Buzz, Jack, and Gary cope with another damage control drill in their own distinctive ways.
"Fuck me in the heart," Jack said up on the bridge, instantly hoping the gator hadn't heard him say it. The gator would pitch him shit forever about setting a bad example for the enlisted men.
Down in the Dirty Shirt, Gary hauled himself out of his chair. His feet slogged his waterbed and his narrow shoulders and his wide hips and the rest of him down to his damage control locker on the second deck. He put on a yellow rain slicker and a helmet and a breathing apparatus that weighed forty pounds. Then he picked up a fire hose and lurched six decks deeper into number four main machinery room, leading a four man hose time of enlisted men who didn't like playing fire putter outers in four main machinery room any more than Gary did.
An hour into the General Quarters drill, Jack's back and right leg went numb. He schlepped over to the starboard side, hoping nobody noticed him limping, and propped himself against the navigation table.
"You okay, Mister H?" Chief Kirk said.
"Yeah, Chief. Do me a favor, though. Go back in the office and bring me a fistful of those eight hundred pound Motrins in my desk drawer."
"Sure, sir. Just be careful how many of those things you take."
"Nothing to worry about, Chief. They're sugar free, right?"
Two hours later, down on the sixth deck, Gary and the rest of the sailors on his damage control team finally didn't really put out the fire that wasn't really there.
On the bridge, the duty bosun mate announced, "Secure from General Quarters" over the 1MC.
Gary and his enlisted firemen put away their hose, and Gary put away his fireman gear, and tromped what was left of his bloat up more decks and levels of ladders than he cared to count so he could relieve Jack on the bridge.
When he got to the O-3 level, he stopped by the officer's head just off the admiral's blue tile area and crapped out all the crap he'd eaten for lunch.
Up on the bridge, Chief Kirk said, "Wonder what's taking Mister Constantine so long to get up here and relieve you?"
Jack smirked, and lifted his binoculars off his neck and laid them face down on the navigation table.
"No doubt he's in an officers' head relieving himself of a few candy sprinkles."
On the O2 level, just under the Dirty Shirt, Buzz rolled over in his rack and said, "What the fuck?" He'd disconnected his stateroom's 1MC speaker when General Quarters went down. The electrician's mates must have snuck in while he was asleep and re-connected it, the sneaky little shits.
Oh well. No sense getting worked up over it. He checked his Jap job. His watch in combat didn’t start for hours yet. He put his head back on his pillow.
The door was still locked. His phone was still off the hook. Life was still good.