Tillamook, part 4

Thinking honesty the best policy, Gil answers the questions put to him by the Russian junior officer. He seems relieved that he will not be detained too long.

Honestly, I’m not sure what the next conversation holds. I would like to see Gil back on shore to introduce his wife, Mackenzie. For those who’ve read “Friend & Ally” and “Foes & Rivals,” they’ve a very unusual past. And, I’d like to see how she’s grown as an artist; she was extraordinarily gifted, so has time honed or dulled her ability?

Enjoy my content? Buy me a beer!

In the noise and spray on the way back to the ship, Sokolov was just able to get Gil’s name, that’d he’d been in the area for about twenty years, and he used to be a mechanical engineer.  Gil watched as they circled around to the ship’s aft.  It does look a lot like Kongo.  Under the helicopter deck, part of the hull opened out and down.  The sailor on the outboard gunned it and lifted the engine once they were inside.  The hatch closed, tilting them a little further in.  A man whose uniform was just different to be assumed an officer stepped through a hatch onto the wet deck.  Sokolov stepped out, saluted, and spoke quickly and quietly.  Gil didn’t get the quiet part as he’d have no idea what they were saying.  As he stepped out of the rubber boat, the other stepped forward and saluted.

“Captain Haven?  Welcome aboard IRN Golitsyn.” His hand came down but then out.  “I am Ensign Gusev.  Will you please accompany me?”

“My pleasure, ensign,” Gil replied, shaking his hand.  “And thank you for helping with our repairs.  The Pacific is a big place to get lost in.”

“Indeed,” the young officer replied.

Up several ladders and onto the deck, they stepped around where the missiles were secured below deck, headed for another hatch just ahead.  Gil noted the ensign looking at him look around.

“Have you been aboard a ship like this before, Captain?” he asked.

“Aboard?  No,” Gil replied, hoping honesty would not get him detained.  “I’ve been right next to one and have seen it fire its missiles in anger, though.”

“Indeed?  May I ask…?” Gusev tried to lead him.

“About twenty years ago, in Portland.” Gil followed him into the main part of the ship.  “It was a Jap ship; Kongo.”

“How very interesting.  Please to follow me.  After a few words with our XO, we’ll have you back home,” the ensign said, two paces ahead of Gil.

“About that.” The officer stopped and turned about.  “Not knowing how long I’d be aboard, I send my trawler back to port.  I apologize but it seems I might have to beg a ride.”

“Not a problem at all, Captain.  I doubt Tillamook Bay could support Golitsyn – ”

“Hell no,” Gil interrupted.  “Shallow and constantly shifting mud and sand flats.”

Gusev nodded.  “So we’ll just use the rubber boat again.  This way.”

The twists and turns had Gil slightly lost.  Down one deck Gusev opened a door with a gold lettered nameplate.  “Officer’s Mess,” he translated.  “Please have a seat.”

The room was not much bigger than the table in it.  Seats folded down from the walls.  At the far end was a very large silver samovar with crystal glasses on silver trays before it.  It’s good to be an officer in any navy, it seems, he thought.

“Our XO, Lieutenant Grammatikov, shall be along presently.  Did you need to use the toilet or require any snack?” The ensign asked.

“I’m fine, thank you.” Gil replied, tilting his head left to the samovar.  “Some hot tea would take the chill off, though.”

“That will be served right after the…” A taller man, about Gil’s height, appeared behind Gusev and cleared his throat. 

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