"I'm telling you Hannibal...I've got a bad feeling about this plan. Are you 100% certain that it's going to work?" Face asked.
"Sure I am!" Hannibal replied through the side of his mouth that wasn't occupied by a cigar.
"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes," Murdock blurted out.
B.A. grunted. "What nonsense you talkin' about now, fool?"
"Ben Franklin said it...don't shoot the messenger!" Murdock exclaimed throwing his hands up in the air.
"Oh great! Seeing that I'm a fugitive, I don't pay taxes...so I'm going to die for sure!" Face slumped back in his seat.
"Relax Face!" Hannibal pointed to the large house in front of them, "All you have to do is climb up that trellis, shimmy across the pipe, go through the window, break into the safe and borrow it's contents." He put extra emphases on the word borrow.
"Oh, is that all," Face groaned.
"It's a slam dunk. Of course, you might want to avoid the infrared sensors and security cameras...that might get you shot." Hannibal smiled...he loved messing with the kid!
B.A. giggled, "Looks like we're back to talking' about death again."
"Why B.A.," Murdock joked, "I think you are growing a sense of humor under all that gold!"
"If you don't put a lid on it, sucker, you gonna join Faceman on the other side!" he threatened.
"The other side? Aw, c'mon you guys..." Face said sliding open the van door.
"Cheer up Face...it could be worse!" Hannibal teased.
"Yeah...I could be stuck here in the van with you three all day! I think I'll take my chances!"
Face sprinted to the trees lining the side of the expansive property, muttering to himself the entire way. "Why is it always me? You'd think for once Hannibal would send B.A. or Murdock...but NO...he always sends me."
He knew the reasons why he was the man for the job...he was the A-Teams resident breaking and entering connoisseur. B.A. was too large and noisy with all that gold rattling around his neck...he might as well just ring the doorbell and announce his arrival. And Murdock would probably insist on wearing a mask and cape and try to scale the building like some sort of superhero. Amusing to watch? Yes…but not the most inconspicuous way to go. Face was the only logical choice. Still, it would be nice if just once he could stay back in the van and watch as one of the others risked life and limb.
"I guess this is the price I have to pay for being blessed with such talented hands," he grumbled as he moved from tree to tree, working his way closer to the house. It took a special God-given gift to break open a safe, pick a lock or even pick a pocket. But, lately his gift had felt more like a curse.
Face waited for the security camera to rotate away and then he made a mad dash for the trellis. He was half-way up when he first heard the faint sound of wood cracking. Not a sound one wants to hear when that far a distance away from the ground. The structure shifted slightly beneath him as he double timed it the rest of the way to the top and reached out for the drain pipe.
His could feel his heart beating in his chest...caused partly from the physical exertion, but more as a result of his fraying nerves. It was only a short distance to the window, and Face prayed that the pipe would hold him. He often wished that he was bigger in stature like B.A.; it would probably have saved him from quite a few beatings. However, at this moment he was appreciative of his slender frame.
"Well, here goes nothing," he said taking a deep breath. He slid his way across, moving hand to hand until he was able to swing his legs over the window balcony and catapult himself aboard. He doubted that the window would be open, be he gave it a shot anyway. Any person paranoid enough to have security cameras was sure to keep everything in lock down. Sure enough, it wouldn't budge.
"Damn!" Face said while reaching into his backpack for his glass cutter. He didn't know who the owner of this property was...Hannibal refused to tell him. He wasn't even aware that he would be pulling this little caper until Hannibal had B.A. pull over down the street less than an hour ago. Hannibal said that it was "for his own good" and that not knowing would keep him "focused on the task at hand". Translation: "you don't want to know, because if you did, you would never agree to it." Face wondered if Murdock or B.A. were in the know either. Probably not; Murdock had a hard time keeping secrets from Face.
He got to work cutting a circle in the glass just large enough for him to stick his hand inside and undo the lock. He looked up at the sky and thought, 'Forgive me Lord, for I am about to sin...yet again.'
Once unlocked, he slid the window open and stepped inside to what looked like an office. Hannibal had told him to break into the safe hidden under the desk and to grab everything inside. Not a normal request, but then again, not much about their lives could be considered normal anymore.
Face scanned the room for any signs of those infrared sensors Hannibal had joked about...at least he hoped the colonel had been joking. Not seeing anything out of the ordinary, he crept over to the desk. As he was bending down in search of the safe, he came face to face with a sight that stopped him dead in his tracks.
"Decker!" he exclaimed. "He wouldn't do this to me!" Staring at the picture of their nemeses surrounded by his family, he thought of how Hannibal lived to stick it to the military man.
"Yes…yes he would do this to me," Face moaned as he pulled out his stethoscope and got to work listening for the magic numbers that would open the safe. It was a surprisingly basic lock…any amateur burglar would have no problem in figuring out the combination.
"Decker, you disappoint me," he said as he felt the lock click open. Instantaneously, the blaring sound of an alarm knocked Face backwards onto his rear.
"Okay, not so disappointed now," he grumbled while scrambling to stuff the contents of the safe into his backpack...not even looking to see what he was taking. He could hear footsteps running down the hall as he ducked back out the window.
Hannibal, Murdock and B.A. heard the alarm from the van.
"Uh-oh," Hannibal said pulling a fresh cigar out of his pocket. "That's not a good sign." He lit the cigar while keeping his eyes intently on the window Face had broken into moments earlier. "I didn't expect Decker to have an alarm on that safe."
"Decker?" Murdock and B.A. exclaimed, both men turning to stare at their leader.
B.A. shook his head and grumbled, "Aw Hannibal...you didn't?" They watched as Face climbed out the window and shimmied back across the pipe.
"Looks like he did," Murdock confirmed as a furious looking Decker appeared in the window.
"We've gotta get Face out of there...Go B.A.!" Hannibal ordered. B.A. slammed on the gas and sped up the driveway and toward their teammate.
"What climbs up, must climb down," Face thought as he grabbed hold of the wooden trellis. He said a silent prayer that it would support his weight on the way down; it sure hadn't sounded so good on the way up.
"Peck!" Decker yelled shaking his fist at the younger man. "I should have known!" He scurried back inside to grab his shotgun. This time Smith and his team had gone too far; they attacked him in his home. They would have to pay...and he would start with Peck!
Face was climbing down the trellis at a slower pace than he would have liked, trying not to jostle the wood too much. He paused as he felt it pull away from the side of the house slightly. He looked down to the ground and cursed as he saw he was still too high up to jump without running the risk of seriously injuring himself. He closed his eyes and again began to move down the ladder. If he fell, he didn't want to see what was coming. He heard the van coming toward him at the same time as he heard a loud crack and felt himself falling.
The van came to a screeching halt. Hannibal and Murdock jumped out and ran over to the still form of Face lying on the ground. They gently lifted Face into the back of the van. B.A. hung half-way out of the driver's side of the van and started firing away as soon as he saw Decker appear in the window again.
"Go B.A.!" Hannibal shouted, as he grabbed his gun and slammed his door shut. The smell of rubber filled the air as B.A. pushed all the way down on the gas and headed away from the house.
"Am I dead?" Face asked groggily.
Murdock smiled and said, "No, you're not dead. If you were, that would make the three of us angels. And seeing that B.A. here is afraid to fly, he wouldn't make such a good angel."
"Shut-up fool!" B.A. snarled
"He's also wayyy too cranky to be an angel," the pilot mumbled under his breath.
Face chuckled at the banter between his two friends. His gaze fell upon Hannibal who was looking at him with concern. "How you feeling, kid?" Hannibal asked.
"Um...okay…I think. The grass broke my fall," he said sarcastically, knowing he was sure to be sore later. "But, why Decker? What were you thinking?
"He wasn't thinking, Faceman," B.A. groused.
"This wasn't cool, Hannibal," Murdock chastised looking at the older man. "You should have told us what was going on...especially Facey here."
"Yeah...you was on The Jazz man...and when you on The Jazz we have a right to know it!" B.A. grumbled.
"What was in that safe anyway?" Murdock asked.
Hannibal reached inside Face's backpack and pulled out a box. Opening the box up his face lit up as he said, "Cigars! I heard that Decker had quite an exclusive set of cigars in that safe of his…I'm glad to see that I was right."
"Cigars?" the three junior members of the team cried simultaneously.
"Yes, cigars!" Hannibal ran one of the cigars under his nose and took a deep breath. "Ah! But not just any cigars…these babies are rare indeed!"
Face rolled his eyes. "Remember before when Murdock said that nothing was certain except death and taxes? Well, I think good old Ben's statement needs to be amended." He paused as a mischievous grin played upon his lips. "I think for Hannibal it should read: Nothing can be certain, except death and taxes…and being on The Jazz."