Hughesair (Inflection Point)

Retired physician and air taxi operator, science writer and part time assistant professor, these editorials cover a wide range of topics. Mostly non political, mostly true, I write more from experience than from research and more from science than convention. Subjects cover medicine, Alaska aviation, economics, technology and an occasional book review. The Floatplane book is out there. I am currently working on Hippocrates a History of Medicine and Globalism. Enjoy!

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Location: Homer, Alaska, United States

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Saturday, July 17, 2021

Mutiny on the Zumwalt

 US Navy destroyer DDG1000, is a radical new design with a low radar presence and hybrid electric drive. The Zumwalt was named after Admiral Elmo Russell Zumwalt, 19th CONO, famous for reforming Navy personnel-policies to improve enlisted life, ease racial tensions and welcome female sailors. This short fiction imagines an outrageous assignment of minority misfits at the humorously inappropriate insistence of a new politically correct  Chairperson of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The dysfunctional crew, it turns out, includes several agents of the Chinese PLA. 

Orchestrated sexual assault charges result in the Captain’s arrest and confinement to quarters along with the only two competent CPOs. By misunderstanding and design the Captain and his Two CPOs are launched overboard in the early hours on the ship’s RHIB. Their location happens to be coincidentally close to that of the mutiny of the Bounty. The back story shows the Chinese Navy PLA’s plan to rescue/capture the Zumwalt.

What ensues is a frantic chase of the shallow draft RHIB through Tongan and Fijian shallow waters, a near reenactment of Captain Bligh’s miraculous navigation through the same dangerous Fijian waters. One of the CPOs is Fijian, however, and the still rather primitive Fijian tribes manage to defeat the commando detachment from a Chinese fishing boat to the drum beats between islands from ancient and long silent hollow logs carrying a surprising message and a surprising outcome.

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