Cast between Worlds
A/N; I was working on my new NCIS crossover and really couldn't resist this. It's not going to be a recurring theme but I had fun with it regardless. I've been very busy lately so haven't really had the time to write as much as I normally do and I'm sorry for that but I hope you're all satisfied with this one.
Chapter 17; Suspect
Daedalus – Entering Milky Way
"Colonel." Harry greeted as he opened the door into Colonel Caldwell's ready room where the man was sitting on a bench seat reading a book which he put aside quickly. He knew the man was going a little stir crazy on his own but it had been the Colonel's choice to remain out of the way in his cabin and ready room and not walk around all the time. Having two Commanders was a little too confusing for a crew that was already a little out of sorts. It had been this way for ten days now.
"Major." Caldwell nodded. "You're a little early."
"There's a problem with one of the Vipers." Harry told him as he sat himself down on the other section of the bench seat at a ninety-degree angle to the Colonel.
"I'm not sure the Commander of a Battle Cruiser should get caught up fixing a problem with a Viper." Caldwell told him.
"And despite every urge I have I agree." Harry laughed. "Hence why I'm early. I'm distracting myself so I don't end up down there."
"I see." Caldwell smirked. "It's something that takes a little getting used to. I went through the same thing when I took my first command. It's tough leaving the work for others."
"I have a mix on Atlantis." Harry nodded. "When it comes to being Base Security Officer I have to delegate the tasks. As Flight Commander it's a mix of hands on and delegation but when it's the off-world combat it's all on me."
"You're definitely an odd case of different skill sets." Caldwell chuckled. "So, what do we have today?"
Harry had been meeting up with Caldwell to run him through all the different reports on the ship because once they were back on Earth and Caldwell was cleared through all the red tape he'd be taking back command of the Daedalus and Harry would be freed up to sort out the eight trainees that would be joining him on the return trip. The Daedalus would be in Earth orbit for just two weeks so there was a lot to do but already the eight that Harry had selected were at Cheyenne mountain being introduced to the Stargate and they'd be taking their first trip through the gate to the Alpha Site tomorrow before Harry would speak to them and give them their assignment. Then they'd have four days leave to make their decisions. If they agreed then they'd spend a few days with Harry and one of the Earth-based X-304s before getting more leave before they joined the Daedalus for the trip to the Pegasus Galaxy. If they didn't agree then they'd get offered a training position on Earth.
Harry ran through all of that day's items before relaxing a little. "Oh, and just to let you know we've crossed into the Milky Way again." Harry explained. "Officially thirty-two hours until we reach Earth."
"Good." Caldwell nodded. "It's becoming a rather routine trip."
"Which would be a bigger problem if it wasn't for the fact that these ships are amongst the fastest ships in the galaxy for FTL travel." Harry nodded. "It would take a lot of effort to catch us off guard and manage to trap us. Too much effort."
"That's the assessment." Caldwell nodded. "But I still alter our course now and then to throw people off and keep my people on their toes."
Harry's radio buzzed to life as someone called him directly and he glanced at it before picking it up. "Major Potter."
"You're needed in engineering, sir." One of the engineers told him simply but didn't sound like it was urgent. Harry confirmed he was on his way before standing himself up.
"Until next time." Caldwell smirked. Harry rolled his eyes before slipping out of the room and down to the engineering space.
A few days later
Harry had quickly learned that being the Commander of a Battle Cruiser wasn't a simple affair, especially when there wasn't something to fight. He'd found himself busy with managing the crew of the Daedalus but between that and going over things for the new trainees on Atlantis he'd been too busy to care about the horrid sensation he got from being in Hyperspace. And the relief that came from being in orbit in normal space around Earth once more overcame the irritation at all the meetings he was being forced to attend on the Daedalus about Caldwell and his opinion on matters.
But after eight hours of constantly repeating himself he thought he'd made it clear that he was one hundred percent behind the Colonel's immediate reinstatement as Commander of the Daedalus. Officially the Daedalus was about to become Commanderless as she set down in her Nevada desert dock under the ground for maintenance. And when she was ready to depart again in two weeks it would be with Caldwell in Command and Harry as just Flight Commander once more with his eight trainee pilots.
First off though was his own inspection of the X-304 twin seat variants with a meeting with Colonel Samantha Carter about all of the details. He liked Colonel Carter well enough but he knew it wouldn't just be the two of them.
Two hours later
The sergeant that had been told to keep an eye on the eight budding pilots during their short ten minute break after their series of Stargate induction videos that morning braced and saluted as Harry walked into the back of the pilot briefing room on level twenty-two of Stargate Control. Harry nodded to him as he moved through the, mostly empty, seats to the front.
"Thank you, Sergeant." Harry nodded even as the eight young men and women finished jumping to their feet and bracing at attention. "I won't be too long. Can you call up to the surface and make sure their transport is waiting. I trust it was sorted out?"
"Yes, Sir." The Sergeant nodded his head before slipping out to check.
"You can all be seated." Harry looked over them all, recognising faces from their files, especially the one he'd put forward himself. Carson's nephew Matt Walker. "My name is Major Harry Potter, US Air Force. You've all had a very busy few days here learning about the new world and I'm here to tell you about your new assignment if you want to accept it. You're all among the best pilots who have just finished your pilot training in your various countries and you've all been through familiarisation for fighter-bomber training and shown an aptitude. The reason you've all been selected is because you've shown a good enough aptitude that you can handle the most advanced fighter-bombers currently in existence. In two weeks the USS Daedalus will break orbit from Earth and travel to the Pegasus Galaxy and to the city ship Atlantis that you have all just finished watching a video about."
They all stared at him in surprise. "You've been selected to become pilots of X-304s. You've seen them in the introduction videos and right now more detailed plans and manuals are being included with your personal effects. You'll leave here today for family leave and you'll have four days to decide if you want to accept the invitation to join the USS Daedalus when it leaves in two weeks and to train to fly X-304s on Atlantis under myself and my wing and the most experienced combat X-304 pilots from Earth."
"Everything about your offered posting is included with the manual in your personal effects along with contact details for when you choose whether to accept or reject the offer. Reject it and you'll still have the offer for a posting with one of the Earth-based X-304 wings. Accept it and you'll have five days with me doing theory and then a week with your family to pack up what you want to take with you ready to ship out." Harry finished before pausing to let that sink in. "Is there anyone here that wants to reject the posting now?" Nobody said anything so he nodded with a smile. "Anyone want to accept right here and now?"
"Yes, Sir." Matt Walker grinned as he raised his hand.
"You and I need to fill in an application to the RAF for special permission." Harry warned him. "Your next-of-kin is stationed on Atlantis so you need special permission to be posted to the same location. Anyone else?"
Two more raised their hands and Harry looked them over. Patricia Williams and Michael Sander. Both he'd guessed would leap at the opportunity.
"My contact numbers are included in your packs if any of you have any questions about this posting. It's an opportunity of a life time but it requires segregation from your families and a risk just because you are in another galaxy. You have to accept that." Harry nodded before looking at them all again. "I've handpicked you all and I have no doubt that you will be able to become exceptional pilots whether you train with me on Atlantis or here on Earth. There is a transport on the surface to take you all to flights at Andrews as requested before. You're all dismissed. I have my own leave to enjoy."
They stood and gathered their things as Harry walked out, having a quick conversation with the Sergeant waiting to escort them.
"Major Potter?" He heard Matt's voice calling him as he started down the corridor. He grinned having expected it. He half turned to see a rather nervous looking young man.
"Yes, Lieutenant?" He kept a straight face.
"Well I was wondering if I could get a bunk here for the next couple of days?" Matt asked. "I don't have anyone to visit for leave and I don't have anywhere to go. I could get a hotel on the US Air Force but…"
"Yes well you don't need to stay on base." Harry shrugged. "I have a certain obligation."
"Huh?" Matt frowned.
"You're staying with me for a few weeks." Harry shrugged. "Your Uncle made me promise when he realised you would have imposed leave."
Matt laughed before grinning at Harry. "So you can tell me all about Atlantis and my Uncle's work?"
"I suppose. Don't talk my own next-of-kin's ear off though. We're staying with them." Harry shrugged before heading for the lift.
Ten days later
Harry shifted the weight against his back to make it a little more comfortable as he headed along the train track to his destination. He hated operations like this but they'd realised they had a good asset handy with the right clearance. If you had to carry out an assassination in Washington DC which happened to be the death of a suspected terrorist who was a confirmed Trust lackey with a Goa'uld controlling his actions then you needed to go even more secure than Black Ops and essentially Harry was it because Harry wasn't doing anything more important. Except for having downtime.
He'd spent the last week on an airfield in Alaska taking up F-35 twin seats with his eight new trainees who had all accepted after the leave they'd gotten. Because of weather though they'd overrun their assessments with Harry so they only had four days at home to get together everything they'd need to live long term in another Galaxy and give their families the cover story about where they were going and why communication would go back to the stone age.
Which was why Harry was so peeved, he got to spend four days with Jessica and Joshua before shipping back out on the Daedalus and he'd been called up this morning and flown by twin seat to DC to go sniping. He wasn't all that fussed about assassinating someone without any warning and he'd seen all the evidence and the long term investigation into the man trying to get all the information they needed but, like with any Trust agent, they had ways to escape if they had any warning. If they tried to apprehend him then the guy would probably vanish and would probably blow the building to shreds in the process along with the two dozen occupants. He spotted the nicely placed train carriage that had been derailed on purpose the day before for cover for him and scouted out every compartment for anything out of place before setting his M40-A3 out and loading it carefully. There were other rifles he could have used but for this range, eight hundred metres, he wanted something he'd used recently and trusted.
He thumbed on the microphone as he moved to the window before pausing sharply. He'd leave it open mic but something was off with the window. "Control, who's been watching the nest today?" He demanded.
"It's only been set in place two hours." The control declared. He was working straight for the Pentagon right now and that's where his control was.
"Arseholes." Harry snapped as he eyed the freshly opened window. Somebody had been in here within the last few hours. "Someone's been here."
"Continue operation." He was told.
Harry grumbled but opened the window once more, determined to clean up meticulously afterwards. He set himself up in position knowing time was short. They'd confirmed the guy was in play and he quickly found the right set of windows and found his target. He watched him for a moment, his scope sending the image straight back to the Pentagon so they could confirm the hit. He got the confirmation, adjusted his range, checked the anemometers he'd placed between himself and his target, adjusted for wind and fired. The bullet took two seconds to travel the distance, straight through the open window and into the back of the Goa'uld's head. The body spun, golden eyes flaring in familiar death throes before collapsing.
He stayed still for a moment checking he hadn't been tricked and that no one was screaming at the top of their voice and it was only because of that pause that he spotted something out of place. He adjusted his aim to the right at a series of windows for the flat next to his own target and studied what had caught his attention. A torn curtain rustled very slightly regardless of the seemingly closed windows.
"Fuck." He swore as he spotted the small round hole in the window.
"Tango-eight explain." The voice of his control demanded.
"Look at the effing scope!" He spat. "Someone's made a hit!" He looked across the other windows and spotted another entry hole. "Two hits." He noted his own position and the layout of the holes. "From near my position. Probably right in this exact place. This is why you watch the fucking locations properly."
"Withdraw to pick up." Control told him. "Dispatch has been called for secondary location."
"When?" Harry demanded.
"Three minutes." The control told him, sounding guilty. They'd detected the call and let him continue the operation.
He pulled back, making a cursory wipe of his nest but knew he was running out of time. He collapsed the M40-A3 down into its case and was soon jogging away down the track to a waiting car at a level crossing two miles away.
A few days later
Harry had put the fubar hit behind him as much as possible and just relaxed as much as he could around Jessica, Joshua and Matt. Matt got along really well with Joshua and was an endless source of questions about how the police worked in the United States. It still confused Harry on occasion.
"Should you really be buying me a drink?" Matt asked in amusement as Harry sat down across from him at their table. They were back in the restaurant bar that Harry frequented when he visited Jessica and Joshua to give the married couple time to themselves and Matt a chance to relax around Harry before he became his commanding officer.
"Probably not." Harry shrugged. "But I'm not your commanding officer yet and I don't care that you're only nineteen. If you can fly a jet for the air force I think you can have a drink with dinner."
"Yeah, still not used to the whole US drinking age thing. It doesn't really make that much sense to me." Matt laughed just as Harry's phone rang. Harry shot Matt an apologetic look before answering.
"What's up?" He asked knowing it was Joshua and Jessica's home phone but not knowing which of them was calling him.
"Harry, two MPs just showed up at our door." Joshua told him. "They said they had orders for you to report to Andrews Airfield immediately. I sent them your way. I hope that's alright."
"I'm sure it's nothing." Harry assured him. "Matt will make sure my stuff gets to the transport on time."
"Hopefully we'll see you to say bye." Joshua sighed.
"Talk to you soon." Harry signed off before hanging up. "MPs are looking for me."
"Does that happen to you often?" Matt grinned.
"More often than I'd like." Harry sighed. "But it shouldn't be a change to orders. I would have gotten a call direct from Cheyenne."
He caught the waiter and asked for their food to be put in takeout form and handed the guy enough to cover the cost just as two MPs walked through the door and looked around for him. He raised a hand and they frowned but headed their way.
"Major Harry Potter?" The taller of the two asked.
Harry pulled out his wallet and showed them his ID. "That's right."
"We have orders to escort you to a transport at Andrew's Airforce base." The same guy stated before handing Harry a message from the office of the Air Force authorising all of this.
"And why do I need to go somewhere?" Harry asked.
"We don't know that, sir." The MP shook his head. "Only that we need to escort you immediately."
"Fine." Harry stood up just as the waiter appeared with two foil trays. Harry took one. "I hope you don't mind." He shook his head. "Matt, you can get a taxi back, right?"
"Yes, Sir." Matt grinned, reminding the two they were dealing with an officer as well.
"Once you're back give General Landry a call at Cheyenne and make sure he knows about this." Harry warned. Matt nodded once more.
Harry let the MPs guide him out and it became clear that they didn't really know why he was being summoned across the country or even where too. But that they had been put under enough pressure to watch him that they believed he was in trouble. Harry boarded the flight without comment and decided to get some rest. It wasn't hard for him to guess that this was about the botched hit a few days ago.
Early the next morning
Harry was roused as the plane began its descent. He already knew it was landing at an Air Force base outside of Washington DC but he still had no idea why. He was the last to deplane, letting those with bags get off first but as he walked down the ramp his attention was instantly drawn to two people waiting by a black sedan. The guy had a photo in his hand and was carefully looking at all of their faces.
"Major Potter?" The shorter woman asked and Harry was instantly drawn to her accent and the favoured position of her side arm.
"That'll be me." Harry nodded. "I assume you're speaking for those that summoned me here."
"This is Special Agent Ziva David and I'm Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo." They both showed their IDs. "From NCIS. That's…"
"Navy." Harry nodded. "I know." They took that in stride. "So what does an ex-cop and a Massaud Agent want with a fighter pilot that's only been state-side for less than two weeks?"
That got their attention, especially from David. "How do you know I am Massaud?"
"Training and experience." Harry shrugged.
"A fighter pilot who can recognise foreign operatives?" DiNozzo raised his eyebrows at him.
Harry just shrugged again. "Do you have business with me or not?" He prompted. "I have a transport with my name on it departing at fourteen-hundred hours."
"It can wait." David laughed.
"Wanna bet?" Harry stared her down.
"We know you're due to ship out this afternoon." DiNozzo shrugged. "Our boss doesn't care."
"My boss does." Harry warned before turning for the sedan. "So kindly get a move on and take me where we're going and stop dawdling."
They opened the rear door for him and he slipped inside and sat in silence as they got out of the airforce base and hit the highway. He knew where they were going now but that merely confused him. Quantico housed the NCIS headquarters but he really didn't know what he might have done to upset the Navy. Unless they'd been put on the case in DC for some reason.
He was searched for the first time at the entrance of the headquarters and gave up his sidearm without comment. They would run it through their computers as a matter of course and find out it was his military-issue one. He was taken straight upstairs and through the main desks and into an interrogation room and after five minutes of waiting, and idly staring at the one way mirror, he decided to make himself comfortable so he pulled around the other chair and put his feet up.
It took forty minutes before the door clicked open and an older man, an ex-marine by the looks of him, walked into the room. Harry sat up a little straighter and let the man take the other chair. The man sat with a thin file in front of him and Harry sighed when he spotted his face on the front page.
"Something interesting?" The man asked.
"For starters your name if you would?" Harry prompted.
"My name is Special Agent Gibbs. Team leader." Gibbs told him before turning the file around to face Harry. "What's interesting enough for comment here?"
"It's too thin." Harry stated simply.
"Meaning there are things in your file that I haven't received." Gibbs narrowed his eyes. "Care to share with me?"
"If you don't have my complete file then you're not cleared to read it. I would be committing treason to say more about it." Harry shrugged and leaned back in his chair.
"You don't look worried." Gibbs pointed out.
"Should I?" Harry asked. "As of yet I don't actually know why I'm here."
"You're suspected of being involved in the murder of a marine' wife and daughter two nights ago." Gibbs told him simply. Harry's expression didn't change and he knew he couldn't make a response to that. "Want to tell me where you were two nights ago?"
"No." Harry shook his head. "I don't."
"Excuse me?" Gibbs frowned. "You're pleading the fifth?"
"No." Harry shook his head again. "I'm telling you that you don't have the correct clearance to ask me any questions about what I do with my time. Get me a signed order and I'll cooperate with you."
"NCIS has the authority…"
"Stop there, Special Agent." Harry interrupted him and saw the expression cross his face. This man did not like to be interrupted. "I won't accept any signed order but from either my Commanding Officer at Cheyenne Mountain or from General Jack O'Neil, United States Air Force."
"You're a suspect in a double homicide." Gibbs warned.
"Then read me my rights, Special Agent." Harry warned. "Even then I'm only going to answer questions that you have the clearance to ask."
"My Agents mentioned a transport this afternoon. Where to?" Gibbs clearly decided to change track.
"Classified." Harry stated simply.
"Where is it leaving from?" Gibbs pushed.
"Why are you in the States?" Gibbs continued.
"On R&R." Harry shrugged.
"Not all the time. You were posted to Alaska last week. You flew back to Colorado Springs on Sunday and then you were flown to DC the morning just before the murder." Gibbs declared. "What were you doing in Alaska and then in DC?"
"Unrelated trips." Harry told him simply. "Both of which are classified."
Gibbs gritted his teeth and made to stand. "I want to help you with this investigation, Special Agent Gibbs. But I can't while my hands are tied and you are not the one to untie them. Get me the correct permission or give me the ability to get it for myself and I will more than happily help you."
"Help us with what?" Gibbs spat. "We have your fingerprints where the shots were fired from. You can't help us other than confess."
"And until you get me that permission you're just wasting your time." Harry pointed out.
"Fine." Gibbs snapped and vanished from the room.
Harry relaxed back in his chair, watching as the clock ticked away. Gibbs hadn't come in until almost lunch time and then talked his way until one so the Daedalus was due to leave in just under an hour. Iain would have to start their training during the long-haul to the Pegasus Galaxy and the next trip out wouldn't be for another six weeks. He sighed and dropped his head back and decided to just wait.
It was half past two before a man his own age walked into the room. "My name is Special Agent Timothy McGee."
"And?" Harry prompted.
"You're being released to help with our investigation." McGee didn't look too happy about that.
"Still suspect number one am I?" Harry smirked as he stood but followed the man out of the interrogation room without further comment. He walked into the main suite to find a familiar face standing with Gibbs, DiNozzo and David. "Major Davis." Harry greeted.
"Major Potter." Davis nodded back to him.
"You come bearing permission?" Harry prompted.
"To an extent." Davis nodded. "Any information they need to exclude you from the investigation but nothing that breaches your confidentiality."
"And my file?" Harry prompted.
"To an extent." Davis nodded and gestured to the screen where Harry's file was displayed.
"My transport?" Harry frowned.
"Colonel Caldwell is not impressed." Davis sighed. "But he is delaying until eighteen-hundred for you."
"I won't hear the end of that." Harry sighed before looking at Gibbs and his team. "To put it simply then I'm not just a fighter pilot."
"A fighter pilot with dual nationality, a Medal of Honour and a British Military Cross. Not to mention several conflict medals for wars I've never heard of." DiNozzo scoffed. "Anything else?"
"Like how you were in the middle of our crime scene and how you know how to use a sniper rifle and recognise a Massaud Operative?" Gibbs demanded.
"Black Ops." Harry shrugged.
"So why were you there?" Gibbs demanded.
"To take out a target." Harry told him.
"What interest was she to you?" Gibbs glared. "Or the daughter?"
"My target was in flat 13C." Harry told him simply. "A terrorist operating in a cell of extremely dangerous men that for national security reasons have to be covered up. Clearly you overlooked that hit." Harry turned his head to stare at Davis. "Something that seems to run wild right now."
"Our office had nothing to do with your mission." Davis assured him. "They're doing their own enquires."
"They'd better." Harry growled. "I don't like being implicated in a double homicide, especially a marine's wife and daughter."
"You're not just implicated." Gibbs warned.
"Because you found my fingerprint on the window of the train carriage?" Harry prompted and got a nod. Gibbs clearly wasn't surprised that Harry had known about what they'd found. "I was forced to only give it a cursory wipe. My control were lazy fucks."
"Explain." Gibbs demanded. Harry launched into everything that happened on his hit and Gibbs looked less and less impressed the further along he went.
"To put it simply. I didn't set up the op. I just did as I was told for expediencies sake. My control found out about the other hit when they intercepted the 911 call and they didn't scrub the mission." He shrugged.
"Why not?" Gibbs frowned.
"The man I took out was extremely dangerous. Perhaps more dangerous than you can imagine." Harry leaned back against one of the desks in the room and rubbed at his face. "Important enough that the hit had to be made. He'd never had stayed at that location once police arrived for the murders. It could have been months before they tracked him down again. I'm sorry if their fuck up has led your investigation astray."
"Then we have nothing." Gibbs turned away from him.
"What do you have?" Harry asked out of interest.
"We've eliminated you from our enquiry." Gibbs grunted.
"Which means you can go catch your transport." Tony DiNozzo told him and moved over to escort him out.
"Not a chance." Harry told the ex-cop bluntly. "I've got two hours left before my transport leaves. That's two hours where you've got access to classified systems through me."
"Major Potter…" Davis warned.
"I'm not telling them anything they're not allowed to know." Harry cut him off.
"You could get into trouble." Davis warned him.
"I think they owe me." Harry told him simply. "Besides I'll play the normal card."
"What's that?" Timothy McGee asked.
"The President gave me my Medal of Honour and a favour to go with it." Harry chuckled. "You'd be surprise how much I get away with by mentioning that."
"We have some trace evidence." Gibbs told him. "But nothing that matches it in our databases. Your fingerprint was the only lead we had."
"I'm surprised your MPs got to me before the Air Force caught on that you were running searches on my fingerprints." Harry chuckled.
"There was a red flag." Gibbs told him. "Our Forensics Analyst dodged it."
"Impressive." Harry mused. "You mind showing me this trace evidence?"
"McGee. With me." He nodded. "DiNozzo, David. Go canvas again. Find out what we missed.
"On it, boss." DiNozzo nodded happily. Harry followed McGee and Gibbs into a different elevator and noted that Davis had left to his own devices, probably to go find out how much trouble Harry could get into.
"You seem to have taken a personal stake in our investigation." McGee asked. "Have you… I mean…"
"No." Harry shook his head. "But your boss has." McGee twitched at that and Gibbs grunted rather unamused. "I'm very good at reading people."
"Then why stick your neck out?" McGee asked as the doors opened for them and loud music flooded them.
"Because I have a lot of friends in the military, Special Agent." He declared as he followed them into a lab. "Many of them have wives and daughter too."
"And who's this?" A girl in a white lab coat with pigtails spun around and looked him over. "You look more dangerous than most of the people that walk in here. Except perhaps Gibbs here."
"No." Gibbs grunted. "He's far more dangerous than I am."
"I don't have anything new for you, Gibbs." She announced before offering her hand. Harry reached out and took it. "Abby Scuito. And you are?"
"Suspect number one." Harry told her simply. Her eyebrows shot up.
"Bring up the view from the window of the train carriage." Gibbs told her and Harry knew he wanted Harry to show him what he'd seen himself. Gibbs and McGee moved to a large wall screen but Harry hung back next to the computer terminals as Abby went to work and soon he was looking out of a familiar open window and at a familiar apartment block.
"This is the two shots." Abby announced and two red outlines appeared as the view zoomed in.
"Three windows left, one up." Harry declared and she quickly did as ordered.
"Nothing." McGee announced. "Your guys swapped out the windows?"
"In the time it took for the police to arrive?" Harry scoffed. "And the guys I normally work with aren't stupid enough to leave a sniper's perch without surveillance. If my controllers had monitored the perch they would have moved in on your guy before he made his shot. Like they were supposed to." He growled.
"The window is open." Gibbs nodded. "You took the shot through it."
Abby whistled and zoomed in on the open window. "That can't be more than a few inches."
"I'm very good at what I do." Harry told them simply. "It was after I made the shot and zoomed out a little to check for reactions when I spotted the curtain moving behind a closed window. Then the two holes in the glass."
"We don't have much else to go on." Abby shook her head. "Your fingerprint on the window and some DNA that didn't match yours. The rest of the trace evidence from the train carriage was too old to be our killer."
"How good is that DNA sample?" He asked.
"Perfect." She nodded. "But we need something to compare it to. It could make a case against a suspect."
"So far everyone in their lives checks out." McGee shook her head.
"May I use your phone?" He asked Abby who nodded and motioned him to it. He lifted the handset and quickly dialled the secure switch board at Cheyenne Mountain. "Major Potter. Authentication Code nine-nine-alpha-viper-one."
"Good afternoon, sir." The man on the other end nodded. "Who did you need?"
"General Jack O'Neil." He stated simply and got a moment's pause since it wasn't every day someone asked for the person most considered in charge of all things Stargate. "It's a priority."
"I'll put you through to his personal cell." The man told him and a tone sounded.
"Jack O'Neil?" McGee asked.
"I recognise the name." Gibbs frowned. "He's at the Pentagon."
"His job is classified." Harry announced before someone picked up.
"Major Potter. You should be on Daedalus leaving orbit." O'Neil told him knowing that Harry would never have this call on a speaker.
"I got picked up by NCIS." Harry told the man simply.
"And I ordered NCIS's director to release you. Daedalus is waiting for you." O'Neil declared.
"Yes, sir." Harry nodded to himself. "I'm aware of that but are you aware of why NCIS picked me up?"
"Your handlers were idiots." O'Neil agreed. "But I don't see any reason why you'd still be there."
"They're investigating the murder of a marine's wife and eight year old daughter." Harry explained quietly and could hear the silence as if it was tangible. "A few windows across from my own hit."
"And you think I can pull weight because I'd sympathise?" O'Neil growled out.
"I could probably persuade Colonel Caldwell but he'd need authorisation and… well frankly sir, I know you'd give it." Harry told him calmly. "They have a DNA sample but no leads. This case will go dead unless we take action."
"You're a ballsy kid." O'Neil grunted.
"Colonel Carter says I remind her of someone." Harry tried not to let the smirk sound in his voice.
"You're authorised." O'Neil told him. "Use the Daedalus' sensors to track the DNA sample. I'll give Daedalus orders to hold Earth Orbit until we find this guy. NCIS can owe me a favour for a change."
Harry hit redial on the phone and quickly got the switchboard again. "Major Potter. Authorisation nine-nine-alpha-viper-one." He rattled off. "I need the email address for BC-304-1 and have them call the Forensics lab at NCIS headquarters, Quantico. This number."
"Copied, Major." The man announced before a moment later he was giving Harry an email address which Harry scribbled down before hanging up.
"BC-304-1?" Gibbs asked.
"BC? Battle Cruiser?" Abby asked him.
"Don't know what you're talking about." Harry played dumb and let them get the hint.
"How exactly is this helping?" Gibbs asked. "And what do you have over a General to get authorisation for this?"
"Jack O'Neil is a pretty stand up guy." Harry shrugged. "But importantly he lost his son a while back. An accident that he doesn't like talking about."
"What kind of accident?" McGee asked.
"The kind with a curious ten year old boy and your own personal gun." Harry stated sadly. "The kind of mistake you never make twice."
"Oh…" McGee had gone a little pale at that one.
"Abby… kindly email your DNA scans to that address." Harry nodded to her and after Gibbs grunted his permission she quickly did as she was told. The phone rang after a moment and Harry picked it up.
"Major Potter." Colonel Caldwell declared. "General O'Neil just put us at your disposal to track down a murderer in the DC area."
"Someone murdered a marine's wife and eight year old daughter." Harry told the Colonel. "I was there and implicated. Hence the delay. But their leads are dead and we can help out. Their forensics specialist just emailed you the DNA profile. Can you…?"
"This will look just lovely…" Caldwell told him. "You plan on explaining a DNA sensor sweep to them how?"
"I'm not going to explain the means." Harry told him with a glance at them. "They know this is classified and they know if they start pushing me on it they won't get any answers from me. This help comes at the price of them keeping their mouths shut."
"Alright." Caldwell agreed. "We're sweeping the area now but depending how far he's gone in two days will affect how long this might take."
"Understood, Colonel." Harry agreed just before Caldwell hung up on him.
"So… no questions?" Abby asked. "That's really not fair."
Harry laughed and leaned back on the table top. "It might take a while."
"To scan for his DNA somehow?" McGee asked before yelping as Gibbs slapped him over the back of the head. Harry chuckled and nodded to Gibbs at his show of keeping things simple.
"I can get you a location." Harry nodded.
"Then it's up to us to pick him up." Gibbs agreed.
"I'm sure the Air Force can weigh in somehow about how you tracked him down." Harry shrugged. "But we'll monitor his position until you have him in custody."
"And then your transport has to go?" Gibbs asked.
"We've got a bit of a trip ahead of us." Harry nodded. "But it was good to meet all of you. I've worked with a few good marines in my time and I work with marines right now. They're good guys."
"Air Force working with Marines?" McGee asked only to get slapped on the back of the head once more.
"If you don't mind…" Harry motioned to them. "It might take a while if he's left the city so I'm going to arrange to get to my transport. They'll call you with a destination on this phone if I don't get there first."
"McGee, show him out." Gibbs nodded. Harry turned and offered his hand to Gibbs who nodded again and shook his hand.
An hour later
It hadn't taken long for Harry to get beamed up onto the Daedalus but Caldwell had been happy to delay their departure until the situation was dealt with and Harry was itching to help them out. According to their own searches the man was a contract killer that had so far kept himself out of most databases but he'd been found in a Chinese database that Daedalus had access to. But the man clearly had something in place watching the area around his hideout. He'd gone to ground in a cabin near to one of the through roads in a National Park but he'd spotted Gibbs' team closing in on him and gotten to his own car before they could cut him off. Now he was giving them a run through the National Park and the local police were moving to try to join the chase but were way behind and nobody was around to cut him off. A police helicopter was in the air but when they hit the next large city things would get dangerous, particularly since the man had a small arsenal in his car he was firing back at Gibbs' car.
Harry had turned to Caldwell as soon as the chase had started and with a sign Caldwell had nodded his permission and in two minutes Harry was launching alongside Iain in their Vipers and angling down towards Earth on an extremely steep descent.
Harry assigned his radio onto the federal and police band that they were all using even as they broke through into atmosphere and kept up their dive. With their power and manoeuvrability they really didn't need to worry about gentle approaches. "Washington State Police Helicopter nine-eight-seven, this is Air Force air support inbound on your position." Harry announced simply as his sensors picked out the helicopter, criminal and Gibb's car with three police cruisers slowly catching up from behind. "ETA on your position is one minute. We are at supersonic speeds. We have control and you are ordered to steady on course one-eight-zero and move out of the area."
"Copy that, Air Force." A voice declared.
"Federal Vehicle." Harry intoned even as he sent Iain a quick game plan with his fingers over his link and Iain drew out as they continued their dive. Harry was talking to Gibbs now and his radio was narrowing in on just their area. "Increase distance from target vehicle to one hundred metres and maintain distance. Authentication nine-nine-alpha-viper-one." He didn't really need authentication codes but he expected that Gibbs, as observant as he was, would recognise his code from earlier and know it was him. "Try not to be surprised." He warned just he pulled out of his dive. Iain pulled out slower and thus shot out ahead of Harry and lower to the tree tops at massive speeds and soon banked hard and lined up over the road as Harry did the same as he decelerated. Iain shot along the road, just high enough that his wash wouldn't flip all of the cars straight off of the tarmac and in seconds he passed the police cruisers and then Gibbs' car before slamming over the criminal's car before banking up out of the way and twisting around and out of sight. He'd take up position above them with a missile lock on the criminal's car since Harry would be too close to take action that way.
Harry slowed as he blasted over them all and matched speeds with the hundred mile per hour chase before extending his wings for stability as he passed over the criminal's dark red vehicle. He got out ahead of them and in plain sight before slamming around within the confines of the road and extended all of his flaps and thrusters to go into a hover as he turned nose onto the car which slammed on it's brakes as Harry dropped down to just a few metres above the road. He could probably scrape through underneath him but Harry knew if he tried he could simple slam on his thrusters and flip the car off of the road.
He armed his weapons and his missile bays opened even though he was too close to use them. He already knew Iain had a target lock as the car slewed sideways to a stop. Of course X-304s weren't a secret anymore but very few people had seen one in action but plenty of people had seen them on official military websites and even on websites like youtube and their capabilities were pretty well known.
He switched on the hull mounted speakers. "I have live fire authorisation." He declared simply over the sound of his thrusters. "Exit your vehicle slowly with empty hands raised."
Harry glanced up as Gibbs' car stopped and his team piled out and took cover behind the doors just as the three police cruisers arrived and similarly took up positions. The car door cracked open on the far side of the vehicle and Harry kept his hand on his thruster controls just in case. A figure stepped out slowly on the other side before suddenly rolling away from the car and bringing something up towards him. Gunshots erupted from the policemen and Gibbs' team before Harry recognised the weapon in the man's hands. An M79 40mm grenade launcher.
The man took aim on Harry despite the gun shots making him bolt to Harry's side of the car and fired at Harry's cockpit. Harry slammed on the power in an instant and rolled his Viper as it jolted upwards. He slewed sideways and his left wing pitched up and since nothing exploded on him he figured the grenade had passed under his left wing. He banked back again to avoid slamming into the trees even as his flicked his cannon online on his joystick. It locked onto the man but Iain was faster. A streak erupted through the tops of the trees on Harry's right and slammed into the car. It vanished inside a bright flare of light before the fire itself exploded outwards as the car turned into shrapnel. Harry banked backwards rather pointlessly since he was outside the blast radius but the man definitely hadn't been and his body was now on fire twenty metres closer to Harry.
Iain's Viper emerged at a hover over the trees and slid around and down over the road through the rising smoke as he and Harry assessed any further damage. "We're bugging out." Harry announced to Iain before rotating his flaps again and pushing up the thrusters to get them clear of the trees. He thumbed over onto the radio frequency that he'd heard Gibbs on earlier. "What's left of him is all yours." He announced before turning sharply away and bringing his main drive online. With a thud of air he was shooting over the treetops and Iain quickly fell in at his side as they reached escape velocity and rotated up into the sky and closed their wings to get back to the Daedalus.
The next morning
They were firmly on their way through the Galaxy on their way 'home' but Harry was up earlier than normal for his morning checks on his Viper because he'd used it in a live fire situation the day before and although he'd done a cursory sweep over it he wanted to be a little more thorough this morning but he and his flight had double the X-304s to deal with now that they had the twin-seaters for training. Though saying that they were for training was a bit of an understatement. They were fully-functioning X-304s just slightly altered to allow for two seats and had the additional environmental systems to back them up. Other than that they were identical. They were still too complex to fit even the smaller Hyperdrive engines of the F-302s into though which was still a bit of a controversy back on Earth. Despite their power the X-304s could only function in the galaxy with carrier support in the form of a base like the Alpha and Beta Sites, or Earth itself, or a Battle Cruiser.
Iain was currently working over his own Viper sitting nearby and a few of the F-302 pilots were doing their own checks but the laughing bunch that came in the doors from the maintenance area of the hangar were obvious. They were clearly in high spirits and eager and they didn't notice Claire and Alex come in behind them until Claire yelled out 'Admiral on deck' and got a startled response from the group even as the rest of the pilots and deck crew in the room looked up at her in consternation.
"Newbies…" Alex chuckled and moved passed the twin-seats and over to his own Viper next to Harry's. "Boss…"
"Alex." Harry nodded before pulling himself up on the wing of his plane as the now calm group of trainees moved through the aircraft keeping as far away from them as possible.
"Do we have a plan?" Iain asked from where he was eyeing the inside of a loaded missile bay. Of course all the missiles and bombs inside were live since they could need to be used without any warning.
"Wing it?" Harry teased before patting himself down in his basic pilot outfit. They all wore the basics of what they needed to wear when they were out in their Vipers just in case anything happened but his gear was in his cockpit and the rest of his flight-suit was in the ready room just off of the maintenance bay. "Theory mostly since we can't fly. We'll pair them up and take two each for different subjects."
Iain nodded as Claire and Alex got to work on their own checks. The eight newbies stood together whispering as they looked over the hangar bay. Harry moved to the nose of his Viper and motioned them over. "Good morning." He greeted.
"Good morning, Sir." They chorused together almost syllable for syllable.
"The next couple of weeks are going to be a little strange for you all." Harry told them all as they gathered within easy earshot so Harry didn't have to raise his voice in the large hangar. "Right now we're on active duty. At any moment the Daedalus could have to drop out of hyperspace and at all times the X-304s and the F-302s must be ready to launch within a few minutes. That means for me and my flight our priority right now is to this ship's security and not to training you. That doesn't mean that we won't be giving over most of our time to teaching you what you need to know."
He got a round of nods and they didn't seem at all surprised. "Now, you had your ship tour and acclimatisation from the Daedalus crew yesterday after you came on board while I was… distracted."
"Shooting up a highway." One of them sniggered.
"More likely making a nice target!" Iain called over from under his missile bay. "My kill!"
"Alright…" Harry rolled his eyes. "I see the rumour mill is working well." He got more serious. "Now then, as you can see once a day without fail myself and my flight have to do our checks on our Vipers."
One of the young men, Guy Phillips, raised a hand gently and Harry nodded to him. "Why do you call yours Vipers when everyone else just calls them 304's?"
"This flight is the original flight." Harry told them simply. "The first four X-304s to go into action and we are Viper Flight. This class has the nickname Vipers because of that but only these four aircraft are real Vipers. Those behind you, the twin-seats, are X-304-b variants."
"Now, when we're doing our checks you do not interrupt us for any reason." Harry lectured simply. "At any other time if you want to know about what we're doing then you can ask questions but when we do our morning checks you are not to interrupt us unless it's a real emergency. These checks could mean the life or death of everyone on this ship and we take them very seriously. What you do with yourself during this time is up to you. You can consider it free time until ten-hundred hours ship time."
"Can we watch?" Natalia Ottia, the single Russian in the group, asked.
"That's fine." He nodded. "Later on we'll be showing you the variants in more detail including the checks and once I am sure, and only once I'm sure, you can handle them you will be taking over their checks under our supervision. Eventually you'll be trusted to do the checks on them yourselves without us looking over your shoulders but until then you are not allowed to touch any of the X-304s without one of us around. Now…" He turned and hoisted himself up on the steps to the side of his cockpit and with deft fingers he released the locks on all his guns, ammunition compartments and missile bays and they folded down and out with a hiss as the seals shifted. "What are these?"
"Live?" Matt guessed what he wanted straight away and Harry grinned and jumped back down.
"And not just live like you'd see in a normal airfield on standby." Harry announced as he moved and motioned them all to join him under the left near wing where one of his heaviest missile bays sat tucked up under the main fuselage. "Every weapon on this aircraft is just a couple of switches away from firing." He told them as they knelt or sat on the floor. Harry moved his hands up under the heavy missiles for the manual release and then carefully rotated the entire missile rack around until it was hanging under his Viper with the nastiest weapon he had hanging at the bottom. "And who can tell me what this is?"
They all looked at it before looking at each other. They all knew what it probably was but it's mere presence was making them nervous. "That's a nuke." Stephanie Newton, one of the Naval Pilots, muttered nervously.
"A tactical nuclear guided bomb." Harry nodded simply. "And it's naquada enriched so it's as powerful as an ICBM or a trident missile. In basic terms this one bomb contains more firepower than has been used in Earth-based wars combined. Daedalus is currently carrying a total of twenty of these and eight of them are paired off into these four X-304s. In addition to these two bombs there is enough firepower in this Viper to level a large city block."
"Or destroy a Hive?" Matthew asked nervously.
"That's the idea." Harry nodded. "Because of the nature of the Wraith and their sacrificial measures to protect their hives only a bomber-delivered nuke can possibly reach it's target. This has been tried and tested… though with truncheon bombs rather than nuclear warheads."
He scooted back out but left his bays open because he needed to check them all anyway. They all climbed up after him. "Now I'm going back to my checks. You're to report to the pilot's briefing room at ten-hundred hours and you need to have a quick tea break before that because you won't get a break until lunch. Until then you're to go over every inch of this hangar bay, every piece of safety equipment, every valve, pipe and access and then you're to visit every adjoining compartment. I want you all to have a perfect picture of this hangar bay and how it fits into the ship. Find out what is familiar and find out what isn't. Talk to the deck crew and the crew that work in the adjoining compartments."
"Is this homework?" Kevin Samuels, their new Royal Naval pilot, asked with a small grin.
"You're not going to be examined on it." Harry shrugged. "But I'm not stupid and I have total control of how long you continue here. If I get the hint that any of you are slacking off I'll boot you back to Earth by wormhole. I don't take kindly to people not carrying their own weight. Just ask people what happened to the man that Viper-two is soon to take over for as Adder-one. Now get on with it."
They braced for him before moving away to whisper together for a while. He expected that they'd been up quite late the night before chatting together but they'd gotten to know each other over their time at Cheyenne mountain and then with Harry going over the basics. Harry got back to work catching up with Iain as Claire and Alex chatted together as they worked on their own Vipers.
Two hours later
Harry, Iain, Alex and Claire where having a tea break in the pilot's briefing room waiting on their trainees. Though Harry was in charge of training none of his flight, himself included, were officially their instructors. Harry had already worked on a rota for their training and he would be using all of the people on Atlantis to help him out because while they were in the Pegasus Galaxy they would be part of the Atlantis team and would need to be able to hold their own in any situation. Harry would most likely be involved in all of their actual flight training but his task was to oversee them all.
"What do you think of them all then?" Iain asked.
"You all looked through their records?" Harry took a sip from his bottle of water and got nods.
"Well we've got another wide range of nationalities. British and American are the majority again. Mostly airforce trained though. Only Kevin Samuels has previous serious flight experience as a fully qualified pilot." Harry summed up. Samuels was Royal Navy and had been trained first for helicopters before taking up the first opportunity to fly jets that he could and he'd been pulled out of the pool of potentials very quickly because of his evaluations. "I think we'll put his leadership to the test first off." Harry nodded. "He already has experience in a real chain of command but he's still only just older than the others rather than being an 'old hand'."
"What are we then?" Alex teased.
"Old." Iain laughed and got a ball thrown at his head from the younger man.
"Any favourites?" Claire asked him. "Anyone stand out from your time in the last couple of weeks?"
"Samuels has a grasp of flying from his experience and they're all extremely talented of course… otherwise they wouldn't be here." Harry shrugged. "But of course Matt stands out. He's got a natural grasp on it. He was trained on British jets before we really took him up and he took to the F-35s last week like he'd been flying them for months."
"And of course he took to flying air liners really fast." Alex sniggered.
"We all saw him fly that. It wasn't perfect artwork but for a first time flier it was amazing." Harry grunted.
"You think he'll take my place?" Iain asked.
"Alex is taking your place." Harry pointed out since Claire and Alex had decided that between the two of them. They had almost exactly the same time in jets and the same experience but Alex was a year younger so had taken the Viper-four slot in the first place but Claire was a bit of a poster girl with the Air Force and had agreed that out of the two of them Alex could gain more ground in his career by taking the second-in-command post in their Flight. Claire would progress fast regardless. Harry hadn't known which to pick himself so he was glad they'd worked it out so quickly without his interference. "But possibly Matt might take Alex's place. But we'll see. I'm not just going to pick the best of the eight. I want the one that matches our own Flight the best even if they're not the best on paper."
"Well we've flown in formation with poor Matt." Claire laughed just as the door opened and a suddenly rather nervous Nora Tanwan, their Chinese Air Force trainee, was standing in the door with the others behind her. Harry motioned with his bottle of water towards the two dozen seats in the room and they quickly ducked inside as Claire, Iain and Alex vacated the front seats and moved to stand against the wall. Harry had been sitting on the desk at the front and there was a large stack of books on the front set of bench seats so they all sat on the benches further up though they stuck in a group.
"Well then…" Harry started off. "Any of these little chats are informal. I'm not an instructor and I'm not your boss as such. I'm here to train you, examine you and recommend where you're all going to go." That got their attention because Harry had never mentioned their future placements before.
"Atlantis is now the only training site for X-304 pilots." Harry announced simply. "Provisions are being made for anyone that can't except a post in the Pegasus Galaxy for any reason but unless that needs to be used all X-304 pilots will come through this process and they will be mixed in with experiencesd pilots."
"Where do the experienced pilots train on X-304s?" Stephanie asked after raising her hand.
"At our base off the coast of Alaska with established flights on Earth." Harry nodded. "The same way new pilots would train if they can't come to Atlantis." He glanced around before straightening up. "Now we're forming two new flights for Earth defence, an additional flight for the Alpha Site and there's also a slot opening up at the Beta Site for a new pilot. You will make up seven of those thirteen posts with the other six posts in the three new flights being taken up by three experienced X-304 pilots and three experienced pilots moving over to X-304s. Follow?"
"Yes, sir." They chorused together but it was obvious they wanted to know about the tenth slot.
"Don't worry the tenth person is not being chucked out." Harry chuckled. "Four of you will be paired up on the new Earth flights, two of you paired up on the new Alpha site and one of you will join the established flight at the Beta site. As for the last of you…" He paused. "When I kicked Captain Brokewell off of Atlantis and out of the X-304 program I left Adder Flight without a Flight Leader. After much debate Captain Bennett here will be taking the post as Adder-one. Lieutenant Calthrope will be moving into my number two slot which means one of you will stay on with us and take his place in my flight."
That clearly got their attention and they glanced at one another. "Now let me get this straight. You are not competing with one another for this slot or any of the others." Harry looked them all over. "You have already competed against tens of thousands of other recruits for this program and as long as you prove yourselves worthy then you're in and you'll have your own X-304s. Take that seriously and you'll keep the most prestigious posting a pilot can have in our various Air Forces." He saw their satisfaction at that. "I will be choosing all of you for your postings based on your style of flying and your characters. I will place you in postings I think you're best suited for. Six of your will be paired together in flights so I will be looking for which of you work best together."
"And who works best with your flight?" Matt guessed with a slight raise of his hand.
"Exactly." Harry nodded. "Don't get me wrong my flight is the best and the most experienced and I want the best to join us but I also want someone that suits my flight. Don't try to fake anything because we will see through it. Be yourselves, fly at the best level you possibly can and I'll put you where you're best suited. Where you'll find a future that you want. That said four of you will be posted on Earth, three in the MilkyWay galaxy in easy reach of Earth and one of you here in the cosmic middle of nowhere. If anyone has a good reason for requesting any of those posts then let me know over the course of your training so I can take that into consideration. Any questions on that?"
They all shook their heads so Harry moved up to all the books and the eight small booklets. "These booklets outline your training in a broad sense so there's no surprises. The situation on Atlantis is ever changing so I won't outline exactly what you'll be doing but these will give you fair warning. You won't be spending all your time in flight training and you'll be doing survival training and security training in the process and you'll be spending as much time with the maintenance guys as with us." He picked them up and handed them up to Natalia Ottia who put them on her desk rather than hand them out since their attention was on Harry. "These books cover most of the theory you're going to need to know and then some. Look through your booklets and spend a bit of your time on this trip making sure you have a general understanding on all the topics. I'm not expecting you to be absolute experts on everything but take a look."
Harry turned and put a hand on a stack of paper on the desk along with numerous reports and USB drives. "This is your assignment for this trip. In five days you're going to have the four of us, some of the F-302 pilots and possibly Colonel Caldwell sitting in this room. These eight are your personal assignments." He handed out the papers. "They outline your task. All the media on the desk is your research material. Playbacks for a training exercise held around Atlantis several months ago between Viper and Adder Flights. Eight X-304s, eight pilots and eight of you. You will not swap assignments because I'll know about it and I won't be pleased. I want you to walk us through the exercise from take off to landing and talk us through each of the decisions made by the pilots. And anything you'd do differently but I don't expect hindsight to come into play. Don't be jumping the decisions knowing what happens afterwards."
"And just to warn you that exercise ended in a safety stand down." Iain chimed in. "You'll soon see why when you look through the information and one of you is going to be very busy taking the blame. Understand the decision they made that was wrong and detail what you'd have done better."
"Alright." Harry nodded and moved away from the desk again. "When you're under instruction here you'll mostly be paired off and each pair will be with one of us but these couple of weeks will mostly be about getting you acclimatised. There won't be any opportunity to fly but we're going to take this time to get you extremely familiar with every part of the X-304s and then some of the F-302 pilots are going to take you around the F-302s. You will be learning to fly them in the course of this training because there are more F-302s than there are X-304s and with their FTL capabilities there may be a time when we're all put into F-302s for whatever reason. Also in most cases F-302s will be our escort fighters and I need you to know how they fly so there are no accidents when you're in formations. Now then, Walker and Samuels, as the brits you're with me. We're all going to the hangar to sit in the twin-seats and go over… again… the controls."
"Newton, Ottia, you're with me." Claire announced to the Russian and US Navy women. "But don't think we normally pair up with nationalities or gender. This may be the only time we consider your different nationalities or genders so don't get used to it."
"Williams, Sander. You're both with me." Alex nodded to the two US Air Force pilots, male and female.
"Which leaves me with the two of you, Phillips, Tanwan." Iain nodded to the French and Chinese pilots.
"You can leave all of that in here." Harry announced. "Keep this room neat and tidy in case of emergencies but this is your communal working space and you'll have access to this screen whenever you need it to watch your cockpit videos. Let's get going." Harry grabbed his water bottle and headed out with Matt and Kevin Samuels.