Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Empty Quiver - 175

Chegwidden appointed Mac as interim JAG while he recovered at home with an injured back, hand and foot and his new dog that helped save his life in the mountains. Meredith tried to help name the dog using Shakespeare names but nothing worked until it got into Cs chair and he said "get out dammit." The dog responded to his "name": dammit.

H defended Lt O'Dell the disbursing officer aboard a carrier who was being "framed" for fraud. (Unrealistically) Judge Helfman was progressing with the hearing without adequate investigation being done. H wanted to go aboard his ship but was told no by M. She didn't order him not to go so he went anyway. When he got there he found Turner just leaving to go to the USS Crawford on an investigation and the base going to lockdown. He was stuck on base and couldn't get back by Helfman's time of 1500. He told O'Dell to go ahead with the hearing and if he found anything on board his ship he would talk to the convening authority. H printed out all fax's and copies from the machine's memory and found several conflicting memo's and letters for armored cars sent after O'Dell was arrested but over his signature. The Master Chief helped H discover that PO Marin was the likely suspect. Marin disappeared from the ship and intercepted an armored car which was delivering $10 million for use during deployment that he had re-routed for 1 hour earlier than expected. He tried to escape in a boat because of the lockdown and was arrested before he got away.

Turner investigated a missing nuclear torpedo warhead from the submarine Crawford. He meticulously re-traced the entire 19 hr loading process. First four torpedoes were temporarily stored in tubes while the rest were loaded. When the ship went off shore power the ship went dark for a moment. When the lights came on a PO noticed the "loaded" tag on one tube had fallen to the floor. He put it back on without looking and hung the "empty" side. When they finished loading they moved three of the torpedoes from the tubes back to the racks- leaving the one with the mislabeled tag in the tube. Water slugs were fired believing the tags without checking so the torpedo dropped out onto ocean bottom below pier.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Heart and Soul - 174

The government was taking legal action against a contractor of defective aircraft Heads Up Display (HUD) units. Chegwidden wanted Harm to take him up in an F14 in order to "understand" the problem which was making pilots disoriented. C loosened his belt before a maneuver, hit his head on the canopy and accidentally pulled the ejection lever blasting him out of the plane an into a snowy forest. His survival gear consisted, in part, of a rubber raft, tent, matches and a condom (no winter clothing). He set up the tent and built a fire on a flat snowy place, chipped a trough in a frozen log, built a fire, heated rocks, melted snow in the trough and caught the water in the condom- both to drink and to mark an arrow in the snow. The fire melted the ice on the lake he had made camp on dropping him and his gear in the water. Freezing he began hallucinating about being by a fire with Meredith on Valentines day and receiving the large silver heart inscribed with: "A woman would run through fire and water for such a kind heart," words from Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor.

H was told that "he had done enough" by "dumping a two star in the forest" and should go back home. Instead he took the worn Hum-Vee he was offered for transportation into the forest to look for C. He found Cs original camp site but he was gone. Just as the search helicopter had picked up the signal beacon C was attacked on the arm by a wolf knocking him into the raft which slid down the mountainside. The helicopter saw the signal look like it was on a snowmobile then disappear. C fired his signal flare but it misfired and hit a log setting it on fire. It kept him warm enough until an abandoned dog found him. He followed the dog to some garbage cans. Hs Hum-Vee wouldn't start so he began following Cs trail on foot and was frustrated because C kept moving around. Finally he stumbled into a diner and asked to start a search party and offered a reward. The waitress pointed to a booth in the corner where C was sitting huddled in blankets drinking coffee. He was taken to the hospital where he met Meredith and told her that he loved her. Startled she thought he was under stress so he told her of the heart and said "I've had to run through fire and water to get to the feelings I have, are you backing out?" He also introduced her to the "other lady" - the dog which he had decided to adopt.

M was judge on a case where Turner was prosecuting PO Matthew Cantrell for putting a small video camera in the female head ostensibly to look for mice. Bud's only defense was that he was doing it in the line of duty and as a favor to the women to "prevent the mice from making electrical sparks and fire while the women were using the facility." M didn't buy it for a minute and told B & H to work it out before she had to rule on it asking B to "look at my face" and see if he would like the verdict. B & T negotiated him out of the service. M tried to keep Cs disappearance a secret but Coates, who she had sworn to secrecy in order to watch the phones, told Tiner then Harriet then B then T. Finally the whole crew knew more of the details than M.

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Friendly Fire - 173

Chegwidden assigned Mac and Bud to prosecute, and Turner to defend, Lt Cdr David Ridley who killed three and wounded three British Troops in "friendly fire." Harm was appointed Judge to both M & Ts surprise and questioning of his "objectivity." H told M that he wouldn't do any "pay back" for when M was on the bench but that didn't seem to be very assuring to M. He asked for Coates as his trial clerk who read books about judges being "most effective when they are invisible" and that "asking a lawyer to be a judge was like asking a boxer to be a referee." When H seemed to take umbrage T pointed out that there were "hunters who killed saber-toothed tigers with sticks and stones while there were others back at the cave who were not so courageous but wise and fair." H asked if they were afraid that he wouldn't "divvy up the meat fairly." Coates told him that he was a "natural born killer." H kept claiming he was going to be impartial and fair; however, he was anything but. During Ms opening statement he stopped her then corrected her then let T editorialize to his hearts content and overruled Ms objection. When the SECNAV came in to observe the proceedings H called them to the front and admonished M regarding favoritism.

Ridley & Lt Cdr Barry, his wingman, were coming back to the coral sea from a long mission requiring 5 refueling's when they saw ground tracer fire. He requested permission from AWACs to use his machine guns but they told him to "hold." Instead he descended ostensibly to "take a mark" and saw some "green fire" so he dropped a laser-guided bomb just as AWACs radioed that they were "friendlies." The only thing T could come up with as a defense was the combined use of stimulants and depressants making him "paranoid and jittery" even though they were commonly prescribed by the flight surgeon. The SECNAV questioned Cs appointment of an aviator as a judge and tap danced trying to influence for a conviction without being seen as undue influence. He commended M & B on their first day and commented on the level of hostility. M suggested to him that if he wanted to help he should "not sit on my side of the trial." M called Lt Kaufman from the AWACs plane, T deferred his cross so H began asking questions which seemed to favor the defense and overruled Ms objections. She told him that "if I'm going to loose this case I'd like to do it without any help from the bench" and asked him to recuse himself on grounds of bias." The SECNAV stopped his car and talked to H who had to threaten him with unlawful command influence. C refused to remove H from the case so M wanted to resign from it. C wouldn't accept that either.

T pressed the point of mixing "go and no-go pills" with the flight surgeon and asked for him to make a conclusion. M objected. H sustained the objection then did Ts job for him. T editorialized and baited the doctor but H overruled Ms objection. Then B objected to something and H sustained it so M began letting B do the objecting and cross examining. H debriefed with Coates and figured out what had happened but couldn't tell anyone. Coates found that "judges must refrain from helping any party that assists their case." So he gave exculpatory evidence to M & B knowing of their integrity. They gave the electro-magnetic resonance report from the AWACs to T who realized that it was the generator that they were trying to fix that sparked and Ridley had mistaken for fire. Ridley was found "not-guilty" but H found his activities as inappropriate and ordered a Field Evaluation Board to consider his future as an aviator in combat. The SECNAV told H that is 1st assignment to the bench was "distinctive." C wanted a volunteer for a couple of months as a judge and H told him to "count me out." He said that he was more of a "hunter" and when C looked puzzled said "the type to hit saber-toothed tigers with a stick." So C appointed M as temporary judge.

Tuesday, February 4, 2003

Each of Us Angels - 172

[A well written role playing episode which used Iwo Jima footage for inserts] An old man visited a grave in Arlington and found a young girl sitting on the gravestone. He told the story of who's grave she was sitting on to the girl which was a role playing episode. Bud = Dr Rayburn, an arrogant, abusive doctor who diagnosed several people dead who weren't; Mikey = PO Rowe, a wounded corpsman who lost an eye and hit on Connors (Coates); Harriett = Joni, a compassionate nurse at odds w/ Rayburn over corporal James Tanner, an 80% burn victim who he was just letting die; Turner = seaman Thomas, orderly, who talked to dead soldiers as though they were alive while taking them to the morgue so their buddy's didn't feel bad; Chegwidden = Catholic chaplain dispensing advise; H = Lt Ron Graham who was declared dead by Rayburn, but stopped his nurse (Mac) from pulling blanket over his head; Mac = Beverly, a nurse who fell in love with Graham; Coates = Ens Jane Connors, a flustered, "greenie" nurse chased by Rowe; and Meredith = Lt Marianne, an unfeeling, distant, chief nurse.

Rayburn used the formula "age plus percentage burn equals likely hood of death" to figure Tanner had 102% likely hood of death and withheld care except for morphine. Joni criticized him but he belittled her for not knowing the formula. During a bombardment Joni was wounded and knocked unconscious by friendly fire. Rayburn said she would never awaken but she did. Rayburn also chastised Beverly for talking to the unconscious Graham but she did and he woke up "to see who was talking." Beverly and Graham fell in love and they "played doctor" in the storage room. He told her that he had promised his old football friend and hometown that he would "bring back James Tanner from the war." She affirmed Graham's statement that he wouldn't be able to keep the promise. When Tanner died Graham felt guilty. She told him that "Each of us are like angels w/ one wing and can only fly by embracing each other." The ship was hit by a kamikaze and set afire. Beverly ran back to the ward to turn off oxygen tanks & helped evacuate patients but was killed by falling equipment.

The old man telling the story eventually confessed that he was really Graham (H) and had married Joni (Ht) after Beverly (M) died. He was met at the cemetery by his granddaughter (also played by Ht with altered voice) who looked "a lot like her grandmother."