a week, they’d listened to the Carmichael twins’
bugs without learning anything about Atlas. Although Willis’
custom-made bugs were good, they’d been unable to
determine which twin was which from the snatches of conversation
and phone calls they’d heard.
Then one of the bugs had stopped working…
Now all they could hope was that the remaining bug belonged
to Tristan Carmichael and that something about Atlas would
“Shhh,” Seeley pressed the earpiece closer
to his ear and closed his eyes, listening. “I think
we’ve got something here.” He scribbled rapidly
on his notepad then held the pad up for MacGyver and Willis
to see. At the top of the page, Seeley had written one
MacGyver gave him the thumbs up and then left the room
with Willis so that Seeley could listen to the rest of
the conversation without interruption.
Ten minutes had never taken so long to pass.
“Pay dirt!” Seeley high fived Willis as he
came into the break room, “Okay, Carmichael, whichever
one we’ve got, is meeting up with the general organising
the Atlas project.”
he mention Atlas by name?” MacGyver sat forwards
in his seat.
“Yes,” Seeley turned the page in his notepad,
“Here, yes. ‘I’ll expect an update on
when Atlas will be ready to go’ There it is.”
He smacked the notepad with the back of his fingers and
“When?” MacGyver drained his tea and stood
three pm, Dodgers Stadium,” Seeley nodded, “Take
me out to the Ball Game.”
* * * *
“Do you see him?” MacGyver murmured into his
walkie talkie. The stadium was empty and he felt very
exposed lurking in the bushes outside the wall.
approach,” Seeley’s voice was equally low,
“You got the general?”
yeah,” MacGyver peered between the branches at the
general, sitting on a park bench and pretending to read
a newspaper. He scanned the surrounding bushes and trees
for movement, but saw nothing. The general put down his
newspaper and turned at the sound of a car. A black Lincoln
pulled up outside the stadium and a man got out, opening
the door for Carmichael. Carmichael got out and stood
by the car, pulling on his gloves and looking around as
though enjoying the view. He smiled on seeing the general
and crossed the grass to sit on the bench. In the bushes,
MacGyver raised his camera and photographed the two together.
“Coming up now.” Seeley’s voice was
quiet. “Grady, good to see you,” Carmichaels
voice lacked accent or compassion.
“Mr Carmichael,” General Grady nodded briskly.
“And how are you progressing with your part of my
glanced around, his gaze lingering on the bushes where
MacGyver hid, and on the top of the wall surrounding the
stadium. MacGyver frowned at the man who had accompanied
him, trying to place where he’d seen him before.
eased himself forwards in the long grass and swept the
area with binoculars. He and MacGyver has been in position
for an hour and he couldn’t shake the feeling that
they weren’t alone. He watched Carmichael talking
to the general and followed his gaze to where MacGyver
hid and then to the top of the wall. He refocussed the
binoculars on the top of the stadium, but saw nothing.
“Stay still, Mac – he just looked right at
you.” Seeley murmured. He swung the binoculars back
again, studying the man who had accompanied Carmichael,
still standing next to the car. “His man’s
a pro, watch yourself.”
“Coming along well, Sir. Should be ready in eight
weeks.” The general glanced at Carmichael, trying
to judge his reaction. “The aeroplane is being converted
for the payload, but it’s complicated work, and
taking time to complete.”
weeks.” Carmichael pursed his lips. “I’d
hoped for sooner. You really must put more effort in,
“It could be done sooner, Sir, but to do so would
leave a trail that could implicate all of us.” Grady
blinked when Carmichael glared at him, but didn’t
see.” Carmichael pulled out a pack of cigarettes
and lit one, not offering one to the general. “Then
eight weeks it is.” He breathed out smoke through
his nose, which curled away in the cold air. “I
shall be pleased to see an end to the… nuisance
that has plagued me all these years.” He stood,
looking down at General Grady. “You have everything
you need, yes?”
sir. Just...” Grady looked up into Carmichael’s
Carmichael took another drag on his cigarette.
would like to confirm that my own exit strategy is in
place, Sir.” Grady swallowed as Carmichael continued
to stare at him.
be well taken care of, Grady. Be assured of that.”
Carmichael stared for a moment longer before grinding
out his cigarette under his heel and turning back towards
MacGyver lowered the camera, having taken all the photographs
he needed. The tape recorder capturing the conversation
whirred quietly in his pocket and he reached in to press
the ‘stop’ button. He glanced through the
leaves at the man by the car, who was looking straight
at his bushes.
The man’s eyes narrowed. MacGyver gasped, suddenly
realising where he’d seen the man before. The last
time he’d seen the man, he’d been in Berlin,
fleeing from a sniper and with Gunther Schmidt’s
blood still on his hands! He’d been chased across
the city and cornered in a dank alley, had a terrifying
fight with this man, a knife expert, and escaped by dumping
him down a coal chute!
as slowly as possible, MacGyver keyed his walkie-talkie.
“Seeley, we may be in trouble here. The man by the
car is Klaus Muller, knife for hire, and I think he may
have spotted me. Keep a lookout, last time I saw him,
he was travelling with a sniper partner.”
“Great.” Seeley scanned the roof of the stadium
again. “If there’s someone up there, they
must have been here before us, because we didn’t
see anyone else come in.” He glanced up at the roof
again, then down to MacGyver’s bushes. “Angle’s
not that great from up there, but it’s the only
high point that wouldn’t have trees in the line
of sight. Either’s there’s no sniper, or they
might just have missed us on approach.” He looked
across at the car again, seeing Muller stripping off his
gloves and reaching into his pocket. “Mac! You’re
blown! He’s seen you!”
MacGyver zipped the tape recorder into his pocket and
stuffed the camera inside the front of his coat, the strap
holding it securely around his neck. “Cover me –
I’m going to have to make a run for it. We can’t
let this evidence fall into their hands!” He glanced
through the leaves, seeing Muller striding towards him.
MacGyver ran out from behind the bushes, zigzagging as
a shot rang out from the roof. Seeley fired upwards, his
bullet striking sparks off the metal railing and causing
a flurry of movement from the rooftop. Carmichael and
Muller spun around, ducking at the sound of shots. Muller
grabbed Carmichael, hurrying him back to the car, but
Carmichael shook free of his grip and opened the driver’s
door. “Get in!” He yelled to Muller, who jumped
into the shotgun seat, and the car roared off across the
parking lot, chasing MacGyver.
Seeley shot again as the sniper’s rifle reappeared
over the edge of the roof, then sprinted across the grass
and burst through the gate and up the stairs.
MacGyver glanced over his shoulder, sprinting flat out
across the parking lot and plunging into the bushes and
scrub at the edge of the stadium. He heard the car crunch
off the road and start crashing through the undergrowth,
engine revving hard. He flinched as a bullet whined past
his head, followed immediately by the flat crack of a
pistol shot. He slithered down a hill, seeing buildings
through the bushes ahead of him.
the low fence into the nearest back yard, belonging to
a café, he heard the car screech to a halt and
turn. Leaning against the side wall of the café,
panting hard, MacGyver heard the engine rev again, and
the squeal of tires turning the corner towards him. “You
gotta be kidding me!” MacGyver took a deep breath,
looking around him. Glancing up, gauging how long he had
before the car reached him, he spied a ten-gallon drum
by the café’s back door and reached for it,
tipping it over and rolling it towards the road.
Seeley flattened himself against the wall of the stairwell
as another shot chipped the plaster near his head. He
heard a stealthy footstep, much nearer than before. The
sniper had to be close, just above him…
The car screeched into view just as MacGyver unscrewed
the lid of the drum. Waste cooking oil poured out of the
drum and across the road. The car’s front wheel
caught the edge of the slick, and Carmichael sawed wildly
at the wheel as the car spun out of control. Muller, hanging
out of the window, fired again but his shot went wild
and he had to grip the edge of the door to avoid being
thrown out of the car. He lost his grip on his gun, which
clattered onto the road and fell down a drain.
MacGyver dived into the front yard of the house across
the road. He burst out from between the houses and hurdled
the fence into a schoolyard. Behind him, Carmichael wrestled
the car under control and swung the wheel left, speeding
down the road and doubling back along the next street.
Seeing a flash of movement, Muller yelled and Carmichael
rammed the schoolyard fence. Hearing the crash, MacGyver
ducked behind the school kitchen, dodged behind a tall
dumpster and pushed.
Heart hammering, Seeley took a deep breath and swung around
the corner of the stairwell, staying low. He ran forward,
he knocked the sniper’s gun barrel up and her bullet
slammed into the ceiling. He grabbed the sniper by the
throat, punching her in the gut with his other hand.
sniper cried out, but kicked him hard in the knee and
brought the butt of her rifle down, catching Seeley across
the temple and knocking him to the floor. Stars exploded
in his vision and he felt as much as saw the sniper leap
over him. He grabbed her foot as she sailed overhead,
and she crashed down, hitting her head on the corner of
the wall and collapsing on top of him. Seeley pushed and
kicked, shifting her off him and wobbling to his feet,
using the wall for support. He touched his head, feeling
blood trickle down his face, and looked out of the nearest
window. Tire tracks ran across the car park and disappeared
into the scrub at the edge of the stadium. Seeley shook
his head, trying to dispel the dizziness, and set off
down the stairs, stopping only to handcuff the unconscious
sniper to the metal bannisters.
Carmichael braked hard as the dumpster rolled into view
just ahead of him, then swore and accelerated, ramming
it out of the way. He caught sight of MacGyver running
up the slope and crossing the road at the top. He gunned
the car up the steep slope, ignoring the crunch of metal
as the car crested the top and bumped over the narrow
road and into the park on the other side. MacGyver heard
the roar of the car engine and the scrape as the car crossed
into the park, revving that indicated Carmichael was bogged
down in the mud at the edge of the park and then a yell
as Muller spotted him. “There he is!” Muller,
once again leaning out of the car window, pointed at him
and Carmichael sent the car surging forward. Panting for
breath, MacGyver forced his tired legs onward.
Seeley reached the bottom of the steps and set off across
the parking lot to his car, parked out of sight near the
road. Dizziness made his world tip and swirl, blood running
into his eyes and making it hard to see. He paused for
a moment, hanging onto the side of his car as the world
echoed and darkness crept into the edges of his vision.
“You can’t pass out now, Atkins, you have
to save Mac!” Shaking his head to clear it, Seeley
got into his car and set off after MacGyver.
MacGyver dodged through the trees at the edge of the reservoir,
the car close behind him. Picking the densest undergrowth
slowed him down, but meant the car could not follow exactly,
but had to run parallel to him. To his right, cars flashed
past on the freeway.
the road curved around, disappearing behind the brow of
the hill. MacGyver forced himself up the steep slope,
turning when he reached the top and running alongside
the chain link fence. He risked a glance back, seeing
the car only yards away. He had a brief glimpse of Muller’s
bloodthirsty grin, and Carmichael’s intense concentration,
then he spun back around and leaped for the fence. He
stumbled on landing, the car showering him with stones
and loose earth as Carmichael rammed the fence just behind
ran headlong across four lanes of traffic, ignoring the
screeching brakes and honking horns. Behind him, he heard
another crash as Carmichael’s car smashed through
the barrier and careered across the road. The sound of
the engine was so loud, it seemed to fill his whole world.
He’d almost made it across the road when he felt
a massive impact. He was momentarily aware of flying through
the air, he heard gravel crunch and scrape as he skidded
across the ground, then there was a moment of weightlessness
before the shock of landing in the freezing river, swollen
with snowmelt, stole his consciousness away.
screeched to a halt and Muller leaped out, running to
the edge of the road and peering into the river below.
The water rolled and boiled, running fast and deadly.
Muller looked downriver, seeing MacGyver surface for a
moment, limp and pale, before the current sucked him under
again and carried him away.
returned to the car, nodding to Carmichael. “He’s
dead. Nobody could survive that.” He glanced back
at the river as Carmichael rammed the battered car into
gear and pulled away into traffic amidst a chorus of horns,
and gestures from scandalised drivers. “Get another
car organised. This one must be crushed"