Innocent bystander. That’s what they thought. But they kept him alive and locked up, just in case it should prove that he was of value. They had taken Face and left him here. As much as he tried to block them, memories flashed through his head. Memories of another cage and another time Face had been taken But at least then he had not been alone. He rocked back and forth as the memories came…
The rain fell in steady streams leaving nothing untouched. It fell through the jungle foilage with a sound like thousands of tiny insect wings humming in flight. It made colors sureal, greens were too bright and brown turned grey. It slicked the ground with mud and beat against the bars of the cage. The men huddled in on themselves trying to escape the dreary weather.
He had his back pressed into the corner of the cage and his knees drawn up to his chest. He stared straight ahead and tried not to think about where he was. He didn’t want to think about it because that meant it was real. He was getting good at being invisible. He hadn’t been at first and he shuddered to think the pain that had caused. Not only to him but to his team as well.
Face had settled himself beside him. He had tried to get him to talk earlier. It amazed Murdock, when he let himself think, how calm Face was. He knew that his friend’s mood wasn’t as light as he pretended it to be, but Face tried to keep everyone’s spirits up anyway. He made jokes, and invented stories, he even played with Billy. Murdock could see that the humor never made it to his eyes though. It hadn’t been since the first night the guards had taken Face. They had kept him away all night, longer than anyone had ever been kept away, and when he had come back he just wasn’t the same. What they had done to him was another thing that Murdock prefered not to think about…
The lock on the door rattled as one of the heavy set guards unlocked it. Murdock backed himself into the corner. He looked around but already knew there was nothing he could use for a weapon. He tensed as he saw the guard look at him and laugh before turning to another guard and motion something to him. The other stepped forward carrying something over his shoulder.
Murdock had just enough time to leap forward and catch his friend as the guard shugged him to the ground. Murdock barely kept Face’s head from hitting the cold stone floor. He heard the metal clang as the door was slammed shut and locked, the guards’ laughter echoing as they walked further away.
Murdock turned his attention to the unconscious Face. He noticed that his shirt had been ripped, the buttons gone. The open shirt clearly showed the bruises around his throat. Murdock was most worried about the bloodstains he saw. He checked him over and discovered his cut and chaffed wrists. Just then Face let out a low moan…
Another moan. Murdock reached a hand out to push a lock of Face’s hair back, but stopped as Face tried to jump away. “It’s ok. Face? It’s just me…”
Murdock shifted forward so that Face could see him and stopped as he looked into his blue eyes. Something in those eyes worried him…No, something missing from those eyes worried him…
Part Two by Marita Chisholm
Murdock turned to assess Face’s injuries more fully and as he passed his hand over Face’s ribs he felt his friends body cower away from him. “Sorry Face, I didn’t mean to..” Murdock started to apologize when he caught the powerful gaze in Face’s eyes.
Face looked up at Murdock, not recognizing him for what he was – a true and loyal friend, but seeing him as the enemy. His eyes filled with a silent rage, this time he would fight back.
“Caca Dau! Caca Dau!” Face vehemently spat in Vietnamese. It took Murdock a few seconds to register the words Face had spoken. ‘I’ll kill you! I’ll kill you! Words so often heard during their time in the prison camps in Vietnam.
“Oh God Face, please don t go back there.” Murdock begged, clasping his hands on Face’s trembling shoulders. “What have you bastards done to him?” He yelled in the direction of the cell door.
Face continued to mumble incoherently in Vietnamese as Murdock watched on haplessly. “Come on Face fight it. Stay with me Face.” Murdock pleaded, embracing his best friend in an encompassing hug, trying to stop Face’s struggles. Face stopped his struggle. Letting his battered body rest he closed his heavy eyes, only to recall the horror of the torture relive itself in his restless sleep.
“Tell me a story Mr Peck. Tell me about the A-Team. Tell me about Amy Allen, tell me a story Mr Peck.” His captor said to him as the contents of the needle injected into him, entered his bloodstream. “I, I,I &don t know.” Face slurred, as the drug quickly took hold.
“Come now lieutenant &., I know you have a lot of things you could tell me. I know all there is to know about you ,I know that you have a sister. So tell me lieutenant where are Smith and Baracus hiding. Surely they knew of the retreat that you and Murdock were on. So where are they?” His captor tormented him. He pulled one of Face’s fingers back at a time, snapping it like a twig.
Face emitted a blood curdling cry as his third finger broke. “STOP!” He yelled, trying to gain some semblance of control back in the situation.”
“Face, shhh, take it easy, it was a dream. I’m here with you now.” Murdock soothed, wiping the sweat from Face’s furrowed brow. When he felt Face settle in his arms, Murdock let himself relax and drifted off to the peacefulness of sleep.
As daylight was breaking three guards entered the cell and ordered the prisoners to awaken. Murdock blearily rubbed the sleep from his eyes and greeted the guards. “I wasn’t really expecting room service, for the cheap rate that we are paying, but since you’re here I’d like eggs and bacon.” He smiled gleefully.
He was rewarded with a swift kick to his ribs for his jib remark. “Get up. Now!” The older of the guards bellowed. When neither Face nor Murdock complied, the guards hauled them to their feet and marched them to their waiting commander.
“I trust you slept all right.” Their captor sneered, before ordering the guards to shackle Face and Murdock hand and foot to each other. “Get them out of here, I will join you soon. Oh and gentlemen your friends in Peru will be very pleased to see you again.”
Face and Murdock looked at each other and shuddered. Thoughts of their narrow escape from the clutches of the feudal overlord whom they had defeated previously came back to haunt them.
Time marched on slowly as they waited for the transportation that would take them to the city of Iquitos, a port city on the Amazon. While they waited Face tried using the blood that was seeping from his injured wrists to write the word Peru, as a clue to Hannibal should he locate the position from which they had left.
Duly the C-130 Hercules arrived and taxied to the nearby hangar, from which Face and Murdock were escorted. The flight was uneventful and quiet. Allowing Face and Murdock sometime to reflect during the solace they were granted.
The aircraft landed at Iquitos and from their they were transported in the back of an army truck until the reached a small village 30 kilometers from Iquitos. From the village they walked to the fortress of Miguel Sanchez.
Murdock and Face could smell the heat as the afternoon sun broiled the opulent territory of the rainforest. Their muscles ached as the shackles pulled against each other. Murdock cursed under his breath as he felt the shackle cutting into the flesh around his ankle.
“How about taking the leg irons off?” Face angrily asked. “It’s not as if we’re going to run off anywhere out here.” He added catching a look of hope from Murdock. The order was given to remove the leg shackles which allowed the two captives to travel without causing injury to the other. A short time later their captor ordered them to stop.
“Are we here already?” Face asked in amazement. He had not seen any structures since they had started walking. His question was rewarded with a pistol whip to his forehead. As he fell ungracefully to the ground he pulled Murdock down with him. The last noise Face heard was the sarcastic laughter of the guards.
When he was awoken it was already night. The night sky illuminated by a full moon, which occasionally disappeared behind a layer of cloud cover. His head was still reverberating from the blow he had received and he was now beginning to feel sick to his stomach.
“Hold still Face.” Murdock said fixing in place a makeshift bandage that he had made from a strip of his T-shirt for Face. “You’ve got a concussion.”
“Oh good,” replied Face, “now that would explain the noise going on inside my head.” Murdock dismissed his friends sarcastic comment and checked his pupil response. “Anyone ever told you that you make a lousy patient.” Grinned Murdock as he helped Face to his feet.
“Not lately.” Face bantered causing Murdock to chuckle. “Silence!” Growled their captor. Murdock and Face quickly fell in step and walked quietly on towards the fortress of Miguel Sanchez.
Part Three by Fingers
“Uugggghhhh, uuuuuuugggh” Hannibal quickly came to, trying to surface from the dream that clung to his brain. “Oh sorry, BA was I talking or something?” Hannibal blinked and looked at out at the road that was unfolding before them.
“Yeah, almost as bad as Faceman, you were muttering something under your breath.”
Hannibal wiped the sleep from his eyes, still trying to shake the dream from his mind’s eye. He looked at the sky, the dawn was about to break, he looked at his watch 5.30. He looked at his sergeant, he could see BA was tired too.
“Pullover BA. I’ll take the wheel for a while, you’ve been driving almost all night.”
BA gladly agreed, they had decided to come back to LA overnight from their trip rather than stay over for a second night, Hannibal had slept for almost three hours, BA hadn’t wanted to disturb him, their last few missions had been heavy. As they changed over seats, BA laughed to himself at the choice that Face had made, rather than coming with the two of them across to Nevada, he had decided to go on a ‘retreat’ with the fool Murdock. He remembered Face telling him about the relaxing time that the two of them were going to have. He knew Hannibal had been reluctant to let them go out of contact, but Face said that it was a rule of the ‘retreat’ that there were no phones, pagers, or anything that could link you to the real world.
‘Perhaps that was why Hannibal had had that dream.’ Without being told, he knew Hannibal had gone back to Vietnam. He settled into his seat and before Hannibal had rejoined the freeway, BA was asleep, with no dreams to disturb him.
Hannibal drove on reliving the dream in his head.
He had been back in the camp, in one of the interrogation chambers. Without being told in his mind he knew that it was early on in their stay, perhaps the first time he had been taken there, no not perhaps, it was the first time.
They had arrived at the camp after a forced march of how far he couldn’t estimate. All that Hannibal knew was that it had taken them a day and a night of constant walking to get here. The only rests they had been granted were for the benefit of the VC that had taken them prisoner. Luckily none of the team had been injured in the helicopter crash that had landed them in this predicament. He had expected to be the first to be taken for interrogation but instead it was Murdock. The others in the team were escorted to a bamboo cage.
BA was taken next but was returned within a couple of hours with the Captain trailing not too far behind. BA was hardly touched but Murdock was battered, the bruises littered his face and body, more worryingly for Hannibal and Face, the pilot had retreated behind a seemingly impenetrable screen. He was the next to be taken, the senior Chinese advisor, taking great delight in trying to tease any information out he had.
Hannibal remembered with a shudder he had been lying on the floor recovering after a particularly hard attack when he heard a party of guards bring another guest into one of the adjoining chambers. His sensitive hearing could hear the slaps and the muffled increasing frustration of the Chinese and Vietnamese interrogation team.
The door opened in his room and he saw a Chinese man come in and have a whispered conversation with his interrogator.
At length his man came over and said coldly, “It would seem that your luck is in Colonel, my stupid assistant needs my help. You’ll have to wait.”
Hannibal was taken back to their cage, it was only as the party was crossing the muddy square that he thought about who it could be that was giving them so much trouble.
Hannibal reflexively tightened his grip on the steering wheel and put his foot flat on the gas, it was years since he had had that dream he knew that something must be terribly wrong.
Murdock could see the first tentative threads of the dawn begin to sneak their way through the occasional gaps in the trees. He was becoming more and more worried, they seemed be walking forever, he wondered how long Face could last. He could feel an occasional drag on the shackles that bound their hands together. He had tried to turn around a couple of times to check on his friend but the guards that were assigned to them stopped the movement with a cocked rifle. Murdock himself felt hungry and thirsty, they had been given a small amount of food and water on the plane, but that was many hours ago. He could feel the ground beneath his feet start to gently rise and remembered that Sanchez liked to live amongst the hills.
Their captor came back through the column of men to observe the pair of them.
Murdock licked his dry lips and decided now or never. “Hey, pal. I know we are in the cheap seats but do you think we could have a drink?”
A rifle butt hit him in the kidneys. He staggered for a few strides, as he recovered he heard a few words in Spanish being muttered. The troop came to a sudden halt and all of a sudden the pair of them were knocked to the ground. Someone had his hand round his mouth and a gun was ground into his right ear. Murdock got the idea, that the man wanted him to stay quiet. He strained to catch any noises at all. He could hear someone moving through the jungle, very quietly and expertly, he could also hear the louder noise of a small patrol of some kind. ‘Police or local army, maybe three or four men’. The noises moved on, and after a short period, Murdock felt his guard relax, the gun moved away from his ear. He sneaked a look at Face and smiled at the blue eyes that were looking at him too. Murdock tried to assess how he was doing, the eyes still looked a bit vacant and confused, but he put that down to the concussion more than anything.
He felt himself being lifted up by his jacket and felt the pull on his wrist as Face was moved likewise. A nearly empty canteen of water was thrust into his hand. He looked at Face through his peripheral vision and realised the canteen was to share between them. He took a mouthful, the water was warm, but all the same it eased his throat. He turned round to pass it to Face and looked with horror at his friends right hand and fingers, as Face tried to grab the canteen, both the hand and the fingers were swollen and dark looking. He hadn’t noticed the injury before.
He kept hold of the canteen and put it to his friends lips, “Face, come on pal, take a drink.”
He saw a nod of thanks in his friends eyes as he took a mouthful of water and then another. Murdock took the canteen off him and took the last sips of water. The canteen was taken from his hands.
Their captor didn’t say anything but just turned round and moved smartly out. The whole company moved quickly on, obviously making up time for the delay. Murdock wondered what the delay was all about, maybe, Miguel wasn’t on such good terms with the government than he had been.
Murdock was happier after their stop, Face seemed to be more energetic. The pair was silent, ever conscious of the rifles pointed at their back. All of a sudden their feet hit gravel. Murdock peered through the thinning trees ahead and managed in the pale pre dawn light to make out the outlines of a group of low stone buildings. His ears caught the sound of a muttered conversation somewhere ahead. He couldn’t make out the words though they seemed to be in an obscure dialect. He turned his head slightly to check his companion.
Face sensed the look and turned his head slightly and without appearing to move his lips, told Murdock, “I don’t understand it either. My head still hurts as well as everything else. What would I do for a stone floor.”
Murdock smiled at this last comment.
He hadn’t noticed their captor walk up, he spotted the smile and backhanded Murdock, “Insolence will not be tolerated. Do you understand?”
Face joined in, ” Didn’t you know that the American Medical Association recommends an annual hike in Peru to boost your endorphin levels?” Murdock tensed himself gauging the man’s reactions.
Their captor moved behind Face, and yanked back on his hair, pulling his head backwards.
Murdock shivered when he heard the man say “We never got to finish your story the other night, lieutenant did we? You were just about to tell me where your glorious leader could be found, weren’t you? Never mind, I am sure we will have time to resume things today. In fact you can both entertain my leader today.”
The man chillingly laughed and indicated to the guards to move them onwards towards the buildings.
Part Four by Sabrina
Hannibal was pushed roughly back into the cage and staggered to his knees. A moment later he felt a strong hand on his arm. ” You OK, man?” BA asked worriedly, helping him to his feet and leading him over to the corner that the team had appropriated as theirs. Hannibal sat heavily, took a deep breath that he let out slowly and then looked up into the anxious faces of Murdock and BA.
” Yeah, I m OK,” he replied, wincing as he felt around his ribs, suddenly freezing and then looking about, panicked. ” Where s Face?” he asked breathlessly.
” They took him about an hour after you, cussin a blue streak,” BA answered, while Murdock sat down next to the colonel, drawing his knees up to his chin.
Hannibal felt his hands clenching into fists and tried to will himself to relax. Face would be OK; so far they were all OK, none too great, but all right & And then the guard s words came back to him. He swallowed, his mouth suddenly feeling very dry. BA and Murdock were looking to him to say something, but he couldn t think of any words of comfort for them, only the fact that he had a very, very bad feeling. He looked over towards the interrogation block, willing the guards to bring back Face now. No one emerged as the dust blew up a little and set the VC guards to coughing irritably.
Murdock was muttering to himself about something, drawing patterns in the dirt while BA paced. Hannibal squinted up at the sun. Face had been gone a long time: at least an hour now. An hour of his friends sitting around listlessly and waiting, for what seemed like forever. Hannibal was willing to bet he knew just what had gone wrong; Face had started on a campaign of bravado, trying his best to annoy his captor. Problem was that the kid was stubborn as hell and didn t know when to quit: wouldn t quit. Face was probably still winding them up. The kid had the guts to keep at it, but whether his body would match his will power was another matter. It was a lot harder on a teenaged kid than on grown men. His heart froze in his mouth as a scream echoed out across the compound. Murdock started rocking next to him, his muttering increasing in volume.
Distorted as the voice was behind the cry, he knew it was his lieutenant: knew it in the shivery feeling in his blood and the sickness forming in the pit of his stomach and the way his face seemed to be flushing hot and cold. Damnit, kid. Give it up. But Face had never learnt how to pick his fights. He just fought every battle with everything he had and got hurt. Hannibal closed his eyes, trying to draw a breath into his lungs as another scream startled the other prisoners into worried chattering.
The tormented screaming carried on for another twenty minutes. Twenty minutes of clock time and a life-time for the lieutenant s friends. Then it was suddenly very, very quiet. Murdock stopped rocking and stopped the high pitched noises he d been making, presumably to block out the sounds. Then they waited again, the three of them watching the door of the interrogation building. Finally, a VC officer emerged: the one in charge of the questioning. He spat into the ground and then walked off, but not before sniping angrily at the guards outside the building. Hannibal felt a wash of satisfaction at the man s anger; the kid had screamed his heart out- though only after they d been at it for over an hour- and even then & The kid would get himself killed by refusing to give an inch and his CO felt a rush of pride in his officer s courage, however much he wished that the kid knew how to back down.
Finally, two guards emerged, dragging the completely limp figure between them, legs trailing on the ground, head down. They motioned with their guns to move the prisoners back from the doorway as they opened it, flung the boy in, and quickly locked it again. Murdock bolted over before Hannibal or BA had been able to react, gently rolling the boy over and cuddling him in his arms, burying his face in the crook over the boy s shoulder as the lieutenant s head rolled back over his arm.
“Stupid, damn-stubborn kid,” Hannibal muttered as he looked at the damage to the boy s face and then started feeling down his torso. At least two broken ribs, bruises all over. He quickly checked the boy s limbs as well, relieved that there seemed to be no injuries there. ” Murdock, you need to put him down so I can look after him a minute.” Reluctantly the pilot complied with his request and Hannibal quickly rolled the boy onto his side, cursing. The kid s back was a mess of cuts and welts, gashes and burns under his shirt, which looked like it had been removed for the beating and then roughly pulled over his arms at the end. He rested a hand against Face s cheek, wishing that he didn t look quite so limp, one out-stretched hand by his head, golden hair falling over the blood and dirt beneath. But he clearly given the VC officer the most problems the man had ever encountered.
It had probably enraged the man that the one he couldn t break was a boy: a fragile kid who looked like he wouldn t last five minutes. ” Damnit, kid.”
Face had been out of it for three days, waking on the fourth whimpering weakly. And there had been nothing they could do for him. But at least no one took him for another session; they obviously realised that they d kill him if they did &
“SHIT!” he shouted, swerving back into his lane as a horn blast broke him out of his memories. BA woke up, bracing himself against the window.
“Hannibal, I think Ah d better drive, man.”
The colonel didn t protest but shakily pulled the car over to the side of the road.
Murdock sighed heavily, stroking Face s hair away from his eyes gently. The lieutenant had fallen asleep quite quickly after they d been locked in a cell, but had started shivering, so Murdock had gathered him in his arms to share his warmth. Face, usually a light sleeper, didn t stir which told Murdock some worrying facts about how bad the lieutenant was feeling. The shivering was probably mostly shock finally catching up with him. Face murmured something in his sleep and snuggled closer to the pilot without waking, his head cushioned on Murdock s knees. They d spent too many times like this. Face had been beaten terribly early on in their stay in the POW camp and had just continued to get sicker with no medical care and then continued beatings when the VC officers got tired of waiting for him to make something of a recovery so they could start anew.
How the kid had managed to keep on his feet during their walk to his godforsaken place, the captain didn t know. Probably he d only made it because of the sure knowledge that it was walk or die. And Face was very good at managing to continue to function, even when he was badly hurt, until he stopped and then he d collapse. Plus the fact that the lieutenant had mentioned something about being drugged & Face sighed again, frowning in his exhausted sleep. Murdock contemplated trying to check out his injuries but knew his friend needed the sleep most of all: after all, anything he did to help would only be undone by their captors in short order. The lieutenant coughed and winced. Broken ribs: badly broken from what he d seen when Face had first been returned from being beaten. His friend needed medical attention right now and definitely no more beatings; the chances of one of the ribs going through a lung if that happened were worryingly high.
Face shifted again, sighing and then slowly opening his eyes. “Hey, Face,” Murdock said, putting a warm smile on his face and into his voice. The lieutenant focused on him slowly: the effects of the blow to the head.
“Hey,” he whispered hoarsely, holding his ribs. He didn t remember hurting so badly on the walk up here & Then again, he didn t remember feeling much; there were benefits in being numb. He was startled into sitting up as a key turned in the door lock.
BA looked over at Hannibal and sighed heavily. The colonel had been staring blankly out of the window for two hours now. Never very comfortable with trying to offer emotional support, the sergeant didn t know what to say, afraid that he d make the situation worse. Instead, he focused on driving back as fast as he could without getting pulled over. The sooner they got back, the sooner they d be able to help their friends if something was wrong.
They had no proof of that & But he knew it, as Hannibal knew it. Just knew it beyond a shadow of a doubt. But Hannibal s reaction was really scaring him. The colonel seemed unfocused- out of place, or out of time: something he d seen in Face and Murdock on numerous, worrying, occasions. He d never seen Hannibal like that though. Something had gone very, very wrong. Maybe they were just feeding off each other s fears, winding themselves up into an unreasoning hysteria about it, but it took a lot to faze the colonel- especially after the camps. And, while BA placed no belief in ESP and psychic powers, he had learnt to put faith in his instincts, and the instinct of his friends. And right now everything in him was screaming in terror.
They roared off the interstate and finally Hannibal stirred, looking around as if waking from a nap. He picked the map off the dashboard then. ” Take a right,” he told BA. Soon they were passing through a deep forest, exactly the type of place Murdock would love & and Face, if their accommodations had enough amenities. Then again, running water was always a plus, Hannibal reflected, thinking of some of the rather misguided attempts when the team had tried to have a quiet holiday somewhere where they wouldn’t have to worry about Decker or the military. ” Next left,” he instructed, glancing down at the map. How he wished they d arrive and find Face and Murdock there, safe and sound, just a little bewildered about their friends turning up early when they were meant to be meeting back in town the next day. He thought he knew better than to hope for it, but it seemed that his heart wouldn t comply with what his head told him was not a way to proceed.
Finally, they pulled off the main road and bumped down a dirt track that would not have had Face impressed. But it was a lovely place & if it hadn t been for the feeling of dread that was growing in his stomach, clenching into an iron fist under his sternum.
Part Five by Marita Chisholm
“Over there BA &there’s Face’s vette!” Hannibal exclaimed, shifting in his seat to get a better view of it.
Before BA had brought the van to a halt, Hannibal was making his exit from the passenger side. In his haste to get to Face’s prized possession he tripped on an out cropping root. “Argh!” Hannibal groaned when he landed
with all his weight on his right hand.
“Hannibal! Aw man!” BA growled, pulling Hannibal up from the earthen floor. “Let me have a look at your wrist.”
“BA it’s fine &. I want to &” Hannibal began to say before BA interrupted. “Man I don t care what you want to do, I AM GOING to have a look at your wrist whether you like it or not Colonel!”
Taken aback by BA’s brashness, Hannibal sat dumbfounded while the burly sergeant gently took Hannibal’s injured wrist into his big hands. BA caught Hannibal’s sudden wincing movement as he ran his fingers over the wrist joint. It was already swelling and Hannibal’s reaction confirmed his suspicions.
“Hmmm thought so.” Mumbled BA. Without saying any more he walked over to the van and retrieved the first aid kit. Rummaging through the contents of the kit he produced a crepe bandage.
“Best I can do for now &., next time you’re talking to Maggie you’ll have to ask her to get some of those fibre-glass bandages, either that or next time Face gets a job at the wax museum we’ll have to get him to being home some plaster of Paris.” BA light heartedly said as he finished wrapping Hannibal’s wrist in the bandage.
Hannibal smiled and pictured Face walking out of the museum with a bucket of pre mixed plaster of Paris, getting sidetracked by some beautiful woman and wearing the contents of the bucket. “BA next time I’m talking with Maggie I’ll ask her to send some fibre glass bandages, it will be safer that way.”
“Huh?” Asked BA unsure whether he had missed something. Shrugging he followed Hannibal to Face’s car.
“It’s been here a while. There’s no way Face would leave it sitting out here to get covered in dust and pine needles.” Hannibal deduced brushing away the pine needles from the windscreen.
BA also came to the same conclusion, looking a the depth of the needles that were beginning to build up around the wheels. “Something must have gone wrong.” He quietly said, catching the nod of acknowledgement from Hannibal as he withdrew his cigar from his mouth.
“Yeah &but what? Or who?” Hannibal asked, searching for any clue as to the whereabouts of Face and Murdock.
“Hey Hannibal!” BA yelled, “I’ve found a blood trail.”
“Great Room Service at last. Does Captain Belly Buster deliver all the way out here?” Murdock smiled as he got to his feet, standing in front of Face. There was no way that Murdock was going to let anyone take Face without first going through him.
“Your crazy!” The older of the two guards said as he placed the trays on the small table in the cell. His fellow guard laughed as Murdock’s expression revealed that he had been offended by the comment.
“Well in today’s time of political correctness one would think that you gentlemen as charming as you are, would know how to better phrase that statement especially for those of us who are fragile at attacks on our psyche.” Murdock ranted and gave them an indignant look for their troubles.
“See my friend & what did I tell you, this one has as he would say,” the older guard said gesturing towards Murdock, “he has misplaced the ground.” The younger guard was about to comment when Murdock spoke.
“I think you meant ‘lost the plot’. But there are over fifty ways to say that for example ‘couldn’t pour water out of a boot with instructions on the heel’, ‘he fell out of the stupid tree and hit every branch’, ‘an intellect rivaled only by garden tools’ and..”
Before Murdock could continue, a young woman entered the room. “Father wants to see you two now &.. I suggest you hurry.”
“But senorita we cannot leave you alone with these men & you’re father will..”
“Alarico my father will kill you if you are not in his study within five minutes! Do as you have been asked.” The woman replied, her voice purveying authority.
“Be careful senorita &., they cannot be trusted.” Alarico warned as he ushered his young friend out of the cell.
“Thank you senorita.” Murdock expressed his gratitude at having the guards leave the cell.
“I wonder why you are in such a hurry to thank me Senor Murdock, how do you know that I have not come to do my father’s will?”
“I don t believe your father would want anyone else to have the pleasure.” Murdock replied in a serious tone.
“Indeed you must know my father well. Rest assured Senor Murdock that I am nothing like my father & I despise everything he does, our values in life are so much different. I do not want to be a part of his corruptive ways any more, and I ask you to believe me.”
“Senorita I am not sure if trusting you would be such a good idea right now, no offense intended.” Murdock replied, taking his time to detect any underlying changes in body language as he waited for her reply.
“Please, we are not going to get anywhere if we keep going around in circles. My name is Catalina Lucrecia Mariquita Geuzman.” Catalina offered, extending her hand in friendship to Murdock.
Uneasily he took her hand in his own and exchanged a mutual greeting. “My name is H M Murdock & &.., I thought you said your father wanted to see the guards.” Murdock hesitantly said.
“Si, I did &.., Miguel Sanchez is my step father. It is a long story, my father died when I was a baby and my mother remarried three years later, when I was nine my mother died and since then my step father has never remarried and had raised me. I left here once and returned when he took ill.” Catalina said moving closer to where Face lay still sleeping.
“If you don t mind &I would prefer if you didn’t touch him, he’s sleeping and it’s &”
“I know, it’s the best thing for him. That is what you were going to say wasn’t it? What does the H M stand for?” Catalina smiled as she settled herself onto the edge of Face’s cot.
“Mostly it stands for Howling Mad &.ah what are you doing?” Murdock asked, fearing for Face’s safety, when he saw Catalina pull a small vile and a needle from her jacket pocket.
“This is an antibiotic, it will help with the infection. Please H M don t look so worried. I am a qualified doctor &, that was the reason I returned to the God forsaken place, to care for my step-father until he recovered.” Administering the antibiotic, Catalina took Face’s uninjured hand in her own and took his pulse.
She produced a small pad from another pocket and proceeded to write on it. Answering Murdock’s unasked question she explained what she was doing. “Eventually we are going to get out of here and the hospital will want to know the details of his injuries and illness. If I can’t get away with you, I want you to take this information with you. The more knowledge the doctors have of your friend s condition the better he can be treated.”
“You said ‘if you can’t get away from here’ &, does that mean you are not going to come with us?” Murdock asked, his voice filled with concern.
“What it means H M is that I fear that if I try to escape from here my step-father will live up to his promise. He has threatened to kill me, should I attempt to leave.” Replied Catalina, brushing away a small tear from her eye.
“How is he?” Murdock asked, changing the subject. He stepped forward to get a better view of what Catalina was doing.
Catalina skillfully ran her hands over Face’s severely bruised ribs, her hands detecting at least three that were broken. “Your friend needs to be taken to a hospital, I can not give him the proper care he needs. All I can do for him at present is to give him a sedative so that he can sleep and get the rest he needs.”
Murdock was amazed at the amount of surgical supplies held within a small pouch that she had produced. After wiping a small area on Face’s right forearm with an alcohol swab, she injected him with 5 milligrams of atropine.
“There &, that should help him to relax.” Catalina said, pulling the blanket up around her patient’s shoulders. “I must get back to the house. I will see you again soon.” She gave Murdock a look of endearment and smiled.
‘”Catalina &.., I &., ah &” Murdock stammered. Gaining his nerve he leant closer to Catalina and gave her a small kiss on her cheek. Embarrassed by what he had done, he turned back to look at Face.
“H M?” Catalina whispered, placing her hand on his jaw, turning his head to face her. “Why are you embarrassed? I really didn’t mind the kiss &., honest.”
Trying to appear nonchalant, Murdock looked at Catalina, her green eyes meeting his. “It’s too soon, I’m sorry.”
Understanding what he said, Catalina smiled. “Maybe it is something that we can work on. But for now, the sooner you are both away from here the better, I fear my step-father will shortly carry out his threat of having you both made an example of & &.”
“CATALINA! What are you doing here?” Sanchez’s voice boomed, echoing around the dank cell. Sanchez signaled for his guards to remove her from the cell. “I will deal with you later &but first I have other more pressing matters to take care of.”
Part Six by Martia Chisholm
Sanchez moved closer to where Face was lying on the cot, when he sees that Face is asleep he turns on Murdock. “What were you doing with my daughter? Why were you looking at her that way?”
Getting no immediate response from Murdock he summons the guards forward. With their rifles aimed at Face’s sleeping form they looked to Sanchez for his next order. “Tell me again captain &why were you looking at Catalina?” When he finished speaking he turned to his guards and nodded his head.
At the sound of the hammers being cocked, Murdock skittishly offered his reply. “She was only checking on the lieutenant to ascertain what injuries he had &., she said she was a doctor.” He could feel the beads of sweat creeping down his face as he watched his motionless friend.
The wait for Sanchez to order his men not to carry out his order seemed to take an eternity. “And captain what exactly are his injuries?”
‘You should know &, you inflicted most of them.’ Murdock thought to himself. Thinking of a better way of dealing with Sanchez, rather than try and provoke him, Murdock simply said, “Cata &., your daughter said that he needed urgent medical attention.”
Sanchez seemed satisified with Murdock’s answer and signaled for his men to exit the cell. But before Sanchez followed his men from the cell, he stopped by Face’s cot. He noticed that the button on Face’s shirt cuff was undone. Pushing his sleeve up to his upper arm Sanchez saw the tell tale signs of a freshly administered injection.
“WHAT DID SHE GIVE HIM?” Sanchez roared, his voice reverberating around Murdock as he dropped Face’s arm, letting it fall limply to the side of the cot.
Murdock stood stock still, at a loss for words. Not bothering to wait for Murdock’s response, Sanchez strode with purpose from the cell, calling Catalina’s name at the top of his voice.
BA had traced the blood trail to a small clearing, where he found a much larger pool of blood. Clearing away some pine needles he found impressions from off road tyres. “It’s dry Hannibal &, I’d say a day and a half maybe two days.”
“Which way did they go sergeant?” Hannibal asked, holding his injured wrist against his chest. “I’d say East. It’s the only way out of here, but no telling where they went from there.” BA mumbled. Preempting Hannibal’s question, BA said, “Yeah the van should handle the road, we’ve taken it over worse.”
After a quick search of the rented cabin, Hannibal and BA embarked on their trek to find their missing friends. Ten kilometres down the forest road they came to an open expanse of land.
“Great now which way?” BA griped, feeling the share uselessness of their situation. “Just keep driving East,” Hannibal said reaching for a cigar. “It has to be the only way out of here.”
“I hope your right man. Jeez Hannibal do you have to go smoking those stinky things in my van?” BA voiced, stopping when he felt the front tyres of the fan hit a rut. “Damn!” He exclaimed, bringing the van to a halt.
His inspection of the underneath of the van revealed nothing damaged, but what he did find was the same pattern tyre tracks that he had found earlier back at the cabin. “Get back in the van Hannibal, we’re on the right track..” BA smiled, knowing that they were going in the right direction.
A few minutes later as they neared a road they could see an elderly gentleman waving his arms around. Before the old man could see who was in the van he began ranting and raving.
“You youngin’s come through here and tear my land up. I’ve worked hard to have all this &.,” he stopped ranting long enough to see that the van’s passengers were not the hoons he thought they were. “Say &you’re not late blooming hoons are ya?”
Hannibal smiled at the comment and went on to apologize for driving across private land. “I’m’ sorry old timer, didn’t know this was private land.” Getting out of the van, he breathed in the fresh country air.
“Easy on the old, partner &.what can I do fer you? Sorry forgot my manners, Harry Posena’s the name.” The old man said extending his hand.
“Harry, nice to meet you. I’m Hannibal Smith and this is BA Baracus. You mentioned someone else coming through here &how long ago? A day? Two days?” Hannibal anxiously asked.
As Harry scratched his head trying to recall which day he saw the off roader go through, BA got out of the van and stood by him, dwarfing his small stature.
“I remember now, it was day before yesterday. The 4 x 4 looked pretty full, there were two guys in the back, squashed in between a big guy either side. One of them had a nasty looking gash on his head. The other one kept telling him Peru would be nice this time of year.” Harry said, “I thought that was strange myself, but the older of the two was wearing a brown leather jacket and kept saying it over and over. Beats me, sorry I can’t help you any more than that.” “Harry you’ve given us more help than you’ll ver realize.” Hannibal beamed.
“If there’s ever anything we can for you let me know. Here’s our card.”
Accepting the card with Hannibal’s number on it, Harry grinned. “Is there anything you boys know about herding cattle?”
Saying their good-byes, harry promised to call Hannibal if he recalled any further information that might help them. Taking Harry’s instructions BA made good time in getting to the only airport in the area.
“You think that’s where they’re headed?” BA asked as Hannibal procured two tickets to Lima.
“Yeah &., makes sense if that’s what Murdock kept saying, and before you say it I know Murdock goes off on a tangent sometimes, but not when it comes to leaving clues.” Hannibal said, handing BA his ticket.
“Senor Sanchez, it is Raul &., si Senor Smith was asking a lot of questions about air flights to Peru & &, si, he and the big man paid for air tickets to Lima &.., si Senor the plane left five minutes ago.” Raul spoke, revealing the plans of Hannibal and BA.
When he hung up the phone he was greeted with a left cross from BA. Stumbling back he stammered a string of expletives at BA.
“Come now Raul, is that any way to talk to a man who holds your life in the plam of his hands,” Hannibal grinned, “you know I’ve often wondered what was meant by that saying, but I guess BA does literally hold your life in his hands.”
Raul gasped for air as BA loosened his grip from his throat. “Get the picture Raul?” Hannibal said, enjoyign every moment of it. He tapped BA on his shoulder, letting him know that he could let Raul go.
BA dragged Raul to his feet, while he continued to cough and splutter. “I do not know what you want.” He said defending himself.
“Come now Raul, I heard you talking with your boss &., you told him that we had left on the flight for Lima. Where is Sanchez holding our friends?” Hannibal questioned, grasping Raul’s jaw in his gloved hand.
“I don’t know what you are talking about, Senor!” Raul spat, twisting his head free form Hannibal’s clutches.
“BA, our friend here says he doesn’t know what we are talking about. Would you care to enlighten him and jog his memory?”
“Sure Hannibal.” BA grinned, raising his balled fist ready to strike the nervous man in his face.
As BA’s hand neared Raul’s face, Raul quickly changed his tune. “All right, all right &, I’ll tell you &., please don’t kill me.”
Pulling his punch BA brought his thumb and index finger together and pinched Raul on his nose. “Okay start spilling.” BA glowered as Raul rubbed his pinched nose.
At the end of the confession Hannibal and BA had learnt that Face and Murdock had been taken away to Iquitos. Going into the terminal he chartered a private aircraft to Iquitos. Within thirty minutes they were in the air.
Sanchez sat at his large desk, raising his head when Alarico walked in. “Good I am pleased you are here. I want you to send six of your best men to Lima and wait for Senor Smith’s arrival. Raul has confirmed that he and Baracus were on their way to Peru.”
“Si Senor.” Alarico obediently replied. Saluting his leader he turned on his heel and left the room.
Feeling delight at the news and eminent arrival of his enemy, Sanchez allowed himself to savour the moment. The taste of revenge filling his senses. While enjoying the prized moment, he saw Catalina walking across the courtyard.
“CATALINA! Inside now!” Sanchez called from his balcony window. At that moment, Catalina turned and heeded her step-father’s request.
Anticipating her entrances into the foyer, Sanchez met her at the door. “I think it is time we talked.”
“You cannot hold me here like one of your prisoners. I only came back as you were ill, now that you have recovered it is time for me to return to the hospital where I can help people in real need. Not to remain here at your whim.” Catalina remonstrated.
“As you wish &but not yet. I still need your help.” Sanchez said with an underlying tone of vehemence.
At the end of the one sided discussion, Catalina agreed that she would help with the well being of the injured lieutenant.
“I will attend to him but I despise what you are doing, what happened was a long time ago. Why can t you just let it rest and get on with your life.” Catalina argued.
She was rewarded with a resounding slap to her left cheek for her outburst, but felt it was worth it. She knew if she could rile him enough he would be forced to rest a while, giving her enough time to put her own plan for liberation of the two American prisoners that she was becoming fond on, one in particular.
Part seven by Fingers
Murdock sat glumly on the floor of the cell. The only furniture in the room being the bunk that Face lay so silently on. Murdock had checked him a few minutes ago and he still looked out cold. Murdock looked at the light filtering in through the small, high window and gauged that it was getting towards sundown. His stomach grumbled and he wondered if they would be getting any food again today. The area around the cell had been quiet all afternoon apart from the sound of some guard movements just after Sanchez had been in the cell. He rested his head against the cold wall and stroked the head of Billy. “Well Billy what are we going to do, hey boy? Even our pretty doctor has deserted us.” As he expected Billy didn’t give him an answer but Murdock felt comforted by his presence. He idly wondered what Hannibal and BA were doing, hopefully they had realised that they were missing by now.
The lone guard on duty outside the cell looked in on the cell and observed El Loco, as they had named him stroking the air. He smiled, the other guards were right; this was an easy assignment.
Sanchez jumped in anticipation when the phone rang. He smiled; he hoped it was Alarico telling him that he had Smith and Baracus under guard and would be back by morning.
“Sir, its Alarico.”
“We’re at the airport, sir, there are no planes scheduled from the USA today. I’ve checked the private charters there are none.”
Sanchez snapped the pen he was holding in half. This was not what he expected to hear. He calmed down before he spoke to Alarico; it was not his fault. “Get back here as quick as you can.” He slammed down the receiver before Alarico had time to confirm the order. It didn’t matter he knew it would be obeyed. He decided it was time to pay another call on his ‘guests.’ He would enjoy the sight of Catalina patching up someone who they both knew was going to die soon and also he could observe her with that crazy pilot. He called for a guard to fetch Catalina.
Murdock was roused from his thoughts by the sound of mutterings coming from the bunk. He moved over and lay a hand on Face’s forehead to calm him. “Sssh there, I’m here Face. I’m here, Sssh there.”
Murdock smiled as Face slowly opened his eyes. “Murdock?” Murdock nodded, Face seemed a bit more focused, “They hurt you too?”
Murdock smiled comfortingly at the confused man. “No, Face they didn’t.”
“But Murdock if the guards find you here they’ll punish you. You shouldn’t be here.” Face grabbed hold of Murdock’s shirt, “Shit! I hurt Murdock.”
Murdock wondered where Face thought he was. He hedged his bets, “I know you do. You’ll be alright soon though.”
The grip on his shirt didn’t lessen, “Murdock, I didn’t tell them anything.”
“I know you didn’t Face. I know you didn’t.” A slow grip of fear began to twist in Murdock’s guts. He fought it down. His mind flickered back to when they were in the holding cell, those words Face had muttered when he was attempting to check him over. He hoped Face wasn’t trapped there, oh god he hoped not. He smiled at his younger brother, he asked the question, he had to know the answer to. “Face where are we?”
Those blue eyes turned to him as though he was mad, a faint frown crossed the bruised face, “Are you trying to cheer me up Howlin’? Its not working, don’t you remember? We got caught.” Face paused as he coughed; Murdock didn’t like the rattly sounds coming from his chest. “We got caught when Hannibal was trying one of his famous half pincer movements. Don’t you remember the walk? My feet are still sore from that.” More coughing came; Murdock sat him up, holding onto his chest gently. Face whispered hoarsely, “Don’t you remember they came and got me from the cage, put me in here with the rest of the decrepits?”
Murdock groaned as his mind flashed back to the time that Face had been removed from their cage and transferred to the hospital block as the toll of decreasing recovery time between interrogation sessions had slowly worked its effect on Face’s health. They had been separated for a long time, probably a month, before he was brought back to the cage.
Murdock wondered what to do. They were prisoners of a homicidal maniac. Hannibal and BA were nowhere on the scene yet, and Face thought he was back in Vietnam. He stiffened as he heard the tramp of boots down the corridor. ‘Great timing Sanchez.’
He felt Face tugging on him, “You’d better go you’ll get caught.”
Murdock quickly thought of a cover story. He didn’t want Face causing a problem with Sanchez. “Hey, I’m a trustee. I’m working here now, I help out. They won’t throw me out or hurt me.” Even as he said those words he saw the open expression close up. The trustees in the camp were not men to be trusted. He felt Face edge away from him. He had to accept that for now until Face was less confused.
He turned gratefully to the door when it was opened.
Hannibal and BA stepped down from the plane. BA was unsteady on his feet, as he had to take a light sedative halfway through the flight as his flying fears overtook him. Hannibal laughed to himself as the pilot took one look at the airfield and pulled the door up. He knew the pilot had fuelled up well on their last stop so that he could just turn round and take off straight away. Hannibal could see the lights of Iquitos in the near distance and sighed, he hoped there was a lodging house that would have a spare bed or two for the night. He sighed with relief, as there was a cab outside what passed for the terminal building. He knew that the information that they were here would get back to Sanchez sooner or later so he decided to risk taking the cab.
Sanchez smiled as he entered the cell. “Ah what a touching scene. Catalina.”
Catalina emerged from behind her father, “Yes father?” She tried not to look at Murdock. She hoped that he would understand that this was the only way she could help them for the present.
“Make sure the pretty one doesn’t die, yet.”
Murdock heard Face start to mutter under his breath, he gulped as he recognised the words. They were insults that they always uttered in English, as the ordinary VC guards understood little English. However, that wasn’t the case here. He spoke loudly so that Sanchez wouldn’t hear them. “Sanchez, why not kill us now, why waste all this time?”
Sanchez came nearer, “Because I want your leader to kneel before me and beg for your lives, I might grant them or I might not.” Murdock and he stared at each other for a minute and then Sanchez wheeled round and left the cell, leaving Catalina and two guards behind.
Face continued muttering under his breath; the faint noise broke the silence that existed in the cell. Murdock wondered; he had been so sure of Catalina but now… To ease his worry he turned round and tried to calm Face. He knew that the hospital staff in the camp had been almost, if not, as brutal as the main camp guards. “Sssh Temp. Sssh there, it’ll be all right. I’ve got a doctor for you, she’ll help.”
Murdock fought to restrain the tears as Face spat in his face, “Traitor. Does Hannibal know?” Murdock looked on as Face tried to curl up on the bunk, shaking with fright. Face’s voice changed. He pleaded with Murdock, “Murdock, Murdock how could you? You work here, you know she’s the worst, she enjoys pain, please not her again.”
Catalina came up to Murdock. She laid an arm on his to gain his attention. The guards bristled but didn’t do anything; El Loco was harmless after all. “Please Murdock, what is he talking about?”
Murdock struggled to look at Catalina. ‘How could he have been so stupid?’ “We were prisoners in Vietnam. Face was hurt like this then. He, he was taken to the Hospital area for a month. When he came back he never told us what had happened there, it, it took him a while to be back to normal.” Murdock paused, “Just before you came in, I realised he must be having a flashback or something and he was worried about me being there so I told him that I was a trustee working there.” He bent his head down to the floor; he didn’t need to explain the rest.
Catalina asked, “Do you know if they used any drugs on him before he was brought here?”
Murdock nodded, “Face mentioned it. He was questioned about where Hannibal was.” ‘ Come to think of it where was Hannibal?’
Catalina nodded and sighed, “The drug they probably used works by unlocking the memory unfortunately if the subject has memories locked down they might just be unlocked as well. They may well have overdosed him.” She paused for a few seconds and then looked deep into Murdock’s eyes. “I must examine him more extensively this time. His chest, breathing doesn’t sound too good and we must splint that hand before permanent damage is done.” She paused again. Murdock breathed deeply in; he knew what she was going to say. “If he won’t be co-operative and I cannot risk giving him any sedation, even any strong analgesia with his chest. I will have to….”
Murdock nodded and placed a hand on her arm. They both leaned in to the mini-embrace for a few brief precious seconds. Catalina took a deep breath in and spoke over her shoulder to the guards in the strange dialect. One of the guards nodded and left the cell returning a minute or so later. Murdock stood with his forehead resting against the wall as Face was restrained. He was raised from his thoughts a few minutes later by Catalina saying, “Murdock I need your help, please.”
Thirty minutes later Catalina, stood up, and stretched. She looked at the silent man pretending to doze on the bunk. She crossed to the other man in the cell; she disregarded the guards they had become so much part of her life. “Murdock.” She shook the man to get his attention. She almost cried when she saw the unshed tears welling up in his eyes. She embraced him; she didn’t care if it got back to her father. “I’ve done what I can for tonight, I’ve given him some antibiotics for his chest, that should see him through for another 24 hours. I’ll go down to Iquitos tomorrow to get some more. Father might allow me this time. I think it is best if he is left like he is for the time being, he might re-injure himself if he tries to move.”
Murdock wiped his face suddenly aware of the tears tracing their way down his face. “I’m hungry, any chance for any food?”
Catalina nodded. She reached up to his face and caught one of the tears on the end of a finger. “He’ll be alright, once the drug has worked its way through his system, your old friend should return.” In a louder voice she said, “I’ll send some soup for your friend and something for you.” She switched to whispering again, “Make sure you both have plenty of fluids. I’ll tell father it’s to make sure you’re alive. When I get back from Iquitos, be ready to move. Do you understand?” She smiled inwardly when Murdock’s eyes widened and blinked to indicate understanding.
The cab driver looked at the departing backs of the two Americans. He smiled as he realised where he had seen them before. It was when he was just a small child and Sanchez had been terrorising their village. But there had been four of them then. He then remembered the rumors that had been flying around Iquitos about Sanchez and a blood feud and some prisoners. He wondered what to do. He made a decision. He got out of his cab.
BA had recovered during the short cab drive from the airport and he was the first to hear the eager footsteps behind him. He decided he didn’t want to be mugged at this time of night and whirled round. He grabbed their would be assailant by the neck and forced him against the side of a parked car. “Sucka what do you want?”
Hannibal joined his side and drew his gun from his shoulder holster. “Yeah punk, want a piece of this.”
The cab driver, Jose, shook his head in fear. He looked at the two men and desperately tried to remember their names. He spread his hands to illustrate his helplessness, “Ahhhhh I just want to help please.” He panted for breath. He continued, “Senor Smeeth and BA. Your names, I remember now.”
BA continued his pressure, harder if anything. “Who wants to know sucka?”
Jose choked out; “You helped my village against Sanchez the first time. There’s been rumors for two days now that he has two prisoners.” Jose paused as he felt BA’s hands lessening.
Hannibal smiled and then got out a cigar. He put it in his mouth. He looked around him; “Shall we take this somewhere a little more private?” Jose nodded and they got into his cab and drove off into the night.
Alarico woke from his drunken stupor and wondered if he had been dreaming. He had heard Sanchez and prisoners certainly. Somehow the names Smith and BA had cropped up too. He shook his head, probably just his guilty conscience about coming into Iquitos to visit with his lady friend rather than going back to face his angry employer. He quickly fell asleep again.
Part Eight By Terri Spencer
The voices that spoke nearby, Face knew. They were the voices of the female inquisitor and his ex-friend, Mudock. The pain of Murdock’s betrayal hurt even more then the recent tortures that Face had been subjugated to. It was a pain so deep in Faces soul that he knew that it could never really go away.
And now, they were conspiring to take him away from here! Face knew that if they did so, he’d never go home again. They would bury him in an unmarked grave, to rest for all eternity under foreign soil. And Face was damned if he was going to let them do that!
Face shifted his body, and couldn’t help but moan at the pain. That traitor Murdock put his hands on Face s shoulders. “NO!” He snarled, and bit Murdock’s right hand. Murdock yelled with pain, and cradled his injured
hand. Face was happy to see that the hand was bleeding. “Don’t touch me again, traitor.”
“Face, please understand…”
“Oh, I understand, you bastard. I understand that you betrayed not only me. But you betrayed your friends, your unit, and worst of all, your country. How many people have died because of your betrayals? Ten? Twenty?
A-hundred? One thousand? How many has it been? Or have you lost count?”
“It’s not like that.” Murdock seemed to plead.
“Oh yes it is. You’re a trustee. You admitted it. That makes you no better then Anderson. No, you’re worse. Because you betrayed your friends.”
Face struggled to sit up.
Despite his bitten hand, Murdock moved to help him. Face moved away, and fell to the floor, having the wind knocked out of him. Face fought to regain his breath. He had to hang on until Hannibal and BA came! Then he would report to Hannibal that Murdock was, in fact, a spy. Face doubted that Murdock would last long against an enraged Hannibal Smith or BA Baracus. But first, Face was going to repay Murdock for all that he, Face, had endured.
“Your time is almost up, Murdock. Because as soon as Hannibal and BA arrive, I’m going to kill you. After I let them know what kind of friend you really are.”
“They already know what kind of friend I really am.”
Face stared at Murdock. Hannibal knew what kind of friend Murdock was?That meant that Hannibal Smith, a man that Face trusted above all others, was also a trustee. And so was BA!Face shook his head in denial. It couldn’t be true! Not his team! Not the men that Face had come to think of as a family! It just couldn’t be true!
But it was true. Murdock had admitted that he was a trustee, and that Hannibal and BA knew about it. And a feeling of abandonment and betrayal, worse then any that Face had ever felt before, burned through Faces body. But this time it wasn’t a foster family, or his country that had betrayed him. It was his team!
Face didn’t realize that all color had drained from his face, or that he had started to shake. He did notice that Murdock was bending over him, however. “C’mon, Face, let’s get you…” He got no further.
Born of an anger and hatred that he had never felt before, Face had found a nearby rock and smashed it into the side of Murdocks head. The pilot collapsed.
Face used what strength he had to stand on his feet. He thought about choking the traitor, but he didn’t know how much time he had before anyone came to check on them. Charlie had never been concerned about time before. And Face needed the little strength that he had to escape and to survive. And when he got back to base, he would see that justice was carried out towards the team. Not for himself. But for every loyal serviceman and woman who had died because of them.
Face heard a noise coming from the door. Someone was coming! He wanted to hide, but there was no-place! But they didn’t expect him to be on his feet. That, he could use to his advantage. Face laid down a few feet from the traitor, and closed his eyes. He would just play possum. And when whoever it was checked on Murdock, he’d strike!
The lock turned, and the door slowly opened. He heard footsteps come closer. And then a voice. “Murdock, I brought some soup. C’mon, get up.”
Nothing, the person didn’t come closer. Face kept his eyes closed, using his sense of hearing. After a moment, the voice again. “Murdock?” The tray was put down. The footsteps came closer.
‘Just another few seconds, Face,’ Face thought. He sensed rather then saw the person kneeling between the Traitor and himself. Opening his eyes slightly, he saw someone was indeed bending over Murdock. ‘Now!’ he thought.
He grabbed the figure from behind, covering their mouth so that they couldn’t cry out for help. With a savage twist, he broke the neck. He felt a little satisfaction and feeling the bones snap. “I wish I could kill you for every man that has died. But I’ll have to be content with once. But at least, you are now rotting in Hell.” Face searched the body, and found the keys. He unlocked the door, and slipped out of his prison.
Murdock came to slowly, his head feeling like it was exploding. The only time that he had felt pain this bad in his head was during Charles “shock treatments” while at the POW camp. He wondered if he had a concussion.”Face?” he asked. He wasn’t sure that Face would even answer him. After all, to Face he was a traitor, and Face wouldn’t bother answering a traitor. He would sooner die.
But Murdock didn’t hear anything. Not a movement, not a snarl. Nothing. Murdock slowly opened his eyes, his eyes scanning the ceiling. ‘Well, at least I can still see,’ he thought. ‘Now, let’s see if I can move my head without getting sick or passing out.’ Murdock slowly turned his head to the left, then to the right to where Face was. “OH, MY GOD!” Murdock couldn’t help but yell as he sat up much faster then he should have. He fought back the nausea of what he was sure was a concussion, and turned the crumpled body over. He stared with horror into the brown, vacant, dead eyes. And lost his battle over his nausea.
It was Catalina.