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Dark Horizons

Dark Horizons
By:  Cabaret

Rating: NC17
Summery: Murdock is obsessing about cattle and it gets him into more trouble than he bargained for. It's Decker's time to play tough.
Note: This takes place about a day after the Maltese cow episode but you don't need to have seen the episode to follow this story, it's not a spoiler either. All you need to know is that Murdock was arrested with the A Team and it got back to Decker.
Warnings: Dark Murdock. Torture.
Disclaimer: The A Team aren't mine, Neither is a certain cat.
Comments: That would be wonderful, thank you.


Murdock eyed the kitchen orderly suspiciously as he quietly ate his dinner. He stood up and looked in awe at the cafeteria, he shaded his eyes from the blazing sun and listened.

"Mr. Murdock, please sit down."

He felt the nurse's touch on his arm, but she wasn't really there.

"Shush." Murdock moved in front of her and cocked his head as he listened. "Can't you hear that?"

"Hear what Mr. Murdock?"

"That thunder. It's not stopping and it's getting closer."

"Mr. Murdock, it's a clear night, not a cloud in the sky."

Murdock squinted as he stared into the sun, unsure of whether he should make a note that it was night or not. Then he saw them, in their thousands, all charging towards him.

"Stampede!!" He cried at the limit of his voice but it was too late they were caught in the thick of this monstrous herd of cattle. He looked for the only cover he could see, picked up his tray and threw it into the herd.

Taking his cue, the hospital cafeteria erupted into a food fight.

They might have been crazy but they knew a good food fight when they saw one. Murdock flipped the table in front of him and pulled the nurse down.

"Just stay put ok?" Without waiting for a reply Murdock stood up and began smashing chairs into the herd in an attempt to slow them down and make the cattle go around him and the nurse. The metal chair snapped as it was trampled and lay upside down in front of him. Murdock looked around to find no more defenses around him, then he saw the sun reflecting nothing in the eyes of a bull on a collision course. They collided and Murdock gasped in pain as he felt the horns knocking him to the ground. After a moment or so stillness re-entered the cafeteria. Murdock was aware of the uncomfortable heat around his body, he tried to get up to move to the shade but his body refused to move. The pain crept up on him, he was suddenly aware that breathing as becoming increasingly difficult. Then the cold blanket of night fell over him as his supporting hand slipped in his own blood.

The shocked patients looked on as Murdock's limp body was lifted up off the turned chair and the snapped leg of the unrecognizable blood soaked removed from the side of his stomach.

Murdock could hear a bleeping. He didn't normally hear beeping; he listened for a few minutes reluctant to open his eyes. He remembered being quite happy asleep and wondered why he had woken up now. He didn't want to get up now, in fact there wasn't much he did want to do now except pull his blanket over his shoulders and turn onto his side to return to sleep. He felt warm but not snug. He was pretty sure that he was snug before, so wanted to return. But a heavy feeling of displacement hung around him, so begrudgingly he forced his eyes open.

Mist. Why was there mist here? Fog usually lay outside and he couldn't smell anything but clean air. In fact it was too clean. Murdock suddenly realized that the air was being forced into him. In a fit of alarm he tried to pull the tubing away but a new discovery told him his hands were strapped down. The bleeping began a faster pace, Murdock tried to lift himself up a little but fell back in pain as his stomach informed him it was out of action.

Murdock began gasping desperately for air now, his ribs were so reluctant to move and when they did he wished he hadn't bothered. All he wanted was some information that would fit, some clue that would refer him to his world. The mist to be blown away and to be able to cradle the pain at the bottom of his ribs. Was it so much to ask?

Apparently so.

A face loomed into his view and grinned, although blurry there was no mistaking the features. Now, if only he could remember who they belonged to.

Decker looked over Murdock, finally he was awake. He looked so scared as he lay there pulling against the bed's safety rail and trying to loose the cuffs on his hands. Decker held up the keys into Murdock's view.

"You wanna get out? Then play nice and we'll see what we can do."

The face disappeared for a moment; it's voice ringing in Murdock's ears only to be drowned out by the sharp sound of a lock being turned. That sound always made Murdock uncomfortable, he gathered his wits and realized the situation, it wasn't good but at least if Decker was here, he wasn't chasing the team.

"So Captain, Where are the A Team?"

Definitely not chasing the team.

"A-A Team?" Murdock let out a weak willed cough then whined in pain. He wondered why his body was being so contradictory.

"Yes A Team, drugs have worn off I see, too bad, a real shame."

Murdock could feel the smugness sliming across the bed from Decker's bad breath.

"Uh…I don't know about any A Team…. Any other letters?"

"No, just A. Or we could try names. How bout Colonel John Hannibal Smith, where's he?"

"Can you let me outta here?"

"Nope. Where is he?"

"I don'…."

"Yes." Decker snapped. "You do Captain, you were with him two days ago."

Murdock blinked innocently.

"Don't give me that blank look, you've been playing us all for years, now you listen. You were with him two days ago. In a police station. You were arrested. Now Captain, tell me. What kind of a friend takes a mental patient out of his hospital and puts him in a position where he gets arrested?" Decker spoke slow and deliberately; he wanted Murdock to understand absolutely everything.

"I-I'm sorry, I don't know what you're talking abowwwww…" Murdock howled in pain as he wriggled in vain to get away from the source.

"Yes you do." Decker pressed his hand down hard against Murdock's wound. "Do you want to start again?"

Murdock stopped wriggling, he bite down on his lip and took several light breaths. He wasn't about to give Decker the satisfaction, and besides it wasn't doing any good and it was more painful trying to get away. But Decker persisted and didn't take the pressure off. Murdock fought through the fog closing in on his mind.

"Th-they tell…." Murdock wheezed and coughed a little. Decker released a little. Murdock composed himself "They tell me it's better sometimes, not to remember. Are they telling the truth sir?" He whispered.

"I don't think they have you're best interests at heart Captain. I think they're lying, but you can tell me, I'll tell you the truth." Decker saw the opportunity and took off some more of the pressure.

"It was so long ago, but it's every day now. I still see them, still…"

"Where? They visit you don't they?"

"Yes." Murdock gripped the sheets in his cuffed hands and flexed his muscles.

"Sometimes they take you away don't they?"

"They… Well, I try not to go Sir, but they're everywhere. I just can't get away, no where's safe, you don't understand…"

"I can make it stop you know." Decker whispered as he dabbed away the sweat on Murdock's temples. He began to feel a little guilty, the pressure on this poor man was immense, he wondered how he hadn't cracked sooner.

"But they say it will never stop, Sir, I'm so scared, they – they'll get me, they'll get you too, there's no where left to hide Sir."

"I can protect you Captain." Decker was beginning to see through Hannibal, he had this guy running scared. He felt Murdock's body shake gently under his hand. "Jut tell me where they are Murdock."

"Can't you see them? Can't you see the blood Sir?" Murdock whispered, his eyes wide and staring from the pain of making his body shake. "It's in coming Sir, we're gonna be next to go, save yourself, you gotta run…. NOW!!" Murdock's voice grew to a shout. "Go! Get back, warn the base, I can hold them off… I can… You gotta get the, stop them before…"

Decker took off his hand and punched Murdock on his good side.

"Keep your voice down." Decker's voice was low and menacing he watched with a dry smile as Murdock coughed and wheezed, gasping for pained oxygen.

Murdock turned as much as he could, pulling his knees up in defense.

"When are you gonna learn? I got you now, no more garbage Murdock, start singing."

Murdock fixed his gaze and relaxed his body. Decker followed his eyes to the door.

"They're not coming. Not yet anyway. It's just you and me in a world away behind that locked door. When they do come, I'll have them. They'll think you lead them here to me. But if you tell me where they are, I'll go pick them up, they won't know you fingered them, no one gets hurt. You could save a lot of lives if you just tell me where they are."

Murdock remained quiet.

"You want to do this the hard way? No problem Captain."

Murdock didn't move, didn't blink, barely breathed. Decker sighed, he was disappointed. Surely the Captain knew what was coming next? He took out a brass flip top lighter and sparked the flame.

"I guess you heard about my reputation in 'Nam? I'll give you one last chance. Tell me Captain, where are the A Team?"

Murdock fixed his stare harder than ever on the door. Someone had to come, they had to. Then he felt the heat under his left wrist. The sound of burning hair crackled and made Murdock feel sick, then the smell of singing flesh caught in the back of his throat.

'Please… Please… Please…' the word ran over and over Murdock's mind. He bite down on his cheeks glaring at the door, desperate to hide. He felt the metal cuff become uncomfortably warm, then painfully hot. He finally snapped as he felt his skin pull around his veins and jerked his arm up and held it at the limit of the cuff.

"Where's your colonel now? You know you'll crack before I do, it'll all stop when you tell me where they are."

"I told you, I don't know where they are!" Murdock blurted out in a shout.

"So you know who I'm talking about now?"

"Uh the garden cat? It's very lazy, calls herself Snickers, cos she's tabby like the chocolate bar." Murdock smiled. The cuff wasn't hot if he concentrated, it didn't hurt if he let it.

"You know I'm not talking about a damn cat."

"Hey don't talk about my friend like that! She always talks to me, if you played a lil nicer, she'd talk to you too."

"Where's Hannibal?"

"No, it's Snickers, I'm telling you, she's in the garden."

"Feel anything in your arm? It's starting to weep."

Murdock pulled himself up as much as he could and whispered to Decker.

"I've done much worse, you'll have to try harder than that." Murdock shot Decker a look and nodded. Decker flipped away the hot metal lighter and grabbed Murdock's collar.

"Damn it! Where are the A Team?"

"In the garden, playin with the cat, she's called Snickers you know cos she's tabby…"

"Like a chocolate bar, I know!" Decker said in exasperation.

"Oh so you do know her! She'd scratch your eyes out if she were here, or maybe I would. It's so hard to tell nowadays."

"Tell me where they are Captain."

"I'm not a Captain, I'm a cat. Maybe a Captain Cat, but he's blind in 'Under Milk Wood'."


Murdock tutted slowly. "Don't know your plays do you? I perform every Saturday evening."

Decker stood up and paced the room.

"I want results Captain. I can throw you in isolation for a month, cut you off in a maximum security facility. You'd never see the light of day again."

"What makes you so sure I see it now. It's been nice, but I don't think you're a good doctor. You're cruel to cats."

A knock came at the door.

"And it looks like your time is up Doc. So what's up Doc? Ya gotta carrot? Us bunny's get mighty hungry huntin down pesky wabbits." Murdock barely paused for breath now, he made his voice louder and rapidly produced words. Any words to take away the pain.

"Tell me where they are!" Decker screamed.

"They're nowhere. They're just chickens huntin down the geese. An you're in the funny farm stealin all the eggs. We all know you can't make em. You'll never get the double yoker. Why don't ya stick around, try the veal it's here all week. Chopped liver in a Sunday best, that's when they take you out, but they never take off the straps. It's all in the cards see, you gotta know when to hold em and when to fold em. Walk away now or run if you can. Don't gamble your life away, get outta the target range and split like a banana. Billy can show you the way but Snickers is stayin with me."

"Shut up!"

"As you command my liege." Murdock closed his eyes and waited. He felt the throbbing take over his body. It traveled from his arm and circled in his torso. It didn't stop, just reinvented itself and circled harder as it crashed over his body like waves. The banging on the door increased. Decker stood up and opened the door.

"Get from him now." Hannibal was holding a gun to Decker's head. "He's a sick man and has nothing to do with you."

"But he's got everything to do with you, hasn't he Hannibal? I know he's working with you."

"No, we leave him be. We're here cos Face took a bullet. It's always good to check the patient rostra, you never know which army clown might have checked in. Now BA here is gonna take you out and get you far away from here. If you're lucky, he might just let you live. I'll be taking your gun now." Hannibal reached forward and unclipped Decker's gun from its holster.

BA growled and grabbed Decker roughly forward pulling him into his fist.

"If you hurt him, or sent his mind back, I'm gonna gut you." BA whispered and dragged Decker away.

"Face get in here." Hannibal called after Decker was clear of sight. "Get these cuff offa him. You ok Murdock?"

"Oww! Go easy Face man. I'm peachy like a puppy dog Hannibal. But Decker is a dead man walking."

"No, it's ok. BA's just gonna rough him up a bit and drop him in the desert."

"Murdock hold still here."

"It hurts Face, how'd you like to be barbequed alive?"

"Ok, they're off. I'll go get the Doc."

"Hannibal, I mean it, Decker is a dead man walking." Murdock locked eyes with his Colonel as he cradled his left arm.

"He's not gonna come near you again Murdock, not after this."

"Then I guess I'll have to hunt him down."

"Murdock, he's not worth it."

"I am."

"You do that and you're no better an him. You know that, don't you?" Hannibal's face was grave.

Murdock opened his mouth to return but the doctor was led in hurriedly by Face.

"What happened?"

"I dunno, I blacked out and woke up like this. Then these guys came in when I yelled." Murdock said with a picture perfect face of a confused and crazy man.

"These burns are bad, we'll get them dressed right away." The doctor turned to Hannibal. "Who are you?"

"I don't know who they are." Murdock said quickly.

"We're uh just passing through Doc, visiting a friend up on the next floor."

"What are you doing down here then?"

"Looking for the gift shop." Face interjected, he could see the situation intensifying in the room. "Guess we'd better go and find it huh?"

"It's on the first floor."

"Thanks Doc." Face nodded Hannibal away.

"Is he gonna be ok?" Hannibal asked as casually as he could.

"Yes, the burn's not covering a large surface area, he should be fine in a few weeks."

"That'll give me time to prep then huh Doc?"

"Prep for what?"

"Oh nothing." The blank and confused look oozed over Murdock in perfection. He turned to watch Hannibal back out of the door while the doctor inspected his wrist. Murdock gave Hannibal a wicked smile that he'd only seen in another country so far from America. And then it was gone.

The End


Dark Horizons by Cabaret



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