Full Engagement – 31

Written by: Jack Orman; Watch Now: – Sorry, not available on Amazon

[We learn more back story about Harm and his flying family as he and Mac get better acquainted.]

Harm (H) talked Mac (M) into “playing hooky” from JAG and going with him flying in his Stearman over the Appalachian mountains. He let her fly and laughed as she got it into a power dive then delayed pulling it out to frighten her. They had engine trouble and had to land in an open field with a split fuel line. Harm wanted to stay near the plane but M insisted on looking for a cabin and marched off by herself until H followed. They heard gunshots which turned out to be three redneck poachers killing a game warden. When the leader of the group tried to tell H that he had bought the warden’s jeep in an auction, H asked about the police radio too. One poacher took a shot at them so they fled to the jeep and tried to hot wire it mid a hailstorm of gunfire. Mac returned fire with her flare gun as H stole the fuel line from the jeep. Mac was shot in the leg and H carried her to safety as they set the jeep on fire. They used brandy to “sterilize the wound” but she got infected anyway. They built a shelter for the night and M blamed H for caring more about his plane, Sarah, than he did for them getting out. H revealed that his grandfather had earned his wings in a Stearman like that and had been “killed flying off the Hornet in ’42.” His grandmother had kept it under a tarp, and he and his dad were going to restore it; but, his dad was shot down in Vietnam. After Hs “night blindness” crash he spent time with his grandmother and restored the plane – “it was like dad was with me.”

The poachers caught up while M couldn’t run any more so H led them away in a diversion. One poacher tracked M, however, and put down his gun to go at her with his knife and “have his way with her.” Harm returned just in time to see some struggling in the bush and pull the dying man off M, stabbed with his own knife.

Meanwhile an MP showed up at JAG with a 16-year-old fraudulent enlistment, Angel Munoz, to keep an appointment with H for his hearing the next day. Bud (B) took custody of him and began trying to contact H. After leaving 10 messages and paging many times, he went to search Hs apartment, in shambles from construction, for clues about where he was. He heard a message from M which said that she was waiting for him at the airport. The hanger mechanic told B that “this wasn’t the first time he had flown out of here with a pretty girl and not come back till the next day.” Bed assured Munoz that this was uncharacteristic and that if H said he could use extenuating circumstances then he would believe him because “he’s very good at impassioned pleas.”

The poacher leader was shown “finding” his stabbed brother and stating that “I was just going to kill them, now I’m going to make them hurt.” He arranged for tracking dogs to come “at first light” so they could find H and M. Mac “freaked out” over having blood on her hands that “wouldn’t come off” and the “look in the poachers eyes as he knew he was going to die” which was “just like Eddie’s.” She said that “Eddie was the closest thing to a friend she had while she was growing up.” He was her drinking buddy and they were “wasted” after her high school graduation dance. She remembered the cool window glass on her face as she rode with him, then being on the cement with blood all around and the look in Eddies eyes as he realized he was dying.

She said that she was in the hospital for a week before her uncle Matt picked her up and took her to Red Rock Mesa to dry her out from her alcoholism. She began blaming herself and H told her that he wouldn’t blame himself if she wouldn’t. She capitulated then called him “stick boy” and began ragging on him about him telling her that women had 10% more fat than men. The next day M couldn’t feel her leg and appeared very ill. Harm promised her that he would “get her through this.” A poacher found them and shot. Harm returned fire with the gun he took from the dead poacher; then, had to tell M that he “knew they shouldn’t let women be marines because they fell apart” in order to get her to keep walking on her leg. She told him to “shut up, you’ve made your point” as she got up and ran ahead of him.

At Munoz’s request Bud appeared before judge Morris (who had been a hard case ever since the gun incident); but, Morris wasn’t going to listen. Munoz plead that he had “extenuating circumstances” then claimed that “he isn’t a real lawyer!” After a chewing out, Bud got a continuance. The poacher with the dogs found and shot at a decoy coat they set up; then, set off it’s booby trap which hit him in the chest, close range, with a flare and killed him. Harm carried M, running, to the plane and was fixing the fuel line when the lead poacher arrived and began firing. Harm talked M through starting the engine while he returned fire; eventually hitting the poacher, but not before the plane had begun taxiing with M in it. Harm chased it, jumped in and barely missed the trees as they became airborne.

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