Favour for the Enemy
8.9: Part One
Heat on my neck.
all I can remember.
I don’t know this place.
The smell of antiseptic. Cabbage. Sweat that didn’t
come from exertion.
Quiet steps. Careful movements. Whispers. They sound serious.
The taste of blood.
I open my eyes, still dark. Why is it dark? Why can’t
It’s night. There’s a light under the door.
A cupboard. A metal frame beside me. A chair.
I’m in bed. Got to get out of here.
Get up. Get up now.
It hurts! It hurts! I’m screaming but I can’t
Pain has a colour. Who knew?
* * *
Footsteps, coming up behind me.
Hot breath on my neck.
A hand, clamping around my mouth. The glove smells of
dirt and leather.
My legs are kicked from under me and I’m falling.
I twist as I fall and fight back, but my balance has gone.
God’s teeth, he’s big!
I curl up, got to protect my head. A swish of cloth and
something hard and heavy connects with my temple.
Everything’s echoing. I can’t get up. My knife
is in my boot. Why can’t I get it? Why won’t
my hands work?
I knew this was coming. I knew as soon as I made the call.
But who did I call?
man frowned and shifted in his bed. A nurse tiptoed in
and checked the monitors, increased the dose of painkillers
and gently brushed his unruly hair off his forehead. Her
expression was sad, unable to understand what could drive
one human to do this to another.
in my room, the scent of antiseptic and vanilla perfume.
Don’t let them know I’m awake.
Someone’s touching me.
A tug inside my elbow. Something cold and heavy seeping
into my veins.
Echoing footsteps. They’re going away.
I open my eyes. It’s daytime. Why won’t they
I’m slipping away.
* * *
in my own kitchen, for pity’s sakes. How the heck
did that happen?
I’m in real trouble here...
He’s going to kill me. Out! Get out!
They’ve traced the phone call. They know it was
But who are THEY? Why can’t I remember?
Who did I call? I can’t...
I called the police and reported a bomb threat.
Why did I do that? Not my style at all.
And… Why am I still alive?
man opened his eyes and took a deep breath. He screwed
up his face in pain and clenched his fists, squinting
against the sunlight. The nurse turned towards him.
“Hi there! Nice to have you back with us.”
She smiled at him, moved nearer to check his monitors,
took his pulse and shone a bright light into his eyes.
The man shied away from the light and she put her hand
up to the side of his face.
“Hold still, please – I have to check your
pupils. You’ve had a nasty bang on the head, you
know... That’s fine. OK, let’s get you sitting
up a bit.” She propped the bed up and smoothed the
sheets. “That’s better, isn’t it?”
The man stared back at her, his dark eyes confused. The
nurse moved to the foot of the bed and picked up a chart.
“Can you wiggle your toes?” The man concentrated
and the nurse waited with her pen poised over the chart,
but nothing moved. The nurse turned up the end of the
blanket. “Try again for me?”
The man’s forehead creased and he looked frightened.
He tried again, but still nothing moved. The nurse nodded,
made a mark on the chart.
“Can you move your arms? Squeeze my hand? Turn your
head?” The man complied, seeming distant. When the
nurse had finished her checks, he continued to stare into
“Do you know your name?” The man refocused,
pulling his attention in from somewhere very far away.
He shook his head. The nurse sighed. “I’ll
get the doctor to look in on you.”
* * * *
Pretend to be dead.
Let him think he’s killed me.
He’s still hitting me, pounding and kicking and
I can’t fight back. I can’t move right. I’m
He’s stopped. Footsteps, walking away.
He thinks I’m dead.
Check for a pulse, you idiot. No, don’t check. Walk
away. Walk away.
I can’t move.
Maybe I am dead...
turned down the contract. That’s why he came.
What had I been asked to do?
I still feel sick at the idea of doing it. Why?
After all, I kill people for a living.
sharp sting and pressure inside my elbow.
This time I open my eyes. A different nurse, younger,
with long blonde hair.
She’s smiling at me. She tells me I’m improving
and that the doctor has decided to take me off the morphine.
Even though my legs don’t work.
She reminds me of someone.
Long blonde hair, fanned out across tumbled snow. My precious
sister, lying dead. I turn and snarl at the mountain that
has taken her from me.
I vow never to take a contract involving the deaths of
children. I make that promise to Ashton, and lay a rose
on her grave and walk away.
I keep my promise, and refuse this last contract. But
not everyone at HIT feels the same way. Someone will take
I tell the nurse I need to make a phone call. She writes
down the number, agrees to call and asks me what my name
But I pretend I don’t know who I am.
* * *
MacGyver parked his bike, unzipped his jacket and walked
across the parking lot to the hospital.
The phone call had him puzzled as well as worried. He
knew plenty of Brits from his travels abroad, but none
who would name him as next of kin. Then again, amnesia
could play many tricks with the mind, as he knew from
experience. He glanced at the ward number he’d written
on his hand and headed for the elevators.
open the ward doors, MacGyver walked up to the nurses’
station and propped his sunglasses on his head.
“Hi, name’s MacGyver. I got a call to say
one of your patients had asked for me?”
smiled down at the nurse, who smiled back and picked up
“Right this way.” She came out from behind
the desk. “You should be aware that your friend
was attacked and hurt very badly. We thought we were going
to lose him the first night, but he’s healing really
well now, much faster than expected.” MacGyver nodded.
“But he has no idea who he is?” The nurse
shook her head.
“Whoever he is, he’s been badly hurt before.
He has metal plates in his leg and evidence of a lot of
other injuries. Oh, and he’s had plastic surgery
on his face. Really well done too.”
MacGyver’s eyes narrowed and he frowned.
“Here we are. Visiting finishes at four, OK?”
MacGyver nodded, not really listening. His attention was
fixed on the figure in the bed.