Uninvited Guest

By Rocket

Episode 8.16: Part One

 

FROM: 7716BB3
TO: 111C3F4
SUBJECT: FAR FROM HOME
HAVE CONTACTED TARGET. PROGRESS UPDATE IN ONE WEEK.

FROM: 7716BB3
TO: 111C3F4
SUBJECT: FAR FROM HOME
TARGET NOT ABLE TO COMPLETE MISSION WITHIN AGREED TIME FRAME. ALLOW MORE TIME/FURTHER ENCOURAGE?

FROM: 7716BB3
TO: 111C3F4
SUBJECT: FAR FROM HOME
TARGET NOT RESPONDING TO FURTHER ENCOURAGEMENT. SANCTION ISSUED. PROGRESS UPDATE IN ONE WEEK.

FROM: 7716BB3
TO: 111C3F4
SUBJECT: FAR FROM HOME
SANCTION HAS NOT RESULTED IN MISSION COMPLETION. PROCEED TO TERMINATE?

FROM: 7716BB3
TO: 111C3F4
SUBJECT: FAR FROM HOME
IT IS DONE. INFILTRATING PHOENIX TOMORROW.
.
.

“I could have sworn I left it here…” MacGyver glanced at his newspaper, sighing at the brutal murder of a Chinese clerk last night before setting it aside and upending a drawer onto his desk. His frown deepened as he sifted through the mass of papers and ran his hand through his mop of unruly hair. Leaning his chair back on two legs, he directed a shout through the doorway.

“Willis! Did you borrow my satellite schematics?” MacGyver shook his head at the silence beyond, got up and walked to the doorway. “Willis?”

“Down here.” Willis was kneeling on the floor, rummaging in a cupboard.

“What are you…?” MacGyver leant over the nearest bench.

“I ordered some resistors last week. They’re a little out of the ordinary-“ Willis dumped a pile of boxes on the bench, “-and I need them to make a prototype circuit so I can test the-“ Another armful of boxes joined the first ones, “-the phone things. You know, the things.”

“I think you can say ‘satellite constellation’, Willis.” MacGyver caught a box as it slid off the heap. “Security’s pretty good here.” He grinned, handing Willis the box. “Are you sure they’re in here?”

“Sure as I can be.” Willis surveyed the lab, every drawer and cupboard emptied and stacked haphazardly on the tops. “I can’t think of anywhere else I’d have put them.”

“Would anyone else use them?” MacGyver started to collect Willis’s scattered papers, flicking through the titles.

“No, they’re pretty specialised.” Willis took off his glasses and cleaned them on his shirt tail. “It doesn’t make any sense.”

“They’re probably with my satellite schematics.” MacGyver shrugged, handing Willis the stack of papers. “Which I have to go and copy again now, which means getting in the queue for the big copier. You didn’t borrow them, did you?”

“Schematics? No.” Willis looked around, hoping to see the resistors among the mess. “No, I won’t need them for another couple of weeks. I hope you find them, Mac.”

MacGyver left to copy his drawings, leaving Willis alone to tidy his lab. Willis set to work, muttering under his breath. Above and behind him, one of the air ducts flexed gently and creaked against the bracket holding it to the ceiling.

Willis, engrossed in his search, heard nothing.

* * * *


In the narrow darkness of the ventilation shaft, 7716BB3 smiled, checked the papers and the small box of components were secure in his pockets and wormed his way back to the vertical shaft running through the wall space. One metal panel flexed as the moved his knee and he froze, listening. He heard no change in the sounds from the room below and continued more carefully, reaching the safety of the shaft without incident. He had been inside the Phoenix building for most of the day now, but no-one suspected his presence.

His lips curved in a thin smile. Apparently Americans really were as stupid as he’d heard they were.

* * * *


“Hey, MacGyver.” Pete lifted his fingers from the braille keyboard and turned towards the door.

“Hey Pete. How did you know it was me?” MacGyver lounged against the doorframe with his hands in his pockets.

“You have a distinctive walk.” Pete flipped open his watch, checking the time with his fingers. “Wow, is it really that time already? I should be going. So should you – aren’t you meeting Sam for dinner this evening?”

“Yes I am.” MacGyver walked across to the window, smiling as Pete turned, tracking his movement by sound. “Should be a good evening.”

Pete shut down his computer, waiting for it to respond to his voice prompts. He gathered his things into his briefcase and picked up his cane.

“Did Willis find what he was looking for?” Pete shrugged into his coat and fished in his pocket for his gloves.

“I don’t think so.” MacGyver frowned. “I’m beginning to think this place has gremlins, I lost a whole set of schematics earlier that I just KNOW I left locked in my desk.”

“Maybe it does!” Pete chuckled as he made his way to the door. “Enjoy your dinner and say hi to Sam for me, OK?”

“I will.” MacGyver turned to follow him out, noticing a light still on in Willis’s office. After a moment’s hesitation he turned again and made for Willis’s room.

“Working late?” MacGyver ducked back as Willis jumped and swore. “Sorry…”

“Hey, MacGyver. You startled me!” Willis picked up his overturned mug and mopped at the spilled coffee with his sleeve. “Yeah, losing those resistors has put me way behind. I gotta finish up this report before I go home.”

“I’ll let the night guy know you’re here. Don’t work too late, OK?” MacGyver watched Willis nod, half his mind still on his late report. “And watch out for gremlins!”

“Gremlins? Uh… OK.” Willis watched MacGyver leave, whistling as he walked away down the corridor. “Gremlins. Right. I don’t get it…” Around him, the building grew quiet as the last employees left for the day.

An hour later, Randy the night security guard brought him a fresh coffee as he did his rounds. The coffee grew cold as Willis typed, pausing every now and again to check his figures. Then a soft sound in the corridor outside made him look up.

“Randy? That you?” Willis waited for a reply, then got up to check. The corridor was empty, quiet now except for the faint hum of the air conditioning. “Gremlins. OK, gremlins…” Shrugging, Willis returned to his desk, drinking his cold coffee as he read through what he had written.

He reached into a desk drawer and, if he had been less absorbed in his work, he might have heard the sound of a door closing quietly further up the corridor.

* * * *


7716BB3 closed the door with a quiet click and turned to scan the corridor. He froze, seeing a light under one of the other office doors, and ducked back into the shadows.
Five minutes later, sure he hadn’t been discovered, he padded back along the corridor and disappeared into the ventilation shaft.

 

 

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