Murdock walked across the compound, his head in a whirl, oblivious to the heat of the day and the sounds of the jungle and the Hueys thundering over head. He had been convinced he was screwed here, he'd crashed a chopper, put it out of action for good, left four guys in medical and why? Because he'd created a disaster out of a perfectly routine mission. He shouldn't have stopped his meds like that; the meds hardly anyone knew he was taking, the meds he shouldn't be on if he was involved in active service... But ever since he'd been shot down heading out to a mission, the only survivor of the fire ball that had engulfed his chopper – well, he'd needed those tablets just to get by.
But before he'd even had the chance to explain, to try and justify why he should be allowed to stay and not shipped out on a Section 8, they'd just let him go, unlocked the door and chucked him out. And even stranger, was the thought that he'd seen Face sitting on a straight backed chair in another office just as he was leaving. What the hell was going on? Murdock turned a corner and headed towards the officer's quarters, there was one man for sure who'd have some answers.
Hannibal Smith looked over the papers in front of him and rubbed his forehead in frustration. He'd known the kid was desperate to get away from him, hadn't wanted this posting, hadn't wanted this team, but still, to pull a stunt like that? Endanger the lives of ten good men just to get moved on? He couldn't see it. According to the kid's statement, there'd been an argument between him and Murdock; the pilot had refused to drop him at a local village on the way back to base, seems the kid had a 'lady friend' he kept there. So eventually Face had lost his temper, grabbed the controls and tried to force Murdock to land only ending up ditching the chopper in a rice paddy.
The files were slammed shut and Hannibal tipped back in his seat, smouldering cigar in his lips, brain running a mile a minute as he considered all the things that didn't make sense. Face losing his temper for one, ever since the kid had arrived he'd been as cool as cucumber the whole time; no one ever got him riled up, no one ever seemed to push his buttons, no matter what they said or did to him, and Hannibal knew damn well that there had been plenty of that type of shit going on.
Then there was the fact that none of the other passengers in the Huey could remember and argument between the two men. Sure they were all tired, some injured, and on their way back into base, and they could certainly vouch for seeing Face and Murdock wrestling over the controls, but no one remembers the argument preceding that. Weird. And then of course there was this mysterious girl in the village, the one that Face was refusing to name in order to protect her. Hannibal frowned, now that was plain bullshit – Face never left the base, hell, he hardly left his hooch unless he had to, just stayed on his bunk, scowling at anyone who went near him and ignoring Murdock's constant offers of friendship. No, Hannibal was positive, there was no girlfriend, and this whole business smelt worse than the gutters in Hanoi. He was very much looking forward to discussing the whole affair with Murdock.
"Hey, fool!" Murdock was almost at Hannibal's hooch when BA came jogging up to him, envelope in his hand. "You heard about Face, man?"
Murdock's stomach dropped, he didn't like the sound of this much at all. "Face? he tentatively asked.
"Yeah, the MPs came and took him 'bout an hour ago, no one knows why, but he left this for you, give it to me jus' before they slapped the cuffs on 'im."
Murdock looked up, his eyes wide in shock, "They cuffed him? Man, BA, what did he do?"
"Dunno," BA answered already walking off, "but whatever it was, gets his annoying butt outta our team though, yeah?"
Murdock watched him go, wishing BA wouldn't talk about the kid like that, and then ripped open the envelope, his heart falling right into his boots as he read Face's hastily scribbled note.