Heeeeeey commander. Are you like, ready for the special fun session I’ve got prepared tonight? All the BBs that’s not on point’ll be there, and I spent all weekend brewing this special lavender scent just for the occasion. Tennsy loves it. Stuff cleanses your soul and really, really, really gets the blood pumping –
C-cancelling? What’s that supposed to mean, you’ve got more stuff to do? Are the Abyssals invading? No? Yeah that’s what I thought too. Like, STEC’s at the lowest level of alertness in months! That’s –
Oh COME ON. Why the hell are you like, always working when you’re supposed to take time off? You can spare an hour or three for a social function. I mean, I spent, like, two whole hours on it!
Time sensitive? That’s like, not possible. I literally checked like, every single project that’s like, going on for the next couple of weeks.
OH I SEE HOW IT IS. NEW SHIPGIRL? THAT’S YOUR EXCUSE? YOU WANT ME TO COME HELP THE NEW GIRL? AND GREAT. YOU PICK TONIGHT –
YEAH I’M BUTTHURT. STAY WHERE YOU ARE I’M COMING OVER, LIKE, RIGHT NOW!
Yeah, okay. I can like, see, why this might be an issue.
No, I’m not butthurt. I mean, yes! Of course I still am! Just so you know you owe me big! I’m not, like, buying the “wanting Cal to not work on this during her official time” thing one bit. You outta everyone should know how much of a lazy bum I am half the time –
Yeah. Yeah, yeah. I’m like, thinking. It’s tough. This is why I’ve told you people shouldn’t like, read too much. It’s literally going to mess with their heads if they start thinking too much about what the ship did or this battle that it got in and that other thing that worked out and stuff.
Alright, tell ya what. You got a pad ready? Write some of this stuff down. You’re going to like, write her something. I’m not that good with words and I’m for sure not organized thoughtfully for this kinda thing, so you do it.
Yeah of course. Get started now. Chop-chop. The longer you take the longer it’s gonna take for me to heat up all that water in the bath again.
Where am I supposed to start?
Like, first of all, I know some of the Jap girls think they’re like, literal weapons of war and whatever. That’s really not good for your head. Also, like, that’s totally not true. If we’re actually just supposed to be ugly hulks of metal I wouldn’t be the smoking hottie I am now ahaha –
I had a thought.
It’s coming back to me.
Right! Like, you can get really like, philosophical about this. The way I see it, though, you can’t let the past determine who you are. You’re a shipgirl. You’ve got a big job that nobody else can do. The last thing you need is to let like, some boring old ass history affect what you might do tomorrow.
Like, think about this for a second. I should be one colossal fuckup right? Think about how many times the old Prune Barge messed up the simplest things. The dead whale thing doesn’t even cover it. Think like, to Pearl Harbor. You know discipline was bad when holes were literally like, left opened. Of course we explain it away and make a ton of excuses. The Admiral was onboard, so nobody sweated the details of the little stuff. Nobody thought the Japanese would attack. Nobody had time to make proper damage assessments. Nobody had time to record whether or not the California was actually materially prepared.
I like, could go on. But like, the point I’m making is that by all means, the single biggest event of that ship’s life is a disaster. The California was saved on that day only because of her excellent design, some luck on that ship’s part, and the bravery of a bunch of mostly nearly naked men.
Actually Mike you might wanna scratch that last part out. I’m not sure why I thought to explain it like that. Like, in my head, I thought it’d be kinda heroic. I mean, these guys were literally swimming and having fun and BOOM! There the Japanese came! So they, like, rushed out pantless to try to save the ship. Then when they realized like, the ship was on fire, none of them knew what they were supposed to do. Half milled about, the other half tried to get aboard.
I don’t even think all of them went back to get their pants, come to think of it. I should go check…
The truth is often hard. Like, we all love uplifting stories. Heroism! Greatness! Rising above and beyond the occasion! But that’s hardly the case for many of the things that happened. A whole lotta of the crew refused to get on board despite direct orders from the Skipper, you know, for the simple reason that the ship was still on fire. The engineering crew couldn’t figure out where the ship was hit, so leaks continued unabated.
In the end, despite the heroism of many of the crew members, the heroism of the tankers and the pumpers, the ad-hoc working groups, despite the heroism of everyone involved, it wasn’t good enough.
The USS California could not stay afloat. She sank. She would not be resurrected until months later.
So, by that logic, I should be one too?
I should, like, start making excuses for myself? “Oh, Cal missed her drills today, guess that’s only because of the USS California’s history and true to form?”
“Cal came in dead last in damage resistance testing today. It’s okay. Must be some remnant issue from her gear or memory or something.”
I tell ya, that is NOT how it works.
I’m a shipgirl. I’m not a ship. If I’m supposed to pay attention to history and respect the men who put in so much to make things happen and the blahblah, then it falls on ME to do MY best. Get it?
Like, what else are you supposed to do? Put everyone through the same type of disaster a second time, because you didn’t do what you’re supposed to do?
If history’s been good, make it happen again. If history’s been bad, then don’t let the bad happen again. That’s, like, not a hard thing to grasp! I’m not like, religious like some of the other girls, but I am totally a very spiritual person. Live, love, and laugh. Today’s where it’s at. If you let your past keep you down you’d have missed all the good stuff that could be happening right now.
Wheeew. Okay, I think that’s enough words. You clean it up. Should be pretty good after you do it, right?
Actually, you know, do you think inviting her to this thing might be good? I think it’d be good.
Is the new girl social? You don’t really know? Well, invite her! Let’s find out!