by Jackie Giacomo
Origin: "DEADLY MANUEVERS 2" fanzine, published by
Nicole Pellegrino (Sockii), 1998. Reprinted with permission of
Jackie and Sockii.
Summary: gentle look at Hannibal's past.
Disclaimer: A-Team characters were created by Cannell and Lupo and
are owned by Universal. Any other original characters and story
otherwise belong to me. Copyright: May, 1887
In the early morning chill
at Arlington National Cemetery,
the final resting place of thousands of brave and loyal military men
and women, the marble headstones seemed to stand at attention. All
had small, American flags fluttering in the spring air, but fresh
flowers had been placed at the bases of two.
Facing two adjacent gravesites
stood a lone, uniformed
figure. The gentle breeze blew the silver hair under the green beret
that topped the bowed head. Red roses covered the base of the stone
whose inscription read, along with the normal information,
"Lieutenant Jennifer Ann Smith - Nurse, Mother, Angel." The other,
with a single, white carnation at its base, only read, "Colonel David
Alan Smith - Medal of Honor, 1941." Both had a date of death of 1952.
Lieutenant Colonel John "Hannibal"
Smith stood silent before
the graves of his parents. He was pondering the fates that had led
him to this point in his life. It was early April. He had just
escaped from the maximum security prison at Fort Bragg. He was
alone, save for two other men he had escaped with, and now on the run
from the United States Army for a crime he was only guilty of by
following the orders of his superior officer. He stood there in the
early morning sunlight thinking back to the past, wondering what
might have been if he had done things a little differently.
He remembered the first time
that he met the Smiths. He was
a four year-old, scared little boy who had just lost his mother in a
car accident. He really didn't know much about his father at that
point, except that his mother had said that he was a real bad man and
that he should never see him again. The Smiths took him in as their
foster child and less than two months later, adopted him. They could
not bear to part with the little boy that had become so much a part
of them and their lives. He remembered coming into their house on
the base and looking up into the caring brown eyes of David Smith
that first night and knowing he had come home. Jennifer Smith had
him calling her mom on the first night that he was there. They
became the whole world to him.
He was so proud of his new
dad being an officer in the United
States Army that when he was old enough, he applied and was accepted
to West Point. He thought back to WWII and how afraid he was that
his dad would not come back from the war. Hannibal and his mother
would sit listening to the radio for hours, afraid of what might be
happening to him in the South Pacific. Captain David Smith came home
from that one, but fates dictated that he was not to come back from
the next one. When Hannibal received his appointment, his dad puffed
up like a proud peacock and remained that way for a good solid week,
telling everybody that Hannibal was going to the Point. Hannibal
remembered fondly wondering if his dad or mother would ever come back
down to earth. He had loved them so very much.
When they were both killed
in the Korean War, he had felt
that the ache in his heart would never end. He was there in Korea
when his dad was killed and saw how it happened. He had gotten
permission from his C.O., and had gone to his father's unit to salute
him officially for the first time since his graduation from West
Point. But the North Koreans attacked the small outpost while he was
there. He saw his dad running around, ordering his men to take up
positions against the attack. Hannibal saw a North Korean soldier
take aim at his father and he tried to stop it, but lost sight of his
father in the smoke of the battle. During the ensuing battle around
him, he was wounded when he took over a platoon whose own lieutenant
had gone down. He kept on fighting until the attack was repressed
and passed out where he stood from the loss of blood and the shock of
his wound finally setting in.
He didn't know that his father
had been killed in the battle
until he had come to in the post op unit of the local MASH. His
father's C.O. had left word with the doctors to tell him when he
awoke and that he was being awarded the bronze star for his actions
during the battle, not that Hannibal had really cared about that.
The news of his father being killed in the battle hit him like an
anvil, so much so that the doctors sedated him for the rest of the
day. Just to add insult to injury, a couple of days later from
another MASH unit, his mother was killed coming back from leave when
the jeep she was riding in from Seoul ran over a land mine. She was
on her way to the MASH that he was at, after being informed by the
camp Chaplin that he had been badly wounded. She never knew that her
husband had been killed.
Hannibal often wondered how
he had gotten through those first
few months after their deaths. But he had to think of survival in
the middle of that damned war and not of the past. He wasn't able to
put their deaths behind him until after he returned to the States a
year later and visited their graves for the first time.
After he got back from Korea,
he remembered looking into who
his real father was. It was then that he learned what his real
mother had meant by a real bad man, because he was just that. Bad.
A cold-blooded killer. He was the head of one of the biggest
families in the Chicago mob at the time Hannibal was born. Gianni
Giacovazzo. A Godfather. Since Gianni was Italian for John, he
figured that was his real name and his mother had changed it.
Hannibal knew at that point that he never wanted to meet him. His
mother was right in getting him away from that man. If Hannibal had
stayed in his care, he would have become just like him and Hannibal
shuddered even thinking about that.
It was a past that Hannibal
never mentioned to anyone, not
even his friends. It was a past that he wanted no part of and kept
locked away, hidden from everyone, his friends, the Army and even
himself. It was one of the reasons why he hated organized crime so
much. Their killings of everyone around one of the opposing
families, even innocent children, for no outright reason other than
pure greed, rubbed him the wrong way. To him they had no sense of
duty or honor at all. Those were things that he prided the most in
He remembered the good times
with his parents. The days when
they came out to watch him play baseball in little league, the time
spent at the beach on vacation, his mother fixing up a Halloween
costume for him to go trick or treating in, and just sitting around
on warm summer evenings listening to the radio and enjoying each
other's company. He fondly thought about when he fell out of tree
when he was eight years old and his mother fussing over him with his
arm in a cast. *Boy, was she protective of me,* he thought, *but that
was her love showing through to someone who needed it.*
Hannibal thought about the
first time that his father had
called him Hannibal. He was ten years old. He had come home from
school that day babbling on and on about what they had just covered
in history class. They had recreated one of the major battles of the
Civil War and he told his father about what he would have done, had
he been in command of the Confederate Army. How the course of the
war would have changed if they had maneuvered some of the troops in
that battle a little differently. His father had listened to his son
intently and saw the tactical genius in him starting to peek through.
From that day forward, his father had started calling him Hannibal
after the famous general from Carthage, who defeated the Romans at
Cannae in southeastern Italy in 216 B.C. with a much smaller army.
The name had stuck and when his father died ten years later during
the Korean War, he continued to go by the name in memory of him.
Hannibal looked up from his
thoughts. The sun was glinting
off the rows of colorful ribbons on the left side of his dress
uniform. If anybody had been looking, they would have noticed the
light blue ribbon with white stars on it on the top row of his
ribbons, indicating the Medal of Honor, and the name tag on his
uniform that was the same last name as on the two markers in front of
him. Two Medals of Honor in the same family was an unusual
occurrence. But there was no one around to notice. He was still
alone. He was glad, in a way, that his father had not lived to see
that mess that he was in now. But he knew that no matter what
anybody said, his father would have believed him and would have
supported his son through it all. Hannibal thought that if his
father was still alive, he might try to ride this thing out through
the channels of the Army, with his dad's support. But, since he
wasn't, he didn't have that option to fall back on.
Hannibal thought that he
had better be getting on, before
anybody recognized him and turned him in to the Army. He didn't want
to leave this place in that way. He didn't know when he would be
able to come back again. He turned back to the headstones in front
of him and came to full, rigid military attention. He stood there
and gave a textbook perfect military salute to his parents, then
turned on his heel and walked away.