Teaching Them A Lesson Conclusion
Murdock sat down next to the two girls and put his arms round them both.
"Hey," he said. "Don't you two worry. I'm sure the ol' Colonel's got a plan to get us out of here."
"Just taking a while to show up, is it?" said Jo-Jo, miserably.
"Don't have much faith in your old uncle then?"
"Face facts, Uncle John, it's hopeless."
Hannibal nodded at BA and he disappeared into the gym storage room.
"What are we gonna do, Hannibal?" asked Face. "Beat the bullets back with baseball bats and basketballs?"
"You'll see," said Hannibal and he went to give BA some help. The others watched on with interest as they heard some strange noises coming from the storage room. It sounded like some heavy equipment being dragged across a floor. Face wandered over to the storage room and looked in.
"I don't believe my eyes," he said. "Where the hell did all this stuff come from?"
Hannibal grinned as he dragged a large metal table out of the room and into the gym.
"Domestic science block is being redecorated," he said, triumphantly. "Most of the stuff is being stored in here as a temporary measure. So quit staring with your mouth open and give us a hand to get this stuff into the gym, will you?"
Face shook his head in amazement and he helped them drag the equipment out. Murdock and the girls grinned at each other and ran over to lend a hand too. In a short while, they were all staring at a large collection of soldering equipment, woodwork tools, ovens and metal benches of various shapes and sizes.
"Now what do we do?" asked Jo-Jo.
"Now, we put it together," said BA. He grabbed a blowtorch and lit it. Very carefully, he removed the legs from one of the large metal tables.
"Go and get that large vaulting horse," said Hannibal to Amy and Jo-Jo. They ran over and moved it forward. It was mounted on wheels so it was easy to move. They pushed it over to Hannibal. Meanwhile Face and Murdock were stripping down one of the ovens to find the gas tanks.
"We need at least five," said Hannibal to Face.
"No problem," replied Face, grinning. "I can't wait for this one, Hannibal."
"Me neither. Boy, I wish my old craftwork teacher were here. I'd love to see the grade she'd give me for this fine sculpture."
BA was just finishing taking the legs of a second table. Taking a soldering iron, he carefully joined the two tables together so they made a roof shaped sculpture. He picked up a saw and set about making a small rectangular shape at the front of the wooden vaulting horse. Face was attaching the hoses from the ovens onto the gas cylinders he had also removed from the ovens. He did this with four of them, attaching a nozzle from the fire extinguishers to the front. He placed the fifth one in the back of the vaulting horse to give it a means of moving. Hannibal and the girls lifted the top off the vaulting horse and BA attached a steering device to the front. Hannibal climbed inside. Using the hole in the vaulting horse as a guide, BA made an identical hole in the front of the metal structure. Then, he took two of the table legs and, using the soldering iron he attached the metal to the horse. Murdock and Face strapped the gas cylinders to each of their backs to give them some firepower. BA handed a bag to Hannibal.
"What's this?" Hannibal asked.
"Just somethin' extra you might need," said BA, grinning. "I guessed we might get inta trouble somewhere and these would come in useful. I made them at home."
Hannibal opened the bag and looked inside.
"Tennis balls?" he asked, confused.
"Yeah, but filled with gunpowder," said BA. "They have a small fuse on 'em. Light 'em with your cigar and throw 'em. Them guys won't know what hit 'em."
"Nice one BA," he said. "Like your thinking."
BA climbed into the horse and Hannibal looked at the two girls.
"When we bust outta here, take the van and get out of here. Go to Tawnia's. Tarrance knows where the two of you live. Do not go back there for anything. We'll call you at Tawnia's when we've wrapped this up. If we haven't called by Sunday evening, call the police. Tell them everything and they'll find Peter."
"But Uncle John, we want to help," said Jo-Jo.
"That's how you'll help," said Hannibal. "I'm not arguing about this, either. I want you two out of the way, this is going to get nasty."
"So you'll need all the help you can get," said Amy.
Hannibal looked at the others. They all grinned.
"That jazz sure is infectious, Hannibal," said Murdock.
"OK, you win," said Hannibal. "You two can help Murdock and Face."
He handed them the bag of tennis balls and two unlit cigars.
"I'll be okay with the two gas cylinders. Jo-Jo, you and…."
"Murdock," cut in Jo-Jo, going to stand next to Murdock. Hannibal raised his eyebrows but didn't ask.
"Jo-Jo, you and Murdock take the left, Face and Amy take the right. Let's get out of here and onto the football field."
Hannibal looked at his watch. Four o clock. Tarrance and the others wouldn't have left the building yet. With any luck, they'd hear the noise from the gym and chase them onto the pitch. Hannibal crouched down behind BA. Face, Murdock, Amy and Jo-Jo stood behind the battering ram and BA hit the gas. The vehicle shot forward and burst through the gym doors. The table that Tarrance had placed across the front of the doors shattered with the impact and BA steered the vehicle out of the school building and onto the football pitch.
Prisner had just picked up his briefcase and was setting off for home when he heard the loud crash from further down the school. He opened the door in time to see Adams and Tarrance racing down the corridor towards the rear entrance. Grabbing his revolver from the desk drawer, he followed them.
"What the hell was that?" he shouted to Tarrance.
"They've busted out of the gym," Adams shouted. "They're heading towards the football pitch."
"I thought you secured the gym. How did they get out?"
"I don't know," said Tarrance. "We locked the door and pushed a large table across the front of the door. It was as secure as we could make it."
"Obviously not," said Prisner. "What about the kid?"
"He's definitely still in the basement," said Adams. "I was outside the door the whole time. He hasn't got out."
"Well, at least you've got one thing right," said Prisner. "Now let's take care of these guys once and for all and then we'll sort the kid out."
They ran onto the football pitch and stopped dead in their tracks as they came face to face with the battering ram contraption the team had assembled.
"Now," shouted Hannibal. BA hit the gas and the machine hurtled forward. Tarrance, Prisner and Adams all ran for cover behind the nearest building they could find. Face and Murdock lit the cigars and passed them to the girls. Amy lit one of the tennis balls and threw it over towards the shed where Tarrance had run behind. Face lit the gas cylinder and shot a burst of fire towards the shed. The wood caught fire and Tarrance dived out from behind it. He was just clear when the tennis ball exploded and the shed disintegrated into tiny pieces. Murdock lit his gas cylinder and sprayed flames over the dugout where Adams had taken a dive into. Jo-Jo threw one of the tennis balls into the dugout and as it exploded, Adams flew through the air and landed in front of her.
"That's for the lousiest date I've ever had," said Jo-Jo and Murdock grinned at her.
Meanwhile, Hannibal and BA were closing in on Prisner. He turned and fired a couple of shots towards the vehicle but they bounced off the metal cover. Turning back to face the way he was running, he found himself running towards the brick wall of the school building. He slammed against the wall and BA pinned him up against it. Hannibal stood up and pointed the nozzle of the gas cylinder at Prisner.
"Make a move and you'll be flame grilled, pal," he said. "Now where's the kid?"
Prisner swallowed nervously.
"He's in the basement," he said. "Who the hell are you guys?"
"We're the A-Team," said Hannibal.
"The A-Team," groaned Adams. "You put us up against the A-Team."
Prisner just groaned and slumped down against the wall, defeated. The others laughed.
"You know, Face, these gas cylinders are great for lighting cigars."
Face smiled and took one out of his jacket pocket and handed it to Hannibal.
"I love it when a plan comes together," grinned Hannibal.
It was the last day of the school term. Hannibal was sitting in the headmaster's office for the last time. Upon hearing the news, Harold Mason had made immediate plans to return to the school. Hannibal reflected upon the events of the last few days. Following the capture of Prisner, Tarrance and Adams, they had freed Peter from the basement. The lad hadn't seemed too badly affected by his ordeal and even wanted to know what he could do to help them again. BA had told him to get an education instead. The young lad had actually seemed quite disappointed. Tawnia and Amy had shared the front page with the story, Tawnia had written it up and Amy had provided an insider's account. The new staff had been appointed to take over from both Prisner and his gang and also the team's jobs. He could tell Face, in particular, was a bit upset about leaving his students. At this particular moment, he was in the Drama Hall with Jo-Jo, putting the final touches to the end of term show they had organised. He thought about Face and Jo-Jo. Something had happened between the two of them and they were barely on speaking terms lately. He had promised himself when Jo-Jo joined the team that he would not interfere in their relationship as long as it didn't affect the team and he was determined to keep to that promise. It hadn't affected the team. They had worked well together and had got the right results. Still, it didn't stop him wondering what had happened between the two of them. Murdock had told him that they had had a row prior to them getting locked in the janitor's office but that was all he knew. Murdock had put most of down to them being locked up together for two hours because they had all started to wind each other up during that time but Hannibal knew there was more to it. He sighed and got up. He might as well join the rest of them in the Drama Hall. As he walked into the hall, he could hear Jo-Jo giving out orders.
"Not there, Murdock. It needs to go higher. Amy, make sure that piano is positioned right. BA, have you checked the stereo's working? Face, I'm not going to tell you again, that scenery needs straightening out."
Hannibal grinned, she was just like her mother for being bossy. Hannibal remembered the times his sister had bossed him about while they were kids. And while they were older, come to think about it. Despite him being a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army, she had still ordered him around whenever he came home. Jo-Jo interrupted his daydreaming.
"Are you just going to stand there or are you going to make yourself useful," she demanded. Hannibal grinned at her.
"Just like your mother," he said. Jo-Jo smiled and pointed him in the direction of a pile of chairs, stacked up.
"Get the chairs set up for the audience," she said. Hannibal grinned again and started setting up the chairs. Sheryl popped her head round the door. Jo-Jo glared at her.
"Just wondered if I could help at all?" Sheryl asked.
"No thank you," said Jo-Jo and turned her back. Sheryl wandered over to Hannibal. Hannibal slipped his arm round her waist.
"Hiya, beautiful," he said. Jo-Jo spun back round and stared at the two of them.
"Uncle John?" she said, amazed. "What? But I thought? Since when?"
"Uncle?" said Sheryl.
Hannibal laughed at the two of them, staring at him, mouths open.
"Jo-Jo is my niece," he explained to Sheryl.
"Are you really the A-Team?" she asked him. "There's all sorts of rumours flying around the school."
"We are," said Hannibal. "Which is why we can't hang around too long after the show. I'm sorry, Sheryl."
"Hey, it's okay. You warned me at the start you wouldn't be around too long. Now I know why."
Jo-Jo had walked over to Face.
Face turned round.
"Not Face anymore, huh?"
"I'm sorry," she said. "I didn't believe you and I should've done. I guess I let your past cloud my judgement."
"What do I have to do to prove how much I love you?" asked Face. "I can't do any more than I've done already."
"I know, it's me. I guess I've been let down so often, I'm just not…."
"Able to trust me?" finished Face. "If the trust isn't there, I can't do anything else."
"I'm asking you to give me a chance," said Jo-Jo.
"Let's just take each day as it comes. Right now, you wanted straight scenery, you got it."
Face kissed Jo-Jo and she hugged him tight. Hannibal smiled over at them. He didn't want to know what the argument was about now, he was just glad it was over. He joined the others behind the scenes.
The audience cheered loudly as Face's fifth year students finished their short sketch show. Face beamed with pride, just like he was watching his own child. Hannibal clapped along with the rest of them. He watched with anticipation as Jo-Jo and Murdock took the stage to duet. He hadn't heard them rehearsing so he had no idea what was coming up. He started in surprise then began to laugh as the notes to Meatloaf's Dead Ringer For Love belted out across the hall. He was glad to see that he wasn't the only one who was surprised. The rest of the team looked equally shocked. They had only ever heard Jo-Jo sing ballads and they had rarely heard Murdock sing anything. He noticed Harold Mason beckon him over.
"Quite a pair of voices, eh?" he said to Hannibal.
"Indeed," said Hannibal. "Nice to see you back, sir."
"Glad to be back, Mr Smith. And I'm glad to see that minimal damage to my school has been done."
"Which brings me to your payment," continued Harold Mason. "I know you said you'd do it for free, but I feel I have to give you something. You got those parasites out of my school and the education service."
"Which is payment enough," said Hannibal. "Keep the money, put it towards a new door for the gym and towards the new football field."
Harold Mason smiled.
"Thank you, Mr Smith. I wish you all good luck."
Hannibal shook hands with Harold Mason and went towards the stage. Jo-Jo and Murdock had just finished and Jo-Jo was singing with Face. They were belting out Meatloaf's Bat Out Of Hell.
"I can see myself tearing up the road, faster than any other boy has ever gone. And my skin is raw but my soul is ripe, no-one's gonna stop me now."
As if on cue the door opened and in walked Colonel Decker. He stopped and stared at Jo-Jo and Face on the stage.
"Peck," he cried. "I've got you now, Peck."
Face and Jo-Jo darted off the side of the stage, as Decker tried to fight his way through the rows of students. Hannibal watched as Murdock, BA, Tawnia, Amy and Jo-Jo ran for the van. He pulled Face to one side.
"I'm going to bye us some time," he said and headed back towards the stage. Face stared at him as though he'd gone mad.
"Bye us some time. Decker's coming and he's going back on the stage. I'll never understand him."
Hannibal addressed the hall.
"Ladies and gentlemen. As you know, Mr Harold Mason is returning as your headmaster at the start of next term."
Decker stopped and listened with the rest of them.
"Before I go, I will say this. Today, in this very room, is an example of how patience is a virtue. We have none other than Colonel Roderick Decker of the US Army. It is with great patience that he has doggedly chased the A-Team for the last few years. He's never caught them but he still continues, dead set on their capture. I'd like you all to shake his hand, as a testament to his perseverance and it is that kind of perseverance that you should all be proud of and aspire to. Thank you."
Decker glared at Hannibal as the students crowded around him to shake his hand.
"Just wait, Smith," he called.
"In the words of Meatloaf, Decker, Like a Bat out of Hell, I'll be gone when morning comes."
Hannibal raced off the stage and out through the side door towards the van. He leapt in and BA slammed his foot on the accelerator, speeding them away. Hannibal sat back and laughed.
"You should have seen the look on Decker's face when the student's started to shake his hand."
BA shook his head and the others sighed with relief as BA increased the distance between them and the school.
"What I don't understand, though," said Jo-Jo. "Is what Decker was doing there in the first place. The police cleared up weeks ago and he must have thought we were long gone."
"He did look genuinely surprised to see us there, Colonel," said Murdock.
"I think I know why," said Tawnia, grinning at Amy.
"Me too," said Amy.
"Well?" asked Hannibal. "I have to agree with the others, it is a bit surprising."
"Not really," said Tawnia.
"Especially as he went to school here too," said Amy.
The others just stared at them.
"You knew he went to school here and didn't mention it," said Hannibal.
"Guess that taught us a lesson, eh Hannibal?" smiled BA.
They all fell about laughing.