Disclaimer: I do not own, nor did I create, any of the A-team characters (main or support) nor do I own, nor did I create, any of the episodes. That credit is due to Stephen J. Cannell and his associates. Any familiar catch phrases or settings also belong to the Cannell team.
Additional specific characters belonging to Cannell et al: Season 1 episode 1 "Mexican Slay Ride" -Father Magill Season 4 Episode 5 "The Road to Hope" - Jack Daniels aka Hannibal Smith
Spoiler Alert: References characters, locations, plot, and revelations from Season 1 Episode 9 "Holiday in the Hills".
Author's Notes: A prequel to "Holiday in the Hills" - as challenged by my son.
Summary: How the A-team accepted the mission to find and retrieve the Church's building fund money.
Priests, Planes, and Passports : by LAGC
1: Meeting the Bishop
A man cautiously approached the sprawling stone staircase leading up to an aging yet still grand carved door. He scanned the street and parked vehicles several times before quickly slipping into St. Mary's Church. Once inside Face removed his sunglasses and hood. He went to the empty pew nearest the Confessional and sat waiting. About ten minutes passed then a young woman, probably in her early twenties, emerged from the booth. She walked to the prayer candles, lit one, and knelt.
Face stood up then replaced her in the Confessional. He blessed himself with the Sign of the Cross and said, "Bless me Father for I have sinned. It's been about a month since my last confession."
"Go on my son. What do you need to confess?" Father Magill encouraged with his kind voice.
Face proceeded to unburden his conscience and soul. Once he completed his confession Fr. Magill offered the prayers of absolution and assigned Face his penance.
Then surprisingly the elderly priest said, "Templeton, my boy, please come to the rectory tonight. I have a friend whom I feel is in need of you and your friends help."
Face was startled but quickly recovered and anxiously asked, "Are you in danger Father?"
"No, no, Son. Do not worry. But my friend does need help. Can you come?"
"Of course Father. I will be there at 7:30. I will try to not be alone."
"Bless you, my child. Go in peace now."
Face left the confessional and bee-lined it back to his latest apartment. Once there he called Hannibal and relayed Father Magill's request.
"Ok, Face, I will meet you there at 7:30. I'll let BA and Murdock know about the meeting but only the two of us will attend."
"Hannibal, Father... " Face began to defend his priest.
"Face, I know that Father M would never deliberately burn you or us but he is a sweet gentle guy who could be suckered. I just want to protect our options ok?"
"Yeah I suppose you're right, Colonel."
When 7:30 arrived Face made his way to the rectory using his sneaky shortcut through the back alley. He had discovered it as a teenager while trying to slip out of the orphanage past curfew. He entered using the back door, which the priest always kept unlocked. (Despite years of Face, the nuns, and the police warning him not to.) Face made his way to the office on the second floor, he knew that was where he'd find Father.
Upon entering the room Face saw Father M sitting in his worn overstuffed armchair. Opposite him was Jack Daniels (aka Hannibal Smith in his wino disguise.) and another man, in fact another priest.
"Well about time you showed up, Lieutenant" teased Hannibal. Face simply gave him a sarcastic smirk and sat down on the rolling desk chair which he pulled up next to Father M.
"Ok, Father, please tell me what's going on?" Face said looking earnestly at his beloved benefactor.
"Ah yes, Templeton. Please allow me to introduce Bishop Perez from Guatemala."
Face and Hannibal exchanged hand shakes with the clergyman as Father M continued the introductions, "Lt. Templeton Peck and Colonel John Smith."
"Thank you for coming so quickly." said Bishop Perez.
"Well, we consider Fr. Magill family. And when family says they need us we come running." declared Hannibal.
"David, you tell the story, poor favor. You can tell it faster." pleaded Bishop Perez.
"As you men know, Guatemala is a tumultuous place right now. Bishop Perez's diocese has been overrun by guerillas. This troupe has driven out all clergy and stolen all the collected funds. That money was intended to repair two churches and the diocese orphanage. Now it will be used to fund the violence of the guerillas."
"And you'd like the A-team to go down there and retrieve your collection money. Right Bishop Perez?" Hannibal concluded.
"Si, yes. If it is possible. I do not want to see money, sacrificed by good people, squandered on bloodshed."
"Well what do you think, Lieutenant?"
"Shouldn't be too difficult, Colonel. A standard infiltration and recovery mission." Face said nodding at his commander.
'"Murdock and BA agreed to accept our assessment and decision about this case. So, Bishop Perez, looks like you've just hired the A-team."
"But we have not discussed payment?" replied the Bishop anxiously.
Face gave Hannibal a barely noticeable shrug which Hannibal returned, "Tell you what, we will discuss payment after the job is complete. Ok?"
"Bless you men. Vaya con Dios. Go with God's protection."
"We certainly hope so, Bishop." Face responded.
Handshakes were exchanged and both soldiers exited the way they had entered. The plan was that everyone would meet up at Face's place the next morning.