On The Jazz
On The Jazz Newsletter: Volume 2 Issue N°13

Date: March 24, 1996
Author: Nicole Pellegrini
Download: otjv02i13.zip

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The totally unofficial A-Team electronic mail newsletter
***** Now in it's second year of publication !! *****

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Administrivia: Nicole Pellegrini
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*Home of the On the Jazz Newsletter Archives**
DATE:   March 24, 1996
ISSUE:  13
Howdy folks!

Well, despite the flu and a gaggle of other problems, somehow I managed to pull together a rather packed issue this week. We'll be starting off with some general
Just as a final reminder, the A-Team Philly Fest party is coming up in a little less than two weeks (on Saturday, April 6). It ought to be a real blast, so if you can make it you'll be sure to enjoy it. Just RSVP with me ASAP (friends etc. welcome as well).

As several people mentioned this week on the reflector, Mr. T was recently spotted on the Tonight Show. As reported by one of our members,

Well...I haven't heard anything on Mr. T in a while, but I guess that he's doing alright since I saw him on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno last Friday. They had a boxing tournament, in which Butterbean won. Jay was at the arena and said that you never know who you might run into down there. The next thing you know, Mr. T walks by and says, "Outta my way!" Then Jay said, "I pity that fool." So Mr. T was on for like one second, but I guess this means that he's alright :)

Also, one person was wondering if it was Dwight Schultz that he spotted in a small part in the new movie "Executive Decision." I haven't seen it yet, but if anyone can verify this one way or another, let us know!

I was on the phone with Rita Ractliffe out in California this weekend and have some information to pass along for her to everyone here. First, she is trying to pull together a small memorial display for George Peppard to put up on April 8th, on his star in Hollywood (y'know, the place where all the famous people have their stars on the sidewalk...for the life of me I can't remember what that's called.) Anyway, if anyone has anything they'd like to add to the display, a photo of Peppard, a short poem or statement of how you remember him, you can send it to her at Rita D. Ractliffe, 15500 Erwin, #297, Van Nuys, CA 91411. But get it to her real soon, 'cause that's only about 2 weeks away.

Also, she has made a really unique item available for sale to everyone here. One of the last shows Peppard did was a traveling stage production called "Papa," which was a one-man play based on Ernest Hemingway. It was directed by Michael O'Herlihy, who was also a frequent director of "The A-Team." Anyway, Rita has quite a few playbills from the show sitting around, and one of them can be yours for only $3! (That includes U.S. postage). So, what you should do if you want one is write to Rita (at the above mentioned address), include a reply envelope that's at least 5.5 x 8.5 in size, and $3 in money order, or cash (no checks). Hopefully in future days Rita will have more unusual collectibles for sale as she has, believe me, probably one of the most complete A-Team memorabilia collections out there...

Finally in the news department, it's time for some
Well, it's finally finished and officially on sale! As "On the Jazz" subscribers you are all getting first-shot at this new 'zine *and* at a special discount only available here! So, without further ado, I'm announcing...
                 "PLANS SCAMS AND VANS #2"
...an all A-Team, all-new fanzine!

This issue has 126 (count 'em) pages of great new A-Team fiction spanning the Vietnam war to the 23rd century! In this issue, you'll find the following stories:

"Out of the Frying Pan..." by Irene Schwarting
What do chicken bones, a Hanoi school bus, the MASH 4077th, and 5 colonels have in common? They're all part of the story of how the A-Team escaped rom a prison camp only to face a court martial. Find out just what Hannibal eant when he said, "Colonel, you are not qualified to assume command. Now, ither you can shut up and follow orders, or Face here can shoot you and we'll ave one less problem to deal with. Take your pick."

"Missing?" by Laura Michaels
It's a missing "person" case of a different kind when Face decides to give rivate investigating a try on his own. Can he find the "Boy" in question nd still keep his social calendar intact?

"Hacking Away at the System" by N.N. Pellegrini
Students at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been disappearing without a trace. Can the A-Team solve the mystery before it's too late? Only the mysterious Jack E. Florey may know for sure...

"The Lady" by Liz Meinert
The FIRM wants to hire the A-Team to bring back AIRWOLF. But then Hawke wants to hire the Team to steal it back for him. Confused? You won't be once you've read this story.

"A Closet Full of Skeletons, a Past Full of Ghosts"
5th-season script by Christopher Bunting Frankie's been kidnapped by an old enemy of Hannibal's out for revenge. But what's the rest of the Team to do when Hannibal doesn't want their help?

"Shadows and Stars" by N.N. Pellegrini
Think of it as "The A-Team: The Next Generation." A Colonial Warrior named Starbuck is rescued from a deserted planet only to be stranded on space station Babylon 5. Will he find his way back to the Galactica to tell them of his discovery? Perhaps, once he enlists the help of a disturbed lurker named Amis, a mechanic with an attitude problem, and a mercenary with a fondness for cigars...

"The A-Team of Space" transcribed by Laura Michaels
From the logs of the Starship BA's Van on its run through the cosmos, when four legendary space heroes are brought together for reasons unknown, madness is sure to ensue quickly.

All this plus mini-crossovers, nifty original and photo-art (including a primo full-color cover!), and even "The A-Team" by... Ernest Hemingway??

Current cost for this 'zine is $13.50, including US Priority Mail delivery. (International postage cost to be determined... please email if interested.) However, all "On the Jazz" subscribers are eligible for a $1 discount off the cover price, bringing it down to $12.50. Just make sure to mention "On the Jazz" when ordering!

Make checks or money orders payable to:
Nicole Pellegrini
2429 Locust St. #315
Philadelphia PA 19103

Issue #1 is still available as well - inquire for details.

I really, really, really am impressed by the way this Issue came out. There's a great mix of action & humor and everything else that made the show so much fun. And remember, now's the time to start thinking about contributions for the next issue, which will probably be looking at release early next year. (Our special A-Team/X-Files issue will hopefully be finished sooner... we still need people interested in contribution though!)

Finally this time, we have some more orginial fiction from one of our members, Laura Michaels. After the A-Team vs. MacGuyver thread that was on the mailing list a while back, Laura thought it was time to transcribe this piece for our amusement. So, onto the first part (of two) of...

Smugglers' Blues
by Laura Michaels

(Note: This original appeared in "Our Favorite Things," Issue #4. As a side from Laura, "note this was written before the 5th season of the A-Team aired on television. The editors had me water down the original ending just a little because it was their opinion the A-Team would never work for the U.S. government and Pete would never ask the A-Team to work for him.)

Delimiters in the story have the following meaning:
/ denotes italics

Generally, I don't take jobs where I have to stop a drug smuggling ring. I leave something like that to people who are specialized in it, like vice squads. But, this job, as Pete pointed out to me, wasn't dealing with your ordinary smuggling operation. A team of mercenaries was getting in the way of the police when they tried to arrest the smugglers. Well, armed mercenaries against a few police cars doesn't seem very fair to me/, MacGyver thought, as he drove to the smugglers' last known location.

MacGyver looked around the warehouse, hoping for one of his usual brainstorms to hit him. Today, all that he could come up with was the hope that the criminals would go back to the scene of the crime. He doubted it. The place was well cleaned out; nothing important left behind.

Maybe he was approaching the problem in the wrong way. If he found the mercenaries, he'd probably find the smugglers. After all, wasn't his job to get the mercenaries out of the way? The police could handle smugglers. Not even the military could handle these wanted ex-soldiers.

He thought over what he had read about their backgrounds. He tried not to think too hard about the fact they had all been in the Vietnam war, or where these men might have gone wrong. He hadn't heard about them in the war, even though they seemed to have something of a reputation, a good reputation too. He concentrated on finding anything habitual that might help in locating them.

Well, one of them did like to hang out at high class spots, and chase after rich women. He had a white and red Corvette. It should be easy to find. All he had to do was check out all the high class eating places in Los Angeles for the sports car. /Simple job/, he thought to himself sarcastically, knowing the territory and remembering how many places there might be. Funny, he wasn't too sure about the records they had on these guys. Finding them couldn't be that simple, or the military would have done it long ago.

Still, it was a start, and maybe he could get some help. MacGyver put in a call to the L.A.P.D. If the police were also looking, that would increase the search area to be covered. He could also listen for news about the smugglers on the car radio which he had tuned to police bands. Perhaps they'd be spotted again.

The vehicles these mercenaries drove were definitely the key to finding them, MacGyver considered. They might change the license plates often, but they always drove the same black and red van or white and red Corvette. That wouldn't be impossible to spot, he hoped. Something about this just seemed too easy.

MacGyver checked some of the classiest places he knew, but didn't spot anything. He looked at his watch. It was getting way past lunchtime. Maybe they didn't socialize when they were on a job. It would be the smart thing to do.

On a hunch, he headed for the coastal area of Long Beach, a district where smugglers might hang out. The police could handle this search on their own for a while. He didn't find any white and red Corvettes. Not long after he started checking the area, he saw the black and red van. It was parked out of the way on a side street.

MacGyver found an inconspicuous spot for the car, searched the immediate area on foot, and located the A-Team in a bar often frequented by smugglers and such types. All three of them were there, but they'd be hard to handle, especially the big guy with all the jewelry. The best thing to do in a situation like this is divide and conquer.

He could distract the blond with a lady, but he didn't know any at the bar, and it might be too dangerous for her anyway. Causing a commotion would just create a lot of confusion. There was no guarantee he could get any of the Team alone, and people might get hurt. Maybe there was a way to distract the blond after all. He paid off one of the guys who worked at the bar to tell the mercenary he had a phone call from a female. That would sound innocent enough. He probably told at least one of the women he knew where he'd be, especially if he was there often. More importantly, the phone was out of sight from the main part of the bar and could easily be ambushed.

MacGyver took the phone off the hook, dialed time, and then went to stand nearby. He watched as his message was delivered. The man from the bar pointed to the area of the pay phones. They conversed for a while. Then, the mercenary headed for the phone. That was the easy part. Now MacGyver had to think of a way to handle him.

Face picked up the phone. MacGyver, working on an impulse, came up behind him, pointed his finger at the man's back pretending he had a gun, and told him to act natural.

Before he had a chance to question the lieutenant, or figure out how to get him out of the way without letting on to his trick, MacGyver heard the sound of a real gun being cocked. He turned around to see two men; one, Colonel Smith, a member of the A-Team holding the hand gun, the other, he couldn't identify. He gave his best good-natured smile and held his hands up in plain sight, showing them empty. "Hi," he said in his most friendly manner.

The reply wasn't so friendly. "We're going for a little walk," Hannibal Smith told him.

"We've got some questions for you to answer," Face added.

When the four of them got outside, MacGyver could see where the third member of the A-Team had disappeared to. He had driven the van up to the bar, and Hannibal was gesturing him in. Things didn't look too good.

"Who are you?" asked Face.

"He's an MP," the driver, B.A. Baracus, interrupted. "I can tell police when I see 'em."

"I don't know, B.A. He's not carrying any weapons," the colonel put in.

They had checked him before he entered the van. If nothing else, they were thorough. The best thing to do was let them talk. Maybe he could learn something.

The fourth guy, the one he couldn't identify, got an M-16 out of a locker in the back of the van and aimed it at MacGyver. "You gonna tell us who you are and who you work for? We're not gonna ask you again."

MacGyver didn't like the looks of this. This guy seemed a little crazy. Even worse, there was nothing on him in the A-Team's files. MacGyver had no way of knowing what to expect from him. He was probably one of the smugglers.

The man cocked the rifle.

"Hey wait, fool," B.A. complained. "You're not doin' any shootin' in my van!"

"Murdock, put the gun away. We'll take him to the motel and convince him to talk," Colonel Smith said ominously.

The guy with the M-16, Murdock, put the safety back on his weapon. Obviously, he wasn't the one to give orders in this operation after all. The driver, Sergeant Baracus, was forceful enough to get what he said done, but he wasn't in charge either. The blond lieutenant was something of a second in command, he figured. It was the colonel who ran this show. MacGyver wondered how hard it would be to convince this man he wasn't a threat. Well, he could always try to pull an escape as soon as he could get a hold of the right equipment.

They reached the motel and guided their guest into a room. Murdock suggested, "Why don't we put his head under the shower like when Hannibal...."

"That's all right. You don't have to do that," MacGyver interrupted. They hadn't said too much in the van. He figured he'd better start convincing them he wasn't a problem, or he'd end up hurt. "I'm MacGyver."

"Do you work for the MPs?" Face asked.

"No. I don't. It would be kind of stupid for me to be walking around without a gun in a neighborhood like this if I were with the police."

"So why'd you pull the stunt with the phony gun?" Face continued, still upset by the incident.

"Just a joke," MacGyver said with a smile.

"It was a stupid joke," B.A. replied.

The colonel had been watching MacGyver carefully. "You didn't pull a stunt like that just for laughs," Hannibal observed. "You might not be an MP, but you know who we are. Either you come clean and tell us who you work for and what you thought you were doing, or I think you're going to be real sorry, pal."

"All right, I'll tell you why I'm here." MacGyver decided he should tell the truth and see how they'd take it. "I'm trying to stop the smuggling ring you've been working with."

"Told ya he was a cop," B.A. accused.

"Wait a minute," Face interrupted. "You think we've been working with the smugglers?"

"Haven't you?" MacGyver prompted.

"No," Face answered. "As a matter-of-fact, we're trying to catch those smugglers, but if you work for the law, then you aren't about to believe that."

"If you're trying to catch them, why'd you interfere when the police tried to arrest them?"

"Police interfered, man," B.A. told MacGyver angrily.

"We were just minding our own business, trying to do a good deed by stopping those creeps. The police pulled up, started shooting at us, and let the smugglers get away clean," Murdock explained.

"Yes, well, who would you rather catch several ordinary smugglers, or three guys with twenty thousand dollars on their heads?" Face asked.

"I think I understand what happened," MacGyver said sympathetically.

"What I don't understand," Face asked him, "is if you're working for the government, and I get the feeling you are, why are you interested in some smugglers?"

"Two reasons. First, they don't just operate in California, which makes this a government problem. Second, we think they have connections with terrorists, which makes it my problem. So, if you're not working with the smugglers, I guess I don't need to worry about you getting in the way. I'll be leaving now. My job's finished here."

"Not so fast." Murdock stopped him.

"You're not leaving," Hannibal said.

"Why not?" asked MacGyver innocently.

Hannibal replied, "Because it would be too easy for you to leave the motel and head for the nearest phone."

"Yeah, you're with the cops," B.A. put in.

"I'm not going to call the police and report you. You have my word," MacGyver promised them.

"It's not good enough," Face replied. "People make promises all the time and never come through."

"Especially the law," B.A. added.

"We have no reason to trust you. There's no sense in us taking unnecessary risks," Hannibal explained.

"What are you going to do? Kill me?" Observing the seriousness of the group, MacGyver was beginning to wish he hadn't asked that last question.

Murdock dug up some rope from somewhere. They sat him down in a chair, gagged him, and tied him up.

"This'll give us a chance to get away," Hannibal told him.
"Yeah, by the time you get loose, we'll be long gone," Murdock added.

MacGyver watched them leave the room and listened to the sound of screeching tires as he heard their van pulling away. Can't blame them. I have a feeling they're telling the truth, or else they would've gotten rid of me permanently. In that case, they're going to an awful lot of trouble, and risking getting caught, just to stop some criminals. There's something good about those guys. I just wish they hadn't tied me up. I get the feeling they're going to be needing a lot of help. With the police, the MPs, and the CIA involved, they're going to have more than they can deal with.

MacGyver tipped the chair over, rubbed the ropes against a sharp part of the metal bed frame, and in no time at all was loose. He headed after the Team.
                       *     *     *
When MacGyver left the motel room, there was no sign of the van. He'd have to start his search from the beginning. Then again, he thought, there might be another way. The A-Team was after the smugglers. They had been in that bar for a reason. Maybe they'd go back. It was the first place someone might think to look, and it wouldn't be safe for them to return. However, sometimes the best place to hide was the most obvious one.

He decided to check his hunch. It wasn't far from the motel, and he had to return to the area for the car anyway. After a fifteen minute walk, he reached the bar, and sure enough there was the A-Team.

He figured he wouldn't make his presence known this time. No such luck. Murdock came up behind him from outside and told MacGyver to join Hannibal at the bar. The A-Team was careful. MacGyver figured Murdock had been stationed outside the bar on a nearby rooftop observing the people who entered.

"You sure are persistent," Murdock said as he showed MacGyver to a seat by the colonel.

"Murdock, get back on watch. They should be here soon." Hannibal addressed MacGyver, "I thought we got the message across that we didn't want you around."

"You might need help," MacGyver offered.
"Not from you."

"Did you ever think there might be some things I can do that you can't? I'm not wanted or known around here."

"You're also too much of a risk," Hannibal added. "We like to handle things our way. We don't need any assistance."

"Your way, you shoot off a dozen clips with your automatic rifles and try to scare everyone. Look how far it's gotten you."

"I take it you don't like guns, MacGyver," Hannibal said, watching him closely for a reaction.

"No. I don't," MacGyver admitted.

"We do more than shoot off clips. We come up with plans and we work by them. That's what we're trying to do now, and we'd prefer to do it without your interference. Besides, as Face would tell you, clips are costly these days. We have to watch our budget," Hannibal informed him in a serious tone.

"All right. I'm not welcome, but I'm here. You don't want me to just walk out and phone the police. I'll stay out of your way, but I'm sticking around to help out in case I'm needed."
"We don't seem to have much choice in the matter," Hannibal assented.

"Uh, now that I'm staying, what is it you're doing here?" MacGyver asked.

"You don't need to know," Hannibal informed him. They were going to bug the smugglers' conversation and Hannibal doubted MacGyver would approve.

B.A. joined them a short time later and happily said, "We've got it, Hannibal."

"You found out when their next job is?" the colonel asked.

"Even better. We found out where their new base is."

"Let's go," he said to B.A. "Since you're going to follow us anyway, come on," Hannibal told MacGyver.
                       *     *     *
Murdock had the van outside waiting for them. B.A. shoved him out of the driver's seat and took his rightful place behind the wheel. They drove around the block and picked up Face.

"They're driving a rental," the lieutenant reported. "Everything's all set. No problem." That told Hannibal that Face had the homing device on the smugglers' vehicle.

They followed the smugglers from a distance. The criminals finally stopped at an old, abandoned office building. The A-Team pulled up a block away.

"That's their new base," B.A. confirmed.

"Now what?" asked MacGyver.

"Face is just going to go up to them and find out when their next major shipment is," Hannibal explained.

"I could use someone else on this," Face told them.

"I'll help," Murdock offered eagerly.

Face started to argue angrily, "The last time...."

"That's enough, guys," Hannibal interrupted. "Murdock, take up a position as lookout."

"Right," Murdock replied, showing his walkie talkie as ready, and leaving the van.

"Face, take...."

"I ain't goin' on no scam," B.A. contradicted.

"Take MacGyver," Hannibal suggested to keep the peace.

"Great," Face complained. "He'll be a big help."

Hannibal added, "If there's any trouble, we'll meet...." "...At the motel room," Face finished. "We rented it for the day. We might as well get our money's worth from it."
                       *     *     *
Maybe MacGyver wouldn't be very useful at conning people. He didn't like to lie. He figured he would be helpful if Face ran into trouble. He could always think up a way to get them out. The two headed for the building.

MacGyver was still curious about the Team and how they operated. He asked Face, "How'd you know that phone call at the bar was a trap?"

"I didn't tell anyone where I'd be. Hannibal has a rule. No socializing while on a job," Face explained.

"That's not the real reason," Murdock put in. He had tagged along behind them and listened in on the conversation. "Face never follows Hannibal's rules when it comes to women. He just didn't want any of his girl friends to interfere while he was busy picking up some new ones."

"Murdock!" Face exclaimed angrily.

Murdock ran off to find a good position, before Face could get even.

"Actually, I wouldn't tell the kind of ladies I go out with that I was hanging out at a dump like that," Face admitted to MacGyver.

"Must be really nice girls if they like you for where you 'hang out at'," MacGyver commented.

"It's not that. It's the image. See, if you want to con them into.... Oh forget it," Face said, giving up. He was definitely talking to the wrong guy. This was going to be a long, rough job.

"Does Hannibal always send you to get information like this?" MacGyver asked, continuing his queries.
"No. Mostly I scam them supplies."

"I don't see how he expects you to just walk in and find out what he wants to know. Those smugglers won't want to tell you something that could put them in jail."

"Sure they will. You just have to ask 'em right. You see, Hannibal gives me all the hard stuff to handle," Face bragged. "I've just got a natural talent for it. Sometimes I think he takes me for granted," he added, not really meaning it.

"Are you working for someone?"

"No. Hannibal was in the mood for something to do, so he went looking for a case for us. I wish he wouldn't get bored so often. I have to handle the finances and it's hard to make ends meet when we don't get paid."

"And you guys always take on criminals when you're outnumbered and most of the law enforcement agencies in the country are after you?"

"Yeah," Face agreed. "You see, Hannibal's on the jazz."

"What's the jazz?" MacGyver asked, curious.

"Guess I'd better explain, because we're gonna need it soon to pull this con off," Face answered.
                       *     *     *
(To be continued...)

Well, that's it for this issue everyone. Stay tuned, next time hear the scoop on the how the party went, part two of the story, and whatever else comes my way...

Stay on the jazz,
Quote of the week:

"She's gonna put braces all over my teeth and then sell
my lips to a baloney factory!"

                           Murdock in "Pure Dee Poison"

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