Protectors of The A-Team

A/N: Protectors of the Plot Continuum was founded by Jay and Acacia. Excerpts taken from You Lift Me Up and Flying Lessons by Nubiangeek. This mission was chronicled by IndeMaat.

You Lift Me Up & Flying Lessons

Allison sat down on the cushioned lid of the crate. "I fail to see the relevance of this disguise: a multipocketed vest, a funny hat with thingies on them." She pulled the hat from her head and pulled on one to the colourful decorations.

"They're flies."

"I think I know what a fly looks like."

"For fly fishing."


"I thought it best we'd follow most of this fic from a distance. This is Spring Valley. The Team will come here later to sort out a case."

Allison turned her head to the Words. "Where are they now?"

Tasmin shrugged. "They haven't been introduced into the story yet."

The Sue was introduced, though, as she tried to convince her mother to leave her husband. The mother wouldn't budge and the Sue left the house instead. When she got home a chlorophyll-soaked cloth was pushed over the Sue's mouth which knocked her out.

"I wonder from which plant the chlorophyll came if it suddenly has the same characteristics as chloroform," Allison said.

"Just write her up for using the wrong word."

Allison chuckled. "You know this mission isn't going to get any shorter if you don't let me make any jokes."

"Yeah, but it's gonna feel like a lot longer if I do let you."

The fic fast forwarded two months. In that time the Sue's mother had been killed, the Sue had been deemed crazy and taken to the VA where Murdock was staying.

She had been watching him for weeks. She had hoped that she weren't hallucinating, but people seemed to be coming in and getting him and then bringing him back later. The other residents seemed too out of it to notice. She only noticed when they eased up on her meds. They always managed to come and go when the staff was sparce and different people were working. Oh, she had checked him out well.

"I think that is called stalking."

"It doesn't count if it doesn't bother him."

"It's bothering me."

"Yet, she's not stalking you. Rather, we're stalking her." Tasmin chuckled.

Allison glared at her partner. "If I can't make any jokes neither can you."

The Sue asked Murdock for help and explained her situation to him. Murdock seemed to believe her and contacted Hannibal.

The next day, Templeton Peck arrived at the V.A. He had paperwork giving him orders to take out H.M. Murdock and Patricia Treemont who were going to be married at St. Mark's Cathedral later on that day. The nurse, who had known Mr. Murdock for a long time, thought that it was so sweet that Mr. Murdock and the new girl were getting married.

"Sweet?" Allison huffed. "Not in my world. Would you call this marriage sweet?"

"I would call it illegitimate. Murdock's insane. He cannot sign contracts. Marriage is a legally binding contract. It is not sweet that he is getting married. I know Face pulls the wool over these people a lot, but they can't be that incompetent."

Allison nodded in agreement.

The marriage scam was a ruse to get the Sue to meet the Team so she could tell them in person what was going on. The Sue's story was that her stepfather killed her mother for her money, blamed it on her, had her declared insane and put in the VA.

"Criminally insane people are not put in psychiatric hospitals with veterans," Tasmin noted.

"What if they are both criminal and veteran?"

"I guess it would depend on when and where they committed the crime. If it was while still in the military they might, but most likely they would be sent to a place that doesn't have Murdock's VA's open door policy."

Though the Team didn't see how they could help the Sue, they decided to help her anyway. Hannibal suggested the Sue went back to the VA and pretended to be Murdock's wife. Seen as that would make her part of the Team she needed a nickname.

"How is that making her part of the Team?" Allison jumped up and glared at the Words. "It's making Murdock her bodyguard. Nothing more. It does not require her to get a nickname."

"Calm down, sit down and write down. Where's your notepad? I'ven't seen you use it yet."

Allison sat back down on the crate and pulled a tattered notepad from one of the pockets of her vest. She pulled a pencil from another pocket and scribbled a few notes on an empty page.

At the VA the nurse that had let the Sue get off with Murdock and Face was getting an earful from the Sue's stepfather. But he also saw the benefit of this for his own plans.

"Okay, fine, fine. Can I see her at least. I want to make sure she hasn't made a mistake." Oh, how sweet, thought Nurse Dixon, a loving father caring about his poor, deranged daughter.

"Nurse Dixon is obviously incompetent," Tasmin growled. "At least incompetent for working at a psychiatric hospital. She dotes too much. She ought to be working at a petting zoo."

"I've already got incompetent staff here." Allison made a tally behind the note.

The stepfather's visit greatly disturbed the Sue and Murdock called in the Team to tell them about it. The Team came to the VA.

"I'm starting to have doubts about the competency of the Team too," Allison said. "They never used to come to the VA in the day-time unless disguised, and at night they had the guise of night. What are they doing sitting all open and exposed on a picnic bench on the VA's grounds?"

"I think the influence of the Sue is making the staff more gullible that usual, and the Team less cautious. I also think that is a charge."

Time at the VA passed quickly, but the Team made no progress on getting the dirt on the Sue's stepfather. Murdock started to take a liking to her company.

Face had broken them out a couple of times for training. Pepper showed off her kickboxing finesse by beating up Face.

"Humph. I could beat up Face."

"If I recall correctly, he beat you up."

Allison grunted in reply. "Why are we getting these Murdock-lusters anyway? Don't they write any other Sues any more?"

"You know how the PPC works: you always get what you don't want."

"You never seem to get what you don't want."

"I got you."

Hannibal had been contacted about another mission, so Face was sent to retrieve Murdock and Pepper. they all met at Face's condo to discuss the mission.

"Why aren't they working on the Fred mission?"

"I guess protecting her is the Fred mission."

"No, working on the Fred mission is Hannibal thinking up a plan and the Team executing it that would make Fred no longer a threat to the Sue and they could stop protecting her."

"Guess the Sue just wants to spend as much time with Murdock as she can." Tasmin shrugged and tried to suppress a smile. "Honestly, can you blame her?"

Allison eyed her partner. "I can and I will."

"Good girl."

"She should have made her a journalist," Allison said after a pause.

"How do mean?"

"The only women that spent prolonged periods of time with the A-Team were Amy and Tawnia. Journalists."

"That's true." Tasmin smirked. "What's also true is that we've never seen a Sue that was a journalist."

Murdock pulled Hannibal aside for a private conversation. He was having second thoughts about taking the Sue on their mission.

"Look Murdock, we told her that she can be part of the team. We can't welch on the deal now. Besides, you said that she could take care of herself." He had. He remembered her beating up Face and smiled.

Allison cringed.

"The dialogue not belonging to the person doing the remembering bothering you?" Tasmin asked sweetly.

"Sure, that's it. Got nothing to do with Hannibal making strangers part of his Team."

The Team drove to Spring Valley where Hannibal explained his plan.

Tasmin took a pair of binoculars from her duffelbag. "I've got visual on the Team now."

"Maybe now is a good time to get across this lake. Get a little nearer to the Team."

Tasmin lowered the binoculars and looked at her partner. "I don't think quite yet. We'll take a portal when we have enough charges."

"You don't have to worry about me. I've learned my lesson."

"You've also just nearly broken your pencil."

Allison looked down at her hand and at the pencil that she was holding that was no longer straight. "Wood just isn't as durable any more as it used to be."

Hannibal's plan was that the Team would pose as the new hired help. Not long after a few cronies came to pay them a visit. Hannibal greeted them from behind the counter of the fishery's rental.

"No we're not here to go fishing, old man. Are you the jerk running this place?"

"Well, I might be. then again, I might be your mama." Hannibal was deliberately saying things to tick them off.

"Gosh, really? I hadn't been able to tell from his choice of words."

"Hm-mmm. Hannibal's words are always ambiguous."

The agents looked at each other and chuckled.

The cronies started to pick a fight and the rest of the Team and the Sue filed in to fight them off. The Sue fought two men at the same time and Murdock was not paying attention to his own fight out of worry for her.

"At least Murdock doesn't seem to get hurt from his negligence." Allison studied the Words. "Or the Sue didn't think it important to mention."

After they had thoroughly defeated Weinberg's men, they went running out presumably to tell their boss.

A group of men ran from the cabin, but Tasmin couldn't tell whether they were the cronies or the Team. She lowered her binoculars. "Ambiguous use of pronouns. I can totally see Hannibal going over to Weinberg and gloating that he has beaten up his men."

"From what follows I think those are the cronies. The Sue is now picking a fight with Murdock for watching out for her."

Murdock said he couldn't tell her why, and she touched his face to show she understood.

The scene briefly went dark. When light returned the cronies did too, armed to the teeth and trigger happy.

Pepper had gatheredd the children and run for cover. Murdock was trying his best to see where she had gone. then he chided himself and tried to think of her as just another member of the team.

"He should have told Hannibal that he fancied her and then Hannibal would have insisted she'd stay behind."

Tasmin quietly patted her partner on the shoulder.

The Sue was hiding in a shed. One of the cronies dragged her out holding a gun to her head.

Pepper hated to think that she would be the cause for a ruined mission. She had to do something. So, she decided to make her move.

Using her elbow, she rammed as hard as she could into the man's ribcage.

"Run!" she shouted to the kids.

"I thought she did not want to be the cause of a ruined mission? How is putting everyone in jeopardy going to help there?"

"Behaving stupidly and getting away with it, another charge," Tasmin said cheerfully.

The crony took aim to shoot the Sue, but Murdock jumped in the way and got shot. Hannibal shot the crony. Then he sent Face and BA to get a doctor. Murdock was taken to one of the guest rooms.

Pepper was by his side secretly blaming herself for his being shot.

"Oh sweetheart, it's no secret you are to blame."

In his delirium Murdock tried to talk to her, but she shushed him to be quiet. After the doctor had seen to Murdock and the Sue had had some sleep herself she started to think about what Murdock had been trying to tell her, and about her own feelings for him. She thought about something that had happened in the VA.

She was beautiful, he thought. Just the thought of her in the shower with water and soap sliding over her body and he would have to take a shower. A cold one.

"Huh?" Allison frowned at her partner. "I thought we were having one of her flashbacks. How does she know what he's thinking?"

Tasmin merely cocked an eyebrow in reply.

"Oh, yes. Wishfulfilment. Still, this shouldn't have been introduced as one of her flashbacks.

While the Sue was sitting vigil with Murdock, Face broke into Weinberg's office to find out what he was doing. He returned to the resort and told the Team Weinberg didn't want to buy the place to turn it into a bigger resort, but to turn it into a landfill.

"You have heard of permits?" Allison shouted. "Zoning committees? You can't just start a landfill somewhere. This is nature. It would make more sense to start industrial woodlogging in this forest." Allison turned to her partner. "Or where all these trees made up by you? Is this place in fact a dump already?"

"This place is fictional any way you look at it, but you're right about the permits."

Face suggested it would get Weinberg into a pickle if a TV station would do an item on how great the new resort would be. Hannibal liked the idea. He commented that Weinberg would be guilty of fraud if he tried to back out.

"Huh, how does that work?"

"I don't know. Fraud is wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain. Technically, Weinberg is already guilty of fraud if he is deceiving everyone that he wants to buy the resort to develop it into a more profitable resort while he wants the site for a landfill. Cooperating with the TV show item would just make him a fraud who's trying harder."

"From what I've seen so far I doubt Weinberg would cooperate in such an item."

"We'll see."

Allison cringed as she looked at the Words again. "Mushy love scene. With all kinds of wrong in it."

"I think the words mushy and love already pretty much sum that up. Did you have anything particular in mind?"

"First, Murdock gets shot in the shoulder." Allison made a tally with her fingers. "But as soon as the bullet is out and a bandage is on he wraps his arms around the Sue. That has got to smart. Though it's not mentioned. Then," Allison tallied on the next finger, "she closes her eyes, and without opening can see that his eyes look like burning coals. Which is probably a good thing that they aren't really burning coal, because that's probably going to smart as well. And then, in the paragraph where they finally kiss, she can tell he's unsure and he feels like he's going to faint. That kind of POV has got to-"

A sudden gush of wind picked up the two agents. A moment later it deposited them on a green lawn near a brick building with safety grids bolted to the windows.

"-smart too." Allison finished her sentence. "Ow." She had fallen on her left side. She sat up, rubbed the sore spot and looked around. "Where are we and how did we get here?"

Tasmin was looking as bewildered as Allison. "It seems the story has suddenly ended."

"What? Does that mean we are never going to find out if the TV crew scam is actually going to work?"

"I guess not." Tasmin got up.

"But why are we here? Aren't stories supposed to go on pause if they're not finished?"

"I thought so too. But from the Words I gather that this is a sequel to the previous story."

"How can there be a sequel if the first story is not finished yet?"

Tasmin turned to her partner. "Another form of Sue logic. They're not exactly known for never making continuity errors."

"Neither is The A-Team," Allison muttered as she picked herself up. "Anyway, what have we got?"

"Not sure. The Sue is having nightmares, but it's not clear whether they are actual dreams or that it is a metaphor for something incredibly dramatic happening."

The agents looked at the Words. It seemed the Sue, like the agents, was back at the VA. She answered a phone call from her stepfather.

"What do you want, Fred?" She wasn't ready for what he had to say.

"Do you remember. . .when you were fourteen - when I took you for the first time?" She stiffened when she heard these words.

"I vaguely remember that the Words from the other story said something about the Sue accusing her stepfather of 'touching' her when she was fourteen." Allison glanced at her notepad to see if she had made a note of the euphemism.

"Right, but he denied the accusation and no one believed her."

"Why would he start reminding her of the events now? Can he still get in trouble for it?"

"I'm not sure. Most states have a Statute of Limitations on rape, even statutory rape. So it all depends on where the rape took place, when the authorities were notified, and how long ago it all took place. We don't know any of this, so it could be that he is in the clear."

"Still seems strange that he would phone her up now."

"Well, who knows how the mind of a socio-path works. Why are you looking at me like that?"

"You seem to know about everything else, and it does take one..." From the look of Tasmin's face Allison thought it best not to finish that sentence.

The Sue managed to hang up the phone. She said to herself that she could not tell Murdock about this conversation.

"Why not?" Allison demanded. "Fred's a bully. The A-Team takes care of bullies. Sounds like a perfectly good reason to talk to Murdock."

"Perhaps the memories are too painful for her to talk about."

"Don't you start."

Tasmin smirked in reply.

The ground started shaking. Both agents fell down.

"What's happening?" Allison shouted.

"The next paragraph is all muddled. It's unclear whether it's happening in the now or whether it's a sudden flashback; whether it's the Sue's POV or Murdock's." Tasmin had pushed herself up on hands and knees and was studying the Words.

"But we're nowhere near the Sue. We're following the story through the Words. Shouldn't we not be affected by bad paragraphing?"

"If the effect is bad enough to throw a reader out of the story, the effect is bad enough to shake us up no matter where we are."

"And when is this shaking going to stop?"

"As soon as the muddling of paragraphs will stop."

Allison gave her partner an incredulous look. "Do you mean to say that we might have to endure this for the rest of this mission?"

"There may be some lulls."

"There may also be that I sprout wings and become airborne. Come to think of it: why don't we use the disguise generator to disguise ourselves as fairies or angels or some other winged creatures?"

"Because those creatures don't exist in this canon. We can only disguise ourselves as canon creatures."

"There's pigeons."

"You want to be disguised as a pigeon?"

"Not necessarily, but if it gets me off the ground. Or we could be hawks, or eagles, something big and predatory. We could rip the Sue apart after we charge her."

"All right." Tasmin managed to rumble through her duffelbag and find the portable disguise generator. She pressed a few buttons.

Allison flapped her wings. "That's much better." She saw that her partner had not changed a bit. "Why are you not a bird?"

"One of us has to stay human and charge the Sue."

"Shaking of the ground not bothering you then?"

"I've got that covered." Tasmin jumped up and grabbed Allison by her legs.

Allison shrieked and flapped her wings to lift the both of them off the ground. "Have I mentioned lately that I hate you?"

"I'm sure you have."

"It's one of those things that I just can't say often enough."

The Sue was becoming more and more unapproachable, and though she had told no one what was going on, Hannibal made the right guess that sorting out her stepfather would be helpful. Or, he realized that he had left the Fred mission on the shelf for long enough. Face found out that Fred was under investigation from the FBI for illegal arms dealing. Hannibal saw a point of entry for a plan.

Pepper had pretty much lapsed into a catatonic state. This made it easy for Face to get them out claiming to take Pepper to a facility better suited to care for her.

"Yeah, because a hospital that specializes in care for veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome is not suited very well to deal with civilians suffering post traumatic stress."

"I think that one goes down to incompetence of VA staff. I've already written that down a few times."

"You should also write down the FBI for incompetence. Apparently they can't find the Sue because she now goes by the name of Patricia Murdock. Despite that there should be official records that a Patricia Treemont was deemed criminally insane and sent to the VA."

"It's probably the VA staff that got those records lost." Allison let out a chuckle at Tasmin's groan. "And you will have to write it down yourself. I can't hold a pad and pencil with these wings. Let alone write something down while flapping them."

"I can't write anything down either. I'm holding on to you."

"Yes, I'd appreciate it if you stopped doing that."

"Can't, until the bad paragraphing is over."

Allison grumbled.

The Team took the Sue to an apartment, where she climbed onto the balcony in confused state. They managed to talk her back into the room and entertained the possibility that the Sue might be drugged.

"What the hell." Tasmin let go of Allison and fell down to the ground.

"What?" Allison asked after she had come down. The sudden weight loss had caused her to soar up.

Propped up on an elbow Tasmin pointed at the Words.

I was back in the jungles of 'Nam.

"Murdock is doing a voice-over on one of his flashbacks?"

"It's not Murdock. It could be Murdock. I'm not sure." Tasmin looked panicked. "Then there is white space and another I-person starts talking, and that one is definitely the Sue. But these first memories can't be the Sue's."

Allison swooped down and picked Tasmin up by her shoulders. "It's better you don't stay on the ground for too long. Let's go to Virginia."

"Why?" Tasmin tried to crane her neck to look her partner in the eyes, but bird anatomy being what it is and the fact she was directly underneath her made that impossible.

"The Team are going to Virginia. And a change of scenery might do us some good too."

"Okay." Tasmin pulled the remote activator from her pocket.


"It would have been okay if you had set my disguise back to human." Allison ruffled her feathers.

"We're still in the fic. I thought you might not want to take any chances."

Allison grunted. For the moment the ground had stopped vibrating which probably meant the paragraphing problem had been sorted. She hopped around on the drive leading up to the house.

"Why is the Team going to Virginia, by the way?" Tasmin tried to find her place in the Words.

"The Sue's mother's house is in Virginia."

"That's very interesting," Tasmin said after a moment's thought. "For a number of reasons."

"One is of course that there are mental hospitals in Virginia. There would be no need to stick her in one on the other side of the country. But then, the Sue would probably explain that one by claiming that the stepfather wanted her as far away as possible. Should have send her to the Gobi desert. That's approximately on the other side of the planet."

"I also was thinking that Virginia doesn't have a Statute of Limitation on rape. The stepfather was incriminating himself making those phone calls to her."

"I'm sure he either doesn't know about the Statute of Limitation or he doesn't care about incriminating himself. He'd probably just claim she was crazy again."

"Yes, but that's why she should have told the Team, like you said. They could have placed a wiretap and collected evidence on the guy."

"Are wiretaps legal in Virginia? I know that in Maryland it's not allowed to record people's telephone conversations without telling them."

"They would be doing them in California. Okay, California's Invasion of Privacy Act prohibits the recording of confidential conversations without consent from both parties, but A, she's in a mental institution so one could claim that it's in her best interest her telephone conversations are not confidential, or B, she could tell her stepfather the moment he starts talking that she's recording the conversation and if he doesn't hang up that implies consent to the recording of the conversation."

"And you think he'd be that stupid?"

"Well, so far everybody else has been that stupid."

"Fair enough."

Face walked up to the house and rang the doorbell. He introduced himself to the maid who opened the door as a reporter that wanted to ask some questions about the death of the Sue's mother. The maid sang like a canary. Or rather more like a crow, as what she had to say was not pretty. She told Face the Sue had been put in a sanatorium. So Face and Hannibal decided to present themselves as FBI agents and have a chat with the Chief of Staff.

"Her parents first brought her here for treatment when she was fourteen. She was belligerent, getting into trouble at school. We think that she was distraught over her biological father's death and her mother's subsequent remarriage. She took it out on her stepfather. She accused him of molesting her. No one believed it - not even her own mother. Of course I cannot reveal any conversations that I had with the young woman. Patient/doctor privilege. All I can say is that she is very sick."

"I think under doctor-patient confidentiality he's not even supposed to say all that he has said," Allison said.

"There's a difference between doctor-patient confidentiality and doctor-patient privilege. One is..." Tasmin trailed of as she noticed the glare of her partner. There was something decidedly disconcerting about the glare of an eagle. "Yeah, without a court order just about the only thing he could mention was that, yes, he knew her."

Face and Hannibal were not put off by the doctor's claim and asked about the treatment the Sue received. A question which the doctor with only a little hesitance answered.

"She was given Haldon, an antipsychotic drug. It is a standard treatment that we use here to control psychotic behavior."

"And that, he shouldn't have said either. What does this Sue think doctor-patient privilege means? Disclose everything as long as you don't give transcripts?"

Face found out the Haldon drug was an anti-psychotic, but could also cause psychotic symptoms. The Team concluded from this that someone was deliberately drugging the Sue to make her look crazy.

"Which is of course a much simpler conclusion to jump to than that she is behaving psychotically because she hasn't been taking her anti-psychosis medication for a few months."

"Now, that would not be very fitting for a story with a paranoia themed plot." Allison smirked.

Tasmin noted that a smirking eagle did not look less disconcerting than a glaring one. She turned back to the Words. A moment later she let out a loud, piercing scream. She turned over her duffelbag and started to wolf down all the chocolate she could get out of their wrappers.

Allison frantically looked over the Words to find out what could have caused this behaviour.

Hannibal and BA went into the Sue's room because she was having another psychosis.

B.A. really didn't want to go in. He hated being around crazy people, but he cared for Pepper. He fought to keep the tears back.

"Well, I've always thought any Sue was so bad she could make a grown man cry."

Tasmin threw a bar of chocolate at her partner and nearly hit her in the eye.

The Team took the Sue's inhaler away from her, because they believed this was how she was receiving the anti-psychosis psychosis causing drug. They discussed the possibility that the Sue did kill her mother, perhaps under the influence of the drug.

Hannibal and Face went to see the stepfather posed as two FBI agents.

"It is so not Face's style to use the same scam twice."

"It's so not Hannibal's style to avoid direct confrontation," Tasmin replied with a mouth full of chocolate.

"I think we can add Virginia police to our list of incompetent professionals. The stepfather calls the police because he finds the Sue holding a gun standing over the body of her mother, and they don't immediately arrest her. Rather, they accept that her stepfather won't even let them question her. They should have arrest him too, for obstruction of justice."

"I've given up on anyone doing anything that is expected of them in this fic." Tasmin threw down the last wrapper and started packing up her duffelbag.

"The Team are going to set up the stepfather with a phony weapons-deal. Want to go see that? There'll be guys with guns."

"This is the A-Team. Not having guys with guns is a chargeable offence."


The set-up seemed to work. Until BA saw that Fred tried to sell them weapons without firing pins. BA and Face started shooting and Fred fled the scene. On foot. He ran into Hannibal, who offered him help and took him to a warehouse. There he was confronted with the Sue.

And all were confronted with the two PPC agents.

Murdock and Hannibal were undecided whether to point their guns at Fred or at the woman that was holding two guns and pointing them at them.

"Patricia Treemont, a.k.a. Pepper."

The Sue's eyes grew wide as Allison started speaking. She shook her head. "Did you hear that? The eagle spoke."

"I'm not hearing anything," Murdock said. "You're supposed to be off those drugs. If anything, I should be hearing the eagle."

Allison coughed. "Try not to be smart. Pepper, you're a Mary Sue. That is why you can hear me. I'm a Protector of the Plot Continuum and that is why I am charging you."

"Murdock." The Sue pulled on Murdock's arm. "The eagle is talking about charging me."

"Charging?" Murdock blinked and slowly lowered his gun. He started to look absent-mindedly.

"Murdock, Murdock!"

Allison flew up and grabbed the Sue by an ear with one of her claws. The Sue screamed and tried to beat her away. Hannibal quickly glanced at the bird attacking the Sue, but decided to keep his gun pointed at the woman pointing a Colt M1911 at him.

"Stop that, and I'll let go."

The Sue stopped beating the agent.

After one last tug Allison let go. She landed on the ground in front of the Sue. "Let's see. Charges. As I can't hold a pencil, everything has to come from memory. One, you're a Mary Sue. Two, you might be criminally insane, but rather than be put into a mental institution for criminally insane for observation you are brought to a mental hospital for veterans. Three, everyone working at that hospital is incompetent. Four, the FBI is incompetent. Five, the police are incompetent. Six, you are incompetent. Several scenes were very confusing as to what was happening when and to whom. Plus you put Murdock's thoughts about you in one of your own flashbacks." Allison tsk-ed and shook her head. "And worst of all, seven, the Team are incompetent. They are just walking into the VA without disguises and they take a stranger on to the Team. Murdock's not paying attention to his own fighting, and you got him shot. The Team doesn't get to work on the Fred mission immediately, Hannibal tells Face what scams to run, and Face runs the same scam twice, probably because Hannibal didn't tell him to do otherwise. And Fred here's incompetent for thinking he can get away with everything, even incriminating himself. And," Allison thought for a moment before continuing, "nine, that doctor is incompetent for quoting doctor-patient privilege, but not applying it. Ten, the Team is jumping to a rather odd conclusion that you are being drugged into psychosis. Particularly since the last prescription for your inhaler was filled at the VA which would make them accomplices to Fred and the doctor. Or very, very incompetent. But I already had that one. Eleven, writing a sequel before finishing the first story."

"That's not really a charge," Tasmin said.

"It isn't? Well, I was done charging anyway. Your punishment for your crimes is death." Allison flew up and started pecking and clawing away at the Sue. The Sue screamed for help and Murdock. She tried to beat Allison away. Allison did not let go of the Sue until she was dead on the floor. She hopped away from the dead body and spat out some flesh. "That was disgusting. I'm never doing that again."

Allison turned around to Fred, who had not moved since the two PPC agents barged in on the scene. "Fred Wallis, we are aware that much of your stupidity is due to her stupidity. Still, we charge you with obstructing justice and getting away with it. We charge you with sticking her in a mental institution that is both on the other side of the country from where you are, and not meant for civilians. We charge you with incriminating yourself, and we charge you with sabotaging a phony illegal arms dealing. It's a very bad idea to try to rip off potential criminals you've never met. If you have a brain Tasmin will now blow it out."

Tasmin shot Fred.

"PPC agents," Murdock said. He looked around. "Where's Allison."

Tasmin jerked her head towards the eagle. "I gather that you can't understand what she's saying."

"Nope." Murdock made a gesture that he would like to pet the eagle on the head, but then thought better of it and jerked back his hand.

Tasmin smiled. "Good."

Allison glared at her partner.

Tasmin put away her guns. Hannibal shook his head and put his gun away as well. A door to the warehouse opened up and BA drove the van in. Hannibal and Murdock took one look at the bodies, then each other, and quickly ran for the van. With screeching tires it drove off.

"Nice, Allison. Nice." Tasmin grabbed the remote activator from her pocket. "Let's go sort out the extras and then we can go home."


"The office. And get you out of that disguise."

A/N: In TV episodes and films flashbacks and dream sequences are a very powerful tool (though on occasion overused) to transfer the thoughts and feelings of characters. It's a lot harder to pull off in writing without confusing the reader. Film has the advantage that you can immediately see that a scene is taking place on a different location (and if all else fails they use back-and-white). Written text requires at the very least that paragraphs are properly spaced so there is no confusion over to what scene they belong, and if that doesn't work, put the flashback or dream in italics.
Unless the point was of course that the reader should be just as confused as the character suffering the dreams and flashbacks. In that case, everything worked just fine in this story.

A/N #2: This was Tasmin and Allison's 25th mission together. I'm not quite sure whether that calls for a celebration or not.

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