Chuck vs Golden Thumb Chapter 2
Don’t own Chuck
Sarah had incoming so she immediately activated Castle’s self-defense systems. On the roof top of the Buy More a mini-Patriot missile battery came alive. “Okay let’s take you out,” said Sarah as she popped the top on the joystick revealing a red button. “Missiles away,” she said as she pressed the button. But the battery went limp and a warning light came on that saying the missile battery was off line systems malfunction.
“No, no,” she said as she tried to bring it back up but nothing was working. There was nothing between her and the incoming missile. There wasn’t anything she could do from Castle so she did the only thing she could do, she called Chuck.
“Chuck, don’t talk I’m in a jam here I’ve got an incoming missile. I tried the patriot batteries but they won’t come on line. I brought them up for a second but then they died a message came on saying I had a system malfunction. Right now I’m a sitting duck.”
“One second and I’ll have them back on line,” said Chuck. She heard yelling in the background asking him where he thought he was going then she thought she heard a woman crying.
“Chuck, what’s going on there with you? Why is a woman crying? Chuck, Chuck, answer me,” she said. She was worried that the line dropped or maybe worse when he didn’t reply.
“I said one second,” snapped Chuck as he came back on the line. “I’m sorry I didn’t mean the way that came out. Okay I’m in Castle’s defense programs. There I see the problem someone deactivated the batteries via remote access. I’ll manually override them.”
“I don’t want to hurry you up but the computer is telling me the missile is getting nearer and soon it will be too close to...”
“I know I can see the same window and I’m almost there. Okay there we go missiles away,” said Chuck as the battery came alive and fired four missiles. “I’m going to have to shoot it down manually with wide dispersion. Outside it’s probably looking like the fourth of July.”
[Meanwhile in the parking lot Big Mike was coming back from his afternoon break]
“What in the Sam hill is that,” he said as he saw the four missiles leap skyward from on top the Buy More. There was a big explosion as the patriots exploded in front of the incoming missile destroying it when it flew through the shrapnel. The incoming missile made an even louder explosion making a large fireball could be seen for miles looking like a pyrotechnical display.
“Just like that fool Morgan I swear if the boy wasn’t family I’d have to slap him silly,” said Big Mike as he looked up in the sky. Skip and Fernando came out to look at the fireworks too.
“Hey what’s going on Big Mike,” asked Skip as he and Fernando stood there looking up at the sky. “Wow, who ordered the fireworks display? I have to admit it’s cool. Much better than Three fingers’, Fernando’s cousin did on the fourth.”
“Why do you keep calling him that,” said Fernando. “So the wick was short. How was he supposed to know it was going to blow up in his hand? Don’t tell me Morgan did the same thing? Did he torch his beard?”
“No idiots, do you know what day it is today?” asked Big Mike. Skip and Fernando thought it was some sort of trick question so they both said they didn’t know. “Why am I not surprised I guess this just proves you boys were missing a few days out the week. Well I can tell you it’s not the fourth of July when normal Americans shoot fireworks nor is it the Cinco De Mayo.”
“Hey do we get the day off,” asked Skip. “I mean it seems only fair. California used to be a part of Mexico and they celebrate it so...”
“We can also celebrate your unemployment if you keep that up,” said Big Mike. “I can see Morgan wanting to celebrate his momma’s Spanish heritage. Yes oh man yes,” he said as he let out a sigh. “The muy caliente Bolonia Garcia Bougainvillea Grimes Tucker seeing those fireworks and thinking of her makes me think of that band, the Starland Vocal Band,” said Big Mike as he started humming then broke out singing the chorus.
“Sky rocket in flight, afternoon delight, afternoon delight. You know you boys can tell Morgan I had to run home.”
“We don’t have to here he comes now,” said Fernando. “We really digged the rocket show. But you could’ve shot off more.”
“Morgan, I’ve got to run home I’ll see you tomorrow. Cape Canaveral called and the mission’s a go... I mean your momma’s calling about skyrockets in flight if you know what I mean.”
“What are all of you talking about? Fireworks and skyrockets? Don’t tell me you two lamebrains are shooting fireworks off on the roof again. I told you fireworks and bean burritos don’t mix. Where’s Big Mike going?”
“He’s going to Starland Vocal Band your momma,” said Skip as he laughed. Morgan looked at him puzzled. “He’s going looking for some afternoon delight.”
“Geez, I don’t know whether to be mad or amazed that you know what that is. Enough standing around in the parking lot and looking up at the sky our customers are in the store not out here so let’s get a move on it.”
“Sure you’re the boss,” said Skip as he elbowed Fernando. “Going to find my baby, going to hold her tight. Going to grab some afternoon delight,” he sang.
“Why wait until the middle of a cold dark night? When everything's a little clearer in the light of day,” sang Fernando then he motion Skip to continue.
“Thinking of you's working' up my appetite. Looking forward to a little afternoon delight,” he sang back. Morgan shook his head he had about enough but before he could say anything Skip broke out singing again.
“Sky rockets in flight, Afternoon delight, Afternoon delight, Afternoon delight” they sang together as a duet as they walked into the Buy More.
“I’m going to have you two work up an appetite all right. I want all the merchandise in the storeroom inventoried by close of business and on the shelves. Out of my sight,” said Morgan. “Just go away and I want that inventory done now. Go before I think of something else for you two to do like cleaning the baby station.”
[An hour before somewhere near the middle of the Atlantic]
Chuck reclined his chair to stretch out finally finding a spot he dozed off. He’d just started dreaming about what his homecoming in Burbank was going to be like when he was woken up by the rude persistent ring coming from his tablet. Someone was trying to reach him. He could only think it was Sarah wanting to tell him the latest from Los Robles. He was tired but not so tired as not to talk to her and he still had some of the images of her from his dream in mind.
“Sarah, how did Casey’s trip to the lab go? Tell me we’ve got our man in custody,” said Chuck. But he noticed there was a silence on the other end. That was when he saw the call registered as anonymous. Instinctively he knew who it was. “Well Laszlo aren’t you going to speak up. You made the call and woke me up so the least you can do is say something.”
“Chuck, it has been a long time and I come to think of it I don’t believe I’ve ever paid you back for those pancakes. Well not at least properly that is.”
“Laszlo, you can keep your money I really don’t need it. But if you want to do something for me you can start by telling me what you’re up to. I know it’s you behind the Home Office that alias Max Zorin was kind of lame.”
“You want to know what I’m up to? You haven’t figured it out yet? Chuck, you’re getting slow in your old age. I would think by now you’d figured that out and Max Zorin was there to attract your attention which seems to have worked.”
“Good move, it worked. Okay humor me, I want to hear you say it. Tell me what dastardly plot have you got cooked up? This is the time when the villain spills his guts and tells 007 everything,” said Chuck. He was trying to get Laszlo to talk but he was also stalling so Casey could have time to get to Los Robles and arrest him.
“Okay, I’ll play your game. My plan is quite simple Chuck; I’m going to get even with you for turning me over to the feds. I’m going to get even with everyone that incarcerated me in this hell hole. That means you and your handlers as well as everyone back in Langley. They’re going to regret what they’ve done to me.”
“What they’ve done? Excuse me but from what I was told Los Robles isn’t that bad a facility and as far as getting you incarcerated... well yeah you probably should’ve been put in prison but your lab is hardly comparable to Supermax. After all you were the one who played war games with the Home Theater in the Buy More and you tried to blow up Santa Monica pier with the Herder or am I mistaken?”
“Those were just minor details Chuck. Just small insignificant details... bumps on the road of life as you might call them on my path of genius.”
“Bumps on the road of life? Insignificant? I don’t think the people who were on the pier thought they were insignificant nor did the people you were going to obliterate by triggering a thermonuclear war. You can’t treat people as if they’re speed bumps to drive over.”
“Says who? They were and are the herd Chuck. They’re not like you and me we’re like Zorin. They’re more akin to the cattle in the slaughter house waiting to become hamburgers. The Nazis used Zorin for his superior gifts the way our government uses me and you. They do that because they’re afraid of us Chuck. We don’t think like the herd we can see above all the crap and see the truth.”
“And what truth is that? That you’re off your rocker that’s my professional diagnosis and you can look that up in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. That’s right before crazy as a loon and after stark raving.”
“Then I guess there’s no way I’m going to talk you into coming and joining forces with me. I thought if I offered you half of the world that would be a good way to pay you back for the pancakes. Good bye Chuck.”
“Wait a minute Laszlo that has a final tone to it,” said Chuck but the line dropped. Suddenly the plane banked then dipped. The fasten seat belt light came on and the co-pilot came back to tell Chuck to stay in his seat but he had no intention of listening. He’d pushed pass the female co-pilot then went straight for the cockpit. When he entered he saw the pilot flipping switches as he righted the plane.
“What’s our situation,” asked Chuck as he entered the cockpit. The look of desperation on the pilot’s face told him everything he needed to know.
“You’re not supposed to be in here,” said the pilot but Chuck sat down in the co-pilot’s seat looking over the controls then flashed.
“What happened to your fuel?” asked Chuck then he realized what had happened. “Laszlo, I should’ve known. This was what he meant when he said good bye.”
“What?” said the pilot. “Listen the fuel valve opened up on its own dumping half of our reserve. We don’t have enough jet fuel left to make it to the East coast nor to turn around and go back to Rabat. We’re in plain English screwed.”
“We’re going to die,” cried the co-pilot from the hatch looking in on them.
“Not if I can help it,” said Chuck. He grabbed the radio and ran through the frequencies until he got the signal he was looking for. “JFK this is Learjet,” radioed Chuck giving them his call sign. “Do you read me? Come in JFK.”
“Learjet we have a military exercise going on right now get off this frequency you’re interfering with operations.”
“JFK this is a mayday. Get your Admiral and put him on the horn. Tell him Agent Carmichael is on the horn for him. I think he’ll remember the guy who stole his drones.”
"Who are you talking to? What are you thinking?” said the pilot looking over at Chuck as if he were crazy. “I can’t land this plane on a carrier? There’s no way I can do it.”
“Don’t worry you’re not,” said Chuck. Just then Sarah called him on his phone. “I’m sorry I’ve got to take this. ….
“Where are you going? You can’t leave now. What am I supposed to say when the carrier calls back with the Admiral?”
“Tell the Admiral to hold,” said Chuck. “I’ll be right back.” Chuck left to get his tablet and to handle Sarah’s emergency.
Casey and Alex raced back through Los Padres in their commandeered BMX X3. They heard a low moan in the back then some kicks. A little while later they heard their man in the trunk begin to yell for help and he kept up yelling until Casey couldn’t take it anymore. John eased off to the side of the road then got out and walked around back. He banged on the outside with his fist before opening.
“Listen if you don’t calm down I’ll have to fire a round through the trunk to get my point across and since I don’t have x-ray vision I might not miss. So don’t do anything stupid that you’ll regret,” said John then he popped the trunk.
“What kind of cop are you,” yelled the man as he tried to climb out but Casey shoved him back inside.
“The kind you don’t want to mess with. Smile at the birdie,” said John as he covered his nose and mouth then gave the man a whiff of X-13 gas. The lawyer dropped back inside the trunk then Casey closed it.
“Well that should keep him quiet. The man was making so much noise I could barely hear myself think,” said John as he got back inside. “Now that’s much better.”
“Was that absolutely necessary? We basically car jacked him, national emergency or not. So don’t you think he had a right to be mad?”
“I wouldn’t worry about him he’s sleeping like a baby right now and when he wakes up he won’t remember a thing. We’re almost there,” said John as they rounded a bend in the road.
“Dad stop,” yelled Alex as Casey had to lock the brakes up and down shift to try to stop the bimmer in time. He slid sideways in the road stopping just before going over a precipice that was the Los Robles labs.
“Oh my God,” said Alex as she got out and walked over to the edge. “This is the place we were just at right? All those poor people, we didn’t do this with our missile, did we?”
“No, there’s no way we could’ve done this type of damage. No, this was done by something much more powerful,” said John as he walked to the edge and looked down. Below were some raging fires with smoke bellowing out heading towards L. A. That’s all we need more air pollution.”
“What do we do now?” asked Alex as she looked over at her father who was taking out his phone. “Are you going to take photos?”
“What? No, we need a cleanup crew in here ASAP before the news media catches wind of this. Someone back East is going to have to put a spin on this mess and come up with a cover story. In the meantime we head back to Castle,” said John. “You’re not going to believe me but we need some cleaners out at Los Robles,” said John. ... “How many you ask? I’d say all of them. Here let me send you a pix,” said Casey. He took the photo then sent it. “I don’t know what they used but putting that many eggheads together is like playing with matches sooner or later this was bound to happen. Tell the boys in forensics I want a preliminary report by morning. ... Thanks I appreciate.” John hung up then he waved Alex back into the SUV.
“Wait until Sarah hears about what happened to us today. I bet she’s bored to tears being cooped up in Castle all day. We should pick up something for her and the ladies to eat on the way back. Maybe we should stop for pizza or Chinese?”
“I could really go for some Szechwan chicken,” said John but Alex just gave him a look. “What we can get Sarah a plate of vegetables if she wants.”
“No Dad, Szechwan is too spicy for her and little walnut right now. Let’s order three pizzas and you can order your Kung Pao chicken. We’ll have it delivered to Mom then we can pick it up on the way in.”
“Good idea or you can order me two spicy chickens I’ll stay at Kat’s and we have supper while you run the pizzas into Castle.”
“Are you trying to tell me you want some alone time with Mom. You know you don’t have to make up excuses just tell me to get lost for a while. I’m old enough to understand.”
“Understand what? Kat has to eat and I have to eat so we just happen to be eating together. There’s nothing strange about that and you need to get certain ideas out of your head. All those are Grimes’ fault. One of these days the Troll and I are going to have to have a nice long talk.”
“As long as it stays verbal it’s okay. But I wish you and Morgan would learn to get along. You’re both important to me and besides you both only want what’s best for me,” said Alex as she leaned over and kiss him on the cheek. John could’ve shot the sequel to the fifty shades of gray with his face but instead of gray it would’ve been red.
Morgan finally ditched Skip and Fernando then went to the breakroom where he made his way to the elevator then down to Castle. He kept humming all the way down that stupid song the idiot twins were singing. It stuck in his head and he just couldn’t shake it loose.
“Sarah, you ever get a song stuck in your head,” asked Morgan as he marched down the metal walkway in Castle. “It seems no matter what you try you just can’t get rid of it.”
“Shush Morgan,” said Sarah. “Chuck come in Chuck can you hear me. Please Sweetie answer me come in. Crap,” she said as she flung her phone across the room barely missing Morgan’s head. The screen shattered on impact not to mention a big hunk of paint came off the wall.
“Wow, I come in peace. I hope you’re not mad at me,” said Morgan as he was taken a little aback at Sarah’s outburst of anger. “I can go out and come back in if you want.”
“No it’s not you and I’m sorry. I wasn’t throwing my phone at you. I was just talking with Chuck...” said Sarah. Morgan interrupted.
“He was the one who launched the missiles? Of course he was but when did the Buy More get an anti-aircraft upgrade?”
“Yes it was him. Someone shot a missile at Castle and... that’s not important now. I was talking with Chuck and it sounded like there some sort of problem with his plane then the line dropped and I can’t get him back. I’m moving a bird now over his last location but the stupid thing it taking forever and he’s not answering.”
“Just calm down I’m sure everything is all right with him. You know Chuck is resourceful we just have to wait for the NSA to reposition the satellite.”
“Morgan this is my fault. If I hadn’t distracted him with the incoming missile he would’ve had more time to come up with a solution. Why didn’t he tell me he had his own emergency to take care of?”
“You know the answer to that better than me. Chuck has made it clear that if he had to choose he’d always choose you.”
“Morgan, please tell me I didn’t get him killed,” said Sarah. Morgan put his arms around her and held her.
“I guess this is a bad time to tell you the missile that was headed at you was fired from Casey’s Crown Vic.”
“What? How’s that possible? Laszlo, he orchestrated all this knowing I’d call Chuck and distract him. That bastard I swear if anything happens to Chuck I’m going to kill him but not right away. Oh is he going to so suffer.”
“Wow, you’re really freaking me right now and I’m not the target. You got this scary face going… I’d hate to be Laszlo,” said Morgan. As they were talking the satellite image started coming from the target site.
“Oh Morgan what have I done,” said Sarah as they looked over floating wreckage. “No this can’t be, it just can’t.”
“Are you sure these are the coordinates he was transmitting from? There still could be a mistake. Sarah look at me Chuck is smarter than Laszlo. We just have to have faith in Chuck.”
“That’s right we have to have faith in Chuck,” said Sarah. In that moment Emma and Sam came in with Alex carrying pizzas. Sam was happy from her day in the park smiling but she took one look at Sarah then ran straight up to her.
“What’s the matter? Why are you so sad? I promise today I was good Nana Emma can tell you I didn’t do anything bad.”
“Oh you never do,” said Sarah as she hugged her. “Everything is fine just... well your father may be a little late getting home. So we need to be patient. We can be patient together you and me, right?”
“I think you’ve been around aunt Ellie too much,” said Sam as she tried to break free of Sarah’s bear hug but couldn’t.