Wish You Were Here: Part Four
Penny tiptoed down the corridor, armed with a nail file and a can of hairspray. Good job she'd managed to steal the key to her room back from Julius the guard, even if it had been nasty letting him kiss her like that so she could get her fingers into his pocket...
Where could they be keeping MacGyver? Wasn't it just like him to come and rescue her! She'd just known he'd get her message. But now MacGyver needed Penny to come and rescue him. If she only knew where they'd taken him. She hadn't been allowed to explore all of the house, that had been the first sign that David wasn't as nice as she'd thought. After that, she'd made a point of exploring whenever she could, which is how she'd found the machines in the caves. That was the first time David had hit her... Penny's eyes filled as she remembered. She shook her head hard to clear it and concentrated. What would Mac do? He'd follow the guards.
Peeping round the corner, Penny made a dash across the courtyard and ducked behind a bush. She could see the guardhouse if she parted the leaves, and she watched closely. Julius crossed the guardhouse window and disappeared from sight. Two more guards came out of the door and walked off in the other direction. Penny listened carefully, but couldn't hear anything. Was MacGyver in there?
Taking a deep breath, she sprinted across the smooth grass and crouched down underneath the guardhouse window, just like she'd seen MacGyver do earlier.
Now Penny could hear someone moving around. She heard the scrape of a footstep, followed by a meaty sounding thud. Someone moaned and Julius's unmistakable chuckle reached her. He must have MacGyver in there! But what was Julius doing to him? How could she rescue him now? Julius was massive and strong and Penny doubted she was a match for him, hairspray and nail file notwithstanding...
A phone shrilled in the guardhouse and Penny jumped, covering her mouth with her hand to muffle her gasp. Julius spoke, the words obscure, and then he hung up. Heavy footsteps crossed to the door and Penny flinched when the door banged open inches from her head. She dived round the corner and scrunched up small, just in time to avoid Julius as he strode out. He slammed the door behind him and disappeared off behind the trees.
Penny chanced a look around the corner of the building and saw that the door hadn't shut properly... She slipped inside and closed it, leaning against it, her heart pounding.
MacGyver was lying in the corner, curled up with his hands tied behind him. A bruise stood out on his cheekbone and he was soaked. His eyes widened as Penny crouched down and reached out to him.
"Mac?" Her whisper sounded loud in the still room. "Mac, are you OK? I came to rescue you!"
"I came to rescue YOU! What are you doing here?!" MacGyver shifted and winced. "I can't get to my knife. Could you...?" He shifted sideways, indicating his back pocket.
"How'd I get out?" Penny smiled. "Pretty much like this, actually." She slid her fingers into the pocket, picked out the knife and held it up in front of him. "I sort of borrowed the key from Julius, who's probably going to be in a whole heap of trouble when David gets back and..."
"...and I don't care because he was mean to you and I hope David's gone a long time so we can get away. Boy, your knife sure is sharp! Except that I think he'll be back later, so we should really..."
"...probably get out of here as soon as we can. Why have you got paint all over your face, anyway? Is it for camouflage? I guess it must be. I've never worn make-up like that, although I did have to be a monkey once for a play I was in and I had face paint for that and..." Penny broke off as a large shadow fell across her. Turning round, she followed MacGyver's gaze.
Julius stood in the doorway, his face dark with anger. Penny screamed, dropping the knife. MacGyver pushed up off the floor and tried to charge him with his hands still tied, but Julius slipped the charge and drove a knee up into MacGyver's ribs. MacGyver collapsed with a groan and Julius shook his head. He grabbed Penny's wrist as she stabbed at him with her nail file, and the file skittered off into the corner. He backhanded her once across the face and tied her up too. Throwing her down on the floor, he turned to go.
"The Boss can deal with you when he gets back."
He closed the door behind him and Penny heard the key turn in the lock. Julius's footsteps receded and then all was quiet. She became aware of MacGyver's ragged breathing and crawled across the floor.
"Mac? Are you OK? I guess I know why you wanted me to be quiet now. I'm really sorry. I know I talk too much and..."
"Penny?" MacGyver's voice was strained. "It's OK." He got to his knees, breathing hard, and looked around for his knife. He shuffled around in front of it, picked it up and began sawing at his bonds. "Can you see that nail file anywhere? We have to get out of here before he comes back and I need it to pick the lock."
"Just what is going on here, anyway?" MacGyver's voice was barely a whisper as they crept through the undergrowth. He glanced to the side and shuddered. "Mind that – the cliff drops off there and believe me, it's a long way down!"
"Well, when I first got here, David seemed so nice, and..."
"Penny? The short version."
"They're printing money here. Real American dollars! And that wouldn't even be so bad, except that one of David's friends said they had to stop because the police were on to them and you know what David did? He shot him! He shot him right there in front of me and said if I told anyone, he'd shoot me too. And they buried him in the garden! And that's when I wrote to you, and I just knew that... Mmph!" Penny's voice started to rise and MacGyver clamped his hand across her mouth. Wide eyed, she nodded, and he gently took his hand away.
"That's OK, Penny. Where are they printing it? If we can take some with us, Pete and the DXS can move on this and get David put away for good."
"In the cave." Penny pointed away to her left. Taking MacGyver's hand, she led him away into the fading darkness.
"Wow, this is quite a set up." MacGyver's whisper echoed weirdly around the cave. A row of printing presses crouched under tarpaulins in the early dawn light. Bales of plastic-wrapped notes stood waiting to be shipped out and drums of ink were racked up along the walls. Taking out his knife, he slit one of the bales and took out a bundle of notes.
"I'm glad you approve!" A harsh voice shattered the quiet, echoing around the chamber. "Pity you'll never get to spend any of it."
A slim man stepped into view, hands in his pockets and sweater sleeves knotted around his neck.
"David!" Penny shrank closer to MacGyver. The slim man smirked and nodded.
"Julius told me what you and your little friend here were doing. Tut tut, Penny. I did tell you what would happen if you caused any more trouble. You're a pretty little thing and I like you a lot, but I think you've just become more trouble than you're worth." He whipped a gun out of his pocket, gesturing for them to move.
MacGyver took Penny's hand and backed away slowly, his eyes searching the room. There had to be something... Ah. He squeezed her hand hard and pulled her closer to him. David followed, herding them towards the cave mouth. MacGyver glanced behind him fearfully.
"Yes, it is a very long drop." David's voice was calm. "If the tide's in, you'll be washed away and drowned. If it's out, you'll be smashed on the rocks. Quite a 'high' price to pay, don't you think?" He took another step towards them, drawing level with the drums of ink. MacGyver felt Penny pull away from him.
"You're a no good, low-down piece of scum!" Penny's shriek was loud and she lunged at David, spraying him in the eyes with her hairspray. He yelled and stumbled backwards just as MacGyver tipped the shelf, sending a cascade of drums rolling down towards him. David was knocked flat, the gun went off as it hit the ground and the shot ricocheted off one of the presses. MacGyver leaped forward, knocking David out with a single, well-aimed punch! Shaking his hand, he turned to Penny.
"Nice work! I wish you could have warned me though! Now let's get out of here before Julius and his buddies show up." He strode over to the nearest press and dragged the tarpaulin off. "Look around, see if you can find some string, or rope or something, ok? And have a look up the passageway too – I'd hate for any guards to drop in on us unannounced." He unfolded the tarpaulin flat, looked at it from all angles and then, gingerly, looked out of the cave mouth. David was right, it really was a long way down. A shadow fell across him and he spun, fist raised ready to strike.
"AAH!" MacGyver stumbled back.
"Sorry! I didn't mean to startle you. Will this do?" Penny held up an armful of cargo netting.
MacGyver leant on the wall, waiting for his heart to stop hammering. He nodded.
"Can you unravel it? I need as many long pieces as you can get."
They worked silently and fast. MacGyver knotted the cords along two sides of the big tarpaulin, glancing out of the cave and across at David. Where could Jack be? How much longer before David woke up? Had they got so turned around that Jack was on the other side of the island? MacGyver didn't think his invention would have much in the way of steering power...
Penny glanced suddenly up to the top of the cave. Footsteps echoed in the darkness above.
MacGyver gathered up the cords. He could hear running footsteps and shouting now too. He beckoned to Penny.
"You're going to have to hold on. Wrap your arms and legs round me and don't let go, whatever you do!" He swung round as the guards burst into the cave. The nearest fired a shot, which cracked off the wall, sending chips of rock flying.
Penny grabbed hold of MacGyver, hugging him tightly. He took a deep breath and jumped out of the cave into the air, pulling his makeshift parachute with him. Down and down they fell, shots ricocheting all around and the world spinning crazily beneath them. Then the wind caught the tarpaulin and it opened, pulling them aloft. MacGyver yelled in triumph as they sailed into the air, Penny clamped tightly around his waist. He pulled the cords and they drifted round in a gentle arc, seeing Jack's plane behind a jutting rock. MacGyver could see Jack standing on the roof and waving in the early morning sunshine.
Penny poured coffee for Pete and opened out the newspaper across MacGyver's kitchen counter.
"Hey! Come and listen to this!" She waited until MacGyver and Jack came in from the garage and then read aloud. "Our reporters have learned that a counterfeiting ring in the Islands has now been shut down thanks to local information and a daring joint operation by Hawaii's police and the DXS. This criminal organisation, which has been seeding our banking system with counterfeit notes for at least six months, has been stopped, all equipment has been seized and the ringleader, David Bell, will stand trial for his crimes next month." Penny broke off, smiling round at the friends. "That was us!"
MacGyver and Pete smiled back, but Jack wasn't happy.
"You didn't keep anything? Not a single dollar?! That stuff was great, it even fooled me! Jack frowned. "What were you guys thinking!"