From: Oregon, USA
January 12, 1942
Attached to: Disbanded in port
System Damage: 19
Float Damage: 0
Orders: Repair all damage and get back in the war.
In a bunkroom aboard the Hibiki:
Taiki, Riku, and a number of other sailors are relaxing and talking. Others are sleeping. Taiki is watching Riku carefully polish his shoes. Nearby Shiro is reading a newspaper.
Taiki: If you put as much effort into getting ready for inspection as you putting into this date, Riku, you would not get clouted by Shun nearly so much.
Riku: *holds the shoe up and examines it critically, then returns to buffing it* It is a matter of priorities, my friend.
Shiro: Hey, guys, listen to this article. The headline says "River of Madness?"
*This gets even Riku's attention, and they turn to listen to Shiro*
Shiro: "A strange story has developed in Luzon, where the valiant 48th Division is even now tightening their lines around Clark Field. Ten miles behind these lines is the Magat River, which was crossed in a daring attack over a week ago. Our engineers have constructed a bridge across the river to replace the one destroyed by the Americans in their cowardly retreat, and it is at this bridge where strange and puzzling events have been occuring.
Many supporting units are moving south from Lingayen Gulf to join the 48th Division in their campaign. As each of these units crosses the bridge, a madness seems to seize them. Screaming and yelling, they charge 10 miles down the road through the jungle and right past the positions the Army has established. They then proceed to hurl themselves upon the enemy.
Artillerymen, engineers, headquarters clerks, no one seems to be immune. Some have their weapons, but those who do not grab sticks or rocks or whatever is handy. At first the astonished soldiers manning the front lines were too surprised to do anything, but lately they have woven large nets with which they attempt to snare as many of the afflicted as possible. Those who are restrained, or who manage to survive their attack, calm down quickly. None have been able to explain why they acted as they did.
Several theories have been suggested to explain these events. The most popular seems to be that vapors wafting down the river from the swamps that infest the area cause some kind of brain fever. Army doctors are examining this. Others propose that the Americans have unleashed some sort of previously unknown chemical weapon in the area.
Whatever the reason, so far no way to prevent it has been found. General Homma, in charge of all Japanese forces in the area, said in regards to the problem 'The valor and eagerness of our soldiers to get in the fight is inspiring. We are, however, beginning to route new arrivals through San Marcelino. The extra 100 mile hike is excellent for training and conditioning the men.'"
Taiki: That is indeed very odd.
Riku: *snorts* It the Army, what do you expect. They are all insane, everyone knows that. *He puts on his shoes and stands up, then fits his injured arm into a sling*
Shiro: I thought you didn't need that sling any more, Riku.
Riku: *grins* I don't. But when I tell a girl that it is her sweetness and beauty that has restored me, and then take my arm out of the sling to demonstrate how much I am restored, well, my friends, the effect is gratifying.
Taiki: *shakes his head, smiling* You are a scoundrel, Riku.
Riku: Me? Not at all! I am just a poor hardworking sailor. Good evening, gentlemen. Don't wait up for me.