Saturday, November 11, 1995

War Cries - 8

Ramon Escamilla, a 15 year old high school student, was shot and killed while trying to scale the wall of the Peruvian embassy near the embassador's quarters. Corporal Parr said he saw a muzzle flash before he shot at the boy but no weapon was found. He didn't tell anyone that he had been distracted by a girl, Tienna, who had called to him through the gate. Harm and Meg assigned to investigate and met at airport by Gunny Granger who didn't salute Mg and, when challenged, said he didn't want people to know she was an officer for security reasons. Ambassador Bartlet shown as an hysterical incompetent who tried on the phone to get someone to get the first lady to "get her out of here." At first H had to reign in Mg telling her to "try it with a little more objectivity." An old woman in black left a bomb at the embassy gate killing a marine. Ambassador told H & Mg to solve the problem or they would be in front of her at a dedication function the next day. Mg saw gunny intimidating Parr and loudly backed him down ordering him to leave Parr alone. H went to visit Ramon's mother & found Tienna, his sister, in the house as well. They had scrapbook pictures of "her son" and when Mrs. Escamilla asked if it was Parr who had killed her son, Tienna got upset and kicked them out but not before they heard that Tienna was pregnant by Parr.

Mg had Parr lift her to the wall & over and found a shell to an assassins weapon. Mg thought Granger was trigger happy and interferes w/ him several times including ordering him to "stand down" when Gunny was going to rescue Parr, who he thought had been kidnapped by the Sendero Luminoso (shining path). When they arrived at Escamilla's house they found Luminoso members there who fled. Mrs. Escamilla told them that the Luminoso came to kill Tienna who was at the church. H arrived to the church just as the Luminoso were trying to kill Parr. She told everyone that she had no where to go to be safe and H suggested sanctuary in the embassy. Hs skillful questioning got Tienna to admit that Ramon was Luminoso and the ambassador could have been the target. Pres Clinton shown telephoning the ambassador and she didn't cancel the dedication. When they left on a secret route Tienna shown trying to distract Parr in the communication room. The ambassador convoy was ambushed with missile weapons and her Kevlar vest saved her. Gunny jumped into the fray and took out most of the terrorists but with held firing on a grieving woman in a robe. When he turned away the woman shot him and Mg shot her. The woman was Mrs. Escamilla so they knew Tienna was probably as well. They notified Parr that the ambassador was on her way back to the embassy and Tienna was Luminoso. He didn't answer but when Tienna tried to con him again and pulled a gun on him, he shot her.

Mg finally accepted what a good soldier Gunny was as his coffin was being loaded onto air transport. They had finally discovered that all three "Escamilla's" were members of the same shining path cell, none of them were even related and Tienna was not pregnant - it was all a ruse.

Saturday, November 4, 1995

Pilot Error - 7

Lt Lucas Pendry, Hs old roommate, was killed during testing maneuvers of a aircraft guidance system built for the air force but, because of budgetary reasons, was being "pushed" on the Navy. As he came over the ridge hugging the ground on APTURN autopilot he was inverted and was being blamed for causing accident by turning off equipment to win the scenario. James Reid, Macroplex representative, clearly announced himself as the champion of APTURN which couldn't be at fault and he would do anything to prove it. Reid tried to embarrass H by "letting slip" his friendship for the dead pilot and his family. After apologizing to Meg for not disclosing his relationship they began trying to prove what really happened because, knowing Pendry, he wouldn't have been that stupid to fly inverted over rough terrain 500 feet off the ground! H visited Annie, Pendry's wife, and Josh, their son, who was the same age as H when his father went missing in Vietnam. H had flashbacks to his own notification by military personnel and mothers grief. Lt McKee, Pendry's wingman, had been close to them and had been taken, by Pendry, to the doctor for a D&C. Reid threatened H with "smearing" Pendry's reputation if he didn't back off and, true to form, that just made H all the more intense. Mg interviewed McKee and found that she did have a D&C abortion; but, then told H Pendry wasn't the father but wouldn't tell him who was. They also found that APTURN had to be recalibrated three times more often in the navy than in the air force.

H flew in a simulator of the aircraft with every kind of "failure" anyone could think of thrown at him. He didn't crash and APTURN worked perfectly until Reid suggested he fly upside down. H couldn't prove that it wasn't Pendry's error until, remembering "Fate is a Hunter" movie, he wished out loud to Mg that he could fly and recreate Pendry's fatal mission because it had to be something they were overlooking. Mg sent him to Cdr Dale Bishop who wouldn't allow the flight until H told him of Reid's intention of blackmail and mentioned McKee's pregnancy. (Bishop probably was the father). H flew Pendry's exact mission, with McKee as RIO, which included five carrier traps before using APTURN. H said that was like preparing for a marathon with five boxing matched. H apologized to McKee after slamming on deck in his first trap saying "he was rusty." She replied, "you're corroded." Then after five such landings she said, "Thank God that's over, you're making me wish I'd joined the air force." After the last trap, H noticed that his flight indicator was slightly out of calibration. When they then used APTURN it flipped and wrongly thought it was inverted. H was told to turn off APTURN but he refused, using an override to gain altitude before switching it off. When he did the APTURN then went "wings level and 'climbed' (which really dove) nearly killing them both. When Mg said that APTURN was faulty and hadn't been engineered for use in carrier landings all Reid would say "it will be."

Annie was afraid Josh would become enamored w/ flying, like H had done with his father, and become a pilot.