The commander of the Eastern Navy was currently in his flagship, a submarine which he had commanded since he had been a captain. The fleet, which was composed mostly of subs, was spread out all around him. They were waiting and hungering voraciously like sharks.
"First Admiral Joniec?"
He turned around.
"We've declared our independence from the Coalition. General Igoumensita just sent this."
The aide handed Joniec a communiqué. Joniec read it and threw it down to the deck of the sub furiously.
"Am I the last to know everything? I'm supposed to be sitting on Igoumensita's left side. I am the commander of the Eastern navy, may he contract cholera!
"Oh," he said more slyly, "I know what it is. It's because of Poland, isn't it? This damn rabble I’m supposed to suppress have brought down my reputation. Damnation!"
His diatribe was interrupted by a scanning officer.
"Admiral, we have a large number of ships approaching!"
Joniec came over and slapped the woman with his swagger stick.
"It's first admiral. This had better not be another damned fishing fleet."
"No, sir," she said, "They are definitely military. I'm trying to figure out now whether they are Coalition or Alliance."
"It doesn't matter. I've got orders now to fire on either side. You! Prepare the torpedoes, and order the fleet to stand by to intercept the enemies!"
"They're Allies, first admiral," the scanner said.
"Good. I hate them a lot more then I'll ever hate the Coalition. Battle stations!"
A lieutenant of the ship came down a tiny flight of stairs and addressed Olensheim.
"General Olensheim, sir, the captain sent me to tell you that we're meeting up with the other prongs of the fleet."
"Toll," Olensheim said, "Find out if they have cajoled any reinforcements from the Britons or anyone else."
Olensheim waited for a tense moment while the lieutenant returned to the bridge to check.
"Yes, sir, the English have provided us with a division."
"A division? Well, it's better than nothing. I suppose they've got their own problems, too."
"Yes, sir. The captain also wanted me to inform you that at this point we are at our most vulnerable. The fleet is rearranging, and not many ships can go to battle readiness soon. We're all here and if we're attacked now it could all be over."
"Get on the radio and inform the rest of the fleet that the top priority is to protect the troop transports. It's hard to take back land without soldiers. and we can't sail these ships to Berlin after all."
"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov
Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."
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