Tuesday, November 24, 1998

The Black Jet - 71

Jack Keeter (Harm's (Hs) old roommate, rescued from Cuba) had multiple severe computer malfunctions while flying recon over Iran in a stealth F117. Under a plan of Webb's (Ws), he was looking for reported nuclear weapons using new technology which allowed the Stealth to automatically land on a carrier. He was able to land then walked out, to prevent anyone from finding the Stealth; but, was found by Iranians and taken to prison. Brumby (Brum), who had previous assignments in Iran, and Mac (M) were assigned to help defend Keeter in court. Brum magnanimously deferred to H which prompted M to tell him that she didn't "hold hard feelings" for him trying to pin a murder charge on her. Keeter gave H a coded letter to his dead father, with the coordinates of where he had landed, and told H "no martin baker" (i.e. he didn't use martin-baker ejection seat). H told M that in his third class year at the academy he had gone UA during finals before Christmas. Before anyone knew he was gone Keeter found him and brought him back. Ws plan was to give H some new circuit boards and have him fly it back to the carrier leaving M and Keeter behind for "State to do the best it can after the trial." Bud (B), on the Seahawk with W, strenuously chastised him telling him H lived by his "duty to country and loyalty to friends" and shouldn't have to choose between them. He said "there must be a better way" and W changed his plans into rescuing Keeter as well. W used Sina Kazzari, a CIA agent of Iranian extraction with US citizenship, to help them rescue Keeter and escape. However, by the time they reached the disabled Stealth, Bedouins had found it. M asked Keeter if "H had always been this cocky," and was told "only around women." She negotiated that she would stay with the Bedouins as collateral for one million in gold to be sent later. H advised her that sometimes people in her situation punished themselves by taking risks and she retorted that she would "pay her dues at her article 32 hearing."

Kazzari turned out to be a double agent, who had notified the Iranian military. The army came rumbling over the desert just after H had shot Kazzari, using an "ol' Western movie distraction trick;" and, just as Keeter was able to start the generator for take off. The SECNAV had refused to send in air extraction support so W "setup" Chegwidden into overriding the decision. B confronted him about it and was told US jets arrived and helped defend the plane against Iranians while H took off. The next thing you saw was H trying to land on a carrier with warning lights flashing and his being killed in crash; but it turned out to be only in a simulator - to teach H a lesson that he couldn't have landed anytime the warning lights were flashing. He was asked if he would have tried, and responded that yes, he probably would have! When they were worried about M and Keeter making it out, Brum said "she'll be back, I promised I'd take her skiing." She did arrive, with Keeter complaining about her ability to tell exact time by her "body clock."

Tuesday, November 17, 1998

People vs. Mac - 70

[Follow-up from previous episode] Chris Ragle (Ms ex-con husband from whom she hasn't gotten a divorce) did not leave as promised and ran to Mac's (M) apartment as sanctuary from loan shark Benny Turpin. Turpin broke down her door and beat up Ragle but not before M had broken the nose of one of his thugs. When they left with a 24-hour ultimatum for repayment of "$15 bills" Ragle said "honey" I'm home. M went to Harm's (H) apartment to talk but found Bobbi Latham (L) and left. H was back from "straightening out a congressional committee" and found new Mic Brumby (Brum) at JAG with "open ended" TAD orders from his Australian command. Brum began disagreeing with H from his first meeting in a visible and challenging way. He tried to force his "advice" on H about M; and, being annoyed, H told him that M was "just a friend." M was noticeably distracted but told H "I already tried" when he attempted to get her to talk. He said "let's talk now" but was interrupted, again, by a phone call from L. When M got home, Ragle was still there and when she threw him out he began blackmailing her about her previous tryst with her ex-CO John Farrow in Okinawa. Chegwidden (C) had defended him last month for sending troops into Haiti without orders and, although found guilty, was awarded no punishment (The good of the service). Over Ms objections, Farrow said "I'll talk to him." Ragle was shown answering his hotel door and saying "I've been expecting you," then H answering his phone to M saying "I've been arrested for murdering my husband."

C told everyone the next day that Ragle had been murdered with a 9mm Sig Sauer, having partial prints of both Farrow and M, but "inconclusive" powder residues. The police thought it was a "lovers triangle" but turned the prosecution over to JAG. Brum slammed Hs request to defend M for emotional bias; but, C assigned him anyway, and gave Brum and Bud (B) the defense of Farrow. He told them both to "play nice" or be replaced. Ted Lindsey prosecuted and told C "things have changed here since I left." C replied "you don't know the half of it." Brum exposed the affair and justified it to H that it was "to show they acted differently and not complicitly." H accepted that but then Brum tried to pin the murder on M and H asked for "severance." In front of L, Brum said that he "was convinced M killed her husband" and accused H, B & C of all being "a little in love with M" and "blinded." H said that he was an "arrogant bastard" and Brum said they would eventually "strip blouses" to which H agreed. C said he "didn't think much of" Brum's tactics but left them both in their positions. At the severance hearing, Farrow reigned in Brum who told the judge that his "client would refuse to answer questions that would incriminate M." L exclaimed "is this the 5th by proxy?" and Admiral Morris asked if this was just their "attempt at setting him up for an appeal." The severance was not allowed. Farrow said that he had gone to Ragle with $20K but Ragle pulled his gun and was killed in their struggle. Lindsey called it a lie because no money was found. M was upset that Farrow was taking the blame and wanted to testify. When H wouldn't let her she said "either you put me on the stand or Brum will." She testified that she had gone to talk to Ragle, "one last time." When she was leaving Ragle had pulled his gun out and put it to his own chest saying "then you better kill me now." He told her she "wouldn't have a life" because he "would follow her and kill her man and her kids and her." She claimed she pulled the trigger. She was shown cleaning out her desk and taking boxes to her car. (Unbelievably) Brum was shown "making time" with her saying that "I wish there were something I could do to comfort you." She had him hold her boxes then slapped him saying "there, now I'm comforted."

H found that money had been withdrawn from Farrow's account so went, with B, to shake down the hotel manager who had done time for breaking and entering. They blackmailed him into admitting he had seen Turpin leave the room after M and Farrow had left. Then they met Turpin in a library with Brum and blackmailed him into testifying claiming to have a security videotape of his break in to Ms apartment. Turpin testified that "nobody killed Ragle." Turpin went to collect but when M came hid in the closet. Ragle got the gun and gave it to M telling her to shoot him just as she had testified. She threw it away and Farrow came with the money. Ragle grabbed the gun and was going to shoot Farrow but M wrestled with him and it went off. Turpin said if M hadn't shot, "Farrow would have been dead and probably her as well." Lindsey accused Turpin of being "paid to lie" but he said "no, I'm paying them." H gave the $20K to the judge that Turpin had returned. The case was dismissed and Farrow told H to "try and keep her out of trouble." Brum tried to chat up M again (!) and she said "maybe." H found it incredible! She said it was "to give him a chance to apologize." He disillusioned' "the men you pick!"

Tuesday, November 10, 1998

Mr. Rabb Goes to Washington - 69

[An important episode to the "back story" where Mic Brumby came, Congresswoman Latham came and attached herself to Harm, and Christopher Ragal came, announcing himself as Mac's ex-con husband.] A "recon" team, at El Bakkar Kuwait before the Gulf War, was accused of using Sarin nerve gas on three American scientist traitors helping SadDAM. Sgt Clyde Morrison was currently the only survivor after PO Cary Dugan, who had videotaped the mission, committed suicide. Congresswoman Bobbi Latham (L) was holding House Committee hearings and asked Chegwidden (C) to assign Harm (H) TAD to her office to help be her "truth detector." She said "I'll owe you one," and C told her that he had "every intention of collecting." Norman Delaport, ZNN investigative reporter- a "legend", broke the story with a videotape of the mission which ended with Dugan being told to "stop videotaping." Deleport got Sgt Richard Ford, who found the dead American bodies 2 days later, to say that Morrison had been carrying Sarin canisters, which is what they had died from. Mrs. Dugan was uncooperative with H and said she had already talked with Delaport. The official copy of the videotape was missing and Delaport, who L knew, refused to answer Hs questions claiming "privileged information." Colonel Cobb testified that no nerve gas was used but congressman Martin stupidly asked "why were your men dressed in chemical suits then." L was clearly jumping to conclusions and bullying witnesses- "playing for the publicity." H prompted L to ask Ford questions that showed he could have been mistaken about seeing canisters marked with "GB" (for Sarin) and later told H that he had "made her look foolish." Cooking pasta for L in his apt, H told her that she "had been seduced by the story." Seductively L told him "you don't give an inch" and H said "I'm not good with compromises." She said "you have to meet half way," and H answered "sometimes half way isn't close enough" before he kissed her.

H asked L to delay hearings so he could find the facts then quit when she said no and wanted him to stand with her doing a Deleport interview. L came to his apartment and called him names (quitter, about "pride") trying to get him to come back. Bud (B) found Morrison in a bar. He told H that they only used teargas; but, Deleport had already made his mind up and could "get you to say anything if he talked to you long enough." B used "Millie," his old flame, to find the original Videotape of operation Sirocco, which had been misfiled. H gave it to L who asked "am I going to like it?" H said "no" and she said she had "already taken a position" so he told her to "cut her losses" she was on the wrong side of the truth. She trapped Delaport into saying the tape was only 18 minutes long and that he had not paid for it. Mrs. Dugan said it was 22 minutes long and that he had paid for it. H showed that, in the last 4 minutes of tape, the canisters were labeled "CS"- for tear gas. H accused Delaport of deliberately leaving things out- and he said no "I decided what to put in." L told Delaport that the committee was going to investigate him.

Mac (M) was assigned to defend PO Ellsworth who had bulldozed his congressman's local headquarters. She went to pick up Mic Brumby (Brum), exchange officer from Australia, at the airport and confused him with someone else because he was traveling in civilian clothes. C assigned Brum to assist M with Hs case load. He told her that his mother was American, he had dual citizenship, had graduated from Georgetown in law and had passed the DC bar ten years ago. M left Brum with Harriet (Ht) to show around and he said "I've seen all I need to" while looking at Ms departing back. Christopher Ragal came to visit M, now that he was out of prison, and asked her why she hadn't gotten a divorce from him. M told him that they were married "twelve years ago when my hair was a foot longer, skirts a foot shorter and was using Clearasil." She said that she was drunk on their wedding day and during their honeymoon. He wanted a "second chance" and she told him she had already given him that. He said that after he did "3 - 5 for armed robbery" he followed her to Okinawa but didn't have the nerve to face you with Major Farrow. M said that she had just "never gotten around to the paperwork for divorce" and didn't want him around. Ragal was shown explaining to his bookie, Benny Turpin, why he "hadn't gotten the 15 bills from M yet." Brum came to Ms apartment "bringing cases" and said he "wouldn't mind a beer" so she told him "it was late." Ragal came to JAG because M didn't answer calls. He reminded her when they "rode their Harley from Flagstaff to Gallup in the rain and she lost her shirt." He said he wanted her back and she asked for the truth. He told her about owing Turpin $15,000 but "I don't mind if I get my leg broke, I just want you back." He said he was leaving the next day. M was shown with Ragal at the airport giving him $3,000, all she had, and saying "I don't want to see you again," before she kissed him. He was shown not boarding the plane after the kiss, to the title "… to be continued."

Tuesday, November 3, 1998

Angels 30 - 68

Harriet (Ht), pregnant, burst into tears at the drop of the hat. Chegwidden (C) found her crying about Bud (B) not having called from his assignment in 29 Palms. He explained to her that it was "HORMONES" and showed her two scars on his balding head. One from 39 stitches given him by the Viet Cong and the other where his ex-wife had knocked him unconscious 6 hours with an electric can opener in her 2nd trimester. He invited Ht to dinner with him but told her not to "make him regret it." Later, she nauseated him with a sardine Dagwood sandwich then threw out his risotto lunch when she cleaned out the fridge.

Harm (H) and Mac (M)investigated the loss of a Tomcat aboard the Coral Sea. Lt Cdr Rice (Karma) and his RIO Anne "go-go" Bender ejected after "popping up" between attacking Iraqis and his wingmen, Lt "slider" Morrison and Lt Brian "bear" Hass in the "no-fly" zone. The Iraqis had drawn them in with one aircraft then came up behind with another. The Iraqi was on sliders tail with a lock. Karma got a lock on the enemy craft but didn't fire. Instead, he "charged" the craft shearing his wing and ejected before it exploded it's fuel into a fireball. PO Moses said the plane was OK when it left. Go-Go said that Karma had acted like he didn't hear her telling him to take the shot and kept saying "what?" Karma finally admitted that he had "heard a voice" ordering him NOT to fire. The doctor said Karma was in good health then the CAG climbed on H for "saying something that made Karma resign." H and M found Karma and Slider in a fight and had to break them up. H asked M which on she wanted to take and she said "I'll take the cute single one." "Just kidding," she said. H found Karma in the chapel where he claimed that it was God who had ordered him not to fire. The radio tapes revealed Karma saying "what?" but no other voices or transmissions. They even asked Webb if there was a new "radio jamming device" that they didn't know about. H told M they needed "advice from a higher source," and M asked "C?" The chaplain said that he believed Karma was honest and heard something. "Whether it was God or not was between Karma and the Man upstairs." M retorted, "unless the Man is a Woman."

H tried to talk Karma out of resigning. Karma asked him if he thought his night blindness was for a purpose so he could help people as a lawyer. When H said he didn't believe so, Karma advised that there "may be a grand scheme that we are only privy to now and then." Upset, Karma said that the "laws of physics: gravitational force, centripetal acceleration and Bernoulli's principle, "are my ten commandments." "There is not room for God, or angels, or anything like that- I didn't talk to God, why is he talking to me?" "I don’t want to stop flying," he told H, "but I don't ever want to hear that voice in my cockpit again." H asked the CAG to let them re-fly the mission and was given 1 hour in the air with Slider as his RIO. Karma told H he got his call sign by surviving a couple of close calls. H told him that flying a combat jet was the "most dangerous job on earth. Who needs a higher power more than the men who drive them." And "even if the voice was God," H said, "he told you not to fire. He didn't tell you not to fly." They went up together and M advised H to "be home before the streetlights come on." Karma asked H, "are you ready?" "Always!" H said.

At altitude, Karma and Bear began hallucinating and went unconscious, on autopilot, from bad oxygen. They were heading toward Iraqi airspace and M suggested they just "disengage the autopilot." The CAG blew up at her for her naivety and she was sent to check the source of the bad oxygen. They found a "bad O ring" which had contaminated the oxygen. Then the CAG apologized and assigned her to get a technician from Grummand on the phone. The technician said that if the planes sensors got sent out of parameters by tilting greater than 45 degrees the autopilot would automatically disengage. H was ordered to fly his wing tip under Karma's and use Bernoulli's principle to lift it over 45 degrees. "Who's brilliant idea was this?" H asked. The dubiously designed plan was to disengage the autopilot then have Karma, who had been unconscious to the point of seizures, wake up in time to pull out of the power-dive in time to not hit the ground. (?!) It did work but Karma was told that when he had "heard the voice" he was flying on "clean" oxygen. "Then why did I hear the voice?" he asked. H said "I guess it wasn't your enemies day to die, like today wasn't yours."