Ares – 21

Written by: Eric Hall, Jack Orman; Watch Now: Link to video of episode on Amazon

[A interesting episode even though it is only marginally believable. Campisano was played by the same actor who would later go on to become the weenie JAG lawyer, Lt Yuen. Also, cockpit footage was used (intentional or not) of a pilot with “Pendry” on his helmet.]

JAG officer Harm (H) was in Okinawa in his Hawaiian shirt making a flight layover while on vacation; when, Lt Kate Pike (P) came aboard, at the request of Chegwidden (C), to extract him into a murder investigation. Lt Mason had been chasing a teen thief when his shipmate, Lt Donovan, found him dead with a “Yankee go home” sign on his neck. Pike said that she had become expert into turning temporary assignments into semi-permanent exile, having been in Okinawa for over 6 months. Donovan had shipped out to war games so H and Pike shuttled out to the Destroyer, USS Daniel Boone, with Mason’s replacement, Lt Cdr Gino Campisano. They met Pike’s old partner, Cdr Brockman, already aboard the ship; and, who quickly became a pain in the ass, lording his rank over H at every chance. Pike admitted to having an affair with him but broke it off after he wanted to get married. Brockman was still pursuing her however. Campisano bragged to H that he had been the one who had trained Mason on the new ARES system which only 3 or 4 people knew how to run. It was a prototype navigation and combat computer system which could recognize, track and destroy targets by automating nearly every aspect of ships functions (all except conventional radar and ships com) – even locking doors!

Captain Evans had not allowed Brockman on the bridge and when H asked why he flippantly said: why don’t you go, “in fact I’d like to see you try!” So harm went to the bridge and reported in, claiming that he’d been ordered there by Brockman. He convinced Evans to let him speak to Donovan before the games started. Brockman took over the interview and banned H and Pike to search Donovan’s locker. They found Mason’s old computer disks, which had been stolen, so they reported to the Captain that their mission was being compromised. While on the bridge H advised Evans that he had flown in his adversary’s, Admiral Wiles, air wing; and, that he better “watch the deck” because he was a “hi lo man.” That endeared him to the captain, so, when Brockman tried to extricate him from the bridge, Evans told him to “get off” and H to “stay.”

The ARES system unexpectedly switched into “live mode” and took over the ship when Wile’s low-attack jets appeared shooting them down with missiles. The pilots did eject before explosion but couldn’t be rescued, except by surface craft because ARES was still on and targeting anyting in the air. Meg (Mg) was scheduled to arrive by helicopter shortly. And having passed “Bingo” fuel level they couldn’t turn around even though targeted by ARES. They were only saved by H circumventing ARES and using a surface craft radio. He told the helicopter to “act like a boat” slow and skimming the waves which worked. Then the ship automatically headed toward North Korea and H realized that, because North Korea hadn’t launched aircraft, they already knew of the situation. The captain armed the crew to prevent boarding with a fight.

They interrogated Donovan, who was denying doing anything, and said that “Compisano had already tried the ‘back-door’ to the program but it didn’t work.” Brockman started to beat him up but Meg stopped him saying that when she had asked Compisano about the back door he had said that he “didn’t know of one.” After overhearing the captain prepare to set C4 charges to scuttle the ship in case of boarding, Compisano sneaked away and killed the seaman bringing the charge. Harm, Pike and Brockman began chasing Compisano. Pike told Brockman not to “try anything heroic” but he was nearly shot by H after getting in the way. Harm told him to “stay here” and he bristled “are you giving me an order?” Harm said, “no, a strategy.”

Meg went to get Donovan while N Korean ships were preparing to board. Harm found Compisano holding a gun to Brockman’s throat in a compartment. He admitted to having been “inserted” by the North Koreans over a long time and threatened to shoot Brockman if H didn’t put down his gun. Harm said “go ahead I don’t like him anyway,” then when Compisano was distracted shot him right past Brockman’s ear. Harm then told the Captain that “I found him but he didn’t survive the encounter.” Meg used the retrieved codes to get in the back-door and restore the ships arms. Brockman asked H not to tell Pike what had happened and H agreed; but, told him to “let her go!” Harm invited Pike to accompany him on the remainder of his leave; but, on the plane again H was paged.

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