Disclaimers: JAG and it's characters don't belong to me, they're (C) Donald P. Bellasario, Bellasarius, and Paramount. KF:TLC and it's characters don't belong to me either (I got the short end of the stick). They belong to Michael Sloan and Warner Brothers.
map of the auditorium:
-------------------------------------- key: x=stage
corridor corridor t=todd
--------| |----------- k=karen
| T | a=aj
| auditorium |
-------- a k ------------
8 May, 1330 Zulu ***Military Academy
Karen Simms, Police Captain most days, mother today, watched as her son Todd marched down the gray carpet to his seat. Then her eyes moved to the guest speaker, a Navy Admiral. She looked in the program. AJ Chegwidden. Karen wondered idly what the initials stood for. He was a tall, bald man. Very attractive. The Judge Advocate General, and an ex-SEAL, according to her program. Karen found herself staring into Chegwidden’s deep brown eyes. One could get lost in those eyes, if one’s heart didn’t already belong to another set of eyes. A set always covered by green sunglasses. Detc. Kermit Griffin. Their relationship was unorthodox at best. At worse, it was frowned upon. But sometimes there was no regulating the heart. Karen sighed and brought her attentin back to the ceremony. Chegwidden had a slight accent. She tried to place it…Texan, perhaps? Karen looked at her son again. Todd looked so nice in his dress uniform and beret. She was glad he finished Academy, he’d almost quit when his girlfriend was kidnapped. But with a little unwanted help from his mother and Detective TJ Kincaide, Todd’d found her, and decided to go back to finish his last year. Todd caught her looking at him, and gave her a quick grin before turning back to watch the tall Admiral. Karen smiled back. She was so glad that their relationship was healing. It was a long process, but it was definitely worth it to have her son back in her life. Karen followed suit and turned her attention back to Admiral Chegwidden. She tried hopelessly to concentrate on what he was saying. Something about initiative or some other leadership trait. She was sure it was a good speech, but was just to emotional to listen. Oh well, the Admiral would probably never know.
Karen knew the speech was over when everybody around her started applauding. She joined in, her eyes following Chegwidden off the stage. Then got her camera ready. It was time for The diplomas to be handed out to the cadets. It went alphabetically, so it took a while to get to her son. Then she heard the S’s starting to be called. Sapp…Seremelli..finally! “Cadet Major Todd Simms,” the Commandant announced. Karen smiled from cheek to cheek, and clapped louder than anyone else in the room.
KABLAAAM! An explosion. At the podium. Karen saw Todd dive into a roll to escape the brunt of the blast. She hoped he was okay, but she knew the trouble would not end with that. True, it could be a prank by other cadets, but Karen had a bad feeling about this. She reached into her blazer and pulled her .38 from its holster. Karen sidestepped across the row, whispering to the people to stay low. She saw several other people doing the same as she, including Admiral Chegwidden. She spared a quick glance at him, and he nodded. Acknowledging a comrade in arms. She nodded back, wanting to let him know she’d watch his six. She didn’t know this AJ Chegwidden, but Karen saw something of herself in him. She got back to patrolling her area of the room. The important thing right now was to secure the area. To keep Todd safe. Karen heard a faint noise somewhere to her right and turned to check. Two men dressed in black with semi-automatics stood in the corridor. Karen coughed in an attempt to get Chegwidden’s attention. It worked. He looked over at her, and she tried to explain without words. She held up two fingers, and jerked her head to the right. AJ nodded. He understood! He looked to his left, and then back to Karen. He held up three fingers. Karen frowned. That made five, and she was confident that a look at the other corridors would bring the same results. This was definitely not just some prank. Another man dressed all in black appeared from the red velvet curtains behind the podium. Commandant *** was walking with him against his own will…he had a gun pressed against his back.
“Nobody try and be a hero!” the man in black barked.
“I’m a military man. I’m prepared to die for my country,” the Commandant said bravely.
“Ah, I’m sure,” said the man sharply, “But are these young men?” He nodded and five more armed men ran from behind the curtain. They ran past the podium, however, to where the cadets were seated. One pulled out a pistol and aimed it directly at a cadets head. He cocked the gun, and began to put pressure on the trigger.
“NO!” IT was Todd screaming. He ran up and pushed his classmate over, falling on top of him. The gun went off, but the bullet didn’t hit anyone. The man refocused his gun, this time on Todd. Simms locked her sight on him, waiting for him to make a move. She’d drop her gun for him in a heart beat, but she wasn’t sure about all her other armed allies, and she wasn’t going to let Todd get shot.
“Merchant!” the man at the podium, obviously the leader, warned. Then he addressed the audience. “As you can see, Merchant here is somewhat of a loose-cannon, so I suggest anyone with a weapon drops it now. He will not hesitate to shoot your children. Karen lowered her gun, but didn’t drop it, waiting to see what the others would do. She saw that Chegwidden still had his focused on Merchant. He slowly lowered it, looking around at the others, also. Another man followed suit, and two more after that, but one man still had his gun leveled on Merchant. He was some young idiot, trying to prove something. Trying to be a hero. “Go ahead, Merchant, I think they need a lesson,” the leader ordered. Karen immediately brought her gun up and shot Merchant in the hand. She wasn’t sure what they’d do to Todd if she killed the man. Not a heart beat later, another shot hit Merchant, this one in the upper arm. Karen didn’t need to look to the direction that the shot came from. She knew it was Chegwidden. Karen thanked him silently and made a mental note to do it a loud later. The young gun got spooked an dropped his gun. The other bad guys ran from the four corridors and aimed guns at both the cadets and all of the armed people. Karen dropped her gun, hoping that Todd was out of immediate danger, and she saw that Chegwidden and the others did the same. “Take the two with the learning problem,” the leader said, indicating Simms and Chegwidden.
“Mom!” Todd shouted.
That gave the leader an advantage over them. “And don’t try anything funny, or your son is dead.”
“It’ll be okay, Todd,” Karen tried to comfort her son. Four armed men trotted to them and took them into custody. She thought Chegwidden could probably take those four, considering his ex-SEAL status, but he must be concerned for Todd too, or at least he realized the futility of such an action. The men escorted them from the main room and down a corridor to a janitor’s closet. They got out two pairs of hand cuffs from a cargo pocket, and attached Chegwidden’s write to a sturdy looking set of metal shelves, then, with the other pair, the attached Chegwiddens free wrist to Simms’. Then they left, securing the door behind them.
“Dammit,” Chegwidden cursed.
“I whole-heartedly agree,” replied Karen softly. The Admiral looked at her like he just realized she was there.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I’m AJ Chegwidden.”
“Yes, I know,” she responded. “I’m Karen Simms.”
“You’re not military?” AJ seemed surprised. Oh, so they were on a first name basis now.
“Police,” she answered. “I’m a Captain.”
“Ah,” he said, as if that explained it all. “And…Todd? He’s you’re son?”
“Then it’s very important we get out of here.”
“Again, I agree. Got any ideas?”
“Do you know much about explosives?” he asked.
Karen nodded, following where he was going. “They locked us in a closet full of cleaning supplies.”
“Might as well have locked us in an armory,” AJ grinned. “If we can’t build a bomb, we can at least do something to get their attention. I’m willing to bet they have a man stationed out there.” He nodded his head towards the door.
“So if we make some smoke, some commotion…”
“We get him when he comes to check it out.”
“Oldest trick in the book.”
“We’ll just have to hope he didn’t read that book. The first step, though, is to get out of these cuffs.”
Karen laughed. “Not a problem.” She lifted up her foot and used her unrestrained hand to reach down in her shoe. With a rip, she pulled the key she kept sewn into the lining out.
AJ raised his eyebrows. “Nice,” he said as Karen uncuffed them.
“I’ll take that as a compliment coming from a Navy SEAL.”
“You read my bio,” he accused. She shrugged.
“Let’s get out of here.” Karen grabbed one bottle of cleaner from the shelf, and AJ grabbed another. They looked at the ingredients.
“This ought to do it. Look at this,” she turned the bottle over.
“’Do not mix with other cleaners’,” she read.
AJ smiled slightly and poured the chemicals into a bucket. “Hold your breath,” he warned. The bucket started smoking, and he tipped it over to spill out the door. “Help!” he yelled, and banged on the shelf. He stepped to the side of the door. It opened. AJ smashed the man on the top of the head. “After you,” he said to Karen, gesturing to the open door.
(((ok, i don't know anything about what cleaning supplies to mix to do this any suggestions)))
“Such a gentleman,” she remarked, squeezing by him. “Now, speaking of an armory…”
“I got the grand tour when I arrived,” said the Admiral, “I know where it is.”
“Then let’s get there, and let’s get there quick.”
He stopped and turned her around to face him. “If I have anything to do with it, Todd, or any of those boys won’t get hurt.”
“Let’s hope you’re right, Admiral…let’s hope you’re right.”
To be continued...