Apr
28
2019

SCARFACE [The Day After Ragnarok]

Shipping Control Authority

(Replenishment Fleet, American Combat Elements)

(SCARFACE)

[The Day After Ragnarok]

HQ: Manila, Philippines

Bases: Pearl Harbor, Manila, Palau, Santo, Tarawa

Commander: RAMD Donald Beary, USN

Forces: 45-70 ships, various tonnages; 10,000 civilian/military, all ranks

On paper, the Shipping Control Authority Replenishment Fleet acts as a replenishment service for post-Serpentfall American combat elements in the Pacific.  In reality, Rear Admiral Emory Land has effective control over USN logistics in that theater, and Rear Admiral Beary is decidedly not subject to Land’s orders.  This suits both admirals perfectly well, as Admiral Beary is only a logistics officer these days by the most flexible standards.

Beary is, in fact, a corsair — which is what the IJN calls him, usually with a certain amount of reluctant respect.  Between the time of the Serpentfall and the armistice, Beary’s logistics ships rapidly transformed themselves into fast raiders, keeping the Japanese from pressing their advantage as the Allies retreated to more defensible positions.  They turned out to be rather good at it, actually.

As was Admiral Beary, who quickly and decisively took a hand’s-on approach to the new problem.  His most daring feat — or most infamous one — during that time was the cutting-out and capture of the IJN Yoizuki just before the armistice was signed; the destroyer had been taken out with a skeleton crew to harry the last troop transports off of Okinawa, and Beary’s forces were able to surprise the Japanese with a disguised merchant ship filled with Marines.  To this day, the Yoizuki (renamed the Clarence Van Ray) remains in American service as an commerce escort for Pacific convoys.

Since the armistice, of course, Beary and his SCARFACE fleet are of course absolutely not raiding Japanese commercial shipping.  They’re raiding pirates, smugglers, and unscrupulous vessels who are falsely claiming to be Japanese commercial shipping, which is of course completely different.  But regrettably necessary: some of the prizes that SCARFACE has taken contained some very naughty items, indeed.  The kind of items that, if they really were meant for the IJN, would have been a clear violation of the armistice and a justification for starting up the war again.  But since Beary only takes false-flag ships (including ones with despicable, and instantly disavowed, Japanese renegades), everything is fine.  Even the IJN admits that, albeit usually through extremely gritted lips.

As for the rumor that Admiral Beary continues to rotate his flag among the plethora of existing Navy vessels, converted merchantmen, captured enemy ships, and other elements of his command, solely in order to lead those ships into combat personally?  That rumor is ridiculous on its face. Why, the man is sixty years old! Surely boarding actions and midnight raids on pirate havens is a younger man’s game. Obviously, a certain archaic romanticism might be now associated with the South Pacific, in these post-Serpentfall times; but still, one must not let it go to one’s head.

6 Comments

  • junior says:

    1.) While I’m not familiar with the setting, apparently the “Serpentfall” event happened while the US was on Okinawa. Was that before or after the Yamato sallied? Or in other words, is the Yamato still afloat (albeit permanently docked in a harbor, since there’s no way that the Japanese would be able to spare the fuel to send her out)?
    2.) What percentage of the “falsely claiming to be Japanese commercial shipping” vessels that Beary’s command captures contain the aforementioned “naughty” items?

    And frankly, I’m surprised that the Japanese have shipping tonnage to spare for “naughty” items. The Japanese were in pretty poor shape in 1945 due to the American blockade (starvation would have gotten them if the atomic bombs and/or Olympic hadn’t done the trick, and the Home Islands are missing at lot of what would have been basic strategic resources at the time).

    • Moe_Lane says:

      After. In the game, the divergence point started with Patton’s assassination, which delayed the collapse of Germany long enough for the summoning of the World-Serpent to happen in July of 1945. The USA promptly nuked Jormungandr by flying the Enola Gay through one of its eyes, and then everything more or less went to Hell. Ironically, the same death-throes that led to a tsunami taking out the East Coast rather handily smashed Germany itself (and England, and a hefty portion of France) to flinders. US and British (the British Empire is now centered in Australia) forces in the Pacific more or less retrenched to the Philippines and New Guinea, allowing the Japanese to recover a lot. Nobody’s got the resources that they had before the war, but the Americans and Brits got hit HARD. Everything-east-of-the-Mississippi hard.

      • junior says:

        The Yamato’s one-way suicidal sally to Okinawa was in April, so it looks like it’s still on the bottom of the ocean. Too bad.

        The Japanese “recovery” would almost certainly be far too quick to be anywhere remotely close to realistic (even without the US naval blockade, Japan’s marine logistics was all but non-existent by the end of the war largely due to US submarines). But then again, we’re talking about a world in which a giant serpent took out the Atlantic. Realism is less important than Rule of Cool.

  • bensdad00 says:

    1st Lt. Clarence E. Van Ray – POW

    That’s a deep cut… Anything personal, tangential research, or another story?

  • bensdad00 says:

    Excellent choice then, and one the US forces should use more often rather than shitpot politicians and their kin.

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