Hannibal climbed the stairs and walked into the room he used on occasion as a crash pad above Mr. Lee's laundry when the heat was on and Colonel Decker was chasing them. He was too tired to head to his own apartment because it had been a long three sleepless days on a stakeout mission and he'd been working nonstop on his latest monster film role before that, so he was absolutely exhausted. He and the team just put another drug dealer out of business and he was looking forward to a well-earned long and relaxing weekend and a vacation with Dr. Maggie Sullivan at her house in Bad Rock after getting a couple of hours of sleep so he could drive to her house without passing out from exhaustion.
Hannibal just picked up the phone to call her to let her when to expect him when he heard the creak of the wooden floorboards behind him, but before he could turn around to investigate the noise, he was hit hard across the back of his head, so lights went out and he crumpled to the ground.
The next thing Hannibal knew he waking up with one hell of a headache inside an all white hospital room. He blinked his eyes and shook his head a few times trying to get his eyes to focus properly. He looked over at the window and saw the early morning sunlight streaming through the blinds, but when he tried to move his arms and legs he found them strapped down and attached to the bedrails. He lay there confused and wondering why in the world he was strapped down, where he was and what exactly had happened to him. He glanced over to his right side and saw his beloved Maggie Sullivan asleep in the chair beside his hospital bed with her head nestled in the crook of her arm on the bed right next to his shoulder.
Hannibal glanced down at his right wrist and saw it locked in a padded cuff attached to the bed rail, so he couldn't move it to get himself out of the bed and noticed the IV line attached to his wrist and followed the line all the way up to the bag hanging on the stand beside his bed.
Hannibal shook his head again trying to clear his mind and vision because his eyes were still refusing to focus properly and the images around him were fuzzy like a camera just a bit out of focus and to go along with his vision he didn't understand why he felt so strange because his mind was foggy and slow and so were his reactions. Why he was strapped down to the bed and why was Maggie here with him he thought? Hannibal tried to find his voice, but his mouth was so dry it felt like it was stuffed with cotton and after swallowing a couple of times Hannibal finally managed to speak and croaked out with barely a whisper. "Maggie?"
When he did not get a response from her, so he tried again to wake her because he needed to know what was going on and why he was in a hospital strapped to a bed. "Maggie?" Hannibal whispered as he shook his hand in the cuff near her head, causing it to rattle against the medal of the rail.
The sound of the rattling metal brought Maggie slowly out of her slumber, so she blinked a few time to wake up completely and looked over to the head of the bed to see Hannibal's brilliant blue eyes open and watching her every move and her first reaction was to reach for his wrist strapped to the bed and take his pulse.
"Hi ya, Maggie. Is that all you doctors ever think about to do as the first thing when I wake up, take my pulse. What're you doing here and what am I doing here?" Hannibal managed to croak out because his mouth was still so dry and his throat was very sore. "Is there any water around here?"
"Sure, Hannibal and yes it's always the first thing to make sure you're stable, big guy." She replied as she poured a glass of water and held the straw in the glass up to his lips with one hand and supporting his head with the other and after he finished drinking the water Hannibal leaned back on the pillow and looked at her. "Maggie, what's going on? Where am I? Why am I here in the hospital strapped down to this bed? What are you doing here for crying out loud?"
Maggie really didn't know what to say to him, she watched him while stroking the back of his hand near the IV line because he seemed to be very confused. "Hannibal, why didn't you tell me you were having problems? Why didn't you tell me that you were having nightmares again? Why did you try to kill yourself? I would have listened and met you wherever you needed me to, you know that."
Hannibal looked at her wondering what in the hell she was talking about. "Huh. Maggie honey, what ARE you talking about? What in the world gives you the idea that I tried to commit suicide and kill myself?
"Hannibal, the police found you in a sleazy cheap motel room. They received an anonymous phone call about a suicidal Vietnam veteran and when they found you were already unconscious and barely breathing. Your stomach was full of prescription sleeping pills and the empty bottle with your name of it was sitting on a table beside the bed. The hospital staff pumped your stomach once you arrived at the hospital, but you'd already absorbed a lot of the potent drug into your system and you stopped breathing several times and they had to put a tube down your throat for two days to help you breath and keep you alive." Maggie told him.
"That's why my throat is so sore." Hannibal asked.
"That's right. They found a suicide note in your motel room and it stated you couldn't live with the memories and flashbacks of the men dying in Vietnam under your command anymore because of your orders and also your stay in the POW camp to go along with your current problems with the Army and your guilt about getting the team into all of this trouble." Maggie said, tears streaming down her face. "Hannibal, You know I would've listened to you. I was there in Vietnam and you helped me with my problems with the war, so why won't you let me in and help you with yours. That's why you are strapped down, so you can't try again since you didn't pull it off the first time. They're not going to let you go until you face your problems."
Hannibal snorted, "Face my problems. I'm a wanted man and a fugitive, Maggie. At least I used to be before I wound up here. I tried and asked for help once at Ft. Bragg and it was thrown right back in my face and I was toll I was faking to get out of the trial. How am I supposed to face my problems?" Hannibal looked up at her at the tears and naked anguish on her face and ceased being so flippant about the entire situation. He wanted to hug her, kiss her, dry her tears and comfort her to let her know that everything was going to be all right, but he couldn't move and get out of the bed because of the dammed restraints.
"Maggie, honey." Hannibal whispered. "Please believe me when I tell you, I didn't try to kill myself. I don't have nor have I ever had a prescription for sleeping pills. I have no idea how this happened." Hannibal looked at her, trying to convince her with his eyes when a though occurred to him. "Does the team know I'm here and why?"
"Yeah, Hannibal they know. They called me when they saw it on the news and they identified the veteran as you. They are as upset as I am about this and kicking themselves because they didn't see it coming, probably even more so since you mean so much to them. You're a father, friend and mentor to all three of them." Maggie stated.
"See what coming? Maggie, I didn't try to kill myself. I really didn't. I won't tell you that I haven't had any flashbacks from 'Nam lately because I have and they've been painful ones. I can't tell you why I'm having them, because I don't really even know myself. It could've been the mission we just returned from recently in the jungles of South America. I haven't had a real bad one in several years. It usually takes some current event to trip one, so maybe the new ones were caused by the jungle setting and the stress I'm under all the time. The nightmares just started back up again and that's the only reason I can come up with. You told me yourself my blood pressure's been slowly rising and I can't keep surviving on the adrenaline rush for the rest of my life to keep the dreams at bay. My appetite's been off lately and I haven't wanted eat much, just like I was at Ft. Bragg and right afterwards, so I've been losing weight and I know you've noticed since you mentioned it the last time I was at the house. But I can tell you with certainty I didn't try to kill myself and I'm by no means suicidal. I haven't even had any thoughts in that direction since I was locked up at Bragg with no way out, so can you take these stupid restraints off now?" Hannibal told her.
Maggie wasn't entirely convinced because she knew Hannibal was a really good actor and could hide his pain from most people as she stood there and looked him in the eyes. "No Hannibal, I'm not convinced as to your sincerity, so I can't. Not yet."
Hannibal knew she was really distraught by this whole ordeal by the sound of her voice, so she had to really believe he tried to commit suicide, so he tried to calm her as best he could with only the sound of his voice. "Maggie honey, I'm okay. Really, I am. I thought you knew me better than that. You know suicide would never be an option with me if I'm in my right mind. I'm a survivor and you know I don't know how to give up."
"Hannibal, how can I really be sure? They call it survivor's guilt, honey. You put yourself in harms way all the time and I know you'd step in front of a bullet to save someone else and some physiatrists would call that a death wish because your subconscious is trying get yourself killed to end your pain so you don't have to do it yourself and the others won't feel guilty about not being able to stop you. So, when that didn't work after the years of trying, your mind finally decided to take yourself out permanently to end your pain. You could be trying to convince me to turn you loose so you can take off and try again in secret. You know you just admitted to me you've been having nightmares again and the guys noticed you haven't been sleeping much and you've been short tempered, a bit foul mouthed which isn't like you and going off and snapping at them like you did at Ft. Bragg and you just admitted to me you were suicidal then." Maggie explained to him.
"I know that Maggie and I regret cursing at them and biting their heads off and yes I was like that at Ft. Bragg, but I had to get them to stop arguing with each other, especially BA and Murdock because all three of them refused to listen to me. But I still have to convince you I'm telling the truth. The last thing I remember before everything went black was going upstairs at Mr. Lee's to check on a couple of things and take a short nap so I wouldn't fall asleep driving to your house. I just picked up the phone to call you and let you know when to expect me when I heard the floor creak behind me, but before I could turn around I got hit on the back of the head and the lights went out and he next thing I know I was waking up here in a hospital bed." Hannibal told Maggie.
Maggie looked at him and wanted to convince herself he was telling her the truth because Hannibal had never lied to her in the past and he really hadn't tried to commit suicide, but he was a good actor and could hide his pain, both physically and mentally really well when he put his stubborn mind to it. "You were hit on the back of the head, Hannibal?" She asked.
"Yeah. I have one hell of a headache and there's a place on the back of my head that's really sore. I noticed it when you gave me the drink of water."
Maggie got up from the chair, helped Hannibal lift his heavy head and started probing the back of it with her fingers and hit the sore spot and saw the blood encrusted cut, Hannibal noticeably winced.
"Hannibal, you have a knot on the back of your head the size of an egg and a bruise and bloody cut to go along with it. I wonder how the doctors here missed that because the only way you could've got such an egg on the back of your head was to be hit with something. They told me they found you on the bed in the motel room, not the floor like you could've fallen out of the bed after you took the pills and had a convulsion."
"Maggie, now are you convinced? I didn't try to kill myself, but someone obviously tried to kill me and failed, so it's a safe bet they'll try again. If it was on the news I survived, they'll know where to find me and that makes me a sitting duck unable to defend myself strapped to this bed. Let's get out of here, Maggie and sort this mess out somewhere else. Whoever it is could also be after the team and since they're worried about me and might not be paying attention to what's going on around them and be sitting ducks themselves." Hannibal stated.
Maggie was already convinced after finding the goose egg on his head and taking the straps off his wrists, so he'd at the very least partially convinced her. "So, what now Hannibal? You've already been through one hell of an ordeal and I bet you can't even stand up right now. You stopped breathing several times and almost died, remember."
"Yeah, so you told me. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it, Maggie." Hannibal said looking at her. "Can you take this IV out so I'm not tied to this pole?"
Maggie nodded and removed the cannula and placed a Band-Aid on the small puncture wound to stop the bleeding because he needed it out to get out of the hospital, but she was concerned because he was still weak and tired from the medication forced down his throat and he had a concussion on top of everything else and he needed to get some rest.
Hannibal looked at Maggie with a question. "You said it was on the news, so the Army knows I'm here."
"Yeah, Hannibal they do. You were wearing your dog tags, don't you remember? I've even commented about you still wearing them since you take them off when we go to bed, so the hospital called the Army about you to get your medical records when you arrived in the emergency room. Colonel Decker left a guard here on duty to make sure you stayed put." Maggie said as she went to the door and peeked out, "but he's not here right now. He probably went to the bathroom or something since you're strapped down to the bed. The doctors told Colonel Decker you wouldn't be released into his custody until you completely recovered from the drugs in your system, they did a complete psychiatric workup on you and you talked to a doctor about what's bothering you. It's standard procedure after a suicide attempt, Hannibal." Maggie told him.
"Yeah, I remember I was wearing my dog tags, Maggie. Well, we aren't going to be here long enough for standard procedure to happen." Hannibal said, his blue eyes flashing with the JAZZ because he had a plan to get out of the hospital. "Maggie, place those straps on my wrists loosely and when the guard comes back to his post just have him come in here and get his attention on you and by the bed. I'll take care of the rest."
"Are you sure, Hannibal? You are still pretty weak from everything. You almost died." Maggie asked.
"So you keep telling me. Don't worry, Maggie because I know what I'm doing." Hannibal stated.
"Okay. I'm not so sure about that, but I haven't got a better plan." Maggie said as she walked over to the door and listened for a minute. "He's back."
"Good Maggie, just go for it and get his attention away from me." Hannibal said as he closed his eyes, trying to draw on what little reserve of strength he had left for the task at hand and hoped he'd have a hell of an adrenaline boost to help with subduing the guard.
Maggie eyed him for a minute because she was concerned. She knew he was weak and had no real reserve of strength to draw on after nearly dying and the drugs still in his system, but they had little choice. Hannibal had to escape the hospital before someone tried to kill him again and that reason was enough for him to try because he was a sitting duck if he stayed in the hospital, unable to protect himself because he immobilized and strapped to the bed. She returned to Hannibal's bedside and called out. "Guard, could you come in here for a minute?"
The guard rushed in immediately because he thought Hannibal Smith might be trying to escape or had become violent after waking up about being strapped down or might have been making an attempt to kill himself again. Once the guard entered the room the scene inside was one of tranquility and Hannibal Smith appeared to be asleep. "What can I do for you, doctor?" He asked while facing towards Maggie with his back to Hannibal.
Before Maggie could answer, Hannibal was on him with his right arm around his neck in a full nelson chokehold. The guard struggled violently, but somehow Hannibal managed to hang on until the guard ultimately passed out and Hannibal wasn't too far from passing out himself as the struggle between the two men had taken out the reserve he still had and he was breathing heavily. He started to get out of the bed to help Maggie take off the man's uniform, but Maggie held up her hand to stop him.
"Hannibal, stay there in the bed and save your strength. I can do this; get your breathing under control first. Maggie told him.
"Alright Maggie, you're the doc." Hannibal gasped while taking deep breaths to slow down and control his ragged breathing, but he was smiling while sitting on the edge of the bed and watching Maggie struggle to remove the man uniform.
When she had the man undressed, Maggie helped Hannibal put on the uniform while he sat on the bed and she put Hannibal's pajamas on the young soldier. Hannibal was still sitting on the bed, lacing up the combat boots and he looked down at Maggie as she finished. "Need some help getting him into the bed, don't ya Maggie?"
"Yeah, I do. Why don't you try standing up, Hannibal?" Maggie said as she took a position beside him to catch him if he started to fall. Hannibal pushed himself off the bed into a standing position and swayed as his knees just about buckled underneath him as Maggie put her arm under his shoulders and across his back to steady him until he regained his balance and after a minute Hannibal stopped swaying and looked over at Maggie. "Thanks Maggie, I'll be all right, now I think. Why don't you get his feet and I'll get his shoulders," after a minute of struggling with the limp form they maneuvered him onto the bed and under the blankets so no one could see his face. By the end of the task Hannibal was breathing heavily again, sweating profusely and his face was flushed from the exertion. Maggie was concerned at how weak he appeared, knowing he should really be in bed and asleep. "Hannibal, do you feel okay?"
"Maggie, no not really, but I'll feel better once we're out of here and safe." Hannibal said, wiping his face with a towel with one hand and steadying himself against the bed with the other. When he got his breathing under control, he took a peek out the door and seeing no one around he walked out of the door, striding with a purpose down the hall with Maggie close on his heels.
When they entered the elevator at the end of the hall and the doors closed, Hannibal leaned against the wall for support and Maggie could tell that he was spent and totally exhausted and went to his side. "Hang in there, Hannibal. We'll get out of here in just a few minutes."
Hannibal looked over at him and smiled weakly. "Just a little ways more to go to the parking lot, Maggie."
When the doors of the elevator opened Hannibal straightened up as best he could, the picture of an almost perfect soldier and walked towards the front door of the hospital with Maggie beside him and after exiting the hospital he turned to Maggie. "Where's the Jimmy?"
Maggie pointed in the direction of the parking lot. "This way, Hannibal."
When they were far enough into the parking lot to cover their actions, Maggie put her hand around Hannibal's waist and to the casual observer it appeared to be a normal scene, a soldier and his wife leaving the hospital. Maggie was afraid Hannibal might not make it to the car and wanted to be close to him in case he collapsed in the parking lot to catch him before he smashed his head into the pavement. After five minutes of walking they finally reached the Jimmy at the far end of the parking lot. Hannibal was sweating profusely and breathing heavily, but he managed croak out and grinning all the while, "Do you think you parked far enough away, Maggie. I was beginning to think you parked this thing in the next county."
Maggie unlocked the passenger side door. "Just get in knuckhead, the lot was full when I got here" she stated as she unlocked the door for him and opened it. Hannibal grabbed the handle inside the Jimmy and wearily pulled himself inside and after getting settled in his seat and closing the door, he closed his eyes to rest for a minute. Maggie climbed in the drivers' side and upon seeing his eyes closed she quickly got concerned he might have passed out. "Hannibal?"
Hannibal opened his eyes quickly and looked at her. "Anything wrong, Maggie?"
"No, I was just worried about you. Your eyes were closed and I thought you might have passed out." Maggie stated.
"No, just resting them for a moment. Okay, don't ya think we'd better get out of here before they discover that 'Elvis has left the building," Hannibal stated.
"Yeah. I do." Maggie said as she started the car and pulled out of the parking lot into traffic. When she got to the stoplight, she looked over at him. He's totally exhausted, she thought, taking note of the dark shadows under his eyes. "Hannibal, where to? This is your stomping ground, not mine."
"Good question, Maggie. Good question. Whoever it was knew about Mr. Lee's." Hannibal said, thinking for a minute. "So we can't go there, to my apartment or head to Bad Rock because whoever it is might know about you since you were at the hospital with me, so it won't be safe for you either." Hannibal looked around to see where they were and after taking note of their location and thinking for a minute he gave Maggie directions to a warehouse near the port they used occasionally to lie low when the heat was on. The team hadn't been there in several months, so Hannibal thought it might be the safest place to go and get everyone together for a council of war and Maggie was surprised he managed to come up with a plan as tired as he was.
After arriving at the warehouse, Hannibal pulled out the pistol he'd taken off the guard and slowly scouted the area around the building to make sure no one had set any surprises for him or the team. Once he was satisfied it was safe to enter the building, he opened the large garage door with his code, so Maggie could drive the Jimmy inside and keep it hidden from anyone who might be looking for them. Even though they were safe inside the building, Hannibal still couldn't rest because he had to wait until the rest of the team arrived before he could even consider closing his eyes and going to sleep.
"Maggie, call this number at the VA and tell Murdock we have a Red Ball One and go to the alternative meeting site. I'd call, but someone might be listening and my voice would be a sure tip-off to whoever might have his phone tapped. He'll know what to do and tell the other two to come here." Hannibal said, handing Maggie a slip of paper with a phone number on it.
"Okay, Hannibal. Don't you think you ought to get some rest now? You've been though a lot. You almost died, remember." Maggie said with her concern written all over her face. She really didn't know what was keeping him awake and up on his feet at this point, other than stubbornness, pure orneriness, sheer willpower and his absolute sense of focus on the task in front of him.
"Not yet, Maggie. I will once the guys get here, but not before. I need to make sure no one sneaks up on us. Okay?"
"Okay for now Hannibal. But once they get here and we get this all sorted out, you need to get some sleep. Doctor's orders and you will even if I have to get BA to sit on you while I sedate you, understand."
"Yeah Maggie. I understand and I will, I promise but only after the team gets here."
Maggie nodded and went to the phone to make the call. Hannibal's only being careful, she thought to herself. His life and maybe her own might be at stake and Hannibal wasn't about to take any chances with her around. He already been through one attempt on his life and survived, abet only barely. But as physician she knew it was only a matter of time before he passed out from sheer exhaustion. Hannibal sat with Maggie at the small kitchen table in the office of the warehouse, pistol on the table in front of him and his ears listening for anything out of the ordinary outside the building.
An hour later, they heard a car horn honk three times outside of the large garage door. Maggie went to the wall and hit the button to open the door while Hannibal took up a position next to the door, just in case it wasn't the team but someone more sinister. When the familiar black and gray van drove in, Hannibal relaxed and breathed a sigh of relief because he didn't know if he could have stayed awake and on his feet much longer. He put the pistol in his waistband as Maggie came around to his side and put her arm around his waist. She knew he was tired and could see it in his eyes, face and mannerisms because his reactions were slow and he was slouching, even though he could not see it. Together they went to meet the guys as they climbed out of the van.
Murdock jumped out of Hannibal's normal seat in front as Face climbed out of the side door of the van as BA came around the front of the van to join them. All three men Hannibal up and down with concern in their eyes because they were still under the mistaken impression Hannibal tried to commit suicide and they noticed Hannibal had a pistol stuck in the front of the waistband of his pants. Hannibal read their expressions like a book, but before he could say anything Murdock spoke up. "Hey Hannibal, why didn't you tell us something was bothering you? We would've listened. I could've had Dr. Richter meet you someplace so you two could talk about it."
Hannibal held up his right hand to bring the conversation to a halt or Murdock would never stop talking. "Murdock and the rest of you open your ears and listen to me, I didn't try to commit suicide. I though you guys knew me better than that. It's the other way around, someone tried to kill me."
The three men looked at Maggie for conformation about what Hannibal was just said and she nodded to them as she held Hannibal close to her. She'd come close to losing him and it bothered her greatly. "Guys, he's got a knot on the back of his head the size of a goose egg and a cut and bruise to match to go with a possible concussion. Someone hit him with something long and hard and since there's nothing about taking sleeping pills other than falling off the bed, but they found him the bed that would cause a bruise or a concussion, so I have to agree someone tried to kill him. You guys should've seen him strapped down in the hospital bed, trying to convince me. The look on his face as he was trying to convince me to take off the restraints let him get up was classic. He was giving me the best I'm as innocent as a choirboy look and the largest puppy dog eyes I ever seen from him."
Hannibal glanced at her and snickered tiredly, then smiled at the guys. "I told you so. Now we have a council of war and find out what's going on."
Maggie interjected her opinion into the conversation before Hannibal could go on and pointed at the others. "You guys are going to find out what's going on. Hannibal's going to get some sleep before he collapses from exhaustion and after he gets 8-12 hours of good sleep, then he can go out, but not before and no exceptions." Maggie stood there looking at all of the guys, hands on her hips. She wasn't going to budge on this. "And, I'll stay here and make sure it happens."
Hannibal looked at her knowing she was serious and he was so tired he had to agree with her. "OK, Maggie." Hannibal said as he walked over to the table and sat down. Maggie and the guys came over and joined him. "Face, you and BA go over to Mr. Lees' and see what you can find. Then check some of our sources and see if they've heard about anyone looking for us. Murdock, you stay here and keep watch from the upper catwalk. You guys have your orders now and I guess I have mine." Hannibal said looking at Maggie standing beside him. "Keep in touch with Murdock every hour via the radios."
Murdock looked at Hannibal. "You know Hannibal since you're an escaped mental patient now the police are sure to have an APB out on you."
"Yeah I know, Murdock. Decker's going to be looking for me with a vengeance now since the hospital wouldn't release me to him. I'll deal with it." Hannibal stated bluntly.
"Hannibal, you're going to have that hanging around your neck on top of the deal with the military." Murdock stated.
"We'll take care of it when the time comes, Murdock. Don't worry about it. It'll work out. I got through it before because if we hadn't escaped from Bragg when we did years ago, I would've been the rubber room right along side of you under heavy medication instead of out here having all this fun with someone trying to rub me out." Hannibal looked at BA and Face as they got up to leave. "You two be careful and watch your backs."
We will, Hannibal." Face replied. "You just do what Maggie tells you and get some sleep." BA and Face climbed in the van as Murdock went to the wall to let them out.
Once the van was gone, Maggie pulled on Hannibal's sleeve. "Now, Colonel Smith. It's time for you to get some sleep and Murdock and I can watch things." Maggie said, leading Hannibal over to a cot in the corner of the room and pointed at the cot. "Are you going to lay down or do I have to sedate you like I promised I would?" She said, hands on her hips and jaw set and she meant business.
Hannibal knew there was no arguing with her at this stage of the game and sat down on the cot, removed his shirt so he was only wearing a t-shirt and laid down on the cot, then looked up at her and yawned. She was right and he knew it. "Okay, Maggie." He said as he closed his eyes and it wasn't long before the steady rhythm of his breathing and soft snores told Maggie he was sound asleep. Before moving quietly away she brushed a lock of silver hair out of his eyes and gave him a light kiss on the forehead. "Sweet dreams, Hannibal." She whispered.
Five hours later, Face and BA returned to the warehouse in the late evening and the sun was setting. Face got out of the van with large paper bag containing food in one hand and a small green duffle bag slung over the other shoulder.
"I brought some sandwiches and some clothes for Hannibal. I thought he might want to change out of the Army uniform. How is he?" Face asked.
"He's still asleep, Face." Maggie said. "Don't wake him up to change his clothing because can change later. Let him sleep as long as he wants to because he needs it."
"Find anything, Face?" Murdock asked.
"Yeah, we did Murdock. We went to Mr. Lee's and found there was some kind of struggle near the stairs because there were scuffmarks on the floor where Hannibal was dragged down the stairs after they knocked him out." Face replied, setting the duffle bag on the floor and the food on the table.
"Did you find what they hit him with?"
"Probably this, Murdock." Face said, as he returned to the van and pulled a 26-inch black hickory police baton from the front seat. "I don't think its Hannibal's, but we found it upstairs at Mr. Lee's next to the stairs. So, no doubt about someone's going after Hannibal."
"Ouch." Murdock replied, rubbing the back of his head in sympathy for Hannibal and the goose egg sized knot on the back of his head. "Find anything else?"
"Only this." Face stated pulling a newspaper article from his pocket. "It was laying on the table and it's not from a local newspaper here in LA. It's about someone who died in a car accident in North Dakota last week and I don't think Hannibal saved it. We'll have to ask him about it when he wakes up. We can go over all this with Hannibal later, so if there are no more questions at the moment, I'm hungry so let's eat. Then we can set up a rotating watch schedule for the three of us because Hannibal's not going to be taking part in the watch."
After they finished eating, they decided to take four-hour watches with Face taking first watch, then BA and finally Murdock.