Disclaimer: This story is “fan-fiction”, based on the Television series The Magnificent Seven, the 1998-2000 TV series 'reimagining' which remains the intellectual property of creators/producers Trilogy, Mirsch, MGM et al and CBS network, although whether the latter deserves same after finding that they had a ratings hit on their hands and still cancelling the show...well, 'nuff said.

It is not owned by “The Cat's Whiskers”; no money is being made, and it is purely for the enjoyment of fans of the show, etc., etc. Legal counsel has advised that “fan-fiction” falls within the bounds of “fair use” as defined by UK law (1740) and US law (1976). All 'Original characters, plots and story-settings remain the intellectual property of 'The Cat's Whiskers' and may not be reproduced or continued or expanded without her express permission to reproduce, continue or expand same. The Cat's Whiskers may be contacted at any time via fanfiction.net Private Messaging for this purpose. All excerpts of and reference to on-screen dialogue and aired episodes (including deleted scenes, episode commentaries, gag reels, additional content) and on-screen named characters remain the property of the screenwriter(s).

Notice: You are expressly and explicitly permitted and encouraged to save this story to your personal computer and/or device for your personal reading pleasure if you so wish. Some years ago I suffered a serious loss of much of my works due to a computer software malware issue, and luckily I got 60 percent of it back thanks to other writers and readers who had saved my stories on their computers or knew about “web caching”. Since I err on the side of paranoia, if I one day need to go through that process again for any reason, you may be the reader who is able to help. Please do not, however, circulate the stories without asking me first.

Setting: This story is set in the modern-day Elite ATF AU/MCAT AU. The ATF AU was created M.O.G., whose stories can be found here (search under Author ‘M’). MOG very kindly lets other writers play in her sandpit, for which I am grateful. After 9/11 a spin-off of the ATF AU was created, where the ATF teams became ‘MCAT’ – Major Crimes And Terrorism - Taskforces.

This story fits both; I have updated it slightly since I originally wrote it in 2003 when it was ATF AU, to take place in the ‘present’ day when the boys are MCAT ATF AU, but that status doesn’t really impact on the story.

Unfortunately, I cannot remember the name of the author who created ATF Team 7’s closest friends, ATF Team 8, particularly the character of their team leader, Ryan Kelly or other team members such as Khera. In MOG’s AU, ATF Assistant Director (retired Judge) Orrin Travis originally created ten ‘elite’ ATF Teams of which our boys were number 7. Travis then refreshed his ten elite teams into MCAT teams in the post-9/11 spin-off/update. In this story I have updated the timeline to make Travis Director but that is a minor note.

Story content note: As with all my fan-fiction, I have tried to keep this story as accurate as to “canon” as possible. I have no option but to avoid the whole “pot-kettle-black” thing because I teach Creative Writing and wrote a textbook, Writing Fan-Fiction for New Writers (Is it ‘Real Writing’ and is it Useful?) © 2010-2012 and I am, therefore, very keen on ‘Taking Your Writing Seriously’. My view is that fan-fiction is an excellent ‘primer’ for someone who has just started out writing (whatever type) and for anyone moving into fiction writing from another writing field, as was the fact in my case.

If you are writing an AU story, you do have leeway, but otherwise it is only courteous and respectful to your readers, and a good way of honing your research skills, to make as much effort to be as accurate to canon as possible – if you are serious about being a proper writer, you need to learn and practice doing proper research and getting facts right – otherwise you will end up being a “must read” for all the wrong reasons – like people only watch Ben Hur for the centurion wearing the wristwatch, or Braveheart for the battle scene where the man falls over to reveal a pair of very modern jeans under his kilt – or the collectible historical romance set in 17th Century England where the hero invites the heroine to ‘freshen up’ in his indoor bathroom…with flushing WC.

It also shows your respect to the creators of the show, the scriptwriters and production crew who film the series and work long into the night editing it all together, often in atrocious weather or stuffy little mixing suites but who never get the glory; remember the cameraman and boom operator are also out there filming in the howling gale/downpour for fifteen solid hours and they never get any red carpet treatment.

If you’ve ever gone to a fan convention/Comic Con have you ever taken ten seconds away from salivating over Michael Biehn or Laurie Holden, depending on which way you sway, to let Frank Q. Dobbs or Melissa Rosenberg bask in the fan-love? For another example, all those shows in Vancouver, where the weather is wet or wetter - and the actors themselves, who work very hard and put a lot of time and effort into getting their on-screen characters “right” and again work through illness/injury (e.g., Jared Padalecki’s broken wrist in Supernatural, and Alex O’Loughlin’s shoulder injury in Hawaii 5-0) or things like pregnancy (e.g., Erica Cerra in A Town Called Eureka) and other stresses to give the viewer good value.

As well as being respectful to everyone involved with the show you are writing about, adhering to canon tropes also gives you great story material. Shows like A Town Called Eureka ("Eureka" in the US) is very good for giving you snippets of plausible sounding ‘real life’ Scienceze, without drifting into Star Trek techno-babble. One of the best things about Hawaii 5-0 the 2010 reimagining is that because all the episode titles are in Polynesian, and both Polynesian and Pidgin are used in the show, is that it really makes you think about words and context and language – making sure that character ‘A’ really does talk like that does a great deal for honing your ear for dialogue and helps you create fictional realisms by giving your characters ‘authentic’ voices – Danny Williams uses words like ‘ergo’ and ‘commensurately’ in context and with precision, even in the midst of a cargument or Danno-rant, but he does not use words (unlike Steve McGarrett/Chin Ho Kelly/Kono Kalakaua/Kamekona), such as ‘brah’, ‘hoa’, ‘lanai’, ‘aloha’ ‘da kine’, ‘pakalolo’ etc.

I have tried my best in this regard, but it has been a bit difficult: dark colours, especially dark eye-colours, don’t show up well on screen And of course, that doesn’t account for the fact that in Real Life, every person’s eyes change colour several times a minute, depending on the amount of literal light reaching the eye, the individual’s emotions, their physical level of tiredness or alertness and so on; any accurate/true-to-life novel would never contain anything else other than 400 pages of what colour a person’s eyes were every twenty seconds or so. The same applies to everyone else – if you have ever watched any TV shows regularly and then met or seen some of the cast in real life you will know that moment of surprised ‘Huh’ because the camera really does change how a person’s height, weight, body posture, hair-colour, eye-colour, skin tone and voice tones appear to be from what they actually are, as well these also being just as much affected by the person in question being ill, tired, happy, alert, etc.

NB – This story was originally posted on my personal website which became defunct after my ISP turned out to be a nightmare. I have posted it to Blackraptor and also Fanfiction.net until such time as I have time to refurbish and recreate my personal website.