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Chapter 1:General Quarters

copyright 2019 David Archer

General Quarters! General Quarters! All hands man your battle stations!”, the boatswains mate of the watch blew his whistle and shouted over the 1mc; the ship’s loudspeaker. Boats spoke again, ” General Quarters! General Quarters! All hands man your battlestations! Major fuel oil leak in Main engine room Number one”.
I was asleep in my rack, and was startled awake.  As everyone ran up the stairs and away to their designated battle station; I stood, stunned and baffled, in the passageway just above our berthing area. I had just came aboard two night ago and I had no clue of where to go or what to do. I had not been assigned a battle station as of yet. As I stood there like a statue, a young chief came running past me. He stopped and stared into my scared eyes. ” Get to your battle station, son!”, chief shouted. ” I don’t have one yet chief”, I replied. I could see he suddenly realized I was totally confused and lost. He grabbed me by the shirt collar and said, ” Come with me if you want to live”. He used an Arnold joke to ease my tension. We proceeded down the passageway aft to what is called a repair locker. Repair lockers are where we keep all our firefighting and damage control gear. Lockers are kept locked and at this point; Chief was scrambling in his pockets trying to find a key. No one else had arrived yet and chi


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