Let's Write A Story!
[Completely off-topic but timely aside: You can watch the christening of PCU Mississippi (SSN 782) here starting at 1100 EDT today; if you miss the live showing, they'll have an on-demand video replay available there for about a week starting later this afternoon.]
As I was soaking in the tub this morning, I started -- as frequently happens -- thinking about submarines, specifically some of the old midwatch discussions that pass on so much of the Submarine Force's "corporate knowledge" to the next generation. One of my favorites was the theoretical "forward vs. aft war" scenario: If the cones and nukes went to actual war on the boat, who would win? The conclusion always seemed to depend on where the discussion was being held; if in Maneuvering, the nukes would win, while if the discussion were held in Control the cones would prevail. The guns were all forward, but control of propulsion and all electrical power other than the battery bus, along with local control of the planes, was back aft.
This got me wanting to run an experiment with our little TSSBP community. While I doubt that it will work (I expect a result something like this), I think it'd be fun to try some "collaborative fiction" in the comments. My initial ground rules: 1) The protagonist wants to survive, so no solution where he just sinks the boat; 2) No gratuitous sex scenes; 3) No classified technical jargon that isn't already available open source; 4) There's some sort of mechanical fault that keeps the nuke from just manually blowing the aft EMBTs; and 5) If you want to make an editorial comment that isn't a contribution to the story, please put it in [brackets]. I'll start:
"MMCS(SS) Smith thought back to how he ended up in this situation. The emergent tasking while doing mid-deployment voyage repairs on his Los Angeles-class submarine in Jebel Ali, UAE, to transport the world's most wanted terrorist -- recently captured on the Afghan/Pakistani border -- back to the United States for trial. The submerged transit of the Straits of Hormuz and uneventful transit through the Arabian Sea. The midwatch training as EWS of the Reactor Technician (Under Instruction) on EAB usage with ET2(SU) Jones. The sounding of the general alarm with no 1MC announcement. Seeing the rest of the watchstanders in the Engine Room fall dead as if hit by a gas. Rushing forward to dog the watertight door between the forward compartment and the engine room, and seeing the crazed face of one of the CIA "guards" of their terrorist prisoner through the viewing window. Then, most disturbingly, the 1MC announcement -- in Arabic -- followed moments later by a voice in English saying "Surviving crewmembers in the Engine Room: We have complete control of the ship. Surrender now, and you will live."