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This page last viewed: 2017-07-20 and has been viewed 896 times
Summary: Murdock has a plan, he thinks it's a classic. Written for the ATSB2 Lyric Wheel challenge, using the song Good Behavior by Plumb.
Disclaimer: I don't own the A-Team, I don't make any money from this.
Tinfoil. There's a reason it's a classic. Easy to get hold of in large quantities. Well unless you were stuck at an army base in Vietnam of course. Then it just became a total pain in the ass to get hold of.
But tinfoil is what he needed. Because everyone knew what it meant.
Murdock wanted out. He wanted out now, not six months time, when his hitch was up. Now. And he had a way. Seen a few guys ride a section 8 all the way home. Some of 'em had actually been sick. Hell, maybe he was sick. Not that sick, but still, a few months in a cushy hospital with a sympathetic ear to talk to appealed. There were things he had to work through. Maybe not worthy of a section 8, but two birds and one stone and all that.
He strolled across the base, hands in pockets, looking as casual as you like, so nobody could tell that his soul had the woodworm chomping on it. Nobody could tell that he hated the sight of each and every man and woman there. Not their faces, their uniforms. Enough of the damned Army, now. Just enough.
He'd chosen nighttime - not too late, he didn't want too much in the way of questioning - he didn't want too much attention to what he was doing. He made his way towards the mess tent.
Army flying. The best kind and the worst. The best, because it pushed you, harder, further than you ever thought you'd dare to go. Made you fly choppers that you'd have condemned as scrap metal if you looked at them on the ground with a cool head.
Worst? It wasn't the worst because of the danger. You learned to live with that. It was the worst for him because it was the best, because he was the best. That's what they said. 'There goes Murdock, the best pilot in 'nam.' Some said it with a tone of admiration and some sneered it. Other pilots said it. Brave and damn good pilots, and any of them probably deserved the title as much as he did. And then there were the pilots who didn't say it at all; they just looked at him. Youngsters, with something to prove, that they were just as good as him. Young guns coming to take on the old gunslinger.
Welcome to it, boys, you're welcome to it. Because there's a price. Once you're the best, the price is you gotta be the best. You've got to be what they all expect. Perfect every time. And perfect only makes you crazy.
Crazy. He smirked as he slipped into the mess tent. A couple of guys sat in there, drinking coffee. They glanced at him - at the supposed 'best pilot in 'nam', and then went on talking. Murdock walked through to the kitchen. Dark and silent, waiting for breakfast. He pulled a cord to switch on the lights that hung above his head, close enough to touch.
It wasn't just the other pilots. It was whoever wanted a chopper for a mission. They asked for Murdock, because Smith had always asked for Murdock, and despite that whole bank thing, Hannibal was still a legend around here.
Trouble was, just like the young punks who wanted Murdock's title, the place was full of light colonels each working on his own Operation Full Bird. All trying to get noticed for the vacant spot Hannibal had left. Getting noticed by doing something as stupid and dangerous as Hannibal, but most of them without his edge that made it work.
And they expected Murdock to fly them into their stupid dangerous situations, because he was the best, because he could fly anything, anywhere, anytime. And another reason, always unspoken, but he knew they were saying it in their minds. He could hear it.
Because you'd have done it for Smith.
Wrong, jerks. Smith would never have asked. He asked a lot, but he knew when to stop, he knew when he would have been asking for a suicide mission. Then he found another way.
Murdock searched through the kitchen drawers, looking for the tinfoil. He missed Hannibal, missed all of them. A month gone. You'd think the investigators would have got it straightened out by now. But no. The guys were still in jail and the investigators had Murdock on notice that they'd be coming to talk to him.
Question him. What did you know? What did they tell you? What did you hear? They'd ask the biggee for sure. Did you know what the mission was?
He had known, of course. Unofficially, of course. So what then? He could confess that and go to jail with the guys. And he wished he had the courage to do it, just so he didn’t have to feel like this any more. Like he'd abandoned them, let them down. Betrayed them.
Or he could give evidence against them. That second option had brought him into this kitchen, to look for tinfoil. He grinned as he found the shiny roll in a drawer, and tore off a decent sized piece, leaving the edge ragged.
If they did put him on the stand he'd be the model unreliable witness. No use to anybody. He'd worked it out, had actually made a list. Who was he more valuable to, prosecution or defence? It came out prosecution every time.
He folded up the foil, and headed out of the kitchen. Thinking of those two late night coffee drinkers out there, he considered grabbing some food on the way, so they'd think he'd just been on a midnight snack raid. But no, maybe it was better that they saw him acting strange. Reports of mysterious after hours trips to the kitchen for no obvious reason could help. He smiled at them as he left, but didn't speak.
He barely spoke to anybody these days, unless he had to. Didn't want to speak to them, wanted to speak to Hannibal, Face or BA, and that wasn't allowed.
The tinfoil crinkled in his pocket. Shame it was really such a small piece. If he'd been back home he'd have papered the walls with it. Papered? Foiled, then. No mistake possible then. Shout it from the rooftops. Just another burnt out crazy man, take him home in the jacket you wear backwards. Take him home where he can't hurt his friends.
But needs must when the Devil drives. His grandfather used to say that and Murdock used to wonder what exactly the Devil drove. So a small piece of foil would have to do. He'd just have to make sure he used it strategically and make sure someone noticed. A co-pilot was best. Looking at him funny and asking the question.
"Murdock, why is your flight helmet lined with tinfoil?"
"You mean yours isn't? Oh man, don't you know that when you're in the air, that's where the CIA mind control beams are strongest? Here, take mine, just for this flight. Don't worry about me, I've built up a resistance."
With luck the guy would turn around right away and refuse to fly with him. Then they all would. Grounded. He should be afraid of that, but right now, there were worse things to be afraid of. He'd keep his feet on the ground for the rest of his life, if it meant he didn't have to give evidence against the team.
Back in his tent, he searched for his flight gear. Man, this place was a mess.
This is best for everyone; he knew that for certain. Go home. Get some happy pills, get out in a few months, and find a civvy job flying. None of this relentless pressure to be the best. Just him and the sky and the sun and the moon, dancing atop the clouds.
Ah, there's the helmet, under the bed. Geez, not a good idea to keep it under there. Might wake up in the night and think it's something else. He snickered and sat on the cot with the helmet on his knees, taking the tinfoil from his pocket. As he did so, he frowned, noticing the edge of the existing lining was torn. Wait, not just torn, held in with tape.
He frowned, baffled. When had he taped the lining in? Had it come away? He didn't remember that. This was his helmet right? He checked the nonsense graffito'd on it. Yep, definitely his. Intrigued now, he picked at an edge of the tape until it lifted, then pulled. Tape and lining came away and he sat and stared down at the inside of the helmet.
Well, there's a thing. There's a hell of thing.
The helmet was already lined with tinfoil.
Oh. I see.
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