21st of January, 1913
The Admiralty, London.
The 15th Convention of Royal Skyfleet Command
"Right, Agenda Item No.5: Annual Squadron Performance review" announced 3rd Sky-Lord Admiral Percy Scott over the wood paneled room being used by the RSF Command
There was still a large amount of chatter and gossip in the room, Scott actually began to think whether these old salts actually listened to him.
"Enough! Silence, Shush, etcetera" Bellowed Scott.
The speaking stopped and the remaining people in the room turned to look at Scott.
"As we know, it is pivotal each year to review the current Squadrons of this fine establishment, each with their own commanders here in person." informed Scott, as he walked up and down the room
The room nodded in approval
"Now, Who'd like to go first?"
Admiral Fisher stood up and presented some paperwork and files to Scott, who then proceeded to read through them.
"Gentlemen, the french threat here in home skies is well under control, it seems like Les Cignoges have been actually tamed by our lads, seeing the fact just yesterday did HML Singapore deal with a Frog Destroyer near
Margate, which has actually got me thinking that the frogs are either A, Worried about the Huns trying to take more territory, or B, the frogs are bending to see reason and are starting to agree on the Salisbury doctrine."
There was then an applause as Fisher sat down, followed by Scott's Nodding approval.
"Very good Fisher, If I do say myself, now then, Who's next?"
Soon enough, every single officer had gone and spoke about the great feats their squadrons had gone and done in the name of the King, then Scott looked to the back corner of the room, at one very nervous Sky-Commodore of one of the lesser, minor squadrons of the Sky-Fleet, the East Pacific Squadron.
"Sky-Commodore Williams, You haven't uttered a word the entirety of the Convention, anything for your Sqaudron? I'm sure you have something to say."
"N....n...No, Sir. Nothing to report."
Fisher turned to look at Williams with a disapproving look in his eyes.
"Oh come on, Williams, it's not like the entirety of the East-Pacific squadron has nothing worth speaking about?"
I...I'm Pretty S...Sure of it Sir."Replied the very nervous and Jittery Williams
Admiral Hood Interrupted Williams
"I say, Williams, What of that Sky-Lieutenant..What was him name..., Care to Jog my Memory Mr.Williams?"
"T..Th..There are Many Sky-Lieutenants in the Pacific Squadron Sir.."
"RedHousen, I believe?" Suggested Pendergast, and Elderley Admiral who had seen the Pacific squadron before.
Williams worse fear had became true, the Mentioning of that name.
"Y...Y..Yes Sir, What of Him?"
"What has become of him and that floating pile of scrap, The Answeller?"
W..Well Sir, He's still in command of Answeller and I've put him on patrol near Tsushima..."
There was then a outbreak of laughter from across the room
"Tshushima? Ha! That RedHousen couldn't even manage the Channel Islands let alone Tshushima!"
Sky-Commodore Williams sank into his seat, in embarrassment.
The Laughing ceased, Sky-Admiral Scott cleared his throat and turned to Williams
"Mr.Williams, In all seriousness, I believe you need to recall Answeller, before RedHousen Ends up downing another Japanese Lev again, Remember last time?"
Williams could very thoroughly remember it, all across the morning papers last year, the Headlines read:
DOES THE SKYFLEET KNOW WHO THEY'RE SHOOTING AT? JAPANESE CRUISER IZUMI DOWNED BY D-CLASS ANSWELLER!
"Y..Yes Sir, I will recall RedHousen once I have preformed an initial combat readiness assessment on him and his Ship."
"Damn the Combat Assessment Williams, Get him recalled before he sours our relations with the Emperor any further!"Replied Scott in a Very Stern tone.
And so, the meeting went on...
The Tshushima Strait.
23rd of January
"Sir! I don't think she'll take it!" Bellowed the Chief Engineer's mate, decks below in the Engine room of the Answeller, The Answeller was performing maneuvers at high speed, and Her Commander, Sky-Lieutenant Lawrence T. RedHousen had thrown the Sky-Commander's Regulation manual out of the window, (Quite literally too), Answeller was in the middle of her 4th Broach turn, RedHousen was aiming to break the record of Six.
"She'll take it Engines! If she can take a 275mm Shell, then she can take a series of Broach turns!"
RedHousen continued to spin the Lee-Helm Hard over Port, Then Hard over Starboard, each making a broach turn, also in turn, throwing the Bridge crew around like a cork
"Sir! The Forward Port Trim tank's gone! We'll lose E-Charge if you keep throwing her around like this!" warned the Chief Engineer, with panic in his voice
RedHousen could hear the Answeller groaning and the rivets jumping around in their mounts, he could seen the glass in the bridge windows vibrate and the compass shaking wildly.
"One More! Come on Answeller Old Girl, Hold up till now you beautiful old beast!"shouted RedHousen as spun the Lee Helm over to Port for one last time, the Answeller responded and came around quick.
There was then a terrible sound of crushed metal then a metallic ping, RedHousen was not concerned and then realized he had done it, he settled the helm down to the neutral.
"We've done it! Six Broach turns consecutively!" RedHousen said in a Joyful tone.
"Engines Ahead Standard, Crew return to cruising stations."Announced the 1st Lieutenant, who put down the Intercom mic with a sharp click.
RedHousen went over to the Port Bridge wing door and walked out, and looked athwartships, and then saw what produced that terrible noise.
A chunk of the raised Engine room housing had came lose and pinged off.
"Oops" RedHousen said under his breath, and went back inside.
"Sir, I don't think you know how dangerous that was! Six Broach turns, we were lucky to make two without snapping into two!" The 1st Lieutenant said in a Patronizing tone.
RedHousen was being Ignorant, as he descended the ladder towards his Cabin
"I know Number One, It was careless of me to do such a thing blah blah blah, Sky-Commodore Williams wouldn't approve of my actions Blah, Blah, Blah." RedHousen said in a Mocking tone, aimed at the 1st Lieutenant.
"But sir! It's Imperative we come into dock and get repaired, or we'll be at risk of falling out of the sky!" The 1st Lieutenant added.
"Look Number one, I'm tired, you're tired, we're all tired, Now, leave me alone and be a good chap and ask my steward to fetch me a brew, I'm thirsty. RedHousen replied, before shutting his cabin door.
RedHousen was finally happy, knowing full-well his leave was coming up soon, 4 Weeks of undisturbed leave, at home, back in Rye, with his wife and his son, as he sat down, he threw his cap at his hat-peg, in a Frisbee action landing it on top, RedHousen then turned to his post on his desk, which had spilled everywhere due to his brash maneuvers.
He began to go through his post, Bills, Sailing Orders, Current affairs, Another copy of the Sky-Commander's Regulation manual and a letter from home.
As he opened the letter he read it
Dear Lawrence, Be aware to when you return on leave, your mother-in-law has come over to stay with us and so has your brother, be nice and don't nearly Kill Edward this time.
Your loving and caring wife
RedHousen turned up his nose in disgust, and Binned the letter.
There was a knock on the door, as he opened it, His Steward, Airman Napier came through with his Tea.
"Thank you Mr. Napier, punctual as always."
Napier Nodded and left the room.
RedHousen popped his head out of the door, "Do you live in a Bleeding Barn Mr. Napier!? Close the door!"
The Steward rushed back, made his apologies and closed the door.
RedHousen then settled in to his paper, drinking his tea as he went, reading the sports section. RedHousen was quite contempt with his situation, you could say the Sky-Lieutenant had not a care in the world to what had happened.
As He Settled down for the Night, he went up on to the bridge and saw the 2nd Watch officer at his work, an old skyrider, who had spent many years on board the 2nd Iteration of HML Leviathan
"How is the Watch Mr. Huller?"
The Old Skyrider cleared his throat, still looking through his binoculars.
"Good Sah, I could I've had a quiter watch on HML Medusa, of course, It was the 11th of November, 1902, and I was on watch that night...."
"Save the story for boys back at Whale Island, Mr.Huller." Interrupted RedHousen
"Of course Sah." Replied the 2nd Watch officer.
All was peaceful aboard HML Answeller, or so RedHousen thought, unaware of what the Admiralty had decided only days earlier.
The next morning was peaceful as it ever was, the Sky a warm red colour and RedHousen had just started to wake up, but as he began dozing back to sleep...
"Sky-Lieutenant RedHousen to the Bridge."
RedHousen picked himself up out of bed, donned his uniform jacket and trousers, put on his hat and proceeded to the Bridge ladder. As he got to the top, the 1st Lieutenant looked at him nervously.
"What's the Issue, Number one? Seen a Ghost Leviathan again?" inquired RedHousen.
"No Sir..Much different."
The 1st Lieutenant pointed out of the window, RedHousen looked and saw what he was pointing at.
It was an Armoured Cruiser, HML Drake to be precise.
"That's Commodore Williams Lev, What's he doing here so early back?"
"I have no idea sir..must be important.."
There was a crackle of Radio static followed by the Commodore's voice.
"Answeller, Answeller, Answeller, This is Drake, Permission to come alongside,"
RedHousen picked up the Mic and replied in a stern tone.
"This is Answeller, Permission granted.."
TO BE CONTINUED! WHAT DOES THE COMMODORE WANT WITH REDHOUSEN? WHAT WILL BECOME OF ANSWELLER? STAY TUNED FOR MORE ANSWELLER ANTICS!
[NB: This is my little Novella style story following a Sky-Lieutenant Named after me, who has Jack Sparrowesque ways of commading his aging D-Class Destroyer Answeller, I'll try and Publish these regularly, So, Leviathans Community, What do we think?]
P.S. Looking for other crew members to be included, Let me know if you want to be featured!