Homecoming Part Four

Chapter Six

"LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME MACGYVER AND KNOW YOUR DOOM! I HAVE WAITED EIGHT LONG YEARS FOR THIS MOMENT!"

The fork lift tore through the side of the car, tipping it up and hoisting it high in the air. MacGyver tumbled sideways in a shower of trash, something hard bouncing painfully off his head. He pulled his legs up frantically, trying to avoid being impaled on the rusty spikes and made a dive for the far door. How high was he? If he could get the door open he thought he might risk the drop. Who WAS this guy?He yanked at the door handle but the door didn't budge.

"It locks itself NOW?!"He heard mad laughter spiralling up at him and glared through the glass at the shadowy figure below, light flaring on the edge of a familiar bouffant hairdo.

"Jay Leno is driving a fork lift... Jay leno is drivi..."The figure stepped out of the shadows and MacGyver's eyes grew wide.

"What are you doing?! Why are you doing this? James?!" The man on the ground nodded sagely, calmer now that his quarry recognised him. He walked around the fork lift to admire his handiwork while MacGyver watched him, all the time scrabbling at the door. He turned himself round and aimed a hefty kick at it. The car shuddered, but the door stayed locked.

"So. Now you know how it feels. You know me now, don't you, MacGyver? You remember when you did this to me, don't you, MacGyver?"

Aloft in the car, MacGyver stilled.

"I did this to you? I don't even know you!"He looked down again, and vertigo overwhelmed him, fear clenching in his did it always have to be heights…

James, angered by MacGyver's silence, took a deep breath.

"ONLY I WASN'T CALLED JAMES THEN. I WASN'T A HARD LUCK CASE THEN. NO, I WAS A RESPECTED AGENT WITH A TICKET TO THE GOOD LIFE AND YOU HUNG ME OUT TO DRY, JUST LIKE I'M DOING TO YOU NOW! HOW ABOUT THAT, MACGYVER? I CALL AND PRETEND TO BE WILLIS, OH SO HELPLESS, AND YOU FALL FOR IT. NOT SO CLEVER NOW, ARE YOU? DXS WOULDN'T BE SO PROUD OF YOU NOW, WOULD THEY? AND HERE I AM ONCE AGAIN, HITTING YOU RIGHT IN THE FACE!" He paused for breath, spit gathering at the corners of his mouth.

MacGyver's eyes narrowed. His hand rose to his cheek. Of course. He'd caught James selling missile codes, him and another agent. James had hit him right in the face, locked him in the trunk of the car and put him in the junkyard crusher, but MacGyver had got out and this is what he'd done next... He realised that James had stopped shouting and had disappeared from view. MacGyver cast about frantically for him, then froze as he heard the fork lift rev up once again...

Nikki slewed to a screeching halt

in front of the service road gates. She briefly considered charging the gates with the car, but they looked solid and she doubted they could break through. She unbuckled her seatbelt and turned to face Sam.

"Right, kiddo, we're on foot from here. You stay behind me and out of the firing line, OK?" Without waiting for an answer she stepped out of the car and set her boot toe into the heavy mesh of the gate. As she climbed, her jacket swung aside just enough for Sam to see the gun holstered under her left arm.

"OK. I can do this." Sam took a deep breath and began to climb, pain flaring through his shoulder.

The world through the car window swung crazily underneath MacGyver, the concrete of the dock giving way to dark, oily water. MacGyver was aware that James was still shouting, screaming at him over the rumble of the engine, but he couldn't make out the words. James drove the fork lift right to the edge of the dock, leaving MacGyver suspended over the edge. He climbed out and, to MacGyver's astonishment, walked underneath the car to look right up at him. There were tears running down his face and he continued to shout and gesture, now all but unintelligible.

MacGyver realised he had no chance of reasoning with James now, the man was clearly beyond rational thought. He watched James return to the fork lift, lean in and throw a lever. The fork lift lurched forward again, skidded as the wheels lost their grip on the dock edge and then, ever so slowly, tumbled into the water.

James stood on the dock, watching the air boil out of the stricken car. An oil slick bloomed on the roiling surface, dark and thick. He imagined the water rising, MacGyver taking his first, panicked mouthful as he desperately fought for air, pictured him gasp as his lungs filled and saw the light go out of those lively, dark eyes forever.

Nikki ran along the dockside, gun cocked and held aloft in both hands, scanning for any movement or sound. Behind her, Sam laboured along, hand clamped to his bad shoulder, his breath coming in gasps. He caught up to Nikki as she flattened herself against a container, ducking quickly around it and back to see what was on the other side. She glanced across, shocked to see how white he was in the glow of the security lighting.

"What's wrong with you?!"

"I'm OK." Sam nodded to try and reassure her. Unconvinced, she turned and risked another peep past the container. One man standing looking into the water, no sign of MacGyver. Sam came up behind her, peering over her shoulder. She felt him stiffen and pushed him back, flattening both of them against the metal. She glared at him and mouthed, 'What?!'

"I know that guy! That's James! It can't be a coincidence, it's got to be him behind all this. Dad's got to be nearby." Sam made to move out from behind the container.

Nikki grabbed the front of his jacket hard, shaking her head and pulling him back into cover.

"I don't see him. Stay behind me, we'll move closer."

Inside the car, MacGyver grew frantic. Water poured in as the weight of the fork lift forced the car under. The faulty electrics in the dash hissed and sparked. He HAD to get out… MacGyver dived into the back seat, hoping to crawl out through the trunk as he had done before, but Mel's seats held firm no matter how much MacGyver pulled, kicked and tore at them.

"Great! The one part of this car that isn't falling apart!"

MacGyver weighed up his options as he rifled through the mess of floating trash in the half submerged car. The doors won't open. The back seats were stuck. The windows wouldn't roll down.

"Windows..." His hand closed on something slim and cold. Barbecue tongs? That must be what had hit him earlier. Why would Mel keep...? Never wedged the tongs into the gap between the window and the door panel, leaning back and heaving until the panel popped loose. The window handle popped loose too, disappearing with a splash into the back seat. MacGyver scrabbled at the wet window glass, but couldn't make it move. Feeling under the water, his fingers found the small nub of the window handle. If he only had a spanner... He looked around himself. The car lurched and settled, tipping towards the back. The front of the car reared up and water cascaded out of the cassette player. MacGyver lunged across and stabbed at the eject button. He grabbed the tape, snared a pencil stub as it floated past and jammed it into one reel of the cassette. Taking a deep breath, he ducked under the oily surface and fitted the other reel over the window handle nub. Putting pressure carefully on the cassette, he started to turn the window mechanism. After a nasty moment when he felt the plastic give, the mechanism turned and the window shuddered its way down. Water rushed in and MacGyver had only a moment to snatch another breath before the car groaned and sank. Feeling his way in the disgusting murk, MacGyver pulled himself through the window and swam away.

Chapter Seven

Nikki and Sam eased slowly around the end of the container and made a brief, silent sprint to the next pool of shadows. Now that they were closer to James, they could hear him ranting at the water. The words 'destiny', 'karma' and 'payback' echoed triumphantly across the space between them, followed by 'MacGyver!' They exchanged a grim glance and readied themselves to run again.

MacGyver swam underwater as far as he could and then surfaced quietly. He was some distance away, but James's unhinged monologue floated clearly across the water. MacGyver slipped around the pointed end of the dock and swam along the far side, looking for a ladder.

Nikki ghosted along the side of the last container. James was only a few yards away from her now. She could smell the sharp tang of his sweat and, as he was still cursing MacGyver at full volume, he was completely unaware of her presence. She steadied her grip on her gun and was opening her mouth to shout when a soggy, bloodied figure barrelled across the dock in front of her. James heard the running footsteps and turned, just in time to receive a high speed punch square in the mouth! Both men sprawled on the ground and when James looked up, he found the barrel of Nikki's gun levelled straight between his eyes.

Sam stooped down to hug his father, too relieved for words. MacGyver smiled, hugged him back and got unsteadily to his feet. He shook his punching hand ruefully and accepted a handkerchief to press against his bleeding temple. Both looked up as the whoop of a siren announced the arrival of the police and Sam went to explain. James was handcuffed and led away, still shouting, struggling and cursing at the top of his voice. Sam watched him go, shaking his head and marvelling that someone who'd lost it so completely could still have appeared so normal at first. He returned with a blanket, which Nikki took from him and draped around MacGyver's dripping shoulders. She held the blanket by the 'lapels' and grinned up at him.

"Only been back here five minutes and already you need rescuing!" She stepped back and released his blanket. "Mac, it's good to have you back. Welcome home!"