Hgeocities.com/jagdiaries/WethePeopleHarm.htmgeocities.com/jagdiaries/WethePeopleHarm.htm.delayedx|qJL7OKtext/htmlpQ̠"7b.HThu, 15 Nov 2001 02:13:30 GMTMozilla/4.5 (compatible; HTTrack 3.0x; Windows 98)en, *|qJ7 We the People - Harm

In Their Own Words - We, the People

Harm    Mac    Clay    Bud    AJ

Lieutenant Commander Harmon Rabb, Jr.

By Julia (JXQ456@aol.com)

I've had more eventful days, I'm sure, but the last forty-eight hours are starting to look like they may take first place.

It all started off well enough - it started off great - which ought to have been my first clue that I was in for it. Regardless of my opinion of the man, meeting the President was an honor, although I appreciated the medal more. Landing that Tomcat was probably one of the most gut-wrenching things I've ever done - flashbacks to my crash the whole time, and never mind my eyes - and it's nice to know the effort didn't go unnoticed.

Leaving the Rose Garden I was informed that Lieutenant (j.g.) Bud Roberts, who I'd met years ago on the Seahawk and then again during the investigation of Diane's murder, had been assigned to my section and would now be my aide. Bud is inexperienced and tends to trip over his own feet, metaphorically speaking, with alarming frequency, but he's got a lot of enthusiasm, and when it comes to technicalities, legal or otherwise, he knows what he's doing. I heard he talked Webb - Clayton Webb, "Special Assistant to the Undersecretary" or more accurately, a CIA intelligence officer - into letting him accompany the spooks in their helo; not an easy task, intimidating a veteran like Webb. Maybe "irritating" is more appropriate - I hope Webb doesn't lose his cool that easily all the time. I have to admit that it was entertaining, watching Bud repeatedly get under his skin.

I can imagine a day in the not-so-distant future when Bud and I are opposing counsel. It'll be interesting to see who wins.

In the parking lot I met my new partner, Major Sarah MacKenzie, USMC (she prefers to be called Mac; interesting, but not the *most* interesting thing about her).

I saw her as we approached, of course, but I didn't *see* her until the Admiral began his introductions. And then I could only stare.

She was exactly like Diane, in every way possible: her voice, her face, the way she held herself - hell, even her hair was cut the same. The only difference was the Marine uniform.

"Deja vu" doesn't begin to describe the sensation; it was probably one of the most disorienting moments of my life. Somewhere in that disorientation I remembered to shake her hand, but I'll be damned if I remember letting go. She even *felt* like Diane.

I didn't believe her at first when she said that the Declaration of Independence had been stolen. Who in their right mind would steal the *Declaration*? It's not like you could sell it on the black market. We soon found out, though, courtesy of Webb, and then the nation got to see the "criminal" on live television: Colonel Matthew O'Hara, formerly Marine Recon and currently the leader of The Defenders, a militia group in Idaho.

The objective itself was straightforward: recover the Declaration. Period. It wasn't easy, but it wasn't as difficult as some of the situations I've had to find a way out of. Working with a new partner made it a hell of a lot more challenging, though, and I won't even go into the frustrations of having a spook like Webb hanging over my shoulder the entire time. Once I pried Mac's connection to O'Hara out of her, things became a lot simpler - or they would have, if we didn't have the added problem of eluding Webb. Webb... he's a spy, through and through. I'd be surprised to learn if there *wasn't* some aspect of this investigation he hadn't planned out and accounted for. Except Bud's big mouth, that is, and our resourcefulness.

I didn't miss the look Webb gave Mac when he revealed who was behind the theft, or the startled expression on her face when she heard the name. I suspected something was going on under the surface, and I found out later that I was right: Mac is O'Hara's niece. She recovered quickly, though; she's got composure, if that's what you want to call it. Most people would say she's an ice queen, to judge from the way she kept shutting me down every time I tried to talk with her. I don't know if it's her resemblance to Diane or something else altogether, but I have to disagree. She can be cool, no question about it, but there's more to her. I guess she'll have to get to know me before I get to see that, although she let her walls or whatever slip a little when we were at my apartment.

Damn it all to hell - I just realized that she could see me through the glass "wall" in front of my bed while I was changing uniforms. Smooth, Rabb, very smooth; she probably thinks I did that on purpose. "Insight into my character." Damn. So much for first impressions. She didn't seem to like my apartment much either, or the cigars. (Those are damn nice cigars, too.) And joking with her only made things worse, then and in Arizona. I actually got a few smiles and a laugh out of her when we reached Red Rock Mesa, although I think that was more a reaction to talking about fossils than any specific thing I said.

Mac loves dinosaurs. Who would've thought? It's an unlikely hobby for her, or for her uncle. Two hard-nosed Marine officers excited over a handful of dinosaur tracks in the desert... not something I'd expected to see on this case. Hell, I like dinosaurs too, but I was seven or eight years old the last time I gave them more than a passing thought. I guess that with Mac as my partner now, I'll have to brush up on my paleontology or be faced with a lot of conversations where I have no idea what she's talking about. Not that she talks to me much as is.

I had been forcing her to give me information throughout the entire investigation, and then she came right out and told me she was an alcoholic. I didn't know what to say - she doesn't look like an alcoholic, which I know is a stereotypical, politically incorrect thing to say, but it's true - and I have to say I was surprised by her up front manner, especially since just a few minutes before she'd told me she'd keep her personal reasons to herself. I'd imagine that a history of alcoholism fell under the heading of "personal reasons", but I guess she felt like sharing. It was a shock, frankly, and one I wasn't expecting.

Nor was I expecting her to point a gun at my back and declare me her prisoner. I think it was then that I realized just how different Mac is from my previous partners. Meg never pulled a stunt like that - she always left that sort of thing to me - and I doubt she would have even *considered* it. Kate might have, but not without telling me the plan first. It could simply be a jarhead thing, but it's more likely a matter of personality, of attitude. Ironic when you think about it, really, because Mac's attitude would probably best be described as "take-no-prisoners."

Damn, that sounds stupid, but what the hell. I've gone nearly two days without sleep now - can't expect to outdo Shakespeare.

"Nearly two days" - Mac would know the time down to the second. If Diane could do the same trick, she never told me. Mac was evasive when I asked how she did it; either she doesn't know herself, or she's "playing it cagey." I still can't believe she thought I was holding back information - but then we'd only met a few hours before. I guess her resemblance to Diane was throwing off my suspicions, because I trusted her almost from the start. I'll have to watch out for that from now on; the last thing I need is to have my instincts dulled around her. Of course, she's already handed me over to a militia group. She can't do much worse.

Out in Arizona, I told Mac that I kept forgetting that I didn't know her, and that's the truth. By now I'm used to it - her resemblance to Diane - and the deja vu doesn't overwhelm me every time I look at her or listen to her, but I still feel like I've known her for a long time.

I'm not sure I like that feeling. I'm not sure I want to know *why* I don't like it.

One question still bothers me: where was Mac hiding the gun? That sundress of hers didn't offer a lot of opportunities for a concealed weapon, and I'm almost positive she didn't have time to remove it from the truck.

I'll have to ask her. Not anytime soon, though - we both have bigger problems to worry about.

My first impression of Colonel Matthew O'Hara was that he was sincere about changing America for the better. I've questioned enough people to know the sound of truth when I hear it, and O'Hara was telling the truth - what he *thought* was the truth, at least. That impression was borne out when I met him face-to-face. He spoke with conviction, but he was open to reason, and I never really bought that line about the $500 million anyway (c'mon, it came from Webb - he'd already spread false information, by his own admission; why would I believe his superiors in the Agency would behave any better?). What really convinced me, though, was that he didn't intend to kill me when I was his hostage. Someone operating solely on greed wouldn't have let me live, not when I had the potential - however small - to ruin their plans.

No, I believed O'Hara, and I'm not sorry I offered to defend him, though it was a spur-of-the-moment thing (rare for me. Must've been the desert sun). The trial starts soon, and it's going to be a difficult one. I'm no longer certain that I can completely clear him. He may have to settle for a reduced sentence - rather, *I'll* have to settle, which I hate to do.

But he *did* steal the Declaration of Independence, and two men were killed in the process of recovering it. I was there, and I know it wasn't his fault, but it looks bad nonetheless. Another weight on a guilty conscience, another reason to defend O'Hara: I killed one of them myself.

I've done risky things in the past, but hanging from the landing skids of a helo while it's a thousand or so feet in the air was a new experience. For a few moments I thought I was going to join that Marine sergeant on the desert floor. He's the one who ought to be prosecuted, but he's beyond all justice but God's.

Add the rumor about a half-billion ransom demand and it looks downright ugly. As I said, difficult. Mac's career is safe, though, and mine has enough dings already that one more questionable case won't stand out too much. Besides, I'm a recipient of the DFC - that ought to balance things out. Maybe. If I win... It could turn out to be a pyrrhic victory. The media will cover it, of that I can be certain, and depending on the spin, Colonel O'Hara and his defense team could be heroes. They could just as easily be villains.

Worst case scenario: O'Hara will do extensive time in Leavenworth, nothing will come of his Internet revelations, my career will be dead in the water, and the American public at large will forget what was sacrificed in the name of their freedom. I hope to God it works out better than that.

~*~*~*~*~*

Disclaimer: While based on the JAG episode, this is for entertainment purposes only and no profit is being made.