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Subject: Time in Between : continues

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Date Posted: 17:37:37 04/02/08 Wed
In reply to: Peter 's message, "Time in Between" on 17:36:27 04/02/08 Wed

Part three Time of Discovery

5 Dec 2003
Jag Headquarters

Mac walked out of her office. It had been a long trying day in court. It was one of those cases she wished Harm was around so she could talk to him about it. They would brainstorm and come up with a winning strategy.

But he wasn’t there anymore so she would have to muddle through it and hope for a break. Sturgis was the prosecutor so she didn’t expect him to make any blatant errors. Maybe she could get Sturgis to plead bargain.

Yeah right, ever since he had his six reamed out for giving only an adequate defense of his client, as said by Bud, Sturgis had been anal about everything. He didn’t look for compromises in court anymore.

She wondered what was going on as she saw half the staff standing in front of the news screens in the bullpen. She saw Chuck DePalmer talking away about something. It must be something big if he was reporting on it.

She walked over closer to one of the screens to listen more closely and stood next to several of the staff members.

“This is Chuck DePalmer. I’m standing here on the deck of the Seahawk. They have spent the last twenty five minutes clearing the deck of all aircraft. This is a highly unusual move .... but the information that I have received from the scuttlebutt that is running amuck is ..... ”

‘Come on Chuck, get to the point. Why do you always have to drag it out? You’re boring us.’ thought Mac. She needed to get a cup of coffee before finishing up some paperwork. She felt like leaving early today.

“They’re clearing the deck for a C-130 to land. I have checked with a few of the old seadogs on board to find out if this has ever been attempted before. They told me it has happened only once before almost thirty years ago dating back to the Viet Nam War.” reported Chuck.

‘Who would be crazy enough to try something like that?’ Mac thought. She thought they had gotten rid of all the crazy pilots several years ago. The call sign ‘XMAN’ came to mind.

Then a familiar thought hit her, it had to be Harm. Only someone crazy enough to have a dirty nuke fly up his six would be crazy enough to try and pull this stunt. It had to be him. No one in the Navy would even think about landing a C-130 on a carrier. They would all head towards land.

Carolyn walked over to where Mac was standing. She saw that Mac was deep in thought. It didn’t look like she was paying any attention to the screen. She wondered what Mac was thinking about.

“What’s going on Sarah?” she asked.

“I think we’re going to see the latest of the great escapades of Harmon Rabb Jr., the former ... great ... Naval ... aviator. No one else would be foolish or stupid enough or even brave enough to pull off this stunt.” replied Mac.

“What stunt is that?” asked Carolyn.

“Land a C-130 on an aircraft carrier.” replied Mac shaking her head. She wondered what Harm was trying to prove.

“Why’s that?” asked Carolyn.

“Because the wingspan of the C-130 is almost as wide as the ship, the ramp isn’t long enough by any stretch of the imagination for a plane of that size to stop, and I don’t think the wire can hold something that big and heavy.

F-18’s are a hell of a lot smaller and they sometimes break the wire.” sighed Mac.

“It can’t be all that bad. If he didn’t think he could land it, he would just bail out.” replied Carolyn.

“Maybe that would be true for most pilots, but I’m not so sure about Harm. He doesn’t like to admit failure. Something else must be going on that Chuck doesn’t know about.

Harm wouldn’t have chosen to land on an aircraft carrier if he didn’t have to especially now that he’s no longer in the Navy.

Add the fact that Chuck DePalmer is reporting on it, something subversive must be taking place.” explained Mac as she noticed Chuck was speaking again.

“The C-130 is unloading all its spare fuel keeping just enough to make it to the ship. From what I’ve just learned from the LSO, the C-130 will be hitting it’s air brakes and throwing the engine into reverse in an effort to stop the plane before it falls off the deck and into the ocean.” reported Chuck.

“This is Zulu Bravo Epsilon niner niner fiver fourah, Seahawk please come in.” radioed Harm.

“Sir, we have contact with an unidentified C-130. It doesn’t appear to be registered to any military organization that I’m aware of.” a petty officer reported to the Captain.

“Must be a rogue operation, probably CIA. Ask them what they want petty officer.” cursed the Captain.

“What can we do for you Zulu Bravo Epsilon niner niner fiver fourah.” radioed the petty officer.

“I need permission to land aboard your carrier.” replied Harm hoping he wouldn’t have to spend much time convincing the Captain.

The Captain winced when he heard that. He also winced when he recognized the voice of the pilot.

“God damm you Rabb.” he muttered to himself. “What the Hell are you doing out here?” The Captain picked up the mike.

“I think you should return to the nearest land available Zulu Bravo Epsilon niner niner fiver fourah. This aircraft carrier isn’t large enough for you to land.” ordered the Captain.

“Sir, you’re closer. I don’t think we can make it back to land. Our fuel tanks were hit. We’re leaking fuel. I’ve lost half my engines.” replied Harm.

“Then you should bail out and ditch the plane Zulu Bravo Epsilon niner niner fiver fourah.” replied the Captain.

“I would Sir, but I have more passengers than I have Chutes. Many of them are small children. They would all drown Sir.” argued Harm.

The Captain turned to the CAG and asked “Has this ever been done before CAG, LSO? Is it possible for a C-130 to even land on a carrier.” The C-130 was a very big bird, possibly as large as the ship.

“Yes Sir, it has been done before, ..... once, ..... over thirty years ago. We would have to clear the deck of every plane Sir. The wingspan of a C-130 is as wide as the ship Sir.” replied the CAG.

“Zulu Bravo Epsilon niner niner fiver fourah, what is your ETA before you reach here?” asked the Captain.

“Thirty minutes Sir.” replied Harm.

“That doesn’t give us much time Zulu Bravo Epsilon niner niner fiver fourah. We have a lot of jets to move out of the way.” informed the Captain.

“Yes Sir, I can try to reduce speed to give you more time, but I need to keep the plane in the air. Half of my engines have been damage. I don’t have any extra power.” replied Harm.

“Make sure you get rid of any extra fuel before you attempt to land Zulu Bravo Epsilon niner niner fiver fourah. I don’t want a fireball on my ship.” ordered the Captain.

“Yes Sir.” replied Harm.

part four A Hero Once Again

Mac stood there watching the screen. Her mind began to wander. She began to think of another time not so long ago when Harm came back from a mission over Afghanistan with his plane all shot up, one engine out, and fuel leaking out of the other.

She had prayed that day for Harm to be safe. She was glad she didn’t have to deal with that emotion very often because Harm didn’t fly much anymore, but unfortunately he did have too many close calls.

She began praying again that Harm knew what he was doing. Her hope was that Webb had been truthful with her when he told her that the CIA only utilized his piloting skills for their missions.

She saw the fuel being ejected. Soon, real soon she would know if Harm would once again do the impossible, be superman one more time. Soon she would see if Harm was still alive or that he had finally killed himself.

Ten minutes later the C-130 landed catching the wires. As expected it didn’t hold, the plane was still moving forward. She could see the wheels were locked with smoke spewing everywhere.

She could hear the squealing of the wheels as the plane was slowing down, but would there be enough runway? Could Harm get the plane to stop. She could see it was going to be very close. The plane was slowing down very fast as it approached the end.

Finally it was over. The plane had stopped with only a few feet to spare. She could see the hatch opening up. There were people quickly exiting the plane, about fifteen in all.

Then she saw him. She saw Harm walking along with a great big flyboy smile that she loved so much. The smile that always left her knees weak and shaky.

He was carrying a small child, a girl by the looks of it. She shook her head. He always manages to get the girl.

Once again Harm was a hero, but at what cost? She knew the CIA missions succeeded because they worked undercover. No one knew who they were or where they were located. In twenty four hours the world would once again know who Harmon Rabb Jr. was.

She saw Bud hurrying her way. As usual he was very excited, especially since his mentor had once again saved the day. He was alive.

“Ma’am!” huffed Bud as he stopped in front of her. “Did you see it?”

“Yes Bud, I saw the whole thing. I saw Harm.” she replied.

“Wasn’t it amazing? It had been done only once before. I didn’t know the Commander could fly C-130’s. He’s a hero. He saved all those people from terrorists.” rambled Bud.

“That he did Bud, That he did.” sighed Mac as she listened for a few more minutes before returning to her office to finish up her work for the day.

Part five Time of Rewards

23 Dec 2003
Jag headquarters

It was an unusually quiet time of year at Jag. Normally there would be reports of altercations between drunken sailors and marines, domestic abuse cases, and petty thefts. This year was quite different.

The thought going through the staff was that many of the potential troublemakers were deployed over seas on carriers, in Iraq, and/or in Afghanistan. There was also the case, many of the units stationed in Europe and South Korea weren’t allowing their personnel to return to the states either.

They thought there might be a possible need for those troops if action broke out in the Middle East that couldn’t be handled by the personnel that were currently stationed there. The commanders wanted their troops close by so they could respond quickly if necessary.

Carolyn was debating whether or not she should get some of the other ladies in the office together for a night out before the Christmas season overwhelmed them, particularly Harriet who like to invite people over for a Christmas Eve dinner.

She deserved a night out with friends after dealing with Bud’s recovery and rehabilitation and two rambunctious boys who never stop.

She went into the break room for a late afternoon cup of coffee. She saw Mac pouring herself a cup while talking with Jen about her plans for the holidays. Carolyn’s eyes lit up. She could kill two birds with one stone.

“Hi Mac, what’s happening? Do you have any plans for tonight?” greeted Carolyn.

“Hi Carolyn. I’m trying to finish up some paperwork before I leave for the day. I have a few more presents left to wrap. Thought I might finish reading a book I started a few months ago.” smiled Mac.

She was wondering what Harm was up to. She missed having him around, especially at Christmas time. He helped ease the ache of not having a family of her own.

“I was thinking about asking a few of the ladies in the office if they would like to have a ladies night out. I heard about this new nightclub that opened last month. It has a dance floor, some live entertainment, and lots of good looking men.” ginned Carolyn.

“You’re more than welcome to join us Jen. The more of us that go the merrier it will be. It’s time to let our hair down and party.” invited Carolyn.

“Thank you Ma’am, I would be happy to join you and the Colonel.” smiled Jen.

She had heard about a great new place. It had great food and music. She felt it was always better to go to new places with friends. It made it easier to fend off the unwanted and to leave if you didn’t want to stay.

“Sure Carolyn, what the heck. It’s been a long time since I’ve gone out.” smiled Mac.

Maybe it would take the edge off of not having Harm around this year. Last year had been the best Christmas she could ever remember having. It had been so special. They had cooked dinner together and had later opened their presents in front of a roaring fire in the fireplace.

“Good, if Jen doesn’t mind helping me, we can make the rounds around the bullpen and invite everyone of the fairer sex. I want to let everyone know they’re welcome.” smiled Carolyn

2000 hours
Hooligans Night Club
a Local Singles Bar

Harm was sitting around back stage. Once again he was out of a job that he liked. What was he going to do next? He could try and get a job as a lawyer in town. There were plenty of firms available, he had great connections with the government.

He was sure many firms would be eager to snatch him up. He grabbed the beer sitting on the table next to him and took a swig. He had won an amateur talent show last week and the owner offered him a couple of sets tonight to sing and make a few bucks.

He had sung a few songs earlier in the evening and had another set scheduled for later. He was nursing a beer thinking about how different this Christmas would be compared to last year’s.

He wondered how he had screwed it up so bad. Last year at this time he was involved with the most wonderful woman he had ever known. They were finally heading in the right direction. He had thought about asking Mac to marry him before it all fell apart.

First there was the distraction with Singer and her pregnancy. Why had he become so involved with it? He had asked her if Sergei, his brother, was the father of her baby. She had told him Sergei wasn’t the baby’s father many times, but he wouldn't listen to her.

Why hadn’t he believed her? Because he never believed anything she told him. He always assumed the worse whenever he was dealing with her although that belief was usually ill founded.

He had never caught her doing anything wrong. He shouldn’t have disliked her so much just because she had set such high goals for herself, to become the first female JAG. He guess he was angry with her because he felt Mac would become the first female JAG.

But when one thought about it. If he became the JAG, would there ever be an opportunity for Mac? Did Mac even want to be the JAG? If her goal was to have a family, maybe she wouldn’t have stayed in the Marines.

His mind was straying. Get back on the subject of what he was thinking about. Because he couldn’t let it go, it eventually led him to being thrown in the brig for her murder, a murder he didn’t commit.

He had been elusive with his answers with NCIS making it look like he had something to hide. It could be argued that he was obstructing an investigation therefore obstructing Justice. Upon reflection, he couldn’t blame NCIS for thinking the worse about him.

Then Webb came up with one of his ill conceived and convoluted plans which was doomed to fail from the start, they always did. He wanted Mac to pose as his pregnant wife. Why did he need a pregnant wife?

Somehow he convinced the Admiral to let Mac go with him without backup. Mac agreed to go with him. Did any of them think about what could go wrong and if it did, how were they going to rescue them?

Harm didn’t know whom he hated more, Webb for getting Mac involved in one of his schemes or the Admiral for making him resigned his commission to go after her when the mission failed.

He hated Webb for pursuing Mac. He was supposed to be his friend. You don’t try to steal a woman away from a friend. He hated Webb for taking Mac away from him, but then again she was never his to lose.

He hated the Admiral because he abandoned Mac to die in a foreign country. A Seal was supposed to never leave a man behind. What was wrong with him? Didn’t he care for his people anymore or was he only concerned about his own butt?

Did another year in the Navy mean that much to him? What did he have, thirty four, thirty five years in the Navy? What was one more year? He was ready to resign a year early after the Lindsey Report.

When he rescued Mac and completed the mission, he should have been welcomed back a hero. Instead he was castrated of any self worth he may have had left. He was denied the opportunity of returning to the Navy.

The edge had to go to the Admiral. The man had destroyed his life in a matter of a few weeks. The Admiral had denied him of any emotional support when he was in the brig. He allowed him to rot for more than a month in the brig, and he didn’t let him go after Mac.

If he was offered an opportunity to rejoin Jag now, he didn’t think he could do so if the Admiral was still there. As far as he was concerned the Admiral was a disgrace to the uniform and the Seal medal he wore on his chest.

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Time in Between : continues till the endpeter17:38:32 04/02/08 Wed

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