Summary: My reply to the Flaw-challenge.
Templeton Peck drifted back to consciousness. He noticed that he was lying on a bed, flat on his back. The blanket covering him felt heavy but soft underneath his hands, which were resting on top. His eyes opened, and he found himself focussing on a
strange shape on the light green ceiling. A crack, roughly shaped like a lizard. He didn't remember noticing it before. He didn't remember being here before, either. His head hurt, and, instinctively, he wanted to touch a particularly painful point near his
temple, but something prevented him from lifting his hand towards the centre of pain. A familiar, warm hand closed around his arm, and Hannibal said: "Welcome back, Lieutenant."
Face lowered his arm and turned his head to look at the colonel. The motion made his head spin, and strange, dark dots disturbed his vision.
"How are you feeling?" Hannibal asked, concern obvious in his eyes and his voice.
"Not so good." Face replied truthfully, lacking even the energy to lie. "What happened?"
"Well, a couple of things didn't quite work out the way I wanted them to...do you remember anything at all? You worried us, kid, you really did."
"You were very groggy, didn't recognise us, you appeared to be seeing double, and you were unable to stand on your own two legs..."
"I don't remember all that. I remember going into Mr. Pehlivanidou's office to take a look at his files...his secretary bought my story without problems, she was very kind and offered me a cup of coffee...and I don't remember anything else."
"You were drugged. When you didn't meet us as scheduled, and we couldn't find you anywhere, we figured that something had gone wrong. We went into the office, but everything was gone. Amy found out that this Greek guy had a second identity, and a
second home, so we sent Murdock in a helicopter to spy on him. Unfortunately, he got shot down..."
"He crashed? Is he alright?"
"Yes, he's fine. The police got to him before he could get back to us, and he was taken back to the VA. He phoned and gave us the information we needed. So it was only BA and me this time. The plan was to get you out of there and get the big boss to surrender and confess all his sins at the same time. Brilliant idea, if you ask me. We found an old jeep and some other bits and pieces in an abandoned barn nearby, and we converted it into something like a tank with flame-throwers...So we broke through the wall, right into this guy's living room after we took out his guards." Hannibal fell silent.
"So you grabbed me, BA put some pressure on Mr. Greek, and we got away before Decker and the police showed up?"
"That's what was supposed to happen."
"It didn't work? What happened?"
"Well, I think I should tell you the truth here...BA wants me to, so I'll tell you what really happened-we did break through the wall, and ended up in the living-room, but things weren't quite as we had expected them to be. First of all, our construction fell to pieces-never happened before, but then, we were under a lot of pressure constructing that thing, and we were two men short. These things happen. We thought we had the guy where we wanted him, but he had an ace up his sleeve- you. Do you remember any of this?"
"No, I don't think so...I do remember walking through a strange house looking for a way out..."
"Well, you didn't look as if you were taking much in when we saw you- all tied up on a chair, with two machine guns pointing at your head. I thought you were looking at us, but you didn't say a word. I figured that you'd been drugged, because it takes a lot to
shut you up. "
Face smiled slightly. His "big mouth" tended to get him into trouble-Hannibal was right. Usually, it was very hard to stop Templeton Peck from talking. It was as if part of him never wanted to give in, with no regard for the seriousness of his situation.
"The Greek slimebag told us that he had called the police, and that they should be on their way to collect us. If we tried anything, he'd shoot you. This wasn't the right time for gambles, because I knew you couldn't do anything to help us, we had lost our vehicle, and we were outnumbered. About 10 of his guards stormed into the room, took our weapons and led us into a small room. We were expecting you to join us, but we were informed that you were kept separately to discourage us from trying our usual tricks. So there we were, in the dark, and BA was really very angry now, so I told him to use his anger on the door. The plan for the time being was to break free, find you and run. Not really the type of plan I like, but it seemed alright under the circumstances. Unfortunately, you had a similar plan, as it appears. I think they just left you in a room, without tying you up, and maybe, they didn't even lock the door...I know you're an expert concerning locks and how to get past them, but I don't know whether you can pick a lock in a semi-conscious state...maybe we should try that once, just to see...So you remember wondering through a strange house...anything else?"
Face shook his head and instantly wished he hadn't...a wave of nausea and dizziness came over him, and he closed his eyes and waited for it to pass.
"You O.K?" Hannibal asked, looking concerned.
"Yeah, fine. No, I don't remember anything else...other than waking up in this bed a short while ago, that is. And, considering the story you're telling me, maybe a little bit of memory loss doesn't seem bad..."
Hannibal grinned, took a cigar from his shirt pocket, clamped it between his teeth and lit it. "You don't mind, do you? I mean, I don't want you to get sick...It had been a long day, and a I think we were all a bit frustrated, because things didn't work out...everybody has a bad day sometimes. So BA broke through the door, and we were in a dimly-lit corridor, when he spotted what he thought to be a guard. He grabbed the man and just threw him aside...only to recognise that it was you, probably looking for us. I didn't want to tell you, but he really wanted you to know. That's why he isn't here: he is very upset and angry at himself, but really wants you to know the truth. I think it could have happened to anybody-it was dark, we were trying to get away no matter what, and we didn't expect you there. We managed to escape without any more complications. You were unconscious,
and BA carried you all the way to the van. You were bleeding, and you wouldn't wake up completely, as I told you before, which worried us, so we took you to Maggie's as quickly as we could. She found some traces of the drugs in your blood, and said that she couldn't really evaluate your condition until you woke up...so I ask you again, how do you feel now?"
"Fantastic." Face lied unconvincingly, but before Hannibal could say anything, the door opened, and BA entered slowly, avoiding Face's gaze.
"Amy called. The Greek's been arrested." He turned and walked towards the door again, clearly uncomfortable.
"Hey, BA...I'm fine, really...I'm not mad at you. Let's just pretend this never happened, or you can see it as a payback for last week when I knocked you out to get you onto that plane...O.K.?" Face offered. He knew how bad BA felt for hurting one of his team members. He often threatened to hit them, but he would never injure any of his friends. BA smiled and nodded, accepting the offer, and glad that Face was doing better.
"What did Amy say?" Hannibal asked, "did she talk to the secretary?"
"Amy said the hardest thing was to get in touch with that woman. Then, all she had to do was promise to put her name and picture in the paper, and the secretary told her all the police needed. The whole gang's been arrested."
There was a knock on the door, and Maggie entered. "I have come to check on my patient-hello, Lieutenant, how do you feel?"
"I'm fine, thank you." Face lied, uncomfortable with the situation. He knew he was a very difficult patient, but he didn't like to cause concern. It made him feel so-weak. And he didn't like to feel that way, because he was always afraid to let down his team. Of course with the right type of nurse, things could be a lot different...
"I think I'll be the one to decide whether you are "fine" or not...do you have a headache? Do you feel dizzy at all? Be honest!"
"Yes, I do have a headache, and I feel dizzy when I move." Face admitted.
"Any memory loss?"
"I can't remember much after going into the Greek's office at midday...the secretary seems to have drugged me. I remember a strange house, but that's all."
"I don't think the concussion's as serious as I first thought, but I'd like to keep an eye on him for a day or two, if it's possible, just to be sure." Maggie addressed Hannibal. "I've cooked dinner for all, anyway, and there's plenty of room in the house." She added.
"Unless Decker decides to come this way, I think we can stay for a while." Hannibal agreed.
And in thoughts, he added "I love it when a plan comes together," because, even after all the difficulties of the day, everything had turned out alright in the end. That was the moment when, from a distance, they heard the familiar sound of sirens...