Causality - And the Demons' Feast

in Proof of Brain10 days ago

Sometimes, the demons reside within us. Restrained by intellect and culled by morality, they nevertheless constantly struggle for release.

During moments of enlightenment, we are at our strongest against them. We are sure of who we are and where we need to be in this world. Alternatively, the clarity brought about by enlightenment could show us where we shouldn't be.

Unfortunately, time and proximity limit enlightenment. You stand within the dark like a beacon drawing out the demons within others.

Image by miguel patiño from Pixabay


Sea Story Introduction

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Live onboard a submarine provides a unique experience. You live under virtually complete control by the commanding officer and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. You spend your days performing activities required in the trade bestowed upon you by the government. From cleaning toilets to controlling reactivity, you have a job to do, like it or not.

One activity that requires participation from all personnel onboard involves fire fighting. When the alarm sounds, sleeping or awake, the entire ship is up and on station within three minutes, they have to be as failure most certainly means agonizing death.


Fire Drills

Fire Fighting Training on a USN Nuclear Sub

Fire can spread fast in a closed space.

Ship training requires that every submariner knows the location of breathing connections throughout the ship by memory. When you test for your warfare insignia, they put a breathing mask on your face and blindfold you. They'll then ask you to take them for a tour across the ship and expect you to connect to breathing stations along the way.

Failing the test means you've lost one opportunity to meet your obligations. It also means you either passed out or were close to it searching for one of those breathing connections.

There are, of course, different ways to deliver emergency breathing air. People in charge of the machinery spaces utilize cabled face masks to connect to the air stations. Those assigned to fire fighting teams get self-contained breathing apparatus. It's a glorified high-pressure air cylinder on your back attached to a face mask. Safety first.


The Event

Fire Drills.jpg
Fire Fighting Trainer

The crew was fast asleep after completing a set of Vulcan Death Watches. Ship exams were coming up, and those not sleeping three to a mattress were fast asleep in their own suite.

Although we were done with training, the captain was not done with us.

About two hours after drills ended, the crew woke up to the sounds of alarm.



Image by Dr StClaire from Pixabay

For probably the 6th time in 36 hours, most of the crew woke up in alarm; the three-minute countdown had begun. Sailors rushed to their stations and prepared their areas for Battlestations.

In this event, I was already working in my machinery space. I was thankful that I didn't have to deal with waking up. The announcement over the speakers was that a fire (drill) broke out in the kitchen area. Everyone was supposed to put on their breathing protection. I put mine on, as did my counterpart in the other machinery area.

Drills could last for some time until the fireteam performed all their actions. So, I figured I would be in a facemask for at least an hour breathing the air we produced onboard the ship.


Demons that Gather

Image by Reimund Bertrams from Pixabay

About 30 minutes elapsed from the start of the fire drill when I heard a yell from the machine space next to mine:

"F*CK this! I can't do this anymore."

It happens from time to time. Language on board a warship could get pretty rough. It doesn't usually happen with such clarity when we're supposed to be wearing breathing protection. I gave my friend a call and asked to speak with him at his gate.

He had removed his breathing protection. He looked serene as if he came to some profound realization.

"Eureka", he claimed. "I know what my problem is now.
"I am done with this place. These drills are pointless."

I told him I understood but that he should get back in the game. I mentioned that the last thing anyone wanted was to get caught "out of character" for one of these war drills. I explained that having been on board for 4-years with 1.5 years remaining, I've seen the consequences of such behavior.

We sometimes can't see the causes of our pain until it's there and welcoming us into its arms.

"F*CK them. I won't do what they tell me."
"What could they possibly do? I'm so tired, and I had trouble breathing in that mask."


Demons that Hunger

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

"Why won't you do what you're told?"
"What do you mean you're done? Where's your breathing mask?"

Master Chief. Christ. He doesn't normally troll the engineering spaces of all people. He heard what my friend said and brought someone to take over his hole. My friend was relieved of duties and was removed from Engineering.

Master Chief questioned my friend about his statements in the engineering spaces. He admitted that he didn't want to be onboard anymore. He was tired and depressed. My friend said that he was evening thinking about taking his own life.

The things we feel when under pressure will never cease to amaze me.

Once he said those words, there was no turning back. And I felt the Chiefs gathering for a meal of their own.


Demons that Feast

Image by dandelion_tea from Pixabay

I found him unexpectedly. It was about 12-hours after the Master Chief removed him from the engineering spaces. Most of the crew was fast asleep. I had parts to pick up from storage, so that's where I went. One of the supply clerks ventured into a hole to grab what I needed, where we found guards standing at each side.

It's there that I found my friend restrained. Accordingly to one of the guards, my friend was on suicide watch. The other chiefs gave him a slice of bread and a cup of water. They then took turns flashing lights in his hole on and off while playing loud music to keep him awake. One of the chiefs there told me that they felt it was essential to keep him awake until we reached port. It was all to keep him "safe."

These people fed off of the stresses and emotions of my coworker for their gains. Because they were incapable of reducing their tensions safely, they chose to do it another way.

I asked the chief if he also wanted to leave the ship for his safety. When asked, I told the chief that I knew this sailor and highly doubted he would ever make claims about taking his own life. I let him know that what they were doing amounted to psychological torture.

"Let him sleep. Leave him alone. Let him leave when we dock."

They let him sleep and left him alone. He was allowed to return to the crew spaces but was removed from all duties. When the ship returned to dock, he left, and I never heard from him again.

The demons fed, but their hunger never abated. Instead, the demons refocused it on new prey. The difference was, their latest target never broke. It drove them mad because they never got their fill. In some ways, however, I wonder if breaking would have been a better option.


In Closing

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

This is a story from a different time in my life.

One event led to another and with different expectations. I never expected the chiefs' anger to be redirected at me, but I know now I should expect it to some degree from anyone. No one likes being told what to do, especially when those people are of a higher authority. I wish my friend good health and hope he and his family are well.

Thank you for reading and following on throughout my Hive journey.

Special thanks to @ashleykalila for the POB dividers.

If you like this article, please consider upvoting and subscribing to @scholaris!

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What a great story. I'd imagine your tales from your experiences in the forces are endless! I have nothing but admiration and awe to anyone who has served on a sub, I could never do it. I'm not one for being stuck anywhere for very long.
Hmm, I said admiration and awe but it could also be that you're a sandwich short of a picnic!

Your colleague also deserves huge praise for having the strength to stand up and decide he needed to get out. In such a discliplined military environment, many would have said and done nothing and that silence really trashes sanity and mental health.

Best wishes to you and yours fella :-)

I would lean more towards sandwhich. I never knew when to quit. I still don't actually.

I will grant this to the military. They have a great PR campaign. They also have a ridiculously high attrition rate because of the bullshit they peddle to get people in. Even with a year left, hell, or a couple of weeks left before leaving the military people will do anything to get out.

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Nice that was great man. You should write more often. We all have so many tales to tell.

Power corrupts. Maybe more when you are isolated from the free world, in the middle of sea, at the mercy of a few.

Thanks for sharing 🙏

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It's difficult to say whether you are right or wrong. It's the isolation, repetition, and pressure that does things to you. I would say that those things, more than power, corrupts someone from within.

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what the demons do to man is that they influence a man intellect, they possess mind , and the first thing they do after possessing a man is that they go straight into the mind and create a pattern of thinking that will make the man think what he is doing is right because the possess the mind ,even after they are casted out that mind set can still bring them back

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Thanks for sharing such a wonderful experience. I have heard that life on board is entirely a different drill

We sometimes can't see the causes of our pain until it's there and welcoming us into its arms.

Most times 'Causes' are such that they can't be seen until it's almost too late to do a thing.

When something happens to one of us. We shouldn't isolate the person's experience. We should rather know that tommorow night be our turn.

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I know that life inside a submarine is not easy . but this one describes the psychological torture and fatigue cycle so well.
You may have rubbed the chief off on the wrong side but you did right by all human standards.
Hats off to you. @scholaris

Nope. It definitely wasn't easy. The cycle you mentioned is true indeed. I definitely rubbed them the wrong way. I broke the "protocol" and they collected the next night. I had the right of it and they knew it. I was taught well by someone I worked with on the ship, but a story for another time. Coming soon.

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Looking forward to that, you've got me hooked with this story.

Wow, What a fantastic entry this is. Great Work friend. While many of us still figuring out true essence of causality, this will definitely gonna raise the bar. No doubt #pob-wotw is bringing the best out of the aurhors. Meanwhile I need more time to understand this better,lol. Best of luck in the contest dear, this one is sure winner. 👍🥇😊

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Thanks for the nice words. I get to participate, but I can't enter. I don't write that often now. It's just nice to get something out there now and again.

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