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Thinking about Golf Balls

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Hannibal glanced over at where Murdock was sitting, playing with the golf ball in his hands. Murdock had been strangely silent since they left, and he was beginning to get concerned. This job was particularly hard on all of them since it dealt with Chow and Lin. Lin was a great man, one who the entire team was particularly indebted to, a man they thought the world of and were happy to see again. It was a shame that Lin was tied to painful memories however. Murdock was one of the finest men never fully under Hannibal’s command. While they were part of the same Brigade, Murdock wasn’t in Hannibal’s Battalion. He was still considered the best pilot in the whole Army and because of that Hannibal always requested him when they needed to go out. Murdock was always a little odd, but Hannibal mostly wrote that off on the fact that Murdock had already seen quite a bit of trauma. He had heard quite a few reports of Murdock leaving with a fleet of helicopters only to be one of the few if not the only one to return. Then they were captured by the enemy. Everyone had been tortured and through hell in that place, but Murdock hat it particularly hard due to his inability to shut up when he was nervous. The prison camp was not something they talked about. Hannibal, B.A., and Face buried all that deep into them and ignored it. Murdock couldn’t ignore it though. He was far too intelligent to ignore things like that. Murdock was a genius but that was also part of his downfall.

Hannibal believed the best thing a leader could do was understand their people. B.A. was a fantastic non-commissioned officer and the best mechanic Hannibal ever met. Given some time and the barest amount of tools, B.A. could fix anything with an engine. Most people were afraid of B.A., thought him dangerous and rude. Hannibal knew that B.A.’s attitude came from the fact that he had the biggest heart of anyone he ever met. B.A. was amazing with children and usually when someone brought a job to the A-Team that resulted in no pay due to a sob story, it was almost always B.A. B.A.’s rough exterior was meant to protect that heart of his, to keep people from taking advantage of it and taking it from him. Face was one of the greatest con-men Hannibal ever met. He could get anything from anywhere and he could convince almost anyone to give him whatever he wanted. Face was the resident pretty boy of the group and he used that to his advantage. He was also fantastic with numbers which was why Hannibal left most of the monetary matters to him. To some Face was selfish and self-centered but Hannibal knew it all came from Face’s need to have something. Face grew up in an orphanage with nothing to call his own, including a family. Everything he had, he had to find a way to gain it with no starting point. Of everyone on the team, Face probably had the lowest self esteem.

Then there was Murdock. Murdock was one of the most intelligent people that Hannibal ever met. It shouldn’t have surprised anyone that the thing most at risk for the aviation captain was his mind. Hannibal suspected that may be part of why Murdock retreated into a fantasy after everything that happened. He knew what was real, he knew what reality was, but unlike the others who could bury their trauma or ignore it, the best Murdock could do was redirect it. Murdock couldn’t talk about the horrors they were put through in the camp, but he could talk about how horrifying it must be to a golf ball to get hit by a club and thrown through the air. He could talk about organizing a golf ball revolution to fight for the injustices done to them before he could talk about the horrible way his friends were disregarded by the military they dedicated their lives to.

There were days Hannibal wondered if he should tell the others what Murdock was doing, about why he supported Murdock’s ‘delusions’. If one listened close they could tell exactly what was bothering Murdock, like how Murdock was trying to keep from remembering the torture they went through by directing it on the golf balls. Then again he didn’t think he had to. Face typically played along with his former superior. Hannibal didn’t know if Face knew what it was or if he just enjoyed the drama that came with it, but he figured it was better to leave Face doing what he was. Amy played along too, mostly taking her cues from Hannibal and Face. Hannibal knew she didn’t know anything about Murdock’s situation but Hannibal knew to leave that alone too. B.A. pushed back on Murdock all the time but Hannibal knew it was necessary. B.A. was the one who grounded him, who held Murdock to Earth when he was getting a little too far away. The A-Team were the very people Murdock needed the most, people who understand him and ground him.

“Colonel, I was thinkin’, maybe Amy can find a few witnesses for her story on the Golf Ball Liberation Army.” Murdock said, leaning forward suddenly. Hannibal took out his cigar, about to suggest some kind of addition to the idea but B.A. had apparently decided he didn’t want to hear anymore.

“Shut up fool! Shut up!” Murdock scowled at the back of B.A.’s head.

“It’s alright. I think I can put something together.” Amy promised. Murdock turned to her, giving her a wide grin. B.A. grunted in annoyance.

“You shouldn’t encourage him like that.” He snapped.

“Well I think it’ll be one heck of a story. The movement to protect the golf balls who had been injured in the line of duty.” Face sang. B.A. paused at that and gripped the steering wheel tighter. Maybe they knew Murdock better than Hannibal thought.

“It’s all front page stuff. And how the golf balls can get the clubs used to hit them with.” Amy added. Murdock just started nodding along. Hannibal put his cigar back in his mouth, content to smoke and just listen to them.

“An’ I can get some real good interviews lined up!” Murdock promised. Amy just smiled and B.A. rolled his eyes, but choose not to say anything.

“You do that Murdock.” Amy agreed.