The Star Army
Main Article: Star Army of Yamatai
Main Article: Star Army of Yamatai
The YSS Sakura II Plot's fleet and symbolism data can be found below. Its history can also be located here.
The ship patch is one of the few ship patches to actually bear its own name – “Shades of Sakura”. The patch features a simple gold outer edge and a blue field with the YSS Sakura II overlapping its predecessor YSS Sakura, in turn overlapping the same Sakura emblem used in the original Sakura's patch. Simple white text matching the font used on much SAoY hardware dictates the name and IRN of the ship.
The emblem has a dark blue field, a secondary Star Army color, with sakura blossom in the background. Two Ke-M2 "Mindy" Series of Power Armor taken from the Star Army Hinomaru guard the ship while a banner with the motto “All Ways Able” graces the bottom. Of note is that the pictured vessel in the emblem is not the Plumeria-class YSS Sakura II itself, but its famous Sakura-class predecessor the YSS Sakura. It is not the same image as the ship's patch, another oddity worthy of recognition.
The YSS Sakura II's Imperial Registry Number is NG-X1-395. This indicates that it is the 395th Nekovalkyrja/Naval Gunship (NG) in the First Expeditionary Fleet (X1).
An interesting bit of trivia is that the IRN of the YSS Sakura (360) and the YSS Plumeria (390) are divisible by both three and five (or fifteen). The YSS Eucharis (408) has a registry divisible by three, while the YSS Sakura II (395) has a registry divisible by five. While lost on most, the YSS Sakura II's CO interprets this as a branching of the legacy between the two ships. It is his hope that one day, a future YSS Sakura III will have a registry divisible by fifteen again, unless the YSS Eucharis or a successor ship to her still exists. In this case, a YSS Sakura III should at least have a registry divisible by five.
The YSS Sakura II's' motto is “All Ways Able”. This links the YSS Sakura II not only to her predecessor, the YSS Sakura with the motto “Quality, All Ways”, but also to her sister ship the YSS Eucharis whose motto is “All Ways Superior”. Though the YSS Sakura II has the YSS Sakura's name, the YSS Eucharis is considered the true successor to the YSS Sakura's legacy.
The meaning of the motto has a dual meaning, being “always” “able” to serve the Empire, and in “all ways”.
While the ship has inherited the flower-derived nomenclature of the Sakura and Plumeria classes of ship, the YSS Sakura II has a distinction beyond being named for the cherry blossom. She is named for the YSS Sakura, which is one of the most famous and successful ships fielded by the Star Army of Yamatai.
The vessel has a large number of modifications, borne of her assorted missions and for testing assorted equipment. A comprehensive record can be found here.
The following lists of events are in chronological order.
YSS Sakura II Mission 1.5: Tanaka's Training
The YSS Sakura II has taken on its Commanding Officer Taisa Kage Yaichiro, along with Infantry Shoi Suzuki Akira and Medic Santô Hei Kyoto Sekai. Without time for a welcome, the Third Squadron is deployed to the Himiko area to take on injured and destroy a building adrift in space containing SC Agent. A Yui-class Privateer Variant interfered by attacking, and with the aid of Santô Hei Rei Tanaka it was captured with a number of prisoners. Tanaka-Hei would join the crew.
After the dawn of YE 35, a flurry of crew joining, and some crew leaving in an attempt to get a cohesive team together, a mission to UX-10 I came through to prevent the raiding of ruins and the investigation of their murder of a member of the SSS. A number of officers and soldiers were late to the briefing for assorted reasons with varying degrees of legitimacy. The YSS Sakura II and Third Squadron would deploy to UX-10 I, in what would be the first fielding of the Keiko Thought Armor and the Ke-V6-2A "Hayabusa II" Starfighter. As a result of this engagement, a Ge-L5-1A - Issoku-Class Cargo Runner painted in black was captured along with the bulk of her crew. This was accomplished singlehandedly by Tanaka-Hei, while the others provided combat support and distraction by combating Power Armor forces. This also served the effect of funneling the retreating crew to the ship, where they were trapped and rendered unconscious by gas for capture and processing. New crew later joined and promotions were given over dinner. Sale of seized assets not claimed by Star Army Logistics after processing gave those who participated a nice pay day as well.
After significant crew rotations, resulting in much of the lower ranked staff from the original crew being rotated out, training and vacation efforts were held as YE 36 began. Vacation time on Hanako's World was also had, where the yuletide and end of year celebration was held. With Tanaka-Hei now in command of the power armor forces, stealth training was conducted afterward as her Ge-L3-1A - Vampire-Class Patrol Craft was used to help train the others in infiltration and seizure. While the crew did well in certain areas, complications arose which threatened the success of their mission. The training scenario is placed in danger when the boarding crew fail to successfully cut off the self destruct capability from the bridge – instead over-prioritizing on Engineering. While Rei had taken the new medic Tsukiko with her to take the ship, Rei simulated falling in combat, forcing Tsukiko to over-emphasize her medic training and abandon other priorities. The synthesized Captain activated the self destruct, ending the mission in a narrow loss. Now the crew is meeting in the wardroom for Lunch and a debriefing, though Tsukiko has left the crew.
With Kage Yaichiro retiring the ship put in for leave on Hanako's world. The crew all went about doing different activities, including building a plane, going to a beach. General silliness was had.
Episode 2 “The Alternative Maneuver”
The ship investigating strange reading from a broken planet, got sucked into a singularity at the planet's core. Once on the other side, the Sakura finds itself adrift, main power offline. While trying to restore main power, a Nepleslian battleship, the Indomitable arrives in local space and after some commentary about their surprise of the Sakura's existence when they thought her destroyed years ago, demands the Sakura stand too and prepare to be destroyed.
The battleship fires on the Sakura repeatedly, attempting to blast the gunship out of the stars, but quick flying on the part of Ren and quick thinking on restoring power on the part of Shizuka foil these attempts.
A ragtag group of Yamataian warships, lead by the heavy gunship Avenger arrive and join in to aid the Sakura in getting away from the Indomitable, which is now jamming their FTL systems, preventing escape.
Kaede and Sakura hatch a plan to teleport explosives onto the enemy battleship's hull and detonate them to cripple their opponent and allow the Sakura and the other Yamataian ships to escape.
Having escaped the battleship. The Yamataian ships leade the Sakura to their hidden base, situated in the ruins of a destroyed planet. This ruined planted, the fractured shell of Yamatai, destroyed in this alternate timeline. While here, the captain, Nausicaa Fairchild, is restored and several other crew who had fallen through the dimensional rift that brought the Sakura II here are delivered.
Once major repaired were completed, the Sakura and her crew move to return home, but the locals demand that the ship stay to aid in their fight, or at least hand over the ships Soul Savior Pod and cloning systems.
After refusing to stay, the local admiral abducts the Sakura's captain, Fairchild, holding her hostage and demanding the Sakura and her crew surrender. After an intense firefight between the ships and ground forces, the locals cease fire and return Fairchild after taking severe losses at the hands of the Sakura II's guns and her infantry.
Ship and crew quickly depart and return to the site of their arrival in this alternate dimension and travel back through in an attempt to return home.
With their flight guided by a prepared crew and MEGAMI, they make it home and quickly find out that they have been missing from their own dimension for over a year…
Interlude 2: “The Return”
The Sakura II, returned to its own dimension, debriefed and sworn to secrecy about the event's in her recent past, is sent to Yamatai for some much needed rest and relaxation, as well as time to catch up on the events of the last year spent away from home.
Episode 3: “Leviathan”
The Sakura II and crew return to duty after three months shore leave on the home world. Tasked with an exploratory mission, the crew head back out into deep space once more. While on rout to their new assignment, the Sakura II detects a strange signal and stops to investigate. Finding the site of an ancient space battle between unknown combatants, the crew investigate the wreckage of a massive warship.
An away team is sent to investigate the ancient warship, finding the vessel littered with the vacuum preserved bodies of the long dead crew. But more surprisingly, they locate multiple survivors stowed in cryogenic hibernation pods, still alive in suspended animation. These pods, as with what is hoped to be the navigational records and logs of the ship are transported to the Sakura for further study. A ship attacks, recognized to be from a previous Empire long dead, but the Sakura suffers no damage.
Episode 4: “Shakedown”
After being upgraded to the 2E standard and given a Ke-S3-R4000 Rikugun Plumeria Deck Package, the Sakura II leads the Third Squadron in an engagement against a larger force of the Kuvexian Military at the Scrapyard System, in support of Cosmos Star Fortress. This is but one front of a multi-pronged thousands-strong invasion by the Kuvexian Military. The Sakura II transports a Star Army Century to assist in ground combat. The opening moves of combat are initiated by the Sakura II and the Third Squadron on the outer edge of the star system's gravitational influence, using the limitations of FTL travel near star systems to create an ambush combat tactic. This ambush tactic results in the significant thinning of the invading force's ships and the near-extermination of its fighters and bombers. The remaining vessels recieved varying degrees of damage, including to barriers and engine systems, resulting in the enemy proceeding toward Scrapyard in distinct waves rather than as a unified force. The technique is later codified into the Blink Tactics Guide (FM-16), and Koyama's tying the main gun's power system into the Hyperspace Fold Module's charging system for a higher firing rate is adopted squadron-wide.
After urging Elysian and Yamataian forces present to evacuate in some of the Odori-class Medium Freighters stationed at the site, the Sakura II assumed command of assorted evacuated Elysian wrecks too damaged to flee the star system in time and left to the control of skeleton S20 'Perion Seraph' crews. the Sakura II's CO was explicitly deceived into believing the Seraphs to be non-sentient by the Elysian commander when he inquired, so kamikaze attacks were ordered and employed to further thin the enemy's numbers to manageable levels.
Having given the defending force a fighting chance to win, the Sakura II left its squadron behind at the edge of the star system to maintain STL access denial to the enemy and joined its allies at Scrapyard. It delivered its infantry to the planet to assist Cosmos' own, and fought with rough parity in infantry numbers. Better training and the presence of fighter support, however, allowed the Star Army's forces to carry the day and hold the planet. The entire team fought well, but Aradia Sivins and Akamaru Datenshi stood out with distinction. The first wave of enemy ships in the ship battle, meanwhile, was the strongest and the most trouble. In this capacity, the craft took damage to its right engine but managed to destroy multiple vessels. Still, the success was sufficient to convince Ketsurui Yui-taisho to rescind an evacuation order when requested. The second wave was weaker and was forced into retreat by the kamikaze vessels and Cosmos' own detachment while the Sakura II was forced to stay both to cover the secured assets and for Koyama to make field repairs. Waves three and four attempted to retreat before reaching Scrapyard, but were destroyed by the forces stationed at the edge of the star system to secure the rear line.
The fight descended into chaos, and resulted in the capture of a single Kuvexian Troop Transport at the urging of Akamaru Datenshi before the destruction of the remainder of the second wave.
Aside Post Episode 4: “Year-End Charity and Celebrations” The YSS Sakura II is sent to Tsubomi to deliver gifts to the children. The various crew members assist in various ways to distribute the gifts and make the event memorable. Aradia Sivins flies around the ship, to the excitement of children.
Episode 5: “Créche” The Sakura II has been deployed to observe the Splrug System to monitor for Kuvexian interference in local smuggling operations. The YSS Sakura II heads to the Splrug System to monitor for possible interference of black market operations by the Kuvexian Military. They rescue an abandoned escape pod full of smugglers and an informant, though Datenshi is shot. The pod is rigged to detonate, but is disarmed. On tracking the vessel, they find a Rixxikor operation in the Higaflan System. After finding proof they explicitly intend to use their eggs as biological weapons against Yamataian planets, the Sakura II attacks an orbital shipyard and ships meant to distribute the eggs.