Disclaimer: I don't own the A-Team, unfortunately.
Hello! So, guys, this is my first "Five Times" formatted story! However, it's not exactly set up like one. See, I know that most of them use five completely unrelated scenes, but this story has five scenes that correspond to the same mission. The scenes won't pick up exactly where they left off, but they'll be linear and all involve the same subject matter. Anyway, I really hope you guys like it. Special thanks to my friend CaptainOzone, here on FF, for beta-ing this for me. :)
Chapter 1: Inverted Tactics
The sunlight glinted off the windows of the dark building at just the right angle to momentarily blind the Captain. He swallowed, trying to suppress his anxiety as he curled his slender fingers in his pocket. Narrowing his eyes, he adjusted the square-framed glasses on his nose, trying to ignore the headache throbbing in beat with his pulse from the prescription lenses.
With every step, the small private building on the corner drew closer. Only a handful of people milled about on the sidewalk; only one other person was garbed in a business suit akin to his own, and he was walking towards the suburban brick structure just a few yards in front of him.
"Keep this pace. You don't want to look too eager, Murdock."
Hannibal's voice was croaky and distant through the small communicator tucked into his ear, but the Captain heard him and clenched his jaw, trying not to appear nervous. "'Eager' isn't the word I'd use, Colonel," he muttered back.
The pilot cleared his throat, thinking back on all the information they had. No, eager definitely wasn't a word he'd use. It had taken them two days to find Gregory and another eight hours to find out his involvement with the Russian drug smugglers. Of course, it was just Murdock's luck to find out that Gregory was meant to be their pilot across two states. Naturally, that singled him out to take the Russian's place.
He'd gone undercover before. Dozens of times, actually. He should be used to this; he shouldn't be this nervous, but then again, he'd never gone undercover for a drug-smuggling mud-sucker who was known for putting bullets in people's heads at point blank. The guy they were going up against was far worse than all the mobsters they'd went up against before, combined, and Murdock was expected to infiltrate his operation and report back.
"Just stay cool, kid. We'll keep close."
Murdock sighed and bobbed his head before crossing the street. Childish laughter floated down the street, and the pilot resisted the urge to glance in their direction. He had to stay focused.
The man in front of him had reached the door by now, and Murdock slowed his pace just a tab bit, pretending to be captivated by a blue jay he spotted in a tree next to the building as he strolled. The guard at the door stuck his hand out, stopping him, and the men's soft voices drifted down the sidewalk, indistinguishable and obscure.
A few seconds later, the pinstriped suit disappeared through the doorway, and almost immediately, Murdock hear the Colonel's voice in his ear again.
"The codeword is foxbane, Murdock. Got it?"
The pilot continued walking at his normal pace, pretending not to hear the voice whispering in his ear. He tucked his chin in, looking at the passing cracks in the sidewalk. "Got it, Hannibal. Foxbane's the key to Wonderland, and I'm nearly at the rabbit hole."
In his mind's eye, the Captain saw Hannibal smirking and shaking his head with amusement, Faceman glancing down with humor-filled irises, and B.A rolling his eyes, grunting something about him being a fool.
The Colonel's smile was evident in his answering voice. "Talk to me when you're inside, Captain. Lay low."
"Over and out," he replied, using the deep British accent he'd picked up when he saw James Bond in "Never Say Never Again" at the VA. He'd watched it three times, but he'd mastered Sean Connery's deep timbre within the first few minutes.
He glanced at the bulky man at the door, licking his lips as his fingers flexed in his pocket. His other hand swung casually at his side, but he bent his elbow as he climbed the set of stairs leading to the door. Murdock said nothing, keeping his features strict and plain, waiting for the guard to make his move.
A thick arm swung out in front of him, garbed in a black suit. Murdock paused, taking in the man's childish face and bald head. The Russian's fingers trailed down the right hem of his suit, and he pulled it back just enough for the Captain to see the textured handle of a black gun, strapped to his side by a leather holster.
Murdock did his best not to smile grimly and fixated a bored expression on his face, frowning.
"Password?" the man said bluntly.
The pilot rolled his eyes, putting on the cocky and arrogant countenance Gregory had displayed. He prepared his best Russian accent and mumbled, "Foxbane."
A rush of fear ran through him when the Russian didn't immediately respond, but when he finally let his arm fall, allowing him access, Murdock inwardly sighed with relief. He pushed the door open, and almost immediately, a wave of cold air hit him from a blasting air conditioning unit. It took a few seconds for his eyes to adjust to the darker room, but he analyzed each of the eight men around him regardless. Each of them were Russian, varying in size and strength, and the pilot was sure that each of them were packing guns. There were about a dozen tan folding chairs set up in front of a black chalkboard on the right side of the room. On the left, there was a short table of snacks and drinks in front of a curtain-veiled window. The pilot casually strolled to the table, dipping his head as he spoke.
The real alarm hit him when the Colonel didn't respond even after several moments of silence. He was supposed to stay in contact at all times. If Hannibal wasn't answering, it meant that either he and the team were in trouble, or the Russians had somehow blocked communications. Neither option was favorable, and the pilot's eyes darted around the room nervously.
"Hannibal," he hissed.
"А вы кто?" (1)
The pilot whipped around, swallowing nervously as his able mind translated the Russian words. His fluency in Russian was another reason he'd been singled out for going undercover. Faceman knew a broken sentence here and there since he'd dated a Russian model once, but he was far from fluent.
"Ivan Gregory," he answered, trying to keep the anxiety from his eyes. "И сами?" (2)
"Richard Vinchof. You are pilot, yes?"
Murdock cocked his eyebrow at the man's broken English and adjusted his glasses. "Yes."
What disturbed him, though, was the sly smile that pulled at Vinchof's thin lips after he'd answered. "Good. Syd, Leif, держать его." (3)
The pilot took a few steps backward, his eyes widening, before two strong men grabbed with of his arms, holding him in place. The blond on his left scowled at him, and the dark-haired man on his right sneered with disgust.
"What's going on here?" he asked frantically, thrashing in the men's hold.
Vinchof grinned, eyes glinting menacingly as he pulled out a syringe filled with blue liquid. "It is not nice to lie to people, sir. I had worked with Ivan Gregory before, and you are not him. The only question is, who are you?"
"I'm-I'm just some guy... I heard you needed a pilot and..."
Flicking the needle, the Russian forcefully flipped his arm over; another man came over and rolled up his sleeve. The rest of the group looked on with varying degrees of amusement and spite. "Does not matter anyway. You won't remember this happening, after all."
Vinchof's hold on his wrist tightened, and Murdock's breaths came in ragged gasps of air as he struggled, panic rushing through him. He was most definitely not in Wonderland, and there was no way to contact the guys to let them know he was in trouble. He tried anyway.
There was a slight prick as the needle pierced his flesh, and cold rushed through his body as the liquid, whatever it was, pulsed through his bloodstream.
In seconds his body grew tired and limp; Murdock felt himself falling heavily into the Russians' strong arms before they lowered him to the ground. His mind grew foggy, and his head throbbed as his vision flashed with spots of white. The world spun and blurred, and Murdock's fingers curled into a loose fist at his side as he desperately fought whatever was coursing through him.
He tried to sit up, feeling numbness overwhelm his being as the room pulsed between light and dark colors, sometimes bleeding into each other before snapping back with perfect clarity. Murdock barely felt his back crash back onto the floor.
"I don't think we'll be seeing each other again," Vinchof muttered above him, carefully pulling out a bulky object from beneath his jacket.
Terror, strong and hot, flashed through him like a heatwave as the object took form. It was a gun. Again, he tried to sit up, and again, he didn't feel himself fall back down. His senses were weakening, and it took a painstaking amount of effort to even stay conscious.
But even that became too difficult.
His body stopped trembling as he was pulled down, finally sucomming to the darkness that awaited him as his eyelids slid shut, finally breaking his fearful stare at the object held tightly in the Russian's hand. His head fell to the side as he exhaled heavily.
The last thing Murdock heard was a muffled gunshot.
Russian: Translated by Google
(1) And who are you?
(2) And yourself?
(3) Hold him.
Well, I hope you guys liked it! I'll probably upload the next chapter in a week or so, so stay tuned. ;) Drop a review if you have the time-I always love getting feedback from readers. Thank you all for reading! Talk to you soon. :)