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..
Spoiler Alert: References characters, locations, plot, and revelations from Season 3 Episode 10: "Sheriffs of Rivertown."
Author's Notes: This is piece is based on a statement Face utters about bats: "Boy, oh boy, I sure hope There aren't any bats in here."
Special Thanks to Miss Eclipse for being my gracious sounding board and offering me guidance and suggestions to help me get this piece written. Without her sincere ideas this would still be trapped in my writer's blocked brain
Summary: Everyone has fears, entrenched fears. When those fears belong to a survivor like Face, well you know something wretched embedded them.
BETTER NOT BE ANY BATS: By LAGC
Lt. Peck was alone, all alone. His team was gone.
The mission had gone straight to Hell. The VC had attacked their campsite. In the ensuing madness, Hannibal and BA had been captured and he'd lost track of Murdock.
Lt. Peck felt an old familiar terror creeping up his spine. He was alone. His people had been taken from him. A voice from deep inside his subconscious told him that he needed to hide. That he must hide and be silent. Then his conscience mind roared against that command. No he had to rescue his people. He had to find his people so he wouldn't be alone.
Thankfully his military training was embedded. It allowed him to silence that eerily familiar voice thereby curbing his rising panic. That enabled him to function.
"OK priority one evade capture. Then find and rescue my team. I've got to stay with my unit," the young GI thought to himself. He looked around to assess his options. Hearing the enemy approaching from his left, Peck went toward his right. Carefully his picked his way across the jungle floor and discovered a small dark cave.
"Ok, seems to be a decent hide out. Maybe Charlie will get tired of looking for me then I can find Murdock and go rescue the Colonel and Baracus." Peck reasoned with himself as he stealthily entered the cave.
The entombing blackness of the cavern did nothing to sooth the young soldier. The darkness, the fear, the sense of loss- all seemed too familiar to him yet he couldn't explain why. He just wanted to stay hidden until daylight, then maybe he'd be able to solve his problems.
The noise of a nearby struggle dragged the GI from his frenzied thoughts and veiled memories.
Angry dangerous VC voices were yelling. Commands were being delivered. Then Peck heard a voice he had prayed not to hear, at least not like this. It was Capt. Murdock contemptuously stating his name and rank to his captors. Murdock then yelled, in Vietnamese, a common insult at the commanding enemy officer. The sound of Murdock being slapped and then beaten assaulted Peck's ears and psyche. This was all too terrifyingly familiar. Some long forgotten memory, deep in the recesses of his mind, was attempting to break free. Peck's self control was crumbling, he was quickly loosing his mud here.
But Peck was a good soldier, a well trained soldier. He let that training take over trusting it to keep him alive. This autopilot mentality enabled him to stay hidden in his cave trying to plan a rescue and escape for his team. He shifted his position to peer out from his hiding spot. Peck watched a new level of horror unfold.
By now simply beating Murdock lost its appeal to the VC commander. He decided to torture the Captain more maniacally. The VC leader ordered his men to tie Murdock up between two trees, and let him dangle there like wet laundry on a clothesline. Smith and Baracus were on their knees under heavy guard a few feet away. The commander then started shooting at Murdock, grazing the bullets near his head and defenseless body.
The gunshots rang out through the night. The noise was deafening and amplified by the echoes in the cave. This cacophony startled the colony of bats residing in Peck's hideout. They all, seemingly at once, took to the air. Frantically flapping wings propelled the frightened animals into the night. The space was so thick with their furry bodies that Peck was pelted repeatedly by the mammals. Being overrun by the bats overwhelmed the exhausted lieutenant. A long repressed voice in his mind screamed, "Run! Run boy, run!"
And that is what he did, blindly, out of the concealment of the cave. The influx of the bats had distracted the VC from Murdock. Some chuckled about waking the flying foxes. But one keen eyed grunt spotted Peck emerge from the cave and scramble away into to brush. That soldier immediately sounded the alarm and his unit broke into pursuit.
Murdock, despite his abuse, began to again scream insults in both languages. Hannibal ordered Murdock to be silent and received a barbaric blow to his ribs. His Captain ignored the order in a desperate attempti to distract the enemy. He was trying to buy Peck time to escape. When the insults didn't work Murdock quickly resorted to screaming out seemingly important Intel.
Alas it was all to no avail. The enemy made short work of ferreting out Peck. They worked him over just as they had Murdock then threw him at the Captain's feet. Between the beating, the exhaustion, and the emotional demolition Peck was beyond functioning. He couldn't respond in any way to his captors questions. He wasn't even defending himself against the new round of blows and kicks aimed at him. Finally bored, and spent of his vile rage, the VC commander ordered the end of the brutality and for Murdock to be cut down.
Hannibal was ordered to carry Murdock for the Pilot's brutalized limbs would not support him. For similar reasons, Baracus was then made to carry Peck. The group made its way back to the VC camp, the prison that would hold the A-team for many weeks to come.
As BA carried his Lieutenant he kept whispering,
"Hang in there, Buddy. You're not alone. We're all together. We're gonna be just fine."
It was those words that calmed the terrified boy running amok in Peck's mind.
It was those words that kept hope and determination alive in the heart of the soldier.
Peck managed to mumble, "I believe you, Sergeant."
To which BA replied, "Ok. then LT put on your brave Face."