Captain Rabid did not inspire confidence, beginning with his name and ending with his apparent desire to kill his entire crew. On his first day he dismissed the ship’s doctor in order to motivate the men not to get injured or sick. He routinely ordered them to charge enemy ships head on, despite the fact that it gave the foe a perfect chance to rake the ship from stem to stern. Eventually enemy ships would just turn and run, not wanting to fight a crazy man.
One of the midshipmen had a pool going to guess the reason for this apparent insanity. The top choice was that he was suicidal; the second choice was homicidal. Less popular choices were that he had a father who was a hero and was trying to follow in his footsteps. In last place was the idea that he just wanted to get fired and go home.
* * *
Captain Rabid opened his diary.
Dear diary, I have done everything exactly wrong and still I am employed. The ship’s pool is at almost 100 pounds. Tomorrow, I will claim it, then have a naughty phrase concerning the admiral’s mother painted on the side of the ship. I should be at home in my garden by the end of the week.