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Reunion - Chapter One (a Jack Dalton story), R for domestic violence reference
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Posted: 8 December 2015 - 05:18 PM                                    
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Note: the references to Wisconsin in this story refer back to an earlier version of the script for Ma Dalton, where Jack referred to having lived in Wisconsin before he moved to Mission City. This story expands on that idea, and provides backstory on Jack, and how positive he stays despite the adversity that he's lived through.


Mac and Jack are arguing about the best way to gap the spark plugs in Jack's Grumman Goose. The hangar door closes with a click.

"Actually, the gap settings in the manual are guidelines, not absolutes. The best settings come with experience with a particular engine and conditions."

A women walked forward into the hangar. She was about 5'6", dressed in jeans, a navy blue bomber jacket, and sneakers. Her brown hair was short, and RayBan Aviators covered her eyes.

Jack watched her with intense interest, one eyebrow quirked.

She walked forward and picked up a spark plug, sliding her RayBans down her nose to examine the plug. She scraped at the residue on the plug with her nail and turned to Jack.

"You're running the mixture too lean again Jack, just like you did with your car in high school." The corner of her mouth twiched into a smile.

Her voice removed all doubt, and Jack swung forward and hugged Ann, his best friend from Wisconsin.

"Jack Andrew Dalton, you're a hard person to find."

Jack hugs her hard and buries his face in her hair. "I thought I'd never see you again."

She hugs him back. "Me too; I finally hired a private detective to find you."

He pulls back enough to look at her, keeping her firmly in his arms. "Still beautiful."

She laughs. "And still with the charming remarks." Her voice goes soft and she reaches to touch his face. "I've missed you so much."

Jack turns and slides one arm around her waist, leading her to the desk in his office. She settles in his chair, and he perches on the edge of the desk, holding her hand. "Talk to me. The last time I saw you was the last day of school, 10th grade."

"I stopped by your house the following week. Your foster mother said you were gone. At first she wouldn't tell me where, then I finally got out of her that you were in Mission City, Minnesota. She wouldn't tell me anything more and slammed the door in my face."

He sighed, lost in thought. "Do you remember the Camaro incident?"

Mac walks up behind them, listening.

"When you slid your foster mother's Camaro under the semi doing 80?"

"Yeah, that would be it. That was the final straw with my foster parents. They called the social worker and told her to come get me. When I got home the last day of school, my bags were packed and waiting for me. I got shipped to Mission City that weekend."

"I tried driving up to Minnesota to find you, but my mother got wind of it. She called and cancelled my car insurance and had a State trooper pick me up. That was the end of my car."

Jack looked at her with worry in his eyes. "With me gone, did your father come after you again?"

She looked down at her feet and fidgeted, and pulled her hand back. "There was nothing you could have done. He had a trust fund behind him, a powerful attorney, and buddies in the cops. He did what he pleased."

"He sure hated me."

Ann looked up at him. "He hated you because you taught me to be strong and defy him. He was out to break me utterly, and the strength I drew from our friendship messed up his plans."

Jack leaned down and pushed a lock of hair back behind her ear. "I drove down twice that summer looking for you."

"My parents thought you might. They shipped me up to Northern Wisconsin to spend the summer with an aunt."

"What happened after that?"

"After that summer, I finished out high school and then bolted. I left my parents and the town behind and went stock car racing like I'd planned." She turned and looked up at him. "But things never were the same. I was missing my crew chief and my best friend. You."

At that, Jack slid off his desk and pulled her into a hug again. "The important thing is you're back now, and I'm never letting you go."

She leaned into his shoulder. "No argument here."

Mac cleared his throat.

Jack blinked in surprise. "Mac, c'mere, I want to introduce you to my long-lost best friend from Madison. Ann Daugherty, this is MacGyver."

Mac smiled and shook Ann's hand. "Pleased to meet you."

"Mac and I went to high school together in Mission City. We met in shop class," raising his eyebrow, "where that argument about spark plugs started."

"Jack, I need to cut out and get some things done. I'm sure you want to spend time with Ann. Why don't you call me later about finishing the Goose?"

"Sounds like a plan. Have a good evening."

"You too. Nice meeting you Ann." Mac turned and left.

Alone in the hangar, they strolled arm in arm towards the plane.

Ann gave Jack a sideways hug. "Dalton Air - I'm so proud of you! I knew you were going to make it. No matter what obstacle hit, you were always positive and overcame it."

They stopped in front of the Goose. The right engine was partially disassembled and spread across a workbench, 18 spark plugs sitting in a row.

"So tell me about her - she looks like a Grumman Goose."

Jack gazed up at Rosalind with pride, and ran his hand along the plane's nose. "She is a Goose, built in 1940 and totally refurbished. Two Pratt and Whitney turboprop engines rated at 680 horses."

Ann gave a low whistle. "She's a beauty, but you must be in hock up to your eye teeth to keep her running."

He chuckled. "I am, but hey, it's only money. What is life without adventure?"

She laughed in return. "We always did have expensive taste when it came to vehicles."

"I know this place a little ways up the coast - great pizza. And I've got something to show you along the way. Shall we?"

Ann smiled up at him. "Lead on, MacDuff - I'll even let you drive my Camaro."

Go to chapter two

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