Jack Schumer

October 9th, 1430

Location: aboard USS Tulsa (LCS-16),

28°38'19.6"N 137°45'53.6"E

Status: Meeting with Captain Jeffrey Schumer.

As I climb the ladder onto the helicopter deck, I ignore the weight of the two ditch bags on my shoulder, weighing me down, trying to pull me off. I pull myself up onto the deck and straighten up, taking a couple steps forward before saluting my dad and his first mate. Both return the salute, and I relax, lowering both the bags to the deck before my dad steps forward and offers a hug. I gladly take him up on the offer and step into his embrace, holding it only for a moment before we break. His hair looks silver in the sunlight, cut to instructor standards, and for once he's clean shaven. With broad shoulders and a well-toned jawline, it's easy to see who I got my features from.

"Heya Pops. Been awhile."

"Six months, thirteen days to be exact. It's good to see you. I hope you've been making friends."

"A couple, here and there." I respond with a nod as Kinh hauls himself up the ladder behind me.

The Canadian quickly snaps to attention as he sees my father.

"Captain Kinh-Luyên Huynh of the HMCS Rainbow sir!" he says, raising his right hand to salute.

"Welcome Captain. I'm Captain-Instructor Jeffrey Schumer of the USS Tulsa. Thank you for delivering my son to our task force." My dad replies, saluting him back.

"The pleasure is all mine," Kinh replies, "I've also had the pleasure of meeting your daughter as well. Avenged her first ship actually."

"So I saw in the report. Again, thank you very much." My dad offers a handshake to Kinh just as Olson heaves himself up onto the deck. The skipper shakes his hand before a booming voice interrupts them.

"Long time no see eh Jeff!" Olson exclaims as he shakes my dad's hand.

"Indeed. I think it was WESTPAC a couple years ago. Glad to see you're still alive and kicking!"

"Those were good times," the Canadian instructor chuckles.

"Sure were." My dad chortles before smiling smugly at me. "So, let's have a look at this footage of yours."

I nod and pick up my backpack, unzipping one of the pouches and producing a waterproof bag containing all my smaller electronic equipment. I break the seal on the bag and produce Alice's storage bank, sporting neat tally marks carefully painted in white fingernail polish on both sides.

My dad looks at the tally marks and chuckles in amusement before waving us along. "Let's head into the ops center."

"So Captain Schumer, any updates?" Kinh asks as they make their way through the busy hallways of the American ship.

"So far, we've been trying to keep an eye on the situation, but with communications being limited until all vessels receive the radio encryption codes, our radios have gone quiet." my old man sighs. "As for the ransom, I've sent everything up through the chain of command, and we've procured the money. Once the transfer happens, the money will be tracked."

Kinh nods in understanding.

"Right. Let's hope everything comes together quickly."

"There are aircraft flying encryption codes out to all the vessels involved as we speak." My dad responds simply as he ducks through a bulkhead. "Oh, by the way, Jack."

"Hmm?"

"Call your mother. She's been worried sick and is getting irritated you haven't called her."

"Fuuuuuuuuuck."

I hear snickering from Kinh before I look at my dad pleadingly.

"Do I have t-"

"Now."


X-~Some Time Later~-X

"Thanks for the ride!" I yell into the headset of the MH-60S just as the wheels touch the deck of USS Leyte, hanging the headset on a hook and sliding the door open before I drag my bags out and jump onto the deck. I shoulder both bags and scramble across the deck to the island, turning and watching the crew chief slide the door closed as the helicopter lifts and turns over the task force.

"Jack Schumer?" A voice calls from behind me. I turn around to find a Native American woman standing there in uniform, instinctively saluting.

"Yes ma'am."

"At ease. I'm Julie Blackwood. Captain. Welcome aboard the Leyte." She says with a smile, offering her hand. I clasp it in mine and shake it before adjusting my bags, looking at four F4U corsairs sitting on the fantail.

"Pleasure to meet you ma'am. When can I get in the air?"

"Eager are we?" She chortles. "As soon as you can get your papers signed and turned in. Let's go get that done."

"Aye ma'am. Just a heads-up, I'm four hours short on flight time of getting my official Corsair certification." I say as we duck through a bulkhead, entering the island.

"Well, we'll give you enough flight hours in the next day or two so you can get those hours. I hope you don't mind playing around with the flyers from HMS Vengeance."

"Vengeance? What happened to Ark Royal?"

"Engine troubles. Like, real troubles. She's being towed back to Australia for an engine overhaul."

I snort and shake my head with a sigh, "Sounds about right. They were always having troubles last year."

"Some people blame the captain. Others blame the engineers. Personally I think they need an instructor to figure out what's wrong."

"Respectfully, I'm just gonna keep my mouth shut."

She giggles as we both duck through a bulkhead, into what I can guess used to be the plotting room. Since maps are typically only done as backups, it's arranged as an office on one side. Julie leads me to a desk and roots around in a drawer, handing me a small packet of papers with a clipboard and a pen. "You know how to finish these forms. Once they're done, deliver them to the flight deck officer and you're good to go. He'll show you to your plane."

"Yes ma'am. Thank you."

"If you're hungry the galley is serving supper." She says before leaving.

At the mention of food, my stomach rumbles like thunder, and I start making my way towards the galley, following the signs on the walls until I run across a couple of sailors from further down in the ship.

"Howdy," one says with a salute my way, turning sideways to shuffle past me.

"Howdy do?" I greet him back, returning his salute. "Can y'all point me to the galley?"

"Sure thing. Down the stairs, take the corridor fore, then it should be the third bulkhead on your left." One says, taking a glance at the clipboard and papers in my hand, "I take it you're the new pilot?"

"That I am. Not 'new' by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm at least here until I can get back to the Monterey."

"Glad to have you. Take care."

"Thanks, you too."


India One-Two, Alice Houston.

Location: Unknown.

Status: undergoing location transfer.

"Move it!"

The two words echo down what I can only presume is a long corridor as I'm roughly shoved forward, stumbling blindly thanks to the cloth covering my eyes. I pick up my feet despite my exhaustion and trudge forward, slowing slightly before I feel the cold muzzle of a gun pressed between my shoulder blades.

"I could move faster if I could see where I'm going." I croak, my voice raspy from hours upon hours of yelling at whoever pulled me out of my plane.

"Not happening. Keep moving." The voice orders, its owner giving me another rough shove which puts me on the floor. My chin impacts the uneven floor, and I see stars under my blindfold before my hair is grabbed and my captor starts to drag me. I have no choice but to grit my teeth and endure it as I struggle to get my feet under me, which are sweating like crazy in my flight boots. I hear the sound of a door being opened, and I'm thrown forward by my hair, hearing the door slam closed behind me. I slowly sit up, hearing music in the far corner.

"Elevator music?! Are you fucking kidding me?!" I yell, struggling against the ropes holding my hands together behind my back. As I expected there's no response, and I continue trying to work the ropes loose, eventually succeeding and yanking the blindfold off to find myself in a completely pitch black room, the dim glow of the radio's display in the corner being the only light that I can immediately see.

Until I see them.

Two small, red, glowing eyes, staring at me from the same corner.


Huynh, Kinh-Luyên

October 10th, 1000

Location: 27°40'58.3"N 139°26'34.7"E

Status: Returning to patrol area

The HMCS Rainbow was departing from Force Gold, her crew having enjoyed a stay aboard the "USS Tulsa". Standing atop her conning tower, Kinh and his deck crew waved at the task forces ships. The sound of diesel engines rumbling mixed the sounds of the ocean as the submarine moved away from Force Gold.

"Well that was a pleasant stay eh boys?" the captain asked, grinning wistfully.

A series of nod confirmed the general mood of the crew, having enjoyed being on less cramped ships.

"Enjoy the view gentlemen, I'm heading inside," Kinh said as he opened the hatches and climbed down into the command post. Oliver was overseeing the usual operations while crewmen were manning their posts while Olson was leaning on a nearby bulkhead.

"Everyone alright in here?" he asked with a grin.

"We're all good in here," Oliver answered seriously, "All systems optimal."

"Right, I'll head to the torpedo room and say hi to Remi," Kinh replied as he began making his way forward through the cramped submarine. Making his way forward, he entered the crew quarters. There were a few of his crew who were enjoying a quick nap or break. Some had pulled games and small tables to entertain themselves. A duo were engaged in a match of chess while a pair watched them go on playing. Kinh took a few moments to sit with them and discuss the match before making his way again towards the torpedo room where his old friend was working with his team.

"Yo Remi!"

"What?!" his friend yelled back. There was a light clinking sound that mixed with his voice.

"What's going on?" Kinh asked as he entered the compartment. He could see three boys around a table. A toolbox was open on it.

"Working on improving a torpedo engine," the Torpedo officer replied, sounding slightly like a mad scientist, "If I modified a few components, I think I can optimize the fuel usage and perhaps improve the acceleration and speed. With this, maybe it'd be possible to put a bigger warhead on it since I can maybe shrink the fuel canister. If I keep the actual canister however, I can also increase range. Ah decisions, decisions. More boom or more range? Such an interesting dilemma. Which upgrade would be a bigger 'fuck you asshole'?"

"Ehh, ok, more range if you ask me?" Kinh answered uncertainly, "Since more range is a good way of making sure they can't get close to you."

"Yeah but if the bang's not big enough, what's the point? Like if we only scratch the paint on the hull, it's gonna be a waste man. Unless if we improve the explosive charge by using a better compound instead of what we're using right now."

"Bro, you do realize that there's a few issues with your ideas?"

Remi shook his head.

"Like what?"

"Well, we're shooting at another students… not blowing up terrorists or shit like that. It might not be a good idea to instantly break a ship into three pieces. Also, I remember that you have those firing calculations that are preset," Kinh listed off a list of issues.

"It's for the future man, like after I get off this sub and get in a combat sub? Duh."

"B-but you'll be firing ADCAP's dude!"

"I'm also fucking bored and it's awesome. So shut up."

"Sure man," Kinh answered skeptically. Having the best torpedo officer in his year was a plus despite his best friend's quirks.


USS Black DD-666

October 13th, 0105

Location: 29°17'46.3"N 140°39'37.2"E

Status: Radar picket duty

"In local news, the substation fire has finally been declared out by fire officials. Totaling at over 80,000 acres of primarily farmland, many farmers are wondering what to do next amidst the loss of two lives and most of this harvest's crops. A go-fund-me account has been set up to help support those affected by the fire by providing them with clothes, food, and other commodities. In international news today, the Blue Mermaids have begun the search for several missing ships with assistance from multiple student ships, including those from Seattle Naval Academy. Other details are not available at this time. That's all for the nine o'clock news, but be sure to tune in tomorrow for-"

Reaching over, Danielle turned the radio off and finished looking through the daily report from all the departments. With a drawn-out yawn she put the papers in her desk, locked the drawer, and stood up, stretching her stiff limbs.

Officially the young captain was catching up on paperwork, though she doubted such a claim would hold up to the persistence of her first mate or Bosun.

Unofficially, the waiting for the Infected ships to pop up was making it difficult for her to sleep. Anxiety was running high, and though she tried her best to conceal it, she was almost certain her whole crew knew about it.

Sleep be damned, she still had a job to do.

Combing out her long hair, she brushed her bangs out of her eyes and put her captain's cap on, leaving her cabin. Each step rang out on the metal deck, clearly audible above the droning rumble that was ever present inside the ship.

Up two decks to the bridge, she found Allison and Savannah on watch, with Samuel and Emily at their stations.

"Captain on deck!"

Emily was the first to notice the tired captain, straightening up and standing at attention. Before anyone else could react, Danielle smiled and straightened up. "At ease."

Once the formalities were out of the way, Allison looked over at her and sighed, "you're supposed to be sleeping."

"I was. Then I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep. So here I am."

"Fine. But the first yawn I hear, you're going back to your quarters."

Before the captain had a chance to respond, the bridge phone went off briefly, only for Allison to grab it off the hook.

"Bridge here."

The first mate listened for a moment, then hung up and reach over, turning on the short-wave radio to instantly be greeted by a robotic voice.

"-eather service has released a severe storm warning for the East Pacific twenty to two hundred nautical miles off the East coast of Japan. Today, October 13th, building winds, 40 miles per hour from the south-southeast with wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour. Heavy rain and thunderstorms from the south with a chance of quarter sized hail. Seas fifteen to seventeen feet. Tonight, gale force winds from the south-southeast, waves sixteen to eighteen feet with continued thunderstorms. Tomorrow, continued gale force winds from the east-southeast, wind gusts up to 70 miles per hour. Waves nineteen to twenty-three feet. Tomorrow night-"

"Fuuuuck." Samuel muttered, "this is gonna suck."

"As soon as it gets light, have everyone secure everything for the storm and batten down the hatches."

"Aye captain," Savannah replied as she tapped on her tablet's screen. "Harekaze, Anderson, Hamakaze, and Oakland are all on their way to rendezvous with us until the storm is over."

"Sounds like that could be awhile." Emily muttered, listening to the weather report finally coming to an end.

"Well, I hope nobody on board gets seasick."

"Somebody will, without a doubt." Danielle yawned before slapping Allison on the back and heading down the ladder. "First Mate, the bridge is yours."

"Aye captain."

Danielle wandered down back to her quarters, closed the door, and sat down at her desk again before turning her radio on and tuning it. "Captain Schumer to HMCS Rainbow."

After a few moments, an answer came back on the radio.

{HMCS Rainbow to USS Black, We copy you loud and clear! How are you guys coping with the storm?}

"Good comms Rainbow. We're not quite in it, but we're getting everything tied down."

{Right! We were about to dive so got anything interesting for us?}

"Negative Rainbow, I was just checking in on you gentlemen. Stay safe."

{Thanks. You guys stay safe too eh!}


Huynh, Kinh-Luyên

October 13th, 0115

Location: 27°25'52.9"N 139°18'33.8"E

Status: On Patrol

"Sucks to be anyone topside eh?" Kinh commented as he glanced over his chuckling crew, "Thankfully we can just dive under this shit. Archer… take us to periscope depth!"

"Right! Periscope depth!"

The crew felt the familiar sensation of their sub diving as it leaned forward and slid under the waves

"We're at periscope depth Kinh."

"Right."

The captain made his way to the periscope and raised it.

"I'll keep an eye out for anything unusual guys."

Several minutes of staring at growing seas passed before Kinh prepared to lower the periscope, folding the handles up seconds prior to the intercom system clicking to life with a female voice.

{Pan pan, pan pan, pan pan. Hello all stations. Hello all stations. Hello all stations. This is Blue Mermaid station Yokosuka. A 406Mhz distress signal has been detected in the area of Iwo-To from the training submersible HMCS Grilse, reporting the submersible's buoyancy tanks have ruptured. All vessels are advised to keep a sharp lookout for signs of distress, assist if possible, and notify the nearest Blue Mermaid station.}

Once the transmission was over, the crew of the Rainbow was silent for several seconds. Not a word was uttered by anybody until Olson sighed, bowing his head. "Well… that certainly complicates things."


A/N:

Yeah, it took us this long to get an impending typhoon into the story. When basically this whole story has been placed right in the heart of typhoon season. Should've thought of that sooner. Oops.

I was listening to Shinedown's rock rendition of Lynyrd Skynyrd's 'Simple Man' when the idea for the typhoon came to me. I ran it through Good, and here it is. Please leave a review if you enjoyed it!

Shit's 'bout to get nasty y'all. Batten down the hatches, grab the popcorn, and stay tuned for the next chapter! - SirStonewall