Every day,0830 sharp, the department heads gather.
Briefly, for Shock refuses to tolerate any waffling, each man delivers a snapshot
of his part of ship.
Shock barely ever questions, merely nods, occasionally grimaces.
Reactions, when they come, come more indirectly, yet far more tellingly.
Memo's, orders, demands.
Verbal orders, questions can become "lost"
Not the written ones.
They must be fulfilled.
They also, as every man here knows far too well, allow utter control of all that occurs
Today, after this meeting, there will be no doubt another flurry of paper.
The Commanders deliver their reports.
Some good, some routine, some not so good.
The Gunnery Officer feels all is well, so does the Aviation officer.
The supply officers report is very brief: "the men are fed"
(and that is, considering all things, as good as one can hope)
Ford reports Moral, after a pause, and a Shock Grimace, as good.
But it is the Engineers report that matters.
Ford does not understand all of it, but the message is clear. Chester is tired.
Getting very tired.
The communications officer puts that into perspective however.
KB smashes the North west coast of Australia.
If it continues on her present course.........sunk ships don't get any more tired.
big seas, fast ships, life tastes better with salt