Tuesday, February 23, 1999

Silent Service - 77

The submarine Watertown surfaced in middle of norwegian sailboats and Chegwidden (C) sent Harm (H) and Mac (M) to investigate while they were having significant disagreements. Commander Flagler gave M XO Eustis' Palm Pilot to use while aboard. Mess Chief Basilio said that the boat was "not right," having more injuries and illnesses than he'd seen in 7 years. An entire watch got EColi dysentery, ruptured eardrum and scabies requiring sterilization of the entire mess. He said the corpsman was the "hardest working squid on the boat." Chief Hodge, corpsman, said the crew had 4 back-to-back patrols without liberty and had "shared stress." He pressed on Ms foot to "cure" her sore neck. The boat was ordered to N Korea to find an underwater missle facility so they were stuck for 14 days and had to "hot bunk" in the enlisted barracks. The enlisted thought it was funny to harass M with the trash compactor until she faced them down and promised to "haul them out the forward trunk and feed their #!@ to the crabs." H tried to settle her about the "pranks" but finally suggested they "just try to get along." He said he would be more sensitive and she less. She said if he was more sensitive she wouldn’t need to be less. A seaman was killed by a ruptureing high pressure valve which lacerated his Vena Cava. It was probably due to a tiny nick in the packing of the valve during maintenance. Flager didn't accept the XOs suggestion for burial at sea and ordered the food cooked and the ice cream eaten so they could use it for a morgue. At dinner M brought up a "cursed boat" and was shot down by Flagler. Hodge announced that seaman Bluestein had "hepatitis A" so everyone had to be tested. H deduced that someone was trying to hurt people because the crew hadn't been ashore in four patrols to contract hepatitis A. He and M thought it might be the XO due to his lack of empathy for the crew and being the only one on the watch that didn't get sick. He told H that he was the only one who was allergic to wheat and didn't eat the pancakes. Flagler was angry that they woke him up with their accusations and no back-up.

M told H that if they pursued it they would "be the most unpopular suests at the party." H said "as long as we dance together" and M retorted "and you lead." They got into another row that their anger wasn't just "a bump in the road." H said you "honestly resent me" and M said "and you have no faith in me." She suggested they talk about it and H said "this isn't a marriage" so she walked away. H asked Bud (B) to check the records of all the crew and he asked what it was like on a submarine. H told him he could find out by "throwing away all his fresh fruit and vegetables, putting lube oil in his humidifier, sleeping on a shelf in the closet and going to work before sunrise." C came on the line and asked him if he was operating with the full consent of the skipper or had done anything irregular, unlawful or ill advised. B called back that the crew were outstanding and mentioned that Hodge had received commendations two times before for outbreaks of Legionnaire's disease and serious bacterial infection- three epidemics in a row! H went to the infirmary and found an empty bottle of ipecac (emetic) so confronted Hodge with his Munchausen By Proxy syndrome. He had called M down to the infirmary but Hodge struck him in the throat causing spasm then injected him with sedation. When M came H couldn't speak. She told Hodge to accompany her to the bridge to inform the CO. H got to the computer and emailed Ms PDA that it was Hodge. Hodge put ammonia in Ms eyes but she kicked him to the ground and ran into the infirmary. She and H hid in the bulkheads but Hodge came in and tried to inject H again. He dropped the syringe when H hit him but had the advantage and slammed H around. M turned on steam jets; but, when H was downed, was choked into unconsciousness by Hodge. H stuck him in the back with the syringe to subdue him and rescue M.

H was still hoarse when they left the ship. Flager was down on himself for hand picking Hodge and M gave him encourgagement. He told her that "healthy self-criticism was useful but we should never underestimate our support." He said "you two are quite a team. Do you always work this well together?" M told him "when he lets me do the talking."

Tuesday, February 16, 1999

River's Run - 76

A teenager, Brian Yarrow, was shot and killed in a national forest where a SEAL team was conducting exercises. Lt Rivers received gunfire and returned fire only to find the dead boy. Chegwidden (C) sent Harm (H) and Mac (M) to investigate. FBI special agent Al Grenin, who previously and maliciously charged H for murdering a Russian mafia agent, said the FBI was tracking a federal building bombing fugitive in the area. Warren Toobin, who's bomb had killed a man, had become a local "folk hero" for the areas' separatists. They left food and supplies for him. Rivers told H & M that his team was only traversing through the forest to get to their normal exercise area and he had been shot at. When he heard that no gun was found he went UA to track who had shot and caused him to kill the boy. C gave H & M 24 hours to bring him in before filing. Having lunch in a small café, H revealed to M that he had washed dishes in the "Eagle and Key café in Julian California" during a high school summer break. Rivers found Toobin's hide-out and began tracking him. He was bit by a copperhead snake and was captured by the separatist gang. Harriet obsessed about the "dead little boy" and Bud (B) had to stop her. She was given her lieutenant JG bars by C and she said she had "completely forgot her two years were up" (yea right!). Grenin climbed on C for sending H & M into the area claiming they would "screw up his investigation."

A local red-neck thug, ex-sailor Lewis Beecham, started harassing M in the café and when H stood to back him down his gang had to be stopped by Mr. Yarrow. Yarrow said his son Brian didn't have a gun and that the "corrupt government had subverted our liberty and undermined the law of the people." He told them to leave but H put a tracking device on his truck which led them to the compound where they were holding a kangaroo "peoples" court for Rivers. M went to higher ground to try and call out on their cell phone while H went in to the compound and was allowed to "defend" Rivers. Yarrow's daughter testified that Brian had his gun in the forest and that her father had gotten it back the next day. Warren Toobin testified that Brian had brought supplies then saw soldiers coming and assumed they were after Toobin. He shot at Rivers, just to scare him, and allow time for Toobin to escape, but was shot. Toobin took the gun, gathered the casing and hid "while the soldiers went by." None of Rivers' men were there and when he tried to say so the judge gagged him. Yarrow quoted the Declaration of Independence and spouted rhetoric about his opinions of the government. H pointed out that the founding fathers said the established government shouldn't be abolished for light and trivial reasons so they gave the Constitution so that it wouldn't be. The separatists ignore the Constitution. Rivers only had returned fire, just like any of them would do. Brian had died because of the hate and suspicion his father had planted in his heart. C assigned B to see if the Forest Service was pressured to close the normal insertion area so the SEAL's would need to use the alternative near Toobin. Lewis' gang on the jury found Rivers guilty without deliberation and the judge sentenced him to be hanged just as a helicopter flew over. They put H, M & Rivers in a shed while Toobin escaped out a tunnel and the rest got their guns in a standoff. H realized that the autopsy had shown Brian was shot in the back exonerating Rivers. They surmised Grenan had done it and told Yarrow; but, he wouldn’t believe. C came into the compound and promised "someone would pay" to no avail so Rivers stood out to let Yarrow shoot him. Yarrow's daughter stopped him saying "she didn't want to loose him too." As Rivers limped out he told C that a Copperhead had bit him. C said "I hope you bit him back." [The producers felt the need for epilogue titles saying that Rivers had been exonerated and was back instructing SEALS, Grenan had been temporarily suspended and faced possible manslaughter charges, and Toobin was still at large. To my knowledge none of those plot lines were ever followed up.]

Tuesday, February 9, 1999

Webb of Lies - 75

Webb (W)called Harm (H) from a ship, where he was under fire; but, H was kissing Jordie so he couldn't be bothered answering. By the time H picked up the reciever, the phone went dead. The next day Chegwidden (C) was notified that Ws burned body was found on a freighter and he assigned Mac (M) and H to find out who did it. CIA agent Paul Candella broke into Hs apartment saying he was investigating Ws one minute call the night before. Bud (B) found that a Japanese scientist, Shoei Wakita, was one of the bodies found with W and he had been working on a superconductor. When Wakita found out that the Bradenhurst corporation was the one funding the research, he disappeared with the prototype. When H heard the words "Bradenhurst," he immediately went to Leavenworth to interrogate Clark Palmer, but found an imposter serving his sentence. H knew the murders on the freighter weren't performed by Palmer- they were too messy. Worried about H, M stayed with him overnight; but, she couldn't sleep so field stripped Hs pistol. M told H tearfully that "everyone around her keeps dying:" W, her ex-husband, and Dalton. H got the DUI charges against Jordie dismissed and she brought him copies of the autopsies. All three had been killed with similar weapons but W was also burned so had to be identified by dental records.

C told them that the CIA suspected a mole inside it who kept funneling information to ex-DSD agents (competing with them as "intelligence beltway bandits.") Palmer bluffed his way into CIA headquarters to obtain records on the superconductor and was nearly intercepted by Candella. H & B went to "feed Ws fish" and found that he had been a musician competed in the 1988 Olympics' modern pentathlon. Candella interrupted them and seemed surprised when H told him that Palmer wasn't in Leavenworth. Palmer was waiting in the backseat of Candella's car and they spoke, knowingly, about the superconductor. Candella said Palmer would get it when they found it. Palmer gave him a cigarette, laced with high tech poison, which killed him. H visited Ws mother who said that she and her husband, Neville, were both intelligence agents and Clayton had gone "into the family business." His mother took a call from Lt Abby Cowan, who didn't exist in military databases. M discovered that the name was an anagram for "Clayton Webb." H found W alive on the ship with the superconductor. W said that he had believed Candella was the mole so couldn't tell anyone in the CIA that he had arranged to get the scientist and the superconductor into the US. Palmer trailed H to the ship and got the drop on them. He had arranged a "trap" for Jordan at Hs apartment in order to bargain for the superconductor. W was already shot in the leg so, when they escaped from Palmer, H sent W off the ship to get help for Jordie. Palmer, however, shot H and got the drop, again, on W who he forced to retrieve the superconductor. Just as he was going to shoot W, H appeared and shot Palmer three times while chasing him onto the deck. He went back for W and when they returned found Palmers body gone. H found Jordie asleep in his apartment but Palmer had left a photo of himself taped to the back of the door.

W said that Palmers ultimate revenge would be to leave H in the "wilderness of mirrors"- a term for extreme paranoia suffered by "spooks" in the business too long. Bud was third in law class. He angered Harriet by wanting to wait for M to read his grades to him, like she always did, for luck.