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This page last viewed: 2017-06-19 and has been viewed 1462 times
by A. Nannie Mouse
Summary: Decker and Crane go to a con. Circe 1985.
Warnings: 8.5 on the silliness meter.
Disclaimer: This was written for educational purposes only. Most of the characters belong to Steven J. Cannel Productions and Universal. No copyright infringement intended. The plot is mine, all mine.
Notes: Any suggestions or corrections are welcome. I am trying to learn here.
I admire Colonel Decker. I really do. He is a strong, capable leader. He is dogged in his job. He is concerned with the welfare of his men. I admire the way he handles pressure. But he is SO mundane. Take last weekend.
I have been working with him for several years, in the Military Police. Our main job has been chasing the A-Team.
You've heard of them. The mercenaries who have been making the headlines. The "modern day Robin Hoods", "three out of seven Samurai", "three restless romantics" and a lot of other flowery titles. Most given to them by either Amy Allen or Tawnia Baker, reporters who are suspected of helping the Team. Actually, they are group of maniacs. They are the best commando team that Special Forces ever produced, and they help civilians that need special help. But they are completely nuts. A week doesn't go by without them capturing some loser by blowing up a city block and half a dozen vehicles. Usually with the colonel and I in one of them. Decker hates the leader of the Team with a passion. There has been bad blood between the Colonel and Colonel John Smith since 'Nam. Smith, who calls himself Hannibal, delights in taunting Decker at every turn. Decker is determined to capture them.
Which brings us back to last weekend. I am a fan of science fiction. I have been for years but my career with the army keeps me from attending conventions very often. So I was looking forward to Creaturefest this year. One day I was reading one of the progress reports and noticed a familiar name. You need to know that Smith has been working as an actor for years. He usually plays a monster in a suit or heavy makeup. He thought it particularly funny to register in SAG as J. Lynch, the last name of Decker's predecessor on this case. So when I saw John "the Aquamaniac" Lynch listed as a guest I immediately informed the colonel.
"He's appearing in public? Does he think I'm stupid?" Not a question I wanted to answer. "How is he expecting to hide at a convention? Captain Crane, make arrangements!" There went another weekend off.
I tried to explain s. f. conventions to the colonel, but he didn't pay much attention. He was busy with blue prints of the hotel and lists of employees. He figured that Smith would not stay at the hotel; it would be too easy to find him. But he knew he would have Peck and Baracus somewhere nearby. He wanted to bring in a squad of men to search the con floor, but I pointed out that there would be children in attendance. So he set up some MPs as maintenance on the convention floor and in the parking garage. He decided he and I would go in, in civvies, with back up outside. I cannot tell you how thrilled I was to be going to a convention with my commanding officer. I guessed that hall costumes were out.
As it was it took some convincing to keep Decker from wearing a suit. He assumed a fairly business like crowd. It took a look at some of my old photos to change his mind. He insisted on polo shirts and "casual" slacks. And I thought my doublet was attractive. Adding a couple of fishing hats, he was convinced we would blend right in. Save me.
We arrived at the hotel a little early. The colonel wanted to watch the crowd arrive. People would be coming and going all weekend. It was early enough that the staff was just setting up. We sat in the lobby and "read newspapers" until the registration desk opened. I couldn't wait for the show to start.
I knew that as a guest, Smith would be treated as a VIP. He wouldn't even come through the line. He probably wouldn't arrive until time for his panel. When it was time to register I recognized the guy at the desk.
"Hi Paul! How ya doin'?"
"Fine Steve, looks like a good one this year. Who's the mundane?" he "whispered" loud enough for the entire line to hear. Paul was not the brightest bulb in the lamp.
The Colonel just glared. He didn't seem to realize that his bearing and attitude were not blending in well. And then there was that hat.
"This is a friend of mine. Rod. He's never been to a con before, but he really wanted to meet John Lynch. He around here today?" I handed him our papers and the money for our memberships and grimaced a little as I saw Paul type in the name on my badge.
"Ahh. Another Aquamaniac fan. Haven't seen him yet. He has a panel later. Be sure to check out the dealers room. There's a lotta Auquamania for sale." He handed us our badges. "See ya later. And Rod, it's always nice to see a virgin around the con."
Decker missed a step with that but refused to turn around. We marched away from the table, with as much dignity as two people could manage wearing those hats.
"Where do we start, Captain? Or do I call you 'Triton, the Great'?" He asked, with mirthless grin and a look at my badge.
"Ahh, that was a RPG character I used...."
"Never mind, Captain. I don't want to know"
This was definitely going to be a rough weekend.
Smith's panel wasn't until three, so the colonel suggested we reconnoiter. I volunteered to check out the dealer's room and suggested that Decker check the art show. Neither was completely set up yet but I was able to talk my way in.
We knew that the A-Team was working with a fourth man. Decker suspected that he was H. M. Murdock, a pilot friend of theirs from 'Nam. I had checked with the Veterans hospital mental ward where he lives, and found that he was at an experimental treatment conference for a week. He was a case study. At the very least. So I concentrated on B.A. Baracus. He would stand out in any crowd, I thought.
"Hey, have you guys seen a black guy around here with a Mohawk and gold chains?"
"Which one? The guy with the whip or the one with the dog collar? There was also that Klingon, but I think he was wearing silver."
"Never mind, I'll keep looking."
I turned to leave. That's when I was confronted by Death. He stood at least 6'2", maybe 6'3". He had a flowing, embroidered robe with a scrim, so you couldn't see his face. His gloves had skeleton hands painted on and he had beautiful black boots. The only cheesy part of his costume was his scythe; it was made of foam rubber. He stood before me and pointed a bony finger.
"I will help you search!" He intoned, with a deep rolling voice. "I am bored."
O.k., normally I wouldn't take help from the Grim Reaper. But I was handicapped by the fact that I was easily recognizable. Someone in costume could get much closer than I could. Especially with that hat.
"I'm trying to surprise an old friend. He is probably here with John Lynch. You know, the Aquamaniac? I'm hoping to find him before the con really gets going. We have a lot to catch up on." I knew I was talking too much, but I'm not good at this kind of work. Let me use tactics or a gun and I'm fine. Make me use subterfuge and I sound like a moron. But the Reaper didn't seem to think there was anything wrong, so I continued. "He's a big black guy, with a Mohawk. He wears a lot of gold chains."
"I have seen him. Come!"
Colonel Decker was waiting at the door of the art show. I could tell by his expression that he hadn't found any information. I led my new "friend" over to the Colonel.
"Ah, Rod, this is . . ." I felt foolish. I had forgotten to get his name.
"Death." The man said in that imposing voice. "My friends call me Grim."
Needless to say, the colonel didn't look impressed. He took the proffered hand and tried to smile. He obviously thought the man was a loon.
"Um, Grim is going to help us find my friend." Decker just looked at me.
"Thanks. Where do you suggest starting?"
"I saw a man with a Mohawk and gold chains upstairs, in the con suite. Follow me!" He swept toward the elevators. Decker just looked at me.
We had to wait for the elevator. When the door opened, twelve uniformed Klingons snapped to attention and pounded their chests in salute. The Colonel just stood there as the door slid closed. I've never seen that look of shock on a human face before.
"A bit crowded." I said to "Grim", lamely. I wasn't sure how, but I knew that Decker would get even with me for this.
We checked the con suite. No luck. No one had seen either Baracus or "Lynch". A colonial warrior walked in, from that old seventies sci-fi show. You know the one. He said that he'd seen Baracus in the "Building a better planet" panel. That didn't seem likely, but it was a start.
The hunt went on like that for a couple of hours. At two-thirty we headed for the Aquamaniac panel. As we passed the bar a commotion started. There were three Romulans holding up the bar. Very suddenly they were taken down by an old man with black hair and a beard, the Colonial warrior we had met earlier and . . .B.A. Baracus. The Colonel gave a short laugh and pulled his gun.
"Smith!!" He cried as he rushed toward the men. The bearded man looked up and waved. The three ran into the hall on the other side. We followed through the crowded bar just in time to see them running up the Mezzinine stairs.
Grim called to us.
"Quick! Take the elevator!"
We did. We ran into the elevator hit the button and waited for it to go. And we waited. And we tried to open the door. And we tried to open the door again. We looked through the glass panel on the sides of the elevator. The grim Reaper was replacing the 'out of order sign'. He gave a smart salute and ran out the door with the A-Team. Decker just looked at me.
I'd rather be stuck with the Klingons.
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