Murdock bounded through the snow with a yell and took a flying leap, landing with a belly-flop onto the smooth white surface. Face groaned.
"Murdock… What are you doing?"
Murdock lay spread-eagled, waving his arms up and down in the snow. After a moment he climbed carefully to his feet and leapt away from the impression he'd made. A slightly fuzzy image of a man with sweeping wings where his arms should be was clearly visible. Hannibal walked over and looked down at it. He smiled.
"You know, Murdock, most people make snow angels by lying on their backs—not diving face first into the snow," Face commented.
"That's what most people do, huh?" Murdock shrugged and shook himself to dislodge the snow from his jacket. "Anyway, it's not a snow angel. It's a Snow Murdock."
Face looked back down at the silhouette on the ground and had to agree that the pilot's lanky form wasn't really suited to an angel of any type.
Murdock caught the edges of his undone jacket with his hands and spread it out mimicking wings as he dashed off across the snow again.
"It's a Snow Fool," B.A. snorted, watching him.
"Ah, come on B.A. Didn't you ever play in the snow when you were a kid?" Face asked.
"No!" B.A. crossed his arms across his chest firmly. "And neither did that crazy man. It don’t snow none in Texas."
Murdock bunny-hopped through the snow, craning his head over his shoulder to look at the tracks he was making in the pristine surface.
"Well he seems to be making up for it now," Face commented, watching him.
B.A. shook his head in exasperation.
"I'm gonna see how deep the drifts round the van are."
"Good idea, B.A." Hannibal nodded. "Murdock may be enjoying the snow now but none of us are going to enjoy it if we have to spend another night up here. The generator's almost out of fuel."
Murdock tore around in a wide circle and came to a stop next to them. He watched B.A.'s retreating back speculatively."That guy must have been one boring kid. How could he not play in the snow? No sledging? No building snowmen? No snowball fights? We gotta do something about this. He needs to frolic and gambol and, and…" Murdock waved his hands vaguely. "He needs to play."
"Murdock…" Face didn't like the look of the wicked gleam in Murdock's eyes as he dropped to his knees to scoop up handfuls of snow. Murdock stood up and clapped him on the back.
"Don't you worry, Faceman. We'll make sure he has a wonderful time."
"We?" Face asked sceptically. He looked at Hannibal who just grinned.
Murdock slapped a snowball into Face's hand and dropped back to the ground. He scooped up enough snow to make a massive snowball and lobbed it two-handed, after B.A. Face watched in horror as it sailed with perfect accuracy to splatter squarely across the back of B.A.'s head. Murdock leapt into the air and kicked his heels together.
B.A. spun round and advanced back towards them. Face looked at the snowball melting in his hand, saw that B.A. was also staring at it, and hastily dropped it.
"That wasn't me!"
Murdock had already taken off for the tree line, bounding through the snow in a surprisingly fast, high-stepping gait. In one smooth motion he ducked, scooped up a snowball in each hand, turned and threw them both, this time catching both B.A. and Face.
Face blinked and spluttered, B.A. let out a bellow of rage and ran after Murdock who was now tossing a sustained volley of snowballs, complete with doodlebug sound effects. Hannibal watched in amusement as Face shrugged, grinned, and ran off at a tangent, heading to intercept Murdock.
In spite of B.A.'s increasingly massive snowballs it was an impossible game to win. Murdock's apparently boundless energy had him looping circles around them and he simply didn't care if he got covered in snow, happily diving head over heels into the drifts to avoid the snowballs.
Eventually the three of them came to a standstill, damp with sweat even in the chill air that turned their breath into puffs of mist as they panted.
"Hey, man. Hannibal didn't even get any stray crossfire." B.A. complained, pointing to where Hannibal still stood with his cigar in the lee of the shack.
Murdock gave a wicked chuckle and dropped into a stealthy crouching run towards the shack. B.A. and Face spread to either side of him and followed.
"Well, Hannibal's always liked a strategic pincer attack," Face smirked.
The three of them reached Hannibal at the same moment, snowballs poised and ready.
"Surrender, Colonel?" Face suggested.
Hannibal smiled brightly and stepped backwards, kicking at a pole propped under eaves of the shack which sent the accumulated snow from the roof sliding down on top of them. Spluttering and flailing about, they scrambled free.
"You set that up while we was out there?" B.A. demanded.
"You're an evil man, Hannibal." Face brushed the snow off himself.
"Why, thank you, Face."
Murdock just laughed out loud and let himself flop backwards into the snow.
"Look at that," Hannibal grinned. "A snow angel."
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