Chuck vs Golden Thumb Chapter 17
Don’t own Chuck
As soon as Chuck saw the two models he flashed. He had to brace himself against the table because the flash was so violent. He saw tsunamis through the centuries along with all their death and destruction. He saw bodies, lots of bodies, floating in the water along with the debris. He saw cities and populated areas wiped away like a stain on a piece of cloth in the washing machine.
“Chuck, Sweetie, are you okay,” asked Sarah. No other flash had affected him as much as this one. She took a tissue and dried his tears. He’d been crying without realizing it.
“Laszlo isn’t insane he’s pure evil. Casey’s right,” said Chuck as he looked at her. “He has to be put down. I need to talk to the General... Sarah we need to get everyone on the Lear and leave. We need to evacuate the Buy More... no we need to evacuate everyone. How do we decide who lives and who... well doesn’t? Do we have that right? But if we don’t then what happens, everyone is lost.”
“I’m sorry Sweetie,” said Sarah as she slapped him. There was a loud whack as her hand left a red mark on his cheek.
“Ouch, that hurt,” he said as he rubbed it. “I think you’ve been hanging around Casey too long. Can we try a kiss maybe next time?” She bent over him and kissed him.
“Now that’s better, much better” said Chuck as he kissed her back then he took a deep breath. “Right what to do.”
“I’m sorry Chuck but you weren’t making any sense. Let’s start again. You were starting to spiral and to tell you the truth you were making me freak out.”
“I’m sorry but we need the General,” said Chuck as he brought her up on the monitor. She was kicked back in her office with her feet up on the desk and a glass of Scotch in her hand. “I see we’re enjoying a little down time there.”
“If you have to know,” said the General as she moved the bottle and glass out of sight. “Roan and the Major are in the Situation Room monitoring the progress of Agents McHugh and Grimes. I assume you have something to share?”
“General, this is far worse than we thought. Please tell me Morgan and Alex have already found that first nuke?”
“First nuke? What do you mean first nuke? Are you saying Laszlo has more than one? Did he find some two for one sale?”
“From the model and the photos of the documents Alex sent us I believe there has to be at least two. One Laszlo intends to use in Hawaii and another that I believe is currently somewhere on the island of La Palma in the Canary Island chain.”
“Well that’s kind of good isn’t it because it limits the number of people exposed to radiation and fallout? Maybe this is the break we’ve been looking for.”
“No General it’s not. This has the potential of effectively crippling the United States and we may never recover from this if Laszlo’s plans go through. You’re going to need to notify the White House and we’re going to need to evacuate our government. But after that how do we decide who gets notified and sent to safety? That will be your call.”
“Chuck, Sweetie,” said Sarah as she kissed him. “You’re starting to freak out. Now was that better than the other method.”
“If you’re talking about slapping him I’m about to. I swear I’ll reach through this monitor and knock you sideways if you don’t spit it out.”
“It’s simple,” said Chuck. “Look at my coffee cup, see the coffee inside. Now I take this sugar cube and drop it in what do you see? I see the extinction of the dinosaurs. I’ll explain...”
Laszlo seemed giddy as he went about preparing his own version of show and tell. He pulled out the models he had brought on board with him and set them up on the conference table in his converted DC-10. Laughing and giggling he set them up so that Stanley and Ginger could get the full picture and see the effects of his plan.
“I think you’re really going to like this. I know my backers in this new world order did when I presented this to them and I didn’t have to toss anyone out of a dirigible.”
“You’re criminally insane,” said Stanley. “Someone will stop you. You’ll never get away with this mad plot of yours.”
“Who’s going to stop me? Who? I’ve neutralized everyone that could possible hurt me and even if they did they’d need to be in two places at the same time. You see this is the Island of Hawaii or the Big Island as they call it. You see this area this is the southern slope of the Kīlauea volcano called the Hilina Slump. It’s slowly sliding into the ocean. Well what would happen if I could speed up that process,” said Laszlo then he pushed a button and red lights traveled across the plastic model of the Pacific Ocean to the West coast where the whole cost lit up almost to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
“Why Laszlo? Why do so many people have to suffer? What kind of revenge is this? Do all those people have to suffer because of what happened to you?”
“You’re right there needs to be more and that’s where this other model comes in. These are the Canary Islands and this is La Palma. The island is actually a dormant volcano that reaches up from the ocean floor. This part,” said Laszlo as he indicated a place on the island. “This is called Cumbre Vieja and a riff was discovered which some say indicates that mass is ready to slide into the ocean...”
“Let me guess you’re going to help it along with a little push,” said Stanley. For once he was happy he came from the Midwest none of his relatives were on the Eastern seaboard but they both had friends.
“Watch this but you need to pay attention,” said Laszlo as be pressed another button and the red lights raced across the Atlantic Ocean. “Look all gone, New York, Boston, Washington and all of Florida wiped away clean. The whole East Coast will be a tabula rasa that includes your precious Langley. This will be my revenge and my masterpiece.”
“You’re mad Laszlo,” said Stanley. “Yes certifiably stark raving mad.”
“You’ve been awfully quiet Ginger? Do you feel the same as Stanley? Or do you have a more open minded view and see the beauty of my plan?”
“Beauty! I feel... well I feel sorry for you Laszlo. You’ve been so deeply scarred that you feel you have a right to hurt so many people. You ask me what I feel, I feel pity too. You’re like a broken vase trying to put itself back together but there are just too many pieces missing.”
“I don’t want your pity,” yelled Laszlo as he pounded his fist on the table. “I don’t care if you feel sorry for me and I certainly don’t want your pity. Oh no you should feel fear and terror. I’m about to pull down the very institutions that made me...”
“Then what,” said Ginger. “You’re still going to be the same scared little boy afraid of the dark. But you do this and there will good reason not to turn off the lights... can you live with yourself afterwards knowing what you did?”
“The answer is like a baby,” said Laszlo looking Ginger in the eyes. But as they were talking one of his men walked in and whispered in his ear. “I’ll take the call up front.”
He noticed the change of expression on Laszlo’s face. “What did something go wrong with your perfect plan? Did someone throw a monkey wrench in the works,” asked Stanley. Laszlo gave Stanley a look then started for him but he stopped then simply turned and walked out without saying anything.
Morgan and Alex along with the Station Chief McAlister were racking their brains trying to figure out where the nuke went along with the missing men. The yacht was only so big and there were only so many places these people could’ve gone yet it seemed they had vanished into thin air. Oddjob had done a good magic act but there was something they were missing both Alex and Morgan felt it.
“Why are we still alive,” said Alex. Then she caught the look of the Chief and Morgan. “No I mean why didn’t they scuttle the yacht? They had time and opportunity. Or if not scuttle blow it up?”
“I don’t know,” said the Chief as he tried to understand what Alex was getting at. “Maybe it wasn’t important so there was no reason to blow it up.”
“Exactly but those workers we heard from the crewmembers that Laszlo was responsible for getting killed on San Clemente. Why them and not us? A bomb with a remote would’ve taken everyone out including the boarding party.”
“Because they were important and, or knew too much,” said the Chief. “I’m going to get all information we have on those workers. Maybe there’s something there,” said the Chief as he waved for one of his men to bring him a tablet. He pulled up the files on the men they had identified. “I don’t see anything that sticks out.”
“Can I look at that,” said Morgan as he started glancing through their personnel files. “Did you notice this they all served in the Navy on subs. Two of them were qualified high pressure welders and this other worked as a Machinist Mate. I think I know where our missing nuke went and where our people disappeared to but I’m going to need a little latitude to prove it.” Both Alex and the Chief looked at each other but agreed.
“Okay bring out our prisoner and let’s take a trip down below,” said Morgan. They all went down to the hatch leading to lab that was closed because of radiation contamination. Alex pulled Morgan off to the side.
“Morgan, are you sure about this,” said Alex. “You know what you’re doing and you’re okay with this?”
“Am I sure... No. But does it have to be done, yes. So let’s get this over with,” said Morgan as he went over the guy he’d laid out before. “Nasty goose egg you’ve got there buddy sorry about that.”
“What do you guys want from me? If you expect me to snitch well I’m not saying a word so you can just forget it and let’s move on.”
“Why do they always say that,” said Morgan as the Chief and Alex nodded their head. “Listen we already know your friends snuck off the ship using a submarine so just humor me and tell me how before things get ugly.”
“You know where you can go and what you can do with yourself,” said the man smiling over at Alex. “But I can’t blame you for wanting to hook up with that.”
“You want a matching goose egg on your head just keep it up. Take off his cuffs,” said Morgan. “Go ahead.” The Chief reluctantly took off them off wondering what Morgan was up to.
“You want a fair fight or something?” said the man as he rubbed his wrists. “Is that what you want I’ll be more than happy to accommodate.”
“No,” said Morgan. But you’re going to need your hands free. You know all about rads and maximum doses. Well you’re going to need this,” said Morgan as he handed him a Geiger counter. “Here’s also a radio so you can call and tell us how Oddjob and the rest got off this ship.” Morgan opened the hatch to the lab then pulled a pistol waving for him to get inside.
“Hey you can’t do this to me,” protested the man. “The rest of you can’t just stand there you’ve got to do something. You can’t let him do this to me?”
“Just tell me what I want to know and we can move on,” said Morgan. But the man remained silent. “Well sorry douchebag I hope you don’t want kids.” The Geiger counter started going crazy as Morgan motioned him to get in.
“Wait! Hold up,” said the guy. He went over to the keypad entered a second code then a panel opened inside the contaminated room. It revealed a hatch that led down to a scuttle in the deck with a docking port for a mini submarine.
“Okay let’s go,” said the Chief. “We need the Navy in here now. We can bring in a couple of destroyers to help find our missing nuke. I’ll get us a chopper to take us out. Good work there Agent Grimes.”
“Gee thanks,” said Morgan. He waited for the Chief and everyone to disappear. “Alex did he say he’s going to put us on a helicopter. Doesn’t he know those things are dangerous?”
“Morgan, you’re doing good. You heard the Chief and I have to say you’re really impressing me too,” said Alex as she gave him a kiss on the cheek.
“I am? Well, to tell you the truth I’m impressing myself. I only wish Casey were here to see too.”
[At the airport]
“This is Colonel Casey I just arrived and need to be taken to the Hilo harbor. I’m here to provide assistance with locating the missing special package. ... They’re going where? Okay have the bird swing by the airport they can pick me up then we’ll make our run out to the O’Kane.”
Laszlo was talking with Oddjob as their plane was making its approach into the airport in La Palma. Mahnovski wasn’t happy at the situation but from where he was there was little he could do except move a spy sat overhead to get a better view of what was going on. And what he saw he didn’t like. There were two destroyers looking for his mini sub but it didn’t seem they were having any luck finding it.
“Yeah I see what’s going on above you,” said Laszlo. “Wait a little while then house the round in the chamber as quickly as you can. Don’t worry I’ll put together an extraction plan.”
“But how am I supposed to make it over to the chamber if the destroyers don’t go away. I need a distraction or something.”
“Don’t worry; we still have time before you have to house the round. Getting in a panic won’t help anything and if you get an early window go for it. You only have to get the device in place I’ll handle the rest. The Navy is more a nuisance than an actual problem. You’ve got plenty of oxygen reserve and once this is over you all will be richly rewarded so you just have to be patient.”
“That Agent McHugh this is her fault and I found out later she had another Agent with her. I don’t know his name but he’s the one to watch out for. He moved among the crew like he was one of them, a real master of disguise. If he wasn’t working for the other side I’d even go so far as saying he was impressive. I’m sending you a photo now but something needs to be done about them.”
“Well if you do your job like I asked you to they’ll be buried in a mile high wave of water. I think that ought to take care of them for you. I’m getting the photo now. A master of disguise you say... ahem his name is Morgan Grimes and there are a lot of words I could use to describe him but I don’t know if I’d use the word impressive. Put the First Mate on the line I have some last minute instructions on his approach to the chamber.”
“Dr. Zorin you want to talk to me about our approach? I can assure you I’ve got a course already laid out. As soon as I get a window we’ll be in an out before those surface riders will know what we’re up to.”
“That’s excellent but I want you to take us off speaker. I want to talk just to you,” said Laszlo.
[Onboard the Mini Sub]
The First Mate took Laszlo off speaker so he could hear him in his headset. He looked over at the Third Mate and over at Oddjob as he nodded his head.
“Yes Sir I understand the course you want me to take but it could be a dangerous one. … Yes Sir I concur. Nothing ventured, nothing gained as they say. … Yes Sir I’ll keep that in mind and I can assure you I’ll take all the necessary precautions. … You can count on me Sir. … Very well I’ll tell him and good luck Sir,” said the First Mate then he disconnected the connection and retracted the antenna.
“What did the boss have to say to you that he couldn’t say in front of the rest of us,” asked Oddjob. But the First Mate raised his hand.
“I’m taking us back down to the bottom where we’ll rest. Mr. Oddjob… I mean Paul let me do this maneuver then we’ll talk but first let me do this.”
“Sure we can talk later,” said Paul. He wasn’t born yesterday and he knew that look. Laszlo had given the First Mate special instructions that might have to do with navigating the mini sub. However, more likely he had been given orders to jettison ballast which could be him, the Third Mate or both. He needed to keep his eyes open.
[Back in Castle]
The General listened to Chuck about the situation. Chuck pulled up charts and studies that had been done on this phenomenon which were in the intersect that the rest of the scientific community had ignored. General Beckman sat there calmly and placidly listening to Chuck all the way to the end of his briefing.
“Chuck, I have two questions for you before I talk with the President. The first is there any way to stop this tsunami wave once it’s in motion?”
“Not unless you can generate a similar wave running in the opposite direction but I’m not sure that would work or risk making a bad situation even worse. However, in theory the two should cancel each other out.”
“Okay I think I know the answer to this but on which coast would the damage be worse, the East or West coast? I’m not just talking about population but also national infrastructures.”
“West Coast has a dense costal population then you have Silicon Valley and then all the military installations including Third Fleet but on the East Coast you have New York city with Wall Street, the Capital, Norfolk, Fort Meade, all of Florida. Please don’t make me play Solomon here especially since you’ve already made your mind up.”
“I’m sending the Hypersonic for you,” said the General. “I want you and the Colonel on it to stop Laszlo in La Palma…”
“General, I’m not going anywhere unless my family is safe,” said Chuck. “You can’t expect me to worry about saving you while I risk everything I’ve been fighting to save. If you want me then we all ride together.”
“They can take your Lear but I want you in the air without distractions. Let me speak to the Colonel maybe he can…”
“He can what? Dart me and throw me on the plane. General, let me make something clear which should already be but evidently you need to hear it again. You need me I don’t need you. I will have everyone at the airport in an hour we all leave together or no one does.”
“You know Chuck one of these days I may have to shoot you,” said Beckman. “Very well I need to brief the White House.”
“Oh by the way General when Director Trotski calls complaining that we hijacked one of his spy satellites tell him it was just a loaner. I’ll give it back to him once the mission is over.”
“Laszlo can track our satellites but he can’t track the Russians’. Very good Chuck, I hope you’ll send feed through to the Situation Room.”
“Naturally General, but if you want to reposition or redirect it you’ll need someone who speaks and reads Russian. There are vocal commands that need to be given as well as written ones.”
“Here’s an oh by the way for you. You can’t tell anyone about this outside of your team at Castle. This is imperative because if the general population found out there would be mass panic and chaos in the streets. That goes also for your employees at the Buy More. Agent Carmichael, do you understand?”
“Yes ma’am I understand,” said Chuck with that the General signed off and the screen went blank. “Sarah, I so don’t understand. I should tell Big Mike. The man was nice to me and hired me when I got kicked out of Stanford. Then there’s Skip and Fernando they… well they did… okay I can’t think of anything but they don’t deserve to end up like the unicorns.”
“Unicorns,” said Sarah as she took Chuck out through the Orange orange to avoid the people in the Buy More.
“Yeah you know the song how they were supposed to be put in the ark but go left out. I can’t believe that people thought that song was funny. It was a masked tragedy, a genocide of Equus monoclonius.”
“Sweetie I’m calling Kat we’re taking her with us.”
“We can take her with us but we can’t take any unicorns.”
Laszlo’s plane touched down at the airport and then taxied over to the apron. There was a Mercedes SUV waiting for them. Laszlo had Stanley and Ginger taken off the plane with their hands handcuffed behind them. They were then loaded up in the back of the vehicle while he sat up front. In the back Stanley found one of Ginger’s hairpins on the floorboard he picked it up then slipped it up his sleeve for later use.
“Okay let’s go,” said Laszlo as he tapped on the driver’s back. “We’re going to my other yacht, the Tempesta. I think you’ll like her I do. Oh and you get to meet my other assistant. You’ll like her too. Her name is May Day.”
“Well that’s one strike again her.”