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.
Dimitri Shastakovich and Ivan Pedavich are characters belonging to Stephen J Cannell and Associates.
Spoiler Alert: References characters and revelations from Season 4 Episode 14 "The A-team is Coming".
Author's Notes: A theory about how The A-team first met the KGB operative Dimitri Shastakovich alluded to in Season 4 Episode 14.
Summary: Executing a mission and meeting a Russian.
From Russia with Not Quite Love: by LAGC
Chapter One: The Mission
"Easy, Kid. Slow your breathing. In through the nose, slow exhale out the mouth." Hannibal ordered soothingly while gripping Face's shoulders and spinning his officer away from the horrors before their eyes. Hannibal could hear the usually stoic BA vomiting behind a tree a few feet away. The Colonel wished he too could give into his own repulsion but his burden of command required that he remain strong and stable for his men.
Face was beginning to regain his composure and was no longer charging into hyperventilation.
"That's it, Kid. You've got this." encouraged Hannibal.
"Oh my God, Hannibal! Why? How?" Face implored. "Just when I thought I'd seen every atrocity a man could inflict on another man this damn friggin war proves how wrong and naive I am!"
"Easy, Face. I won't lie to you, Lieutenant, there is no limit to the monsters that live in some men and those monsters thrive in war."
Despite his own wishes, Hannibal scanned the carnage that was the remains of the village. The target of their mission. A now empty pointless mission. Every structure burned to smoldering ashes. The wasted lives of the villagers on garishly stark display. Hannibal thought to himself. "The dead were strewn about like wind blown leaves. ... No that's too poetic. I've seen tiger kills that had shown more mercy and respect for the prey. That's what these villagers had been - Prey."
"Pedavich!" BA's hoarse growl drew Hannibal from his thoughts.
"I'd bet on that Sergeant." he replied.
"That butcher needs to be ended, Hannibal. Ended!"
"That is the objective BA, I promise you."
"Colonel. Maybe we should sweep for survivors? Perhaps our agent is still here...somewhere...with the Intel?" Face asked with a paradoxical mix of blind hope and disgusted despair in his tone.
Hannibal again looked across the decimated village. There was no way there were any survivors in it. And the Team had been on site long enough that anyone who had escaped into the jungle should have had the opportunity to seek their help.
"No, Lieutenant. That would be a futile exercise and misuse of time and energy. We need to set out for our rendezvous point with Murdock."
Even though each man had been sickened and scarred by what they'd discovered, their training and survival instinct kicked in so, after one last moment of silence, the three soldiers gathered their packs, equipment, and firearms. They set off through the jungle aiming for the coordinates pre established with their pilot. BA took point, Hannibal the rear guard. They knew they had a full day's trek as well as a jungle overnight ahead. Murdock wasn't set to fly into the pickup zone until 0700 the next day. Marching through enemy infested territory demanded their full mental focus and protected them from contemplating the carnage behind them.
About ten minutes into their hike BA signaled for a full stop. He had detected a Viet Con patrol shadowing them. After a stealthy recon by Face, they determined that the enemy patrol was not specifically searching for them but did seem set on the same course. The enemy unit numbered about fifty soldiers. There was perhaps one klick separating the two units. After learning all this Hannibal decided against direct confrontation in favor of complete avoidance.
"Ok guys. The odds are simply not in our favor. The risk is too high with little to nothing to be gained by engaging the enemy. BA hand me the map." Hannibal whispered.
All three of them scanned the map. There was another feasible route to the landing zone that was a bit longer. It would take them through a somewhat mountainous stretch - nothing they couldn't deal with. And it would probably add about two hours to their hike since it involved a minimal stretch of back tracking then a bit of cliff climbing. Hannibal decided the detour was a smart plan and issued the command to take this new path. Face took point this time but Hannibal remained as rear guard.
As they neared the village of the dead, it was Face's turn to call a full stop. Using hand signs the Lieutenant silently conveyed that he had spotted a lone unidentified unfriendly. The three men separated with the goal of surrounding this unfriendly and capturing him. The soldiers cautiously spread out through the elephant grass and gained their positions. Upon Hannibal's signal the three surged in and overpowered their target - a solitary Russian soldier. He quickly surrendered.
"My name is Dimitri Shastakovich. I offer myself as your prisoner." He declared in well schooled English.
"Were you part of the unit that slaughtered the village?" demanded Hannibal.
"Yes, my unit was there. I argued against our orders to destroy it and resisted participation." My commanding officer was enraged by my insubordination and ordered my comrades to arrest me. I escaped and fled. Now we four are here.' replied the Russian.
Hannibal, Face, and BA exchanged skeptical glances. Face shrugged.
"Who is your commanding officer?' demanded Hannibal
"Colonel Ivan Pedavich," answered their prisoner.
BA growled and spit. Face gave Hannibal an angry stare.
"'Well now Dimitri, looks like you have information that will make you a worthwhile prisoner" replied Hannibal slyly.
A simple nod told BA to search the Russian and relieve him of any weapons or tools he could use against them.
"Colonel Smith," Dimitri spoke while BA disarmed him, "My unit is surely searching for me. It would be advisable for us to retreat quickly.'
"Get this straight, The A-team doesn't retreat! We reassess our position and adjust it to our advantage" Hannibal explained. "Move out men. Back to our course. BA you're in charge of the prisoner. Face take the rear. I'll take point."
And so the A-team, with a Russian solder in their custody, set out to rendezvous with Murdock. They had thirty klicks to cover across this delta then the cliff sides - and only a few hours of daylight remaining.
Additional Author's Note:
Ok I realize that episode cannon states that the Team encountered Dimitri as they fled the Bank of Hanoi. I went a bit rogue here and decided to mesh my piece with the cannon information that Ivan Pedavich slaughtered a Vietnamese village. I simply felt this adjustment would lead to a tighter tale. The rest of this piece will coordinate with the events and characterization established in "The A-team Is Coming".
Supplemental Copyright disclaimer:
The title of this piece was inspired by the James Bond novel/film title: "From Russia with Love". The only connection and commonalities between said movie and this piece are the repeated words in the titles. James Bond etc belong to Ian Fleming and United Artist productions.