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EOS Friendship Tour '06


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Line Handlers watching the HMS Lahaina leaving Pearl Harbor

 

Chapter 1

 

Aboard the HMS Iniki, 1000, September 9th, 2006

The ship?s loudspeaker blurted ?Attention all hands! Prepare to cast off all lines!?

As the tugs tightened their mooring lines, the riggers cast off the dock lines holding the Iniki to Pier 6 at the Pearl Harbor shipyard. The ship was able to make its sailing time, meaning it should be able to catch the Lahaina and Makalapa by the time they reached Cloud Island. However, Petty Officer Nole had other issues to concern himself than where the rest of the ships were.

?Line 3, make sure that your guys stay away from the line once the shore line are cast off!?, bellowed Chief Kala?e, shielding the sun from his eyes. ?You don?t want to loose a leg!?

Nole, who was the POIC (Petty Officer in charge) of line 3 started to move his work detail away from the line, as a seaman apprentice asked him, ?Wha?s he yelling about??.

As Nole pulled him away from the line by the scruff of his neck, ?See, when the tugs pulls the ship away from its mooring, it stretches the line tight. Our lines are white, but see that strip of red line attached??, said Nole.

?No.?

?Try looking harder.?

?Oh, yeah, now I see it.?, said the apprentice, squinting at the line.

?That?s called a ?tattle-tale?. When it is fully stretched taut, it means that the line has a good chance of snapping. If it were to snap, it would come back with a force that could rip off an arm, leg, or just cut you in half. Also, since the Navy uses synthetic rope instead of hemp, the recoil is twice of what it used to be back on the ?old days?, or so says the Chief. So, when the Chief tells you to step back, do it!?

Three minutes later, the tug requested line three be tossed, meaning that PO Nole and his team had about half an hour until the ship was out of the harbor and being sent below, time enough to ponder about the future.

 

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Captain Halawa adressing the crew of the HMS Iniki

 

Crew?s Mess, HMS Iniki, 1504, September 2nd, 2006

Nole was staring out a porthole, wishing that this ?meeting? would hurry up. Three small portholes and two meager fans pushing the air around sixty bored sailors were beginning to become intolerable.

Someone blurted out ?Attention on deck?, and as everyone in the mess began to rise to attention, the CO, Captain Hawala, replied, in his usual muted, raspy voice, ?At ease, at ease?. He continued, ?I apologize for keeping everyone here later than expected, but I have some important news. I just came from the Squadron 17 building, and was informed by the Admiral that the Iniki will accompany the Lahaina and the Makalapa on the ?EOS Friendship Cruise?.?

An excited murmuring and some cheering from the back erupted, along with a few ?high fives? and clapping through out the mess decks. After a couple minuets, when the excitement died down, the CO continued?

?I?m excited too, but the bad news is we?ll be leaving within the week. This means you have less than one week to get everything ready for a major tour. You need to wrap up everything here, like bills, family matters, ect?, ensure all of your uniforms are ready ? don?t worry, there isn?t enough time to have an inspection, so I?m holding your divisional chiefs responsible for your dress uniforms ? and get your personal belongings onboard. This is a very high visibility tour, and I expect everyone to be on his or her very best behavior. I don?t want anyone to embarrass the Iniki, the Royal Navy or the Islands. We?re going to have a lot of high level visitors, meaning plenty of field days??

A huge groan emerged from the crowd.

??inspections and tours from VIPs and high ranking dignitaries??

Another groan.

??journalists asking a bunch of questions, probably the same one time and again??

A third groan.

?? and probably a bunch of other things I haven?t even though of. However, I do have the itinerary of the ?Friendship Tour?, which is??, as he turned to the PowerPoint an ensign was scrambling to get working?

?We will head leeward (east) towards Cloud Island, where we expect to meet the Lahaina and the Makalapa. From there, we?ll head up to the Palm Island Way Station, where we will replenish our supplies and formalize any outstanding issues with the EOS.

After a few days, we?ll head up to Zuidhaven, top off our supplies after a brief visit, about four days, and then head northeasterly to Nan Gorgwaith, and arrive at the city of Constantinopolis. This will be an eight day port call, so make sure you have your winter uniforms, as it is a bit chilly up there. Next will be Romanna, where I understand you can negotiate just about anything in the markets ? but the traders there would give an Aiean a run for his money.

Next, the ships will visit Port Alexandras, in Miiros. Remember, if you run into trouble, you are subject to local laws, so if you get in trouble at the casinos, there?ll be only so much we can do. The city is huge, larger than any city in the KBI, so every WILL go ashore in-groups of at least three. More on this later?.

The captain cleared his throat, and continued?

?We?ll continue on to Korrina, where there are many beautiful buildings and gardens to visit ? but I?m sure most of you will probably visit the clubs and discos. Anyways? Tamurin?s city of Hlondeth is next, so if you haven?t spent all of your money in Romanna, I?m certain that you?ll probably spend the rest of your pay here.?

The ensign hit the wrong button on the PC, and scrolled back a few screens?

?Well, as Mr. Poko finds the spot were he needs to be? make sure you enjoy your time in Romanna, because after that we?ll be visiting EOS Island. It will be the first time the KBI visits the island, and we will be available for tours for almost 14 hours a day. The tours will probably consists of VIP, politicians, military officers from the EOS, and journalists, lots of journalists from the EOS. Again, make sure your dress uniforms are ready!

After our two week, yes I said ?two week?, visit to EOS Island, we?ll return to Zuidhaven for a port visit. If I remember correctly, we?ll be there for about a week and a half, to ?recharge our batteries? for the rest of the run.?

Ensign Poko again hit the wrong button on the PC, this time killing power to the presentation.

?Well, I guess that I will be ad-libbing the rest of the tour!? as he glanced at the hapless Ensign.

?From Orioni, we will head windward to Emakra. The first city we?ll visit is Angra, where dignitaries will pay us more visits. I understand the beaches are, well, not so good, but the city is very beautiful. From there, we go to Bisler, where I?m sure everyone is excited to sightseeing and visit the beach. I expect we?ll be in Emakra for about two weeks, and then we?ll head back to the KBI, stopping in Kihei, on Horse Island, Aiea, and finally back to Pearl. Any questions??

A bunch of hands went up?

?Well, I don?t have the answers for you yet. Whatever you want to know, talk to your chiefs and we?ll get an answer for you. Time is short, so be ready. We leave on the ninth, in the morning. Make sure you?re ready. Thank you.?

?Oh, and Mr. Poko, please see me in my quarters.?

The captain left, ?Attention? was called again, everyone stood, and began to file out of the mess decks.

Nolo heard the murmuring in the crowd: ?You?ve got to be kidding ? one week? The navsat system won?t be ready by then?? ??I can?t leave, my girl is pregnant?? ?Man, we just got back! I really hate being at sea all of the time??

In the midst of the noise, Nolo realized that he?d get what he wanted ? to see the world. Or at least the EOS, which is a start.

 

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EOS Friendship Tour '06 fleet is re-united off Cloud Island

Aboard the HMS Lahaina (AP) - The HMS Iniki joined her sistership, the HMS Makalapa, and the carrier Lahaina off the southern tip of Cloud island earlier today. The Iniki was delayed because of software issues associated with its renovated navigational system, which has now been declared operational and functional.

After rejoing the tour, the ships will head to Palm island for replenishment and relaxation.

 

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HMS Iniki leaving the Lahaina and a KBI Palm Island support ship to refuel

 

Ship?s Fantail, HMS Iniki, 1258, September 12th, 2006

 

The wind whipped the waves up on the side of the Iniki as the clouds began to gather topside, as Nole finished his second cigarette, and checked the counter on his Nikon DSLR. He took a shot of the sunset, and then glanced down has his camera?

?Damn, I know I should have recharged the batteries. Looks like I only have about 20 pics left!?

?Hey, Nolo, GMT (General Military Trainign) is in about three minutes, you better hurry!?, said Lieutenant Malakelo, his division officer. ?If you dawdle, you?re going to be stuck in the back again!?

?Yes, sir, I?ll be right there?, as he grimaced.

 

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Stock photo of LCDR Mine Kalaka

 

Crew?s Mess, HMS Iniki, 1304, September 12th, 2006

 

Nolo, was of course, late again. One of the benefits of being a journalist was that he was always allowed a good seat in these meetings, since he was the ship?s ?official photographer?. He ?excused? himself to a side where he could see the newly assigned ?Cultural Representative? that was going to accompany the ?Friendship Tour?. That and, according to the bosons that saw her come onboard, she was a babe.

The Chief began with the usual introduction, ?Welcome, everyone, this is the first of the ?Cultural Indocs? we?re going to have prior to each port call. As we approach Palm Island, you?ll have limited access to the non-Islander portion of the station. Unless you have official business, and have authorization to exit, you?ll stay in the KBI part of the island. However, you?ll still interact with people from around the EOS, so you?ll have to understand the basics of the combined command and its rules. For this, I?d like to introduce Lieutenant Commander Kalaka, the Cultural Interface for the KBI. She?ll be going over some things you?ll need to know about where we?re going. Without further ado, here?s the Commander??

A silence overcame the crowd, as a stunning lieutenant walked out to the podium, adjusted the microphone, and gave Ensign Poko, a nod to began the PowerPoint.

After a brief moment of nothingness, she glanced at the Ensign, who promptly realized he need to start the presentation.

 

?Thank you for showing up. My name is Lieutenant Commander Mine Kalaka, the Cultural Representative for the ?06 Friendship Tour, and I?m going to go over a few items concerning the ?do?s and don?t?s? on Palm Island. First, upon arrival, all hands will be required to have their ID cards visibly displayed on their person at all times, when they are off-ship. Anyone, from a seaman recruit to the Admiral, who does not display their ID badge, will be detained until they are verified by DNA-referencing via the master EOS personnel database. In other words, you?ll be in some hot water if you lose your ID.

Next, all base workers on the KBI docks are Islanders, but there are some individuals from other militaries who will be assisting us in retrofitting, like software integration, IIF matching, Navsat calibrations, and so on. All Palm Island personnel wear blue flight suits / jump suits, you can tell where they come from by their national flag patch on their left shoulder. All personnel speak standard English along with their own national language, so if you want to be understood, no pidgin (English), eh??

 

Kalaka cleared her throat, and continued, ?For those lucky enough to travel to the ?Palm Commons?, the EOS code of military justice applies there. The most notable change from our regulations is that the ?Commons? are dry ? no alcohol, no tobacco, no cannabis, period. Although these items are allowed in specific national areas, i.e. we still have alcohol and tobacco available in the KBI docks, in order to avoid insulting any other nationalities, they are forbidden in the Commons and it will be strictly enforced. When traveling in the Commons, ensure you present yourself as professional and courteous as possible, and treat your EOS compatriots as courteously as possible.?

 

?If invited to the quarters of an EOS member, keep in mind that the entire residential area of Palm Island is an ?Open Bay? barracks, even for officers. As a compromise to the militaries, and to prevent favoritism between different organizations, some more Spartan than others, all service members have the same facilities. Additionally, be sure that if you are invited to a barracks tower (you?ll see the fifteen story complex towers once we dock), you make sure that you know if it is co-ed, or single sex. We don?t want any ?honest mistakes? shading our visit. If there are any questions you have, please start??, she continued.

 

A hand went up ? ?Madam, are there telephones available on the Palm Island??

?Yes, there are. If you want to call home, you can do so from the ?phone bank? located near the exchange. Last time I was there, I believe there was about fifty phones available, but I think they added more.?

 

Another hand ? ?So, are you saying that if we are invited into the ?Palm Commons?, we can go??

?Well, you?ll have to get permission from your department head, and then you?ll have to have a good reason ? say a brother or sister works for the Island. Most everyone, however, will be limited to the KBI section of the island.?

 

She looks at her watch, and says, ?One last question??

A seaman in the back raises his hand ? ?How long are we going to be here??

?Originally, it was slated for a week, but as I understand it,? ? as she glances to the Captain, who nods his head, ?There have been some developments in Italgria which may require our assistance, so we may only be here for a few days.?

 

?I?d like to stay longer, but I have to return to the Lahaina. Thank you for your time.? A round of courteous applause reverberates in the room as she turns to leave.

Nolo looks down and realizes that he hasn?t take a picture of her yet! ?Ma?m?, he hollers out. She turns around, and is instantly blinded by the flash from the camera. She recovers quickly, and hurries out the door.

?I wonder how this pic will turn out?? thought Nolo.

 

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The busy outskirts of Zuidhaven, as seen from the HMS Lahaina's transport helicopter

 

0900, 22 Sep 06, Control Room of the HMS Iniki, off the southern tip of Orioni

 

LT Malakelo surveyed the area known as the ?Delta?, as the Iniki was due west of the city.

?Quartermaster, ensure that you and the lookouts maintain a sharp lookout for merchants crossing our lane of passage. I understand the harbormaster at the port is a stickler for propriety, especially when it comes to the right of way. Even though following the Lahaina technically gives us right of way, we?re ?visitors?, so I guess there?s going to be a lot of ass kissing over the next few days, and we?ll be the ones puckering??

 

A muted laugh ran across the bridge crew, as some snickered a bit louder than others. Malakelo hated the formality of the Royal Navy, especially when he had duty as the Officer of the Deck (OOD), so he tried to be a light hearted as possible. He?d been ?counseled? on his professionalism, but unlike his brothers, he didn?t want to make the navy a career.

 

The ship glided past the Orionian-flagged freighter, headed north to an unknown destination. Watching it sail by reminded him of the brief trip he took with his uncle to Zuindhaven almost fifteen years ago?

 

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HMCV Kona Painolo, moored in Zuindhaven, circa 1991

 

Mid-July, 1991, Port of Zuindhaven

 

The first bell sounded, marking 0800 hours. Puni Malakelo rolled out of his bunk, shielding his eyes from the bright morning sun. He glanced over at the clock, and realized that if he wanted breakfast, he would have to run to the galley. Jumping into a pair of pants, while slipping into a pair of tennis shoes and putting a cap on, he ran down to the mess decks of the HMCV Kona Painolo.

 

As he arrived on the deck, he saw Cookie, the plump mess specialist, getting rid of what was left of breakfast?

 

?Hey, don?t throw that out!?, Puni called, as Cookie dumped the ?pineapple surprise? down the disposal.

 

?What?? said Cookie, as he spun around, looking for the person who startled him.

 

Puni grabbed a frosted roll from a pan, and said, ?Sorry I?m late, but I?m really hungry!?

 

Puni started to take a bite from the roll, but Cookie grabbed the roll from hand, saying ?You know da rules ? no eating after da meal hours??

 

?But bradda, I?m really hungry!?, complained Puni.

 

Cookie retorted, ?If you waz really hungry, you?da gotten up and eat with everyone else! You know yo uncle Kane was asking fo? you? I tink? you in de dog house!?

 

?Why? I don?t have anything to do today. Heck, there isn't a beach with hard wave here anyways!?, said Puni, as he looked for anything to eat, finding a bowl of peeled fruit. As he began eating grapes, he said, ?I?m only here because my father wants to get rid of me for the summer!?

 

Cookie cocked his eye and said, ?You gotta be kiddin?! You fadda wan you to see da world! Meet people, go to new towns, maybe meet a pretty wahini!? He wiped his hands on his apron, and continued, ?Instead of surfing all da time, you can learn a new way of talkin?, and see how da othda people live.?

 

?No way ? I want to be a professional surfer, ridding the waves, and making a bunch of Tikis! Who?d want to be in the Navy ? it?s for losers!?

 

A heavy hand fell on Puni?s shoulder ? it was uncle Kane. ?So, here where you?ve been! You know that you?re late for disembarkment. I?ve been looking for you since watch turnover!?

 

?Uh, sorry uncle, I overslept?, said Puni, sheepishly.

 

?No matter ? we have a city to see! Get your stuff, we?re going ashore!?, said Kane, as he walked off. ?Hurry up! See you topside in five minutes ? don?t make me find you again!?

 

?Hey!?, said Cookie, as he tossed a small bag that was labeled ?Valrhona? to Puni. ?I pick dis up this chocolate in da morning, from a buddy of mine. It?ll hold you over until lunch!?, he said, smiling. ?Stay outta trouble!?

 

Puni smiled his thanks, ran to his bunkroom, where he picked up his English-Oharic dictionary, camera, sunglasses, and backpack. In spite of his complaining, he finally had the chance to see more of the world ? something he wouldn?t admit to anyone else.

 

A whistle sounded in the background? ?SIR, your course inputs????, asked the bosun mate.

 

?Uh, yes, make turns for four knots, and maintain current course?, replied LT Malakelo. I wonder if she got my letter?

 

 

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Edited by Orioni (see edit history)
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