Worth Fighting For


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

This is the Spartan galley, or kitchen of the ship. The meals for the crew and officers of the vessel are prepared in this cramped, small space fitted with small gas stoves and rows of cupboards. Shelves of food and spices have been installed into the walls, complete with railings to prevent things from the contents from them in rough weather, and kettles and mugs hang from hooks under them. There are only a few small flat spaces here for actual food preparation, and no room for dining. Those flat spaces get used by the ships doctor as needed in battle, as well. Nice!

It's around the dinner hour aboard the Viperous and there's a steady stream of crew moving in and out of the cramped galley to get their meal. Joanna files in among them. She gets herself a mug of tea before getting in line for whatever sort of stew is being served up this evening.

Hammond has already managed to get himself a small bowl of the evening's offerings, and is settled down in a cramped spot up against one of the walls really. He sits and converses with a few of the other enlisted men.

Joanna gets her stew and some bread to go with it, then moves to find herself a place to eat. It's not easy, but she does come upon a free spot. Free enough to give her counter space to put her meal down on, at least. It's near Hammond and his companions. "Pardon me," she says politely as she slips in not far from them.

The conversation for the moment, comes to a standstill, as people adjust as best they can to the physical addition of yet another body to the bench. The silence lingers some, as food begins to take away attention from talking. If a blessing was offered, the newest arrival must have missed it. The Chaplain takes a crust of his bread, and dips it into his stew, before consuming it.

Joanna notices takes a moment to sip at her tea and take a few nibbles of bread while things settle around her. "I didn't mean to interrupt," she says, noticing the silence around her. She speaks to Hammond, as he seems the most senior man there, her eyes taking in the insignia on his uniform. "You're the chaplain, then?"

Hammond is careful to finish his mouthful of food, before nodding, "That is correct, Ma'am," he says smoothly. He then takes a sip of his mostly-empty mug of tea.

Joanna takes in that bit of information, but she's also more interested in her meal than anything else at the moment. She tries the stew. It's not exactly great fare but she doesn't seem to mind the taste. A few spoonfuls are washed down with more tea. "I'm sorry I haven't found time to take in services," she says. "Still getting accustomed to the ship and all that. I only transferred on before the Viperous left Britain."

Hammond does his best to keep his face mostly serious, but the irony is in his words, "I am not the one that would require the apology, Ma'am," he says as gently as he can. "My services are open to everyone, whenever he or she, can make it."

Joanna relaxes some at that, now relatively certain she won't receive some religious chastisement along with her dinner. "Yes. Right. I'll try to sit in on the next one when I get a free moment. My name's Starling, by the way. Midshipman Joanna Starling. And how should I call you?"

McIntyre is in the corner of the galley speaking in quiet tones to Renteria, "Okay, keep an eye on the preasure gauge. If she isn't letting off preasure she might…well, if there is to much preasure and the auto release doesn't work manually tap it. Then things will be right as rain." He then adds, "The first batch is in now. It will take a small amount of time to process, then we need to let it age slightly. Your antiseptic will be clear, very clear."

It's around the dinner hour and there's a steady stream of crew moving in and out of the cramped galley to get this evenings stew and a cup of tea, or their ration of rum. Joanna has tea, for her part, and she and Hammond and eating and drinking against one of the counters. "Chaplain, if you don't mind," she replies to him. "Pleasure to make your acquaintance properly. Have you served aboard this ship long?"

Hammond shakes his head, after one final bite of stew, "No, Ma'am," he informs her, "I, like you, am new to this ship. She is not my first, and God willing, she won't be my last." He pauses, "I've been in the service with the Navy since I was eighteen, Ma'am." They grey in his hair, and the wrinkles at his temples indicate that he is a man of long service.

Renteria is working as McIntyre talks to him, rolling up a very long length of gauze onto a wide spool. He chuckles faintly at McIntyre's lengthy explanation, nodding. "The more clear, the more strong. And we do need strong antiseptic about now." The Spaniard smirks, leaning back against the counter. He glances down the row of cabinets and crowded spots, spotting Joanna and Hammond a little ways down. "Do you met this chaplain yet?" The question is to McIntyre, as they're still out of earshot.

McIntyre turns and looks over at Hammond and Joanna before turning back to Renteria, "We haven't been formally introduced." He says, "Is he Presbyterian?" The Scot asks in muted curiousity. "Or Anglican?"

Joanna's eyes widen a little as she does some math on how long Hammond has been in the service. The young woman is likely fresh out of officer training, herself, by the look of her. "You must have had quite a career, then," she says, before dipping more deeply into her bowl of stew.

Hammond gives a bit of a shrug, and glances at his mug, before realizing it is empty, and frowning just slightly, "Let's just say, this isn't my first war, Ma'am." His eyes travel over the crowds some as he speaks, and he spots Renteria, to whom he offers a small nod of greeting.

Renteria shrugs at McIntyre's question. "Not Catholic." Isn't that enough? He turns to pick up his cooling team and glances back over, noting the nod from Hammond. A hand lifts in greeting, and he looks back at McIntyre. "Come, I will introduce."

Joanna seems to want to ask more of Hammond but, afraid to press perhaps, she stops herself. She follows his gaze to Renteria, who she greets with a faint smile and cordial call of, "Doctor." McIntyre, when he's spotted, receives a polite nod.

McIntyre stands and follows as he says, "Well, Protestants are like ice cream. They come in many flavors. Each slightly different. We are not so catholic as the Catholics."

"I would not think so. Or else you just would be Catholic." Renteria smirks at the comparisons, even if it looks a little uneasy with the religious talk. He gives Joanna a friendly smile in return, then nods to Hammond as they're close. "Chaplain, Miss Starling. I hope not to interrupt the dinner. I thought to make some introduction. Always better to know who you work with. Midshipman Gordon McIntyre, Chaplain Hammond." His hand goes back and forth between the men as he makes the intro.

McIntyre respectfully salutes, "Sir." He says, apparently he is also career navy, though, a bit younger.

Hammond has not quite gotten to his feet, even though his mug and bowl are both now empty. His hand wipes against a napkin first, before stretching towards McIntyre, "Well met, Sir," he says smoothly. If he saw any of Joanna's earlier curiosity, he chose not to pursue it.

"Your company is always welcome Doctor, for my part," Joanna says. "I was just making the good chaplain's acquaintance myself." She goes quiet as Hammond and McIntyre shake, using her last piece of bread to soak up what remains of her stew.

"Then it is good timing. For the Scotsman wishes me tell the difference between Anglican and Pres-…byetrian, and I simply do not know." Renteria replies. He nods to their plates, his brows both arching expressively. "And how is the evening meal this night?"

McIntyre says, "Press-bee-tear-y-an" He prounounces, "It is the religion of the Scot, the Anglican Church serves the English." He adds, "Presbyterian means ruled by elders. It is a bit like…" he considers for a moment, "the Yank style of government.

Hammond nods and says, "The biggest difference is in their leadership," he explains, "Presbyterians are ruled democratically really. Anglicans have a hierarchical structure similar to the Roman Catholics, with bishops, though an Anglican priest can marry, unlike the Catholics. Anglicans have 39 articles that state their doctrines, while Presbyterians have just one … the Westminster confessional."

Joanna finishes her bread, smirking at Renteria's question about the food. "No worse than usual," she replies. An endorsement, of sorts. McIntyre's description makes her smirk widen slightly. "I was raised Anglican, for my part, though I've never been much on religious scholarship." She blushes faintly after she says that, with Hammond so close. "If you'll pardon me for saying so, Chaplain."

Renteria smiles a little at Hammond. "I am relieved the biggest difference is the bureaucracy and not God. Though still I just do not understand a faith that does not believe in good works." He leans back against the counter to grab a cup, clearly more interested in tea than what passes for stew around here. He glances at Joanna, then back at hammond, trying to absorb this new stuff slowly. "Chaplain, you are Anglican?"

Hammond does not quite chuckle, but uses that same ironic tone he used with Joanna earlier, "Once again, Ma'am, I am not one who is offended, or requires apologies," alluding as he did before. Then to Renteria he says, "Most of the key differences are clerical really. Catholics have their belief in the infaliility of the Pope and the Church. Anglicans are derived from the schism that occurred under Henry VIII in the United Kingdom … where the King desired to rule both politically and religiously." He pauses, and seems like he would continue on the comparisons between the faiths, but decides to answer Renteria's query, "Yes," he says, "I was born into it, but I do not harbor a grudge against those who have other beliefs. Indeed at the heart of it, I believe we all have it a little bit right, and we all have a lot of it, wrong." There's a slight uplifting of the right corner of his mouth after these words, and then, he is quiet, for the moment.

Joanna listens to Hammond's words with interest but she puts in little of her own, concentrating more on finishing her tea. At the last of it, another faint smile comes to her lips. "You're Catholic I assume, Doctor?" she asks Renteria. "The only Catholics I've ever met are the Irish, and I've known few of them well."

McIntyre says, "Well, anyway, we Presbyterians follow Calvin and Knox. We share many of the catechisms you do. Though…we differ over the substance of communion and we have two sacraments."

Renteria taps his fingernail against the side of the teacup. The gesture looks a bit uncomfortable. Still, he listens, albeit with a slight frown. "I see," he answers Hammond, in a very neutral voice. His attention flickers to Joanna and he nods. "Yes, I am. Spain is a Catholic nation…" He clears his throat, frowning. "Her people are. I am not so sure her priests are anymore."

Logan has arrived.
Logan arrives from the Up to Radio Room.

Logan walks in from above, cigarette hanging from his motuth and nods to all of the people in the room.

McIntyre smiles, "We all pray to the same God, everything else is a matter of theological difference." He then says, "Now, about this antiseptic distiller. Mind the preasure."

The dinner hour is winding down but there's still a steady stream of crew coming into the galley for a serving of stew and tea. Or rum, if they want it. Joanna has finished her meal but is still nursing her tea, and talking with McIntyre and Renteria in one corner of the cramped space. She nods a little in agreement with McIntyre, though she seems surprised to find herself doing it. "My father says much the same. What do you mean, Doctor? What you said about your priests?"

Renteria replies to Joanna first, after a long sip of his tea. "The Church in Spain supported Franco, Miss Starling. And he will take them to hell with him." He takes a breath and looks over at McIntyre. "Right, the pressure."

McIntyre says uncharacteristically kind, soft even, "Please, do not confuse the Church with the evil of men."

Logan slips his hands into his pockets and stabs his cigarette out on a counter and tosses it out a window, he then leans against a counter and just stands there quietly.

Joanna just watches Renteria, nodding along with McIntyre, having no other answer to that. She spots Logan as he stands, offering him a cordial nod of acknowledgement, though most of her attention is still on Mac and the doctor. "Pressure?" she asks, curious.

Renteria waves a hand at the Church talk, shutting that particular topic down rather quickly. "We are doing some experiment, Miss Starling," he says, his tone lightening again with mild amusement. "Mr. Scotsman here is kind of genius, you see." He catches sight of Logan by another counter and nods to the Irishman.

McIntyre gives Logan and nod and then turns to Joanna, "Ah, well, an antiseptic distillery takes careful attention. If she builds to much preasure she might…sneeze." He offers dryly. "Either way, she won't need constant attention, but a daily check up will help."

"An experiment?" Joanna asks McIntyre with interest, still not fully understanding. "Well, antiseptic sounds most useful, I'm sure. The medical staff need something to keep us properly disinfected." She allows the subject of Renteria's church to quietly drop, for her part.

McIntyre says, "Oh, aye, it will kill as an antiseptic nicely." He then considers, "It might also be used to clean an engine." He says in dry deadpan tones, "However, if it is drunk it will lead to an immediate lack of sobriety. Temporary problems with speech and motor skills will be noticeable as well as a change in mood."

The image of it sneezing makes Renteria suddenly laugh, which is difficult to do when one's got a mouthful of tea. He coughs sharply, putting the cup aside. "Yes, something we badly need. It must to be properly monitored, of course, as any medical supply. You know how soldiers will get into anything."

It takes a moment for Joanna to comprehend but, when she does, she laughs. "Well. What a show of…ingenuity. I just hope no one goes blind off your…antiseptic, Mr. McIntyre."
McIntyre considers this for a moment, "Well, I suppose that means I will have to sample all antiseptic myself first then." His voice still calm and dry. "Though, it is an old Scot method for making cleaner, minus a few of the more aromatic ingredients."

"This is one way to have cleaner mouth." Renteria smirks, leaning back against the counter and folding his arms. "I will have interest to try this when she ready for duty. Make her strong, she has much work to do around this ship." He looks at Joanna, raising an eyebrow. "And you, Miss Starling? You have ever put your hands on Scottish kind of mix before?"

Joanna laughs at the idea, shaking her head. "I should say not!" she says firmly. "The closest I've come is when my roommates in school used to raid our housemother's liquor cabinet. She had a taste for cheap wine." She grimaces slightly. "Which I'd imagine doesn't taste much worse than Scottish antiseptic."

McIntyre says, "I can probably get your a fair amount." He does the math in his head, "Fook, maybe fifty jars per batch." He then begins counting, "If I could get another antiseptic distillery set up we can double that amount." He then turns and says, "Well, this will be stronger than cheap wine, though the flavor of the wine will be better." He then says, "Though it will achieve the job and it is a strong antiseptic.'

"Cheap wine is as bad as a sin," Renteria makes a pained face. He grins at McIntyre, then looks back at Joanna. "Housemother? Ah…you went to a school where you must live at it."

Joanna chuckles. "I've never been much of a drinker, Mr. McIntyre, but I'll keep that in mind." To Renteria she nods, her nose wrinkling. "Yes. Boarding school. Mine was outside London. My mother had me shipped up there from Bristol when I was twelve. *Not* a place I would have chosen myself but I suppose it gave me a decent enough education. I wasn't a complete dullard when I got to college, at least, which I suppose is all you can ask for."

McIntyre says, "Thank God I never got sent to one of those. I'd have gone out of my mind." He then takes a breath and looks at his stew which he pokes at. "Fook, I might need some of that antiseptic just to get through this meal."

Renteria chuckles. "A Spanish mother could never let her child go this way. You would hear her wailing every night for many year." He looks over at mcIntyre's dinner, gesturing that way with his cup. "If you find something moving in there, eat it. Probably it will be the best bite."

Renteria's line causes McIntyre to let out a loud laugh which rattles through the halls. As he catches his breath, "I'll keep my eyes open." He says with an acctual grin on his face."

"English mothers can't seem to wait to pack theirs off, for our own good of course," Joanna says, a certain wry bite in her tone. "But, my mother and I rarely see eye-to-eye on anything, so I'm sure I caused her a good bit of wailing for different reasons." She's long finished her meal, and she tries to wash the taste out of her mouth with the last of her tea.

"What mother will always see eye and eye with her childrens?" Renteria smiles a bit. "None." He glances at her hands, particularly the left as she picks up her tea. "I am right to call you Miss, yes? It is not Mrs.?"

McIntyre remains quiet at the discussion of parents though he does eat his stew.

Joanna fidgets idly with the ring on her finger. On her right hand, not her left. "Oh, yes," she assures Renteria. "I mean, yes, you're quite right to call me 'Miss.' I'm not married. Yet." It's a beat before she adds the 'yet.' "I'm engaged, that is, but it looks like it will be some time before we get around to tying knot, as it were."

McIntyre attempts to change the subject, "Oh, aye? Well, sailor, who is the lucky gent that has won your affections?" He then asks, "Is he a Navy man?"

"Ahhh, you are prometida," Renteria nods, smiling a bit. "This is good time in life." He glances at mcIntyre as more questions come up and looks back at Joanna, reaching for the kettle to pour more hot water into his cup.

Joanna seems a little awkward talking about her engagement. "His name is Andrew. Andrew Webber. He is a Navy man, as the matter of fact. A logistics officer. We met when I was stationed in Portsmouth for training." She tilts her head at Renteria. "What does that mean? Prometida. It sounds quite lovely."

McIntyre says, "Engaged I think…you are promised to one another?" He looks at Renteria, "Aye?" He then says, "Ah, well, you can have beautiful children who serve the Navy as well." He finishes his stew. "Maybe they can do something about the food in the future.

Renteria gestures grandly to McIntyre. "Yes, this word. Never I can remember it. Girls to be married, they are prometidas. Then they is married, they become 'esposas'. In Spain, you see, that word also means handcuffs." He winks, a friendly expression. "A logistic officer? Your home will always be in order, for this one can be grateful."

McIntyre gives a stoic grin to Renteria before he says, "Then it is best never to be married then isn't it. To have handcuffs." He considers, "Why settle for handcuffs when you might see the world? Why tether down?"

Joanna laughs. "Handcuffs? Really?" She mutters, less softly than she probably means, "That's quite fitting, isn't it?" She clears her throat, trying to moderate the wry smirk on her face. "Yes. Andrew's very orderly. He got excellent marks for efficiency and punctuality on his last review. He'll likely make lieutenant soon." That's about as dreamy as her talk of her fiance can get, apparently. She clears her throat. "Don't either of you have a girl back home?"

McIntyre says, "Nay. I joined up and have been working since I was eighteen. I haven't set foot on land long enough to meet a girl back home." He then rubs his chin, "Perhaps after the war…." He then takes a sip of his daily grog, "Thats the rub then isn't it? I've got no family to go home to, no lass to meet, so, why do I fight?" He takes another sip, "I fight because it is my duty. I fight because it is what I know to do. I fight because people such as yourself have sweeties to go home to."

McIntyre adds, "We do what we must because we can only go forward. We do what we have to do." And with that another swig.

Renteria smiles, just a little. "My wife did not survive the war…neither did my daughter. My son did, and he is why I am here." He gives McIntyre a slight nod. "Such is duty, Scotsman."

Joanna fidgets with her ring again, as if reminding herself it's there. "Duty. Quite. Nearly every generation has had someone in the Navy in my family. On my father's side, that is. I never imagined I'd do anything else, daughter or not." A flash of sympathy crosses her face as Renteria speaks of his family. "Oh, Doctor…I…I'm very sorry. I…" She hasn't any idea what's proper to say to that. "What…what's your son's name?"

McIntyre asks, "May I see your ring?" His tone is dry, stoic, and yet, kind. He holds out his hand. Though he lets Renteria speak.

"Francisco." Renteria nods once, his attention absently drawn to Joanna's hand as McIntyre asks for it. "Francisco Renteria Ojeda. One day I will show you photo of him, he is beautiful." He shakes his head slightly. "But please, do not be sorry. In this world, some people lose absolutely everything they have. I have been spared."

"Oh, yes, surely, if you like," Joanna says, holding her right hand out to McIntyre so he can examine the ring. It's not exactly dazzling, but it's a tasteful diamond in a well-done gold setting. A very sensible and proper token of middle-class English affection. She lets Mac look at it, her own focus on Renteria. She smiles as he speaks of his son. "Francisco. Names sound so lovely in Spanish. How old is he? I've two younger brothers back in Bristol. Jim's fifteen. I think he's jealous I'm already joined up, though Dad's making him finish school before he puts on his Navy blues. Nelson's just 10." She smiles fondly. "I promised him I'd bring him something back from far-off lands, as it were. I hope I can pick up some Norwegian toy while we're ported here."

Mcintyre takes the ring and studies it for a moment. He then offers the ring back, "That is your reason to carry on. Hold it close. When you are under preasure remember this ring, remember who it represents, and fight like hell."

"He is become six year old, just last week." Renteria chuckles quietly. "It is name of my father in law, who had all girls for children. When he finally had grandson he come to Mariela and tell her, 'Tell Cristian this boy's name is -Francisco-, or never you both will be allow in my house again'." His hand makes a colourful motion of finality, and he smirks. "A toy, this good idea. I must to look for something like this." He falls quiet after that, to listen to McIntyre.

"Yes. Remember. Quite," Joanna says softly, folding her hands together when McIntyre is done with her ring. For a moment she just fingers it, expression thoughtful, with a trace more emotion than she usually allows herself to show. She laughs softly at Renteria's story about his boy's name, nodding to herself. "A fine tradition. I was named after my grandfather, after a fashion. He was a Joseph, not a Joanna. I was my father's first, so I think he didn't want to take any chances on giving the old man his way."

McIntyre quietly takes a sip of his grog and listens now as his thoughts drift elsewhere.

Renteria smiles at that. "All man want something of them to keep on to the future. This is natural, I think." He finishes off his tea, looking into the empty cup for a moment before pushing it away on the counter. "Well. I should to go back to some work. Miss Starling, have a lovely day. And Scotsman." He mimes tugging on the brim of his hat. "To cleanliness."

Joanna straightens, hands still clasped together. "I should be getting to my bunk. Catch up on my writing, perhaps." Her tea is long gone, her meal long choked-down. "A lovely day to you both. And good luck with your…cleaning project, Mr. McIntyre."

McIntyre turns his attention for a moment back to Joanna, "Aye, well, have a good rest." He pauses, "If you want a wee bit of the antiseptic let either of us know."

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