Catacombs of the Heart
Part Nineteen

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JAG Headquarters
Falls Church, Virginia
Monday, November 10, 2003
0933 Hours (local)

The Admiral asked for an update on the case after the staff call again. The undercover mission was being kept quiet at the office, though it was not necessary to keep it secret. After the events of the last few weeks, people that weren't involved really didn't want to get tangled up in it anyway.

Mac spoke, "Sir, we believe we may have come into contact with our guy on Saturday night."

"But you don't know for certain?" the Admiral asked.

"He fit the description and we have one other person down as saying that he is a weird guy, Sir. Apparently he only comes to the club occasionally, it is not a weekly thing."

The Admiral looked at his people. "So, all you have is a strange guy that matches the description?"

"Yes, Sir," Harm spoke.

Jen nodded. "Sir, we know it isn't much, but it is more than we have had. We think that this mission is worth at least continuing just to talk to him. He might not be the guy, but he might be."

The Admiral nodded. "Valid point. I believe you are good to go for another week or so. If this guys shows up again," he said turning to Jen, "I want you to speak to him. Do whatever you can to find out if he is our man."

"Aye, aye, Sir," Jen responded.



JAG Headquarters
Falls Church, Virginia
Thursday, November 13, 2003
1634 Hours (local)

It was Thursday when all hell broke loose. Things had been building all week and everyone knew an explosion was imminent, but no one knew when, where, or why, it would happen. Leaving the courtroom after breaking for the day, Mac turned to Harm. "I don't believe you!" she practically yelled.

"What?" he asked innocently.

"Oh, don't play Mr. Innocent with me! It's been a long time since you've pulled that stunt. I expected better from you!"

"Mac," Harm began in a calm tone of voice.

"Don't even start! You intentionally misled me, made me look like a fool in there."

"You made your point. You were well covered for everything," Harm pointed out.

"Only because you've stabbed me in the back before," Mac said angrily as she stabbed at the button for the elevator. "But I still looked like a floundering idiot in front of the members!"

The elevator arrived and Harm, always the gentleman, let Mac board in front of him. Maybe it was their lucky day, or maybe their arguing, but no one boarded with them. "It wasn't that bad, Mac, and you recovered nicely. And don't blame me for this, I merely pointed something out to you."

"Knowing I would look into it. You knew Lieutenant Wilson had nothing to do with that incident."

Harm shook his head. "Never ask a question you don't know the answer to, you know that rule as well as I do."

"I thought I knew the answer. I thought you were being a good guy, wanted to see the bad guy punished, even if he is your client!" The elevator deposited them on their floor and Mac stepped off as she continued. "But I was wrong! I should have known. He's a pilot and you always cut them more slack."

"What was that?" Harm asked as he moved to catch up with her. She was striding angrily into the bullpen and he couldn't believe she had just brought up the old topic he thought they settled.

Mac stopped abruptly and turned around to face him. "These THINGS!" she said angrily, stabbing him in the chest, pressing her finger into his gold wings, "You think they make you so special and important, that you belong to a brotherhood and you have to stick up for anyone who strays from your ideal. You have to help them because they are your brothers." Mac turned around and started walking away, continuing, "I'm sorry your own brother walked away from you because you were too boring. You couldn't help him. What was it?" she asked, turning back to him, now in the middle of the bullpen. "A helicopter pilot wasn't good enough for you?"

Harm stood there with his mouth open for a moment before he grabbed her arm and dragged her into his office, out of the center of attention, although everybody continued to watch them as he slammed the door.

"What the hell is this about, Mac? If anybody is drawing unreasonable conclusions about their client, it's you! How about you always sticking up for the woman? Just because her father abused her doesn't mean the two of you belong to a sisterhood and you have to believe every word out of her mouth!"

This time, Mac's mouth hung open. "I don't believe you," she said angrily. "I can have a bond with a friend over this same issue, but not a client? You are incredible! Did you ever think, for a moment, that maybe your client is guilty?"

"Did you ever think that maybe yours was making it up?" Harm asked.

"Why would she do that?"

"To get attention! Isn't that what people do, play the victim card? That's all it takes for people to make you believe them!"

Mac's eyes narrowed, but Harm kept going.

"I'm sorry your father was an ass and your mother left you, but not everybody has been through that. And not everybody that does go through something bad like that betters themselves for it! Your client might be one of them!"

"And I'm sorry about your father! But at least you knew he loved you, even if you only knew him for six years! At least you didn't cry yourself to sleep every night thinking he hated you! Or get drunk everyday because you thought nobody loved you! But he didn't have to become an obsession! Grow up, Harm! Let your dad go! And while your at it, let this stupid idea of pilot camaraderie go, too! You aren't a pilot anymore! Twice a year, maybe three or four if you're lucky! But you are a lawyer and sometimes, pilots are guilty!"

Harm turned away from Mac, pain etched into the lines of his face. "Get out," he demanded.

"Gladly! At least out there I can talk to people who don't stab me in the back and have moved on past the age of six!" Mac said as she yanked the door open and slammed it behind her. A moment later, the door to her own office slammed, sending a shiver down the wall.



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