Authors Note: This has been sitting on my computer for a long time, I never got around to finishing it. I attempted finding a Beta, sorry no takers, so all mistakes are mine. This story takes place in my form of the world in February 2007.
Disclaimer: The characters and concepts of JAG are not mine, but their original creator. I make no profit from them. I do not have any the rights to the show. This is a work of fan-fiction, for entertainment purposes only.
FORCE JUDGE ADVOCATE NAVAL FORCES EUROPE HEADQUARTERS
The intercom buzzer sounded disrupting Captain Rabb's concentration which was focused on the paperwork spread across his desk before him; he absent mindedly grimaced, as he reached to his left and punched the intercom button responding to his yeoman with a distracted "Yeah" His eyes still glued to the paperwork searching for the ever allusive error.
"Captain . . . "
"Yeoman! what part of, do not disturb me, unless it's of national security did you not understand?" Rabb snapped.
"I do understand sir but I have a phone call for you. . ."
"Rice, how do you expect me to get all this paperwork done if you never give me any time to complete it, and just like everything else they want it done yesterday already."
"But captain, I have General Cresswell on the line from JAG Headquarters in Washington DC. He said it was important and he sounds ah . . . um, a little angry, sir."
"General Cresswell?" Rabb question aloud, "Alright, I got it," he said as he picked up the phone and punched the blinking extension. Now what did I do?
"General Cresswell, how are you doing, sir?"
"Captain Rabb, that depends on how fast you can get your six back to Washington. I want you on the next available flight. And I will expect you in my office as soon as possible, do I make myself perfectly clear," the General replied sounding more than a little irritated.
"Yes, sir . . . Sir, may I ask what this is in reference to?" Rabb asked, General Cresswell's tone already had the hair on the back of his neck tingling.
"Captain, we will discuss the subject at great lengths as soon as you get here . . . and just so there is no misunderstanding. You will report ASAP. And make no mistake that is a direct order! You can have your yeoman contact my office with your confirmed flight time within the next half hour, so I can make arrangements for our meeting as soon as you land," the general added before he hung up the phone.
Captain Rabb leaned back in his chair in stunned silence after the line disconnected. He tried to scan his memory for any recent cases or activities that were unusual enough for the general to be recalling him to Washington. Although he had always been known as a "loose cannon" he felt that his current assignment station had been relatively quiet lately. He couldn't think of anything that would make the DC brass angry. But obviously something had, sighing deeply as he looked at the mountain of paperwork before him, he reached for the intercom again, "Rice get me on the next available flight to Washington and make it snappy. Then call JAG headquarters back immediately and give them the confirmed flight times. And send Commander Fitzgerald into my office ASAP," he ordered.
Harm was shuffling through the paperwork and sorting it into separate piles by importance when he heard a knock on his office door.
"Enter," Rabb responded without looking up.
"Lieutenant Commander Fitzgerald reporting as ordered, sir." as the thirty-two year old lieutenant commander stated coming to a halt in front of Captain Rabb's desk at full attention.
"At ease commander, I have been ordered to report to Washington ASAP. So you will have command of Force Judge Advocate in my absence. Any problems or questions you can get a hold of me by my pager or my cell. I have sorted the paperwork on my desk into two separate piles." As he pointed to the first pile, "This pile needs to be completed and submitted by the end of the day. This other pile I want finished no later than tomorrow. Do you think you can handle this assignment commander?" Rabb asked as he locked eyes with the shocked lieutenant commander.
"Yes, Sir," the commander replied swallowing hard while looking over the two piles of paperwork before him.
"Any questions, while I'm still here?" the captain inquired.
"Not that I can think of right now, sir." He answered nervously, still eying the piles of paperwork.
After slight chuckle Rabb added, "It's not as much as it seems commander, I have the paperwork for today completed and signed, just make sure there are no errors before you submit them. Then start on the ones for tomorrow. If you need help Lieutenant Brunson can assist you. She's helped me before and knows what the brass expects," he explained as he finished putting some files in his briefcase.
He again looked up at the commander who appeared to be letting out the breath he had been holding. "Don't worry commander, I'm taking the most complicated paperwork with me to complete on the plane. And I wouldn't put you in charge if I didn't think you could handle it." He patted the commander on the shoulder as he made for the door briefcase in hand.
Harm stopped in front of Yeoman Rice's desk long enough to confirm his flight would be leaving in a little under two hours. He checked his watch as he took the stairs quickly and jogged from the building.
As he pulled his SUV into traffic, he hit the speed dial button on his cell phone, after two rings a tired-sounding female voice answered while stifling a yawn. "Harm, I thought you had a ton of paperwork to get done today? Are you bored already fly-boy or just trying to avoid getting your work done?" she added teasingly.
"Well, I'm on my way home ninja-girl. I just got orders to get to Washington ASAP," he answered.
"Now, what did you do?" she questioned suddenly serious and very awake.
"I can't think of anything that would have the brass stirred up. . . Now if it had been last month, I know they weren't too happy with the Fisher court martial, but . . . " he drifted off again considering all the recent cases that were handled by his staff.
"Who are you letting in charge? Fitzgerald?" she asked considering the possibilities.
"Yeah, I thought maybe you could check in every once in a while, covertly of course. And make sure he's not sinking the ship," he added softly.
Mac considered this for a moment Lieutenant Commander Fitzgerald was a good officer. Harm was steadily trying to groom him for bigger and better things; a promotion was not too far off. Unfortunately the Lieutenant Commander lacked confidence at times. "You didn't tell him I would be checking on him did you?-Harm you are going to destroy what you have tried so hard to build him up for. He can command, he just has to prove it to himself, first. You've told me that a million times," she said rapidly all at once, thinking aloud.
"I know he can. You can check with Lieutenant Brunson, she can let you know if he needs any help. Then maybe you can tell her how to help him. Or you can stop in and take her to lunch or change the pictures on my desk. Or . . . I'm sure you will think of something," he added with a chuckle, thinking of how Mac always seemed to know how to help at his office without it seeming like she was doing just that. After all being married they were not allowed to work under the same command technically. So her office though it was also located here in London was attached to the NATO Command in Naples.
"Harm I just updated the pictures of me and the kids on your desk, last week," she pouted.
"I can never have enough pictures of you, Connor, and Mattie; you know that," he replied smiling. "Anyway, I'll be home in ten minutes to grab my bags. My flight leaves in an hour and forty minutes," he said after checking his watch.
"Okay, I'll start getting your bags ready until you get home."
"Too bad it's such short notice or you and Connor could come with me," he added sadly.
"Harm with my job, even with working part time right now, and Connor, it would just be too difficult. And you never know maybe you'll be on a plane back tomorrow," she added hopefully.
"Yeah, you're right but I already miss you guys . . ." he was starting to dread this trip more and more, even before it began.
"See you in a bit," she added and disconnected the line. "Come on Connor," she said to the eight month old balanced on her hip. "We marines need to get busy to send daddy off in style."
Question: So now I'll ask, should I finish this? I have about 90 pages written & I am working on the ending, but you tell me is it worthwhile?