Hannibal had had an uneasy feeling from the start, but the really bad feeling about the job they'd agreed to do kicked in when they stopped the van where their newest client directed them to - and then the man bailed out without warning.
"Captain! Catch up with him!"
"On it, Colonel!"
Murdock was already headed out of the van before he even finished speaking. The client had a head start, but Murdock was faster and soon had the man tackled. Then he looked up and saw trouble.
"Uhm - Colonel? We have a situation here, sir."
Hannibal, Face and B.A. had just gotten out of the van. Murdock's call got their attention to the fact that no less than a half-dozen weapons were pointed in their direction. Hannibal scowled, looking over at their supposed client as he scrambled his way off of the ground and fled from the scene.
"Gentlemen… we have been suckered."
Face started to move toward Murdock, but a bullet into the ground inches from him kept the team a considerable distance apart, with Murdock only a few feet from the men and the rest of them still near the van several yards away. One of the men stepped forward and called out.
"Alright – which one of you is B.A. Baracus?"
That single question did something that almost nothing ever did. The entire A-Team was stunned to speechlessness. How could anyone be looking for B.A. and not be able to immediately pick him out of the four of them? Obviously whoever had hired these men left out a couple of very important details. Like what B.A. looked like.
Only Murdock was close enough to hear the nasty comment that passed between two of the armed men.
"This is going to be a Mother's Day present for his mom to remember."
Murdock stiffened as he got angry. B.A.'s mother had been wonderful to him - treating him almost like one of her own kids. Even said she'd wanted to adopt him. Then a sudden thought sprang into life inside of his quicksilver mind and a very tiny smile formed. He stepped forward before the rest of the team had gotten over their shock.
"You fools are looking for me? Well, you found me. I'm B.A. Baracus."
Those words coming out of Murdock snapped the real B.A. out of his stupor.
"What do you think.."
Face found himself taking a deep breath and holding it as Murdock turned around and yelled - yes, yelled - at B.A to stop him from saying anything else.
"Shut up, Fool! You stay out of this, all of you. This is family business. Now - what's that you jokers said about my mother?"
Between Murdock yelling at him and the sudden mention of his mother, B.A. was about to blow a gasket and he almost started forward when a hand on his arm from Hannibal stopped him. Eyes met and, even though he didn't like it one bit, he stayed at the Colonel's side.
For his part, Hannibal had noticed when Murdock had gotten suddenly stiff. The Captain had obviously heard something that none of them had and Hannibal wanted to know what that was before anyone went off half-cocked.
"Heh - you got good ears, Baracus. You're coming with us. Boss needs a little leverage in Chicago with your mom and he figures us sending him her baby boy should do the trick. Now, get over here with your hands on your head before we have to play rough with your friends."
"Easy, Sergeant, easy..."
Hannibal spoke very softly to B.A. and didn't dare move his hand from his arm. He could feel the trembling from the stored up tension is B.A.'s powerful muscles and knew the man was ready to go straight into those guns and tear folks apart. That wouldn't be good for any of them. Or lead them to whoever was trying to mess with B.A.'s mother. They were currently a long way from Chicago.
Across the way, Murdock had walked over to the men with his hands on top of his head as he'd been ordered to. Two of the men grabbed him and turned him around so that he was now facing his teammates. The first eyes he met were Face's - and Face was a little startled to find that Murdock was looking saner than he had since before the crash in 'Nam.
The brown eyes locked briefly with Hannibal as well before Murdock turned his full attention to B.A. His gaze and expression didn't waver even though his arms were being wrenched behind him and tied tightly before another rope was looped all the way around him to pin his arms to his body. He called out over to them as if he wasn't being manhandled - it rather annoyed his captors that they seemed to be being completely ignored.
"Listen up. You guys stay out of this. A man's place is with his mother. You hear that? I'll take care of what I need to take care of. You all just carry on with business."
The leader of the small gang just laughed.
"Baracus here is talking sense. But just to make sure you follow his advice?"
Two shots rang out near the team - each one taking out a tire on the van. Murdock reacted violently to what he thought was his friends being shot at. He took out one of the men that had been tying him and almost took out the other when a blow to the back of his head dropped him.
"No wonder the Boss said to be careful with this one. Get him into the van. Rest of you? You'd be better off finding a new teammate. This one ain't coming back."
None of them liked having to watch as Murdock's unconscious body was loaded in to the back of a van, but there was nothing they could currently do that wouldn't risk Murdock's life. When they drove off, B.A. finally let loose yelling.
"That crazy fool! What does he think he's doing telling them gunmen he's me? Of all the darn fool crazy stunts!"
Face was still looking at the cloud of dust that was all that remained to show where the men had left.
"I don't think so, big guy. For once, I got the idea that Murdock knew exactly what he was doing."
"Face is right, B.A. I saw Murdock react to something just before he called out to those guys. He obviously heard them say something about your mother."
Hannibal's voice got a little softer.
"You remember how much Murdock talked about your mother after we met her. She treated him good. Nicer than even we treat him. I knew he'd gotten attached to her... I guess I know now just how attached. You heard what he said. Your place is with your mother. Something bad is happening or about to be happening around her. The Captain stepped in to make sure that you were free so you could go there and be by her side to handle it."
B.A. looked back to where the dust was just about to finish settling back down. Then he let out a sigh.
"Crazy fool... he better not go get himself hurt. My mother'll skin me if I let anything happen to him. She was serious about wanting to adopt him. It's them big brown puppy dog eyes of his. She never could pass up a stray."
Face went over and looked at the tires.
"Let me guess - only one spare?"
At that, B.A.'s expression changed to a slight smile.
"You kidding? The way we go through tires? Come on - we got to get on the road and get to my mother 'fore those idiots do something to her or our boy Murdock."