Chuck vs Golden Thumb Chapter 16
Don’t own Chuck
Morgan was looking for Alex when he ran into the Third Mate who called him over with a group of other crewmembers. Morgan thought about trying to vanish but it was too late so he took a deep breath and walked over to see what was going on. The Third Mate looked around satisfied he had enough men to begin.
“Here take one then pass the rest around,” said the Third Mate. “I want you guys to keep an eye out for this woman. If you see her call me or the First Mate right away we’ll take care of her.”
“Sounds like you want her for something bad. What did she do?” said Morgan hiding in the back so the Third Mate couldn’t see him.
“Yeah” said another crewmember. “Is she armed and dangerous? I think we need to know how to handle her in case we have to.”
“You’re to handle no one. It’s just... well just somethings have gone missing and we need to talk to her,” said the Third Mate. He tried to see who the agitator was asking questions but in the meantime Morgan had moved.
“Yeah, like we haven’t heard that excuse before. Is there some sort of reward,” said Morgan from the opposite side. “I’m willing to help out like the other guy but I’ve already got things to do unless it’s worth my while.” There was a mumble from the rest of the group with a lot of head nodding. They were in agreement.
“I’ll talk to Oddjob about a reward but I can’t promise anything,” said the Third Mate. He started walking out among the group to try to figure out who was making this difficult so Morgan circled around to stay at his back.
“What’s going to happen to her anyway? It’s not like each and every one of us couldn’t one day be accused of the same thing so you people can get rid of us without giving us our pay?”
“Yeah like those yardbirds you guys flew off,” said another one of the crewmen. “I heard it said that they got dropped off in a mine field or something.”
“Actually I heard it was a firing range and they ended up being the targets so you people wouldn’t have to shell out a cent,” said Morgan. His plan seemed to be working he started hearing other people complaining under their breaths about the way they were being treated.
“Just call me Mr. Christian,” Morgan mumbled to himself. It seemed his little plan was working and if he pushed a little harder they’d have their mutiny on the Xenia.
“Okay, okay this is the deal I’m willing to guarantee a thousand dollar reward for the guy who sees this woman first and here’s the thousand dollars,” said the Third Mate as he pulled it out of his wallet. “There it is you can see it. This goes to the first person who helps us find her.”
“I could use a grand,” said one of the men as the others agreed with him and it the moment Morgan hopes for mutiny vanished. He couldn’t come forward to lead the mutiny without blowing his cover and the herd was satisfied with the Third Mate’s visual. The only thing left was to make sure he was the one who found Alex first and he had an idea where to start looking. He had only one problem he had a tail following him.
At first he didn’t notice him but later as he walked down the passageway he’d turn around suddenly and find the same guy following him. He took the guy on a tour of the ship to make sure. Finally Morgan had enough so he made a turn through one of the through deck passageways then waited. He didn’t have to wait long before the guy turned the corner but to his surprise Morgan was waiting for him.
“Why are you following me,” said Morgan as he pinned the man against the bulkhead but the man shook free. “I know you,” said Morgan.
“That’s right I was the guy who caught you making out in the A/C room with this woman,” said the man pointing at the photo the Third Mate handed out. “I bet you didn’t know your girlfriend was a thief or are you in on it? I should go to the Third Mate and have a nice long talk with him.”
“No don’t,” said Morgan. “Okay I feel really stupid. I guess she just used me as a patsy so she could get at the guests’ staterooms. So you can see why I have to find her.”
“I feel for you buddy,” said the Engineer. “All the women I’ve known have done me wrong in one way or another...”
“I bet that includes your mother,” said Morgan. “I mean... well thanks for understanding but why are you following me? You want the reward don’t you?”
“I was thinking we could split that money down the middle. Five hundred dollars would go a long ways to making sure I keep my mouth shut and forget what I saw.”
“So let me get this you want me to split the reward with you because if I don’t you’re going to tell the Third Mate you caught me and this woman making out. You realize that’s blackmail.”
“Harsh words but that about sums it up,” said the man. “So what will it be friend? I talk with the Third Mate and you take your chances or we work together and make some cash.”
“It looks like I don’t have any choice,” said Morgan. “Come on I think she’s in the A/C room but we need to make sure. Do you have your clipboard so you’ll look all official?”
“Sure no problem,” said the Man as he pulled out a clipboard from a pouch he was carrying. “Now what do I do?”
“Easy follow me,” said Morgan as he and the Engineer went over to the A/C room. “You check inside like you’re taking the readings like when you caught us the first time. If she’s in there just tell her to chill then you go about your work write down the numbers them come out. We can call the Third Mate and keep a watch on the hatch for the A/C room.”
“Smart move,” said the Engineer. “Like this she’ll trap herself in and we’ll each be five hundred dollars richer. That will buy a lot of shots at the bar.”
“Yes it will,” said Morgan as he led the man over to the hatch. “Hold up a moment,” said Morgan as a group of crewmen came by searching.
“We can save you the trouble here we just checked inside although I heard someone say they though they saw her back aft. I wouldn’t swear to it but that’s what I heard,” said Morgan. “I don’t know about you guys but we’re kind of tired of looking. Besides you don’t really think the Third Mate’s really going to pull money out of his own wallet and pay us. When has that ever happened? I can tell you when never.”
“You know the short guy’s got a point. We screwed up what we should’ve done was one of us should’ve asked to hold it.”
“That’s genius,” said Morgan. “But it’s not too late you guys could go to the Third Mate and tell him that then when he tells you guys to get lost you could drop that the woman was last seen in the aft section. That might get him to change his tune real fast.”
“Why don’t you come with us and tell him what you just told us?” said one of the men. “You make it sound so much better than what we could do.”
“I can’t I got to take readings with this guy. The Third and First Mates are mad at me for an incident that happened with that cheapskate governor. This is my punishment if I go up he won’t even let me get out a word before I get told to go back to work. If you want this you need to muster up some courage and do it. If you don’t well I wouldn’t count on seeing that grand.”
They waited for the men to disappear down the passageway then as soon as they were gone. Morgan nodded to the Engineer.
“Okay go for it,” said Morgan. “I’ll wait here but remember just go in take the readings then once you’re done come out.”
“I got this don’t worry partner,” said the man. He walked in with clipboard in hand. That was when Morgan got a quick look in the bag he was carrying around his neck. Inside was a pistol he couldn’t see what kind but it was definitely a pistol.
“Crap,” said Morgan as the man went inside. What would Chuck do he repeated to himself as he looked around. Near the hatch to the A/C room was a fire station and a part of the station was a large spanner wrench.
“Look who I’ve found,” said the Engineer as he pointed a TT-33 at Alex. “Oddjob and the First Mate want to have a chat with you. But first I need to get rid of your boyfriend. If you don’t mind you can call him in.”
“She doesn’t have to butthole,” said Morgan as he slipped up behind him and whacked him across the back of the head with the spanner. His head made an odd metallic ping then he dropped. Morgan took off his shoes and removed his shoelaces using them to tie him with.
“Okay come on Alex we need to get out of here. The whole crew is looking for you,” said Morgan as Alex looked over the man’s clipboard.
“Morgan, look at these the numbers here don’t have to do with air conditioning. There measurements of rads,” said Alex. She went back over to the dials the man checked. “He was measuring the radiation throughout the yacht. I found a nuclear ordinance in a hidden lab up forward.”
“What? We need to get out of here. Listen I sent all the crew back aft to look for you so if we go forward we should be able to get off.”
“No first we should check in with Chuck. I called him a little while ago and got the boarding party turned back on so if we stay put the cavalry should be arriving soon.”
Back in Castle Chuck was still out and Sarah was handcuffed to her chair when Chuck’s phone started to play its ringtone. She called to Chuck but he was still lights out and it didn’t look like the music was going to wake him so she pulled a hair pin. She looked at the clock on the wall and was out of her cuffs and answering his phone before the second hand moved.
“Not bad for a pregnant woman,” she thought as she answered his phone. “Alex, what is it? ... You’re with Morgan good. Try to stay together help is on the way. ... What a ship wide monitoring system? You need to talk to Chuck? Okay one second and I’ll get him,” said Sarah.
“Sorry but I need you to wake up,” she said as she kissed him. Then she took out a vial of smelling salts broke it placing it under Chuck’s nose. He jumped back looking around dazed then realized what happened.
“Oh Casey, you... Oh you,” said Chuck as he looked up at Sarah. “What’s going on? How long have I been out?”
“Chuck, it’s Alex she’s with Morgan and they need to talk to you,” she said as she put the call on speaker.
“Chuck I’ve got radiation readings that have been taken throughout the ship. I don’t know if that makes a difference.”
“No not really they probably wanted to monitor the crew to see how long they’d hold up. I bet you’ve got some high readings.
“Yes but I’m looking at the dial now and the readings have dropped drastically, what does that mean? They’ve closed it up?”
“Or they’ve removed it from the ship. Laszlo must’ve guessed our next move. I’m so getting tired of this,” said Chuck. “Maybe he is smarter than us.”
“Sweetie you’re still tired that’s all. You’re the smartest person I know intersect aside. If you put your mind to it I know you can solve this.”
“Chuck, I hear people yelling outside the hatch in the passageway the boarding party is here. We’re going out and meet them then start a ship wide search.
[On the Flying Bridge]
“What is the meaning of this?” yelled the Senator. “This is an outrage where is your warrant? I want to speak to your boss.” The two governors had the same reaction when men in full tactical gear ran up the brow and seized the vessel. The guests were kept on the flying bridge while the crew was all taken to the fantail for interrogation. The Station Chief coordinated the search from the Flying Bridge as he tried also to calm nerves.
“Sir we found these two down on the main deck forward,” said one of his men. “They say they’re with us.”
“Agents McHugh and Grimes I presume,” said the Station Chief. “My name is Chief McAlister. We were here earlier then got ordered to stand down then sent back again...”
“Hey that’s the guy who carried my bags,” said one of the governors. “I don’t know what game you guys are playing but the President is going to hear about this.”
“Have your people found the Nuke yet? We believe that they got rid of it just before you arrived. Look at this,” said Alex as she handed the Chief the clipboard. “These are rad readings all way above the norm. This is the reading I took now see the drop.”
“Boss we’re in the lab or I guess it was a lab,” radioed a man. “There’s absolutely nothing here the place is clean.”
“I want you to run a Geiger counter in there,” said the Chief looking at the reading. “What do you have?”
“Geez, everyone out of here now,” said the man. Everyone heard the agent over his open mic. “I’m sorry the needle on the Geiger counter jumped to the far right and isn’t moving.”
“Get everyone out of there and make sure that room is sealed,” said the Chief. “Gentlemen you can call the President if you want but I’ve got enough evidence that indicates a nuclear device was smuggled on the island which gives me the right to detain every one of you under the Patriot Act. Agents how do you think the press will feel about this?”
“I’m sure they’d love to have the piece. Elected officials smuggle North Korean warhead into the United States,” said Alex as she shook her head looking at them.
“If we were playing Monopoly,” said Morgan. “This would be a ‘Do not go pass go. Go straight to jail card and do not collect two hundred dollars’.”
“Listen we don’t know anything about a nuclear device we were just invited here to talk about geothermal energy. As you may know Mount Kīlauea is the most active of the five volcanoes that make up the Hawaiian island chain. We’re here to see a proposal by Dr. Zorin to harness that energy like they do in Iceland.”
“That’s right,” said one of the governors. “The first step was to make the Big Island energy independent then the rest of the chain before turning to the mainland.”
“As a plan it sounds interesting but why the nuke?” said the Chief.
“I don’t know, we’re missing something here. We need to interrogate Oddjob, I mean Paul along with the Third and First Mate as well as the Captain,” said Alex but as she was talking the Chief held up his hand then touched his ear.
“You found him in his stateroom and there’s no sign of the others? Okay but tell the guys to keep on looking. It’s not like they could just up and disappear.”
“What is it,” asked Alex. “You can’t find them can you? They disappeared with the nuke.”
“They all disappeared except for the Captain. My men found him in his stateroom with a bullet in the head. It looks like he’s been dead for days.”
“And I know when,” said Morgan. “It was when Laszlo threw his man overboard then executed him that was probably when the Captain told Laszlo he had enough and took a bullet defending his men. Think about it no one’s seen him since then.”
“Admirably as that might be we still have a nuke floating around on the island.”
Laszlo finished his meeting in the air terminal and happy with the results he came back on board the plane happy and exuberant. As soon as he boarded the engines began to rev up and the bird started to taxi over to get in the queue for takeoff. Both Ginger and Stanley noticed how happy he was which they could only interpret as being bad for them.
“So you’re looking really peachy today. I guess things went well for you in your meeting of bad guys with screws loose,” said Stanley trying to get a reaction and just generally pissing Laszlo off. He didn’t see why he should be in such a good mood.
“There you go poking the bear but I’m not going to let you get to me. No so far everything I’ve planned has come to fruition so there’s nothing you can say that will bring me down. In fact let’s go back to our conversation before we landed. You don’t know it but I saved your lives so you should be thankful to me.”
“So your kidnapping us then drugging and tying us to these chairs as well as me being pistol whipped was all for our own good? I’m sorry but I’m having a hard time seeing that.”
“You do now but soon it will all be clear. I just finished meeting with a group of rebel leaders from countries up and down the Atlantic and Pacific seaboards. Soon there will some massive governmental changes as my new friends come to power. I won’t rule the world but a good half of it for sure or at least the leader in charge of his country will be beholding to me.”
“Now I know you’re crazy. How are you going to change that many governments and what overnight? You think the U.S. government is going to just standby as your cronies try to seize power?”
“They will be busy with their own problems and when I tell you they will be busy they will. That you can take to the bank,” said Laszlo as he pulled out the two models. “I told the idiots I was going to make them energy independent and they all bought it. But it allowed me to build platforms to drill from and now the time is almost ready. “Look at my handy work and be amazed. People will call me the new Noah and I will create order out of chaos.”
“You can’t be serious,” said Ginger. “You’ll kill millions of people and for what revenge?”
“Don’t you see Rostand was right when he said, ‘Kill one man and you are a murderer. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill them all, and you are a god.’”
“I thought you were crazy,” said Stanley as he looked at the model. “But you’re beyond crazy you’re insane.”
Back in Castle Alex was sending Chuck the information they found on the Yacht. She found a dossier on the geothermal project. He thumbed through the images on his tablet. They seemed to be the project that half of the data Alex had supported. The same papers she’d photographed from Mahnovski’s briefcase that he’d taken with him which seemed to underscore their importance. However, if they were important Chuck wasn’t seeing it.
“Anything yet?” asked Sarah. Chuck just shook his head no. “Well, why don’t you come home with me? You can shower and catch a little sleep then come back at it. You could just be too tired to connect the dots.”
“You might be right. I just wish those last two photos would finish processing. According to Alex and Morgan neither of them got a good look at the models before they were boxed up. If I take a shower do I have to take it alone?”
“Why are you suddenly afraid of water Agent Carmichael. Hydrophobia I believe it’s called but I think I could arrange a security detail. How many agents would you like guarding you?”
“I think I can get by with one... or better one and a half,” said Chuck as he kissed her.
“That was a prudent answer and the agent in question appreciates it as well as accepts the mission,” she said as she kissed him back. “I love you.”
“I love you too,” he said but as they were kissing a screen came on the monitor indicating the two photos had been processed. “Tell me I have to look at these, please.”
“Sweetie, we’ll put a bookmark where we are and continue afterwards but for now... yes I’m sorry but you need to look at them.
“Okay, but I’m not... Oh my God augh we need to get the General on the horn and she’s going to need to advise the President. Laszlo isn’t insane, Laszlo is pure evil well he wanted to be Zorin and he made it... if not worse.”
“Sweetie you’re not making sense. Can you please try to explain to me what’s going on and why you think Laszlo is evil?”
“Okay but let’s get the General up. We don’t have much time.”