Brothers in Arms

By Rocket

Episode 9.15

Part One

 


Camp Parks, Dublin, California


“That’s not right.” Sergeant First Class Steve Bolton frowned at his screen. He read through the conversion instructions again and unrolled the aircraft diagrams on his desk. “That’s definitely not right!” He checked the sender of the email and picked up his phone, dialling the extension number from memory. “Command Sergeant Major, I’ve had a really odd request from D unit.” He listened to the answer, nodding. “Yes Sir, I understand, but they want me to –“ He stopped, holding the receiver away from his ear as his commanding officer’s voice grew loud.

“ARE WE CLEAR, SOLDIER?!” The Sergeant Major finished, his breathing audible even over the phone.

“Yes, Sir. I understand.” Bolton put down the phone, shaking his head. He studied the diagrams again switching between the papers and the information on the screen. He checked the list of components specified for converting the aircraft and his eyes grew wide as he realised what the aircraft was being rigged to carry. He picked up the phone to call his commander again, then frowned and put down the receiver. His commander had been very clear about the secrecy surrounding this project, and the need to complete the work exactly as specified. Bolton had never heard him that emphatic before. If it had been anyone else, Bolton would have said he sounded scared…

Reaching for the phone, he picked up the receiver and dialled a different number.

* * * *

“Hello?” Seeley clamped the phone between his ear and his shoulder as he scraped the last of the cat food out of the can, putting the plate down on the kitchen floor. A sleek, brown cat rubbed against his legs, then tucked into the food. “Steve? Hey buddy, how’s tricks?” He stepped over the cat and put the can in the trash. “Yeah, sure I got a minute. What do you need?”

* * * *

Phoenix Foundation, Los Angeles, California

“Mac! Good to have you back!” Pete stood up, hearing MacGyver’s sneakers cross the hall and enter his office.

“Pete, good to be back.” MacGyver shook Pete’s hand and sat down opposite him.

“Bad business with Davidson.” Pete shook his head. “Still, we’ve a great team steering the good ship Phoenix now.”

“Yeah, we do.” MacGyver frowned. “How many projects will we need to shelve, Pete? I heard Davidson hit pretty hard with that, but I guess there was a grain of truth in what he said, right?”

“We’ll be fine.” Pete waved a hand. “What I really want to hear about is Atlas. I’m hearing a lot of stuff I don’t like, but if I’m going to take it further then I need the full story.”

“Wow.” MacGyver ran a hand through his hair, sitting back in his chair. “That could take a while…”

“Take all the time you need.” Pete beckoned to Helen, who came in and sat down, ready to take notes.

“Right.” MacGyver frowned, gathering his thoughts. “I guess I first heard about it from Gunther, when you asked me to take him home to Berlin. He told me about Project Atlas being a Nazi idea to uh… spray-bomb –“ He made quote marks with his fingers. “- unwanted populations into oblivion. Nasty stuff. But maybe the technology couldn’t be made to work. Anyway, Gunther was convinced someone was fixing to start the idea up again, here in the U.S.”

“And now we have the technology to make it work.” Pete frowned, taking a sip of coffee.

“Unfortunately, yes we do. And seeing as how Gunther was shot and killed for knowing about it, it seems likely that he was onto something.” MacGyver sighed, shaking his head.

“Maybe.” Pete rubbed his chin, thinking. “We were never able to narrow down the reason Gunther was shot. We’re talking here about a man with a lot of enemies. Enemies with very long memories.”

“That’s true.” MacGyver hooked a foot over his knee, picking at a loose thread on the hem of his jeans. “But when you add in Freddie Hawkins’ death shortly after it came out that he’d stolen spray delivery systems and passed them on to goodness knows who, it starts to look a little more likely.”

“Or it’s coincidence.” Pete held up a hand, as if he’d felt MacGyver’s stare. “I’m not discounting what you have to say, Mac. I know you too well to think you’re jumping at shadows. But your friend detective Murphy said there wasn’t enough to go on when you asked her, and my friend Judge Dickinson said the same at the concert we went to together last week.” He sighed. “Do we have anything else?”

“We have the Wellforce superbugs. And the fact that Cooper was…” MacGyver swallowed hard, unexpected tears pricking his eyes. “Cooper was killed because he was investigating what else Hawkins might have been stealing.” His voice was steady, but the calm tone sounded forced.

“Mac, I’m so sorry about your friend.” Pete shook his head, his expression sad. “That was a terrible thing to happen. Do the police have any leads on who was responsible?”

“No.” MacGyver pulled harder at the stray thread until it snapped. “There wasn’t enough of… of anything left to work with. Whoever it was, they were careful to leave no trace.”

“That’s bad.” Pete folded his hands. “Mac, I know I don’t need to say it, but please be careful. If you’re right, if Atlas is assembling everything they need to resurrect their Nazi ideas, you could still be in danger.”

“I know.” MacGyver’s voice was quiet. “It’s why I’m glad that Sam’s in South America right now. As crazy as it sounds, he’s probably safer down there!” He glanced up, seeing Seeley talking to Helen. His face was worried and MacGyver frowned, wondering what could have upset his usually calm colleague.

“Well, keep me posted on anything else that might be Atlas-related, OK?” Pete pulled his keyboard towards him, pausing with his fingers on the keys. “Stay safe, Mac.”

“I will.” MacGyver got to his feet and left the office, following Seeley down the corridor.

He found Seeley looking through the filing cabinet. He glanced up, seeing MacGyver approach.

“Hey Mac. You still have the list of stuff your dodgy Vietnam guy stole?” Seeley looked harassed, and MacGyver felt apprehension stir.

“Uh… In my desk, I think. What’s this about?” MacGyver crossed to his desk, opening a drawer and rummaging in the folders there. “Here you go.” He handed Seeley a folder. “What do you want with Hawkins?”

“This morning I had a very odd phone call from a buddy of mine who works out of Camp Parks, up near San Fran.” Seeley scratched his head. “He’s been given a job to do which seems like it’s got Atlas written all over it.”

“Camp Parks? That’s the army base, right?” MacGyver sat down at his desk, pushing another chair towards Seeley.

“Right.” Seeley sat down, pulling Hawkins’ file towards him. “It’s normally used for training and a few other things, but Steve works for the Special Activities Division. It’s where they keep the projects that they want out of reach of prying eyes.”

“OK, so where does Atlas come into the picture?” MacGyver picked up a pencil and opened his notebook, putting it on the desk.

“Steve works in aircraft design. He specialises in converting aircraft when the army needs something strange, rare or peculiar. You get my drift?” Seeley ran his hand through his hair, unconsciously mirroring MacGyver.

“I get it. I don’t like it.” MacGyver noticed Seeley’s gesture and lowered his own hand, snagging a tangle in his unruly hair. “What exactly has he been asked to do?”

“Convert a crop sprayer to deliver a biologic payload.” Seeley watched the colour drain out of MacGyver’s face. “Yeah. That.” He lined up Hawkins’ file exactly with the edge of the desk, looking down while he gathered his thoughts. “He’s asked me to take a look at it, see if I can find anything in the computer records to indicate where the job has come from. He said his CO was acting very strange over it, but he can’t look into it himself without being found out.” Seeley looked up, meeting MacGyver’s incredulous stare. “I owe this guy my life, Mac. There’s no favour I wouldn’t do for him.”

“You’re talking about breaking into a military base.” MacGyver lowered his voice, glancing at the operatives working at the other end of the room.

“Yes.” Seeley nodded.

“Because it might be connected to Project Atlas.”

“Looks that way to me.” Seeley crossed his legs, waiting for MacGyver to think through the idea. MacGyver glanced at the door, wondering what Pete would make of it.

“OK, Seeley. Let’s go.”

 

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