thought about Atlas and Carmichael all the way home, queuing
through the LA traffic and smog thick enough to make all
the cars in the distance hazy. Carmichael seemed blameless,
apart from an occasional hint of scandal found in some
of the sleazier tabloids. Not scandal that had ever found
its way into the more serious newspapers though, which
he concluded meant either that the story had been squashed
quickly, or that it had never really existed in the first
MacGyver pulled the Jeep into his driveway and turned
off the engine. As the Jeep’s rumble stopped, he
became aware of shouting and got out, going around the
back of the apartment to investigate.
Thank God! Help!” Jack Dalton flattened himself
against the back of the building as Mama Lorraine brandished
the yard brush at him.
stay there! MacGyver – I’ve got him cornered.”
Mama Lorraine glanced across at MacGyver, fierce triumph
on her face, “Do you want him, or can I have him?”
She advanced another step and Jack squeaked, trying to
press himself further into the corner next to the garbage
“Mama! Let him go, please!” MacGyver stepped
forwards, laying a hand on the brush.
“Are you sure?” Mama Lorraine frowned at Jack,
white faced and with his hat tipped over one eye, “He
looks dodgy to me!”
he’s dodgy,” MacGyver ignored Jack’s
indignant glare. “But he’s harmless and he’s
my friend.” He tugged gently at the brush but Mama
Lorraine refused to let go. “Please?”
“Well, alright then.” Mama Lorraine lowered
the brush. “If you say so…” She watched
Jack scramble out of the garbage, straightening his hat
and scooping up a duffle bag as he hurried around to the
front of the building.
you’ve got some odd friends.”
“Oh, I know it!” MacGyver grinned and saluted
Mama Lorraine, “Thank you for letting him go!”
* * * *
“What were you thinking?!?” MacGyver set down
a mug of coffee that Jack picked up with shaking hands.
“Why were you trying to break into my house? I thought
you were off running a wrestling extravaganza!”
“Absolutely.” Jack blew on his coffee and
took a sip. “And it was doing just fine, and then
the yakuza got involved and then a rival gym set up across
the street, and then health and safety took a distinct
dislike to my premises.” He shook his head, “Then
Panama Frank got married to a truly terrifying woman about
this big.” Jack held his hand out about five feet
above the ground, “And she told him to pack it in
before he scrambled his brains, then there might have
been a disagreement over a crowd-pleaser sequence that
went a little… sideways and the fight that followed
trashed all the dressing rooms. After that, the business
went into a bit of a decline.” Jack took off his
hat and scratched his head. “So, I decided maybe
wrestling wasn’t for me and I should stick at what
I’m good at.”
huh.” MacGyver sat back on the couch, resting his
tea mug on his knee. “And what would that be?”
He asked with a raised eyebrow.
Was there doubt, amigo?” Jack jammed his hat back
on his head and spread his arms wide, “Dalton Air
lives again!” He tipped his arms and made the sound
of a Spitfire diving on the enemy, “And you, you
lucky devil, are just in time to get in on the ground
floor of this highly profitable start up venture!”
Jack waggled his eyebrows.
MacGyver took a swig of tea, “Not this time Jack.”
come on Mac!” Jack dropped his arms. “Where’s
your sense of adventure?”
got adventure enough here at home right now, Jack.”
MacGyver ran his free hand through his hair. “I
gotta see something through before I take on any new projects,
highly profitable or otherwise.”
I help?” Jack sat forwards, his expression earnest.
Not with this. Sorry Jack.” MacGyver shrugged, seeing
Jacks disappointment. “Won’t you be too busy
with Dalton Air anyway?”
“It’s…um…still in the planning
stage, so to speak.” Jack grinned. “Needs
a little cash injecting into its engines before the business
can really take off, I guess you could say.”
bought another wreck, didn’t you? MacGyver buried
his face in his hands. “Even after what happened
last time, you bought a wreck!”
prime renovation opportunity!” Jack sat up straight,
taking a deep breath. “Which, when full realised
and…uh…reassembled, will form the –
“He broke off as MacGyver held up a hand.
me guess, you’ve bought a wreck, you’ve spent
your last dollar trying to get it fit to fly, and you
turn up on my doorstep with the bag because it’s
too cold to sleep in the plane and you don’t have
anywhere else to go. Am I right? MacGyver ran his hands
through his hair and sighed, “Ok, Jack, welcome
to Casa MacGyver, guest room is on the left.”
* * * *
“I’m still surprised Pete went for this.”
Seeley stopped his Lexus at the traffic lights and adjusted
the cuffs of his dress shirt.
“Me too.” MacGyver pulled the elastic band
holding his ponytail tight and polished his glasses on
his waiter’s apron. “But your friend turning
up the fact that the name ‘Carmichael’ is
known to the FBI probably had something to do with it.”
Seeley put the Lexus in gear and the powerful car pulled
smoothly away from the intersection. “Carmichael
having a twin was something of a surprise though. I didn’t
see that one coming.”
“Me neither.” MacGyver squinted through the
lens of his glasses, then put them on. “Troy and
Tristan, I wonder how alike they are?”
to say,” Seeley shrugged, the expensive fabric of
his tuxedo settling perfectly back on to his shoulders.
“And even if they’re identical to look at,
it doesn’t mean they’re identical in character.”
He glanced in the mirror and accelerated around a van,
the purr of the engine barely changing as the car built
up speed. “Although my limited experience of obscenely
rich people suggests that neither of them will have completely
MacGyver checked his apron pocket to make sure the bug
was secure, “Was your FBI friend able to tell us
which deeds belonged to which twin?”
Seeley pulled into the hotel driveway and joined the queue
of expensive cars. “They both only ever use their
surname and initial so there’s no way to untangle
which ‘T Carmichael’ is which.”
“Pity,” MacGyver unfastened his seatbelt,
“Well, time for Dexter to go wait tables.”
He opened the car door and stepped out, “See you
on the inside.”
you.” Seeley watched MacGyver walk around to the
back of the hotel.
The ‘Dexter Fillmore’ disguise was simple
but effective. MacGyver walked differently, slouching
took inches off his height and the ponytail and glasses
changed the shape of his face. The waiter’s outfit
would help him to blend in and hopefully no one at the
World Hunger Council fundraiser would recognise him. Seeley
touched his pocket, where his own bug sat next to his
forged invitation. With one Phoenix operative on each
side of the party, they would have little trouble planting
at least one of the bugs on Carmichael.
Seeley moved through the glittering crowd, poised and
perfect in his tailored tuxedo. He nodded to other guests,
looking right at home with a glass of champagne in his
hand. He picked up a canape and turned, surveying the
room as he bit into it, looking for Carmichael. Seeing
him near the door, deep in conversation with a woman wearing
a fortune in diamonds, Seeley swallowed the last of the
canape and made his way across the hall.
MacGyver balanced a tray of canapes on one hand, working
his way around the hall. Stepping around a rock star and
an oil baron in a massive hat, he saw the back of Carmichaels
head as the man disappeared through a door. Setting down
his tray, MacGyver worked his way through the crowd and
opened the door. A glance told him the corridor behind
it was empty and he turned as something tapped him on
“Young man!” The dowager set her cane back
on the floor and stared at him over her half glasses.
“This will never do!” She held up her empty
Ma’am,” Giving her his best “Dexter”
smile, MacGyver took the glass from her and turned as
if going to get a refill.
Seeley followed Carmichael across the hall, catching up
with him as the man arrived at the cloakrooms. He brushed
past, slipping the bug into one of Carmichael’s
overcoat pockets just as it was handed to the attendant.
Carmichael turned away from him to continue his conversation
and Seeley drifted away unnoticed.
MacGyver stooped to pick up a dropped canape, looking
all around as he stood up again. He spotted Carmichael,
still wearing his overcoat. Carmichael took off his coat,
draping it over one arm and MacGyver stepped forwards.
“May I take your coat, Sir?” MacGyver held
out his hands and Carmichael dumped the overcoat onto
them without looking up. “Thank you, sir.”
MacGyver took the overcoat, slipping the bug into a pocket
before delivering it to the cloakroom.
attendant nodded as MacGyver told her who the coat belonged
to and hung it up next to another identical coat. Returning
to the hall, MacGyver caught Seeley’s eye and nodded.
Seeley indicated that MacGyver should follow him and went
through an archway into the corridor beyond.
him,” MacGyver grinned, pushing his glasses up his
nose. “Put it in his overcoat pocket.”
what I did, I didn’t see you though.” Seeley
turned, looking back into the hall, “Ah.”
“Ah? What Ah?” MacGyver stepped sideways,
following the line of Seeleys gaze, “Oh…Ah…”
On the other side of the hall, two men greeted each other,
identical in every way, their height, appearance, clothes
and even body language the same.
“That’s just freaky,” Seeley shook his
head, watching the twins mirror each other’s smiles
while applauding politely as the first speaker stepped
onto the lower stage in the corner of the room.
“Yeah,” MacGyver frowned, folding his arms,
“So now we’ve each bugged one twin, but we
have no way to tell which is which.”
“Looks that way,” Seeley rubbed a hand over
his face, “I say we listen to them both, try to
work out which is which from what we hear.”
“Why is nothing ever that simple?” MacGyver
pulled the band from his hair and shook it out.
“Beats me,” Seeley put his hands in his pockets
and they turned to leave.