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This page last viewed: 2017-08-20 and has been viewed 2151 times
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Warnings: Spoilers for the fifth season in general. Violence.
Disclaimer: The A-Team doesn't belong to me, I'm not making any money from this.
Summary: The team are captured while on one of Stockwell's missions in a hostile state. Their best hope of getting out lies with Mrs Baracus, Amy Allen and a prison full of intellectuals.
It will help, though it's not totally essential, to have read my previous story Insurance, otherwise some parts of this may be slightly mysterious at first. But it's short so go on, give it a go. I've used the "fanon" name Adele for Mrs Baracus. The state of Qumar is entirely fictional and the name belongs to the creators of The West Wing, from whom I'm borrowing it, because it's cool.
"We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you this news report."
Mrs Baracus sighed in irritation as the music she'd been enjoying was suddenly cut off and the picture changed to a newsreader.
"Shock reports of the capture of the A-Team, who were supposedly executed over a year ago have been coming in from the Middle Eastern State of Qumar. The Qumari government announced they had taken prisoner a group of what they describe as 'American mercenaries' and released the following pictures."
Mrs Baracus stared in shock as several photographs flashed onto the screen one after another, recognising the members of the A-Team at once, first Hannibal, a defiant look in his icy blue eyes, despite obvious bruising and cuts, then Face, his expression dazed, his right eye swollen shut, bruises all down that side of his face. She was on her feet before the next picture appeared and gave a small, strangled cry as the photo of her son was shown. The bruises were less obvious on his dark skin, but his face was swollen and a cut on his forehead was crusted with blood. In a second the picture was gone and Murdock's beaten face appeared on screen, followed finally by that of Frankie Santana. Both his eyes were blackened and the look of fear in his eyes was heart wrenching. Each man was holding in front of him a newspaper, which seemed to be in Arabic. There were bloody finger marks on the paper.
The news reporter was still talking while the pictures were being shown and she focussed back in on his words.
"…Rumours that the A-Team somehow
escaped their execution have been circulating for some time, but no confirmation
has ever been given by the army. A
report that their bodies had disappeared from the morgue after the execution
was later denied. The two other men in
the pictures are believed to be Captain HM Murdock, who worked with the A-Team
in the past and Franklin Santana, a former
"… The newspaper the captives are shown holding is a copy of yesterday's Cairo Morning Gazette…"
Yesterday. They were still alive yesterday, but what had happened to them since?
"… No further details are available at this time and so far the Pentagon has made no official comment. We will bring you further details as they emerge in our scheduled news broadcasts. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming." The music she'd been listening to before started up again, but Mrs Baracus couldn't hear it, her mind was whirling in shock. She hadn't moved from where she stood close to the television. When her doorbell rang it was like a gunshot going off and she gave a violent start, then pulled herself together, turned off the television and hurried to answer the door.
Outside stood a young army lieutenant, the name "Nash" on his name badge. He was twirling his cap nervously in his hands.
"Mrs Adele Baracus?"
"If you've come to tell me my son is alive you're a little late."
"Ah, you've seen the news reports, I hoped to get here before…"
"That's not what I meant." He looked even more sheepish and she felt bad for him suddenly, was sure he's been given the worst job going around today.
"Alright, you'd better come in."
Face gave a moan of pain as he was thrown down onto a cot covered with what had to be a mattress, because it was only slightly too thick to be called a blanket. The springs pressed into his abused body, and he stifled another moan, not wanting to let his captors know how much he was hurting. He heard their laughter as they walked off.
For a few minutes he lay with his eyes closed, his head spinning, then as sounds of quiet voices came to his ears he managed to open his eyes. About a dozen Arab men of various ages were standing around his cot. He swallowed nervously, sat up a little, supported on his left arm, tried The Smile, as well as he could manage anyway, the right side of his face felt like it was the size of a blimp and he guessed his expression was a little lopsided.
"Hi, fellas," he ventured, his voice hoarse and weak. "Service in this hotel is a little rough." It was feeble, but the best he could do right now. The men chattered among themselves in Arabic, then a young man, not yet thirty, came forward and knelt by the cot.
"You are American?"
"Yes." Face croaked. "Please, I need some water." One of the men hurried away and came back with a brimming cup of water. The young man held it out to him and Face drank it greedily; he had been given none for at least a day. Once he'd had enough he felt a little better and managed to focus more on his surroundings. He was in a long barracks-like room, many cots lined up against the walls, the windows covered with grates. The heat was relieved only by two large ceiling fans each operated by a man sitting under it pulling on a rope. Bet I get that job Face couldn't help thinking.
"I am Salim Al-Fulani, his new friend said.
"Templeton Peck, pleased to meet you. Wish it was in better circumstances," they shook hands, but even that small movement made Face's battered body protest and he fell back on the cot moaning with pain. Salim turned and spoke quickly in Arabic and another man came forward, a middle aged man, who looked as if he had lost a lot of weight in a short time.
"This is Dr Al-Hijazi, he will tend to your injuries." Salim said, "I will go and see if I can find some bandages and medical supplies."
"Thanks," Face said weakly, let his eyes drift closed again as the doctor examined him. At first he was acutely aware of the audience, supposed he was something of a novelty. He got his mind off them by thinking about his teammates, wondering what was happening to them.
Mrs Baracus poured coffee for the Lieutenant and passed him a plate of cookies.
"Thank you, Ma-am," he said politely.
He'd already filled her in on what they knew, which was precious little more than the news report had told her.
"And you say these Qumaris don't know that it's the A-Team they have?"
"It appears not, they've only called them 'mercenaries' so far. But now their pictures have appeared on television it will get back to them soon enough."
"And is that good or bad?" she asked. He hesitated, eating a cookie.
"And for the team?" Again he hesitated and she glowered at him in a way BA would have been proud of until he cleared his throat, said.
"Probably bad. If they aren't useful to the Qumaris they… well… they have no reason to keep them alive.
"And the army isn't going to do anything about this, are they?" Now he looked genuinely sorry.
"There's nothing we can do. The A-Team are convicted murderers who have
apparently been acting as mercenaries, the
"They are not mercenaries." Mrs Baracus snapped. He looked at her a little sadly.
"I know it must be hard for you to think of your son that way,"
She didn't bother to explain that she knew for sure BA wasn't a mercenary. She changed the subject a little.
"Tell me, Lieutenant, why are you only coming to me now to tell me Bosco is alive? I know you've known all along that they escaped the execution. Your men have still kept me under surveillance this last year." He looked highly uncomfortable now.
"We weren't absolutely sure."
"Their bodies disappeared from the morgue."
"That's not proof."
"And there've been sightings and reports of them." He nodded,
"There have, in Hong Kong, East Germany, Monte Carlo, even in LA and Washington DC. But there was never any definitive proof."
"Yes, but their reports never gave full confirmation of the A-Team's presence."
"I'll bet they didn't," Mrs Baracus said grimly. Nash just looked confused.
"I'm sorry Ma-am?"
"What about Frankie Santana? If the A-Team didn't escape why is he on the ten most wanted list?"
"The charges against Mr Santana are…erm… conspiracy."
"Conspiracy to do what?"
"Ah… I'd have to check." He was looking very thoughtful now.
They'd been separated as soon as they'd arrived here, at what seemed to be some sort of prison or military facility in the desert, after a long truck ride though heat that sapped even BA's strength. Taken to a block of cells Face had been interrogated for several hours, perhaps more than a day. The interrogation was brutal but not very scientific, consisting only of beatings. They hadn't used drugs or electric shocks. Probably saving them for later. His Special Forces training had enabled him to resist the torture and he hadn't told them anything of the mission. Which isn't to say he hadn't told them anything, on the contrary he'd told them more than they could ever want to know about the Lakers chances next season, his opinion of Madonna's new album, how great the tennis courts were at the Beverly Bay Club, the shocking prices at LA restaurants… anything that came into his head spilled from his mouth in a stream of babbling that seemed to come naturally when he was this afraid. It was a distraction, a kind of "white noise" to mask the pain.
Eventually he's been left in the bare stone cell and tried to sleep, to recover his strength, but sounds from nearby had kept him awake, sounds of pain, of his friends in pain. He couldn't keep the tears from streaming down his face. Then they had come in and forced him to stand up and have his picture taken, holding up a newspaper they brought in. There were bloody finger marks on the paper. After that he'd spent several more hours alone, until eventually they'd taken him out and brought him here to the barracks room. At least here he could rest a little then he had to find out about the others.
"Let me go, suckers! I'll rip your heads right off!" Face's eyes flew open as the familiar voice yelled out. It wasn't as strong as usual, but twice as mean. He sat up to see BA being brought in, restrained by four guards, while two more followed with guns pointed at him. He was pushed onto a cot and the guards left quickly.
"BA!" Face jumped up, despite the doctor's protest and hurried over to where BA was sitting on the cot.
"Face!" The big man's expression of relief was quickly clouded by anger at the sight of Face's abused body. "You okay?"
"Yeah," Face said dismissively, knowing at least one of his friends was still alive was enough to make him feel one hundred times better. He suddenly realised BA hadn't moved to lie down, even though he was clearly exhausted. Face moved behind him and gasped with shock, the sergeant's shirt was shredded and so was his back, long whip marks standing out red against the mahogany skin. At once he called out "Doctor, please, over here!" Dr Al-Hijazi hurried over and made disgusted and angry sounds at the state of BA's back.
"Ain't so bad." BA protested as Face and the doctor laid him down on his front. "I had worse." He had, and Face forced away the memories of that and helped the doctor remove the destroyed shirt. Salim came back then with bandages and some anti-septic and he and the doctor worked on BA while Face held his hand to comfort him through the ordeal. They talked, as a distraction. BA knew no more about what was happening to the others than Face did. He confirmed he too had had his photograph taken holding the newspaper.
"I hate to think of my mama seeing
that picture," he said quietly.
Face gave his hand a gentle squeeze of reassurance, said. "Hey, don't worry, man,
"How long you think we've been here, Face?"
"About two days I think," Face said. "Can't tell for sure, they took my watch."
"Aw, man, the one I gave you at Christmas?"
"Yeah, sorry, I knew I should have worn an old one."
"They got ma gold too."
"I'm sorry BA."
"That never happened before, no one ever dared touch ma gold." He paused; there was a long silence.
"We in real deep trouble here, Faceman"
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