“No. There’s no way Phoenix can be involved
in this.” Pete shook his head.
“C’mon Pete, Seeley’s right –
this has Atlas written all over it!” MacGyver
paced the office.
“I know.” Pete heard MacGyver pause, and
the rustle of cloth as MacGyver turned to look at him.
“It sounds like it to me too. But Phoenix doesn’t
have any reason to be on that base, ad if you’re
right and Seeley’s friend’s CO is involved,
or his hands have been tied by HIS seniors being involved,
there’s no way Phoenix is going to be given a
reason to be on that base.” Pete held up a hand
as he heard MacGyver draw breath to reply. “And
Mac, think about this: Atlas know who you are, which
means they know you work for Phoenix. If Phoenix goes
marching into that base, all kinds of alarm bells will
start ringing at Atlas, and you’ll be back in
their spotlight again.” Pete shook his head. “We
can’t do it, Mac.”
“You mean we shouldn’t.” MacGyver
sighed. “I guess you’re right.” He
sat down, and Pete heard his chair squeak as he leaned
“Of course, what you do in your free time is up
to you.” Pete’s expression was resigned.
“I know you better than to expect you to leave
this alone. Just be careful, OK?”
“OK Pete, I will.” MacGyver stood, laid
a hand on his friend’s shoulder, and then left
* * * *
walked up Seeley’s path to his front door. The
house and small garden looked immaculate, the grass
mown short. Even the doorbell looked as though it had
been polished. Seeley came to the door wearing neatly
pressed jeans and a button-down shirt with the sleeves
rolled up. MacGyver blinked, momentarily disorientated
by the sight of Seeley in something other than a smart
“Mac, come on in.” Seeley stepped to the
side and MacGvyer entered Seeley’s tidy house,
toeing off his battered high-tops when he saw the shoe-rack
by the wall. One of his socks had a hole he hadn’t
“You want a beer? Juice?” Seeley’s
voice floated out of the kitchen.
“Juice, please.” MacGyver looked at the
photos on the wall as he walked down Seeley’s
hallway. A shot of Seeley in Vietnam, standing next
to a helicopter with his arms around two other young
men, grinning for the camera. A toddler holding up paint-smeared
hands and laughing. A movie set, focussing on a tiny
figure jumping off a tall building, an airbag visible
in the corner. An older couple sitting on a porch swing,
the woman smiling and the man looking as though he wished
the photographer would hurry up.
“Here.” Seeley handed MacGyver a glass of
juice and MacGyver followed him into a tidy living room.
The contrast with MacGyver’s apartment was striking.
At MacGyver’s place, hockey gear and half-finished
projects lined the walls, Western videos were piled
up next to the television and the couch was bright with
cushions given to him by Mama Lorraine. Here the floor
was clear all the way to the walls. A new computer,
cables neatly bundled, sat on a table in the corner.
The couch MacGyver sat on was black, the carpet and
curtains beige. The only colour in the room came from
some large, framed movie posters on the wall.
Seeley crossed to the computer, tapped a few keys and
the printer hummed into life.
“So, you’ve done stuff like this before,
right?” MacGyver watched Seeley spread out the
papers on a low table.
“Once or twice.” Seeley sat back, looking
at the aerial photographs. “While I was with the
“A few times.” MacGyver picked up one of
the photos for a closer look. “Not so much in
this country, though.” He looked up to find Seeley
staring at him. “I was DXS.”
“So you were.” Seeley nodded, stroking the
slim, brown cat who came padding into the room.
“Do we try to sneak in, or shall we hide in plain
sight?” MacGyver put the photo down and sat back,
the cat jumping up onto his knee and kneading his leg
with its front paws.
“You are honoured – Mozart doesn’t
usually like anyone!” Seeley shook his head at
the cat, who blinked blue eyes at him and purred as
MacGyver scratched the back of its head. “Bit
of both, maybe.” Seeley marked Steve Bolton’s
office and the door that Steve had suggested they use
on the photo. “You still got your uniform?”
“Wouldn’t do us any good.” MacGyver
moved the cat off his knee and turned the marked photo
towards him. “They changed from plain green to
camouflage pattern some time ago. I got a couple of
spares we can use, though.”
“OK.” Seeley took a swig of coffee and set
the mug down carefully on a coaster. “Here’s
how I reckon we get in and out again.”
* * * *
it secured?” The man leaned forwards out of the
shadows, the low light catching the side of his nose
and the edge of his hair.
“Yessir.” The second man nodded, wishing
his collar wasn’t so tight.
“And where is it now?” The first man picked
up a cigarette smouldering in the ashtray and took a
drag, the end glowing red.
“In the sealed box, in the safe, at the right
temperature.” The second man relaxed slightly
as the shadowy figure nodded.
“And the Phoenix operative, MacGyver? Has he been
dealt with too?” The man tapped ash off his cigarette,
the smoke curling around his hand.
“N-No Sir. Not yet.” The second man blinked
as the first man exhaled smoke in an angry hiss.
“Why not?” The shadowy figure took another
drag, adding to the pall of smoke in the silent room.
“He disappeared for a while, but we picked him
up again at Phoenix this week.” The second man
felt sweat prickle under his shirt.
The shadowy figure sat back in his chair, disappearing
into the gloom. “Don’t lose him again.”
“No Sir.” The second man shook his head.
“You have a plane to oversee.” The shadowy
figure made a languid wave, then stubbed out his cigarette.
“Do you not?”
“Yes Sir.” The second man backed out of
the room, closing the door behind him. In the darkness,
the first man lit another cigarette, the lighter flame
edging his aristocratic profile in gold light. He snapped
the lighter shut, placed it on the table and sat back
again. MacGyver was becoming a significant thorn in
his side. Perhaps it was time to call in more professional
assistance in getting rid of him. Those two from Berlin,
perhaps – the knife expert and Olga… something,
the sniper. They deserved a chance to redeem themselves
for missing him in Germany.
* * * *
is too tight!” Seeley tugged at his borrowed uniform.
“Maybe you shrank it when you washed it.”
Washed it?” MacGyver grinned as Seeley pulled
a face. “It was clean enough. You’re just…
stockier than me.” Ignoring Seeley’s outraged
glare, he turned to the base’s perimeter fence.
“The main problem I here’s the guard patrol.
If we can avoid them or convince them we’re supposed
to be here, we’re home free.”
“Right.” Seeley frowned as a group of soldiers
walked past the nearest building. “Avoid all contact
with the enemy.”
“Something like that.” MacGyver eased himself
under the wire fence, then crouched and held the wire
for Seeley to do the same. They waited until the soldiers
disappeared around the corner, then ran across the grass.
At the edge of the concrete they slowed to a walk, trying
to look as though they belonged on the base.
his long hair hidden under a cap, picked up a cardboard
box from next to the kitchen dumpster, pretending he
was taking it somewhere important.
“Really? A box?” Seeley shook his head.
“You going to hide under it?”
“Hey, don’t knock it. I once got most of
the way across an East German base by pretending I was
running an errand for the Oberst.” MacGyver hitched
up the box, which was heavier than it looked. “Look
like you’re in a hurry, OK? Makes it less likely
we’ll be commandeered for a real errand.”
MacGyver nodded approval as Seeley shrugged and picked
up a box too, then led the way between two concrete
buildings, heading for Bolton’s office.
A loud voice made MacGyver and Seeley jump. They turned
around to see an officer striding towards them.
“Yes, First Sergeant Brown?” Seeley read
the officer’s name tag, standing to attention.
“Oh, never mind.” The officer turned away,
hailing another soldier passing by empty-handed. MacGyver
and Seeley watched him go.
“I take it back – never underestimate the
power of the box!” Seeley grinned and followed
MacGyver along the path.
They dodged patrols twice, once by hiding behind a truck
and once by hurrying along and looking busy. Arriving
at Bolton’s offices, MacGyver handed his box to
Seeley and tried the door, finding it open. They went
inside, nodding to the soldier on desk duty behind the
“Can I help you?” The soldier laid down
his pen, frowning. “You guys new?”
“Yeah.” MacGyver took his box back off Seeley.
“First Sergeant Brown told us to bring these here
and set up the new drives on Sergeant Bolton’s
“Nobody tells me nothing.” The soldier shook
his head. “Office at the end, on the right.”
“Thanks.” MacGyver grinned and set off down
the corridor, followed by Seeley.
“How do you get away with that stuff?!”
Seeley closed Bolton’s office door behind them
and set down his box. “That doesn’t even
work in movies!”
“I’m just glad it worked today!” MacGyver
looked around the office, seeing a locked filing cabinet
as well as the computer on the desk. “You get
the computer, I’ll do the files.”
“Right Steve.” Seeley sat down at the computer,
cracking his knuckles. “Let’s see what you’ve