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Past Tense
by Kathleen Purvis


Part 1

Rating: PG-13


Vietnam- 1970

"We need a medic!"

Field Medic Lieutenant Lindsay Gray grabbed a few stray pieces of
clean gauze and braced herself for the worst. She dashed out to the
small group of men huddled around one of them.

"What happened?" she asked, looking down at the wounded Colonel Smith.

"Just a graze, kid." Hannibal said, clenching his teeth against the
pain. He flinched away from her first touch but remained passive
after that.

The nineteen year old Lindsay looked at his shoulder closely. "You're
half right, Colonel. There's no bullet, but there is shrapnel in
there. My uncle would horsewhip you for not taking care of yourself
out there."

"Well, we got the Viet Cong right where we want them now." Templeton
Peck, almost as young as she was, ran a hand through his dark hair
and grimaced at the sight of the wound.

"BA, go report the situation on the radio." Hannibal said, pulling
himself to a sitting position. He hated being pampered. Ever since
Lindsay had arrived from basic training, she had devoted herself to
three basic goals. One, to help and win the war for king and country.
Two, to make sure no one got killed under her watch. And three, to
take care of the men in her team. She was among the first women
Hannibal had actually seen in action and he silently admitted to
himself that she had gotten them out of some bad situations. Not to
mention treating their wounds.

"Colonel, stay still." Lindsay said. "Do you want me to sedate you?"

"No, I can handle it." Hannibal replied, bracing his back against the

"I'll be as careful as I can, Hannibal." Lindsay promised, then held
out her wrist.

"Lieutenant, I am not going to bite your wrist!" Hannibal protested.
It was a weird obsession of Lindsay's to be going through at least a
little of what all of her patients went through. Most of the other
men did it without protest. BA refused, but that was because he was
afraid he might actually hurt her.

"Hannibal, do it!" she snapped.

Hannibal shut up and complied. She began to slowly scrape away the
shrapnel from his shoulder. Hannibal hissed at the white hot pain and
clamped down on her wrist. If it hurt badly, she gave no sign of it.

"I need a fresh bandage!" she shouted.

Face came trotting up and handed her one. "BA's on the radio, trying
to raise Saigon, Hannibal."

"Good." Hannibal replied, licking his lips. He took a quick peek at
Lindsay's wrist and gasped. He had clearly broken the skin.

"This is nothing compared to Face and that pilot." Lindsay assured
him. "Rest here for a few minutes."

Stockwell's Compound- 1986

"Hey, Murdock, who's this?" Frankie came into the billiard room and
handed Murdock a photograph. "I found the general going through your
stuff and he asked me to ask you who she was."

Murdock ignored the second part of Frankie's statement and reached
for the picture. He smiled at it, then turned it over. He read the
inscription out loud. "Captain HM Murdock, Lieutenant Templeton Peck,
and Lieutenant Field Medic Lindsay Gray. Vietnam, August 1971."

"That's Face?" Frankie asked in disbelief. "But he looks so

"Faceman got a facelift and lightened his hair after the trial."
Murdock replied. "The girl's Lindsay Gray. She was a field medic who
ran missions with us from 1968 to 1972. She testified in their
defense during the trial and paid a heavy price for it."

"No good deed goes unpunished." Frankie quipped. "What happened to

"When she was discharged from the army, she became a teacher. She
taught for a year before we ran into her and then she decided to hit
the road with us." Murdock said. "She was a hell of a girl, Frankie
boy. I wish you could have met her."

"What happened to her?" Frankie asked.

"One bullet straight to the head." Murdock closed his eyes, trying to
ward off the pain of the memory. "Hannibal never really got over it.
To this day I haven't heard her name cross his lips. She was like a
daughter to him. She was like a sister to me. It meant a lot that she
decided to join us."

Frankie nodded, then quickly stood up as Stockwell entered the room.
He fixed Frankie with a quick glare.

"Where are the other men?" he barked.

"Out trying to get a contract on you?" Murdock suggested lightly. "I
really don't know, General."

"Let me know when they get back." Stockwell said, trying to not let
his rage leak through. "I have a job for you. Some lady's trying to
find her life."

"What do you mean?" Frankie asked.

"You'll be fully briefed when the company's gathered." Stockwell

Past Tense 2


Vietnam- December 1970


"Aw, guys, none of you had to!" Face exclaimed upon entering the
medical barracks and finding the surprise party waiting for him. He
turned to Lindsay. "You knew about this?"

"Knew about it?" Carl said. "It was her and the colonel's idea! No,
don't shush me up, Linse. It was your idea."

Lindsay tossed her head. Her long dark auburn hair was pulled back
into a relatively neat braid (considering the circumstances), the few
wisps that had escaped accentuating her pixiesh face and dancing
green eyes. Hannibal laughed out loud at her whisper which everyone
had heard because of her naturally high-pitched voice but pretended
they didn't.

"Faceman, you gotta open my present first." Murdock said, handing him
a small box.

Face opened it. "Aspirin! Isn't that nice! Now when those pesky Viet
Cong fighters decide to bomb too close to us for comfort in the
middle of the night, I'll be ready for it." he hugged Murdock.

"We couldn't get a cake sent out here," Lindsay said
apologetically. "Not even any of my uncle's influence could get any
sweets out here."

"It's okay." Face wrapped his arms around her and gave her a big kiss
on the nose. "I'm just glad I lived another year."

"And you'll be living many years to come." Hannibal put in.

Stockwell's Compound 1986

"Hey, Johnny, Stockwell's out for your blood." was Frankie's greeting
to Hannibal, BA, and Face when they got back from cruising around

"So what else is new?" Face asked humorously. "The guy's been out to
get us since day one."

"He has a new assignment for us." Murdock replied.

Just then, a young woman came into the room and checked her watch.
She was wearing casual clothes and had brown hair which, in Face's
opinion, had been callously colored. She was short, shorter than any
of them, but she had a presence that reminded Face of something

"I'm Tracy MacBride." she said. "General Stockwell pulled me out of
Rio de Janeiro to supervise this case."

"Excuse me?" Face asked, gawking at her.

"This woman who needs to find her life. This is my case, gentlemen. I
know my way around and I have a lot of experience in Stockwell's kind
of missions. If you cooperate with me, we'll get along very nicely.
If you don't, I'll make your lives seven weeks in hell for the next
seven weeks." Tracy said.

"Uh..." Frankie looked at Hannibal, shocked and a little confused.

"Exactly why did Stockwell call you in, Ms. MacBride?" Hannibal asked.

"He had his reasons. Just as I had mine for accepting." she replied
shortly, indicating that the subject was not open for discussion.


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Past Tense 1-2 by Kathleen Purvis