3rd of September
Hiyo is mostly a great dark, quiet cave. Her remaining machinery is still. If one stands still, and listens, you can hear the water outside lapping against her hull. Disconcertantly, also, in many places, inside her. The AR ship is providing what power she can, mostly for the pumps, and the great strings of portable lighting strung through her dark passageways.
Great areas of the ship are pitch black. Humidity is high, adding to the cave like atmosphere.
For all intents and purposes, Hiyo appears dead.
But deep inside her, the spark of life remains.
Today is last salvageable compartment day.
The men gather again in the damp passageway, and consider the bolted down hatch. Below, in this hold, a series of interlinked compartments: the gyro room, a comms radio room, the vault, the electrical office.
'Are you ready brother?" Okano whispers
Hirate, face pale in the wobbly dim lights, nods. 'No, but we must, ney?"
Yes, yes, they must.
The hatch is unbolted, clangs aside. Torches reflect upon evil, dark, oil stained water lapping at the coamings
The pump hose is manouvered in, somewhere many decks above, the rattle and roar of the dirty diesel.
It is as bad as all of them, this last compartment. They float, bloated, stinking, barely recongnisable as former comrades, 6 men, trapped below that bolted hatch.
masked, gloved, gently they remove them, it is easier, thinks Hirate, to not look at the faces, to not think of them as men, but as .............as carpets, ruined, rolled carpets.
But you treat them with all the reverence they deserve nonetheless.............
The compartment is mostly tight, by tomorrow Hiyo will be at 48% flood.
The horrible work is done.
The harder work, yet to come.