The Black Jet – 71

Written by: David Zabel; Watch Now: – Sorry, not available on Amazon

Jack Keeter (Harm’s (H) old roommate, rescued from Cuba) had multiple severe computer malfunctions while flying recon over Iran in a stealth F117. Under a plan of Webb’s (W), he was looking for reported nuclear weapons using new technology which allowed the Stealth to automatically land on a carrier. He was able to land in Iran and walk out to prevent anyone from finding the Stealth; but, he had been found by the Iranians and taken to prison. JAG officers Brumby (Brum), who had previous assignments in Iran, and Mac (M) were assigned to help defend Keeter in court. Brumby magnanimously deferred to H which prompted M to tell him that she didn’t “hold hard feelings” for him trying to pin a murder charge on her.

Keeter gave H a coded letter to his dead father, with the coordinates of where he had landed, and told H “no martin baker” (i.e. he didn’t use martin-baker ejection seat). Harm told M that in his third year at the academy he had gone UA during finals before Christmas. Before anyone knew he was gone, Keeter had found him and brought him back. Webb’s plan was to give H some new circuit boards and have him rescue the plane and fly it back to the carrier – leaving M and Keeter behind for “State to do the best it can after the trial.” Bud (B), on the Seahawk with W, strenuously chastised him telling him H lived by his “duty to country and loyalty to friends” and shouldn’t have to choose between them. He said “there must be a better way” and W changed his plans into rescuing Keeter as well. Webb used Sina Kazzari, a CIA agent of Iranian extraction with US citizenship, to help them rescue Keeter and escape. However, by the time they reached the disabled Stealth, Bedouins had found it.

Mac asked Keeter if “H had always been this cocky,” and was told “only around women.” She negotiated that she would stay with the Bedouins as collateral for one million in gold to be sent later. Harm advised her that sometimes people in her situation punished themselves by taking risks and she retorted that she would “pay her dues at her article 32 hearing.”

Kazzari actually turned out to be a double agent, who had notified the Iranian military. The army came rumbling over the desert just after H had shot Kazzari, using an “ol’ Western movie distraction trick;” and, just as Keeter was able to start the generator for take off. The SECNAV had refused to send in air extraction support so W “setup” Chegwidden into overriding the decision. Bud confronted him about it and was told US jets arrived and helped defend the plane against Iranians while H took off. The next thing you saw was H trying to land on a carrier with warning lights flashing and his being killed in crash; but it turned out to be only in a simulator – to teach H a lesson that he couldn’t have landed anytime the warning lights were flashing. He was asked if he would have tried, and responded that yes, he probably would have! When they were worried about M and Keeter making it out, Brum said “she’ll be back, I promised I’d take her skiing.” She did arrive, with Keeter complaining about her ability to tell exact time by her “body clock.”

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