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Loose Threads

Loose Threads
by J.L.

Rated: R

Summary: Murdock and the A-Team become entangled in a series of events that eventually change their lives forever. Told by key players's points of view.
Surprising Twist in the middle.
Warning: Mild Violence, Language unsuitable for children, some sexual situations
Disclaimer: I do not own the show or the characters of the A-Team.
Copyright: J.L.M.

8:35 a.m.

Monday morning at 8:35 precisely, Reed Macy plopped down at her desk with a cup of cafÈ latte in one hand and a biscotti in the other. Sighing, she set her breakfast down and wearily thumbed through the ever-growing pile of manila folders. How was she expected to get all her duties done and write up a backload of reports, affidavits and general case logs? Okay, she thought. Don't get ahead of yourself... you're only human, maybe, Reed scoffed. The Central Intelligence Agency functioned only to treat the agents and their cases as if they were a row of data, numbers to crunch, that last piece of the puzzle to solve, therefore humanity was merely a bothersome detail. As she sipped her now lukewarm latte, her eyes were snagged by a photo standing well out of place at her desk. The shopworn desk and the tattered folders drenched her small cubicle in despair. One solitary frame sat amongst the chaos as a beacon. The silver plated oval picture frame surrounded a picture of a smiling, radiant blond girl who looked as if she loved the whole world. Reed's stomach crunched and she shoved her gaze back upon the folders.

"Hey, Reed! Stat wants you!" Reed jumped as Hovis hollered over the cubicle wall.

"Right. Thanks." Reed scooted back resolutely. She liked Stat well enough. In fact, Jim "Stat" Statler gave her a job at the agency under his direct command. But, seeing Stat this early in the morning and on a Monday didn't bode well for her.

She knocked twice before entering his office. Stat smiled and stood up. Reed wasn't fooled. He was a large man who used to ride bulls in Texas. He often used his height to his advantage. He knew how to use his 6'2" frame to intimidate his agents or suspects he interrogated. Reed closed the door and waited until he nodded in the direction of a chair before sitting down.

When nothing was said, Reed spoke up. "What's up, Stat?"

Stat said nothing and she watched interested as he wrung his fingers.

Stat cleared his throat. "Um, Macy... Would you care to grab a cup of coffee after work?"

Taken aback, Reed stared at him. Was he asking her out?

Seeing her expression, he became alarmed. "No, I don't think you understand. There is something very important I need to discuss with you. Something you'd be interested in." Stat whispered, "Very".

"That's fine. How about Lindy's around 6:30?"

He straightened up and resumed his authoritative tone. "You're excused Macy."

6:32 p.m. Monday Night Lindy's Coffeehouse

Reed hated to be late. She ran down the alley to Lindy's and stopped short when she saw Stat checking his watch through the plate glass window. Damn! Reed impatiently brushed her red-tinted bangs from her eyes. Plopping her backpack she always carried down on the floor with a thud, Reed slid into the seat opposite Stat. Before she had a chance to say hello, an older woman dressed in blue marched up and looked at Reed expectantly.

"Just coffee, please." Reed waited, watching Stat's expressions closely.

Stat cleared his throat. "I have a mission for you." He glanced around before continuing. He lowered his voice even more. "The Soviets have created a new fighter jet. A prototype. Let's see, it's a..." Stat thumbed through a folder on the table. "It's called a PR-71. Made by Prachta. We need it!"

"What's so special about this jet?" she asked.

Statler whispered, "Mace, this jet can exit and re-enter the earth's atmosphere. America wants to be the first with this. Plus, that gives the soviets an upper hand on the U.S. We can't allow that."

"Stat, why give this to me?" She absentmindedly stirred her coffee that had just been presented to her. "There must be few others more qualified."

Stat handed her another folder lying under his briefcase. Reed pulled out a single photo and a typed letter. She found herself staring at a rather elfish man whose eyes seemed to twinkle through the photograph. His blue cap was shoved smartly upon his head and he carried an AR-15 under his arm. His build was disguised by a tattered brown leather jacket. Reed couldn't read the lettering on his jacket by the way he was standing. Reed raised her eyebrows at Statler.

"That- that is your key to the A-Team. You find the jet, you'll find him. When you find him, you'll find the team."

"H.M. Murdock." read Reed from her paper. "What does the H.M. stand for?"

Stat grinned. "Howling Mad. He resides at the L.A. County V.A. Hospital". Stat took a long drag from the cigarette he held in his hands. "The man is certifiable. He is nuts with a capital N".

Reed rolled her eyes. "Is this the only way, Stat? To rescue a crazy man?" When he nodded, Reed sighed. "Ok. I'll leave tomorrow."

As she scooped up the dossier and folder, Stat laid his hand on her arm. "There's one more thing..."

"If you get caught, you will be considered working alone. This is not CIA related, on paper. You'll be associating with known felons. You get caught and I don't know a thing. We never had this discussion."

Reed's eyebrows knitted. She didn't like this. Was this mission worth it? Her thoughts bounced back to the lone photograph on her desk. Yes, she decided. This was definitely worth it.

Back at her apartment, she stripped her clothes off distractedly. She had plans to make. She tossed her Glock .45 on the bed along with a few magazines. The rest she would gather after her bath. Heading toward the bathroom, Reed paused before a single door. She felt her heart thud a little louder. Her breathing has stilled. Forcing herself to move away, she briefly caressed the door before leaving. Exhausted, she slid into her tub. She laid a washcloth over eyes and tried to relax. Reed knew that she was on her journey, but it wasn't going to be an easy ending. Not by a long shot.

7:30 p.m.
Monday night

During the still of the night, a customized van sat in a parking lot across from the Los Angeles County Veteran's Administration Hospital. Inside a large gold-ladened Black man sat behind the wheel cracking his knuckles.

"Where is he, man?" Bosco "B.A." Baracus turned to an older silver haired gentleman seated next to him. John "Hannibal" Smith chewed his cigar thoughtfully. B.A. craned his neck around Hannibal apparently searching for someone. He grunted at Hannibal who still acted as if he hadn't heard him. This wasn't the first time. B.A. knew that when Hannibal was deep in thought, he tended to shut everyone and everything out. Not quite knowing what to with himself, B.A. studied his pinkie ring hard, as if he was expecting an answer to appear to his major problem.

The sound of running footsteps jolted both of them and within a few seconds, a younger man sporting an expensive suit and coordinating tie hopped into the back seat. B.A. noticed that usually Templeton "Faceman" Peck would flash his mega-watt smile when he had information to share with his buddies. Not this time. The usual boyish face was etched in lines. He frowned at B.A. and Hannibal. "Bad news, Colonel". He ran his manicured hand through his blond tresses. "One of the nurses told me that a platoon of Russian soldiers barged in and grabbed Murdock. They roughed him up in his room before they bound and tied him up."

B.A.'s heart sank as Face's news was met with stony silence. B.A. heard Face asked the question he had been dreading. "Hannibal, do you think he's still alive?"

Hannibal looked at Face intently. For nearly 8 years he, Hannibal, Face and Murdock were a team. They were the A-Team. They helped others while trying to dodge the military police. They were given a military tribunal and were found guilty for a list of crimes they did not commit. Through sheer ingenuity and endurance, they managed to escape. The A-Team hired themselves out as servers of justice for people who needed help and had no one else to turn to. B.A. mused on the irony of the situation. Here they were, soldiers of fortune who needed help. They had to find Murdock and soon.

"I think we need to find Murdock soon, Face." B.A. glanced at Face. He knew that he and Face noticed that Hannibal purposely avoided the pointed question. After a long pause, Hannibal said, "Russian, huh? I think we need a little chat with our friend Comrade Shasta Kovich. I think that's where we can start!" He turned around and grinned at B.A. Relief flooded B.A.'s entire body and by the look of Face's expression he felt the same way. Their leader had a plan.

2:30 A.M. Moscow Time- In a Bunker outside an unknown military installation

Murdock groaned as he slowly came to. His eyelids fluttered open then closed again. Shutting them tightly, he wriggled his hands. Good, he thought, they were free. Opening his eyes once again, he looked around him. He craned his neck, checking to see if he was alone. He wished he hadn't. At the slightest movement of his head made his gasp. As he stared at the tattered ceiling above, the memories of the past 24 hours flooded his brain. Murdock had been contently playing Ms. Pac-man when his door burst in and group of well-armed men in fatigues surrounded him. Gauging the situation, Murdock backed toward his window. One of the men who spied his attempted escape lurched forward and grabbed Murdock by his jacket. He was thrown upon his bed and the last thing he remembered was four or five guys sitting on top of him, beating him and tying him up. One last thought passed through his brain before collapsing under the torment: were B.A., Faceman and Hannibal in the same predicament?

Murdock slowly picked himself off the cold, slab-like floor. Wincing with pain, and fighting not to scream, he stood. He finally was able to take in his environment. The walls peeled with iron- gray paint. No furniture or any other obstacles were included in this room. Smart, he concluded. Whoever planned this was intelligent. No windows illuminated this room as Murdock stood in a 6 X 6 cell. Fighting the terror rising in his chest, he felt along the walls looking for any way to get out. Panic had taken on huge proportions in his body when he forced himself to sit down on the floor. He breathed deeply and talked to himself aloud.

"Calm down, Murdock. If they had wanted you dead, you wouldn't be here. Besides, you have gotten out of worse things, remember? What about the time when I was kidnapped by those red necks? B.A., Hannibal and Face got you out..." Hearing his voice say his friends's names brought a fresh pain to his stomach. Where were they? If they weren't in a similar situation, would they be able to locate him?

The scrape of a door made Murdock jump up. Great, he thought, no more sudden moves for me. Holding his side, he faced the door. A large blonde man stepped inside with two heavily armed soldiers. Murdock found himself staring into the coldest blue eyes he had ever seen. A chill ran through his body.

"I see that you are avake, Mister Murdock."

Murdock matched the coldness in his voice. "Where am I? What am I doing here?"

"Permit me to introduce myself. I am Colonel Nickolai Korlenko. I am the second-in-command here. You will find out the reasons we brought you here in due time, Mister Murdock." He turned to go. Murdock felt a heat in his gut that he hadn't felt since he was in 'Nam. His insides began shaking with a hatred that scared him. Murdock took a step closer. The armed men cocked their weapons at him.

"I would not act so hastily. My men here," he nodded in their direction, "would not hesitate to kill you. By the way, your meal will be sent up here momentarily." The men turned leaving Murdock shaking and sweating. God! He hadn't wanted to kill since that Viet Cong killed his buddy just as he was trying to reach Murdock's chopper. That damn VC pumped three rounds into his buddy. Murdock had watched in stupefied horror as his friend's chest exploded. He nodded, yes, that's one of the days he felt like killing. Unable to deal with his pain and the confusion in his brain, Murdock crumpled to the floor. Closing his eyes tightly, he rocked back and forth while singing under his breath, "you're my sunshine, my only sunshine..."

MORE ON THE WAY :) Hope you liked it!

Loose Threads 1-2 by J.L.
Loose Threads 3-4 by J.L.
Loose Threads 5 by J.L.



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