The Kraken and The Dark Sea, Chapter 83.

Things are heating up on the sea.

Chapter 83.

The Sanctum.

Towing a reluctant Rod, Elirith walked up to Saevel and Bellflower and said, “Deputy Saevel, I have heard that there is convenient cave that has been used for certain things in the past and that you know the best way to get there.”

Saevel grinned. “I do. I can show it to you, if you would like.”

“Mr.Wavechaser here is reluctant, but I would like.”

“Elirith I’m not sure that this is a good idea,” Rod whined. “Once you have a tail, you have a tail forever.”

“Yes, and the people that want to lock me up again will not be able to reach me. Face it Mr. Wavechaser.” Elirith kissed Rod. “You are stuck with me.”

“Things could be pretty rough.”

“I can do rough outside a cage. I’ve had it soft in the cage and I know what I want. Deputy Saevel, Bellflower, show us the cave. I arranged with the captain for Rod to have a three day pass and time is wasting.”

“I will set a nice blanket and a fire in the cave,” Bellflower said with a grin.

SS- 21, (Bluefin)

Torthuk turned to Jacob and said, “Handing Gar that leave time was sneaky, captain.”

Jacob grinned. “I think that Miss Harper will keep him distracted and you had a spare bunk then.”

“Do you think that they will show up?”
Jacob looked at the shape of Diligent up the bay and said, “I think that they will show up. The question they should have asked is if we would.”

“Their boat is faster than our boat.”

“Yes it is. The question is whether or not they can evade a torpedo at close range.”

Diligent has a commander right out of the Academy. That could be risky.”

“Not for you. You get to fly.”
Torthuk grinned. “Yes I do. If we pull this off, we will be in back forever.”

“We are going to pull this off. We have a reputation to maintain and my sister wants a movie deal.”

“That character they had playing you in the last one did not do you justice.”

“Unfortunately I can’t argue with that.”

Kraken

 Captain Allaires turned to his first officer and said, “Take a look, Khatar.”

 Adrona looked through the periscope and said, “One Republican cruiser, all by itself, twenty miles from the convoy it is supposed to be escorting. How did you guess?”

“If you knew where we were based, wouldn’t you arrange eyes to watch us leave?”

“Blackfire didn’t mention any.”

“Those boys were able to escape very easily. They may have been assisted when they got outside and the boy’s bonded was dancing in the village at night for most of the time that the boy was Downstairs. I would be surprised if someone was not watching us leave.”

“So the cruiser is heading to join Diligent?”

“Or to join something else. In any case, we must be wary as we approach.”

 RNS Progress

As the bell for the turn of the watch rang in the early morning dawn, Vince walked on to the bridge and said, “As you were. Lieutenant Steelgrinder, what is our status?”

“We are proceeding on course as ordered sir.”

Vince looked to starboard with his binoculars and then across the horizon to port and said, “Where is the convoy?”

“About forty miles west and south of us, sir. The convoy turned toward Eryding in the early morning during Commander Ironforge’s watch.”

“We did not keep station with the convoy?”
“I would not know sir. The convoy was inshore of us when I came on watch and the orders left said to hold course.”

Vince sighed, “My instructions were to hold course with the convoy, not cut the corner and go off station. Not your fault, lieutenant. When we reach the convoy’s projected path, we will turn north again and let the convoy catch up.”

“Aye aye, sir.”

Vince wrote the updated instructions and added them to the board. As he turned to leave, Lieutenant Steeler came on to the bridge with a petty officer and Folas. “Sir, the towed array may have picked up a visitor last night.”

Vince looked at the three and said, “Were you on duty last night, petty officer?”

“I was, sir. I had a contact come in about 03:00 and leave at 03:50. It didn’t come within five miles or so and just followed our course. I checked with RDR and they may have picked up something, but they aren’t sure. Mr. Bronzecaster listened to the recording I made when I took it to him and said that it was the hostile submarine.”

“Excellent work, petty officer. Why did you not sound general quarters?”

“Sir I called the bridge and reported the sighting. Apparently they didn’t think that an alert was required.”

“Can you bring your recording to the bridge?”

“Yes sir.”

“Go and get it, would you Petty officer.”

“Aye, aye sir!”

“By the way, next time do not hesitate to trip the alarm when you have contact. Better a false alert than a nasty surprise.”

Vince tripped the intercom and said, “This is the captain. All officers to the bridge in half a twentieth.”

A quarter twentieth later the petty officer returned with two ratings lugging the bulky wire recorder and a loudspeaker. The officers, with Ironforge last, filed in and Vince said, “Last night, we had a visitor. Petty officer, play the recording.”

The petty officer played the recording and Vince continued, “The petty officer reported this to the bridge and called the RDR room, who had also had a contact. The bridge watch did not seem to think that was serious enough to warrant sounding the general quarters alarm or notifying me about the evolving situation, a situation that could have gotten us all killed, and even worse, our charges killed. I probably was not clear, but this is a war zone, gentlemen. That contact has destroyed two merchant ships and damaged RNS Diligent. I want it understood that the General quarters alarm is to be sounded when a contact is encountered and I am to be notified of all contacts. This was a potential disaster and a lost opportunity and we blew it. That is all. Lieutenant Steeler, I will have a dispatch for squadron and the admiralty. It seems that neither we, nor the convoy were the targets of our visitor. Dismissed, gentlemen.”

The other officers left and Steelgrinder said, “I expected you to jump all over Ironforge, sir.”

“One thing you will learn in you career is that sometimes there is no point. I counseled the commander about sailing instructions and I have said repeatedly that we are in a war zone. Yet he took us off station from the convoy and ignored the contact. On the other hand, when we return to the Hidden City, we will be losing the commander. Now I need to send a report to the admiralty.”

“Who do you think that the sub is going after?”

“There are not too many choices. You have the bridge.”

“I have the bridge, aye.”

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