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"
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!"