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|MacGyver Online Forums > Virtual Seasons > Virtual Season 10:9 - Once More With Feeling|
|Posted by: Rocket 31 May 2020 - 08:08 AM|
| Once more, with feeling…
“You’re really getting the hang of this!” MacGyver skated to a graceful stop and held out a hand.
“Not even you believe that!” McAllister gripped the hand and MacGyver pulled him to his feet, steadying him as he slipped again on the ice.
“Sure you are.” MacGyver let go, watching as McAllister found his balance and wobbled off again after the puck. “Sure you are.” He shook his head and followed, ready to catch him again.
MacGyver had been astonished to find out that McAllister had never learned to skate, a skill he regarded as necessary as walking. While Virginia didn’t get the same kind of winters as Minnesota, it got enough cold weather to make ice-based sports a common pastime. Remedying this had gone to the top of MacGyver’s to-do list and, amiably enough, McAllister had agreed to give it a go.
Now McAllister was beginning to regret the decision. Despite having good balance from years of sailing, ice skating was difficult and the landing much harder than going overboard into the sea. He was wet and cold, and sure that tomorrow he would be one giant bruise. He glanced around, pleased that the rink and the seats around it were almost empty, and there were few people there to witness his embarrassment.
In the balcony above the rink, Murdoc propped his feet on the railing and chewed another kernel of popcorn. He grinned as McAllister lost his balance again, falling flat on his front on the ice, stick slithering away across the slick surface.
“No points for you, whoever you are.” He ate some more popcorn and watched MacGyver rescue his friend yet again. “That’s right, MacGyver, help the poor man up.” He shook his head. “Set him going, so that he can fall all the harder next time.” He leaned back, burrowing into his warm coat. “Sound familiar at all? It’s about time I set you up for a fall again, isn’t it? I do so miss our little tussles.” He sighed, a plan starting to come together in his mind. “I think your little friend might be able to help me out this time.” He watched McAllister successfully field and pass the puck before catching one skate blade against the other and catapulting himself into the boards. “After all, why waste such a talent for falling into things face first?”
“I’m not sure I see the attraction.” McAllister shook his head, taking a swig of coffee. “It was good of you to lend me the kit, but I don’t reckon I’m going to be any good at hockey!”
“Give it a chance, it’ll grow on you.” MacGyver sipped his drink and stretched out his legs under the café table, enjoying the sun.
“Uh-huh.” McAllister pushed up his sleeves and sat back, resting his elbows on the warm metal of the chair arms. “Maybe I should take you sailing some time, see how well you do!”
“I’d be up for that!” MacGyver grinned. “I’m more of a land-sports kind of guy and, even though I’ve lived in California for years, I’ve never got around to learning.”
“You’re on.” McAllister watched the people passing by the café. As much as he liked California, he still felt far from home. Half the time he felt as if he were living on a film set and the first time he’s driven through the city, he’d felt as though he might actually have landed on a different planet. Transferring to Los Angeles detectives had given him a crash course in the West Coast’s many varieties of crazy. He’d travelled after college, but moving to California was his first departure from living in Virginia, and he’d spent the first month wondering if he’d made the right decision. He’d made friends and felt more at home now, but he wasn’t sure he’d ever get used to the craziness that native Angelinos seemed to regard as normal.
“What’s the craziest thing that’s happened since you’ve been here?” McAllister watched a family rollerskate past, all dressed exactly alike. Mac looked up at the change of subject, but McAllister’s gaze was far away.
“Uh… How long have you got?” MacGyver grinned.
“Fair point.” McAllister grinned back. “OK, who’s the most out-there person you’ve met? Seems like L.A. is wall to wall crazy to me!”
“It does kind of take you like that.” MacGyver sipped his tea, thinking. “Gonna need to narrow it down – Good-crazy or bad-crazy?”
“Both.” McAllister shifted in his chair and took off his jacket, still not used to the California heat.
“OK, bad-crazy.” MacGyver squinted into the sunshine. “Well, you’ve met Dr. Zito. He’s probably the nastiest organised-crazy I’ve met. Maybe Murdoc. He’s a lot more… chaotic, but he’s tough and determined and I’ve probably had more nightmares courtesy of him than anyone else.”
“You get him?” McAllister pulled the band from his ponytail and let his long hair loose to dry in the breeze.
“Not so much.” MacGyver finished his drink and set down the glass. “No matter how many times I think his screwball schemes have killed him, he keeps popping up again. He’s a master of disguise and a brilliant escape artist, so as much as I wish he was safely behind bars, I’m afraid he’s still as free as a bird!”
“Sounds like quite a guy!” McAllister picked up his drink. “Maybe he’ll cross my desk some time.”
“I hope not!” MacGyver shook his head. “Good-crazy though, I reckon the best crazy thing to happen recently was the mountain lion in the yard.”
“Come again?!” McAllister sat up, suddenly alert. “What the hell was a mountain lion doing in your yard? And how can that possibly be a good thing?!”
“Hey…” MacGyver blinked, surprised at the strength of his friend’s reaction. “They do hunt in the hills, the odd one comes into the city and I had the chance to see it at close range. It was magnificent –“ He trailed off, seeing the colour drain from McAllister’s face. “I’m missing something, aren’t I?”
“There was a freakin’ cougar loose in the city, and you think it was OK?” McAllister looked around, as though expecting to see a mountain lion padding down the sidewalk towards him.
“It was a one-off thing. I’ve been here for years and that’s the first one I’ve seen around here,” MacGyver shook his head. “It’s a mountain lion, Lando, mostly they mind their own business. It’s not going to attack you in the middle of the city.”
“Yeah, right.” McAllister lifted his left arm and turned it. MacGyver could see a jagged scar, curling around McAllister’s elbow and disappearing up his t-shirt sleeve. “That’s a souvenir of how much mountain lions mind their own business!” He picked up his coffee with a shaking hand. “It went after me when I was a kid. I’ve never been so scared in my life, and I still hate’em now.”
“Wow. Sorry man, I had no idea.” MacGyver shook his head.
“I know. Forget it.” McAllister drank the rest of his coffee and stood up. “OK, I need to get back.”
“Same time next week?” MacGyver picked up his sports bag and stood up too, hoping he hadn’t upset McAllister.
“You got it.” McAllister grinned and MacGyver grinned back, relieved. He watched McAllister hoist the kit bag on his shoulder and walk away.
“He’d take an awful lot of keeping in line.” Quayle closed the folder and handed it to Dr. Zito. “He’s good though, and he has as much reason as any of us to want MacGyver dead.”
“Nicely unpredictable.” Zito scanned the pages and stared at the photo of the man with the manic grin. He’s definitely useable, if given clear instructions.”
“But would he follow them?” Victoria unfolded herself from the window seat and looked down at the photo. “He’s a loose cannon. No discipline.” She shook her head. “He’s certainly tough, though. And he does have a kind of charm.” She smiled and turned away, catching Von Leer’s eye.
“Perhaps you could collect him for us.” Von Leer smiled thinly. “Unpredictable or not, I think we need him to complete our team.”
“Alright.” Victoria picked up her coat and put it on. “I want to watch him for a while first, see that he’s still got what it takes.” At Von Leer’s nod, she turned and walked out of the room.
One Week Later
McAllister climbed the steps to his apartment and let himself in. He threw his motorcycle keys onto the table and hung his leather jacket over a chair. He looked down, seeing the borrowed bag of ice hockey gear sitting under the table. He sighed, running a hand through his hair. He’d pulled some long shifts this week, running down a lead on a drug ring, and he was too tired to look forward to a late night at the rink.
He crossed the room to the telephone, seeing the message light blinking. He sat down on the couch and pressed the button.
One message: “Hello Orlando, this is MacGyver. Change of plan for tonight. I’ve got to do a night shift, so can we meet at the rink an hour earlier than we had planned? Hope to see you at six.” The message ended and McAllister glanced at his watch.
“OK, Mac.” He stood up, stretching his back, and picked up the sports bag. “I’m on my way.” Scooping up his jacket and keys, McAllister thought briefly that MacGyver sounded really different on the phone, then shrugged and set off for the rink.
Across town, Murdoc took a step back and admired his handiwork. Setting the scene was one of his favourite parts of an assassination. He adjusted the hang of the hockey jersey, nodding at the result. He glanced at his watch, collected his things and stepped out of MacGyver’s apartment, closing the door softly behind him.
McAllister locked the chain to his motorcycle, crime statistics in Los Angeles making him much more security conscious than he’d ever been in Virginia. He picked up his bag and went into the rink, frowning when he found the reception area empty.
“Come on Mac, where are you?” He spun in a circle, checking the room, and then sat down to wait.
To McAllister’s left, the door to the janitor’s closet opened and a cleaning lady emerged, bottom first, pulling a heavy cleaning cart. The door started to swing shut and the handle tangled with her mop. She pulled at the cart, jamming the mop and catching a trailing roll of bathroom towel in the hinges. Her shoulders sagged and she sighed.
“Here, let me help.” McAllister jumped up, caught the heavy door and starting unhooking the towel.
“Thank you. Thank you so much.” The cleaner reached out for the towel and McAllister frowned. Although the cleaner’s voice was soft and feminine, her hands and muscled forearms were decidedly male. He looked up, meeting the cleaner’s manic grin.
“Hello Orlando.” Now the cleaner’s voice was definitely masculine, with a cultured English accent. The strong hands clamped around McAllister’s head and the sweet, heady scent of chloroform filled his nose as his assailant pressed the soaked end of the roller towel against his face.
“Get off!” McAllister struggled but the world spun and echoed, and he felt the floor tip underneath him. “What do you want with me?”
“Bait.” McAllister heard the word spiral in from very far away, and his eyelids fluttered shut as he lost the battle to remain conscious.
MacGyver turned into his street, motorcycle engine echoing off the buildings on either side. He pulled into his parking space and hurried up to his apartment, aware that his work at Phoenix had kept him late. If he hurried, he could still be on time to meet McAllister at the rink at seven.
He opened his front door and raced in, intending to grab his kit and go straight out again. He was halfway across his living room when he realised something was wrong.
He looked up and jumped violently as a silent figure spun in the breeze from the open window, feet dangling above the carpet. He took a breath and had a closer look.
Someone had constructed a scarecrow from two hockey sticks and a helmet, drawn a grinning face on the helmet with marker pen and dressed it in MacGyver’s hockey jersey. Hockey shorts and long, trailing socks completed the figure, which had been hung from the light fitting. The ‘artist’ had used MacGyver’s floor mop head as a crude wig, tied back in a ponytail behind the figure’s neck.
MacGyver snatched the note pinned to the jersey, read it and dropped it. Without taking the figure down, MacGyver turned and raced out of his apartment, heading for the rink. The note fluttered down and the breeze flipped it over. In the same marker pen were written five words:
NOW YOUR ROOKIE IS MINE!
|Posted by: bluegirl 31 May 2020 - 08:53 AM|
| Picking up quite some pace right at the beginning - I love it!
|Posted by: Dragondog 1 June 2020 - 01:45 AM|
|Yeesh, before the details mentioned that it was a scarecrow, I actually thought you killed McAllister off|
|Posted by: Rocket 14 June 2020 - 10:47 AM|
| Time for Part two
“Pete!” MacGyver clamped his phone between his ear and his shoulder and guided the Jeep around a sharp bend. “It’s Mac!”
“Mac?” Pete sounded hesitant. “I can barely hear you.” He pressed the receiver to his ear, listening to the rushing wind.
“It’s Murdoc!” MacGyver ran a red light, to a cacophony of blaring horns. “He’s got Lando!”
“Murdoc!” Pete’s eyes widened. “But how? Who’s Lando?”
“Orlando McAllister. Detective friend of mine. Pete, I’m heading for the rink. The one I took you to, remember?” MacGyver glanced over his shoulder and pulled across three lanes of traffic.
“I remember! Mac, what will you-“ Pete jumped as a siren screamed loud over the phone line.
“If I haven’t called again by midnight, send the cavalry!” MacGyver hung up the call and stamped on the accelerator.
MacGyver burst through the doors into the reception area, getting a startled stare from the receptionist. The room was calm, a handful of people drinking vending machine coffee and talking, a party of Scouts being herded up into the balcony and a couple of hockey players MacGyver knew coming out of the changing rooms.
“Have you guys seen Lando? Guy who came in with me last week. Beginner.” MacGyver pointed to his head. “Long, blond hair? He turned away as they shook their heads, missing their confused stares.
“How about you, Mandy?” MacGyver put his hands on the reception desk, and Mandy edged back. “Blond hair, surfer type, little bit shorter than me?” Mandy shrugged helplessly and pointed to the door. MacGyver turned to see three men walking into the rink – all around six feet, with blond hair and California tans.
“Yeah, OK.” MacGyver ran a hand through his hair and looked around the room, seeing a familiar sports bag stuffed under a chair. He crossed the room and pulled it out, seeing his own initials on the knee pads inside.
“He was here!” MacGyver called back to Mandy. “This guy! The guy who brought this bag in and sat here! Did you see him?”
“Maybe an hour ago, Mac.” Mandy shrugged. “I guess he left it behind. You want me to hold it in lost property for him?”
“No, I got it.” MacGyver shouldered the bag. “Did you see which way he went?” he swore under his breath as Mandy shook her head. “Hang on, Lando.” MacGyver took the balcony stairs two at a time, deciding to start his search at the top. “I’m coming for you!”
From behind a magazine, Victoria James watched MacGyver burst into the rink reception area, hold an animated conversation with the receptionist and two passing fitness nuts, pounce on an abandoned sports bag and race away up the stairs.
“Well, isn’t this just delicious!” She finished her coffee and stood up. “Headed on the wrong direction once again, I see.” Her gaze flicked down to the floor, where Murdoc lurked in the basement below. “Let’s see whether the trap catches the rabbit this time, shall we?” She strolled across the atrium and. Unnoticed by the receptionist, let herself in through a door marked ‘authorised personnel only’.
MacGyver ran the length of the balcony, seeing nothing amiss in the area above the rink, or on the rink itself. A handful of people skated in lazy circles, unaware of the madman loose in the building. He pounded back down the stairs, dodged a woman balancing four cups of coffee and skidded back into reception. Ignoring Mandy’s glare, he pushed open the double doors and raced through into the maze of rooms beyond.
The changing rooms were full, and several players called out to MacGyver. None of them had seen either Murdoc or McAllister. MacGyver hesitated, thought about Murdoc’s favourite method of disguise, and pushed open the door to the women’s changing rooms. He ignored the outraged yells, took a quick look around and ran out again, wincing as a well-aimed can of deodorant bounced off the back of his head.
The weights room, store room and classroom were all empty, and MacGyver raced back into reception. This time Mandy came out from behind her desk to intercept him, but MacGyver was quicker, and ducked through the door leading down to the basement.
Now he slowed, knowing that Murdoc had to be down here somewhere. His footsteps echoed on the metal stairs, leading down to the dark basement. The hum of machinery, almost inaudible upstairs, was louder here and the air was cold. He frowned, trying to remember the layout from previous visits.
From an alcove in a dark corner, Victoria watched MacGyver go past. She smiled and slid soundlessly out of her hiding place.
MacGyver gripped the handle on the door to the plant room and frowned. If Murdoc was in here, booby trapping the door is exactly what he would do…
He crouched down, looking all around the door in the dim light. Nothing seemed suspicious and he turned the handle, pushing the door open and flattening himself against the wall.
The door flew back, bounced against the wall and swung to a halt half open. There was a click…
MacGyver waited, holding his breath…
Nothing else happened.
Feeling slightly foolish, MacGyver stepped away from the wall and into the plant room. Here, the machine noise was much louder and the faint light edged pipes and tanks and conduits in pale blue. He took a few more steps forwards, stopping at the guard rail surrounding the run-off tank, sunk into the floor.
Suddenly a light came on and MacGyver squinted, holding up a hand against the glare. From somewhere in the shadows beyond the beam, MacGyver heard a familiar, mad chuckle echo.
“Welcome MacGyver!” Murdoc sounded delighted. “Welcome to my party! It took you so long to get here that I was beginning to wonder if you’d misunderstood the invitation!”
“Where is he?” MacGyver scowled, looking around the room, but was unable to identify the source of the voice.
“Right in front of you, MacGyver!” The light swung down into the tank and MacGyver leaned over the railing.
Crumpled on the floor of the tank lay McAllister. He was still, and his eyes were closed.
“Lando!” MacGyver gripped the railing tight and glared up at the shadowy figure now visible behind the spotlight. “Murdoc! What do you want?”
“What I always want... Entertainment, mayhem and your long-overdue demise!” MacGyver could hear the shrug in Murdoc’s tone. “Now MacGyver, shall we play a game?”
|Posted by: Rocket 22 June 2020 - 12:50 PM|
| Part Three
“I don’t like your games, Murdoc.” MacGyver stared down at McAllister, relieved when he saw the detective’s chest move. There was no visible blood, and he wasn’t obviously injured. MacGyver let out the breath he hadn’t known he was holding.
“Oh, come now, MacGyver!” MacGyver could hear the grin in Murdoc’s voice. “Games are great fun!”
“Not your kind.” MacGyver looked up, seeing the overflow pipe suspended in the ceiling. The lid was shut, but something blinked red in the gloom. He squinted, just able to make out a small box attached to the lid’s catch.
“Aren’t you even a little bit curious about your friend’s fate?” Murdoc sounded hurt.
“What have you done to him?” MacGyver fought to remain calm. Along with the pipe and the box attached to it, the ceiling was hung with spare rink lights, stored up on ropes out of the way.
“Oh, he’s just taking a nap.” Murdoc sighed. “Of course, if you leave him there, eventually he’s going to freeze to death…”
“What if I rescue him?” MacGyver looked down at the empty tank. It was about eight feet deep, but at 6’3”, MacGyver reckoned he would be able to lift McAllister and roll him out over the edge, if he got into the tank himself.
“Oh, please do!” Murdoc laughed, the sound echoing around the dark space. “Given the amount of time remaining until my little device blows the coolant hatch open, you have time to get him out of the tank but not to get yourself out afterwards. He’s not going to be able to help you rescue him – as you can see, he’s out… cold!” Murdoc’s manic laughter bounced around the room, the echoes merging and multiplying. “Or you can simply sit tight and watch him die, knowing that you can set off the timer yourself when you opened the door.” There was a pause, in which MacGyver remembered the click he’d heard. “Your choice!”
“Nice.” Victoria nodded to herself, hidden in the shadows. “OK Murdoc, let’s see what happens when he calls your bluff.”
“You’re insane.” MacGyver took one more look at McAllister and then turned his attention to his surroundings.
“Well, perhaps.” Murdoc sounded unconcerned. “The border between madness and genius is really very narrow!”
“Yeah, and you’re so far over it that you can’t even see it in the rearview!” MacGyver glanced up at the rig hanging in the ceiling, wondering how much it weighed.
“Details, details.” Murdoc waved a hand.
“Do you ever plan to stop chasing after me?” MacGyver crossed t the edge of the room, disappearing into a gloomy corner.
“Not a chance!” Murdoc laughed. “As long as you’re alive, you’re far too much fun to leave alone!”
“Uh-huh.” MacGyver took hold of a long rope, unwinding it from the hook holding it. Leaning back, he tested his weight on it and then nodded.
“What are you doing over there. MacGyver?” Now Murdoc sounded irritated. “Times a-wasting!” he pressed a button and a glowing countdown lit up on the bomb package.
“Nothing much.” MacGyver spotted a drum of fuel oil, a spare for the back-up generator, and tied the end of the rope to it. “Just seeing what I can find.”
“Nothing?!” Murdoc wiped spit from his mouth, the veneer of sanity slipping. “There’s nothing you can use down there! This time you’re going to die!”
“We’ll see!” MacGyver leaned on the barrel, which tipped heavily onto its side. He unwound the last loops of rope off the hook, grabbed the drum and rolled it over the edge of the tank.
“What are you doing?!” Murdoc’s voice rose shrill over the boom of the drum hitting the bottom of the tank. He leaned forwards, watching MacGyver jump down with it, the rope stretching taut back into the shadows. Beside the gently rocking drum, McAllister lay still.
Down in the tank, MacGyver glanced up at the glowing countdown clock. He tuned out Murdoc raving above and kneeled down next to McAllister.
“Lando.” MacGyver patted the detective’s cheek. “Lando!” he tried shaking his shoulders, but McAllister slept on. MacGyver pulled back his hand, then hesitated. “Sorry, man.” He shook his head, then swung his hand forwards. He connected with McAllister’s cheek, the slap echoing around the tank. Even in the dim light, he could see McAllister’s face redden, but the detective showed no signs of waking up.
MacGyver glanced up again, the countdown clock ticking away above him. If the bomb blew the pipe hatch, hundreds of gallons of freezing coolant would cascade out, and the only way he and McAllister would be able to escape drowning would be if they froze to death first…
“Wake up!” MacGyver gripped McAllister’s shirt front in both hands and yelled into his face. For his escape plan to work, McAllister had to be conscious. He shook his friend, but McAllister’s head lolled and his eyes stayed shut. “Come on, there has to be something…” MacGyver sat back on his heels and ran a hand through his hair. Then he frowned, blinked and leaned forwards, his mouth an inch from McAllister’s ear. He took a deep breath. “COUGAR!”
|Posted by: Rocket 28 June 2020 - 07:55 AM|
| Part Four
McAllister yelled and his eyes flicked open. He shot up, swinging wildly with his fists and kicking out at an imaginary lion. He leaped to his feet, staring all around.
“Lando!” MacGyver rolled to his feet, having scrambled backwards when McAllister exploded up off the floor.
From her hiding place, Victoria James suppressed a laugh. She looked up, interested to see how Murdoc would react to this new development.
A very English curse that Victoria didn’t understand echoed down from Murdoc’s perch.
“I see what you’re doing, MacGyver! Very clever!” The gantry wobbled as Murdoc climbed up next to the spotlight. “But not quite clever enough!” He began edging along the narrow catwalk, a large knife clamped between his teeth.
“Undo your belt and buckle it around the rope.” MacGyver pulled out his knife, and demonstrated with his own belt. “And hang on tight!” He looked up at the countdown clock, now down to a handful of seconds. Movement caught his attention and his mouth dropped open, seeing Murdoc moving towards the taut rope and taking a knife out of his mouth!
“Not this time, MacGyver!” Murdoc climbed over the pipe, slipping on the rounded surface. “This time I have you!” Wrapping an arm around the insulated pipe, he reached far out and slashed at the rope leading down from the lighting rig to the oil drum below.
“NOW!” MacGyver cut the rope between the two men and the oil drum. Freed of the weight, the heavy lighting rig hurtled down. The rope raced through the pulley, yanking MacGyver and McAllister up out of the tank. They swung wildly as the light array crashed into the edge of the tank and tipped, showering broken glass into the depths. Spinning fast, they lurched back in the other direction, towards the coolant pipe and its deadly load. As if in slow motion, MacGyver saw the countdown clock blink 5…
The pipe rushed up to meet them. Down below, the lighting rig tipped over the edge, falling into the tank and jerking the rope even higher.
They spun again, crashing into the pipe. MacGyver braced himself for a hard impact, instead hitting something soft.
Murdoc yelled as MacGyver and McAllister cannoned into him, and made a last desperate grab for the pipe. A strip of insulation pulled away as he clutched it, and Murdoc felt it tear free…
Still swinging, vertigo making him nauseous, MacGyver watched the slim figure lose his grip on the pipe and plummet into the darkness.
The bomb blew, loud and echoing so close to the two men. The hatch fell open and coolant gushed out. In the moment between the pipe opening and supercooled liquid thundering into the tank, MacGyver heard a familiar yell:
One week later
“So how do I do this?” MacGyver held the rope and looked up into the confusing mass of lines controlling the sailing boat.
“We want to turn the boat to make the most of the wind.” McAllister stood tall, balancing easily as the boat moved over the waves. “It’s called a tack. Pull on the rope in your right hand and make sure you duck as the boom-“ He broke off as MacGyver yelled and there was a splash from behind him. “-swings across the deck. Too late!” McAllister grabbed a lifebelt and threw it to MacGyver, who surfaced spitting water a few yards away.
“That’s cold!” MacGyver hauled himself back into the boat and caught the towel McAlister threw to him.
“Yep.” McAllister grinned. “But I’m right, aren’t I? The landing is way softer than on the ice!”
Victoria James stepped into the dim bar, pausing in the doorway to let her eyes adjust. Over by the fire sat a man huddled in a blanket, clutching a glass of brandy in both hands. Ignoring the admiring looks she drew from the men sitting at the bar, she crossed to the man and sat down opposite him.
“Mr. Murdoc?” She smiled when the man raised his eyes from his glass, shivering. “I’m Victoria James, and we’re in the same line of business. I’m a fan of your dedication to your craft, and I’d like you to consider our proposal…”