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Soaring With the Eagles
In response to the "Free Murdock" challenge (at the A-Team Story Board), celebrating "Escape Day."† Murdock must be freed from the VA, either by someone else or through his own devices.
Thanks to Tee and her hubby for their technical assistance.
"Red Ball One, Red Ball One, Are you there?"
Murdock jumped to his feet. He'd been lazing on his bed, engrossed in a "Perry Mason" rerun when the telephone beside his bed rang. The response to his hello putting him instantly on the alert, he pressed the receiver even closer against his ear. "Red Ball One, here. What's your message?"
"Red Ball One, get ready to soar with the eagles."
"Roger, message received, . . . †Wait, how. . . †Who. . . "
"Be there. Ten minutes. Out."
Murdock stared at the phone, the message from Hannibal replaying in his mind. "Red Ball One" meant there was an emergency. "To soar with the eagles" meant an airlift, but something didn't make sense. If Murdock was the one being airlifted, who the hell was the pilot? Hannibal had said ten minutes. He'd find out then. In the meantime, he had a roof to get to.
Desperate times called for desperate measures.
He crawled under his bed and finding the almost invisible slit in his mattress, pulled out a cigar and pack of matches. Thankful he didnít have to actually smoke it, Murdock scrambled back out and lighting one end of the cigar, held it up, torchlike, under the smoke detector. Seconds later, alarms blared, and although he couldnít hear it through the racket, he knew the lock on his door had clicked to the unlocked position.
He had to move fast. It wouldn't take long for security to figure out this was a false alarm.† Feeling a twinge of regret at the uproar that was sure to ensue, he nipped into the hallway. Other residents were moving out of their rooms too. Nurses and orderlies tried to maintain some semblance of order, as they ushered the residents to designated stairwells.
Taking advantage of the organized chaos, Murdock ran as fast as he could towards the far end of the floor to the day room. He knew it'd be empty now, and with no patient rooms above it or below, he'd have the stairs at this end of the building to himself. Pushing into the door to the stairs with hardly a hesitation, Murdock bounced through and up the two flights to the roof.
How long had it been? Hannibal had said ten minutes, but that wasn't to be taken literally. Both of them knew it really meant, "Get your butt out here as soon as you can."
So here he was, but where were they?
And then he heard it. There. Circling and coming in from the west. It looked like. . . no, it couldn't be. . . but maybe. . . could his eyes be deceiving him?
No, they weren't.
The team was coming to pick him up and his taxi was a MI24 Hind gun ship. An ugly, mean, crocodile, a veritable flying armored bathtub. Big enough for eight passengers with a cruising speed of 185 miles per hour.
Murdock gaped at its beauty.
Burt, down the hall from Murdock, had flown them and called the Hind a terradactyl with guns and attitude. †Murdock's mouth watered at the prospect of flying such a creature.† But. . . who was flying this one now?
It hovered overhead and when the side door slid open, Face leaned out as the harness was lowered. Murdock couldn't hear what he was saying, but from the looks of him, it was probably something along the lines of, "Quit gawking and get up here, so we can go!"
Murdock complied. He was feeling another tiny twinge of regret, this time that, regardless of the emergency that had brought about this situation, he was feeling kind of jazzed. The guys had come to pick him up in a Hind. He was swinging through air the right now, but he'd be on board in a minute, and then, hopefully, whoever the pilot was would let him have a go.
Face steadied the harness and pulled his teammate into the cabin, and as the door slid shut, Murdock glanced around to get his bearings. Hannibal and Face were both there in the cabin.
"Well done, Captain."
There was what appeared to be a pile of blankets. That must be BA. Okay, everyone accounted for. He'd hear what was going on soon enough.
Seeing that the copilot's seat was unoccupied, Murdock moved towards it. The pilot was wearing a helmet that covered most of his head and face, but something seemed familiar. Murdock knew him. It was. . . It couldn't be. . .
"What you starin' at, Fool?"
"What the. . . BA! I'm supposed to be the pilot for the team!"
"Sit down a fore I knock you down, Fool. This is my ride and Ah'm drivin'!"
"No, no, no, . . . "
He felt a hand on his shoulder. "Captain. . ."
"No, no, . . . "
"Captain Murdock. . ."
"No, . . . "
"Captain Murdock, Captain Murdock, wake up! You're having a bad dream."
"No, no, . . . what?"
"Wake up, Captain Murdock, it's only a dream."
Murdock opened his eyes, blinked and looked around. He was in his room. The television was still on, but "Perry Mason" had given way to a rerun of "Bonanza." Shirley Adkins, one of his favorite nurses, hovered over him.
Murdock looked up at her. †"A dream?"
No Red Ball One. No glorious Hind coming to pick him up. No BA driving. . . no, flying it. He certainly had no regrets at that not being true, because if that was the case, he'd never get to drive. .† . uh, fly for the team again. . . And as if that wasn't enough, now he'd never know if Perry Mason had won his case or not.
"Are you all right, Captain?† Do you need me to call the doctor?"
Sighing, he shrugged to loosen his shoulders. "No, Shirley, I'm fine."†
"I'm so glad to hear that, Captain. You had me worried."
"Me, too, darlin', me, too. That was some dream."
"It must have been, the way you were shouting. Are you sure you don't want to see the doctor?"
"No, no, Shirley, no need for that." He winked to let her know he really was okay. "But tell you what, I'm never gonna eat the chef's surprise again!"
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