Chuck vs Golden Thumb 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. Alex and Morgan are now a thing. John Casey is in a bind between two women plus there's a mystery trying to destroy the world.
Casey and Alex ran back to the Director the Los Robles National Labs office. They finally had a name for Mr. Y. He’d been one step ahead of them since Australia and now they were about to bring the hammer down on him and his illicit organization, the Home Office. Already around the world people were being arrested. The end of Home Office came as all their higher ups were captured like roaches when the light came on and they had no time to scurry away.
“You can’t bring weapons in here,” said the Secretary as Alex and Casey broke in. “This is the Director’s Office.”
“Watch her and make sure she doesn’t move. Remember all the other secretaries we’ve had to take down,” said John. “If she tries anything shoot to kill.”
“What’s going on out here,” said the Director. He walked out of his office hearing all the commotion only to come face to face with Casey’s pistol barrel. “Get that thing out of my face. I demand an explanation.”
“How about one of your people is the head of an international criminal organization known as the Home Office and he’s been running his illicit operations out of here under your very nose. Is that explanation enough or should I continue?”
“I buy my office supplies somethings from Home Depot is that the same thing,” said the Secretary as she laughed. “I believe I saw some shifty people in the electronic section and there were some rough looking men hanging around the paper products.”
“Lady this is nothing to laugh about. You’re about thirty seconds away from a black bag and a one-way trip to an undisclosed location where we can take this questioning to a whole new level. So if you want to save the taxpayers airfare I suggest you start talking and cut with the jokes.”
“This is ridiculous,” said Dr. Solo the Director. “You’re insane. What proof do you have and who is this man or woman you’re talking about. Really the Home Office what kind of name is that? They couldn’t come up with a different title? Is that supposed to be scary?”
“Your man is going by the code name Mr. Y one of a group of letters from the alphabet that ran this organization. However, those antennas weren’t the only thing of yours in North Korea. We were able to lay our hands on a hard drive. Guess where it came from? Here and if you’re wondering I checked your inventory list it was conveniently on the truck that exploded too along with the antennas that somehow mysteriously showed up in Pyongyang. Do you see a pattern developing here?”
“This is just conjecture you’ve got no real proof. The antennas were destroyed or that’s what I saw in your photos and as far as the hard drive I’ve yet to….” Casey cut him off showing him a photo where the director could read the nomenclature.
“Well this does seem to be ours but this could all be faked to discredit our labs. Yes I’m sure of it maybe those guys in Pasadena. You said you had a name for this Mr. Y person so will you tell us what it is?”
“We have more than his name we have the names of all his contacts and their IP addresses. The hard drive was taken from the main computer terminal in the communications relay that was destroyed. As we speak people are being rounded up worldwide and I’m here for a Mr. Max or Maxwell Zorin.”
“For who? I’m sorry but we don’t have anyone here by that name…” said the Director but the secretary cut him off.
“That’s not exactly true. You just don’t remember him and to tell you the truth I don’t either… well not his face that is,” said the secretary. She saw the look on the everyone’s face. “Let me explain I had to process the incident report on the truck explosion and I made a list of casualties that we forwarded on to Nellis. I remember there was a Dr. Zorin on the list of dead. The man you’re looking for is deceased, Dr, Max Zorin died in the truck explosion.
“Or that’s what he wanted everyone to think,” said Casey. “What better way to hijack a truck full of classified hardware then make everything think it was destroyed. He just needed to switch out the VIN numbers and put some wreckage on another truck then blow it up. I bet the bodies were never identified?”
“No the report said one of the devices that exploded was some sort of NSA incinerator designed to eliminate all biological traces. So there were no remains to identify.”
“I’m sure it was and let me guess it was made and or designed here,” said Casey. Both the secretary and the director nodded their heads. “Let me guess further the inventor was Laszlo Mahnovski.”
“Well yes. He seems to have a certain knack for things that explode.”
“You don’t say.”
Chuck was easing back in his chair as the Learjet he chartered took off. This time he chartered a crew along with the jet. The truth was he was just too tired to fly and he wanted to sleep on the way back so he’d be rested up by the time he got home. After the jet got altitude he broke out his tablet to contact Castle. He wanted to check-in with Sarah and just see her. This last mission had him running ragged and now that it was over he just wanted to be with the people that mattered in his life.
“Hey there you are,” said Sarah as she came on the screen. “You look tired. Where are you at right now? Please tell me you’re on your way home.”
“Yes as a matter of fact I’m somewhere over the Atlantic heading back to you. Everything is over here the queen is back on her throne. I left her and Roan going out for dinner while I grabbed a kebab at the airport before leaving. If you’re still living in Castle you don’t have to anymore the evil twin is on her way to an undisclosed location.”
“Good I can have Emma take Sam home. She’s been a good trooper living underground but I can tell she’s getting restless. This is no life for a kid.”
“It’s no life for anyone. Why don’t you take her to the park? Maybe she can earn her college tuition there or money for a new car.”
“Funny, very funny Mr. Bartowski but that’s not the life I want for our daughter. It’s cute and fun when you’re her age but when you get older and realize what you’ve done… the people you’ve used… hurt. Well, it’s not so cute anymore.”
“I know Love, but you were only a kid,” said Chuck. “I think you’ve earned the right to forgive yourself. I wish I was there to hold you.”
“I wish you were too. But you’re not and I can’t go to the park with Sam because everyone else is out at Los Nobles and I’ve got to watch the prisoner. Casey called in and said he was on his way back so maybe I will when he gets here. We thought we had Mr. Y but it seems he’s faked his death to cover his tracks and vanish into the wood work.”
“So the decryption worked and you’ve got the names. I bet there are some pretty surprised people out there especially when we come knocking down their doors in the middle of the night.”
“There’s a worldwide man and woman hunt going on for everyone on the list. You wouldn’t believe some of the people on the list. Any way we thought we had Mr. Y at Los Robles…”
“Let me guess it was Laszlo wasn’t it? Of course it was, who else could it’ve been. The man’s a raging sociopath…”
“Sorry Sweetie but no it’s not him. Like I said the man faked his death and has gone underground but I’m using the mainframe in Castle to track him down. However, the man is good. He erased all his history and just dropped off the grid but we’ll fine him.”
“So who’s this mysterious Mr. Y?” asked Chuck realizing she’d told him everything but what his name was and that was because he interrupted her.
“Sorry, his name is Max Zorin, Dr. Maxwell Zorin born in Dresden, Poland. He escaped with his parents after the Gomulka government fell and the new regime started cracking down. His parents immigrated to France then…
“Let me guess he had something to do with the microchip market,” said Chuck. “Sarah, the reason you can’t find anything else on Zorin is because he doesn’t exist. He’s an alias for Laszlo. That night Laszlo and I spent in the Buy More before he tried to blow up the Santa Monica pier. We watched View to a Kill a Bond flick. The lead villain was Max Zorin who Laszlo described as being misunderstood. He compared him and me to Zorin how the Nazis like our government just wanted to exploit our intellect. After he said that he took the home theater and started playing his own version of war games with real nukes and the Strategic Air Command. What I’m saying is you’re looking for the wrong person. He’s hiding in plain sight.”
“I need to let you go Sweetie if what you’re saying is true I need to contact Casey and get him to turn around. If Laszlo’s our man I hope we haven’t tipped our hand.”
“I know John knows this but tell him not to underestimate Laszlo. He needs to be careful Laszlo’s a crazy sociopath with a PhD in evil. If he is the head of Home Office he’s quietly built an empire in the shadows. The question I’d like to ask him is to what aim? Power, money they didn’t seem to appeal to him. No there’s something more and I’m afraid to guess.”
Casey was on his way back with Alex riding shotgun and Morgan in the back. Morgan didn’t mind the back if nothing else riding in the back kept him out of harm’s way if... or better when he pissed Casey off. They were on the I-5 coming into Los Angeles when Casey got the call from Sarah to turn around. From then on it was pedal to the metal as John used every bit of his 4.6 liter V8 engine to get back in record time.
“I knew there was something off with Laszlo. I knew it and I should’ve gone with my gut. I’m starting to wonder about that Dr. Solo. He or his secretary could be in on it.”
“Don’t beat yourself up Big Guy he had us all fooled,” said Morgan. “You know we all have our off days. I mean I won’t say anything about you losing your touch or how time’s catching up with you. I wouldn’t mention any of that.”
“Geez thanks Morgan for not mentioning it I feel a lot better. Alex, call the Lab and tell them to go into lockdown. Give them my authorization code and tell them no one is to leave the facility until we get there.”
“Okay,” said Alex as she dialed the number and instructed the man on the phone what John had told her to tell him. John glanced over and saw Alex getting angry. He smiled thinking she looked a lot like him but he didn’t say anything. “Fine,” she said. “Then patch me through and let me talk with him.”
“What’s the problem,” asked John. “Are they giving you the run around? Put the phone on speaker and hold it close to me. I’ll set those eggheads straight or make an omelet.”
“Security informed me,” said a familiar voice. John rolled his eyes, “that you want us to put the labs on lockdown. Why? We told you the man you wanted is no longer here,” said the secretary again.
“Lady is your name May Day? Listen I need to talk to your boss right now and when I get there that lab had better be on lockdown or someone is going to be out of a job.”
“Do you only know how to threaten people Colonel?” said the woman. “You know sugar attracts more flies than vinegar.”
“My Sig Sauer can take care of them without either. Put your Boss on the line or the next letter you take will be for a number 1 with extra pickles.” There was a click on the line and at first Casey thought she hung up but soon the Director was on the phone.
“Colonel, will you’d stop harassing my staff. I’m going to have to have a talk with your General about this and see if she’ll do something about you.”
“People have tried unsuccessfully. I need your facility in lockdown now. No one is to leave until I get there that goes double for Laszlo. We’re almost at the lab and I’ll explain when we get there. But it is imperative that he not be allowed to leave.”
“Well if you’re looking for Dr. Mahnovski I’m sorry but you’re going to have to wait until tomorrow. Your General gave him a twenty-four hour furlough. I have to say I was pretty astonished when it arrived. The General justified the day off as a kind of reward for all the hard work and long hours he’s put in on the various projects he’s been working on.”
“What are you talking about he was just there. We talked to him with you he was there when we left. Why didn’t you mention to us he was about to go on vacation?”
“Twenty-four hour pass and I didn’t mention it because you didn’t ask and frankly I didn’t feel you had a need to know about what a member of my staff is doing.”
“Oh John I guess I should’ve mention this but I Laszlo was in the parking lot while you and Alex were gone and I was watching the car. He cane by with a Cherry Coke in hand and even offered me one but I told him I was into grape soda.”
“You saw him where? Grimes, why am I only hearing about this now,” said Casey as he looked back at Morgan in the mirror. “Did you see him leave?”
“That’s why I didn’t think anything about it. No he didn’t he just walked around your Crown Vic admiring it sipping on his soda. I remember he looked happy and he mentioned that some of the modification you asked for he designed.”
“Dr. Solo, we’ll be there shortly if you want to call my General go ahead but I’m going to need to take Laszlo in custody and I’m going to have to have his lab inspected.” With that John hung up.
“I’m sorry Casey if I didn’t mention anything but he didn’t touch anything. He just walked around your Crown Vic. I know how you feel about your car Big Guy. I wasn’t going to let him get inside and mess with anything or mess it up for that matter.”
“Good because if you had I’d have to kill you and him. You said he mentioned that some of the modifications I asked for he designed,” said John as he glanced up in the mirror at Morgan. “Did he tell you which ones he was talking about?” John was getting an uneasy feeling.
“No he just said that he designed some of them I don’t know which ones. Do you?” asked Morgan as they were talking a panel rolled up on dashboard. Underneath the panel a computer terminal appeared.
“Acquiring target,” was written on the screen then a second line appeared. “Target acquired, prepping missile for launch”. Underneath the text was a countdown indicator that began to roll off.
“Crap override firing sequence disengage, Colonel John Casey, NSA,” said Casey as he gave the computer his command code.
“Firing sequence deactivated,” came across the terminal. They all took a deep breath but as they were relaxing a second text appeared. “Deactivation code overridden, resume count down.”
The car shuddered and shook as the modified hellfire missile launched through the front grill. There was little they could do other than watch it take off then race skyward.
“Dad do you know where that thing is headed,” asked Alex as she held her hand up to shield her eyes against the sun watching it disappeared from sight. But before John could answer the car began to swerve from one lane to the other. John had to manhandle the steering wheel to hold it between the ditches.
“Let me guess John, you had work done to the steering too,” said Morgan as he went flying in the back seat from one side to the other.
“I had remote steering added,” said John as the car jumped into the other lane. On coming traffic honked their horns and comments were made about John’s parentage as they went screaming past.
“Dad, watch out,” yelled Alex a semi-trailer tractor came barreling down the highway at them head on. The driver was desperately trying to avoid them. He was braking and down shift at the same time he was riding his air horn screaming but he wasn’t stopping. His brakes overheated and began smoking but he was still coming.
“This is going to be close,” yelled John as he went up on the embankment and around the truck. Just clearing it as it jack knifed in the middle of the road.
“John, switch the car off,” yelled Morgan from the back. “Turn off the ignition before it kills us all. John, I know how you feel about your car but Alex is here with us. You don’t want to see her hurt.”
“I’m going to kill Mahnovski,” said Casey as he drew his Sig and emptied the clip into the onboard computer. Sparks and fire flew from the monitor as he fired round after round. Morgan actually thought he saw Casey shed a tear but it could’ve been a reflection.
“John, John enough,” yelled Morgan. The sound reverberated inside becoming deafening. Morgan held his hands over his ears but the sound was still loud. “John, it’s dead already you can stop.”
The car sputtered and hissed as it rolled to a stop. John eased it over to the side of the road ending up in the emergency lane.
“Oh I’m going to tear Laszlo from limb to limb to limb,” said Casey as he sat behind the wheel looking at the steam and smoke coming out from under the hood.
“What do we do now?” asked Morgan as they all got out. John looked at Morgan with a look he knew all too well. “Oh don’t tell me Morgan stay in the car.”
“Good, I don’t have to. I’ll call this in and have the guys from the downtown office come and pick it up. Alex, if you want you can stay with the Troll but we’re close to the lab so I’m going on. If Laszlo’s there he’s dead.”
“No, I’m coming with you, you might need backup,” said Alex then she turned to Morgan. “I’m sorry but I have to go with Dad. I hope you understand.”
“Of course I do. No you’re right just be careful this guy is insane. We’ll meet back at Castle afterwards. But how are you going to get to the lab?”
“This way,” said John as he walked out into the middle of the road held up his badge and pointed his weapon at the first car that approached. When it didn’t act like it was going to stop or slow down Casey fired a round through the windshield. The driver screeched to a stop and got out screaming.
“What the heck is wrong with you? You could’ve killed me. You can’t go around shooting out windshields I don’t care what kind of badge you’re carrying. I want you name and badge number. You picked the wrong lawyer to screw around with. I’ll have your…”
John took about as much lip as he could take. He pistol whipped the guy knocking him off his feet then reached in popped the trunk.
“Come with me,” he said as he grabbed the guy up by the collar then deposited him inside. “Name’s Heir Sig Sauer and you talk too much. You keep it up and one of my nine little friends will do my talking for me.” With that John closed the trunk.
Back in Castle Sarah was trying to connect Laszlo to the Home Office and to this Mr. Y. One thing she discovered right away was this Zorin cover didn’t fly because she had transmission sent and receive by him after the time of the truck explosion. Which meant someone was using the name Max Zorin after he was presumably dead. The next piece she discovered was the IP address traced back to a computer in Laszlo’s lab which seemed to confirm him as the principal suspect. However, he could argue he was being set up by someone else.
“So Laszlo are you or aren’t a raging sociopath as Chuck called you?” said Sarah. “I have to go with my husband.” Suddenly sirens came on and warning lights flashed.
“What the heck,” she said as she typed in codes into the terminal. The computer told her long range radar had picked up and inbound missile. “Oh crap where’d that come from?”