Noisy and Stanky
“Everyone here?” asked Zoom meeting host Captain Cranch, from his cabin, coughing loudly. “Acting Captain Glenn, can you hear and see me?”
“Yes sir. You are coming through loud and clear here on the Bridge. Can everyone else see and hear myself and Officer Carr?”
“Not until she says something.”
“That’s enough, Billy” Chief Engineer Noyce chided him.
“I’m on the same mic and camera as Acting Captain Glenn, 2 meters apart” commented Second Deck Officer Carr.
“Let’s take a moment for roll call, per department, ranked highest to lowest, so we’ll all know whether we can all see and hear one another. I’ll start by virtue of being the one hosting this meeting in the software. Inactive Captain Cranch.”
“Acting Captain Glenn.”
“First Deck Officer Crunklebunk.”
“Second Deck Officer Mayhew.” CCCHHH!
“Second Deck Officer Carr.”
“Engine Department, Chief Engineer Noyce.”
“Second Engineer Wiley.”
“Third Engineer Rizer.”
“Fourth Engineer Bilge.”
“Hotel Department, Hotel Director Biltmore.”
“Woggling giant penis-head! BAAAAAAHHHH!”
Yes: their meeting was Zoom-bombed. In this case from an all-too-high-resolution full-frame circumcised erect glans and shaft end, waving slightly back and forth, aimed towards the camera looking like it might soon blow.
“Ugh” inactive Captain Cranch grunted, before again coughing loudly. “Suggestions?”
“Look on in awwwe and SUCK IT, weiners! Woggle woggle woggle woggle woggle!”
“Permission to take charge, Captains Cranch and Glenn?”
“I’m in charge! LLLllllarge and in charge! BAHAHAHAHAHAAAAH!”
“Granted”, “Yes” they replied in turn to Engineer Rizer.
“Everybody else other than Billy turn away from your screen and try not to listen, please. Hey Shrivel-Gland! What’s wrong with your weak willy?”
“Nnnnnnothing! Behold its Mighty Meaty Awesomeness!”
“You don’t have enough gland to tit-wank a tsetse fly! What’s that crusty bit all about?”
“There is no crusty bit!”
“The one right near your worm hole!”
“My Mighty Worm’s meatus cannot be defeat-us!”
“Don’t quit your day job—assuming you even have one—if that’s all you’ve got for rhyming, Loser. Not talkin’ ’bout your putrid wee-hole, talkin’ ’bout the parasite pit half a centimeter off from your vegan meatless!”
“I’m all beef!”
Dawn Rizer knew she was succeeding: it was obvious that the intruder was beginning to go flaccid. “Grime-sotted gristle at best! What’s your opinion, Dr. Bilge?”
“That fuckless wee wand is so soft, you ain’t got no Mohs! It’s not even worth putting in a display case at the It Died A Virgin museum as a virginal canker-cased wankless wonder ’cause the display case would need a microscope for anybody to see it!”
“I cum in rivers of fertile gllllllory!”
“You dribble less than Professor Chaos’s pathetic garden hose!” Dawn shot back.
“That pustulant twig wishes it could be as ‘hard’ as a ragged dog-chewed high-flex garden hose!” Billy piled on.
“It’s a sackless disease vector seldom succeeding at crack shack skank-banging!”
“In his dreams! Ain’t got nothing to slip in, and he’s too busy felching flea-infested donkeys and literally eating steamy shit from antibiotic-addled cattle anyway!”
Hearing the intruder gagging slightly, Dawn went in for what she hoped would be the close. Thinking quickly, she pulled down her pants and undies, grabbed some nearby ground-up clay, spread her legs and rubbed the clay on her genital exterior. To her surprise, there were some small worms which had somehow gotten into the ground clay. “Hey Loser, look: clitty-litter with wangworms!”
“AAAAAGGGH! You people are SICK!” he yelled, quickly disconnecting.
“Takes one to know one” she snickered, cleaning herself up and ensuring all the worms were off her.
CCCHHH! “Technically he’s correct about the sick part.”
“Please tell me you didn’t watch and listen to all that, Captain Cranch!”
“Most impressive, Engineer Rizer. You as well, Engineer Bilge. Please check internal messaging for login parameters for the new, properly secured Zoom session Captain Glenn is hosting. My apologies for this improperly configured one, which is now ending.”
The new actually private Zoom session run by Acting Captain Glenn went more smoothly. Once everyone joined and confirmed they could all see and hear each other during a new roll call, Chief Engineer Noyce presented the official report detailing findings regarding the docking incident.
“A 1 cubic meter wooden crate filled with loose 20 penny nails of Chinese origin and manufacture remained dockside, left for unknown reasons by the merchant vessel most recently docked at this pier prior to our arrival. Dock structural issues made the crate unstable enough that our upper hull vents produced sufficient air flow to perturb the crate. Vibrational energy of the combined crate and dock led to structural failure of the latter, causing the crate to fall into the bay at the precise moment and position to collide with our starboard prop.
“The combination of the water impact plus propeller contact shattered the crate, freeing the nails and creating numerous sharp shards of wood. The unexpected forces involved broke pieces off the propeller, irreparably damaging it. Enough nails happened to slip into the Azipod housing via the standard and minute gasketing gaps to get into the gearing and jam the starboard Azipod internals, thus its propeller. Further damage analysis must await dry dock teardown.”
Following his latest loud cough, acting in a position of neutrality as one not directly involved during the incident, inactive Captain Cranch asked, “Responsibility for the incident and recommendations to avoid similar incidents in the future?”
“This was a freak accident, thus the probability of similar incidents coming up in the future is minuscule. Nothing should have been left on the dock, and even if due to the emergency nature of our port call something had to be out there, it should not have needed to sit so close to water’s edge. Off the record and in confidentiality, a representative of the port confirms that the insufficient structural integrity of the dock is unacceptable, and is in the process of being addressed. Other than refusing to dock upon spotting any foreign objects dockside, there is nothing anyone on our ship could have done nor could in the future do to prevent an absolutely bizarre ‘perfect storm’ incident such as this.”
Captain Glenn covered her mouth, masking her sigh of great relief. The meeting wrapped up soon thereafter.
“Yes, Bridge?” CHHHHH!
Captain Cranch recognized the voice of Acting Captain Glenn immediately, soon as she started speaking. “So sorry to bother you, sir. Port of Coos Bay is demanding to know when we will clear our berth and exit the port. They are not accepting my response of ‘indefinite, unknown due to unresolved major mechanical failure’.”
“Not accepting it in what way? As you have correctly pointed out to them, this ship is not sea-worthy.”
“We’re in one of their few deep-water large ship berths, impeding the commercial shipping which is their livelihood.”
“I shall save my vitriolic responses for those responsible for triggering them. Upon your independent conclusion that it is prudent to do so, please delegate back to me authority over this ship for the time being, and connect me to them.”
Acting Captain Glenn proceeded to formally restore command of the ship to Captain Cranch. Once she routed the incoming call to him, it was between him and the port authority.
“Correct: unknown.… The ship is not sea-worthy, sir.… Assuredly, I can explain. Critical members of our Engine Department have fallen ill with COVID-19, creating an acute labor shortage of qualified personnel familiar with our hardware and our company’s protocols.” CCCHHH! “Beyond and apart from that, even were a full staff available, our parts suppliers are struggling to operate, again due to the COVID-19 disease. No personnel, no parts equals no moving of this ship.…
“Sorry no: we cannot and will not shut down our auxiliary generators.” KKKCCCH! “We have well over two thousand seven hundred passengers, crew, and other staff on board this ship, all needing electricity from those generators for vital survival functions, including but not limited to sanitation.… Our generators meet or exceed all U.S. national and international regulations for noise and emissions, sir. Show me your 6.6 or preferably 11 kV high-capacity shore power hookup of which there is no documentation on the port’s website and none of our crew have spotted and we’ll hook right up, shut down our generators, and work through the payment terms.… I am not making light of this situation because there is nothing about it of which to make light, sir. For a port which advertises itself as the future of U.S. west coast shipping and being in a highly environmentally-aware area, it befuddles me why you lack shore power for large reefer, tanker, and container ships your site suggests you wish to frequent the port.…
“Correct: we are going to remain docked here at this berth on our extended emergency technical stop until the first of this pandemic emergency being over, or disembarking of all on board save our crew for repatriation or chartered return trips home, which so far for reasons beyond my comprehension, we are being disallowed to implement per inscrutable decisions at the U.S. federal level.… I dare you to send qualified individuals approved by my employer on board this ship riddled with COVID-19, Mr. Bull. Check your news sources: the eyes of the world are upon us. Most of the world has now heard of the ill-fated cruise of the Sapphire Prince, following in the footsteps of Princess Cruises’ Diamond Princess voyages last month and apparently with no lessons learned by authorities at any level.… Good day to you as well, sir.”
“Bridge, First Officer Crunklebunk. Yes, Captain?”
“Whereabouts is Officer Glenn?”
“She’s taken ill, sir. Currently being triaged in the Infirmary.”
“Very well; I’ll contact her directly. Please prepare to take command of this ship if she is unable to do so. I remain unqualified to be in command outside of dealing with severe, unreasonable issues such as stubborn bull-headed bureaucrats.”
Most of the rest of those aboard the Sapphire Prince knew nothing of the day’s drama affecting senior crew members, in large part from those crew members’ deft handling of the issues. For Leigh and Clark, the 20th. day of her no-longer-going-anywhere cruise and 13th. day of presumed (not tested) COVID-19 illness (one less on each of those day counts for Clark) had been another cold intermittently light rainy drizzly gray day—perfect for being stuck inside a cozy, well-appointed stateroom under the plush covers of a “cloud” bed nude with one’s lover.
By late afternoon it had become particularly windy inside Leigh’s and Clark’s stateroom. Not because they had any exterior doors open, nor because of any structural air leaks or failures. Rather, it was the sort of human-generated wind one might expect to find amongst members of a rowdy fraternity, partying in their frat house.
Specifically, the super burritos they’d shared for lunner (late lunch + early dinner) gassed up their digestive systems sufficiently that they were currently having a blast (repeated ones, actually) holding a farting contest.
Fluuurrrbbbbt Clark’s butt sounded off, to his smile.
“Oh yeah, check this out!” declared Leigh, shifting her body around to draw her fat, flabby buns closer together, holding them tight that way as she sat back down. FLOT FLOT FLOT FLOT FLOT her butt slowly, repeatedly popped, the delay related to the longer distance from anus to exterior along with having to sneak out of a far tighter crack.
“Ah, here we go.” FrrrrAAAAAAZZZZZZ!
Leigh sniff-inhaled a few times, studying what she was sensing. “I’m smelling that! That’s the first thing I’ve smelled in over 2 weeks!”
“May you forever more be that excited smelling my farts.”
“I never said it smelled good” she giggled, poking him playfully. “More that smelling anything at all, good, bad, or otherwise, gives me hope that this illness ordeal is finally winding down.”
The farting contest itself wound down at this point. In terms of illness, the tiredness and general malaise remained.
As the course of their evening went on, another sign of hope: neither of them had fevers.