USS MENHADEN (SS-377)
OFFICIAL REPORT OF CROSSING
DAVY JONES ARRIVAL
On the evening watch of the 15th, things had settled down to
near normal. The watch had just been relieved and most of the crew were
abed. At precisely 2000, there was a flurry of activity on the Bridge.
One of the lookouts had reported a brilliant white light that hung low
in the southern sky. It could not have been a star, for no star or satellite
ever achieved that brilliance and hue. Then, from out of the darkness of
the sea came a ghostly voice that chilled the very marrow of the bones
of those who heard it, "Ship ahoy. What ship?"
The Officer of the Deck, shocked into silence, fumbled for his
voice, but was unable to answer. And again that fearful voice from nowhere
spoke, "Speak up you scum, or I shall tear out your very bowels and feed
them to the crabs that clamor and clack their claws for them. What ship
is this?" At this last threat, the OOD, his knees shaking and awash in
his own sweat, managed a weak reply, "The good ship USS MENHADEN."
Once more that terrible voice shook the night, "What course
she steers, you landlubber?" The OOD, feeling faint, managed to gasp out
the course, and again the voice, now close aboard, spoke, "Very well! I
have been anxiously awaiting your arrival. You will notify the Commanding
Officer that I, Davy Jones, have a message to deliver from his Royal Majesty,
The sea, which had been relatively calm, suddenly began heaving
and churning about. Foam and spume flew in all directions as though the
devil himself was beating it into a furious storm. All around the boat,
dolphins and whales could be seen swimming in as neat a military fashion
as one could wish to see. Giant squid and octopi surfaced alongside and
floated by, watching carefully with their one unblinking eye. Through the
water, the most monstrous whale ever seen approached the boat, and astride
his massive head, as though he were on the quarterdeck of the largest ship
afloat, stood Davy Jones. A full seven feet tall he was, with fiery red
eyes and a scar along his face that told of battles long past. He stepped
aboard and appeared as dry as could be, though we knew that he had just
risen from the sea.
Davy Jones (STCM Glendening) greeting Captain Guille in the
The Captain greeted Davy as he arrived in Control, and the fierce
gentleman spoke again, his voice almost friendly, "Aye, you have a fine
boat. It has been a number of years since we last met. It is good to see
a Royal Shellback in command. Captain, I have orders for you from Neptunus
Rex, and some summonses for your unfortunate Polliwogs, scum that they
are. I will now read your orders.
I, Davy Jones, have come out of the sea tonight to bring from
his Oceanic Majesty, King Neptune, Ruler of the Seven Seas, all the summonses
for the landlubbers, Enginemen, sea vermin, Sonarmen, crabs, Electricians,
and eels who have not been initiated into the Supreme Order of the Deep.
We of the great Neptune's Court bring serious indictments against those
who still have traces of cow dung on their feet, as well as those of the
big towns who think they are all real city slickers. But no matter, all
will be Shellbacks after the Royal Ceremony on the morrow, at which time
those summoned will appear before the Royal Judge of his August and Imperial
Majesty, Neptunus Rex, and there will answer for offenses committed both
on board and while ashore, and woe be the poor soul who fails to appear
without his summons. Captain, I know a few of your weak-kneed men have
requested leniency, but let it be known that King Neptune has no favorites.
All landlubbers since man first followed the sea have endured the strict
initiation required by the King of the Sea. NO! There will be no leniency.
All Polliwogs will receive appropriate punishment tomorrow.
Remember, sorrow and woe to those who resist or talk in a light
or jesting manner of the Ceremony, or his Majesty, the Ruler of the Seven
Seas, or of the Royal Members of his Supreme Court. So -- Beware! Beware!"
Davy Jones reading the Summonses to the Polliwogs over the 1MC.
Upon completing those last words of warning, Davy Jones handed
the summonses to the Captain, shook his hand, and left the boat as mysteriously
as he had arrived.
Naturally, with all of this furor and commotion, many of the
Polliwogs had awakened, and those who saw Davy Jones were thrown into a
state of terror. When they related the fearful sight they had seen to the
others, there was much discussion, and many were frightened beyond belief.
There were even some, so frightened, who advocated taking over the boat
and turning her back. Needless to say, few, if any, Polliwogs slept that
Their fears were not unfounded, for the Captain wisely withheld
a few of the summonses as they were passed out, knowing full well that
the Polliwogs in their panic would take drastic measures against those
in their ranks who they thought to be spies. The next few hours proved
him right as those unfortunate Polliwogs who were cast into suspicion by
the subtle trickery of the Shellbacks were trussed up and left in the Forward
Room with no friends among either Polliwog or Shellback. Theirs was a lonely
night, to be sure.
TO PART 3 -- THE INITIATION
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