Jericho -:- Homecoming
Summary: Post Series (Un-aired ending). Having started the Second American Civil War and rescued Hawkins from Loomer Ridge Prison with Chavez, Jake will do anything to return home to Jericho, dead or alive.
Disclaimer: I own nothing
Author's Note: This is the result of having a massive 'Re-watch of Jericho Marathon' that meant every episode and special feature was watched in the space of three days. Having watched the un-aired ending I decided that there was no way it could possibly be left there and I just had to continue it :)
Chapter One -:- A Good Landing
Somewhere Over Kansas
Yet again, Jake found his eyes drawn to the fuel gage. Of all the hundreds of beeping lights and warning signs, that was the most troubling. He was practically flying the plane on fumes, and there was no way physics was going to keep them in the air much longer. They were going down, and there was nothing he could do.
Tearing his eyes away, he instead flicked a screen from radar to GPS, trying to focus on the destination rather than the journey. He could finally see Jericho on the map. He could finally see his home.
It had been a month since he had flown the package into Texan airspace, presenting officials with the evidence they needed to realise that the Cheyenne Government was a load a bull and drive them to side with what was left of the old administration. That at least made the Second Civil War that they had inevitably started a slightly fairer fight. The country had changed a lot since then. Towns and states had been asked to submit their allegiance to one side or the other, neutrality resulting in support from neither side. Some places had stuck with Cheyenne simply so that they could survive while others had realised that the Allied States of America was no longer about freedom, but control, and as such had refused further aid from them, instead turning to the Eastern United States.
Jake had found all this out while hiding in Colorado, a state still loyal to Cheyenne. While plotting how to release Hawkins from Loomer Ridge, he and Chavez had had to stay under the radar, getting information while remaining undetected. Being Wanted Men, it hadn't been easy. It had taken them three weeks to find themselves a way in and out, their escape vehicle being the plane they had borrowed from San Antonio. Not the quietist exit, but it had gotten them this far, and if you've got a plane, why not use it?
"How we doing?" asked Chavez as he ducked into the cockpit. A bloody rag was wrapped around his arm, the gunshot wound thankfully being the worst of the injuries received in the prison break. Jake glanced at the fuel gage again before replying.
"We're still going, just," he decided not to tell Chavez that their altitude was dropping as the engine struggled to run on the fumes they had. "How's Hawkins?"
Chavez shrugged, despite being in Jake's blind spot. "He's trained to survive worse. He'll sleep it off pretty quick. He wouldn't have talked either. Takes more than food and sleep deprivation to break men like us."
"Thanks." Jake muttered as Chavez turned to leave, causing him to pause. "Thanks for letting me take us home. It's probably not the smartest move, and it's not your home..."
"Jake, my home was nuked a year ago." Chavez replied bluntly, emotion drained from his voice as he had long ago accepted this as fact. "You wanna go home. I respect that and you deserve it. If there are any problems, we'll fix them. That's how it is." Jake nodded and Chavez smiled. "Besides, Jericho seems like a decent place to me, I can think of far worse places to settle."
As Chavez left, Jake looked again at the fuel gage, the needle pointing to empty. Several other lights were flashing telling him that it was pure hope that was keeping them airborne now. "Let's just hope I can get us there."
"It was the right decision, Gray," Eric said to the stony Mayor of their town. "We got Cheyenne out of our town; we're not ready for another military occupation."
Gray sighed heavily. "But by declaring us neutral, I've left us without aid. No food or medical supplies, nothing. We're lucky we're still on the grid, or we'd be truly screwed."
"I don't know if you've forgotten this, but before the soldiers came we were surviving on our own with far less. Beck made sure we kept all the supplies the ASA had provided before he left. If we're sensible we're good for a long time. We're not in the dark anymore." Eric reasoned.
After a moment of thought, Gray nodded. "How's the town taking it, Sherriff?"
Eric bristled a little at the title. It felt wrong that he had taken Jake's place in his absence. It irritated him that the only positions of authority he had taken had been temporary; 'Acting' Mayor, and now 'Acting' Sherriff. He brushed it off though, hoping the pause hadn't registered with Gray. "Things are pretty much normal. Dale is keeping Gracie's stocked with his trade, the citizens are happy, more relaxed now that the soldiers have gone. No one has disputed your decision, everyone's supporting it..."
"Until the food runs out." Gray interrupted, his eyes staring off somewhere else.
"Stanley is reporting a good harvest, along with the other farms. Things are going well. The biggest problems I'm being told about are that Mary has fewer customers than before and Emily is struggling to organise the High School Homecoming dance with only 8 students." Eric paused, trying to read Gray and failing. "Things are quiet and peaceful. You should enjoy it while it's here rather than long for it when it's gone."
"You're right, Eric. You're right. You should probably go help Emily and Mary." Gray subtly ordered for some alone time. Without another word, the Acting Sherriff of Jericho left the office.
Once outside in the evening air, Eric glanced up at the Gadsden flag flying above him. He smiled sadly at the memory of his father, and then walked down Main Street as the streetlamps spluttered to life.
"Sir, we have reports that the fugitive's plane has entered Kansas airspace. The state has declared its allegiance to the EUS, what are your orders?"
The young soldier avoided all eye contact with his superior who seemed to be permanently irritated. Major Holmes was prone to shooting the messenger, which was possibly why he tended to receive news slower than others. "Is there any supporting or neutral ground in the area?"
"Yes Sir, a town called Jericho not far from the reported position is neutral. However, the closest EUS troops are stationed in New Bern, a neighbouring town. They are very close Sir."
"Where are our nearest troops?" Major Holmes snapped, mainly due to his personality rather than the situation.
"We have forces stationed in Colorado, Arkansas and Oklahoma. It will take two hours for the Oklahoma troops to travel north and intercept, however they are only ground troops with no nearby air support. The plane would have to be close to or on the ground for the strike to be effective." The soldier explained as quickly yet formally as possible, wanting to be out of the Major's presence as soon as possible.
Major Holmes mulled over a few possibilities in his mind before declaring orders unnecessarily loudly. "Right, send word to the Oklahoma troops that they are to intercept the plane in Jericho's territory. They are to capture the fugitives and take them back to Loomer Ridge, alive preferably, however if they were to be accidently killed I'm not too concerned. Go."
Somewhere Over Kansas
The plane's altitude had dipped to dangerous levels as Jake skimmed just above the tallest treetops. By some miracle the engine was still going, barely, allowing him to control their descent to some degree. They were so close, but the landing was going to determine whether they returned home in one piece or several.
"Where are we?" asked Hawkins as he managed to stumble into the cockpit. Chavez followed, hanging at the door as the space was too small for the three of them.
"We just passed New Bern, and are about fifty miles from Jericho." Jake replied. He sighed, and then gestured at the fuel gage. "You should probably know that I'm not really flying this plane anymore, just coasting her as close to the ground as possible before the engine completely cuts out."
"Wait, we're going down?" Chavez interrupted with the tiniest hint of fear in his voice. He had refused to admit his fear of flying to Jake, however the pilot had picked up on it the first time he had flown them from Texas to Colorado. "How long?"
Jake shrugged, honestly not knowing. "I'm aiming to land her here, twenty miles from town," he jabbed at the GPS screen. "I don't know if we'll make it that far though. You need to tie down anything loose that may fly around and hit you when we crash. Then you need to get to your seats and uh..." Jake flicked a button on the dash and the 'fasten seatbelts' sign lit up. "Fasten your seatbelts. We're going down, and I doubt it will be a smooth landing."
"Got it, Jake." Hawkins patted Jake on the shoulder before giving Chavez a gentle shove out of the cockpit. "Let's go."
The Oklahoma/Kansas Border
Major Hardy had not been pleased to hear his orders. What the trigger happy Major Holmes had ordered him to do was to enter enemy territory in order to get to neutral land that just happened to be right next door to the largest concentration of EUS forces in the state, possibly causing a fire fight or worse. And all he had was his team of twenty men armed only with automatic weapons to bring down a plane that may contain three fugitives.
But first they had had to get through border patrol at the state line. It had been interesting negotiating with EUS border officials who had been pretty reluctant to let them in. Even now their convoy was joined by two enemy patrol trucks that were ordered to stick with them until they entered neutral territory, and then wait for them and supervise their return. How they were going to bring down a plane in a relatively small space without the enemy noticing was another matter completely.
At the pace they were going they wouldn't be in Jericho territory for at least another hour, by which point the plane would have already flown into the next state. This attack seemed like a huge waste of resources in his opinion. He'd have a few words to say to Major Holmes when he eventually got back to Cheyenne.
Emily Sullivan was angry. She couldn't believe Jake could do this to her. He knew how much she had suffered, waiting and hoping for Roger to come home, not knowing if he was even still alive. And now he had gone and done the same. A tear slid down her cheek at the thought of Roger alone out there, probably dead by now. She hoped Jake had not come to the same fate.
After days knowing he was being tortured by Beck she had managed to rescue him and bring him home. He had been a mess, both physically and mentally. She had had him with her for half a day, and she was happy to have him safe. Then, without a word, he had left. No one in town knew where he had gone, except Darcy Hawkins. Emily knew that she had known something, but all the other woman had said was that Jake was with her husband and they were doing a great thing.
She drank another glass of wine, finishing the third bottle of the week, when it was only Tuesday. She had done this every night once she was home alone ever since Jake had disappeared. A whole month, alone, waiting and worrying.
When he came home, he'd have a lot to answer for.
Somewhere Above Kansas
This was it.
The engine had died with a crack that had echoed around the whole structure. In the space of about a minute that felt like hours, the plane fell from the sky.
Jake struggled to pull the plane out of the dive, trying to land on the belly rather than the nose. In the darkness of the night, he didn't see the tree line until it was too late to do anything. Branches raked at the plane as it shot through the growth. The windshield shattered as thicker branches punctured her, showering Jake with shards that cut at his face. He threw an arm up to protect himself and was rewarded with a huge shard embedding itself in his forearm. He yelled out but the sound of the plane crashing was far too loud for him to be heard.
They broke through the trees, a large field opening up before them. Jake saw the ground rushing up to meet them, and braced himself for the inevitable. The GPS had told him that they had entered Jericho land before the engine had cut out and plunged him into darkness. All he could think of was Emily, and he silently apologised for leaving her. He wished he had said goodbye before he'd left. He apologised to his mom as well, sorry that he would leave her too, so soon after his dad.
Moments before the nose of the plane buried itself into the mud, Jake had one final thought
A/N: I hope you enjoyed the first chapter
A/N: I hope you enjoyed the first chapterPlease let me know what you think!