Chuck vs Golden Thumb Chapter 19
Don’t own Chuck
Chuck walked into the casino dressed to kill in his white dinner jacket, and black bow tie. He adjusted his cufflinks as he walked in giving him a chance to survey the floor. Making his way to the cage Chuck purchased twenty thousand Euro in chips. As he was procuring chips Mary walked in he caught her attention then he passed off ten thousand to Mary. Chuck walked the room looking for where he could be seen then walked up to the Black Jack table and asked if he could join.
“You know the Roulette table has more cameras,” radioed Mary. “I hope this means you’ve changed you mind.”
“Not at all the object isn’t to get seen but get noticed and I’m about to do that,” radioed Chuck back. “Excuse me,” he said as waved for a waitress. “I’ll have a Martini stirred not shaken with three olives.”
“Gentlemen and ladies please place you bets table limit is 500,” said the dealer. Chuck put 500 in his betting circle and the waitress brought him his Martini.
“Whose risking becoming a cliché,” radioed Mary as she tried her hand at Roulette riding on black. Chuck smiled as the dealer gave him his cards.
The dealer dealt Chuck a pair of eights while the house had a Jack and seven showing. The man next to him had a pair of tens showing. Both men split Chuck placed another 500 euro in his betting circle. The cards where dealt and the man next to him got two aces. Chuck got a ten on one hand and a five on the other. Chuck laughed as he shook his head then finished his Martini.
“Excuse me sir would you like to stand or take a hit,” said the dealer. The other players at the table were becoming annoyed at Chuck as he procrastinated.
“I’d like my cards off the top and not the second card like you just dealt,” said Chuck. You could hear a pin drop at the table. “And these cards,” said Chuck. “Let me see that next card is the ten of diamonds which would bust me.”
“Is there a problem here,” asked the Pit Boss. Seeing a crowd start to gather at the Blackjack table he had a sixth sense that something was wrong.
“There is no problem as long as we get a new dealer and we get a deck that isn’t marked. If you don’t mind,” said Chuck as he reached over and took the deck for the dealer. He began naming off the cards then turning them over. “You’ll probably find the house deck in his pocket. This is his private stock.” As Chuck was talking the man next to him slowly tried to ease up and disappear. “I think you might want to talk to this gentleman about why he’s so lucky.”
But the man ran for the doors trying to get out as fast as he could with security from the casino on his heels. Chuck’s display also got him what he wanted all the cameras in the casino pointed at him.
“I think the casino owes you a debt of gratitude,” said the Pit Boss. “Is there something we can do for you besides giving your wagers back mister... I’m sorry I didn’t get you name?”
“Carmichael, Charles Carmichael but my friends call me Chuck. No I’m fine... wait there is something. I think I’ll go over to the bar and have another Martini. When you get a phone call for me shortly can you make sure it’s forwarded to me over there. Thank you,” said Chuck as shook the man’s hand then walked off.
“You think that will do it,” radioed Mary as she watched from a distance.
“We’ll see very shortly.”
Sarah flew with the rest to RAF base in Mildenhall where they deplaned before being whisked off by Cole and Carina to MI6 in London. Already there were special alerts being posted about exceptionally high tides in the South of England and Ireland as a way to get the populations geared up in case they had to evacuate. However, across the pond it was business as usual. It was decided that because of the impossibility to evacuate the great numbers of people involved the best thing was to prepare quietly.
“The Chief wants to talk with you,” said Cole as he tapped Sarah on the shoulder. “Carina will run every one to our place then come back.”
“You guys look hungry,” said Carina. “Let’s run home then walk down to the Boar’s Head for something to eat then after I get you tucked in I’ll come back.”
“Then be a love,” said Cole as he kissed Carina. “Can you bring back a couple orders of fish and chips for us? Come with me Sir Reginald is waiting.” Sarah followed Cole up to the Chief’s office. His office was almost identical to Beckman’s just the flags were different.
“Come in,” said Sir Reginald as he invited Sarah to sit down. He’d been told about her condition as he put it.
“Is she there,” said a familiar voice from a monitor on Sir Reginald’s desk. “I don’t understand what’s taking so long?”
“I’m here Ma’am,” said Sarah as Sir Reginald put Beckman on the monitor behind his deck. “Is there word from Chuck?”
“I was going to ask you the same thing? We just got CCTV video of him in a casino causing an incident. So much for clandestine I guess. Word has it that Laszlo is on board the Tempesta his private yacht but it put out to sea before Agent Carmichael arrived.”
“The last communication I got from him he said he had landed on the island and was proceeding. I assume to meet Mary. Was she in the casino with Chuck?”
“If she was she had the good sense to avoid the cameras but is this the time to go to a casino when the world is about to go to crap?” As they were talking Cole’s phone rang his Chief gave him a look but he had to take it.
“I’m sorry it’s the boys downstairs they’ve got information,” said Cole. “You know where I am? ... What? Okay tell me what you’ve got. Thanks I’ll be down in a bit.”
“Hold up a minute Diane and take a breath I think we’ve got something,” said Sir Reginald. “What is it section chief?”
“We just got word from our contacts in La Palma that the Tempest was just seen heading back into harbor.”
“Of course Chuck figured Laszlo had tapped all the CCTV feeds on the island to make sure he knew who was who and got a facial hit on Chuck. Don’t forget Laszlo thought Chuck was dead and he holds a personal grudge against him. Laszlo believes Chuck was his friend who sold him out and turned him into the agency. Oh Chuck, I hope you know what you’re doing?” said Sarah as she looked at the feed of him in the casino.
“There is another piece of news. One of our fishing boats we have trailing the Tempesta picked up a couple a couple from the ocean after they jumped ship. They say they’re two of your people a Ginger Hartley and Stanley Fitzroy.”
“Yes they’re ours. We need to debrief them as soon as possible they might have information about Laszlo’s evil plan. I saw you’re calling for abnormally high tides in the south,” said Diane. “I take it that’s your way of bracing your civilian population.”
“We had to do something you guys have a six hour warning but ours is minutes so we had to get something in place.”
“No you did the right thing and I wish there was something I could do here other than man my office. The President and I have decided we’ll man our offices come hell or high water. It will take a lot more than a megalomaniac with an oversized hat to scare me out of my office.”
A few hours earlier onboard the Tempesta they were sail for a preset destination to night over before imitating the countdown that would change everything. Laszlo had his contacts looking for Ginger and Stanley ashore but if they didn’t show up or better wash up that just meant the ocean got them.
“Too bad,” said Laszlo as he sat on the flying bridge watching the deckhands clean the last stains off the teak deck.
“Too bad what?” asked May Day as she handed him a Cherry soda. “Too bad I shot those men and their blood’s stained your teak deck or too bad they let those two people escape?”
“Can I choose all of the above? But they’ve almost got all the stain up so it’s not that. However, I thought Ginger and Stanley were smarter than this. I mean did they really think they could just walk home?”
“Sometimes wild animals will chew their legs off to get out of traps so I don’t really find it surprise. If anything I admire their choice most people would’ve given up but they didn’t.”
“There’s courage my dear and then there’s stupidity. You look at this like they were courageous while I look at it as being stupid. Dead is dead after all.”
As the two were talking and relaxing on the flying bridge the First Mate came looking for Laszlo carrying a tablet.
“I’m sorry to interrupt,” said the First Mate but the Skipper asked me to bring this down to you. The guys in comm sent it up we got a facial hit...”
“Good so Ginger and Stanley got to shore. Have our people pick them up then take them to the airport. Arrange for our chopper to fly them back out to us. Stanley and I are going to have to have a talk I can see.”
“Sir, I’m sorry but it wasn’t them that we got a hit on,” said the First Mate as he played back the footage they recovered from the casino CCTV cameras.
“That’s Chuck so he’s still alive and here. He could be a problem,” said Laszlo as he played back the footage again.
“It looks like he posed for the cameras looking right up at them,” said May Day. “It’s as if he knew you’d be looking at it.”
“I’m almost sure he did. He’s daring me and I’m almost willing to take the dare,” said Laszlo as he played the video again. May Day realized Chuck had gotten to him.
“If you want why don’t you just send a couple guys and have them end him in the casino. It doesn’t look like it would be that hard.”
“You can try but I’ve sent other people and none of them have been about to take him. I tell you what. Why don’t we invite him on board with us?”
“Do you think that’s wise considering you just said he was dangerous for our plans?” said May Day but she saw that look in Laszlo’s eyes he’d already made up his mind. “Tell the Captain we want to go back into port and pick up a passenger then connect me to the casino I want to talk with Chuck.”
“You’re letting him get to you,” said May Day. “This is exactly what he wanted and you’re falling for it. Don’t be stupid let me send two of my men.”
“Did you just call me stupid? I don’t let anyone call me stupid not even my mother God rest her soul. She only said it once,” said Laszlo as he pulled a Desert Eagle and pointed it at her.
“Calm down I wasn’t calling you stupid I was calling Chuck stupid for obviously underestimating you. He might be trying to play you but you’ve seen through him showing who the real genius is.”
“Why didn’t you just say that,” said Laszlo as he put the pistol away. “You’re right he has underestimated me and I’ll prove it. I’ll keep him alive until after my big bang theory is proven so he can see it in all its glory.”
“Right, let me go down below and get you another cold Cherry Coke,” said May Day as she got up and followed the First Mate. “Patch that call through for the boss then call our men in the police and have this Chuck detained permanently.”
“The boss won’t like it if he finds out you countered his orders then went behind his back,” said the First Mate. “We’re already trying to clean one stain off the teak decks. Are you sure about this?”
“I’m positive. Someone has to look out for him and this Chuck guy has gotten to him. Don’t worry if this backfires I’ll take the blame.”
“Yes ma’am,” said the First Mate but what he wanted to say was he was sure she would. But he was between a rock and a hard place.
Casey and Morgan lifted off the flight deck with a boarding party headed towards the platform. The mission was simple a routine inspection. Casey had some doubts if Laszlo would be so dumb as to lay a key piece of his plan out in the public like that. However, both the CO of the O’Kane and Morgan thought it worth checking out and they did have the dead time to kill until they could find the missing sub with the nuke.
“Oh Momma,” said Morgan as the Sea Hawk took off. It was the same bird they flew in on. Morgan reached over and grabbed Casey’s hand.
“Will you keep your hands to yourself,” said Casey as he pulled Morgan’s hand off. “Listen this was your idea so at least you can see it through. I just hope this isn’t a waste of aviation fuel and my patience.”
“There’s not a lot of that for sure,” said Morgan but as Casey was growling the helicopter dipped as a streak flew past the side. “What was that?”
“We’re under fire. Everyone buckle up and try to hold onto something” yelled Casey as the chopper fired two Hellfire missiles in return.
There was series of explosions on the platform The co-pilot made a frantic call back to the O’Kane as another volley of missiles came at them The chopper dipped down close to the ocean’s surface were the sun off the water would help mask their IR footprint then fired chaff. The Sea Hawk shook from the shockwave of a near hit taking some chaff. Then it opened up its mini gun strafing the side of the platform.
“Get up on top then hover for a second,” radioed Casey. “Tell the O’Kane we need to take this intact so we can’t shell it or we risk sinking it with all its intel. Just give us a little while.”
“Roger that Colonel,” said the pilot. “Okay go, go, I can’t hold this for long.”
“You heard the man,” yelled Casey. “Okay girls everyone out. Not you Morgan I want you to ride back to the ship and assist with Alex.” John Jumped before Morgan could argue. The other agents all jumped but Morgan wasn’t going to be left behind.
“You only live once,” said Morgan as he followed the last man out.
“I thought I told you stay in the chopper,” said Casey but as they were arguing a missile launched from the platform’s patrol battery got a skin to skin hit and the chopper disintegrated.
“You were saying John,” said Morgan.
“Just keep up,” grunted Casey then he turned to his team. “You two need to need to neutralize those missile batteries. The rest of us work our way below decks everyone is considered a hostile.”
[Onboard the O’Kane a few minutes before]
“Sir the chopper radioed back saying it was a trap and that they were answering fire. The Colonel wants us to hold return fire he’s trying to take the platform intact.”
“The choppers gone,” yelled the port lookout from the bridge wing. “My God it just went up like a match. It just took a hit.”
“Let me see,” said the Old Man as he came out with binoculars. “Just calm down we’ll make those bastards pay. Man the 5-Inch/54 then give me something I can shoot.”
“Sir,” said the Officer of the Bridge. “Sonar just picked up movement on the bottom near the platform.”
“Captain,” said Alex. “This might be a diversion to get the sub in place.”
“In place for what? Which one is the diversion and which one is the target? The Colonel will have to deal with the platform. “Bridge officer give the order to man the tubes let’s go fishing. Radio the Hamilton and have them assist tell them there’s a case of beer for the wardroom that lands that fish.”
“Roger that sir.”
Alex looked over at the platform as they moved off. She didn’t like this feeling of helplessness she should’ve gone with them and if her father came back she caught herself thinking.
“No Alex when he comes back,” she said to herself. “Dad we’re going to have to talk about my role on the team. Being sideline just because I’m your daughter isn’t right.” Now she just had to muster up the courage to tell Casey what she thought which wouldn’t be easy.
In the casino sitting at the bar Chuck was finishing his second Martini looking at his watch. He thought Laszlo would’ve called by now but then he reasoned this was like picking up a date. You don’t want to show up too early because it’s a sign you’re desperate nor too late because that would mean you don’t care. So when Laszlo finally called Chuck checked his watch and it was in the middle of the time he’d expected.
“Mr. Carmichael your call,” said the Pit Boss as he brought over the phone.
“Can you put it on speaker and barkeep can I have another,” said Chuck as he dropped chips on counter along with cash to cover his bar tab.
“I see you’re still with us,” said Laszlo. “I have to say that’s most impressive. I guess you’re here to try to stop me.”
“That would be a pretty good guess,” said Chuck as the bartender sat his drink in front of him. “If you want to stop me then come down to the pier we’re pulling back into the marina. Too bad about Stanley and Ginger they tried to escape and found the distance from my yacht to shore was too far.”
“If anything happens to them I’m holding you responsible,” said Chuck as he took another sip. “So is this where you invite me onboard your yacht to tell me you evil plans.”
“It would be dryer if you just walked onboard across the brow than trying to sneak on by swimming around in the marina.”
“That goes without saying, but where would the surprise be if I just walked across the brow and said hi. It seems almost...well I don’t know anticlimactic. You’d just shoot me down like that. Where would the fun be in that? It definitely wouldn’t be very much like Zorin or Bond.”
“No I guess it wouldn’t. Okay I’ll guarantee you safe passage onboard my yacht. I ordered May Day not to do anything but she’s a little over protective of me and I’m almost sure she didn’t listen to me. So this is the deal you make it to the yacht and once onboard I’ll guarantee your safety but you just have to make here in one piece. I think for someone like yourself Mr. Bond this shouldn’t be a problem.
“Very well Dr. Zorin then I’ll be seeing you soon. You might chill a cherry coke for me,” said Chuck as he hung up.
“You can’t be serious about going onboard like this,” said Mary as she sat down next to him. “You’ll be walking into a trap and you can’t believe he’s actually going to honor anything he promised.”
“His psychosis has gotten worse I think it has to do with the stress he’s been under since he broke out. Did you hear him he called me ‘Mr. Bond’? He’s quickly losing touch with reality so he has to be stopped now. Hold this for me and give it to me when I ask for it,” said Chuck as he handed Mary his Makarov.
“You’re also going to this meeting unarmed,” said Mary as she took his weapon and placed it in her bag. “Charles, I don’t like this one bit.”
“It doesn’t make me feel too peachy either but it has to be done. I’ve got around 112,642,503 people who are counting on me so I have to succeed. Failure here is not an option,” he said as he downed his Martini then started heading for the exit.
“Stop right there, don’t move” said a policeman pointing a pistol at him then he motioned for his partner to go over to cuff Chuck. “We need to take a ride somewhere quiet and discreet.”
“I do need to go somewhere,” said Chuck. He waited until the crooked cop was right behind him then he stomped his foot. The man yelled in pain making the one in front of him jump. He fired a round but Chuck dodged it but he shot his partner behind him. Chuck blocked the gun arm c-stepped behind him spreading him eagle over his knee them he delivered an elbow strike to the man’s sternum. Chuck dropped him to the ground kicking away his weapon.
“I’ll take your keys,” said Chuck. “Thanks for the transportation. Oh someone might call and ambulance after I leave. Mom do you want me to drop you off anywhere?”
“No I’m fine. You just watch your six with Laszlo... he’s crazy,” said Mary as she downed her drink then walked out after Chuck left stepping over the two men who were down rolling and moaning.