Sounds of Dark Silence


-=[ A Test of Skill ]=-

    We have been patrolling this area for 3 days now.  Haven't seen or heard a thing.  I'm glad.  I'd rather not.  I am not a coward, but I don't want to fight them.  Will there ever be peace?  Will no one ever try to make peace?  Is there no man brave enough to bring this awful war to an end?  Why doesn't one of them just give up and go home?  Why do we have to fight all the time?

    "Sir, a message."  What is it?  "From the radio room, sir."  Oh...  Let me have it.  "Aye sir."  It's from HQ.  They report a sub in the area, and we are to be careful.  They tell us to sink her if we see her.  Tell the Exec.  "Yes sir."  As I look through my binoculars, I hope I don't see a sub.  Oh, God I hope.  What's that?  It can't be.  It mustn't be...  I push a button on the conning tower panel.  An alarm sounds.  (Klaxons!)  Crash dive!  Crash dive!...  I order.

    The Captain goes down the hatch, and the submarine submerges beneath the cold Atlantic's merky waters.  He calls to his Exec on the bridge.  Rig for silent running, he orders firmly.  The Exec replies "Silent running, Aye sir."  He's moving to the bridge now.  In the Ward room, he calls to the bridge, and orders make depth 150.  The voice from the bridge responds, "Depth 150, Aye sir."  It's his Exec.  A fine young man, he's a Navy honours graduate.  Recently married.  He likes this tour assignment.  And we like him, too.  He's proud, headstrong, and wants to whip those Nazi's single handed.  The Captain radios he is coming up to the bridge now.  His Exec calls "Captain on the bridge", as the Captain arrives.  Where is she?  He asks.  The sonar officer says "3123 sir ...and on the surface."  They must be recharging, and ventilating.  The fools.  Well, our turn...

    We've gone to silent running now.  They've reduced power.  It's all dark.  Except for the red safety lights.  Its eerily quiet.
I pray the enemy doesn't find us.  I don't want to die here.  I'm brave, but not here, not like this...  Wait...  I hear something.
Ssshhhh...  The props.  You can always hear their props.  I've got to be quiet, but my heart is pounding so loud...  This is the
time I dread.  I don't want a confrontation now.  Not at night...  Why I took this assignment I'll never know.  Dear Lord, this
is stressful...  Wait I hear them now.  They're coming back this way!  Oh, no!  What have I done.  We could all be killed.

    Buck up.  You're the Captain of a US Navy submarine.  The men who serve here with you, are counting on you, not to
let them down.  They need your strength and leadership.  "Captain to the bridge."  I must go now.  "We have a sonar contact
sir."  Heading?  "Bearing 223 sir."  Speed?  "6 knots sir."  They're heading right towards us.  An opportunity.

    "We have a chance to fire at them sir."  Is it clear?  "Yes sir."  Flood space on tube #1.  "Aye sir."  "Tube filled."  Range?  "They are 1645 sir."  Open door tube #1.  "Aye sir."  "Door open."  Range?  "860 sir."  Scope.  "Scope, Aye sir."  Hold.  "Hold, Aye sir."  Range?  "400 sir."  Tube #1 status?  "Tube #1 ready, sir."  Fire!  "Firing, Aye sir."  "Torpedo away, sir."  Range?  "326 sir."  Torpedo?  "Looking good, sir."  (Boom!)  "A hit!, sir."  Flood tube #2...

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