Shakedown – 79

Written by: Scott Gemmill; Watch Now: – Sorry, not available on Amazon

[The JAG, Chegwidden’s, “adopted” son is introduced and found to have leukemia.]

The USS Coral Sea was experiencing chronic severe power interruptions while in the middle of flight operations in the no-fly zone. A steam pipe failure with severe injuries brought JAG officers Harm (H) and Mac (M) to investigate. A civilian contractor, Yarborrough, told them that the ship had failures for some time, including lock-outs, system crashes, and false alarms. He was described by the crew as a “smart guy who likes to remind you of it.” They met another civilian contractor, John Newman, when examining the failed pipe and discoverdd that acid had been applied to it. Harm had to rush M to the wash down station when her gloves began burning from the acid. Harm went to the bridge during a “rumble” and everyone watched him as he “armchair quarterbacked” the downing of two Iraqi MIGs. Mac observed to H that “you were good weren’t you?” He responded that “I still am, and status current.” Mac felt the need to pontificate at him about “never being able to go back, because you’re too important to JAG.” He told her it “wasn’t my choice.”

Newman told M that the acid was a spontaneous metal dissolver (SMD) used as “liquid torch” when flames were inappropriate. Mac saw H watching flight tapes and walked away. He caught up with her and she told him that she was beginning to worry again with him trading one obsession for another: “finding your father, Roscoe, now the little girl and what’s next, flying?” He told her that she was just afraid “you’ll loose me.” She merely responded “maybe, or that you will loose yourself.”

Yarborrough spilled coffee on the XO so he could be alone with the computer to install a clandestine computer program which caused power failures. Harm told the captain of either a Saboteur or Vandalism then asked Bud (B) to check the names of everyone including civilian contractors. The steam injured sailor told H that Newman had been in the engine room before the break. Harm bet dinner for a week that the guilty person was Newman. Mac bet it was Yarborrough because he was a “disgruntled, former-navy geek who tried to prove himself smarter than everyone else by creating problems then fixing them.” But only if the dinners were restaurant not home cooked cause if they served “Harms meatless meatloaf on the ship they would have to take it off the ship in the hazardous waste.” Yarborrough patched his laptop into a computer link splice in the bulkhead which produced multiple outages, alarms and failures. He and Newman went to the disbursing office when the captain shut off unnecessary power and stole over a million dollars. While they were climbing up a ladder, Newman kicked Yarborrough into the sea.

When the theft was reported H and M realized that it was just a diversion. Mac found the patch in Yarborrough’s room and when she pulled the plug all the lights and systems (magically) returned to full use and two “bingo” Tomcats were able to land. Harm confronted Newman (alone!) in Hazmat and a fight ensued breaking gooey material all over and starting a fire. Newman ripped off Hs mask which ticked him off so he knocked Newman out and drug him to the wash down station. Harm flummoxed the captain, when he asked how he had figured it out, by saying that it was because of “Harm’s meatless meatloaf.” Mac suggested that H stay aboard for a few days, and that saving a million dollars would probably be worth a ride in a Tomcat. Harm got his ride.

Bud was sworn into the bar and got his insignia. His first case was defending someone who had relieved himself in public. When B complained that he was going to defend “the Urinator,” H told him that he could always “pee-bargain” and M said “there were no small cases only small bladders.” Bud found a Urologist to testify that his client had “prostatitis.” Commander Coulter called H to check on Dar Lin. Harm told her that she was in foster care awaiting adoption and he checked on her two times a week. Coulter told H to “call me sometime when you don’t need something.” He said that he would.

Lt. Sherkston (sharky) was introduced as Chegwidden’s (C) “son he never had.” A few years back, when he stole Cs car, C offered to not press charges if Sherkston would join the Navy. He became a seal and C became his “mentor.” He was currently in Washington for a medical checkup at his wife, Shelly’s, insistence for a “bug he had since returning from the gulf.” It was actually found to be leukemia and Shelly had to come to C for help because Sharkey was refusing treatment. She claimed that it was because Sharkey was afraid of being weak in front of C. Sharkey told C that he had seen the treatments NOT work on his father when he was eight. Just took away his fathers dignity and will to fight. Chegwidden then turned to “tough love” by saying he would make a few calls and have him out within the hour. He held up the nurse call button and told him “just ring the bell. Be like all those whining, bawling mamma’s boys who dropped out of SEAL training. Donuts and hot coffee for all pukes who wanna quit.” He told Sharkey that this was the “battle of your life. If you don’t have the guts to see it through then you will loose and you will die so- ring the bell.” Sharkey didn’t, and they both had a “hoo-yah” fest.

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