USS Independence CV62 - Ch2: Fire
By Ensign James Rozo, USN
Despite strong fraternization policies and extensive regulations delineated in the United States Navy Regulations, the Standard Organization and Regulations Manual (SORM) of the U.S. Navy, and the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), personnel in authoritative positions often mentally and sexually abuse enlisted sailors.
Unequivocally, sailors are the physical property of the Navy.
“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” ~ President John F. Kennedy, Inaugural address, January 20, 1961 ~
Reaching repair locker 7-alpha, 03-228-2-Q, Ensign Rozo takes command of the Fire Party.
The locker, one of ten strategically positioned main depots throughout the ship, contains state-of-the-art equipment to combat damage sustained during battle or in emergency fire or flooding casualties.
Donning firefighting gear, the fire party performs with a hive like mentality where each sailor executes specific responsibilities. The choreographed ballet, with collective intelligence and efficiency, is the result of hundreds of hours of training under the tutelage of the Damage Control Training Team.
The excitement is intoxicating, the pungent perfume of male sweat and testosterone palpable. More than a few sailors have erections clearly outlined in their worn dungaree trousers. It’s a primeval visceral response - young, sexually charged sailors responding to fire.
Inside the repair locker IC3 Martinez, a gorgeous Latino sailor with exquisite features, looks over at Ensign Rozo. Grinning impishly, he reaches down, grabs his crotch, blatantly outlines the thick shaft, and gives it a leisurely squeeze, accentuating its length inside the confining trousers.
A member of Engineering Department’s E Division, Electrical & Interior Communications, Martinez is the fire party phone-talker. Utilizing the dedicated 8JZ sound-powered phone circuit, he communicates with personnel in Damage Control Central, 4-132-0-E.
Interior communications, vital for shipboard organization and mission execution, is accomplished via a complex and robust network of primary and secondary systems. Orders and information between stations can be transmitted over 100 different sound-powered telephone circuits, 60 shipboard intercom circuits, squawk-boxes & handsets, and 2,300 direct-dial telephones.
Martinez flashes the Ensign a radiant smile with intense white teeth. He has a lithe body with excellent musculature, a cute perky ass, short-cropped tightly curled black hair, and a smooth bronzed face with prominent cheekbones. Long black lashes surround sultry chocolate-brown eyes.
A surprisingly confident sailor, he’s in need of discipline.
With heart racing from the sprint to the repair locker, Martinez’s perspiring body radiates the enticing scent of Paco Rabanne cologne, rich and spicy, manly and inviting.
The Ensign breathes deeply, remembering the first time he provided Martinez with extra military instruction. It was last month on a section 2 duty-day, down in the officer’s stateroom, 3-146-0-L.
- - - - - Flashback - - - - -
“Reporting as ordered sir.”
“Very well, Martinez. I’ve allocated an hour for your instruction. Now strip.”
Without hesitation, knowing the evening’s agenda, the sailor seductively sheds his uniform. Slowly he unbuttons the blue utility chambray shirt, removes it and the white crewneck tee-shirt, opens the black web belt, unzips, and lets the dungarees pool around his ankles.
Stepping out of the trousers, he provocatively rubs his alluring ass.
The sailor’s silky-smooth cognac complexion, the amalgamation of his father’s Caribbean roots and his mother’s European heritage, is contrasted by a gold mariner chain with a crucifix pendant that rest between delicious dark-brown nipples. The Virgin Mary, gazing down at her praying hands, emitting divine beams of light, a symbol of strength and virtue, is tattooed on his chest.
Completely naked, Martinez stands evocatively with shameless confidence.
The sailor’s form invokes images of classical mythological heroes portrayed as young nude males standing in contrapposto. The similarity between Martinez and Donatello’s masterpiece David, a bronze statue of a young shepherd boy warrior in the Museo Nazionale del Bargello, is striking.
Commissioned by Cosimo de' Medici in 1430, the bronze homo-erotic David, with an enigmatic smile, is posed with his foot on the Philistine warrior Goliath's severed head just after defeating the giant. The youth is completely naked, apart from a laurel-topped hat and boots, bearing the sword of his enemy. Donatello, portraying David as thin and effeminate, suggests that the impossible victory by the future king of Israel over the representative of paganism was divinely ordained.
“Stand at parade rest, sailor.”
With deference, Martinez assumes the submissive military position. Crisply snapping arms behind his back, hands interlocked, and feet spread shoulder width apart, his head is straightforward with eyes unfocused gazing at destiny. Physical property of the United States Navy, he’s been stripped and inspected often, displaying his remarkable assets for his superiors.
Admiring the sailor’s exquisite unblemished skin, exceptional abdominal definition, and substantial genitals, the Ensign is awed by the skill of The Master Sculptor. Male nudes in Italian Renaissance art are customarily presented uncircumcised, and like David, Martinez has a generous foreskin.
The appreciative officer walks slowly around the sailor and examines the perfect body from every angle…savoring and the erotic landscape.
“You’re here because of a UCMJ Article 89 infraction.”
UCMJ Art. 89. Disrespect Toward a Superior Commissioned Officer
(1) Any person subject to this chapter who behaves with disrespect toward his superior commissioned officer shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.
“Your insolence will not be tolerated. Do you accept EMI instead of facing the CO at mast?”
“Sir, yes sir.”
“Very well. Come here.”
Ensign Rozo repositions an unpadded aluminum chair and sits. The Emeco 1006 Navy Chair, developed in the 1940s for use on submarines and aircraft carriers, is a bona fide wartime workhorse. With a life expectancy of 150 years, the timeless classic is corrosion-resistant and virtually indestructible.
Like a percussionist adjusting his drums for acoustic perfection, the Ensign carefully positions Martinez: drapes him across his lap, lifts his ass, rotates his hips, spreads his legs, and positions his gear. With the large ball bag readably accessible, the sailor is ready to be educated.
Utterly vulnerable, Martinez recites a silent prayer to Saint Erasmus of Formiae.
The Christian martyr, also known as Saint Elmo, is the patron saint of sailors. Venerated as an intercessor, he affords sailors with protection from sudden storms. Saint Elmo's fire, a violet luminous specter often appearing on ships at sea during thunderstorms, is regarded as a sign of his protection.
Under the officer’s hands, Martinez trembles involuntarily with almost unbearable anticipation, betraying excited helplessness. Deriving intense sexual gratification from the dominant officer/ submissive sailor paraphilia, he is eager to be disciplined by his authoritative superior.
Wielding complete control over Martinez, caressing the curvaceous ass, the commissioned officer is intoxicated with the power granted to him by Congress to procure and use government property.
“Who owns this enlisted ass, sailor?”
“The Navy, sir.”
The air is charged with expectancy, electricity palpable, as primeval desires smolder. Sparked, yearnings ignite as the sailor’s blood engorged erection presses insistently against the officer’s khaki trousers, begging for attention like a hungry child.
“And who is responsible for its effective utilization?”
Radiating warmth and the enticing scent of Paco Rabanne cologne - rich and spicy, manly and inviting, Martinez is exhilarated by the thrill of submission and punishment.
Rozo lovingly caresses the drumhead…the soft skin membrane stretched over the gluteal muscles, enjoying the tactile sensation. Warming up the sailor’s instrument, he skillfully strokes and plucks the resilient ass and muscular thighs, noting the tonal resonance of different regions.
Commencing the evening’s lesson, the officer pulls back his arm, swings gracefully, and delivers light playful slaps. Starting with a basic uncluttered melody played leggiero, alternating back and forth on both cheeks, he acquires the sailor’s attention.
Slap, slap, slap.
Playing the passage softly, the humble melody whispers, beckons, and teases the sailor. Suspense builds, as Martinez knows the officer has the power to deliver punishing blows.
Slap, slap, slap.
Transitioning to an allegretto tempo, it’s no longer a playful spanking. The perfect blend of pain and pleasure race through the unflinching sailor as his enlisted ass starts to burn delightfully. Martinez surrenders completely to the experience, never asking for mercy, desiring more.
Smack, smack, smack.
Understanding the sailor’s needs, exploring the instruments capabilities, it’s obviously not the Ensign’s first time educating a wayward sailor. Impressed with the officer’s skills, he groans like an oboe - introducing a new mournful melody, vocalizing pain and pleasure, absorbing the potent aphrodisiac.
Smack, smack, smack.
Basking in painful bliss, Martinez’s thoughts drift back in time to childhood corporal lessons provided by his military father. A lethal disciplinarian, the man brutally spanked the boy bare-assed in front of family, friends, and strangers. ‘I’m sorry daddy. I’ll be a good boy,’ whispers the sailor through clenched teeth, exorcising demons.
Smack, smack, smack.
Transitioning the tempo, playing con brio, the Ensign instructs the sailor with vigor and spirit. Sporting an impressive erection in his khaki trousers, he delivers precision blows upon the disrespectful ass, developing, repeating, and explicating the melody.
Thwack, thwack, thwack.
The punishment is elevated yet again…claps of thunder, fueling a conflagration in the sailor’s soul. An irresistible combination of contradictory qualities, the fire educates, consumes, and purifies the sailor.
Thwack, thwack, thwack.
Embarked upon a spiritual journey, tensing in glorious pain, the pitch of the sailor’s instrument changes. Like a jazz player’s drum, the greater tension reduces the amplitude of the sound and increases the frequency…making the pitch higher and the volume lower.
Whack, whack, whack.
Compensating, the Ensign strikes harder, raining down brutal blows upon the squirming sailor. Resonating throughout the compartment, the mellifluous music propagates down the 3rd deck passageway to the delight of appreciative officers residing in neighboring staterooms.
Whack, whack, whack.
Several officers quickly acquire and order hapless sailors over their own knees, turning a solo recital into a symphony of discipline. A dramatic score full of conflict and transformations, the enlisted instruments play duets and trios, chase in scherzos, mock in rondos, and fight in fugues.
Whack, whack, whack.
Inspired by the ‘Magic Fire Music’ in Richard Wagner’s ‘The Valkyries’, the second opera in the mighty ‘Ring Cycle’, the Ensign hears the rising horns, piercing piccolos, plangent cellos, frantic flutes, and brutal violins - all throwing up sparks, blazing, and menacing.
Whack, whack, whack.
Reaching maximum fortissimo, the Ensign detonates devastating blows in rapid succession. Suddenly, Martinez’s ass undergoes a transformation and radiates a shimmering glow - St. Elmo’s fire! The spectral visitant waxes and wanes harmoniously with Wagner, licking the sweet-burnt flesh.
“Wow, your ass is stunning!”
Enthralled, the officer gains new insight, understanding the poet John Keats’ insistence that beauty can only be comprehended in the brief moment before it bows to destruction.
Gasping, moaning inarticulately - mostly vowels, Martinez trembles involuntarily as his large balls lift, separate, and expel their contents. Drowning in exquisite sensations, the sailor blasts ropes of chunky white enlisted jam on the stateroom’s deck.
Consumed by a fire of his own creation, the Ensign has a burning need to subjugate and emasculate the young sailor. No stranger to the undeniable allure, he rubs, squeezes, and kneads the glowing and scorched mounds. Pulling the cheeks apart, inspecting the defenseless hole nestled in the cleft, he runs his finger around the perfect little rosebud, softer than silk.
“Sweet sea-pussy…bet you’re a great fuck.”
“Err…I don’t take it up the ass sir,” proclaims the exhausted but proud sailor.
“Nonsense, of course you do.”
Smiling indulgently, the Ensign demonstrates his inherent superiority over the enlisted sailor. Reaching between the boy’s muscular legs, rubbing the smooth scrotum, the officer clutches the large ball bag…an appealing target, and delivers a quick and brutal smack.
Screaming like an Italian castrato performing an aria, demonstrating flexibility and power no soprano or ordinary male singer could match, the shocked sailor is nauseous from the explosive pain.
The oversized eggs, disproportionate to his frame, instinctively attempt to retract, vainly seeking protection inside the dual-chambered scrotum. But the Ensign has a firm grasp, drags the trapped orbs back down to the bottom of the stretched bag with a vicious tug, and continues the lesson.
“Now listen carefully…you’re sea-pussy if I say so,” informs the Ensign.
“B…but…but I’m not gay sir,” the sailor whimpers with tears streaming down his face.
Squeezing his fist around the tender bag, mauling the sailor’s testicles, popping the protesting and swelling eggs between his experienced fingers, Ensign Rozo sends a painfully clear message.
“It doesn’t matter, you’re my sea-pussy now. You understand, sailor?”
Establishing dominance, the officer envisions fucking the sailor at some point during the upcoming deployment…just to reaffirm his inalienable right as a commissioned officer.
Surrendering, accepting the inevitable, Martinez drowns in humiliation as the officer’s fingers press insistently into the virgin passage, plundering the narrow chute. Taking complete possession, like Sir Francis Drake exploring the new world, he metaphorically plants his flag and claims the pristine territory.
“What are you sailor?”
“Sea…sea-pussy sir,” acknowledges the subjugated sailor.
Like most inexperienced sailors, Martinez was hoping to complete his naval stint with his masculinity and dignity intact. But now he understands it was an unrealistic goal, especially aboard Independence with its sexually permissive culture, aggressive predators, and opportunistic officers.
With psychological control established, Ensign Rozo, inordinately pleased, resumes the spanking - delivering three blows in quick succession, re-oxygenizing the sailor’s fire. Martinez recoils from the force, shifts his ass, and subconsciously lifts up to meet the blows, desiring more punishment.
Whack, whack, whack.
Transcending time, creating art, the officer’s authoritative hand and the sailor’s submissive ass exist in perfect symbiotic harmony - composer and instrument, producing poignant music.
Whack, whack, whack.
Upon conclusion of the session, Martinez, emotionally and physically exhausted, wipes tears from his eyes and lightly massages his enflamed and glowing ass. Glancing back and down over his shoulder to evaluate the damage and unmistakable char, the sailor looks like the Venus Kallipygos, an ancient Roman marble statue housed in Naples’ National Archaeological Museum.
Although humiliated, abused, and broken, the two voluminous deposits of enlisted jam on the deck is proof Martinez enjoyed the evening’s instruction. Transformed by the mystical fire, the sailor wrests pleasure and renewed life from his punishment and seeming defeat.
“Thank you for the EMI, sir.”
“You’re welcome, sailor. That will be all for now…dismissed.”
“Aye, aye, sir.”
- - - - - Return To The Present - - - - -
Martinez’s cologne, an enticing blend of citrus, vanilla, and cedar wood, now fills the repair locker. His mouth turns up at the corners - a Mona Lisa grin, as he whispers ‘blow me’.
It’s an outrageously disrespectful and incendiary suggestion from the junior sailor. Although an exquisite play-toy, his wild nature, impertinence, and immaturity render him unfit to be an officer’s boy.
Initially stunned, Ensign Rozo can’t believe what he’s hearing. The unmitigated gall to suggest an officer should suck an enlisted cock is another UCMJ Article 89 infraction. The Article includes insulting words, insolence, undue familiarity or other rudeness, and failing to salute.
“What did you say, sailor?”
“I know you want to sir. It’s ok, I won’t tell everyone,” he smirks.
Stroking the beckoning cock, the audacious sailor intentionally provokes the officer - his way of asking for more discipline. Evidently, the generous spanking and exploration of his mocha-brown bottom was insufficient. Or perhaps he enjoyed getting pummeled way too much.
“Fuck you, sailor…you just earned advanced EMI.”
The officer is happy for an opportunity to utilize the new hardwood paddle recently manufactured by his division’s Carpenter Shop, ER02. He can envision the composition now - the sweet music as the maple paddle plays a spirited song on Martinez’s instrument.
“You’ll be disciplined for not addressing me with due deference. Is that clear sailor?”
As taught in enlisted basic training, there are only seven acceptable responses to an officer’s inquiry: ‘Yes sir’, ‘No sir’, ‘Aye, aye, sir’, ‘Thank you, sir’, ‘I don’t know sir”, ‘No excuse sir’, and ‘Anything you say, sir’. Everything else is simply unacceptable.
“Yes sir, thank you.”
The sailor rubs his nervous ass, knowing it will soon pay the price for his hubris and disrespect. Reaching an understanding, the Ensign nods agreeably, ignores the erection in his khaki trousers, and refocuses on the immediate concern - evaluating, controlling, and extinguishing the fire.
The fire party On-Scene Leader, an experienced HT1, scrutinizes several Damage Control Plates.
A series of 3-dimential isometric color-coded diagrams, the plates are essential in combating casualties, establishing boundaries, and employing countermeasures. Developed by Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) engineers, they delineate compartmentalization, function, and all mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic, and fuel systems.
Before sending the fire party into any conflagration, Ensign Rozo and the On-Scene Leader must be familiar with the surrounding compartments and systems, evaluating risks and potential hazards.
The plates look clean…minimum system complications. The 03-level aft of frame 226 is essentially a series of four large berthing compartments, all on centerline with crew’s heads and HVAC fan rooms outboard on the port and starboard skin of the ship.
Suddenly, an unknown sailor, not a member of the fire party, enters the repair locker.
“Sir, I know the fire’s exact location.”
The Ensign picks up a distinctive smell - naphtha. It’s clinging to the sailor like a Naples whore on payday. Used as a cleaning solvent, naphtha is highly flammable - a mixture of volatile hydrocarbons. Perhaps the sailor just completed maintenance cleaning machinery and tools, or not.
Instinctively, the officer grabs the sailor’s shipyard industrial-area pouch containing his Navy identification card. On his shirt stenciled in black above the right breast pocket is the name ‘Wetter’.
“Ok Wetter, give me the gouge…and make it fast!” the Ensign demands.
“The fire is in the starboard VF32 berthing fan room. I can lead the fire party…”
“…negative, you stay here,” he orders, putting Wetter’s ID card in his pocket.
A recent article in ‘Deckplate’, the bimonthly engineering magazine published by NAVSEA, presented evidence that the preponderance of shipboard fires are initiated by malcontent sailors. Extensive research and interviews indicate that statistically, the first sailor on the scene offering assistance is more often than not responsible for initiating the conflagration.
“Sir, recommend we set fire boundaries here and here,” as HT1 jabs the DC Plates, “and approach from the port side, through this berthing compartment to the starboard fan room.”
“Very well. Proceed.”
Taking control, HT1 barks orders to the fire party.
“Investigators, set fire boundaries at bulkheads 227 and 236. Hosemen, flake out #1 and #2 hoses port side, two lengths each. Sparky, secure electrical power and ventilation ten frames fore and aft.”
A subtle smoky odor, a complex composition of gases and fine particles consisting of dozens of different toxic chemicals, now permeates the air. Fire Party members, skilled in shipboard firefighting, can differentiate fire classes and conditions of combustion by the unique smells and tastes.
Tasting the air, everyone detects the strong class Alpha fire with subtle class Bravo elements.
Five-gallon cans of class B aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) concentrate are quickly retrieved from the repair locker. Specially engineered to contain explosive vapors produced by flammable liquids, the foam is added via an in-line mechanical nozzle with a pickup tube utilizing the Bernoulli principle.
“On-scene leader, #1 hose manned and ready,” reports HT3 Bepler.
With the taste of Rozo’s jam still lingering on his tongue, the sailor is grateful for the important and prestigious position as the #1 nozzleman.
“On-scene leader, #2 hose manned and ready,” reports BMSA Punderson.
A ginger-haired sailor with bright-blue eyes, Punderson has a stunning physique - a profusion of granite muscles sheathed within velvety soft pink skin. An undeniable obsession and potential officer’s boy, the Ensign has observed the muscular boy for several months.
Abruptly, the HVAC system is deenergized - the silence deafening, as overhead lights fade to black and emergency battle lanterns illuminate the compartments. Exceptionally beautiful, like an old silent movie, it’s a harmony of black, white, and grays casting fearsome shadows on the bulkheads.
“Charge #1 and #2 hoses!” the HT1 orders.
The sailor manning the fireplug opens the Y-vale, charging the 1½-inch flexible hoses with 150-psi salt water from the ship’s fire main. Manned and ready, the fire party is ready to attack.
Ensign Rozo meanwhile is thinking about BMSA Punderson.
As a Boatswain's Mate in Deck Department, a rating renowned for intellectual paltriness, the seaman apprentice has the IQ of a bollard, but a body only achieved through long hours heaving mooring lines, connecting shots of anchor chain, and working with 350 lb. detachable links, swivels, and ground tackle.
Taking special interest, the officer has watched Punderson work on the focsle without a shirt.
Lean and powerful, masculine and military, the sailor has broad shoulders with prodigious freckles, a wide muscular chest with solid smooth pectorals, quarter-sized pink areolae with chewable nipples, rippling abdominals under tight pink-white skin, and massive biceps and triceps.
Straining while handling 10-inch circumferential line, beads of perspiration glisten like jewels, slowly roll down the sailor’s chest, and collect at the soaked waistband of his bell-bottom dungarees.
On his right upper arm is a traditional tattoo - two admiralty anchors crossed at 90 degrees, a central shank and crown with flukes at the bottom, and shackle and stock mounted on top. Sailors are very superstitious, and the anchor tattoo ensures safe voyages, stability, and protection from adversity.
Another protective tattoo is on his knuckles - the letters spell out ‘hold fast’. It’s a constant reminder to be vigilant and hold tightly to lines, or risk falling overboard, getting hurt, or death.
Punderson’s hand drops to his crotch to adjust his dungarees as a large object awakens under the denim fabric. Unbridled, the Ensign’s imagination constructs an indelible image of the sailor’s gear.
The officer and sailor’s eyes meet.
Quickly looking away, Ensign Rozo is embarrassed that his desire to consume the sailor is too readily apparent. If he wasn’t a commissioned officer he would fall on his knees and lick every inch of Punderson’s enlisted body. Hell, he still might.
He can imagine it now, the BMSA standing at parade rest as the Ensign makes the slow journey down onto his knees. Looking up at the bemused sailor, opening Punderson’s belt buckle, slipping the trouser button from its perch, he pulls down the zipper, as tooth by tooth the last line of defense is breached.
Slowly parting the flaps, with no skivvies, the sailor’s dense ginger pubic bush is revealed. The meaty pink cock unfurls, hitting the Ensign in the face as the bell-bottoms fall and pool on the deck. A red velvet bag containing two ample orbs swings between his muscular thighs.
The hungry officer salivates. It’s an all you can eat buffet.
Leaning forward, licking down the length of the tumid shaft, he sucks the blood-engorged pink head. Savoring the sweet taste of forbidden fruit, rolling his tongue around the savory gland, gorging himself, he consumes the sailor’s leaking jam. Scrumptious, like a seasonal fruit crème tart, the rich strawberry-vanilla infused custard provides a delicate soft, palate-pleasing finish.
Someone is saying something, but the Ensign can’t hear anything over the pounding heart beat reverberating in his ears. On fire, consumed with desire, almost speaking the sailor’s name, Rozo trembles like leaves on a quaking aspen.
“Sir, we’re ready,” reports HT1. “Sir!”
Awaking from the seduction, the exquisite taste of Punderson resonates on his tongue.
“Err…what? Oh, right. Very well…advance,” orders the painfully erect Ensign.
Gaining new insight, Rozo understands that fire, being an unpredictable elemental force personified by the slippery fire god Loki, who is alternately trust worthy and trickster, can inspire or destroy usually at the same time.
What was he thinking? Officers don’t suck enlisted cock…not ever.
Clearly, Punderson as fire god incarnate, must be suitably punished.
Compelled to resolve the situation, Ensign Rozo decides to speak with Punderson’s division officer, Lieutenant Jamal Howard, 1st Division Deck Department, to acquire temporary ownership of the sailor. An instructive spanking and vigorous shafting should reestablish the natural order of the universe.
Repair Division has recently received several skinny non-rates, fresh seafood straight from boot camp, to satisfy the Lieutenant’s sweet tooth. Confident they can work out an equitable trade, Punderson’s scorched and fucked ass is assured.
As government owned property, sailors are often traded by their division officers over lunch in the wardroom - sort of like the mercantile and commodities exchange in Chicago. Although technically wardroom etiquette precludes discussions on politics, religion, sex, and work related business, the exchange of sailors is considered more like sport and entertainment.
Approximately 80% of all transactions involve non-rate sailors with disciplinary problems.
Navigating hierarchical intricacies, competitive officers skillfully package and swap their dirt-bag sailors, attempting to mitigate administrative headaches. Invariably, the worst sailors are condemned to dreary, repetitive, non-value adding assignments in Deck Department - swabbing decks, cleaning out scuppers, and chipping paint or to Engineering Department - scrubbing bilges in the ship’s hellish bowels.
Other transactions, however, are more pleasurable.
Like chattel, sailors of special interest are routinely bartered. It’s generally considered unprofessional to negotiate too vigorously once an officer has expressed the desire for an acquisition. After brief parleys, concessions are secured, terms and conditions arranged, and courtesies graciously extended.
It’s all very civilized - commissioned officers are, after all, gentlemen by an act of Congress, and formal etiquette, shaped by more than 235 years of nautical tradition, is never out of style.
BMSA Punderson doesn’t know it yet, but the kid is assuredly fucked.
“No. 1 and no. 2 nozzlemen… advance!”
With skillful precision in their collective motion, performing flawlessly, the fire party contains, controls, and extinguishes the fire in less than ten minutes. IC3 Martinez, via the 8JZ, advises the Engineering Duty Officer and Damage Control Assistant residing down in Damage Control Central.
Every fire scene is technically a crime scene. Charred remnants of several mattresses and a burnt empty can, the size and shape of naphtha, is on the deck. The burn pattern clearly suggests the accelerant was employed. Using the repair locker’s internal phone system, the Ensign dials the quarterdeck.
“Quarterdeck, Boatswain Mate of the Watch speaking. How may I help you sir?”
“This is Ensign Rozo. Let me speak to the CDO or OOD.”
“Yes, sir. Wait one.”
The CDO comes on the line, “JR what’s the status?”
“Sir, the fire is extinguished. It was contained with minimum damage. Looks like arson. Please vector the duty photographer’s mate and several Master-at-Arms (MA) to 7 Alpha, ASAP. Meet me at the MA Shack in about fifteen minutes, say 2245. I’ll fill you in more.”
“Very well. And pass along a Bravo Zulu to the fire party.” The CDO hangs up.
1MC: ‘Now secure the Inport Fire Party and R&A Detail.’
A few minutes later two master-at-arms arrive. The Ensign recognizes MA2 Beberdick - a sailor with a resplendent reputation for being an unmitigated asshole. If ever a sailor could benefit from a good beating, it’s Beberdick.
“Take custody of Wetter, escort him to the shack, and await further instructions,” Rozo orders.
“Aye, aye sir,” Beberdick responds with an evil grin and growing erection.
“Err...why...why do you need me sir? I don’t know anything,” Wetter asks as his light-brown eyes dart rapidly from face to face.
“It’s just routine procedure,” the officer lies. “Go with them and I’ll talk with your afterwards.”
“Come on dirt-bag, you’re ours for the evening,” laughs Beberdick, leading Wetter below to the MA Shack on the 2nd deck.
The fire party stows the equipment, drains and folds the fire hoses, and restores electrical power. The duty Photographer’s Mate finishes taking pictures and HT1secures the compartment. A few minutes later the Ensign strikes below, heading to 2-216-2-Q, the MA Shack.
In the Navy, rank is everything.
And life as an officer is sweet; for a sailor under suspicion of arson, not so much.
The voyage aboard Independence continues in chapter 3.
Comments and readers’ experiences with sailors, afloat or ashore, are always of interest.
The author may be reached at [email protected]