Rating: PG-13 (WIP)
Warnings: None. Action - maybe a little swearing
I waited patiently at the arranged meeting place for the others. A diner. Out of the way. Perfect, no cops.
Patiently is perhaps the wrong word.
I was as anxious as hell.
Perhaps the reason for my current anxiety was due to the fact that Face was late. Only by a few minutes. But he was late.
And Face knows how much I generally worry.
So for him to be late means he has hit a problem somewhere.
It could be one of many reasons. Face could have run into problems springing Murdock from the VA. It happens. Face is the most recognised man in the VA. His scams are legendary, and have cost a few doctors jobs. You wouldn't believe the amount of shit he feeds them regularly. One of these days .... it will go wrong. Count on it. Or BA could have been harder to find than Face anticipated. He could have been using every resource available to track him down.
I ordered another cup of coffee.
Then I waited some more.
I wandered casually into the Veteran's Administration, and walked over to the nurse. Big boned female, with exceptionally large breasts. Hmmm, made me wonder if I should scam her into Maxim for a photoshoot.
By the expression on her face, I don't think she would appreciate that.
Trying to keep my eyes from her breasts, I informed her I was a reformed patient from Boston checking up on one of my old friends.
Luckily for me, she had never witnessed any of my previous scam's.
"HM Murdock has been moved to another hospital" The nurse informed me dryly.
"Really?" I asked, concerned "Why is that?"
The nurse sighed. "I'm not sure. Transferral papers came through. It was all legal".
How many times had I myself used fake papers? It was no relief hearing this. Murdock had been in the same room in the same ward for the past eight years. For him to be transferred, well, that meant trouble.
Thanking the nurse I headed out to BA who was waiting for me in the van. He glanced at me with a scowl when he saw I was empty handed, without Murdock, and gestured for me to get in beside him.
"Get in foo'. We're late".
The foo' had done it again.
Don't he know how much he makes me panic? Damn crazy foo'.
Tell you this, when I next see the man, I aint gonna be gentle.
Face was ridin' beside me lookin' like he just had a bad night out, and I'm feelin' the familiar creeps settle in. No jazz, just a sick feeling in yer gut.
Hope he is okay.
Gonna kill him if he is and he aint told us where he's been moved to.
Pullin' into the diner where Hannibal's waitin', I saw him chewing a cigar and pouring over a dirty magazine. He looked relieved when he saw us, but that soon turned to worry when he saw Murdock weren't with us.
Goin' inside, I sat down opposite the man and scowled. Scowlin' helps me pass the time and maintains a bad-ass front when I'm feelin' sick inside.
"Anything?" Hannibal asked.
"Murdock isn't at the VA. He's been transferred" Face said. He's much more literate and to the point than I am. Just one big angry mudsucka. I miss that crazy foo' .....
"He'll turn up" Hannibal said confidently. Hate it when Hannibal says things like this. Never turns out the way he says. "Either that or he'll contact us. Little else we can do until either one happens".
Growlin', I knew he was right and it sucked. Wanted to burst right there and then. Murdock better be okay. Or else.
I was drugged and pulled into a waiting car before the nurses even had a chance to blink. Some weird guy was telling the big girl some trash about transferral.
Hell, I knew I wasn't being transferred.
Worst of all, I knew why.
All happened a few days ago when I was talking to a new psychiatrist called Dr. Bramley. Bramley was a military doctor, and had access to some pretty freaky stuff I wasnt aware of at the time.
Pity I hadn't kept my big beak out of things. Wouldn't have been drugged and taken away by some guys who looked like they were dressed in duvet covers.
All because of four letters. I.O.D.E.
Bramley had gone to take a phone call yesterday during one of our sessions. That was when I spied the paperwork on his desk in a file marked with four letters only.
Anyone who's ex-CIA can tell you that stands for a specific thing. I knew when I opened that file I was in trouble. List of names. Telephone numbers.
Bramley was working for a fanatical group of terrorists. Why he spent his spare time at the VA, I'll never know.
Anyway, I was just looking through the file and memorising what I could, when Bramley came back into the room. He froze with horror when he saw what I was reading.
Then he ordered me to be taken back to my room and sedated.
Screaming, I tried to warn 'em, but would they listen? No.
Finally, on my own, I reached out for the phone and asked Hannibal to break me out of the VA when I was coherant. Hannibal arranged for Face to collect me, but he was too late.
They got to me first.
I didn't know if I would be allowed live another day with the information I had.
It was unlike Murdock not to call.
I let myself into the VA and made my way to his room. No-one was really taking much notice as I stealthily made my way along the corridor.
Finally, in his room, I began a search.
If Murdock was in trouble, he would find a way to let me know.
Then I saw it.
Mirror signal. Memories.
I ran the hot water taps and watched a single word emerge.
That didn't make sense.
Maybe it was because one of the letters wasn't right. The lettering was faded anyway, as if Murdock had been drunk when fingering them on his mirror.
However, I jotted down the word in my small notebook, with a large question mark. Murdock was definately fearing the worst. He hadn't used the mirror signal for a while. The only other time was when he was being chased by some soldiers of fortune.
Then I headed back to the others, waiting patiently in the van.
"Well ...?" BA asked as soon as I was settled.
"He used the mirror signal" I confirmed, passing the notebook to Face.
Face looked puzzled. "Iode? Are you sure its spelt right?"
"I think so" I said uncertainly. Truth was, that very thought had passed my mind too.
"I'll look it up. See what I can find out on computer. Remember, Murdock is ex-CIA, so it could be a code word for something or someone". Face said.
"Someone or a group" I amended "Might be more than one person".
Face nodded. "I'll get this word to Amy, see what comes up on her side".
"BA and I will drop in on our old friends" I smiled towards BA who growled at me.
"He's on the jazz" BA fumed.
"Old friends?" Face queried.
"The CIA of course" I grinned. "They are gonna know the most, and we can get in to access their computer systems".
"How do you think you are going to get in there?" Face scoffed. "Its not exactly like walking through the front door. They'll spot you as a member of the A-Team in seconds!"
"Just the way you walk through the door that makes the difference" I sniffed. "Let's go, BA. We'll meet Face later on ...."
Amy was a little disturbed when I relayed what had happened so far.
She reacted instantly. Typing the word into her little computer system.
"What are you searching on?" I asked.
"The world wide web. If we get nothing on here, I'll try hacking into the CIA's files".
"You can do that?" I asked, surprised.
"Sort of. I have a few friends on the inside who help me get passwords".
Nothing came up on the internet, so Amy hacked into the CIA files.
"There is nothing under IODE" Amy confirmed.
"Try searching under criminal, fugitives, outlaw".
Amy punched the words into her small screen and watched the results appear before her with a slight smirk. "Guess who's top of the list ...."
"Anything else on there but us?" I sighed.
"Not under this. But maybe we are looking in the wrong place"
"Yes, might be that this topic is a little tame. How about we try murderer, terrorist, traitor".
I nodded my consent.
A small selection of the world's most deadliest criminals was brought up.
"It could be anyone" I sighed. "We've thwarted so many of them. They all know Murdock. It could be a revenge kidnapping".
"I don't think so ...." Amy said softly, tapping the monitor impatiently.
"Read this ..."
I read the small file. "Its just information on domestic enemies. As I said, it could be anyone".
"Information on Domestic Enemies" Amy mused "Could that be what IODE stands for?"
I jumped a little as she said that. Somehow, the pieces could fall easily into place with this theory. However, it was only a theory and IODE could stand for any number of phrases. However, that exact phrase was in the CIA files, and I knew they abbreviated a lot of their common phrases. Maybe Amy was onto something with her theory.
"I'd better report back to Hannibal" I said softly. "Tell him what we've found out".
(Information on Domestic Enemies - IODE)