The black tube of death never seemed a more appropriate name. When Clueless (Lt. JG Cluze) stumbled back from shore leave above the Arctic Circle, little did Petty Officer Len know that the life-sucking US Navy submarine was about to be overrun by blood-suckers. Full of irreverent humor, it's military horror told from the point of view of a Nuke submariner.
CONTENT ADVISORY: This is a re-release title.
It all started when Clueless...that is, when Lt. JG Edward Cluze staggered onboard from liberty in a little town that shall remain nameless, somewhere above the Arctic Circle.
I could tell you the port, but then I'd have to kill you, military secrets being what they are and you not having the clearance I do.
Strictly speaking, I'm joking. After all, when a nuclear sub comes up, the heat bloom on satellite tells the whole fucking world where we are, but I've always wanted to say that to someone, and you seemed like a good bet for believing it.
Anyway, back to the story.
Clueless made it back. Pissed me off, because when 0200 local time. came and went, I'd bet he'd passed out somewhere in town and was busy making himself into an Officer-sicle that wouldn't be discovered until the sun rose fully in a couple of months.
It wouldn't have made me cry not to see him come back before we cast off, but it sure did tick me off to see him half-falling down the ladder, because that meant I was out twenty-five bucks to Diamond Dallas. Well, that and the fact that I'd have to deal with him for the rest of the underway. I could be one EOOW short, if it meant losing Clueless.
Who am I? Sorry about that. Maybe, I should have started with my name, but since this fuck-up wasn't my fault, I figured I should start with Clueless Cluze. My name is Bob Leonard, otherwise known as Petty Officer Len. I run E-Div.
Yeah, Clueless thinks he has some say in it, but as I noted, he's clueless. When the orders come down, the men listen to me, not Cluze. Why? Because they want to be alive at the end of the day....whenever that is.
You see, when you work on a sub, there is no night or day, really. There's no going topside to see the sunlight. You don't even keep the clocks on 'home port time' or even on the time of whatever time zone you're in at the moment. The minute you cast off, you go to Zulu time, also known as Greenwich Mean Time. And that, my friend, is what started this whole mess rolling.
So, Clueless made it down the aft hatch in one piece, a miracle in the making, if you're the praying sort. It might have been better for the crew of the MSP, if Clueless had been the praying sort, but he wasn't. I've come to learn that you never could tell when a cross will come in handy, but we can get back to that later.
If he'd been an enlisted man, someone might have lifted a hand to help Cluze back to his rack. We'd been known to drag guys down and heft them into top racks, when they were far gone, but that was what we did for other enlisted guys. He wasn't enlisted; he was an officer. A snot-nosed nub with a lot to learn about the Navy and submarines and...well, you can guess what I was going to say.
I can report, with confidence, that the nickname was a fitting one, because I was one of the luckless bastards who had to train him at S1C, the Nuke prototype that used to stand in Windsor, CT. About half of the pups who came through S1C were certifiably idiots, possessing two-five knowledge, at best. Two-five is the lowest passing score, and it essentially means that a student is smart enough to agree with the right answer to a question when told it by someone training him. Clueless was smart enough to agree...most days, or at least he was at S1C.
Cluze was worse than most. When the new bar code qual system was instated, we once qualified a box of grease pencils, just as a lark. I'm sorry to report that the grease pencils had a higher GPA than Clueless did. For that reason alone, when I'm particularly annoyed with Clueless, I tend to call him Greasy. He's never understood it; typical for him.
At any rate, I gave Clueless just the right amount of shit for costing me twenty-five and not having the good grace to die like a man in the sub-zero temps. For those of you who have never been on a submarine, the right amount would be a verbal trouncing the likes of which sent one E-Divver off the sub in a straight jacket.