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MacGyver leaned closer to Brian, until they were practically breathing in each other's air. His eyes having all the sympathy and understanding of a great white shark as it stared down its current meal.

"You're right I DO have bosses, and they paid me to get rid of you but not in the way you're thinking. I was perfectly willing to do that, money IS money after all. But now the rules have CHANGED. Daney thinks she has the upper hand, but she crossed me and that was a mistake." His gaze shifted towards the window briefly.

"Whoever it is outside that window won't make a move, they won't risk your life. And I have every confidence that Gillian WILL get free and break Daney's neck. But even if she doesn't and Daney DOES kill her, it doesn't matter. I can always find a new partner. Gillian is expendable, and so are you."

The last words were a hiss and MacGyver raised his knee, catching Brian in the stomach. He hunched over a little but Mac quickly grabbed him by his dark hair and jerked his head up. Brian squeezed his eyes shut and cried out in pain, the sound quickly muffled by the thick barrel of the gun.

Outside the small isolated cabin, the sound of a gunshot rang out, sending flocks of birds in a panic flight from the trees....

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(co authored with Mac)

"Oh Lord," Daisy muttered watching Daney and Gillian stop in mid fight about twenty five feet from the cabin, just on the edge of the woods. Her cousin and the red head had been fighting since Bo and Luke standing at the window whistled at Daney when she came out of the cabin with the woman.

Their eyes widening, masks of horror etched on their faces at the gunshot and birds flying everywhere. Bo and Luke were close to the pit of mud, holding ready bows... in case MacGyver's assistant tried to escape.

Daney turned to Gillian covered in mud from head to toe. She glared at her.

Gillian stood up, wiping her hand across her face and flinging the mud onto the ground. "Never should have crossed him Daney, now look what he's done because of it."

"This isn't my fault!" Daney shoved the red haired woman hard to the ground for the third time in two minutes. She watched Gillian’s eyes go shut like she was taking a nap.

Daisy, Bo and Luke came closer. Daisy began to hog tie Gillian up with help from Luke.

With tears in her eyes, Daney wrenched the bow from her blond cousin's hands with a half hearted growl.

She turned and ran to back to the cabin, not caring if she looked like a swamp monster or not. Daney stopped in the door way with the bow raised and ready to shoot....

With a hard kick, the cabin door was opened and the sight that met her eyes was MacGyver. He was lying in the bed with his arms tucked under his head.

"Hi Daney, welcome back."

He sat up slowly seeing her grab the bow string and pull it taut, the black arrow point poised to shoot him in the chest. "I see…nice bow."

The weapon dropped from her hands to the floor. Her heart sunk, not seeing Brian. A cold shiver went up her spine. "You bas----," She hissed at the blond man and picked the weapon up...

"I am indeed, and you only now figured that out?" He turned in his side and touched the mattress, raising his hand. The tip of his fingers were bloody.

"Wondering where Brian is? Well I'm wondering where Gillian is." He rubbed his fingers together.

“She’s safe,†Daney let go of the string....

and then threw the bow at the wall. Mac’s eyes didn’t dart away as the tip of the arrow imbedded itself just above his blond head of hair.

“Where is Brian?†She tried to sound brave even through she was heartbroken and felt like she was going to throw up.

"Around." MacGyver got up from the bed and pulled the arrow from the wall. "If Gillian is in the hands of your cousins, then all you've done is sealed Brian's fate."

“What are you talking about?†Daney inquired as Mac walked toward her.

"Gillian belongs to me and I want her. Have those two cousins of yours bring her back." MacGyver circled around her slowly as he spoke, his eyes never leaving her.

"Tell me where Brian is, you son ----," Daney grabbed Mac's throat with one hand and a handful of his hair with the other hand.

Mac rolled his eyes as he grabbed Daney's wrists and pulled her hands off of him. He threw her down on the bed and straddled her waist, pinning her with his weight.

"I've got all the power Daney and you know it. Your life and Brian's hangs in the balance. Give Gillian to me and you just might survive this." He leaned close to her dark hair and nosed it gently as he whispered in her ear.

Daney shivered, wondering what he was going to do next. She glanced over to see Bo, Luke, and Daisy with Gillian in the open doorway. Her female cousin had the bow ready to shoot an arrow in Mac’s backside. Her oldest and youngest male cousins had a tight grip on the red haired woman’s arms. Gillian was tied at her hands and ankles.

“She’s right behind you,†Daney paused. “Gillian wasn’t harmed, where is Brian... Mac, please.†She pleaded with the blond man.

Mac's eyes narrowed as he climbed off the bed, pulling Daney up. His grip around her waist firm as he pressed her back to his chest.

"I don't think so, lower it or you'll never know." He focused his stare at Daisy. "I still have the gun. Daisy, you know I'll use it. Do you really want to see it go down like this? You shoot, I shoot and things getting bloody... Lower the bow and I'll show you Brian."

Daisy saw how pale her younger cousin was underneath the mud that was still smeared on Daney's face. She was scared something had happened to her friend, the boys and her were too. The older Duke woman lowered the bow and removed the arrow without taking her eyes off Mac and her cousin.

Mac kept a firm hold of Daney as he motioned to a small closet on the other side of the little room. "Daisy, open that door."

Daisy looked at Bo and Luke who nodded, then she walked over to the door. Hesitantly, she obeyed the man's order. A small gasp came back from her mouth seeing Brian in a police uniform, the collar stained with crimson. His arms behind his back, like he was cuffed. It was eerie... but he appeared ok from the dark eyes that stared at her. She smiled at him and turned back to rest of the room.

MacGyver lifted his head. "You got what you wanted; now give me what I want." He put his hand in his pocket and pulled out a small key, tossing it at Bo, who caught it.

"Untie Gillian and we'll trade women."

"What are you gonna do after that?" Luke asked suspiciously.

Mac's gaze flicked to Gillian, who gave a small nod of agreement to him.

"Walk away…"

Bo and Luke looked from Daney over to Brian... then at Mac, before untying Gillian as quickly as they could.

"Who hired you?" Daisy asked.

"No, that information stays with us. It's what's going to keep us alive for not completing the job." MacGyver looked at Brian. "Watch your back Brian, someone wants you out of the way."

The boys let go of Gillian and smiled at her. Then they walked over to the closet. A minute later... Daisy, Bo, Luke and an uncuffed Brian stood waiting for Mac to hold up his end of the deal.

Mac let go of Daney and the two women passed one another.

Gillian hugged Mac around the waist. "We better go."


They said nothing more; simply walked across the room passing the group of people cautiously. They never looked back as they disappeared into the forest.

Bo, Luke and Daisy went outside as their cousin began to fuss over Brian to make sure he was really ok. They couldn't help but grin watching through the window until Daney and Brian came out of the cabin a few seconds later.

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"If I ever get my hands on that two bit gun maul...." MaryAnne muttered as Maverick tore up dirt and grass, heading in the direction of the cabin. "And the chick. Just for good measure." She and her two passengers had heard the gun shot as well and the Firebird was beating a path to the source of the sound.

"I hope we're not too late," Rosco said.

"If we are, everybody better run for the hills. Because I'm gonna go ballistic!"

"I dunno if I wanna see that," Cully said.

"You don't," Rosco replied.


MaryAnne was beyond fuming. First, the rest of the Coltranes were a day late and dollar short in regards to Brian being kidnapped. Things just moved too fast. Now, finally getting themselves in gear, they were probably too late. And Brian probably wondered where the hell they were and possibly passed on thinking they weren't gonna try to save him.

"@!%$!!" MaryAnne spat.

"I'll second that," Cully said.

"What if that gun maul is still around?" Rosco wondered.

"Good!!" MaryAnne said. "We can have target practice and a bar-b-que!"


Cully refrained from comment.

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Brian walked out from the cabin with Daney beside him. He didn't speak as his dark eyes looked to the woods, the freshly-matted grass showing the evasive path that Mac and Gillian had taken.

In the distance, the roar of Maverick's engine could be heard. The Firebird would be here in mere moments; and from the speed it was approaching, it sounded as if the camshaft was going to drill it's way through the motor block. MaryAnne wasn't sparing the horses in getting here.

Though it would have been a few minutes too late to save him. Brian focused on the woods again, and reached up a hand to touch the side of his neck where Mac's bullet had grazed him. The blood was drying, but the surface wound stung like hell. However, it beat the alternative.

What had passed between captor and captive at that last second was something Brian could not explain. Mac had yanked his hair back and stuck a gun in his mouth, and in that single heartbeat there was no time for prayer...Brian remembered opening his eyes and looking into the face of his killer...their eyes locked, holding the exchange of life and death....

And then Mac had suddenly yanked the gun from Brian's mouth and turned it aside, the trigger pulled nearly the same moment. The shot was deafining...and the rest, Brian couldn't recall. Shock had numbed him, whether from the suprise at being alive, or from the singe of the bullet over his skin, he didn't know which. It wasn't until he heard Daney's voice that he felt focus returning to him, and with it, hope.

And now, standing outside and feeling the blood pounding through his heart, and hearing Maverick's steady roar coming nearer, Brian was tempted to hunt Mac down. If MaryAnne brought Bandit with her, they could do it quickly. The dog could sniff Mac and Gillian out; A Hazzard posse could surround those woods; the Dukes, after all, had hunted everything in this county...justice could yet be served. The name of Mac's employer could yet be drawn from him...via official cop inquiry or Brian's own methods, it didn't matter...

But the decision of pursuit would be the law's, not his. The kidnapping of a bad guy impersonating an officer was probably still a crime, but the paperwork would be hell. The thought put a wry smile on Brian's face.

He put an arm around Daney's waist, giving her sideways hug. Yeah, he was alive, dammit, and it felt good to be breathing. He turned his gaze towards the road and waited for MaryAnne. The day was far from over...

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A few moments later the blue Firebird came into view of the cabin. The car kicked up dust on the narrow dirt drive and then came to a quick, sliding stop, surrounding it in a cloud of dust. The two doors popped open and Rosco and MaryAnne jumped out. Cully stayed in the car with Bandit.

It wasn't too hard to spot the only other person in the crowd wearing a Hazzard County deputies uniform. "Brian! Are you awright??" MaryAnne came up to her cousin, taking him by the arm and looking at him. Althought both he and Daney beside him grinned at her, she couldn't help but look at him with concern, relief, and with apology for that fact that she and Rosco couldn't get here sooner.

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Brian's answer was to give MaryAnne a hug, reassuring her. He knew the thoughts that were running through her head; he could see it in her expression. "I'm awright, cousin," he said quietly, though his shoulders shuddered at the recent memories.

They remained silent for a moment, kin reunited. Coltrane luck had held...barely...and Brian murmured this as he released her. He put a hand on her shoulder and guided her a few steps away, to talk in private.

"I'll explain the uniform later," he said to her. "Right now, the biggest thing you gotta know is that there's a pair of assassins makin' a break for it through those woods. I don't know who hired 'em or why....but you've figured out the target." A brief grin of bravado lit Brian's face. "Anyhow, I figure they've quit the assignment. We could still catch 'em, but we'll risk a few of our own folk in doin' it."

Brian looked into MaryAnne's eyes and saw the twin flames of blue fire within them. The burn for justice was bright in them...and perhaps for something more...

...and though the law wouldn't officially call it revenge, Brian would recognize it just the same. He knew MaryAnne saw the blood drying on his skin, knew she had felt the echo of fear in him...and knew, on some level, she had heard the gunshot and thought the worst.

"It's your call, cousin," he told her. He would stand by her decision. For MaryAnne was the law, and she was not to be crossed lightly...

But more, she was kin, and he was damn glad of it.

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The morning seemed chaotic for the most part. The Game Warden knew trouble was on the horizon but as usual oblivious to the real danger. Something was nagging at her, about doing her woods patrol early. So she took off to the woods shortly after giving MaryAnne the note she found on the bulletin board. Then after seeing the notes left on the board again when she left, she figured she better do woods patrol now. Because in Hazzard you never know what you’re going to stubble upon.

Normal duties required her to check hunting cabins, see if there were any stray poachers, and making sure trappers were tending to their traps daily as law required. As she was traveling around the backwoods of Hazzard on foot, she heard someone rustling in the brush then what sounded like a human out cry.

She came closer to the area to be surprise by a blond man with a mullet hair cut with both his feet caught in a steel jaw traps. Not far from him was a red headed woman hanging upside down from a rope snare that had her hanging from a tree. It seems that Mac and Gillian had gotten themselves into a As she was about to approach the caught pair Enos and Cletus joined her.

“Val! It’s good to see ya sis. You’re just in time to help us round up these criminals!†Enos smiled at his sister.

She grinned as Enos and Cletus hand cuffed the blond with the mullet haircut and read the Miranda rights to them. Val took the red head down from the snare and hand cuffed her as well. The trio of officers took MacGyver and Gillian out to the edge of the woods where Enos and Cletus put them into the patrol car.

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While the Coltrane cousins were talking, the Duke clan walked over to the patrol car.

“You sure about this?†Daisy asked.

Daney nodded and looked at the boys. “Didn’t you say to forgive and forget? No grudges once...â€

“I did,†Luke smiled and Bo chuckled. The oldest brunette led the blond and middle brunette over to where Enos, Cletus and Val stood. The three were boasting about the capture.

Daney made sure the Strates and Deputy Hogg were not looking. She quickly opened a patrol cruiser’s back door of the patrol cruiser.

Hazel eyes looked at the red haired woman and blond man. “I owe you both for not killing me or Brian, and I hope this pays the debt.†Her voice was low and respectful. She reached into her jeans pocket and got the bobby pin out.

“No grudges Gillian, right?†Daney whispered and used the metal to spring the lock on the cuffs of the woman.

"Right...no grudges." Gillian sighed in relief as the tight cuffs were opened.

“Good luck. Thank you, Mac for not killing me or Brian.†Daney pressed the bobby pin in Gillian’s hand and squeezed it gently.

MacGyver's hands were released and he rubbed his wrists as he stared at the brunette woman. "I wasn't paid to kill him, Daney." He looked through the window at the three people. "You better go, we'll take it from here."

Daney glanced curiously at the group of folks... did Val, Enos and Cletus hire Mac and Gillian? Or my cousins? She shook her head, then smiled at Mac and Gillian. She turned to her cousins and motioned with an old ridge runner sign that everything was ok to go. She closed the door so it looked like it was shut. Her cousins came up beside her. They walked back toward the Coltranes.

Daney was grateful that everyone she loved was ok.

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The tires on the patrol car spun as it took off, kicking up a dust cloud into the faces of Val, Enos and Cletus. The three uniformed people were no longer that as they sat with their hands cuffed behind them on the side of the road. Enos and Cletus wearing nothing but their white t-shirts, boxers shorts and socks; their blue shirts tie around their mouths. Val sat between the two men, she too had her mouth gagged by her own shirt, leaving her in a white t-shirt.

MacGyver and Gillian now had a set of wheels and headed down the road in a hurry, trying to find the quickset way out of Hazzard.

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MaryAnne and Rosco were both glad Brian was okay and seeing him in a uniform should have illicited a few smart comments from the cousins. But there would be time later for teasing. Now, there was a call to action in the air.

MaryAnne wanted a piece of the two hired guns so bad, and she knew Brian had seen it in her eyes. There was no reason to hold back on it either. Kidnapping and attempted murder were serious issues. A swift delivery of justice was on order.

"Whattya mean, she's the law?" Rosco complained. "I'm the law too, I'm the Sheriff--!"

"Who agrees that crimes have been committed," MaryAnen said, "and the perpetrators are getting away! They kidnapped Brian, they kidnapped Daney. They attempted to kill Brian, and we can throw in assault and battery just for good measure. We're goin' after 'em---" Before MaryAnne could finish her speech, she watched the lone Hazzard County patrol car come into view with Val, Enos and Cletus. "Well...maybe we won't be..."

A little disappointed, the Coltrane cousins watched the scene. Mac and Gillian were let out of the patrol car by Daney Duke, who then undid their handcuffs.

"What is she doing??" Rosco said. "Is she crazy?! Them dipsticks, they shouldn't be lettin' them outta the car!"

They saw Daney turn, flash the ridge runner okay signal to her cousins and then the tables turned. With the Dukes backs to the scene, Mac and Gillian had subdued Enos, Cletus and Val, tied them, gagged them and jumped into the patrol car.

"DAMMIT! They're they go!!" MaryAnne took off to runnin', with Rosco and Brian with her. There was no way they could do anything to stop the car themselves, but MaryAnne got close enough to pull her gun and took aim at the fleeing patrol car. Six shots came in rapid fire, blowing out the back window of the patrol car and shattering tail lights. The Plymouth kept going.

"C'mon y'all!" MaryAnne yelled. "They're not gettin' outta Hazzard County!!" She turned and ran back to Maverick.

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MacGyver turned around slowly to see the broken back windshield, the wind blowing through their hair as he turned back; gripping the steering wheel firmly.

"Man that's one angry Deputy! I guess she didn't appreciate us borrowing the patrol car."

Gillian shook out her hair and brushed the glass from her shoulders.

"Or the fact we left her friends by the side of the road."

"We didn't hurt them." He focused his attention once more on the road as he slammed his foot down on the gas. The patrol car taking off in a sudden burst of speed.

"She's going to be coming after us, we better put some distance between us."

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As Mac and Gillian were fleeing the scene, Brian was running towards Maverick. He hollered at Daney while in full run, unable to believe that she had released the very people who had damn near made an end of them.

"Duke girl, you're gonna have a lot of explainin' to do!" He yelled. "Don't just stand there with yer private eyeballs staring at everybody, let Val and them cops loose!"

He wasn't able to wait to see what Daney did. MaryAnne was at Maverick's driver's side, and Brian quickly dove into the back seat of the Firebird, where Bandit immediately barked at him. But it was the "Howdy" from the older man in the black Stetson who shared the backseat, that startled him completely. The man looked a helluva lot like Rosco, but....

"GAH!" Brian said. "Naw, it can't be....what the hell, they let anybody in Hazzard these days?! First MacGyver, n' now...hey, you're that dude from the Hooper movie! Cully! Sonofagun!"

As Brian was speaking, Rosco jumped into the front passenger seat of Maverick, and MaryAnne got behind the wheel. The Firebird gave a howling roar, the pursuit on.

Enjoying the novelty of being on the same side as the posse for a change, Brian kept up the chatter. "Ya know, most families don't go out and do things like this together anymore. Ain't that a shame? Hell, it'll be a sad day when nobody's got time for a shootout...."

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Daney quietly helped her cousins get Val, Enos and Cletus untied. She told them she was truly sorry, explained why she did what she did and asked Daisy to tell MaryAnne, Rosco and Brian.

While the three officers were getting attired again, her cousins chatted about what had happened... the youngest brunette Duke slipped to the edge of the woods feeling like a fool.

She stopped for a moment and looked over her shoulder. As she continued walking... warm, salty tears began to run down her cheeks.

Daney kept going until she came to Styx River on the other side of the woods. She stood there with her arms crossed over her chest, and a troubled expression in her hazel eyes.

She took a deep breath, looked up at the sky and sighed.

Then she dove in... the cold water would wash away the mud from the cat fight with Gillian but it wouldn't take the pain from her heart or make her feelings go away.

While Daney was trying to sort things out...

the General had caught up to Maverick, who was closing in on the stolen police car.

Cletus, Val, and Enos were in the back of the orange stock car. Bo in the passenger seat, Daisy in the middle and Luke in the driver's seat at the wheel.

The older female Duke woman picked up the cb. "Songbird, you out there on the Hazzardnet?"

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"Well, ya know what they say," MaryAnne said. "The family that plays together, stays together. Khee!" She glanced in her rear view mirror at Cully and Brian in the backseat with Bandit between them. "I guess I can pass on the introductions, y'all already seem to know each other."

"Well, with a face like mine it's easy to be recognized," Cully said with a grin. "Nice to meet ya, Brian. I've heard a lot about you."

"All bad, of course," Rosco added. "Khee!"

Up ahead, the patrol car was in viewing distance, but there was quite a length between it and Maverick. MaryAnne had the pedal to the floor. A moment later Daisy's voice came over the CB.

MaryAnne picked up the mike. "Go ahead, Bo Peep."

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“MaryAnne, Rosco, Brian... My cousin only unlocked that woman's handcuffs because Daney felt backwoods southern justice had been severed after they fought out in the mud pit. The only thing Gillian did was kidnap Daney. I know she didn't mean any harm... and it was their decision to escape," Daisy paused and looked to the back seat. "Daney said she seen some kind of connection that her and Gillian were alike in some ways. She truly is sorry for what she did. Here is Val," Daisy handed the cb to the older woman.

Val took the cb, "Songbird this is, Gemini 2... Listen, I understand why Scout did what she did. Enos Cletus, and myself have forgiven her whoever was involved in letting those baddies go." The Game Warden paused, "But we have a job to do."

Enos and Cletus, didn't need to say a word. After they were explained why Daney did what she did they understood. The important thing now is that Mac and Gill don't get away scott free.

Bo grabbed the cb. "MaryAnne, my cousin has that look in his eyes and you know what that means." He chuckled and handed the cb mic to Daisy who was laughing along with everyone else.

"Deputy Coltrane, Sheriff... I'm going to get cross country here and meet you back over by the Crossroads, I think we can get them there." Luke paused to hear if MaryAnne agreed or not. "Lost Sheep, Bo Peep, Geminis and Cletus signin' off the Hazzardnet." Luke pressed the accelerator to the floor, cranked the steering wheel and swung the bright orange stock car off the road into a field.

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"I don't hold nothing against Daney," MaryAnne replied in the CB, "and I understand what she did too but backwoods southern justice is gonna have to be dealt out in more than just a fight in a mud pit. I will not have people think they can come into Hazzard County, push us around, threaten us, kidnap us and try to kill us, and get away with it." She paused. "So Luke Duke, if you've got that look in yer eye....stand on it! Let's not let these jokers get away! I'm gone!"

MaryAnne tossed the mike over to Rosco who hung it up on the CB set. She glanced at Cully in the rearview mirror. "This isn't the kinda introduction to Hazzard I was hoping for but....Welcome to Hazzard County, Cully."

Cully grinned. "Wouldn't be the same any other way."

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MaryAnne's fine-tuned rant made Brian smile. He couldn't remember the last time she had worked up such a righteous wrath against somebody, and he was glad not to be the one getting chased right now.

He watched the road shrink between Maverick and the fleeing stolen patrol car. Boss Hogg used cheap parts and skimped on maintenance on those squads, while MaryAnne kept Maverick in top running shape. The odds, Brian knew, were with the posse. Mac and Gillian were outnumbered, and possibly in an unreliable patrol car, and were trying to escape from MaryAnne, Rosco, Duke's, who were all in their own home territory.

There was a fleeting sympathy Brian felt for the pursued; he knew what it felt like. But it didn't stop him from wanting to see Mac face-down in the dirt. Or strung up from a tree. Or eaten alive by ravenous coyotes. Or hit broadside with a truck. Or thrown into a snake pit. Or drawn and quartered using four very slow tractors.

"Khee, you @#$%&*," Brian muttered at the fleeing car. Be it called backwoods southern justice or revenge, hell's invoice was going to be paid.

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MacGyver watched the Firebird in the rearview mirror, it was getting closer all the time and the speed of the patrol car was being pushed to the limit as it was.

"Mac...they're gaining, it's only a matter of time." Gillian whispered in defeat as she turned in the passenger seat, gazing out the broken back window.

"They just don't learn, do they?" His dark eyes narrowing. "I let Brian go once against my better judgement. He can't just leave well enough alone."

Gillian's gaze shifted to the driver. "We weren't paid to kill him and you know that."

"Then they should have gotten someone ELSE to do their dirty work if they couldn't handle getting a little blood on their hands."

He sighed as he wiped his hand over his face.

"This is ridiculous."

Mac turned the wheel hard, taking a small side road that headed into the hills.

He watched Maverick follow and a cold smile lit up his face.

"That's it Deputy, come on down."

The white patrol car coughed and wheezed but managed to make it up the winding dirt road to the top of Kissing Cliff. He backed the patrol car up and a great distance from the edge and put it in park.

"They're going to be here any minute." Gillian reached out and touched MacGyver's arm. "You know we can't be taken in. We know way too much, we'd never be allowed to live."

His grip on the steering wheel tightened. "I know...and I'm not about to let Brian win. No one takes me in... no one."

Gillian nodded, sighing. "Then you know what we have to do."

The white patrol car took off with a burst of speed heading straight for the edge of the cliff.

Maverick and the General Lee got there just in time to see the white patrol car hit the edge of the cliff and become airborne. It exploded, black smoke and bright orange flames blowing out the windows as it dropped like a rock, landing at the bottom of Kissing Cliff and exploding a second time.

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"HOLY--" MaryAnne brought Maverick to a quick stop and everyone spilled out of the car. The black smoke rose up above the canyon and the three Coltranes, along with Cully looked down to see. Both Cully and Rosco removed their hats.

"Good Lord..." Rosco said softly. "They couldn't stop."

MaryAnne looked at the smoke and slowly shook her head. "No. I don't think they wanted to stop. They knew exactly where they were driving. "

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At MaryAnne's words, Brian slowly walked near the edge of the cliff, studying the flaming wreckage. The whoosh of the crackling flames and the hiss and pop of the burning patrol car was the only sound for several moments. The acrid smoke billowed to the sky, marking the end of the pursuit with grim finality.

The identity of whomever hired Mac and Gillian to begin with, would never be known.

Brian stared at the scene for a long time, his dark eyes brooding. He wasn't proud of the idea that he and his clan had chased two people to their deaths, but as MaryAnne said, this was the path the pursued had chosen.

An uneasy feeling was prickling at the back of Brian's neck. Were the secrets Mac gaurded worth certain death, when there was always that slim chance of escape? Why did it end this way? Why hadn't Mac turned the patrol car around and come back at them head-on, or any other dozen strategies that could have won their escape? Mac was armed, he could have also slowed down and let MaryAnne get close enough, and then turned and fired a decisive bullet....

Backing away from the cliff, Brian turned around and scanned the area, not sure what his criminal instincts were telling him. He could be wrong...

....but just in case, he felt it was best not to linger at the scene. Brian took a last look at the wreckage and the plume of smoke, which rose black and heavy to blot the sun. "Farewell, Mac," he said quietly, knowing it wouldn't be heard.

Brian turned towards MaryAnne, his voice speaking low. "Cousin, let's get outta here..."

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The three Coltranes plus Cully stood a short distance from Maverick, staring down at the burning remains of the stolen patrol car along with the Dukes, the Straits and Cletus.

From a group of bushes a short distance away, Mac and Gilian hid; crouched down low.

"As soon as they leave we can go." Gillian whispered as she peered through the branches.

"Maybe...might not be that easy." He had his hands on her shoulders, pressing her down a little lower. Mac kept his eyes fixed on Brian especially.

"He's after us because he wants to get even with me, not because he wants to know who hired us."

"So what do we do?" Gillian asked looking over her shoulder at her partner.

Mac still watched Brian as he stood on the edge of the cliff.

"We watch and wait."

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Cully had turned away from the cliff and was looking down at the tire tracks left behind from the patrol car. Something wasn't settling right for him. The thought of two people perishing in such a form was disturbing enough but...Cully wondered.

"Yeah," he heard MaryAnne say to Brian's request that they leave. "C'mon..."

Cully walked back Maverick but he was still looking at the tiretracks and the markings in the dirt just beyond the tracks. The sand near Kissing Cliff was softer than the rocky gravel that was near the road. The tracks left by the patrol car and Maverick were easy to see. The other markings in the dirt looked like footprints and scuff marks from a body landing and roling in it.

He'd driven cars off cliffs, jumped out at the last minute and had seen what the ground looked like after doing such a stunt. If they had jumped out...where'd they go?

His line of vision turned him to look toward the bushes that were a short distance away.

"Ya comin', Cully?" MaryAnne asked.

He stared at the bushes for a moment, but didn't see anything. 'Yeah," he replied. Slowly he turned back to the Firebird and climbed into the back of the car.

MaryAnne backed Maverick up to the road and they drove away from Kissing Cliff.

"What were you lookin' at?" Rosco asked.

"A different route them two could have taken," Cully replied. He paused. "I ain't so sure they were in that car at all..."

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"You think they jumped out?" MaryAnne asked.

"They might have. I'll be honest, some of the marks in that dirt look like they coulda jumped out."

MaryAnne slowed the Firebird down and pulled over to the side of the road. She turned in her seat to look at her kin.

"Maybe we should turn around," Brian said.

Rosco agreed. "If they're still back there..."

MaryAnne nodded. She was about to turn Maverick around in the road when she saw Cooter's tow truck coming down the road.

"Hey, there's Cooter..." she said. "Looks like Hilery's with him."

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(Hilery is used with permission per her request/wish)

The tow truck pulled up along Maverick’s driver’s side.

“Howdy,†both Davenports greeted the Coltrane clan with a crooked smile.

“Didn’t want to miss the big fireworks we heard about,†Cooter announced. Hazzard’s beloved mechanic chuckled at the raised eyebrows he received. He pointed toward the General Lee through the window.

The Duke boys were ready for hunting. Bo and Luke had their bows in one hand, dynamite arrow in the other. Enos and Cletus were also holding bow and arrows. Val appeared to be giving them advice or something as they all headed toward some bushes. Daisy was no where in sight.

“Shouldn’t I go help them?†Hilery asked.

“We will,†Cooter replied and tipped his ball cap toward MaryAnne, Rosco, Cully and Brian with a wink. He then sped the vehicle up to the bright orange stock car, dust swirling around the tow truck when it came to a stop. He jumped out and didn’t bother to shut the door. Hilery followed her cousin around to the back and assisted him with getting some heavy duty chains.

They joined Bo, Luke, Enos, Cletus and Val... the sound of galloping hooves not far off.

“Cousin, how did you think of this?†Daisy asked as her and Daney rode toward the boys and their friends from the opposite direction. One on a chestnut colored Palomino with white mane and tail. The other on a Mustang.

“After swimming,†Daney paused. “I’m just glad we got this arranged without anyone noticin’,†She chuckled and lightly kicked her heels to make the pure black stallion run.

“Whoa Honey,†Daisy gave the mare a light tap and pulled on the reins. She smiled seeing Daney lean forward and hold tight as Dreamer took flight...

Bo and Luke whistled.

“Shoot fire and a box of matches,†Cooter hollered.

“Flapjacks on a ferris wheel,†Cletus exclaimed.

"Possum on a gumbush," Enos hugged Val.

They ran to where the horse and had landed safely on the legs of two bodies. The front right horse hoof in the back of the blond man, the left one rested along side the red hair of the woman’s head. A riding crop gently pointed in his neck. His rider with a gentle smile.

“Cool,†Hilery grinned.

Daisy came cantering up as the boys aimed the bows at Mac and Gillian. The Davenports were in position with the chains. Val, Enos and Cletus looked ready to pounce too. The deputies with their weapons drawn.

The criminals were surrounded, there was no way they were getting away... between police, a Strate, Dukes, Hilery and Cooter... they were surrounded with four more people running up.

“Glad y’all could make it,†Daney shouted to MaryAnne, Rosco, Brian and a fella who looked like Rosco but without the uniform. I seen him somewhere before. She thought and looked down at Mac and Gillian with a poker face. “Khee.†Then she glanced to Brian and MaryAnne. “Wanna go horse back riding?â€

(Cue MaryAnne or Brian)

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Mac laid face down on the ground, the hoof of the horse heavy in the center of his back. He flexed his wrist, a small gun shooting out into the palm of his hand. He fired it, the horse reared up, spilling its rider.

Quick as lightning Mac grabbed Daney, pulling her against him, aiming the hidden gun to her temple.

"I suggest you all just back away right NOW!"

Gillian slowly got up, she too pulling out her gun and aiming it at everyone in sight.

"You all just couldn't leave well enough alone. You could have let us go but oh NO you're southern PRIDE And JUSTICE just wouldn't have it." His gaze flicked to the faces of everyone there.

"You want to know who hired us?"

He reached into his other pocket and pulled a piece of paper and dropped it at his feet.

"Come on PI, let's move."

He put his arm across Daney's shoulders and forced her to walk. The pair of assassins play Daney walked to the edge of Kissing Cliff. He turned his head, gazing at everyone.

"You want Southern Justice? I dont think so."

He gave Daney a hard shove away from him as Gillian jumped into his arms, the couple fell over the side of the cliff; straight into the burning wreckage of the patrol car.

Daney watched it shaking her head as she went back over to the piece of paper Mac had dropped it and unfolded it.

The paper read two simple words...

Valerie Strate

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