Chuck vs The Outback Chapter 1
Don’t own Chuck
Things you need to know: Chuck and Sarah are back. Sarah has most of her memory back but there still are blank spots. They have a daughter now Sam who’s four something and she’s pregnant again with their second child. Baby Walnut as they decided to call it until they can come up with a proper name.
On a small farm in the armpit of nowhere things weren’t looking so good for the locals. At first everyone was excited when silver was discovered in a nearby stream. However, that didn’t last long when a multinational mining concern came in wanting to buy out the mineral rights from all the local farms. Worst was they kept other companies from coming in and what they were offering was a pittance of what the rights were really worth. A Farmer’s meeting was called to see what their response would be to the latest round of offers.
“What are we supposed to do with what they offered,” said one man as he spoke up. “I don’t know about the rest of you but I can’t afford to buy another place like what I have with the money they offered.”
“I’m with Bill here on that. My family has been here since there was a town and now these people come in and tell me they want my land. Something isn’t right here.”
“I hear you,” said another man. I’ve got five generations buried up in the cemetery and like hell I’m going to let some outsider come in here and push me out.”
“Gentlemen if I could have the floor for a moment,” said a well-dressed man in the back. “I would just like to have the floor for just a moment.”
“Mr. Blanchard you don’t belong here,” said a man at the front. “Once we have a decision we’ll bring it to you as a group. The mining company doesn’t have a vote in these proceedings.”
“Which is fine and I understand that. You people have a big decision to make and I realize it’s a hard one. It’s one that will affect you and your families. But I’m here to let you know that my company will move anyone at no cost to anywhere they want in the North Territory even as far as Alice Springs for free.”
“Then what? Are you going to dump us in the middle of the road or in the desert which is more likely,” yelled a man interrupting. But the moderator motioned for him to keep quiet.
“Keep it down there Bill. Mr. Blanchard asked for the floor and was recognized so act civil. We’ll hear him out first then tell him to go to hell,” said the moderator. There was a loud roar of laughter.
“Thank you I think,” said Mr. Blanchard. “I thought you all would like to know that due to an increase in local crime my company has offered and was accepted by the mayor to provide for local security in the form of Town Rangers.”
“You mean hired thugs. I see where this is going you’re tired of using the carrot so now comes the stick. You bring your men out to my place and they might leave a little dinged up.” There was another round of cheers.
“And that’s what I intend to do. I know there are those among you who are too scared to go against the rest and I can sympathize with you. It’s not easy to tell your friends, your neighbors or even your relatives that this isn’t such a bad deal after all. I want to make this easier for you so I’ll drop by individually and talk with you. I’m sure together we can come to an agreement that is mutually satisfactory.”
“You want mutually satisfactory then why don’t you pack up and get out of here. Don’t let the door catch you on your way out,” yelled Bill as Blanchard turned then left.
“Bill, you should’ve toned it down a bit. I don’t like that Blanchard and I definitely don’t like this story of Town Rangers. I don’t know where he gets his information from but the only crime increase is from his mates at the mines. How could the mayor sell us out like that?”
“Tom, you worry too much. Blanchard should’ve known what to expect when he came here this evening and if he didn’t well that’s just too bad he got what he deserved.”
“I’m just telling you to watch your back. I can’t believe Marty sold us out like that I thought he was one of us.”
“He was until they got to him,” said Bill but Tom had a puzzled look on his face. “I take it you haven’t seen his new Toyoda Prado. Where did he get the money for that in a town like ours? Thirty pieces of silver goes a long ways these days.”
“Then you really need to watch your back after what you said in there to him. He doesn’t impress me as the kind of guy who likes being talked back to.”
Outside in a black Range Rover….
Mr. Blanchard walked out of the meeting among heckles, boos and hisses. He walked out of the town hall and went straight to a black Range Rover parked on the other side of the street. Outside the vehicle stood a man in a black suit wearing dark sunglasses even though the sun had already set and as Mr. Blanchard approached he opened the door for then got in after him.
“I saw you in the back how much did you hear Carl,” asked Blanchard as he poured himself a drink. “Do you want one?”
“I’ll take a Bourbon neat as long as you’ve got the good one,” said the man as he leaned over to Blanchard. “If not any Scotch will do.”
“George Dickel twelve year old,” said Blanchard as he handed the man a glass. “Those fools in there think they’ve actually have a choice. The only choice they have is vertical or horizontal.”
“That Bill guy seemed awfully belligerent. We ought to teach him a lesson then the rest will fall in line.”
“We will but if we touch him now everyone will know it’s us so we could get the opposite effect. No that Bill guy has a friend, Tom, we get him. After that we isolate this Bill then that we’ll teach him some manners.”
“So Tom it is,” said Carl. “I’ll call the guys and get organized for a midnight raid. How persuasive do we need to be?”
“I’ll let you be the judge of that,” said Blanchard as he sat back and sipped his Scotch. “Yes we’re going to make the company some good money here.”
“And for ourselves,” said Carl as he raised his glass.
John and Alex flew into Bob Hope then taxied over to their hangar. There waiting to meet them was Morgan. He was standing outside a black Escalade to take them home. When the ladder went up and the hatch opened he was the first one up to greet them.
“Alex, I missed you,” said Morgan as he started to kiss her but Casey began to growl so he took her hand and shook it.
“Oh Morgan, stop,” she said. “Dad, that goes for you too. Kiss me right now or I’m going to punch you out.” Morgan kissed her with one eye on John.
“Yuck, enough let’s get out of here I need my bed and Troll if you really wanted to be romantic you would’ve brought flowers.”
“It’s okay I understand,” said Alex as she gave Casey a look. “I think it’s past someone’s nap time and they’re all grumpy.”
Morgan was quiet all the way to the Escalade then he opened the door for Alex and inside the whole car was covered with rose petals inside.
“Flowers John, do you mean something like these. There’s more at home and John you’re going to have to put off the nap. Kat’s cooking dinner so you can’t hit the hay until after we eat. When I left she was finishing off a roast that you’d die for.”
“We can only hope in your case. But you sure she wanted me to come over? Did she say specifically… I mean did she mention me by name?
“If you’re asking did she say I want John Casey to come over for supper tonight and eat my delicious roast or my heavenly apple pie, no? But she said she wanted to cook something as a welcome home meal. Why? Is there something I’m missing?”
“You mean like a few cards from the deck,” said John. “I don’t think I should go over. Alex you know why… I just can’t. Drop me off at Echo Park then you guys go on. I’m too tired anyway you said I was grumpy so I should just go to bed.”
“Dad, don’t be like this, please. I’m sure Mom wants you there I think you’re taking this whole thing the wrong way and blowing it way out of proportion.”
“I don’t see what other way I’m supposed to take it. Run me home then go on Moron and I don’t want to hear a word or you’ll be riding on the hood.”
“I know you’ve threatened me with this before like the hood ornament on a jaguar?”
“No, like a deer after hunting season.”
Outside of Alice Springs in the West MacDonnell National park Gertrude drove to the designated area for the meeting. There was a man who had a shipment of weapons that she wanted to acquire. The deal called for a simple exchange she brought payment and her arms broker was supposed to hand over a shipment of M82A1s that fell off a truck in Afghanistan that somehow found its way to the Northern territory.
“Here you go Estevan here’s a million dollars in cash,” said Gertrude as she nodded for one of her men to pass him a large suitcase. “Now I want my weapons.”
“I’m afraid the price has gone up to two million. You wouldn’t believe but there’s quite the demand for these on the black market now. Believe me at two million they’re still a steal.”
“We had a deal,” said Gertrude as she got up in his face. “A deal is a deal and you don’t go back on a deal without there being consequences.”
“Well now we have a new deal and I want another million,” said Estevan. Verbanski gave a signal and her men came out from hiding popping out of the wood work everywhere with weapons at the ready.
“My oh my I’m surrounded by your men… Oh I’m so scared I think I might need new pants,” said Estevan. He signalled and Gertrude’s men started dropping like flies. I guess we know where the Barretts are, don’t we. I’ll take your weapon please,” said Estevan. “Here’s a Sat phone call someone who’ll bring me another million then I’ll let you both go free.”
“And my weapons, they all come with me,” said Verbanski but Estevan just laughed at her. “I’m serious if I’m shelling out that kind of cash I want something in return.”
“How about your life or isn’t that worth anything? I think two million should be plenty payment for that but we can talk about the weapons when the other million gets here. That is if you have anyone to bring it.”
“Give me the phone,” said Gertrude. She called Casey not knowing what time it was there. The number rang the she heard it click.
“I want you to put it on speaker so I can listen too,” said Estevan as he pointed his Browning at her. “Don’t try anything or your boyfriend will hear your brains go splat.”
“John, I’m calling because I’m in a little bit of a bind here. I’ve got a charter on standby at Bob Hope. On it in the safe is a million dollars you need to bring here. There’s a gentleman and I use the word lightly whose price has just doubled.”
“I need a location where to deliver the money or I could just throw it out the aft end as I make a low fly over.”
“Cute Mr. Casey,” said Estevan. “But if you want to see your friend alive again I expect that money be hand delivered to me in Alice Springs. I don’t want anyone involved that means no police or any Federal agencies. Just you and you alone if I see anyone else your girlfriend is dead.”
“You lay one finger on her and you better pack your bags for Mars because the only way you’ll be able to get away from me is to move to another planet comprende.”
He heard the line drop then it went dead. Lucky for him he was still packed and ready to go. He went to his small vault and took out his fake credentials. For this missioned he’d be John Savage an Australian citizen raised in the U.S. but recently returned. He wrote down a noted for Alex telling her what he was doing typing it quickly on his laptop. He left it on so when she walked in she’d see it. Looking around making sure he had everything he needed he called at taxi that came and picked him up at Echo Park.
Two things he forgot to do one was to save his document and the other was to plug in his laptop. After sitting for so long without use the battery was naturally low and as soon as he left the low power warning came on then the laptop went into standby before shutting down.
Shortly before John left Alex and Morgan drove home and pulled into their drive. They got out and went inside. Kat was in the kitchen and had just finished the roast when they walked in. She took off her apron spruced up her hair then went to greet everyone.
“Welcome home,” said Kat as she walked in. She hugged Alex then kissed her. “Sit over here and tell me everything you can. Would you like something to drink before we eat or do you want to wait for you father? What’s taking John so long with the bags?” She got up and looked outside but there was not John.
“Mom, Dad didn’t come with us. In fact he had us drop him off at Echo Park when we came from the airport. He wasn’t sure he was invited and he didn’t want to impose…”
“Impose since when has he worried about imposing? I don’t understand I think you need to tell me what’s going on.”
“Well he told Chuck he proposed to you and you turned him down or that’s the gist of what Chuck understood. I asked Dad but he wouldn’t talk about it.”
“John asked you to marry him. Look at the Big Guy stepping up. Maybe we could have a double wedding,” said Morgan then he noticed the looks he was getting. “Or maybe not, I’m shutting up now.”
“I never said ‘no’. I said I didn’t see the need at our age… come on a wedding and me in white… I’d look like the laughing stock. We are what we are. I mean well… I just want us to stay the way we are I feel good in our relationship like it is… Excuse me why am I telling you guys this. Get the car keys we need to go to Echo Park so I can tell him this in person. If he’s been turning this over in his head since then no telling what he’s been thinking.”
They all went out and got into the Escalade then drove back over to Echo Park but just missed John. Alex and Morgan sat in the Escalade and waited while Kat went to Casey’s to talk to him.
“I don’t know why you didn’t let me make a sandwich before we left. We could be sitting here for a while and I’m hungry.”
“Morgan, the rose petals are wilting,” said Alex. “You know Chuck not only tells Sarah he loves her but he also shows her. I’m not saying you need to be like Chuck but it would be nice if you told me you loved me every now and then. I know you’re afraid of my father…”
“Afraid of John no he’s a big old pussy cat,” said Morgan but Alex gave him a look. “Okay at times he can be intimidating like you right now. Oh here comes your mother back now.”
“What happened?” asked Alex as she got out of the car. “Did you and Dad work things out? Where’s he at anyway? I thought you’d bring him back with you?”
“I don’t know that’s it he’s not at home. Can you guys come with me I didn’t see any luggage from your last trip.”
“It was by the door that’s where he usually leaves it until he can sort it out,” said Morgan as he and Alex went with Kat to the apartment. “It’s right here… Oh it’s supposed to be here.”
“Let me check the bathroom quick to see if he put away his toothbrush that’s usually the first things he puts away. Morgan, check his computer.”
“Nothing it’s dead to the world,” yelled Morgan back. “Looks like the Big Guy forgot to plug it up probably it’s been left on since before the mission.”
“What do we do now,” asked Kat as she stood in the middle of John’s living room looking around at the empty apartment.
“I know Mom; you come with Morgan and me to the Buy More in the morning. You can wait over at Orange Orange for Morgan and me. We’ll head him off at work then we’ll bring him to you. You can work your differences out over yoghurt. Then everything will be fine again.”
Chuck and Sarah landed in Tivat there they thanked the flight crew then disembarked in the airport. There to meet them was Jack and Emma after handshaking and kissing they got loaded into the Mercedes then started heading back to Kotor and the casino. Sarah and Chuck noticed right away something was up because neither Jack nor Emma said anything on the way up other than Emma playing with Sam. And Sam was eating up the attention. Finally, they arrived at their destination.
“Love, can you see to the things? I need to go down and make my report to the General. Emma we were thinking would it be okay if Sam sat in on the lessons with Molly and Rahzib?”
“Why do you want to torture my granddaughter like that? I’ve got another idea if you guys are busy she can stay with me. Jack, you can take Sarah up. My granddaughter and I are going to walk around the casino together.”
“And end up with ice cream. I can see where this is going well Jack it’s just you and me. Tell me how things have been,” said Sarah as they stepped into the elevator together.
“Reminds you of old times, doesn’t it kiddo? Back then it was just you and me but now there’s all this. I just want you to know if there’s something you want to tell me I’m here.”
“Somehow that’s new. Okay what’s up I can tell something is going on. You two were too quiet on the way here. Are you up to another one of your old tricks again?”
“Old tricks, what old tricks? No but do you have something you want to tell me? The way you acted on the phone got me worried… got us worried. Is everything all right… you know with the baby, Sam or the schnook? The schnook was looking a little green.”
“I wish you wouldn’t call him that but it’s just a passing thing and yes everything is fine. I just met a person whose father was worse than you which made me appreciate you,” she said as she took his hand. “You always can back.”
“Just like a bad penny but I’ll take that as a compliment.”
In the meantime down in the Dungeon….
“Chuck, Sarah told me what you did and of all the crazy things you’ve done in the past, drinking hemlock has got to top them all,” said Beckman. Margo and Mike looked over at him.
“It was a calculated risk. I knew my body weight and I measured out the dosage. What’s important is we got the mission done. The plot was thwarted and we can sleep well at night.”
“I guess you’re right but the German government isn’t happy with you so I wouldn’t plan on going back anytime soon as Carmichael. They also are not going to stand in the way of Eve getting her inheritance since she has guaranteed to break up the evil empire and turn over all the information Neumann had on the underground Stasi network to both them and us so I’ve had all charges against her here dropped.”
“Then everything did workout in the end.”
“Yes I guess it did. You guys need a break I’m giving your team a week off and unless I absolutely need you consider this time off you deserve.”
That was four days ago and no one still knows where Casey’s is not even Casey. … Alex thought things would be fine the next day when Casey came to work but things weren’t fine because Casey never showed up for work at the Buy More the next day nor the day after that nor the day after. Morgan got worried and called Chuck to see if there wasn’t some super top secret mission going on that no one told him about but neither Chuck nor Sarah knew of anything.
“We’re not saying that there couldn’t be one but Sarah contacted Beckman and she said there was none. In fact this has been the longest that nothing has gone down in a long time. I don’t want to get anyone alarmed but maybe he decided to get away for a bit to recharge his batteries.”
“Chuck dude think about who we’re talking about. The man is a walking Duracell and his idea of recharging his batteries is to shoot something preferably a biped that shoots back. I think he thinks it’s more sporting that way.”
“He didn’t leave any clues or anything? You know he could’ve been kidnapped but it begs the question why haven’t we received a ransom request. Have you contacted Gertrude?”
“We really don’t get along that well anymore…. I hate to say it but the old gal has never really gotten over losing me. I felt bad about the way I had to leave her when I quit. I left her high and dry after I got rid of the intersect. The poor thing was like a kitten left out in the rain I don’t know how to tell her she needs to move on.”
“I can see how you’d be a hard act to replace,” said Chuck as he tried not to laugh. “Tell you what why don’t I call her for you mister frosted tips.”
“Envy is not becoming Chuck.”
“Bye Morgan,” said Chuck as he hung up.