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Flying Part 2

   "I also found this newspaper clipping about Mrs.  Wallis' death.  The murder took place in March.  That's three months before she showed up at the V.A."  Hannibal looked interested in this last bit of information.
     "So,  where was she in those three months?"  No one had a clue.
     "It says that Pepper was at the scene.  She was disoriented and incoherent when the cops questioned her."
     This didn't look good.  They all knew that Pepper had always said that she wasn't there.
     They left for Virginia immediately.  Face called in some connections and got another house.
     "Face,  I think you need to have a little talk with Wallis' maid.  Charm her a little.  Got it?"  Face smiled back.  He knew the drill.
     Face scoped out the the place first.  Now that Wallis was the only one living in the house,  there wasn't much activity.  He watched the maid through the window.  She was singing as she worked.  This was going to be hard.  She wasn't exactly Face's type.  He rang the bell.
     "Who are you and what do you want?"  She reminded him of somebody.
     "Uh - hello ma'am.  My name is Winston Scott.  I am a reporter.  I'd like to talk to you about Mrs.  Wallis' death."  He looked nice and had a nice smile,  she thought.  Mr. Wallis had told her not to talk to any reporters,  but nobody told Bertha Mae Washington what to do when she had a mind to do something else.
     "Come on in.  You want a glass of lemonade?"  Great she was going to talk,  thought Face.
     "Ol' Bertha Mae really came through.  She doesn't like Wallis either.  She knows about the things that went on in that house.  She said that Wallis had Pepper put in Dr. Westin's Sanitorium."
     Face found phony badges for himself and Hannibal.  Murdock stayed with B.A.   Murdock was becoming more and more withdrawn.  Not as bad as Pepper,  but certainly not what was considered 'normal' for him.
     "Keep an eye on him,  B.A.,"  were Hannibal's standing orders.
     They were posing as FBI agents.
      "We need to talk to Dr.  Westin."  The admitting nurse led them to Dr. Westin's office.
     "Gentlemen,  have a seat."  He had been told that FBI agents might,  eventually,  come to see him.  They had tried to hide her,  but knew that the authorities would come eventually.
     "We want to talk to you about Patricia Treemont."  They didn't get a reaction from him.  He had been expecting them to come.
     "Yes,  I am familiar with her case.  She is a sick young woman."  Hannibal and Face had been dreading what the good doctor had to say.
     "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."
     The guy did sound convincing,  but that could just mean that he's good at lying.  Face and Hannibal exchanged glances.
     "So,  what was her treatment?"  Now Dr. Westin looked a little fidgity.
     "She was given Haldon, an antipsychotic drug.  It is a standard treatment that we use here to control psychotic behavior."
     Hannibal and Face again looked at one another.
     "I did some research on that Haldon stuff.  It can cause death.  And,  even though it's considered a antipsychotic,  it can cause psychotic symptoms."  Face was worked up.  He couldn't stand the thought that someone had deliberately doped up Pepper to make her look crazy.  It was actually B.A. that tried to calm down Face.
     "Calm down,  Faceman.  At least she outta that place."  B.A. had cut right to the chase.
     "Then why is she still acting so crazy?"  This came from Murdock who everyone had forgotten was there.  They looked at him now and were hit with this realization.
     "He's right.  Murdock,  did Pepper bring anything with her from the V.A. besides clothes?"  Murdock was still out of it.
      "Come on, Murdock!"  Murdock seemed to 'come back' when Hannibal yelled at him.  Hannibal yelling at Murdock was a very rare thing.  They all knew this.
     "She's got her inhaler that she had filled right before we left.  She takes it three times a day."  Murdock was just rattling off information now.
     "Did she have the original prescription filled there?"  Murdock nodded.
     "We've got to get rid of that inhaler"
     At that moment,  Pepper was screaming again.  Murdock immediately put his hands over his ears.
     "Hannibal,  I can't take it anymore."  Murdock was zoning out again.  His face was in his hands and he was rocking back and forth.
     "Oh Lord,  now we have two of 'em."  Face didn't mean to be unkind,  but everyone was aware of the situation they had.  Face knelt down to deal with Murdock while B.A. and Hannibal went in to see to Pepper.  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.  He thought of the fact that Murdock had finally found someone who would tolerate him - hell,  she loved him.  Who would have ever thought that it was possible.  Murdock had even seemed to be getting better,  and then this happens.
     "Stay away,  stay away."  She was crying now.  She didn't know who they were.
     "Pepper,  it's Hannibal.  It's going to be all right.  We found out what's making you sick."  Even though Hannibal knew that she didn't understand what he was saying,  he felt that he needed to say it.  To offer hope.
     "B.A.,  get the inhaler."  B.A.  found the pouch that Pepper kept the inhaler in.
     Hannibal was holding her now.  It was interesting,  Hannibal thought, that she would let him hold her.  But then he realized that she was confusing him with her real father.
     "Oh, Daddy, you came back. You came back for me.  why did you leave me, Daddy?"  Hannibal just let her think that he was her dad.
     "It's all right,  honey.  I'm not leaving."
They let Pepper sleep for a while hoping that the drug would quickly leave her system.
     "So,  the question of the day is,  do we let Pepper talk to the FBI or not?"  Hannibal thought out loud as he lit another cigar.
     "Well,  that's kind of premature, don't you think?  We have to wait until she's not under the influence of that drug."  They all agreed on this.
     "We have to be careful.  What if they still think she done it?"  B.A. was being protective again.  Hannibal and Face looked at each other again.  They had both talked about the possibility that,  for whatever reason,  Pepper was not telling the truth.
     "B.A. there's a chance that Pepper lied to us about being there that night."  hey were lucky that Murdock was in with Pepper. But, they were still kind of afraid of what reaction B.A. would have.  They hadn't wanted to think about it.  Maybe she killed he mom while being on that drug.  There's no telling how many times she had been given it.
     "That girl didn't kill her momma.  I know that. Y'all know that,  too.  Her crooked stepdaddy did it." 
     "Mr. Wallis,  we need to ask you some questions about your stepdaughter."
     Wallis knew that the FBI would be paying him a visit.  He had told the story so many times,  he was starting to believe it himself.
     "Yes.  What do you want to know?"  They noted that he didn't seem nervous.
     "Patricia had come home to visit.  Her visits always agitated her mother.  She was always bullying her mother - trying to get her to do things she didn't want to do.  For example,  her latest thing was trying to get her mother to leave me.  Patricia never has liked me.  She felt that I was an intrusion between her and her mother.  So,  again she tried to get Catherine to leave with her.  Catherine refused.  Patricia fell into a rage.  I could hear them arguing all the way upstairs.  Patricia took the gun from the desk drawer and shot her mother. I came downstairs and found Patricia standing over Catherine's body.  I immediately called the police.  When they arrived,  she was still standing there with the gun in her hand.  It's all in the police report."  The two agents were making notes of what he said.  They had already read the police report, so they knew that his story coincided with that of the report.
     "The police also said that you wouldn't let them question her that evening."  Wallis nodded. 
     "I doubt if she could have told them anything worth hearing.  She was babbling when they came in.  She was incoherent."  the agents made notes.
     "It also says that when the police returned the next day to question her,  you had whisked her away to an indisclosed location."  Wallis had waited for them to get to this.  It did look incriminating.
     "I was trying to avoid scandal.  It was apparent that she was crazy.  I had her sent to Dr. Westin's Sanitorium to rest and get treatment."
     The agents wrote down the name of the Sanitorium.
      "So,  it didn't occur to you that this was a principal witness in a murder investigation?"  Wallis started to get angry now.
     "What do you mean witness?  Hell,  she did it. I'm the witness.  If the situation were reversed you'd have no problem with this."  Oh no!  He had said too much.  He realized now that the agents were only baiting him;  trying to get him to slip up.  Well,  he was through playing their little game.
     "Where is she now,  Mr. Wallis?"  Ah,  actually it was good that she had disappeared.
     "I have no idea.  She disappeared a couple of weeks ago."
     "Here's the plan:  Face,  you're going to pose as an arms buyer so that we can flush out Wallis.  We'll contact him and get it set up."  Face nodded.
     "We know that the FBI are investigating,  maybe we can use that to our advantage.  How're you doing,  Pepper?"  Pepper had made a full recovery from the medication.  She was sitting very close to Murdock now.  She was a little embarrassed by her behavior the last few weeks,  but the team did their best to reassure her.    
     "I'm doing okay.  My memory is still sort of cloudy.  I'll remember something,  but can't remember if it really happened or was part of the delusion."  Murdock gave her shoulder a squeeze.     "Hey, that sounds like my everyday life."
     "Dr. Westin, we're from the FBI.  We'd like to ask you some questions."  Westin looked puzzled.
     "Wait a minute,  the FBI was already here."  the two agents looked at each other.  they knew that there weren't any other agents assigned to this case.
      "Can you describe them to us?"
     After getting a description of the two phony agents and verifying through the use of mugshots,  the two agents got the names of Templeton Peck and John 'Hannibal' Smith - two wanted felons.  They put in a call to the military police.
     Face and the others had gone to set up Wallis with Murdock and Pepper scheduled to join them later.  Murdock and Pepper were now alone for the first time since Pepper had returned to herself.
     She wanted to talk to Murdock - to make sure that he didn't think any less of her.  Murdock,  sensing her uneasiness,  decided to broach the subject.
     "You know,  I was really worried about.  I thought that I had lost you for good.  I now know what you must feel like being with me."
     She flew to him wanting to reassure him that she chose to be with him.
     "Murdock,  I love you.  Crazy or not."  They both smiled.  He took her face in his hands and kissed her deeply.
     He lifted her nightgown over her head and gazed at her beauty.  He waited,  not wanting to scare her.  they had not been together,  intimately, for several weeks - since this whole nightmare began.  He now realized how badly he wanted her.
     They had both been through a lot in their lives.  No one would blame either one if they were crazy.  But,  they had found each other.  Maybe now,  the healing could start.

                          Eileen's Song

You have one wing
I have another
Seeking shelter like sister and brother
through the winter
through the summer
Like one angel we'll
Fly far away
Hold my hand and we'll make it all  right
From this hell that we live in
Cross the road until the light
Comes inside and lives within
It's a long and lonesome ride
When your friends have all gone home
But the roses in your eyes
They pull me in so I don't fell alone
Sometimes I just can't help but cry
When I think of what we've become
Like a soldier lost in the night
Forgetting all where he has come from
But the mud will soon become dry
And the sun will rise again
And the shadows in our eyes
Will fade away down to lower plains
You have one wing
I have another
Seeking shelter like sister and brother
through the winter and
through the summer
Like one angel we'll fly far away
So my friends now this I say
I won't leave you hangin' on
Hold on tight and don't fly away
'Till one angel we have become

(written by Steven Delopoulos and sung by Burlap to Cashmere)

     B.A.  And Face waited for Wallis as a prearranged location.  Wallis had fallen for the phony gun buy scam.
     Hannibal had contacted the FBI anonymously and given them the tip.
     Wallis approached with two of his cronies riding shotgun,  literally.  Face got out of the car and approached.
     "You got the money?"  Wallis asked.  Face showed him a briefcase and gave him a bundle to show that it was real.
     "What about the weapons?"  Wallis went to the car and pushed the button to open the trunk.  Face motioned for B.A. to go over and inspect the  weapons.
     "Hey,  this fool is trying to rip us off.  these guns are missing the firing pins."
     B.A. and Face drew their weapons and started shooting.  They disabled the two men  with Wallis.
     "Hey,  wait a minute.  There must be some mistake."  As Wallis said this, he started backing away and eventually started running.
     B.A. and Face gave a half-hearted chase.  they wanted him to think he was being chased,  but they didn't want to catch him.
     When Wallis had gone a little ways,  he ran into Hannibal.
      "Hi there,  I see you're having a little problem."  Hannibal was cool and calm.
     "Those guys are trying to kill me.  You gotta help me.  I'll do anything."  Hannibal smiled broadly.
     "You'll do anything, huh?  Well, let's have a little chat about your stepdaughter,  Patricia."
     Hannibal took Wallis into an abandoned warehouse where Murdock and Pepper were waiting.
     "You little slut."  What are doing here?"
     Murdock lunged for him. "I'd hold my tongue if I were you.  I just wanted to kill you and get it over with.  I was out voted."  Wallis swallowed hard with fear.
     "We have a little proposition for you.  A choice, if you will.  We make a little tape with you confessing to killing Pepper's mom or we turn you over to those goons and Murdock, here.  think about it.  You have thirty seconds."  Wallis used his thirty seconds to grovel.
     "All right,  all right."  Hannibal turned on the tape player.
     "I had Patricia kidnapped from her apartment and brought o the house.  We drugged her.  I shot Catherine and put the gun in Patricia's hands and waited for the police."
     "What about the sexual abuse?"  Hannibal asked.
     "She was telling the truth.  I abused her when she was fourteen.  Then Dr. Westin abused her while she was in his hospital."
     Hannibal smiled .
     "Thank you very much.  Oh,  by the way,  here come the rest of our team."  Face and B.A. walked in.
     "We brought the car with the weapons in it.  Here."  face tossed Hannibal a pair of handcuffs.
     "I'm not even going to ask."  Hannibal handcuffed Wallis to a support beam and taped the cassette player above his head on the pole. 
     "We'd better get outta here.  the FBI and Decker could be here any minute."
     They all went out to get in the van.  Pepper held back.
     "What's the matter?"  Murdock asked.
     "I'm going to stay and talk to the FBI.  I don't think that tape is going to be enough."

Flying Part 3