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|MacGyver Online Forums > Library > Mishka, ch 13|
|Posted by: Lothithil 29 July 2009 - 09:29 AM|
Chapter Thirteen: A Good Man
MacGyver sat back in the seat of the taxi, heart still pounding. It was always a little too fun, giving the KGB the slip.
Natalya sat stiffly beside him, her fingers digging into the upholstery. “Who were those men?”
“Your countrymen, I’m guessing. Keeping a watch on their athletes to make sure nobody defects… are you sure you don’t recognize them?”
Natalya shook her head. She was thinking of her uncle. Softly, as if to herself, she murmured, “I thought he was just – I didn’t think that they’d really look – “
“Natalie?” MacGyver ducked his head down to look into her eyes. She was so frightened. “Hey, it’s okay. They wouldn’t hurt you. You’re Moscow’s pride and joy!” Natalya looked away from him; he took her chin in his hand and gently turned her face toward him. “Listen to me: everything is okay. They were probably watching me, anyway.”
“No. It is my – my room – that they are watching. They must not yet know – oh, what shall I do?” Wings of panic beat at Natalya, and the motion of the car brought her nausea and fear to a sudden, desperate intensity. “Please… make him stop… stop the car! I need to…”
The color of her face was all the convincing Mac needed. He directed the cab driver to pull over, and Natalya climbed unsteadily out, gulping the night air and trying not to become sick. MacGyver got out and stood beside her, ready to help in any way he could.
“I’m sorry – I’m sorry.” The night air settled her stomach, though fear coursed through her veins. At least now she could think, outside the stifling confines of the automobile. “I don’t know what came over me.”
“Claustrophobia.” MacGyver made a self-deprecating shrug. “I know the signs. Intimately.” With careful fingers, he brushed a tangle of golden curls back from her face and gently asked, “You wanna tell me what’s bothering you?”
Natalya took a deep breath. “My uncle. He wishes to defect. I – I’ve been trying – trying to – “ she searched MacGyver’s eyes desperately. “I don’t know where to go for help!”
MacGyver frowned. “Your uncle? Is that why the KGB are hanging around your place and following you? Just who is your uncle?”
“Dr. Mikhail Ivanovitch Petrov. He’s a scientist – a biologist. He has made some very important discoveries, and he is afraid of what they will do with his work. He wants to leave Russia.”
“Easier said than done.”
“So he has discovered! He’s tried to make it on his own, but they nearly caught him – so he came here – he’s desperate! And I don’t know what to do – “
“Has he tried to contact the American Embassy here in Helsinki?”
Natalya shook her head. “He is hiding… afraid to come out. He knows that they are watching – he thought they were waiting for him, but – “
“But the KGB is watching you because you’ve been hanging out with me.” MacGyver sighed and rubbed her shoulder. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make things complicated for you.”
Natalya covered his hand with her own. “You could not have known… and I,” she lifted her eyes to look at him again, this time there was no fear there; only warmth. “I am glad that you are with me.” She gave a small hopeless laugh. “I don’t know what I’m going to do… but I’m glad at least that I can talk to you. The secret has been a terrible burden!”
“Too heavy to carry alone,” Mac said softly. “No wonder you’ve been so upset. Look, let me see what I can do… I have a few friends here and there… let me see what can be done.”
Natalya’s eyes shined up at him, full of tears of hope and gratitude. The sight of her made his heart skip and his mouth go dry. He tried to moisten his lips to speak, but she lunged upward and caught his mouth with her own with a hungry kiss. “Thank you, MacGyver! Oh, thank you – “ she whispered as she embraced him.
MacGyver struggled to remember to breath. “We should get going,” he said gently.
“Can we walk from here to the hotel? I mean – will they come after us?” She looked over her shoulder nervously.
“They’ll probably be waiting when we get there. Don’t worry – like I said, they won’t hurt you.” MacGyver put his hands on her shoulders. “We can walk if you want.”
“I’d advise against it,” the cabdriver said, leaning out the window. MacGyver took a second look at the fellow and recognized Gorodisch under an artfully disreputable mustache and goatee. “No more time. Get in quickly.” He reached back and pushed the door open fully.
Natalya shrank against MacGyver. He gave her a comforting hug. “It’s okay, Natalie. He’s – a friend.” He guided her into the car, which sped away as soon as Mac’s feet left the pavement.
Natalya leaned toward MacGyver and whispered, “Do you think he heard… everything?”
Gorodisch glanced into the rear view, meeting Natalya’s eyes in the narrow mirror. “I did… and you can relax. The KGB will not hear anything from me.” He cut his eyes toward MacGyver. “This complicates things,” he said gravely. “We may need to step things up.”
MacGyver nodded. “I understand.” The mission was still the mission. “Natalie… I don’t know that I’ll be able to help right now… but I can still talk to someone about getting your uncle out later – “
“Oh, no,” Gorodisch interrupted him. “We must do that, too. Dr. Mikhail Ivanovitch is a commodity that many countries will jump at the chance to acquire!” He chuckled, his eyes twinkling beneath the brim of his cab driver’s cap. “If for no other reason than to keep his research out of other hands.”
Natalya was looking from one man to the other, her expression beyond wonder. “You mean… you can help him?”
“Can and will, dear girl,” Gorodisch said easily. He winked at MacGyver. “It will be – as you say in America – a piece of cake, yes?”
MacGyver’s expression was more reserved, his mind racing as he considered the difficulties and risks of departing Finland precipitously with a Soviet scientist in tow; he didn’t share Gorodisch’s confidence. But Natalya’s eyes were on his face, and she was squeezing his hand tightly. “Um, yeah.”
They were pulling up to the front entrance of the hotel. It was dark now, which meant that it was very late. The courtyard and fountain were brilliantly illuminated with colored lights. Gorodisch laid one arm over the edge of the seat as he turned to speak to them.
“Get out and make sure you’re seen.” He smiled as he nodded toward the people standing around the fountain and just inside the entrance of the foyer. “Laugh and pretend nothing is wrong. Walk her to the doorway and then come back. Miss Vistkaya, go to your room and let your uncle know he must stay out of sight. We will help him, but we must not let the KGB know where he is.”
“How – how did you know he was in my hotel room?” she stammered. “I didn’t say!”
“Um, well,” Gorodisch had the presence to look a little embarrassed. “I’ve, uh, been watching too…” She gaped at him, but he forestalled her with a raised hand. “I doubt the KGB knows he’s there… if they did, they’d move in and take him! Why wait, eh? So just hold on for another day or so. MacGyver and I, we will set the wheels in motion.”
Natalya nodded. As she slid out of the car, she paused and pecked a chaste kiss on his heavy jaw. Gorodisch gave her a startled, bemused look, and touched the brim of his hat to salute her.
MacGyver and Natalya carried out their masquerade for their audience, and he left her in the pool of golden light spilling out of the hotel’s wide doors. She watched the car pull away sedately, waving after him and feeling like a silly schoolgirl. Then she walked slowly to the elevators and ascended to her floor.
The absence of men outside her room relieved her. Perhaps she had overreacted after all, she thought as she fitted her key into the lock and turned it, glad that her nervousness had abated so that she managed not to drop her keys again. The door opened easily and she stepped into the darkened room and pushed it shut behind her. She felt along the wall in the darkness to turn on the lights, but oddly, her hand did not touch the cool smoothness of the wall. Instead, she felt the coarseness of woven cloth.
Fingers closed over her wrist. She gave a startled cry, but another hand clamped over her mouth, turning her shout into a muffled squeal.
The lights came on. Natalya let out a smothered moan of despair and then fainted.
Once out of sight of the hotel, Gorodisch pushed the speed until the cab was zipping along at the legal limit. MacGyver leaned forward over the bench seat.
“You’re playing kind of fast and loose, aren’t you?” MacGyver said. “Don’t you think you’re putting her in unnecessary danger?”
“It’s her uncle who came to her to defect. I’d say he’s putting her in danger.” The man shrugged. “Still, she should be safe enough. She will be followed, of course, but as of now, the KGB believes you to be no more than an American ringer for the Hollanders.” His eyes roamed over the road as he spoke. He increased their speed slightly. “If they’re concentrating on her, it will be easier to move forward with our own plans.”
“Won’t they be watching me, too?” Mac turned to look out the rear window; multicolored lights slid off the glass and splashed across the fenders as they sped along the thoroughfare.
“No more so than the other competitors belonging to the allied countries. Well, maybe a little more so… but they won’t be expecting you to be carrying what I’m going to give you.”
MacGyver shook his head. “I think we’re taking a big risk… maybe I should leave tonight. You could get Petrov the papers he needs, can’t you?”
“Yes, I can, but you must not leave tonight. Tomorrow you will have a plausible excuse for dropping out of the Trials. If you go now, tonight, they will be hunting for you as soon as you’re missed – which will be too soon. I have it all worked out.”
“Great. Are you going to share this with me, or am I supposed to enjoy the surprise?”
Gorodisch reached over his shoulder to adjust his seat belt. “I don’t think this is a surprise that you’re going to enjoy… but it just might save your life.”
He jerked the wheel suddenly to one side, sending the car into a careening skid. It bounced over a median, narrowly missing a lorry that was lumbering in the other lane. MacGyver shouted and dropped down into the seat as Gorodisch stamped on the brakes and spun the wheel in the other direction. The car slewed around, tires screaming, and then there was an almighty crash as the rear end of the taxi smashed into the concrete buttress of the Pitkäsilta bridge.
|Posted by: MacGyverOnline 13 November 2009 - 03:13 AM|
| This has been viewed 129 times so far and not one person could be bothered to comment.
No wonder our authors have all disappeared.
|Posted by: ghostdoll 22 November 2009 - 08:26 PM|
| I feel really dumb, but I don't understand what and why Gorodisch did what he did >_<
Poor Natalie! Eeeeeek! The plot tickens!
|Posted by: jaebird 3 December 2009 - 05:25 PM|
|Wow. Interesting chapter. Loved it!|
|Posted by: Karenskatz 23 April 2021 - 12:20 AM|
|GhostDoll, Gorodisch id causing an accident to give Mac some bruises so he can drop out of the competition "due to injuries".|