“Man Battle Stations Missile”… dong dong dong dong dong dong
You had only been asleep for about an hour, a deep sleep where the work that kept you awake for eighteen hours finally caught up with you. Maybe it was the leaking packing on the trim pump. Maybe it was a circuit board that eluded your trouble shooting skills. Maybe it was just the family gram that you got that seemed so empty of facts in its shortly worded manner.
Whatever it was, you were asleep when the harsh electronic alarm went off near your rack. The sound of curtains ripping back in the berthing area fill the air. You know you only have a few minutes to get to your station and start your tasks. Phones are manned. Gear is broken out. Valves are being positioned in faraway compartments as teams of sailors and officers rush to answer the alarm.
In your haste, did you hear the Captain’s announcement?
Are we spinning up all missiles? Is this a 1SQ and not a drill… does it matter? If something goes wrong, not really. One false move, one unintended consequence might start a sequence that will quickly spiral out of control. If it’s not a drill… what will it matter?
You feel yourself involuntarily sweating. You ask yourself again for the thousandth time, “Can you do it if you have to? Can you really help launch a devastating attack on people you don’t know?”