Unlike Captain Bruce, Captain Philemon did not spend her last surface moments gazing at her homeland, no she had descended into the bowels of her ship the first moment she could. The dark of the ship suited her, the containment of the walls all around her set her at ease like nothing else. She was at peace there. The first time she’d ever stepped into the marvels of a submarine she’d known it was where she belonged. It had been on some tour her father had been granted when she was young, all the branches of the military had important members and their families tour the pride of the Carodie Navy. Her father had been begrudgingly impressed. She had been dumbstruck and had held a secret passion for submarines for years, letting it ferment into a dream she wanted to see through with everything inside her. She’d waited years to give it voice and when that voice had been met with derision and refusal she had cast everything aside and fought for that dream. This moment, in command of her nations greatest hope was the culmination of that dream. It meant so much on so many levels she shook with it.
This was not her first command of such a wonder but it was the most important and as much as she was confident in her skill, all most too much so, this mission meant too much and deep inside was a small worm of worry. She stood there, her uniform crisp and fitted, a striking figure with a calm, mask of a face as the people she commanded buzzed around her, doing their work, unaware of the deep, hidden worry of their seemingly stoic captain. She would work to keep it this way the whole journey. The captain was more than just a leader and organizer, she was the litmus test. If she were unconcerned the crew would know nothing was wrong and so she kept her worm of worry deep and hidden hoping that if it lived in the dark long enough it would die off.
The tenor of the activity around her changed and broke her from her cocoon of contemplation. Her eyes snapped to the crewman who stood in front of her as if he had some news to impart.
“Yes?” she said expectantly as the crewman, shiny and new and eager to make a good impression snapped a sharp salute at her. She accepted it with no note and waited as the crewman recalled himself enough to give her answer.
“Captain, the Minton descends.”
A sculpted eyebrow rose and red lips twisted into a wry smile as she answered,
“Well then, we’d best follow.” She barked out a round of commands and listened for the proper replies from all parties before giving the final word.
“Let’s make it pretty!” she called out in the end. She felt a tingle run all over her as she felt the energy change. The crew moved about their work seamlessly, all their drills had paid off and the ship began to descend. She could have sworn she felt it the change as if it had been on her own skin and not that of her ship. A shiver went through her, her eyes aglow when she felt the ship go fully under. More commands given, reports received, all flawlessly until her head was nearly swimming with pride. If things went this smoothly all along their success was guaranteed. When she ship leveled out she ran her hand lovingly over some metal work near where she stood. “Good girl.” She muttered to herself before looking to her crew with just as much pride in her eyes.
“Well done.” She said to them all, her joy and her honest pride clear in her face and voice.