Ran a playtest session of IHW: Pigboats last night. We started off with the party split. The XO, Lt. Jerkin, stayed in Pearl along with Lt. Montgomery, while the skipper, Lt, Commander Mardukas, went to Maui along with Lt. Bullock and Lt. jg Tambeaux.
Lt. Jerkin went looking for a fight with the bastard that bombed the Thresher as she came into Pearl. All he knew was that he was an Army Air Corps zoomie named Joe. He figured the guy was flying from either Hickham Field or Wheeler Field, so he went first to Hickham, then to Wheeler. Each time he was refused entrance without valid orders or an appointment, due to the heightened security since the raid. He then placed a call to his buddy Frankie, an Army captain at Wheeler. Frank agreed to meet with him for a few drinks at the Coconut Grove, a nightclub in Honolulu. He spent the day at the private section of Waikiki behind the Royal Hawaiian reserved for submariners.
Lt. Montgomery met up with his girlfriend Amanda, whom he was currently sharing with an Air Corps flyboy named Bo. This was Montgomery's day with Amanda, so he took her out to lunch, then some surfing lessons from Amanda at Waikiki, then dinner and off to the Coconut Grove. They shared a cab with the XO to the nightclub, and Montgomery dreaded the trouble he knew was coming - he was very well aware the XO was spoiling for a fight.
The skipper and the others landed in Lahaina, Maui from the daily ferry, and found their way to the police station, where five Japanese detainees were being held. The skipper showed the cops his orders detailing him to interrogate the detainees - he is fluent in Japanese - and they gave him a room to do the questioning in.
The first detainee was a Shinto priest who had lived a long time in Hawaii, and who spoke some English with a terrible accent. He had been on a walking tour of the island when the raid on Pearl happened, which the police were a bit suspicious of, so they kept him separate from most of the detainees, who had been sent off to a camp. He explained that he went on a walking tour to visit and sacrifice to the kami of the islands every year, and that they stayed up in the mountains the whole time, to be with nature. The second two were his companions, who seemed quite honest.
The fourth one was a Harvard grad, who had made a fortune selling wholesale groceries throughout the islands. He had been on his yacht, and had, in fact, reported an encounter with what he claimed was a submarine on the sixth of December. The last one was a young engineer, fresh from Japan, who had a flawless American accent. He had been flying about the island on a water-hunting expedition for the Haiku Pineapple Company - looking for aquifers that could be tapped for irrigating the dry side of the island. His pilot, he said, could vouch for him.
Lt. Bullock was getting very bored with the jibber-jabber. He was expecting the skipper to rescue his Jap girlfriend, not talk to a bunch of obviously innocent Japs. He did a lot of yawning and eye-rolling. At the end of the questioning, the skipper requisitioned a car from the police to visit the camp. Lt. Tambeaux drove them, looking wistfully at the beaches along the road with Lt. Bullock. The camp was on an athletic field at the Haiku Pineapple Company canning plant along the north coast of Maui.
There he met with the Professor and his daughter - mostly talking about the people he had questioned earlier in the day. The Skipper was bothered by accents - the atrocious accent of the priest, and the impeccable accent of the engineer. The professor - of Philology - agreed. The priest had been there far too long to have such a terrible accent, unless he had been totally isolated from haole culture. As for the engineer, he could have learned English very well in Japan, but what was taught would have been British English, not American. The skipper told the professor he was totally convinced of their innocense and would work to have them released. After the professor left, his daughter thanked the Skipper, and kissed him before running from the room. The rest of the detainees there were very low risk, and a short interview with each was enough to convice the Skipper that the Police had segregated the most suspicious ones very well. They stayed overnight at the camp, and left in the morning.
Meanwhile, back at the Coconut Grove, the XO met with his buddy Fred, and Lt. Montgomery danced with Amanda to some excellent live swing. he tried ranking on Bo, but Amanda wouldn't hear of it. "He never said anything bad about you, Will!" that shut him up. Lt. Jerkin asked Fred about any zoomies who might have claimed sinking a Jap sub the day before - then explained that the scumbag had almost sunk the Thresher. Fred said he knew who it was, and not to pursue it any further, He was just a kid who was scared and excited, and that they had received no notification from the Navy that the Thresher was due in. Fred explained what it was like during the attack, how frustrated the guys were with all their planes being destroyed on the field, where they had been parked wingtip to wingtip to protect them from Japanese saboteurs.
Jerkin finally accepted this, but a drunk young army officer insulted him in passing. Chris insulted him back, calling him a filthy name. The officer punched the XO, and got a bottle upside the head in return. The officer screamed and leapt on Chris, getting him around the throat and crashing him back through the table, smashing his head into the floor. Will excused himself from Amanda, having been waiting for this, grabbed two beer bottles, and swung them from both sides into the drunk officer's head from behind. The XO stabbed the man with the broken bottle, almost killing him. At this point the Shore Patrol's whistles sounded, and panic ensued. Jerkin got everyone out by hiding in the fridge until the SP passed, the out through the loading dock.
Back on Maui, Mr. Tambeaux was driving the group back to lahaina, when he was startled to see a naked girl on the beach. Lamarr poked fun at him, inferring he'd never seen a naked woman before. The rest of the trip went without incident. When they got to the police station, the pilot was there. After some questioning. he admitted he was not always with the engineer, and that he would often wait with the plane while the engineer went off alone to do his exploration. One time he came back with a scroll with Japanese characters on it. He described the scroll. At this, lamarr thought the skipper may actually be onto something, He began getting interested.
The engineer was called back in. He had answers for everything. He had written the scroll. It was love poetry for a married woman he was seeing. She had it, and he would not give up her name. he had learned English in Kyushu from New York Jesuits - his family was Christian, like many in Kyushu. The skipper hmmmed. Lamarr walked about the room nervously. The skipper called in the field laborer who had been with the priest. Yes, the priest would often go away alone to pray. Yes, one time he went into a village to get some food when they ran out. Yes, he had a scroll like that for a while. He was thanked and sent back.
The skipper called the priest in. Yes, he had a scroll like that. No, he lost it when he stumbled crossing a stream. The skipper templed his hands in front of his face. "Let me paint a picture in words, about a priest who is passing information gathered on his walk to an engineer from Japan, who transmitted that information with a radio disguised as a sample case to a submarine offshore. this priest is being left to hang by the spy-engineer, who could care less what happened to the priest, this priest with a wife and children who would suffer greatly for what he had done." The priest broke down and confessed.
Lt. Bullock chortled as the engineer was brought in. The skipper told him what had been discovered. The engineer smiled. He was not afraid to die. He was happy to die for his Emperor. Lamarr clapped him on his shoulder, saying "You're done for, good buddy!" as the skipper explained that he would not die, that he would rot in a prison cell instead for the rest of his life. The engineer grinned and insisted he would indeed die. They heard a crack from the engineer's head, and the skipper reached across the desk to yank open the man's mouth, just as Lt. Bullock punched the engineer in the solar plexus. He breathed cyanide into the Skipper's face, but the skipper held his breath. The spy was dead, and wouldn't be talking any more.