Brothers in Arms

By Rocket

Episode 9.15

Part Four

 


“Problem?” MacGyver looked at Seeley from his position next to the filing cabinet.

“Firewall. Just give me a…” Seeley typed fast and the computer beeped.

“You’ll get it.” MacGyver fished a paperclip out of his pocket and set to work on the filing cabinet lock. “When you get in, just copy everything, OK? We may not have time to sort through it all here.”

“Have you any idea how long that would take?” Seeley worked his way into the computer files and skimmed through the directory. He ducked under the desk and waved a hand in the air. “Mac, borrow your flashlight? I know you’ve got one.”

“Swap you for a pin or something I can use on this lock. Paperclip alone just isn’t cutting it.” MacGyver handed Seeley his penlight, receiving a badge with a long pin in return.

“Don’t break it, OK?” Seeley used the penlight to look at the back of the computer. He pulled a portable drive out of a large pocket on the leg of his fatigues and plugged it into the computer.

“What is that?” MacGyver looked up from the lock, wiggling the paperclip and badge pin carefully.

“Universal Serial Bus – USB. They’re new.” Seeley pressed keys and the screen lit up. The computer whirred and a download bar appeared on the screen. MacGyver returned his attention to the lock, undoing Seeley’s badge and turning it over.

“First Cavalry? You just happened to have this with you?” MacGyver poked the pin into the lock, feeling it out.

“Yes, and yes. It was in my pocket, OK? Didn’t feel right being in uniform without it.” Seeley shrugged.

“You’re really proud of your regiment, aren’t you?” MacGyver felt the lock start to give.

“Damn straight.” Seeley glanced at the door, but the desk soldier seemed content to leave them alone for the moment. “Hurry up, will you?”

“Almost there.” The lock clicked open and MacGyver opened a drawer, leafing through the files. “Thanks.” He handed the badge back to Seeley. “There’s nothing obvious in here.” He closed the drawer and opened the next one. Finding nothing, he crossed back to the door and glanced out into the corridor. “How long?”

“Depends if it crashes.” Seeley folded his arms, frowning at the screen.
MacGyver watched the soldiers in the outer office. They were glancing at their watches more often than seemed normal to him. What could they be waiting for?
After fifteen minutes, most of the soldiers MacGyver could see started finishing off their work, in the manner of high school kids packing away their books before the bell.

“How much longer?” MacGyver glanced back at Seeley, who held up a finger.
Patience, Grasshopper. I just need another minute.” Seeley didn’t take his eyes off the screen.

“You might want to hurry it up, Caine, something’s peaking out here!” MacGyver watched Seeley nod, still concentrating on the screen. He looked out again, seeing the soldiers had stopped what they were doing, and seemed to be waiting for something.

A loud alarm sounded, making MacGyver jump. The soldiers all stood and started making their way to the door. He looked back at Seeley, who was talking to the computer.

“Come on! Ninety eight percent my… YES!” Seeley ducked under the table and pulled his cable out of the computer, stuffing the portable drive into his pocket. Seeing the sergeant approach, MacGyver stepped back from the door.

“Are you two still here? This is a fire drill! Move it!” the sergeant waited, scowling at MacGyver and Seeley.

“Yes Sir. Sorry Sir.” They hurried out, the Sergeant close behind. As they were leaving, MacGyver glanced up, his eyes widening as he noticed a small camera mounted high on the wall.

“Don’t call me Sir, I work for a living!” the sergeant locked the door behind them. “Report to your fire point.” He watched Seeley and MacGyver go, shaking his head.

“Now what?” Seeley muttered as they joined the back of a file of soldiers jogging to their fire meeting point.

“Now we split!” MacGyver dropped out of the line, jogging between two buildings and ignoring the shout that followed. Seeley jogged along behind him, cursing under his breath. They turned the corner of the kitchen building and crouched down behind the dumpster.

“Now what?!” Seeley glanced around the dumpster, seeing soldiers lined up for roll call between them and the hole in the fence. He turned to see MacGyver fiddling with the lock on the kitchen door. “What are you doing?”

“We need a distraction.” MacGyver held out his hand and Seeley passed him his regiment badge. Pushing the pin into the lock, and carefully poking in the tweezers from his Swiss Army Knife, MacGyver set to work.

The lock clicked open and MacGyver slipped inside. The kitchen was empty and he crossed to the janitor’s closet, coming out with an armful of bottles and a bucket.
“Open some windows, would you?” MacGyver poured and mixed, creating a cloud of smoke and a terrible smell. “And see if you can find some sugar!”

“Why do you want sugar?” Seeley passed him a bag. “Oh, right!” he put his arm across his face and coughed as MacGyver added the sugar to his bucket and the smoke turned black.

They ducked back behind the dumpster and waited while smoke billowed out of the kitchen windows. The soldiers were moved out of the growing pall of smoke and MacGyver and Seeley heard the fire alarm start up again.

“Now?” Seeley looked around the dumpster again, seeing their way to the fence clear.

“Now.” MacGyver nodded and they ran through the smoke and across the grass, sliding to a halt and rolling under the fence. Seeley crawled back up the slope and watched the base through the long grass.

“Man, you sure know how to cause a distraction!” he rolled over, grinning at MacGyver. But his grin faded at MacGyver’s expression. “What is it?”

“We have a bigger problem.” MacGyver sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “When we were being hustled out, I happened to look up. There was a camera in that office, Seeley! They’ve got our faces on camera!” He shook his head at Seeley’s confused frown. “Seeley, the army can prove we were there!”

* * * *

MacGyver followed Seeley into his house, taking off his boots. Seeley disappeared into his bedroom, emerging some minutes later back to his usual immaculate self. Feeling scruffy by comparison, MacGyver combed his hair with his fingers, snagging on a twig caught in the back. Seeley watched, shaking his head.

“Shower’s in there.” He hooked a thumb over his shoulder. “Take your time. I’ll brew some coffee and set this up.” He held up the portable drive and MacGyver nodded. He reached into his pocket, pulling out Seeley’s regiment badge and placing it in his hand before heading for the shower.

* * * *

MacGyver came out of the shower feeling cleaner, but no less worried. Seeley had brewed coffee, the rich smell filling his house. Seeley’s cat trotted out of the kitchen and wound around MacGyver’s ankles, almost tripping him up.

“Mozart, leave the human alone.” Seeley glanced across at MacGyver and took a sip of coffee. “This looks pretty good, Mac. Help yourself to coffee or whatever and come take a look.”

MacGyver made peppermint tea and sat on the arm of the couch, looking over Seeley’s shoulder at the screen. Mozart hopped up onto the couch, padding along the back. MacGyver stroked him absently, trying to make sense of the jumble on the screen.

“Thought you might want to see the encryption, it’s pretty extreme.” Seeley tapped a key and the screen cleared. “OK, let’s see what we’ve got here.”

MacGyver leaned forwards, reading the small print. Seeley scrolled through the files they had copied, until MacGyver stopped him, pointing at the screen.

“That one.” He sat back as Seeley opened the file and a schematic drawing of an aeroplane filled the screen.

“This is it. This is what Steve was so worried about.” Seeley clicked through the information files and gave a low whistle. “Mac, this is bad.”

“Yeah. Yeah, it is.” MacGyver frowned, reading the text. “Flip back to the drawing, would you?” he stared at the picture, running calculations in his head. “Not only do Atlas have the bugs, they’re pretty much able to distribute them. If they get this thing built.”

“How long would it take to build?” Seeley picked up a pencil, tapping it against the desk.

“I’m not sure.” MacGyver folded his arms, ignoring the cat rubbing against his back. “It’s a pretty specialised job…” He shook his head. “It may even not be related, and I could just be seeing Atlas everywhere I look. Seeley, what was the security on this file like? Is it what you’d expect army diagrams to have?” He held up his hand, seeing Seeley’s stare. “Not that I’m suggesting you spent your time as a Fed breaking into army files.” He studied Seeley’s carefully neutral expression. “Unless you did, of course…”

“No comment.” Seeley grinned. “But, hypothetically, of course, this file had very different security from what I would expect from a standard army file, even a top secret one. Not the same at all.”

“I’m guessing more advanced security than expected?” MacGyver sighed as Seeley nodded. “Seeley, we’re in really deep here. I’m pretty sure the CCTV caught us, which means the army are probably reporting us as intruders right about now. When the MPs check the army personnel records and the criminal databases, they’re going to find both of us.”

“And then they’re going to arrest us.” Now Seeley’s face was grim.

“And then they’re going to lock us up for busting into a top-secret military facility we shouldn’t have known about and they’re going to throw away the key.” MacGyver stood up, pacing the room. “And don’t get me started on what Atlas will do when they find out we were in there! Which they will, because they have someone inside the base!”

“Someone who scared the socks off Steve’s CO enough that he – or she – has let this happen under the army’s nose.” Now Seeley stood up, shoving his hands into his jeans pockets and turning to stare at MacGyver. “We’re in trouble here, Mac.”

“Yep.” MacGyver glanced out of the window, moving out of view as he remembered a shot blasting through a café window in Berlin. “We’re in trouble!”

“OK.” Seeley scrubbed his hands across his face, looking suddenly tired. “We’re in trouble.” He sat down at the computer, staring at the aeroplane conversion instructions without reading them. “CCTV caught us on the base, our army records will identify us and we don’t live so very far away. How long do you reckon we’ve got to tell someone about this before the MPs arrive?”

“I’m surprised we can’t hear boots in the hallway already.” MacGyver glanced at his watch. “They’ll certainly join up all the dots tonight.” He turned, pacing the length of the room. “We can’t tell the police because that means admitting we were trespassing on an army base, and then they’d arrest us.”

“Maybe not.” Seeley spun his computer chair around to face MacGyver. “If I’m right about the weird security on the file, and if Steve’s right about his CO running scared about the project, maybe the last thing Atlas or camp Parks will want is this getting out!”

“You mean if this is an under-the-table deal, and Camp Parks have no idea what’s going on.” MacGyver nodded. “That fits. Strong-arming someone at Camp Parks to push this through without going through proper channels is just their style, and the army would never want to admit that this had been going on right under their noses!”

“Atlas have plenty of juice if they’ve got a base CO in their pockets.” Seeley frowned. “I don’t like any of this.”

“What’s to like?” MacGyver paced again, stepping over Mozart. “Let’s say we’re right. Or Camp Parks never report his because only their inside man ever knows about the break in. What happens next?”

“Their inside man reports back, sending our photos to his superiors at Atlas.” Seeley shrugged. “It’s what I’d do.”

“Right. The Atlas send someone to make sure we don’t tell anyone else what they’re up to.” MacGyver sighed. “Seeley, I –“

“Don’t.” Seeley shook his head. “You were about to apologise for dragging me into this. Don’t.” he turned back to the computer. “I say we tell Pete. He practically told you he knew what we were going to do, and if it was him, you know he’d have done the same.”

“Yeah, I know.” MacGyver nodded, his face grim. “Let’s make a copy of that, just in case. That way, if something happens to us, at least someone else knows.”

They spent the rest of the evening copying the files onto Seeley’s computer. MacGyver printed out a copy and mailed it to Hines in San Francisco, with a note explaining that the contents of the envelope were very hot property indeed. Seeley checked through the other files, finding a number of secret projects but nothing else that looked Atlas related. The name ‘Carmichael’ came up on a few of the files, including the aeroplane schematics, but they were unable to trace it any further.

“We have to find a way to slow Atlas down.” Seeley stretched, leaning back in his chair. “We can’t tell the police and Pete won’t be able to go public with something that can’t be associated with Phoenix. What can we do?”

“We need to find a way to name and shame Atlas publicly, but without it getting back to us.” MacGyver stared at the ceiling, stretched out on the couch with Mozart asleep on his chest.

“Who’d believe us? It sounds like one of those wild stories you’d read In the National Enquirer. My daughter loves those sleazy tabloids, tells me all manner of far-fetched garbage she reads in those things.” Seeley shook his head.

“Supermarket tabloids!” MacGyver sat upright, dislodging the cat. “Actually, that’s a really good idea!” He jumped up off the couch, grabbed his jacket and headed for the door.

* * * *

“Where did you go last night?” Seeley watched MacGyver hang up his jacket and cross to his desk. “I was just starting to think something might have happened to you when you finally called.”

“No, I’m fine.” MacGyver put a newspaper and the portable drive on the desk. “Sorry if I worried you.”

“No problem.” Seeley narrowed his eyes. “So, where were you?”

“Calling in a favour.” MacGyver grinned, then turned as Helen called his name.

“Mr. Thornton would like you to drop in when you have a moment.” Helen smiled. “Morning, Seeley. MacGyver, he said it wasn’t urgent, but he looked worried, so…”
“No problem, Helen. Tell him I’m on my way, OK?” MacGyver stood up, picking up the paper and the drive. “Here goes!”

* * * *

“So, there you have it, Pete.” MacGyver placed the newspaper and drive on Pete’s desk and held up his hands. “We think we know what Atlas is up to, and we have a name, but we can’t use any of it to stop them.”

“Because it’s tainted evidence, right.” Pete drummed his fingers on his desk. “You and Seeley took a big risk, you know.” He held up a hand, hearing MacGyver ‘s intake of breath. “Mac, I know Seeley was in on this too. Have you briefed him on how much he needs to increase his own security measures?”

“I have.” MacGyver nodded. “Though I don’t know how much good it will do. Potentially we’re both in the firing line now, and they have our faces on camera. Seeley’s friend has put in for a transfer off the base, and he told us Camp Parks’ security doesn’t include CCTV, so we have to assume the camera could have been put in by Atlas as extra security for their project.”

“Hmm.” Pete frowned. “We need to find a way to slow them down long enough to get some evidence we can pass on to the police. Something obtained legally that they can use to arrest this Carmichael character.” He paused. “That name sounds familiar, as though I’ve heard it somewhere before...”

“It could be a company name – Carmichael doesn’t have to be a person.” MacGyver stood up. “as for slowing Atlas down, I’ve managed to arrange a little unwanted publicity. They seem to like lurking in the shadows, so I hope this will help.” He put the newspaper into Pete’s hands.” He left, stopping to ask Helen to step in and help Pete with the newspaper.

* * * *

“I assume you’re responsible for this!” Nikki held up the newspaper that she, Seeley and Willis were crowded around. MacGyver grinned, crossing the break room and helping himself to a drink from the water cooler.

“Superbugs In The Sun! Secret Nazi Death Gang Hard At Work In California!” Nikki read the headline, glanced at the diagram printed underneath and then looked at MacGyver over the top of the newspaper. MacGyver shrugged, grinning.

“It seemed like the best way to go public with this. Millions of people read them, and the conspiracy theorists are going to go nuts. Hopefully Atlas will have to lay low for a while, giving us time to find a way to shut them down for good.” He took a sip of the water.

“How…?” Seeley shook his head, confused.

“You’re not the only one with friends in low places!” MacGyver saluted him with the paper cup and walked back to his office, feeling happier than he had done for a while.

* * * *
 

Across town, a shadowy figure stood at the window of a luxurious corner office. Silhouetted against the bright sky, he looked across Los Angeles at a building glittering in the sun. the building was a modern one, glass and steel and mounted on a central column. The figure drew on a cigarette, holding the smoke in before blowing it out to curl against the windowpane.

Behind him, a computer hummed. On the screen was a grainy image – a CCTV photo of two men. One was turning away, his profile blurred as he moved, the other looked full at the camera, his face clear.

The shadowy figure took another drag on his cigarette. As he exhaled, one word hissed out in the cloud of smoke:

“MacGyver.”

 

 

The End


 

 

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