My balls are gonna get fried off, the short squat man thought gloomily, looking at the 10 megaton warhead he was working on.
The missile was huge and packed with antimatter, fully twenty feet long, and it was pitch black(as dark as the fat bomber that carried it).
"Hey Bertoni!" a shout rang out, crossing the huge flight bay. "Bertoni" was Adam Bertoni and he was wearing the traditional gray and green cammies of a crewman, obviously covered in grease, solvent, fuel oil, and god knew what else. He popped his head out of the massive bombers’ ordinance bay at the sound of the voice.
The huge stub of a recently smoked New Cuba cigar stuck prominently out of Bertoni’s mouth, a chief petty officer whose swarthy dark Italian/Arabic looks made him stand out prominently among the mainly Anglo crew. The Flight Deck Officer of the assault carrier Yorktown, Bertoni growled for a second and then laid down his tools, stood, and walked towards Cob, the man who had addressed him. Cob wasn’t really his name; it stood for "Chief of Boat" and Toshi Ames was the most senior petty officer on the ship. As the two men walked towards each other, Bertoni looked at the master chief, eyeing the short Asian man. All three of the Yorktown’s top personnel had been reassigned after the Yorktown’s shakedown a month ago, and Captain Frederico Be Doya, the XO Thea Belo, and Toshi Ames had been placed aboard in some bullshit shakeup that had cost the crew dearly in morale. Since the fighting had started, shipboard morale had been crushingly low, and Bertoni had been working hard to build it back up again, but he had achieved little in the previous weeks and months and to have the ship’s top three managers---"the command" as they were called---replaced all at once meant a complete change in the ship’s operating style. No crew ever liked that. Not that Ames was a bad guy, but Bertoni had been in the service for nearly 20 years and he had met many assholes during that time. He had served with Ames for a few weeks and he hoped that Ames wasn’t that sort of guy.