"TIME: 0131, 9 September 1942
UNIT: USS Atlanta, flagship of Task Force 62.1
LOCATION: Iron Bottom Sound, between Savo Island and Cape Esperance
Rear Admiral Walter ""Flank Speed"" Gray put down the binoculars. It was no use; even with the lights on the bridge darkened the night was too dark to make anything out visually. Captain Samuel Jenkins came forward, removed his hat and mopped his brow. ""Hot night, admiral,"" he said, ""and dark as the inside of a dog. I know destroyers Fletcher and Cushing are in line ahead of us, but I sure as hell can't see 'em, and we don't dare run any lights.""
""Guess we'll just have to depend on that newfangled radar contraption,"" Gray replied, but he nonetheless resumed peering through the binoculars. The Exec appeared near Captain Jenkins's elbow. ""Radar contact, sir, bearing 340, range about 8,000 yards. A big ship, or several small ones - the radarman isn't sure which."" Jenkins was suspicious. ""Is he sure this isn't just some kind of reflection from our lead destroyers?""
""Pretty sure, sir.""
""Then see if fire control radar can pick up a target.""
Admiral Gray picked up the TBS microphone. ""Attention all ships. We have a possible enemy contact, bearing 340, range 8,000 yards. Increase speed to 24 knots and execute a column left turn to course 270. All guns bear starboard. Fire on my command only.""
There was a flurry of activity on the bridge as the orders went out and sailors donned their helmets and life vests. One by one the cruiser's main battery turrets rotated to the right until they were locked in the direction of the presumed target. The Exec returned. ""Sir, we've lost them! Their radar image merged with the reflection from the island. They could be....""
From ahead of the Atlanta came the flash and deafening roar of an explosion. As Gray watched in horror, the destroyer USS Cushing lifted out of the water and fell back in two pieces. ""Torpedoes!"" Gray yelled. ""Turn hard to starboard or they'll hit us broadside!""
The sailor at the helm spun the wheel as the oncoming wakes became visible in the light of the burning ship. Captain Jenkins held his breath as the deadly Long Lance torpedoes hummed past, but Admiral Gray was wasting no time. ""All destroyers!"" he barked into the microphone, ""fire starshells to illuminate the area to starboard. All guns may fire as soon as you have a confirmed enemy target.""
An enemy searchlight stabbed out and struck the Fletcher, lighting her up so every detail could be seen for miles. Immediately, shells started falling around the destroyer, and her own guns opened up in reply.
The Atlanta's gun director swiveled around and locked on the source of the searchlight, and almost every turret she had lined up with it. When all the main battery lights blinked ""ready,"" the gunnery officer struck the button labeled ""fire"" and the ship shook as twelve guns let off in a single spasm. ""Hits!"" cried the lookouts, ""We got at least three hits on the first volley!""
""Rapid fire,"" ordered the gunnery officer, and the Atlanta's guns, now zeroed in on the target, began firing as fast they could reload. The enemy ship snapped off its searchlight, but several starshells burst in the air above it and it could be clearly seen as a Japanese light cruiser, Nagara class. Columns of water from near misses erupted around her, but many shells were going home, and fires were breaking out in her superstructure. Within minutes she was a floating wreck, down by the stern and sinking.
""Cease fire,"" Gray said, ""we've won!"" He turned to Captain Jenkins to congratulate him on the performance of his crew, then stopped - for beyond him to port he could see the after half of the Cushing, still afloat and burning fitfully. ""Come about and prepare to pick up survivors,"" he said.
Next time, he thought, next time!"
This item is part of the collection: Classic PC Games
Addeddate: 2012-08-04 12:27:18
Publicdate: 2012-08-04 12:28:02
Keywords: DOS games; Vintage computer games; Simulation games