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Land Of The Lost
Rating- PG for the fact that
it pretty hard to understand
This really doesn't fit into anything ever written. It doesn't have a time slot in the A-team stories, and no sequel or rational meaning will ever be found behind it. Basically it is just weird.
Summary- When you're on a job in South America, when you're trudging through the jungle looking for a plane, the last thing you expect to find is something that should have been extinct 65 million years ago. And when that something has pointed teeth and sharp claws you're kinda in trouble.....
It's kinda like the A-team in
Anyway, please tell me what you think, I need some feedback to know whether to carry on with this bizarre fic.
Comments-ok, I've tried threatening to get people to send comments, now I am groveling, look, I'm literally down on my knees, begging all you nice readers to SEND COMMENTS!!
Disclaimer- Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the disclaimer, that's right, the disclaimer. (As if we've never heard it before) 'I don't own the A-team, I just borrow them from time to time, I promise not to lose, misplace, mangle, break or irreparably damage them whilst they are in my possession....too much.'
Anyway, after writing too long about ratings and comments and stuff, here's the actual fic-
Face trudged through the jungle mud, he could have sworn the pack on his back was getting heavier. He twisted around as he walked, swatting irritably at mosquitoes and the other assorted bugs that were assailing him.
"Stupid bugs," he muttered, "just like '
"So, what we lookin' for?" his Sergeant asked,
"I told you already, BA, we're going back to the jeep,"
"Yeah, BA, the jeep we drove down here in, don't you remember?" Face said, taking a break from the mosquito dance
They had actually flown down, in a plane, with BA knocked out in the cabin. And it was the plane they were now looking for, but they had had to go quite a long way further than expected to round up all the goons.
Murdock walked, his eyes closed, only flicking them open every few seconds to see where he was going, hands deep in his jacket pockets. The strap of his rifle slipped off his shoulder, and he absently put it in place again. He was tired, and bored, his mind could not even come up with an appropriate alternative personality. The jungle was, after all, pretty much all the same, tall trees (they did seem especially large just here), air so hot and thick and humid you could almost see it, green leaves, green bushes, green creepers, brown tree trunks, that was it, just boring trees. Maybe trees were not so boring though, maybe, if they could talk....wait, what would trees talk about? The squirrels that climbed them? The birds that nested in their branches? They wouldn't really have an awful lot to say, would they? Murdock yawned, he was tired, and he was missing chocolate pudding day at the VA.
BA walked in stolid silence, looking around at his team mates as he walked. He would trust them with his life, but this jeep business seemed a bit fishy. He didn't remember a jeep. Had they knocked him out and dragged him on a plane again? Or were they telling the truth this time? He was suspicious. His watch said that it was the ninth, which would correspond with them driving down here, but they'd changed that before to confuse him. And why did that crazy fool have to come along if they weren't flying? Glaring suspiciously at the back of his team mates, he hoisted the pack further up on his shoulders, and walked on.
"Where're we going?" BA asked, still highly suspicious. They halted as a unit.
"You know what, Face,"
"You mean, we're lost?" BA thundered.
"Can you smell that?" Murdock said suddenly.
"Well, we had to go further than expected from the plane to get those goons,"
"Plane?" BA echoed
"He means Jeep," Face said quickly, moving away from BA out of habit.
"Can you guys smell that?" Murdock insisted, "there's something out there," but, on the outbreak of argument, no one listened to him.
"Plane?" BA repeated, glaring threateningly at Face.
"No, Jeep," Face persisted, hiding behind
"You guys put me on a plane?" BA thundered.
"Yes, BA, we put you on a plane, now calm down,"
"You know I don't fly," BA shouted, "And you put me on a plane!"
"Now, what is it, Captain?"
"Can anyone smell that...that smell?" Murdock asked again.
"Shur'up fool! There ain't no smell, et's just your crazy mind,"
"No, there is, there's summat, summat I can smell," Murdock was insistent. He could smell something, like corruption, decay, and it smelt big, and dangerous.
"Come on, team,"
"Cos, it's...it's that way..."
"What's that way?"
"The...the smell, the thing,"
"There ain't no smell, fool!" BA was mad, they knew he didn't fly, and they'd still dragged him on a plane, again!
"BA's right, Murdock, I can't smell anything," Face said.
"Told you so," Murdock said with a know-it-all smirk, as he slowly backed away.
"What is it?" BA grunted in disgust. The corpse was impossibly large, hemmed in on all sides by thick brush, and the scraps of skin that they could see were pale green and pebbly in texture, like a reptiles scales.
"Oh, man," Face whined with a sigh, swatting even more madly at the bugs and muttering about everything that had been, was, and could ever be, wrong with the world.
A grunt, a soft growl, a head rose, an angular head, covered in scales, with a mouth that split its face in half, ragged strips of flesh smeared with blood hanging from the pointed teeth. The whole team froze as this monster rose before them, in shocked wonder at what this creature was. Face stared, open mouthed, so shocked he didn't even brush off the flies that settled on his skin. He was the one that started retreating first, as the creature cocked its head and regarded them quizzically. Smiling worriedly, Face walked backwards past Murdock, nodding at the pilot as he passed, then turning to run. It did not take long for Murdock and BA to follow suit.
Running, dodging trees and bushes, ducking low branches and creepers that hung from the trees. Straining for air in the hot, humid jungle. Face finally stopped, and fell to his knees in a clearing, sweat running from every pore in his body. Murdock and BA collapsed alongside him, watching behind fearfully incase the beast followed. But the only creature to burst from the foliage was
"What....the hell... was that?" Face said, gasping for breath.
"Looked like some kind o' lizard?" BA said, adjusting the rifle at his shoulder.
"That was one....mighty big...lizard," Face wheezed.
"Looked like a dinosaur to me," Murdock voiced his opinion.
"Shut up, fool," BA growled.
"Yeah, Murdock, dinosaurs went extinct millions of years ago," Face said, getting air back into his heaving lungs.
"Ain't you guys ever seen that film?" Murdock asked, "With the girl, in the museum, and the bones come alive, and she gets taken back in time to see dinosaurs?" From their blank expressions he had to conclude that none of them had, "Ain't none of you ever seen that?"
"Murdock," Face said, putting an arm around the pilots shoulders and continuing in his best 'doctor-voice',
"dinosaurs died out millions of years ago, they can't be brought back to life." He smiled a con-mans smile.
"No, but we watched this movie, at the VA, Thursdays movie night, you see, and they did this thing and brought the dinos back," Murdock tried to explain, shrugging off Face's arm.
"There ain't no dinosaurs, fool!"
"That does seem rather far-fetched Murdock,"
"But, look, that thing that looked up at us, it was a....a....a....I don't remember the name, but it looked like a dinosaur."
The team just looked at him, skeptically.
"Didn't any of you guys play with dinosaurs when you were little? I'm tellin' you, it was a dinosaur,"
"Sure Murdock, do you have any other theories about what crop circles are? Or how, if it is a dinosaur, we ended up 65 million years in the past?"
"It ain't a dinosaur!" BA growled.
"Come on guys,"
"I ain't goin' on no plane," BA growled, and
The hard work of clambering through jungle mud ceased any further opportunities for argument
Face sat down heavily on a rotting log, still swatting tiredly at the mosquitoes that buzzed around him. They had been walking for ages now. He was hungry, he was thirsty, oh, what he wouldn't give for a reservation at that little Italian place down on
"Come on, Facey," Murdock called, interrupting Face's pleasant day dreams.
"I'm coming, I'm coming," he said.
There was a thud behind him, and a gentle chirp, he looked around, nothing there, probably just some jungle animal. Another, on the other side of him, he looked around again. It felt like something was watching him. He scanned the thick brush carefully, he did not like the feeling. He couldn't see anything, except leaves and trees and bushes and clouds of mosquitoes. Wait, what was that? Nope, just a patch of shadows. Shadows which stood stock-still even when the leaves swayed in the wind, shadows that had a single liquid-amber eye that watched him intently. He reached slowly, so very slowly for his gun. He caught hold of the strap and slowly dragged it towards him. Another thump behind him. Knowing what he expected to see, and fearing it. Face carefully looked over his shoulder. Yep, there it was.
About six feet tall, taller than himself. It walked on two legs, in a bouncy, energy-filled gait. It's legs were powerful, muscle-bound. Its feet held sharp claws, raised above the ground so as not to blunt their razor-sharpness. It reminded him of a pair of big black shoes, because of all the thick muscles around those killing claws. It's face was pointed, angular, covered in coarse, pebbly hide. The mouth that split its face in half was open slightly, enough for Face to see the pointed, yellowing teeth that filled the creatures jaw. It stood, leaning forward, balanced like a well-trained gymnast, its long tail held stiff in the air behind it. It was a mottled brown color, cream stripes running parallel down its back, like stripes on a tabby cat. And its eyes, a reptilian yellow, alive, were seeing every move, watching, calculating.
Face turned away from the repulsive monstrosity. He could run, but, with the muscles that beast had, it could pounce and pin him down in a single leap. With those claws, Face would be dead before he got a chance to run. But he had to warn the others. Face looked at the gun he now held, experimentally squeezed a light pressure on the trigger. This was it. He would only get one chance. And he was terrified. This was like nothing he had seen in the jungles of '
One chance. He held the gun. In one fluid movement, he stood up, brought the gun up, and fired. The creature was already pouncing at him. Man, that thing was fast. Still firing, he ran backwards, tripping and stumbling, the hail of bullets keeping the confused creature back. Behind him, footsteps, shouting, the guys, hearing the gunshots and coming to help him. He turned to face them, to warn them.
Something hit him on the back, sending him reeling to the ground. It was heavy, any moment he expected to feel sharp, cold, claws tearing into his back. He tried to move, and the weight slid sideways, the creature fighting with his pack. He struggled to get the straps off his shoulders, and then scrambled through the loam, away from the monstrosity.
Face leapt to his feet, running. There, a click behind him, his hand tensed on the gun, he twirled around, bringing the gun up. He had a glimpse of scaley red and brown hide, before it knocked him flat. He rolled over, trying to get to his feet. Boom. It hit him again, his gun skittered away across the forest floor. That clicking again, it was that animal growling, the animal that now stood over him, its head cocked, regarding him carefully. He could hear the others, running also, scrambling up the tall trees, whooping and shouting, trying to distract the reptile that stood over Face.
Another one emerged from through the brush; it's hide so dark it was almost purple. It squeaked at the red one, hissed and spat, affirming his leadership over its opponent in a language the
Something before him, thick roots; a mighty tree trunk stretched upwards. Climb, that was the answer, climb. Face reached for the weapon that should be on his shoulder, but of course, it wasn't there, having been lost in the previous shock. He scrambled to his feet, grabbing the creepers and the vines, crawling up the tree. He could dimly hear voices shouting encouragement. Something hit him and he almost fell, clinging to the tree, struggling to climb higher. The something fell back. It was one of the lizards; they had realized that their prey was escaping. Higher, higher, must climb higher, and faster. A growl from below, a clack of teeth so close behind him he almost slipped. Then he was high enough, safe. He sat trembling on the branch, clinging to the gnarled tree branch so hard his knuckles were white, the knots pressing into his check.
"You ok, kid?"
'Sure,' Face thought, 'sure I'm fine. I've just been chased up a tree by an overgrown iguana that has sharp teeth and claws!'
"I'm all right," he called back, holding on all the tighter to his tree.
"Come on, guys,"
"No!" Face shouted, "don't draw those lizards back here." He was pale, the activity and shock of the last few hours setting in on him.
"You ok, kid?"
"I'm fine," Face said, and held out the flame for Colonel's cigar, then he realized the flame, and the hand he held it with, were shaking.
"You ok, muchacho?" Murdock asked softly, wrapping his arm around Face's shoulders. Face sank his head into the soft leather of Murdock's jacket.
"Where are we?" he asked weakly, "what were those....those things?" he spat the last word with hatred and fear.
"They're dinosaurs," Murdock said.
"No, really, Murdock," Face said, did his friend not see how shaken and serious he was?
"They're dinosaurs," Murdock repeated, "they're real dinosaurs, we got sent back in time, or they got sent forward in time," he looked around at the unnaturally tall trees, "No, we got sent back in time, and now we're here with dinosaurs." Face was shaking his head desperately,
"They can't be dinosaurs, dinoís are extinct. They're just lizards, big lizards."
"Maybe some lizards got a radiation dose and mutated into these big lizards," Murdock said, trying to find something that Face could believe. Face would never believe in time travel, it was one of those misty topics that could not be explained, that there was no proof of, something Face could not understand.
"Yeah, big lizards," Face repeated, "just a few big lizards, that's okay, we can deal with them," he was nodding now, rocking his whole body as he nodded.
"Come on, brother," BA said, "you need some sleep." BA sat heavily down on the ground at the base of a tree, between the thick, coiling roots.
"No!" Face shouted again, "not on the ground, not where the lizards can get us." BA followed his gaze up the tree, and with a grunt got to his feet and begun to climb.
They spent a cold and uncomfortable night perched in the branches of the immense tree, trying to get comfortable between the thick ridges of bark, trying to sleep in the jungles eerie silence.
Face awoke with half a tree branch pressing into his cheek. Shaking sleep from his eyes, he was amazed he had got any rest. And now that the darkness was gone, and the memories of yesterday had faded, the threat from those lizards did not seem as much. How big had they been? Oh, not that big, and they had not been that fast either. He looked around, Murdock was also awake, stretching his cramped muscles in a leisurely fashion. Murdock looked at the ground and leapt nimbly from the tree, landing surely on his feet in the tree litter. With soft, high chirps, small crested heads appeared from the surrounding bushes.
"Well, hey up there Mr. Dino," Murdock addressed one of the small, green heads,
"How goes muchacho?" The dinosaur, no, lizard, Face corrected himself, looked up at Murdock, gave a final cheep and disappeared into the bushes. From another bush several more hopped out, about a foot tall, standing on two, thin, willowy legs, bouncing harmlessly, snapping at the mosquitoes and bugs with jaws on long, willowy necks. Were these those creatures that had chased them yesterday? But they were so little and harmless here. Murdock was in a clearing surrounded by them, and he was talking and jibber jabbering at them, and they cheeped and squeaked in response. Maybe these were the little lizards that had taken the radiation dose, and some of them had mutated and morphed into those big, scaly, awful things. Yep, that must be what had happened.
"Come on, guys," Hannibal said, jumping to the ground, his abrupt presence made the swarm of small lizards squeal in alarm and jump away into the surrounding vegetation. With a sigh Face rolled from his uncomfortable position lodged between tree branches, and dropped to the floor, as BA made his more hesitant way down the tree trunk.
Trudging once more through jungle mud, swatting at yet more swarms of mosquitoes. With the sun shining, it didn't seem so bad. Even with sweat trickling down his body and mosquitoes trying to eat him alive, as long as the surroundings stayed free of all life bigger than a mosquito, then he was happy. Oh, and directions to civilisation wouldn't go amiss either.
"They're dinosaurs," Murdock said simply, "They're dinosaurs, they're dinosaurs."
"Murdock, shut up," Face said tiredly, who was still trying to convince himself otherwise, and was now getting rather bored of this unchanging scenery, and Murdock's dinosaur theories. He pinched his arm hard. Feeling shooting pain, he winced, and pinched himself again, hoping not to feel the pain, hoping to wake up somewhere, preferably in a California hotel room between silk sheets. He grimaced in pain again, and resolutely pinched his other arm. He would not feel pain, he would wake up, this was not real.
"Give it up, Face,"
"This isn't real," he muttered, "we aren't here, it's all a dream....." he trailed off. This was, unfortunately, reality. He was hot, his shirt stuck to his back with sweat, mosquitoes and flies buzzed around him, the raised lumps of their bites stuck out on his skin, red and itching. His back hurt, the scratches from that overgrown lizard stung as sweat trickled into them.
"They're dinosaurs," Murdock chimed again. Face groaned. Why was he here, why were they here?
Tramping through the jungle, having to pull their feet from the thick mud with each step, having to push through the vegetation and tear their limbs free from whippy branches and trailing vines. The air was hot and humid and still beneath the thick canopy of the trees far above them. They trudged in single file, BA at the front, clearing a path through the net of bushes and plants and vines that grew in profusion, reaching out to catch the sparse, dappled sunlight that made it through the branches of the ancient trees. And
The came into a clearing, a shaft of bright sunshine that burst through where the forest had been cleared. There was a fence, a rusted wire mesh fence, barbed wire curling along the top, like the vines that were creeping out of the jungle, slowly trying to retake possession of this cleared land. Inside the packed Earth of the enclosure was a bird, a beautiful bird, brilliant sunlight glinting off her rotors and polished canopy. She was so beautiful, such a contrast to these pressing, lonely and rural landscapes that Face's stomach tightened in anticipation. A sign of humanity, a feat of human technology and engineering. Their ticket out of this forsaken jungle. So they could get back to civilization, to en-suite air-conditioned rooms, with clear water and soap, and clean clothing, and air that was cool and dry and breathable.
Face snapped out of his day dreams just in time to see Hannibal pointing at one of the two wooden buildings that were in the enclosure alongside the chopper, and to hear him saying the dreaded words, "We'll go in the front door," Hannibal hefted the M60 in his arms, "it'll be a piece of cake." At those words Face groaned dramatically, but he wasn't too upset, with that chopper in sight things were looking up.
With getting into position, and the excitement of what seemed like imminent escape, Face's mind, which was denying the existence of the reptiles, forgot about their continued threat...
Face crouched in the jungle, waiting for
A soft click, a gentle purring sound, so quiet that it was barely audible over the whine of mosquitoes. But a sound that jarred unpleasant memories into Face's mind, and made him tremble slightly in fear. Not now, he thought, not now, not when they were so close to escape.
BA readied his finger on the trigger of his rifle at that sound.
They broke from position at the same instant, running alongside the fence through the jungle. BA half turned to fire at the repulsive lizards as they also sprung forward with amazing speed. The reptiles were held back by the bullets, but only momentarily, for the hammer was soon clicking fruitlessly. BA flung the empty gun at the fast approaching raptors, and ran.
Loud gunshots, explosively loud in the jungle silence. Hannibal and Murdock peered apprehensively around the corner of the building. They could see BA and Face's plight,
"Lets go Captain,"
Face ran, dodging tall trees, stumbling through loam and ground cover, breaking through vines and thin branches, the cheeps and chirps of the lizards gaining on them. If only they could get round the fence, into the enclosure, into the chopper. He risked a glance behind. The cover that they fought and stumbled through with difficultly, the reptiles bounced and spun through, pivoting perfectly on their ankles, tails balancing them as they leapt and bounced through the forest, dipping and weaving through the trees, blending with the sun-dappled vegetation, so that even though they were dancing and moving and bobbing about, it was hard to see them, hard to pick out their figures from the background. Except for those amber eyes, those cold, mesmerising liquid amber eyes, the eyes of a killer, deep eyes of intelligence, of instinct, eyes that bewitched you, hypnotized you as you looked into their depths....
Darkness hit him, almost as physical a blow as the tree had been, sucking him down like the muddy swamps they had been trudging through, sucking him down into cold, dark stillness. Hands grabbed at him, strong hands, dragging him onwards as he fought to regain his feet. Yep, those eyes, mesmerising, they'd catch you if you dropped your guard for a second, the eyes would catch you, ensnare you so those razor sharp claws could tear into your warm flesh, hot blood spilling. Those devils eyes.
Face and BA burst out of the jungle, around the fence, over the flattened earth of the clearing. All that space between them and the chopper, and the reptiles were much too close. All that open space, a space where the agile reptiles would surely and easily catch up with them. Face could see it in his mind already, them running on doggedly, and the reptiles waving sinuously through the grass, then pausing, aiming, pouncing high to hit them, knock them down, those razor claws would tear into your back. A high-pitched creel behind him, close behind him, a reptile cry of victory. He glanced back, fear squeezing tight at his chest as he panted desperately for breath. The raptor was so close, 6 feet of wiry, fluid muscle. It leapt, catapulting itself high into the air, coming down on him with brilliant accuracy, huge, razor claws held before it. He stumbled back, expecting the sharp, shooting pain of those claws, the weight of the creature slamming into him. He watched, in slow motion, as the creature fell towards him, conscious only of the beast and the blood pounding in his ears, of imminent death looming over him.
Bright light seared his eyes. He blinked desperately to clear them, fear clutching tight at his throat. A rustling noise from behind, and he whirled to turn. A squeal that echoed around the room, closely followed by badly dubbed music...
Murdock burst from the hall, dumping shopping bags on a rustling pile on the floor.
"Hiya Faceman," Murdock beamed brightly.
Face gasped, letting out the breath he had been holding,
blinking as life speeded back up into normal gear. He panted for air, looking
around desperately, he was in an apartment, safe
within human walls in a human city, with other human beings, and the bustle of
human life seeping through the walls. No damp, sticky air, muddy ground, trees
that swayed as if deadly reptiles would swarm from them. Not even the buzz of
lazy flies. No cheeps or chirps or growls, no clicking razor claws, no wild,
energy filled, erratic reptiles gaining on him with deadly intent. Just the hum
of the video, and a growl of static as the tape ended.
"What's wrong Faceman? You seen
a ghost?" Murdock asked, concerned.
In Face's head, in the dream that had been so terrifyingly real, the reptiles, vapourized, evaporated and dispersed like powder on the wind, as insubstantial as ghosts, for ghosts of his mind they were.
"That's the last time I leave you to watch
"Its nothing, Murdock,"
Face stuttered to say, "Nothing at all, just a dream." He leaned on
Murdock's shoulder as the pilot sat on the sofa. "Just a dream," he
sighed happily, "Just a dream."
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