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In Their Own Words - Ghost Ship

Harm    Mac    Bud    Harriet    Mark Falcon

Major Sarah MacKenzie 

By Amy (sandersonam@cs.com)

Another day of work, another plane trip. Right now we're headed out to California, Alameda Naval Air Station to be exact, to investigate a body of a pilot found on the USS Hornet who was killed sometime during the Vietnam War. It sounds like an ordinary case, although a challenging one because of the years that have passed; but while we were being briefed by the Admiral, Harm commented that his father had flown off the Hornet, maybe even with the deceased, so nothing about this case is going to be normal. From what I know about Harm, saying that he is obsessed with his father's loss is an understatement. He's a bulldog on our usual cases, but I know he's going to attack this case and not let go until he finds the answers that satisfy his questions. Poor Bud didn't expect Harm to be so serious about this, and got left behind to do research. If I didn't know Harm, I would have been upset by his reprimand that this "was an investigation and not a vacation"; but by now I know how he gets and just took it in stride. My role in this investigation is going to be that of the detached observer and a speed brake to try to keep Harm from doing something stupid. I hope he'll also let me be a friend and help him deal with his memories.

~*~*~*~*~*

I'm liking this case less and less.

It's taking an emotional toll on Harm. I suppose I should have expected it, but I could really see it as he gazed up at the Hornet when we first arrived. Then he called his mom, asking for some letter tapes that his dad had made. It wasn't hard to see the residual hurt and longing in Harm's eyes as he listened to them. Then he went off by himself to "take a walk with his dad." I was worried about him, but I knew that he needed that time. Looking back, I wish I had gone with him because he somehow managed to go through a chain (how can you miss a chain?) and fall about ten feet. Harm insisted that he was okay and didn't need to see a doctor, but I'm still concerned. Going out to dinner tonight with Mark Falcon is the last thing I want to do; but Harm wouldn't let me back out. Maybe I shouldn't be that concerned about Harm. He is pretty hard-headed at times.

I'm not sure what to make of Mark. Most of the time he is charming, but there are times where I can sense a darker side to him. Sometimes it's just a comment or a fact that seems out of place, but at times it is as overt as his questioning of Kochifos, a tactic that is just unacceptable in my mind. But then again, maybe I'm just being a little over-sensitive.

I hate to admit it, but this case is really getting to me. I know it sounds foolish, but the Hornet, which is really nothing but a pile of rusting metal, spooks me. It isn't just the darkness of the passageways or the creaking of the ship. Instead it's more of a feeling that is difficult to describe. It's as if someone or something doesn't want us to find out its secrets.

~*~*~*~*~*

As we were figuring out all the clues of this case I have never seen Harm so determined or so irrational. At first he was certain that he had seen his dad, and then he was just as certain that he had seen Lieutenant Tate that we were meant to find that notebook with the list. What happened totally defied logic, but for Harm to actually find the list it was like it was meant to happen. When Harm realized that his dad had been transferred to Russia, it was a painful reminder of the past and yet a confirmation of his belief in his father's survival for all these years. I've never seen him so vulnerable before. Our escape from the fire was nothing less than a miracle and I can't dismiss it as luck or an injury-induced hallucination. Something or someone led us out of that ship.

Finding out that the person we believed to be Mark Falcon had disappeared with the book was devastating. Intellectually I understand that I had no reason not to believe "Falcon," but I still feel guilty. Harm was injured and I let him down, first by leaving him and then by letting that book out of my sight. I suppose I should feel good that at least Harm now knows that his father was transferred to Russia, but what about all those other families that still wonder what happened to their loved ones? They also deserve some answers. I don't know them, but I let them down, too.

~*~*~*~*~*

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.