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