of the Virtual Season stories we write can be read on
their own, without having to read any of the others first.
This one is a little different – it follows on from
the events of the macgyver.tv Virtual Season 8 episode
‘War Stories’ and makes reference to the Season
1 television episode ‘Flames End’. If you’re
not familiar with either of those, it might be worth checking
them out on and then coming back
* * * *
“Am I late?” MacGyver slid into his seat at
the back of the courtroom, nodding an apology to the stern
faced woman sitting on his other side. Sergeant Cooper
shook his head, moving up to make room.
“Not yet. Everyone’s here, though, so it won’t
be long.” He smiled at MacGyver. “Always at
the last minute, Mac – where were you?”
“Stuck in traffic.” MacGyver grimaced. His
decision to bring the Jeep instead of the bike this morning
had been a bad one, even if it had allowed him to arrive
looking less rumpled than usual. He’d even worn
a tie, much to Sam’s amusement.
“All rise, The Honourable Judge Davis presiding!”
MacGyver turned as the court official announced the arrival
of the judge, and stood with everyone else, looking over
their heads for a familiar figure.
Hawkins had put on weight since Vietnam, his face round
and pasty. With his badly dyed black hair slicked back
and wearing a suit bought ten years and thirty pounds
ago, he looked every inch the low-life black marketeer.
He looked around the courtroom as everyone sat down, saw
MacGyver and Cooper and his lip lifted in a sneer.
Cooper bristled. When MacGyver had heard him insist on
coming to the trial, he’d understood, but he’d
still thought it was a bad idea. Hawkins had been responsible
for the deaths of Cooper’s wife and daughter in
Vietnam and while Cooper had been getting help to deal
with the tragedy, seeing Hawkins again was always going
to be difficult for him.
“Easy, Cooper.” MacGyver murmured to his friend.
Cooper took a deep breath and nodded, staring down at
his shoes to avoid catching Hawkins’s eye again.
MacGyver turned his attention to the judge.
“This trial has been convened to determine whether
Alfred Wallace Hawkins is guilty of the following crimes:
Illegal trading of weapons, components and restricted
goods in the United States of America between the end
of the Vietnam Conflict and the present day. Conspiring
to steal uranium from Westpoint Plant in January 1986.
He has previously been court marshalled and convicted
of the trading of weapons and restricted goods during
his military service in Vietnam and more recently at MCLB
Barstow. Alfred Hawkins, how do you plead?” The
judge looked at Hawkins, who shuffled his feet and stood
at a nudge from his attorney.
“Not guilty, your Honour.” Hawkins’s
expression was defiant, and MacGyver noticed his eyes
slide away from Judge Davis’s gaze. Hawkins sat
down again and his attorney nodded his approval. MacGyver
rubbed a hand across his face and frowned, sure that Hawkins
“Very well.” The judge sat back and motioned
to the prosecuting attorney. “Proceed.”
The prosecutor gathered her papers and stood.
“Good morning, my name is Fiona Nicholls, for the
prosecution. It is my honour to represent the State of
California in this case. Since returning from his military
service in Vietnam, the defendant has engaged in the illegal
trade or arms and restricted goods, specifically radioactive
material and components which could be assembled to create
a delivery system for a biological weapon.” There
was a buzz of shocked conversation from the observer’s
seats and Nicholls turned to address Hawkins directly.
“The defendant has already been convicted of trading
illegally in arms and restricted goods during the Vietnam
Conflict, thus putting civilians in danger both here in
the United States and abroad.
Beside MacGyver, Cooper shifted. He frowned and started
to speak, but the stern woman on MacGyver’s other
side leaned forward and shushed him. Cooper subsided,
glaring across at Hawkins, but Hawkins was staring at
“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,” Nicholls
continued, “This case is about a man whose greed
got the better of him. A man who took it upon himself
to break the laws of this country. The prosecution will
call three witnesses to the stand: David Kyle, chief of
security at Westpoint Beach Nuclear Processing Plant,
Officer Paul Chen, who arrested the defendant on April
23rd of this year and discovered a quantity of restricted
property at his home, and Dr Laura Allen, Federal expert
in weapons delivery systems.” Nicholls picked up
her papers and addressed the jury, making eye contact
with each of them. “At the conclusion of this case
we are certain that you will deliver the sentence warranted.
Thank you.” At a nod from the judge, Nicholls returned
to her seat. A low buzz of conversation grew and MacGyver
turned to Cooper.
“Are you OK?” He watched Cooper release his
grip on the paper he’d crumpled in his hands and
take a deep breath.
“It’s wrong.” Cooper’s hands clenched
on the paper again. “Weapons components and receiving
stolen goods...” Scorn made his voice harsh. “Those
aren’t his real crimes, are they?” He looked
up at MacGyver, sweat glistening on his brow despite the
“No, Cooper.” MacGyver shook his head. “No,
they’re not. But they’re the only crimes he’ll
be tried for. We know what he did, I think there’s
a good chance the judge knows what he did, but the army
put a gag order on it and there’s nothing we can
do.” MacGyver watched Cooper sigh and unclench his
hands again. “I get the impression the judge will
push for the maximum sentence for Hawkins – he was
looking at him like something you’d scrape off your
“I hope so.” Cooper looked across at the Judge
Davis, who was motioning the defence attorney to start.
The defending attorney stood and unbuttoned his jacket.
He walked to the centre of the room and took a moment
to look at everyone before speaking. MacGyver frowned
as the attorney’s gaze lingered on Cooper before
“Good morning, my name is Damian Swan for the defence,
and it is my pleasure to represent Alfred Hawkins on this
very important case. The defendant stands accused of trading
weapons and restricted goods, and receiving stolen property,
both serious crimes. Ladies and gentlemen, this case is
about a man who, suffering from post traumatic stress
disorder brought about during his heroic service to his
country in Vietnam, became suggestible to the threats
of others and was forced to act against his will. This
is a case about a veteran who has been taken advantage
of by unscrupulous persons. The prosecution will bring
forwards their witnesses who will testify that my client
acted of his own free will to break the laws of this fine
country.” He paused and coughed, reaching for his
water and allowing time for the jury to think about his
MacGyver, Cooper shook his head, muttering under his breath.
MacGyver leaned towards him, hearing his whispering, ‘No,
no, no...’ over and over.
“Hey,” MacGyver waited until Cooper looked
up, watched him take a moment to focus on his friend.
“It’s OK. We knew they were likely to try
this – it’s the easy defence for anyone who’s
“Right.” Cooper nodded, swallowing hard. “Doesn’t
make it any easier to listen to, y’know?”
“I know.” MacGyver smiled at Cooper. “You’re
The defence attorney set down his water and surveyed the
room again. This time when he looked at Cooper, a faint
smile crossed his face.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the defence will
call two witnesses to the stand: Dr Ruth O’Dell,
a general practitioner with extensive experience of treating
veterans with PTSD, will confirm that the defendant does
in fact suffer from PTSD and is subject to diminished
responsibility as a result. Captain Peter Ramirez, who
served with Mr Hawkins at Barstow, will testify that the
defendant is a man of good character, having served alongside
him, and that he had no financial motive to commit these
crimes because he has been continually employed and not
in debt since returning from Vietnam.” Swan walked
across to the jury, also meeting each member’s eyes.
“At the conclusion of this trial, I am certain that
the evidence will prevail.” He stepped back and
smiled, showing even white teeth, but the smile didn’t
reach his eyes. MacGyver shivered, reminded of a shark
he’d once seen while scuba diving. “Thank
you. I know I can rely on you to see justice done.”