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RE: The little ship that could.

 
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RE: The little ship that could. - 3/16/2013 9:36:34 AM   
1275psi

 

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Alongside.
What does that mean to you, in your minds eye when it comes to sailors?
Bars, drinks?, women?, adventure, wild fun times?............
Maybe, maybe the sterotype is not so far away for some.

But maybe the reality is a little different. Zuihos men have seen so many ports now, large major ones, mean small ones.
All share some common themes.............ports are not usually in prime real estate. They are great areas of warehouses, concrete, leg destroying walks to the gates that may be miles away.
Outside, especially in these days, there you will find the bars, the lights, the dark places.
At 50 plus years of age, and a lifetime at sea behind him, for the Charge, there is little appeal to make the walk. Behind the bars, Hiroshima, a cold hungry city, where prices will quickly suck any sailors wallet dry.

No there is little to drag Charge from Zuiho, yet if he remains onboard, to a man, he will be considered 'a stick in the mud"
He pauses at the gangway, yearning briefly for the chance to go beyond the city, to get out into the country side, to see..........gods, anything not steel, or man made, or crowded and close.

Deep, deep in his heart, he is already looking for sea again, it cannot come soon enough.
But it is not to be, tonight, drinks..............

And then he sees him, tall, strong, unmistakable
Charges heart leaps
Fuchida!
His son!

And suddenly, there is not enough time.....................

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2041
RE: The little ship that could. - 3/17/2013 9:42:09 AM   
1275psi

 

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CV Zuikaku arrives safely Japan

Her repairs are judged "critical" how long Japans overwhelmed ship repair facilities will take, despite the "critical' tag, is yet to be seen.

Hosho will greet the dawn, look skyward. Way above, the daily snooper. Bombs forecasted for the day, showers of metal, heavy, with the occasional straffing run.................
he sighs, and begins to think about where to get a meal for today.

The daily snooper. 'Long pig' Graham, takes his photographs. The japanese airforce has vanished, it seems, Bangkok still a hornets nest, but here, at the front, now notably absent.

The allied carriers still linger 500 miles due north of Exmouth..................a lingering that daily rouses deeper and deeper suspicions in Japans high command.

Fuso returns towards Port, the coming invasion of Port blair now knows something might appose them, hopefully, a very large something in their minds.

May has arrived...............to the japanese public, the war has stalemated, the empires defences are standing firm.
The harbours seem full of warships, the skies growl constantly with planes.

The Americans are giving up, or about to. One more blow, one more battle....................

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2042
RE: The little ship that could. - 3/17/2013 9:50:05 AM   
1275psi

 

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"one more day, one more blow" uto stares at his Father, anger bubbling just below , "But its been years of this now, of one more blow........but they still keep coming"

Herbiesan reaches for his chopsticks, carefully gathers the rice. So negative. Always so negative..........."and your solution?, the Emperor says fight, the people say fight, my generals say fight............my Son, what do you suggest?"


Uto looks his father in the eye. We disagree on so many things, father, but on this, we do...............there appears to be no answer, other than to fight.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2043
RE: The little ship that could. - 3/19/2013 7:48:46 AM   
1275psi

 

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2 may 44

Herbiesan can barely contain his rage.
"And this happened nearly 2 months ago?"
'Hiei!"

"And you hid it from me?"

That horrible uncomfortable silence...............
"well?"

"we wished to fully examine the situation , before we, we..........."
"Admitted your shame yes?"

"Sir!"

'"I see.......... and this is the only solution.............to remove her after turrets, turn her into some sort of barsted child?'

"Regrettfully yes sir, it is..............the fire was devastating...........we could rebuild her, but it would take years to replace the guns"

herbiesan cannot believe it, he had heard the rumours of this mad scheme, a battleship that cannot battle, or a carrier that cannot carry,............warship by bloody committee..

"Do your best, but the work must not tie up any dock!"





(I make mistake, BB Ise begins conversion, and herbiesan does not notice..............)

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Post #: 2044
RE: The little ship that could. - 3/19/2013 1:01:42 PM   
ny59giants


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I did the conversion myself to help increase my FPs. I did the CS to CVL conversions "before" I had re-sized all my unrestricted FP groups. Now, I'm using these BB to re-size my FP group to 22 planes and most go to Jake, but some go over to Norm which have a range of 12/15 to help fill in my search holes that the Emily cannot cover. I train them in Nav Search and then ASW to find all those damn subs. Then, Helen Ia and ASW hunter/killer groups go after them.

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Post #: 2045
RE: The little ship that could. - 3/19/2013 3:46:02 PM   
kaleun

 

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So, NY59giants, you did the conversions as an ASW asset?

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Appear at places to which he must hasten; move swiftly where he does not expect you.
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Post #: 2046
RE: The little ship that could. - 3/19/2013 4:39:53 PM   
ny59giants


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For both Naval Search and ASW. I lose the rear turret, but gain the large FP number (22 planes) that can increase the search within the TF the BB is in. I have also used the conversion to allow me to move a BB around the map and re-size some of those size 4 FP groups to 22 planes. I'm only in March '44, but the Allies subs are everywhere. I haven't had them do the amount of damage that has happened here, but I need to find out where they are to avoid and then kill with ASW assets.

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Post #: 2047
RE: The little ship that could. - 3/19/2013 4:54:58 PM   
obvert


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ny59giants

For both Naval Search and ASW. I lose the rear turret, but gain the large FP number (22 planes) that can increase the search within the TF the BB is in. I have also used the conversion to allow me to move a BB around the map and re-size some of those size 4 FP groups to 22 planes. I'm only in March '44, but the Allies subs are everywhere. I haven't had them do the amount of damage that has happened here, but I need to find out where they are to avoid and then kill with ASW assets.


Do you find you're running out of IJN pilots doing this? I increased groups for a while, and lately I've been decreasing some to 9 planes for two reasons. One to 'conserve' pilots. Really, I use want more pilots to be trained for other purposes and not so many working in these ASW groups. Two to take up less air support. I am finding I constantly need more base forces and air support to manage a defense, and if it's all running these FP groups it can't be supporting fighters and bombers.

_____________________________


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Post #: 2048
RE: The little ship that could. - 3/19/2013 6:44:00 PM   
GreyJoy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: obvert


quote:

ORIGINAL: ny59giants

For both Naval Search and ASW. I lose the rear turret, but gain the large FP number (22 planes) that can increase the search within the TF the BB is in. I have also used the conversion to allow me to move a BB around the map and re-size some of those size 4 FP groups to 22 planes. I'm only in March '44, but the Allies subs are everywhere. I haven't had them do the amount of damage that has happened here, but I need to find out where they are to avoid and then kill with ASW assets.


Do you find you're running out of IJN pilots doing this? I increased groups for a while, and lately I've been decreasing some to 9 planes for two reasons. One to 'conserve' pilots. Really, I use want more pilots to be trained for other purposes and not so many working in these ASW groups. Two to take up less air support. I am finding I constantly need more base forces and air support to manage a defense, and if it's all running these FP groups it can't be supporting fighters and bombers.



Well, the FP groups can be used also to train fighter pilots, bomber pilots, Kamikaze, etc... the only thing they cannot train is the NavalT skill.
So you can use those 20 planes groups for a lot of tasks (training, ASW, Naval search).
The point is that, as Obvert says, you run the risk of reaching a point where you don't have any IJN pilot left in the pools.
While i don't see the AV problem. I tend to use the FPs in small bases and using the AV ships or the IJAAF coys to provide the needed support... true also that my FP groups are mainly of 9 planes but i see as a viable solution in order to free the base forces for some more important planes

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Post #: 2049
RE: The little ship that could. - 3/20/2013 7:55:38 AM   
obvert


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The air support problem starts as more groups arrive in late 43, then a whole lot more in early 44.

I also like the AV ships moving with tankers and valuable transports when possible. I also have them in some bases, but those bases now need a base force to build forts and set the AVs free to do other jobs.

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Post #: 2050
RE: The little ship that could. - 3/20/2013 9:17:59 AM   
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3 may 44

Shyly almost, Okano introduces his wife "And this is the light of my life, Miori".
The small woman bows gently before Hirate, and two thoughts fly through his mind. Okano's wife is still beautiful, and immaculately polite, she has given no indication of a reaction at all to his scared and still glowing red face.

He returns the bow, and straightening, takes in the humble, yet comfortable residence. A home, a real home, paper walls, polished wood, a tinkle of water outside, so, so much like his former...no, he will not go there, not now.

"Where is Father?" Okano asks.
Miori lets a slip of a smile pass , "he is where you would expect him to be"
"Ahh, of course.come on Hirate, let me show you something"

Through the house, out the back, a small garden, around the side, an attached garage, ..............ahh, the workshop he has heard so much about.

Okano's father is bent over a pump of some sort, small, probably from a windmill........... He barely pauses, as if his son has been away for but a day, not a year.........."Well, just in time...........grab the bearing pulley please Son, and that must be Hirate, he of the interesting face, but skilled fingers"

Tall, thin, still strong.........a workshop just as he imagined it.......
"The Army took the cars, what there was, but the farmers still have enough work for me........we make do..........I hope you like squid Hirate, have a stash hidden away just for days like this............."

A shadow enters the workshop...........'father, if it pleases you, Mother has tea ready"
"Thank you daughter, we will be right there"
A girl........no, a young woman, clear, beautiful, and staring at him with out..........without revulsion, with, interest?"

Three days of leave. Hirate feels it instantly.............three days might be enough.

(in reply to obvert)
Post #: 2051
RE: The little ship that could. - 3/20/2013 9:18:55 AM   
1275psi

 

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Scene one, PDU off.............so many things one cannot do!!! LOL

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Post #: 2052
RE: The little ship that could. - 3/20/2013 3:58:53 PM   
kaleun

 

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"Oh no! Here comes the kissing part."
The Princess Bride.

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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 #: 2053
RE: The little ship that could. - 3/21/2013 10:27:36 AM   
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Zuihos men are scattering across japan, some on leave, some working with the air group, some even training. Her command team, Takeji and Hidaka, are travelling to Tokyo.
A series of conferences are planned, the way ahead...............how should the fleet fight in 44?, what formations?, what strategy?
They travel through a japan much the same as two years ago, less cars, more uniforms, but little else has changed.
Baseball fills the newspapers, a movie stars suicide.
The war sits firmly on page 4.

Hidaka barely can contain his scowl.

(in reply to kaleun)
Post #: 2054
RE: The little ship that could. - 3/21/2013 10:36:28 AM   
1275psi

 

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The american carrier fleet strikes

Four waves of fighters, 40 strong, 40 strong, 20 strong, 20 strong, sweeping across java towards Soerabaya.

The eagles rise, talons drawn.

The brawl rages all morning long, a twisting snarling, spitting cat fight, no mercy given, non taken

japan loses 10 Franks, 15 zeros.
33 hellcats go down

Abe reads the reports that night.

1 for 1.
Only 6 pilots lost, 33 dead Americans.

Acceptable. Acceptable indeed.

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Post #: 2055
RE: The little ship that could. - 3/23/2013 12:58:55 AM   
1275psi

 

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5 may

the allied carrier fleet withdraws, no doubt shaken by the results of the two raids into Japans defences
80 hellcats lost.

japan looks at these figures. Too her , 80 pilots, 80 planes would be a grievious blow. To the allies?
Who knows? japan has no idea, none at all now, of what is arrayed against her, of what flows fromthe factories, the shipyards, the training fields.

The allies will be back, no doubt, but at the moment, they retire, another day of life, another day of rest, of repair.

Shoho rejoins the fleet, Mizuho needs 14 days
Katsuguri needs 37, Hiyo, stuck at singapore, needs 80.
Zuikaku needs 80 as well.

In Tokyo, the conference begins.

Herbiesan opens it with these words........."there comes a time, when a fleet in being, may be worth more, than a fleet seeking battle................"

It will be an intersting week

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Post #: 2056
RE: The little ship that could. - 3/23/2013 1:09:54 AM   
1275psi

 

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herbiesan must step out of story, and into the game for the moment.

This is scene 1, pdu off.
I retain a good fleet, good pilot pools, buggar all industry or plane pools.
I regret to say, that fleet in being may well be the policy for the next three months, so Zuiho will have little to do.
So I am going to transfer Fuchida and his fellows from training command, send them to the front for a while, so we have something to follow.
Cantona , I think, has a plan, but it seems to depend on myself revealing my CVs , so he can strike somewhere else.
I will keep him in the dark as long as i can.

the conference is about to begin............if any reader has a thought on how Japan should configure her fleet, the tactics she should use, the floor is open to you, herbiesan, to be honest, really is not sure himself.......

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Post #: 2057
RE: The little ship that could. - 3/23/2013 3:47:16 AM   
PaxMondo


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PDU OFF is so tough ... you are doing a heroic job here coupled with Scen 1 ... masterful. 

You are at a point now where you want to be sure that you have looked at each air group in Tracker and determine it upgrade path.  Many groups require you to upgrade to a model, and then that unlocks additional models that you can upgrade to.  Most of your groups should now be able to start upgrading from Zero and Oscar to other, more potent models ...  If you have already done that, then I have no other thoughts on your air groups.

As to Navy, huh.  I'm taking notes from you.    You are doing really good at predicting your opponent.  Other than to bukas, you really haven't suffered any losses.  Keep doing what you are doing ...

_____________________________

Pax

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Post #: 2058
RE: The little ship that could. - 3/25/2013 9:26:27 AM   
1275psi

 

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Zuiho sits almost alone in her berth, most of the fleet has departed for Hiroshima, she will leave soon, or so the word says.
Today brand new bombers and fighters are loaded aboard, no new models, just new planes, he pilots train bound somewhere to the west.

She sits quietly, tomorrow her decks will team again, but tonight a gun could fire down her passageways, and bother no one at all.
Precious, precious leave is to be had this last night.

Yet, some remain onboard who are not held here by duty. After all, what is your precious leisure time?, getting drunk, or an evening lost in a good book?.
Charge is in the seniors mess, alone, and at peace. Napolean is at the gates of Moscow, un aware that his prize is soon to turn to ashes............

The door opens. Minobes ruddy face peers in, eyes slightly glazed, a bottle in hand. he smiles. "Ahhh..............a sane man at last"
Reluctantly Charge puts down War and peace.'Hardly sane, I would think, most would call me mad staying onboard this last night, but........"
"But one can only do so much in so many ports, ney?............it does get stale after a while yes?"

Charge nods, sighs, ."That it does, that it does"
'Drink?"
"Of course"

Two men, wary still of each other, but alcohol can smooth so many paths.........
"Tell me Charge, of your younger days............"

Ahh, yes..............my younger days. So many stories, so many ships.
Tramp steamers to London, unable to speak english, but sure able to shovel coal....... New York., and the mighty Queen Mary...cruising the yangzee river..........the world cruise on the Ikoma............yes, so many ports, so many ships, gods, so many years..........

"Younger days, yah, we were never young"

"And now you are here, on our little ship"
"And now we are here"
A long silence

The bottle slowly disapears, the conversation waxes and wanes, pleasently enough.
Charge is relating about a certain Brothel in Shanghia, when the Engineer abruptly interupts him
"You know Chief, I may not be much of an Engineer to many, heavens, one man on this ship wants me dead, and I have made my share of bad decisions. Did you know, nearly two years ago now, the Engineer on Shokaku wanted to draft you, and I refused. It was just after Junyo bought it........remember that night!, Gods, how fast Zuiho ran!.........I refused. Anfd you know what?, you have never failed me, we have always sailed on time, always, always we have answered the bells. I make crap decisions every day old man, but that one was one I will never regret"

Minobe stands, extends his hand. 'Bygones be bygones?"

Charge stands, takes Minobes. "Hiei!"

(in reply to PaxMondo)
Post #: 2059
RE: The little ship that could. - 3/25/2013 9:28:33 AM   
1275psi

 

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Pilot officer "Long pig" Graham circles Port blair, watching the bombs fall, smothering the port in smoke and flame. he feels no compassion, no pity. The place is full of those traitourous buggars, the Indian divisions

Soon to get theres, no doubt.

Soon.

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Post #: 2060
RE: The little ship that could. - 3/25/2013 9:30:47 AM   
1275psi

 

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The american carrier fleet is tracked carefully, but with out doubt to just off broome, where it turns east, target no doubt to be Darwin.

21 japanese ss wait for it in the approaches.
A little revenge would be oh so sweet............

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Post #: 2061
RE: The little ship that could. - 3/25/2013 9:38:00 AM   
1275psi

 

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The conference decides nothing.other than that "the situation is serious, but victory is still certain"

Harder heads return to ships, and through out Japan, experienced pilots are dragged from shore billets. Attend to your powder at all times, and let the generals worry about the war.

The Unryu class, at least 4 of them, have been operating with the new experimental BN2a, and D4Y, and AM5c's, well and good, but no factory is currently tooled for these planes. A complicated, and at times harrowing re organisation has to take place through out Japan as these models are sent ashore, and older planes that can actually have combat losses replaced, are bought onboard.

There are no shortages of these, Akagi's airgroups, for one, have been reformed.

One thing for certain, if the process confuses Herbiesan, hopefully the alies will be bemused............

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Post #: 2062
RE: The little ship that could. - 3/26/2013 10:45:13 AM   
1275psi

 

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8 may

Zuihos crew file back onboard. In ones and twos, they come up her gangway, salute the flag at the stern, disapear into her interior. Not a man, I think, does not let out a sigh as they do. Leave has been short. It has, for most, been sweet.

She will sail now tomorrow, her departure delayed a day.
Few will no why, or care, its a day to sober up, or to put hang overs to bed.
An extra day alongside, a bonus indeed..........



Takeji reads the signal again, raises his face to Minobes. "Is this really true?'
"Apparently..........yes"

Bad. This is...very bad indeed........


The signal is brief, yet oh so potent
From XXXX naval support detachment
to
4th fleet HQ, Combined fleet
"refuelling delayed 24 hrs. Stocks exhausted here, awaiting, attempting to source further supplies................"




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Post #: 2063
RE: The little ship that could. - 3/26/2013 10:59:12 AM   
1275psi

 

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Hosho awakens, stretches on his mat. Cocks his head towards the entrance of the bunker............yes, dawn breaking.
The younger soldier on guard nods a greeting."Morning sir"
Hosho scowls......morning, bah, another day of staring across the river, at the jungle, wondering if the enemy really is still there.

"Breakfast?" he asks hopefully
To his surprise, the sentry actually smiles. "yes sir, actually there is, a delivery last night"
The young man stands, siloeutted against the rising sun outside the bunker " Two bags..."

There is a THWUMMP, and the soldiers throat dissolves in a spray of blood and flesh.
Eyes wide, glazed already in death, he slumps and falls

Frozen, Hosho stares at his dead man.

500 yards from the river.............100 yards of river............how far to the enemy.............gods, to hit at that range.........surely no sniper can do that?...............surely not?

But somehow, deep in his heart, he knows that over the river, at least one man can

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Post #: 2064
RE: The little ship that could. - 3/26/2013 11:02:33 AM   
1275psi

 

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Private first class, Greg Butler, sniper, lowers his rifle. How many in the bunker? Who knows? Rats. Rats in a trap.
Dirty rat japs. Carefully he slides another round in. There's at least one Officer in that hole, lets see if we can't get him ...........

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Post #: 2065
RE: The little ship that could. - 3/26/2013 11:10:07 AM   
1275psi

 

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The enemy Carrier fleet steams east.

From Soemba, a long way to the North, the japanese launch a strike

23 zeros, 16 N1K1's, 16 Jill TBDs
Culled as is, the CAP remains impressive, and deadly

71 hellcats intercept a long, long way out..............

6 jill bomb, and miss the Princetown, no planes make it home.

Over Babar, the T bolts replace the corsairs and hellcats. They too bite deep into the Japanese attacks.

A bad day for japan, 120 planes lost for 30 enemy down.

4th fleet seek reinforements.

"so sorry, there are none to be had"

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Post #: 2066
RE: The little ship that could. - 3/26/2013 5:22:59 PM   
kaleun

 

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Great writing, as usual.

_____________________________

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

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Post #: 2067
RE: The little ship that could. - 3/26/2013 7:03:33 PM   
Smoky Stoker


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quote:

ORIGINAL: 1275psi

...There is a THWUMMP, and the soldiers throat dissolves in a spray of blood and flesh.
Eyes wide, glazed already in death, he slumps and falls...


Unlucky to be hit, but still fortunate. Sometimes a man takes a very long time to die. Sometimes even a short time can be very long. Gamers don't want to think about this.

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Post #: 2068
RE: The little ship that could. - 3/28/2013 10:55:57 AM   
1275psi

 

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May 9th 1944

Okano is smiling as he gives the news
"My parents are delighted. It will be all arranged, your marriage to my sister Mioko will occur June 1. Do not be concerned if we are not here, they have a photo of you, it will suffice"

Hirate stands stunned, his surroundings another world. "And.............and she agrees.............?"
"of course. She is delighted, almost as much as Father is..I think he has plans for the both of us in the workshop after the war, something about building refrigerators..........a crazy idea, but.."

"I cannot do it"

"Eh?"

"I cannot do it...........as much as I would like to, as much as the thought fills me with pleasure, but I cannot do it"
"But why?"

Hirate waves his hands around the boiler room........'because one day, one day soon, we will be below that hatch, that locked down hatch, and the water will be coming in...........I cannot let her marry a dead man..........."

Okano laughs."Not yet my friend, not yet!......more the reason to say yes...........live life to the full, while we can"


(in reply to Smoky Stoker)
Post #: 2069
RE: The little ship that could. - 3/28/2013 11:02:14 AM   
1275psi

 

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The hidden sniper takes out two more men this long day..........impossible shots, but the impossible lies still on the river bank, and along the trail near the bunker, gathering the flies already.

There is, of course, another entrance to the Bunker, hidden out the back, narrow, and totally inconvienient to everything else.
It has to be used.
This does not worry Hosho at all. But other things do. This bunker is an important defence link in the line, two machine guns man the maw of it. Right now, they are useless. Twice the bullet has slapped into the wall behind them whenever someone has tried to man them.

Something, something must be done.
But what?

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2070
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