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"easy" mission in
Disclaimer: I don't own 'em, I just play with 'em.
This was supposed to be an easy mission. Of course, how many times had they heard that
before? Hannibal and BA had met with the
clients, Carly and Randy Granger. They
were the owners of a diner in
The A-Team checked out the story of the Grangers and learned
that their parents had died in a car accident five years earlier. No one else was involved in the
accident. Carly had been in college when
the accident occurred. Randy had been in
Around , Murdock thought he could see someone moving in the shadows. Face pulled the binoculars up to his eyes and squinted, trying to make out who or what was there. He saw nothing. Murdock insisted that he had seen something, he just knew it.
"C'mon Faceman, I'm not making it up." Murdock tugged at Face's sleeve. "I saw someone moving over there in the shadows. We better check it out."
Face looked through the binoculars again. He still didn't see anything out of the ordinary. "Okay, Murdock, okay." Face put down the binoculars and reached for his black jacket. He pulled up the hood, then grabbed the .357 Magnum and flashlight.
"Okay, Murdock. I'm going to go check out the side of the building over there. You stay here and make sure there's no one else around, okay? I'm putting the walkie-talkie in my pocket, so if you see anything, you let me know, okay?"
Face put the walkie-talkie in his pocket and slipped on some black gloves. "You ready, Murdock?"
Murdock looked down at his feet. "I'm sorta afraid of the dark Facey. I know it's stupid, but when I'm alone in a dark room I feel like there are thousands of eyes looking at me." Murdock slowly lifted his eyes to Face as he spoke.
Face leaned over to Murdock. "I tell you what. You keep the flashlight. You can turn it on and point it to the floor. That way you have some light but you still won't be too noticeable if someone happens to come along. Will that work?"
"Are you sure Face? Will you be able to see all right?" Murdock asked.
"Of course I'll be able to see all right. Why, I've had more practice sneaking around
in the dark than you, BA, and
Murdock spoke in a low voice, "You're not trying to con me are you Face?"
Face pushed Murdock's face up toward his own. "No. I'm not trying to con you. Just watch my back. I'll only be gone a minute or two."
Face got out of the van and tightened the hood around his head. It was COLD outside. "I swear we must be in the North Pole as cold as it is around here," he mumbled to himself. He started to shiver and pushed his hands further into his pockets. He slowly made his way over to the diner. He heard something. Where was it coming from? He stopped walking and listened to everything around him. It sounded like scuffling around the dumpster located at the side of the building.
Face crouched down and pointed toward the dumpster. Murdock nodded his head up and down to let Face know he understood. Face crept to the dumpster. As he raised his head up, a cat jumped out of the dumpster and landed on his back. The cat's claws dug in and it was all Face could do not to scream. He stood up and watched as the black cat ran off. Face turned and waved at Murdock, giving him the okay signal.
Face muttered, "Stupid cat. Those claws probably ruined my jacket." He started walking back to the van. "Maybe I could get Billy to go after the cat." Face smiled at the thought of Murdock's invisible dog chasing the cat. He looked at the van but couldn't see Murdock. "That's odd," he thought as he quickened his steps.
Face heard the shot ring out just before he felt the pain in his chest. He fell backwards toward the ground. He tried to sit up, but to no avail. He started looking frantically for Murdock. Finally, he saw the pilot. Murdock was standing over him with a gun in his hand.
"What have I done? What have I done?" Murdock began shaking and dropped to his knees, crying, "I'm sorry, Face. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to do it, honest. I thought there was somebody after you. I was just trying to help. Oh God, please be all right. Please be all right."
Murdock sat on the ground and pulled Face's head onto his lap. Face tried to smile and let Murdock know that he knew it was an accident. He tried to talk, but darkness enveloped him and he passed out.
BA and Hannibal had
been getting some sleep in the motel.
The gunshot woke them. They
dressed quickly and made their way to the diner. Nothing could have prepared them for the
sight that greeted them. Murdock was
cradling Face's head on his lap. There was blood on the ground around
Face. Murdock was crying, "I didn't
mean it, I didn't mean it, I didn't mean it." Over and over he said the words, hoping Face
could hear him.
The bullet appeared to have hit him square in the
chest. There were air bubbles in the
Murdock continued to chant, "I didn't mean it. I didn't mean it."
Murdock looked at
Murdock looked at BA and then Hannibal. "I didn't mean it," he said, and
then he started to cry. He let go of
Face, and BA scooped him up and hurried to the van, Murdock right behind
BA then turned to Murdock. "Come on, man. We gotta hurry. You ride up here with me and help me find the hospital." BA knew Face was hurt badly, and he might even die. BA didn't want Murdock to witness that if it happened. He'd seen enough.
BA put the van in gear and peeled out onto the street.
Face's eyes remained closed and his breathing became more
Suddenly, Face's eyes opened. He looked up at
"BA, he needs CPR.
BA stopped the van and ran around to the back. He climbed in the back of the van and began
doing chest compressions while
They finally reached a small hospital in a neighboring town. Orderlies brought out a gurney and BA and Hannibal helped place Face on it. As they were wheeling him to the emergency room, Face began to convulse. His arms and legs failed out and his head went side to side. His eyes began to roll back in his head. Just as suddenly as the seizure had started, it ended. A nurse checked for a pulse but found none. "Code Blue!" she shouted. A doctor came running down the hall. Face was wheeled into the emergency room.
The doctor began shouting orders. "Be careful, Susan. We don't want to bury the bullet in there any further."
Another nurse attached leads to Face's chest for the cardiac monitor. The doctor looked at the scope. "Flat line. Charge to 400" He took the defibrillator paddles out and one of the nurses spread gel on them. The doctor placed the paddles on Face's chest and yelled, "Clear!" Then he countershocked him. Face's body bucked as the electricity went through him. The doctor looked at the scope. "Let's hit him again. Clear!" He countershocked Face again. The doctor looked at the scope. Face had a heartbeat and was struggling to breathe.
Only then did the doctor look up. He saw a white haired man and a big black man watching him intently. He saw another man with a baseball cap on looking at the patient, saying, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry."
The nurses began to hook up the IV's and clean the wound in preparation for surgery. The doctor walked over to the men. "I'm Dr. Collins. Could any of you tell me what happened?"
Dr. Collins ran a hand through his sandy brown hair. "I won't lie to you. He'll be lucky to pull through. He's lost a lot of blood. We're going to take him to the operating room now to see if we can get the bullet out. It appears to have hit a lung, but I won't know the extent of the damage until I'm in there. We'll keep you posted. I'll get Nurse Michaels to help you get settled."
Dr. Collins turned toward one of the nurses. "Leslie, will you show these gentleman to the ICU waiting room? Oh, and try to find some scrubs for them to change into.'
Leslie walked over and asked them to follow her. She took them to a private waiting area. About 10 minutes later she brought them some scrubs and showed them to a doctor's lounge where they could take a shower. They cleaned themselves up, positioned themselves in the waiting room chairs, and began their vigil.
Murdock began rocking back and forth, still saying, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry."
Murdock stopped rocking and looked up at
Murdock looked at
It was BA was pacing back and forth in the small
waiting room. Murdock was still sitting
in the chair, rocking himself.
Dr. Collins looked down at his hands and then at
Dr. Collins looked at the three men. "My guess is that when your son fell to the ground, the shaft broke off. You were probably so overcome with the fact that he was injured and bleeding so much that you didn't notice a shaft on the ground. Let me tell you, though, this arrowhead did more damage than a bullet would have. He has a punctured lung and a nick in his heart. I'm also concerned about the lack of oxygen to his brain. That's what caused the seizure."
Dr. Collins nodded his head. "Yes, but just for a few minutes. No talking except to let him know you're there. Deal?" Dr. Collins addressed all three men as he spoke.
Dr. Collins left and instructed Leslie to get Hannibal, BA,
and Murdock once his patient had been settled into ICU. About an hour later, Leslie came and showed
the men to Face's room. They stood in
the doorway, unable to move. Face was
lying still on the bed. His eyes were
closed and he had a ventilator breathing for him. The heart monitor was beeping a steady
beat. There were IV's in both arms.
BA walked over to Face.
Murdock walked over to Face. He stroked Face's cheek and whispered, "I don't know what really happened. But I'm gonna find out. That's a promise." He turned and walked out of the room.
The three men were huddled in the waiting room.
BA answered, "I think we should go back there and search for clues. Maybe if we find the shaft we can figure out what's goin' on."
Murdock spoke up, "I wanna go help look for clues. Maybe the shot I fired wounded whoever did this. It's worth checking out."
The men looked at each other.
Dr. Collins yelled, "Bring me the defibrillator. Set it to 400." He grabbed the paddles, which were again covered in gel. He placed the paddles on Face's chest and countershocked him. Face's body jerked as the voltage passed through him. Flat line. "Again!" yelled Dr. Collins. "Clear!" He countershocked Face, who once again jerked as the voltage passed through him. The monitor showed a heartbeat.
Dr. Collins sighed heavily. "That was close. Good job everybody!" He gave orders to the staff hovering around Face, and then turned toward Hannibal, BA, and Murdock. Just then, Face started having convulsions. His arms and legs were flailing. He pulled out an IV. Dr. Collins tried to hold Face still. BA ran over and pushed Face down on the bed. He held him steady while Leslie put restraints on him and Dr. Collins administered dilantin. Face began to calm down.
Dr. Collins looked at the floor, then at
Dr. Collins said simply, "Pray. Medicine's done all it can do. I suggest you pray."
The next day, BA and Murdock went back to the diner. Carly ran out to greet them. "We heard what happened. Is Face all right?"
Murdock bit his bottom lip, then spoke, "We don't know yet." He started to cry.
BA put his hand on Murdock's shoulder, and then turned to Carly. "Face wasn't shot with a bullet. He was shot with an arrow. Did you find a shaft anywhere?"
Carly shook her head. "We've not touched anything. The police have the area blocked off. I can try to find out for you though. Oh, and
by the way, we didn't tell anybody who you really are. We just said you were
friends of Randy's from
BA halfway smiled and said, "Thanks. We owe ya."
Carly went over to the blocked off area and spoke with Lt. Jon Riker of the local police department. "Have you found anything Jon?"
Riker walked over to Carly. God, she was beautiful, he thought. Too bad she was a half-breed. His father would never approve. Oh well, to hell with his father. After this investigation was wrapped up, he
was going to ask Carly out. He cleared his throat, "Well, from what
I can see, it looks like two different people got injured. Over here is a lot of blood from where Randy's friend was hurt.
But over here, there are drops of blood that go all the way to the creek
back there," Riker motioned toward a wooded area behind the diner. He continued, "We found an Arapaho arrow
shaft. I'll let you know if we find
anything else out."
Carly smiled at Riker and walked back to BA and Murdock. "They found an Arapaho arrow shaft. My mother was Arapaho, but there aren't that many Arapaho left in this area."
Just then, Randy pulled up in his Jeep. He started walking toward his sister. His arm was in a sling.
Carly ran up to Randy. "What happened to you?"
Randy started rubbing his arm. "Well, yesterday when I was unloading supplies I ran into the corner of one of the crates, and it split my arm open. I had to get stitches. Am I a klutz or what?"
Carly reached up and hugged her brother. You're a klutz. But I love you anyway. Did you hear what happened here last night?"
Randy looked at Carly, then BA and Murdock. "Yeah," he answered, "But I don't know why it happened. We've had trouble before, but no one got hurt you know? Maybe we should just leave the diner business and move away. I don't like the thought of people getting hurt because of me."
BA walked over to Randy.
"Hey man, you're a brother from
Murdock walked over to Randy, glaring as he walked. "Let me see your arm. Maybe you got a bullet in your arm. I know I wounded whoever hurt Face. Let me see it."
BA grabbed Murdock by the shoulder and spun him around. "What choo doing Fool? Randy didn't try to kill Face. What good would it do for him to hurt Face?"
Murdock shook himself free from BA's grip and stormed away.
BA turned to Randy. "I'm sorry, Man. He's just upset. Faceman is a really good friend, you know? More like family. Each other's all we got."
Randy looked at BA. "Don't worry about it. I know he's upset. I would be too. Why don't you get back to the hospital? I'll keep an eye on things here. I'll call if anything new comes up."
BA nodded his head and walked toward Murdock. "Let's go to the hospital, Murdock. It's been a while since we checked on Face."
Murdock stuck his hands in his pockets and looked at the ground. "He did it BA. He did it. That's how he hurt his arm."
They got into the van and drove to the hospital, neither man saying a word.
"God, I know I haven't been in touch in a while. I'm sorry about that, I really am. But God, I need you take care of Face. He's like a son to me. You know what it's like to lose a son. I don't think I could bear it, God."
"What's up, guys?"
Murdock replied, anger in his voice. "They found an Arapaho arrow shaft and some blood drops leading to the creek behind the diner. Randy showed up this morning with his arm in a sling. Says he ran into some crates while unloading supplies yesterday. Some story. I'm telling you, Hannibal, I think he had something to do with it."
Murdock walked into Face's room. A few minutes later, Carly walked in. She had some herbs and ointments.
"Do you mind if I apply some of these on Face?" she asked.
Murdock looked at the ointments. "What are they?"
Carly replied, "They're medicines my grandmother used to make from herbs in the forest. They'll help Face get well."
Murdock thought for a moment. "Sure, I guess it couldn't hurt, right?"
Carly began putting the ointments on Face. "My grandmother used natural medicines on my brother and me all the time. Her grandfather was a medicine man before the white men came." Carly picked up the ointments and packed them in her bag. "I'm finished. Let me know if there's anything I can do to help."
Murdock smiled. "Thanks Carly," he said as Carly walked down the hall to the elevator. Then he turned and went to Face's bedside, keeping vigil over his friend.
Out in the hallway, BA and Hannibal were still discussing the clues they had gathered so far.
"BA, it just doesn't add up. Did you notice anyone acting strangely when
you were at the diner today?"
BA thought for a moment. "Honestly, Hannibal, only Murdock was the one talkin' crazy out there. But I know he didn't shoot Face with no arrow."
"You're right, BA," said
"Help him! Help him!" Murdock ran out of Face's room toward the nurses' desk. "Help him! He's having seizures. Help him!"
Hannibal and BA ran into the room. Face was bucking up on the bed with such force that it moved the bed. His eyes were open but rolled back into his head. The ventilator was making a shrill noise. Leslie and another nurse ran in, Dr. Collins right behind them.
"What's on his arms and face?" barked Dr. Collins.
"Carly put some Indian herbs on him. I didn't think it would hurt anything…" Murdock squeezed his eyes shut.
Dr. Collins had Leslie wipe off the ointments and send them for analysis. Face continued to writhe in bed. Dr. Collins began calling out medication orders. Face finally settled down.
"Face, Face. It's okay. It's okay. You're on a ventilator. You were shot the other night. You're okay. You're okay."
Face looked at
"Face, you're okay. Murdock is okay. BA is okay. Everybody is fine. We've just been worried about you. Now calm down."
Leslie walked into the room. "Is everything all right, Mr. Brenner?"
Face stared at her. He tried to speak, but again, he choked.
Leslie put her hand on Face's arm. "I'll page Dr. Collins and see if we can get you off this ventilator. Would you like that?"
Face nodded his head yes.
After Face was off the ventilator, he was still extremely weak and he could barely speak because his throat hurt. But he was off the ventilator. He had insisted that the team get some rest now that he was feeling better. Murdock didn't want to leave, but Face had insisted, saying that if they didn't get any rest he would feel bad. They reluctantly went to the motel to grab a few hours of sleep.
Carly walked in that evening to see Face. "Well, you're looking better than the last time I saw you."
Face flashed her his "You're gorgeous" smile and said, "So I'm told." He coughed. "I'm still not able to talk very well," he rasped.
Carly walked over to him and placed her hand on his forehead. "Umm, you still have a fever. I have some stuff I can give you for that. My great-grandfather was a great medicine man. Do you want me to give you some?"
Face smiled weakly. "Sure," he choked out. "Couldn't hurt anything, right?"
Carly opened her pouch and put the different ointments on the nightstand. She began to rub some on Face's forehead. "How does that feel?"
The mixture was cool and left a tingling sensation. "Okay," Face whispered.
Carly began to smear more and more on Face's forehead. Then she put some on his arms. His head began to throb and his arms began to burn.
"Stop, stop!" he cried. His eyes rolled back and he felt his body begin to convulse. He was convulsing so hard his IV's were pulled out. Carly backed up, grabbed her stuff and placed it in the bag.
Randy opened the door and entered the room. "Hey, Sis. I thought I might.." his eyes fell on Face. "My God, Carly, what's going on?" He ran out to the hallway. "Somebody help! My friend's having a seizure."
Leslie ran into the room. Randy pulled Carly out into the hallway. "Why didn't you get help, Carly? Didn't you see he was…hey, what were you doing there?"
Carly looked down at the floor. Randy cupped her face in his hands and asked again, "What are you doing here?"
Dr. Collins passed them as he rushed into Face's room,
giving orders. BA, Hannibal, and Murdock
had just arrived back at the hospital and were surprised to see all the
activity in Face's room.
"Hang on Face, hang on. You're going to be all right. That's it. That's it."
Face's tremors began to subside. He opened his eyes, locked
Dr. Collins checked Face's pupils. "He's okay. The seizure just wiped him out."
Randy walked over to the men. "What's going on here? " He looked at Carly. "What did you do, Sis?"
Dr. Collins cleared his throat, and then spoke. "I can fill you in. Seems she was trying to poison Mr. Brenner? Here. Those weren't healing ointments she was applying. They were topical poisons."
Randy glared at Carly in disbelief. "Why?"
"Because I hate this town. I hat the people here. I hate the way white people look at half-breeds like me." Carly hissed. "I know you would never sell the diner and get out of town unless you were left no other choice. I saw you going into the clinic with your hurt arm. I figured it would be easy to set you up for murder, thought it would never be actually proven, but you'd want to leave this town for sure."
Randy was puzzled. "How could you do this to me? To our friends? To the memory of our parents?"
Carly laughed. "It was easy. They're your friends, not mine. And our parents certainly didn't care about us. Leaving this dump of a diner to us, knowing that half-breeds are hated in this town. The only reason our parents were able to succeed with the diner was because Mama would never stand up with pride for being Arapaho. Well, I can't do that. I love a white man who will never love me because I'm a half-breed. So I shot Face. It didn't matter who died, just whoever was conveniently at the diner."
Murdock approached Carly. "But there was someone else's blood at the scene. I shot the person who hurt Face."
Carly rolled up her sleeve to reveal a bandage covering a nick in her arm.
Lt. Riker entered the room. "Dr. Collins called me in." He looked at Carly. Suddenly she didn't seem so beautiful. He turned Carly around and put handcuffs on her. "You have the right to remain silent…"
The next morning, Dr.
Collins came to check on his patient. He
Hannibal, BA, and Murdock woke up, all searching for Face.
Dr. Collins continued, "Gentleman, if you'll excuse me, I'd like to check out my patient." He shook Face's shoulder and tried to wake him. Finally, Face started to open his eyes. "Can you hear me son? You're family is here. Can you speak?"
Face just stared at them.
Dr. Collins turned to
Dr. Collins pushed the intercom button on Face's bed. "Nurse Michael, could you come to Mr. Brenner's room please?"
Leslie opened the door to Face's room. "Yes, Doctor?"
"Could you monitor Mr. Brenner's vitals for the next 2 hours, every 15 minutes? Let me know if there is any change. Oh, and that IV's almost out, so you can go ahead and start another one if you don't mind."
Leslie walked over to Face. "I don't mind," she said, smiling down at Face.
Face looked at Leslie.
He tried to speak, but only a whisper came out.
Face again whispered something.
Author's note: Notikoni is Arapaho for "warpath."
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