"Hey, man." the young Lieutenant said when entering the cockpit of the pitch black chopper soaring over the jungle of Vietnam.
"Hey, Marty." the pilot greeted back with a smile, watching his friend taking a seat beside him, putting on the headphones.
"Want a beer?" Marty asked, holding out one of the two bottles he had brought.
"Don't drink and drive." the other returned with a bit of a mischievous expression.
"Well, you aren't driving, are you?" Marty just grinned, the two man sharing a chuckle, before the other took the beer held out for him.
"How are the guys doing?" the pilot asked again after a little pause.
"Oh, good. I mean, it's finally getting home, that lifts every spirit, no?" Marty said.
"Was a pretty tight one, though, wasn't it? Well, how lucky they sent us the best pilot in the entire US Army." he grinned, lifting his bottle of beer a bit in a sort of toast, while the other chuckled a bit to himself, while the same time obviously very much enjoying his comrade's compliment.
"Well, how lucky that team is also lead by the best Lieutenant of the entire US Army." the pilot finally returned, now making Marty give a bit of a chuckle.
"Oh, c'mon, you're making me blush." he joked, giving the other a bit of a friendly nudge.
Another little pause followed, before it was yet again the pilot who spoke up.
"Already looking forward to home?"
"Man, you bet! My lady and myself, we want to start a family, y'know, I guess it'll be the first thing I'll make sure of right away, once I'm back home, if you know what I mean." Marty winked, the two men sharing a laugh.
"Murdock, say, what's the H.M. actually stand for. You never told me." Marty then asked, tilting his head a bit, Murdock giving a bit of a lopsided smirk.
"You never asked."
"I'm now." Marty returned with a grin, Murdock chuckling somewhat again.
"It's . . ." but he never managed to finish the sentence.
The chopper suddenly gave a jerk, from one moment to the other noise and light filling the heads of the two men, the helicopter starting to spin, the jungle approaching far faster than the human mind ever could proceed. Somewhere in the very back of his head Murdock heard Marty's voice call.
"What is happening?" he sounded in panic, desperate, like he knew they would die.
"We've been hit! I'll try bring her down in what's left of her!" Murdock called back or he just thought it, he wouldn't be able to remember. Everything happened too fast, just so very much too fast. He tried bringing the chopper down, but the machine got out of control, it must have been a straight hit and the helicopter falling off the sky like the piece of metal it was. They hit the jungle, nothing but noise and light around them and then there was black.
The sky was still dark, when Murdock opened his eyes, everything was blurry, the noise sounding far away, his entire body feeling dull and like it wasn't real. But probably it was good he didn't feel anything, like that he also didn't feel pain. In his head he called for Marty, for the team, but nothing left his mouth. Suddenly voices approached him, at first he thought it were the guys, but they spoke a foreign language and then he saw them, Vietnamese soldiers. Probably the ones that shot them. One of them came over, kneeing down beside him, soon calling for his comrades and Murdock developed the feeling that being alive right now was not that much luck.
The next moment he found himself roughly being pulled to his feet, for the first time he saw the surroundings, his gaze still blurry, but he saw the wreck that once had been the chopper, burning, crushed between the trees. Some pieces sprawled around it. Good god. Are these body parts? The bodies of the team? Some Vietnamese men poked at what is left from the cockpit with their weapons, something suddenly falling out of it. Crushed like the chopper itself, twisted and turned like a rag doll. Marty? Marty!
But Murdock still couldn't call, he just found himself dragged away by the Vietnamese soldiers. Where? He never knew. How long? He never knew. It might have been days. Might have been weeks. What they did to him? He never knew. It probably was better that way. It was darkness and pain, bad English yelled at him, all just flashes between consciousness and unconsciousness. But deep, deep in the back of his head there was Marty, all the time. The good friend he was, telling him to not give up, not say anything. They'll come and safe them.
And suddenly there they were, the stern voices of soldiers, speaking a voice he did understand. A little jerk escaped him, when he felt himself touched at the shoulder, forcing his heavy eyelids open he saw a young, brave looking sergeant standing in front of him, yelling
"Here's a survivor, Sir!"
Murdock just smiled.
"Hey, Marty." he croaked and everything went black again.
"Good. Patient, Cpt. H.M. Murdock. Vietnam survivor. Was probably tortured after crashing in the jungle. What do you make of him Dr. Flowers?" the elderly doctor asked, turning to look at his colleague, who almost absentmindedly was watching the man sitting outside the conference room, talking lively to one of the male nurses sitting beside him.
"Hm? Oh. Well, Mr. Murdock presents himself with a paranoid schizophrenia, probably due to post traumatic stress syndrome. We still aren't able to get him to tell all details about the crash and capture in Vietnam. He seems to have forgotten it to protect himself. He has light moments during which he merely might appear a little eccentric, but overall sane. These however are switched with moments of schizophrenic delusions and hallucinations at random. Very random, if I may say so. We have so far not found any sort of trigger, there seem to be many things that trigger such delusional states in which he hallucinates, has paranoid moments or starts identifying himself with stereotypical characters to a point where he believes he is such character for some time. These random delusions are over as fast as they come, though. Oh. And he has a tendency to, well, escape.", the younger doctor told.
The elder nodding with a serious expression,
"What do you think? Is further treatment required?"
"Yes, he is capable of working, but by all means, his mental state is far too unstable, I don't think he is capable of provide for himself. Least, not without someone administrating him."
"Is he dangerous?" the elder asked again.
"No, no. His sense for morals is compleatly intact. He's harmless enough. Aside the escaping, of course."
"Good. Then he shall be admitted to the V.A. Hospital. Dr. Flowers, thank you." the elder nodded, both men getting up, shaking hands and with that turning to leave.
Dr. Flowers heading for the waiting man and nurse,
"Mr. Murdock?" he smiled, the other stopping his ramblings, making the nurse give a relieved breath.
"Oh, hey, doctor. How's it going?" Murdock smiled back, "Can I go now?"
"Erm. No, no, You've been ordered to a new base, Captain. I'm here to bring you there." Dr. Flowers said, Murdock leaping to his feet, giving an enthusiastic salute,
"Yes, Sir! I-I'll just call Marty and tell him, okay? So he doesn't wonder where I went. He's worried pretty fast y'know, doc."
"Yes, do this. Nurse Bradley will accompany you. I'll wait at the entrance. But don't take too long, your new colonel is already waiting." Dr. Flowers said.
"Oh, oh, don't wanna leave the colonel waiting, no!" Murdock grinned, before he was off already, followed by the nurse. Dr. Flowers just heaving a bit of a sigh. What would become of this man, he wondered.