JAG

"Unstable"

By

et-spiritus-sancti

Disclaimer: Based on the hit show, "JAG". No infringement intended. All characters belong to "Balisarius" productions except for Private Arial Thomas. No profit being made.

This is my first JAG fic. I've been watching the show for a while and I think I've got most of my facts straight enough for me to write a fic. If you notice anything technical that's wrong, please mention it so I don't
embarrass myself further with my lack of information. . .lol Though in the beginning, it may sound similar to the Jessica Lynch rescue,
this is in no way reflecting the incident. Warning: This is a very angsty story concerning what happened to Private
Thomas.

Thanks a bunch for readin' my story! ---Sanctus

(A/N) I'm not sure if Quantico has an asylum so I've conveniently put one
there. How kind of me, *snicker*.


 Chapter 1: Rescued

Rostav Prison, Chechnya 

So cold. Wet. Dark. Their voices, so hard and their hands too strong. She'd been broken down. A United States Marine had been broken down into this bag of bones and used for only their pleasure. She did not even fight anymore. She let them use her, and she didn't care. It was frightening, at first, as one might imagine. They'd come in at any hour of the night, whenever they wanted her. All she could do was scream as two of them held her down and the other smeared himself on her again and again. She tried to picture home. Anything to distract herself from the pain. It hardly ever worked. She soon found that it was useless to fight. But they liked it that way. They liked seeing her fear them and whimper in obvious pain. So she finally realized that if she didn't display any emotion, they'd get bored. It wasn't as fun to them. But once they'd leave, all she could do was weep. Weep for her home for help that never came. And she had to wonder---why hadn't she been saved yet? Why hadn't he come for her? Did he even care?

***

"—and this just in, the missing Marine, Private Arial Thomas was rescued last night. But her condition seems to quite unstable—" Harm switched the radio off before he could even comprehend what the reporter was saying. He lied there a moment slowly letting his senses come to. Rain fell softly outside and Harm sighed as he rose slowly to a sitting position. Another Monday. Why did he suddenly feel like he should go back to sleep?

***

1430 ZULU

JAG Headquarters

"Well, you look like hell." Mac said as she poured a cup of coffee.

Harm merely grunted in response as he took the Marine's cup. Mac chuckled and filled another mug. "Bad weekend?"

Harm shrugged and he sipped the coffee and then scrunched his nose in disgust. "Did Tiner brew this again?"

Mac took her mug back and sipped it. She made the same expression. "I think this is from Friday."

Harm made an incredulous chuckle. "Wonderful."

Mac started to brew a new pot when a report on the overhead caught her attention. She sighed and shook her head. "Unbelievable." She murmured as the ZNN report talked about Private Thomas's rescue. Harm let his eyes wander to the set as well.

"The CIA has finally found the location of Private Arial Thomas, a native of Virginia, who was reported missing in action four months ago." The reported said, "The eighteen-year old Marine was rescued last night from a Chechen prison nearly a hundred miles from where her platoon was stationed. Private Thomas is somewhere in the United States at an undisclosed location, but we've received reports that her current condition is critical. We'll have more information for you as this story unfolds."

Mac shook her head again in obvious disgust. "I can only imagine what they did to that girl."

The report then displayed a formal picture of the Marine. Harm blinked a couple of times as he stared at the photograph. Mac glanced over, noticing Harm's dumbfounded expression. "What's wrong?"

Harm started. "I—nothing. She—she just looks familiar."

Mac narrowed her eyes. "Well, they've only been showing her picture since her disappearance." She said sarcastically.

Harm bit his lip. "Yeah, but—I haven't paid too much attention to it."

Mac shrugged and was about to reply when Tiner walked up to them, standing at attention.    

"At ease, Tiner." Harm said with a yawn.

"Sir, Ma'am, the Admiral would like to see you."

Mac nodded. "Thank you, Tiner."

Harm turned to leave, but stopped. "Oh, and Tiner, try to remember to empty the coffee pot before Monday rolls around."

Tiner glanced over at the half full pot, his eyes widening slightly. "Uh, sir, I did. I brewed this an hour ago."

***

"As you've undoubtedly heard," Admiral Chegwidden said, "Private Thomas was rescued last night."

The two officers nodded. "Yes, sir."

"Thomas is being treated at Bethesda, but she's apparently being transferred to the Quantico Asylum."

"Quantico Asylum, sir?" Harm inquired.

The Admiral nodded. "She's suffering from acute schizophrenia. Apparently, she's had it mildly most of her life, but she's kept it under control with medication."

"And the Marine Corps accepted her, sir, despite this?" Mac asked.

"Evidently they didn't even know she had it," Chegwidden said as he read the report, "And she didn't bother to tell them. Anyway, whatever happened to her in Chechnya triggered severe symptoms and they've got her chock-full of drugs to keep her under control."

Harm skimmed over a file in his hand. "It says here that she was separated from her platoon during a routine training mission. She wasn't even in Chechen territory."

Chegwidden repositioned his glasses. "That's why I'm sending you to Quantico to investigate. We want to know why she was separated from her platoon and how she ended up in Chechnya."

"Aye, sir."

***

1330 ZULU

Quantico Asylum, Near Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia

From the outside, it looked like a prison. The two JAG officers looked up at it in wonder, and in fright. Harm had heard a good portion of stories about Quantico Asylum. It held some of the most dangerously mentally ill people in the United States. Most of the patients were rescued POW's. These people had endured endless torture and were always surrounded by death. Now they were prisoners trapped in their own minds. Most of the residents here would probably never leave. Harm took a deep breath and opened the door for Mac. The Marine strode swiftly in, determined not to be undermined by the insanity of this place.

 The inside was how Harm imagined. White walls. White tile floor. And not a patient in sight. Anyone walking around was doctors, nurses, or guards. The officers walked up to the counter where a sour-faced nurse was typing away at a computer. Harm had to clear his throat to get her attention. The nurse glanced up and glowered at them. She was obviously discontent with the fact that she'd been interrupted.

"Can I help you?" She said jadedly.

You can change your attitude. Harm wanted to say. "I'm Commander Rabb, this is Colonel Mackenzie," He instead replied, "and we have an appointment to see a patient."

The nurse sighed heavily and glanced back at her computer. "The patient's name?"

"Private Arial Thomas." Mac said.

The nurse stopped typing and eyed the attorneys. "Are you sure?" She said suspiciously.   

"Quite sure." Mac replied.

The nurse bit her lip. "All right, but it's your funeral. And the other guy's."

"What other guy?" Harm queried.

"Webb something." The nurse said with wave of her hand, "He came in a few minutes ago."

Harm and Mac quickly exchanged glances. "Great, all we need is Webb to be lookin' over our shoulders the whole time." Harm whispered to Mac. The Marine sighed.

The nurse then hollered at a passing guard. "Hey, Bill, did you put the restraints on Thomas?"

The kid nodded. "Tried to, to give her breakfast. Didn't work." He then pointed to a fresh bruise below his eye.

"Direct these officers to her room."

The guard hesitated for a moment. "Uh, okay. Um, right this way."

Harm and Mac followed the kid down the desolate hallway. "So, uh, what are you guys doing here?" The guard asked.

"We're from JAG."

Bill nodded in understanding. "Oh, right, the, uh, Advocate General thing. You guys are lawyers, right?"

Harm felt a smile tug at the corner of his mouth. He'd never really heard it described that way.

"You guys gonna try to figure out what happened to Thomas?" Bill said as he directed them up a flight of stairs.

"That's the goal." Mac said dryly.

 As they neared the door, sure enough, there was Webb, waiting for them. He had dark circles under his eyes suggesting that he'd been up all night.

"Afternoon, Commander, Colonel."

Harm nodded. "Hey, Webb." He said, quite unenthusiastic. Mac smiled at the CIA operative to make up for Harm's bitter reply.

"I take it you'll be shadowing the interview?"

Webb nodded. "Of course. The CIA got her out of this; we have a right to know what happened to her."

Bill cocked an eyebrow. "Well, I wish you the best of luck. Our doctors can't get anything out of her. All she does is fight."

"Well, maybe she'll calm down when she sees familiar uniforms." Harm suggested.

The kid chuckled, rolling his eyes. "Yeah. I'm sure she will." Bill peeked through the small window in the door before unlocking it. "Right, I'll be outside here the whole time." Bill said, opening the door.

The room was pitch black. "Why are the lights off?" Mac asked as she tried to adjust her eyes to the dark.

"Oh, she freaks out when they're on. Take a flashlight."

 Harm took the flashlight and shined it into the room. The light landed on a pair of feet that belonged to a huddled figure in a far corner. The room was a bit larger than a prison cell. Probably eight-by-eight feet. A cot rested in the corner, but all the sheets were torn off and spread out on the floor. Harm inched in closer to the huddled figure, Mac right behind him. Webb lagged behind a bit.

 Harm then heard shallow breathing and the girl whimpered, hugging the wall. As he got closer, Harm knelt down to come to the girl's eye level. "Hey." He said softly. Harm raised the flashlight a little, trying not to get too much light in her face. Scraggily, shoulder-length, brown hair covered her face and the girl winced as the light shined on her. Mac knelt down next to Harm and studied the girl's frailness.

"How are we going to question her like this?" She whispered. Mac brought her hand out, hesitated, and then gently brushed a lock of Thomas's hair away. The kid exploded in a fit of screams and punches. Harm and Mac fell back, but she attacked them. Kicking, screaming, punching, giving everything she had. Harm then heard a sharp shriek, and a body landed on him. Harm shook his himself away from the girl's limp body. He could make out Bill in the dark. Webb was behind him, breathing heavily. The guard held a syringe in his hand and sighed.

"Sorry about that. I'll strap her down and you can try and question her when she wakes up."

Harm shook his head as he helped Mac up. "No. She needs to trust us. We'll be in the waiting room. Tell us when she starts to come to."

***

TBC

***

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