Phoenix Field Agent
Joined: 11 Jan 2006
Country: Rocky Mountains
Season: season 3
Jacket: Black leather
House: House boat
I'm sorry it took me so long to get this part out--real life and my birthday this week kind of swept me up in their madness!
But, here it is finally...enjoy!
Unrecognized Screams Part Three
“Dorothy, have you heard from MacGyver? He was supposed to call me,” Pete said.
Pete Thornton had a week’s worth of paperwork staring him down on top of his desk, and he did his best to stare back, looking beyond it and through the depths of the wood grain in his desk, trying to imagine a location where MacGyver might be. His friend and colleague became his only focus.
“No Mr. Thornton,” Dorothy said through the intercom on the phone.
Pete sighed and rested his chin on his fists, rubbing it with his thumbs. He knew MacGyver liked to disappear once in awhile, free from any encumbrances of work or other people, but even he never disappeared completely. He always came back. Now he hadn’t, and Pete was worried.
“Thanks Dorothy,” he muttered.
He continued staring at his desk until he felt he could burn a hole through it. It just wasn’t like MacGyver not to call him. He supposed it could be possible that MacGyver was tired of working for him and had vanished to some remote corner of the world to start a new life, but Pete laughed to himself about such an idea. MacGyver was too loyal a friend to do something like that, even though he could be incredibly impulsive at times. Standing and rubbing his eyes, Pete decided that there was little he could do sitting behind his desk and worrying like some father waiting for his son to return home from the prom. MacGyver wasn’t going to materialize out of nowhere. He had to investigate, and he decided to start with MacGyver’s house boat to see what he could find there.
The field was cast in a bland, monochromatic light, making the surrounding vegetation look lifeless. MacGyver felt like he was walking on some bizarre planet where everything had died years before. The dry grass crackled beneath his feet, and the air was still. A harsh wind suddenly picked up, rattling dead leaves. It ceased quickly, as if being chided for causing a disruption in the eerie silence that pervaded the place. Still, MacGyver pressed ahead, searching for something. He walked and walked, finding nothing but emptiness and desolation.
Cathy watched as the man stirred and moaned, tightly shutting his eyes. She couldn’t tell if he was having an unpleasant dream or not. It looked more to her like he was thinking hard, trying to make sense of something. She could only guess what he was thinking in his dream. She knew it probably had something to do with his attempted suicide and why he couldn’t remember it or who he was. When Dr. Swanson told her before she went in to see him that he had amnesia, she wasn’t completely surprised. She had heard of people losing their memories in situations that were too much for them to handle psychologically. The mind could protect itself by choosing to forget. She watched him with deep sympathy, wanting to help him. Like everyone else involved in his case, she wanted to know what happened and who he was.
“Mmmm….hmmm….mmmmm…” MacGyver mumbled, tossing and turning. He began to pick at the bandages around his wrists in his sleep, tugging at the adhesive.
“Shh, it’s all right,” Cathy said, gently taking his hands, trying to make him stop, worried he might try to rip out his stitches.
“The field,” he said, his eyes still closed, moving rapidly in REM sleep.
Cathy knew he was talking about the field where she’d found him. She sat still and listened carefully, trying to see if his subconscious mind would give information that his conscious mind had refused to acknowledge. He stirred and pulled away from her, turning on his side and hugging his body. With his back now faced away from her, Cathy stood and moved to the side where he faced the wall. His face was creased in pain and deep concentration.
“Field…” he muttered, burying his head in the pillow. “No…why…”
He opened his eyes, abruptly awakening from his dream. He found himself facing a young woman. The field he had been ceaselessly wandering in evaporated before his eyes. Looking around, trying to make sense of his new surroundings, he slowly realized he was still in the hospital, and he still didn’t know his name. Once again he stared at the bandages around his wrists. Slowly, his eyes returned to the woman.
“Who are you?” He asked groggily.
Cathy didn’t quite know why, but she found it hard to face him when he was awake. She could see all his nightmares and demons in the haunting, captivating darkness of his eyes. The piercing, sad look he gave her was enough to make her want to look away, not wanting to have to face such despair, yet she couldn’t look away from him. Those eyes pulled her in, mesmerized her. They were intelligent eyes that demanded her attention, demanded that she help him.
“My name’s Cathy,” she said. She looked down at the floor, finally able to resist the almost magnetic pull of his eyes. “I’m…I’m the one that found you.”
MacGyver looked at the bandages again. “Oh,” he said. “I’m so sorry.”
Cathy sat down beside him. “What about?” She asked. “Why are you sorry?”
MacGyver tugged at the bandages around his wrists, feeling ashamed. “Well, you know,” he said, “about this. I…I’m sorry you had to find me…like this…”
“Don’t do that,” Cathy said, gently taking his hands again, trying to keep him from pulling at the bandages. “It’s going to be okay.” She stroked his hands with her thumbs, trying to soothe him and distract him from wanting to pull at the bandages again.
MacGyver looked at her. “Do you know me?” He asked.
It pained her to hear him ask that. When she saw the lost, confused look in his eyes, it only reminded her more of the helplessness of his situation. He had tried to kill himself, and now he couldn’t understand or remember the reason why. He was alone in a world of his own pain and confusion, and he was desperately searching for anyone that had the answers. She wished she did. She wished she knew who he was so she could tell him and lessen the pain and the feeling of uncertainty.
“No,” she said, shaking her head, holding back tears.
MacGyver heard the crack in her voice and saw the moisture in her eyes. “You’re crying,” he said.
Cathy sniffed and stiffened her expression. “No, I’m fine,” she said, clearing her throat.
“Look, I really am sorry you had to find me like this. That’s got to be hard for anyone to take.”
“What about you?” Cathy asked. “I can’t imagine.”
“Neither can I,” MacGyver said, looking at his bandages again. “I don’t know why I would do this to myself.”
“I’d like to help you,” Cathy said.
MacGyver gently released his hands from hers and turned away from her, slowly sitting up and feeling the dizziness return, sending him reeling for a moment. He shuddered, the hospital room feeling unbearably cold. He clutched at the sheets of his bed to stabilize himself, wincing in pain when his bandaged and tightly stitched wrists resisted the movement. Cathy looked at his back. His white shirt was pushed up, revealing several fresh scratches and bruises that she had not noticed before. She stared at them, suspicious. Someone who was going to commit suicide wouldn’t show such signs of struggle, leading her to wonder about the theory that someone else did this to him to make it look like suicide. MacGyver looked over his shoulder, back at Cathy.
“They said you found me in a field,” he said.
The image that haunted his dreams earlier returned. “I need to go there,” he said. “I need to see it. Maybe I can remember something.”
He stood slowly, bracing himself against the bed. When the nausea and dizziness subsided enough, he began to pace the room in deep thought and agitation.
“You need to rest,” Cathy said. “You can’t go anywhere yet. You’ve lost a lot of blood and you’re still weak.”
MacGyver staggered and returned to the bed, leaning against it, grimacing in pain. “Maybe you’re right,” he said. Sighing, he looked at her with pleading eyes.
“Look,” Cathy said, getting up and helping him sit back down on the bed to regain his strength, “when the doctor gives you the all-clear, I’ll take you there myself.”
“Are you sure, Cathy? What if I’m crazy?”
Cathy looked at his sincere eyes. He seemed intelligent and deeply concerned about what happened, but he didn’t seem untrustworthy, dangerous, or deranged in any way. She detected some sorrow from him, but she knew that was understandable for someone in his position. He seemed ashamed by what had happened, and also sad. This was a normal reaction for most suicide survivors. He looked as if he’d rather disappear from other concerned people, feeling that he didn’t deserve their help after what he’d tried. Maybe a part of him even felt like a failure since the attempt had not succeeded. Mostly, however, he seemed like a man desperate and determined to know why he’d done what he’d done.
“I don’t think you are,” she said.
“What do you call this?” MacGyver asked, showing her the bandages around his wrists.
“That doesn’t make you crazy,” she said. “We’ll figure this out, together. I want to help you.”
“Thank you,” MacGyver said. The soreness in his wrists increased, and he winced, holding them.
“I’ll have the doctor get you something for the pain,” Cathy said, watching him. “In the meantime, rest. We’ll figure this out together, I promise.”
Nothing appeared out of the ordinary in MacGyver’s house boat. There were no signs of a break in, no smashed windows or broken locks. Still, it was Pete’s experience that those things didn’t matter. After MacGyver had been through almost every known danger on earth from illness to poisonings to physical trauma to being kidnapped and tortured, Pete had come to expect almost anything. He was thorough in his search, finding everything in order. MacGyver’s jeep was missing from the marina, so Pete knew he had to have driven somewhere—but why, and where?
Perplexed, he began to search for what was there versus what might be missing. He had been inside MacGyver’s house boat so many times he was familiar with just about every gadget and piece of sporting equipment he owned. If he found even the smallest thing missing or out of order, it could be the clue to MacGyver’s whereabouts. As he searched, he began to feel it was hopeless. All the items in the house boat started to blur together until they were indistinguishable. Everything started to look alike. He knew that happened when looking intensely hard for something, especially when he wasn’t sure what he was supposed to be looking for or what he’d find. Still, he knew he had to give it a try. MacGyver was missing without explanation, and he had to find out why.
His eyes rested on a corner of the living room. MacGyver usually kept his pack and other hiking gear in that area, and they were noticeably absent. Approaching the corner, Pete found a stack of brochures on hiking areas. Grabbing them, he rifled through them, knowing MacGyver could possibly be at any one of them. It wouldn’t be easy narrowing the choices, but at least he had an idea of where to start. He would take them back to the office and search for any news about missing hikers in the areas described in the brochures.
“Damn it, MacGyver,” he said aloud. “Why do you always wander off hiking for the weekend without telling me where you’re going?”
Now, he knew his friend was in danger. He had gone for a hike with the intention of returning. After all, Pete was expecting his call. He hadn’t called, and Pete knew something was wrong. He couldn’t imagine what might have happened to MacGyver. Being a skilled woodsman with strong survival skills, it was unimaginable that MacGyver would get lost. Something else had happened. He was either seriously injured, or dead. Pete tried not to think about it, leaving the house boat to return to The Phoenix Foundation to begin his investigation to find his friend and get him back.
To be continued…