“So with that fantastic plan in mind, and Earl Grey team are already on the move, the Challenger 2’s shall push up through the front, using their thick front armour to their advantage, while the Leopard 2 squadrons flank and engage from the sides; This brilliant strategy will both cut them off and wittle down their tanks little by little until they lay crushed, unable to lift a finger against us, against Oasis Mirage! Any questions?”
“Yes,” asked Misaki. “First, why am I here?”
“Because,” Emily began, “We need to discuss our battle plan for the next friendly with St. Gloriana.” She tapped the whiteboard behind her, with a poorly drawn tactical map with what looked like a four year old’s spaghetti masterpiece come to life overlaying it. The whiteboard markers had come in a variety of colours and Emily had made full use of them.
“Secondly, why are you wearing the Marshall’s hat?” Misaki gestured to the familiar hat, still atop a blonde head; only this time, it was the wrong blonde head.
“Aha! This is what sets me and you apart, young girl!” Emily cheered.
“I’m three months older than you,” Misaki reminded her.
“For whoever holds and wears this hat, shall become the Marshall of the legendary Oasis Mirage tankery team! It bestows upon its fortunate wearer the gift of great intelligence, and genius strategic planning!”
Misaki resisted the urge to laugh. The whiteboard behind Emily entirely disproved her statement. It was a mess. She had no idea what she was talking about.
“What you mean is that you found it on the Marshall’s desk, and took it without her permission, so you could wear it, and feel what it is like to be the Marshall?”
Emily scratched her ear. “Well, I uh, that might be partly true. Partly. It is but an insignificant droplet in the ocean of water that is what matters!”
“What?” queried Misaki.
“Sorry. I just wanted to sound smart. Any more questions, my apprentice?”
“I’m not your apprentice,” Misaki snapped. “Did you even stop to think about planning this ‘grand scheme’ of yours?”
“Eh?” asked Emily, “What, do you mean to tell me that there could be a flaw with the fantastic Emily ‘Montgomery’ Heartcastle’s plan?”
“Several, actually,” replied Misaki as she rolled her eyes. “For starters, this match is against St. Gloriana, yes?”
“Of course!” said Emily proudly as she puffed out her chest and put her hands on her hips. “Do you see the brilliance?”
“No, but I see a whole host of issues. For starters, St. Gloriana does not use M4 Sherman tanks. You should know this because you attended the school before transferring here.”
“Haha…” Emily mumbled. “Did I say St. Gloriana? I meant Saunders.”
“I’m sure you did,” Misaki quipped, “So what about the enemy T-34s?”
“What of them?”
“Do you mean to tell me that Saunders are using T-34s now?”
Emily rubbed the back of her head as she backed off slightly. Okay, perhaps she had made some slight miscalculations in her plans, but they were simple to fix.
“It’s a two versus two battle. See! It’s our school and Kuromuromine versus Saunders and Pravda!” Emily huffed and wiped the non-existant sweat off of her forehead.
Misaki walked up to the blonde girl in the cap and nabbed the stick from her. She turned on her heel and walked up to the board. “Sensha-do rule number three, part one; “The only vehicles allowed to participate are those whose designs were completed before the date of the fifteenth of August, 1945.” Pray tell, Emi my dear,”
Emily barked back, “Em-i-ly!”
“Why do our tank forces consist of ten FV4034 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks, fifteen Leopard 2A6 Main Battle Tanks, and a singular A12 Infantry Tank Mk. II Matilda, around which the entire defensive formation is based upon?”
“Correct me if I’m wrong, but the Challenger 2 was introduced in 1993. The Leopard 2A6 even later than that. Does that date fall within the date specified by Sensha-do rule number three, part one?”
“Well…” Emily played with her fingers, as if it would magically produce an answer for her in this dire situation. “I mean, if we played our cards right with the higher ups-”
“And how do we acquire these tanks?”
“We buy them.”
“They cost millions of dollars.”
“We’ll find the money.”
“The school ship costs less to run than the purchase of one of these vehicles.”
“Shit.” Emily was stumped.
Misaki strutted up to the British girl and took the Marshall’s hat right from on top of her head. The girl cried out as her normally long blonde hair fell back into place, and she reached up to grab it back from Misaki. However, Misaki had already placed the Marshall’s hat atop her own head.
“You said earlier that the Marshall’s hat bestows magical powers unto those who wore it, as well as the position of Marshall?” Misaki asked. “Then that means I am now the Marshall. And as the Marshall, our first order of business is you cleaning up the mess you made on the Marshall’s whiteboard,” she gestured towards the spaghetti abomination on the whiteboard, “and then taking this hat, finding Komon Lucia herself, and giving her your most sincere apologies. Are we clear, Miss Hatkou?”
“My second name isn’t Hatk-”
“Are we clear, Miss Hatkou?” asked Misaki once again, this time through gritted teeth with an absolute death stare. Emily thought it best not to question her new Marshall, lest her Matilda be on the receiving end of an 88mm shell. And no, absolutely not, she couldn’t put her baby in harm’s way like that. Harm was a shithead. Nobody liked harm nor his way.
Nobody liked Emily either, apparently. Certainly none of the gods, goddesses, or higher celestial beings did, else they would have prevented this cruel tragedy before it even began.
“Yes Marshall. I’m sorry for the trouble, Marshall,” Emily grumbled, and set to work. Within minutes, the whiteboard was spotless, which was impressive considering it would normally take her twice as long to complete such a task. This time, it only took her three times as long as the normal person, without anything to distract her.
The pseudo-Marshall Misaki then took the hat from her own head, and handed it to Emily. She looked the girl in the eyes with a kinder smile. She never meant to be mean to anyone, and she would certainly never wish anything cruel upon the sweet Emily, even if she couldn’t pronounce her name.
Emily skittered off into the halls in search of their real Marshall, Komon Lucia, once more, as Misaki made herself at home on the closest sofa, and kicked back for a good afternoon’s beauty nap.
Which was promptly ruined by a dream of Challenger 2s and Leopard 2s supporting a Matilda’s charge against Shermans and T-34s.
God damn it, Emily.