From: Oregon, USA
June 20, 1945
Attached to: Disbanded in port
Mission: Surface combat
System Damage: 5
Float Damage: 0
Orders: Return to Wakkanai
“They got lost?” says Captain Ishii. Though his face is impassive his tone expresses disbelief.
“Perhaps lost is not a good way to put it,” says Commander Shunichi, captain of Isokaze. The two men are seated cross legged across a table from one another in one of Wakkanai’s restaurants. The dining establishment is considered one of the best in Wakkanai, though that is perhaps saying little. At the moment Ishii and Shunichi are the only customers.
Shunichi brushes pieces of crab shell from his fingers and dips them in a bowl of water set aside for the purpose. “What happened, as I hear it,” he says, “is that they misjudged their position and could not reach the area of the battle before dawn. When the sun came up they reversed course and went back to Ominato.”
The two men are speaking of Hiei’s battle group, which was, they now know, to have joined in the attack at Fukawa Bay. Ishii shakes his head.
“Who led those ships?” he asks.
“Nishida,” says Shinuchi. “though no longer. He has been relieved.” He pours himself some more tea and looks inquiringly at Captain Ishii. Ishii nods and Shunichi pours some into his cup as well. Wisps of steam rise.
“So I should hope!” says Ishii. Shunichi grins sardonically at him. They both know that incompetence is sometimes rewarded and success punished. That is just the way it is. The two men turn back to their food for a moment, though Ishii is still shaking his head.
“Have you received any orders?” Ishii asks after a few moments. Shinichi shakes his head.
“No,” he says, and sighs. “Perhaps there will be no further orders. Perhaps we will be assigned as escort to Hiei. If there is anything further we can do, if we can somehow leave these northern waters without being blasted from the sea by the enemy’s aircraft.”
Their hostess comes over and stands politely beside the table, waiting to be noticed. Ishii looks up and nods at her.
“I am going to go outside and watch the parade,” she says, smiling at them. “Do you two gentlemen require anything further?”
“Parade?” says Shunichi.
“Yes!” she says, beaming excitedly. “In honor of the great victory this morning!”
“Ah, that parade,” says Shunichi. Ishii shakes his head.
“I do not think we need anything further,” he says quietly. “Enjoy the parade.” She bows and leaves. As the front door opens the sounds of celebration come pouring in from the street. They dim as the door closes, leaving the two naval officers sitting alone in the dimly lit dining room.
There is a cracking noise as Shunichi viciously breaks the shell of another crab.