Chapter 103:

Island Hopping - Part 1


The flat and open deck was starting to make much more sense now that everyone was getting ready on it. It was necessary for a deck to be like this if this kind of operation was to be standard operation for this vessel. There would be no way to keep almost twenty geared operatives into it otherwise.

In all honesty, Minako, Karim and the dazed Colette didn’t take that much space. The three of them used a very small amount of equipment and fitting a few dozens of them around the deck wouldn't be a problem. But it was a different matter for the fairies.

Each winged colorful girl had an assault rifle, a grenade launcher and was wearing full body armor occupied a good space. And so, the eight members of the Beehive’s assault squad waiting in formation were enough to make the deck feel full.

And there was also Annabeth, who was just as bad.

“Y’all ready to go, gals?”

“We’re really doing this with Colette like this?” Karim asked while waving her hand in front of the brunette that was, once more, knocked out on the ground. “She’s literally sleeping!”

“You should be worryin’ more ‘bout the fact that we’ll be flyin’, y’know? Ain’t sure if I can deal with this actually…”

Again, this frigate was meant for air assault, so the whole idea was sneaking around and flying to a target. And the while carrying things that, even for Anna’s standards, would be heavy weaponry.

It was pretty much as if this ship was an airbase and the petite spirits were airplanes. Maybe the continent should try building something of the kind too…

Still, the best would be if all this was happening as far from Annabeth as it could.

If it wasn’t for the fact that she couldn’t swim the half kilometer between them and their current target, then she would never accept this. But reaching the island housing what seemed to be a mix of temple and lighthouse would take too long otherwise.

“You’re not even pretending to not be scared of heights anymore, eh?” The cop continued with an exasperated look and her usual cynical outlook on the situation. “What if you stood at the bridge with Alya then? There’s not much of a need to risk whatever reaction you’ll have.”

“Nay. I’ll be fine as long as I don’t pay much attention… I think.” Anna dismissed her partner’s opinion, even though she somewhat wanted to comply with, even if only because she felt that going was important. And at the moment, her intuition was something that could be trusted.

Either way, finding this place was exactly what Anna wanted. It was big enough to draw attentiong and conspicuous enough for the likelyhood of something being there be high. In fact, if it wasn’t in such a small island and at such a random location, this place would never stay hidden.

And it only took half a day and nine wrong guesses to find it too. Much faster than expected.

“Ma’ams!” A soft and weirdly serious-sounding voice called them. One that was from who seemed to be the leader of the fairy squad even. A green-haired girl with outstretched butterfly wings of the same color, and she was holding a radio towards Karim. “The captain is asking for you.”

“Thanks, wind gal.” The gun-wielding inquisitor snatched the radio and went to answering it before anyone could complain. “Speak up, whitey. Over.”

By her side, Karim was holding her temple while the assault fairy took a while to even move after Anna’s sudden action. Paying attention to them was for later though, for the first answer from the frigate’s captain came.

“The Beehive’s fully operational, take flight whenever you wish. But beware, you won’t be able to detect us too after leaving and we’ll keep moving for safety. Over.”

If it was an easier situation, twelve hours would be more than enough for Annabeth to discover how this whole movable barrier thing worked. But this time, she was unsure if it was possible to breakthrough this stealth barrier. It was even possible that this ship could actually hide from her.

At least she now knew that it had both a ‘soft method’ that was always active and a more powerful method that had to be deployed. It was an interesting note that had to be researched later, in special if it was enough to hide something as big as a ship from her eyes.

There was another thing on the to-do list for when they came back…

“Got it, whitey. We’ll be goin’ then. Over and out.” Anna turned the call off and then she tried to give it back to the spec-ops fairy waiting around, but drew it back after thinking a little more. “I’ll be keepin’ this one, ‘kay? Real sure we’ll need this one later…”

“It won’t be a problem, but we’ll need it back after the mission.” The marine answered as if she was already expecting this much to happen, which likely meant that Alya had told her to lend this radio anyway. “Can we move on then? The assault team is ready to move.”

Just to be sure, Anna turned to her partner, receiving a positive nod right away, and then to the kitsune that stood quiet all the while. Weird as it was, Minako had spent the whole while of this conversation staring at the island. She was way focused on it too.

“Hey, fox! What yer lookin’ at?”

“Huh? Ah, this…” The shrine maiden turned around with a still unfocused gaze, only going back to normal a few moments later. “That place feels weird, but… not in a bad way? I’m… I’m not sure. This whole place also feels too much like a temple, so I’m weirded out. Or something on these lines...”

“I don’t like how it sounds, but it also doesn’t sound that bad…” Karim commented, turning her sights to Annabeth and the soldier fairy standing there too. “Sounds troublesome again, but nothing can be easy with us, right?”

“Yeah… I’d call bullshit, but it’s kinda hard to ignore when ya’ve a real oracle sayin’ it. Still, we’ve to move, so let’s go.”

With a hand sign and a wave, the leader of the colorful marines turned to the other ones and started to order them around. And a moment later, there were two flying girls at the side of each member of the investigation team, including the sleeping one.

“Is this fine?” The fairy’s leader asked as she and a slightly bigger one of her subordinates rose Col from the ground. Her questions weren’t registering that much to Annabeth though as she was injecting some stimulants on herself for ‘not pay attention’ reasons.

“Don’t worry, it’ll be fine… Yeah, fine… Super fine… Veeeery fiiiine…”

“It’s always like this, so don’t bother…” Karim added towards the worried gazes she was receiving from the airborne squad. “Just another normal day for us…”

And with a girl sleeping, one thinking, one tripping and many giving up, the fairies took flight towards the lighthouse island.