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Incident on G Street: Parts 1-3
Warnings- Some slight swearing, serious injury to team member
Summary- A seemingly random accident leaves Face injured, the team without a van, and questioning Stockwell's involvement
Comments- Always appreciated both pro and con
"Great spot, BA," Hannibal remarks in reference to the parking spot his Sergeant just pulled the van into. "We can watch
Face from here without having to go outside."
"Aww Hannibal... Does it have to be me?" Face whines. He glances out the window noticing the snow flurries.
"Yes, Face. You're the only one who looks the part. Just hurry across the street into that building up there, do your magic,
and bring the documents back to us. Piece of cake. Besides, I need to brief Murdock and Frankie on their parts of this plan," Hannibal replies turning to look at Face. "Stop your complaining, Lieutenant, and get going. And here, put a quarter in the meter, so there aren't any problems."
Face lets out a world-weary sigh before yanking the side door open and exiting the van. The cold hits him like a slap in the
face. His wool overcoat, although highly stylish with his new suit, does nothing to protect him from the icy wind gusts. He places the quarter in the meter and gives a sickeningly sweet smile to Hannibal before heading in the direction of the office building.
Kathryn Collins impatiently glances at her watch as she descends in the elevator. She has but 5 minutes to get to her next appointment on time. Only problem is the appointment is in Bethesda, and she is still in Washington. 'Not even Superman could get out of the District and make it to Maryland on time,' she gripes to herself as the doors open in the basement parking garage.
Kathryn all but runs to her car. She quickly starts it, her mind too busy on her upcoming meeting to notice the odd noises coming from the engine. A lot of things have been going wrong with the old Toyota of late, but she hopes that this next interview will land her the job and the money for a new car she seeks.
With one foot barely on the brake, and the other firmly planted on the accelerator, Kathryn winds her way through the garage and up the ramp into the alleyway. She removes her foot from the brake and speeds towards G Street. Nearing the sidewalk and noticing the traffic on the street in front of her, Kathryn takes her right foot off of the pedal. But the car doesn't slow down. It continues accelerating towards the street.
Inside the van Murdock hears Face's whine with a jaded ear. His best friend always has some negative comment about each plan. It's how they all know Face is hip to the plan and ready to set it into motion. Murdock notices Face catch his breath in the frigid air. "Hannibal, you don't think it's too cold for Face, do ya? I mean, he is from LA, not Chicago like the mudsucker here."
"Yeah, Johnny. Us Los Angeleans aren't too used to this cold stuff," Frankie puts in.
"I believe the Lieutenant can handle a short walk across the street and up the block without fears of hypothermia," Hannibal
argues, returning Face's syrupy smile through the window. "It' s March. Face has had all winter to find a warmer coat. It's his own fa..." he starts, his attention drawn to a car speeding up the alleyway on the other side of the street.
Face pauses to give an appraising glance at a young woman passing him before stepping into the street in front of the van. In
an attempt to combat the cold weather, he tries to keep his mind busy coming up with a believable scenario to procure the documents. Now in the middle of the street, Face halts to let a minivan pass. Looking to his right, he does not notice the Toyota speeding towards him until he hears the racing engine. A split second before the car hits him, Face makes eye contact with the terrified driver.
To Hannibal, who watches the whole accident occur, time seems to stand still. Before he can do anything to help Face, the car is striking him. His second-in-command is thrown up onto the hood, his head shattering a small portion of the windshield. The car continues accelerating and strikes the rear corner of a delivery truck in front of the van. This sends Face's body flying to land in a still pile alongside the truck. The impact with the truck only changes the direction of the car; it does not slow it down. The Toyota smashes into the left front of the van and finally comes to a stop in the middle of the street, its front end totaled.
BA, who had his back turned towards the front in an attempt to glare at Murdock, is jerked forward upon impact. Frankie and Murdock, who have witnessed most of the accident, are momentarily stunned into silence. Hannibal opens his door a fragment of a second after impact. People on the sidewalk are frozen in place, stunned by what they've just seen. Face remains motionless on G Street. Kathryn Collins sits, unconscious, her head resting on the steering wheel.
Hannibal runs to Face's side, hoping his condition is not as serious as it appears to be. Murdock reaches his side a split second later. Fear for his friend obvious upon his features. "Face? Face!?" he yells. "Hannibal- is he..?"
"He's alive, but could be hurt pretty badly. We need to get him out of here and to a hospital now," Hannibal replies.
"We can't go nowhere right now, man. Van's smashed up like Face," BA states as he too, kneels by Face's side.
Hannibal looks up sharply and notices the extensive damage to the van's front for the first time. He also picks up on the growing crowd of onlookers, and their concerned offers of assistance. Although the mere thought of contacting Stockwell for help makes his skin crawl, Hannibal realizes it's their only option. "Frankie, get Stockwell on the phone, now." He rubs his hands together in the chill and tries to think. Frankie motions for him and he leaves Face's side to speak on the phone in the van.
"Colonel. I hope this is of some major importance," Stockwell greets in his customary condescendingly smug tone.
"Stockwell, there's been an accident," Hannibal begins. In less than a minute, he briefly relays the incident and Stockwell
replies with a cleanup plan. Hanging up the phone, Hannibal returns to where Murdock and BA are. His concern grows with the realization that Face is really hurt, still awkwardly positioned in the street.
"Okay. Murdock, you stay with Face. An ambulance is coming from Stockwell. They will take both of you to DC General, same procedures as before, when Face was shot. BA, we grab Frankie and try to blend into the crowd. (If he wasn't so concerned for Face, Hannibal would have chuckled at the idea of any of them ever blending into a crowd.) A car will meet us at 15th and H in fifteen minutes. Someone else will take over from here," Hannibal says gesturing at both the van and the car in the middle of the street. He catches Frankie's attention and motions him away from the car.
"Johnny, that girl looks hurt in the car," Frankie says as he checks again on Face.
"Don't worry, Frank, help is on the way." The four men jump at the sounds of sirens in the not-so-far-off distance. "Frank.
Time to be invisible. Disappear into the crowd. You've got 10 minutes to be at the corner of 15th and H. No stopping, no eye contact. No matter how pretty she is." Hannibal pauses for a second, wondering when he started giving Frankie Face's warnings. Inwardly concerned about leaving Face behind, but outwardly nodding at Murdock, Hannibal walks towards the sidewalk.
BA gives a last glance in Face's direction and heads in the opposite direction. Frankie remains in the street looking at Face,
the smashed front of the van, the girl in the car that started this whole mess, and Murdock. "Frankie, go. Everything will be fine. Listen to Hannibal," Murdock says quietly and turns to lean over Face. Frankie stuffs his hands into his pockets and heads in Hannibal's direction.
"Hey Face. Ambulance is coming. Don'tcha worry, I'll make sure they take good care of you." Murdock gently wipes away some of the blood on his friend's forehead. He hears the sirens getting closer and resists the impulse to bolt. Murdock sits on the ground next to Face and covers him with his coat. "Everything will be okay."
Seconds later, a police car and an ambulance arrive almost simultaneously from opposite directions. The cops go to the car
while the ambulance attendants race to Murdock and Face.
"Empress 1 called in a pick up," the first EMT states.
"Yes, he's hurt badly. That car hit him and slammed him against this truck. Please help him," Murdock replies as he stands
to give them access.
The med techs quickly obtain Face's vitals and place him upon a backboard. "DC General. As a Mr. Jack Riles, I believe," the second EMT says as they place Face on a stretcher.
Murdock nods and climbs into the rear of the ambulance with Face. "Is it really bad?" he asks as the ambulance speeds away from the scene, sirens blaring.
The technician looks at his partner driving the vehicle and silently nods his head. "I don't like the look of his head injury,"
he replies in a whisper.
"Thanks," Murdock softly replies as he continues to stare at his motionless friend. Within 15 minutes of the accident, 'Mr. Jack
Riles' arrives at the emergency department of DC General. Doctors and nurses scramble into a trauma room with their newest patient. Murdock is led by a man in scrubs to a private waiting area.
Stockwell is agitated. The candidate he's supposed to be interviewing is now 20 minutes late and still no phone call from
her. Definitely not up to his high standards for the position. The A-Team is in another big mess, which he has to clean up for them. Their Lieutenant may be seriously injured, which will undoubtedly cut into Stockwell's personal agenda. And now his driver is telling him his limo has a flat tire and he will be stuck in Bethesda for at least another half hour. Not his day. The snow is beginning to fall in earnest now, meaning his journey home to Langley will take forever with the traffic. He removes his overcoat and pours himself some scotch. And reflects back to a happier time when he was still in control.
Hannibal, BA, and Frankie are all escorted by the same man in scrubs to the room Murdock is in. The Colonel can tell by Murdock's expression that there is no word yet on Face. This room, the people, and the atmosphere give off an eerie deja-vu feeling. Except that it really is happening for a second time. Face is hurt, the team is waiting helplessly in this room, and Stockwell is in control of this situation.
After an hour has passed, the same man in scrubs enters the team's waiting area and hands BA the keys to his van. Before BA can ask, the man says, "The van is being transported back to Langley," and leaves the room.
Another hour passes. And another. The door opens and Stockwell enters. "Gentlemen," he says in greeting.
"Stockwell," Murdock replies, standing to hover over the shorter man. "Do you have any news on Face?"
"I have no news on the Lieutenant. However, I did take care of your damaged vehicle and the authorities. I would appreciate a full explanation of what happened this afternoon," Stockwell says as he takes a seat facing Hannibal.
Inwardly filled with concern for Face, Hannibal barely resists the urge to smack Stockwell. Looking at a blood donor poster on the wall directly above the General, he recounts the chain of events in full detail. Then he follows it with a few questions of his own. "Do we know anything about the other driver? Is she okay? Frank thought she might be injured, too."
"I am awaiting a full briefing from Abel 5 to ascertain those answers. He is due to report before the end of the hour." Minutes later, Abel 5 enters the room and beckons to Stockwell. His boss chooses to ignore it. "Abel 5, I need your full report. I believe the team here has some questions you may be able to answer as well."
"Yes sir. Upon initial investigation by the officers present at the scene, they concluded the collision was the fault of the driver of the Toyota. They are going to impound the car to see if a stuck accelerator may have been the cause, due to the age of the vehicle and a few eyewitness reports. No charges are to be filed until the inspection is complete.
"The officers believe a Mr. Jack Riles, from Atlanta, in town to attend a convention, was struck by the car and promptly taken here. They will want to speak with him at some point during his recovery. Also a parked van registered to a privately owned engineering firm was also struck and then towed to a garage in Virginia.
"As for the driver of the car, she has a non threatening head wound and possibly a broken wrist. According to the ID she had on her, the driver is Kathryn Collins from Rockville, Maryland."
Stockwell involuntarily takes in a sharp breath which does not go unnoticed by Hannibal. After a short pause, Abel 5 concludes his briefing, relaying that Kathryn Collins is also at DC General, and departs the small waiting area.
Fifteen minutes after the report from Abel 5, Stockwell gets to his feet and heads out the door. Hannibal waits a beat, then follows him to the corridor. "Colonel, you realize you must remain in that room. I cannot protect..."
"Enough Stockwell. Who is this woman? Do not deny knowing her," Hannibal states with a threatening glance.
"For you information, I have never met Ms. Collins. If she is who I believe she is, however, Ms. Collins missed an interview with me this afternoon. Now if you will excuse me, Colonel Smith, I will try to find the Lieutenant's doctor for you." With that,
Stockwell turns and quickly walks down the hall.
In an attempt to quell his anger at Stockwell, Hannibal pulls out a cigar and bites off the tip. He remains in the hallway for a few calming minutes before returning to the remaining team members, unlit cigar still tightly clenched in his teeth.
Murdock turns away from the wall and faces his leader. "Colonel? It's been hours since he's arrived. Do you think..."
"He was hit pretty hard by a car, Captain," Hannibal interrupts a bit harshly. He takes in a slightly calming breath. "Sorry. Look, Stockwell said he was going to find the doctor." How he hated having to rely on that arrogant son of a bitch. He was grateful Face could receive the best care possible without worrying about the MPs invading. But being stuck here, and in that gilded prison of a house, under the thumb and at the whim of Hunt Stockwell, has drained a lot of the jazz from him.
Moments later, everyone is interrupted from their dark musings by the entrance of a rather grim Stockwell and a doctor. The physician opens a medical chart without looking at the team and begins to speak. "The General has asked me to inform you of Mr. Riles' s injuries. He is in serious condition with a dangerous head wound. A subdural hematoma caused by the impact with the car. Mr. Riles is currently in surgery to reduce the pressure within the brain. He also sustained a fractured left tibia and a shattered left patella. When we are satisfied the swelling of his brain has subsided somewhat, we will have to begin reconstruction of his knee." He pauses for a second, catching their anxious expressions. "Look gentleman, I won't sugar coat it for you. We caught the hematoma early enough so it is not a touch-and-go situation, but one of any number of complications could spring up and kill Mr. Riles. More will be known, hopefully, at the conclusion of the neurosurgery in another hour or so. Now if you will excuse me, I must get back to the OR." With that, the doctor departs the room.
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