Dogs of War Will Rise

Chapter 18

"And you haven't seen any of these men?" Colonel Decker asked a nurse and two members of the hospital staff in the latest number of hospitals they visited, showing them the arrest photos of each member of the A-Team. "The youngest member of this team is seriously wounded. These men had to have taken him somewhere!"

"Well they ain't here," the nurse responded coolly as she glared at the man standing in front of her, growing frustrated by this man's badgering in impatience. "I never saw them and neither did anyone else that works here, as you have asked us more than once. Your men are busy searching every room, so go bother them and leave us alone."

As the Army Colonel finally stepped away from the reception desk, Burress spoke up smugly, "I told you, you are going about this all wrong and have wasted valuable time. For all we know, Hannibal and his team have already left wherever he actually did take Peck and they're on their way to disappearing where you'll never find them. How many hospitals are we going to check before you finally listen to me?"

Decker turned around and looked at the man as he asked coldly, "Fine, where do you suggest we go?"

"If you will allow me to, I can find out if there are any small clinics around here, or any doctors that might practice out of their homes," the former CIA agent answered as he started walking around the receptionists' desk looking to gain access to one of the computers for information. "One of them is where we're going to find Smith."

"If you think you can find them, then by all means, be my guest," Roderick replied. "I am quickly losing patience."

Vance muttered under his breath, "I lost patience with you days ago."

Hearing the prisoner in his custody mutter, but not understanding what he said, the Colonel asked coldly, "What was that?"

"Oh, nothing… nothing," he quickly responded as he finally found what he was looking for as he continued running his fingers across the keyboard. "It looks like there are three doctors who have their practices right out of their homes and two clinics in town, one run by a female doctor and a couple of nurses, the other by a doctor and his three assistants. What do you want to start with?"

"What do you suggest?" Decker asked sarcastically. "You seem pretty sure of yourself. Where would you take one of your own men if they were injured?"

Vance smiled coolly as he answered, "I wouldn't take my own men anywhere. I don't hold on to sentiment, but I'll bet the team is at the clinic run by the female doctor. She's about Hannibal's age, she'll most likely be the only the only doctor to feel any kind of remorse enough to let a team of criminals inside to help them, and it is the place least likely to draw attention of four men entering inside."

The man in charge of the search nodded and replied, "Very well, we'll follow your lead, but if you're wrong, I am sending you back to your prison cell where you belong. Let's get moving."

An hour after the operation finished…

"You should get some rest," Maggie said quietly to the leader of these men seeking her help to save one of their own as she walked back into the small operating room where he sat watching over their still unconscious and ill ridden friend. "The others are still looking out for trouble and you're exhausted. There's nothing more you can do for him right now."

"There'll be no rest for any of us until Face is out of the woods," Hannibal responded quietly as he continued staring down at the younger man. "That's how it is for all of us whenever one of us is hurt. Tell me the truth, how bad is his wound? I saw how ugly it looked."

The woman looked down at her patient sadly as she answered wearily, "It's bad, there's no denying it. I was able to remove all of the fragments, but… the damage was extensive. The bullet had to have hit something hard first before entering his stomach in order for it to shatter as it did."

The Colonel nodded and replied, "He was wearing a bulletproof vest. We all were. The rounds those soldiers used must have been armor piercing rounds. And what about the needle mark in his neck?"

"It hasn't become infected at all if that's what you're asking," Maggie responded as she gently removed the small bandage covering it. "I have a feeling that he's going to be alright, Mr. Smith."

"You can call me Hannibal," the Colonel answered with a smile. "All of my friends do."

It was then that B.A. came into the room quickly as he stated, "They've found us, Hannibal. What are we gonna do?"

Their leader looked down worryingly at his closest friend as he gently ran his hand along Face's forehead for comfort, then turned to look at Maggie, and finally at B.A. as he responded calmly, "This is our best play. Remember, these men are only following the Army's orders, including Decker."

"Agent Lynch isn't following orders," Murdock grumbled. "He'd kill us all without a second thought."

"Maybe so, but we're not like him," Hannibal answered. "B.A., is our plan ready?"

Maggie looked at the men in surprise as she asked, "You boys have a plan?"

Hannibal smiled as he replied, "Of course we do, and I love it when a plan comes together."

It wasn't long before a loud knock came at the clinic's front door again and after a few minutes, the doctor who ran the small treatment center turned on the rest of the lights to the building and walked out, then when she opened the door she looked out to see several men in uniform, as well as one who wasn't, as she spoke up saying, "Forgive me, gentlemen, but I'm afraid I'm closed for the night. It's very late and I was just finishing up for the evening before I go home."

"You'll have to forgive us, Ma'am, but I'm afraid we believe you are harboring a group of fugitives, one of whom was severely injured," Colonel Decker responded coldly as he held up his military credentials to show the woman, while the rest of the men behind him slowly raised their weapons higher to let her know that they meant business. "We're coming inside to search your clinic, whether you like it or not. And if you are hiding these men…"

"Excuse me, you can't just come barging in here, not without a proper warrant!" Maggie cried as the men swarmed the building, making their way through every room until they came upon the small operating room where they found a body on the table, a sheet pulled up over the patient's head. "My latest patient. He didn't make it."

"That is a shame," Vance Burress stated cruelly as he reached out to pull back the sheet, only to be surprised by someone completely unexpected.

The man laid out on the table slowly sat up as he raised his own gun, while the men surrounding him all backed up out of surprise, then he said, "I'm sorry if you were expecting someone else gentlemen, but you will have to settle for me and my friends instead."

Lynch vaguely recognized the man, but it wasn't until someone else spoke up from behind them as they all turned around to see several heavily armed soldiers with weapons drawn, their leader saying, "Former CIA agent Vance Burress, we meet again. You remember my associate, Lieutenant Gammons and of course, Lieutenant Ravech standing here beside me?"

"Lieutenant Sosa, or should I say, Captain Sosa; Charissa," Lynch answered as he looked between the three and chuckled. "I should have known Smith would call you in to get them out of a rough spot. If you're planning to arrest me…"

"You've already been arrested and sentenced to life, Vance," she interrupted as she motioned for her men to disarm both Colonel Decker's men as well as those that had sided with Burress. "I'm here to escort you back to prison, seeing as… Colonel Roderick Decker, is it? Seeing as Colonel Decker can't be trusted not to let you slip through his fingers again."

Decker replied coldly, "You have no right to interfere with our arrests, Captain Sosa. I was put in charge of hunting down the A-Team, not you."

Vance quickly responded smugly, "Did you know that Sosa here has a thing for Peck? She's only here to distract you so that you can't go after them as they escape from us once again."

"You're wrong," Charissa answered calmly. "When we arrived, Hannibal Smith and his team were long gone. My team and I received a call from Smith, who said we could find you instead. So, thanks to a little help from the doctor that runs this clinic, we laid a trap for you for when you all arrived. The A-Team has escaped once again. You're welcome to continue your search for them, Decker, but I wouldn't hold your breath. They know how to disappear and remain hidden. Are you ready to go home, Lynch?"

"I'm ready when you are," the cruel ex agent replied cockily, despite knowing that he had been beaten and outsmarted once again.

Three days later…

The drop phone Face had given the female Captain rang and as soon as she heard it, Charissa grabbed it and asked eagerly, "Face, is that you?"

Hannibal came across the other end of the line instead as he responded, "I'm afraid not, Sosa. He's recovering, but slowly. He hasn't spoken much. I wanted to call and let you know that he'll be alright in time, and I also wanted to thank you for helping us, for helping Maggie."

"You're welcome," she answered, sounding relieved that the man she would never be able to admit that she loved was going to be alright. "Tell Face when he's ready that I wish him well."

"Before I hang up, did Maggie receive the compensation we sent for her?" the Colonel asked.

Charissa replied, "I made sure of it. She claimed it wasn't necessary, but I told her that you wouldn't take no for an answer. She was grateful. Take care of yourselves, Hannibal, and each other."

The Colonel responded sincerely, "You too, Charissa, and thank you again."

Hours later…

"How are you feeling?" Hannibal asked as he came over to sit in the seat beside the youngest member of the team, who was currently lying as comfortable as possible in a makeshift bed his teammates had put together for him inside the back of their van. "Can I get you anything?"

"I'm getting better, thanks to you," Face answered quietly without looking over at him. "You came for me. I… don't really know…"

Hannibal stopped him as he cut in saying, "You don't have to explain, Face. I should have known that Morrison's betrayal affected you more than I thought it had. I should have made sure that each of you knew without a doubt that I would never, will never turn against you, or let you die trying to protect me. Worse still, I didn't make it easy for you to come to me when you were struggling with all of this. That won't happen again, I promise you. You're stuck with me, kid, for as long as you're willing to stick with me."

Murdock turned his head toward his friends as he stated, "And if you ever try to sacrifice yourself to protect me again, I will make your life miserable and you know I can do it. Don't ever scare me like that again."

"The same goes for me," B.A. called out from the driver's seat.

"Don't worry," Face replied as he finally turned his head to look over at the man beside him, the man he trusted most in the world, "It's not in my nature to be self-sacrificing, remember? At least not typically. I think I had been coming down with something at the time. The four of us are in this together. I know that now. Thank you, boss."

The End

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