Yankee Lima Sierra
Summary: Jim's POV. Jim is remembering as he struggles to survive.
Warning for a bad word, maybe two. Rated PG.
Spoilers: Oh yes. The Switchman, Flight, Sentinel Too, parts 1 & 2.
Disclaimer: All characters, places, and objects from The Sentinel belong to Pet Fly Productions, UPN, and Paramount. All stories are written with the love of the show in mind. No money is being made. All stories are property of the author.
“Yankee Lima Sierra,” Jim said tremulously. “Yankee Lima Sierra. Over.” He waited for a reply. But none came. “Yankee Lima Sierra.” He repeated over and over into the night. Memories bubbled to the surface. The personal significance of the call sign hadn't escaped him.
“Yankee,” said the Chopec warrior. He waved his weapon in a gesture Jim understood.
Jim lowered his own weapon and thought, these people weren't unaware of the world beyond their jungle borders. He spoke the few words of Quechua that might do some good. He wasn't killed, so that must be a good sign, right? Oh yeah.
The trip to the village was arduous with his injuries. The scrapes and bruises were probably not enough to kill him but they slowed his progress physically and distracted him mentally. And he couldn't afford either.
Jim didn't remember arriving at the village. He remembered days and nights of delirium, and waking to hear a man speaking quietly to him or to the others that cared for him.
He awoke one morning feeling a hundred years old. Much too weary to move. The man came and spoke to him and they conversed, such as they could, in Jim's halting Quechua. The man, Incacha, told him to rest, Enqueri would soon be well. Who was Enqueri, Jim wondered, and fell into a restful sleep.
Jim's recovery was rapid once the fever broke. The language barrier grew less with each day, until he could convey the seriousness of his business in their territory. Incacha and the elders were not unaware of incursions by the drug smugglers. Tales of their evil deeds spread through the jungle tribes with great speed.
Elders gathered to hear Jim, and plans were laid. Jim didn't understand their readiness to accept his warnings or his leadership. Incacha continued to call him Enqueri. When pressed, Incacha explained the respect they had for the Yankee watchman who had come to warn them and to protect a foreign tribe.
Jim's senses were not foreign to these tribes. When he discovered this he didn't know whether to be glad or angry. His father's opinion meant nothing to these people and so he allowed the senses full range, which he seemed to have no choice about anyway. At least here, a freak, was useful.
Jim jolted awake. He checked the strips of cloth around his leg, tight enough to stop the blood loss, and loose enough to keep from losing the leg. Good. He looked at the sky trying to guess how long he'd been out. He thought it was a little past midnight.
He reached for the radio. “Yankee Lima Sierra. Radio Check,” he tried again.
He waited. No confirmation. He thought it was probably useless. He'd gotten no response from his calls, but that didn't mean someone wasn't listening. He picked up the mike to try again, for however long he stayed aware this time. It wasn't time to give up. “Yankee Lima Sierra. Yankee Lima Sierra. Mayday. Mayday. Yankee Lima Sierra ...” He could do this ... He was an ex-Ranger ... He was a sentinel ... Blair would kick his butt .... “Yankee Lima Sierra ...”
It was hot in Lima. Jim chuckled to himself, it was usually hot in Lima. He shouldn't complain. It was better than the jungle, and trying to rescue everyone from the drug smugglers. Sandoval had gotten the signal and had returned with transportation and with aid for the villagers. It had turned out alright.
Simon and Daryl were safe, and had become a little closer through adversity. The villagers and their children had been reunited, and Blair had a date this evening with Kimberly Ashe, the botanist from UCLA.
So why did he feel ill at ease? He had made the choice. He had his senses back. He thought ruefully that Sandburg would be hounding him for that story, in detail. Or would he? Had Blair made his choice? Would he be leaving for Borneo when they got back? And if not this time, when?
“Yankee Lima Sierra. Over.” Jim waited to give his raspy voice a break. It had rained a little with the dawn and he had collected a bit of it. It only amounted to a swallow, but now he could continue the radio call for a while longer. He could rest his body between calls, but his mind roamed into dark places he had tried to hide away, or hide from.
Sierra Verde was behind them geographically. But emotionally it might always separate them. Jim couldn't let that happen.
Blair sat quietly beside Jim aboard the plane. He sat stiffly upright, trying to ease the wheeze in his breathing. Jim monitored that sound closely. Blair had told him he'd taken his meds, but the trek through the jungle, all that exertion so close after drowning, was too much for his immune system. He was headed for a case of pneumonia.
“Chief, let me see your meds,” Jim demanded gently.
Blair was startled for a moment but didn't really have the energy to argue. He dug in his backpack and handed them over.
Jim saw the dosage and knew that they could be safely doubled. He called the steward for some water and some juice and then directed Blair to follow 'Doctor Ellison's' orders. Then he added some aspirin from his own pack. Blair didn't know it, and he would surely put up a fuss, but he was going to the hospital when the plane landed.
Alex had lost her way in the Temple of the Sentinels. Blair had said that Jim didn't. Then why did he feel so lost? Why did Blair have to suffer for it? Would they ever be right again?
“There it is! There it is! Call it in man. We found him!” cried Blair excitedly.
“This is Lima Juliet Charlie. We've located the downed plane. The coordinates are ....”
Jim woke slowly to see Detective Sandburg flash his badge at a stuffy looking doctor. Jim grinned to see Sandburg's hands flying in agitation and indignation.
“Chief,” Jim said quietly.
A brilliant smile turned his way, “Hey man. Let's bust out of this joint. Hospitals ...” accompanied by a great shudder was Blair's answer.
Maybe they'd finally gotten it right.
Note**Did you notice the little author's prerogative?
Lima Juliet Charlie, or ljc <g>.
I've been wanting to sneak that in somewhere for ages.
Alpha Bravo Charlie Delta Echo Foxtrot Golf Hotel India Juliet Kilo Lima Mike November Oscar Papa Quebec Romeo Sierra Tango Uniform Victor Whiskey X-ray Yankee Zulu