Tan climbs the long gangway, and pauses for a moment.
He has been the Engineer for this floating Monster for nearly 6 months now, an
incredible honour, when you consider it.
A long, long way indeed from the locomotives of pre war.
It will be a pity, he thinks, to see such a machine destroyed. A funny way
to consider Musashi's possible future destruction, to consider with sadness
the loss of such magnificence above that of the men upon her.
Including , of course, himself.
But, miracles can happen...........
He acknowledges the salutes from the gangway staff, and moves aft.
There is a hatch, a ladder leading down to the steam boat stowage. This is his shortcut,
a way to avoid the passing through the armour deck, the hatches here are always
He moves un erringly now into the boat stowage area, and into the hanger, almost empty at the moment.
Once, he needed to follow the green and red lines painted on the decks to guide him, the many
"you are here signs" merely to prevent becoming hopelessly lost.
But now he knows his way about the Monster.
The decent begins, down, door, hatch, ladder, down, down, down.
The engineroom (this one of many) gleams.
There has been more than enough time to make any defects good, to turn almost idle hands
The plant is fully flashed, fully under steam.
But there is little to indicate this, no steam leaks, no drips, no hiss..........
So unlike poor old Zuiho.......
Just a quiet hum, the beat of the ventilation fans, and lurking there, that feeling
of sheer, awesome power.
Hirate and Okano man the steaming platform.
As do nearly a dozen other men.
A thousand miles and a million years from Zuiho, here, strict , strict discipline, men rigid, men
welded to position.
Hirate, Okano both turn.
The Salutes perfect.
They know, that here, a role must be played
And played it will be
"All good men?"
"Nothing to report sir, the Trial is going well"
Tan leans closer, so only the three of them can hear
Inexorably, Musashi is nearing availability
The trumbal draws nearer to the guillotine with every day.
big seas, fast ships, life tastes better with salt