Searching for Amy
Mr. Al-Shajeb never came to the dating. Hannibal came to the realization that they where closer to the story than he had suspected. Everything had to go fast from here on. Hannibal went back to the Black Horse Hostel. There he met Mr. Bukhari, the owner of the Hostel. After he told him, that the suspicious man never showed up at the meeting point Bukhari offered to bring the A-Team to Jerusalem. He would drive to his other Hostel there by car and could give the team a lift, smuggling them over the boarder. They both arranged a meeting after sunset.
Two days later the Team arrived in Jerusalem. Sweaty and tired, but that wasn't the worst thing that could happen to somebody who tried to cross the boarder between Syria and Israel illegally.
Bukhari also offered the Team to sleep for free in his hostel. The Team got a room with six beds.
"You're so helpful. May we can do something for you." Hannibal said to him. Bukhari looked into Hannibal's eyes and answered: "Yes you can. Find out what happened to my son. He was just 23 years old." Everyone could see the pain in the man's eyes.
"I promise you that we'll do our best Mr. Bukhari."
"Yes man, we'll find out." B.A. added and clenched his fists.
It was late and the team went to bed.
The next morning they visited Mr. Quarak at the Jerusalem Times offices. He seemed to be pleased to meet the A-Team.
"I worked together with one colleague and Mr. Allen in Damascus on this story. Last week she and a couple of tourists were captured. I guess it's because Amy found out the names of some persons behind. After that incident I have to be very careful. The last thing Mr. Allen told me, that she suspected a certain Mr. Al-Shajeb to be the head of an concentration-camp in the Gaza-Stripe."
He spread out a map of the Gaza-Stripe.
"We are the opinion that the camp is here." he pointed on a "x" made on the map.
"I'm not allowed to enter the Gaza-Stripe but tourists and non-Palestinian press are allowed."
Hannibal grinned and took out a cigar.
"Guess channel AT should produce a report of Palestinian refugees in Gaza."
"What the hell is channel AT? I don't know such a channel." B.A. interfered.
"That doesn't matter, B.A. I've just invent it."
"He has a plan." Murdock said.
"He's on the jazz." Faceman added.
Some hours later the team stood at Erez-Checkpoint with a camera they had organized.
"The press goes through the VIP-Entrance", an IDF-Soldier advised them.
It took them another two hours to pass all the passport controls and checks. From the boarder they took a taxi to Gaza-City.
"Face, you and Murdock will organize a hotel. B.A. and me will have a look at this camp. We'll meet at 7 p.m. in front of the UNWRA-Headquarter and than decide what happens next." Hannibal explained.
While Face and Murdock searched a hotel, which wasn't easy in a Town where tourists were were as good known as snow in this country. B.A. and Hannibal rented a car and drove to the marked point on the map, which Mr. Quarak had given to them. B.A. drove the car as usual and Hannibal looked trough field glasses to find some thing.
"I guess we've found something, Sergeant." Hannibal said after a while.
"What is it Hannibal, I can't see anything special."
"It's to the left. First I thought it is a Jewish settlement, but then I saw that the armed guard don't look like the men of the Israeli Defence Force we've seen at Erez-Checkpoint. It corresponds with the point on the map. Guess we've found it. Damn, some meters in front of us some of these guards step on the street."
"That I can see without field glasses." Baracus mocked. "What should we do?"
"Keep calm, B.A. May it's just routine." Hannibal answered.
"You don't believe it yourself, don't you?" B.A. smirked.
B.A. stopped the car directly in front of the two armed men, who came to the doors of the car.
"Who are you?" One of them asked Hannibal
"We are American journalists. We are working for the channel AT and just want to produce a report about Palestinian refugees in Gaza." He answered and smiled.
"I want to see your passports", the man said. Hannibal and B.A. handed their passports to him. The man took them and walked away to the entrance of this area, which was surrounded by a barbed-wire fence. The other man still stood by B.A.'s car side.
"Looks like we've to wait here." Hannibal joked. Neither B.A. nor the unknown armed man turned a hair.
After a while the man who had left came back, without the passports.
"You're arrested. We found out, that you're one of the most wanted men in the U.S. We'll call the American embassy."
"Ah, you think they will pay you the bounty." Hannibal said and laughed. "Forget it."
"Shut up, Hannibal we have enough problems at the moment." B.A. shouted.
They were sent into a kind of arrest cell and left alone.
"This is an insult. I am able to brake out even if they cut of my legs." Hannibal said and sat down on a bed, which stood in one corner.
"Than you should begin quickly. They have found out who we are very fast. I would say they have the internet or kinda database here. So it won't take long and American soldiers will be here."
"I don't think so, B.A. They can't hand us over to the MP's here. First they have to decide which way they can manage it. They want to have the money, yes, but they can't do it in a kind of concentration camp. So we have some more time. Time to find Amy." Hannibal thought loudly.
"What do you think, where at this camp Amy could be?" he asked B.A.
"This building is just the headquarter, but the huts some yards behind look like many people could sleep there. If Amy is here, may we'll find her over there."
"Maybe they used here also for forced labour." Hannibal said, "Then we should wait until sundown. I guess the poor people don't work here, but outside the camp. After sundown they'll come back."
While he was speaking a horrible thought crossed his mind. What if they forced Amy to do something quit different.
"Isn't it wiser in general to wait for twilight? I don't want to let everybody see us walking around here." B.A.'s words brought him back to reality.
"You're right B.A.. Let's wait for dawn." Hannibal gave a sigh.
Hannibal and B.A. made use of the time and dug a hole under the back wall of the cell, which consist only of corrugated iron. When they saw it darken outside through the hole they crawled through the little tunnel. B.A. had much more problems and Hannibal had to help him.
"Man, this wasn't one of your best plans", he complained and brushed down the dust of his clothes.
"You're handsome enough B.A., let's go!" Hannibal commanded.
They found a door to enter the hut, where they expected to find Amy.
Indeed inside the building seemed to be rooms with 10 and more beds. Some rooms where empty others where crowded with dirty and tired looking people. Everyone was starring at them, because it was obvious that they weren't Palestinians.
"We're here for helping you. Please stay quiet." B.A. said and signalled them with his hands to do so.
"Does anyone understand English?" Hannibal asked.
A young man raised from his bed.
"Yes, I do." he answered shortly.
"Will make it quick. First we're searching a young American woman. Do you know one?"
"Yes of course, the reporter, right? Come with me." the young man waved his hand and walked to the door of the room. Behind was another room, full of people. Hannibal and B.A. followed him to the end of the room.
And there she was, laying on a camp bed. Her eyes were closed, she was sweaty and breathed heavily.
Hannibal's heart almost broke when he saw Amy this way, looking ill, filled with pain. He kneeled down beside her bed and touched her shoulder softly.
"Amy? This is me, John Hannibal." he whispered.
Amy opened her eyes. Her look was glassy.
"What…how could…" she murmured.
"What's going on Amy? Do you have pain?" Hannibal asked quietly.
"Hannibal? Is it really you?" Amy tried to turn her head, but it seemed as if it would cause her much pain.
"Hannibal! We haven't much time. We have to act." B.A. said. He was surprised how soft the Colonel could be, how much it touches him to see Amy in such a bad condition.
Hannibal head turned to his Sergeant when he heard his name. So he couldn't see the tear which rolled down Amy's cheek.
Then Amy was fallen asleep again. Hannibal rose to his feet and turned to the young Palestinian who stood nearby all the time.
"For heavens sake, what does she has?" he asked him.
TO BE CONTINUED…