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A Bittersweet Symphony - The Tale of Manchester and Captain Falshaw

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#1 Wellington99

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Posted 30 May 2016 - 09:40 PM

Chapter 1 - Stand Before the Storm

 
November 25 1940 14:05, log of VADM L. E. Holland - Operation Collar's convoy rounding Gibraltar carrying 1370 RAF technicians, HMS Manchester and Southampton escorting the merchant ships SS New Zealand Star, SS Clan Forbes and SS Clan Fraser with Force F. Fair weather and fair seas, and no fighting God willing. No movement reported by Force H's scouts.
 

 

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This wasn't what I had in mind when I think about going on a Mediterranean cruise, John Falshaw mused as yet another man gave up his lunch to the ocean. The Yorkshireman shook his head at the sight and turned his gaze over to the ocean. As much grief he gave those RAF blokes, he too was feeling a bit queasy as HMS Manchester gently rolled along the waves, and anything to take his mind off of it was welcomed. It was hard to believe that he, a former sniper in the Duke of Wellingtons Regiment during the Great War, was now lumped in with these pseudo-fly boys en route to Malta and Alexandria to tune up Hurricanes and Spitfires. Then again, they didn't really have much that an old war dog such as himself could do.
 
His left knee began to ache as he started to move himself from the side railing and along the side of the warship, reminding him of the Jerry bastard that got him at Passchendaele. It was a different time back then, and remembering it brought forth a heavy sigh. He had been another one of those bright eyed youngsters who at 16 lied about his age to go off to war almost as soon as it had been declared. It didn't take long for the romantic visage to become replaced with the horror that was reality. The first battle he had ever been in had taken four of his best mates in a single artillery shell, and his second resulted in another two choking to death on poison gas. His older brother (by three years) got tangled up in barbed wire at the Somme, an easy target for the German machine guns that cut him to bloody shreds, and his youngest (by only a year) impaled by another's bayonet while he was recovering in hospital. By war's end he had seen every conceivable way a man could die on the battlefield, and he was none too excited for another Great War.
 
Which was why, in an ironic twist, he was now once again in the military in a new world war, only this time he hedged his bets to make sure he would never serve on the front lines again. Getting work during the Depression was hard, but he managed to do well in a machinists job, well enough that when he applied to become a Royal Air Force technician they took him on the spot. Granted it was probably out of necessity than anything. He had little experience with the planes before he and the nearly 1400 others were stowed on board HMS Manchester and Southampton, so he had been trying to read up on manuals on the voyage, something that he ended up tossing aside. He was the type to learn as he worked, rather than to be straight taught what to do, and the manuals only served to alleviate boredom.
 
Stopping for a moment for a quick smoke, John looked across the water to HMS Southampton, and noted the figure standing on the foredeck with mild amusement. It was unusual to have a woman on board a vessel unless they were being transported someplace, but this girl wasnt a normal woman. She was, as they called themselves, a Belle, a physical manifestation of a warship that protects the world from the Morganas, a group of seemingly demonic forces that want nothing more than to wipe out humanity. The Belles choose their captains with no discernible criteria, no matter what they are or where theyre from. There was even tale of a female American Belle captain, and of a German Belle going off with a Russian. Fortunately, Southampton's Belle stayed to her mother country so there was no fear of some foreigner getting their hands on one of His Majesty's ships. The captain was also a rather unsurprising pick, a Lieutenant who was on board for a training exercise when the Morgana fog rolled in. From this distance, John was only able to make out Southamptons white sun hat, though he was sure the daintily appearing Belle was enjoying herself in the sun. Funny how she would probably be better suited as the Belle for HMS Brighton, but that ship hadn't manifested a Belle yet, and she at least was a good enough representative of Southampton itself.
 
Just as he finished his cigarette, tossing the butt into the sea, he looked up only to see Southampton's Belle rigid and staring to the east. Something caught her attention, something that snapped her from her usual cheery disposition, and that wasn't easy to do. Following where she was looking, he found himself gazing at a fog bank. It wasn't close by any stretch of the imagination, but from what the sailors told them, when there's fog, there's almost certainly a Morgana. It didn't take long for the ships to turn towards the south to try and avoid contact. With all these extra bodies on board, the two Town-class cruisers weren't at peak combat efficiency; the best tactic was to avoid conflict as much as possible. It was left to Force H to deal with any such threats. Heading back inside the warship, John took one last look towards the fog bank and thought he could see lightning coming from inside. Morgana or not, a storm wouldn't do well for Force F, and with any luck they would avoid it. Hoping for the best case scenario, he went down into HMS Manchester and to his bunk to see about trying to understand those damned manuals.
 
Nearly an hour passed before the ship lurched, nearly tossing Falshaw out of his bunk in the process. "What the-" he grumbled as he tossed aside the manual he had been reading (rather using as a cover over his eyes so he could take a nap). He groaned as his knee shot with pain, getting down with a short leap. Those bloody sailors are trying to kill me, I just know it.
 
Several other technicians were wondering what was going on, some trying to look out of port holes and others like John scrambling to the deck. As soon as he had made it back on to the foredeck, the fog bank had now nearly closed the distance. From what he could tell, it was well out of sniping distance but for ships it was right in the sweet spot. Again he saw lightning coming from within, except this time he could hear thunder, followed by a whistling sound. The water next to him erupted into a column, making him jump. It was a warship alright in there, a small fleet of Morganas. The thing was though, only a scant few shells landed around them, and they seemed to be deliberately aimed so they wouldn't hit. Most shots were being fired at targets within the fog, and it was unclear who. Another British convoy? A supply train? A group of Belles from Force H out of position?
 
Things were slowly clicking into place for the former sergeant as the warships steamed towards the thunderous fog. The lurching was probably Manchester turning to avoid a shell and towards the fog, and the shells missing around them were probably to get the attention of the British force. At this point running away wasn't an option, so the two cruisers along with the rest of Force F were forced into combat. He just hoped that whatever happened, he'd stick to his plan of being as far from the front line if possible. Maybe the Morganas would be sunk before they arrived on the scene. In any case, he wasnt going to stick around on deck waiting to be shot at. He was going to head back down and wait this skirmish ou-
 
"Oh no you dont!"
 
A hand suddenly grabbed the back of his RAF jacket and began to yank him out. "You need to get onto the bridge, mate."
 
John was spun around, and was looking right into a young womans face. "We need you, Captain."
 
Oh, you've got to be kidding me


 

===========================================================================================================================================

 

Well here is my foray into Victory Belles fanfiction courtesy of YuriMom. The next chapter will have more dialogue as this was more for setting the scene and getting the ball rolling. Let me know what you think. I decided to end there because it was a decent enough spot to do so, otherwise I would have carried on for longer

 

(chapter 2)


 

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No captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside that of the enemy
Vice Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson

#2 Fifrein

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Posted 30 May 2016 - 09:45 PM

Good so far, keep 'em coming!


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#3 Dwenneven

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Posted 30 May 2016 - 10:48 PM

Ooh, Interesting one.

#4 Waltzcarer

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Posted 31 May 2016 - 08:02 PM

Very nice, I'm eager to read more.



#5 Pillwalker

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Posted 31 May 2016 - 08:04 PM

Seems pretty good so far. Keep the chapters coming.



#6 Pataponvideo

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Posted 01 June 2016 - 07:17 AM

If the Like This worked for meh I would like it. Also added to the index.
The Traitor.

#7 Wellington99

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 04:06 AM

Chapter 2 - Stand By Me

 

November 25 1940 15:23, log of VADM L. E. Holland - Force F beginning engagement with Morgana ships, sending light cruisers Southampton and Manchester to skirmish while destroyers continue to protect merchant ships. Force H closing in on position.

 

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There are a few dignified ways to make your way through a ship. Being dragged by a Belle by the back of your jacket isn’t one such way. It wasn’t that he wasn’t trying to get away from the grip, far from it. The thing was, the girl’s ironclad grasp made him like a fish out of water. “You know, most people are mad fer captaining a Belle.” Manchester scolded. “Show a bit of gumption, won’t ya?”

 

“Who told you that rubbish?” John earned a hard pull for that, nearly making him trip through a doorway.

 

“South’ampton told me. Her cap’n was chuffed to be ‘ers.”

 

“She’s a dainty little thing.”

 

“And I’m not?”

 

He was half tempted to answer back, but he held his tongue. The firecracker’s other hand was wrapped firmly around a cricket bat. How in bloody hell she had one was beyond him, but he did not want to test her swing. He shut up for the rest of the way through the vessel, turning his attention to the Belle he was now the “proud” captain of. He had to admit, for as fearsome as she could be, she had a rather pretty face free of freckles and other such blemishes. Matching in beauty were her eyes which were a sort of sapphire, contrasting quite nicely with the dark red, almost burgundy-colored hair. Not much of it stuck out from under her flat cap, and weren’t it for the fact her chest stuck out a decent ways and had a shapely rump, she might’ve been mistaken for a newsboy. She was also rather shorter than him. He had thought himself small at just shy of 5’5”, but she was a good three or four inches shorter.

 

The Yorkshireman could only assume they were nearing the bridge, as Manchester loosened her hold on him and stopped. Finally able to take a breather, he straightened up his technician uniform and brought out a cigarette. “You done?” He asked, annoyed at his treatment.

 

“That depends on you, mate.” The Belle crossed her arms and glared at him. “I didn’t just randomly choose you out of my ‘at. I felt you on board. I felt you since you first set foot on my deck.”

 

“Oh thanks for that mental image of you feeling me up.”

 

“Quit your skriking and listen, alright?”

 

Her hands tightened around the handle of the cricket bat as she became flustered. “Look, ok, fine. I get it. It’s a surprise an’ all. I can understand that. But there’s Morgana out there that need killing and we’re ‘eddin’ for ‘em. Now are you gonna pull your pants up or are you going to continue to winge?”

 

Taking a deep drag of his cigarette, John stared right into her sapphire eyes. “I’ve seen more than my fair share of death and carnage. I wanted as far away from war as I could possibly get while still serving King and Country. This was the last thing that I wanted to happen to me.”

 

As he spoke, he seemed to feel his resentment at his treatment being slowly lifted the longer he looked at her, the more he was in her presence. He could feel himself becoming more confident, and deep within his gut he could tell that he already made a choice as soon as she first laid her hands on him.

 

“Oh bloody hell…” He tossed the half smoked cigarette to the ground. “Alright... I’ll be your captain. Don’t have any choice in the matter anyways, might as well accept the facts.”

 

The last thing he had expected was for this tough tomboy to nearly tear up and wrap her arms around his neck, nearly sending him to the floor. His arms instinctively went around her as she hugged him. “Oh thank you, thank you! You won’t regret it!” Her voice wavering from her initial roughness to vulnerability. “I’m a proper mint Belle, I am. Just you wait an’ see!”

 

For the first time in his life, he felt genuinely sorry for someone. He wasn’t sure if it was how bitter he was sounding, but he wanted to punch himself for upsetting such a pretty young woman who wanted to do her best. He well and truly pitied the poor girl. When she finally pulled away, she quickly wiped her eyes and cleared her throat, attempting to regain composure. “I-I’m sorry. Just a little overwhelmed is all.”

 

“I figured.” He managed a small chuckle which seemed to help settle her down. The two stood there looking at each other, seemingly sizing the other up and trying to become calm before the inevitable storm. “Well...shall we take the bridge?”

 

A cocky smile adorned Manchester’s face. “Aye, cap’n. Lead on.”

 

-

 

“So where is the sodding Belle? Without her we’re just pissing about in the wind.”

 

“I admire your honesty, Mister Danton,” The more elderly man narrowed his eyes at the other. “But there is no need to get so mithered. She is more than likely finding her way up here.”

 

“She had better be, or else we will be joining the submarine corps, and not of our own volition.”

 

“Sir, reports from Southampton coming in.” A young radio op called over. “She’s already at general quarters and awaiting her sister.”

 

The scene on the bridge was actually not as chaotic as John had first thought it would be. Everyone seemed to be reasonably calm and at their appropriate stations with minor exception. Probably what came from centuries of training and heritage. Regardless, there wasn’t much they all could do what with Manchester in control. Speaking of the girl, her ears perked up on mention of her sister and moved towards the two senior officers. “South’ampton’s waiting for me?” She asked. Heads turned towards her, throats were cleared, and the elder officer put on a small friendly smile.

 

“Aye she is, Manchester.” He gestured towards Falshaw. “Am I to assume this is your captain?”

 

“Oh bloody hell, he’s a ruddy crabfat.” Danton swore. A stern glare came his way.

 

“If it’s all the same,” John spoke up. “I’m only a technician as of two months ago. I was a sniper in the Dukes.”

 

“With all due respect, Admiral, this man has no place being the commander of one of His Majesty’s warshi-”

 

“Captain Danton.” The admiral turned his head sharply, interrupting the impending rant. “With all due respect, you are no longer captain of this vessel. Our good fellow over there is. If you wish to debate naval politics with me, you are free to do so, sir, once we have made it into safe anchorage. Until then you are subject to his orders as well as mine, and you shall start by removing yourself from the bridge for the duration of the combat. Is that understood?”

 

Exasperated, Captain Danton’s shoulders sagged as he let out a loud sigh. “Yes, Admiral Holland.”

 

The captain spun on his heel and marched off of the bridge, right past Manchester and John. The tension in the air was rather thick. “What’s your name, son?”

 

John blinked, the question catching him off guard. “Ah, John Falshaw, sir.”

 

“Well, Captain Falshaw, I am Vice Admiral Lancelot Holland,” The older man seemed to relax. “And it appears you have commandeered my flagship.”

 

“My apologies, sir.”

 

“No need to kiss arse, captain. I’m sure the Admiralty will be all too happy to give me another assignment. For now, there is quite a daunting task laid in front of you.”

 

“That there is.”

 

The newly minted Captain Falshaw slowly approached the vice admiral, Manchester by his side. “I’ve never commanded a ship before, let alone a Belle. I don’t know what to do.”

 

A curt yet friendly laugh came from Admiral Holland. “I believe I have that advantage over you, yes, but I was holed up at HMS Excellent during the Great War while you have actual combat experience. That is something where you outrank me.”

 

“Sir?”

 

Vice Admiral Holland’s tired blue eyes looked over at John. “Jack, there is a battle out there that needs to be won. I’m no stranger to being a teacher. Hell, I’m quite the gunnery specialist if I do say so myself. So use me if you need me, but remember that I still outrank you.”

 

John nodded. “Aye aye, admiral.”

 

“Now, shall we beat to quarters, captain?”

 

“I think we should, sir.”

 

“Very well, Captain Falshaw. The ship is yours.”

 

=====================================================================

(crabfat - RAF personnel)


 

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No captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside that of the enemy
Vice Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson

#8 RockyArby

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 01:09 PM

An awesome chapter. I can't wait for the next one! Keep up the amazing work.

"When I am in charge of a vessel, I always command; nobody commands but me. I take all the responsibility, all the risks, all the hardships that my office would call upon me to take. I do not steer by any man’s compass but my own."  -Hell Roaring Healy

 

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#9 Pillwalker

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 03:46 PM

I like it. Manchester's showing a lot of personality.



#10 DrYuriMom

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Posted 04 June 2016 - 12:11 PM

Agree with Pill.  Interested to see how her "voice" develops.


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#11 Wellington99

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Posted 04 June 2016 - 12:27 PM

Agree with Pill.  Interested to see how her "voice" develops.

 

When I get to more areas when I can do more dialogue, should be interesting. I also couldn't help myself and put in a reference to your story since it was what inspired me to write this


 

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No captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside that of the enemy
Vice Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson

#12 Wellington99

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Posted 13 June 2016 - 07:11 PM

Just a little note before I begin that I am not the best at battle scenes. Hopefully the more I write them, the better I'll become. I usually prefer to focus on characters than action, but gotta get out of my comfort zone now and then, otherwise I don't grow as a writer. Anyways, hope y'all enjoy

 

=====================================================================

 

Chapter 3 - Crashing Steel, Raging Fury

 

November 25 1940 15:50, log of VADM L. E. Holland - HMS Manchester closing into engagement distance of Morgana fleet. Her Belle arrived on bridge along with her captain. Captain Danton was ordered from bridge as a result of voicing his dislike of the new Captain, and turned over command to Captain Falshaw.

 

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John could remember the organized chaos of preparing to go over the top. He could easily recall every shouted order, every scared and stern face, and how tense the atmosphere became while awaiting the dreaded whistle. These scenes of young dirty men wanting no more than to survive the impending ordeal came flooding back as HMS Manchester became alive with the swarming of crew to battle stations. His body became rigid while he looked out towards the fog, gazing at the thunder and lightning of guns blazing from within. It seemed like the battle had picked up as soon as he took command of Manchester. He could feel the mentioned Belle’s eyes on him. “I’m alright, Manchester.” He said to her. “Just gotta get used to this feeling again.”

 

“What feeling is that?” She asked. He mentally chuckled as he could picture her cocking her head.

 

“Trepidation in the face of death. You never get over it, only to learn to live with constant fear.”

 

The new captain could swear he could feel his back become weighted down by his old pack and gear, his hands flexing as they tried to grab tight hold of an invisible Enfield rifle. In this moment, he was once again the soldier he used to be, but this time he wasn’t wallowing in a pit of rain, mud, and despair. This time, he was at the helm of a warship, and responsible for the lives of the thousands of sailors on board.

 

“Manchester,” John began. “What’s your armament like?”

 

The Belle grew a confident grin. “I got four triple 6-inch main guns, four dual 4-inch secondaries, eight .5-inch machine guns, and two triple 21-inch torpedo launchers. I can work wonders on enemy destroyers.”

 

“You know your ranges?”

 

“Aye, by heart.”

 

He looked over to his side and picked up a lone pair of binoculars, using it to observe the fog. “Shapes coming out.” He muttered. Just as he did, the lookout called out.

 

“Vessels exiting the fog, Cap’n!”

 

Next to him, he sensed Admiral Holland grabbing his own binoculars and heard the old man hiss. “Corruption-class destroyers. And there’s four of the buggers.”

 

Corruption, eh?”

 

“One of a few we got identified. Got a mean streak about Belles that runs miles long and they repair using battlefield debris.”

 

It was fairly obvious to see, as the hulls of the destroyers were seemingly a hodgepodge of different ships of different nations, something that added to the unsettling sight. Taking a deep breath, John hatched a plan and turned to his Belle. “Manchester, we can take them on easier one on one. Fire on whichever one you like the look of to draw them specifically towards us, then concentrate. Tell Southampton to fire at whichever takes her fancy. We’ll turn the odds in our favor.”

 

An energetic smirk grew across her face. “With absolute pleasure, Cap’n!”

 

With a loud and echoey “thwump”, the two forward turrets flung 6-inch shells towards the closest Morgana. Four of them created large columns of water, but two hit home. He could see the small explosions of HE shells impacting on the thinly armored vessel, and it seemed to get its attention. One Corruption-class peeled off from the pack, charging right towards Manchester and returning fire with its smaller 5-inch batteries. These smaller shells fell short, but it was only a matter of time before they got range and before torpedoes would be in the water. Another salvo went out, more accurate this time. The flashing of burning amatol raked across the bow of the destroyer.

 

A few small calibre shells made contact with Manchester, and Captain Falshaw could hear the Belle let out a grunt. “Bloody mozzy bites is all.” She turned the ship sharply to starboard away from Southampton, crossing the Morgana’s T in the process. “Lemme show ya real firepower!”

 

The ship shuddered as all of her 6-inch guns opened up on this sole destroyer, and the damage this time was startling. A large detonation from one of the sids tore up a large chunk of metal, while the bridge seemed to burst into flames. “You got one of her torpedo tubes!” Holland called out.

 

“Keep on her, Manchester!” John yelled, knowing he didn’t have to tell her twice. More 5-inch shells impacted against the cruiser’s thicker hide, aimed more towards the secondary guns.

 

“Lost four boys to that one, Cap’n!” She seemed to take it quite personally. “Take this!”

 

Another broadside slammed into the destroyer, followed by secondary gunfire. There didn’t seem to be any place not aflame, and soon the oncoming ship slowed down. One more volley into the Corruption-class sealed its fate, as it tore open holes along the waterline and immediately began to list to her port side. Manchester let out a yelp of victory, and pumped her fist into the air.

 

“Yeah! Take that ya bloody Morgana cu-!”

 

“Torpedoes in the water!” A lookout cut off the Belle.

 

“Go! Go! Move out the way! Everyone else brace!” Falshaw commanded. He tried to search for the oncoming ordinance in the water, but his lack of naval knowledge prevented him from identifying them. Manchester turned hard, and a tense few seconds went by. Everyone on board awaited whatever would happen with trepidation. Seconds became minutes as they hoped that they would miss. Without any warning, the whole ship suddenly and violently shook, sending most of everyone to the ground. John was right back up, looking about the bridge. “Everyone ok?”

 

The general response were those of groans, and he noticed Manchester struggling to get up herself. “Come on, girl, let’s get you back up.” He was stunned to see what had happened to her.

 

Manchester had a hand on her side, pressing hard into a crimson blot as she hissed in pain. “Fucking ‘ell…” She swore. “Blasted a hole in the side with that torp and got ‘bout twenty guys.”

 

“Can you move?”

 

“Nngh...Yeah...I can move. I can shoot too.”

 

John nodded and turned to Admiral Holland. “Is there damage control?”

 

“Aye there is. Should be getting that under control soon as possible.”

 

“Good, because we have three more-”

 

“Southampton’s got one!” Another lookout called. “There’s only two left!”

 

The captain and admiral gazed out and could make out the severed bow of the other destroyer. Now it appeared that the other two smelled blood in the water and were heading to Manchester.

 

“They know we’re badly hit. Can’t take another hit like that.”

 

“Alright so what’s your suggestion, Admiral?”

 

Holland bit his lip. “Keep showing them our side and pour as much fire and brimstone downrange as we can. Can’t outrun them, might as well outgun them. Send everything their way.”

 

“My bloody pleasure.” Manchester reared back, sucking in a terse breath as she fought to control the pain she was in. “Bugger off to hell!”

 

All at once, every single gun on board opened fire, even the small anti-aircraft guns. These weren’t so much well aimed shots as they were just a pure pouring of as much fire as possible. John could see that even Southampton was getting in on it, spurred on by the wounding of her sister. One destroyer started to turn to starboard, most likely the one that hit Manchester the first time. This didn’t bode well, as shell after shell came down in a heavy hailstorm. Within mere moments, the destroyer buckled and erupted into a huge explosion as the magazines ruptured, unable to hold up against the superior firepower.  Only one was left, and as swiftly as the destroyer could, it began to turn away when a vengeful salvo from Manchester smacked right into the Morgana. The stern was engulfed in a fiery blaze as it became locked into a port turn.

 

“Got ‘er steering, Cap’n!” Manchester let loose a growl as her guns trained on target. “Teach ya to run away from me ya bleedin’ twat!”

 

“We need to get to a port soon as possible, Captain.” Holland said. “We can’t go too long with that hole in our side.”

 

“But what about-?” John began, being interrupted as a flight of Swordfish zoomed overhead.

 

“Looks like Somerville sent Ark Royal’s flyboys to assist.” The admiral sighed in relief. “Force H should be close now. Southampton should be alright to follow the convoy the rest of the way. I’ll telegraph James to request him split some of his cruisers and destroyers to escort while we turn back to Gibraltar for repairs.”

 

“Think she can make it?”

 

A curt chuckle came from the still wounded Manchester. “I can make it fine to there. Gonna be a long sail though.”

 

Admiral Holland took his cap off and wiped his brow. “You didn't do too bad today, Captain, but it could have been a lot worse than it was. Four destroyers against two light cruisers is a decent match for a first time.”

 

“Yes sir. Thank you, sir.” John saluted.

 

“I would like to see you later on to go over things in greater detail, but for now you deserve a bit of a rest and to spend some time with your Belle. I shall send for you this evening, and perhaps if she is feeling better, Miss Manchester as well.”

 

“Understood, Admiral.”

 

With a soft smile, the admiral walked off the bridge, leaving Captain Falshaw with Manchester amongst the bridge crew. The Yorkshireman gently rested a hand on Manchester’s shoulder. “How is it?”

 

The bravado seemed to melt away into frustration and disappointment as she looked away. “Didn't see the bloody fish till it was too late. Should’av seen it coming an’ turned sooner.”

 

“That's tunnel-visioning, and it's something I had to get over as a sniper.” He said in a calm voice. “You need to learn to look around more at things that aren't your target in case there's something impending. It takes time, so you’ll get it eventually.”

 

“Yeah but I should’av been able to dodge it, come out with ne'er a scratch from those pop guns.”

 

“Hey, you had a non-navy person as your captain and it was only four destroyers. I'd say that's decent enough. Now cheer up. We got a long trip ahead of us to Gibraltar and I don't want you to be moping all the way there.”

 

“Oi, I don't mope! Just think I could’a done better is all.”

 

“So could I. Come on, let's see if there's anything the doc can do for you or if you really do need a port for that wound.”

 

Being careful not to agitate the wound, John gently wrapped his left arm around Manchester, steadying the Belle and giving her something to lean against as she walked. The smaller girl leaned into him, wincing with every step that she took. It was going to be one hell of a long walk.


 

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No captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside that of the enemy
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#13 Wellington99

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 09:58 AM

After a long slog, I finally got chapter 4 up and ready to go. There's also a little surprise in with the chapter too.

 

Spoiler

 

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No captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside that of the enemy
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#14 Imptrooper

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 11:53 AM

Not bad, I got to say fairly believable characters and conversations.


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#15 Wellington99

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 08:05 AM

Chapter 5 is ready to go. It's a bit different from the previous ones, but hopefully you all enjoy it. Be sure to let me know your thoughts

 

Spoiler


 

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No captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside that of the enemy
Vice Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson

#16 DrYuriMom

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 05:21 PM

I like the character development, including the rifle pining.  Some good ideas.  Your doc has a lovely bedside manner - this doctor approves!  Your Capt Falshaw and my Rep Stirling (it'll be a LONG time before she feels comfortable being called captain, even by her Belle) couldn't be more different, but I suspect the latter will like the former if they ever meet.  I need to follow your lead and write more about Pensacola...


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#17 Ninjapacman

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 01:58 PM

I rather enjoyed the gruff and very annoyed doctor.  He brought a good bit of life to the story.  The backstory scenes were interesting.  They feel a bit like a side event, unrelated to the story, but they offer a stark contrast and a nice insight into the pre-Captain life of Mr. Falshaw.  They're very chaotic, which I enjoy as it reflects what they're trying to portray.  Not much of Manchester this chapter, but that was fine because I was more focused on Lenny.


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