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This page last viewed: 2017-10-17 and has been viewed 1935 times
One for All…
Authors: Stanzi and Sockie
Summary: After receiving some devastating news, the team decides to break out of Fort Bragg and begin their lives on the run.
Disclaimers: We don't own the guys or make any money off this.
"What am I doing?"
The man in the mirror did not answer back.
Behind, up, over. Tuck in, and adjust up. There. The tie was knotted to military perfection. Even if the mission he was about to embark on was not military approved. In fact, if caught, it would get him court-martialed.
He took the jacket off the hanger and slipped it on. He slowly fastened the four brass buttons, tugged at the jacket, and then smoothed it down. His eyes lingered over the ribbons that now adorned his chest. The silver star, purple heart, and presidential unit citations, among others. An impressive collection of medals for such a young officer. Was he really willing to throw his career away?
"Do I really have a choice?"
The man in the mirror remained silent.
But he already knew the answer. Of course he had a choice. There was always a choice. But they were his unit. Maybe not on paper, but in his head. And in his heart. And you've got to stick with your unit.
He placed his captain's hat on his head and took one final look in the mirror. Determination reflected in his eyes.
How could it have come to this?
Hannibal lay on the top bunk, listening to the sounds of his men. B. A. slept fitfully; he could hear the occasional growl from his Sergeant and feel the shaking of the bunk when he rolled around uneasily. Face was snuggled into his pillow on the top bunk across the cell from Hannibal, a sleepy smile on his features. He was probably dreaming of the last pretty little thing he'd spent time with before the mission.
The mission. How could it have gone so wrong? His eyes narrowed in the dark. The plan had been fine, he reminded himself as he went back over the particulars of the bank job. It was not his fault that the orders authorizing the robbery were now in the rubble of what had been the HQ.
And where the hell was Morrison—the only person who could clear them of the robbery charges? He needed a cigar to work on this one. Face had theorized that Morrison must be a prisoner—during the attack, it would have been SOP for Charlie to capture any high ranking officers and take them for interrogation. Hannibal supposed it was true. Now that the war was over, they had pinned their hopes on the fact that Morrison would be found as soldiers were released from the P. O. W. camps. He didn't want to consider the alternative and hadn't mentioned it to either of his men. If Morrison wasn't alive, they were screwed—big time.
He heard B.A. below, muttering in his sleep. Two months of prison life was beginning to take its toll. It took all of Hannibal's skills as a leader to keep B. A. from trying to kill the guards on a daily basis. After all, B.A. hadn't earned his nickname for being polite and laid-back. Hannibal knew how important it was for them to remain model prisoners. If things did go to court-martial before they found Morrison, anything they did while in custody could be seen as a guilty mark against them.
Face seemed to be handling everything well, but emotions were easy for him to hide. There was a tension building in the young man's eyes that belied his easygoing manner. At least Murdock had been able to keep out of this. He'd simply dropped them off and headed back to base to fly other missions. No taint of blame would be on him.
But the others…Hannibal sighed in frustration, unable to keep from feeling this was his fault somehow. He should be able to get his men out of this. They had performed their duty just as it had been expected of them, and this was their reward? He shook his head, determined. He wasn't going to let it happen. He didn't know what he was going to do, but they weren't going down like this. Court-martialed and disgraced? Not on his watch.
Not on his watch.
He slowed to car to a stop as he approached the guard station. A young corporal emerged from a small booth at the entrance. Upon seeing the rank insignia on the captain's lapel, he saluted.
"Welcome to Fort Bragg, Captain. May I have your name?"
"Williams." He offered a tentative smile as well, hoping that would help deflect his lie.
The corporal gave a cursory glance at Williams name tag and nodded.
"Are you here on official business, Captain Williams?"
"No -- just visiting some old friends." He was thankful his fake nametag had passed muster. He just hoped the corporal would not see how white his knuckles were as he clutched the steering wheel.
"Very well. Have a good day, sir." He quickly saluted again, then raised the striped wooden barrier.
The captain briefly smiled again, then drove through the entrance. He exhaled a large sigh of relief. First test passed. He might not be as good at scams as Face, but he had learned a few things from the conman.
He drove down the lane through the base until he reached Womack Medical Center. He then drove around the side of the building until he saw the medical vehicle motor pool. On the second row were several vans used to transport medical equipment and non-critical patients. He pulled into the parking lot, parked his car, and got out. After casually surveying the area to ensure nobody was watching, he took a large box out of the trunk of the car and began walking towards the vans. Upon reaching the second van, he stopped.
Placing a hand on the side of the van, he bowed his head, gathering his courage. This was the point of no return. He could just walk away, if he wanted to: no harm, no foul. Once he "borrowed" the van, he couldn't change his mind. The captain looked up, searching for a sign, and caught sight of a hawk, sailing over the roof of the motor pool. The silent communion they shared lasted only a moment before the bird disappeared. He couldn't help but feel it was a good omen.
With one final glance around, he opened the driver's door and climbed in, placing the box in the back. Within minutes, the hotwired van purred to life. Second test passed. The captain could not help but grin, genuinely this time, as he put the van in gear and drove away.
"May I help you, captain?" the sergeant asked.
"Yes. I am here to transport 3 of the prisoners over to Womack for their pre-trial psych evaluation. Let's see…" he made a show of looking at the paperwork on his clipboard. "Ah, yes -- their names are Smith, Peck, and Baracus."
"I don't see that on the schedule for today." The sergeant frowned, while looking through the papers on the desk. "I'll need to see the orders."
"Of course", the captain said, and handing over his paperwork. The paper the orders were on was legit, even if the actual orders themselves were not. He had swiped blank forms off an empty desk at Womack earlier in the week.
After an agonizing few minutes, the sergeant handed back the papers. He then looked out the window at the van, which clearly had "Womack Medical Center" marked on the door. He still did not look comfortable, but knew better than to question a superior officer further.
"Alright, I'll bring them to you. But you'll need to wait for them in a holding cell. I'll show you the way."
"Thank you." the captain replied, before following the sergeant down the hall. Third test passed. Only one left. And it was the big one.
Two guards came and unlocked the door to their cell, and all three of
the occupants looked up in surprise. It
wasn't quite time to head to their work shift.
B. A. worked in the motor repair shop, while Face and
They hobbled down the hallway to a small holding cell, where prisoners usually waited for transport. In the room was a tall officer, in dress uniform. He stood with his back to the door, hands clasped behind his back, apparently studying a map on the wall. He partially turned to speak to the sergeant, his hat shading the features of his face. "Thank you," he said curtly. "I'll take it from here."
The sergeant, sensing everything was in control, saluted the captain. The gesture was returned, then the four men were alone.
The captain turned and faced the prisoners, removing his hat. All three men gasped in shock. The man standing before them was the last person they expected to see.
"Breaking you out!" Murdock whispered earnestly.
"Breaking us out?" Face muttered, clearly confused. "Why would we want to break out? We haven't done anything wrong and we should be cleared before the court-martial. Once they find Morrison -- "
"Face!" Murdock interrupted, urgently, clearly trying to keep his voice down. "Morrison is dead! I know it and the army knows it! But apparently, they didn't tell you!"
"I saw the records -- I wasn't supposed to, but I did. And now I'm here to get you out. You're got about one minute to decide if you want to go." Murdock hated to see the disappointment and anger in each of their faces. He hadn't wanted to be the person to bring them this news. But the guys had a right to know the truth.
There was a long pause, each of them digesting the
"Well . . . you heard the Captain,"
"Me too," Face said, looking from
B. A.'s face was dark with
indecision. "I don't know . . .
," he began, wondering what his mama would think about all this. She hadn't raised a criminal . . . this would
break her heart, whether he stayed in jail or not, but becoming a fugitive on
the run? He looked helplessly to
B. A. came to a decision as he read Hannibal's
blue eyes. This man . . . he was one of
the few that the Sergeant had come to trust in his time in the military. And he was the only CO who had ever managed
to earn his respect.
"Okay, I'm with you," B. A. said. "Let's do it. I'll explain it to Mama later."
This exchange had taken more than a minute, and Murdock was beginning to look very uncomfortable. At B.A.'s decision, however, he sighed with relief. "The van's outside. You guys go first." he said, and gestured towards the door.
The bite in the autumn air hit them as they stepped out of the prison barracks. Sure, they had their daily time in the yard, but this was different. The air crackled with an electric current of possibilities. It was as if they could already taste the freedom that awaited them in a few short minutes.
They crunched through the leaves as they walked slowly to the van. The leg irons made it difficult to move and besides, they did not want to call attention to themselves by moving too fast.
"When we get in the van, I'll remove your chains." Murdock whispered, barely moving his mouth. "I have some uniforms you can change into. Hopefully we'll be long gone before they even notice you're missing."
They were about 10 feet away from the van when they heard the sound of footsteps running behind them. Too many footsteps. And closing too fast.
"Stop!" a voice yelled at them. "Military Police! Stop where you are and raise your hands!"
They all froze. The
color drained from Murdock's face. They
had been caught. His heart began to beat
wildly. In a moment, he just added an
extra 20 years to his friends' jail time.
And now he would be there, serving it with them. He closed his eyes tightly and silently
cursed. After a brief moment, he reopened
his eyes. He quickly pulled out a gun,
"You have to let them go!" Murdock screamed
frantically at the MPs, who stopped running once they
A colonel, clearly the leader of the MPs, stepped forward. "Put the gun down, captain. It's over. Surrender now, and no harm will come to you or your friends."
"I can't! We're all doomed without them. Can't you see that? They're the only ones who can stop them!"
"Stop who?" the colonel asked calmly as he slowly eased forward.
"The aliens!" Murdock cried. "They're killing everyone with their
heat rays and poison gas! They've already taken
The rest of the MPs nervously looked at their CO, then back at Murdock, who was rapidly falling apart while they watched. His breath came in terrified gasps. "You don't understand," he continued. "This is the end of the world!"
Face and B.A. remained frozen in place, their cuffed hands raised into the air. In the space of less than a minute, their friend had turned from a rational man to a ranting, raving lunatic. They didn't want to get anyone shot, so they stayed motionless, watching the scene play out in front of them.
Murdock looked at
He then looked at the MPs with desperation in his eyes. "You think I'm crazy, but I'm not. Turn on the radio, and you'll hear the screams." He stared at the soldiers with wide eyes. "I can hear them right now. They keep me up late at night . . . ."
There was no radio, of course, and no screams. Face and B.A. watched helplessly as MPs began to surround Hannibal and Murdock.
"Don't shoot anyone."
With an appraising glance,
"He hasn't been himself since he flew for us in 'Nam."
There was a nod from the colonel, but instead of being a
response to Hannibal's request, it was a "go
ahead" to the officer beside him. A
shot rang out and Murdock groaned and crumpled to the ground. Furious,
"I'm sorry, sir," Murdock gasped for breath
against the pain. His words were a mere
whisper. "I did my best." He looked both scared and sad.
"I know. Hold
"I want to know who that man is," the voice came
from behind the would-be-fugitives, but
"You'd better hope he makes it, or I'm coming after you." The controlled rage and anger colored Hannibal's eyes, but he remained calm and steady.
His words weren't a threat.
They were a promise.
To be continued…
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