position." You smile a bit at her use of the term. "I want you and Duck team to escort the flag to that position and hold it as long as you can.""Roger!" Erwin calls over the comms. "What do we do if we're overrun?"Miho's reply is short: "Find a good enough defensive position and they'll lose before they win."
>>29106595Next time on GuPQ?
>>29106609WE DO THREE THINGS
>>29106615Time slot, and a twitter?Is that really the end? It feels like there should be more.
NEXT TIME ON GIRLS UND PANZER QUEST!>Oorai's clawed itself into an advantage.>Can we maintain it?>Or will we get a 76mm serving of Freedom?Girls und Panzer Quest will continue Saturday at 5-6PM PST.Follow me on twitter for schedule updates and to find out when the thread goes live!https://twitter.com/BlackJackGuPQ
>>29106630Sorry- still a bit sick so I need to get *some* sleep before I start passing out between posts.Saturday might end a bit early as well, since I have work at 11 the next morning, but Sunday I can go pretty long.
>>29106648No worries, man. Gives me more time to not write SaS
>>29105870I knew it! This is horse shit!
>>29106648It's alright, dude, don't stress yourself out on our accounts. Go get some rest and eat you some soup, you hear?
>>29104973Oy, Red Vanya! Still awake for posting of glorious Katyusha, comrade?(Also, shameless bump)
>>29109566Afraid I passed out, mate. I've been fighting off a cold while still trying to go to work and do things. Give me a little bit and I'll try to finish what I have.
>>29109566"You're big," she murmured against his turret as she huddled near to it, the warmth from his engine exhaust making the turret seem hot compared to the air and ground around them. The crew huddled inside him, where it was warmer, but the short blonde had desired privacy and so had absconded to his exterior, where she now huddled."I want to be big so people take me seriously, but I'm not big like you yet." Give it time, dear one, he thought comfortingly at her, but remained, from inability to speak, silent. "Nonna is nice. She doesn't mind carrying me around on her shoulders to help me see more and be taller, but it doesn't compare to having my own height." Well, his height had been manufactured, his weight a result of the armor, and while Katyusha'd never reach his height or weight, or come close to it, she dreamed. And he empathized with that. "I have a boyfriend, Vanya, did you know? He's very quiet, like you. And tall. And he carries me sometimes, but I don't mind, because he's very nice."So, to his way of reading the situation, she couldn't date him, so she settled for the next best thing. Poor, poor girl. His thought process was shattered when his engine turned over and rumbled to full idle. "Katyusha, enemy spotted moving along the ridge!" With a scowl, she scrambled onto the top of his turret and then slid in, and he buckled down to make (semi)war.
>>29106631>wake up>missed the entire thread>urge...to kill...rising...I'll just post this story starring Saunders' Firefly. Someone requested he be a veteran of Caen. Your wish is my command.July 9, 1944D-Day+3Central Caen, NormandyBernie was scared.The street was so narrow he couldn't turn around. The sky was dark and overcast from the recent storm, and Bernie could feel the fear of his crew and the supporting infantry. He wanted to comfort them, tell them his 17-pound cannon and thick armor could protect them...but he couldn't speak.And even if he could, he wasn't sure he'd be telling the truth.He had seen it twice now-the front vistas of apartment buildings, their interiors bombed out by the nightly raids, had been rigged to collapse by the Huns. Alphonse had screamed-a spectral cry of abject terror-as his hull crumpled under tons of stone. Barry hadn't even the time to speak, but at least his crew had survived. They were somewhere behind Bernie now, the sapper teams working feverishly to rescue the crew from the broken hulk that was once Bernie's friend.Every crumbling block could be a prelude to a booby trap. Every tremor from the artillery could set off an avalance-and there was nothing Bernie could do about it. He was helpless to do nothing but trundle forward, a huge olive green target.Bernie decided then. He HATED urban fighting.
>>29110301The first warning he got was the signature 'CRACK' of a Kar98K rifle-probably fitted with a scope, Bernie thought- as one of the supporting infantrymen jerked and dropped, screaming as blood flowed from his destroyed kneecap. There was a call of 'sniper' and the infantry dove to cover. Bernie's commander, Captain Thomas, him stop, not wishing to advance further without the infantry to support him.Bernie's engine thrummed with worry. Champion! Now he was not only a big green target, he was a STATIONARY one too. How could this get worse?!He got his answer when the Huns revealed themselves at the top of the buildings around him.Bernie screamed in a voice no one could hear. His 50-cal couldn't depress high enough. His cannon-that beautiful 17-pounder, the one they'd nearly torn his turret apart to fit, the gun he'd grown to love so much-couldn't angle that high. He could do nothing but backpedal away as good Englishmen were cut to ribbons by the Huns.'You mustn't run away'. That was the mantra. They'd been dealing with Panzers, and the occasional Tiger, but also self-propelled guns and towed field guns. Nothing that Bernie couldn't handle. Nothing he couldn't fight.He couldn't fight this. He found himself begging, pleading with whomever would, or could listen to let him be spared, let his crew survive. As the soldier with the Panzerschreck jumped into the window and leveled his weapon at the side of Bernie's turret, Bernie knew his request had gone unanswered. His friends were going to die.Then there was a sound like thunder, a roar of fire, and he knew no more.
>>29110333---Bernie shuddered as he awoke from the memory. He cast his awareness around him, trying to find something of interest to distract him, to draw his attention away from the fact that this wasn't his original turret. He found the presence of his new commander, the short Japanese girl. Naomi. That was her name.He focused on her. She was island of stability in the chaotic sea of Bernie's mind. He had seen so much. Africa, where he and his company had smashed Rommel's defenses at the battle of El Alamein-BOTH of them. Italy, where they had come ashore at Salerno to assist the beleagured invasion force against a heavy resistance. That was the first time Bernie had to fight in close quarters.And then Normandy, where-no. Don't go there. you're a senshado tank now. You've got fiber linings and you get shot at with counter-penetrators. Your crew is safe. They're always safe.Naomi turned her attention from the gun barrel to Bernie. As she did so, the Call of Kay sounded. Bernie knew it well-the Division Commander always announced herself when she entered the hangar. It was always a friendly greeting-not the sharp call to attention of a field general, but a warm-hearted 'hullo' to all who would listen.Bernie listened. He liked to listen.
>>29110341"Naomi! How goes?" Said the Division Commander, making a beeline for Bernie and his gunner. "Big Bernie up to shape for the match today?""He is." Replied Naomi, in her typically blunt fashion. She was always like that, saying what needed to be said and no more. So much like Captain Thomas-NO! Not there! Bernie shuddered again as the memory threatened to take him-"What's wrong?" Kay said. Bernie stopped, the simple question piercing the icy waters around his thoughts. Naomi had fixed her gaze directly on a spot just behind the school logo on the right side of Bernie's turret-the spot where he had been shot over half a century ago."I don't know." Naomi said, her gaze lined with curiosity. "He just seems a bit off today.""I thought you said he was ready." Kay's friendliness had given way to concern."He is. Treads are tight, gun is sighted, engine checks out. I don't know." Naomi reached out and placed a hand on the cold steel plate. "He just seems...off.""What, do you think he needs a hug?" Kay said wryly. But she was only half-joking. Of all the tanks they owned, Bernie, their Firefly, had seen the most combat. He was also the only restored tank-the others were surplus, retired after the war, then bought by Saunders. Bernie had been knocked out, his crew killed. He had needed extensive repair to be returned to fighting shape.Naomi shot a look at her commander, but said nothing. Bernie silently smiled. 'What a thing it is', he thought, 'for an old war horse like me to be cared for so well.' He decided then. He would give his absolute best for these girls-even in urban fighting.