The afternoon sun beat down on the Californian highway as the convoy advanced towards Los Angeles. The two jeeps and the Ford Crown Sherman all bore the insignia of the Imperial American Military Police, a subtle encouragement for the civilian motorists to pull over and let them pass. If a more overt persuasion was needed, the two jeeps' mounted M-75s would be employed.
Inside the Crown Sherman sat the newly promoted Colonel Crane, wondering what he had done to deserve this assignment. Until recently, he had been Major Crane, a staff member attached to General Roderick Decker, as he had been since the general had gained his stars during the conquest of Vietnam. Now, in the space of a week, he had been promoted to Colonel and given the assignment of capturing the hit-squad-for-hire known as the A-Team.
Crane wondered just who it was in the upper echelons he had irritated to be given this assignment. Ever since the A-Team had been charged with treason back in '72, it seemed like every Imperial Army officer that had been involved with them had ended up dead. Lynch, the commander of Fort Bragg, where the rouge assault team had been imprisoned, had been, ironically, hung for dereliction of duty shortly after they escaped. Colonel Briggs had spent nearly five years hunting the A-Team, only to disappear while following a lead. Three days later, he had reappeared – without his eyeballs or tongue. The IBI had investigated, and Briggs had vanished permanently.
The Army had even attempted to infiltrate the team, using a captured Puerto Rican terrorist named Frankie Santana. The explosives expert had been promised a pardon if he successfully infiltrated the A-Team and delivered them to the Army. The project had been declared a failure after a safe delivered to an army base outside of San Diego had been discovered to contain Santana's remains. IBI forensics experts had determined that the late mole had been sealed into the safe with a live hand grenade.
Crane was jolted from his thoughts when a beeping noise issued from the dashboard of the car. "Sir!" shouted the noncom at the wheel. "Point car reporting enemy fire incoming!" The remark was punctuated by the front jeep abruptly flying into the air, only to crash back to earth and roll several yards. The Crown Sherman slid to a stop as the rearguard jeep fired its M-75 at a nearby hill. A flash near the summit caught Crane's attention as he fumbled with the door latch. Oh, sh- was the last thought that went through his mind before the RPG turned the car into an inferno.
"I love it when a plan comes together." High up on the crest of the hill, a solitary figure slung the grenade launcher over his shoulder, stuck a cigar in his mouth, and turned from the destruction on the road below. John "Hannibal" Smith, leader of the A-Team, quickly made his way down the hill, to where his squad of mercenaries was waiting, protected from the M-75s by the curve of the hill. As Hannibal approached the team's signature black and gray van, the side door slid open and two and a half pairs of eyes shot irritated glares at the former solider.
"Really, Hannibal, did you have to run off and do that by yourself? You know, just one slip-up and you're dog food." The speaker paused to take a drag from his cigarette. "Or, worse, in the tender care of the Imperial Department of Correction." Hannibal just winked at his lieutenant. Templeton "Patchman" Peck responded by rolling his single eye. He had joined the Army under an assumed name in an attempt to escape the stigma of his late father's execution for treason, but his major reward for the effort was losing one eye to a Viet Cong POW camp. Still, he claimed that the eye-patch gave him a roguish air that attracted the ladies.
"He ain't listenin', Patch – he's on the jazz again, and when Hannibal's on the jazz, he's crazy – crazier than Murdock." This contentious statement came from the driver's seat of the van, where sat B. A. "Bad Attitude" Baracus. The muscley black ex-solider had grown up on the mean streets of Chicago, and when in a sticky situation over a GBH charge, he had chosen enlistment in the Imperial Army over imprisonment. Outside observers were astounded that the oft-irate scout had survived as long as he had, given his penchant for punching out anyone that annoyed him – even superior officers. If not for his veritable mechanical genius, he would have been killed for his insubordination long ago.
"Thanks, B.A. It's always good to know how your friends really feel about you." H. M. "Howling Mad" Murdock punctuated his remark by ripping his ever-present baseball cap off his head and wringing it in his hands. Hannibal idly noted the message on his T-shirt for the day: On the road of life, I follow the psychopath. "It lets you know who to avoid when the black helicopters come for you." He glanced nervously out the window, as if expecting the phantom aircraft to appear at any moment.
"Calm down, Murdock, before you have one of your episodes. B.A., do you have to wind him up like that?" Around the same time as the rest of the team was being set up for the Hanoi bank massacre, Murdock had been compelled by the Imperial Air Force to undergo a "psychiatric evaluation". He had gone into the experience a little on the odd side, but had come out a full-blown neurotic. On their cross-country trip from Fort Bragg to L. A. the A-Team had made a side journey to liberate Murdock from the lab he was being held at. Getting him out had been a tricky proposition that ended up involving an impersonation of a general on Patch's part, and the liberal use of hand grenades on B.A.'s. Murdock had never quite recovered from his "evaluation", and when the Team had encountered Dr. Pepper a couple of years later, they had made sure he died in the crossfire.
Murdock's psychological breakdown thus averted, Hannibal handed Patch the RPG launcher and climbed into the front passenger seat of the van. B.A. started the engine, and Hannibal took a puff from his cigar.
"So, Patch, what have you got for us?"
"Well, I've been contacted by an organization in Tarzana called the Hole-in-the-Wall Taxi Company, and it seems that they need someone to, shall we say, put down some competitors?"
"Sounds perfect. What do you say, guys?"
Three voices gave their approval, and the members of the A-Team were on their way to their next mission.
I don't own the Mirror Universe, The A-Team, or any characters thereof.
Confused yet? Let me explain. The Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Mirror, Mirror" established the existence of the "Mirror Universe", which is much like ours, except that almost everyone is considerably more brutal and unprincipled than in our universe (Hence, the American Empire instead of the United States, to take the most obvious example). Working from the presupposition that all or most fictions reside in the same universe, it therefore follows that there must be Mirror Universe – or MU – versions of almost every fiction ever contrived. This is intended to be the first in a series of one-shots depicting some of these more contemporary inhabitants of the Mirror Universe, so if you have a certain movie, book, or show you'd like to see me do, why not tell me in a review?
In the meanwhile, the next chapter will involve the MU version of a certain wizard named Harry. No, not that one, the American one.