Where There S Smoke


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

The front of the ship, essentially. It has been reinforced to better protect the ship from waves, and to divert the rushing water from washing down the decks and causing accidents. Heavy metal anchor-chains run back to front, slipping through tiny rings in the sides to let the anchors fall into the sea. Usually deserted, very few crew wander to this part of the ship unless absolutely required, though that does make it a quiet spot for the odd smoking break when not on duty. A union jack flag flies from a pole at the very bow.

It is currently night time.

Night has fallen over the ocean but the smoking light is one, and the stars in the clear sky overhead, provide some illumination. The forecastle isn't empty, popular smoking location that it is. Joanna is one of the crew there now, puffing languidly on a cigarette as she watches the ship roll on toward Narvik.

McIntyre steps into the area and looks slightly confused to find others there. He then places the cigar in his mouth. "Any of you play cards? Poker perhaps."

Renteria's hands are freshly scrubbed for the twentieth time today, raw as he digs his cigarettes out of his pocket. His shirt cuffs are speckled with blood, none of it his. He gives a nod to the two up on deck as he turns his back to the wind to light up.

"Hmm?" Joanna seems half-startled by McIntyre's question. And his appearance. She was wrapped up in her own thoughts just then. "Oh. Mr. McIntyre. Good evening. I…a bit, I suppose. I used to play cards with the girls back in Portsmouth between shifts." Renteria's appearance makes her sharpen her attention a bit. "Doctor. How is…everyone?" She can't keep the edge of concern out of her voice.

McIntyre puts a cigar in his mouth and lights it. As Joanna speaks he says, "Cards? Like poker?"

Renteria gives Joanna a slight nod. "Very many were hurt, Miss Starling. Hands and McConnell have the worst of it, I would tell. Hands will be down for a few days." He takes a drag off his cigarette, eyes flickering to McIntyre. "Have not got cards to play with. Not tonight anyway."

"Sometimes poker," Joanna replies, still sounding a bit abstracted. "Bridge occasionally, though I was never very good at that." It's Renteria's words she's really focused on. She nods to him. "Mr. Hands. He seems like such a tough old seaman. Almost hard to imagine. And McConnell certainly wasn't acting injured, working away down in engineering. I just thank God Lieutenant Commander Foster wasn't in his cabin during the whole mess."

McIntyre remains silent, people get hurt in war, this happens. Instead he then takes a puff on his cigar. "Perhaps we could start a poker game soon." He says in an effort to politely detract from morbid thoughts, it is one of those officer school tricks.

Renteria' demeanor is tired rather than morbid. He takes the cigarette from his mouth and exhales the smoke in a long plume that whips into the wind over the sea. "Start this game in the aft cabin and Hands will be very happy to have something to think about besides Burke stick him with a needle." He chuckles under his breath.

Joanna chuckles softly at Renteria's joke, slightly morbid though it may be. "A game would be a fine idea, I think. It would give us something to occupy our time when we were off duty. And perhaps we could get to know each other better. With so many new crew aboard and all."

Logan has arrived.
Logan arrives from the Starboard rail.

McIntyre nods his head, "I'll see what I can do about getting a group together." He takes another long puff, "So, I missed the action again huh? What happened this time?"

"Planes." Renteria tips his chin up towards the sky. "Two bomber strafe the ship, make a fire in Foster's quarters." He flicks ash over the rail. "Could be much worse, this…" He almost chuckles. "We still are floating."

"Yes. Still floating. Quite." Joanna forces a laugh, assuming Renteria means it as a grim joke. But there's no real humor in the sound. She takes another long drag on her cigarette. "I was off duty when they came. The planes firing on us woke me up. I very nearly fell out of bed." Another forced laugh, followed by more serious smoking.

McIntyre notices the smoking but says nothing, instead he takes another puff from his cigar, "Well, then we have been allowed to live for another day, praise be to God." He then pulls out his flask offering it first to Joanna, I think you could use this.'

Renteria smiles at Joanna, and from him the expression isn't forced. He nods to McIntyre, firmly. "Gracias a Dios." He leans back against the railing, raising both arms to stretch out his back. His fingers scratch through the back of his dark hair, and he flicks his thumb against the end of his cigarette again. "Must find something to kick around in Narvik. Come up to the deck, sometimes all you want to do is move around. Breathe."

Joanna smiles faintly as she watches Renteria stretch, rolling her own shoulders to relieve some of the tension. "It is rather close quarters, isn't it? Sometimes it feels like living in a sardine can. A very old sardine can." She holds her cigarette between her fingers, taking McIntyre's flask and eyeing it. She raises it to her nose, sniffing. "What exactly is this stuff?"

McIntyre muses, "Rum." He then takes a puff of his cigar, "This ship may be old but she has some character as best I can tell." He then looks at Renteria, "The deck can be a dangerous place to be. Especially, if we are suddenly caught by attack, do be careful."

Renteria lowers his hands to the rail behind him. "I am not new to this, Mr. McIntyre. Believe me." He keeps his eyes on the Scot for a few moments, then looks at Joanna and the flask. "Rum, is it? Try it."

"Ah, yes, of course." The smell is enough for Joanna to recognize it, before McIntyre answers. "I'm not really much for rum." Not that she gives the flask back. "But, I am allotted a pint a day, sailor's rations. It is the proper Navy thing to do. My share is quite going to waste at the moment." She takes a sip, wrinkling her nose a bit at the taste. "I've *had* rum before. I just don't drink much. It's not ladylike, after all." This does make her bark a quite real laugh.

McIntyre acctually laughs out loud at that, "Apparently you've never met a Scot woman. She'll not be told she can't drink." He then takes a puff of his cigar, "You are also on a boat with men who could care less how ladylike you are. This is war and life is to short for formality."

Renteria smirks as well, lifting his cigarette for another drag. "Miss Starling, I think Mr. McIntyre will be running to me to call emergency if you do -not- have your ration."

Joanna snorts, rolling her eyes at the both of them. "Apparently no Scot woman has ever met my mother," she remarks dryly. "And they're probably all happier for it. But, if you're going to insist." She takes another pull from the flask. She's not exactly drinking reluctantly, despite her words. "Have either of you served in combat before?"

McIntyre continues to genuinely laugh, softly now, as Renteria speaks, "If I don't get my daily ration it is an emergency." He then hears combat and his smile disappears, "Aye. I've shot down my share of ships."

Renteria tosses the spent cigarette over the rail, the orange light disappearing long before it hits the dark water. A single nod to Joanna. "Yes."

Joanna drinks some more. Then Renteria's tossing reminds her to smoke some more. She exhales slowly, turning to regard the doctor once she's had her latest drag. "Oh, yes. Spanish." That light of curiosity has sparked in her eyes again, and the rum has made her bold enough to pursue it. "You fought in the civil war, then? For the Republicans, surely. I've read all about Spain. In the newspapers, and in the stories from the novelists. Oh, it must have been terrible! But admirable, too. The Republicans were so brave, standing against fascism like that before the rest of the world even cared to lift a finger." Her voice rings with the naive admiration of one who's read of a cause they've never seen.

McIntyre doesn't seem to know much about Spain. He remains silent as his eyes stare at the horizion as if looking for an enemy in the night. Observation is one of his skills and it seems like it is always on. Though Joanna's admiration for Renteria seems to rub off slifghtly a small grin appears on his face at the thought of renteria the hero.

"I had a rifle in my hands, yes." Renteria's soft-spoken voice seems quite at odds with the image. "And what does Spain have to show for the thousands of men and women and children who bled to death on her streets? What does bravery matter when there is no republic left to stand? When your home is gone. When you fight, and fight, and when you lose everything - your wife, your family, your life - all for little more than to be marched out like animals in the end, and put to your knees with a gun in your face and spit upon. Hitler sees this and he marches confident, and now that we have failed, our own home will help him." He shakes his head, looking at the Englishwoman. "If ever God has been unjust, it has been in Spain."

Logan walks from around the corner having heard the last bit, "Yea get ta go home knowing that yea didn't run." He looks over to Renteria.

"I…" Joanna is at a loss as to how to respond to that. That's a rather different image than what she got from the papers and pamphlets. She clears her throat, not quite able to meet Renteria's eyes anymore. So she just offers him McIntyre's flask. "I'm sorry, Doctor."

Gordon takes the flask, "This happens sometimes to families." He says stoically, though he takes a rather large drink from his flask. "The world is not always a kind place. All the more reason to fight for it."

Logan leans back against the wall and takes sip of his coffee, "How's my crew doing?"

Renteria snorts at Logan. "Home to Franco? I do not think so, Mr. O'Reily." He pulls another cigarette out, though he doesn't light it right away. To McIntyre he shrugs. "There is nothing left but this." And then Joanna, to whom he gives a small but honest smile. "Do not worry, Miss Starling. It is between Spain and God now. We all have other duty to do. Hitler…sacate a la chingada." He raises a hand, giving a hearty middle finger eastward.

McIntyre looks up at Logan, "Still alive, so still fighting." He takes another sip from his flask and offers it to Renteria, "You speak the truth brother." He then hears Hitler's name and a grimace comes over his face, it is slight.

Joanna nods shortly at Renteria's gesture, though she can't quite smile. Not after the story he's just told. Her cigarette is near out, so she gives it another puff before tossing it over the forecastle. "Duty. Precisely. I do hope you see Spain free someday, Doctor. Truly I do."

Logan who knows what it's like to have a homeland taken by outsiders just nods to Renteria, "Who knows if you'll get it back, there's no real way of knowing. But words won't help get it back, all good things require fighting if you truly want them." This he says with a bit of fury in his voice but regains his resolve and takes a sip of his coffee.

"A free Spain, a free Scotland, a free Ireland…" He takes a puff of his cigar. "Though you may see Spain free before the crown lets go."

Logan slips his free hand into his pocket, "I doubt we'll ever get it back from yea dirty brits." He smiles at the ones in the room.

Renteria takes the flask and raises it slightly to McIntyre before drinking. "Thank you, Miss Starling. Spain will come back to her sense one day. Rid herself of her disease. Her vineyards will come back, her new wines rich with the blood of those who fell for her honour." He takes a good drink from the flask and then looks at Logan, very evenly. "I have fought, Mr. O'Reily. Do not ever patronise me like that again."

Logan raises an eyebrow at Renteria, "I wasn't patronising you at all good doctor, I was simply giving an imsirational speech for all to hear, yet, it seems it reached your ears the quickest. Oh, and quick note blood wine is not that great."

Joanna frowns at McIntyre, blue eyes hard. "Ireland is 'free.' And exercising her freedom by standing aside in neutrality while Hitler overwhelms Europe. No offense, Mr. O'Reily. Ulster is quite another matter. And you're British subjects. Not slaves. Thank you for the rum. I think I've had enough of the fresh air now." She turns to head back below decks. "Doctor. Mr. O'Reily. Good day."

"That wine will taste just fine, Mr. O'Reily. The best Spain has ever known," Renteria replies. He reaches over to hand McIntyre's flask back, and nods to Joanna. "Buenas, Miss Starling. Be well."

Logan mutters under his breath, "Hard ta tell the difference sometimes it is."

McIntyre turns to Joanna and doesn't say anything, his point made, her point heard, though he does speak, "I think perhaps we all need to clear out heads, we're getting cabin fever and this causes us to turn on each other." He says to Joanna, "I did not mean to offend, though I offer you the view of the typical Scot."

"I'll do my best, Doctor," Joanna says stiffly. McIntyre just earns a prim sniff as she strides away.

Logan looks out over the rising sun, "Atleast this much is true, if I die on this voyage I'll always know, all the money I've spent, I've spent in good company, which is exactly why I didn't bring me wallet onto the ship." He laughs at those who are his men at the time.

Interplay between the English speakers on the ship never fails to interest Renteria. He watches the Irish, Brit, and Scotsman with a slightly raised brow, then asks McIntyre, "They are not happy to speak of such thing, are they."

McIntyre says, "To be English is to be priveledged. To be Scottish is to less than English. In her world, I am at best, a brute. At worst, I'm an alcoholic loon who must be tolerated and protected by the crown." He takes a puff from his cigar, "To be English means thinking you are the best in the world. They are almost as bad as the Yanks."

"As long as they build war ship better than the Germans," Renteria replies drily, as he lights his neglected cigarette up. "They can believe whatever they want."

Logan looks up, "To be Irish is to build ships better than the English and still get less respect that the Scotts."

McIntyre nods to Logan, "Aye, you did get the short end of the stick."

Logan shakes his head in disbelief, "I'm suprised Hands handed the ship over to me and not a British Leading Rate."

Renteria snaps his lighter shut, tucking it away as he listens but declines to comment for the time being.

McIntyre says, "Its war, skill counts, levels the field. Keeps us honest."

"At least until the poker game," Renteria mutters in response to McIntyre, smirking slightly.

"And soon, we will have antiseptic to go with poker." McIntyre grins, "Nothing like antiseptic to clean the insides."

Renteria's laugh rings clearly, only stopping when he coughs on the lungful of smoke he'd just taken. "Yes, yes. This will cleanse our sins away, Mr. McIntyre!"

Being a good Presbyterian McIntyre says, "Salvation is by faith alone and grace alone. I'm a sinner, I will always be a sinner. Though I am of the elect and thus I am cleansed of my sin."

Logan glances at the Scott, "Wouldn't salvation be by faith andgrace together instead of both of them idubidually?"

McIntyre says, "It is in the catechisms. We are saved by our faith as it is a gift of the spirit which is a sign of election. This faith is given to us by the grace of God who alone provides salvation from our sin."

Renteria coughs again, leaning to spit over the rail rather than onto the deck. He looks back at McIntyre, eyeing him like someone seeing a new jungle animal for the first time. It's a curious thing, these protestants.

McIntyre says, "This is what we are taught." He considers who he is speaking to and says, "Though, I am but on man who has been taught over the years."

Renteria is still eyeing McIntyre with cautious interest. Though then he just lifts the cigarette again for a drag rather than pursuing this whole heresy thing. "So, Mr. McIntyre. When do you think we will be in 'business'?"

McIntyre says, "I'm waiting to get some coil from Kate and then, then we are in business." His face still stoic, "Though, I have everything else in place. We will be ready to go as soon as I get the cable." He smiles, "And then…in a manner of time, something to clean with."

Logan continues to take the sips of his coffee, looking out over the sea, seemingly lost in thought.

Renteria nods, solemnly. "This day, we will celebrate." Yes, yes. He looks satisfied with this, flicking away the cigarette as it burns dangerously close to his fingers. "For now, to work again. Be well, Scotsman."

McIntyre takes a moment to give an honest smile to Renteria, "I like you. Your one of the good ones on this ship." He says, "I'll have cigarettes for you soon. You can have my ration." He then says, "Good luck." He throws his cigar out to sea, "Time to check on the tubbing." He smiles and lets Renteria get back to work.

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