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This page last viewed: 2017-09-20 and has been viewed 1819 times
By Leia Fee
SUMMARY: Response to the Thanksgiving challenge on the A-Team Storyboard
WARNINGS: Bit of violence and character injury but nothing too severe
"I don't like it." Face stared into the trees. "We should have gone around. There're too many places for an ambush here.”
"It's the fastest way."
it all anyway. One group of bounty
hunters get close and next thing everyone thinks it’s
as catch can,” Murdock shrugged carelessly.
“Soon we'll be up and out of here."
He gestured with his hand. "Wheeee! Home in time for Thanksgiving."
"Up?" B.A. asked, suspicion making his tone even sharper
he just means up out of the valley, B.A."
course you aren't, B.A."
wood this." Face tried to change the subject.
"Yup. I keep expecting
something to jump out and shout 'BOO!'"
Murdock leapt in the air and spun round to demonstrate but his shout was
drowned out by the crack of a rifle shot.
He hit the ground on his back and didn't move. The others dropped to their bellies and looked
came from over there."
kept his head down as he checked.
Murdock was unconscious but stirred slightly as Face called his
name. Blood was soaking into his left
sleeve from a wound on his upper arm and glittered on the asphalt beneath his
in the arm and looks like he knocked his head when went down," Face
reported back. "There's a lot of
tore off a strip from his own shirt, wadded it up and pressed hard against the
injury. Murdock woke at that, hissing
through his teeth in pain. He stared up
at Face then squinted to try and see his arm without moving his head.
"Could be problematic, yes." Face answered frankly. All of them had seen enough injuries in their
time to know when they were being told a comforting lie, and didn't appreciate
it. "How d'you feel? You remember
what happened okay?"
"Said something was going to jump out at us. Shouldn't have tempted it huh?" His voice was a pained whisper but the
familiar twisted humour was reassuring.
"Probably not. You banged
your head pretty good but you don't seem to have done any damage in that
more than usual."
and Hannibal dropped down beside them.
"Oh, great." Murdock
grinned at him, rather dizzily.
we going to do?" Face followed his
"Looks like only one of them has a gun."
"Better than running and getting shot in the back of the head."
stood and watched as the two men approached.
The one with the gun jerked it sharply as he spoke.
up. Move over there."
pointed at Murdock. "Let me help
him. He's injured."
and if you don't step away I'm going to put him out of his misery."
Face lifted Murdock's right hand and gave him the wadded cloth.
that pressed there, okay?"
got a short nod in return so stood up and moved to join the others.
"All right. We're going
to take a little walk. You three
move." The man with the gun
gestured at his partner then at Murdock.
"Get him out of sight. We're
not carrying any baggage."
three of them who'd started to move down the track stopped abruptly.
not going anywhere without him."
"Yeah? Well listen, friend.
The reward is higher for your capture than your deaths but I am not a
greedy man. So you can walk or you can
be carried but I've only been hired to bring in you three and this is not a
'get one free lunatic with every purchase'
deal. I'm not carrying deadweight."
of us will carry him."
doesn't matter who carries him. It'll
slow us down and I want to be out of here before dark."
gunman leaned in close as he spoke, a mistake which became clear as
with this attack, BA and Face had dealt with the second man who was now
wheezing on the ground.
can you walk?"
"Sure." Murdock climbed shakily to his feet. "See? Fine."
protestations that he was fine died away slowly over the next few hours and by
the time they reached the base camp he was leaning heavily against Face, though
still refusing to be carried.
still here," Murdock murmured.
followed him as Face paused to help ease Murdock down against the wall. He lifted the blood-soaked cloth away and
tied a fresh strip tightly around the injury.
"Too much blood." Murdock shook his head. "Probably looks worse than it is though, right?" He gave a forced smile. "You can lie to me about it if you want to."
be fine," Face assured him.
be right back, okay?"
watched him leave and slowly shook his head again.
"Too much blood."
lost a lot of blood and is kind of shaky, but he's lucid. He's had worse but it's
still bleeding badly. He needs to get to
he well enough to fly?"
not flying out of here."
ignored B.A.'s interruption, instead answering grimly, "He'd better be,
because he hasn't got the time to walk out."
you're walking out of here on your own, because Murdock needs to be in a
hospital right now and the only way we're getting there is to fly!" Face
take it easy. We're not leaving anyone
behind. I won't agree to that and
neither will Murdock."
started to protest but
sighed and obeyed.
Murdock was slumped against the wall and didn't look up until Face sat down
Face looked startled then embarrassed. "Must have forgotten them."
ears were burning."
smiled. Murdock may be more than half
crazy but he was not an easy man to fool and obviously had guessed exactly what
they'd gone to discuss out of earshot.
won't leave without him. If he doesn't
get on that chopper, neither am I."
need to get to a hospital."
know that. So how'm
"Bleeding pretty badly. You really need to have been in hospital
about an hour ago."
nodded. "Don't tell
"Sure. So, are you okay to fly?"
smiled at the wry tone of voice.
probably crash and burn halfway there when I pass out at the controls."
nodded. "Um, don't tell B.A. that,
Face looked up.
of the devil. Here they come."
tugged urgently on his arm.
You should rest."
not going to get into that chopper if I look like I'm going to keel over as
soon as we take off."
at the scowl B.A. was wearing as he stomped towards them, Face had his doubts
that he'd get in the chopper at all. He
helped Murdock up though and stood next to him in case he needed further
can fly that thing?" B.A. asked curtly.
refrained from his usual flippant remarks and simply nodded.
let's just get on with this then," he snapped.
some assistance Murdock settled himself in the pilot's seat and put on the
headset. He ran his right hand over his
face and took a deep breath.
"Okay. That bandage tied good and tight? That's my up-and-down hand y'know."
tone was light but Face knew him well enough to recognize the nervousness in
his eyes. He checked the bandage and
stared at Murdock--obviously the casual tone hadn't fooled him either.
said you were okay to fly."
am. I am," Murdock said hastily. "It'll be fine. I can manage."
to himself, B.A. climbed in and searched for the safety straps.
started running through the preflight checks.
there was a map here earlier. Can you
hunt that out and find us a course?"
"Sure." Face rummaged for a few minutes and eventually fished out the map from under his seat. "All right. Head north-east."
"Okay. Starting up engines now."
sudden noise made B.A. jump in his seat.
back there?" Murdock asked.
"I'm taking her up now."
minutes into the flight Face wasn't sure who looked worse--B.A, who was rigid
in his seat with his eyes squeezed shut, or Murdock who was pale, sweating and
had chewed his lower lip raw trying to maintain his concentration through the
blood loss and pain. As he'd warned
Face, his 'up-and-down hand' was curled tightly around the pitch control at his
left side and every adjustment he made sent a badly concealed expression of
pain flitting across his face.
he spoke his voice was a strained whisper crackling over the intercom.
hospital is marked with a helipad. Get
on the radio and get me clearance to land."
rearranged his headset and squinted at the controls searching for the right one.
down a bit, to the left," Murdock directed.
it, got it."
some experimentation he found the right frequency. Getting the required permission turned out to
be rather more difficult.
I did mention this was an emergency didn't I? … No we're not an air
ambulance. We've got a badly injured man
here! … No … No… Listen, you just clear
paused, listening for a moment, then scowled and turned to Murdock.
want to talk to the pilot."
could be a nasty shock," Murdock muttered.
"Hello? ... No, you clear that pad now. … Yes, we've got an injured man here. Me. … Now listen, I'm landing on that pad and the only thing deciding whether I do it conscious or not is how long it takes you to give me clearance. Got it? … Yes. Three minutes then, I've got visual contact now. Coming in from the south west."
smiled at Face through chattering teeth.
"Just got to know how to talk to them. Okay.
We're going down."
descent over the pad was erratic and accompanied by B.A. cursing roundly at
everyone in the helicopter and Murdock most of all. Murdock didn't seem to hear him, didn't seem
aware of anything except the landing. He
was holding his breath and didn't look like he was even blinking.
landed with a jolt that made Murdock gasp and B.A. snarl. Face went limp with relief as the hospital
emergency crew ran across the roof, ducked under the rotors before they'd even
stilled and hauled the doors open.
the pilot," Face directed them.
had let his head fall back against his seat and closed his eyes, though his
hands still rested on the controls.
"All right. Let's get you
inside." One of the medics stepped
up to the cockpit to look at Murdock.
"Sure." Murdock opened his eyes and shifted slightly,
his movements slow and uncoordinated. He
looked down at his left hand, an odd, bewildered expression on his face.
want t'let go," he mumbled.
reached across to slide Murdock's too-pale fingers free. Murdock gave him a dazed smile before
twisting to look at B.A.
"See? Said I was okay to
fly." He slid sideways as he
spoke and was only saved from falling headfirst to the ground by the
intervention of the medics.
ignored the comment utterly, still staring fixedly ahead and muttering curses
under his breath. One of the medics
pointed at him as the others lifted Murdock onto a stretcher.
wrong with him?"
"Nerves. He'll be
climbed slowly out of the helicopter and moved to where the medics were
preparing to take Murdock inside.
worry, he's going to be all right," one of them said, looking up to see
better be," B.A. growled, leaning over the stretcher. "You hear me, fool? If you put me through that for nothing…"
"D'worry," Murdock slurred dizzily. "Gonna live t'take you flyin' lo's m'times."
know what he's saying!"
shook himself free of their grasp with a growl but followed the gurney inside
without further protest.
slowly drifted back to consciousness and blinked in confusion trying to clear
the blur of colour from in front of his eyes. After a moment, as his vision cleared he
realized that the colours were in fact paperchains hanging above his bed. He smiled, now noticing that the whole room
was decorated for Thanksgiving.
Apparently the children's ward had had a hand in it because the central
feature was a rather alarming looking oversized collage of a turkey.
"Cute," Murdock croaked.
are you feeling, captain?"
"Good." Murdock tried to sit up and discovered B.A. sat the other side of the bed leaning in to help.
glanced around again. "Where's
question was answered by a loud protest from the corridor. "You can't bring all that in here!"
wheedling tone immediately answered. The
sense of the argument was inaudible but apparently convincing because moments
later Face appeared in the doorway with a laden food trolley. He grinned broadly.
"Like you said, Murdock--home in time for Thanksgiving!"
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