Scotty looks around his gun tub, around at his crew.
Mentally he checks things off, ammunition, ready and waiting.
His crew, all, obviously accounted for.
Helmets, flack jackets.......comms in place, power on,.
They are, materially it seems, as ready as they ever can be.
He re tightens his own helmet strap, scans the skies again.
Materially ready........but what of the human factor?
God. This could, soon, get very, very real.
I wish we had practiced more.
Peter enters the radio room, ready to take the next flimsy.
Radio chatter fills the room. The language is unknown to him.
The Comms CPO waves him to hush, leans closer to the radio.
The unidentifiable chatter rises, becomes shriller.
The Leading seaman whispers to peter.
"Ïts the Dutch..CL De Ryter, a Desroyer....God knows what they are doing there"
Peter recognises the Language now. he can't make out the words, but the language is Universal.
The language of men calling for help.
Of Men dying.
Saratoga flashes all ships.
'SET COURSE 090.........SPEED 26 KNOTS.'
At 0720, Darwin signals.
"Air raid overhead"
At 0722, another call, somehow clear and strong.
'This is Hudson 72, Officer Smith, 140 miles due east Dilli.
To anyone who can hear. many carriers, course due West, speed 26 knots.
Goddam it...all 6 big barsteds, and the little ones too!.
I repeat, this is Hud.................
And then just the static, the static, the static.
big seas, fast ships, life tastes better with salt