MacGyver flicked the page on the
old photo album and sighed. Paul Moran’s happy face
looked back at him, hauntingly real, hauntingly lost now
his friend was gone. When he’d taken up Moran’s
offer of a trip to England, he’d been looking forward
to a mini vacation after his Bermuda Triangle adventure,
but all Mac had gotten was more mystery, intrigue, and
the murder of Moran.
It seemed like only yesterday
they’d been climbing the tallest mountains on earth
together, and now, now it was all over. MacGyver turned
another page and stopped at a picture of them side by
side in a nature reserve in Africa. It seemed like all
he did was lose friends of late, and in truth, it was
making him look at his mortality, his own advancing years.
Mac winced at the thought, and was relieved when his apartment
door swung open and Sam entered – or rather poked
his head around the door to suggest his visit would be
“Hey Dad, what’s got
you looking so glum?” At the apparent sight of his
father’s expression, Sam moved inside with a look
of curiosity and mild concern.
MacGyver closed the album, slid
it onto the nearby table and forced a smile. “I’m
fine,” he almost lied. “Just looking at some
old pictures of friends.”
Sam didn’t push it, but that
was probably because he knew when his dad was closing
up, even if they hadn’t known one another long,
he was a fast learner. “Oh, okay. Me and Andy were
wondering if you’d like to come on over to the cabin
tonight.” His face turned slightly sheepish. “We
kinda have a big surprise for you!”
MacGyver raised a brow, his melancholy
forgotten. “Oh? Gonna give me a clue?”
eyes said he was teasing now. “But you’ll
like it, I promise!” He hastened back to the door,
and as he retreated out offered. “See you at eight,
prompt!” Before Mac could argue, he was gone.
sat up, pondered a moment and then moved to the refrigerator
to grab a cold drink. Sam and Andy had been spending a
lot of time together of late – heck, they’d
been spending a lot of time together since they’d
met back on the trail of an old mobster mystery house
– Angelina’s Grace, the house, or
rather cabin , that Andy had eventually inherited from
why would they want to see me there with a surprise?
Mac swallowed down a glass of milk, and then the thought
hit him. They’ve been spending rather a lot
of time together…what if..?
Suddenly one of DXS and Phoenix’s
best operatives felt weak at the knees. What if he was
going to be a grandpa, and he hadn’t even got used
to being a father yet? The idea made the glass in his
hand tremble slightly. Never mind the photos with Paul
Moran, MacGyver was abruptly aware of his age, and he
wasn’t sure how to handle it.
* * *
Corral Canyon Park
Later that evening…
MacGyver pulled his Jeep up next
to Sam’s bike and killed the ignition. It was evening,
and the sky was pockmarked with high clouds that glowed
red with the last rays of the evening sun. The air was
warm, and the surrounding trees and foliage made him feel
like he was far away from the city, even if he was just
a short drive from home.
Mac sighed, and wished he could
retire to some remote cabin in the hills somewhere, like
Harry had. He shook himself, took out the keys and removed
his sunglasses, before ambling up the porch and into the
“Hey, anyone home?”
He asked out of politeness, given that Sam’s bike
had already suggested they were.
here, Dad!” Sam’s muffled tones greeted him,
and he couldn’t help but smile. He’d always
envisaged a life without kids, and yet when Sam had come
along, he suddenly couldn’t think of a life without
them. Careful what you wish for! His mind cautioned,
as he remembered why he might be here.
Sam offered warmly as Mac strode into the kitchen and
put his keys on the table next to a plate of still-warm
“PCH was quiet. In fact,
it was almost dead. I’ve never seen it so empty
when there isn’t a game on.” Mac took a chair
and picked up a cookie. He could never resist Andy’s
baking, no matter how many calories it entailed. “Hmmn,
good!” He nodded his approval to Andy who was watching
for his reaction while stirring something in a pan.
“It’s a new recipe,”
she offered helpfully. “I guess that makes you my
guinea pig. They’re supposed to be a Christmas cookie!”
smiled. How could he broach the subject of why he’d
been asked to come over without sounding rude? Heck,
if I’m going to be a grandpa I need to know…
Sam appeared to read his mind.
“So I guess you’re wondering why we asked
you over?” The twinkle in his eye said he was going
“Well, seeing as you two
are always usually busy…” Mac sucked down
a breath and waited for the inevitable.
“Well…” Sam dragged
out the word, but before he could tease anymore, the porch
door suddenly burst open.
Everyone looked over in surprise,
Mac reacting first as he recognized the prison attire
of the man invading his son’s home. The orange jump
suit was a dead giveaway.
MacGyver leapt to his feet, grabbing
a nearby frying pan in an attempt to knock the automatic
from the interloper’s hand. But the convict deflected
the blow, quickly directing the barrel of his weapon towards
“I’d sit right on down
if I was you, unless you want the pretty little lady to
eat a bullet?” The man licked his lips under a thin
veil of stubble and his eyes flashed with anger.
Behind him, another orange-clad
man cringed and pulled back – back as far as the
cuffs attached to the first man would let him. This one’s
eyes flashed too, but not with anger, with fear, a fear
Mac sensed was not for himself, but for them.
“Okay…” Mac slowly
raised his hands in submission and let the pan drop to
the floor. He shot Sam a glare that indicated he should
do much the same. Now wasn’t a time for heroics,
it was for thinking.
The two convicts must have escaped
somehow, but as there wasn’t a prison nearby, it
was either from a vehicle, or a court cell.
“You think you’re a
smart guy, dontcha?” The first man snarled. “I
can tell the type…”
“Lyle, can’t you just
get the car keys and leave them be?” The second
convict was pleading, and as he spoke he tugged backwards,
indicating the Jeep keys on the table.
“Not smart, just interested,”
MacGyver countered. “You escape from a prison bus,
“I didn’t want to,”
the second man spoke again. “But there was an accident,
the bus rolled and the bar we were chained to snapped.”
“Shut up, Rimmer, nobody
asked you!” Lyle pulled at the chains hard, almost
yanking his companion onto the floor.
Rimmer yelped and then fell silent.
“You’re Jerry Rimmer?”
Sam dared Lyle’s wrath by asking the question to
the second convict. He raised a brow in surprise as he
said it, as if he’d expected Rimmer to be different.
Rimmer shot a glance at the man
he was tied to, as if evaluating whether to speak or not.
Eventually, he did. “Yeah, I’m the guy all
over the news. The guy no one believes.”
“You were tried and convicted
of kidnap and murder, why should anyone believe you? It’s
the way our system works.” Sam was still talking,
asking questions, just like the newsman inside wasn’t
aware he was a hostage. “You took a life just because
the rich company board wouldn’t pay the ransom fast
“I didn’t do it,”
Jerry offered in such a low voice he was barely audible.
“But I got the death penalty anyway…”
“That’s because you’re
a wimp and a coward!” Lyle yanked at the chain that
bound them, shutting up the weaker man with his growl.
Then he looked pointedly at MacGyver. “Get these
cuffs off me. I’m fed up of being attached to this
MacGyver took down a breath. There
wasn’t exactly anything in the cabin that would
saw through chain that was designed “not”
to be sawed through. The other option was to pick the
locks, but they weren’t exactly made to be escaped
from, either. “Sam, do you have any tools up here
we could use?”
Sam shook his head. “Andy
pays some guy to do maintenance; we’re always too
busy with work.” He shrugged and looked to his girlfriend
who nodded in agreement. “There’s an axe out
back for the logs, but I doubt that would cut it.”
guess we’ll have to try working on the locks, then.”
Mac looked around and was shocked to see a knitting basket.
Gals having kids knit, don’t they? He pushed
the terrifying thought aside and nodded to the basket.
“There might be something in there I can work with.”
He raised a brow to get Lyle’s permission, and the
other man nodded.
Mac pulled over the basket and
rummaged inside until he found some very fine needles.
They might work. He gestured for the two men to put their
hands on the table so he could investigate the locks.
While he began to slowly feel for the mechanism inside,
he tried to build a conversation, pulling details from
the men that might help with the situation later - the
more information, the easier to formulate a plan.
“So Jerry? How come you seem
reluctant to escape if you’re gonna die?”
MacGyver asked the question casually, hoping the other
man wouldn’t clam up. He didn’t.
“Because despite what the
kid over there thinks,” he nodded to Sam, “I’m
innocent, and innocent people don’t run.”
“Some might,” Mac countered.
“They might think being falsely accused and alive
is better than innocent and dead?” He was pushing
the man, because Mac was a good judge of character, and
he was getting a vibe already about Jerry Rimmer.
As he spoke, the cuffs pinged open
and Lyle grinned, rubbing at his wrist. Rimmer instantly
backed away, apparently not enjoying Lyle’s company
Lyle grinned, opened his mouth
to apparently pass some sarcastic comment, but then stopped
dead as a megaphone from outside made his eyes glisten
with fear and anger.
The message from beyond the door
was precise and clear.
is the police. We have you surrounded. Lay down any weapons
and come to the door slowly with your hands above your
heads, or we will open fire.”
Lyle moved suddenly, grabbing Andy’s
arm and yanking her in front of him like a shield. He
pressed the gun in his hand to her neck, and his intentions
were clear – she was going to be his leverage, his
Before MacGyver could stop him,
Sam reacted, diving at the convict like he was making
a pro football tackle. Lyle clearly wasn’t expecting
the move and his eyes widened as the whole group was thrown
to the floor with Sam’s weight.
Andy rolled away from the two tussling
men and grabbed a pan she’d been cooking with, before
she could use it, MacGyver had entered the fray, diving
on top of Lyle and grabbing at the wrist that held the
gun with both hands. He yanked hard to the left, and Lyle’s
grip loosened a little, but the convict wasn’t done
Lyle screamed out angrily, and
as MacGyver slammed the weapon to the side again, his
trigger finger pulled back, letting off two wild slugs.
The bullets tore into timber harmlessly, sending a shower
of splitters high in the air.
Two seconds after the weapon’s
discharge, two officers burst through the front door,
knocking the screen off one of its hinges with their momentum.
There were no more verbal warnings, and the lead cop fired.
MacGyver yelled out instinctively
as he finally pried the gun from Lyle’s fingers.
“No! Wait, there’s no need..!”
The cop either didn’t hear,
or didn’t care, and fired again – not at Lyle,
but at Rimmer.
Rimmer looked shocked as the bullets
tore into his chest and he fell backwards onto Sam’s
favorite rug, blood splattering the pile and chair beyond.
He hit the wooden flooring hard, knocking what little
air he had left from his lungs.
Finally, the cop stopped shooting,
shrugged and raced over to Lyle with a pair of cuffs,
ignoring the man he’d injured completely.
MacGyver and Sam both clambered
to their feet and hurried to Rimmer. He was gasping, as
if he couldn’t suck down enough air, and both hands
clutched at his chest as he tried in vane to plug the
leaks the officer had caused.
“I…I didn’t even
have...a weapon,” Jerry coughed, his eyes looking
beseechingly into Sam’s. “Why me?”
Sam put a hand under Jerry’s
head gently. “I don’t know…” he
looked over to the cop, whose uniform indicated he was
in fact, a sheriff. “Why, he wasn’t threatening
anyone?” He commanded angrily.
The sheriff looked, but didn’t
answer as he dragged Lyle outside.
MacGyver grabbed a towel from Andy
and pressed it hard over Jerry’s wounds. Rimmer
gritted his teeth then stammered. “I’m dying…you
know that…please don’t let it end like this…”
“Like what?” Mac soothed.
“I don’t want to go
down in history as a killer.” Jerry paused, his
face turning a white. “I…I really didn’t
do it…” His eyes fluttered, and then softly
rolled upwards under their lids. His chest rose painfully
slowly, and stopped.
MacGyver closed his own eyes, composing
himself before pulling the towel he’d been using
over Jerry’s face. He wasn’t sure if the man
had been innocent, but he certainly hadn’t deserved
being shot down without cause.
pushed up off the floor just as the sheriff re-entered,
a broad grin on his face. Mac wasn’t happy, but
he checked his emotions just enough. “Why use deadly
force on the man that didn’t have the gun?”
The cop shrugged, his slightly
portly frame bobbing as he spoke. “What does it
matter? Rimmer was a dead man anyway with his sentence.
I just did him a favor. Besides, don’t forget he
was a murderer, why should I cut him any slack?”
He popped in a stick of gum, and chewed a little too heartily.
“I just saved the taxpayer a whole chunk of money
by keeping his ass outta jail for the next few years.”
MacGyver was about to retort, but
Sam had moved to his side, and gently squeezed his arm.
Mac turned, and Sam nodded to the door, indicating they
should take it outside where Andy had been led by the
Mac followed him obediently.
“Dad, I think there’s
a story here,” Sam whispered as they moved off the
porch. “Something about the way those cops burst
in was way off the mark.”
MacGyver nodded. “I know,
I don’t know why, but I believed Jerry too. Something
inside me is convinced an innocent man just lost his life,
even if the courts said otherwise.”
“So what are you two going
to do about it?” Andy chimed in, her apparent super
hearing picking up on their conversation.
Mac smiled, Andy’s blessing
suddenly made him feel like with Sam’s help, they
could make a difference and exonerate someone, even if
Jerry would never know it. “We’re gonna have
a dang good try at proving it, right Sam?”
grinned. “Oh heck yeah, I’m up for showing
those big tabloids sensationalism isn’t better than
the printing the truth.” He patted his dad on the
back and then winced as the sheriff’s deputy began
cordoning of Angelina’s Grace as a crime
scene. “That is, if I can get my camera back…”
* * *
Later that day…
MacGyver sat forward on the couch,
twiddling his thumbs impatiently as he waited for the
phone to ring. Across from him, on the second couch, Sam
was trying to look busy with the new camera he’d
bought, but it wasn’t working. He was clearly impatient
After the sheriff had given the
all clear to leave the cabin, Mac had quickly put a call
in to Pete for any information that wasn’t public
about Rimmer’s case. It was a long shot, but maybe
they could spot something amiss.
Mac sighed, moved to stand up,
but then quickly dropped back down as the phone finally
began to ring. He snatched up the receiver just before
Sam’s hand got there. “Tell me you got something,
“I have plenty,” Pete
informed, “but I doubt you’re going to like
it. None of it looks good for your man Rimmer.”
“I know he was accused of
kidnapping and murdering Rebecca Dunlevy,” MacGyver
sighed; he’d not expected this to be easy. “I
also know she was rich, so the perfect target, but that’s
about it.” He chided himself internally for spending
more time in the wilderness than in reality – but
then, he found it was way safer there.
“Rebecca wasn’t just
rich,” Pete offered down the line, “she owned
her own company. One day she simply went to the hairdresser
she always used and vanished on the way home. A ransom
note was issued, her company paid up, even though the
move put them vulnerable for a takeover, but Rebecca wasn’t
“So how did this all lead
to Jerry? I think I recall something about evidence on
the news?” MacGyver was scratching his head and
wishing Sam was in on the conversation – he was
the news hound. Then he remembered the “on speaker”
function, rolled his eyes and hit it.
Pete, oblivious to the move carried
one. “There was an anonymous tip that led the cops
to Jerry’s house. They didn’t find a body,
but there was a chest freezer in the garage and tests
showed a large amount of blood – too much for the
person to survive…”
Sam nodded and filled in as Pete
paused. “The D.N.A. results showed it was Rebecca’s
blood. To the judge and jury it was an open and shut case.
How else could it have gotten there unless Jerry was the
kidnapper, and he’d killed her after collecting
“How else indeed,”
Pete concluded. “You have to face it guys, Rimmer
has to be guilty.”
MacGyver shook his head. “There’s
something missing. Why did he choose Rebecca? She’s
not the only rich woman in California. Where’s the
“Apparently, he worked at
the gas station where Rebecca always filled up on the
way into her office. That means he had the means, and
the motive – poor guy has to fill rich businesswoman’s
Mercedes up every day, and starts to think he deserves
a piece of the pie, and of course, the final nail in the
coffin, the blood.” Pete sounded like he was saddened,
Mac, however, still wasn’t
buying it. “Pete, if you’d met him, if he’d
died in your arms, you’d understand!”
sighed. “I know that tone of voice. You’re
not gonna let this go, are you?” He paused, sighed,
and then there was a shuffling on the line as he moved
the Braille paperwork around on his desk. “Where
do you want my secretary to send the files?”
smiled. “Can you send them over to Andy’s
once the cops say we go back in?”
“Consider it done,”
Pete promised. “Oh, and Mac? Good hunting you two…”
* * *
Corral Canyon Park
Later that evening…
Mac and Sam sat on a bench outside the cabin as Andy brought
them all iced, homemade lemonade. Sam was reading through
the files Andy had printed off that Pete had sent over,
and every now and again he would shake his head without
After setting the tray down and
picking up a glass for herself, Andy peeked over his shoulder
and he looked up. She offered Sam her glass, and he took
a sip from it as Andy picked up another and passed it
over to MacGyver, who took it gratefully.
“Mind if I join in the hunt?”
Andy asked, finally taking a petite sip of the last glass
Sam shrugged, leaned back and stretched
as if his shoulders were aching. “Be our guest,
me and dad have been over these files six times, and I
think my eyeballs are going to explode.” He looked
to Mac. “How about you, Dad?”
yawned. The fresh air in the park and the late hours he
kept often caught up with him these days. Yeah I feel
like a grandpa already... “Fine by me,”
he confirmed. “But Pete was right, the evidence
Andy frowned and started sifting
through paperwork without answering. Ten minutes later,
when everyone’s lemonade was a distant memory, she
finally looked up. “You know, there is one thing
here that worries me?”
“Oh?” Mac sat forwards.
Andy was smart, and if she’d noticed something,
it would be worth listening to.
sheriff who shot Jerry? His name was Hank O’Leary,
right?” Andy pushed the report from the incident
at Angelina’s Grace across the bench top,
along with a second, older file. “Don’t you
think it’s far too big a coincidence he was the
original arresting officer in the Dunlevy case?”
Mac and Sam looked at one another.
“That’s no coincidence,” they chimed