The attendant pulled the van out of the auto detailing garage, the sun glistening off the freshly cleaned and waxed black surface.

Murdock walked next to BA as Hannibal and Face straddled behind.

"B.A., I don't know why you take your van to this dump," Murdock said. "For half the price, you could take it to the PowerTraxx MegaWash and they'll do the inside, the outside, change the oil ..."

"Change the oil? Man, I don't let them suckas under the hood! Besides, they don't do nothin' but shove it through some robot wash. My van's sensitive."

A teenager jumped out of the driver's side, wearing a vest with the auto detailer's logo on it, and patch that said "Billy" adding some final touches to the interior as he did so.

"That looks good man," B.A. said, smelling the fresh shampooed carpet. "Real good ... Hey!" he suddenly grunted. He grabbed billy's shirt with one hand and made a fist with the other. "Where's my Ohio Players, sucka?"

"What?" Billy gulped nervously. B.A. reached into Billy's inside pocket and pulled out an 8-Track tape. "You lucky I found my tape! Or you'd be on a Rollercoaster of Pain!"

"I didn't want to steal it," Billy pleaded, "but I needed the bread!"

"Then get a job at a bakery!"

"I've already got another job. I work for my Dad, he's a TV repairman. But lately he's been losing money, because of all the protection money he's been paying."

"Protection from who?" Hannibal asked.

"We don't know," the kid said. "It all started a few months ago, when someone blew up the local Wal-Mart."

"That explains B.A.'s wardrobe," Murdock said.

"Shut up, fool!" B.A. shot back. "Least I got a change o' clothes. You been wearing the same thing every week since 1972."

"Go on kid," Hannibal said.

"Well, that bombing scared a lot of the businesses out of the neighborhood. The ones that have stayed in the neighborhood started getting anonymous letters saying they'd be bombed if they didn't start paying protection money. "

"So your old man is stuck paying these scumbags?"

"Yeah. We leave it at a drop off place. We don't know who's doing it."

"I know what you're thinking guys," Face said, "But maybe this is a matter for the police to handle. It's really none of our business."

"When punks start hasslin' innocent people," B.A. said, "I make it my bidness!"

"I appreciate what you're trying to do," said Billy's father Tim, who was the owner of Hayes TV Repair, "but I'm afraid if we try to confront these extortionists, they'll just bring down more violence onto our neighborhood! We can't afford to lose any more business!"

"Sounds to me like you're losing business either way," Face said.

"So I'm damned if I do, and damned if I don't," Tim said.

"Unless you wipe them out for good," Hannibal said, "That's our speciality. And our success rate in this area is surprisingly high."

"Satisfaction guaranteed," Murdock said.

"You do have a reputation," Tim said. "But I have to say, you don't work cheap. For what you're asking, I would almost expect a private army."

"If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys," Hannibal said. "We may be small in number, but when you see us in action, we'll make Blackwater look like the Boy Scouts."

"Even if that's true, I'm ashamed to say I couldn't produce that kind of money if I wanted to. This used to be a very lucrative shop, but these hoodlums have nearly wiped me out."

"You know Mr. Hayes, I'm feeling the spirit of entrepeneurship. Perhaps we could invest our services now, in exchange for a piece of your business later, when you're back on your feet? What do you think, Face?"

"Maybe a percentage off the back end? Until our fee is paid, with a small interest added. Fixed rate of course."

"This is the credit crunch," Murdock said. "Can't turn that down."


B.A. cupped his fist. "These suckas better start payin', or start prayin'!"

"Well? Do we have a deal?"

"If you're as good as you say you are, I guess I've got nothing to lose."

"Then congratulations, Mr. Hayes. You're just hired the A-Team.

"What's with all this sneakin' around?" B.A. said to Hannibal, who sat in the passenger seat of the van and watched Billy through binoculars drop off the protection money in an alley at the usual secluded spot, then ride away on his bicycle into the dark night. "I say when the dudes show up, let me after 'em," B.A. added, making a fist. "I'll give 'em five reasons not to come back."

"Whoever these punks are working for owe this neighborhood a lot more than what's in that bag," Hannibal said. "We've got to follow these snakes back to their hole so we know where to send the bill.

Within a few minutes a long black Cadillac slowly turned into the alley. It's driver, dressed in a suit and tie, quickly grabbed the money, tossed it into the trunk, and drove away.

B.A. waited a few moments then drove off in the direction that Cadillac had turned.

The van kept at a safe distance, just close enough to keep the Cadillac in sight.

They Cadillac then turned into another alley.

The van couldn't follow it into the alley without being detected, so it pulled off at the side of the road.

Within a few moments, the Cadillac pulled back out of the alley and drove away.

"Don't bother following, B.A. This guy's just a middle man. Pull into the alley and see where he dropped the money."

B.A. drove into the narrow alley, and followed it until they came to a brick wall, upon which was a rusty metal hatch.

They got out of the van and approached. B.A. opened it. There were vertical strips of dirty plastic rubber. B.A. put his hand through.

"There's rollers," B.A. said. "Must be a cargo chute."

"Can you see what's at the bottom?" Hannibal asked.

B.A. stuck his head through. "It's too dark, man. I can't see nothin'."

"You've got to look closer than that," Murdock said as he pressed slightly on B.A. shoulder.

B.A. lost his balanced and fell into the chute, shouting "MURDOOOOoooooooock ..."

A loud crash was heard as B.A. hit the bottom.

"Oh, no!" Murdock said. "Hang on, big guy! I'm comin'!"

Murdock dived into the chute.

Murdock landed at the bottom, on top of B.A. They were in a small storage room surround by boxes, with a cieling sufficiently low that they couldn't stand up.

"Get off me, crazy fool!" B.A. grunted, making room for Hannibal and Face as they slide down just behind him.

"That was a dirty trick Murdock! There coulda been alligators!"

"You think I would trick you?" Murdock said. "I'm hurt, B.A."

"You ain't started hurtin' yet!" B.A. said grabbing him. He stopped, however, when he heard a loud rumbling sound.

"I know that sound," B.A. said. "We on a plane! ... We on a plane!"

B.A. frantically tried to get up and run, but he stood up so quickly that he banged his head against the cieling and knocked himself unconconscious.

They felt a swaying motion as the sea plane moved away from it's docking place and began to gain speed.

"Well, it's not first class," Hannibal said, as he lit a cigar, "but there's plenty of leg room."

The box of protection money was toward the last of the boxes which Mitchell and Cook unloaded from the truck into the floor of the warehouse. They were muscular from weekdays spent lifting boxes, and tanned from weekends spent lounging on the shores of the Cayman Islands.

Mitchell opened the box with the money, expecting to make the usual transaction, but he was surprised to find it empty, save for a slip of paper.

"What's this?" Mitchell said, reading the slip of paper. "I.O.U. ... The A-Team"?

"The who?" Cook replied.

Suddenly four crates burst open, to reveal B.A., Hannibal, Face and Murdock with M-16's pointed at them.

"A-Team, sucka!" B.A. grunted. "You heard him!"

"Americans?" Mitchell said. "What is this, a raid? You have no jurisdiction here."

"B.A.," Hannibal said calmly, "Show him our warrant."

B.A. let loose a barrage of gunfire on the warehouse.

"Are you crazy?" Cook said. "This is a legitamite business! Those crates contain priceless artwork!"

"Check it out," Hannibal said to the others.

B.A., Murdock and Face started ripping open crates to see what was inside.

"Priceless artwork, huh?" Face said. "Like Dogs Playing Poker?"

"Or a velvet Elvis?" Murdock said.

"This stuff ain't nothin' but junk!" B.A. said.

"This whole thing's a money laundering scheme," Hannibal said. "Now why don't you two connoiseurs grab a brush, and paint us a list of the dirtballs back on shore who are selling this crap."

Murdock kept Mitchell and Cook at gunpoint, while Hannibal and Face and B.A. looked over the list of sellers.

"This is quite an operation," Face said. "These paintings are from all over the world."

"The seller we're after must be local. Someone who has an interest in that neighborhood."

"Some of these paintings have been sold through Christie's in Los Angeles," Face said. "But the sellers names aren't listed."

B.A. took a closer look. "That ain't no Christie's! That's just some fake-ass Kristy's!"

"I think we ought to pay Kristy a visit," Hannibal said.

"I ain't gettin' on no plane, man!" B.A. said.

"You won't have to worry about that," said a voice from above. Murdock turned his gun to a metal walkway above that went around the perimeter of the warehouse, but he could see that they were surrounded by suited men with rifles pointed at them. "Drop it!"

Murdock dropped his weapon.

"I don't know where you idiots came from," said the mobster, "but I know where you're going, if you don't tell me who you're working for."

"We're Amway salesman," Hannibal said. "Sorry to bust in like this. But the competition's murder."

"Get these guys outta here," the mobster said to an underling. "Phone the boss. Find out if he wants us to bury these guys."

"I don't know who these guys are that busted into the warehouse" said Tony, the leader of the Zamboni crime syndicate. "But I told my boys to put 'em on ice. So relax, Al."

"Would you quit calling me 'Al'? I told you, there is no 'Crazy Al'! It's just a name for my department store. My name is Melvin! And don't tell me to be calm. We had a deal. I help move the money offshore, and you get rid of that Wal-Mart that was running me out of business. Now I find out some hired guns have found the warehouse? If I get connected with your extortion racket-"

"It's not gonna happen," Tony said. "Whatever these guys know, they'll be takin' to the grave."

Hannibal, Face, B.A. and Murdock had been locked in a storage room while the mobsters made the call to Los Angeles. The four wasted no time in scouring the room to find any useful materials.

Hannibal opened up a metal box to reveal some camping equipment inside. One of the items was a coffee mug with yellow glaze.

"Hand me that mug," B.A. said. Hannibal handed it to him. "It's pretty old," B.A. said. "The glaze probably has traces of uranium".

"That box is made of lead," Hannibal said, "We should be able to extract the thorium from the lamp and make a nuclear reactor."

B.A. nodded. "Let's do it."

The mobster hung up the phone. "Tony says to take 'em out."

The mobster nodded. "Let's do it."

Two other mobsters followed, and all four went to the storage room with their guns drawn ready to take out the intruders.

The head mobster opened the door to find a crudely furnished nuclear bomb in the center of the room. Hannibal held a wooden box with t-shaped metal handle, to be used as a detonator. The others crouched low and covered their ears as Hannibal pressed down the detonator, but nothing happened.

"What's going on here?" the head mobster said.

B.A. ran to the metal box and opened it. "What's wrong with this thing?"

As B.A. stuck his head inside the box, Murdock realized he'd unplugged the detonator with this foot. "My bad!" he said, as he plugged it back in the wall.

"Murdock! No!" B.A. shouted, as the bomb exploded in his face.

A mushroom clouded erupted over the warehouse as the mobsters were blown backward.

Under the cover of smoke, Hannibal rushed at one of the mobsters and wrestled away his weapon, then starting firing at them.

"B.A.? Are you all right?" Murdock asked.

"No, I ain't all right!" B.A. said as he coughed and waved smoke out of his face. His facial hair now stuck straight outward just as his mohawk did. "You dead meat, sucka!"

"Come on!" Hannibal said. "I can't hold these guys off forever!"

Hannibal provided cover fire as they made their way to the door of the warehouse.

Outside the warehouse, they jumped into the first vehicle they saw, an antiquated jeep. B.A. hotwired it and they were off.

The mobsters were not far behind, pursuing them in SUVs.

Hannibal looked behind them to see the SUVs pursuing, then looked ahead to see that the dirt road they were on converged with another dirt road to their left, which was on a steep incline.

"B.A., turn around up here. Get us on the other road."

B.A. nearly tipped the jeep over as he pulled up the parking brake to do a harsh bootlegger's turn, but the jeep soon regained it's footing and went up the inclined dirt road.

The mobsters saw them turn around at the fork in the road and disappear in the opposite direction.

They quickly pursued, turning the corner, to find that the jeep was already out of sight.

"Step on it," the mobster said to the driver, "Or we'll lose 'em ..."

Shortly after the mobsters turned onto the other road, B.A.'s jeep emerged from the foliage back onto the road they were on before.

Face brushed leaves and twigs off of his suit. "My tailor's gonna love this ..."

The jeep rolled to a stop at the shore, where the seaplane was docked, and the four stepped out.

"I told you, I ain't gettin' on no plane!"

"B.A., I happen to a fully qualified pilot," Murdock said, "licenced in all 50 states!"

"This ain't America, fool, and I ain't flyin'!"

"Now B.A.," Face added, "You can't tell me we escaped the jaws of death just to sit here on the shore?"

B.A. got in his face. "I just did, sucka."

"Duly noted," Face said, smiling nervously.

"It's just as well," Hannibal said. "That jewelry store is having a sale. 50% off."

B.A. looked in the direction Hannibal was pointing to see a quaint storefront with a sign that read "All gold 50% off!"'

"I better go check this out," B.A. said.

The other three followed B.A. to the store. B.A. walked through the front door, while the others waited outside.

"It's dark in here!" B.A. said from inside. "And I don't see no gold!"

Hannibal and Face pulled down the storefront to reveal it was nothing but a fake wooden prop, and B.A. had actually stepped into a shipping crate.

As soon as the fake storefront prop hit the ground, Murdock slammed a cover over the shipping crate.

"Lemme outta here!" B.A. shouted. "You suckas are dead meat! You hear me?"

"Don't worry, B.A." Hannibal said, as he and the others lifted the crate and started to carry it toward the plane. "We marked it 'FRAGILE' ".

Within a few moments, the auction was set to begin at Kristy's. A crowd of sharply dressed fat Italian men sat in the audience.

"Hey boss," said Tony's underling, who stood next to him at the back of the auction room. "Are you sure we should do this now? I haven't heard back from the boys at the warehouse yet."

"Don't worry, once Tony points the finger, you're as good as gone. Nobody gives Zamboni the runaround."

"Our first item up for bid," said the auctioneer, "Is a beautiful poster print of Gottfried Helnwein's Boulevard of Broken Dreams. This particular piece has a purple neon light over the storefront. We'll start the bidding at one million dollars."

The price quickly escalated, and the item was eventually won for 1.5 million by a tanned, mustachioed man with a thick Italian accent.

"You ever seen this guy before?" Tony said to the auctioneer. "No, Mr. Zamboni ... I assumed you had ..."

"The boys at the warehouse probably sent somebody new, just in case the feds were onto the old buyer. Let's get this over with."

"He's in the back room. He'll be paying cash."

Tony walked to the back room to meet the buyer, his assistant carrying the painting.

"Congratulations on your purchase," Tony said.

"Funny," Hannibal said as he ripped off the fake moustache with one hand, and drew a .45 with the other. "I was about to say the same to you."

Face and Murdock emerged from opposite corners, aiming M-16s at them.

"What is this?" Tony demanded. "Who are you people?"

"Some friends of ours had a little vermin problem. So they called the exterminators. Have a seat," Hannibal said, motioning to a table.

Hannibal nodded to Face, who set a laptop in front of Tony, with a slip of paper next to it.

Tony picked up the slip of paper. "What is this?"

"This first number is a ballpark estimate of how much money you've extorted from the neighborhood. The second number is the account your going to transfer it back to."

Tony had typed the account number in and was about to press enter when he heard Melvin's voice. "That's enough, Tony."

Melvin approached, flanked by two thugs. "Drop 'em".

Hannibal, Face and Murdock threw their weapons down.

"Hey, I know you!" Murdock said. "From the commercials ... Crazy Al, Everybody's Pal ..."

"He knows crazy when he sees it," Hannibal mused. "I figured these mafia thugs must have had a silent partner in their pocket. But Crazy Al? If that's not a face you can trust ..."

"You got any more one-liners?" Tony said, as he stood up and drew a pistol on Hannibal, "Before I turn your head into abstract art?"

"Just one," Hannibal said, as he leaned toward a small microphone pinned to the inside of his lapel. "Go, B.A!"

The black van crashed through the wall. B.A. held the wheel with his right hand, and fired shots out the window with this left.

One of the thugs turned to fire at B.A. Face grabbed his rifle with both hands, kneed him in the groin, then used the butt of the rifle to knock him to the ground.

Another thug turned on Murdock. Murdock pushed the rifle barrel away with his left hand, then gave the thug a hard right across the face knocking him out.

B.A. stepped out of the van to open the side door. Tony's underling drew his gun on B.A., but B.A. ripped the gun out of his hand, and headbutted him, knocking him out.

Hannibal stepped onto the chair Tony had been sitting on, and used it as a springboard to tackle Tony to the ground. Then lifted him up slightly and knocked him out.

"Oh, B.A.!" Murdock said in a swooning voice. "I knew you'd come back for me!"

"Shut up, fool! Let's get outta here!"

B.A. jumped in the driver's seat, and Murdock jumped in the passenger side.

"Face!" Hannibal said, pointing to the laptop.

Face picked up the computer and pressed "enter", and a message popped up saying "Transaction complete".

"Please doing business with you, Al," Face grinned as he jumped into the side door.

"Don't feel bad. You've got a great consolation prize," Hannibal said, as picked up the Boulevard of Broken Dreams and tossed it to Melvin. "It'll look great in your cell." Hannibal stepped into the side door of the van as it pulled away. "Thanks for playing!"

"Now that those thugs are off my back, business is finally picking up again," Tim said. "I don't know how I can ever thank you."

"Fixing my TV is a real good start," B.A. said. "The picture looks great. Say, Billy, what you watchin'?"

B.A. looked over Billy's shoulder to see him watching a rap video. B.A. shook his head. "I'm tired o' these suckas thinkin' they can rap, talkin' 'bout guns, settin' bad examples for the kids ..."

"You think you can do better?" Billy said.

"Get me a mike, fool, I'll show you how it's done!"

See B.A.'s rap song at:

www . youtube watch?v=7_rBidCkJxo

The End ... ?