Decorated World War II intelligence officer Kenji Kobayashi has recently been designated to a brief assignment on a battleship in the Pacific. Fearing that he may no longer see Japan again and worried that his twin brother Tomoyuki may have fallen during a battle in the South Pacific, he briefly prays to a makeshift alter he has created in the cramped officers cabin he has been secretly stowed into. Only a handful of officers and military brass are aware he is on this ship, so his prayers, like his actions, may never go noticed. Still he clutches a prayer amulet given to him by his mother in his hand as smoke from a stick of incense whisps around him hoping to someday be reunited with them all; either in this life or at a burial plot in the Imperial Military shrine Yasukuni Jingu.
Preparing himself for a briefing with the ship's captain, he quickly begins to dress himself. Materials are scarce everywhere now, and he is wearing a suit previously worn by a fallen soldier. It is loose on his small frame, even though Kobayashi is exceptionally tall for a Japanese officer. Once dressed, he arms himself leaving his small sword behind, while holstering his pistol. With a knock on the cabin door, he is then quickly and stealthfully lead away to the ship's warroom. His prescence brings a once loud and smoke-filled room to a complete standstill. The response he receives is frigid at best, almost hostile. Clearly this officer is not welcomed here. Intellegence or not, he is not going to make the acquaintance of most in the room, nor does he want to. The captain, however, approves, and calls him into his quarters to meet with a other officers of high rank to plan their attack and potential invasion... of Japan.
Now face to face with an Admiral in the US Navy on board USS Missouri! He is not only the guest of honor for this meeting at sea, the intellegence he has gathered while living in Japan and in campaigns across Asia is partially why the brass are welcoming him this evening. Operation Downfall is about to commence and the fate of hundreds of thousands of soldiers from Britain, Australia, China and the U.S. hang in the balance as the Allies attempt to engage on the largest land envasion in history!
Written by Michael Dana Kennedy.