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RE: Small Ship, Big War

 
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RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/20/2007 3:21:50 AM   
kaleun

 

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Better and better.


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Appear at places to which he must hasten; move swiftly where he does not expect you.
Sun Tzu

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Post #: 901
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/20/2007 4:28:01 AM   
princep01

 

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Yes, the internal logic is maintained, while a super story unfolds.  CF this is a really well done tale. 

As for those that guess at the "end", I say, okay, make your guess, but I, for one, am happy to just be along for the ride.

(in reply to kaleun)
Post #: 902
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/20/2007 4:43:19 AM   
kaleun

 

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This would actually make for a nice movie screenplay.
Clint Eastwood can direct "a la" Letters from IwoJima

(Great movie BTW)

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Appear at places to which he must hasten; move swiftly where he does not expect you.
Sun Tzu

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Post #: 903
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/20/2007 10:49:41 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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quote:

ORIGINAL: princep01

Yes, the internal logic is maintained, while a super story unfolds.  CF this is a really well done tale. 



Let me second the motion. The plotting in this tale would put most Hollywood script-writers to shame.

But I have to wonder. Shun is good with his fists, but he is not a slow-witted man by any stretch. I've a feeling he'll eventually learn the source of the money.


_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to princep01)
Post #: 904
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/20/2007 11:43:22 PM   
tocaff


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The ride is everything here.  CF if I was wearing a hat it would be off to you.  

_____________________________

Todd

I never thought that doing an AAR would be so time consuming and difficult.
www.matrixgames.com/forum/tm.asp?m=2080768

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 905
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/21/2007 1:01:20 AM   
Onime No Kyo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: tocaff

The ride is everything here.  CF if I was wearing a hat it would be off to you.  


May I suggest you put one on? Doffing your scalp could be somewhat unpleasant and maybe even a bit painful.

_____________________________

"Mighty is the Thread! Great are its works and insane are its inhabitants!" -Brother Mynok

(in reply to tocaff)
Post #: 906
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/21/2007 10:41:10 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

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November 23, 1942

Location: Kwajalein
Course: Docked
Attached to: TF 72
Mission: Air Combat
System Damage: 2
Float Damage: 0
Fires: 0
Fuel: 463

Orders: Await further orders.

---

Ensign Handa steps out on deck and heads aft. He is on his way to do an inspection of the depth charges. The Hibiki has dropped exactly two depth charges so far in the war, and it is necessary to make sure that the charges in the racks are in sound condition and are correctly set.

He passes a pair of sailors. The two of them are unusually slow to come to attention and salute, and Handa stops to upbraid them for their sluggish performance. He is working up a good head of steam when he senses that something is amiss.

“…and if nothing else will instill the proper respect then perhaps some time spent…” he is saying, then notices that rather than keeping their gaze rigidly forward as they should the two men keep glancing at his head. “What ARE you looking at?” he bellows. The two men look at him, then glance at each other, and then finally just stand there, plainly at a loss for words.

This is intolerable. On some ships he would slap some sense into them, but he knows that Captain Ishii frowns on such measures. He orders them to report to the galley for extra duty, and they scurry off in relief. Badly out of temper now, Handa continues on to the depth charge racks.

He is just getting started when the first gull lands on the rail nearby. This is hardly unusual. The Hibiki tosses a lot of garbage overboard, and the voracious birds find it tasty. The gull is joined by a second, and then a third. They stare fixedly at Handa. Handa ignores them and continues with his task, though he continues to hear an occasional flutter of wings.

A shadow passes close overhead, and a line of gull droppings splats along the deck and over one polished shoe. Handa hisses in annoyance. He looks up, and then stops still.

There are now gulls all along the rail, and more gulls perched on the Y-racks. All of them are looking at him with what Handa imagines is an implacable, hungry expression. This is not only unusual, it is downright unnerving. But no Japanese officer is going to allow a bunch of mangy seabirds to get the better of him. Handa takes off his cap and waves it at the nearest birds, yelling “Hey! Get out! Go away!”

The birds launch into the air with a raucous rattle of wings – and then attack. Gull after gull swoops at him, uttering croaks and cries. He ducks, waving his cap wildly about, but this just seems to madden the gulls. A healthy dollop of droppings splashes onto one of Handa’s shoulders. A gull seizes his cap in its beak.

This is too much for Ensign Handa. He shakes the bird free, then jams the cap back on his head and sprints for the nearest hatch. Gulls swoop after him with hungry cries. Handa reaches the hatch, plunges into it, and then slams it shut behind him. Disappointed, the birds swoop around for a few moments.

Safe in a companionway, Handa takes a deep breath, then removes his cap to check it for damage. That’s when he sees what the gulls were after. Carefully pinned to the top of the cap is a large crab.

Handa examines this artifact. It has been carefully hollowed out so that the weight will not give away its presence. A cunning arrangement of small springs and wires cause the limbs to twitch enticingly as the cap moves. Whoever did this, Handa reflects, was obviously aware of Handa’s habit of keeping his cap stowed upside down so that he can scoop it up by the bill and jam it on his head as he exits the bunkroom.

“Izu,” mutters Handa with a curse. The first thing to do is to go change his uniform. And then…

His thoughts are interrupted by someone coming up a ladder into the companionway. Handa sees the cap first as the figure comes up into sight and realizes it is Captain Ishii. In reflex he swiftly puts his cap back on and comes to attention.
The captain steps away from the ladder and sees Handa. Handa salutes. Captain Ishii returns the salute and starts to turn away. He stops dead still, then slowly turns back around. Handa swallows. Ishii advances to within a few steps of Handa and then looks him over from top to bottom. Handa’s cheeks burn and he carefully does not meet the captain’s piercing gaze.

Ishii takes in the befouled uniform and then he stares fixedly at Handa’s cap for a moment. At last the captain clasps his hands behind his back and then clears his throat.

“Ensign Handa,” he says in a normal tone, “there is a crab on your head.”

“Yes sir, there is sir,” says Handa. Captain Ishii takes in this fact and then regards Handa for another long moment.

“Very well,” says the captain at last. “Carry on, Ensign.” He steps considerately aside. Ensign Handa salutes the captain again, and the motion causes one of the crab’s claws to appear to salute as well. One corner of Ishii’s mouth twitches. Handa edges past him and then leaves with all the speed dignity will allow.

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 907
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/22/2007 12:38:31 AM   
Onime No Kyo


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ROFL!!!!!!!!!!!!!



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Post #: 908
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/22/2007 12:43:11 AM   
brisd


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Post #: 909
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/22/2007 1:41:20 AM   
kaleun

 

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ROFLMAO!

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Appear at places to which he must hasten; move swiftly where he does not expect you.
Sun Tzu

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Post #: 910
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/22/2007 2:04:29 AM   
tocaff


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_____________________________

Todd

I never thought that doing an AAR would be so time consuming and difficult.
www.matrixgames.com/forum/tm.asp?m=2080768

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Post #: 911
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/22/2007 3:07:31 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

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November 24, 1942

Location: Kwajalein
Course: Docked
Attached to: TF 72
Mission: Air Combat
System Damage: 2
Float Damage: 0
Fires: 0
Fuel: 461

Orders: Await further orders.

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 912
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/22/2007 3:09:34 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

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From: Oregon, USA
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November 25, 1942

Location: Kwajalein
Course: Docked
Attached to: TF 72
Mission: Air Combat
System Damage: 2
Float Damage: 0
Fires: 0
Fuel: 460

Orders: Await further orders.

---

It is a warm and humid day on Kwajalein. Then again, almost all days on Kwajalein are warm and humid. The temperature varies little here from month to month. Year round, the high temperature is usually about 30 degrees (86 degrees Fahrenheit, as the Americans would have it), and the low temperature is about 25 degrees (77 F.). If anyone on board is inclined to complain about the temperature they are reminded of how much hotter is was during the Hibiki’s sojourn down south, or that they might even now be in the Kuriles with December coming on.

There has been no further word of enemy incursions up north, or anywhere else for that matter. Their foes seem to have probed at Japan’s defenses and then withdrawn, stung. Quiet returns to the Pacific, although it is a watchful kind of quiet.

The only fresh news to feed the rumor mill comes from New Guinea. Tales reach the Hibiki of the recent appearance of a new type of enemy fighter over Port Moresby. There have been no enemy fighters anywhere over New Guinea in many months, and the fact that this plane is flying out of bases in Australia means it has a far more impressive range than other enemy fighters. According to the A6M3 pilots who have faced it the plane can take an amazing amount of punishment before going down. The new fighter’s signature characteristic, though, is its peculiar twin tail.

These stories are of only minor interest to the officers and crew of the Hibiki. True, it means that the enemy can attempt to start bombing Port Moresby again, but what of that?

They have no way of knowing yet that this is just the first harbinger of a gathering storm.

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 913
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/22/2007 10:33:44 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cuttlefish


The only fresh news to feed the rumor mill comes from New Guinea. Tales reach the Hibiki of the recent appearance of a new type of enemy fighter over Port Moresby. There have been no enemy fighters anywhere over New Guinea in many months, and the fact that this plane is flying out of bases in Australia means it has a far more impressive range than other enemy fighters. According to the A6M3 pilots who have faced it the plane can take an amazing amount of punishment before going down. The new fighter’s signature characteristic, though, is its peculiar twin tail.



The "fork-tailed devil" has appeared! I wonder how long it will be before the "whistling death" (the Corsair) arrives . . .


_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

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Post #: 914
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/22/2007 11:02:25 PM   
Feinder


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Hm.  Just noticed.  How is it that their fuel is going down, if they're disbanded in port?

-F-

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Post #: 915
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/23/2007 12:37:55 AM   
Onime No Kyo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Capt. Harlock


quote:

ORIGINAL: Cuttlefish


The only fresh news to feed the rumor mill comes from New Guinea. Tales reach the Hibiki of the recent appearance of a new type of enemy fighter over Port Moresby. There have been no enemy fighters anywhere over New Guinea in many months, and the fact that this plane is flying out of bases in Australia means it has a far more impressive range than other enemy fighters. According to the A6M3 pilots who have faced it the plane can take an amazing amount of punishment before going down. The new fighter’s signature characteristic, though, is its peculiar twin tail.



The "fork-tailed devil" has appeared! I wonder how long it will be before the "whistling death" (the Corsair) arrives . . .



I have to note that my favorite plane nickname (as I was informed on this board, anyway) was the one for the Stranaer. The "whistling s**thouse", I think it was.


_____________________________

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Post #: 916
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/23/2007 12:49:02 AM   
rtrapasso


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Feinder

Hm. Just noticed. How is it that their fuel is going down, if they're disbanded in port?

-F-


This happens if recon (or other aircraft) overfly the base, iirc. Ships automatically cast off in case of attack...

EDIT - but this should only happen if they are at dock, i think...

(in reply to Feinder)
Post #: 917
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/23/2007 1:01:37 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: rtrapasso

quote:

ORIGINAL: Feinder

Hm. Just noticed. How is it that their fuel is going down, if they're disbanded in port?

-F-


This happens if recon (or other aircraft) overfly the base, iirc. Ships automatically cast off in case of attack...

EDIT - but this should only happen if they are at dock, i think...


Hibiki is still attached to TF 72 and is docked, not disbanded in port. Fuel levels are dropping by one or two points a day, usually two.

(in reply to rtrapasso)
Post #: 918
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/23/2007 2:25:04 AM   
rtrapasso


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Well, then 'tis expected due to enemy recon...

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Post #: 919
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/23/2007 3:00:49 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

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November 26, 1942

Location: Kwajalein
Course: Docked
Attached to: TF 72
Mission: Air Combat
System Damage: 2
Float Damage: 0
Fires: 0
Fuel: 458

Orders: Await further orders.

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 920
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/23/2007 3:03:00 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
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November 27, 1942

Location: Kwajalein
Course: Docked
Attached to: TF 72
Mission: Air Combat
System Damage: 2
Float Damage: 0
Fires: 0
Fuel: 456

Orders: Await further orders.

---

“I think the men have too much time on their hands, Exec,” says Captain Ishii. The two of them are standing on the port observation wing. Anchored nearby is destroyer Naganami, and beyond that is the Soryu.

“Did you have something in mind, sir?” asks Lieutenant Miharu. He does not disagree with the captain. The ship is in good repair and there is only so much busy work the officers can come with during an extended stay in port.

“I do, in fact,” says the captain. “I think we should set up a course in hand to hand combat.”

“Really, sir?” says the lieutenant. “I think that is what too many of them have spent their time ashore doing, especially after they have had a few drinks.” Captain Ishii makes an impatient gesture.

“Yes,” he says. “They are brawling, and from the injury reports I am seeing a lot of them have been doing it badly. I am not speaking of brawling, but of budo, fighting techniques that instill self discipline, that hone the mind and spirit as they hone the body. It would be good for them. It would add to discipline, give them an outlet for their restlessness, and help maintain a proper fighting spirit.” Miharu thinks about it for a moment.

“I cannot disagree, sir,” he says. “Did you have someone in mind as an instructor?” Captain Ishii nods.

“Yes,” he says. “Several, in fact. Chief Petty Officer Shun, of course. He has little formal training, but as you well know his skill in a fight is remarkable. And he is a good teacher; I have seen it. For a more formal approach we have Lieutenant Sugiyura, who knows something of judo. And I thought I myself might have some modest skill worth passing on to the men.”

Lieutenant Miharu says nothing to this, although in truth that is something he is curious to see. There are many tales he has heard about Ishii’s younger days, and one of the most popular topics in late night bull sessions among old Hibiki hands is who would win a fight between Shun and Ishii.

“Very good, sir,” is all he says. “Shall I set something up and see to getting the appropriate equipment?” Captain Ishii nods.

“If you would, Exec,” says the captain, and rubs his hands together. “This should be fun.”

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 921
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/23/2007 6:00:59 AM   
Admiral DadMan


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From: Sturbridge, MA
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cuttlefish


quote:

ORIGINAL: rtrapasso

quote:

ORIGINAL: Feinder

Hm. Just noticed. How is it that their fuel is going down, if they're disbanded in port?

-F-


This happens if recon (or other aircraft) overfly the base, iirc. Ships automatically cast off in case of attack...

EDIT - but this should only happen if they are at dock, i think...


Hibiki is still attached to TF 72 and is docked, not disbanded in port. Fuel levels are dropping by one or two points a day, usually two.

Also, if she is in a CV TF and the carriers are conducting ops (CAP, Naval Search, ASW, etc) some fuel will be expended.

_____________________________

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(\.../)
(O.o)
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(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 922
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/26/2007 1:05:45 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
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November 28, 1942

Location: Kwajalein
Course: Docked
Attached to: TF 72
Mission: Air Combat
System Damage: 2
Float Damage: 0
Fires: 0
Fuel: 454

Orders: Await further orders.

---

Ensign Izu approaches his bunk cautiously. Before climbing in he examines the pillow and the thin mattress pad. He tests every piece of the frame and supports for structural soundness. The ceiling above and the floor underneath are carefully scrutinized. Everything seems to be in order.

He finally takes a deep breath and swings up into it. Nothing happens. Izu lets out a long breath and tries to relax. As tired as he is, he has found it difficult to sleep for the last few days.

Ever since his trick with the crab went better than his wildest dreams, Izu has been waiting for the inevitable retaliation. Handa isn’t going to just let that one go, Izu knows it. Sometime soon something awful is going to happen if Izu isn’t on his guard every moment.

The worst part is that Ensign Handa has been perfectly friendly towards him. In the days since the crab incident he has not shown one sign of ill will towards Izu. But Izu knows that this geniality is a mask designed to lull him into carelessness. Handa cannot suffer such a loss of face to go unavenged.

Izu settles into an uneasy sleep, startling awake at every little noise in the crowded bunkroom. The worse thing is that he must get up extra early before he goes on duty in order to carefully inspect every piece of his uniform for one of Handa’s little jokes.

He wishes Handa would strike soon. He doesn’t know how much longer he can take the strain of waiting.

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 923
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/26/2007 1:07:47 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
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November 29, 1942

Location: Kwajalein
Course: Docked
Attached to: TF 72
Mission: Air Combat
System Damage: 2
Float Damage: 0
Fires: 0
Fuel: 452

Orders: Await further orders.

---

Early in the morning there is a flurry of activity over by Tabik Channel near the north end of Kwajalein atoll. A plane has reported a suspicious shadow in the water near the channel entrance, and five patrol craft race are assigned to hunt the intruder. Word comes later that they indeed make contact with a submarine, one that apparently evades the depth charges and escapes.

It is the first time in the war that an enemy submarine has attempted to enter the anchorage itself. The consensus opinion among the Japanese is that they did the enemy sub a favor by driving it away, because the area around Tabik Channel is studded with dangerous coral outcroppings and the clear, shallow waters of the world’s largest lagoon would make it difficult for a submarine to hide.

“They must have been foolhardy or desperate,” says Lieutenant Sugiyura later. “Even if they reached the anchorage and made an attack they could hardly have gotten out alive. And those wretched torpedoes the Americans use probably wouldn’t even have exploded.”

“Perhaps they weren’t planning on using torpedoes,” says Lieutenant Miharu. “I have heard that there have been similar encounters with submarines over the last few days at Truk and Rabaul and several other places.” Sugiyura thinks about this for a moment.

“Spying?” he says at last. Miharu nods.

“It makes sense,” he says. “There are many signs the enemy is ready to try something, but they need to know where our fleet is first, particularly the carriers.”

“It is a good thing we have taken to changing our codes often and limiting the information we broadcast via radio,” comments Sugiyura.

“Yes,” says Miharu. “Otherwise they might be able to anticipate our movements and perhaps even lay a trap. As it is they are uncertain, which forces them to delay.” He notes the glint in Sugiyura’s eye and holds up a hand just as the torpedo officer is about to speak. “Yes, yes, I know, as long as they don’t wait too long. You desire targets.” Sugiyura just grins.


(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 924
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/26/2007 5:23:57 PM   
Feinder


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From: Land o' Lakes, FL
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quote:

He wishes Handa would strike soon. He doesn’t know how much longer he can take the strain of waiting.


Methinks Handa knows all he has to do is...  nothing, for now.  Torture is more in the expectation, than the act (or so I've heard).

-F-

_____________________________

"It is obvious that you have greatly over-estimated my regard for your opinion." - Me


(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 925
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/26/2007 9:16:05 PM   
cantona2


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cuttlefish

November 25, 1942

Location: Kwajalein
Course: Docked
Attached to: TF 72
Mission: Air Combat
System Damage: 2
Float Damage: 0
Fires: 0
Fuel: 460


They have no way of knowing yet that this is just the first harbinger of a gathering storm.




OOOOOOO i like, i like, i like

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(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 926
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/27/2007 2:43:33 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
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From: Oregon, USA
Status: offline
November 30, 1942

Location: Kwajalein
Course: Docked
Attached to: TF 72
Mission: Air Combat
System Damage: 2
Float Damage: 0
Fires: 0
Fuel: 450

Orders: Await further orders.

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 927
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/27/2007 2:44:49 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
Joined: 1/24/2007
From: Oregon, USA
Status: offline
December 1, 1942

Location: Kwajalein
Course: Docked
Attached to: TF 72
Mission: Air Combat
System Damage: 2
Float Damage: 0
Fires: 0
Fuel: 448

Orders: Await further orders.

---

“…and Sakati recommends that we flush the tank, drain it, and repair the leaks,” Lieutenant Miharu say. Captain Ishii nods.

“Very well, he has my permission to proceed. Anything else this morning, Exec?” Lieutenant Miharu is holding his usual morning meeting with the Captain before he turns the bridge over to him and goes to get some sleep.

“Just one thing, sir,” says the lieutenant. “I’m worried about Ensign Izu again. He has been doing quite well lately, but this past week his eyes are bloodshot and he has developed a nervous twitch under one eye. He seems to be under a lot of strain.” To Miharu’s surprise the captain bursts out laughing. “Sir?”

“Ah, you can leave that to me,” says the captain, regaining his composure. “I suspect I know what is going on there. By the way, how are the combat classes going?”

“Quite well,” replies Lieutenant Miharu. “Sugiyura only has them exercising and meditating so far, but it does seem to have a beneficial effect. They are eager to do some real fighting, of course.”

“Of course,” says the captain. He thinks for a moment. “I believe I will attend tomorrow’s session, Exec. It might be very educational.”

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 928
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/27/2007 2:46:04 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
Joined: 1/24/2007
From: Oregon, USA
Status: offline
December 2, 1942

Location: Kwajalein
Course: Docked
Attached to: TF 72
Mission: Air Combat
System Damage: 2
Float Damage: 0
Fires: 0
Fuel: 446

Orders: Await further orders.

---

The morning sun sparkles on the water as Chief Torpedo Officer Sugiyura leads several dozen men of the Hibiki in exercises on the crowded stern of the destroyer. They are doing a good job of matching his movements, and Sugiyura is pleased. He is keenly aware that Captain Ishii is among his audience this morning.

These movements were already familiar to some of the men, of course, but after nearly a year of war even the most proficient need the work. Sugiyura leads the men through the forms, then brings the exercises to a close.

“It will be a while yet before we are ready to begin seriously working on actual combat,” says Sugiyura, “but I thought that perhaps a demonstration or two today might be in order. Please, make room. You three, there, bring out the mats.” The men move back along the rails, clearing a space, and the mats are brought out and unrolled. These are reed mats, and even though they are several layers woven together they do not seem like a great deal of padding against the steel deck of the destroyer.

Sugiyura steps to the center of the mats and looks around. “Chief Petty Officer,” he says, addressing Shun, “would you assist me, please?” Shun nods and steps forward, removing his shoes and jacket. It is understood that in this situation rank does not apply. The two men face each other. The other men lean forward, very much interested to see these two in action.

“A basic strike and counter,” Sugiyura addresses them. Then, to Shun: “Are you ready?” Shun nods again. He assumes a slight crouch and comes up onto the balls of his feet.

Sugiyura assumes a fighting stance and then strikes at him with his right arm. He uses nothing close to full speed. Shun easily deflects the blow, and the two men step back. Sugiyura runs through this several times, commenting to the assembled sailors about the moves and stances both men are using, and slowly increasing speed. Finally both men step back.

“Perhaps the men would like to see a more extended sequence,” Shun murmurs. The men respond enthusiastically, and Sugiyura smiles.

“Very well,” he says. “Just to whet their appetites. Ready, Chief?” Shun nods. The torpedo officer bows to him, and Shun solemnly returns the gesture.

The men will argue for days about exactly what happens next. They all agree that Shun crouches and charges Sugiyura, but the ensuing exchange of blows is lighting fast and over in just seconds. All that is certain is that it ends with a meaty thud as Sugiyura catches the Chief solidly in the ribs with a kick. Shun grunts and staggers back, then smiles. “Very good,” he says.

“Again?” asks Sugiyura. Shun replies yes, and the two men square off again. The next exchange is even more confusing and debated. It also ends abruptly, but this time Sugiyura goes flying over Shun’s head and crashes into the mats on his back. Shun extends an arm and helps him to his feet. Sugiyura does not seem to be hurt, though he rolls his shoulders experimentally.

“To return to the original drill,” he again addresses the men, “let’s have…” he breaks off as Captain Ishii steps forward. The captain murmurs something in his ear, and Sugiyura nods. “Let’s have two of you show us what you have learned,” he resumes. “Ensign Handa and Ensign Izu, if you please.” The two young officers step out of opposite sides of the gathered men and onto the mats. They stand eyeing one another warily.

Sugiyura coaches them into assuming the correct stances. “Now you,” he says, indicating Handa, “strike at him,” and he indicates Izu. “Counter as you saw Shun do.” He steps back, and before he can say “begin” Handa strikes. Izu barely blocks the blow. Izu glares at Handa, then sneers and makes a snapping gesture with his hands that resembles clacking crab claws. Several of the onlookers laugh.

Sugiyura starts to say something, but Handa yells and strikes out again. His technique is terrible but spirited, and this blow gets through and splits Izu’s lower lip. Izu hisses and flings himself at Handa. The two men stand almost toe to toe, flailing away at each other.

Sugiyura angrily starts to step forward, but Captain Ishii holds up a hand to forestall him. “Let them go,” is all he says, and Sugiyura steps back.

Both men are more interested in offense than defense. Handa quickly acquires a swollen eye, and Izu’s other lip is split. They grapple and trip each other, then roll over and over on the mats, snarling and cursing as they attempt to inflict further damage. Captain Ishii watches patiently for a moment, but as the two men begin to tire he nods to Shun and Sugiyura.

“I think these two are ready to cool off,” he says. The two step forward and grab Izu, who is on top at the moment, by his legs and arms. They shuffle a few steps and then unceremoniously fling him over the rail. The splash has barely died away when Handa follows him into the water. One of the other petty officers turns and looks down, then takes out his whistle. He looks at the whistle, polishes it up a bit, then blows on it.

“Man overboard,” he says in a conversational tone. Lines are lowered, and both ensigns are brought back up on deck. They look bruised, chastened, and of course are dripping wet. Captain Ishii steps over to them.

“Well, gentlemen,” he says, “are you done now?” The two men look at each other, then back at the captain.

“Yes sir,” they say in low voices. Captain Ishii nods.

“Good,” he says. He next glances over at Sugiyura, who addresses the class as a whole.

“That’s all for today,” he says. “Dismissed.” The men depart, talking among themselves about events. Several of them pause to roll up and stow the mats, but soon the stern is almost deserted. Captain Ishii pauses to compliment Sugiyura on the way the classes are going, then heads back to the bridge.

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 929
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/27/2007 2:55:42 AM   
Onime No Kyo


Posts: 16628
Joined: 4/28/2004
Status: offline
You are absolutely brilliant CF.

_____________________________

"Mighty is the Thread! Great are its works and insane are its inhabitants!" -Brother Mynok

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 930
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