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The Astrophysicist Job

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"Let's steal an astrophysicist."

Eliot looks at Nate. He doesn't think Parker's crazy is catching, but when Nate says stuff like this, he can't be sure.

"Listen, man," Hardison starts. "McKay's computer is protected by a 1028-bit mutating cypher. His laptop. That he carries with him everywhere. He's got a guy that doesn't exist and makes Eliot look like a 90 pound weakling for a bodyguard –"

"Hey," Eliot says, because the guy is big, but he's not that big.

"– and that woman he's with – I think she blinds people by her gorgeousness. I can't find a trail on her either, by the way, and if an astrophysicist hangs out with two ghosts, I don't think we even want him. What about that Tunney guy?"

"No," Nate says calmly, smiling. "You're missing someone."

"Oh, his other bodyguard? Air Force Colonel John Sheppard?" Hardison says, his eyes bugging a little. "He's MIA – they flew up this way together, but he never made it to the hotel. He's got family in the area, he could be visiting."

Nate smiles a little bigger, and something in Eliot relaxes. Nate knows something, and that's good for them.

"Not his bodyguard," Nate says, "and he's our ticket to McKay. We get our hands on that guy and McKay'll do anything we want – I wouldn't put it past him to build us a time machine."