Black Dragon

Chapter VII: Looking Back

0815 Hours

San Francisco Bay

The aura of disappointment was readily apparent inside the small cabin. Alex, expecting a longer, more descriptive piece, looked at Hideo with a cross look on her face. "That was short," Alex complained.

"That was just an incomplete part of the Manuscripts, remember," Hideo replied. "The whole thing is much longer than that."

"So, where now? Across the Pacific to Guadalcanal?"

"How about another look at grandpa's journal?" Hideo suggested.

"Either way, we're going to have a lot of ocean to cover," Alex replied. "If he hid parts of the account on islands that the Japanese held, the best case scenario is we start at the Solomon Islands."

"Don't forget the Japanese had a toehold on North America in some islands near Alaska," Hideo mentioned. "I do hope not, since those waters might be too much for this boat."

"And if we go into the South Pacific, we've got tropical storms and reefs to worry about," Alex added. "Not to mention pirates."

"Pirates would have little interest in a boat like this, unless they were desperate, wanted hostages, or simply wanted to kill us," Hideo commented. "And we would be very poor hostages, so we only have to worry about the crazy ones."

"All this optimism's killing me," Alex rolled her eyes. "How about we just read and decide from there?"

"Good idea," Hideo replied as he opened the journal.

---

February 15, 1943

Pacific Ocean

The battle for Guadalcanal is officially over. Unsurprisingly, the Americans won. In a battle of attrition, the side with better supply lines and material resources wins. And that just so happens to be the Americans. Honestly. What kind of moron provokes a nation with countless times your own domestic industrial capacity? Oh, right. THEY certainly do.

I'm going to Singapore soon. The Captain's been talking about moving some captured British cannons to other islands. Seeing as captured British guns on Guadalcanal did little, they have no problems making the same mistake twice.

The whole reason Singapore was captured so rapidly was a British mistake. They placed their guns and fortifications south, expecting any invasions from Dutch Indonesia. However, they could turn those guns to face north. Failure for them to reinforce and poor reinforcement is what did them in. General Yamashita's force of 36,000 troops managed to force a capitulation of an Allied force over twice their size.

That was exactly a year ago, and only the start of the nightmare for Singapore. Several hundred thousand ethnic Chinese in Singapore were executed. Among those executed were those suspected of having sympathy for Britain or China, those who donated to charities for war relief, and anyone they believe is a "potential" trouble maker. Thankfully, the killings were called off on March 3rd of last year, but the damage has been done. Thousands of more innocents died because of them. Will this madness ever end?

On a more positive note, I do believe Singapore will provide some opportunities. There should be plenty of places to hide parts of the Manuscript. The first was hidden on Guadalcanal in a place the lines were barely held. I have found an old friend of mine, Tanaka Ken, was indeed drafted into the war. He's stationed at Singapore. I do not what his job is there, but I hope he is not a party to the atrocities there. He was always a good boy. I hope he remains so.

Then again, war has a way of destroying one's hopes.