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Posted by: bluegirl 12 February 2020 - 01:50 AM
Hello everyone!

Since at least two of you have encouraged me to give it a shot...

Here I go. This is my first shot at posting a fanfic, it is even my first shot at a completed fanfic... It did get a lot bigger and longer than I expected it to get when I started writing it down. I´ve been playing around with the storyline for about 15 years in my head - yes really!

I´ve been writing fanfic a long time ago when MacGyver was aired for the first time in Austria and stuck to it for quite some years. I can´t really remember why or when I stopped. Of course those stories were all written in german, as I am not a native english speaker. And this was at least 25 years ago. But I still have them archived, so maybe I will pick up some of those ideas and give them another try. This time in english.

I tried my best to stay true to the characters, although I also push them to their limits and challenge them. Especially Mac and Pete. As I am not native-english-speaking I rely on my trusty dictionary, google and MS Word to help me with spelling, grammar and phrases. But please, be patient and forgiving...

But feel free to share your thoughts!

I hope you have as much fun reading as I had writing it!

Posted by: bluegirl 12 February 2020 - 01:57 AM
This takes place soon after "The Wasteland"

Part 1

Silence.

It was the first thing he noticed as he came around. Then there was the pain in his head, when he tried to move, to turn to his side. He automatically felt for the bump behind his ear and let out a moan. Slowly MacGyver started to take in his surroundings. The floor he was lying on was cold and hard; when he cautiously blinked his eyes open, there was only little, next to no light.

He could barely make out the walls of the small room, as he looked around. They seemed to be built of sturdy wood. One of them held a door, but there were no windows. The only sources of light were the small gaps between the wooden planks of the walls.

MacGyver carefully turned to his side and then sat up, still looking around. Nothing else was to be seen. His belt and his jacket were gone, and when he checked his pockets, he realized, they were empty, so they also took his Swiss army knife.

Not much to work with.

And by the way, who were they?

MacGyver suddenly realized he had absolutely no idea, where he was and who had kidnapped him. He had been on a biking tour. Someone had asked him for the direction, because they had lost their way in the hills above Malibu. The situation had seemed and felt perfectly normal. Nothing to be suspicious about. But the next thing he knew was waking up here only a few moments ago.

As he slowly got up on his feet, a wave of dizziness washed over him. Mac had to steady himself against the wooden wall. We waited a few seconds to let the worst of it pass, and then started examining his cell closely. There had to be some clue to where he was, to whom was behind this, to what this was all about.

A few minutes later he sat down again, feeling a little discouraged and helpless.

The door obviously opened to the outside, the lock and the hinges were not reachable from inside the room. The walls around him had also been built from the other side – there were no nails or screws to be seen or felt. The tiny gaps between some of the solid planks were too small to get a good look outside, and the planks were too tall to reach their top, even when he had tried to jump. Their bottom was not visible as they were buried in the ground. He could hear almost nothing from the outside. No cars, no trains, only some bird calls. Nothing to help him find out where he might be. The floor was made of tamped clay, so he figured he might be held outside of the city, in some kind of rural area.

But he still had no lead to whom or why they had taken him. Since he had nothing to work his way out of here, MacGyver decided to wait. Sitting in the corner farthest from the door, he managed to find a tolerably comfortable position leaning against the wall. He closed his eyes and tried to will the throbbing in his head away.

*****

At some point MacGyver must have dozed off, because he was startled awake, when he suddenly heard someone approaching the door. Within seconds all his senses were on alert. He hurried to get up on his feet, while someone on the outside was opening a padlock, as it seemed from the sounds. He had been in tight spots before, kidnapped, captured, but there had always been a chance to escape. Mac held on to that thought. Even if he still had no idea who was behind this, or why he was being held, there had to be a way. He just had to find it.

When the door swung open to the outside, Mac was for a moment blinded by the light that suddenly flooded his small cell. Two men entered the room, one of them huge and muscular built, the other one smaller, but also athletic and obviously of Asian descent. Both of them were armed, their weapons still in holsters on their belts. They didn´t say a word, but the Asian guy signaled MacGyver to come with them.

Mac didn´t move. “Hello, guys. Would you mind telling me, where we´re going?”

He didn´t get an answer, but the big one closed in on him, rudely grabbed his arm and shoved him to the door. MacGyver stumbled, avoided falling, then straightened himself again and raised his hands a little in defense.

“All right, I´m coming…”

He got the point. Better not provoke those guys…

MacGyver was guided through a corridor; everything was built out of wood. They passed several doors, all closed, some with padlocks.

More cells?, Mac asked himself.

The corridor was brightly lit, but all the lamps were at the highest point inside the roof, way out of reach. Mac scanned everything, looking for an opportunity, for anything he could use. The end of the corridor also held a door, but just as he started to think about, which one would lead out of the building, he was stopped.

The Asian opened a door at his side, and he was pushed inside a large room. In the middle of that room a chain was hanging down with shackles at its end. Mac´s hair at the back of his neck instantly stood on end, a wave of fear washed through him. But he had no time to think about it, the large thug dragged him forward. Together they put the cuffs around his wrists. The cuffs were made of iron, about two inches wide, secured with a padlock. They forced Mac´s hands close together, palms facing each other, and fit quite tightly. The chain was also secured with the lock, and as tight as his hands were held together, he had no way of reaching that padlock.

Just when he started figuring out ways, his hands and arms were pulled up above his head. Looking up, he saw, that the chain threaded through a ring screwn into a sturdy wooden beam just below the roof. From there it went along the beam and through another ring back down a wall, where it just got secured by a bolt by the Asian man. MacGyver had to stand straight, his arm almost straightened out fully; the cuffs were starting to dig into his wrists. Mac took a few deep breaths, trying to calm himself down. His arms were forced in front of his face, so he turned his head to look around the room. There was another door at his side, and an empty table close to it. Apart from that, there was nothing to work with. No windows, no sounds so far. Only some kind of pipe was running along the same beam as the chain. And the floor was different here. It was made of concrete. He heard the door behind him close, and the sound of their footsteps signaled to Mac that the men had left him alone.

MacGyver waited for a few moments, listening intensely. Then he tried pulling on the chain, trying if it would give him a little more room. Within seconds he felt someone grab the nape of his neck rudely and froze instantly.

“Don´t try anything funny.” The words were spoken coldly with Chinese accent. The threat was obvious.

MacGyver nodded slowly. “All right. I won´t.” His heart was pounding. He had really thought to be alone.

The hand left his neck, the guard backed away. Mac couldn´t see him, it all happened behind his back.

MacGyver closed his eyes for a moment, trying to calm his breath again. He concentrated on staying positive, on hanging on to the thought, that there was always a way. But he frightened by the thought of what might be about to happen. Mac took another deep breath, straightened himself, and waited. His training for the DXS many years ago had also covered situations like this, but only theoretically. Whoever was keeping him here, tried to put him under pressure, tried to push him mentally and emotionally. Following the textbook, the next thing to happen was physical pressure. Mac wasn´t looking forward to it. But he was determined not to let it show.

*****

The longer MacGyver had to wait, the harder it got for him to control his thoughts. He had tried to think about possible masterminds behind all this, but recent Phoenix operations had had no connections to Asia. After what had felt like endless hours of standing there, he still had not even the slightest idea, what this was all about. His body also demanded his attention. The shackles dug into his wrists; when he tried to stretch a little more – just to take the pressure off them – his arms and shoulders protested vehemently. It also put his head and neck into a position that was anything but comfortable. He got tired, he got thirsty, and he got hungry. With being held first in darkness, now in bright light, MacGyver had no clue to what time or day it was. He knew that under circumstances like this, it was dangerous to trust his feelings about time passing. But it had to be hours, so he was sure, his friends outside had noticed he was missing. He had planned a meeting with Pete Thornton after his biking tour. By now he had to be looking for MacGyver. The hope for possible help from the outside aided Mac to fight his fear, to keep his spirit up.

All of a sudden the door to his side opened. The big guard entered, followed by another Asian man. He was taller than the guard behind MacGyver, but obviously not as well trained. He sat down a small metal case on the table, and then turned to MacGyver. He looked all over Mac and walked around him until he was back to face him.

MacGyver felt the adrenaline rush through him. He fought to stay calm, but could feel himself trembling inside. This was it. Now he might be getting some answers. But what might be the cost? The man remained silent, so MacGyver decided to make the first move.

“Hi, name´s MacGyver.” he managed to smile. “I´m sorry, that we can´t shake hands, but I´m kind of … bound at the moment.”

The man seemed to be amused. “I know who you are.” His answer was stone cold. “I know you can be quite elusive. And quite stubborn. We are prepared for your creative tricks.” He took a step back and leaned against the table.

MacGyver swallowed hard. After those words he felt even more trapped.

“It is your decision, how comfortable this is going to be for you.” the man continued after a few moments. “I need some information. I am confident, that you will give it to me, MacGyver.”

Mac held his breath for a moment. That´s what he had been expecting. But no matter what, he would not give away any classified or sensitive information. He smiled apologetically.

“I´d love to help you, but my memory always seems to get weak under pressure … and I didn´t get your name..?”

His smile wasn´t returned. “I am quite sure, you will remember … we have the means to help you remember … and my name is of no importance to you.”

Mac cleared his throat. “I´m sure, you do.” He said with a low voice, more to himself. He was still wondering, what might be in that small metal case.

Now his opposite smiled grimly. “I want you to tell me the access codes for the Computer systems at Phoenix Research”, he demanded.

MacGyver was stunned for a moment. His mind instantly hit overdrive. So that´s was this was all about. Two weeks ago someone had tried to break into the Phoenix Foundations Computer Systems. He remembered talking about it with Pete and Willis. Research had been the target of the attempted attack. MacGyver had helped build up the security for this systems, but that had been years ago, shortly after he had joined the Phoenix Foundation together with Pete Thornton. There had been no lead to who was behind the attack. Even Willis had been unable to trace anything. Now Mac knew. He was facing him.

But even if Mac had wanted to give away the information, he wouldn´t have been able to. The access codes were changed on a regular basis, and they had been changed after the attack. He didn´t know those codes. His security level at Phoenix was high, but not that high. It was likely he would have been able to hack into the system but it would take a high end computer and time. Days, if not even weeks. MacGyver prepared himself to talk himself out of this – if his opponents got to know, that he really couldn´t provide the information, he would quite likely be killed.

“I am with the operations department, I´m sorry, that´s not my business at Phoenix.” he told the Asian man. Mac tried sounding cooperative and helpful.

The man only nodded.

The next thing Mac noticed was a vigorous blow to his back, just above his kidney. The hit drove the air out of his lungs. With some difficulty he bit back a surprised and painful yelp. They gave him a few seconds to recover, then the Asian gave up his relaxed position at the table and slowly approached Mac again.

“I don´t believe you.”

MacGyver drew in a deep breath, tried to ignore the pain, fought for staying upright.

“I´m sorry, you´ve caught the wrong man.”

Another punch hit his back hard. He couldn´t avoid coughing this time, but managed to straighten himself again. He was determined not to show them how the pain was affecting him.

The Asian man circled him once more.

“You helped build up this security system.” he stated as he was standing behind MacGyver. Now the thugs were facing him.

“That was a few years ago, I´m not involved with it anymore”, Mac said over his shoulder. He saw the kick to his ribs coming in the corner of his eye, but he didn´t have enough time to brace himself. A sharp pain rushed through his chest. He knew, he wouldn´t be standing anymore, if there hadn´t been the handcuffs holding him in place. His vision blurred, he had to fight for staying conscious. Mac was breathing hard, when the Asian man came up close behind.

“You are Peter Thornton´s main guy, his right hand.” he said. “You expect me to believe, you know nothing about it, because it´s another department?”

MacGyver´s thoughts went to high speed again. He had been telling the truth – well, not the whole truth – but he had to find another way to talk himself out of this. He wasn´t sure, how much more he could take, before revealing something, he didn´t want to reveal.

The Asian man returned to the table, taking in his relaxed position again.

Mac raised his head a little and faced him. He couldn´t see him as clearly as before.

“I might be able to show you how to get past the security.” he supposed. Maybe lying would buy him some time. “Depends on what information you want to retrieve from the research department.”

The Asian laughed sarcastically. “You expect me to put you in front of a computer with a modem connection?” he asked.

MacGyver only nodded, smiling weakly.

“Nice try, Mr. MacGyver.”, the man continued. “If I would allow you that, the whole Phoenix Foundation would know where to look for you within minutes. I won´t risk that. I know what you´re capable of. We´ve done our homework on you.” He paused for a moment, then looked MacGyver directly in the eyes. “We don´t need your colleagues squirming around here. I guess we need a little more private time. We need to work on your cooperation.”

Another strike hit MacGyver´s stomach. He groaned, his knees gave way, but the sudden pull on his wrists and shoulders made him stand straight fast. He had been beaten before, but those guys definitely knew, how to weaken him and how to cause maximum pain. Keeping up his façade got harder and harder. He couldn´t stop his hands from trembling anymore.

His opponent seemed to notice. “I am waiting for an answer.” he pushed. “Tell me those codes, and the pain will end.”

MacGyver sighed. “If I tell you those codes, you will kill me.”, he replied.

The Asian laughed at him.

“Why should I? If you can provide information, you might still be valuable. Don´t underestimate yourself.” he explained. “Just as I said, MacGyver. You decide. Do we have to convince you the hard way?”

MacGyver straightened himself again, reconsidering his few possibilities. He tried to prepare himself for the inevitable, tried to close his mind to the pain.

His opposite mistook his hesitation for stubbornness. With a flick of his head he ordered the two guards to approach MacGyver.

Mac had only one moment to steel himself against the next strike, but it was no use. The blows rained down on him, he had no means to avoid them or defend himself. Mac only managed to protect his face and head a little between his arms. Now and then he was given a short break, which allowed him to recover a bit. Several times he could barely avoid passing out. After what had felt like an eternity, they suddenly left him alone.

MacGyver was breathing hard. His legs wouldn´t carry him anymore, he was hanging slack from his cuffed wrists. His whole body was hurting; every breath felt like someone was stabbing his chest. Probably a cracked rib, he assessed somewhat automatically. He gathered his last ounces of strength and fought the darkness that was trying to take him away. Not now, he thought. Not yet.

MacGyver´s head was still hanging between his outstretched arms, when someone grabbed a fistful of his hair at the back of his head and pulled back abruptly. MacGyver had almost managed to remain quiet through the beating, but now he released a surprised yelp of pain. Although his vision was blurred, he recognized the leader of the group close to his side.

“So?” he asked. “The codes, MacGyver ... you can end this suffering.”

MacGyver felt himself trembling with pain and exhaustion. “I can´t … tell you … what … I don´t know.” His voice was breaking; even talking took quite an effort.

The man released his head and walked back to the table. He opened the metal case. MacGyver´s gaze followed him. He barely made out some small glass bottles and syringes. Another surge of adrenaline rushed through him. No, not again, he thought. He had been poisoned before, and that was not quite a pleasant memory.

“Get him down.” the Asian ordered his guards. “Take off the cuffs.”

When the chain gave way, MacGyver dropped to his knees. He had to steady himself with the help of his hands to avoid collapsing to the ground. He swayed, as the smaller Asian thug pulled up his arms and released his wrists. When Mac saw their leader fill up a syringe his survival instinct kicked in again. He got up on his feet and took an unsteady step backwards.

“Hey guys, I got this thing about needles…”

When the man turned around to him, the syringe in his hand, Mac tried to evade the guards, but he was too weakened and too slow. The huge one grabbed his arm and pulled hard, throwing Mac against the wall. Once again, the air was forced out of MacGyver´s lungs by the impact. His head crushed onto the wood and with stars dancing in front of his eyes, he collapsed to the ground. Before he had any time to recover or react, one of his arms was forced to bend behind his back. The huge thug wrapped his arm around his neck, pressing against his throat and pulling him up again. The second guard grabbed his free arm, straightened it out and pulled up his sleeve.

His vision still threatening to black out Mac saw the man with the syringe closing in on him. MacGyver frantically struggled to free himself, but it was no use. The Asian found a vein and injected the contents. He felt a sudden burning sensation in his arm right after the shot. After the needle was pulled out, they released Mac out of their hold, and he dropped to his knees again. He automatically reached for his throbbing arm, rubbing it.

“You are probably wondering about the effects.” the Asian declared, while returning to the table and putting the syringe back into the case. He turned to face and observe MacGyver.

“This serum has been designed and mixed specially for you. You will definitely enjoy it. But you don´t have to be afraid. It has been diluted, so the dose is low enough that it won´t kill you. You will experience all of its effects in a few hours.” He paused for a moment, while Mac was silently looking up at him.

“Hopefully this will convince you to cooperate.” He turned around, closed his case and left the room.

When he was gone, the two thugs grabbed Mac´s upper arms and pulled him up. They forced him out of the room, down the corridor and back to his dark cell. MacGyver wouldn´t have been able to walk this far on his own. When they pushed him back into the small room, he stumbled, fell against the wall and to the ground. The door closed behind him and he was alone in the dark.

MacGyver lay motionless for a few minutes, and then slowly got up on his hands and knees and crawled to the back of his cell. He cautiously stretched out on his back, feeling the cold clay floor against his bruises. He was staring into the darkness, trying to sort his thoughts about what had happened.

The Asian overweight man had sometimes referred to himself in singular person, sometimes he had talked about “we”. Was he the head of this group, or was there some mastermind behind him? Obviously they really needed those access codes; otherwise he would possibly be dead by now. But the alternative wasn´t much fun either.

MacGyver already felt totally worn out, yet he didn´t know what was still to come. He had a few hours until the symptoms of the drug would show. His heart was still pounding; he had a hard time controlling his breath and no chance of suppressing the trembling in his body. He was covered in sweat from exhaustion and pain. Mac tried to will the pain away, tried to hold on to his survival instinct. There had to be a way out. As long as he was alive, there had to be a chance.

Suddenly, without any warning, the small room was flooded with bright light. MacGyver winced, automatically raised his arms in defense and covered his eyes. But nothing else happened.

Mac rose up a little, looking around the room suspiciously. He recognized a small camera next to the floodlight. Camera and light were mounted way out of reach, just under a beam holding up the roof. He hadn´t noticed them on his first examination of the room in the darkness. All right, so they were observing him.

MacGyver sat there for a few minutes, considering his possibilities. Whoever was behind this, knew a lot about him. They had left nothing for him to work with. He still had no means to escape all this, so he figured the best thing he could do was try to get some rest and recuperate. So he curled himself up on his side, covering his face with his arm and finally allowed himself to fall asleep. His last thought went out to Pete, who had to be searching for him by now.

Hurry up, Pete, he thought. I could use your help this time. Please, hurry.

*****

Posted by: Sanguine 12 February 2020 - 06:39 AM
Okay, I'm incredibly excited about this already. I feel like Mac is pretty in-character so far, and your English is honestly better than a lot of native speakers from what I can see. I can't wait to see what happens to Mac!

Posted by: bluegirl 12 February 2020 - 07:58 AM
Thanks a lot, coming from you this is encouraging!

I´ve followed your work throughout the virtual seasons, and I love it!

Posted by: uniquelyjas 13 February 2020 - 10:48 AM
I agree with Sanguine. I really liked this and am anxious to read more. I know how hard you must have worked on it given the language difference and think you did a really great job! The one thing that stood out was the way in which you captured the way Mac uses humor in these situations. That's always a favorite part of the show for me and you did it very well! You also do a very good job giving the reader insight into his thoughts and keeping us in suspense.

I have to say that I chuckled at the very beginning because I just finished a chapter in the Fan Fic that I'm writing where Pete and Mac are in a completely empty wooden tool shed with a door that locks from the outside! Great minds think alike!!

Thank you so much for deciding to share this with us. I look forward to what's to come.

Jody (AKA: Uniquelyjas)

Posted by: bluegirl 13 February 2020 - 11:35 PM
Thanks everyone for your feedback! I really appreciate it!

Since there seems to be considerable interest in my story wink.gif biggrin.gif I´ll like to share the next part of it with you.

But be warned of a little surprise at the end of it


Part 2

When MacGyver woke up, he was a little disoriented at first. He wasn´t sure, what had roused him. The room was still quiet, the floodlight was still on. When he blinked his eyes fully open and looked around, nothing had changed. But his eyes wouldn´t focus properly, and the colors he saw just were not right. The floor had not been glowing green before. When he slowly sat up, everything seemed to be moving around him, leaving him feeling dizzy. He remembered the nightmares he had been going through in his sleep clearly. Bright colored scorpions, some of them almost neon, in different sizes, from small to huge, had been closing in on him, crawling all over him, covering him, stinging him. His sleep had not been nearly as restful as Mac had hoped.

Those nightmares and hallucinations had to be caused by the drug, he had been given, MacGyver reflected to himself. He was still feeling exhausted; his whole body was still hurting, although the pain had diminished thanks to his rest. The bright light inside his room made it difficult to distinguish, if it was night or day on the outside. His time sense was definitely way off center. He cautiously stood up on his feet and prepared himself to take another, closer look at his prison, now that there was enough light. His vision stayed blurred though, so he was feeling his way around the room more than seeing it.

Just as MacGyver was examining the door, he suddenly doubled over, and drew in a sharp breath. It felt like someone was stabbing a knife into his stomach. Mac waited a few moments until the pain had ebbed away, and then continued his search for way out. But only a few minutes later he fell to his knees, groaning. The stabbing pain was back, together with spasms rushing through his body. Mac had to steady himself against the wooden planks. Again he waited and then got up on his feet. He also felt the muscles in his arms and legs tighten. He shook his head, trying to clear his senses.

Within another few minutes MacGyver was down again. The convulsions and the shooting pain were rolling over him like waves. He had to crouch down in the far corner of the room, leaning against the wall. He could hardly breathe, the pain got worse with every moment.

Again it was gone as sudden as it had started, giving MacGyver a little break to recover. His breathing was ragged, his whole body shivering with the echo of the suffering. He attempted to find a more comfortable position, but it was no use. The next wave hit even harder. Mac wrapped his arms protectively around his body. He bit back an agonized cry and dropped to the ground. Somewhere in his head the man´s voice echoed, don´t be afraid. It won´t kill you. Was he really sure about that?

The suffering continued, but abruptly the light went out. MacGyver winced with shock. When he managed to look up, the walls seemed to be closing in on him. Even the floor felt like it was moving. He had considered calling for help a few moments ago, but this signaled him, they were no longer interested in watching. MacGyver was left alone in the darkness with the spasms, the excruciating pain and the anguish. He curled himself up on the cold floor and gave in to the inevitable. With a deep sigh he tried to prepare himself mentally to endure whatever was bound to happen. He held on to the phrase: The dose is low enough so it won´t kill you.

After many hours, that had felt like an eternity to MacGyver, the symptoms gradually subsided. Bit by bit he started to relax his strained body, tried to loosen and stretch his tight muscles. He was covered with cold sweat, shivering and breathing hard. Now he was really wasted, physically and mentally. With a last effort he raised his head and tried to sit up. But his body wouldn´t obey, his arms wouldn´t hold him upright. MacGyver collapsed to the ground and finally passed out.

*****

MacGyver´s head was aching badly, when he slowly came out of it. He still felt weak, but this time the sleep had helped him recover a little. He took a few moments to judge his condition, while his eyes were still closed. The convulsions and the resulting pain were gone, but he felt every muscle, every bruise. His sore wrists were burning. The shackles had torn deeply into his skin during the beating.

Cautiously he blinked his eyes open. He was still surrounded by the darkness of the small room. He had no clue to how long he´d been out. Nothing seemed to have changed. MacGyver took a deep breath, while he was mentally preparing to sit up, but he instantly regretted it.

Yes, that rib is almost certainly cracked, he thought.

Automatically he covered it with his hand and rolled over to his side, moaning lightly. The sweat on his skin had dried up, as well as his soaked shirt, so he must have been asleep for some hours.

Good, Mac thought. I guess I needed that.

Then he carefully rose until he was sitting, leaning against the wooden wall. The vertigo was still present, also due to his weakness. His eyesight was nearly back to normal, no more hallucinations, but still hazy and out of focus. With the effects of the drug or poison almost gone, MacGyver found it a lot easier to fight his despair.

“Yes, I am still alive.” he told himself in a low voice, while he was looking around in his prison cell. “Yes, there still has to be a way out of this.”

He noticed the cardboard tablet lying on the ground close to the door. It hadn´t been there before he had collapsed. MacGyver carefully approached it, took a closer look at it. A large paper cup, probably filled with water, was placed next to a paper plate with a sandwich on it. His suspicion arose instantly, but Mac couldn´t afford to be all too picky. The situation was tight, and it could well get worse. He needed the energy to recover, and he desperately needed something to drink. So he sat down next to that tablet, tested the liquid in the cup with a little sip and smelled at the sandwich. He couldn´t sense anything out of the ordinary, so he ate and drank. Having finished, he retreated back to his corner and managed to find a tolerably comfortable position to sit and wait. Still being awfully tired and exhausted MacGyver fell asleep soon.

*****

MacGyver was roused briskly by the floodlight and someone opening the door. Looking up, he saw the two guards in the doorway. His adrenaline level shot up instantly.

Oh no, not again, was his first thought. He couldn´t stop his hands from trembling with fear, as the Asian thug motioned him to get up and follow him. Mac obeyed this time, always keeping his hands up in a defensive position. He wanted to signal them, that he meant no harm, no offence, and no tricks. Again they guided him down the corridor, and Mac felt the tension inside him rise with every step. But he was stopped at another door, much earlier. The Asian thug opened it for him.

“You might want to use the facilities. But we will observe you.” he said.

MacGyver froze with surprise. The room held a hand-basin, a toilet and a shower. He entered it slowly with a little mistrust. There was a towel and fresh clothing prepared for him. After having a closer look, Mac sighed a little shaky. Yes, freshening up would be a good idea.

The huge man followed him inside, as the Asian closed the door behind them. Mac turned to him, smiling shyly.

“Would you mind turning around…?” he asked.

The guard didn´t react; he kept his place right next to the door, watching MacGyver.

Mac sighed again. All right, no privacy then…

After he was done and had changed into the fresh clothes, they took him back to his cell without a word and locked him up again.

The light was still on, so he took another attempt on finding anything that might lead to a way to escape. The tablet was gone, when they had returned him, and he silently recapped the past events. He had been able to wash the blood off his wrists and take a closer look at his injuries. While showering the warm water flowing over him had not been to comfortable on his bruises, but it had definitely helped relax his strained muscles. Food and water had also helped him recuperate. MacGyver felt a lot better than a few hours ago.

He settled back into “his” corner after examining the room and again finding nothing to work on. MacGyver felt better, but inside he knew, they only wanted him to recover so he could take more of what he´d already been through. The mere thought of it sent a cold shiver down his spine. Mac inwardly chided himself for letting the fear crawl back into his mind. He had to remain mentally strong to be able to hold on, to pull through. He had to stay positive. He had to hold on to the certainty that Pete was out there, searching for him. Help was on the way…

The longer he had to wait and sit in silence and bright light, the more his thoughts went wild. Who were they? What did they plan to steal out of the Phoenix Foundations Research Labs? Who was behind all this? He still had no answers to that puzzle. After what had felt like hours, Mac surrendered to his tiredness and dozed off.

The next days – or what seemed to be many days to MacGyver – passed pretty much with the same course of events. More questions, more beating him, more of the drugs. In between they had left him alone, sometimes in bright light, sometimes in darkness. He had had plenty of time to recover after each round and to think about his situation over and over again. The questions had remained the same. MacGyver had tried different tactiques of answering them, but he had not been able to avoid new pain and suffering.
He just couldn´t convince the Asian that he didn´t know the access codes or any other way to get past the security systems.

He hadn´t been able to recognize a certain pattern to what was happening. He had also been given food several times, could use the bathroom; they had even allowed him to shave the stubble off his face. But it all seemed to happen randomly. Mac´s sense of time passing got more and more confused.

*****

Once again MacGyver stood stretched out and bound in the large room, waiting for his tormentors for what felt like hours. He was already exhausted by having to stand there without being able to move. Everything went through his mind for what felt like the hundredth time. Whoever was the mastermind of this, had to know Mac pretty well. They knew how to tire him, they knew how to use his fear, they knew how much pain he could and had to take in order to push him to his mental borders. Still, Mac had one more strategy left. Maybe this one would buy him some more time. Time that he desperately needed, because he felt that his body was on the verge of giving up. After the ordeal had already been forced to go through, he realized that his strength was not endless.

As he saw the corpulent Asian man entering the room, MacGyver mentally prepared himself to lie his socks off. He knew very well, it was a dangerous game to play, because discovering his lie could make these guys really angry. He tried not to imagine, what they could do to him.

On the other hand, angry people tend to make mistakes. Maybe, just maybe they would make a mistake that would lead to some way out of here.

Just as Mac had finished that thought, the Asian turned around to face him and the two guards took their usual places.

“So, MacGyver” he greeted Mac. “Ready for another round? You should be well rested…?”

MacGyver couldn´t help but sigh. Not really, he thought. You made me stand stretched out for hours again. His shoulders and arms were protesting wildly, his back and legs were aching. Not to mention all the bruises and injuries that had summed up over the days passing.

“I am sure, you do remember, what we´ve been talking about.” The Asian addressed him again. “I am still waiting for you to give me those access codes.”

When MacGyver didn´t react at once, he saw the guards move in on him. Time to make his move. He straightened himself, his body got tense with the adrenaline rush; he was looking nervously at the thugs.

“Hey, wait a minute. Hold it.” he rushed to say. “Hold it, please.”

“You´ve tested my patience long enough.” The Asians reply was cold and sharp.

“Yeah, I know. I´m sorry for that.” Mac smiled apologetically. He took a deep breath and then continued: “You are right. I know the computer security system. I helped build it years ago.” So far, so good. Up to this point, I haven´t even been lying, he reminded himself. “I can tell you how to get inside.”

A little surprised look played around the Asian man´s face. “You changed your mind?”

Mac hurried to nod. “I certainly did.” He still managed to keep that apologetic look. Now for the tricky part of this strategy, he thought.

The Asian couldn´t help but laugh for a moment. Then his face grew hard again. “You really expect me to believe that?” he asked. “After all you´ve been through in protecting your precious Phoenix Foundation secrets? After all your stubborn patriotism? You are giving up?”

Mac nodded again. The little trembling in his body and his voice wasn´t faked. He was dangerously close to the limits of his physical strength. “I can´t take anymore of this.” he admitted. “I am wasted. I can´t go on.” He looked to the ground, bowing his head a little.

The Asian got up from his comfortable position at the table, smiling coldly. “So, MacGyver, it seems, we have found your limitations. Even you do have a breaking point.” he stated triumphantly. He closed in and forced MacGyver´s head up to face him by rudely gripping his jaw. “You are free to continue, I´m listening.”

The fear was back into MacGyver´s eyes as he had to look at the man close up. “You might want to take some notes…” he replied shyly. “As you are not going to allow me to show you…”

The Asian still smiled satisfied as he backed up and signaled to one of his men. The smaller Asian thug hurried out to side door and returned only moments later with a pen and paper and a small tape recorder. He put it down on the table and pushed the record button. The leader of the group focused on MacGyver, his expression growing serious and dark. “Go ahead, MacGyver. Tell me all about it. Loud and clear.” he demanded.

MacGyver took in a deep breath, nodded and cleared his throat. It took several minutes, and after a number of technical instructions and advisories, he finished with two series of numbers and letters. At the end of his explanation he let out a deep sigh. “This should do it.”

The smile on his opponent´s face was triumphant again. “We´ll see.” He pushed the stop button and reached for the well-known metal case.

The hair on the back of MacGyver´s neck suddenly stood on end. Damn, he probably didn´t buy it, Mac thought. Panic rushed through him. “Hey, I told you everything!” he called out. “You´ve said, you´d end the pain!” He pulled on his restraints.

The Asian filled up the syringe in the meantime, perfectly in Mac´s view. “I will.” he answered, while he got up and approached MacGyver. “But verifying your information will take some time. Until then, MacGyver, I want you to remember why you are cooperating with us.”

Mac´s hands were lowered; the cuffs taken off. MacGyver tried to escape the guards, but he didn´t have the slightest chance. Even without the beating his condition had been weakened too much over the days to fight those guys. They had him within their hold within seconds. He was given his injection and then returned to his cell.

MacGyver stumbled into the small room and fell to his hands and knees. So he was in for another round of hallucinations, convulsions and excruciating pain. At least he had been able to avoid the blows, hits and kicks that usually came first. He sat down, rubbing his arms and shoulders. The crooks of his arms were starting to look as if he was a drug addict, he noticed. The needle marks were adding up. However, this drug wouldn´t cause a pleasant high. It was a somewhat crazy thought, but knowing what was about to come was a little comforting; it helped ease the fear. Mac mentally scolded himself for it instantly. Nevertheless he was afraid of the pain and suffering.

Especially now tough, he needed to stay alert. If they got angry, if they made some mistake, he needed to use his chance. Whatever it may be. And still, there was the possibility of help from the outside. MacGyver was still convinced that Pete was searching for him. He would be coming to his rescue. He had to. MacGyver let out the breath he´d been holding for a few moments and leaned back against the wooden wall. He closed his eyes to the bright light and clung on to that last thought.

*****

This time MacGyver had no chance to recover. He was startled by the door opening, while he was still seeing things and waves of pain were rolling over him. The worst of the symptoms of the drug had passed, but he was considerably off center. He was pulled up briskly at his upper arms, guided into the well known room and bound as usual. Obviously they had discovered his fake a lot faster than Mac had hoped or anticipated they would. He had to pull himself together fast, even if his body wouldn´t obey fully. Now could be his chance.

When the overweight Asian entered the room, Mac desperately tried to blink the haze in front of his eyes away. He couldn´t properly make out the things the man sat down on the table. One looked like the metal case, one like the tape recorder, but there was a stick he hadn´t seen before. His vision was still blurred, he couldn´t see any details. At the next moment he doubled up with new spasms and pain hitting. Even to remain standing took all his effort.

“Did you really think, this would work?” the Asian man asked him. Mac could hear considerable anger in his voice. “Did you really think, we wouldn´t discover your lie?” He picked up the stick and pushed it against MacGyver´s chest.

Before Mac could react, he felt as if his body was on fire. He gasped with pain and shock. It only lasted a few seconds, but his heart was racing and the echo of the pain sent shivers through his whole body. So this was the next level, Mac observed somehow scientifically beyond his panic. Electric shocks. So much for my chance to get out of this. If he wanted to have any possibility of surviving all this, he had to get his act together fast and play along.

He shook his head and looked at his opponent. At the moment he had no difficulties in faking a surprised and frightened expression on his face. “But why?” His voice was hoarse. “What went wrong? I don´t…” He didn´t finish the sentence because the stick touched him again. Mac couldn´t avoid crying out in pain.

The man gave him a few moments to recover. “The codes, you gave us, are wrong.” was his cold reply. “They won´t work.” He circled MacGyver, while almost casually touching his back with the stick several times as he passed around. He watched MacGyver gasp with pain, his body stiffening with every shock. “Would you care to explain that?” he asked when he was back facing him.

MacGyver was coughing, trying to calm down his breath and his racing heart, fighting against losing consciousness. “I can´t” he managed to reply with a trembling voice. “Maybe they changed the codes because I am missing.”

The Asian moved closer and laughed coldly at Mac as he saw him jerk back when he touched him with the side of the stick. Only the electrodes at its end could cause considerable pain. He slid the side of the stick upwards along MacGyver´s body to his arms until its end was close to his face. He set off the spark only inches in front of Mac´s eyes.

MacGyver tried to shrink back, but he had next to no room left to move. This time he didn´t have to fake his fear. The trembling in his body was real.

“So, there has to be another set of codes?” the Asian man asked.

MacGyver hurried to nod. Play along, he thought weakly. Just keep playing along. “Yes” he answered fast. “They most likely raised the security level because I am missing. You´d have to use a different way in.”

The Asian guard approached the table and hit the record button of the small tape recorder. His tormentor let the stick slowly slide down until it reached Mac´s waist and then took it away. “We are listening” he ordered. “But you´d be better correct this time.”

MacGyver´s mind hit overdrive once more. He was standing only by sheer will, yet he managed to give them new directions and different codes that made sense. Just as he was finished, the leader of the group stopped the recording of the tape and put down the stick at the table. He left the room through the side door, followed by both of the guards.

This was new. He had never been left alone in here. In an instant all of MacGyver´s senses were on alert. He tried to remember every detail of the room, even though he couldn´t see it clearly at the moment due to the drugs. He had to find a way to loosen that chain fast, so he could work his way out of his shackles. He was licking his lips nervously as he looked around the room and tried to concentrate. He could taste the sweat that covered his whole body because of the stress and the pain. His eyes suddenly locked on the end of the chain, where it was fixed to the wall. As far as he remembered, that chain was only secured by a bolt through a ring screw. No lock! If he could move that bolt, he´d be out of here.

Naturally it was way out of reach. He had to find anything to increase his radius of action. Maybe he could reach the table by swinging on that chain. Or maybe that ring screw in the beam directly above him would give or loosen, if he could pull it sideways. But he had to protect his wrists by grabbing the chain with his hands. They were sore enough from the last days.

Just as he looked up and prepared himself mentally to jump up a little and get a hold on that chain, the door behind him opened. MacGyver froze instantly. He heard the footsteps of someone entering the room, and then the door closed again. Mac held his breath, trying to suppress a shiver that ran down his spine. Had his attempt been discovered so soon? Despair was sneaking up his mind.

“Hello, MacGyver” he was addressed from behind after a small pause. “Good to see you!”

He knew that voice. A sudden wave of relief washed over him. He let out the breath, he´d been holding and closed his eyes for a moment.

“Pete!” he sighed deeply. “Finally. What took you so long?” His question wasn´t meant all too serious.

Pete didn´t reply. He seemed to be assessing the situation from behind, so Mac tried to turn his head around. He could only make out Pete´s well known silhouette behind his side. Still those drugs at work, he thought.

“Pete, there´s a bolt securing the chain to that wall over there.” MacGyver exclaimed hurriedly. “You need to pull it out, so I can lower my arms. And we might be able to open the padlock with it. I don´t know how soon these guys are going to come back. We need to get out of here fast.”

Pete Thornton still didn´t answer, but he moved over to that bolt. He looked at it, yet didn´t touch it.

“Pete, what´s wrong?” Mac urged him. “Set me free.”

Instead Pete turned around facing MacGyver, looking all over him.

“Just tell me, why I should possibly do that…?” he asked, sounding strangely downcast.

MacGyver didn´t understand. “What?!” The relief inside him instantly mixed with confusion. What the heck…? “Pete, I can hardly stand. I can´t take much more of what I´ve been through. We need to leave before they capture you and start questioning you!” Mac got a little upset. Why was Pete stalling?

“I don´t think they´ll do that…” Pete replied. He slowly walked over to the table and sat down on its edge, still looking all over MacGyver.

Inside MacGyver the confusion bit by bit got the upper hand.

“Pete, please. Tell me what´s wrong?”

He couldn´t believe it as he saw Pete picking up the stick and weighing it in his hand. This was just not possible… This couldn´t be happening…

“I will, MacGyver” Pete answered with a sad voice as he got up again. “In time…”

Then without a further warning he pushed the stick against MacGyver´s ribcage, holding it pressed there for some time through Mac´s convulsions.

MacGyver couldn´t help crying out in pain as once more his whole body was burning like being on fire. When Pete finally took the stick away, he collapsed helplessly and with a last confused look at Pete passed out. He didn´t see the other guys reentering the room; the overweight Asian shaking hands with Pete Thornton. He didn´t feel the two guards lowering him and taking off his cuffs. After another injection, they carried him back to his cell and locked him up.

*****

Posted by: uniquelyjas 14 February 2020 - 01:11 PM
Wow! "Little surprise at the end"? That was a whopper!! Now you've got me thinking...is that really Pete? If so, is he deep undercover and expecting Mac to trust him?? Oh, now I can't wait until you post more!!! Your writing is very descriptive and really keeps my attention. Now it looks like there might be a little more action coming? Oh, the possibilities....thanks for posting this part, looking forward to the next. And your title totally makes sense now!! Good job!!

Posted by: bluegirl 14 February 2020 - 02:06 PM
Thanks for your feedback - I divided the whole story into 14 chapters for posting it - there´s certainly more action to come...

Remember what I said in my introduction about pushing the characters to their limits? I like challenging them... See how far they might go... See how far they can go...

I intend to post a new part every second day - so the next one is due on sunday wink.gif

Posted by: uniquelyjas 14 February 2020 - 04:19 PM
QUOTE (bluegirl @ 14 February 2020 - 02:06 PM)
Remember what I said in my introduction about pushing the characters to their limits? I like challenging them... See how far they might go... See how far they can go...


I think that's a really unique and interesting perspective. I'd also think it would challenge you as a writer. So far you're doing a great job! I'll keep my eye out for your next post.

I've only been writing fan fic for almost 3 yrs now. My initial story, "Continuum" kinda exploded and is still going!! I've also done some "one-shots" of which "Widowmaker Rewind" is probably my favorite..it sorta takes on the same theme of pushing Mac's character. I have them all posted on here. Easiest way is just to look for my name "uniquelyjas" as the person who posted! I'm always looking for people, especially fellow writers, to read and review my work, but please don't feel obligated to!

Posted by: bluegirl 14 February 2020 - 10:46 PM
It certainly did challenge me while writing it - after all I have to go through all the feelings and thoughts of my characters before I can write them down - that means diving right into their heads and hearts - I guess that´s what we all do while writing

I´ve already read some of your stories - I liked the approach of SAM in particular, but I´m not yet familiar with all your work - I have some catching up to do!

Posted by: uniquelyjas 15 February 2020 - 12:09 PM
QUOTE (bluegirl @ 14 February 2020 - 10:46 PM)
It certainly did challenge me while writing it - after all I have to go through all the feelings and thoughts of my characters before I can write them down - that means diving right into their heads and hearts - I guess that´s what we all do while writing

I´ve already read some of your stories - I liked the approach of SAM in particular, but I´m not yet familiar with all your work - I have some catching up to do!

Although I haven't written anything as emotionally challenging as you, I have written some chapters in my story that have a lot of angst, etc. and it can really wear you out. It even effects my everyday mood during the time I'm writing it!!

Oooh, I'm so excited to hear you liked SAM!!! That story doesn't get a lot of attention from readers so I'm really glad you liked it!!!

Posted by: bluegirl 16 February 2020 - 03:27 AM
What did I say about challenging and limits? I hope this part will not scare anyone off reading the remaining parts to come, but it has to be done. sad.gif I guess the title will make sense after reading this one...

Part 3

MacGyver regained consciousness with a terrible hammering headache. It took a few moments to remember where he was and what had happened. Mac was lying on the ground flat on his back; every muscle in his body was hurting. When he tried to raise his head, the ground beneath him seemed to move. He let it drop back and let out a moan while he cautiously rolled to his side. His last disturbing memory crawled back into his mind. MacGyver froze.

That is impossible. It is absolutely out of the question. It must have been that drug that made me envision Pete in that room. He would never do something like that. MacGyver could still feel the effects of the drug quite clearly. He must have been hallucinating.

Careful, MacGyver, he scolded himself. They´re starting to get under your skin.

He slowly rose and sat up, leaning against the wall. The shirt he was wearing pulled on the electric burns every time he moved. The fabric was stuck to the weeping wounds. Mac winced several times as he tried to loosen the fabric. The pain and the spasms form the drug didn´t make his task any easier.

Apart from his truly unsettling last memory everything seemed to be as he had gotten used to it. Hours later, after he had somehow endured another round of the excruciating pain and spasms, he was given food and water and been allowed to freshen up. Then he was left alone in his now dark cell again.

But the pictures in his mind affected him. MacGyver suddenly felt vulnerable. They had hit a sensitive spot. The more time he had to think about it, the more frightening it became. He had known Pete for many years; he trusted him with his life. He was his best, sometimes almost fatherly friend. Mac was certain, he would never hurt him on purpose. Yet he wasn´t able to push the memory away.

*****

When MacGyver was taken back to the larger room next time, he felt tolerably rested, but his eyes still wouldn´t focus properly. He realized the chain in the middle of the room was gone, replaced by shackles mounted to one of the walls. The guards strapped him to that wall, his arms stretched out to his sides and a little above his shoulders, facing the wooden planks. His wrists were held by iron cuffs similar to the other ones. They fit quite tightly; he had almost no room to move. His face and chest were pressed on to the wooden wall. MacGyver swallowed hard and closed his eyes for a moment, fighting against the fear that rose in him. He barely managed to calm his breath and stop his trembling inside from showing.

When the door behind him opened after endless waiting, he turned his head, trying to see the man behind him. Before he had finished that move, before he had any chance to react, he felt the stick touching his back. MacGyver gulped in pain and surprise, leaning his forehead against the wall, striving to recover. But he was given no time for recovery. One shock followed another until it felt like his whole back was on fire. He had never experienced anything like this before. He had to end it.

“Stop it, please.” he croaked. “Stop it.” Mac´s voice was shaking just like his body. He was standing only by his last ounces of will. “Tell me what you want.” He paused for a moment, waiting for an answer. “Tell me what I have to do to end all this…” he pleaded. Inside he chided himself. Stay alert, MacGyver! Think! Hang in there! You´re still alive!

Mac didn´t get any reaction from the Asian, but he heard another man enter the room. Someone new…?, he asked himself. Another player to the “game”? The voice he heard only moments later hit him harder than any of the electric shocks or blows or kicks of the last days could have.

“Hold it, MacGyver. Don´t make it any worse.”

Mac threw his head around, trying hard to see who was behind him. That was impossible. Pete?

“You´ve done enough damage.” Pete continued. His voice sounded sad and disappointed.

MacGyver´s thoughts ran wild. Worse? Damage? What was he talking about? Why didn´t he just end this and get both of them out of here? Or am I hallucinating again? Is the drug playing tricks on my mind? Mac tried to hold on to that idea, but this time the effects of the drug had almost totally subsided. Are the shocks causing the hallucination? His confusion took over.

Apart from the guards there were two men standing behind him. The corpulent Asian and someone who – through his still blurred vision – looked like Pete Thornton. Mac shook his head, tried to blink the haze away, but the picture wouldn´t change. His mind refused to accept it, but somehow Pete was a part of this.

“Pete?” he heard himself ask. “What are you talking about?” Mac needed some answers fast.

“Don´t, Mac. Please don´t.” Pete replied, now sounding also a little angry. “Don´t play dumb with me.”

MacGyver still couldn´t believe it. “Pete, what´s going on here?” He made another effort to turn around a little more, to face Pete, but he froze as he felt the stick suddenly lying on his shoulder, just inches away from his face.

“I was about to ask you that question.” Pete stated. “Which secrets had you planned to hand over next?”

MacGyver was instantly speechless. “What?” he whispered in his shock.

“We were quite sure about a mole inside the Phoenix Foundation for some time.” Pete explained. “But until that attack on the research department we couldn´t pinpoint it. He paused for a moment, sighing deeply. “I´d never thought it could be you.”

MacGyver couldn´t believe what Pete accused him of doing. At first he didn´t know what to say. The disappointment in Pete´s voice sent a shiver down his spine. His voice was hoarse as he answered.

“Pete, you´ve got to know I would never hand over anything. You know me. How…”

He was cut off by an electric shock that hit his shoulder blade. He gasped in pain, and then closed his eyes, breathing hard. He still refused to believe what was happening. His thoughts were still on high speed, but got more and more entangled. Obviously he hadn´t been hallucinating when he had met Pete at the last time he´d been here. Somehow Mac had to convince him that he was innocent.

But then Pete continued. “I thought I knew you. I trusted you with my life.” The sadness was back in his voice. “How could you? How dare you, after all those years?”

Before Mac was able to answer, the stick touched his back again. He arched his back, fighting to remain silent through the pain.

“How long has this been going on?” Pete asked, while Mac was recovering. “How long have you been selling off the Phoenix Foundation´s secrets?”

MacGyver´s body was trembling; he was pushing back the darkness that threatened to take over. “I didn´t sell anything…” he managed to croak. “Pete, please, you´ve got to believe me…” How could there be any evidence for those accusations? Another shock made him yelp in pain.

“How could I believe you?” Pete was angry again. He went back to the table, set down the stick and retrieved the tape from the recorder. Slowly he closed in on MacGyver and held up the tape in front of his face. “You gave those guys you didn´t know the codes to our security systems and the instructions how to get in! Twice!” His other hand closed to a fist and he angrily hit the wall close to Mac´s head.

MacGyver flinched, then looked at the tape in surprise.

“Pete, I made all this up to buy me some time!” he rushed to answer. “That´s a fake. It won´t work. I made up those codes to survive! After all they´ve done to me I had to act. You don´t know…”

“I know very well.” Pete´s answer cut him off. He held up the tape again. “We´ve had enough time to verify those codes. They work perfectly well with your instructions.”

Another surprise.

“But how?” Mac whispered. “Why? This can´t be… I didn´t want to…” His last words trailed off to silence.

Pete Thornton retreated back to the table. “You´re right.” he said with a stone cold voice. “This can´t be.”

At the next moment the two guards were approaching him. Mac braced himself expecting another round of beating.

About an hour later he was out cold, released from his cuffs on the wall, given another dose of the drug and carried back to his cell. Pete had left without a further look at him and his condition.

*****

MacGyver came around slowly in his dark and silent cell. He had got strangely used to waking up terrible pain over the time he had been held captive. But this time was different. He felt empty, physically as well as mentally. Staring into the darkness he couldn´t conceive what had happened.

Pete was accusing him of selling off the Phoenix Foundation´s classifieds. He seemed to be a part of this trap right from the beginning. Could he really be the mastermind behind it? He wouldn´t even listen to Mac. Everything Mac had said had turned against him. He had never imagined Pete to be able to do what he´d done shortly ago. Mac lay in the darkness softly shaking his aching head. He´d heard it; he´d seen it; he´d felt it. But he still refused to believe it. All this just couldn´t be real. It couldn´t be happening.

MacGyver considered everything over and over again; his thoughts were circling fast for what seemed like an eternity. At some point the well known effects of the drug took over and he had to cope with convulsions and agony for the next hours. From there on the course of events went back to what he was used to. After the symptoms had diminished he was given his meal and been taken to the bathroom. Taking off his clothes and taking shower had gotten a lot more harrowing with the electric burns all over his body. They would not stop throbbing, but Mac knew he´d better wash up to clean the wounds. He couldn´t risk an infection in his tight situation. This time he was given back the clothes he had been wearing, when they had kidnapped him. They had been cleaned and it felt a little comforting as he put them on. At least there was something familiar.

*****

His world was breaking apart inside his mind. MacGyver had really tried hard to hold on to the thought that something was wrong here, that this was not real. But at some point within the next days he had to admit to himself that he was giving in. After more rounds of questions, accusations, beating him and electrocuting him, he was weary and desperate. Pete had kept asking him what secrets he had given away, what codes he knew or had hacked into. Nothing Mac had said had made Pete believe him. MacGyver had found no way to convince him or even raise reasonable doubt to the accusations. Their trust and friendship was ruined. Pete kept causing him horrible pain and suffering. The last time they had even brought a long leather whip. It had torn the fabric of his shirt and then the skin of his back.

As he stood in that large room again, waiting, chained to the wall, all passed through his mind. He wasn´t able to control the thoughts anymore. Many of his physical injuries were healing, kind of “making room” for the new ones. Mentally he felt weaker than ever. The way Pete was treating him had ripped his insides into pieces.

He had to prove his innocence, but how? Caged as he was, he had no chance. He needed to get out of here… But what if? After all that had happened, if Mac was able to restore his reputation, what next? How was he supposed to get back to his work, to the Phoenix Foundation after all this? His life was shattered.

His thoughts were cut off by the door opening and the men entering. Mac´s heart was racing within a split second. He had to admit, he was deeply frightened about what they might do next.

Pete Thornton took his usual place close to the table behind Mac.

“Do you have anything you want to tell me?”

Mac turned his head to look at Pete. In the corner of his eye he saw his Swiss army knife lying on the table. Mac had also gotten used to his blurred eyesight that remained for some time even after the drug effects had diminished. He took a deep breath.

“Only that I am innocent, Pete.” he answered. “I´m sure Willis would be able to prove it.”

“Willis knows nothing about this!” Pete scolded. “You will not involve him. He has been cleared of all charges. Unlike you…”

He closed in on MacGyver and started picking on the bloodied shirt that still was stuck to Mac´s back. This time he had not been allowed to shower and change his clothes.

MacGyver winced as the fabric was torn from his skin and his wounds. He steeled himself, preparing for what might be coming. The next thing he heard was the well known, familiar click of his Swiss army knife opening. A new wave of fear washed through him.

Pete cut through the fabric of Mac´s shirt exposing more of the already torn and bruised skin on MacGyver´s back.

“Nothing else…?” he asked.

Mac couldn´t control the trembling anymore.

“I can´t… I´ve done nothing wrong.” he answered in a low voice. He felt the cold steel of the blade sliding over his skin as Pete cut into his shirt.

“Nothing wrong…” Pete echoed, then slowly pushed the tip of the blade into the flesh of MacGyver´s back, just below his neck.

MacGyver bit back a painful yelp. He closed his eyes to the pain and the horror as Pete pulled the knife back out of his muscle. That was insane. Pete Thornton was stabbing him with his own Swiss army knife! What else was to come? Mac could hardly imagine things getting worse than this.

“Are you sure?” Pete asked quietly.

“Yes, Pete.” Mac managed to nod. In the next second he cried out as the blade entered the muscle covering his shoulder blade.

“I´ve been really patient with you, MacGyver.” Pete said pulling the blade back. “But we´ve wasted enough time.”

Another stab hit Mac, this time lower down his back. He felt the cold steel of the blade almost touch his ribs, tried to arch his back, striving to escape the pain. His body tensed with the suffering, yet he managed to remain quiet.

“I need some answers from you.” Pete demanded.

This time Pete´s thrust went to the other side of Mac´s spine.

This was it, MacGyver suddenly realized. If he picked the right spot, the right angle and pushed through, Pete was able to kill him. By now Mac was sure Pete knew how to do it. Even with a Swiss army knife. He couldn´t control the terror any longer.

“Stop it, Pete.” he said with a trembling voice. “Please, stop it…” He felt his eyes filling with tears. Giving in to the realization that Pete could and probably would kill him was breaking his heart. That pain felt even worse. “I can´t take any more of it.”

Pete wiped the blood off the blade at Mac´s sleeve and then closed it.

“So?” he asked. “What other codes did you hand over? What projects did you compromise? How much did they pay you? How many buyers did you have? How long has this been going on?”

MacGyver had heard all those questions in the days passing. He had no answers to them. He stood there silent, not knowing what more he could say or do. His forehead was leaning against the wooden planks, his whole body trembling. He closed his eyes fighting the tears. He winced as Pete´s fist slammed onto the planks just next to his face.

“You´ve always told me, that money wasn´t that important to you. The Phoenix Foundation took care of everything you needed! I god´s name, what changed your mind?! Why?! How?!” Pete shouted at him angrily.

MacGyver pressed his eyelids shut; he sensed a tear trailing down his cheek. He could also feel his own blood oozing down his back slow and sticky. He only managed to weakly shake his head.

“I didn´t, Pete… Please, believe me, I never did.” he pleaded. He had never felt that helpless and alone. Now he was really and dangerously close to his breaking point. “I was set up. I never handed anything over…”

Pete didn´t answer him. He went back to the table and ordered the guards to untie MacGyver. Mac dropped to his knees, breathing hard. Had he, at last, reached out successfully to Pete? A small glimpse of hope flared up inside.

Pete turned around to face him.

“I conducted and supervised that investigation myself.” he told Mac. “No one at Phoenix knows about it. I had to find the mole with help from the outside, with old friends supporting me. I didn´t know whom I could trust.”

Mac looked up at him, striving to calm down his labored breathing.

“Don´t you think, I would have discovered a set-up? When everything started pointing to you, I double- and triple-checked it. I didn´t want to believe it. It couldn´t be true.” Pete continued.

“It isn´t true.” MacGyver reassured him. “You can still trust me. Like you have over all those years.” He felt his hopes rise a little.

Pete remained quiet for some moments. Then he looked directly into Mac´s brown eyes.

“But there is enough evidence. I had to believe it.” His voice was showing his disappointment. “Anyone but you, MacGyver…I won´t let you get away with it.”

All of a sudden the glimpse of hope was drowned. Mac didn´t resist as the Asian thug bound his wrists with the end of a longer rope that was reaching in through the side wall. A part of him didn´t care anymore, what they might do next.

Then the guard got up and opened a huge sliding door in that side wall. Mac hadn´t even realized it was there all the time, but what he saw raised his level of panic instantly. Now he knew why everything had been that silent all the time.

The camp was located way from any cities on some mountain in the middle of woods. The wall that had just opened up, exposed a breathtakingly beautiful view, but it was also situated at the very edge of a rocky cliff. MacGyver´s fear of heights was triggered within the blink of an eye.

The huge guard pulled him up to his feet and shoved him towards the edge of the cliff. Mac struggled to refuse, but in his condition he was no match for that guy. Within moments he had to stand there, facing the abyss, forced to look down the rock face. The drop wasn´t that high, only 40 or 50 yards, but definitely high enough to kill him. Waves of vertigo and panic rushed through MacGyver.

After a few moments Mac suddenly sensed Pete Thornton standing close behind him.

“I am sorry about this, Mac.” he tried to apologize. “I had truly hoped, I wouldn´t have to do this. I had hoped, it wouldn´t come this far. But as I said, I can´t let you get away with it.” He laid a hand on MacGyver´s shoulder causing Mac to flinch. “Tell me what you know. Tell me all about it.”

MacGyver couldn´t tell up from down. His eyes were widened with terror. His mind went berserk. Somehow in the back of his mind he had always known that falling would be his end. Mac closed his eyes for a moment and then made up his mind.

“I am also sorry, Pete.” he replied with a breaking, hoarse voice. “I can´t believe what you are doing to me…but I´ve got nothing to confess.”

Mac tried to step back, but in the very next moment he felt an abrupt intense push forward, that sent him over the edge. His survival instinct made him grab on to the rope that bound his wrists, not knowing if it would save him. Time seemed to suddenly pass in slow motion. His heart seemed to stop as he felt himself falling. The shock totally froze him. But the blink of a moment later the motion was stopped by a violent jerk. His hands, wrists, arms and shoulders felt like being ripped off. Somehow the rope had stopped his fall. MacGyver cried out in terrible pain and fear. The sudden change of motion sent him swinging like a pendulum on that rope. Just as he realized, that he wasn´t falling anymore, that he wouldn´t die now, Mac hit something hard. Hanging from his hands, he was crushed into the rock face. His head was smashed against a rock and he passed out instantly.

Pete was standing at the edge, looking down.

“Pull him up.” he ordered after a few seconds.

The two thugs worked on the rope; the huge one drew Mac back inside. Pete knelt down beside his limp body lying on the floor. He turned Mac´s head around, checked his pulse on his neck and had a brief look at the bleeding wound behind his temple. Satisfied with Mac still being alive, he nodded to his companions and then got up and left the room. MacGyver was given his usual injection, carried back to his cell and locked up.

*****

Posted by: bluegirl 17 February 2020 - 06:19 AM
No comments this time? Have I shocked you too much?? blush.gif unsure.gif

Tomorrow´s part will clear up some of it...

Posted by: uniquelyjas 17 February 2020 - 11:05 AM
Note to self: Don't read this while you're eating lunch. That knife scene practically did ME in!!

Wow, something is really weird with Pete. I'm thinking he's brainwashed. A little bit of me also thinks it's Murdoc in disguise! It's just not characteristic of Pete to do this...even if he thought Mac was the mole he would definitely go through proper channels. Hmmm.......

Posted by: bluegirl 17 February 2020 - 11:53 AM
Add to the note to yourself - the story is rated 'R'

What proper channels??? - if he doesn´t know whom he can trust - those old friends may be from darker times long ago, when he was working for the DXS as an operative, before he met Mac... and thinking he was deceived and double-crossed by his best friend, don´t you think he might get a 'little' angry?

And no, definitely no Murdoc this time... whistle.gif

Posted by: Sanguine 17 February 2020 - 01:10 PM
QUOTE (uniquelyjas @ 17 February 2020 - 02:05 PM)
Note to self: Don't read this while you're eating lunch. That knife scene practically did ME in!!

Wow, something is really weird with Pete. I'm thinking he's brainwashed. A little bit of me also thinks it's Murdoc in disguise! It's just not characteristic of Pete to do this...even if he thought Mac was the mole he would definitely go through proper channels. Hmmm.......

Oh my gosh, that comment cracked me up. I'm literally finishing a sandwich right now and the knife scene was completely my favorite part of that section. laugh.gif

I guess I'm pretty desensitized to the whumping......comes with the territory of being a Murdoc fan, I guess! biggrin.gif

It's not really Murdoc's MO, although nothing would surprise me at this point. Hmmm.... you could be on to something with the undercover thing, maybe. What if Pete is playing along to save Mac in the long run, somehow? Convincing them that Mac is still useful alive until he can clear Mac's name?

Honestly, I'm less concerned for the why and more for the how. Is this a black site? Is it a DXS base? Obviously there's been quite a lot of planning put into this. MacGyver is the type who would likely be missed, so what's the cover story---another mission? Where are these drugs coming from? DXS again?

What if Pete has been working for HIT or something all along?

What if the *Phoenix Foundation* has been corrupt all along?

What if Mac *really is* a bad guy and this is all one giant swerve? hmm.bmp

Too many questions...!!!

Posted by: uniquelyjas 17 February 2020 - 01:14 PM
QUOTE (bluegirl @ 17 February 2020 - 11:53 AM)
Add to the note to yourself - the story is rated 'R'

What proper channels??? - if he doesn´t know whom he can trust - those old friends may be from darker times long ago, when he was working for the DXS as an operative, before he met Mac... and thinking he was deceived and double-crossed by his best friend, don´t you think he might get a 'little' angry?

And no, definitely no Murdoc this time... whistle.gif

True, I suppose Pete would feel he couldn't trust anybody...but he trusts these Asian dudes? Sorry, not buying it...yet. And where did these Asian dudes come from anyway? My focus has shifted totally from Mac to Pete at this point.

Posted by: Dragondog 17 February 2020 - 01:36 PM
I just read all of this last night.

I'm holding onto the idea that Pete would never do this, even if he thought Mac were guilty. It's just... so inhumane (of course, it's your story, so things might be different wink.gif )

Looking forward to having some things cleared up wink.gif

Posted by: bluegirl 17 February 2020 - 01:45 PM
At least for you who are reading this some thing might clear up tomorrow... even if it might get worse before that.

Posted by: bluegirl 17 February 2020 - 01:48 PM
QUOTE (uniquelyjas @ 17 February 2020 - 10:14 PM)
True, I suppose Pete would feel he couldn't trust anybody...but he trusts these Asian dudes?  Sorry, not buying it...yet.  And where did these Asian dudes come from anyway?  My focus has shifted totally from Mac to Pete at this point.

Mac has to buy it... you will know more about it tomorrow

Posted by: Sanguine 17 February 2020 - 07:50 PM
QUOTE (bluegirl @ 17 February 2020 - 04:48 PM)
QUOTE (uniquelyjas @ 17 February 2020 - 10:14 PM)
True, I suppose Pete would feel he couldn't trust anybody...but he trusts these Asian dudes?  Sorry, not buying it...yet.  And where did these Asian dudes come from anyway?  My focus has shifted totally from Mac to Pete at this point.

Mac has to buy it... you will know more about it tomorrow

Mac has to buy it? <latches onto that> Okay. Okay. Now my brain is going in 100 different directions........

Are they conditioning him for something?!?!

If all of this is a ruse, then what's the motive? And what's the endgame? hmm.bmp

Posted by: bluegirl 17 February 2020 - 11:50 PM
Here we go - many of you have been speculating about Pete... This part might clear some thing... but it might get worse before that - and I have to say, I´m sorry, I miscounted - there are 13 parts in total

Part 4

This time the first thing that surfaced through the darkness was pain. MacGyver´s head, shoulders, arms and wrists were hurting terribly; the stabbing wounds on his back were throbbing. Then his last memory flashed through his head, over and over again. He wasn´t able to control the shivers that ran up and down his spine; he couldn´t fight the tears filling his eyes. His dizziness faded slowly as he opened his eyes to the darkness around him. Staring blankly into his dark cell he remained motionless lying on his back.

Mac felt shattered inside, as if his heart had been torn apart. Pete had been his best friend for so many years. He had trusted him totally. Pete had been his mentor, his boss, even his safety net sometimes. He had saved MacGyver´s life. But now? Within days, everything had changed… Pete was willing to kill him…

MacGyver weakly shook his head, still lying flat on the ground. Cautiously he tried to move first his hands and then his arms. Every muscle, tendon and ligament was protesting wildly, but nothing seemed to be torn, only strained and pulled. Sitting up wasn´t all too comfortable. He felt the dried blood on his back pulling on his wounds, some of them reopening and bleeding anew, when he curled himself up leaning against the wooden planks in the back corner of his cell.

But the physical strain was bearable compared to his mental agony. He couldn´t remember if he had ever felt that hopeless before in his life. Giving in to the emptiness inside Mac bowed his head and just sat there, waiting quietly for what else could probably happen. Right now MacGyver didn´t know if he would be able to cope with it any longer. Ending this torment any way suddenly seemed like a dangerously tempting option.

After a few minutes Mac raised his head again. Whoa, he chided himself mentally. Be careful, where your thoughts are taking you, MacGyver!

He forced himself to recall the events from the beginning, striving to make any sense of it for the hundredth time. He´d been kidnapped out of nowhere, questioned to give away the security codes for the Phoenix Foundations systems. They had beaten and drugged him. He had tried to lie his way out of it, but the plan had blown up in his face. Pete Thornton had turned up. He had accused him of selling off secrets, of handing over security codes and classifieds. He had talked of evidence, had wanted to know precisely who the buyers were and what he had sold. He had continued and intensified Mac´s suffering in order to obtain the information.

He had not believed in any of Mac´s answers. As his boss he should have known that Mac´s security clearance level for the research division wasn´t high enough. He couldn´t have those codes. But Pete had not listened to him. He knew what Mac was capable of. He had even let Mac know, that he could kill him using his worst fear. Now MacGyver knew why there had been nothing to help him escape, nothing to work on. The person planning and conducting all this knew him very well. Pete Thornton.

Some part of MacGyver had all the way refused to believe that this had really happened, that it was not only a bad dream. At the very moment when Pete had pushed him over the edge, that part had been broken. The bitter disappointment over the end of their friendship and trust left MacGyver feeling ripped apart and empty inside. The longer he sat there staring into the darkness, the clearer the realization hit him, the deeper his grief got. At some point he gave in to the physical, mental and emotional exhaustion and allowed his head to drop onto his arms and dozed off.

*****

MacGyver was startled awake by something unusual. He heard men shouting outside his cell, but he couldn´t understand a thing. They were talking in some foreign language. MacGyver´s senses and mind were on alert within the blink of a second, as he heard someone running down the corridor. What the heck was going on? Sensing the uproar on the outside his survival instinct awakened out of nowhere. Now or never.

He got up to his feet quickly, ignoring the pain, the dizziness and the starting hallucinations. When he heard the runner stop at his door and open the padlock, he positioned himself close to it. Just as the door started to move open, he rammed it with all his remaining strength. He surprised the Asian guard, who was hit hard by the heavy wooden door and thrown back against the opposite wall of the corridor. Without thinking Mac followed up with a solid punch to the man´s jaw that set him out cold to the floor.

A little surprised about himself, Mac stood there for a few seconds, shaking his aching hand. The sound of gunshots from another room made him act again. He picked up the bunch of keys that had dropped to the ground, threw the guards pistol into his dark cell and hurried off to the door at the end of the corridor, away from the gunfire. If he could still trust his sense of orientation and room layout, this one should lead to the outside, to freedom hopefully.

Whatever was going on here, he wasn´t in for being a part of the shooting. He could hide somewhere in the woods of that mountain, find out where he was and then figure out what to do next. But his main priority was getting out.

MacGyver tested the handle and sighed in relief, as he realized that it wasn´t locked. He opened it just a little and peeked out through the crack. Trees… Bushes… Thicket… MacGyver let out a bigger sigh of relief and sneaked out of the door staying close to the wall. He looked around carefully, but there was no one to be seen. Just as he heard another round of gunfire somewhere in the camp behind him, he pushed himself off the wall and ran for cover in the forest.

He had not noticed that just as he went out the door, Pete Thornton had entered the corridor. He saw the cell door open, his guard down and then heard the door at the other end of the corridor close. His face darkened.

“No, MacGyver.” he growled to himself. “You´re not going to get away.” Then he picked up the pursuit.

MacGyver rushed the slope of the mountain downwards as fast as he could. His blurred vision didn´t help it, the intensifying hallucinations didn´t either. His body was considerably weakened, running took quite an effort.

But he had to get some distance between himself and that camp. He tried to stay more or less parallel to the cliff while keeping a safe distance to it. It might prove valuable for orientation. The sky was clouded, so he couldn´t tell which time of day it was, and it must have been raining earlier. The ground was soaked wet and sometimes slippery. The trees and bushes had not dried up yet.

After a few minutes of running and slipping he once again stumbled to his knees close to a huge tree. MacGyver had to balance himself with the help of his hands, as everything around him seemed to move due to the effects of the drug. He sat up slowly, trying to will the vertigo away. Mac was breathing heavily, feeling every little bit of his weakness and exhaustion. He had noticed the rock face getting a little lower the further he got down the slope. It didn´t end at the bottom of the valley; there was a little plateau and another wooded slope below it. He had seen some clearances and a small river down below. The whole scenery seemed strangely familiar.

Taking a short break and reflecting on all this, Mac suddenly heard something at a distance behind him. Someone was dashing through the thicket.

A new wave of adrenaline rushed through MacGyver as he suddenly realized that he was being followed. He jumped up, looked back and then hurried sideways through the cover of the trees.

He heard Pete´s well known voice shouting out to him: “MacGyver, this is no use! You can´t outrun me in your condition.”

Normally Mac would have laughed at this. But now, heading for the cliff, he had to admit Pete was right. Mac was already on reserve power and slowed down additionally by the drug. Closer to the edge of the cliff was less thicket – maybe he could go faster there. But there was also less cover. A dangerous choice, but one he had to make, if he wanted to hold on to his chance to escape.

When he reached a small clearing he made another effort to quicken his pace. He heard Pete call out to him again.

“Hold it, MacGyver! This is useless!”

Only seconds later something hit his thigh hard and he felt an immense stabbing pain. His leg wouldn´t carry him anymore. He stumbled, fell and rolled over with the momentum of his flight, until he stopped lying on his front, close to the edge of the cliff. MacGyver groaned, automatically felt for his thigh. His hand touched something small and cold. He rose up a little and turned to look at it as he realized, it was his own Swiss army knife. Shock washed over him, but he had no time to spare. Pete was closing in fast.

MacGyver pulled the knife out of his leg with a moan, tried to get up and away, but it was too late. Just as he was on his hands and knees, Pete reached his side and kicked hard. The Swiss army knife slipped out of Mac´s grip; he went down gasping with pain and coughing. Pete followed with another violent kick and then another. Mac collapsed, breathing ragged, feeling the pain from his cracked rib. He was fighting the darkness that threatened to take him away. No, he urged himself, not now! Stay awake!

He sensed Pete kneeling down on his side and grabbing his shirt. He picked Mac up rudely and turned him over until he was lying on his back. MacGyver hardly bit back a painful yelp as the cold and wet rock pressed against the wounds on his back. Looking left and right quickly, he realized that his head was just inches from the edge of the cliff.

Pete was over him, also breathing heavily, grabbing the front of Mac´s shirt. The expression on his face was unreadable to Mac´s blurred eyesight. He changed his hold to MacGyver´s neck and started strangling, squeezing on his throat.

MacGyver was shocked, but instinctively grabbed on to Pete´s wrists and tried to loosen the pressure on his neck.

“Pete, no!” he pleaded, barely able to speak. “Please… don´t do this!” He got no reaction, no answer.

Somehow deep inside he had known that this time he would be fighting for his life, fighting to survive. In his weakened condition, Mac was no match for Pete; he was unable to move his hands only an inch. He looked at Pete desperately, noticing the bunch of keys and the Swiss army knife lying close by in the corner of his eye. There was no time to spare. His vision started to black out due to the lack of air. Within a split second he made up his decision.

One of his hands left Pete´s wrist, reached for the Swiss army knife and thrust the still open blade into Pete´s upper arm quickly. Pete yelled in pain and surprise; his grip on Mac´s neck loosened a bit. Mac´s hand reached out again for the keys and slammed them against the side of Pete´s head, simultaneously his other hand pulled on Pete´s grip around his neck. Now getting a little more air, he followed that up with punch of his knee to Pete´s side, as hard as he could. Pete was thrown over, his hands left MacGyver´s neck.

Both of them being dangerously close to the edge, Pete skidded on the wet rock as he tried to recover. The rock he tried to grab for a new hold crumbled, and in that same blink of an eye the edge of the cliff broke away under his weight. His hands found nothing to hold on; he slipped over the edge helplessly. MacGyver turned around as fast as he could, when he saw Pete falling. He desperately tried to get a hold on him, but he was too late. He saw Pete falling down that cliff, heard him shout out his name in a voice that sounded strange, but the shout was abruptly stopped.

All of a sudden time seemed to slow down.

MacGyver was lying prone at the edge of the cliff, staring downwards. His arms and hands were still reaching out for Pete. He couldn´t conceive what had happened at first. Realization came slowly, accompanied by tears welling up in his eyes.

“No, please…” he said in a low voice to himself. “No…whatever happened, this is not how I wanted it to end.”

Through his hazy vision he saw a body lying down there, about 15 yards below, strangely bent, not moving at all.

“Pete!” he called out. “Pete!”

Nothing.

Slowly he raised himself up, kneeling close to the edge for what felt like an eternity. Everything seemed to be moving around him, yet he couldn´t decide whether it was the effects of the drug or his shock. MacGyver didn´t fight his tears anymore. His heart was shattered; he felt totally empty inside. He had killed Pete Thornton.

Mac closed his eyes, covered his face with his hands, wiped the tears away as if he could undo the last few minutes. But the sight was still there, when he opened up his eyes again only moments later. That lifeless body was still lying at the bottom of the rock face. MacGyver also saw his Swiss army knife lying nearby, covered in blood. He slowly picked it up, mechanically closed the blade and slid it into his pocket. It had to be a mixture of my own and Pete´s blood, he thought.

Bit by bit his physical pain sneaked back into his mind. Realizing that he needed help badly, he skidded back from the edge. He needed to get out of here – wherever here was. He would have to find that out first. MacGyver felt totally worn out, yet he cautiously tried to get back on his feet with the help of a tree. Standing there a little swaying, leaning on that tree worked fine, but as he wanted to walk on, taking a few steps, his wounded and bleeding leg wouldn´t carry him. With a painful gasp, MacGyver collapsed to the rocky ground and finally passed out.

*****

MacGyver couldn´t tell how long he´d been out. He was surrounded by silence. One after another his injuries made themselves felt, accompanied by shivers running up and down his body. As he blinked his eyes open, he had to shield them with his hands. The rain was pouring down again. The hallucinations caused by the drug had lessened, so he was in for a period of spasms and suffering soon, he assessed somewhat automatically.

MacGyver still couldn´t tell the daytime, the light hadn´t changed much. His shirt and jeans were soaked wet; he was freezing. Just as he slowly sat up to check on his wounded leg, his last memories struck him hard. He stopped moving and closed his eyes as the grief and shock washed over him. After a few moments he turned around and looked to the edge of the cliff. He had to be sure, he suddenly decided. He had to get down that rock face.

With a deep sigh, Mac had a look on his injured thigh. It was still bleeding, so he ripped off the sleeves of his shirt and improvised a bandage that put some pressure on the wound. Slow and with caution he rose up on his feet, testing his aching leg. The compression of his makeshift bandage helped; he was able to control and stand on it. Now upright again, he could see the body still lying at the same spot down there.

Determined to check on Pete Thornton´s condition MacGyver went closer to the edge and started searching for a way down. His fear of heights kicked in instantly. His memory of almost falling to his death and being stopped by the rope didn´t help it either. Scanning the rock face and the cliff he followed the slope further downwards. Mac didn´t have to go far to find what he was looking for. A crevice was leading down to a ledge closer to the ground.

He wasn´t looking forward to free climbing in the rain. But he had to. He had to know for sure.

Kneeling down at the edge he carefully started his decent. The rocks were slippery from the rain that subsided and then stopped along Mac´s way to the foot of the rock face. When Mac reached the ledge, he felt the symptoms of the drug clearly already. He had to take a break waiting out a sudden wave of pain to pass. He was still a few yards from the ground, but from here on the route got a lot more challenging. He couldn´t see Pete´s body anymore because high trees and thicket close to the cliff were blocking his view. He felt his way from one hold to another cautiously, trying to ignore the pain and the spasms. But he had to stop moving over and over again when the suffering became too overwhelming.

When he was about 5 yards above the ground one of his feet slipped off his hold, just as he was changing his grip with his hands. All of a sudden his injured leg had to take his full weight, but that was too much for it. It gave way. With a painful gasp MacGyver frantically reached out for any grip with his hands, but his strained arms were too weak. He slipped and fell. His feet reached the ground first. Mac felt a sudden stinging pain in his wounded thigh, groaned, but only an instant later his back and head also hit the rocky ground hard. MacGyver was out cold in the same very moment.

He lay motionless between the trees and bushes, hidden by the vegetation. He didn´t hear or see the helicopter passing along the cliff, over him and Pete, and landing on a clearing nearby at the bottom of the valley. He didn´t hear or see the two men hurrying out of the helicopter as soon as it had touched ground.

They had seen a body lying at the foot of the rock face from above and were rushing up the wooded slope to get there as fast as they could. The slim one reached the plateau first and stopped abruptly.

“What the…” he uttered surprised under his breath as he recognized the man lying there. “You´ve got to see this!” he continued louder over his shoulder to his companion.

The other man caught up with him soon. He was rather corpulent; running up the slope took him a little longer.

“What is it, Willis?” he asked while slowing down.

Willis approached the motionless body. “Looks familiar, doesn´t it, Pete?”

Pete Thornton was stunned by the sight. At first he was speechless, after a few seconds he also closed in on the man.

“In god´s name, what…” He didn´t know what to ask first. They had been searching for MacGyver, had seen the silhouette from the chopper, had both hoped that it wouldn´t be Mac they would find there. But finding a double of himself…That was definitely not what Pete and Willis had been expecting. Willis kneeled down beside the man and checked for a pulse but found none.

“He´s dead.” he told Pete. “And his skin looks and feels strange.” He looked up the rock face and pointed to the top. “See that? There has been a small rockslide. He must have fallen.” Willis examined the body further. “His arm is wounded, there´s blood, but I can´t see any blood on his head, not even a bruise. Something is wrong here.”

Pete´s eyes had been fixed on the dead man. He also kneeled down. His confused thoughts were running wild. After all they had seen while storming that camp, he didn´t know where to fit this man that looked exactly like himself, lying here dead. What had happened to MacGyver in the past three weeks since he was missing? And, still more important, where was Mac? A little hesitant he also touched the man´s neck. Pete had noticed a strange wrinkle or scar.

“Willis, what´s that? Have you seen that?”

Willis shook his head. His fingers followed the wrinkle to the man´s shirt and jacket. He carefully opened first the jacket then the shirt a little more. They looked at each other in surprise as they found the edge of a silicone mask hidden below. Willis lifted the mask from the man´s neck. Now they could see that the man´s neck was broken, probably by the fall.

Pete frowned with deep concern. “If he fell from up there, maybe we should look for MacGyver on that higher slope.”

Willis wasn´t that sure. “I don´t think so.” he replied. “If he saw “you” falling, he would have done anything to get down here.”

Pete nodded. Willis had a point. But where to start looking for him?

In the next moment both of them froze and looked up at each other, both hearing something from a little distance, also close to the rock face, but hidden by some trees and thicket.

*****

Posted by: uniquelyjas 18 February 2020 - 10:20 AM
In the beginning, when you describe Mac's mentally agony I keep thinking of him in The Widowmaker. I also like how you summarize the events and his thoughts. Puts thing in perspective for the reader. LOL...Mac shaking his hand after hitting the Asian dude! TOTALLY typical...I was hoping you'd have him do that! Also tossing the gun back inside the cell...he always tossed the guns away. Pete and Mac fighting each other is so hard to read about, but glad Mac got free. Then Pete falling off the cliff...Wow! Really high impact (no pun intended!) AHA!! I KNEW it wasn't really Pete!!

Okay, so I made comments as I read if you couldn't tell. Very exciting and intriguing!! I really got caught up in this part to the point that I was really disappointed when it abruptly (for me, anyway) ended. Looking forward to next part. Is that Mac they hear??? And who is the dead Pete???

Posted by: bluegirl 18 February 2020 - 11:28 AM
Abrupt ending... well that´s what make´s a good cliffhanger, right?

And now YOU know it wasn´t Pete, but what will it take to make Mac know and believe - after all he´s been through?

hmm.bmp doh.gif

Posted by: Dragondog 19 February 2020 - 09:18 PM
Hmm, so it looks like the REAL Pete is about to find where Mac is. Assuming Mac doesn't manage to get away before Pete finds him... hmm.bmp

Posted by: bluegirl 19 February 2020 - 11:36 PM
So, Mac might be in for getting help - but given his condidtion, physically, mentally, emotionally... will he be able to accept it...?

Part 5

MacGyver wasn´t able to stop the ringing in his head, when he came to consciousness again. The next thing he felt was the cold that made him shiver. His still wet clothes didn´t help it. As he rolled over to his side and slowly got up to his hands and knees every injury made itself known. Mac stiffened for a few moments as he had to wait for a wave of pain and spasms to pass. Just then he realized he could hear muffled voices.

With the blink of an eye all his senses were on alert.

The voices sounded somehow familiar, but he couldn´t make out the words through the ringing in his head. One of those voices made his adrenaline flow instantly. Mac was still hidden behind the bushes and the thicket and couldn´t see through them, so he decided to get up. What he saw when he was up on his feet and peeked around the leaves paralyzed him in the same second.

His eyes widened with a mixture of shock, confusion and panic. The lifeless body of Pete was still lying there, but right next to it kneeled two men. One of them was with his back to MacGyver, but the other one was suddenly looking directly at him. It was another Pete Thornton! Mac´s mouth opened with a whispered question.

“What…? How…?”

In that moment Pete called out his name in relief. “MacGyver! Thank God!”

The other guy turned around, but Mac never looked at him. The call of his name had loosened his paralysis and in the same split second he turned on his heels and ran off.

Pete was up on his feet only a moment later and wanted to hurry after him.

“Mac! Wait!”

Willis grabbed his arm fast as Pete wanted to run by him stopping Pete in his tracks. Pete tried to angrily brush his hand off.

“Willis, we´ve got to…” He was cut off by Willis answer.

“No, don´t follow him.” He shook his head, rising up fully. “Have you seen how he looked at you?”

Pete turned to face him. “What do you mean?”

Willis sighed, looking into the direction where Mac had just disappeared.

“He was shocked, he was frightened. He is injured.” he stated. “Pete, we don´t know what they´ve done to him. We don´t know what role “this” Pete Thornton had to play.” He pointed at the dead man. “I know, I´m more of the lab guy, I´m not into field operations. But I think I´d better follow MacGyver and try to catch up with him. You should stay out of his sight for now.”

Pete wanted to protest at first, but he gave in fast. Willis was right. He had also seen it.

“All right. Now go! Hurry!” he sent him off.

Willis took off quickly and disappeared into the thicket pursuing Mac´s path.

Standing there alone, Pete looked down at the false Pete Thornton. Not being able to act, to help his best friend tore him inside. He raised his gaze to the forest again. He had noticed that Mac was wounded and his condition was weak, his skin pale. His concern for MacGyver grew even bigger than it had been for the last three weeks while they had been searching for him.

“Oh, MacGyver…” he sighed to himself. “What did they make you go through?”

*****

As MacGyver ran off his mind hit overdrive. Running away was pure survival instinct. He had barely survived their first fight; he wasn´t going to take his chances on a second time. At the moment he didn´t care who the other man had been. He just wanted to get away. His fear of being caught and brought back to the camp took over. He was frightened by the thought of returning to this suffering and what else they might do to him to increase it.

Mac rushed through the forest as fast as he could, but he didn´t know the terrain and the effects of the drug slowed him down. They were almost full blown by now. He knew he wouldn´t be able to outrun whoever was following him. Frantically he kept looking for any opportunity to hide, but it wasn´t all too easy with his blurred vision and the hallucinations, he was experiencing. Running seemed to aggravate the symptoms.

MacGyver had just passed a bend in the rock face when he was forced to stop. He doubled over and fell to his knees, groaning as the pain cut through him. His whole body stiffened with spasms. His panic inside screamed at him to get up and run, but he wasn´t able to move only an inch. Helpless he dropped to his side, fighting to stay quiet through the pain, fighting not to give away his location.

*****

Willis didn´t have too much difficulties following MacGyver. He could hear him, he could see the traces he left which was unusual for him. He soon noticed he was easily catching up. When all of a sudden everything went quiet in front of him, Willis instinctively slowed down. If Mac was hiding, he might be in for some creative surprise. MacGyver had saved Willis´ life once and he´d heard a lot of stories about Mac´s ingenuity. Willis didn´t want to be the target of one of his imaginative ideas.

Cautiously he worked his way closer to the rock face and around a corner of it. What he saw made him stop dead in his tracks. MacGyver was lying on the ground, curled up on his side, his arms wrapped around his body. He didn´t move and his face was covered with sweat and marked with severe pain. His breathing was ragged.

Willis first felt the urge to rush to him, but on second thought he approached Mac slowly, step by step.

“MacGyver?” he asked with a soft voice. “Mac?” he tried again, as he got no reaction.

Hi concern for his friend grew with every step; he cautiously crouched down beside him. He gently touched Mac´s upper arm close to his shoulder.

“MacGyver?...What´s wrong with you?”

MacGyver was consumed in coping with the excruciating pain and the ringing in his head. He didn´t notice Willis closing in or calling his name. He was startled by Willis´ touch, instinctively raised his hands in defense and reflexively tried to knock whoever was close to him away.

Willis was shocked for a moment by his fierce reaction and then managed to grab on to Mac´s wrists in order to keep Mac from hitting him. This only earned him a painful cry from MacGyver so he let go instantly. Only then he realized that Mac´s wrists were sore and bloodied. But MacGyver immediately continued to fight him, tried to get up and away without even looking at who was near him. His panic took over.

Willis drew back for a second, but then realized he had to stop him fast. For MacGyver´s own best.

He grabbed on again, this time lower at Mac´s forearms and tried to steady him. Willis was surprised he was able to push him back to the ground and hold him there, one arm to his left, one to his right side. Under normal circumstances there would have been no way that he´d been a match for the well trained man. Mac was forced to spread out on his back, struggling to free himself, but the pressure on his wounded back made him moan.

“MacGyver, stop it!” Willis called out to him. “Calm down! Look at me! It´s me. It´s Willis!”

MacGyver stopped moving as the words registered in his mind. His thoughts went wild again. What…? How…? He slowly turned his head towards the voice he´d heard and blinked his eyes open, still breathing heavily, his body still tense. He tried to blink the haze away, but the drug wouldn´t allow him to see clearly. That guy sounded like Willis, he looked like Willis. Pete´s voice echoed in his head: Willis knows nothing about this. He has been cleared of all charges. No one at Phoenix knows about this. But why was he here?

A part of Mac was still on high alert, yet another part of him desperately wanted to believe that this was his chance for rescue. He looked at Willis directly.

“Willis…?” he asked. “Why are you…?”

“That´s not important now, MacGyver.” Willis cut him off. He felt Mac relax a little. “Will you hit me again, if I let go?”

MacGyver shook his head with a weak smile. “No…” He let out a deep breath he´d been holding.

Willis slowly released his grip, looking all over Mac, trying to assess his condition. He saw Mac closing his eyes in relief and exhaustion. He laid a hand on his forehead, checking his temperature, then on his neck feeling for his pulse. Mac tried to relax his muscles and calm down his racing heart and ragged breathing.

Willis had noticed the fresh bleeding cut on the side of Mac´s head, the bruises on his neck, the bandage around his thigh, his sore wrists. He´d felt the shivers running through him; his temperature was too high, his pulse fast but steady and strong. At first sight, he couldn´t tell, why his overall condition was that weak. Willis sat up and took off his jacket.

“Mac, you´re feverish. Your clothes are wet. You´re freezing.” he said. “We´d better wrap you into my jacket, hm?”

Mac opened his eyes and nodded. When he prepared to sit up, Willis was leaning over him again.

“Wait. Slow down. I´ll help you.” he offered.

One of his hands held on to Mac´s upper arm, the other one went around the back of his neck steadying his head. MacGyver turned a little into Willis direction, but in the middle of rising up another wave of convulsions and agony rushed through him violently. He doubled up, gasped in pain; his whole body was out of control within the second. He would have fallen, if Willis had not been holding him.

“Mac!” Willis was shocked. He pulled MacGyver closer, attempting to steady his friend with his hold. “MacGyver, what is it? What´s wrong?”

Mac couldn´t react to his question.

One of Willis´ arms held Mac´s head and his shoulders, with the other one he let go of Mac´s arm and went around his back. But Willis flinched back instantly being scared of what he had felt. He had concentrated on Mac´s face, yet now, with MacGyver lying on his side in Willis´ arm, he got a first look at his back. Willis heart seemed to stop for a split second as he first stared at his own bloodied hand, then at MacGyver´s back, completely speechless. He saw the torn and cut fabric of his shirt, stained with a mixture of dirt and blood. What was visible of Mac´s skin was torn and bruised, also partly covered with blood and dirt, partly with angry red color.

Willis got out of his shock as Mac´s body stiffened once again and he managed to bite back a painful cry. Willis tried to provide as much support and comfort to Mac as he could. His free hand reached out for the jacket and wrapped it around his shoulders and upper body.

After a few moments MacGyver weakly turned his head to look at Willis. His gaze was unsteady and clouded.

“It´s okay, Willis…” he tried to calm him with a breaking voice, merely more than a whisper. “It won´t kill me…”

Having said that he drew in a sharp breath, his body tensed once more, then went slack and he passed out.

“What?” Willis was stunned for a moment. Then he shook MacGyver softly. “MacGyver? Mac?” he asked, but got no answer.

Willis took another look at Mac´s pale face and checked for his pulse. He pulled Mac even closer into his arms, at least trying to keep him warm.

“What have those maniacs done to you, MacGyver?” he asked himself angrily, shaking his head with deep concern for his friend. He needed to get Mac into medical care as soon as possible. Willis remembered the portable radio sets he and Pete had taken with them and reached for it in the pocket of his jacket. One handed he pulled it out and turned it on.

“Pete, do you read me?” he asked into it. “I found him!”

It took a few seconds until Pete was responding.

“Thank God! How is he? What´s the matter with him?”

“At the moment he´s unconscious.” Willis looked down at MacGyver before he continued. “And he´s in bad shape. We do need a doctor here. Fast.”

Pete remained silent, but another voice answered. “We´re on our way. Where do we find you?”

Pete and Willis had brought another Phoenix operative, who had flown the helicopter, and one of Phoenix´ doctors with them on this search and rescue mission, just in case. They had stayed with the helicopter, when Pete and Willis had jumped out to check on the body they´d seen.

“A few hundred yards down the slope, close to the rock face, just behind a bend.” Willis answered. “But you´d better come alone at first, doc.”

“Understood.”

Willis was about to put the walkie-talkie down, as he heard Pete´s voice again.

“How bad, Willis?” he asked. “Do I really have to stay away?”

“I´m not sure, Pete.” Willis sighed. “And I know you´re not going to like it, but I think you have to stay out of sight… and out of hearing.” With that he put the radio set down and concentrated on MacGyver again.

*****

Fortunately Dr. Thompson found them quite fast. It took only a few minutes until Willis heard someone through the thicket.

“Over here!” he called out to the doctor.

Only moments later the doctor set down his emergency case close to them.

“You need to lay him down, Willis.” He asked, while he opened the case.

Willis nodded. “You might want to take a look at his back first.” he added.

Dr. Thompson looked up in surprise. “I do?...All right…”

With the help of Willis he cautiously took the coat off MacGyver. As he saw the wounds and bruises through the torn fabric, he stopped moving for a moment. His face darkened as he took in the sight. Then he spread the jacket out on the ground and carefully felt across MacGyver´s whole back. The doctor moved to feel for Mac´s pulse on his neck and then looked at Willis again.

“Now let´s lay him down.” he asked softly.

Together they slowly lowered Mac until he was lying flat on his back on Willis´ jacket. Dr. Thompson continued to examine MacGyver´s condition, noticing the needle marks on his arms. As he opened his shirt on the front, they saw more bruises and the electric burns. The doctor checked his heart and lungs with a stethoscope and then closed the shirt again.

“Was he unconscious when you found him?” he asked Willis.

“No.” Willis shook his head. “He was going through severe pain and spasms. MacGyver was confused, frightened and shocked until he recognized me. He relaxed, but when the convulsions returned, he passed out. Just before that he told me not to be afraid. It won´t kill him.”

“It won´t kill him?” Dr. Thompson repeated, looking up puzzled.

Willis just raised his hands and shrugged. “That´s all he said.”

In the next moment MacGyver stirred moaning lightly. Willis was quick to take his hand and stabilize Mac´s head with his other one.

“Quiet, MacGyver. Take it easy.”

Mac turned his head a little towards his voice and opened his eyes.

“I did get help for you. This is Dr. Thompson.” Willis told him, looking at the doctor.

MacGyver followed his gaze; his body tensed when he saw the doctor beside him. He tried to get up, but Willis held him down at his shoulder.

“Don´t. It´s okay.”

MacGyver relaxed a little, yet some fear remained in his eyes. The doctor laid a hand softly on his forehead, while he looked scrutinizing at him.

“Willis told me about some serious pain and spasms.” he stated. “Do you think you have internal injuries?”

“No.” Mac shook his head weakly.

“Your vision is blurred? Are you feeling dizzy?”

Mac nodded.

Dr. Thompson took another look at Mac´s arms. “You´ve been given some drug or poison, right?”

Mac nodded again. “It causes the…” he tried to add with a hoarse voice, but was cut off by a wave of pain washing over him. He rolled to his side, curled up, closed his eyes and tried to endure quietly. Willis was there fast, supporting Mac´s head and his shoulders. Dr. Thompson also stabilized Mac at first, but he soon turned around to his case as he realized how intense MacGyver´s suffering was.

“We need to ease those symptoms.” he stated, picking up a syringe, a needle and a small glass bottle.

As the pain allowed him a short break, MacGyver opened his eyes and saw the doctor preparing the syringe. The mere sight of it triggered his panic instantly.

“No!” he cried out and bolted up and backwards before Willis could react. He didn´t get very far, stumbled against the rock face only a few yards away and collapsed. MacGyver lay there trembling, curled up with pain and convulsions again. Willis wanted to follow him, but the doctor held him back.

“No, wait. Give him a few moments.” He filled up another syringe, and then looked seriously at Willis. “I hate to do this, but do you think you can retain him?”

Willis nodded hesitantly. “I had to earlier.” he answered observing Mac closely.

The doctor picked up both syringes and sighed. “Very well…” Thompson said. “You need to hold him tight, while I administer those injections. I´m sorry about it, but it is necessary.”

Willis also sighed deeply and then approached MacGyver cautiously. “MacGyver?” He touched his shoulder gently.

Mac turned abruptly, raised his hands in defense and tried to hit Willis hand away. This time Willis reacted faster, held on to Mac´s forearms and pushed him down against rock and ground.

“Shh, Mac. Quiet.” he tried to calm him. “It´s me, Willis.”

MacGyver kept fighting his hold. Willis heard Dr. Thompson closing in. Mac saw him, fear filling his eyes.

“No!” he pleaded. “Don´t! Please, don´t!”

It hurt Willis deep inside to see his friend like this.

“Mac, it´s okay. We´re not going to harm you.” he told him. “We´re here to help you.”

He felt MacGyver trembling in his grip. Dr. Thompson quickly found a vein and emptied both syringes into Mac´s body one after another.

MacGyver´s resistance ceased. He felt the darkness taking over his senses. He desperately fought to stay awake, looking from Willis to the doctor and back pleading and scared.

“Don´t fight it, MacGyver.” Dr. Thompson recommended softly. “It will make it easier for you. It will take away the pain.”

Gradually MacGyver´s body went limp; Willis had to catch him as he lost consciousness. He held him close in his arms with a questioning look towards the doctor.

“He will be asleep for a few hours.” Dr. Thompson explained. “It will take away the convulsions and the pain. And allow me to take care of him. I wouldn´t be able to help him in his panicked state.” He retrieved Willis´ jacket and wrapped it around MacGyver while Willis held him. “Keep him warm.”

Then he got up and picked up the portable radio set.

“ Jonas, are you there?” he asked. “We need the stretcher up here.”

“On my way.” The answer took a few seconds.

“Mr. Thornton?” Thompson asked after that. “You can meet us at the helicopter. MacGyver is sedated. But you have to keep your distance and remain quiet. I´ll brief you then.”

“Copy.” Pete´s voice answered. “I´ll see you there.” His worry could be clearly heard.

Jonas arrived in a few minutes. Together they laid MacGyver on the stretcher, covered him with a blanket and secured him with the straps. Willis carried the doctor´s case while they took the unconscious man to the helicopter and loaded him inside.

Pete was already there; his face marked with concern that grew even deeper as he saw them approaching. He could see only Mac´s head and neck due to the blanket he was wrapped in. But MacGyver´s face was pale, covered with sweat and lined with stress and exhaustion. He also seemed to have lost weight. Pete couldn´t help but close in on his friend until Dr. Thompson stopped him.

“No… I had to keep the dosage of the sedation low. He has been given some drug or poison. I don´t know what it is yet. I´m not sure, how it interacts with the medication. He might notice you, and we can´t risk that right now. For his own best, sir. Please.” he explained as he got into the helicopter alongside MacGyver. “You need to get into the front seat. Willis and I are staying with him.” The tone of his voice left no room for arguments.

Pete took a step back. “Is he…” he almost didn´t dare to ask.

Dr. Thompson was checking Mac´s pulse, then he turned to face Pete again.

“He´s hurt badly, his condition is serious, yet at the moment his life is not in immediate danger. But we´d better get him to the infirmary fast.”

Pete just nodded, closed the helicopter´s doors behind Willis and climbed into the front seat next to Jonas, who was already starting the engine.

“You heard the doctor.” Pete ordered. “Go as fast as you can.”

“Is everything set up at the lab complex?” the doctor asked from behind.

Pete turned to look over his shoulder. “They should be ready by now.” he replied. “I´ll notify them that we´re on our way as soon as we´re high enough. We have to get out of these valleys. The mountains would block the signal of the helicopters radio.”

“Good.”

Dr. Thompson focused on MacGyver again, took blood samples and set up an IV in Mac´s arm and an infusion with Willis help. He checked the blood pressure on his other arm, while constantly monitoring his pulse. MacGyver didn´t become aware of all this. The medication held him asleep for the whole flight.

*****

When they arrived at the Phoenix Foundation´s underground research complex, the rest of the medical team was already awaiting them. They had set up a sick-bay especially suited for taking care of MacGyver at sub-level 2. As soon as the helicopter touched ground everything happened fast. The team approached the chopper, got Mac out of it and took him towards the elevator. Willis stayed at Mac´s side together with Dr. Thompson. Pete hurried to follow them, but the doctor stopped him in front of the elevator.

“You are not coming with us.”

Pete was not willing to accept that. “I am not going to leave him.”

Dr Thompson sighed. “Mr. Thornton, as long as we don´t know what really happened to him, you´re not going to be close to him. After all you´ve told me before Willis found him and considering all I´ve seen, your presence might be a threat to his recovery.”

Pete wanted to oppose, but the doctor continued. “You can´t do anything for him down there. If you want to help him, go back to that camp and find out as much as you can. The more information we have about what they´ve done to him, the better.”

He paused for a moment, giving Pete the chance to react. But Pete´s eyes were fixed on MacGyver and the medical team hovering around him. Not being able to be there for his best friend, not being able to help him through this felt like someone stabbing his heart. He was torn inside. After a moment that felt like an eternity he nodded.

“Keep me informed. I want to know about everything concerning MacGyver.”

“We will take care of him.” Dr. Thompson reassured Pete. “He will get the best help available.”

Having said that, he stepped into the elevator and allowed the doors to close.

Pete was left alone in the hall that held the entrance and the elevator to the underground lab installation. He stood silent for a few seconds staring at the closed elevator doors. The doctor was right, he realized. He had to find out what Mac had had to be going through in the last three weeks. Probably he could retrieve a sample of the drug Mac had been given. With that thought he rushed back to the helicopter and ordered the pilot to take him back to that camp on the mountain.

*****

Posted by: uniquelyjas 20 February 2020 - 10:36 AM
Wow, Willis is really on top of things...for a "lab guy"...LOL!! Also, Willis can surely run faster than Pete!

Another 'Wow' at how vulnerable Mac is both physically and mentally. We never saw a whole lot of this but I think you're doing a very good and believable job with it.

I think you did a really good job portraying Pete. I could hear his voice in my head (normal for fan fic writers/readers, I'm assuming!) and feel his anguish at not being able to help Mac.

Finally, THANK YOU for giving Willis such a big role!! I think a lot of us like him but he just gets lost in the shuffle. You did a great job with him!!!

I'm so glad Mac is safe, but now I'm worried about Pete, darn you!!! He shouldn't be going back to the camp!! I'm certain this is NOT a good thing!!

Posted by: bluegirl 20 February 2020 - 10:52 AM
QUOTE (uniquelyjas @ 20 February 2020 - 07:36 PM)
Another 'Wow' at how vulnerable Mac is both physically and mentally.  We never saw a whole lot of this but I think you're doing a very good and believable job with it.


THANK YOU!

We saw hints of it throughout the series - Nightmares, The Widowmaker, DOA MacGyver - only to name a few... I only tried to take it to another level.

But I just got a comment in screaming orange on the other forum where I posted it, saying that the story is ridiculous off where the 'false Pete' appears at the end of part two... Mac would never buy it, he had to be trained to withstand torture and so on...

Well the story is about how much it would take to make Mac vulnerable... just referring to the title of it 'Breaking Point'

Thanks for your appreciation!

Posted by: uniquelyjas 20 February 2020 - 12:46 PM
QUOTE (bluegirl @ 20 February 2020 - 10:52 AM)




But I just got a comment in screaming orange on the other forum where I posted it, saying that the story is ridiculous off where the 'false Pete' appears at the end of part two... Mac would never buy it, he had to be trained to withstand torture and so on...


I had an idea of where else you post and I checked it out and found it. Please read my response. In short, you're doing a great job and are portraying the characters very well. I'm really looking forward to the next part.

Posted by: bluegirl 21 February 2020 - 10:46 PM
After a little controversy on the other forum...

I am convinced, there are many of you out there who like what I am doing... I really appreciate that!
So, let´s get on with the next part - Mac is finally getting help, but how will his friends cope with what they find out...?


Part 6

When MacGyver, Willis and the medical team arrived at the infirmary, Dr. Thompson sent Willis off to the labs with Mac´s blood samples at once.

“Take those to the toxicology scans. They sooner we know what they´ve given him, the better. We´ll take care of his injuries in the meantime.”

Then he followed Mac and his medical team into the treatment room they had set up. The two nurses and the second doctor were already preparing the heart rate monitor, the medicines and the instruments they would need. MacGyver was still unconscious, lying wrapped up in the blanket on the stretcher in the middle of the room. Dr. Thompson walked up to his side, focusing on him.

“All right, everybody.” he addressed his team. “Let´s put MacGyver back together into one piece.”

*****

It took a few hours for Willis to get the results of the toxicology. When he returned to the infirmary, MacGyver had been transferred to another room. They had cleaned and dressed all of his wounds, and put in stitches where needed. They had also x-rayed him, found the broken rib and assessed the damage to the tendons of his shoulders and arms. After MacGyver had been cared for all over physically, they had laid him into a softly padded bed. The especially soft padding was supposed to take some pressure off his wounded back.

Dr. Thompson was still at his side, when Willis entered the room. MacGyver lay quietly on his back, all but his arm with the IV covered with the sheets. He was asleep, his face still pale and marked with strain and exhaustion. Yet he seemed peaceful, now that he no longer felt the pain. Transparent tubes reaching into his nose were supporting him with extra oxygen.

Willis hesitated to close in as he took in the sight. The whole day had been kind of a shock to him. He had often been part of Mac´s and Pete´s operations, but only in the lab, in a supporting role. He had been reading MacGyver´s reports afterwards. It had always felt “theoretical”. This time was different. He was involved in it first row.

He had never seen MacGyver like this. He had never seen him wounded and in distress and danger. Normally Mac was the one to be sent out for the rescue of others. This time everything was upside down. Mac was the one in need of help. Willis was worried about his friend´s well-being; he was scared about what they might find out about the last three weeks.

Dr. Thompson cut off his thoughts. “You´ve got the report for me?”

Willis needed a moment to react. Then he walked up to the bed and handed the papers over. His gaze was still fixed on MacGyver.

“How is he doing?” he asked.

“He´s okay.” the doctor replied while scanning through the pages. “Serious, but stable. We managed to put the pieces together and in place again.” He smiled lopsided at Willis. “That tox screening fits well into it. He was right. It won´t kill him. The symptoms of it should be gone in one or two days. Yet we´ve got a lot of different areas with problems. Each of it – standing alone – wouldn´t be a threat, but they all add up.” He paused for a moment, looking at his patient. “I´ve decided to keep him sedated for a few days. He might hurt himself even more if he panics again. The treatment of his injuries will be a lot easier, and his body should recover a little faster without him noticing the pain fully.”

Willis nodded. “Have you notified Pete Thornton?”

“Not yet.” Dr. Thompson replied. “I was going to do that now. Can you stay with him?”

Willis took a place at Mac´s side a little hesitantly. “Sure. Do I have to look out for anything special?”

The doctor looked up with a little reassuring smile.

“Just be there for him.” He told Willis. “We still have to keep his medication low, due to his weakened condition and the drug. He might stir a little because of remnants of the spasms and the pain. He´ll be okay, Willis. He won´t wake up. Just be there, offer him comfort.”

He turned, added the toxicology report to the rest of MacGyver´s medical report and left.

A few seconds later, after the door had closed behind the doc, Willis noticed the constant low beeping of the heart rate monitor and the soft hiss of the oxygen supply for the first time. Apart from that everything was silent. Standing there, watching over MacGyver, Willis also realized how exhausted he was himself. The past three weeks searching for Mac had been hard on all of the team, especially this last, very long day. He didn´t dare to imagine, how Pete Thornton had been and was feeling now. He was closest to Mac, they were like family, and he wasn´t even allowed to be here.

Finding that double of Pete hat aroused a lot of questions; MacGyver´s reaction to seeing Pete had aroused even more. Willis thoughts circled in his mind, considering everything he knew over and over again. Hopefully Pete´s investigation of the camp would add more parts to the puzzle they were facing and provide answers to some of the questions.

After some time Willis got himself a chair and settled into it alongside Mac´s bed. He was resting his hands on the bed, close to Mac´s arm and hand, ready to be there if he was needed. It was already late at night, so at some point he must have dozed off.

He was startled by a soft moan. Willis was wide awake instantly, looking at Mac´s face. He saw Mac still asleep, but his face was distorted with pain, his body tense. He was breathing hard, moaning every now and then. Willis got up fast, taking MacGyver´s hand into his.

“Shh, MacGyver.” he tried to calm him down. “Easy. It´ll be okay.”

Mac flinched a little away from the touch of Willis´ hand first. Even though he was unconscious, he seemed to listen, to notice that Willis was there. His breath got a little more regular, his body relaxed a bit.

“That´s good, Mac. Calm down.” Willis encouraged him.

MacGyver´s forehead was covered with sweat again. Willis fetched a cloth from one of the tables close to the bed and dabbed the sweat off Mac´s face, carefully avoiding any wounds or bandages.

“You´ll be all right.” he said, not sure if he tried to reassure MacGyver or himself. “Just hang in there…”

He could feel that Mac was still feverish and small shivers were running through his body.

“Relax, MacGyver.” he said softly. “Don´t fight the meds. They´ll make it easier for you. Sleep on.”

Again Mac seemed to hear Willis´ words. His fingers closed a little tighter around Willis´ hand, then his whole body went limp slowly. Willis sighed. MacGyver lay quiet again, but it took Willis some minutes until he could sit down, still intensely observing his friend.

Only a few minutes later Dr. Thompson returned. Without saying a word he conducted a check-up on MacGyver. He took a quick look into the medical report, then prepared a Syringe with some opaque white medicine and emptied it into Mac´s IV.

“You did well on calming him down.” he stated, still focusing on his patient.

Willis looked up on him surprised. “How do you know…?”

“We´re monitoring this room – him – via camera.” Dr. Thompson explained smiling at Willis. “I wouldn´t dare not to observe MacGyver for only a minute. Director Thornton would have my head if anything happened to him.”

Willis also had to smile at that thought. That was true. Pete would tip off the world if it was for saving MacGyver.

“Have you talked to Pete?” he asked.

Dr. Thompson straightened himself. “Sure.” he nodded. “He´s still searching that compound on the mountain for any clues. We agreed to meet in the morning.” He turned to look directly at Willis. “You look like you´d also better get some rest until then.”

Willis suddenly felt torn. He was exhausted, he desperately needed some sleep, but he didn´t want to leave Mac alone.

The doctor seemed to know his thoughts.

“You can use one of the beds in our ready room, if you don´t want to go home.” he added. “We will look after him. We´ll get you if we need you.”

Willis hesitated for another long moment, but then gave in to his tiredness. He nodded, got up, and with a last concerned look at MacGyver left the room.

*****

At the next morning Pete, Willis and Dr. Thompson met in a room just across the corridor to Mac´s sick-room. From there the medical team was monitoring him. One screen was showing Mac lying in his bed; another was mirroring the heart rate, blood pressure and breathing surveillance. MacGyver´s medical report next to some x-rays and more folders were lying on the table.

“Looks like you didn´t take my advice, Mr. Thornton.” The doctor greeted Pete as he entered the room. “Willis did. At least for a few hours.”

Willis took a closer look at Pete. He was really worn out. He looked like he hadn´t slept all night. Yet his concern for Mac and his determination remained.

“There was no time for rest, doctor.” Pete replied sharply. “We tried to get some answers. I guess you didn´t sleep either.”

Dr. Thompson shrugged. “No. But that´s okay, regarding our patient.” He picked up the medical reports, opened one folder and skipped through the pages.

“I´ll give both of you a brief status report now.” he began, addressing Pete and Willis. “Fortunately the night has passed uneventfully. MacGyver´s condition is still weak but stable. So far we´ve had no complications. The fever has dropped a little until the morning and he´s sleeping quietly thanks to the medication.”

Pete sighed with relief and took a quick look at Willis, who also drew in a deep breath.

“So far, so good, doctor, but I need to know what happened to him.” Pete demanded.

Dr. Thompson´s face grew serious and dark. “Are you sure?” he asked. “All of it?”

“I am sure.” Pete replied a little impatient. “It´s MacGyver we´re talking about!”

“That´s why I was asking.” Thompson answered quietly. He closed the folder and set it down. “MacGyver has been missing for three weeks. His body´s injuries tell quite a story about what happened to him. He´s been beaten several times, electrocuted several times, some of the wounds of his back look like they were caused by a leather whip, and he has a few cuts on his back that fit the blade of his Swiss army knife. He´s got a broken rib; his arms and shoulders are strained and pulled. His wrists are sore and torn from being handcuffed or bound. His arms show several needle marks because he´s been drugged or poisoned regularly. Some of the bruises and injuries have healed or are starting to heal, and new ones are adding up above them. So I can tell this has been going on over all the three weeks. I can´t tell too much about the mental side tough, as far as we had to sedate him yesterday in order to even be able to take care of him. Right now his physical recovery is on priority. That´s why we still keep him asleep.”

Pete and Willis were speechless and stunned. Willis had seen some of it yesterday, but he had not realized the full picture then.

“His latest injuries are a stabbing wound to the back of his thigh, bruises on his neck and a mild concussion. Someone must have chased him, while he was on the run. The stabbing stopped him from fleeing and someone tried to strangulate him.” the doctor added.

Pete was still shocked. “You mean, he´s been…” he managed to ask, but didn´t dare to say it.

“MacGyver has been tortured, yes.” Dr. Thompson broke the tense silence that hung in the room for a moment. “They were causing maximum pain and mental stress without killing him. The drugs add to that. The mixture they used causes hallucinations, disorientation, convulsions and excruciating pain.”

Pete held his breath while his eyes were fixed on the monitor showing MacGyver sleeping in his bed. He felt tears welling up in his eyes, caused by the concern for his best friend as well as the anger about the guys that had been doing this to him.

“But he´ll live…” he asked.

Dr. Thompson nodded. “Yes. His life is not in immediate danger. Given some time, his body will heal. But you have to find out what this double of yours had to do with it. We can´t hold him asleep for too long. When he wakes up, we should have an answer to that question.”

“We´re trying.” Willis nodded. “But there is a lot of evidence from the camp to sort through. I´d better get to work on it right away.”He hurried out of the room and to his lab at the next level, where all the stuff had been taken to.

Pete was still staring at the monitor. “Have you taken pictures for evidence?” he asked.

Dr. Thompson nodded again. “Sure.”

“I want to see them.”

Dr. Thompson sighed and shook his head. “No, sir, you don´t.”

Pete looked up at the doctor, hardly able to keep his composure.

“You´re right.” The pain could be clearly heard in his voice. “But I have to.”

Dr. Thompson hesitated for a moment. Almost everyone at Phoenix knew how close those two men were. He knew it would be unsettling for Pete Thornton to see those pictures of his best friend. He slowly picked up another folder and set it down in front of Pete.

“I´m going to do a check-up on Mac. I´ll be back in a few minutes.” He briefly laid a hand on Pete´s shoulder and then left the room.

Pete delayed it for a few seconds, but after the door had closed and he was alone, he opened the folder. Each of the photos felt like a stab to his heart. He had to sit down after looking through all of them. He was mad at the guys who had done this; he felt deep sorrow for Mac, who had had to endure all that Pete had just seen on the pictures. And once again he was deeply impressed by MacGyver´s determination and stamina, who, after all this, still had had the energy and spirit to contrive an escape and follow through with it.

Pete´s gaze was fixed on the monitor again, when Dr. Thompson returned to the room only minutes later.

“Are you all right?” he asked Pete, who remained motionless.

“Can I see him?”

The doctor took a seat close to Pete.

“No, sir.” he answered. “That would be too dangerous. Given the reaction you earned yesterday and after his reaction to what Willis and I did, I´m afraid he might panic if he notices you. He might hurt himself, and it might ruin the trust he at the moment has with Willis. We can´t risk that.” He paused, giving Pete the opportunity to react.

Pete looked up at him. “But we´ve known each other for years. I am closest to him.”

Dr. Thompson sighed deeply.

“For now this is just speculation on my side,” he said. “But I am afraid, that is exactly what they used against him. I am afraid, they made him believe, that you had turned against him to break his spirit. The hands of this dead double of yours fit the marks on MacGyver´s neck.”

Pete´s expression turned to shock. “They made him believe, I was trying to kill him?”

“That masked man has a stabbing wound in his arm that also fits the Swiss army knife.” The doctor continued. “But when we found Mac, the knife was in his pocket, covered with blood.”

“You mean he stabbed “me”?”

Dr. Thompson nodded. “In his effort to survive, yes, I think so. I am still waiting for the results of the blood samples from the Swiss army knife.”

Pete´s heart skipped a beat. Could it get any worse? “Mac had to fight “me”?”

“Quite possible, sir.” the doctor answered. “Although I think it was the rockslide on top of that cliff that caused your double to fall and break his neck. But to Mac it sure feels…”

“As if he had killed me.” Pete ended the sentence, feeling devastated. “Oh, no…”

They sat in silence for some moments. Then Pete Thornton slowly got out of his shock.

“What can I do for him? How do we tell him the truth?”

The doctor shook his head. “At the moment we don´t. We have to give him some time to recover physically first. In his weakened condition I am afraid he might not be able to take the stress of confronting him. We might risk a serious breakdown.”

Pete nodded slowly. His eyes were again fixed on the screen. He hated the idea of letting Mac believe he had killed him. But the doctor was right. MacGyver needed some time to recover, and Pete needed some answers fast. For now, all was speculation. He had to be sure, before he might try talking to MacGyver. Pete got up. He still felt the urge to see Mac, to be there for him.

“Thank you, doctor.” he said. “We´ll keep in touch.”

Dr. Thompson also got up. “At least once or twice a day.” He reassured as Pete left the room and hurried for the lab to see Willis.

Pete had refused to believe in all that he had seen in that camp while they had stormed it. He had refused to accept the direction the evidence was pointing at. This couldn´t and shouldn´t have happened to MacGyver. But the pictures he had just seen left no room for further doubt. Most likely those guys had used him, Pete, to get under Mac´s skin. This was insane. His sorrow and pain partly changed into determination. Whoever was behind this would have to pay for it. He had to talk to Willis and then they would hunt them down.

*****

The next days were filled mostly with investigative and lab work. Willis was conducting a lot of tests on the evidence they had collected from the mountain camp. The DNA test of the blood samples from the Swiss army knife showed two people: MacGyver and the dead guy with the mask. Every result that had turned in, had added in supporting Dr. Thompson´s hypothesis. Let alone, there was no one they could ask to confirm their suspicions.

One huge man had been killed during the shooting while storming the camp; they had retrieved the body of the dead double, and they had arrested a well trained Asian guy. But he wouldn´t talk. To no one. Pete had tried several times, but he had found no way to get any information from that man. Not even his name.

The only person who might be of help and could possibly answer those questions was still in his medicated sleep. MacGyver had recovered well over the last days, his fever had diminished and his wounds were healing well without further complications. Pete had obeyed in not seeing him personally, though it had been very hard on him. He had to trust fully in what Willis and the doctor had told him about Mac´s progress. Willis had stayed with Mac as often as the lab work had allowed him to.

*****

It was the morning of day four when Dr. Thompson called Willis to the infirmary. Pete Thornton was already there in the monitoring room, when Willis arrived.

“I´ve called you both in, because this is a little more than my usual daily morning report on MacGyver.” the doctor began. “His overall condition has improved enough to let him come out of his sleep.”

Pete held his breath for a moment. This was crucial.

“The infections of his wounds are gone or under control. His temperature is back to normal since yesterday morning. The blood tests show no remains of any drug or poison.” Dr. Thompson added. “But he is still considerably weakened, so we have to be careful.”

Pete and Willis could just nod.

“Willis, he seems to trust you, so I´d like you to stay with him. You should be able to calm him down if he overreacts or even panics.”

Willis again nodded. “Sure, I´ll do whatever I can.” He knew about the responsibility. MacGyver was one of his best friends. No matter how difficult, he had to be there to help him through this. Especially now in this situation, where Pete couldn´t be at his side.

“Unfortunately we have to take some security measures.” Dr. Thompson continued. “I may not like it, but I and the rest of Mac´s medical team have agreed to restrain him. He will be strapped to his bed while we wait for him to wake up. We have to do this for MacGyver´s own safety. He might hurt himself or others if he panics unrestrained.”

Pete suddenly felt the pain, the worry and the horror again, that he had managed to push away for the last days. To be honest, no one of the three men really knew what Mac had experienced. None of them knew how he would react to it. Pete was afraid of what still lay ahead of MacGyver.

Dr. Thompson didn´t give them much time to think about it. “We have reduced the meds gradually since the last night, and we´ve put on the straps after we had taken care of his injuries and changed the dressings earlier this morning.” he explained. “It´s time.” He looked at Willis and Pete.

Willis just nodded, picked up his morning coffee and left for Mac´s sick-room.

Pete didn´t move at first. He couldn´t take his eyes off the monitor showing Mac. Seeing his friend like this, but not being able to do anything for him, was tearing on him.

Dr. Thompson was about to follow Willis, but stopped close to Pete. “Are you okay?”

Pete looked up at him. “Yes. I just want to be there for him… just like I usually am.”

“You are. You will be.” the doctor reassured him. “Give it time. You sent all of us to take care of him. He´ll be all right.” Then he left Pete alone with the monitors.

Willis had settled in his chair alongside MacGyver´s bed when the doctor arrived. Mac´s face was still pale, but the oxygen tubes were gone. Only the IV and the heart rate monitor were still connected. Willis had noticed the straps around Mac´s wrists and ankles. They were about four inches wide, made of leather but softly padded, yet held tight. Another strap crossed his chest just below his armpit.

Dr. Thompson conducted a quick check-up, then turned to Willis.

“As you remember, he´s been fighting the medication every now and then over the last days. But there´s really no way to tell, how long it will take until he wakes up. I´ll be in my ready room, so you may call me anytime.”

Willis concentrated on MacGyver. “Will do.”

When Dr. Thompson returned to the monitoring room only one of the nurses was there, but Pete Thornton was already gone.

*****

Posted by: uniquelyjas 22 February 2020 - 01:12 PM
Sorry...had to laugh at the part of putting Mac back together in one piece...I like it, but it sounds more typical of Murdoc! smile.gif

I like how we get still more insight into Willis as he's sitting with Mac in the hospital as well as how Dr. Thompson tries to protect Pete from learning about Mac's treatment in the camp.

Oh, poor Pete...having to be excluded from such a difficult time for Mac!!

Overall I think this is the best part yet!! VERY well-written and completely gut-wrenching. I LOVE that you take the time to go into such detail and delve into Willis and Pete's thoughts. This is becoming a character study on all three and I think it's great. Pete is totally true to form and totally believable.

While I'm relieved Mac is being taken care of, I know there is still a lot for him to overcome, especially psychologically, but now the same is becoming true for Willis and Pete. Looking very forward to reading the next part...and the next...and the next...LOL!!

Posted by: bluegirl 22 February 2020 - 01:48 PM
Well, the doc is supposed to be a bit harsh at times, but with a caring heart...

Thank you so much for your feedback - the whole story is ment to be an exploration of true friendship and trust - how much it can take before the trust is broken - how it affects the indivuduals - and what it will take to restore it...

Part 7 will air on monday morning thumbup.gif

Posted by: uniquelyjas 22 February 2020 - 03:55 PM
QUOTE (bluegirl @ 22 February 2020 - 01:48 PM)
Well, the doc is supposed to be a bit harsh at times, but with a caring heart...


At first I wasn't sure I could trust him. That's Sanguine rubbing off on me...she thinks every new character I introduce is up to no good!! LOL!!

Posted by: bluegirl 23 February 2020 - 11:06 PM
Good morning, everyone! It is time to wake up - also for Mac, but how will he cope with it?

Part 7

Again, as he slowly regained consciousness, the first thing MacGyver noticed was silence. It was only disturbed by a low, constant beeping that somehow matched his heartbeat. One after another he realized, he was lying on his back on something soft, was covered with a blanket and wasn´t freezing anymore. There was next to no pain, yet his whole body felt a little numb. But the vertigo was still there.

Mac tried to raise one his hands and tried to put it to his head, but just then realized that he couldn´t move. He was bound. Within the blink of a second his mind went to overdrive, memories and fear washed through him, adrenaline rushed into his system. He frantically pulled on both wrists, also felt the straps around his chest and his ankles. His sore wrists twinged with pain and all he could think of, was: Oh, no. Not again. Out of the frying pan into the fire. I´ve got to get out of this.

In that very moment he felt someone taking one of his hands and another hand was holding on to his shoulder.

“Shh, MacGyver! Stay still!” he heard a well known voice.

Willis! But how…? Why…? His mind had troubles sorting through his jumbled and blurred memories in his panic. Mac´s body was still tense; his breathing ragged as he slowly turned his head towards that voice. Biting back a moan he blinked his eyes open.

“It´s all right, Mac.” Willis continued. He had bolted out of his chair as he had seen Mac struggling. “Don´t fight it. No one´s gonna harm you.”

His eyes slowly focusing on Willis´ face, MacGyver stopped pulling on the straps holding him. It took a few seconds before he could ask: “Willis? Where…? What…?” His voice was hoarse; he couldn´t finish without coughing.

“We took you to the Phoenix Foundations underground research complex. We are at sub-level two.” Willis explained. “We set up a sick-bay down here for you.”

Mac´s eyes left Willis and went scanning the room. Yes, it looked somewhat familiar.

“How long have I been out?” Mac´s voice was still breaking. It took all his strength to talk.

“It is almost midday on day four.” Willis told him.

MacGyver noticed the IV in his arm and got a glimpse at the straps holding him. The panic returned. He couldn´t stop himself from trembling. Mac had to close his eyes due to the increasing vertigo. He felt Willis squeeze his hand a little and take the sweat off his face with a soft cloth. After a few deep breaths he opened his eyes again and found Willis´ concerned face.

“Take those off me… please…” Mac pleaded.

Willis sighed, and then managed to smile apologetically.

“I can´t. They´re there for your own protection. You might hurt yourself, if you overreact again as just did.”

MacGyver couldn´t take that answer. His trembling intensified; he had to close his eyes.

“Quiet, Mac.” he heard Willis talking to him in a soothing voice. “It´s okay. We´re all here to help you. No one will hurt you, I promise.”

Mac hardly succeeded in calming down his breath, yet his body relaxed a bit.

“But you´ve got to allow us to help you.” Willis added. “Can you do that?”

MacGyver gazed at Willis. He felt the darkness taking over again. The shock and the fear had consumed nearly all of his remaining energy. He was exhausted. Mac nodded weakly.

“I´ll try.”

“Good.” The smile on Willis´ face broadened. “You´ll be all right, MacGyver. You just need to rest. We´ll take care of you.” Willis had noticed that Mac was on the verge of passing out. “Shh, Mac. You need to sleep.” he continued in calming Mac down. “You need to recover. Give it time. I´ll be here, when you wake up again. You won´t be alone.”

When Mac looked at him, Willis could still clearly see the fright in his eyes. Then he slowly closed his eyes and his whole body relaxed, while he drifted off to sleep again. Willis straightened himself and let go of Mac´s hand and shoulder, suddenly realizing that his own heart was pounding and his hands were shaking now that Mac was asleep again. He had to sit down, covering his face with his hands. He was shocked. He had known MacGyver for years. Mac had always been an optimistic, bold and intrepid man. Willis had never seen his friend fearful like this.

After a few moments Willis got up looking intensely at the sleeping figure. His determination was back on the upper hand.

“I´ll be back soon, Mac.” he told him. “Just have to get some things going in the lab.”

He rushed out of the room and to his lab. Willis ordered his lab technicians to run some new tests, fetched the results that had turned in while he had been with MacGyver, and then returned to sit with his friend. He could study those reports while watching over Mac. When Dr. Thompson returned for his regular check-up on Mac, Willis told him about his first short attempt to regain consciousness. Willis talked about the panic Mac had felt and had only barely been able to control.

“I believe it were the restraints that triggered the fear. The very moment he discovered that he couldn´t move, he went into panic.”

“That´s exactly what I was afraid of.” Dr. Thompson responded. “But I had no choice. Call me the next time he comes around. I´d like to be there. Let´s see how he will react to me. Maybe we can relieve him of it.” He took a deep breath. “In the meantime I´ll brief Director Thornton.”

It was early evening until MacGyver stirred again, moaning lightly in his sleep. Willis was instantly on his feet, but nothing more happened. Mac seemed to be dreaming, but went quiet after a few minutes.

It took another few hours, almost until midnight when Willis suddenly realized he must have dozed off. He was awakened by Mac trying to move in his bed, his breathing heavy, his head tossing from side to side although his eyes were still closed. He was muttering in his sleep, first low but getting louder.

“No, please… stop it…don´t… No!”

Willis jumped out of his chair, uncertain what to do. MacGyver was obviously reliving a memory, causing this nightmare. He pressed the button that would call Dr. Thompson in here, as abruptly Mac´s body tensed, his back arched as much as the restraints would allow, and he was pulling hard on those restraints.

“No!” he cried out terrified. “Don´t… Please, Pete, stop it!”

Willis froze. What? Had he just begged Pete to stop? It was a shock to Willis, but it confirmed their speculations.

The door opened and Dr. Thompson rushed inside.

“What is it?” he asked, trying to assess the situation quickly.

“He´s having a really bad nightmare.” Willis explained. “I wasn´t sure what to do. It keeps getting worse. He was begging Pete to stop.”

Dr. Thompson held his breath for a moment, looking at Willis. His face turned dark.

“So it is true. Sometimes I hate being right.” he stated. He stepped back from MacGyver´s bed. “Try to wake him. Gently.” he ordered Willis. “We should better get him out of it. I´ll stay back at first.”

Willis swallowed hard.

“MacGyver, can you hear me?” he asked. “Mac!”

MacGyver winced as Willis took his hand and laid the other one on his shoulder. The pictures in his mind moved faster and faster. First he was bound to the wall and Pete was stabbing him with his Swiss army knife. Then the wall disappeared and he was standing at the abyss. He frantically tried to get away, because this time there was no rope around his wrists. He felt Pete pushing him, tried to turn around, tried to hold on to something, to anything. But he fell and saw Pete falling with him. The drop felt endless.

Then a voice was calling out to him. That voice didn´t fit into the pictures. Just before he and Pete would have hit the ground, someone held on to him, shaking him softly.

“Mac, listen to me! This is a dream. Wake up! MacGyver!”

He was startled awake, his eyes wide with shock, disoriented at first, searching the room.

“Mac, It´s okay.” the voice said.

Mac turned his head, finding Willis´ concerned face. He was still breathing heavily; his heart was pounding, his body trembling. It took a moment to realize that he was back in the sick-room, no one was stabbing his back, and he was not falling anymore.

“It´s over, MacGyver. It was only a bad dream.” Willis told him. “You´re safe.”

Mac´s shock mixed with confusion.

“But… it felt… so real…” he answered back with a low voice.

Willis squeezed his hand.

“It was just a dream.” he repeated. “It´s over. We´re all here to help you.”

As MacGyver slowly came out of his shock, he suddenly sensed another person in the room. Dr. Thompson carefully approached Mac´s side, causing his body to stiffen again. He still couldn´t control the trembling, his gaze wandering from the doctor to Willis and back. Willis still held on to his hand.

“Do you remember Dr. Thompson?” Willis asked. “He was with me when we found you on that mountain.”

Mac nodded. “Yeah… but you forced me…” He couldn´t finish the sentence as the memory of the syringe popped up in his head and sent a shiver down his spine.

“I am sorry, that I had to sedate you.” Dr. Thompson apologized. “But I had no choice at that moment. You were in panic. You wouldn´t have allowed me to treat you. You would have hurt yourself even more in fighting us. I am sorry.”

Mac remained silent, watching the doctor doubtful, while he desperately tried to sort the jumbled memories and pictures in his mind.

“The effects of the drug you´ve been given, added to it. That´s why we kept you asleep for almost four days, and that´s why those straps holding you are still there.” the doctor continued. “We had no idea how you would react on waking up. I didn´t want to take any risk.”

Mac nodded again. He still had a hard time controlling his emotions.

“But the drug is gone from your system and your injuries are responding well to the treatment. Will you allow us to take care of you? Can I rely on you? Can I trust you?”

Mac just stared at him kind of frozen. He wanted to agree, but all his memories washed over him and panic rose again.

“Mac, it´s okay, we´re all…” Willis wanted to help the tense situation, but Dr. Thompson raised one hand to cut him off.

“Willis, would you excuse us for a few moments?” he asked softly.

At first Willis wanted to protest, but then obeyed. He squeezed Mac´s hand briefly, before letting go of it.

“I´ll be right back.” he reassured Mac before leaving the room.

MacGyver all of a sudden felt even more trapped.

Dr. Thompson was standing at his side, his face soft as he touched MacGyver´s arm.

“MacGyver, you´ve been through a lot in the last weeks.” he stated. “Your injuries tell quite a story about what you had to endure physically. But with your initial reaction to us and the need to sedate you, I don´t have much information on what you had to endure mentally and emotionally.”

MacGyver´s gaze was fixed on him. He still couldn´t control the shivering. He didn´t know what to say, what to reveal. What did they know? Had they also found Pete´s body? Did they suspect him of killing Pete? His fear now mixed with grief and guilt, causing tears to well up in his eyes.

“MacGyver, you´ve been tortured. I can tell as much as this. It is quite understandable, that you´re frightened. I know the restraints don´t help it. But I can only remove them, if I am sure that you will try to trust us. All of us are working to get you mended soon. Yet we do need your cooperation to go on with the treatment. What do you say?”

Mac decided not to reveal anything at the moment. He managed to blink away the tears. The doctor really seemed to care. Willis really seemed to be concerned. He really felt a lot better, at least physically. The answers to his questions could wait. MacGyver gave in and nodded.

“I will try.” he answered hoarsely after taking a deep breath.

Dr. Thompson sighed with relief. “Thank you.” He turned to push the button that would call in the nurse. “Do you need something to ease the pain?” he asked afterwards. “How bad is it?”

Mac needed a few moments to think about that question. Compared to what he had felt during the torture, it was nothing. But compared to feeling comfortable and being able to sleep quietly again… He nodded weakly, suddenly feeling his full exhaustion as the adrenaline rush subsided.

“Yes, please.” he answered. “It´ll help me to rest.”

The doctor smiled at him. “All right.”

MacGyver changed his gaze to the door as it opened; saw Willis and a nurse entering. His vision got blurred as he felt dizziness. He realized the doctor was opening the straps that held him. First the ones at his ankles, and took them off the bed, lifting his legs to do so, and handed them to the nurse. He continued with opening the straps around his wrists and chest, then looked at Willis.

“Can you help him to sit up?”

Willis returned to Mac´s side, “Sure.”

MacGyver turned his head to face Willis who was leaning over him.

“Hold on.” Willis asked him while putting one of Mac´s arms around his neck.

“Be careful with the IV and his back.” Dr. Thompson advised.

“Ready?” Willis asked while sliding his hands under Mac´s shoulders.

Mac took a deep breath, tried to tighten his hold on Willis and raised his head a little. He raised his second arm to grab on to Willis´ arm.

“Yeah, I think so.”

With a combined effort they managed to raise MacGyver until he was sitting upright, still leaning on Willis. The bandages had pulled on his wounds; he clearly felt his broken rib. He couldn´t suppress groaning with the pain. Willis held him close, stabilizing him, steadying his head, while Dr. Thompson and the nurse removed the leather straps from the bed. After the nurse had left, the doctor made a quick check-up on MacGyver´s back.

Satisfied with what he saw, he ordered: “Now let´s lay him down again. Real slow and careful.”

Mac felt himself being lowered, supported by Willis´ and the doctor´s hands. He let it happen, having not much energy left to do it by himself. The mental strain also seems to take it´s physical toll, he automatically assessed his own condition, while he was sinking back into the soft bed and the pillow under his head. He had to close his eyes as his wave of relief over not being bound anymore turned into vertigo. His emotions wouldn´t calm down fully. A part of his mind truly enjoyed being able to relax, to trust, to let himself being helped. Mac tried to give in to that feeling, but another part of him refused to. That part was still on high alert, still ready to fight for his survival. That part of his mind wouldn´t allow him to relax fully; it always replayed the memories of his torture, of his escape and of Pete falling to his death.

MacGyver felt a hand touch his sweat-covered forehead, then feel for the pulse on his neck. He blinked his eyes open and found the concerned face of Dr. Thompson above him.

“How are you feeling?”

“Dizzy… exhausted… tired… thirsty…” Mac answered with a low voice.

The doctor looked up at Willis.

“I´ll be right back.” Willis seemed to understand and left.

Dr. Thompson concentrated at MacGyver. “How bad is the pain? On a one to ten scale?”

Mac thought about it for a moment. “Three, sometimes five or six.”

The doctor nodded, straightened himself and turned to a table beside to the bed. He picked up a medicine bottle and partly filled up a syringe. Mac felt a shiver run down his spine at the sight. Dr. Thompson seemed to notice.

“Are you all right with this?”

Mac had to swallow hard. “Yeah… Do what you have to…”

He couldn´t take his eyes off the syringe as the doctor emptied it into his IV. Willis returned just as Dr. Thompson had finished.

“I got you some water.” he told Mac as he approached his side. “But I guess you´d have to sit up a little again.”

Mac nodded and started to raise his head. Willis´ hand and arm wove instantly around his shoulders to help him, to hold him. Mac drank only a few sips enjoying the feel of the cool water running down his throat. He looked at Willis after lying down.

“Thanks, Willis.”

MacGyver felt the pain diminish already. His eyelids grew heavier. He tried to fight the darkness as he heard the doctor say: “That´s okay, MacGyver. You need to rest. Get some sleep. We will be there to watch over you.”

Mac got another glimpse of Willis and the doctor and then allowed his eyes to close and the oblivion to take over.

*****

The following days brought slow, but steady recovery for MacGyver. The only people around him were Willis, Dr Thompson and his medical team. Willis kept seeing him regularly, being supportive and reassuring. Dr. Thompson and his team went along cautious and regardful of his fears, yet changing the bandages on his wounds wasn´t all too comfortable. At least his body seemed to be on the way to mend. Slowly he started to relax and calm down in their presence. Slowly his mind started to accept that they meant no harm.

However sleeping quietly still remained difficult to MacGyver. He wasn´t able to get rid of the nightmares. His sleep didn´t provide the amount of rest, he was hoping for. Waking startled out of a bad dream several times per night left Mac exhausted even though he had been asleep for hours. Dr. Thompson had offered to assist his sleep medicinally, but so far Mac had refused. He was determined to try and confront those pictures on his own. But still, the recurring pictures were frightening. He knew his torment was most possibly over, but he wasn´t yet able to feel it. Some part of him deep inside refused to calm down.

MacGyver´s mind kept clearing the more his body recovered. He was awake for longer episodes, having more time to sort his memories and emotions. So far no one had tried to question him about his captivity. He wouldn´t have been ready to talk about it, if anyone would have pressed him to reveal what he´d been through. How could he? He had killed his best friend. No matter what Pete had done to him, this was not how Mac had intended it to end. The guilt and grief about it kept getting clearer and stronger with every day. He knew very well, that he would have to tell his story soon. Every time Willis came to visit him, reminded him of that. It was inevitable, but he was afraid of it. He would have to confess.

Mac couldn´t imagine how the board of directors of the Phoenix Foundation would think about it. What did they already know about what happened? What if they didn´t believe him, just as Pete hadn´t listened to him? What did Willis know? So far, MacGyver had no way to tell.

He didn´t know anything about the efforts everyone was taking beyond his room. Investigating all the evidence recovered from the camp had led to some clues, but still a lot of questions remained. Willis and Pete agreed that Mac would certainly be able to provide some answers. Pete had been keeping track of Mac´s progress at least twice a day. He had been visiting the underground labs daily, even though the doctor didn´t allow him to see MacGyver personally. He had been sitting in the monitoring room for hours on some days, watching Mac on the screen, observing him as he slept. With his physical state improving, Pete´s worries about Mac´s mental and emotional condition increased. He seemed quiet and calm when awake, but too quiet.

Posted by: uniquelyjas 24 February 2020 - 01:59 PM
<shakes head> I KNEW he would panic when he felt the restraints. I was going to mention that in the last part. Poor Mac!

I agree with Willis...it IS hard to see Mac like this...certainly not what we are used to, but he IS human, after all.

As I said previously, I really like that you are taking time to delve into Mac's recovery. I think your approach really reinforces what Mac went through physically and psychologically. Obviously, he has never experience something this intense before so it deserves to be examined more thoroughly. Oh, my heard just aches as he is still convinced he killed the real Pete! When you end saying that Mac is too quiet, that's scary. Again it brings me back to The Widowmaker where he was also too quiet and wallowing in guilt and self-pity.

Well done!

Posted by: Dragondog 25 February 2020 - 11:22 AM
QUOTE (bluegirl @ 24 February 2020 - 01:06 AM)
Good morning, everyone! It is time to wake up - also for Mac, but how will he cope with it?

Funny how you say that, because when you make these posts, it's 1 a.m. where I'm at laugh.gif

Posted by: bluegirl 25 February 2020 - 11:52 AM
Well, I usually try to post the new parts around 8 or 9 am CET... wink.gif next one is due tomorrow!

Posted by: bluegirl 25 February 2020 - 11:30 PM
Hello again, 48 hours have passed - here´s the next part for all of you to read

Mac´s road to recovery - physically, metally and emotionally - is kind of rough and bumpy, but fortunately he has friends caring about him


Part 8

It was the evening of day seven when Pete, Willis and Dr. Thompson met in the monitoring room, discussing how to continue.

“I can´t allow that yet!” Dr. Thompson exclaimed upset.

“But we do need some answers!” Pete replied. “One of the men got away when we stormed that camp. We won´t be able to track him down without a better description. The one we arrested still isn´t talking. We need MacGyver´s help. And he has a right to know the truth.”

“He isn´t up to it!” the doctor insisted.

“I haven´t tried to ask him…” Willis tried to calm the tense atmosphere. “He wasn´t mentioning anything from himself. Talking to him and being with him feels like he´s locking up all his memories and emotions to himself. He won´t reveal anything if I don´t press him to.”

“I need to talk to him.” Pete demanded.

“Pete, he still thinks you´re dead!” Willis reminded him.

“I believe, he thinks he´s killed you.” Dr. Thompson added. “You can´t just go in there. He´s still too weak. We can´t risk that.”

Pete sighed deeply. He knew Mac well enough to know how disturbed he must be feeling. Pete hated the current situation.

“I might try. The doctor might try.” Willis suggested. “Maybe he´ll talk to us.”

“But we have to be careful given the fragile trust he has in us.” Dr. Thompson explained. “He´s trying hard to pretend that he´s okay to us, but he´s definitely traumatized. I don´t know how long he will be able to keep up his composure. It´s slowly using up his strength.”

“It´s MacGyver we´re talking about!” Pete said angrily. “He´s a fighter. He always comes through!”

Willis and the doctor looked at him quietly for a moment. Then Dr. Thompson laid a hand on Pete´s shoulder.

“I know what he means to you. That´s why I´m being extremely cautious. I don´t want him to break down.”

Pete wanted to protest, but inside he knew the doctor was right. The dreading situation was using up his nerves and strength as well. He slowly sat down in front of the monitor showing his sleeping friend, fixing his gaze on the image.

“We´ll give it a try tomorrow.” Dr. Thompson told him softly. “I don´t want to wake him. Willis and I have to run some lab tests. Can we leave you alone here? Will you be okay?”

Pete nodded absently. “Yes, I´m all right. I just want to stay here for a while.”

*****

Pete had been watching silently for about an hour when MacGyver started having nightmares again. It hurt Pete deep inside to see his friend suffer but not to be able to help him. He had to watch Mac moving around in his bed, curling up, stretching out, turning from one side to another. He was trying to push away things only he could see in his dream while moaning in his sleep. It lasted only a few minutes, then Mac lay quiet again. But while moving he had also pushed the blanket that was supposed to cover him and keep him warm away. It had slipped off him and now covered only part of his legs.

Pete noticed it, also seeing the bandages and bruises on Mac´s torso. Uncertain what to do Pete first sat quietly, waiting. He knew very well that he was not supposed to go in there. After some time the screen´s picture showed that MacGyver was starting to shiver from getting cool. Still being weak, his body was more vulnerable to the cold than usual. Pete´s concern grew rapidly.

No nurse around, the doctor still running tests in the lab. Pete had to act.

After all, MacGyver was asleep, he wouldn´t notice Pete covering him with the blanket. He would leave the room immediately after it.

Pete took a deep breath, got up and hurried to the room opposite to the corridor. It felt strange sneaking as silent as possible into the sick-room of the man he was so familiar with. Trying to avoid being heard or even seen by Mac didn´t feel right. Pete stood frozen for a few moments just inside the door, watching MacGyver for the first time without a monitor since days. He cautiously closed in on the bed. Mac´s eyes were shut; he was breathing regularly and slowly, lying on his side, facing Pete. The blanket had folded up behind his back.

Standing beside the bed Pete saw all the exhaustion and pain the torture had caused in MacGyver´s pale face. He seemed to be peaceful in his sleep, but the wounds dressings and the lines etched into Mac´s face told a different story. A shiver running over Mac´s whole body reminded Pete of why he was here – where he shouldn´t be. Careful not to touch MacGyver he reached over him for the blanket, pulled it up to his shoulders and covered his whole body again. Pete deliberately tucked in the blanket around Mac´s shoulders and neck and started to retreat right after it.

But it was too late. MacGyver had felt the slight touch. He moved his head a little and blinked his eyes open as Pete had only reached the door and pulled on the handle.

MacGyver´s mind was still horrified with the episode of nightmares he´d had. Now pictures of his cell filled his sleeping head. It was cold, terribly cold. He felt the shivers running through him. Pete had been there in his dream again, tormenting him with electric shocks. The trembling he felt was partly caused by the cold, partly by the fright. Through his dazed mind between really sleeping and being wide awake he noticed something covering him. Something was touching him softly. Someone had to be moving that something. Was he not alone in his cell anymore?

Slowly he turned his head to see who was there. His eyes needed a moment to focus on the man who was already at the door. What he saw instantly set off all his alerts.

Pete.

“No!”

A sudden wave of shock and adrenaline made him bolt up and back in his bed. He slipped over the edge backwards and fell to his knees and hands, not being strong enough to stand. The IV got ripped out of his arm by the tube of his infusion. Mac felt the burning pain; his whole body protested wildly against the sudden movement. A wave of vertigo hit him. But this was about surviving! MacGyver forced himself up on his feet in the next blink of an eye and rushed to get further away. That door was the only entrance and escape he realized in his panic. He crashed backwards into the wall after a few yards; his head colliding hard with it. Mac felt a sudden stinging pain in his back, stars dancing in front of his eyes he went down to the floor. He lay in the corner of the room trembling with fear, breathing hard in shock and pain, desperately fighting the darkness that threatened to take over. His vision blurred totally; Mac had to close his eyes.

No, he thought, not now. I have to get away! I have to stay alert!

Gasping he tried to turn, to curl himself up, to protect himself, to get up. But it was no use. His body wouldn´t obey. MacGyver collapsed to the ground again.

Pete froze in shock as he saw MacGyver´s reaction. It all happened within seconds. He had never expected something as intense and fierce. Only a moment after Mac had collapsed, he felt someone brush past him, as the door opened and then someone grab his arm and shove him to the corridor. Just then he saw Dr. Thompson´s darkened expression.

“Director or not, get out of here!” he ordered angrily, then turned on his heels and hurried back in to look after his patient.

Pete was left alone in his shock, feeling like someone had stabbed his heart, his stomach tight as a knot. He had endangered MacGyver. He had made a huge mistake.

MacGyver was still frantically fighting the darkness as he heard steps rushing to him. Someone crouched down.

“Mac!” he heard that someone call him through the ringing in his head. In the next moment he felt a gentle touch on his shoulder. Being trapped in his shock he didn´t care who it was. He desperately tried to push and knock away whoever was close to him without looking. But his arms were caught fast and spread out. One against the floor, the other against the wall.

“Stop it, MacGyver!” the same voice ordered, but Mac was still in his survival mode. He kept struggling with all the energy he had left against the one holding him.

“Mac, look at me! It´s me! It´s Willis. Stop fighting!”

Mac´s resistance ceased slowly though his body remained tense. He turned his head to look at that voice. His eyes had trouble focusing. The room seemed to be moving around him. He recognized Willis facing and holding him; Dr. Thompson was standing a few yards behind him. He recognized the room he had been in for a week by now. His gaze searched frightened around the room and then fixed on Willis.

“What happened, Mac?” Willis asked softly.

Mac´s trembling intensified as his last memory popped up in his mind. No, I can´t tell them, he decided quickly. That´s impossible. It couldn´t have been real. I must have been dreaming.

Still disoriented he took a few deep breaths and then answered: “I don´t know… Maybe that last dream was feeling too real…” He wasn´t lying. It still felt very real.

Willis slowly released his arms and put one of his arms around the back of his neck to help stabilize Mac´s head. MacGyver´s heart was racing as the doctor also knelt down and felt for his pulse.

“Was anyone here when you entered the room?” Mac suddenly asked them. Am I still having hallucinations?, he asked himself inside.

Willis and Dr. Thompson exchanged a quick look.

“No one.” Willis reassured MacGyver. “Whatever spooked you, it must have been that bad dream. Try to relax. Everything´s fine. You´re safe.”

All of a sudden MacGyver´s shock and his emotions took over. He couldn´t control the panic any longer, even with Willis and Dr. Thompson at his side. He turned to lie on his side, curled up a little. He covered his face with his hands to hide the tears welling up in his eyes. He was unable to keep his body from shaking. He heard Willis´ voice trying to calm him. He heard the soothing words. He felt his comforting touch at his shoulders and stabilizing his head.

It took a few minutes until Mac regained control over his body and emotions. Now thinking calmer and more logically he assessed, it must have been a dream. Wiping off the tears he raised his head a little, looking up. MacGyver´s eyes found two concerned faces.

“We´d better get you back to your bed.” Dr. Thompson suggested. “I´d like to have a look at your back.”

Mac nodded weakly. None of the two men pressed him further to reveal what he had seen in that dream. None of them mentioned his short emotional collapse. They were being patient and regardful as they had been over the last days. With the help of the two men he got up. They assisted him in lying down comfortably on his side, and Willis covered him with the blanket.

“I´ll be back in a few minutes.” Dr. Thompson told them. “I´ve got to prepare everything for changing the dressings and bandages. I had it scheduled for tomorrow morning, but I´d rather like to do it now.”

When Dr. Thompson left the room, he found Pete still standing stunned in the corridor some yards away.

“In here!” he ordered him into the monitoring room which also held a lot of medical supplies. “You were damn lucky.” he continued after Pete had closed the door behind him. Then he started to collect the dressings and bandages he would need to care for Mac´s wounds out of the drawers.

“He was going through a bad nightmare. His blanket had…” Pete started to explain, but was cut off by a warning look of Dr. Thompson. He had stopped moving around and now turned to face Pete.

“I don´t need no explanation.” he answered sharply. “Mac could have hurt himself real bad. Fortunately he trusts us. He believes that what he saw was part of his nightmare. But we all got a glance at his real mental condition behind his carefully kept up façade.”

He turned again to pick up the last items and then left to take care of his patient.

Pete slowly sat down in front of the monitor. He was still in shock about Mac´s reaction to him. And he felt guilty. He never wanted to cause any harm to MacGyver, but in his attempt to help him, he had probably done just that.

When Dr. Thompson returned, Mac had settled down a bit. He was still shivering and his face was pale. After a probing look the doctor set down the supplies on a table behind MacGyver´s back and came back to face him. He brushed some of Mac´s damp hair back from his sweaty forehead and felt for his temperature.

“Shall I ease the effects of the shock?” he asked softly.

Mac turned his head to look up at him, attempting a weak smile. He was starting to master his self-control again.

“No, thanks. I think I can handle it.”

“All right.” Dr. Thompson nodded and returned to the other side of the bed.

“You need to lie a little more on your front. I guess you know the procedure by now… Or do you want to sleep through it? I could…”

Mac shook his head. “No. I´ll be okay.”

Then he adjusted himself on the bed to allow the doctor access to his injuries. Dr. Thompson pulled back the blanket and cautiously felt all over MacGyver´s back. When the doctor started to cut open and remove the bandages, Mac closed his eyes and bit back a moan. Willis instantly took one of Mac´s hands, holding on to it, his other one ready to assist the doctor if needed.

“You were lucky.” Dr. Thompson declared after exposing his whole back. “Only one of the deeper cuts has torn open and is bleeding, but it won´t need new stitches. Could have been a lot worse.”

He pressed some gauze on to the bleeding wound which made Mac gasp in pain and squeeze Willis´ hand.

“I´m sorry.” The doctor apologized as he felt Mac´s body tighten under his hands. “I have to stop the bleeding.”

MacGyver only nodded silently. As soon as he had closed his eyes minutes ago, pictures had started to flash into his mind. Although his senses had been affected by the drug most of the time, he recalled every moment of every hit, of every shock, of every cut or slash. His mind played the memories over and over while Dr. Thompson was at work. It wouldn´t stop even as he forced himself to open his eyes. He started shivering again. Willis and the doctor noticed it immediately.

“Mac, are you all right?” Dr. Thompson asked.

MacGyver took in a deep breath. “Fine.” he answered, while he tried to straighten his back a little. “I´ll live.” He suddenly felt extremely tired. As Dr. Thompson had finished treating all of his wounds and started to put on fresh dressings and bandages, he closed his eyes again and gave in to the darkness that swept over him. Willis was the first to notice him going limp. He squeezed his hand worried.

“Mac? MacGyver!”

“Don´t!” Dr. Thompson stopped him. “Let him sleep. It´ll be a lot easier for him. He desperately needs to rest.”

He finished bandaging MacGyver´s back and then asked Willis to help him turn Mac over and performed the same procedure on the injuries on his front. At last he set up a new IV and took care of Mac´s arm, where to other one had been torn out.

Willis also felt worn out by the time they were finished. He nodded automatically as the doctor asked him to stay with MacGyver, but he didn´t know how long he would manage to stay awake. The last days, the last weeks had been eating on all of them. He settled into his chair, held contact to Mac with one of his hands and soon dozed off.

*****

Against expectation MacGyver felt rested when he woke in the morning. A night´s sleep without any bad dreams had served him well. When he opened his eyes his first gaze went to the clock, then he noticed something beside him. Looking down he saw Willis in his chair, his arms and head resting on the edge of Mac´s bed. He had to smile and then touched Willis´ arm softly with his hand.

“Willis?”

Willis was startled awake, a little disoriented at first. “What… where…” Then his eyes found MacGyver´s smile.

“MacGyver! You´re awake!” he exclaimed with relief. “How are you feeling?”

“I was going to ask you the same thing.” Mac answered. “I´m fine. A lot better than yesterday evening.”

“You gave me a heart attack yesterday.” Willis looked intensely at him.

Mac´s smile was instantly gone. “Yeah, me too.” After a little break he added: “You look like you need to get some sleep. IN a bed.”

Willis rubbed his eyes, nodding. “You´re right. But first I need to tell Dr. Thompson that you´re awake. I´ll see you later.”

He got up, put on his glasses and left the room.

Only a minute later Dr. Thompson came in.

“Good morning!” he greeted Mac. “Willis told me, you´re feeling better?”

Mac nodded while the doctor checked all his vitals. “Yeah. I´ve been sleeping quietly as it seems. Did you have anything to do with that?”

“I just aided it.” Dr. Thompson smiled apologetically. “The shock you´ve experienced, did most of it. You were exhausted, also mentally. I just made sure it would last all night… to give you enough time to rest.”

“Oh…” Mac raised his eyebrows. Dr. Thompson could see, that Mac wasn´t sure if he liked the doctor´s decision.

“Listen, MacGyver, I was planning to get you out of this bed and move your body a little today or tomorrow, but wanted to do it slow, cautious and with assistance. Do you think you´re up to that? Given what happened yesterday?”

The sudden change of topic interrupted MacGyver´s thoughts about the medication. The memory of those frightful minutes flashed back into his mind. His expression darkened.

“MacGyver?” the doctor asked concerned as he didn´t respond.

Mac looked up at him, managing to lighten up his face again. “Yeah, sure. I´m fine.” he replied.

Getting out of this bed; being allowed to move around. That was something to look forward to. So far he had only been walking from his bed to the bathroom in his sick-room, and only with help. Increasing his radius of action was encouraging.

Until Willis returned in the afternoon, his day had followed the usual routine.

“Dr. Thompson had told me, that he allowed you to get out of here.” Willis greeted him. “But we have to stay on sub-level two.” He set down a well known sports bag on a chair. “I´ve been at your houseboat and got you some clothes.” He couldn´t tell Mac, that Pete had been there to get Mac´s favorite stuff.

“Thanks, Willis.” MacGyver carefully sat up in his bed.

“So, let´s get you dressed and out of bed.” Willis encouraged him. He handed Mac a t-shirt, sweat pants and sneakers and helped him steady himself as he slowly got out of bed after putting them on. MacGyver felt dizzy for a few moments as he stood upright. He had to hold on to Willis.

“Are you okay? Are you up to it?” Willis asked.

MacGyver took a deep breath and straightened himself.

“Yeah, I´m fine. Just needed a little time to adjust myself to being vertical again.” he explained. “Let´s go.”

Slowly, carefully they made their way to the corridor and along it. At first MacGyver had to lean on Willis for support, but he got more confident with every step. His leg wound had been healing well. He could feel the sting, but it wasn´t bothering him too much. Halfway down the corridor Mac was walking on his own. Yet his strength was limited, so they soon ended up back in the monitoring room with coffee for Willis and herbal tea for MacGyver. Being alive had just started to feel comfortingly normal again to MacGyver as Willis started asking questions.

“MacGyver, you really scared us yesterday… What happened?”

MacGyver froze in the same moment. He knew it had been bound to happen. He wasn´t able to talk his captivity. Not yet.

“I guess, I just overreacted to a bad dream.” he tried to brush off the question. “I´m fine.”

Willis look still showed deep concern. “Those nightmares keep tormenting you.” he insisted. “Mac, you´ve been gone for three weeks. Your injuries tell some story. But none of us really knows what you´ve been through. Don´t you want to talk about it?”

MacGyver kept his eyes on is mug, his expression suddenly darkened.

“No.” he answered with a low voice, staring into the distance at something only he could see.

“You know, it might help you getting rid of those dreams.” Willis tried again, but Mac didn´t react.

His memories replayed in his mind. The rapid change of being tortured, questioned, escaping and killing Pete made him breathe faster. Willis noticed it.

“Mac, you don´t have to handle this on your own. We´re here to help you.” Willis pressed on.

“Willis, I said no!” Mac suddenly shouted angrily at him. “I don´t want to, I don´t need to talk about it!”

The outbreak was so abrupt that it made Willis wince and draw back from his friend. Mac was also surprised by his intense reaction. He took a deep breath, licking his lips nervously.

“I´m sorry.” he continued after a short pause, his voice again low and soft. “I didn´t mean to snap at you… Listen, I know all of you are trying to help… But I can´t… I just can´t talk about it. Not yet.” He tried to avoid looking at Willis and took a sip of his tea.

Willis needed a moment to relax, then laid a hand on Mac´s shoulder.

“That´s okay.” he accepted the apology. “Take your time.”

They both sat in silence while finishing their hot drinks. Afterwards Willis escorted MacGyver back to his room. But after getting back into his bed Mac asked him to leave him alone. He felt Willis hesitate.

“Willis, I´m fine. Really.” Mac reassured him. “Thank you for getting me out of here. But right now I´d like to be alone. I need some time to think… and I´m a little tired.”

Willis nodded, but his face showed some doubt.

“All right, I´ll see you tomorrow.” he said before he left.

*****

With MacGyver now sometimes walking around, Dr. Thompson had declared sub-level two off limits for Pete Thornton. He, Pete and Willis had to meet at the lab they used for all the evidence and its investigation at sub-level three. Three days had passed since the ‘evening incident’ and the doctor had finally forgiven Pete´s mistake. Again they were discussing how to proceed.

“Pete, I´ve tried several times during the last days.” Willis told him. “He won´t talk to me.”

“But we have to get through to him somehow.” Pete sighed deeply. “I can´t stand watching him suffer like this anymore.”

“I´ve tried getting him to talk to Dr. Beattie, but he has locked up to that offer.” Dr. Thompson added. “He keeps telling us that he´s okay. He has improved physically, yet he is still considerably weakened. After three weeks of torture he has some catching up to do. But I have to admit his mental strain is not helping it.”

The three men looked at each other quietly for a moment.

“But how do we confront him without risking more damage?” Pete asked what they were all thinking. “I can´t just walk into his room…”

“No way. We have to be very cautious.” Dr. Thompson addressed Pete. “He´s not only traumatized by the experience of being tortured, but his well known world has been destroyed by that ‘other you’.”

“But he´s still MacGyver.” Willis suddenly joined in.

Pete and Dr. Thompson looked at him puzzled.

“What do you mean by that?” Pete asked.

“He´s curious. He´s nosy. He´s scientifically interested.” Willis explained. “Maybe I can get him down here on one of our walks with something he will be interested in. Maybe I can confront him with parts of the evidence. Step by step. Maybe he will open up to it…”

Pete nodded slowly, considering the thought. “That might work…”

“Or cause him to break down.” Dr. Thompson wasn´t convinced.

Pete and Willis looked at each other.

“We have to try.” Pete finally told the doctor. “I can´t go on, not letting him know what really happened. He has every right to know.”

Dr. Thompson nodded, yet remained skeptical. He held the gaze of Pete and Willis for a few silent moments.

“Both of you should know that it´s a dangerous game, you´re intending to play.” he answered. “Be careful not to break him.”

Pete took the warning serious. But he had known Mac for many years. He knew how strong his friend´s resilience was.

“I know, doctor.” he replied. “But it´s MacGyver we´re talking about. We´ve got to give him every chance to get his real self and his life back. We have to trust him, that he´ll use it…”

*****

Posted by: uniquelyjas 26 February 2020 - 10:38 AM
I'm wondering, since Mac is still blaming himself for Pete's death, if he wouldn't handle seeing Pete better than the doctor anticipates. Then again, that would be a "normal" Mac, so maybe the doc is right on this one.

Oh dear, I feel SO SORRY for Pete. He's absolutely the closest person to Mac and now he can't go near him:(((

This all could really damage Mac long-term as in PTSD:( And it's totally typical Mac to shut down his emotions and keep it all buried inside.

My favorite part is when Willis says "But he's still MacGyver". YES!! In my opinion (Sorry Dr. Thompson) it's time for them to stop coddling Mac so much and start getting him to help himself in the recovery process. I bet once he starts thinking/doing "MacGyver stuff" he'll feel better and more open to talking to the others as well as seeing Pete. Oh! I hope I'm right!!!

Posted by: bluegirl 26 February 2020 - 12:17 PM
Well, seeing Pete is not going to be that easy - after all, he´s been in charge of the torture, he´s tried to kill him - he´s dead in Mac´s mind, right? Think about all the pain and angst that he has caused. Or would we see Mac panic if he was 'himself'? Yes, it is the beginning of PTSD...

Getting him to open up is going to take some effort - but I guess I´m going a different way with the story than you are thinking I might. You´ll know more on friday! wink.gif

Posted by: uniquelyjas 26 February 2020 - 01:13 PM
QUOTE (bluegirl @ 26 February 2020 - 12:17 PM)

Getting him to open up is going to take some effort - but I guess I´m going a different way with the story than you are thinking I might. You´ll know more on friday! wink.gif

Oooh, that makes it more exciting!!

Posted by: bluegirl 26 February 2020 - 01:37 PM
That´s what it is supposed to do - I was really unsure about this part and the next two. I thought about cutting them down and making them less 'dramatic' - but now I am really looking forward to your comment on the next two parts. What happened to Mac is dramatic and there is no sense in not showing it. Writing this one and the next two parts was the most challenging during the whole process...

Posted by: uniquelyjas 26 February 2020 - 04:12 PM
QUOTE (bluegirl @ 26 February 2020 - 01:37 PM)
That´s what it is supposed to do - I was really unsure about this part and the next two. I thought about cutting them down and making them less 'dramatic' - but now I am really looking forward to your comment on the next two parts. What happened to Mac is dramatic and there is no sense in not showing it. Writing this one and the next two parts was the most challenging during the whole process...

Oooh, Now I'm really excited!! ANOTHER reason to look forward to Friday:)

Posted by: Dragondog 27 February 2020 - 10:54 AM
The whole time from the moment Pete saw the blanket slip off of Mac through the whole incident, I was like "Noooooo surprise.gif "

laugh.gif

Posted by: bluegirl 27 February 2020 - 11:08 AM
QUOTE (Dragondog @ 27 February 2020 - 07:54 PM)
The whole time from the moment Pete saw the blanket slip off of Mac through the whole incident, I was like "Noooooo  surprise.gif "

Well, I hope the noooo is going to change tomorrow... we´ll see what Pete and Willis are trying to do to help Mac...

And hopefully the 'Nooooo' isn´t caused by my storytelling...?

Posted by: bluegirl 27 February 2020 - 10:52 PM
Here we go again...

Pete and Willis are planning to get through to MacGyver, carefully, cautiously, slowly - but with Mac involved, will it work out as planned...?


Part 9

On the following day Willis spent the whole morning preparing the lab. Until midday everything was ready. Upon entering the room it wouldn´t arouse suspicion. On the table next to the computer lay only a few manila envelopes and folders. Willis had put the evidence from the torture in sturdy cardboard boxes on the shelves on the side of the room. The silicone masks from Pete´s double were hidden in a separate box in the back corner of the shelf, together with the pictures and videotapes they had retrieved. They had found another mask as they had searched the camp ten days ago, along with photos and videotapes showing ‘the real’ Pete Thornton. Obviously Pete´s double had used those to practice his role, in order to be able to fool MacGyver´s already drug- and pain-confused mind. The shelves on the other side of the room held a microscope with some soil samples. Everything was set up.

Pete arrived shortly after noon and went straight to Willis´ lab. The two men stood silently for a few minutes, after greeting each other, looking around the room, assessing their idea for a last time.

“Do we really think this will work? Will he look around while I pretend to set up another test?” Willis asked nervously. “Will he even follow me down here?”

“I don´t know.” Pete sighed. “But if there´s some part of the MacGyver we know, that´s still intact, it should work… It has to work…”

“Do we really have to trap him like that?” Willis added. “I don´t feel to good about it… I know, it´s been my idea, but…”

“I don´t like it either.” Pete cut him off. “But I hate seeing him now. I hate letting him believe that he was tortured by me. I hate letting him believe that he killed me. For MacGyver´s own good, we have to end this. We have to try. We have to do everything possible to get back the MacGyver we know. And we have to go after the men who did this to him.”

After another reassuring glance at Willis, Pete left for the neighboring lab where they had set up a surveillance monitor for their ‘trap’. Willis remained alone. He needed a few moments to calm himself and to prepare mentally for what he was about to do. Then he nodded to himself and went to see Dr. Thompson and MacGyver.

*****

Dr. Thompson was with MacGyver as Willis arrived at the sick-room. He greeted the two men.

“Good to see both of you! How is our patient doing, doctor?”

Mac´s smile was a little lopsided. “I´m fine.”

Dr. Thompson looked first at MacGyver then at Willis.

“He´s improving.” he answered Willis´ question. “We were able to remove the stitches in his back this morning. His injuries are healing well. He may feel a little more tired than usual because of the procedure. He´s still weakened, also due to the weight loss during the captivity.”

Mac had remained silent during the doctor´s explanation, but now he added with a grin: “What he´s saying is I´m fine.”

Willis had to smile, but the doctor shot him a warning look.

“Don´t overdo it today.”

Willis hesitated for a moment. Should we better wait until tomorrow?

“Can I take him for our afternoon walk?” he asked.

“You can.” Dr. Thompson looked at him intensely, knowing what Willis and Pete were planning. “But be careful with him.” Then he left Mac and Willis.

Willis stood silent, watching Mac as he slowly sat up in his bed.

“Would you mind handing me the sweatshirt?” Mac asked, pointing to a chair in the corner.

“Sure.” Willis picked up the sweater from that chair and handed it to Mac, who put it on cautiously. “Mac, are you up to it? Dr. Thompson said you might be tired.”

MacGyver froze for a moment, then looked at Willis, trying to seem determined.

“I am fine.” he confirmed. “Willis, I´m looking forward to getting out of here at least once a day. It helps me train my body and its circulation again. I need to get back in shape. Let´s go.” He swung his long legs out of the bed and reached for his sneakers.

Willis stepped aside to assist him, feeling a little sting to his heart. He was about to lure his friend into an unpleasant trap. He knew, he had to do it, the outcome would hopefully be a relief to all of them, yet it felt like betrayal. And the doctor´s warning had reminded him of the risk they were taking.

As usual for the last days MacGyver held on to Willis´ arm for the first minutes. He felt the strain from removing the stitches quite clearly, but he wasn´t going to admit it. He was determined to cope with it. Mac let go of Willis as his steps slowly got more confident. After walking around the corridors of sub-level two for some time they took a break sitting down in the small kitchen with their usual coffee for Willis and herbal tea for MacGyver. Mac had soon noticed that Willis was a little off-center today.

“What´s going on, Willis?” he used the break to ask. “Something wrong?”

Willis suddenly felt trapped himself. Had he really believed, he could hide his unease from MacGyver? He took a quick look at his watch to avoid Mac´s probing gaze.

“No.” he replied. “Just waiting for some results of a test that I started in the morning. Should be ready by now.”

Mac nodded. “Urgent?”

Willis shook his head. Now or never, he thought. “No, I just need them for a simulation.” he replied. “Only scientific curiosity, you know. I´m waiting to see, if the research matches my theory.”

“Oh.” Mac raised his eyebrows and nodded in understanding. “What´s it about?”

Willis sighed. Baited and hooked, he thought. Time to reel him in.

“It´s just my usual soil and groundwater stuff. Searching for patterns in the spreading of chemicals and toxins.” he answered.

“Can I have a look at it?” MacGyver was instantly interested.

Willis looked up from his mug.

“I am using a lab at sub-level three, but I surely can get the papers up here. Dr. Thompson hasn´t allowed you to leave this level so far.”

“I know.” MacGyver sighed deeply. After a small pause he added with a boyish grin: “But does he have to know that we´ve been down there?”

Willis looked at him surprised. That had been easy. Yes, the nosy part of MacGyver is still there, he assessed to himself.

“I don´t think that´s a good idea…” he replied.

MacGyver was already exited by the idea.

“Willis, you´ve told me that I´ve been a captive for three weeks, I´ve been down here for ten days. I need to see and think about something that has no connection to that. Please…”

Willis looked at him silent. Again he felt the sting to his heart. MacGyver noticed it, but he mistook it for compassion.

“I´ll take the blame, Willis. I´ll tell the doc, I talked you into it.” he continued. “Please, let´s go.”

Willis hesitated another moment, then nodded. “All right…but you did talk me into it.”

MacGyver´s grin widened, he shrugged apologetically as he emptied his mug. Willis also drank the last of his coffee and then they both got up and left for the elevators. Willis´ key card allowed them access and they descended to the next level. Willis had a hard time hiding his inner tension as he guided MacGyver to the prepared lab. Opening the lab door with his key card gave him a moment to take a deep breath. Coming up was the most important and most crucial part of his and Pete´s plan.

When he entered the lab Willis went directly to the computer, took a quick look at the monitor and then headed for the printer. He had set up the computer and readied a print-out to be waiting for him. Willis retrieved the papers, returned to the computer and sat down in front of it.

MacGyver followed him slowly, leaving the door open, looking around the room. He noticed the folders and envelopes on the table, the microscope and the door leading to the adjoining room that was housing the more sensitive analysis equipment. Stepping closer to Willis and the computer he also saw the cardboard boxes on the shelves on the other side of the room. It felt comfortingly familiar to be in a lab again. Releasing a deep breath Mac glanced over Willis´ shoulder. Willis was typing results from the print-out into some input mask on the screen.

“This will take only a few minutes, Mac.” Willis told him. “I´ll be right with you…”

Mac nodded and straightened himself. He took another, closer look around the lab. He walked around the table and looked into the microscope. Mac saw some soil sample with others still waiting next to the microscope. He rose up after a few moments, as leaning forward made him feel every one of his wounds. Turning around the boxes on the far side of the room caught his attention.

Quite big for soil and water samples, Mac thought while he approached them. Willis noticed where Mac was headed in the corner of his eye. His pulse shot up.

“More samples in here?” MacGyver asked, just as he lifted the lid of the first of the boxes. What he saw made him freeze at once. He recognized the contents of the box very well. For a moment his heart seemed to stop, as all the memories washed over him. The box held iron cuffs with dried blood on them, and the stick they had used to electrocute him. MacGyver took an involuntary step back; the lid dropped out of his hand. He didn´t see how Willis stopped typing and slowly got up. He didn´t hear Willis talking to him at first. His mind was blocked with the pictures of his brutal confinement flooding into it. He didn´t realize that Willis had closed in on him, until he softly touched his arm. Mac winced and stepped aside.

“MacGyver?”

Willis saw he was trembling, his eyes filled with fear and his face frozen with shock. Bit by bit MacGyver regained some self-control. His mind was still on overdrive tough.

“Where did you get these from?” he asked with a low, hoarse voice. He felt trapped again.

What does Willis know? What does the Phoenix Foundation know? If they had found the camp, had they also found Pete´s body? Why has no one questioned me so far? What the heck is going on here?

The questions kept rotating in his head rapidly. Mac had to concentrate hard to hear Willis answer.

I am in charge of coordinating the lab investigation.” Willis explained. “I got those from the camp, after they had searched it thoroughly. Along with the other evidence. Soon after we had found you.”

Mac tried to calm down his ragged breathing. He couldn´t stop his hands from shaking.

They had to know… but who were they?

“They?” he heard himself ask after a few moments. Now his heart was racing. He heard Pete´s voice echo in his head: Willis has been cleared. He knows nothing about this. Really? Or had Pete also been wrong about that? Have I made a mistake in trusting Willis?

The thought sent a cold shiver down his spine. He took another step away from Willis, his eyes still fixed on what lay in that box. He had not expected to see remains of his torture in here. Nor had he been prepared for it. Willis didn´t follow him.

“Only the finest of our Phoenix Foundation operatives and forensics.” Willis told Mac. “Handpicked by and together with…” Willis hesitated for a moment then continued: “With Pete Thornton.”

As Willis mentioned that name, MacGyver felt like someone had hit him hard into his stomach. His head and heart seemed to explode.

Pete?!

For a moment his legs seemed to give way before he steadied himself to avoid falling.

That is impossible! How?

He could barely breathe. He looked at Willis in pure shock.

“What?” It was merely a whisper. “It can´t be…”

Willis moved to the shelf and opened another one of the boxes.

“MacGyver, I need to show you something.” he told Mac as calm as possible, observing him closely. “You have refused to talk about what happened, but regarding your reactions and the evidence… We believe that those men made you believe Pete was one of them. That Pete was part of the torture. That he tried to kill you… But that´s not true.”

Mac´s mind was still running berserk. Now confusion added to it.

“I´ve known Pete for many years, Willis.” he tried to argue. “Don´t you think I´d recognize him?”

“You have been tortured.” Willis sighed. “You were weakened and in pain. You were drugged.”

Mac didn´t respond. His gaze was locked on the box.

“It was a double.” Willis continued after a short break. He reached into the box, took out one of the silicone masks and showed it to Mac.

“They used silicone masks. We took this one off the dead guy that had fallen off the cliff.”

He laid it aside and took out the videotapes and pictures.

“They had pictures and tapes of Pete to help that man practice his role. So they would deceive you.”

He spread out the pictures next to the mask and then retrieved another folder.

“We took pictures of that dead man wearing the mask.”

Willis also put them next to the mask, but then stepped back to allow MacGyver a closer look. He didn´t want to put too much pressure on him by being too close.

MacGyver was paralyzed for a few moments. His mind refused to comprehend what Willis had just told him, just as it had at first refused to accept Pete´s appearance in the camp. Cautiously, like in slow motion he went a little closer. His whole body was trembling, he was still breathing hard. Mac didn´t dare to touch the mask, as if it would be able to hurt him. More and more memories flooded his already confused mind. The panic of being hurt and tortured again threatened to take over. His memories collided with what he saw lying on that shelf.

Could it be true? But how? I´ve felt Pete´s hands around my neck, I saw him falling… Can´t I trust my own memories anymore? Am I going crazy? Or had they really been able to deceive me? I didn´t kill…?

“Are you telling me, I didn´t …” MacGyver began to ask slowly, while turning to face Willis. He didn´t finish the question, but froze again, staring at something behind Willis. His eyes widened with shock and his face instantly went pale.

Willis turned to see what had gotten Mac´s attention. Pete was standing in the open doorway, frowning, his face marked with a mixture of deep concern and pain. He tried hard not to let his hurt show, instead managed to sound calm and comforting.

“No, MacGyver. You didn´t kill me.” he answered the most pressing question on Mac´s mind.

Hearing Pete´s voice loosened MacGyver´s paralysis. He straightened himself, swallowed hard and stepped back from the shelf. The memories of Pete stabbing his back with his own knife, of being pushed over the edge by him, of Pete trying to strangulate him took over. Mac had to close his eyes for a moment and shook his head in an effort to clear his mind. But he couldn´t control the fear of being hurt and having to fight for his life any longer. He stepped further away from Willis, trying to get as much distance as possible between the two men and himself. His eyes frantically scanned the room, but the only way out was blocked by Pete. Like a cornered, hunted animal he prepared himself it fight for his life.

“I was never there.” Pete continued, as he took a step into the lab. “It was a fraud. Please, try to believe us. Look at the evidence.”

MacGyver´s eyes switched rapidly between Pete, Willis, the silicone mask and the pictures. Shivers were running over his body; he felt vertigo rising within.

“But I saw you… I heard you… How can I?” Mac´s words were only a hoarse whisper.

It tore Pete´s heart to watch his friend like this. He barely managed to sound quiet.

“Those men weakened you with the torture. They disturbed your senses with the drug. They knew exactly how to use your mind and your emotions against you.” he explained. “They tried to break you mentally.”

MacGyver didn´t respond. His thoughts were rotating faster and faster.

“You saw me kneeling next to that dead double, before you ran off.” Pete tried to convince him further. “Do you remember that?”

Mac nodded shakily. That was the one memory that he had not been able to place yet. He had accepted it as a hallucination caused by the drug.

“I and Willis came to your rescue.” Pete carried on.”We had only seen a body from the helicopter. We didn´t know you were close by. We didn´t know that we would find that double. We didn´t know what had happened to you…”

Mac still remained silent, his breathing ragged. Pete and Willis saw him sway a little. They realized, they were acting dangerously close to the edge of how much Mac could take.

“MacGyver, we´ve been the best friends for many years. Deep inside you got to know that I could never do something like this to you. I would never hurt you. You´ve got to know that.” Pete tried again. “Please, believe me… Don´t tell me they were successful in breaking you apart… Please…” His last words were choking with the tears welling up in his eyes.

MacGyver didn´t move. He was still shaking. His gaze was now fixed on Pete. His mind was confused with his memories, his fear and what he´d just seen and heard. What Pete had told him made sense, logically. He felt torn inside. Pete´s last words had touched something he had buried deep inside his heart. He desperately wanted to believe him. But the part of his mind that had not calmed down all the time he´d been here, was on high alert. Mac was hardly able to control it. He tried to straighten himself.

“It wasn´t you…?” he asked doubtingly. He could see the tears in Pete´s eyes.

“No, Mac.” Pete replied with a breaking voice. “I´ve been searching for you… I´ve been trying to get you back…”

MacGyver felt a wave of relief as part of his mind accepted that he had been betrayed. He sighed, yet had to close his eyes as the dizziness all of a sudden intensified. As he opened them again his vision blurred. Mac tried to grab something to steady himself, but the table and shelves were too far away. Fighting the darkness creeping up he tried to focus on Pete again.

“Pete…?” It was only a whisper. Mac wanted to reach out to him, but the darkness and vertigo swept over him and he collapsed unconscious to the ground. He didn´t hear Pete calling out his name scared.

“MacGyver!” Pete rushed past Willis and crouched down beside him. He put one hand around Mac´s neck, steadying his head and the other one to his shoulder. “Mac! Come on!” He felt for Mac´s pulse. It was racing, but strong.

Willis closed in right after Pete.

“I´ll get the doctor.” he told Pete after a quick look, got up again and hurried out of the room.

Pete abruptly felt uneasy. Had he pushed too far, too early? Had he put MacGyver´s life at risk again? Had he been able to successfully reach out to his friend? Seeing Mac lying limply on the ground sent a shiver down his spine. He had to blink the tears out of his eyes, tried to focus and calm down. Pete carefully pushed some damp hair off Mac´s sweat-covered forehead. His skin felt clammy.

“I´m sorry, Mac.” he told him, tough Mac would probably not hear it.

But only moments later MacGyver stirred. Moaning he took a few deep breaths, his face marked with pain. Pete was still there, steadying Mac´s head with his hand.

“Easy, MacGyver, take it slow…” he attempted to comfort him.

His mind was still confused, as MacGyver slowly came out of it. His injured back hurt, but why had he fallen? Pictures played back into his head. He wasn´t sure at first, if his last memories were real or if it had been another frightening dream. As he tried to move his head, he felt someone holding him softly. It felt somehow familiar. Just then he heard a voice that set off all his alarms. He opened his eyes and saw Pete hovering at his side. Without thinking, he struggled to get up and away, but he was too weak. Pete held him at shoulder and neck, gently pushing him down. Mac´s body was tense and shivering within the blink of a second.

“Quiet, Mac, please…” Pete asked him softly.

MacGyver had grabbed on to his arms and tried to pull them away. His grip loosened only a bit.

“It´s me, pal. It´s Pete.” Pete tried to calm him. “Remember, what we just told you?”

Slowly MacGyver´s frightened mind cleared bit by bit. One after another he sorted his memories and started processing them. He let go of Pete´s arms and allowed his body to relax a little. His gaze remained locked on Pete´s face.

“I´m so sorry, Mac.” Pete told him. “I wish, you´d never have had to go through this. I wish I could have prevented it. I wish we could have found you earlier.”

MacGyver was still breathing heavily, still shivering. He saw the pain in Pete´s eyes quite clearly. Out of the blue the relief was back in his head and heart. His troubled mind accepted the facts. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes to fight the last remains of his fear. It was almost gone when he looked up at Pete.

“Pete.” His body eased up further and he held on to one of Pete´s arms again. “It wasn´t your fault…” His hand squeezed Pete´s arm.

A relived smile widened on Pete´s face, still mixed with concern.

“Oh, thank God.” he exclaimed and eased his grip on Mac´s shoulder. MacGyver tried to rise up, but he wasn´t strong enough yet.

“Wait. Let me help you.” Pete stopped him. He wrapped one arm around Mac´s shoulders and helped him sit up a little, resting Mac´s head against his arm. MacGyver gazed up at Pete and held on to the arm supporting him.

“Thanks, Pete.” he said, then relaxed into Pete´s hold and hid his face in the fabric of Pete´s coat. Shivers were still running up and down his spine. He felt Pete pull him even closer, cautiously holding him with both arms.

“It´s okay, MacGyver. It´s over.” he heard Pete´s soothing words.

Mac held on to Pete as all the memories and emotions of the last four and a half weeks washed over him. All the events were catching up on him. It lasted for minutes until his relief had gotten back the upper hand against his fears. The adrenaline rush wore off and he suddenly felt extremely exhausted. The vertigo was back with full force. Even the floor seemed to move. Mac struggled to calm his breath and raised and turned his head to look at Pete. His gaze was unsteady. His face had gone pale again.

“Pete?” he asked weakly. “I guess I could use some help… I´m not…”

Pete was there supporting Mac´s head fast.

“It´s okay.” he cut Mac off. “Willis already went to get Dr. Thompson when you passed out. They should be here any minute. Just hang on.”

A small smile played around Mac´s lips. His eyelids were getting heavy.

“That´s good.” he replied with a low voice. “Don´t worry, Pete… I´ll live… I just need to… rest.” His words got interrupted by the shivering.

Pete tried to return the smile, but just as Willis and the doctor entered the room, Mac´s eyes closed and his body went slack again. Dr. Thompson quickly kneeled down opposite to Pete, instantly feeling for Mac´s pulse on his neck.

“What happened, since Willis went to get me?” he asked.

“He regained consciousness soon after Willis left.” Pete´s eyes stayed locked on MacGyver. “He needed a few moments to remember and accept what we had told him. I´m afraid, the relief was a shock to him. I had to hold him for minutes until he recovered from it, but just as you came in, he passed out again.”

The doctor nodded and laid a hand on Mac´s forehead.

“Lay him down.” he ordered Pete while turning around to his case. He checked Mac´s blood pressure and shone a penlight into his eyes as he carefully opened his eyelids.

“Pupillary reflex is normal. Good.” Dr. Thompson stated, feeling for the temperature on MacGyver´s cheeks and neck. His skin felt cold, yet was covered with sweat.

“Willis, get the nurses down here with a stretcher. Fast.” the doctor ordered without looking up. He turned to his case and hurried to fill up a syringe. “Pull up his sleeve.” he addressed Pete, who was stared at him alarmed, but obeyed fast.

“Doctor, what´s wrong with him? What´s going on?”

Dr. Thompson didn´t react but quickly found a vein on Mac´s arm and emptied the syringe into it.

“Raise his legs a little.” he said.

Pete got one of the boxes from the shelf and put it under Mac´s feet and ankles. Then he returned to face the doctor, who was again checking Mac´s pulse. Pete´s tension grew with every second.

“Dr. Thompson!” he demanded. “What´s wrong with him?”

Dr. Thompson reacted only a few moments later.

“He´s gone into a severe physical shock.”

Pete was stunned. “What?” he asked unbelieving. “But how? He was recovering and stable…”

“I´m afraid it´s caused by the mental shock.” Dr. Thompson explained, fully concentrating on his patient, constantly monitoring his condition. “Since he´s here and awake, he has tried his best to keep up a calm façade, to hide his emotions from us. MacGyver has made an enormous effort in making us believe that he´s okay. This has drained a lot of his energy. Confronting him with the truth has most probably used up his remaining strength. When he started believing you, his relief suddenly reduced the adrenaline flow that´s been keeping him under tension. That´s what made him collapse. With the tension gone he´s totally exhausted and worn out.”

He looked up as he heard the stretcher rolling on the corridor and saw Willis and the nurse entering the room.

“We´ve got to get him back upstairs and under surveillance fast.” he told her.

Willis worry grew instantly as he hadn´t heard the doctor´s explanation.

“Doc, is he in danger?”

Dr. Thompson´s gaze fixed for a moment at Pete and Willis; his expression dark and serious.

“Not yet.”

Posted by: uniquelyjas 28 February 2020 - 10:31 AM
OK, I just read your intro to this part and no, nothing ever seems to work out as planned when Mac is involved!!

Even as messed up as Mac is, I doubt he could keep himself from taking at least a peek at the lab!! That kind of stuff is always his downfall!

And true to character, Mac is always "fine" even when he isn't!!

Ha! Called it! Sure didn't take much convincing to get Mac to the lab:)) Good to see part of himself shining through!!

LOL! Mac is SO NOSY!!

OK...really glad that Mac is accepting the evidence, Pete, etc. as truth. Now worried about his physical condition again! Ugh!! You did a really good job explaining why he collapsed again and yes, I can't totally see Mac using all his strength to pretend everything's fine.

What a rollercoaster you have us on! Waiting for Saturday!!

Posted by: bluegirl 28 February 2020 - 11:13 AM
Way too much praise for me.... the rollercoaster ride has four more chapters to come...

If you liked this part, I am curious about what you will be thinking about the next one - due on sunday morning CET

happy_dance.gif happy_dance.gif happy_dance.gif

Posted by: uniquelyjas 28 February 2020 - 11:47 AM
QUOTE (bluegirl @ 28 February 2020 - 11:13 AM)

If you liked this part, I am curious about what you will be thinking about the next one - due on sunday morning CET

happy_dance.gif happy_dance.gif happy_dance.gif

Hmmm, now I'm intrigued. Yeah, Sunday, guess I just have the weekend on my mind!! Still have about 2 hours left to go here at work:(

Posted by: Dragondog 29 February 2020 - 12:22 PM
QUOTE (bluegirl @ 27 February 2020 - 01:08 PM)
QUOTE (Dragondog @ 27 February 2020 - 07:54 PM)
The whole time from the moment Pete saw the blanket slip off of Mac through the whole incident, I was like "Noooooo  surprise.gif "

Well, I hope the noooo is going to change tomorrow... we´ll see what Pete and Willis are trying to do to help Mac...

And hopefully the 'Nooooo' isn´t caused by my storytelling...?

Don't worry wink.gif The "noooo" was because I could tell that Pete was going to go into the room when the blanket fell off of Mac, and I was worrying about the chaos that would cause. If anything, it's because you're a GOOD storyteller smile.gif

Posted by: bluegirl 29 February 2020 - 10:34 PM
It is sunday - it´s time for the next step on the rough road to recovery

Part 10

Together they returned MacGyver to his room on sub-level two. Dr. Thompson connected him to the heart rate monitor, breathing and blood pressure surveillance and supplied him with more meds to keep his weak circulation going. Pete never left Mac´s side. No matter, what Dr. Thompson would or could have said, he was determined to be there for his friend.

Only a few hours after returning him, MacGyver´s condition had turned stable and started improving again. Pete had sent off Willis to get some rest at that point, whereas Pete and the doctor had stayed with Mac the whole time. It was close to midnight, when MacGyver stirred, moaning lightly. Both men were instantly on their feet, but Dr. Thompson shot Pete a warning look.

“Stay back at first.” he ordered with a low voice. “We have no idea how he will react. I don´t want to cause another shock.”

Pete nodded, stepped back into the far corner of the room and sat down again, while Dr. Thompson took his place at Mac´s side. He laid one hand on MacGyver´s forehead, brushing back his unruly hair and feeling for his temperature.

“Shh, MacGyver.” He tried to calm him. “Easy. Take your time.”

MacGyver´s head slowly turned to the familiar voice he heard. His mind was a little confused; he felt his injured back and cracked rib quite clearly. He blinked his eyes open and focused on the doctor´s concerned face.

“Doc?”

Dr. Thompson´s hand slid down to his neck and checked on his pulse.

“Yes, MacGyver.” he answered. “How do you feel?”

Mac needed a moment to reply, assessing himself.

“Exhausted… Somehow feeble… A little dizzy.”

“That´s understandable.” Dr. Thompson nodded. “Do you remember what happened?”

Mac started searching his mind. I am back in my room now, but why? How?

“Willis came to get me for my afternoon walk.” he recalled slowly, his eyes now looking into some unknown distance, unsteadily sorting through his memories. “He had told me about some soil tests he was conducting. I talked him into taking me to his lab on sub-level three.” He shrugged apologetically at the doctor. “When we got down there…”

He suddenly went silent, his eyes moving rapidly, concentrating to his inside. Mac´s breathing speeded up for a few seconds, then he held his breath. His jumbled memories washed over him, in a flash sliding back into their places. MacGyver abruptly focused on Dr. Thompson, tried to rise up quickly, but the doctor held him down at his shoulders.

“Don´t! Stay down! Slow, MacGyver…” Dr. Thompson ordered.

Mac stared at him with eyes wide open, the sudden pain in his back not mattering at all.

“Pete!” he asked excitedly. “Where´s Pete?”

Pete didn´t wait for permission or approval from the doctor; he was on his feet at once.

“Right here, MacGyver.”

MacGyver´s head shot to the other side; his eyes searched the room and quickly found Pete Thornton in the corner. His hand reached out and he tried to get up again.

“Pete…” he sighed relieved.

Pete was at his side with a few quick steps, grabbed MacGyver´s hand and held on to it. His other hand went to Mac´s shoulder gently pushing him back on the bed.

“Dr. Thompson said, you should stay down.”

MacGyver´s breathing was still labored but he held on tightly to Pete´s hand. His gaze was fixed on his best friend.

“It´s okay, Mac. Try to relax.” Pete continued. “I won´t be going away. I won´t leave you.”

Mac took a few deep breaths, striving to calm down his racing heart and his breathing. Dr. Thompson had observed MacGyver and the monitors showing his vitals sharply, but now his tension also reduced a little. He saw clearly how strong the bond and friendship between the two men were. The doctor knew very well, this would not take the experience and the memories off MacGyver. Healing his mental injuries was a huge task that still lay in front of him. But at least the darkest and most painful memory had apparently lost its potential to burden his soul anymore. The fright would return as would the nightmares, however for now Dr. Thompson was relieved. MacGyver knew that his life and his friends were still there and that he could still trust them and himself. This fact would make his recovery a lot easier, physically as well as mentally.

Dr. Thompson sighed and straightened himself. His hand left MacGyver´s neck, where it had been monitoring his pulse. That movement drew Mac´s attention to him. He turned his head to face the doctor. Dr. Thompson smiled at him.

“It looks as if the two of you don´t need me at the moment, so I´ll leave you alone. As it is the middle of the night, I´ll get some sleep. Remember, you told me, you´re exhausted, so don´t overdo it.” Then he looked at Pete. “He needs to rest. Don´t you keep him awake.”

Both men nodded, so he left the room. After the door had closed, Mac looked at Pete and squeezed his hand a little. Again he felt a wave of relief rush through himself.

“Thanks for getting me out of this, Pete.” Mac said with a low, soft voice. “Thanks for not giving up on me.”

Pete smiled. “Thank you for finally returning to me.” he replied. “And you did get out of there yourself, remember?”

“I wouldn´t have been able to do it without the uproar.” Mac´s expression instantly grew dark with the memory. “Must have been you and your team…” He paused for a moment, giving Pete the opportunity to nod. “I didn´t care about the reason at that moment.” he continued. “I was acting on pure survival instinct… Pete, they made me believe…” Mac wasn´t able to finish the sentence as his emotions took over. A shiver ran down his spine, his eyes were staring blank into the distance as his memories surfaced once more.

Pete gently squeezed his hand and his shoulder.

“Shh, Mac… It´s over.” Pete addressed him. “Please… come back to me… listen to me… you´re safe now…”

It took some moments until MacGyver managed to push back the images in his head. Slowly his eyes focused on Pete´s face. He sighed deeply and had to close them for a few seconds. His vision blurred a little with tears welling up in his eyes as he opened them again. Pete was still there. It had not been a trick of his mind.

“Quiet, MacGyver.” Pete tried to calm him further. “Don´t rush it… Take your time… We don´t have to talk about it now… you rather need to rest.”

MacGyver nodded weakly. He felt every bit of his exhaustion; his eyelids were getting heavier.

“Pete, please, stay…”

“Shh.” Pete cut him off. He had seen Mac getting tired. “It´s okay… sleep, MacGyver… relax… I´ll be here when you wake up. I won´t leave you.” he reassured Mac smiling.

MacGyver returned the smile feebly. Pete felt his body relax and saw him close his eyes. His breath became slower and more regular. Mac drifted off into a quiet sleep. Pete held on to Mac´s limp hand for a few minutes before placing it gently on the bed. He pulled a chair close to MacGyver´s bed and settled into it, preparing to watch over him at least for the rest of the night. Pete would be going nowhere soon. He wasn´t going to leave his best friend alone.

*****

“Pete, I need to see it!” MacGyver was a little upset.

“I don´t think that´s a good idea.” Pete replied, trying to stay calm. “And so do your doctors.”

MacGyver slammed his hand on the table, got out of his chair and started pacing the lab on sub-level three. He stopped at the far end of the room and turned to face Pete.

“So that´s your plan… Getting me out of one cage and putting me into another?” he asked angrily.

“Mac, it’s a safe house, no cage.” Pete still managed to answer him quietly. “Please, be reasonable. I told you that one of the guys is still out there. You gave us a good description, but we don´t have any lead on him yet. He could still be after you.”

MacGyver closed in on the table until he was standing opposite to Pete.

“But it´s not very likely that he´ll be in that camp on that mountain. You also told me, you´re observing it. So, what danger could it cause if I go back there? With company?”

He leaned forward with his hands on the table, his brown eyes fixed on Pete.

“Pete, I´ve got to see it. Without the drugs, without the pain, without being captive.”

Pete sighed deeply. After confronting MacGyver with the truth about the double, his recovery had been much less complicated. He had agreed to talk to Dr. Beattie fast and his physical progress had also speeded up with the lessening mental pressure. So yesterday, only two weeks later Dr. Thompson had agreed with Pete Thornton to release MacGyver into one of the Phoenix Foundation´s safe houses. There, they agreed, they could still watch over him, but slowly allow him to return to normalcy.

Dr. Beattie had also agreed. She was still concerned because Mac made every effort to convince everyone that the experience of having been tortured didn´t bother him anymore. However, talking to him one on one felt a lot different. He had opened up a little to her, had told only her some details about what had happened on that mountain. But even to her, he tried to hide his emotions and his real feelings. She knew it was part of his personal process of dealing with the experience. After the initial relief of Pete still being alive, Mac had also withdrawn from him. He was keeping up his composure, making everyone believe he was fine.

Dr. Beattie had talked to Pete about it. She had warned him, that Mac would quite likely push himself too far too soon. Pete watched MacGyver worried as he was pacing again.

“I just know I have to do it. I have to put those images to rest.” Mac´s eyes were haunted as he faced Pete.

“Are you sure about this?” Pete asked with a probing look at him.

“Yes, Pete.” MacGyver held his gaze and took a deep breath. “Maybe I can come up with something, you had not noticed up there. Maybe we can find more clues that will lead us to that Asian, together… Will you support me? … Or will you lock me up?”

Pete felt a sting to his heart.

“Mac, it´s not about locking you up.” he tried to argue. “We´re trying to protect you.”

Now MacGyver´s face turned sad. “After all those years we´ve known each other, after all we´ve been through together, don´t you think I can take care of myself?”

Pete had to sigh. “I know, you do, but…”

Mac raised one hand to cut him off.

“So? Dr. Thompson has allowed me to leave. Do I have to find my own way out of here and up to that camp? … Or will you help me?”

Pete still looked at MacGyver with deep concern. He knew very well, his friend was stubborn when he had made up his mind. He also knew that Mac was capable of working his way out of the labs or any safe house. After a few moments of consideration he gave in and nodded to Mac.

“All right, if you really insist on doing this… I´ll make the arrangements.”

MacGyver´s face showed no smile. Inside he knew it wouldn´t be an easy trip to make. To the outside he wanted to seem determined. He didn´t want Pete to worry about him.

“Thanks, Pete.”

Pete slowly got up, constantly observing Mac.

“Come on, I´ve got to make some phone calls and you´d better get dressed and ready for our trip.”

*****

Pete had arranged for a helicopter and two Phoenix operatives waiting for them outside the lab complex. MacGyver knew both of them from previous assignments. One of them was their pilot and both of them were supposed to guard the camp from the outside as long as Mac and Pete would be searching it.

Getting out of the underground installation felt good to MacGyver. He was no longer forced to sit around and wait. Knowing that the corpulent Asian man had been able to flee had become unbearable to Mac over the last days. Even though Dr. Beattie had warned him of serious flashbacks, he had to go after that man. Letting him get away was no option to MacGyver.

The longer the flight took, the more withdrawn Mac became. Pete noticed it soon. He had a watchful eye on Mac´s condition the whole time.

“Mac, are you all right?” he asked some minutes before they would reach their destination.

Mac had been silently looking out the window. He had recognized Widow Canyon passing below them. Pete´s voice made him snap out of his considerations.

“I´m fine, Pete” he replied. “Just keeping track of where we are going. It´s so close to Widow Canyon. No wonder it felt familiar to me as I was escaping the camp.”

The helicopter made its way through the neighboring valley up along a slope. A rocky wall stretched up until the end of it. Mac grew silent again, his expression turning dark.

“That´s where we found you and that double.” Pete explained while pointing to a certain spot along the rock face.

MacGyver´s eyes followed his gesture. He drew in a deep breath and held it for a few seconds. Even with Pete sitting right next to him, the memory of that guy chasing him, strangulating him and then falling off the cliff haunted him. All of a sudden he felt Pete´s hand on his arm.

“Mac?”

MacGyver flinched and looked at Pete tense and with pain in his eyes. He took another deep breath before answering.

“I still see you trying to kill me … I still see you falling … I can´t help it…”

“Give it time…” Pete sighed and squeezed his arm gently. “You can´t undo your memories by will…”

Mac only nodded as the helicopter passed the spot and ascended along the slope. Minutes later a building came into sight. At the upper end of the rock wall, situated right at the edge was a large wooden camp. The helicopter circled above it, allowing Mac a full view around it, before it landed on a clearing close by.

MacGyver hesitated a moment; he needed the time to pull himself together mentally. Then he got out of the chopper, closely followed by Pete Thornton. Mac walked towards the camp immediately. Pete had to hurry to keep up with him.

Mac slowed down as the building came into sight through the trees. He stopped a few yards away from the front door. He had never seen this part of the camp, but knowing what he was about to see inside sent his heart pounding fast. He could hardly keep his emotions under control with all the memories of his captivity welling up. Pete´s voice made him wince and draw back a little.

“Do you still want to do this?” Pete saw the pain and fear in Mac´s dark eyes clearly as Mac looked at him. “Are you sure about this?”

MacGyver swallowed hard before answering: “I don´t want to, Pete… I have to.”

His eyes went back to the building, scanning it for every detail that might be important. Mac was about to walk to the door as Pete´s voice held him back.

“Allow me just a moment, Mac, please.” he asked. “Before you go in there, I´d like to give you something.”

MacGyver turned back to him and raised his eyebrows puzzled.

“Since your old one is evidence now…” Pete continued. “I got you a new Swiss army knife. Hopefully I picked the right model with all your favorite tools.” He reached into his pocket and held the new red pocket knife out to Mac.

MacGyver´s face instantly froze with fright. He involuntarily took a step backwards away from Pete. Pictures, sounds and the feeling of Pete stabbing his back with the knife suddenly flooded his mind. He wasn´t able to control it at first. Then he held his breath concentrating on the thought that it had been the other man, the double. But in his memories the man still had Pete´s face.

Pete lowered his hand with the knife as he saw Mac´s reaction. He had not expected something like it.

“Mac? … What´s the matter? … What´s wrong?

MacGyver released the breath, he had been holding, and part of the tension also gradually left his body. He managed to take his eyes off the pocket knife and raised his gaze to Pete´s face.

“I´m fine.” he replied slowly. “Just remembering something… the last time I saw my old one, the other ‘you’ was first stabbing my back and then stopped my attempt to escape with it.”

Pete´s shoulders slouched. “I´m sorry.” he apologized. “I didn´t…”

Mac cut him off with a wave of his hand.

“It´s okay, Pete.” A small smile played around his lips. “You had no way of knowing…”

He reached out his hand and Pete handed him the knife a little hesitantly. MacGyver turned it around for a few moments in his hand, checking what tools it held. His expression relaxed.

“I love it.” he said as he shoved the Swiss army knife into the pocket of his jeans. “Thanks, Pete.”

Mac focused on the door again, steeling himself mentally for what he was about to see. He knew he had to be careful, the last moments had just shown him how fragile his composure was. MacGyver slowly closed in on the door, while Pete exchanged glances with the two operatives that had now caught up with them.

“I don´t want any surprises while we are in there.” he ordered the men. “Make sure, that the camp is safe.”

Then he followed MacGyver to the door. Mac had already opened it and went inside. He entered the dim corridor. Inspecting them for every detail he made his way through every room, one after another. Pete tried to stay close without hindering him and observed Mac´s condition closely. After all it was only his first day out of medical care.

MacGyver remained silent for most of the time while walking around the camp. He only shared some of his memories and possible hints in short statements to every room with Pete. While being captive he had only seen the corridor, his cell, the bathroom and the large room at the end of the corridor. He remembered those quite clearly.

They had discussed all the evidence during the last two weeks and now Pete shared his information about where and what had been recovered while they were looking around. Pete could see the tension building up inside MacGyver with every minute although he tried hard to keep up his calm façade. He avoided the larger room and showed Pete the back exit first, where he had managed to escape. But after that it was the only one left over.

MacGyver´s hands were shaking as he touched the handle of the door leading to the room where he had been tortured. Pete noticed it.

“Mac, you don´t have to…”

MacGyver´s glance cut him off. His eyes were filled with a mixture of pain and fear but also determination. He puffed out a deep breath, pushed the door open and entered the room. Pete followed him up close, leaving the door open. He didn´t want to raise the pressure by shutting the way out. In the last weeks he had noticed that closed doors made Mac feel uneasy.

MacGyver stayed close to the wall while walking around the room. He noticed that the table was still there, but the shackles mounted to the wall were gone. Only some dried up dark stains on one wall and the floor showed where he had been bound and brutalized. All his memories were coming back into his mind, getting more intense with every moment. He had to concentrate hard to keep his fear under control. Mac remained close to the table, scanning it with his eyes.

“Have you checked the table for fingerprints?” he asked Pete with a hoarse voice.

“We´ve tried.” Pete answered as calm as possible. He could see Mac´s body trembling by now. He could barely imagine how hard he was fighting back his memories. “Nothing conclusive so far.”

“Try again.” Mac sighed. “Take it to the lab. Both of them have touched it. More than once. There has to be something we can work with.”

As he looked up to the side wall he froze, suddenly staring blank into the distance. His most unsettling remembrance had returned.

“Mac?” Pete asked, instantly concerned and alert. “What is it? … MacGyver?”

Mac didn´t react, but slowly went over to that side wall, like on autopilot. He searched for a moment, found the mechanism and slid the door open. Pete was stunned and surprised. They had not found the sliding wall weeks ago, shortly after MacGyver´s escape. First he was impressed by the view, then he noticed the edge of the cliff was right behind where the wall had just been. The next thing Pete saw was the sturdy wooden beam that reached out over the abyss and the rope hanging down from it. He went a little closer noticing that the end of the rope was stained with dried blood. Then he saw MacGyver standing close to the edge, somehow frozen, paralyzed, staring down into the depth blankly.

MacGyver´s mind and feelings were blocked by his last memory of this room. He felt the rope binding his wrists; the huge guard was pulling and shoving him close to the edge. He felt the wind on his skin and playing with his hair, not knowing up from down. He heard Pete´s voice urging him to confess in his head. He felt hopeless and broken again. Panic rose in him and took over. Pete was about to push him over the edge… to his possible death…

Pete´s focus abruptly changed to his friend, who was obviously reliving a memory.

“MacGyver?”

As Mac didn´t reply or even react a bit, Pete slowly went closer to him. He became aware of his pale but sweaty face and the shivers running over his whole body. Pete knew about Mac´s fear of heights. Had they really used it?

“Mac?” he tried to reach out to him once more. Mac still didn´t seem to notice that Pete was there. He didn´t answer, so Pete tried to gently take his arm. He wasn´t prepared for Mac´s reaction.

MacGyver fiercely knocked Pete´s hand off himself, pushed Pete away and panicking drew back into the room.

“No!” he shouted. “Don´t! Please, don´t do it!”

Pete needed a moment to regain his balance and avoid falling off the cliff. As soon as he was safe he concentrated on MacGyver again. Mac had retreated a few steps into the room. His whole body was trembling and his eyes were filled with terror and shock. He was still staring into the abyss. The memory of being pushed over the edge, of almost falling to his death had control over his mind and senses.

Pete saw that he was swaying a little as he cautiously approached him.

“MacGyver, please … listen to me.” he reached out to him. “It is over … come back to me … no one will harm you.”

Mac took another unsteady step backwards, but then his knees buckled and he fell to his hands and knees, breathing heavily. Pete felt the sudden urge to rush to him, but kept his caution.

“Mac, it´s me. It´s Pete… please, believe me … you´re safe.” he kept calming MacGyver. “It´s over … it is only a memory … you can get out of this … come back to me.”

A little hesitant Pete crouched down and laid first one, then both hands on MacGyver´s shoulders. Suddenly Mac´s shocked eyes fixed on Pete. Pete felt his body shaking with fear.

“What happened?” he asked softly. “Mac, please tell me what you see… Don´t cut me out of it… Let me help you… what did they do to you?”

He squeezed Mac´s shoulders gently and steadied him as he saw his gaze return to present time.

“I was bound at my wrists…” Mac told Pete with a shaky voice. “You pushed me over the edge… I would have fallen to my death if the rope had not held me… it felt like being ripped apart…”

Pete sighed deeply.

“You know I didn´t do this. Do you remember the double?” he asked. “You know I am here to help you through it…”

MacGyver only nodded slowly; a part of him still seemed paralyzed. Pete pulled him compassionately into his arms, feeling how tense Mac´s body was. At first Mac hesitated, still trying to hide his emotions, but then he buried his face into the fabric of Pete´s coat at his shoulder. After a few moments he held on to Pete allowing himself to be comforted. It took minutes before he felt somewhat safe again.

Pete was patient. He just held MacGyver quietly in his arms until he felt him calm down. Seeing his friend like this was heartbreaking to Pete. Inside he had to control once more his rage against the men who had done this to MacGyver. After a while Mac raised his head and eased himself out of Pete´s embrace. He straightened himself and fixed his eyes on the edge of the rock and the opening again.

“Mac, are you all right?” Pete didn´t fully let go. One of his hands still held on to Mac´s arm.

MacGyver´s face was pale as he shot Pete a short, shy look, like trying to apologize for the outbreak. “I´m fine.” he nodded, gradually regaining his self-control. “The memory just returned too sudden, too intense. It took over… I couldn´t distinguish past from present…” He still was a little disoriented and stunned. He had never expected the flashbacks to be that overwhelming.

He cautiously got up, closely followed by Pete. MacGyver again approached the abyss with Pete staying close by, deeply concerned. Mac held on to the sliding wall as he reached the edge. This time he was able to control the vertigo and his fear of falling. After some moments of looking down into the depth he closed the wall and turned to face Pete. He managed to smile shyly and reached out to take Pete´s hand.

“Thanks for getting me out of it.” he addressed Pete. “Thanks for being there.”

Pete held Mac´s hand tightly in both of his but remained silent. Pete recognized that Mac´s ‘I´m fine’-composure was back up. MacGyver was back to trying to show no weakness and locking up his emotions to himself. Only minutes ago Pete had gotten a glimpse at the terror that still was present under the thin veneer. It did nothing to ease Pete´s worries about his best friend. He sighed.

“We´ll better get you out of here.” he suggested. “We´ve been through every room, and I guess, it has been enough stress on your first day out of the hospital for you – and me.”

*****

Posted by: uniquelyjas 1 March 2020 - 01:23 PM
Yay!! Mac trusts Pete again!! That is one friendship that will never be completely broken!!

Uh oh, Mac may be back to his old self a little too much...of course he's gonna want to investigate!! Yeah, no safe house could hold him....he's escaped much worse!!

Aw, Pete got him a new knife! sak.gif Granted, I wasn't expecting his initial reaction (though I probably should have been) but I'm glad he was able to shake it off quickly!

Yeah, well, I love Mac, but he was asking for those flashbacks by going back so soon. Though I'm not surprised he insisted on it!

Those guys were really mean preying upon Mac's relationship with Pete AND his fear of heights which we know is paralyzing from his reaction after Mike fell in The Widowmaker. And I just KNEW Widow Canyon was involved somehow!!

OK, so Mac is on the case, he trusts his friends. Now let's get the bad guys!!!

Posted by: bluegirl 1 March 2020 - 01:48 PM
Soon, but not too soon, they´ll have to confront the bad guy that had gotten away - but there´ll be a little twist to it... There are three more parts to come whistle.gif whistle.gif whistle.gif

And yes, Mac trusts his friends, but can he trust himself? whistle.gif whistle.gif whistle.gif

Is he really back to his old self so quickly after what he had to endure? whistle.gif whistle.gif whistle.gif

Posted by: bluegirl 2 March 2020 - 11:34 PM
It´s time for Mac to get some rest and slowly return to normality... slowly?

Part 11

On their way back to the helicopter MacGyver reluctantly agreed to be taken to the safe house, at least for a few days. The safe house, Pete had chosen, was situated in a rather remote area of the hills north of Malibu. It was secluded, yet had a beautiful view towards the Pacific Ocean from its terrace. The pilot set the helicopter down in the garden while several men emerged from the house. MacGyver looked at Pete in surprise.

“That much personnel?”

“I´m not taking any chances. Mac.” Pete explained with a serious expression. “I want you to be safe. They are here to protect you and the house you´re in. You know all of them from previous assignments.”

Mac shot him a doubtful glance.

“I´ve ordered them to keep an eye on you and the place, but not to pester you. They are professionals, remember?” Pete continued. “I´ve got to get things going, so we can follow the hints you´ve given me. I don´t need to show you around, do I? You should remember the house. Your stuff is already there…”

MacGyver nodded and prepared to get off the helicopter.

“I guess, I´ll see you later in the evening?” he asked.

“As soon as everything is on its way.” Pete confirmed. Mac wanted to open the door, but Pete held him back at his arm. “MacGyver, please, promise me you will stay put…”

Mac turned to look at him directly. His eyes showed his inner turmoil, but he smiled at Pete.

“Promise… for now…”

Then he left the helicopter without giving Pete the chance to reply. MacGyver hurried to the house as the helicopter took off. He greeted all the men and went inside. Mac remembered the house very well. He and Pete had used it on various missions. He knew the room layout so he went directly to the kitchen, prepared himself a glass of orange juice and returned to the living room.

MacGyver flopped himself on the couch and looked out through the open glass doors. All Phoenix operatives had returned to their positions guarding him and the house. He could no longer see them, but knew they were there. It felt safe yet strange. Usually he was the one looking over someone in danger. He had accepted that Pete was right about some protection. Although Mac would never admit it to Pete, inside he knew that he was far from being back to his old self. He didn´t want Pete to worry, but he had to confess to himself that he felt mentally unstable and vulnerable.

MacGyver took in every detail of the extraordinary view. He enjoyed sitting there alone and quiet. For many weeks he had not been able to breathe fresh air or look into the distance. Now he started to really feel the end of his captivity and his new freedom. No more walls surrounding him, shutting out the outside world, holding him a prisoner. The relief of a wide open space allowed him to relax. Sitting there, he gradually realized how tired he was. He felt the strain of the long helicopter flights and the mental exhaustion from searching the camp. He tried to push the inner unrest away by concentrating on his physical condition. He noticed that his cracked rib and the pulled shoulders were aching, as well as some of his only recently healed wounds did. After all it was his first day out of medical care…

MacGyver sighed, emptied his glass and set it down next to the corner of the couch. He adjusted himself into a horizontal position on the couch, still keeping an eye on the wide open doors and the view over the ocean. Within minutes he was sound asleep.

*****

After some hours the nightmares returned. Being to the camp had brought back his carefully suppressed memories to the surface. He was reliving the moments of being pushed over the edge by Pete´s look-a-like, of being strangulated by him and of being stabbed by him over and over again. He was frightened. After a while his exhausted mind went quiet, but the images stayed lingering. His dark, cold cell was surrounding him in his dream; the walls were slowly closing in on him. All the feelings and images made Mac shiver in his sleep.

Suddenly he felt something covering him from his feet upwards, wrapping close around his whole body. As it reached his shoulders, the fear of being immobilized made MacGyver wake up startled. He bolted up and pushed away whatever was enveloping him. Someone grabbed his upper arms, steadying him, holding him tight. In his frightened and disoriented state Mac tried to free himself, no matter where he was and who was holding him. He didn´t even look at first.

“Easy, MacGyver! Look at me!” Pete called out to him. Then his voice turned soft and soothing. “It´s okay… It´s me, Pete… You´re safe… No one will harm you.”

MacGyver´s eyes were wide with terror as he found and focused on Pete´s face. Gradually he realized that he was still lying on the couch of the safe house north of Malibu. It had only been Pete who had attempted to cover him with a blanket. It had gotten dark outside since he had dozed off. Slowly the terror left his brown eyes and his body relaxed. Pete noticed it and let go of Mac´s arms. MacGyver let himself drop back on to the couch, drawing a deep breath. He covered his face with his hands and then ran them through his unruly hair, sighing.

“I´m sorry, MacGyver.” he heard Pete apologizing. “I didn´t mean to wake you. I saw you shivering in your sleep and …”

Mac cut him off with a wave of his hand.

“It´s okay… I´m fine.” he replied. He opened his eyes and prepared to get up. As he looked up at Pete´s face, he saw it lined with concern. MacGyver sat up and swung his long legs off the couch. Pete stood up and took a step backwards to allow him enough room.

“Pete, you worry too much.” Mac managed to smile at him. “It was only a bad dream… I´m all right.” he tried to brush off Pete´s unease. He retrieved his empty glass, got up and went to the kitchen.

“Have you got any news for me?” he asked over his shoulder casually changing the topic.

Pete followed him. “Yes and no…”

MacGyver had just opened the refrigerator, but now turned to look puzzled at Pete, his eyebrows raised in surprise.

“Yes and no?” he repeated Pete´s words.

“After I dropped you off here, I sent a forensic team to the camp.” Pete explained. “They went after every one of your hints and took the table to the lab. You were right, Mac. They found two sets of fingerprints on it. One of them is matching my dead double. With a little help from the police and the FBI we now have a name for him. He was a hired local low life. No connections to any bigger crimes so far. There are only a few cases of trickery and assault on his record.”

Mac turned to the refrigerator and filled his glass with orange juice again. He closed the door and leaned against the kitchen counter behind him, facing Pete but subconsciously keeping his distance.

“What about the second set?”

“I certainly had to dig deeper for results on him.” Pete sighed. “I had to pull on a lot of strings to get this information. Even the DXS got nervous when I asked for help…”

“Yes?” Mac pressed a little impatient.

“Together with your description and connecting him to the Asian man we arrested, we finally have got a name. And the organization he is working for.” Pete continued. “Both of them are tied to a Chinese syndicate specialized in technology theft and espionage. The name of our fugitive is Dan Ni Chen.”

He pulled a photo out of the pocket of his jacket and showed it to MacGyver. Mac face instantly froze at the sight of his torturer.

“That´s him.” he managed to say with a low voice, a shiver running down his spine. Pete noticed it and pocketed the picture fast.

“Their target was Phoenix Research. We still don´t know what project they were after, but it seems since their first attempt failed… they took you to get the information about how to get inside our computer systems… Their research on you that we found in the camp was quite impressive.”

Mac stared into the distance, considering the new information.

“It certainly was…” he agreed. “They knew about my help in building up the security for the computers. At first, they asked for the access codes…” His voice trailed off and he shook his head. “But why would they bring up you? … Accusing me of selling off classifieds?”

“Well, you are able to be remarkably stubborn.” Pete sighed. “I guess they realized it would take more than physical pain to break your resistance and your spirit.”

Mac´s haunted eyes suddenly focused on Pete, but he remained silent.

“Mac, their research on you and on us had to be thorough to pull this off. We´re still trying to figure out, where all their information on us came from.” Pete continued. “This Chinese syndicate came into the intelligence focus soon after the initial attack on the research department. But they are really good at covering their tracks. That´s also why it took three weeks to find any connection to that mountain camp and find you. To be honest, it was a long shot; I had no real clues to you being up there.”

Pete paused for a moment as he saw the pain returning into MacGyver´s eyes. Mac made every effort to keep his memories under control, while looking at Pete.

So, I have been lucky again, he thought.

“Mac, I´m sorry for what you had…”

MacGyver cut Pete off with raising his hand.

“You´ve got nothing to be sorry for.” he assured Pete. “I know you did everything possible to find me. Even if it was a lucky assumption… After all, you did get me out of there…”

He looked at his orange juice and took a sip.

“So, now that we know who this Chen is, do we have any lead on him?”

“I´m afraid, no.” Pete shook his head. “He vanished into thin air. He might be out of the country by now.”

MacGyver raised his gaze again.

“I managed to escape. He failed his contract and his assignment.” Mac stated. “I don´t think he´ll give up that easily. Not after all the effort he took so far. I am sure, he´s working on another way to get what he or his syndicate wants.”

Pete´s look grew doubtful.

“How could he?” he asked. “The security for the research division and for the whole Foundation has been raised to maximum. There´s only a handful of people in the whole Phoenix Foundation, that would know how to access the system from the outside now. Only one person is in charge for each lab complex.”

Mac´s eyes were fixed on Pete. Pete recognized the look. Mac was following an idea.

“I guess, he knows that.” Mac replied. “And their initial attack focused on the L.A. labs. They are after something we are working on right here… Pete, you do have those codes.”

His eyes widened with worry, but Pete shook his head.

“I can only get inside from a Phoenix computer terminal. You know, I wouldn´t be able to hack any computer system.”

Both of them stood silent for a few moments, reconsidering their train of thought. Pete was the first to speak.

“This is going to lead Chen to…”

“Willis!” MacGyver finished the sentence with a shocked expression. “Oh, no…”

He glanced at his watch and noticed it was past 9 p.m... Mac quickly set his glass aside and hurried for the telephone in the living room.

“Pete, contact the labs through the helicopter!” he called over his shoulder. “If he´s still there, tell him to stay! He´ll be safest there. I´ll try to reach him at home.”

He saw Pete run to the helicopter outside while he dialed the number of Willis´ apartment from memory. He listened to the ringing tone but got no answer. Willis was a known workaholic. It was common for him to stay in the lab until late evening. Nevertheless MacGyver´s stomach turned into a tight knot. He felt the terror of his torture rise inside.

If Willis would have to endure something similar to that…

MacGyver tried to shake off the thought as he put down the receiver. He heard the helicopter engines roar to life in the garden. Pete and his pilot were getting ready to take off. Without a second thought MacGyver ran outside. He was not going to leave his friend to this Chinese syndicate. Mac reached the handle of the helicopter´s back door and pulled it open, just as it was about to lift off the ground. He jumped inside and slammed the door shut.

The pilot had seen him coming; he was only stunned for a moment and then looked at Pete. But Pete turned and stared shocked at Mac.

“MacGyver, no!” he called out. “You´re staying at the house.”

“Is Willis still in the lab?” Mac asked, raising his voice over the roar of the engine and ignoring Pete´s order.

“No.” Pete answered. “He left with his car about 20 minutes ago.”

“Then let´s go!” Mac replied fast. “We´ve got to get to him!”

Pete´s face grew serious.

“Mac, I am not taking you along. I´m also your boss, remember? You promised me you´d stay at the safe house.”

He saw a mixture of resoluteness, pain and fear in Mac´s dark eyes.

“I´m sorry, Pete. I can´t. I won´t abandon Willis.” MacGyver´s voice was determined. “I´m coming with you… Don´t try to stop me.”

Pete held MacGyver´s stare for a few seconds. They had no time for a discussion. And it would be useless; Mac had made up his mind. Pete knew that look of his best friend. Reluctantly Pete nodded to the pilot.

“Go... Hurry.”

Then he turned again to MacGyver who just settled into the back seat. Mac looked up after fastening his seatbelt.

“Mac, are you sure, you´re up to whatever might happen?” Pete asked deeply worried. After what he had seen today at the camp, he was really afraid of the possibility that Mac would have to confront his torturer.

MacGyver was silent for some moments. He still kept fighting back his memories and his fear by concentrating on saving Willis.

“I have to, Pete.” he replied with a low voice, his words trailing off. “For Willis.”

*****

Posted by: uniquelyjas 3 March 2020 - 04:25 PM
I had to laugh when Pete made Mac promised he stay put in the safe house:)

"Pete, you worry too much" Totally classic response!! And yes, he does!

Oh good grief! Now I have to worry about Willis?!?!

And it's MacGyver to the rescue...Hopefully!

Great chapter! I'm SO GLAD to see Mac returning to "normal", working with Pete, and being stubborn!

I really like the way you captured the interaction and dialogue between Pete and Mac. Now I'm waiting for the exciting finish...even though I know it's a few days off!

Posted by: bluegirl 3 March 2020 - 11:23 PM
Tomorrow, my dear... and the last part on saturday...

whistle.gif whistle.gif whistle.gif

Posted by: Dragondog 4 March 2020 - 12:15 AM
It's time for Mac to be there for Willis. After Willis was there for him all this time.

This story is making me feel things, and I love it tongue.gif

Posted by: bluegirl 4 March 2020 - 12:36 AM
I was always thinking that´s what a good story is all about - making their readers to feel with the characters, getting them into the heads and minds of the characters...

If I´ve accomplished that, I´ll take this as a huge compliment for me! biggrin.gif

Posted by: Dragondog 5 March 2020 - 12:07 AM
QUOTE (bluegirl @ 4 March 2020 - 02:36 AM)
I was always thinking that´s what a good story is all about - making their readers to feel with the characters, getting them into the heads and minds of the characters...

If I´ve accomplished that, I´ll take this as a huge compliment for me! biggrin.gif

Absolutely wink.gif

Posted by: bluegirl 5 March 2020 - 12:13 AM
So, Mac and Pete are on their way to make sure, Willis is safe...

Part 12

Willis´ apartment was located in a five-story building in a quiet area north of Los Angeles. The flight didn´t take all too long. The pilot set the helicopter down on the parking lot of a shopping mall two blocks away. MacGyver was out of the helicopter as soon as it touched ground and passed around it to where Pete had just climbed out of it.

“I saw his car parked in front of the apartment building.” Mac hurriedly said. “Willis must have arrived at home by now.”

He wanted to rush off into the direction of Willis home, but Pete managed to grab his arm and stop him. He felt Mac´s body stiffen instantly.

“I know.” he replied, looking intensely into Mac´s face and eyes. Pete knew he had no way of holding him back. He could only cover his tail, as always.

“MacGyver, please… be careful…” he asked with deep concern.

Mac covered Pete´s hand with his own. His face grew even more serious.

“I will, Pete.” he nodded reassuring. “I promise…”

With a sigh Pete released MacGyver´s arm and watched his friend turn on his heels and run off to Willis´ apartment. He was, once again in all those years he knew MacGyver, deeply impressed by his courage.

MacGyver´s heart was pounding as he ran towards the apartment building. Inwardly he told himself that it did because he was still weakened, his body still in recovery. He tried not to admit that it did because he was afraid, but he felt it clearly. Mac slowed down as he reached Willis´ car, catching his breath and examining the car for anything suspicious. The engine was still warm. Willis couldn´t have arrived too long ago. Mac crouched down to look under the car, but everything seemed perfectly normal.

As MacGyver got up and gazed up to the windows of Willis´ apartment, he became aware that his hands were shaking. He closed them into tight fists, froze for a moment, then opened them again and flexed his fingers.

There´s no time for that, he chided himself mentally, fighting the upwelling fear. Not now! Stay focused!

Knowing that Pete and Jonas, the Phoenix operative who had been flying the helicopter, would be following him as fast as they could after securing the helicopter, MacGyver rushed into the building and up to the third floor. He was familiar with the building layout from his previous visits. He knew the way to Willis´ apartment by heart because he had helped him in moving in.

MacGyver felt every bit of the last weeks while he ran up the stairs. His heart was racing and his cracked rib was aching badly as he reached Willis´ door. He knocked impatiently, while he took deep breaths, striving to calm himself down, physically and mentally. Willis needed a few seconds to get to the door. He looked surprised as he opened it.

“MacGyver? What are you doing here?” he asked. “Aren´t you supposed to be at the safe house?”

MacGyver steadied himself at the doorframe, still out of breath.

“I was.” he answered as Willis allowed him to enter the apartment. “Is everything all right with you?”

“Me?!” Willis exclaimed as he closed the door behind Mac. “Look at yourself! What´s going on? Why are you here?”

MacGyver took a quick look around the apartment, then took another deep breath and turned to face Willis.

“We finally have a name matching our fugitive. He is Dan Ni Chen, member of a Chinese crime syndicate. They are specialized in technology theft. He tried to break into the computers at Phoenix research.” he explained. “They are after some project of the L.A. labs. As he didn´t get the access codes from me, he quite likely might be looking for another way in.”

“We raised security to the highest level.” Willis shook his head. “I don´t see how…”

“You are in charge of the security for the computer system?” Mac cut him off.

“Yes, I am. That´s why…” Willis agreed.

“You know the codes.” Mac stated.

Willis nodded again, this time remaining silent. He didn´t like the direction of Mac´s train of thought.

“You would know a way to hack the computer system from the outside?” MacGyver asked.

Willis looked at him stunned.

“Are you suggesting this Chen might be after me?” he asked with a frightened tone in his voice.

Willis remembered the condition they had found MacGyver in, very well. Knowing what this Chinese man was capable of scared him. Mac´s suggestion that he might be the next target of this man scared him even more. MacGyver´s eyes were still scanning the apartment.

“I´m afraid, yes” Mac replied. “That´s why I´m here. Pete and I are just being precautious.” He laid a hand reassuring on Willis´ shoulder.

“Pete?” Willis was still staring shocked at MacGyver.

“He should be here in a few minutes together with our pilot.” Mac started to search through every room of the apartment. “Did you notice anything strange on your way home?”

Willis remained standing stunned in his living room and shook his head.

“Nothing.” he answered. “But I guess I wouldn´t…”

Willis didn´t finish the sentence because all of a sudden all the lights in the apartment went out. MacGyver instantly felt the adrenaline rush into his veins as everything went dark. His mind hit overdrive. He was at Willis´ side with a few swift steps, grabbed his arm and shoved him towards the kitchen.

“In here, fast.” he whispered. “Get down. Take cover.”

MacGyver nearly closed the door behind them, leaving only a small crack. He rapidly scanned the kitchen, opening and closing the closets. He found sturdy rubber gloves under the sink, chili and pepper powder within the spices and a bottle of vinegar. Willis was observing him with a puzzled look in the dim light that filtered in through the window.

“Do you have any baking soda?” Mac asked barely audible.

Willis nodded mechanically and pointed to a jar on the counter, next to the stove. His eyes were wide with shock. Mac quickly retrieved it and crouched down again.

“What are you doing?” Willis managed to whisper.

“Cooking a little surprise.” Mac responded under his breath. His home-made teargas had worked well years ago when he had gotten into a supermarket robbery. He poured chili, pepper and soda powder into the two gloves.

Both men froze instantly as they heard the front door close. MacGyver slowly put down the gloves, listening intensely. He signaled Willis to stay quiet while he got up for the kitchen thread. Mac cut off two pieces with his Swiss army knife and motioned Willis to hold the gloves up for him. Mac partly filled them with vinegar and hurried to tie the open end tightly shut. Then he shook them lightly, watching how the gloves inflated and increased their size. Satisfied with the result, MacGyver signaled Willis to stay back and down and turned to the door.

His hands were shaking again and he felt shivers running down his spine. He managed to hide it from Willis, but only just. Mac had a hard time fighting back his memories and his fear, knowing who was most probably in the apartment now. Slowly he approached the door, each of the gloves in one hand. Since they had heard nothing apart from the front door moments ago, he had no idea where in the apartment their attacker might be. One finger resting on the handle of the door, ready to open it, he waited while trying to memorize the room layout. Only a few seconds later Mac heard something drop to the floor at the far side of the living room.

Now or never!

In a swift movement MacGyver pushed the door open, took one step into the living room and threw one of the gloves across the room in the direction of the sound, aiming head-high. He realized too late, that no one was there. The glove burst with a bang when it hit the wall.

At the same very moment Mac felt someone grab his other arm tightly and turn it around. The second glove fell to the ground harmless. Mac gasped in pain and felt a sharp pull on his arm only the blink of an eye later. Being completely unprepared for and attack from this side, he was thrown against the wall violently. His head crashed on to the hard surface and he dropped to the ground dazed. Mac desperately fought to stay conscious and tried to get up on his hands and knees. So far he had not even seen his opponent.

In the next second a forceful kick to his chest drove the air out of his lungs and made him cough. The next kick sent a sharp, stabbing pain through him, as he felt his cracked rib and the ones next to it break. MacGyver bit back a painful cry as the third vigorous one let him drop helplessly to the floor. He was lying on his stomach, not able to move, gasping for air, frantically trying to keep the darkness that threatened to take over away. He had to stay awake; he had to protect Willis – at least until Pete would catch up.

Mac sensed someone kneel down next to him, grab his wrist, turning and bending his arm up against his back to immobilize him. He arched his body, striving to avoid the pain in his arm and the shoulder, but had to groan as his attacker leaned over and on him.

“Hello, MacGyver.” The man said in a low voice only audible to him and Mac. “What a pleasant surprise. I wasn´t quite finished with you. I´m sorry to say it, but you left a little early… Now, up on your feet.” He pulled on Mac´s twisted arm and his neck, forcing him to rise.

MacGyver didn´t have to see the man that was holding him. He recognized the voice instantly. It made the blood in his veins freeze. While Chen forced him to get up until he was standing, all his memories of the torture rushed back into his mind. Mac couldn´t suppress the panic and the trembling anymore. Time seemed to stop. He was paralyzed, barely able to stand on his feet, unable to act.

Suddenly he felt something cold touch his neck and press against his throat.

“I can feel you do remember me…” the Asian continued. “I still own your fear… I can still control you… You are still my prisoner…”

He dragged MacGyver backwards and turned him around, using him like a shield. MacGyver was trapped in his frightened mind, filled with pictures of his three weeks on that mountain. His ragged breathing felt like someone was stabbing him because of his broken ribs. His vision blurred, he couldn´t even reply. He felt the cold blade cut slightly into the skin of his neck.

“Mr. Willis?” Chen suddenly raised his voice. “Would you mind joining us? Otherwise I´d have to hurt MacGyver.” After a small pause he added to Mac: “But you know that, don´t you?”

He dropped the knife below Mac´s collarbone and slowly pushed the tip of the blade into his flesh. MacGyver desperately tried to remain silent. He had to close his eyes and felt his legs weaken. He couldn´t avoid a hoarse moan as the steel nearly touched his ribs. When Chen pulled back the knife, Mac managed to open his eyes again. Tears of pain blurred his sight, but he saw Willis standing in the kitchen doorframe. MacGyver felt his own blood slowly oozing down his chest, warm and sticky. He saw Willis terrified expression, but was still caught and frozen inside his panic. The knife returned to his throat.

“I need some information from you.” Chen addressed Willis.

Willis took a small step into the living room.

“Please… don´t harm him…” he pleaded.

“That depends on your cooperation.” Chen replied coldly. A shiver ran down Mac´s spine. He had heard that sentence before. He knew what was to come next.

Willis raised his hands a little in defense.

“I will cooperate.” he hurried to answer. “I´ll tell you everything… Just don´t hurt him anymore… Please, release him…”

Mac´s eyes locked on Willis face. Mac´s panic mixed with desperation.

Don’t risk the Phoenix Foundation for me…

He almost imperceptibly shook his head. No, he mouthed silently to Willis. Don´t do it, please.

Chen seemed to enjoy the fear he saw rising in Willis.

“I don´t think, I can let him go yet…” he smiled while drawing the cut on MacGyver´s neck a little deeper and causing him to cringe back.

“Chen! Drop the knife!”

MacGyver winced at Pete´s shout from the main door. Chen swirled around, keeping Mac in front of him. Mac almost lost his balance and footing with the sudden pain of being rudely dragged around. He had to close his eyes again, groaning as his trembling intensified.

Willis was stunned when he heard the shout, but relieved as he saw Pete Thornton and Jonas, his pilot, at the door, their weapons drawn and aimed at Chen and MacGyver. He instinctively stepped back to the kitchen at the sight of the guns. Chen needed a moment to take in the new threat.

“I´d rather say, you should better drop your guns.” he replied with a stone cold voice. “I might cut him into pieces…”

The knife dropped to Mac´s side and he started pushing the blade into his body again.

“MacGyver!”

Mac heard Pete call out to him and all of a sudden Dr. Beattie´s words during one of their last sessions echoed in his mind, pushing back the memories a little.

There´s always a way. Don´t stop looking for it. That´s what your good at, MacGyver. Just keep on fighting the fear. Don´t let it control you. Don´t let it control you.

Don´t let it control you…

As the hurt in his side got worse, that last sentence played over and over in his mind. Gradually getting more intense than his memories and the panic, it suddenly loosened his paralysis. MacGyver forced himself to raise his head and open his eyes. Moaning with agony, still trembling, he fixed his gaze on Pete. Their eyes locked, Mac could see the sorrow in Pete´s face. An idea rose in Mac´s mind. They still had one chance.

MacGyver tried to direct Pete´s attention to the second glove, which was – still blown up like a basket ball – lying only a few feet away from his and Chen´s feet. A small gesture of his free hand was all that Mac managed to do. Even though the light was dim, Mac sensed Pete´s understanding. With a final effort he braced himself for what he intended to do.

Chen felt Mac´s body stiffen, but he mistook it for a reaction to the pain he was causing. Pete straightened himself and let his weapon drop a little. Jonas followed his example reluctantly.

“All right… Just don´t hurt him anymore…” Pete addressed Chen.

As he saw Pete lowering the gun, Chen´s grip on Mac´s arm loosened a bit, feeling he had the upper hand. That was exactly, what MacGyver had been hoping and waiting for. Then everything happened within a flash.

“Now, Pete!” Mac croaked.

Pete quickly took aim and fired at the glove. It exploded with a bang and sprayed Chen and MacGyver with the home-made teargas. Caught off guard, surprised and trying to protect himself, Chen almost let go of Mac´s arm, allowing him enough room to pull out of the immobilizing hold and turn sideways. Unfortunately Chen didn´t pull back the knife. MacGyver felt the blade enter his body even deeper as he tried to turn away from his torturer.

Then a second shot rang out. To MacGyver it felt as if Chen was being torn away from him. Mac watched him groan and fall and took a staggering step backwards as in trance. Just then he realized the burning ache on his face from his own mixture and the severe pain in his side caused by the knife that was still there. He felt for the wound with his hands automatically, touched the cold steel and his warm blood. Suddenly everything blurred, his knees gave way and he dropped to the ground.

MacGyver heard Pete and Willis call his name, but it sounded strangely distant. He heard steps rushing to him. In the next moment someone grabbed his shoulders.

“MacGyver!” Pete´s voice sounded desperate. “Oh, no…”

He felt for Mac´s pulse on his bloodied neck and then quickly assessed his injuries. Mac noticed it, but he was too weak to react. Staying barely aware consumed all his energy left.

“Willis, get me some towels. One of them wet. And call Dr. Thompson. We need him here fast.” Pete ordered. “Jonas, make sure that Chen is secured and call an ambulance for him. Then inform the DXS to pick him up.” Then he focused on MacGyver again.

“MacGyver, please, hang in there… stay with me.” he pleaded.

Only seconds later Mac felt an excruciating wave of pain rushing through his body as someone pressed a folded towel on the wound with the knife. He cried out in agony; his body started shivering. He could hardly breathe as the pressure also reached his broken ribs. His hand found the hand holding the towel, grabbed on and tried to pull it away. The pressure lessened only a bit.

“Don´t, Mac.” he heard Pete say. “I have to stop the bleeding.”

MacGyver turned his head towards Pete´s voice and blinked his eyes open. He could see Pete´s worried face only through a haze.

“Please… let go…” he managed to whisper between shallow breaths. “Some ribs… are broken… You´re pressing… on them… I can´t… breathe…” He had to cough, which sent his whole body shaking.

Pete instantly released the pressure, relieving Mac of the worst of the pain. His second hand went to MacGyver´s neck where it helped stabilize his head.

“I´m sorry.” he apologized.

MacGyver tried to blink the haze away, wanted to focus and cling on Pete´s face while Willis came close on his other side. He gently tried to wash the burning mixture off Mac´s face. Mac slowly turned his head to look at him.

“Are you all right?” Mac asked hoarsely.

Willis laid the cool and damp cloth on Mac´s forehead and managed to smile for a brief moment.

“Yes, MacGyver. I´m okay.”

“Sorry for the mess…” Mac continued with a small boyish grin. “I guess I´ll have to renovate your living room.”

Willis only nodded silently.

They all heard a groan from Chen as Jonas was attending to his bullet wound after cuffing his hands securely. MacGyver tried to rise, striving to look at him, but Pete gently held him down.

“Easy, MacGyver. Stay down. Don´t move.”

Mac´s gaze locked on to Pete. “But…”

“It´s over.” Pete cut him off. “After that gas bomb of yours had exploded and you had turned away, Jonas hit him in the shoulder. He won´t threaten you again. You did it.”

MacGyver´s face went serious.

“I couldn´t… have done it… alone…” he whispered, his voice breaking. He felt himself getting weaker and more tired with every moment. “Thanks, Pete…”

He held on to Pete´s hand on the towel again. A feeble smile of relief showed on his pale face. Pete remained silent for a second and then he returned the smile.

“Just hang in there, pal.” he reassured. “Help is on the way. Dr. Thompson should be here any minute. You´ll be fine.”

MacGyver nodded weakly. He felt the darkness creeping up again. The exhaustion of the last day was catching up and taking its toll on him together with the pain and the blood loss. But the terrifying pictures had left him along with the panic, at least for the moment. His mind relaxed with the knowledge of his torturer not being able to cause harm anymore.

Pete is safe. Willis is safe. I am safe.

He let out a deep relieved breath. The adrenaline rush was also over and he felt himself getting tired and cold.

Going into shock, I guess, he thought. A little too much activity for my first day out of the hospital…

Just then the oblivion took over and he went unconscious.

*****

Posted by: uniquelyjas 5 March 2020 - 10:37 AM
A kitchen MacGyverism!! Yay!! Yes, I remember that episode...it worked great!

That was an awesome chapter!! Poor Mac got beat up again, but that's pretty typical. Loved the way he and Pete worked together!! Very exciting!! Well done!! And I'm glad Willis was OK!!

Posted by: bluegirl 7 March 2020 - 10:34 AM
Sorry for the little delay - I had to go to work early today, but here we go! The final part, the conclusion, picking up the pieces...

Part 13

Once again, MacGyver woke in silence. It took him a few seconds to recognize the low constant beeping of the heart rate monitor. His whole body felt kind of numb, his head light and dizzy.

Must be the medication, he thought.

The next thing he noticed were the tubes reaching into his nose, providing him with extra oxygen. Then he felt his bandages, the softness of the bed he was lying in and its warmth. A slight sting in his abdomen, just where the blade had been, was the only unpleasant sensation. With a small moan he started to move his hand to touch the wound, but was stopped by someone taking his hand and holding on to it.

“Shh… Lie still… It´s okay.”

Mac turned his head towards the voice, he´d heard and opened his eyes. Slowly Pete´s face came into focus.

“Hey, Pete…” he greeted his friend hoarsely. Mac´s mouth and throat felt dried out.

“Hello, MacGyver.” Pete managed to smile. “Good to finally have you back.”

Mac could see deep concern in Pete´s face. He looked as if he hadn´t slept for a long time. Mac´s eyes scanned the room and recognized it quickly. He was back in the underground lab complex, most possibly back in Dr. Thompson´s care.

“How long have I been out?” Mac asked.

“Almost a whole day.” Pete sighed. “It´s the evening of the next day. We were starting to get worried when you didn´t regain consciousness after the anesthesia for your surgery wore off… How do you feel?”

“A little dizzy… still weak.” Mac replied after reconsidering his condition. “But also somehow rested for a change… I don´t remember having any nightmares.”

“I´ll take that as a good sign.” Pete´s face lightened up a bit and he paused for a few moments. “You were quite lucky. The blade missed all your vital organs. Dr. Thompson only had to stop the bleeding, put the broken ribs back into place and suture all your wounds. You lost a lot of blood, but they could partly replace it. Your recovery should be swift, if there aren´t any complications.”

MacGyver nodded relieved. “Good to hear…” But then another thought came into is mind. “Pete, where´s Willis? How is he doing?”

“I sent him off to get some sleep a few hours ago.” Pete answered. “He was a little shaken. He´s not used to being a target.”

“I should talk to him.” Mac suggested with a serious face. “I can well imagine him being off center.”

Pete had to smile as he observed his friend.

There. The MacGyver he had known for so many years was back. Always caring more about the wellbeing of his friends than his own.

“You will, Mac.” he laughed. “I´m sure about that…”

Mac looked up at him puzzled.

“Pete? What´s the matter? Why are you laughing?”

Pete shook his head in disbelief but also relief. After a moment his face went serious again.

“I knew you´d be concerned about Willis as soon as you´d wake up… and I´m grateful for it…” he explained. “But MacGyver… What about yourself? … After all you´ve been through… How are you feeling? … What about your emotions?”

The directly asked questions caught MacGyver off guard. All the memories of his torture and of last evening came back all of a sudden and flooded his mind. Pete saw his face freeze and his eyes fill with fright. MacGyver stared blankly into the distance and remained silent, not knowing how to respond to Pete. Pete took MacGyver´s hand into both of his, holding it tight but also gentle.

“You put up quite an effort to make me believe, you´re okay. You don´t want me to worry… Didn´t you think I´d notice that it is only a calm façade? … Especially after yesterday at the camp?” he asked softly. “MacGyver, we are friends. Have been for a long time… please, don´t cut me out of it. Seeing you suffer like this hurts me as well. Remember what you said long ago to me: If you got problems, I got problems.”

MacGyver´s gaze slowly came back and focused on Pete.

“I am not going to abandon you, MacGyver. I haven´t lost any of my respect for you. In fact you impressed me once more with your mental strength.” Pete continued after a short pause.

“Mental strength?” MacGyver frowned and asked bitterly. “Pete, I was paralyzed with fear yesterday. I couldn´t fight Chen. He caught me off guard although I should have been prepared. I was unable to act!” His voice was cynical and disappointed.

“But you fought your way out of it!” Pete sighed. “Your idea saved Willis and yourself and made Chen´s arrest possible!” He paused again and took a deep breath, striving to remain calm yet also strong for his friend. “Chen and his guys must have come really close to breaking you, but you didn´t give up on yourself… Don´t you surrender now… It´s going to be hard work to overcome this experience, Mac. Locking up your memories and emotions will not undo them… I want you to know, that I am there for you and I will be. No matter what, I am going to help you through this… I won´t give up on you.”

MacGyver remained silent. He was overwhelmed by Pete´s speech. He felt very fortunate to call Pete his best friend. He knew and understood him deep inside, sometimes more that Mac liked to. MacGyver´s troubled dark brown eyes found and locked on to Pete´s eyes. Slowly, weakly he put his second hand on top of Pete´s hands.

“Thanks, Pete…” he said with a low, soft voice. “I appreciate that.”

A single tear of relief was trailing down his cheek. MacGyver finally allowed himself to relax with Pete keeping him company, to feel his fears, emotions and his weakness. For a few minutes the two men held on to each other quietly. There was no need for any more words at the moment. Knowing he was safe, MacGyver soon drifted off into a quiet, restful sleep.

*****

A few days later Dr. Thompson allowed MacGyver to get out of bed. His injuries were healing well and his condition had stabilized.

“But be careful.” he advised Mac with a warning look. “Don´t overdo it. We don´t want your stabbing wound to open again and start bleeding to your inside. I don´t want you back on my table.” The doctor turned to face Pete. “I rely on you to watch over him. Make sure, he doesn´t carry it too far.”

“I will, doctor.” Pete nodded.

With a short, doubtful glance at MacGyver Dr. Thompson left them alone. Almost instantly MacGyver sat up slowly at the same time swinging his long legs out of the bed. Pete was just getting a sweat shirt for Mac as he saw him slipping out of bed and trying to stand on his feet. MacGyver froze as a sudden wave of dizziness washed over him. He had to grab on to the bed, sit down at its edge and close his eyes when the room started to move. Pete was at his side with a few fast steps and held on to his shoulders. He helped MacGyver steady himself.

“Slow down, Mac!” he chided. “You heard the doctor. Take it easy. I am here to help you. I don´t want you getting hurt again.”

MacGyver shook his head trying to clear the vertigo away and then slowly raised it to look at Pete. He took the sweater out of Pete´s hand and carefully put it on. Leaning against the bed he waited for the dizziness to subside. He smiled lopsided.

“I appreciate that…” Mac said. “I guess I´m a little more weakened then I expected… Might still be the blood loss.”

Pete returned the smile and offered Mac his hands to hold on while he rose from the bed.

“Might be the last few weeks.” he replied with a fatherly protective tone in his voice. “You´ve been through a lot. You should take your time to heal. There´s no need to rush anything.”

Pete´s hands supported MacGyver while walking, and Mac had to lean on his friend for some time. It took a few minutes until he felt stable and confident enough to walk on his own. Pete watched him closely. Soon they took a break in the small kitchen on sub-level two with coffee for Pete and herbal tea for MacGyver. Pete could clearly see that his friend was in pain.

“Are you all right?”

MacGyver stared at his cup of tea, his concentration directed inwards. His stabbing wound was aching; the broken ribs sent throbbing waves with every movement, every breath. He didn´t want Pete to worry tough.

“I´m fine.” he told Pete. “Just as I said before, I´m just a little weaker than expected.”

Pete observed him breathing shallow.

“Are you sure there´s nothing wrong? Nothing serious?”

Mac sighed and then smiled at Pete.

“Pete, I´m fine.” he reassured. “It is my first time out of bed since the surgery. The painkillers are wearing off slowly. I just need to pause and rest for a few minutes.”

Pete´s gaze stayed probing and disbelieving. MacGyver noticed it and decided to change the topic.

“Pete, do you know if anything is wrong with Willis?” he asked. “He visited me only briefly on the morning after I woke up here, soon after you had left. He seemed to be in a hurry, and I haven´t seen him since then.”

Pete raised his eyebrows in surprise.

“I know nothing about any illness or problem.” he replied. “He should be at his regular work duties. Finishing off the lab investigation of the evidence connected to Chen.”

“But it´s been days…” Mac insisted. “Why isn´t he seeing me like before?”

Pete shrugged.

“I don´t know. The lab results from him keep coming in on schedule. I´ve only spoken to him over the phone yesterday.”

Mac remained silent, lost in his thoughts, again staring at his mug.

“You´re really worried about him, are you? Pete asked.

MacGyver looked up at Pete.

“Yeah, Pete, I am.” he admitted. “When I woke up after the surgery you said, he was shaken. I saw his frightened look when Chen put him under pressure by threatening me. Perhaps he´s a little more than ‘shaken’. I need to talk to him.”

“I can ask Dr. Beattie to talk to him.” Pete suggested. “It could bring up too much of your memories if you try… You are still working on coping with the last weeks yourself, remember?”

MacGyver´s dark eyes grew haunted. He was staring into the distance, silent for minutes. Pete´s concern intensified with every moment. After a few minutes he laid a hand on MacGyver´s arm.

“MacGyver? … Come back to me, will you?” he asked.

MacGyver flinched at Pete´s touch and snapped out of the pictures that had again flooded his mind. He gazed at Pete first bewildered, but then the confusion and fear was replaced with resolve.

“But that´s the point, Pete.” he continued and explained. “He found me on that mountain. He was with me through my darkest time, when I thought you had turned against me and I had killed you. He was in the line of fire with me a few days ago. I know exactly, what might have shocked him. I´ve also been through it. I´ve been a part of it.”

Pete held his gaze and sighed. Mac had a point.

“All right, I´ll try to get him to see you.” Pete gave in. “But for now let´s get you back to your bed. You look exhausted. You need to rest.”

MacGyver only nodded. He wanted to go and see Willis on the spot, but he knew that he was not physically up to it yet. The throbbing in his chest had grown worse, while sitting here. He could barely breathe. Lying down would take the strain off his broken ribs and the wound. Mac emptied his tea, let Pete escort him back to his sick-room and help him settle in his bed.

“Try to get some sleep.” Pete advised as he helped Mac covering him with the blanket. “I´ll talk to Willis.”

Mac nodded with closed eyes, trying to calm down the pain. He was worn out with the exertion of walking around. Within moments he was sound asleep.

*****

Three days later MacGyver had still neither heard from nor seen Willis. He had promised Pete to see Mac as soon as possible, but he never showed up. Dr. Thompson wasn´t too enthusiastic about it but when Mac kept insisting on it, he allowed MacGyver to go down to sub-level three on his own to pay Willis a visit in his lab. Now equipped with his own key-card again, Mac entered the elevator and leaned against the side wall. He still felt weak and tired easily. He was still thin and sensed every cut, bruise and injury. But the hurting had lessened to a bearable level and, reconsidering the events, Mac had to know how Willis was doing.

Approaching the door to Willis´ lab he remembered what had happened three weeks ago, when he had been here for the first time. The worst part of his torment had ended. Despite the pain that he still felt and the fright nonetheless lingering caused by his memories, since then he knew that he had not killed his best friend. The thought of it tough even now sent a shiver down his spine. Willis had later on admitted that it had been his plan and Pete had followed along with it. MacGyver hoped he would be able to help his friend, just as Willis had helped him.

Mac knocked on the door and tried the handle, finding it unlocked. He slowly pushed the door open realizing that the main room was empty. He stepped inside the room and closed the door behind himself. Just as he turned around again and prepared himself to call out for his friend, Willis came out of the adjoining room. His eyes and concentration were fixed on a print-out; he had only heard the door open and close.

“I told you, it will take another two hours to get the final results!” he said impatiently, obviously expecting someone else. He had not seen Mac yet.

MacGyver had to smile at the familiar sight of Willis in his lab coat, focusing on his research.

“That´s okay. It´s not that important…” he replied softly. “I rather came here to see you…”

Willis froze in his tracks at the sound of Mac´s voice. His look shot up from his papers to MacGyver, at first shocked, but then he managed to smile momentarily.

“MacGyver! What are you doing down here?” he asked teasingly. “Has the doctor allowed you to take a bigger expedition?”

“Kind of…” MacGyver shrugged apologetically, while he answered. “Since I haven´t seen you for days, I got a little worried.”

Willis continued his way to the computer and sat down.

“Worried? Because of me? You don´t need to be.” he brushed off Mac´s comment, trying to seem busy. “I´ve just had a lot of work to finish.”

MacGyver closed in on the table, taking a seat across it facing Willis. He had noticed that Willis´ body language had tensed after the initial, surprised stare. He avoided looking directly at MacGyver. Mac could sense his unease.

But why…?

“The DXS is pressing to get all final results on the Chen case, and my regular studies had to wait because of it.” Willis continued to explain. “I know, Pete has told me you wanted to see me, and I promised, but… I´m sorry, MacGyver. There was just no time left for it.”

MacGyver remained silent. He watched Willis with intense and probing eyes. Willis could feel his piercing gaze even though he didn´t dare to look at him. He opened a manila folder and started to work on his computer as if nothing had happened.

MacGyver watched him for a few minutes, then reached out and closed the folder with a swift motion. He blocked Willis from opening it again by keeping his hand spread out flat on the folder.

“MacGyver, what are you doing?” Willis seemed to be upset. “I need to finish…”

“Willis!” MacGyver cut him off by calling out his name sharply.

Willis froze, but kept staring at the hand that still lay on that folder. The wrist showed only recently healed scars from Mac´s imprisonment.

“What´s wrong with you?” Mac continued in a much softer voice. “Talk to me!”

“Nothing.” Willis hurried to respond. “I´m all right. It´s just the…”

“Nothing?” Mac echoed, again interrupting him briskly. He had to tear down Willis´s defenses to get to the real problem. “You´ve been with me every day on my first stay here and now I don´t get to see you for about a week?”

“Well, Pete´s able to be here with you now, so I decided to get some work done.” Willis tried to argue.

MacGyver sighed and slowly pulled back his hand. He had to sit back in his chair to reduce the pressure on his chest. The sudden movement of closing the folder had reminded him of his injuries. The throbbing had gotten worse. He hardly managed to hide it from Willis.

“That´s why you don´t even look at me?” he asked, his voice again soft. “Willis, it´s me. It´s Mac. What´s going on?”

Willis eyes remained fixed on the desk. He didn´t move apart from breathing.

“You´ve been there for me in my most difficult time.” Mac carried on. “You´ve helped me getting through it. I am grateful for that… Please, tell me… let me help you.”

“You´ve got enough to cope with.” Willis suddenly replied with a very low voice. “I´ve seen it. I don´t need to add to it.”

MacGyver sighed deeply, his brown eyes still fixed on his friend.

“That´s true.” he admitted. “It will take me some time to really pull through it, physically and mentally. But that doesn´t mean that I don´t or I can´t care about my friends.”

When Willis didn´t react, Mac decided to directly get to where he suspected the issue.

“Has what had happened in your apartment really frightened you that much?”

Willis winced and suddenly looked up stunned at MacGyver. For the first time, he realized how pale Mac´s face was, but how determined he seemed.

“I guess, I´m not used to being involved in the front row.”

“I guess not.” Mac smiled at him.

“Well, you should be.” Willis said bitterly. “I´ve read most of your mission reports over the years… But I saw your panic… You couldn´t even move… I couldn´t stand watching how he hurt you. I knew what he was capable of… I remember the condition I found you in on that mountain… I knew when he was done with you, I´d be next…” His voice grew faint until the end. His gaze dropped to the table again, locking on his own hands.

MacGyver´s expression turned grave.

“You´re right.” he answered after a small break. “I am used to being in dangerous situations. But that doesn´t mean, I´m not afraid anymore… I have to admit, this time was different… given all that had happened to me. My fear did control me. I was unable to act at the time I recognized Chen as my torturer. But I knew I was there to protect you. I fought my way out of it, mentally and emotionally. I had to if I wanted to save you.”

“But that almost cost you your life!” Willis exclaimed. “That couldn´t have been your plan! How did you suppose I´d carry on if he had killed you in front of me?”

Mac smiled to himself. He had found the sore spot, finally.

“It was definitely not part of my plan.” he responded gently. “Hopefully you would have kept me in good memory… Willis, that is, what happens sometimes. We both got out of it, alive. Chen is arrested. He can´t cause anymore harm to us. That is what counts…”

He leaned forward and put his hand on Willis´ arm with a firm pressure. Mac paused for a few seconds.

“I promised you, I´d renovate your living room. I´m sorry for the mess I caused. The physical traces will be gone as soon as I am allowed to get out of here.” Mac teased him afterwards, trying to ease the tense atmosphere.

Willis looked at Mac´s hand, for the first time really and fully smiling.

“Pete has already taken care of that. As soon as the forensics were done. He couldn´t bear the sight of your blood on my carpet.” he replied. Then he looked directly into MacGyver´s eyes.

“You were willing to risk your life for mine? You could have died in saving me…” His voice was quiet now, but still unbelieving.

“That´s what I do for the people I care about, Willis.” Mac nodded reassuring. “But we don´t need to make a habit of it, all right?”

He held out his hand and Willis gladly took it, holding it tight.

“Thank you, MacGyver. It´s challenging, but it´s good to have a friend like you.”

Mac smiled at him with relief. The light had returned to his deep brown eyes.

“You are very welcome, friend…”

***** The end *****

Thanks for reading, thanks for commenting, thanks for staying through this rollercoaster ride/read wink.gif

I really appreciate it!

If anyone is interested, I can provide you with a pdf, just PM me your email adress.

Posted by: uniquelyjas 7 March 2020 - 11:52 AM
Aw, great conclusion!! So, Mac is back to being the "fixer" once again! You did a really great job with this story and I loved it when you made references to the show. As I said before, I'm also glad you decided to involve Willis. And not only did you take on Mac's issues, but those of Willis and Pete. Unfortunately, I'm left wondering how they will all handle this, especially Mac, as more time passes and things get back to normal. Perhaps a sequel is in the future? hmm.bmp

Posted by: bluegirl 7 March 2020 - 10:38 PM
Again, thanks for your applause.

Including Willis was the only way to make the story work without creating new characters. As stated right at the beginning of the thread, the rough storyline with the main scenes was in my head for about 10 or 15 years - in different versions. For a very long time it was supposed to be a cross-over with another 80´s tv-show. Only about a year ago I decided to stay within the MacGyververse - Willis was the solution that came up soon...

A sequel...?

I was afraid you´d ask for one. I know I left some questions unanswered, I know I left myself room for another story building up on this one - not on purpose I have to add. But I have to admit my subconcious mind - and sometimes also the concious one have started working on this... but I have no idea, how long it might take - I´m hoping it won´t be 15 years again! whistle.gif whistle.gif whistle.gif

Posted by: Dragondog 8 March 2020 - 07:04 PM
I love this. This whole story made me feel things, and this last chapter did too happy_dance.gif

Posted by: bluegirl 29 April 2020 - 10:56 AM
Hello everyone!

Thanks to corona - the virus, not the beer - I did have a lot of spare time. So, I am happy to announce, that the sequel to 'Breaking Point' is written, typed and in the last stages of fine tuning! It didn´t take 15 years to get it done this time...

Thanks to the encouragement of uniquelyjas thumbsup.gif I guess I´ll be ready for posting the first part somewhen next week.

Stay tuned!

Posted by: uniquelyjas 29 April 2020 - 11:40 AM
happy_dance.gif

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