Kicking off a new section for “fictional” short stories.. Here’s one to start us off..
“General Quarters, General Quarters! All hands man your battle stations! Up and Forward to starboard, down and aft to port! Set material condition ZEBRA throughout the ship! All hands set MOPP level 4! This is not a drill”
“Multiple Vampires inbound. All hands brace for impact”
The Phalanx-CIWS roars to life. Even in the radio, safely amid ships and heavily protected you hear R2D2 spinning up to track and take out missiles that get through the other defenses. The tracking hum stops. You instinctively grab onto one of the many pipes that traverse the ship and hold on for dear life. Your heart is pounding, you entire body covered in sweat from being covered in your MOPP gear. Your gas mask fogs up but you can’t take it off so you blindly steel yourself for what could happen in the next seconds: The Close In Weapons System could jam or miss, the missile could get through and who knows if its, chemical, biological or even nuclear, they’ve used chemicals before and are rumored to have worse. Say a quick prayer and brace.
A massive purring shakes the entire ship. She moves laterally as the CIWS begins to fire 4,500 20mm rounds a minute. An explosion like nothing you’ve heard in your lifetime. She lists heavy to port. You’re thrown to the deck and momentarily stunned. Your mask is knocked askew but thankfully the fog clears as you put it right. The ship rocks again, this time from the forecastle, you know it was the sea sparrow missiles launching. Your stomach in your throat but you choke it down and swell with pride knowing that whoever just dared strike you will soon meet their maker.
The 1MC blares to life you hear the Captain asking for damage control parties to report to port compartments. The 22MC – the squawk box between radio and the bridge activates – The XO ordering you to send message to 7th Fleet advising we have come under attack by multiple silkworm missiles, zero direct hits, 1 missile destroyed by CIWS, damage assessment underway appears minor, zero casualties, threat neutralized. The USS St. Helens (AOE-12) is combat ready and awaiting orders. “Aye, Aye Sir!”
“All Hands Secure from General Quarters, Set condition XRAY throughout the ship”
Mask off, you breathe deeply and prepare for another day at war on the sea.