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In Their Own Words - Ghost Ship
Harm Mac Bud Harriet Mark Falcon
Lieutenant Commander Harmon Rabb, Jr.
By Kimberly Knipp (MCK8686@aol.com)
Our most recent case has stirred up a ton of bad memories and more questions than answers. Mac and I were called out to investigate a body that turned up on the USS Hornet. It's been decommissioned for a while and the city of Alameda, CA, is thinking of turning it into a museum. The guy who found the body, a man named Linegro, wants it busted down for scrap, but it has so much history that it would be a shame for that to happen. I was on the Hornet when I was a little boy. My dad served on it along with Captain Boone for his first tour and I still remember what it felt like to stand there and watch the jets taking off and landing. The smell of fuel, the roar of the engines, the excitement of the crew when the jets trapped -- the whole scene was charged with excitement.
Being back on the ship – even in its rundown condition – was like stepping back in time. Mac and I met a police detective named Mark Falcon who was investigating the body -- or what remained of it. I didn't at all like the interest he took in Mac. If I have to see her with another man at all, maybe it's better if I don't even know him, because I haven't liked any of the men she's dated as long as I've known her. And maybe I'm jealous. Who the hell knows? I sure can't make sense of how I feel about her. Maybe the feelings the ship was evoking in me were causing me to think of all these other things. I had my mom overnight me Dad’s letter tapes from his tours. The memories are overwhelming.
While I was looking around, I fell through an open hatch on the ship and got pretty banged up. Mac insisted that I see a doctor but I figured I’d be all right. Linegro was there, too, and something about that guy just irritates the hell out of me. I think he knows more than he’s telling us, especially after he told me he served five years about the time Lieutenant Tate – that’s the man who’s body was found – would have been killed. Anyway, after we went to talk to Linegro’s partner, Mac left to go have dinner with Falcon.
I stayed on board for a while, and I kept thinking I could see someone looking down at me from the bridge. Then I went back down below and really did see someone. I guess it would sound silly to anyone else but I thought it was my Dad. I was so disoriented from the fall that I couldn’t keep my balance. I acted like a green rookie on his first ship, tripping over the knee knockers and everything. Whoever it was I saw led me into a room and I passed out.
When I came to, my head was in Mac's lap and she was touching my cheek. For a moment that was all I could think about. I wasn't sure at first if I was dreaming or not, because I knew she'd left. Feeling her touch and seeing the worry in her eyes… there's so much more between us than just being partners. The more time that passes, the closer we seem to grow. Not only did the whole case have me stirred up, but I was spending equal amounts of time focusing on her. I mean, I hadn't liked it that she left to go to dinner with Falcon, but it’s not like I could have said anything. Anyway, after I had been hurt earlier that day she hadn't wanted to leave me and I'd had to pull rank and order her to go. I'm glad she got worried and they came back to look for me instead. She most likely saved my life.
She had some information from Bud about what happened on the Hornet. He emailed her that Clayton Webb had come to JAG and told him to warn us that the KGB were following the investigation. Now why the hell would they be following our investigation of a dead soldier? Between Bud and Webb, the information was that one of those Vietnamese pilots was onboard the Hornet at the same time it appeared Lieutenant Tate was killed and he was supposedly carrying a book of names of MIAs transferred to Russia from ‘Nam after the war. That’s when I realized the room we were in, the one Tate led me to, might have been the pilot's quarters. I found the book no one was sure existed in a hole in the wall covered by a plate. It was in Vietnamese but the names were in English and my… my dad’s name was there. He was transferred to Russia. I’m afraid to even hope that he could still be alive. I’m not ashamed to admit that I cried when I read his name on that page. I’ve been searching for so long for some kind of information about what happened to him after he went MIA. It’s hard for other people to understand what it feels like to have no resolution unless they’ve been there.
Mac and I are back home now and my new hope has been shattered. After Linegro tried to burn us out of the Hornet, we went our separate way from Falcon. When we went to the police station to get the book from him, however, the Mark Falcon they introduced us to was a black man who had no idea what we were talking about. It appears that Mac and I were duped.
I will find out what happened to my dad. If there’s any possible way, I’ll find it. I’ll never give up searching until I get the answers I need – even if it means finding him dead.
Thanks to Packrat for the beta
Disclaimer: While based on the JAG episode, this is for entertainment purposes only and no profit is being made.