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An Answered Prayer, The Gift Of A Family

An Answered Prayer, The Gift Of A Family

Author: Linda Fortman

Rated: R, I think, maybe a PG13 (Violence, Angst, Hurt and Comfort) A mention or two about God and Prayer, and some swear words.

Summary: A What If story, What If Face knew something was wrong with the supposed Pardon.

Episode Spoilers: Mind Game

Disclaimer: I don’t own the A-Team and I don’t Claim to. I just wish I did.

Achieve: Let me know if you think its good enough. It’s my first real try at writing a story about them. Comments welcome good or bad, I’m a new writer and could use all the help I can get. Thanks in advance for taking the time to read my story.

 

Part 1

BA was driving the van when they all heard over the van’s radio about the presidential pardon that was given to Lieutenant Templeton A. Peck for his involvement in the Bank of Hanoi mission. And they all knew that Face was heavily involved with the planning and the mission itself that got them all 20 years in Fort Brig, except for H.M. Murdock who ended up in the VA psycho ward. And no one knew it more than Face himself.

"Face, you know and I know that you were involved in the bank job", Hannibal informed his LT.

" Face, you scammed the rocket launchers that were used in the mission", Murdock said.

"But guys this is my chance, if they think I was only a passenger on that flight, who am I to disagree with them", Face argued. "This is my chance to be free, it’s what I’ve always wanted."

"Face, just go easy. Let me have my Lawyer check it out first to make sure it’s legit." Hannibal sounding very concerned and worried that his LT was going to go off the deep end and get himself or the rest of the team in trouble. He knew Face has a tendency to leap before he looks or think a thing through first. It can be a good trait to have in unpredictable situations, SOMETIMES, but gets him in trouble, MOST, of the time. Face can be more dangerous that me, even when I’m on a BAD case of the Jazz.

"I will Hannibal, I promise. But I know its legit, I’m due for a break." Face told them.

Face left the Team at the apartment they were sharing, after saying his good-bys to each of them. He told them he would be seeing them soon and that he was still a part of the team, he would be their inside man.

As he left the apartment, he knew in his heart that he would probably never see them again. What he was about to do would be the Greatest Con in his life for he has never been able to con the team about anything, but he had to this time. He would do anything and everything to protect them, if that meant with his life so be it.

 

Part 2

Driving the ’Vet’ to the courthouse to pick up his pardon, Face reflects on what the government, C.I.A., F.B.I., or Intelligence would want with him. He knows that whatever it is, they want it from him only or they would have given pardons to the rest of the Team. And he would do what he had to do to protect them from whatever he did this time. He would not put their lives in any more danger than they were already in, not because of him. He owed them that much.

Walking to the Courthouse, with all the reporters around him taking pictures and trying to get an interview, he walks into not Colonel Decker, but General "Bull" Fullbright from the US Army.

"Peck, I’m going to be all over you like white on rice. I’m going to see that pardon is revoked, YOU are guilty as sin and I’m going to prove it, if it’s the last thing I do." General Fullbright fumed at Face.

"General, leave me alone or I’ll have a restraining order placed against you so fast, it will make your head spin." Face gloated at the enraged General. He wondered, to himself what the Hell happened with Decker and he would have to inform the Team about this new development, that is if he ever saw them again.

As Face was walking into the courthouse after his impromptu meeting with the General, he was approached by a women, who claims she is a promotion agent and could get him fame and fortune what with all the publicity revolving around his pardon. She could also get him a book deal about his life on the run with the A-Team. All he had to do was sign an exclusive contract with her. She said her name was E.G. Fowler and worked for Starlight Management.

What could it hurt and she was more aggressive than anyone else who approached him so far. Maybe she is the key to find out what is going on and to get to the bottom of this. Face jumped in with both feet and hopefully with his eyes wide open.

 

Part 3

His break came a couple oh hours later when he followed E.G. back to her place and overheard her talking with a David someone; She didn’t say his last name. They had to have been talking about him and how they were running out of time, and everything was in place and ready to go.

But, the million-dollar question was WHAT?

E.G. asked, "Do we know for sure that the General is in the States? I would hate to go through all this for nothing."

David, whoever, must have confirmed that he was, because she said good and she would wait for further instructions. "Oh, by the way, I do have him doing an interview at the TV Studio tomorrow at 1:00 pm with Chuck-a-Luck, the Chicken. Maybe they will make their move there, he’ll be pretty much in the open." E.G. informed David.

Face knew that she was good; she did come through with everything she said so far or she had a lot of help on the inside to arrange things so fast. She got a book deal going with a ghostwriter to write the thing, unfortunely everything he wrote was a lie. But he knew how to fix that, he’d just write his own book, in his own words and give credit where credit is do. And I guess, I’ll do the children’s show and see what happens next. Murdock would like that.

Face ran into the Team after his interview with Chuck-a-Luck and was none to happy about them being there, if something was to happen he sure didn’t want the Team anywhere near.

Hannibal tries to talk some sense into his over egoed Lt. "Face, something is going on and you’re right in the middle of it. If you don’t get your head out of the clouds, you could be in real danger, Lieutenant."

"Yah Face, think for a change, your in way over your head on this," BA growled at him.

"What’s this, hey Hannibal, it looks like Face is writing a book about us." BA tells his CO as he looks through Face’s briefcase and finds the manuscript and starts to read the first few lines.

"Yah, Hey Face who are you going to get to play me if it’s made into a movie." Hannibal asks while he’s pulling out a fresh cigar.

Face pulls out his lighter and holds the flame out for his CO’s use, strictly out of habit.

"Hannibal, I don’t think you’re in it" Murdock informs his CO, since he now is reading the first few lines. He took it from BA to see for himself what his best friend wrote about him.

Face grabs for the manuscript that Murdock is now trying to read, "Give me that, Murdock it’s just a draft, it’s not finished yet. I haven’t had a change to fix it."

"Whatever Face, I still think something is going on around here. We were just kidnapped by some governmental types and were told to stay out of it or else." Hannibal glares at Face with his best no nonsense CO look.

"Come on guys, what kind of danger could I be in except missing my next appointment. Really guys, I have to go or I’ll be late, I’m fine". Face used his best conman smile to convince them of that. Face knew he was brushing them off and on purpose. He hoped that they would forgive him for being so uncaring and unfeeling to their concerns. But protecting them was more important to him than what they thought of him for now. And he would do everything in his power to protect them. He grabs the manuscript and briefcase and practically runs out of the door.

"Hannibal, he’s not listening man." BA glares at the fleeing Face.

"Yah, if his ego gets any bigger, he’s head is going to explode." Hannibal says. And at that precise moment they hear explosions and gunfire coming from the parking lot of the Studio. As they run out of the building, they see an unconscious Face being lifted into a helicopter and taken away.

Part 4

When Face finally regained consciousness he found himself tied to a chair in a very dark room, with a very bad headache. He shakes his head to try to clear away the cobwebs and think how he can get out of this mess.

"Don’t Panic, Lieutenant, report situation. First: I’m tied to a chair, hands behind my back, ankles tied to each leg and ropes around my chest holding me down." Face says to himself since there is no one else there. "OK, try moving the chair." So Face starts moving his body back and forth and nothing moved. "Ok, that didn’t work, try breaking the ropes. Ugh……, Grunt……, Hiss……. So much for that."

"OK, the chair must be bolted to the floor and the ropes are to strong. Anyway. Who in their right mind would bolt a chair to the floor, Geese? So breaking the chair is out. Second: I have no idea where I am or who took me. I do know I’m in a room with no windows and……….." As he looks around the room trying to see an outline of a door. "Apparently No Door, which is impossible."

Now, I know I can’t get to the wire I stuck in my shoe to pick any locks, because first of all I can’t get to my shoe and second NO LOCKS. Well, there’s one good thing about all this, Hannibal is not here so I don’t have to listen to a lecture about not being prepared for every contingency. I mean how stupid can I be….. I bring something for a lock and completely forget about ropes. The only one of us who can actually BREAK ropes is BA and he’s not here. Which is one of the reasons you’re in this mess in the first place, because you want to protect them from whatever this is. So wishing BA was here to break the ropes is a mute point. " Face continues to talk to himself. "Geese, I hope Murdock doesn’t hear about this. He’ll be having bunk beds installed in his room at the VA just for me!"

"Well, at least now maybe I can find out who this General is and why he wants only me. If it’s Fullbright he would want the whole Team, maybe it’s that General that Hannibal got me a date with his wife back in Nam. Nay, he couldn’t hold a grudge that long and anyway I don’t think he knew about me and his wife." Face thought to himself. " I don’t think I’ll have long to wait for what’s going on around here. They didn’t kidnap me, lock me in a room with no lights, windows, or doors for nothing."

And he didn’t have long to wait before he heard footsteps approaching the room he was locked in. Before he new it, three very big, VERY big guys, looking like they could be Vietnamese, wearing all black, came in and started to punch him anywhere they could reach on his body. He thought he felt a couple of ribs either break or at the least crack. They were careful thou to not hit him in the face. Just before he lost consciousness, they stopped. He looked up and sees though very watery eyes, a distinguished, angry and he could also be Vietnamese decent, man smirking at him. Only this guy was wearing a three piece, very expensive, business suit.

"Lieutenant Peck, I have been waiting a long time for this and I plan on enjoying every minute of it. Unfortunately you will not." he informed Face as he was pacing in front of him. "You will suffer great pain and will beg me to kill you before I’m through with you."

Face looks at him with confusion and he hopes a look of uncaring, "Who are you and What do you think I have done to you to warrant such hospitality from you and your goons there?"

The man turns and throws a punch to Face’s face, cutting his lip. Now Face knew why the goons didn’t hit him in the face, they were leaving that privilege for this guy.

"You don’t know me, we have never meet, but maybe you remember my daughter, Su Lynn, you dishonored her and her family, Lieutenant Peck and for that you shall die." he sneers at Face.

Face licks at his cut lip tasting blood. "You’re General Chow……. I didn’t do anything to your daughter except try to protect her. She is my friend. I gave her a job and a place to stay, but I would have never hurt her. Christ, she was just a little girl. What do you take me for, wait don’t answer that, I don’t think I want to know." Face says.

The General turns away from Face and snaps his fingers to his guards to begin. The guard’s cuts Face loose from the chair and pulls him up to a standing position. They jester for him to go with them. Now he finally sees where the door to the room was hidden, it was a sliding door. He’s put in-between two of the guards and follows them out of the room and down the hall.

 

Part 5

Face is taken down a flight of stairs to the basement and into a cement block room. He looks around and fear and horror enters his heart like a freight train slamming into his gut. Because he sees before him instruments for pure torture: chains, whips, canes, shackles and anything else you can think of to cause pain. He knows what they are used for; he’s seen them before. And, only once before has he ever known fear like this and he hoped to never know it again. And he thought he never would again, when they escaped from the Hell Hole of a prison camp in Vietnam.

"Lieutenant Peck, I see you recognize some of the items before you. That is good; I would really hate to surprise you. I want you to know what is coming." General Chow informs him.

Face opens his mouth, to say anything that could get him out of this, but nothing comes out. It’s the first time in his life he can’t think of anything to say, so he just shuts his mouth and stares straight ahead at nothing.

The guards grab a hold of him and throw him facing the wall. Two of the guards take a hold of each wrist and shackles them to the wall above his head. And then grabs his ankles and shackles them to the wall with his feet spread out. Face now finds himself spread eagle facing the damp cement wall.

The General walks up to him and runs his hands down Face’s back and back up to his neck. He takes a hold of the back of his shirt and rips it from his body, baring his back to all.

"NOW we can begin. NOW you will know what my daughter felt when she returned to her family in disgrace. NOW you will know pain and suffering like nothing you could never imagine. NOW I can get my revenge and my family’s honor back. NOW I can get justice for my daughters death, by causing yours." General Chow rants.

General Chow picks a whip from his assortment of instruments of pain and stands behind Face. The whip has 5 thin leather strands sticking out of the short handle. "I think 50 lashes for a start and then we’ll progress from there. What do you think, Lieutenant Peck?" General Chow asks, while caressing the whip like a beloved pet.

"Give it your best shot General, others have tried and failed." Face states to the General standing behind him. What he didn’t tell the General was that the last time someone tried; he had his Team, his Family with him. He didn’t think, no, he knows he can’t go through that again without them and survive.

The General raises the whip and strikes Face between the shoulder blades with a heavy ‘WHACK’. He strikes Face 3 more times, crisscrossing strikes between Face’s shoulders. He then drops the arm holding the whip, down to his side. "Lieutenant, I believe you’re forgetting something." He sneers at Face. "Your Colonel is derelict in his duties for not enforcing military protocol on his men. I believe I shall have to rectify that situation. So Lieutenant, you will get 25 additional lashes………….hummm, I think with the cane for not counting each strike of the lash. How does that sound, Lieutenant? Oh, one other thing in case you have forgotten that too, if you forget to count or forget the number we are on, I will just have to start from scratch and we’ll start All Over Again," Chow laughed.

Face just stares at the wall he’s facing. He doesn’t want to give any indication that he’s afraid and he wants the General to believe he’s feeling nothing of the pain he’s inflicted so far. He’s hoping this indifference will enrage the General into doing something stupid and he can find an opening to escape. He does stiffen a little bit against the wall and closes his eyes tight for just a second, then opens them again. He hopes the General didn’t see that moment of weakness. "Oh well, it’s not like I haven’t been beaten before and I survived, I’ll survive this time too. I have a family to go back to, I hope." Face thinks to himself.

"OK, Lieutenant, lets start this again", Chow, said. And the General lets go with another "THACK" and strikes Face on his back almost in the same location of the first, drawing a very thin line of blood.

Face flinches just slightly and answers him with a loud "Sir, One, Sir."

The General raises the whip again for the second strike and hits his target between the shoulders making another X across Face’s back. Face responds with a "Sir, Two, Sir!" This goes on for another half an hour with the General striking Face on his back over and over again. Face’s back is crisscrossed with X’s and lines. It looks the a sick Tic Tack Toe game where the players only used the X’s and none of the O’s. Face’s back is a mass of welts and his back is a beet red except where the white welts show, and some blood dripping in spots down his back.

And, yet for only a few grunts and moans, Face hasn’t said a word or cried out in pain, except for counting out each of the lashes that hits his abused back. But he knows that is not going to last long, because he can feel the pain, burn and the agony he’s back and ribs are in and he’s biting his lips to keep from screaming out in pain. For each time the whip sticks, his body is thrown into the wall and he feels his sore ribs hit the wall and causing sharp pain to travel down his stomach. But he’s thankful that his family is not here to witness this abuse, he’s afraid what this would do to Murdock, it would keep him in the VA for the rest of his life, BA would forever have a Bad Attitude more than he has now and he’s really afraid what it would do to Hannibal. This is one of the reasons he did what he did and not get his Team involved, he’d protect them any way he could and brushing them off was the only way he could think of at the time.

The next strike hits and Face screams to himself, "I WILL not give that sadistic bastard the satisfaction that he is causing me any pain!" He also can’t let on that each time the General hits him, his left wrist and ankle move just a fraction of an inch, but it does move. The right side unfortunately doesn’t. The movement is just enough to give him the encouragement that he needs. Now, for a way to get the General to leave before he’s killed and escape would be moot.

 

Part 6

He gets his chance after 34 lashes, one of the General’s goons barges into the basement cellar and stands at attention behind his General waiting to be noticed. After a couple of minutes of being ignored, he speaks. "General, Sir, you have an urgent phone call. The caller demands to speak with you and won’t give us his name, only to you, Sir."

The General lowers the whip and turns to address his underling. "Can’t you see I’m busy and don’t want to be interrupted." He yells at the man.

"But General, it sounded important and I thought you would want to know." The guard stated.

"You’re not paid to think, Oh all right, Lieutenant, just wait here, we’re not done yet. I believe we’re on what? 36 with 14 more to go with the whip and there’s still the 25 with the cane for that lapse in military discipline." Chow said with a smile to Face.

Face showing, he hopes, is an arrogance, that’s he’s famous for and would make Hannibal proud. He knows that the General is hoping he will screw himself and agree with the incorrect count. He sure doesn’t want to start over, so he responds to the General, "Sir, No, Sir. Sir, Thirty-four, Sir."

Turning to the guards Chow said, "Leave him, I think he needs to be alone for awhile, maybe he could take this time to pray for forgiveness with his maker, he’ll be meeting him soon." The General sneers.

After the General and his four goons leave the room Face is in. Face says to himself, "Well, it’s about time they left, I just about got my left hand and foot free from this wall. Whoever installed those chains didn’t do a very good job or they didn’t now what they were doing. BA would have been one Angry mudsucker, as Murdock would call him, if he were supervising this job. I wouldn’t have the guts to call BA a mudsucker, he’d pulverize me. This cement is weak and I about have the bolts loose, just one more tug…..ugh……and there free. Now I just need to get my hand down to my foot so I can retrieve the wire in my shoe. At least one thing has gone right for me today, the shoe with the wire is my left and not right.

After some hissing and moans and groans due to the pain in his back and ribs, Face finally gets the piece of wire.

"Got it, know to pick these locks and I’m free, sort of." Face explains out loud to no one in particular since he’s alone in the room.

He gets himself free from the wall and starts to investigate the room he’s in for a way out. He spots a cabinet on the far wall, that he didn’t notice when they brought him in. Opening the door, he sees clothes hanging on hooks inside. There’s a shirt, two jackets and a pair of boots. He takes the shirt, but before he puts it on, he needs to check out the damage done to his back. He knows he just might have a few if not broken then cracked ribs, he’s finding it’s hard to take a deep breath without gasping, that’s not a good sign. Luckily, there is a mirror on the inside door of the locker, so he turns his back to the mirror to see the damage done. He grimaces and notices the crisscrossed welts but also notices that there is very little blood dripping down his back. The only broken places showing blood is in the middle of the X’s where they cross each other. And that’s only in a few places. He’ll have to give the General credit for he knew how to inflict the maximum pain with the minimum of damage. He must be saving the best for last. And hopefully he won’t be around to enjoy it.

He puts the shirt on very carefully so he doesn’t aggravate his injuries. He’ll have to thank however the donor of the shirt was, it fits fine, maybe a little too big but with his wounds it’s perfect.

Now, for a way OUT!!!

He knows that the door will be guarded so that’s out. There are no windows anywhere so that’s out. "Geese, doesn’t these people believe in daylight. Their electric bill must be sky high." Face whines out loud. And it’s the first time since this nightmare began that he realizes he whined, he smiled to himself, and it felt kinda good.

 

Part 7

While Face was getting free from his chains, the General is upstairs on the phone with the urgent caller.

"Well, what do you want? I was in an important meeting and was not to be disturbed for any reason!" yelled Chow into the phone.

He stops ranting for a few minutes and listens to his caller. After awhile he yells, "Damn it, it’s to early, I still need more time. DAMN! How did they know I was in the country so fast?"

Silence for a few minutes while the General listens again to his caller. He then hangs up the phone without even saying good-by. How rude!

General Chow talks to himself, "Well, I guess it can’t be helped now. I’ll just have to put an end to my fun early. Guards." He yells. "Bring up the prisoner, then tie him to the chair in the other room and guard him until I arrive. We’ll kill him now and leave his body for them to find. And that’s all their going to find!"

The guards leave to do his bidding.

Chow picks up the phone again and arranges for a helicopter to pick him up at the house. He can’t let the US Government get their hands on him. He won’t see the light of day, in this lifetime, if he does. He knows he’s wanted for War Crimes against the USA during the Vietnam conflict and they would just love to get their hands on him.

 

Part 8

The guys in the meantime are also looking into what’s been happening to their Lieutenant and Why.

Hannibal, Murdock and BA corner E.G. and David from Starlight Industries (Which is really a CIA overt operation) in E.G.’s apartment. They learn that the CIA doesn’t want Face but a General Chow for War Crimes during Vietnam. They also learn that this General Chow hates, with a passion one Lieutenant Templeton A. Peck and will do anything to get him.

Hannibal and the others remember the General’s daughter and knew what Face did for her while he was in Vietnam and they know that he never touched her. He just befriended her at a time she needed a friend. So they know that whatever grudge this General Chow had against Face has been unfounded.

BA had to practically thro this David Vaugn out the twelve-story window to get the information that they needed from him. But BA really didn’t mind cause he’s in a REAL BAD MOOD right now and is looking to hit just about anything or anyone who stands in his way, and you really, really don’t want to stand in BA’s way when he’s this angry. He hates it when his little brotha, puts himself in danger and none of them are there to back him up, and if he can’t hit Face for making him Mad, he’ll take it out on this CIA fella. It’s his fault in the first place, anyhow.

Hannibal and Murdock don’t like it either when Face gets himself into this kind of trouble. Especially if it could have been avoided. And THIS could have been avoided. Hannibal warned him something was going on and he should be careful, but does he listen. HELL NO!!!!! And when Hannibal gets his hands on his wayward lieutenant, he’s in for a very, very grueling training exercise.

"OK guys, let’s go get LT Peck out of this mess he’s gotten himself into! Then he’ll answer to me and he had better have some good answers or I might just kill him myself for making me worry about him!" Hannibal exclaims.

"Yah, sucka, he’ll have to answer to me too!" BA agrees with his CO, as his fist hits the open palm of his other hand.

Murdock looks at his CO and the Big Angry Mudsucker and feels a little bit sorry, just a very little bit sorry, for Facey. But then again, he’s mad at him, too. Doesn’t he know by now, how much we care and love him, And if anything happens to him we’ll all be heartbroken and the Team would be no more, Murdock fumes to himself. Because they all know that if something happened to Face, they wouldn’t be able to continue without him, it just wouldn’t be the same. For all his whining and complaining, they each, love him in their own special way and would miss him terribly.

So grabbing that flying contraption, that the CIA agent had and they took, all three of them head out to rescue THEIR Lieutenant and bring him home where he belongs.

 

Part 9

Face, back at Chow’s house, hears the guards coming back down and looks for a place to hide. The only place he spots is the locker where he got the shirt from. It’s a little small, but maybe if he squeezes, he’ll be able to fit. But, that would be the first place they would look for him, since there is absolutely no place else in the room to hide. Maybe he could fight his way out, he’s not to bad in a fight, Hannibal and BA saw to that. Wait, that’s out, feeling the pain in his back and chest radiate all the way down his legs. It would just cause more injuries than he can’t afford to take. And he knows he would never be able, even if the guards were dimwitted enough to not look in the locker, to squeeze into the thing without him screaming in pain. The locker is way to small and he’s way to big, it would be like putting a square peg into around hole. Just can’t be done.

He sees he only has one option left, so Face stands at attention, he remembered the lessons that his Commanding Officer drilled into him, facing the door that they would be opening and waits for whatever is going to happen next. And hopes for the best.

As the guards open the door to the cellar, they see their prisoner standing at attention, just waiting for them.

"Hey! How did you get loose?" as the guard draws his weapon and aims it at Face, "Grad him and lets get him upstairs." The guard says to his buddy standing next to him. He whispers then to his friend "Lets not tell the General he was free when we came down here. What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him or us, if you know what I mean, OK???"

The other guard just nods his head and takes a firmer hold of Face and they march him upstairs.

They may have been whispering but Face heard what he said and he had to smile just a little, cause he was remembering a couple of times that he and Murdock were in that situation and didn’t want Hannibal to find out either. But, it never seemed to matter, he ALWAYS found out anyway and they were ALWAYS in trouble. "I sure miss them, God, I wish …. Never mind." Face thinks to himself and then shakes his head to clear his mind and focus on escaping and not on things that can’t be.

They get him up the stairs and none to gently either and tie him to the chair that the General indicated earlier. They stand on each side of him to make sure he doesn’t escape again. Since they can’t figure out how in the hell he escaped the first time. At least he won’t escape again on their watch, but he’ll probably won’t be alive at the end of their watch.

 

Part 10

An hour later, the General comes in and stands in front of Face; "I have to apologize to you for not being able to continue with our games." He says to Face. "I have pressing matters elsewhere, so I guess you got a reprieve from the balance of you lashes owed."

The General is fuming that his revenge was cut short and points a 357 Magnum to Face’s head. "Any last words Lieutenant? I hope you made your peace with your maker, because you’ll be seeing him real soon." Chow angrily yells at Face. He can’t believe the arrogance of this man. He’s about to die and he don’t seem to care one way or another.

But Face does care; he cares and begs for forgiveness in his heart, not from God, but from the three men who mean more to him than anything in his whole life. He hopes that someday they will remember the good things he’s done and forget all the disappointments and trouble he’s caused them through the years. And, he knows, in his heart, that at least this time he DID NOT endanger the Team, his family, only himself and that’s OK.

Face then smiles and says to the angry General, "What’s the matter General, the Government boys know you’re in the country? Are they breathing down your neck? Can you feel those iron bars closing behind you? ….. Been there, done that. You want some advise, no I guess not. Oh by the way, you’re forgiven." Face just had to rant and rave at the guy, kind of made up for the General’s rant and race at him, call it Poetic justice.

Just before the General pulls the trigger to end Face’s life, all hell breaks loose. Grenades are exploding and there’s gunfire coming from all directions. The window behind the General is shattered into a million pieces from this flying object. It looks like something out of an old Sci-fi movie from the 50’s and it slams into the General knocking him across the room. The gun, never firing, went flying in the air and landed under Face’s feet.

Standing now in front of Face is none other than "Howling Mad" Murdock, looking like he could kill at any moment.

"Murdock, what? How?…….. I didn’t do anything honest." Face stammers.

"Save it, Face" Murdock says with clutched teeth. He notices the General slipping through the door, but he won’t get away. He knows that Hannibal and BA won’t let him and if he does get by them, the CIA boys will nail him.

Face just stares at Murdock and thanks the Good Lord for bring his Team, his Family to the rescue, again. It never fails…whenever he needs them the most; they are Always there, no matter what HE does to prevent it. And he’ll thank God everyday of his life for that.

Murdock turns back to Face and goes about untying him from the chair he’s in. Murdock is so angry at Face for almost getting himself killed, that he didn’t notice the flinches that Face is doing or the heat that is radiating from his body to indicate that he was injured.

When Face gets free, he picks up the 357 that the General dropped and heads out the door. He’s hoping that Murdock stays mad and won’t realize that he was in pain and believe it or not it’s hard to get anything by Murdock.

Murdock takes the contraption off his back and follows Face out the door. The CIA operatives will pick up the thing while they’re on clean up.

Hannibal and BA meet them as they are going outside. "Lets go guys. We’ll let the CIA clean up the mess." Hannibal orders his men. He takes a quick look at Face to make sure he’s in one piece and breathing. With Face back in his sight, all’s right in his world and he can concentrate on getting his men, ALL his men, his Team in line and on track.

All four head for the copter that Hannibal, BA and Murdock took to get them to Face in the quickest amount of time. Murdock takes over the controls; Hannibal takes the co-pilots seat and BA and Face jump into the back. Well actually BA jumps and Face carefully gets into the helicopter, mindful of his back and ribs. Face doesn’t want the others to know he was hurt while in the General’s captivity.

Face looks at BA, when Murdock starts up the engines for takeoff, and tilts his head to the side, kind a like Billy (That’s Murdock’s invisible dog) when he hears something strange. "Hah, BA you’re not….?" Face quietly asks.

"Shut up Fool, it’s all your fault I’m flying and your gonna hafta pay sucka." BA shouts at Face. He shouts not because he’s really mad at Face, it’s because of the noise of the rotors and HE really hates to fly.

After that outburst, all’s quiet for the remainder of their trip. No-body wanted to make BA any angrier than he already was, even Murdock didn’t annoy the big guy.

 

Part 11

When the Team arrived at the apartment they were all sharing. E.G. Fowler was waiting for them.

"Face, I’m so glad you alive. I really didn’t want you to get hurt, but it was the only way for us to get Chow out in the open. It’s him we really were after, not you." E.G. said.

"It’s Okay. Everything turned out fine except they took back my pardon. By the way, now that this is all over and I’m a felon again, how about you and I going out to dinner and maybe dancing." Face asks E.G.. He wasn’t looking for a date, but a way to get out of the apartment and away from the Team. His back was starting to hurt like hell, and he was afraid he was starting to get a fever. He could feel the heat on his skin an that’s a good indication of infection.

But with some convincing arguments from Murdock, E.G. opted to go with him to the ballet instead.

Now he had no excuse to get away so Face gets angry with Murdock for acting like him and taking on his personality, even if he wasn’t that bad at it. To get him back he takes over Murdock’s zany personality. He’s hoping he’ll be able to storm out of the apartment in a huff and find somewhere to take care of his injuries without them knowing.

At about this time, the orderlies from the VA decide to appear and take Murdock/Face back to the VA where he belongs. They mistake Face for Murdock and they put Murdock/Face into a straightjacket and get him ready to cart him off to the ambulance waiting outside.

Face held his breathe the whole time the orderlies were placing him in the straightjacket, he felt like screaming he whole time. They were not gentle and he was hoping they didn’t notice there was anything wrong with him. Other than putting up a token struggle while putting the jacket on him, Face tried to stay still, but it was difficult with all the pain he was feeling. From the straps and buckles on the jacket which we cutting into his already abused back.

While Face was struggling with the orderlies and trying to convince them he was not Murdock, the three remaining members of the A-Team thought that this could e a fitting punishment for their wayward LT and it wouldn’t hurt him to be in Murdock’s shoes for a while. And can’t help laughing so hard, that they were having trouble staying on their feet. In fact, the only thing Hannibal was able to do was hold the door open for the attendants when they took Face away.

Face puts up a fuss in front of the guys, put in reality he’s not that upset about being hauled away. He is a little upset about their laughing as him though. But he needs to get away and quick because he’s about to pass out and he didn’t want to do that in front of the guys, then they would know something was wrong with him. This way what better place to pass out then inside an ambulance heading for a hospital, even if it is the VA psycho ward.

 

Part 12

At the VA, Doctor Richter, who is Murdock’s Psychiatrist, is waiting for the ambulance to arrive with his favorite patient. When they open up the doors and Dr. Richter looks inside, he’s not ALL that surprised it’s not Murdock he’s looking at. See Richter heard about Templeton Peck’s pardon and about the revoking of that same pardon and he figured Murdock would need someone to talk to. But since it’s not Murdock, but the for mentioned Peck, he probably could use that same ear.

Face tries to signal the Doctor to not give away his identity, just not yet. And the good Doctor catches on real quick, he hasn’t been Murdock’s doctor for the past 12 + years not to go along with whatever is happening at the moment. With Murdock as a patient, anything can happen and usually does. He figures he’ll find out soon enough.

"Boys, you can go. I’ll take care of Murdock from here." Richter told the two orderlies. As they leave Richter turns to Face, "Okay, lets you and me head for my office and you cal let me know all about this Fake pardon of yours, WHY you’re here and not Murdock and where the Hell is he." Richter asks.

"AH…Doc…I would really love to tell you what’s gong on, but right now I think I’m about to pass out if you don’t mind. At this point, Face crumbles to the ground in a dead faint.

"Shit! What the hell!’ Richter yells. He knells down by Face’s side and grads a hold of his wrist to take his pulse and notices right away the heat radiating off of Face’s body.

"Orderlies!" he yells, "Get a gurney here quick and lets get him into emergency, Now!"

 

Part 13

Hannibal, BA and Murdock, after a couple of hours, decide that Face has been at the VA long enough and they should go retrieve him.

"Let’s go get him." Hannibal says. "BA, why don’t you drop me off at the Studio and I’ll take the ‘Vet’ and follow you and Murdock in the van. I know Face will be happy to see that his car is in one piece."

"Ok Hannibal, lets go. But I think you should let Face worry about that car of his for a while. It seems it’s the only thing he does worry about." BA grumbles.

"Yah, Hannibal, BA’s right, that and me taking all the pretty girls away from him. He wasn’t concerned a bit that we were worried sick about him." Murdock added.

"Come on guys, let’s go." Hannibal informs them. I’m going to have to do some damage control to get these guys back on track again and working like the Team that they are, Hannibal thinks to himself as he’s getting into the van. There seems to be some hurt feelings around here that’s going to take some repairing.

BA drops Hannibal off at the ‘Vet’ and the two vehicles heads for the VA Hospital to get Face out and put Murdock back in.

As they arrive in the parking lot of the "Westwood VA Hospital" Doctor Richter is waiting for them.

"Hi, What’s up Doc?" Murdock said to his doctor in his best Bugs Bunny voice.

Doctor Richter just looks at them. He’s not sure how to tell them about the Lieutenant’s condition or if he should. He was angry with them for not treating Templeton’s wounds and for letting them get so bad. Looking at them now, he knows that they had no idea Peck was injured or how bad it was. They each have a look of pure panic on their faces; they know something is terribly wrong.

"Doctor, What’s wrong?" Hannibal questions Richter, he sees the expression on the doctor’s face and it scares the hell out of him. "What’s happened to Face?"

 

Part 14

"Colonel Smith, would you and your men come with me to my office, please and I’ll try to explain everything to you." Richter asks.

"No, sucka, I want to know now what’s going on!" BA yells as he grabs the Doc by his lab coat and shakes him. BA saw the same thing as Hannibal did and he doesn’t like the look the Doctor gave them any better than his CO, only BA is anything but subtle.

"Sergeant, stand down, and that’s an order," Hannibal commands. "BA, take your hands off of the Doctor, he can’t tell us anything if you’re threatening him." Hannibal asks in a calmer tone and puts his hand on the Sergeant’s shoulder.

"Sorry", BA apologizes.

"That’s Okay, it’s perfectly understandable, so let’s just take a seat on that bench over there." Richter points to a park bench about 50 yards away from where they’re standing.

The Team sits and waits for the good Doctor to begin, unfortunately their not a very patient group when it comes to one of them being hurt, especially if that someone is Face.

"Doc, please, Where’s Facey?" Murdock questions. BA looks like he still wants to hit something and Hannibal neverously takes out a new cigar and, strictly out of habit, looks for Face to light it.

"About two hours ago, as you know, they brought, who they thought was Murdock and who they still think is Murdock, back to the VA. I meet them because I wanted to take care of H.M. myself, I heard about Lieutenant Peck’s pardon and of the revoking of it, and I knew Captain Murdock would be upset. So, I wanted to be here for him if he wanted to talk." Richter paused at this moment to take a breath and gather his thoughts.

"Thanks, Doctor, but what has this to do with Face?" Hannibal loosing what little patience he has. "Please go on, Doc."

Richter continues as if he wasn’t interrupted, "Be my surprise, I take that back, I’m rarely surprised with anything involving Captain Murdock or the legendary A-Team, which I know your not a part of, right Murdock?" not expecting an answer, "Anyway, when the ambulance doors opened and not Murdock but Lieutenant Peck was taken out, I was…….. Curious. The LT gave me a look, like please don’t give me away. So naturally I didn’t. When I started to question him about what was going on." Doctor Richter paused again at this point and tried to think of a way to tell them the rest.

Hannibal again interrupts the Doctor’s story. " Doctor, PLEASE what happened to Face? I need to know." He asks.

Richter smiled at Hannibal and continued. "He passed out and fell to the ground before I could catch him."

"Doctor, Face was fine when they picked him up. He was upset that they mistook him for Murdock, but he was fine!" Hannibal tried to explain to the Doctor, he himself, couldn’t figure out why Face would have passed out.

"Colonel, he might have looked fine, but he was far from it." Richter informed them in HIS no nonsense doctor’s voice, "Right now, the Lieutenant is undergoing surgery to repair the damage to his lungs from the three broken ribs he attained. It seems he was severely beaten in the chest and stomach areas. The surgery should go well, except for…." Richter didn’t get a chance to finish his statement.

Hannibal grabbed the Doctor and practically yelled. " Except for WHAT Doctor?"

Richter paused to take another deep breath before he told Colonel Smith and his Team the rest of the injures that were inflicted on Peck. " John, whoever had him, ……. Beat him with a whip or belt of some kind on his entire back. His back is crisscrossed with welts and some have been bleeding at one time. The bleeding had stopped before we even realized he was injured on his back. The doctors in the ER room had to put over 46 sutures into Lieutenant Peck’s back. Unfortunately infection has set in and that’s what the Doctors are fighting with now while trying to repair the damage to his lung. I’m sorry gentleman that’s all I know at this time." Richter explained to them and tries to convey a positive attitude.

"Doc, do they think he’ll be okay?" Murdock asks quietly of Richter.

 

Part 15

"I don’t know Murdock, I honestly don’t know." Richter answered Murdock just as quietly.

"Well, why not? Faceman’s been in there for over two hours, how much longer are they gonna make us wait for news about little brotha?" BA growls.

"Patience BA, Face is in good hands, right Doc? They’ll let us know as soon as they can, BA. All we can do is wait." Hannibal said.

"Yea BA, the doctors here are good, they’re the best. Face, he’ll be okay, he has to be. He’s my best friend." Murdock states.

Doctor Richter watched and listened to the three men try to reassure each other that everything was going to be all right. He knows from listening to Murdock for all these years, that the four of them are very close and they protect each other. That’s why he’s never worries when Murdock disappears from the VA from time to time, because he knows he’s in good hands and they will keep him safe. So what happened this time, Murdock wasn’t hurt but Templeton Peck sure was, so why didn’t the Team protect him?

His curiosity and his anger at these three men getting the better of him, Doctor Richter practically yells at them, "What I want to know is WHAT IN THE HELL HAPPENED TO PECK, WHO DID THIS AND MOST IMPORTANT WHERE IN THE HELL WERE THE THREE OF YOU WHEN THIS WAS HAPPENING?" Richter takes a breath from his outburst and calms himself. "I’m sorry, I just never thought I would have to see those kinds of wounds again, not since I, we all left Nam. At least I always hoped I would never be reminded of the cruelty of man." Richter says in a calmer voice.

Now it was time for the three of them to watch Doctor Richter. Each was wondering what in the Doctor’s past was he trying to hide from the rest of the world. The Doctor always seemed so….together.

Richter notices them watching him as he paces in front of the bench in his frustration. He can tell their worried about his outburst a little while ago.

"Murdock, I was there, too. I saw first hand what happened to some of our soldiers over there and I really tried to help some of them put their lives back together. I guess in a way, I’m still trying to help as many of them as I can, by being here at the VA. Like I hope I’m doing for you, Murdock." Richter told them.

Hannibal feels it’s about time to change the subject, before they all went back to a place none of them wanted to go back to, and concentrate again on his/their Lieutenant’s condition. "We didn’t know Doctor. We were upset with Face for brushing us off and not taking heed of our warnings about being in danger. And then when we rescued him from that General we were just so glad he was alive. I guess when the excitement dyed down; we became angry all over again with him for putting himself and us in that kind of situation. We just never realized he was hurt, I just never realized he was hurt. It was my responsibility and I blew it." Hannibal tells the Doctor. Everyone could tell that the Colonel was disgusted with himself for not taking the time to see if his Lieutenant was okay.

"It’s alright John, I just wanted to make sure Lieutenant Peck was telling me the truth. Face…., that is what you call him, right. He told me that the three of you didn’t know he was hurt and he tried to keep it from you. What I’m concerned about is Why he wouldn’t what you to know he was beaten? He wouldn’t tell me that, I asked. And I never got the chance to question him further, it was at that time that they came and took him to surgery." Richter informed them.

"Doc, how much longer will Facey be in surgery?" Murdock asks. Murdock wanted to ask that same question to Face when he wakes up, and he will wake up.

"He should be in surgery for about tow or three more hours. It all depends on how much damage was done to his lung. The good news is that only one lung was damaged from the broken ribs so he won’t have to be under as long." Richter said, "I had better get back in there. I’ll keep you all informed about Peck’s condition as soon as I here anything. Where will you be?"

"We’ll be right here or I’ll take them into the VA’s garden out back, if that’s okay?" Murdock told his doctor.

"Murdock that’s fine, I’ll find you there. Oh by the way, Colonel you don’t have to worry about Lieutenant Peck’s identity, he’s still listed under Captain Murdock’s name. It will take them awhile before they ask questions about why Murdock’s in that condition. Hopefully by that time, Face will be away from here." Richter said. He turns around to head back into the Emergency room to wait on news about Face when he feels a hand on his shoulder. He looks behind him to see Hannibal standing there.

"Doc, wait a minute, just one question please. You said that Face told you after you got him into emergency, that we didn’t know about the abuse he took while in the General’s company. He must have regained consciousness, did he say anything else? I would really like to know." Hannibal quietly asked.

"Yes, he did, but I told him he would have to tell you himself, so I’m not going to tell you John. I’m going to leave that to your son to tell you. Besides I figured it would give him a reason to keep on fighting." Richter told Hannibal just as quietly. He turns again to head for the waiting room, but pauses and looks back just is case he was needed again. But it seems for now the Teams questions have been answered. At least the ones he can answer, but looking at the three men he knows that there is a whole lot of unanswered questions and only one person can answer those for these men. "I sure hope Lieutenant Peck has some good answers, or he’s in a Whole lot of trouble." Doctor Richter thought to himself.

He heads again for the Emergency room and for a very long wait. He hated this part, the waiting part.

 

Part 16

Murdock shakes his head at the news they were just given and sits heavily upon the bench, as his knees gives out. BA does the only thing he can and that’s smashes his fist into the near-by tree trunk. And Hannibal thinks back to the only other time that Face was beaten like that and if looks could kill, General Chow would be six feet under at that precise moment.

"Hannibal he was hurting all the time he was will us, why didn’t he want us to know what that General did to him?" BA questions his CO for answers that he probably didn’t have.

"I’m not sure BA, but if I would have known I sure as Hell wouldn’t let those CIA operatives handle Chow, I would have done it myself and they wouldn’t have needed a prison to hold him in for the next 50 years. I could have saved the taxpayers the expense. All they would need was a box to put his parts in." Hannibal fumes. He crushes the lit cigar in his hand and throws it on the ground in disgust.

"Hannibal are you alright?" Murdock asks. They’ve only seen Hannibal loose his cool once and neither of them wanted to go back there. Back to the Camps.

"Yah, I’ll be fine. I just need to be alone for while. Will you two be alright for awhile?" Hannibal had to ask.

They both just nodded their heads and headed for the VA gardens in the back of the hospital.

BA walks along side Murdock, lost in his own thoughts and he’s praying for the man who’s fighting for his life and remembering when that man became his little brother:

It was back in Nam, when Hannibal told him he acquired a supply officer for the Unit. He was a Lieutenant and he should fit in just fine. Hannibal told him he was a little unorthodox and has a tendency to get into trouble. He didn’t like the kid, at first; he was a cocky little upstart. And he didn’t get into a little trouble; he got into a lot of trouble. In fact, he was sure his middle name was Trouble, with a capital T. It all changed one day; it was the day that Face befriended a little girl. Some, very drunk Marines in an alley behind Face’s club were assaulting her. The Da Naug Officers Racquetball and Recreation Club, or some such name, he didn’t pay much attention to the stupid club, but then he was only a Sergeant not an Officer. When he came upon the scene, Face was fighting with three very big, very mean and very drunk Marines. He wasn’t doing to bad of a job either, until one of the Marines’s picked up a club and hit Face in the stomach, knocking the wind out of him. That’s when he decided he’d better intervene and he joined in the fight. The Marines took one look at him and high tailed it out of there. He hadn’t noticed the girl, until Face, holding his stomach and trying to get a breath, went over to the girl to see if she was all right. He guessed she was about 13 or 14 years old, dirty, bruised and very scared. It was the first time that he really took a hard look at this cocky, little upstart of a Lt. And what he saw was a gentle, caring and concerned young man taking care of a little girl, a girl that should have meant nothing to him, but he still made sure that the girl was taken care of. Face looked up at him, surprised that he was there, and gave him this million-dollar smile, the kind that could melt a glacier of ice and said "Thanks, BA." And would you believe that his Lt took this little girl under his wing and gave her a job, a place to stay and his protection. That’s pretty much the time that he decided this cocky, hard nosed, little upstart of a Lt needed a strong, mean and equally hard nosed big brother to keep him from killing himself over here. And he was just the man for the job and he adopted himself a little brother and he’ll ALWAYS be his little brother. Oh, the little girl Face rescued was Su Lynn Chow.

Murdock talking to him shook BA out of the past and into the present.

"BA, are you alright?" Murdock asks a little confused. "Ah, BA, you look like me when I loose Billy, kind of lost."

"Shut up, Fool, there is no dog, so how can you loose him?" BA growls. "But yea fool, I’m fine, just thinking." BA answers, giving Murdock a slight smile.

Murdock knows better than to ask BA what he was thinking about, when he was in one of Those kind of moods. It was a good way to get your head knocked off. He has a good idea, what it was anyway, because he was thinking about the same thing himself: He remembered when Colonel Smith took the young Lt into their unit. He took an instant like to the Lieutenant and knew they were going to be best friends. It was like they Clicked, thou, the Lt didn’t see it that way. He didn’t want anything to do with the crazy pilot from Texas. It seems someone warned him about the crazy pilot Colonel Smith had in his unit. Murdock had to smile, because it didn’t take to long before him and Face became the best of buddies, no matter what Face did to stop it from happening. Like he said, they just kind of clicked. They sure got into enough trouble together and he doesn’t EVEN want to remember the number of obstacle courses Hannibal made them do for getting into that trouble in the first place. He knew about the Racquetball Club Face opened up, but he had no idea when Face took in that little Vietnamese girl. He was loaned to another unit at the time, cause their pilot was recovering from a bullet wound and Smith loaned his services to the unit. He just knew that the little girl was special to him and he protected her like she was his little sister or something. He made sure that no one at the club messed with her and they showed her the proper respect due to a little lady. He never seen that side of Face before, it was different, a gentler side of the young Lt. He asked him once about it and all Face told him was that sometimes everyone could use a big brother. No other explanations given, Face just walked away. And it was then and there, that he adopted himself a little brother and a big brother when HE needed one and he never regretted it for a minute. That little girl, she was Su Lynn Chow.

Back in the present, they each sat on the grass, in the garden of the VA, and waited for news about their little brother together. They each knew that the torture that he suffered was not deserved, he loved that little girl like a sister, he would have never hurt her.

Hannibal, he heads out to Face’s ‘Vet’ and gets into the driver’s seat. He feels closer to Face here. He doesn’t want to think about the past, it just doesn’t do any good, and thinking about Vietnam just makes this situation even harder to deal with. Because he knows that Face didn’t deserve this, he treated the General’s daughter with kindness and protected her as much as he could, given the circumstance. So instead, he sits and bangs his head against the steering wheel in frustration. "Why Face, Why didn’t you tell us you were hurt. Sometimes I want to just wring that stubborn, I’m Okay, Fine attitude of yours right out of that pigheaded head of yours. We are a Team, Damn it, I thought we were a Family. We take care of each other. Didn’t I teach you anything in Nam? Maybe you need to do a few obstacle courses to get your head on straight again. I know how you love them." Hannibal yells at the windshield, but he would really rather be yelling at Face.

After his rant, he hangs his head on the steering wheel and he notices something sticking out from under the passenger seat. He reaches down to see what it is and pulls out the manuscript Face was writing about the team. Disgustedly, he pushes the thing back under the seat, and at the last minute decides what the hell he might as well read what was written. It’s better than banging my head on the steering wheel or yelling at a person who’s not here to hear it anyhow.

Picking up the manuscript, he sits up and turns to the first page to read what’s there. Thou from the reaction he got from the other two when they read the thing, he knows its not going to be good. He read the first page twice before he closed the thing and reopened it several times to make sure it was the manuscript, because this can not be what BA and Murdock read to upset them so much at the Studio.

After reading for about 5 or 10 minutes, he closed it back up and places his head on the steering wheel and for the first time in his life, Colonel John "Hannibal" Smith cries.

 

Part 17

Murdock and BA decide that the Colonel has been alone long enough, so they head for the parking lot to look for him. If they know their Commander as well as they think they do, he’ll be sitting in Face’s car.

Hannibal by that time has his emotions in check and gets out of the car. He takes the manuscript with him and goes looking for BA and Murdock. They have the right to know what Face has written about them, too.

He sees BA and Murdock heading his way so he meets them half way. "Guys, I have something here that I found in Face’s car that I think you should hear." Hannibal tells them and he shows them the manuscript.

"Colonel, I, we have read that and believe me there is nothing written in there that I want to read again. Especially not now." Murdock calmly tells his CO.

"Your wrong Murdock, this (and he taps his finger against the manuscript) is nothing you have read before and BELIEVE me you will want to hear it. Let’s go sit on the bench again and I’ll read to you what it says." Hannibal instructed them.

BA and Murdock look at each other and shrug their shoulders in confusion. But they follow their leader, no pun intended, and sit on the bench waiting for Hannibal to continue.

Hannibal opens up the manuscript and before he begins to read, he makes sure that BA and Murdock are going to be listening. When he sees that they’re paying attention he begins:

"Title: The A-Team, My Hero’s, My Family

Author: Lieutenant Templeton A. Peck

Dedicated: To the Three Most Important People in my life and whose lives made this book possible:

To my Colonel, my Leader, my Hero for his gentle yet strong influence in shaping my life, for without his guidance, loyalty, honor, dedication and love I wouldn’t be here today. I only hope that I turned out to be the kind of man he would be proud to call son. I couldn’t have found a Greater Man to call my Father, Colonel John "Hannibal" Smith

To my Sergeant, my Protector, my Big Brother for his strength, patience and understanding. I know he needed all three to put up with a very stubborn little brother. He taught me the meaning of family and he taught me how to be a part of that family. You’re the Best Big Brother a guy could ask for, Sergeant Bosco "BA" Baracus.

To my Captain, the Greatest Pilot ever, my other Big Brother for his laughter, smiles and his time. And believe me, he gives me a lot of his time. He taught me how to smile, to be happy and that it’s okay to act like a kid and play. He listens to me when I need an ear and a shoulder to lean on and then tells me when I’m being stupid. He’s my Best Friend; he’s my Big Brother and sometimes little brother, Captain H.M. "Howling Mad" Murdock.

Now I guess this is the place that I tell you something about the Author of this book and that would be me: First Lieutenant Templeton A. "Faceman" Peck, Second-in-Command of the A-Team;

All my life for as long as I can remember all I ever wanted was a Family. A Family of my very own. I’ve prayed, wished on a fallen star and even, when I was real young asked Santa for one. And there was a time in my life when I gave up on those prayers. I knew I would forever be alone. I went to the worst Hell imaginable — Vietnam. Growing up in a Catholic orphanage as I did, committing suicide is a mortal sin, so what better place to Die than a War Zone where someone else could do the honors. But would you believe that in that Hell On Earth my prayers were answered for I found the Greatest Family that I could ever have wished, or prayed for, I found the greatest man alive, My Dad and I found not one but two of the Best Big Brothers in all the world. For I found My FAMILY and I love them with all my heart. It’s a gift that I will never return and I will ALWAYS cherish.

Hannibal stops to take a break; there’s only one other thing in the manuscript he wants to read to them. And it answers all the questions that they’ve asked over the last 3 hours.

Hannibal looks over at BA and Murdock and they each have tears in their eyes and not one of them chooses to speak. So Hannibal picks up the manuscript again, "There is just one other item I want to read to you." Hannibal said. " It’s a letter Face wrote, it’s addressed to me, but I think you and Murdock should hear what Face had to say." So Hannibal clears his throat and begins to read.

"Dear Hannibal,

I just wanted you to know that I wasn’t conned or deceived this time, I know that this pardon is a fake. I knew all along. I know something is going on and I’m sorry for making you and the others angry with me. I’m sorry for brushing you off the other day; I know you were just worried that I was going to do something stupid. And I guess maybe I am. But Hannibal, I’m going to do whatever I have to, to keep you, Murdock and BA from being hurt from this. It’s me they want, I don’t know why, but I’m going to find out, without your help. This is something I have to do on my own. I hope you will understand and forgive me for not including you.

If your reading this letter then I guess something went wrong, I’m either in prison, missing or dead. So I guess it’s okay to gloat…. For I pulled off the Greatest Con of my life, I managed to con you and the Team. You do know that I have never been able to pull anything off on you, BA or Murdock before. Sorry about that, but it’s something I just had to do.

Hannibal, I never had a family and I’ve prayed and wished so long for one. God answered my prayers and gave me a Gift of A Family. He gave me you. I’m not giving that gift back EVER.

Love Forever, Your Son, Temp

P.S. I know I have never said this in the past and I should have many, many times. Dad, I Love You with all my heart. And, Please tell my two big brothers H.M. and BA that I Love Them very much, too.

 

Part 18

Hannibal didn’t read any more. He didn’t have to, when he looked up again both BA and Murdock still had tears in their eyes and he even had to wipe the tears from his eyes, too. This was the second time he saw both his Sgt. And Captain with tears running down their faces. And he didn’t want to ever think about the first time, but Face was hurt then too.

Doctor Richter chooses this time to find the Team. He has news about Face.

"Gentleman, I’m happy to report that Lieutenant Peck will make a complete recovery. He came through surgery with flying colors. The damage to his lung was minor and they repaired the tear. His fever broke so the antibiotics are working and he’s now in recovery. " Doctor Richter was happy to report.

After all the Yah Hoos and jumping up and down by Murdock. And the high fiving between Hannibal and BA. Hannibal asks, "When can we see him?"

"We will be putting him in Murdock’s room after Recovery, in about half hour or so, he is still listed as Captain Murdock so they will be returning him to his room. They know that we can take just as good care of him in his own room then in the Medical portion of the hospital. They find that patients recover quicker in familiar surroundings. I also know Colonel Smith that you have to be careful, so I’ll make arrangement for you to remove the Lieutenant as soon as possible. But only under the understanding that you get him under a Doctors care as soon as you leave here. Do I make myself clear, Colonel?" Richter asks.

"Doc, we’ll get him the best care in all of California. You don’t have to worry, we have a very good Team doctor at our disposal when needed." Hannibal smiled at Richter; he’s going to enjoy spending some time with Maggie again. It’s been to long since he’s seen her.

Murdock and BA knew who the Colonel was talking about and they also saw the smile on Hannibal’s face when he thought about the good Doctor. It was good to see him smile again and there’s no better doctor to take care of Face than Dr. Maggie Sullivan.

"Great, I’ll let you know when you can move him. You can wait in Murdock’s room if you like." Richter said.

So the four of them all head for the hospital and at the entrance, three head for Murdock’s room to wait and the good Doctor headed for his office for a much-needed rest. He’s getting way to old for this kind of thing.

 

Part 19

They didn’t have long to wait before the orderlies and two nurses brought Face into Murdock’s room. They settled him into bed and hung up the IV bag and made sure everything was working and that Face/Murdock didn’t need anything at the moment. And if any of them took notice of the three men waiting for them to leave or that one of them sure looked a lot like Murdock, they never let on.

Hannibal, BA and Murdock walked up to the bed Face was in and Hannibal took a hold of his hand. He held onto that hand with a tight grip, like he was afraid the hand and the man would vanish if he didn’t hold on tight. Murdock went to the other side of the bed and held onto Face’s other hand with just as tight of a grip. And BA went to the foot of the bed and like the ever-present protector, watched to see that everything was all right. But he too, had to put his hand on Face’s leg to make sure he was there and okay.

Face looked up at Hannibal and tried to speak "Hann’..bal, I’m sorry. I didn’t"

The rest was left unsaid because Hannibal put his finger to Face’s lips to silence the young man from speaking and he told him, " Shush now, you don’t have anything to be sorry for. We, the three of us, needs to apologize to you Face for not noticing that you were hurt and in pain. And for that we are truly sorry."

Hannibal looks up to the other two who nodded their agreement to his apology with Face. He smiled at his men and knew everything would be all right. They survived another crises and came out whole, just like he taught them and he was proud of all three members of His A-Team.

He then winks at his Captain and Sergeant. "Face, as the Commanding Officer of the A-Team, I speak for all of us here, IF you ever try to CON the Team again, Lieutenant, I will personally kick your butt from here to the East Coast and back. Do I make myself clear, Lieutenant?" Hannibal orders, as he takes out a new cigar to light.

"Sir, Yes, Sir" Face answers back.

"And one other thing son, BA, Murdock and I, we got our prayers answered too. For we were given you." As that said, Hannibal leans over and kisses Face on the top of his head. He whispers so only Face can hear, "Go to sleep son, your safe, your family is here and we won’t ever leave you."

Face looks up at him and then over to the other two and smiles, a real honest to goodness smile, and knows he’s where he belongs, where he always belongs, and where he will always belong. There is just one thing he needed them to know before he could follow his Commanders orders and go to sleep. So he gives the three of them, his million-dollar smile and said, "I love it when a plan comes together!" And just before he falls asleep, he can hear the three of them laughing.

The End!


An Answered Prayer, The Gift Of A Family by Linda Fortman