Monster

Disclaimer: I do not own The A-Team movie or television series or any of the delightful characters found on The A-Team.

Chapter 1

Murdock peered over his shoulder before opening the rear passenger door of the van.

"Am I glad you guys came by t' pick me up!" he said, sounding more relieved than happy.

He gave the darkened hospital grounds a scrutinizing look, scanning the entire area, hesitating, tense. He balled up his hands into fists.

"I told you we'd be here to get you. Remember? You called yesterday and said you wanted to help . . . " Face gave up saying anything more. It was obvious his friend wasn't listening. Climbing out to let Murdock get in, he waited but the pilot didn't move.

"Get in, fool! I ain't gonna wait all night for you! Miss Alicia's waitin' for us ta help her put up Halloween stuff at the center. It's gotta be up before tomorrow." B. A. growled from the driver's seat, shooting a frustrated glare his way.

Touching his friend lightly on the shoulder, Face was surprised when Murdock flinched under his hand.

"Whoa! Why so jumpy, buddy?" he asked with genuine concern as the pilot finally scrambled into the van.

"Jus' . . . jus' th' night, I guess . . . think we're in for a lightnin' storm . . . jus' th' right conditions for . . . for . . . " Murdock sighed heavily, seeing all three sets of eyes worriedly analyzing his nervousness.

"For what, Captain?" Hannibal settled in his seat, still looking back at the other man.

"Nothin' . . . nothin', I guess . . . didn' mean anythin' . . . " He sighed again. Then, in a sudden burst of agonized energy, he blurted, "Did you guys ever think ya saw someone that looked like someone ya never wanted t' meet 'n' that someone was someone ya saw all th' time on th' TV when you were growin' up 'n' ya always were tol' that person was jus' an actor in makeup but somehow ya knew . . . ya jus' knew . . . it was poss'ble that person th' person was playin' had t' exist somewhere . . . " He paused to catch his breath and steal a glance at Hannibal.

The Colonel was frowning at a freshly lit cigar. "Go on."

Murdock noticed B. A.'s scowl reflected in the rearview mirror and fidgeted under the annoyed glare.

"Man, you talkin' nonsense again!" he grumbled.

For several seconds no one spoke as the black man gave Murdock one more angry look and started the engine. He maneuvered the van into the evening traffic, light at this time of night.

The con man finally spoke, breaking the awkward silence. "Let me get this straight. You thought you saw someone that looks like a character from the movies you were scared of when you were a kid." Face said it slowly as if trying to get the words exactly right.

The pilot nodded furiously, gulping as he did.

Hannibal, still looking at his cigar, asked, "Is this person one of the patients or a staff member?" Murdock saw the tiny twitch of amusement in the corner of the Colonel's mouth as he said it.

He doesn' think I'm serious, the pilot thought.

"New orderly. Guess I could o' been wrong. I mean . . . he jus' looks like . . . I don' know . . . " Murdock let his voice fade and set to picking at his thumb nail, avoiding the concerned look passed between Face and their leader.

"You just gettin' all worked up 'cause it's almost Halloween. Las' year ya thought vampires was drainin' your blood at night . . . an' the year before . . . " B. A. stopped when Hannibal shook his head slightly.

"Who do you think this new orderly looks like?" Face smiled at his friend.

For a moment the pilot analyzed the expressions on each of his team mates' faces. None of them looked like they thought his fear was anything more than another delusion that they had to indulge.

Finally, Murdock shook his head and looked down at the floor. "I'm jus' a li'l jittery this time o' year . . . okay? Don' mean anythin' . . . th' guy ain' done anythin' for me t' think he's who I thought he was . . . let's jus' drop it . . . okay?"

If he is who I think he is, I gotta get more proof. 'N' that won' be easy.

Forcing himself to calm down, he gave his team mates a halfhearted smile. "So what's Miss Alicia got in min' for dec'rations?" He was relieved when the conversation turned to that subject. He would deal with the new orderly himself.