A Storyby Matt Pavelich
Gray was a seagoing marine and a good one in that he disappeared into his duties whenever he was at sea. It had been difficulties ashore that had kept him these three years at the same rank, a rank entitling him to a bottom rack in the enlisted men’s berth. Aboard the USS Mansfield his was an ant’s routine, scurrying to distantly issued commands, calling fools “sir.” On orders, he might go prowling the steel passages in body armor with a scattergun, or running and ducking through watertight hatches, all in the pretense that some plucky enemy had stormed a nuclear aircraft carrier in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Stand by to repel boarders—sure.