Sean Angus Malloy rubbed his eyes wearily, preparing to head home for the night. His job at the Phoenix Foundation was interesting and he wouldn't trade it for the world. But, it was only a distraction to keep him from thinking about the past.
It had been ten long years since he had seen the battle that claimed his father's life and he still silently blamed himself. If only the two hadn't been so secretive about their missions, maybe MacGyver would still be alive. The only reason he hadn't told his dad about the assignment was because of the guns, Sean knew he would have to use. The military had approached him due to his past experience and requested his assistance in bringing down the rouge group. The young man had arrived and discovered a shell-shocked Jack Dalton just moments after the blast that claimed his father's life.
In the ensuing battle, Sean had been unable to shoot his weapon. MacGyver's voice kept echoing in his head. So, instead of shooting he started saving. No one could count the amount of lives he saved by pulling injured soldiers from the thick of battle. In the midst of bandaging wounds and applying pressure, Sean had found his true calling.
Pete had wept silently at the passing of his most trusted friend. He had taken it upon himself to see that Sean was situated in life. The old, blind man considered Sean the grandson he never had. Pete cashed in every favor he could to earn Sean a seat at the most prestigious medical school in the country.
The boy was smart and with four years had accomplished what took others six. After two years in residency, Sean had accepted a position in research at the Phoenix Foundation, where he had been ever since. But never once had he forgotten that horrible night. That was partially why he specialized in memory research. If he could figure out what caused people to not remember, maybe, just maybe he could make himself forget.
It was a lot for one person to endure during their lifetime. First, he'd seen his mother murdered. Then he'd watched hundreds of atrocities while struggling to survive. For a while he'd reported on them, but then he'd found a better life with the father he'd never hoped to find. But all that had been taken away. Sean couldn't go through that again. Of course, he knew that one day Pete would pass, but it would be different. Pete would go peacefully in his sleep and Sean would be ready. He wasn't going to have his feet yanked out from beneath him while the world crashed down around his ears.
A clicking sound brought Sean out of his dark thoughts. "Door's open, Pete," Sean called knowingly. Straitening his tall, lean body Sean waited for Pete to enter the room. He had become accustomed to sound Pete's cane made as the elderly man walked, besides who else would still be working here at this time of night?
"Just like MacGyver," Pete mused entering the office with a sad smile.
Sean closed his eyes and sighed. Well, at least he wasn't the only one.
"You do know it's well past quitting time don't you?" the older man asked.
"I could say the same to you," Sean replied.
"Touché," Pete answered, maneuvering into the worn maroon lounge chair in the corner. Sean would have gotten rid of that thing long ago except it was a favorite spot for Pete to take refuge in away from the nagging bureaucrats.
"So what brings you to the dreary offices at this hour?" Sean questioned.
Pete shifted his weight. "A telephone call actually, an old friend from my DHS days."
Sean whistled. "That is an old friend," he teased.
A small smile crossed Pete's face. "Thirty years," he mused. "We'd lost track of each other and I'd heard rumors that he'd died of cancer several years back."
"Obviously only rumors then," Sean interjected.
"Yes, he sounded very healthy on the phone. Healthy, but worried. He asked me for a favor and I think you can help."
"Me? What's the problem?"
"It seems he has a friend that's suffering from a brain injury that has resulted in some memory loss. Jacob asked me if I knew anyone that could help."
"Why me? I'm sure that there are much better qualified and experienced doctors." Sean knew there was more to this than what Pete was letting on.
"Because, we have pioneering research and experimental medications." Pete hesitated for a moment before continuing, "We also have the clearance needed."
Sean stood and paced the room. There was only one reason he would need clearance. "I don't do military, Pete. You know that."
"Sean, please. I wouldn't ask if I didn't think you were the man for the job. I know you don't take pleasure in military contracts, but Jacob sounded desperate. Do this for me, please."
The younger man sank back into the chair behind his desk. He rested his chin on folded hands as he contemplated the idea of accepting. In the end, Sean knew that he couldn't refuse. Pete was the only family that he had left. He also knew what his father would have done. For his father's memory, he would do this.
"Well?" Pete asked hesitantly upon hearing the silent room. He couldn't see the small weary smile on Sean's face.
Giving a small sigh and shaking his head Sean stood up and walked over to the blind man. Placing a hand on his shoulder, the younger man answered. "You had me at 'I think you can help' it seems."
"That's great!" Pete wrestled into a standing position. "I'll call Jacob right away."
Three hours later, Sean sat in the back seat of an Air Force fighter jet en route to Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado. He knew little about the case, and even less about the location.
When Pete had called his friend back with Sean's response, he'd received a set of instructions to pass on to the young doctor. He'd had little time to pack. Sean was picked up in front of the Phoenix Foundation less than two hours later by an Air Force rep. From there he was driven to the closest military base, where he was transferred from car to jet. Once in the air he was finally given his destination, Colorado Springs. Sean knew that there was an Air Force academy based there, along with a hospital.
He'd heard vague rumors about secret military testing and research there, but he'd never paid any interest to the hushed whispers. Now he regretted this decision for several reasons. First, his patient maybe suffering from an injury sustained by this secret research. Knowing the military, he'd never discover the cause of the injury making it very difficult to determine the best possible cure. Two, they had specifically looked for an individual with the proper clearance. He really hoped that simply examining the patient wouldn't put him on some list that made him a target. Target for what he didn't know, but simply being a target was nerve wrecking. Thirdly, he didn't want to discover something top secret and suddenly end up as never having existed according to all records. He rather enjoyed freedom at the moment, and being held hostage by his own government didn't sound all that inviting.
When they landed, Sean was met by a tall, thin brown haired man who introduced himself as Major Davis.
The major wasted no time ushering the doctor over the tarmac to a waiting humvee. "We'll be at the base in less than five minutes, Sir. You'll be briefed upon arrival." This effectively ended all conversation that Sean may have expected during the short drive. Sean quietly studied the major. He was perhaps slightly older than himself. A grim expression rested on the man's forehead. If Sean didn't know any better, he would have said the man was worried, very worried.
The steel chain fence topped with barbwire wasn't inviting, Sean noted as the humvee was ushered through an open gate and into the massive mountain. The door was opened and an airman withdrew his luggage.
"Follow me, Sir," Major Davis led the way further into the base. An armed guard stood on either side of an elevator at the end of the corridor that Sean was led down.
None of this made sense to the young doctor. Why was he being taken to the base instead of the hospital? And what was with all the security? You'd think they had the secret of the universe stored under the mountain instead of an injured man.
Sean signed his name on the clipboard that the Major handed him and then followed the man into the steel elevator.
"The ride will take a few minutes," Davis said distractedly.
A few minutes?! Sean looked at the buttons. Just how far underground did the complex go?
At level 11, the elevator stopped and Davis led Sean down another hall. At the end of this hall, several armed men stood next to a machine. The major placed his right hand on the smooth scanning surface. The head guard nodded approval and the others formed a path allowing the major through. Sean reached out tentatively. The hand scanner was cold as a green light beamed through the spaces between his fingers.
He too was granted permission to pass the checkpoint. Sean wondered how in the world they had managed to get his palm print on file, or if he had just given it to them.
The head guard looked at Davis. The major quickly answered the unasked question. "Level 21, infirmary, by General Hammond's orders. He's here for Colonel O'Neill."
Finally! At last, Sean had the name of his patient. But his moment of triumph was cut short. The main guard rose from his seat behind the hand scanner. "General Hammond has ordered the doctor to be taken to level 25 VIP quarters."
Sean stepped forward impatiently. "I demand to see my patient first, if he has a head wound it could be life threatening. I don't need to get settled into a VIP suite."
The guard looked Sean in the eye. "I'd be more than happy to let you examine the Colonel. But right now he's unavailable." The guard turned back to Davis.
"What do you mean unavailable? He's a sick man and I'm his doctor. I know a bit about military protocol. A doctor outranks a general in matters of the wellbeing of a patient."
The guard spun to face Sean. "Sir, I wish I could let you exam YOUR patient. But right now we've got to find him first!" He turned back to Davis. "As I was trying to tell you before being interrupted, Colonel O'Neill is missing."