Chronicles of Wanderer
In which hidden sides are uncovered.
Harmon Rabb's apartment
Falls Church, VA
June 13th, 1999
0748 Hours EST
No matter how many times it happened, Harmon Rabb never got tired of seeing Sarah Mackenzie's naked body, nor of being able to touch it. Her presence certainly made a morning shower a lot more interesting than it had been before. "God, I love your body," he moaned as the hot water was shut off, leaving him and Mac dripping wet in the shower He gave his lover a long, slow kiss before they finally stepped out of the shower to dry off.
"So, what's on your docket today?"
Mac asked as she toweled off her hair and then wrapped it around her shapely
"The Westin case," Harm answered as
he wrapped up a towel and looked for his razor. "I think I'm gonna crack him
"I know you will," Mac said. "Getting
any heat for it?"
"Well, an officer who admits to have
helped run weapons in exchange for drug money isn't exactly popular," Harm told
her. "Especially since he wants to name names in order to cut his sentence
"Sounds more exciting than my day of
office work," Mac sighed.
Harm gave her a smile. "Just think of
me and it'll fly by."
"Thinking highly of yourself, huh?"
Mac smiled back as she gave him a small hug. She turned and walked toward the
bedroom, dropping her robe. "I've got to get back home, get my uniform," she
called out as she picked her underwear up off the floor and started to slip it
on. "I'll see you later?"
"You got it," Harm called out as he
started shaving. "Love you."
"Love you," the Marine returned as
she got her stuff together. Harm heard the door shut a few minutes later and let
out a sigh. He wished he and Mac didn't have to do so much driving in between
their apartments every morning but it would hardly look good for either of them
if they showed up together. Regulations were in the way and Harm hardly believed
the Admiral would be appreciative of them either.
He heard a footfall coming from the
other room and rose up. "Mac?" he called out as he turned around. "Did
A piercing pain struck him in the side, followed by a shock of electricity pouring into him. He felt himself falling back, his body limp and heard a dark chuckle just as his vision went black.
Harm shook his head as he slowly awoke. He could feel a pain in his side even though he knew it was already healing. He tried to move his arms but couldn't. He realized he was on a chair in his living room, both hands cuffed behind him, legs bound securely to the chair. Several strips of duct tape wrapped around his chest to secure him to the chair as well.
"Nice to see you awake." Harm's face
shot up to see the man standing before him. He was tall with a build similar to
Harm's and wearing a Navy uniform. His face held a dark sneer as he looked at
the bound JAG officer.
"Palmer," Harm hissed under his breath. His eyes held pure malice as he looked on his old enemy.
Clark Palmer just chuckled as he
turned to a mirror and buttoned his uniform. "You really should be looking for a
better security system," he nonchantly said. "I didn't even break a sweat
"I'll be sure to quote you to my
security company," Harm said as he tested his bonds.
"I wouldn't try that," Palmer said as
he paced toward the kitchen area. "Take a look down."
Harm did and felt a chill go up his
spine. Right underneath his feet was a flat disc with a blinking red light on
it. "A little something I cooked up," Palmer called out as he rummaged for
something in a briefcase he had laid out on the kitchen counter. "You remove
pressure, that thing goes off and takes you and this building with it."
Harm licked his lips as he tried to
consider his options. Immortality had limits and he didn't want to test being
blown up as one of them. Trying to stall, he called out. "So what is this,
Palmer? Huh? You don't usually go a trap out of a Dick Tracy strip. Why not just
kill me now and have done with it?"
"Cause I need you alive a little
longer, Rabb," Palmer returned. Harm could hear running water before more
rummaging by Palmer. "It makes things a little better for me."
"What do you want, Palmer?" Harm
"Well, I've been doing freelance work
lately to pay the bills and I just got one hell of a commission to..remove a
certain crooked officer."
"Westin," Harm instantly understood.
"You got it." Palmer's voice sounded
oddly muffled as if he was pulling a ski mask over his face. "Someone big wants
him dead and I'm the man for the job."
Harm snorted. "If you think you can
get to him, Palmer, you're crazier than I ever thought you were. What are you
going to do? Stroll into court and put a bullet in him?"
"Bullet? No. But, stroll right in?"
Palmer stepped out of the kitchen. "That's exactly what I'm going to do."
Harm's jaw dropped in utter shock as
he stared at...himself. It was his own spitting image, dressed in his own
uniform and wearing a wicked smirk. "Like it?" Palmer said, his voice sounding
absolutely bizarre coming out of Harm's mouth. "Getting the technology for the
mask was the easy part. Getting enough photos of you to make it was tough."
Harm tried to quell his shock.
"You're not going to get away with this."
Palmer laughed as he went to his
pocket. "Oh, yes, I am. You won't. Everyone's going to see you kill Westin
before managing to escape. And when your body washes up with a bullet hole,
they'll all think you accepted a contract for a hit and got killed for it
instead." He took what looked like a small speaker box with wires and quickly
taped it to his neck. He coughed a few times and when he spoke, it was in Harm's
voice. "They offered me a million for this. But when I figured out how I could
do it, I told them to keep half." He smiled and leaned in to Harm. "Killing you
is good, Rabb...but destroying your reputation is even better."
He turned and walked away, picking up
his briefcase and slipping on his cap before mockingly saluting Harm. "I'll give
my best to the Marine." With that, he was gone.
Harm closed his eyes and took a deep
breath. He had to think this through. He needed a way to get off this mine with
detonating it. Palmer and his plan could wait. *After all,* Harm thought with a
smile. *There's one attribute of mine he can't copy.*
Falls Church, VA
0908 Hours EST
Mac was hip-deep in a small mountain of files on her desk, hating every minute of it. She was more in the mood for action instead of paperwork, it was why she had become a Marine in the first place. Besides, it was hard for her to concentrate on work when images of Harm kept rushing through her mind. Being with him was better than she could have ever dreamed it would be and the idea that they could be together forever made it all the better. She sighed and tried to get her mind back on work as she perused her next file. She frowned, realizing she was missing a few pages and rose from her desk to walk into the bullpen area. "Harriet?"
Lt. Harriet Sims looked up at Mac. "Yes, Colonel?" she asked.
"I'm missing a few pages from the Carristers file," Mac said. "You know where
"I think they got mixed up in some of Lt. Singer's files," the blonde officer
stated. "You want
me to find her for you?"
Mac sighed. Lt. Loren Singer was not one of her favorite people. While ambition
wasn't a sin,
the lengths Singer went to in order to fulfill hers often rubbed people the
wrong way and bordered
on reckless and irresponsible. The fact that Singer had once tried to put the
moves on Harm to
influence her standing wasn't a comfortable point for Mac either. "No...no, I'll
just put it aside for
now," she answered. She absently flipped through some papers as she spoke. "You
have any idea
when Commander Rabb will be back?"
"Actually, you just missed him," Harriet replied.
Mac stopped and looked up at her. "What?"
"He was here just a minute ago." Harriet couldn't understand why Mac seemed so
hear that. "Went to his office to pick up something and then left. He barely
said hi, I guess he had
the case on his mind."
Mac stared at her for a long moment, her mind trying to handle Harriet's words.
A few months
ago, it would have meant nothing. But Mac knew there was no way that Harm could
thirty feet of her without her feeling his presence. Which meant that whoever
Harriet had seen, it
wasn't Harmon Rabb.
The papers fell onto the floor as Mac charged through the hallways toward the
the end. She hurriedly knocked and upon hearing the muffled voice on the other
end, burst in.
"Sir, we have a problem," she said in a breathless voice.
Admiral A.J. Chegwidden looked up at her, taken aback by Mac's excited demeanor.
Colonel, what are-----"
"The Westin case," Mac broke in. "Where is it?"
Chegwidden rose up. "Lt. Colonel, why are------"
"Sir, I can't explain it but whoever is in that courtroom is not Harm," Mac
said. "I know
it's not, he was just here and I know..."
Chegwidden was on his feet in an instant and moving toward the door. "It should
a few halls down, come on!"
Normally, Mac might have wondered what made the Admiral believe her so readily
under the circumstances, she was too busy to settle that mystery. Instead, she
Admiral as he raced down the halls and toward the courtroom.
Palmer had spent a lot of time studying Rabb's mannerisms and speech, particularly in court and knew he was doing a great job. No one had any doubts he wasn't Rabb, not even that idiot Bud sitting at the table. He paced before the stand, glancing at Westin. The commander was a heavyset man in his fifties with thin graying hair, squirming a bit in his uniform as "Rabb" questioned him.
"So, you admit you aided in the selling of illegal arms to the rebels?" Palmer
Westin nodded. "Yes. Along with several other officers."
Palmer's hand closed around the small bottle in his pocket. "We'll get to that
in a minute,
Colonel. Just how did it feel to betray your oath like that?"
"Objection!" the defense counsel called out.
"Sustained," the judge said. "Watch yourself, Commander."
Palmer ignored him and turned to Westin. "You betrayed your country, your oath,
placed in you for money? Is loyalty nothing to you, Colonel?" Palmer wanted to
build into a
frenzy, to make it look more like Rabb was acting out of passion when he finally
made his move.
"Your honor!" The prosecutor yelled.
"Commander..." the judge began.
Palmer pulled the vial out of his pocket, preparing to let the contents spray in
The back doors of the court burst open and Chegwidden and Mac rushed in, a
quartet of MP's
behind them. "Stop that man!" Mac yelled, pointing at Palmer.
Palmer froze in shock at the sudden interruption. Then, snarling, he yanked out
his vial and
turned to try and throw it at Westin's face. However, the colonel was a lot more
agile and prone
to action than Palmer had anticipated. He ducked out of the way, a hand over his
mouth as the
spray of poison flew over his head and quickly dissipated. People were rising to their feet in confusion, the judge banging his gavel as Palmer tried to run. He had only gotten a few feet when Mac brought him down with a flying tackle. She pushed Palmer on his back and nailed him across the face with a punch. She looked down at her knuckles and saw pieces of flesh-colored plastic sticking to them. On impulse, she burrowed her nails into
"Harm's" features and pulled. Trails of makeup fell away as the mask was revealed. "Palmer,"
Mac hissed. "I should've known."
"Sargent!" Chegwidden called out to one of the MP's. "Take this man into
The MP's pulled Palmer up, the last of his disguise falling away. The courtroom
people not fully understanding what they were seeing. Mac grabbed Palmer by the
pulled him in close. "Where's Harm?" she demanded.
Palmer sneered. "You expect me to tell you?"
Mac tightened her grip and gritted her teeth. "You don't...And I will make
does to you look like a day to the sauna." Her face was set and her eyes blazing
with pure anger
that caused Palmer to feel a chill up his spine.
Harmon Rabb's Apartment
1003 Hours EST
Harm was running out of options. He had pushed the chair as far back as it could go while keeping his feet on the mine but it still wasn't enough distance in case it went off. Plus, he knew that there was a good chance the mine was more powerful than Palmer had told him and he'd be
risking the entire building. This required more work than he could personally provide. He stiffened as he felt the Buzz strike him and whipped his head toward the door. It burst open, the lock breaking as a pair of MP's entered, followed by Mac and Chegwidden.
Mac yelled out.
"Mac!" Harm felt his heart soar as he saw his lover enter. "Get back, I'm on a
Mac and Chegwidden both stopped at the entrance to the room, staring at the odd
before them. Chegwidden turned to the MP and barked out "Get those bomb
Mac moved in and knelt before Harm, looking at the mine. "It was Palmer," Harm
"I know, we got him," she replied. "Westin's still alive." She bit her lip as
she examined the
mine. "This is a bit beyond me."
"Lt. Colonel, back off," Chegwidden ordered. "Let the pros handle this." At that
men in bulky uniforms came in and moved to Harm. The Navy lawyer raised an
"I know how Palmer operates," Mac reminded him. She backed away, holding her
and trying to keep calm. Harm kept her gaze, his eyes letting her know it was
okay. He swallowed
as he felt the techs kneel down to examine the mine. "Looks fairly simple," one
"Make sure," Harm stressed. "Palmer always has a couple of tricks."
"And I found it," the other tech said as he examined the wiring. "He's
colors of the wires to trick whoever clips them into getting the wrong one." He
smiled. "Too bad
I memorized the placement of the firing wire for this type of mine."
"Mac, make a note to add this guy to my Christmas card list."
The specialist carefully pulled out a pair of clippers and slowly inserted them
into the maze
of wires, letting them surround the right one. Taking a deep breath, he swiftly
clipped the wire.
There was an agonizing second before everyone realized nothing had happened,
then a mass
exhalation of breath.
Harm carefully lifted his feet off the mine and let out a loud whoosh of breath as it remained silent. The techs quickly pulled it away and placed it into a special case as Mac came to Harm.
"You okay?" she quietly asked, stroking his face.
Harm nodded. "Yeah, I am." He tensed against his bonds. "Ah, can I get a little
A minute later, his handcuffs lay on the floor as the last of the tape was cut
him to finally stand. He winced as he felt at his wrists. "Thanks," he said with
a sigh. "God, I hate
"Well, if it makes you feel better, I got to punch him a couple of times," Mac said.
Harm resisted the urge to take her in his arms then and there. "I owe you one."
Mac's eyes twinkled. "You bet you do."
Chegwidden's cell phone rang and he turned away to answer it. That gave the two
chance to share a quick but passionate kiss that broke apart just as
Chegwidden's voice barked
out. "What the hell do you mean he...No, I don't want any promises, just find
that son of a bitch
now!" He hung up the phone and turned to Harm and Mac with a weary expression.
The two stared in shock. "He what?" Mac demanded. "How?"
"They're still figuring it out," the Admiral told her. "Commander, I'm
be in protective custody and a guard be placed in case he tries again."
"Sir, I don't------"
"This is an order, Commander." Chegwidden's tone gave no room for argument. He
Mac. "Lt. Colonel, maybe you should keep an eye on him to make sure he follows
"I'll do my best, sir," Mac said, hiding a smile.
Harm sighed and rubbed at his neck. "If you insist, sir, we'll make do."
1938 Hours EST
Any ideas Harm and Mac might have had for fun were slightly altered due to the pair of MP's the Admiral had posted in Harm's living room. Instead, the two sat in Harm's kitchen, going over files. Mac had changed to a light pair of jeans and dark shirt as Harm wore slacks and a sweatshirt. They sipped at some sodas as they went over their work.
"He was good," Mac was telling her lover. "I have to admit, I might have been
not for.." She glanced at the MP's. "Well, you know."
Harm nodded. "Yeah, he must have stolen that mask style from some secret
chuckled. "But I doubt he could match me move for move in all areas."
Mac narrowed her eyes mischevisouly at him. Before she could make a retort,
there was a
knock on the door. Instantly, the MP's were on alert, both rising to their feet
and facing the door.
One moved to look through the keyhole and then backed away to open the door.
Lt. Loren Singer entered, a coat thrown over her uniform, her blonde hair held
professional ponytail and her demeanor as cool as always. "I need to see Lt.
and Commander Rabb," she stated in her blunt tone. "Now."
"Madam, we can't----"
"I'm JAG, I'm a co-worker and I'm from the Admiral. Let me in now." Singer fixed
with a glare that told the man she wasn't leaving. Sighing, the soldier moved
aside and allowed
her to enter the apartment. Singer bustled in and glared at Harm and Mac.
certainly have stepped into it, haven't you?"
Mac closed her eyes. "Singer...we're having a bad enough day as it is. We could
without your smart remarks right now."
Singer shrugged. "Whatever, MacKenzie. I just needed to drop by here and deliver
"And what's that?" Harm asked.
In a blur of motion, Singer reached under her coat and produced a large gun. She
around, snap-aimed and fired two shots at the two MP's. Each jerked before
collapsing, a dart
sticking out of their necks. Singer aimed the gun back at Harm and Mac, who both
sat stunned at
the sudden turn of events. "Careful," she said. "I can always aim for the head."
"Wha...what the hell are you doing?" Mac hissed.
Singer shrugged off her coat and smiled. "Let's just say I'm taking my unique
promotion." She glanced behind her. "With a little help..."
Harm and Mac followed her gaze...and their eyes widened as Palmer entered the
apartment with a gun in his hand. "Hi, hon," he called out.
"Hi, dear," Singer said back with a smile. He leaned in and he and Singer shared
"Oh. My. God." Mac's face was aghast as Harm just stared open-mouthed at the unbelievable scene. Singer and Palmer broke apart and turned toward them, Singer wearing a sick smile on her face.
"How...what..." Harm stammered.
Palmer grinned. "Meet what you can term my accomplice. I'm sure you've met
Harm shook his head as he collected himself. "Singer, I knew you were ambitious
willing to step on people to get to the top. But I never imagined you could go
Singer shrugged. "What can I say? When Clark approached me, he pointed out how
you two will leave an awfully big hole that a smart attorney can fill." She
winked at Palmer. "It
sort of progressed from there."
"God, spare us the details," Mac moaned. She glared at Singer. "It's not going
Singer. The MP's saw you, when they wake up-----"
Singer smiled and threw something down on the table. Harm and Mac stared at it
realized they were looking at a mask of Singer's face, like the one of Harm
Palmer had used.
"According to the computer logs at the office, I've been there all night working
on files," Singer
said with a smirk.
"Which means," Palmer said. "It won't be hard for them to conclude I had an
posing as Loren to get in here. Course, you two will hardly be worrying about
that." He lifted up
his gun, making sure the silencer was on as he carefully aimed it. Harm and Mac
as they backed away, their hands linking together.
Palmer's shots were expert and swift. Two crimson holes appeared on Mac's left
she fell back. Harm was next to her in a second, three bullets in his chest.
They both shuddered,
choking on their own blood before going still.
Palmer lowered the gun and let out a dark chuckle. "Oh, God, that felt good!"
Singer looked down at the two dead bodies, struck by how little she felt over
looked over at Palmer and smiled. "Well...looks like we both got what we
wanted." She moved
toward him as her face took on a sultry tone. "Shall we go and celebrate?"
Palmer grinned back as he brought her in for another long wet kiss. They ran their hands over each other as they felt the twisted passion that had helped bring them together.
"How nauseatingly sweet," a deep voice cut in. "I'll try to make sure you two
adjourning cells at Leavenworth."
Palmer and Singer broke apart and turned to stare in shock at Chegwidden, who
standing in the doorway with a quintet of MP's, all aiming rifles at the two.
"You know, Singer,"
Chegwidden calmly said. "The next time you try to fix the computer logs, make
sure no one is
going to be dropping by your office unannounced."
Palmer dropped the gun but sneered. "Too late, A.J. The deed is done so it doesn't matter what you do to me."
A gasping sound caused Palmer and Singer to turn around. They stared in shock as
sat up, coughing and rubbing her chest. A second later, Harm was rising as well,
moaning as he
came back to life. They sat there, gazing up and realizing everyone was staring
at them. "How..."
Palmer stammered. "How did...."
"Amazing how small they make those blood packets," Chegwidden announced. "I
suspected someone at JAG was working with you, Palmer, so I hoped having Rabb
MacKenzie alone would lure them in. Thanks for living up to expectations."
He threw a look at Harm and Mac as he rubbed one wrist and instantly, both
They fought to keep their shock down as they got back up to their feet.
Meanwhile, Palmer and
Singer, still taken aback at the sudden change of events, were being handcuffed
and read their
rights as the two unconscious MP's were checked out.
Harm sighed as he walked forward, his eyes hard on Palmer's. With an explosion
he launched out and punched Palmer in the face hard. Mac's own eyes were filled
with hate as she
blasted Singer with an uppercut that produced a shower of blood from the
blonde's nose. Both
fell back, moaning as the MP's held them up.
"Get them out of here," Chegwidden ordered. The MP's were quick to obey and
Chegwidden was alone with his charges. He turned to face them, Harm and Mac both
with arms crossed and faces set.
"Admiral," Harm coolly intoned. "Permission to speak freely?"
Chegwidden bent his head and nodded. "Granted."
For the next seventy-two seconds, the air of the apartment turned blue as Harm
unleashed every single curse they could think of to demand to know why the
Admiral had never
told them he was their Watcher. Even for an old Navy man, Chegwidden was taken
aback at the
outburst, finally able to hold up a hand to stop them. "I didn't mean quite that
"Why the hell didn't you tell us?!" Mac demanded.
"Well, MacKenzie, we didn't become a secret society by telling just anyone,"
calmly said. "And may I remind you, I am still your commanding officer and you
grateful that I am placing your...extracurricular affairs...under the Watcher
files and not the
Harm and Mac froze as each realized what the Admiral was saying. They glanced at each other, then at the Admiral, trying to compose themselves.
"Save it, Commander," Chegwidden said, holding up his hand. "Like I said, as far
concerned, no one in the Navy or Marines has to know." He smirked. "Not like I
don't have a
knack for keeping secrets." He backed away and headed toward the door. "I think
given all this,
you two can come in a little late tomorrow. See you then." He walked out,
shutting the door
Harm and Mac slowly turned and stared at each other with looks of pure
"Okay..." Mac started. "That was....weird."
Harm shook his head. "The Admiral is our Watcher. We really should have known,
Mac rubbed her hair, then looked down at her chest. "Ah, dammit, I really liked
Harm smiled as he moved toward her, his fingers sliding under the cloth. "Maybe
should clean up a little, hmmm?"
Mac smiled as she moved in to join him. "Just as long as we don't get a phone
us Palmer escaped again."
Harm chuckled as he felt at her chest. "Come on, Mac. Palmer's good but I don't
even he can pull off two escapes in one day."
Outskirts of Falls Church
2256 Hours EST
"How the hell do you manage to do this?" Singer asked in a breathless voice. She gasped as she felt a branch scratch her face. She and Palmer were making their way through the forests, trying to put as much distance between them and any pursuit as popular. Singer's coat was gone, her uniform jacket open and slacks slightly torn. Her hair was loose, falling around her dirty and sweaty face. Palmer still looked as loose as ever, a gun in his hand, one hand still cuffed in steel. "I mean, I was with you when you did it and I still don't know how you did it," Singer said as she followed her lover. "We just busted out of a military car, removed our handcuffs and made quite a bit of distance and I still don't know how!"
"Tricks of the trade, love," Palmer replied. "I'll explain in full once we get
Singer scoffed. "Like that's coming soon." She stopped and paused for breath,
head. "Dammit...It was going to come along perfectly...I had it all
planned...Now my career is
over, I'm a wanted fugitive and that bitch MacKenzie has a shot at going ahead
where I should
have!" She rose up and threw out her arms. "Dammit, this is so unfair, so
horrible, so, so..."
"Yes, exactly! It's unjust, it's...." Singer stopped and looked around. "Who
"Ahem." Singer and Palmer turned to a nearby tree and saw a figure standing in
shadow of a branch. The top of his body was mostly obscured; all they could see
was the dark red
suit, black tie, yellow shirt and gloves. "Mr. Palmer, Lt. Singer...Or perhaps I
should simply say
Ms. Singer since I have no doubt your military rank is being stripped away as we
Palmer raised his gun up, aiming it at the man. "Hold it there. Come out slowly
The man chuckled and for the first time, Singer and Palmer could hear how his
a strange, eerie echoing tone. "Mr. Palmer...believe me when I say that that is
the last thing you
want me to do."
Palmer's grip on the gun tightened. "What do you want?"
"You. Both of you. I'm on the lookout for...kindred spirts as it were," the man
said as he
stepped forward. "People who know what it's like to...lose face as it were."
He stepped fully into the light and Palmer and Singer felt their jaws drop.
Instead of a
face, or a head, for that matter, there was only a red mask floating above the
suit, the eyeholes
seeming to glow with an unearthly light. The man stopped, hands behind his back,
collected as the two stared in utter disbelief at him.
"Who...who are you?" Singer stammered.
"My name is Johnny Sorrow," the man said in what might have been a polite tone
for the utter inhumanity of his voice. "And as I said, I wanted to speak to the
two of you. TO
make you an offer."
"What kind of offer?" Palmer warily asked.
"To join a group I am putting together," Sorrow said. "Comprised of people like
me. People who have suffered a great injustice. You wish to avenge yourselves of
done to you by Rabb and MacKenzie. I can help you do that."
"What is it you want?" Palmer said. "Justice or revenge?"
"Aren't they the same thing, really?" Sorrow rhetorically asked. He extended a
"Join me and you shall have justice...and great rewards."
Palmer and Singer exchanged a long look with one another. Then they turned to
and nodded. The mask seemed to brighten, almost as if Sorrow was smiling. There
was a flash of
light and the forest was quiet once more as a secret crusade started to grow.