Rascals And Rats

"Rascals and Rats"

Who: Foster, Irvine, Logan & Joanna
When: May 1940
Where: Command bridge, HMS Viperous

What: Mainly concerned cats and vermin.

Command bridge

HMS Viperous-----> > > > > THE GREATEST GENERATION < < <


The bridge is the traditional center of command for any ship and, in many ways, the basic design remains similar to the days of wood and sails. The helmsman operates 20th-century steering controls rather than an old wooden wheel and the weapon stations control gunnery and torpedoes rather than cannons, but the principles remain the same. Windows allow the captain to look out onto the water from his post at the center of it all, though the seat isn't as comfortable for the man in charge as some may claim.

It is currently dusk.
The sea around you has a light swell.

Type Name Brg. Hdg. Altitude Spd. Rng.
AH (#9155)Redemption 262 270 0' 8 1639 yds
DD (#15084)HMS Viperous 180 270 0' 8 0 yds
PC (#2543)HMS Instow 273 270 0' 8 5563 yds
AP (#1205)Forafric 270 270 0' 8 3536 yds

Systems:
1. Steering Gear

Sub-Rooms :
1. Helmsman
2. Main Guns
3. Torpedoes
4. Captain

Contents
Joanna
Foster
Logan
Irvine

Up to Flying Bridge <FB> Back to Radio Room <RR>
Starboard Rail <SR> Port Rail <PR>
Captain's cabin <CC>

Foster moves up the stairs from his cabin and into the bridge, ready to start his next shift. A clipboard rests beneath one arm, and a warm cup of coffee rests in the other. Ahhh, life at sea.

ThumpathumpathumpaWHAMTHUD. Iiiiiiiit's Irvine in his natural habitat. Fumbling about. He manages not to faceplant just yet. He looks considerably better than the last time he may have been out poking about. And he has a wrench and some other things in hand. Looks like Irv was set to do some work too. He grins and salutes Foster. "Allo sir."

Logan walks from the radio room humming a happy tune as always, cigarette hanging from his mouth. He walks up beside Foster and leans agains the railing, not taking time for a salute, "We have /any/ lead on the U-boat captain?"

Joanna steps up from the radio room quietly enough, also armed with a clipboard. The sound of Irvine fumbling along makes her pause and wince slightly. She offers the him and Logan a short, polite nod before saluting Foster. "Just bringing up the latest logs, sir. There's still something shadowing us, but it's keeping its distance at around 10,000 yards."

Foster salutes once, in general, and reaches out to take Joanna's log. "Good, let him go. We're not moving anywhere too obvious just yet, and every U-boat spent shadowing us is one less lying in wait." He glances over toward where Irvine stumbles in, and, for not the first time, gives the junior officer a confused glance before turning back toward the logs. "Hello Irvine. Still giving our medical staff something to keep them busy?"

Irvine waves at Logan, and nods. He seems cheery enough, despite his fumbling about and the confused look Foster gives him. He just kind of BEAMS actually. Happy git. Such is life. "Nah, I am fine. Haven't hit anything yet today." It's a new record for the Irv! Good times. "I feel better anyway." He nods. "Thank you sir."

Logan nods to Irvine and despite his usual 'running into Irviness' he lightly jukes around him quite nimbly despite his large size. He goes about his duties aboard the ship, "Looks like us sonar-jockies finally get a break from those damn U-boats." He looks cheery enough as he says this.

Logan salutes Foster a little as he moves back up to him.

Joanna nods to Foster. "Understood, sir. We'll keep an eye on it, whatever it decides to do." She peers out to sea, a frown knitting her lips as she gazes off in the direction of where the distant U-boat might lurk. Though Irvine's comment about hitting things does draw a faint chuckle from her.

"I'd think it'd give you something to do, Midshipman." Foster quips, managing a slight smirk at Logan's expense, nodding in response to the man's salute. "Other than listening for sea life. At least having something to hear out there, I'm told, is a nice change." When Irvine mentions that he hasn't hit anything today, Foster just shakes his head in chagrin and adds, "Glad to have you back, Irvine."

Irvine: Good for those training to be ninja, jugglers or tight rope walkers? Either way, he's managing steady at the moment, although one might pick up that he's leaning on a railing. He seems pleased as punch at Foster's comment. "Thank you sir! It's very kind of you. I am rather tired of being poked at anyway." He bobs his head. Every infatiguably cheery, it's Irvine. "They can see sea life? What kinds?"

Logan slips his hands into his pockets and looks out over the sea, smiling at Foster's comments, "Well with Miss Starling on the RADAR and having taught her a little bit about sonar I think I've grown obsolete." He chuckles a bit but looks at least a little serious.

Joanna makes a "Hmph" sound under her breath, shaking her head. "Hardly, O'Reily. I haven't a proper ear for the sonar. I'm trying to better it but I'll admit I much prefer radar work. You'd best be on hand if that sub nears again." She grimaces faintly, leveling another faint glare out to sea.

Foster moves over toward one of the railings, allowing whichever officer is at the conn to handle the bridge for the time being. Joanna's mention of the lack of proper ear is met with a quick shake of his head. "You seem to do well enough the last time we went sub-hunting with myself at the helm." Irvine's question of sea life is reflected toward Joanna. "I'm sure the Midshipman would be able to tell you."

"… sure," Irvine nods. "I am a lousy helmsman," He grins. The midshipman seems bemused by that little incident. Still cheery as ever, "So I prefer to have Captain around." Another nod. "I'll be back, I heard a funny noise near the torpedoes."

Joanna snorts again. "It's hardly my speciality. But that's most appreciated, sir. It's certainly something I'm eager to learn more about." Even if she doesn't sound terribly eager to go sub hunting again. She arches a brow at Irvine. "Funny noise? Not rats, is it, Irvine? I swear I saw one skulking around the radio room."

Foster hears about a 'funny noise' near the torpedoes and watches Irvine begin to make his way over there. Foster gives the Midshipman a quick nod, allowing the junior officer to go about his task before turning to Joanna. "If rats are something that you want to avoid, head to the galley. You won't find a one down there." He grins somewhat knowingly, as if enjoying some cosmic secret.

"I don't particularly enjoy their company, sir, I'll admit," Joanna replies, as to the rats. "The galley, sir?" Her brows do some more arching. "That's…comforting. What with the food and medical supplies and all. Unless the cook's taking to snatching them up for use in the stew." It's a joke. Mostly. She hopes.

Irvine smiles and nods back. "I agree with them - although I hope it's not rats down there. We got a cat?" Irvine peers at Foster. "If it is rats, I guess a cat or some traps would do …" He muses. He shrugs. "I'll go see now sir," He taps the wrench to his forehead gently. "Nah, they are probably avoiding stew day." He winks and ducks down.

Foster shrugs slightly, glancing at the logs again. "Well, whatever works. Rats are eaten in quite a few places across the globe, from what I understand." When Irvine asks if there's a cat aboard, Foster nods quickly. "Of course. There's no way we'd let Rascal off-ship. Terrible omens and all." Foster shows a bit of his age as he mentions the age-old superstition of bad luck following the loss of the ship's cat.

"Rats are a terrible omen enough, for my taste" Joanna says with a grin. "Rascal certainly has more than enough opportunity to earn his keep. Did he come with the ship, sir? The cat, I mean. I've always wondered how sailors went about choosing the beats for their ships."

[HMSViperous] Foster says, "Simon was perhaps the most famous ship's cat in recent times. He was the ship's cat of HMS Amethyst during the Yangtze Incident in 1949, and was wounded in the bombardment of the ship which killed 25 of Amethysts crew, including her commanding officer. He soon recovered and resumed his duties, killing rats and keeping up the crew's morale. He was appointed to the rank of 'Able Seacat' Simon and became a celebrity after the ship escaped the Yangtze and returned to Britain. He later succumbed to an infection and died shortly after. Tributes poured in and his obituary appeared in The Times. He was posthumously awarded the Dickin Medal, the only cat to ever earn the award, and was buried with full naval honours."

Foster nods in response to Joanna's question, glancing around the bridge. Mention of Rascal usually got the creature to wander into view. "He did. They like to find their way into the warm depths when the ship is in the yards, or occasionally when the crew is on leave. Just can't be a cat that belonged to one of the crew first, that's bad luck."

Joanna lets out another faint chuckle, nodding. "And I suppose you wouldn't want the cat to show favoritism. Has to work for all of us, after all. Did he really just wander into the Viperous?" She grins. "Well, at least he's a proper volunteer."

Foster manages his own chuckle, this one not meant to be faint in the least. "Won't find many on this ship that aren't, Midshipman. Part of the reason I was glad to take her on as captain." Foster leans against the railing, looking toward the windows that show the dark night sea. He downs the rest of the cup of coffee and loops the cup handle in a single finger, then rest his hand on the railing. "It's better to be on a ship with sailors that actually -want- to be at sea."

Joanna leans against the railing as well, more for comfort than for balance. She's gotten her sea legs well enough. "I can't imagine why anyone in the Navy wouldn't want to be at sea, sir. Isn't that rather the point?" She peers out over the water again. "What was your last assignment like, sir? If you don't mind my asking."

"I was XO under Commander Smythe of HMS Acheron." Foster responds, perhaps more out of automatic habit than actual thought, then turns toward Joanna. "As for sailors not wanting to be at sea, well… you'd be surprised how many end up in the navy rather than find their way into prisons, or are there because their fathers expected them to do it just as they'd done… and hating every second of it." He nods slightly in deference to Joanna's own heritage, then continues. "I've seen sailors that're at sea to avoid wives, the law, debt… you name it." Foster manages a slight smirk, and turns his gaze out toward the night. "The sea is where the forgotten tread, it is said."

Joanna nods a little at all that. "I suppose it's a place where one can lose oneself, if one needs to. And I was lucky in that respect. There are few expectations on a daughter, other than marrying well and spitting out a few grandchildren." She smirks as she says it. "Anyhow, I don't think Father would have minded if I didn't join up with the Wrens, but it's how I was brought up. I never considered *not* doing it."

"And what do you think so far?" Foster asks, turning to regard Joanna intently.

"Parts of it aren't quite what I expected, I'll admit, sir," Joanna says, another faint grin coming to her lips. "There's always a certain gloss to things in the stories sailor's tell once they've hit port. But I'm enjoying the work, for the most part. It's quite…invigorating. Being out on the open sea with just the ship and your crewmates keeping you afloat. And you keeping it afloat, as it were."

Foster manages a slight smirk and shakes his head at the mention of stories. "Life is never like the stories you hear. They're either told to impress a young girl with tales of adventure, or a pretty young woman with tales of heroism. Either way, it's all a bit of bollocks." He gives a quick snort before looking away from Joanna and adding, "But you're right in that Viperous keeps us afloat, and vice versa. I can only imagine it's worse on one of those submarines. Being on a ship designed to sink…"

Joanna laughs at that, nodding. "Bollocks. Quite, sir." She does some more peering out at the water, as if searching for some sighting of the sub. Not that she sees anything but the rest of their convoy. "I don't particularly want to imagine it. I'd think it'd be like being in a sardine can. An underwater sardine can. Not a mission I'd ever be keen to volunteer for. Not that I'd be asked, of course."

Foster shrugs at the mention of not being asked, and gives Joanna a sideways glance. "You never know, Midshipman. 6 months ago, you'd've said they'd never ask you to be on Viperous here, either."

Joanna makes a soft "Hmph" sound. "I would have as well, come to it. Still, whatever the Admiralty decides next, I think I'll try to keep my head above the waves. Purposefully sinking does not seem particularly wise." She grins, before straightening up from the rail. "I should get back to the radio, sir. Perhaps I'll track down Rascal and set him loose. Unless the rat's moved on, which I wouldn't be sorry for."

DESCRIPTIONS:
Foster's Desc
This man's build and features are, on the surface, not exceptional in any way. His close-cropped black hair is being teased by a few whisps of silver near the temples, framing is nondescript features. Dark brown eyes rest in sockets that are evenly spaced about his sloped nose, surrounded by skin that has been weathered by years at sea. His height of 178 centimetres and moderate build do nothing to shake this man's overall feeling of mediocrity. What makes this man remarkable are the vibrant displays of emotion that his features are capable of. Jokes bring a wide, toothy grin, or an open-mouthed laugh, while the furrowing of his brow has been equated to gatherings of stormclouds… all of which seem to be expressions this man is at home with.
This sailor wears the dark blue uniform of an officer of the Royal Navy. The front of the jacket is decorated with a few clips here and there denoting the military history of the sailor, each of the buttons of the jacket in a highly-polished double column down the front. The straight lines of the wool jacket run the length of the shoulders and down the sleeves, ending in the rank insignia of this officer, the rank of Lt. Commander. A navy-coloured tie adorns a white shirt beneath the jacket, the windsor knot tied with care. Straight dark blue woolen trousers and black leather shoes complete the down-to-business effect of this officer's uniform, along with the slope-top hat complete with Royal Navy crest.

Irvine's Desc
Call the police. Someone stole Irvine's grace. The guy's average height, for sure. But he's a lanky, skinny git who probably only had dates involving Carbon 14. That's not to say he's ugly, quite the contrary. He's handsome, with dark brown hair and hazel eyes. He's got a lean face, and seems to fit his uniform very well. His shoes are clean. Indeed, Irvine is well groomed. There's just something off about the guy, as if Nature chose to balance his looks with something less desirable. He is one of the poor souls manning the torpedoes.

Joanna's Desc
Joanna Starling is a young woman, early or mid-twenties at the most, though there's a professional severity about her that may make her seem older. She works to maintain an image of efficiency and discipline at all times. She's a little taller than average for a woman with a slender build that's been strengthened by military life. Her face is oval-shaped and fair-skinned, composed of rather sharp features. High cheek bones, a hawkish nose and steel blue eyes dominate. Her chestnut brown hair has been cut to several inches above her shoulders and its typically coiled into a thick bun at the base of her neck. Her accent is solid English with a lilt common in the southwest.
She's dressed in the uniform of the Women's Royal Naval Service (or Wren, in popular vernacular). Smart blue coat with a matching tie knotted under the collar of her white blouse. The uniform's been modified somewhat, consisting of tailored blue trousers rather than the skirt one would see on a shore-bound Wren. A blue sailor's cap is sometimes worn on her head, when the situation calls for it. She wears the rank badge of a Midshipman. She clearly makes an effort to keep the uniform clean and polished, and every button of it is worn with pride. The only jewelry visible is a diamond ring on the third finger of her right hand, set with a stone that's more tasteful than dazzling.

Logan's Desc
This man stands a clean six foot two, his build broad-shouldered. He walks with a sense of pride in his work. His eyes are sparkling pools of green, his hair a light amber. His face is covered in small scars, probably not from battle, whichdo not seem too serious. His facial features consist of almond eyes, a thin nose ,a strong chin, and broad jaw. O Reily wears the dark navy uniform of the Royal Navy. The front of the white shirt is pressed to a remarkable degree, completely smooth. The shirt runs over his broad shoulders and down his wide and toned arms, ending rolled-up just to the middle of his forearm. The Sub Lieutenant wears a navy-coloured tie over his white shirt, its kept tied tight at all times. Down his legs run straight dark navy trousers, right down to his black leather shoes. He is rarely seen with his hat on, although he doesnt seem to be the kind of man who would lose such a thing. He also usually has a cigarette behind his ear. The only thing strange about his outfit is the ring he wears on his left index finger which bears a Celtic cross.

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