A Lifetime Supply of Cabbage Rolls
The Team is in southeast Asia, working to shut down General Chang's smuggling operation, but there is trouble brewing at home, particularly for Murdock's PI wife, Nancy. Sequel to Angels Shooting Fire, in which Nancy and Murdock meet, though this one has a lot more action and a lot less romance. It is helpful to read that first, but not absolutely necessary.
Please review this fanfic . . . and my previous one if you have time. Constructive criticisms encouraged!
Nope, don't own the A-Team, but I love 'em! I do, however, lay claim to Nancy Clay Murdock and her life and associates. They're all from my tiny little head, for good or bad.
Nancy woke up late on a Monday morning wishing that she didn't have to get up and go in to work. She had been feeling uncharacteristically tired lately, which she blamed on the weather. Snow was fine, but this sleet was for the birds. Spring should have sprung by now, and the cold weather was getting tiresome. She forced herself out of bed and went to the bathroom – maybe a shower would help get her moving.
As she entered the bathroom, she saw Murdock's robe, where it had been hanging untouched for the last six weeks. She missed him terribly, and that was only adding to her foul mood lately. The Team had been gone since the beginning of March. It was now mid-April and there was no word of when they were going to be home.
Nancy stepped into the shower and let the scalding water cascade down her body, rinsing some of her tension down the drain. It was coming up on their two year anniversary, and she was beginning to wonder if Murdock was going to be home to celebrate. She never slept well when he was gone, and the past few weeks had been getting progressively worse. Not only wasn't she sleeping, but she had absolutely no appetite.
She gave herself a mental shake, and began washing. She had less to be upset about than Amy. Amy was now entering her third trimester and had no husband at home to help. Nancy, Maggie, and Mama B had been trying to fill the void, but they couldn't take Face's place, no matter how hard the tried. Then two weeks previous, Amy had ended up at the hospital with some spotty bleeding, which had scared them all. Dr. Phillips had done a thorough exam, including ultrasound, and it appeared that everything was alright, but she put Amy on bed rest as a precaution. That made Face's absence even more difficult.
Nancy stepped out of the shower and dried off. She pulled her pants on, but they were too tight to button, so instead she looped a pony tail holder through the button hole and over the button. Then she pulled on a blue long-sleeved button down, and left the tails out. As she dried her hair and finished getting ready she remembered back to Christmas when Amy and Face had announced the pregnancy. There had been quite a celebration of the first A-Team baby. Face had passed around a box of Hannibal's favorite cigars, and they had broken out champaign.
Later, Nancy had overheard Maggie and Hannibal talking in the kitchen, both surprised that Amy and Face had been the first – they had figured it would be Nancy and Murdock. Nancy knew that Murdock was thinking the same thing.
Nancy smiled to herself as she walked downstairs. When she and Murdock had first been married he had always teased her about "practicing" so they could get it right when the time came. After a year, he'd begun raising the issue more seriously, asking when they were going to start their family. Nancy had told to Murdock that his long absences from home made her reluctant to start a family right now. After some discussion, they had both agreed to wait, at least for a while.
But to herself Nancy had to admit that this wasn't the only reason. She knew Murdock would make a great father, but she wasn't so sure about her own capabilities as a mother. She had been an only child, with no extended family, and had never spent much time around children, let alone babies. How was she going to know what to do?
Amy was the one who had finally changed her mind about starting a family. Amy had told her then that there was never a "good" time to start a family. When Nancy had tentatively raised her personal concerns about not knowing what to do with a baby, Amy had laughed and told her, "You can learn the mechanics of child-rearing from a book, the trick is having enough love in the home to get you through the tough times – somehow I don't think that you and Murdock have anything to worry about there!"
So this time Nancy had brought up the subject of starting a family, and Murdock had been elated. He told her that with the baby announcement, they had all been discussing the possibility of approaching the General about modifying their mission duty somehow. Hannibal was already working on a plan.
Nancy stopped at the door to the kitchen and sighed, once again she didn't feel very hungry. She decided to skip breakfast and head straight over to Amy's. Maggie and Mama B had been staying with her since she'd been put on bed rest, and Nancy had been doing all the running for them, so that they didn't have to go out on the icy roads. She wanted to see for herself how everyone was faring, and find out if they needed anything before heading in to town.
When Nancy arrived at Amy's, Maggie met her at the door, "We got a call from Hannibal last night. They weren't able to talk long, but it looks like they'll be home in just a couple of weeks," Maggie said as Nancy removed her coat and they walked into the kitchen, "That's the good news. . ."
"The bad news is that Face is ready to walk out," Maggie said shaking her head, "and Hannibal isn't sure he can stop him. He's frantic about Amy, even though Amy and I both assured him that she was doing fine." Maggie offered Nancy a cup of coffee, which Nancy refused with a shake of her head, getting herself a glass of orange juice instead.
"How is Amy feeling?" Nancy asked, turning from the refrigerator.
Maggie shrugged, "As well as can be expected. I've done several loads of baby clothes and set her to work organizing the baby's room. At least that keeps her busy, without having to be on her feet too much," Maggie chuckled, "but I have to watch her like a hawk, or before I know it she's rearranging furniture. Honestly, she just doesn't know when to take it easy."
Nancy smile and said, "Well, I'm going to go up and distract her for a few minutes, but I do have to get in to the office. I thought I'd pick up some meals to go from Charlie's for supper, I'll find out what the pregnant lady wants. If you get me a list of what you need, I'll pick things up on my way home tonight."
As Nancy passed through the living room, Mama B came out of the back room, where they had set up a make-shift bedroom for her while she was staying with Amy. Mama B was now wheelchair bound, but still full of energy. She looked at Nancy appraisingly, "You look all in, girl – aren't you getting' enough sleep?"
Nancy put on a bright smile for Mama B's, and Amy's, sake and said easily, "I'm fine, just haven't had my morning cup of java yet!" she stopped briefly and leaned down to give Mama B a kiss on the cheek, "I'll see you when I come back down – be thinking about what you want for dinner from Charlie's tonight, my treat." Then Nancy headed upstairs.
Mama B shook her head and turned to Maggie, who was standing in the kitchen doorway, "What we gonna do with those girls, Maggie," she asked ruefully, "They twice as stubborn as those men of theirs, and unwilling to stop and rest when they need it. You see the shadows under Nancy's eyes. The girl's not gettin' enough sleep – somethin' is wrong."
Maggie nodded in agreement, "Maybe tonight we can get her to talk about it. She's been pretty focused on Amy lately, just like the rest of us. I'm sure it's nothing to be too concerned about."
Work – a Distraction
Nancy arrived at the office around nine, and set to work on the paperwork that had been piling up on her desk. Riley came in about 15 minutes after she arrived, and they discussed the case load for the week and set assignments for the two operatives they had hired in the last year. With the operatives on staff, Nancy found herself working much less in the field, acting more in a consulting role on cases for the operatives and Riley.
Nancy found the arrangement stifling at times, and sometimes longed to be back in the field full time. But she had to admit that from the standpoint of preparing for a family, this working arrangement made much more sense. It also seemed to set Murdock's mind at ease – he still wasn't overly enamored of his wife's gun-toting profession.
At 12:15, there was a tentative knock on Nancy's office door, and she looked up from the diminishing pile of paperwork to see who would be coming in at lunch time. Blanche Walker pushed slowly into the office, "I'm sorry to bother you Nancy, I wasn't sure if I should come in or not, there weren't nobody in the outer office . . ." Blanche let the sentence trail off.
Nancy stood with a broad smile and motioned Blanche in to her office, "Come on in Blanche – Stephie only works half days on filing, so she won't be in 'til probably 1. Other than that, there's never anybody in the outer office."
Nancy took in Blanche's pale face, and tight lips, and her smile faded. She took the woman's elbow and sat her down in one of the worn overstuffed chairs in front of her desk, "Can I get you something to drink, water or coffee?"
"A glass of water would be much appreciated," Blanche said quietly, and Nancy quickly obliged with a coffee cup full of water from the cooler just outside her office. Then she moved around her desk and sat down.
"What's wrong, Blanche?" she asked simply.
"I hate to bother you with this . . ."
Nancy leaned forward, "Blanche you're a good friend, it is no bother," she said earnestly.
Blanche's eyes glistened with tears that were being held in check, and Nancy instinctively pushed the tissue box towards her, she knew a woman on the verge when she saw one. Blanche took a tissue and blew her nose before finally speaking, "Terra's gone, Nancy. She's been gone for two days, and I'm worried sick. I didn't know where else to go, who else to turn to . . ."
Nancy felt her heart constrict, Terra was Blanche's granddaughter, who had been living with her since she was just a baby. Nancy knew Terra was Blanche's world, and if anything happened to her, it would be devastating, "What do you mean 'gone?'" Nancy asked, "Did she run away, or did someone take her?" Child kidnappings were certainly nothing new, Nancy had worked several of those types of cases during the last few years.
Blanche looked at Nancy uncertainly, and didn't offer any more information right away. Nancy considered waiting, and letting Blanche continue on her own, but something was off here. If Terra was kidnapped, or even a runaway, as a minor, Blanche could certainly go to the authorities about the disappearance, "Have you talked to the police, Blanche?"
Blanche took a deep shuddering breath, "I can't talk to the police, I don't want them involved . . . you see Jasmine came home Thursday, and Terra left with her."
Understanding began to dawn in Nancy's mind. Jasmine was Blanche's daughter, Terra's mother, and she had problems. That was why Blanche had custody of Terra in the first place. But if Jasmine had taken Terra, that would explain why Blanche was reluctant to get the authorities involved. Chances were good that Jasmine was involved in something illegal, and may have somehow gotten Terra mixed up in it, intentionally or not.
"How long ago did Jasmine and Terra leave?"
"They left Friday afternoon, right after I left for work," Blanche said, her face beginning to crumple again, "I got home 'bout midnight Friday and found this note," Blanche handed over an envelope with a note scratched on the back:
"Ma, Terra and me are going somewhere safe. Don't worry."
It was signed "Jazz."
Nancy looked up from the note, "And you haven't heard anything from either of them since?" Blanche shook her head negative and Nancy sat back in her chair as the wheels in her head started turning.
"Blanche, I need to know everything you know about Jasmine – where she lives, where she hangs out, who she associates with – anything that might give me a lead on her, and Terra's whereabouts. I assume you've been to her apartment . . ."
Blanche nodded miserably, "I went there Saturday morning, and again yesterday, hoping they'd show up there, but they haven't. In fact, there's a very unpleasant man there. I just don't understand what's going on."
Nancy passed a pad of paper and a pen over to Blanche, "Start writing down anything you can think of about Jazz, what she likes to do, what kind of music she likes, what's her favorite color – everything, no matter how irrelevant it might seem. We've got to get a lead and the sooner the better," hopefully it's not already too late, Nancy thought to herself.
About an hour later, Blanche had only filled a couple pages with information about Jasmine, even with prompting. She was able to give Nancy a recent picture of Terra, along with an older picture of Jasmine, "Sorry, I don't have anything more recent," Blanche said regretfully.
Nancy smiled encouragingly, "It's a start Blanche. Keep thinking about it and if anything else comes to mind write it down, and I'll get it from you next time we talk."
Nancy encouraged Blanche to head home and stick by the phone, "If you hear from either one of them, listen carefully, background noises, every word. Keep a note pad and pen by the phone and take detailed notes. Try to find out where they are, and if possible have them hold tight," Nancy passed Blanche a card with her office number and pager number, "Then call my pager, I'll get back to you as soon as I can get to phone."
Nancy looked at Blanche, her expression serious, "Blanche, I know it's hard, but please don't run out after them. Let me handle that, if you page me I will get back to you right away. Understand?"
Blanche nodded, "Thank you, Nancy. You have no idea how much I appreciate this. I'll pay you just as soon as I can, just get Terra and Jasmine home OK."
Nancy smiled, "You make me a batch of your cabbage rolls, and we'll call it even," she put a comforting arm around Blanche's shoulders and steered her towards the door, "We'll find them, and before you know it they'll be home safe and sound," Nancy said with more confidence then she felt. She knew the kind of people that Jasmine associated with. Mentally Nancy crossed her fingers and said a tiny prayer, she hoped she wasn't telling Blanche a big fat lie.
Nancy sat at the desk for the next half hour, finishing up her categorization of the information that Blanche had provided and laying out a plan of attack. She left a note for Riley, including a copy of the sheets that Blanche had completed, and sketched out briefly what was going on. She promised that she'd check in later that afternoon.
Then she strapped on her shoulder holster and opened the gun safe in her office, pulling out her Glock 32, the compact .357 model. She had gotten the gun from her father as a graduation present of sorts, after she had finished her training at the FBI Academy. She owned other weapons, but the Glock was her favorite, and her usual preference. She pulled her jeans jacket on over the holster and buttoned the bottom couple of buttons, shrugging to get the holster into a comfortable resting position. Then she pulled on her winter coat and headed out the door.
Nancy's first stop was Jasmine's apartment, which was in a seedy Washington suburb, with rundown duplexes and 1950's vintage apartment buildings. She pulled into a parking spot in front of the dilapidated apartment building and checked her notes to make sure of the apartment number. She stepped out of her old VW bug and locked it before heading into the building.
On the third floor she carefully surveyed the hall before stopping in front of apartment 305 and knocking. She heard footsteps inside, then the sound of a dead bolt being slid back. The door opened about four inches, catching on the chain, still left in place.
Nancy smile brightly, "Hi, is Jazz home?" she asked.
"I ain't seen Jazz in several days," the man at the door practically snarled, as he pushed his greasy dark hair out of his eyes, "and if you find her, remind the bitch she still owes me money!"
"And who are you?" Nancy asked innocently, "I can't very well remind her if I don't have a name."
"Name's Claus," he said, "she knows who I am. And she better pay up if she wants her apartment back."
Nancy kept the smile plastered in place, pulling out the picture of Terra, "You haven't seen this girl around, have you?" she asked, thinking that Jasmine would be better off anywhere other than this rat trap, anyway.
"I told ya, I haven't seen Jazz or her brat in days – now get lost!" the door would have slammed, but Nancy's boot prevented that from happening.
Still smiling she said, "If you hear from Jasmine, would you give me at call," Nancy held out her card, "Her Mom's real worried about her."
The man took Nancy's card and looked at it, then looked up at her, a sneer crossing his face, "What's in it for me?"
Nancy shrugged, "If you call me with information that's helpful, I'll give you whatever Jazz owes you," she offered. She held out a twenty dollar bill, "Here's an advance, just to show you I'm serious."
A lewd smile crossed the man's face, "I'd settle for a roll in the hay, sweet cheeks."
Nancy smiled sweetly, "Sorry, I'm married, and my husband would frown on that. The offer of money stands, though." She waved the 20 just out of his reach.
Nancy's foot was still wedged in the door. He shrugged, "You don't know what you're missin, baby," he said, running a hand down Nancy's thigh. Nancy caught his hand and twisted, bending it backwards until the man grunted in pain.
"Don't ever touch me again," Nancy said with a tight smile, "Now are you going to take the money or not?"
"She owes me a hell of lot more money than that," he said irritably, pulling his hand inside the door, and rubbing along the knuckles, "How do I know you'll pay up?"
"You have my word – and my address," Nancy said, "Trust me, if you show up on my doorstep I'll pay you to get rid of you." Nancy held the 20 within reach.
He reached out and snatched the bill from Nancy's hand, slamming the door shut, "Sucker!" and she could hear him laughing as he shot the dead bolt back in place.
She then proceeded to knock on every other door in the apartment building, showing Jasmine's and Terra's pictures and asking if anyone had seen them. To a person, everyone denied having seen Jazz for at least four days, and no one appeared to recognize Terra.
Nancy headed back out to the car, and put a check mark next to the apartment address. She pulled a small bound notebook out, and made detailed notes about her conversation with Claus, while it was still fresh in her mind, and then headed down the street to her next destination, the Wild Boar.
While it was unlikely that anyone at the Boar had seen Jasmine, since she hadn't been seen at her apartment, Nancy didn't want to take a chance on missing something. "Follow every lead" was Riley's motto and she was a firm believer, because sometimes a break in a case came from the least likely source. She parked across the street from the bar and just watched for a few minutes before heading in. The place seemed to be deserted, but then it was only mid-afternoon.
At the entrance, she waited for a minute for her eyes to adjust to the dim interior. The bar ran the length of the building, with a mirror behind it and shelf after shelf of hard liquor. In the center was an extended platform with a huge stuffed boar – hence the name of the bar.
The bar wasn't exactly hopping this time of day, with only a few patrons besides the bartender. The patrons were in various states of drunkenness, most looking as if they'd been there since early morning. The bartender was a big, bald man wearing almost as much jewelry as BA. He had several tattoos and a large nose ring, similar to the one on the stuffed boar behind him.
Nancy approached the bar, and he moved down to serve her, "What'll ya have?"
Nancy pushed the two pictures across the bar, "Do you know either of these people?"
He glanced down at the pictures, then back up at Nancy, "You a cop?"
Nancy shook her head, "Just a concerned friend."
He indicated Jasmine's picture, "She's in here pretty regular, name's Jazz," He set down the glass he'd been drying and tossed the towel over his shoulder, "but then you know that, huh?"
"Don't know the kid," he looked at Nancy and leaned forward, "Is Jazz in trouble?"
Nancy smiled, he seemed like a pretty nice guy, considering the environment, "I hope not, but she and the kid disappeared a couple of days ago and her Mom's worried."
Nancy held out her card, "If you see or hear anything that might help, please give me a call, my name's Nancy."
He took the card and nodded, "Nice to meet you Nancy. I'm Justin. If I hear anything, I'll let ya know."
Nancy approached the other occupants of the bar, and passed out several more cards before exiting with a final wave to Justin, who smiled and waved back. As expected, the Wild Boar had been a bust. But, it always helped to have the bartender in your corner, they heard things that other people didn't.
Nancy headed back out to the car, starting it up and letting it warm. She picked up the list, put a check mark next to the bar, and again pulled out her notebook making detailed notes about what she'd learned, which unfortunately wasn't much.
Next on the list was a shelter located several blocks away, but still in the same basic neighborhood. She parked about a block away and watched with interest the steady stream of people that moved in and out of the shelter. Maybe she'd get lucky here.
She locked the car up and walked to the front door. She held the door open for a man who had been struggling to get his shopping cart full of possessions in through the door, with people passing and cussing at him. He thanked Nancy profusely before moving in to find a parking space inside, for what Nancy suspected were the only worldly possessions the man had.
She moved up to the kitchen area, where several people, including a priest (identified by the collar) and several volunteers were bustling about filling plates and preparing more food. The priest was in is late fifties, and appeared very energetic. She approached him with a smile and he finished dumping canned tomato sauce into a roaster and came towards her with an outstretched hand.
"Hello," his smile was broad, and his blue eyes danced with an insuppressible happiness, "is there something that you can do for me today?"
Nancy smiled, he was both observant and straightforward, having picked her out as a potential volunteer, and not a customer, "I was hoping there was something you could do for me Father," Nancy said shaking his hand, "My name's Nancy Murdock, and I was wondering if you knew either of these people," Once again she held out the pictures of Jasmine and Terra.
The priest took the pictures and motioned Nancy to a nearby table, "Can I at least offer you a cup of coffee?" He asked, setting the pictures on the table, in the place opposite her.
The smell of the food reminded Nancy that she hadn't eaten all day, "Actually I am thirsty . . . a glass of water would be wonderful."
The priest looked at her with discerning eyes, "I'll be right back, with a glass of juice and some food."
Nancy didn't protest, and five minutes later she was sitting at the table with juice, soup and bread and butter. The priest had introduced himself as Father Jebediah, and he was once again looking at the pictures that Nancy had brought in.
He put Jasmine's picture down, facing Nancy as she ate, and said, "Jasmine comes in here periodically. Such a beautiful girl, but so far she has been unwilling to face her demons." He was shaking his head, "She lives not far from here, I imagine you've checked her residence?" Nancy nodded.
He looked at Terra's picture and smiled, "Though I've never met her, the resemblance is striking, this must be Jasmine's sister or daughter."
Nancy nodded, again, "Her daughter, her name is Terra. Jazz and Terra disappeared a couple of days ago, and Jasmine's Mom is very worried about them."
Father Jebediah looked at Nancy and said regretfully, "I wish I could help you. Let's see, the last time I saw Jasmine was just a few days ago . . ." he turned to one of the volunteers, and asked loudly, "Lauren, do you remember when Jasmine was in last, I think you were working with me that night."
Lauren smiled at the priest warmly, "Of course Father, that was last Wednesday night, you were running about like a maniac trying to find a replacement for Liz, 'cause she had the flu, and you needin' to get to bingo."
Lauren stopped, and thought for a moment, "Jazz came in actin' kinda nervous," she leaned forward conspiratorially, "You know, like she needed a fix. She wanted to talk to you but you was awful busy. I think she left without even eatin' her chili."
Father Jebediah was nodding his head earnestly, "Yes, I remember now," he said, looking ashamed, "She was acting terribly nervous, but I was honestly so spun up about needing a replacement and being late for bingo, that I wasn't terribly attentive. And then when I had a moment to talk, she was gone."
He turned serious eyes towards Nancy, "You don't think that that could have something to do with her disappearance, do you? I'd never forgive myself." He looked stricken at the thought.
Nancy had finished her meal while they were talking, and put a comforting hand on his arm, "It's doubtful that it had anything to do with her disappearance, Father," she said, "But, do you remember anything that she told you that night, or did she say anything to any of the other volunteers that might help out?"
Father Jebediah looked at Nancy and straightened up, "Lauren is the only one here now that was there that night, but I'll check the roster, and contact the others and see if they recall anything, if that would help."
Nancy nodded, and handed him her card, "Please call me and let me know what you find out. I'd really like to talk with the other volunteers that were here last Wednesday night, if you can arrange it, or let me know when they're working next."
He took the card and nodded, the smile returning to his face, "I'll do what I can. I'll even nose around a bit, and see if I can come up with any leads. I always fancied myself as a bit of a sleuth."
Nancy thanked him and cleared her dishes. She stopped and talked with Lauren briefly, but the woman couldn't remember anything else helpful. Then she went around and showed the pictures to people scattered around the shelter eating, passing out several cards once again.
Before leaving she stopped Father Jebadiah once again, "Father, did Jasmine have any friends that you recall, anyone who might be able to give me some help?"
"Jasmine was always kind of a loner, I don't ever recall her even speaking with anyone else here at the shelter besides the volunteers . . .," he appeared lost in thought as he considered the question, then he looked at Nancy, his eyes sad, "She really didn't belong here – she is such a lovely young woman. But drugs do terrible things to the best of us. If I had my way . . . but then I'm not a violent man," he smiled ruefully.
"Oh, by the way, here is a list of the volunteers who were working that night, and when they are scheduled in next. If you can make it in to talk to them personally, please feel free. But I will make a point to ask them myself, and I'll call if I learn anything useful."
Nancy thanked him once again, "Please do call me and let me know what you find out – even if it seems irrelevant."
Nancy opened the car door and dropped in, starting the car and once again pulling her notes into her lap while the car warmed up. She put a check next to the shelter, and made detailed notes in the book regarding the information she'd gleaned there. It had been the most promising stop so far, and could lead to additional information. She certainly hoped so, because the list of leads she'd gotten from the information Blanche had given her was short, and she was quickly reaching the end. She glanced at the clock, it was now 5:30pm, and she still needed to stop at the grocery store and get dinner at Charlie's before heading back to Amy's place.
As she started to put the car in gear, she noted a skinny woman in a pink tube top, with a long pink fake fur coat, leopard skin stirrups, and spike heels in the alley just ahead of her. The woman appeared to be motioning for Nancy to come, though it wasn't obvious, and Nancy wasn't sure she trusted her. "No stone unturned," Nancy thought and turned the car off, getting out and locking it again.
She moved towards the woman who looked nervously up and down the street, before grabbing Nancy's arm and pulling her into the shadows of the alley.
She introduced herself as Clare, and told Nancy she usually worked the corner by the Wild Boar. That triggered Nancy's memory, she had seen her standing on the corner when she'd gone into the bar earlier. Clare had come in while Nancy was talking to Justin and listened in. She had snuck out before Nancy had begun her questioning of the bar patrons, not wanting anyone to see them talking.
"Listen, Jazz is a good friend, the best," Clare said, "She's helped me out, and I wanna do the same. I think she's in big trouble."
Nancy shoved her hands in her pocket, "What kind of trouble?"
"You ain't a cop, right?" Clare asked.
"No, I'm just a friend of her Mom's, trying to help out." Nancy assured her.
Clare looked around nervously again, and shivered visibly as the wind whipped around them. At least it wasn't sleeting, at the moment.
After a couple minutes Nancy sighed, "Listen, I've gotta get going, is there something you wanted to tell me?"
Clare looked at Nancy, almost desperately, then started haltingly, gaining momentum as she talked, "To get her fixes Jazz has been doing some local drug couriering for Trigger McGill. I heard through the grapevine that she "misplaced" a parcel, and ended up on the Trigger's bad side, if ya know what I mean. That's a bad thing, but you know, Jazz is a pretty girl, and could always talk her way outta things. I don't know what went down, but I heard Mr. President got involved, and that can't be good for Jazz."
Nancy agreed, "What would Grant Kennedy have to do with one lost parcel – I'd think it would be below him to even get involved."
Clare shrugged, "Like I said, I don't know what went down, I just heard that he was involved somehow."
"So who told you?" Nancy asked.
Clare shook her head, "No way, lady, I ain't telling you who I talk to. I'd never get the skinny on anything goin' down if they found out I was a nark."
Nancy sighed, "Fine, if you find out anything else, please give me a call." Nancy handed her a card.
Nancy got a description of Trigger McGill from Clare, and then asked one more time for her source of information. Clare steadfastly refused,
"Please make sure you call me if you hear from Jazz or hear anything else that might be helpful," Nancy said, "Her daughter is only 12, and way too young to be mixed up in this kind of shit."
Clare nodded, "I can't believe that she even brought Terra out here, she loved the kid, even if she couldn't take care of her. She wouldnta done anything to hurt her, not on purpose, I'm sure of it."
Nancy looked at Clare, "That may be true, but intentional or not, I'm afraid they could both be in grave danger."
Clare stomped her feet, "If I didn't think the same, I wouldn't be standing here talking to ya. It's not good for my health, if ya know what I mean. Even if you are only a private dick – to the company, the laws the law, however you cut it."
Nancy sat down in the car and considered what she had just learned as the car heated up once again. Grant Kennedy, otherwise know as Mr. Presidnet, was a well-known crime boss in the area who had always managed to elude prosecution, even though everyone knew that he was up to his eyeballs in just about every shady venture going down in the greater DC area. If he was involved in Jasmine and Terra's disappearance, this could be very bad.
She made quick stop at Charlie's to drop off the dinner order then headed down the street to the grocery store. She made a marathon run through, picking up everything that Maggie had on the list, and then headed back to Charlie's.
The dinners weren't ready yet, so Nancy headed down the back hall to Charlie's office and knocked.
"Who's there-ere?" Charlie's voice was coaxing and almost playful, and Nancy knew he was expecting someone else.
"Not who you think?" she asked.
Charlie opened the door and reddened, "What the hell are you doing here?"
"Nice to see you too, Charlie," Nancy said with a smile.
"Yea, great, now get lost, I'm expecting a business associate."
"A business associate," Nancy said, nodding knowingly, "You know Charlie, you really are an ass – and you better watch out. One of these days your 'business associates' are going to start suing you for sexual harassment."
Charlie turned from the door miserably and Nancy walked in behind him and closed it, "I would really appreciate the use of your phone, if it's not too much trouble."
Charlie shrugged, and indicated the phone, "Be my guest, just promise me you won't start counseling my girls on the finer points of the employment laws."
Nancy smiled as Charlie walked out of the office and then picked up the phone. First she called Riley, who was still at the office. She filled him in on where she was with the case.
"Nancy, it can't really be considered a 'case' since we are not getting paid for it," Riley said irritably.
"Bite me, Riley." Nancy said and hung up.
Her next call was to Joe, her best friend Trixie's husband, who was a detective with the local police force. She knew Joe would have the connections to find out where to find Trigger McGill.
Joe worked in homicide, but they often ended up on cases with vice, and Trigger McGill was no stranger to the local police. Joe told Nancy he would find out what she wanted to know, but it would take him a little time. Nancy told him she'd stop by in a couple hours
By the time she finished her two phone calls, the dinner order was ready. She paid the tab, and headed to Amy's.
Maggie came out to the car and helped Nancy haul the groceries and dinner into the house. Nancy and Maggie worked in comfortable silence, getting Nancy's and Amy's dinners arranged on trays, so Nancy could sit with Amy while they ate. Maggie and Mama B would eat together in the dining room.
Nancy settled at a TV tray in Amy's bedroom and looked at her friend with concern, "You look pale – have you been overdoing it again?" Nancy sounded severe even to her own ears.
"Maggie is like a mother hen, so no, I haven't been overdoing it," Amy said irritably, "I'm just bored to death."
Nancy smiled in relief, some color seemed to return to Amy's cheeks with the exchange, "Good to know you still have some spunk in you." She teased.
Amy looked at Nancy and stuck out her tongue, then the two dug into their dinners. "So what have you been up to today," Amy asked, "It had to be more interesting than my day."
Nancy smiled, "I spent the morning doing paperwork – doesn't that sound exciting?"
"And the afternoon?" Amy asked hopefully.
"Was actually pretty interesting, if a bit worrisome," Nancy said smiling. She related what she had done that afternoon, trying to alleviate Amy's boredom. Besides, she'd always found it helpful to talk to someone about a case, even if only as a sounding board, and Riley was apparently unwilling since they weren't getting paid.
Amy knew Blanche, and was aware of the family history. She listened with interest, "Nancy, I have heard a lot about this Mr. President. He's not someone to be messing with. Promise me you'll be careful."
"I'm always careful," Nancy said.
An hour later, Nancy piled all the dirty dishes on one tray and headed downstairs to help clean up. Mama B and Maggie were already in the kitchen and loading the dishwasher. Maggie took the tray from Nancy, and Mama motioned for her to sit at the kitchen table with her.
Nancy sat down obediently and waited. It was obvious that the two older women wanted to talk to her about something, and it made her unaccountably nervous. She was certain that if something was wrong with Murdock or one of the Team, they would have told her right away, at least she hoped.
Mama broke the silence, "Nancy, Maggie and I've been worried sick about you. You look peaked, girl. Now what seems to be the problem?"
This hadn't been what Nancy had expected, "There's no problem," Nancy said, shaking her head, "I'm fine. I never sleep real good when HM is gone, that's all."
Maggie turned and looked at Nancy critically, "I don't believe that's all," she said, "HM has been gone before. I've never seen you looking so worn out. Are you sure there's nothing else bothering you?"
Nancy sighed, "It's just that our anniversary is coming up, and it doesn't look like he'll be home to celebrate," she admitted. It sounded so lame, especially with Amy upstairs in her condition, after all it was Amy and Face's anniversary, too.
She shrugged, "I've just been feeling kind of sorry for myself, which makes me feel guilty when I think about what Amy's going through right now," Nancy looked from Maggie to Mama B and finally smiled, "Listen, I'm just suffering from acute PMS, please don't worry about me. I'll be fine!" Her tone was insistent.
Maggie turned back and finished putting the dishes in the dishwasher. Mama B covered Nancy's hand with her own, "You know, Nancy, it's OK to feel sorry for yourself every once in a while, as long as you don't let it affect your health. It's awful hard on you girls when the Team is gone," she added reflectively, "That uncle of yours needs a good talkin' to, and I think I'm just the person to do it."
Maggie smiled as she came over and sat down on Nancy's other side, "Hannibal plans to talk to the General about a 'retirement plan' as he calls it when they get back from this mission. I think it would probably be best if you let him handle Stockwell, Mama."
Meanwhile, Away from the Ranch . . .
Hannibal walked up to the cock pit, ostensibly to check ETA. The trip had been anything but smooth, and Hannibal wasn't thinking just of the turbulent ride they were getting in the cargo plane right this moment. The cockpit had been unusually silent and that meant that Murdock was in a contemplative mood. Normally, he wouldn't have thought much of it, but right now Hannibal took it as a bad sign given the current mood of his second in command, and Murdock's best friend.
Hannibal dropped into the copilot's seat, "What's our ETA, Captain?" he asked formally.
"Be at least another hour in the air, Colonel. This head wind is a killer." Murdock looked down to check wind speed and direction, making a course correction, and adjusting the flaps, "Sorry for the rough ride," he added apologetically.
Hannibal smiled, "I'd take a rough ride with you over a smooth ride with most other pilots, Murdock." Hannibal looked at his pilot appraisingly, "You've been a lot quieter then usual – why aren't we being regaled with the Pirates of Pinzance or some Led Zeppelin?"
"Sorry, Hannibal," Murdock apologized again, "Guess I'm not in the mood. Thinking about home . . ." he looked sideways at his commanding officer to check his reaction.
Hannibal nodded, looking out the window reflectively, "I know, we all are, especially Face. We'd all like to be there for Amy. Sometimes things just don't work out that way."
"When will they work out, Hannibal?" Murdock was uncharacteristically serious, and Hannibal turned to look the pilot in the face, "I want to know when we're going to be able to set our own priorities and not have them shoved down our throats?"
"I'm worried, Hannibal," Murdock confided, "Nancy finally agreed to give the family thing a try and the next thing I know we're off on a two-month mission. I'm going to head home to a wife that's not going to let me touch her for fear of getting pregnant and being left to deal with it on her own. Family has to become the priority and I'm just not sure the General is ever going to understand that."
Hannibal nodded in agreement, "I know Murdock, and you're not alone. You understand probably better than any of us what Face is going though right now. BA's worried about his Mama, and honestly, I'm just getting too damned old for it."
"Not to mention that Maggie wouldn't mind having you home more," Murdock added, "You're always making like you're not affected by this life style – I know that's not true."
Hannibal nodded and silently considered their discussion. Murdock always had been the group's barometer, sensitive to the people around him. If Hannibal wanted to know what anyone was feeling, and couldn't get the person to talk, Murdock could usually point him in the right direction. A talent he'd taken advantage of over the years, in more ways than one.
In this instance, though, Hannibal didn't need Murdock's assessment to know where his Team stood on this issue. The mission had been particularly difficult and long, and they weren't home free yet.
They were now headed to a remote landing strip in Cambodia, in an effort to shut down one more outpost of an illegal smuggling ring that the General had been after for quite some time. The main outlet was in Vietnam, the Team's old stomping ground, and was controlled by their old nemesis, General Chang. That would be their last port of call, and Hannibal knew it had all of them stressed to be heading back in country.
Thousands of hours of intelligence gathering, not to mention planning time, had gone in to this mission. The Team was only one cog in the wheel, though in the General Stockwell's opinion a very important cog, placing a great deal of psychological pressure in just the right places.
The plan was to squeeze General Chang, steadily cutting off his trading outlets until he was vulnerable in his stronghold. A grand idea, but one that required the coordination of several teams, all working under tight time schedules. The A-Team had been given the higher profile outlets, just to make sure that General Chang knew they were coming.
They had known, when they'd taken on the mission that they'd be gone for an extended period of time for this one. Face had been particularly hard to sell on the mission, not that BA or Murdock had been a piece of cake. None of them wanted to be gone from home for that long.
In the end Hannibal and General Stockwell had convinced them that their inclusion in the mission, as the lead Team that would take down Chang's extensive arms- and drug-dealing network, was a carriage of ultimate justice. Chang was the one who had set them up, through Morrison, to take the fall for the Bank of Hanoi job. He'd then knocked off his then business partner, Morrison, and ultimately, the Team had taken the fall for that as well. Taking Chang down on his own turf was going to be a bittersweet victory after all these years, and Hannibal had been eager to get his Team on board for the job.
Up until last week, they'd been cut off from their home life entirely, moving rapidly from outpost to outpost, taking each out methodically, and having little time to think beyond the mission. But Hannibal knew as they got closer to their ultimate goal, that the tension was mounting and had hoped by breaking protocol for a quick call home he could ease things up some. That had been his first miscalculation. When they had called Amy, Maggie had answered, their first clue that something wasn't quite right. Once Face had gotten the whole story, he had been beside himself, ready to jump ship and catch the next commercial flight home.
That crisis had passed, uneasily, but still hovered in the air. Hannibal's promise that they'd be home in two weeks, had helped some, as had Maggie's assurance that there was nothing that Face could do for Amy right this moment that Maggie couldn't handle. Amy had even put on a brave voice for Face, and told him not to worry, that everything would be fine. Unfortunately, Face wasn't that easily convinced, he wanted to see Amy for himself and make sure that everything was really OK. Hannibal couldn't argue, he agreed that Face belonged at home right now. The problem was that the Team needed him here and now, more than ever. The integrity of the whole mission was at stake.
"Colonel?" Murdock's voice shook Hannibal out of his reverie, "Listen, I'm OK – you really need to be focusing on Face. He's the one with real issues right now. Tell you what, I'm in a singing mood again, got any requests?"
Hannibal stood, grinning around the stub of a cigar, "How about, 'Take me home, country roads?'" he quipped and headed back to the belly of the cargo plane. 'This is the last mission this Team is going on, whether Stockwell likes it or not,' he thought resolutely, as the words of the John Denver tune floated back from the cock pit.
Help from Friends
Nancy managed to assuage Maggie's and Mama's concerns before heading out to Joe's and Trixie's house. It was almost 8:00 and Nancy hoped she didn't interrupt bedtime preparations in the Martin household.
When she arrived, Joe opened the door and led her into the living room. Trixie came out of the bathroom with her sleeves pushed up to her elbows and soap suds still lingering on her arms where she'd missed wiping them off with the towel.
"So, the only time I get to see you anymore is when you need something from my husband, huh?" Trixie asked scathingly.
Nancy shrugged the cut off with a smile, "It's been kind of hectic lately. I told you about Amy going to the hospital a couple weeks ago, well she's on bed rest now," Nancy gave her best friend a quick run down on the events of the past couple of weeks.
"Anyways, the guys aren't expected back for a couple more weeks, which means I'll be running courier service for the Peck household for a while yet."
Trixie shook her head, "I don't know how you do it, it would drive me nuts if Joe was gone for weeks at a time." She snagged a naked, soapy three-year-old as she ran by giggling, "Well I'll let you and Joe get down to business while I try to quiet the natives. Stop by later when you have more time to talk." With that Trixie took her giggling package and headed back to the bathroom.
Joe smiled fondly as his wife went back down the hall, "You know she just misses you when you aren't around, Nan." He said, as if an explanation was needed.
"No apology necessary, I haven't been a very good friend lately."
Joe motioned Nancy into the dining room, where he had a notepad with some chicken scratching on it, "You remember Brett Katt, I think I set you up on date with him a few years ago . . ." Joe grimaced as he recalled that fact.
Nancy laughed, "I remember Brett, he was a nice guy. Why do you ask?"
"Well, I know he's had several run-ins with this Trigger McGill character. If you want to talk to him in more detail about the guy's record, just give him a call. I told him you were interested, though I don't know why . . ." Joe looked at her askently.
"Sorry, Joe, I can't talk about it with you, or Brett. Client privilege. What do you have for me?"
Joe handed her a piece of paper, "Here's his address and phone number, along with a couple common hangouts," Joe looked at her and his voice took on a severe tone, "Listen Nan, this guy is serious trouble. I don't know what your interest is in him, but whatever you do, promise me you'll be careful."
For the second time in as many hours, Nancy asserted, "I'm always careful."
Invite Yourself In
Nancy decided to at least drive by Trigger McGill's place. She pulled up outside the small, neglected row house and sat for awhile, just watching. The house showed no sign of life, and she seriously doubted anyone was home.
'Well, only one way to find out,' she thought, so she went up and knocked on the door. Sure enough no one answered, and looking through the front window, she could see that the interior was pitch black, even though the shades were drawn. She headed back to the car and drove a couple blocks away, pulling down a small deserted side street. She grabbed her black baseball cap out of the back seat and shoved all her hair up inside it and also traded her worn jean jacket for the black zip up sweat shirt she kept in the back of her car for just such occasions, along with a couple other essentials for breaking and entering. Then she headed back to the house along the back street, keeping to the shadows. An empty house just invites a snoop.
Nancy checked her watch and gave herself 20 minutes, pulling on a pair of latex gloves. The lock was easy to pick and once inside, Nancy pulled out her pen light and began a methodical search of the house to see if there was anything of interest. She wasn't terribly hopeful of finding anything useful, but again, no stone unturned.
She came up empty-handed until she came to a locked inner room. She managed to get it open and found a small room (probably a bedroom in the home's former life) that had a desk, a chair, a couple filing cabinets and a large antique safe in one corner.
Nancy eyed the safe speculatively. She only has 5 minutes left on her self-imposed time limit, and it had been awhile since she'd cracked a safe, not to mention that she never was very good at it – Riley said she just didn't have the ear for it. But it was a clunky old one, probably with big, loud tumblers. Might be worth a try, but the files were simple locks and wouldn't require any finesse to open. She decided to make a quick run through the files then head out.
Three minutes later, after a quick skim of the meager contents of the files, Nancy was eyeing the safe again. If she didn't try, then the whole breaking and entering thing would have been for nothing. 'What the hell,' she set to work on the safe and had it open in fairly short order. Inside she found a considerable stash of money, a few kilos of cocaine and a ledger showing Trigger's business network transactions, meticulously laid out, with every ounce of cocaine accounted for, with a notation on payments and markups, along with payouts to dealers and couriers. The ledger was number 10, and had a start date in November of the previous year. Nancy found Jasmine's name listed periodically throughout the ledger, her payment for services almost always made in drugs. She closed the ledger and put everything back as she found it, quickly and quietly exiting the house and heading back to her car.
Back at the car Nancy sat and considered what she'd learned. Really nothing more than she already knew, it just confirmed that Clare was on the up and up. It did appear that Jasmine had been working for Trigger for some time, at least since November, and Nancy suspected even earlier than that. So Trigger was pissed because she'd lost a parcel, what did that have to do with Terra? Nancy decided to sit and watch the house for awhile, and see if Trigger returned home, maybe with company. She pulled back down the street, parking in a dark spot between two street lamps, and hunkered down to wait.
About an hour later an old Cadillac pulled into Trigger's drive, and a man fitting his description got out, followed by two young women. All three appear to be drunk, and stumbled, giggling and falling all over one another up to the front door and inside.
Nancy decided to take a chance and get in closer to see if she could hear anything of interest. She silently crossed the street, and moved up to the side of the house, hiding in the shadows of the bushes, under the front window.
Nancy could hear Trigger, whose voice was loud and boastful, "You girls'll have to prove to me that you're worthy for one of mah movies. First I want to inspect your equipment." More giggling from the women, and it didn't take much imagination for Nancy to visualize the strip show going on, as Trigger provided a running commentary.
After a thorough inspection Trigger declared, "Well you ladies are obviously equipped for the movie business, but do you have the on-screen talent that we're looking for . . ." Again, giggling and grunting, and Nancy moved away from the house, certain she wasn't going to learn any more useful that night.
Nancy headed back to the car. Was Trigger really involved in the porn movie market or was it just a pick up line? As thorough as his records were regarding his drug business she found it difficult to believe he wouldn't have similar records for a porn business, unless it wasn't his business? Could Kennedy be involved in a porn business that Trigger helped find 'talent' for? And again, did any of it have anything at all to do with the disappearance of Jasmine and her daughter?
Her energy was definitely starting to flag, and her thoughts were beginning to run in circles. She finished making notes about what she had seen and heard during the course of the evening, and then decided it was time to head home and get some sleep.
At home, Nancy walked in without bothering to turn on the overhead lights, locking the door behind her as was her habit. She dropped her coats on the peg board by the back door, and shrugged out of her shoulder holster. She grabbed a key off the key rack and locked her gun, holster in all in the gun safe sitting in the mud room off the kitchen. Then she headed straight to bed.
She stripped down to her underwear in the bedroom, then went and grabbed one of Murdock's crazy t-shirts out of the drawer, pulling it on over her head. This was when she missed him the worst. She lay down in bed and reached a hand over, resting it on his pillow. If she closed her eyes she could almost see him, his laughing eyes teasing her. She sighed as she opened her eyes and looked at the empty pillow where her hand lay – it was going to be another long night.
This was the stop on their whirlwind tour that had Hannibal nervous. The intelligence was sketchy at best, and there was a lot of thick jungle between the landing strip and their target. That could be good and bad, the bad was that the target location was only loosely defined.
Hannibal had Murdock do a high fly over, to see if they could get a pinpoint on the smuggler camp, "The old cargo plane doesn't exactly have the instrumentation of a recon plane, Colonel," Murdock said doubtfully, as he gained some altitude for the requested fly over.
Hannibal grinned at Murdock, "Yea, but it also doesn't have your eyes, Captain. Go just high enough to be casual, but low enough so you can get a good overview – I want to know where that camp is."
"Not asking much . . ." Murdock mumbled under his breath, holding the plane at altitude and banking so he could get a good view of the ground.
"What was that, Captain?"
"No problemo, herr Colonel!" Murdock quipped, and turned to scanning the ground.
About 10 minutes later, Murdock called back, "Got it, Colonel, it's about 5 clicks north-northeast of the landing field. Want me to take her down?"
"The sooner the better, we were high, but that doesn't mean the camp isn't already on the alert. The faster we move, the better."
At the landing strip, they unloaded their gear, and packed up in preparation for the jungle treck.
"BA, Face, let's get moving," Hannibal said brusquely, "Murdock, are you all set?"
Murdock leaned against the plane, with an automatic rifle over his shoulder, "Yea, I've got enough ammo to hold off a small army, if I need to. You got the flare gun?"
"Yes, but we'll only flare if things get desperate, which shouldn't happen." Hannibal said confidently, "If all goes as planned, we'll be back by night fall."
"We all know Hannibal's plans always go perfectly," Face said, grimacing.
"Let's move out!" Hannibal said, "You know what to do, Captain."
They made good time through the jungle. Once at the smugglers camp, Hannibal, BA and Face did a quick recon. Only a couple guards, though heavily armed. The rest of the group was holed up in what looked like a makeshift lodge.
"Looks like they left the front door wide open," Hannibal said, his eyes sparkling, "Piece of cake."
BA and Face just groaned. They took the guards soundlessly and tied them up, then moved in to get a closer look in the lodge. They had just gotten across the clearing when the front door opened, and a man stepped out, lighting a cigar and stretching. The Team flattened against the wall and stood motionless, hoping the gathering dusk would hide them.
The man didn't seem to notice much of anything, until he looked out where the guards should have been standing. He snatched his cigar out of his mouth, but before he could sound the alarm, BA reached up and with a hand over his mouth and pulled him down off the step.
Hannibal pushed the door shut the rest of the way with the butt of his gun, and motioned for Face, who was on the other side of the steps to join them, "Did you get a count?"
"There are eight more inside," Face said, "And there isn't one who doesn't have a weapon. What's the plan, Colonel?"
"Like I said, the front door is wide open," Hannibal motioned them forward and on his cue all three moved through the front door. Hannibal shot his gun at the ceiling, "Alright, I want to see 16 hands in the air gentlemen."
Blank faces stared back at him, so he repeated his request in the native language. Face and BA moved around the room, relieving the men of their weapons, with only a couple of minor skirmishes.
As BA and Face began to tie the men up, a shadowy figure came in the door behind Hannibal and put a gun to his temple, "I think you better tell your friends there to let my friends loose."
BA and Face both straightened at the sound of the voice. Hannibal's eyes flicked to Face, who covertly flashed three fingers to indicate the number of men that had now entered the lodge.
Hannibal flashed a winning smile and began raising his arms, with his weapon held in one hand, "Now can't we all be friends . . ." In one swift motion Hannibal swung his weapon up so he held it in both hands and brought in back into his assailant's gut with considerable force, doubling him over. BA and Face were ready, and while Hannibal was bent over they brought their weapons up and laid heavy fire over the other two mens' heads, both of whom immediately hit the floor.
Hannibal came up with his weapon, "Nice move, huh guys?"
Hannibal toed the ring leader, "Are there any more scumbags under the rock you came from?"
"You're dead men – you have no idea who you're dealing with."
"Oh, we know exactly who we're dealing with – it's you guys who are in trouble," Hannibal's eyes gleamed.
They gathered the men in a central location, and BA kept watch while Hannibal and Face recon'd the camp and found where the goods and money were stashed. They had built several small bunkers that the lodge sat directly over.
"We'll torch the whole thing," Hannibal said, "BA, move our guests out here."
While BA hustled the smugglers outside, Hannibal and Face set explosive at strategic places around the lodge. Hannibal also drove the two transport vehicles, once of which was loaded with a large supply of arms, next to the lodge, and they wired those in too. They moved well away from the lodge and blew the whole thing.
They got their captives into a couple of circles around two big trees and trussed them in place, checking the bonds to be sure they were secure, "Don't worry, the authorities should be here in a day or two to pick you up." Hannibal said as they moved off into the jungle towards the airfield.
When Murdock heard the blast, he knew the Team had reached their target. He was just finishing up setting explosives along the air strip. Enough damage would be done to make the strip unusable once they blew it. He went back to the plane to await the rest of the Team.
Hannibal, Face and BA made good time back to the strip and were greeted by a grinning Murdock, "Nice fire works, guys – I'm disappointed you had the party without me!"
Hannibal looked around the field, "Are we all set here, Murdock?"
"Ready to blow, Colonel."
"Well, then, let's go."
As they lifted off the short strip, Face hit the radio transmitter, and several loud explosions sounded. Murdock banked and flew over to check his handiwork, then set course for their next pit stop, in Laos, where they'd get some rest for a few days before heading to Vietnam.
Hannibal leaned back in the copilot's seat and closed his eyes, "How long to Pakse?"
"Not long, Colonel, we've got a good tail wind, should be there in well under an hour." Murdock was glad, he wasn't sure fuel reserves would have held up to another head wind.
"Wake me up when we get there." Hannibal said. This last stop had gone much better than he could have hoped. He had planned on two days in Cambodia. He decided he would call the General, it might be worthwhile to consider moving up the time table, if the guys were up to it. It could help provide an additional element of surprise. The selling point to the Team would be that they could be home almost a week earlier. That would make everyone happy.