Chuck vs Golden Thumb Chapter 21
Don’t own Chuck
Alex was out on the bridge wing on the O’Kane looking at the platform. The wind was carrying the sound of small arms fire and as she look she started wringing her hands nervously. Her finger suddenly got an incontrollable itch. She couldn’t help but feel she belonged there with them. Each time there was a lull in the fighting her heart sank wondering if her father and Morgan were okay. Her place was there not here where she was and she knew it. The CO read her mind and, walking out on the bridge wing, he handed her a pair of binoculars.
“These might help some but they aren’t x-ray so we can’t see what’s going on inside,” said the CO. “I’m sure the Colonel will have the situation in hand soon. I’ve known people like him they always come through.”
“Doesn’t mean I can’t worry,” said Alex as she took the binoculars. “Thanks, any word on the submarine?”
“No, it’s gone back into hiding but I think we shook it up a bit. The lookouts spotted debris. Now we patrol and wait. I know that’s not easy when you have people in harm’s way but that’s all you can do.”
“Sorry Sir to interrupt,” said the XO. “But Agent McHugh you’ve got a call in Combat and Sir one of our lookouts spotted a swimmer. We think he’s from the sub and he’s alive.”
“Good, let’s get him onboard then bring him up here for us to have a little chat,” said CO. “I think Agent McHugh could use my at sea cabin to interrogate him.” Alex agreed she and the CO went back to Combat where she found Sarah on the screen.
“I asked to speak with John,” said Sarah. “Alex report what’s going on? Has John engaged the platform?”
“He’s on the platform with some of your people and they are currently engaged in a firefight. He asked us not to engage risking friendly fire but the platform is armed with patriot missiles. Who are these people?”
“Sarah this is Commander Nelson, he’s the CO of the O’Kane. He and the Hamilton are providing support. There’s also a mini submarine we’re hunting that’s carrying the nuke....”
“Then they haven’t chambered the round,” said Sarah. She saw their perplexed look in the monitor. “I’ll try to explain it the way it was explained to me. Think of it like a very large weapon firing a nuke as a blank....” Then she went on to describe what Chuck had explained to her. “... so you can see ideally you sink the sub before it can chamber the round or the stop that platform from closing the breech.”
“Which means if we find the breech we find the sub,” said the CO. “That may sound difficult but we just might be able to do that. We have our swimmer and he’ll know where it is. Also a platform is usually towed into position but this one has to have some sort of propulsion system. If we target the legs below the water line we might be able to disable its maneuverability.”
“Well I’ll let you go it seems you know what you’re doing. Alex and Commander Nelson I don’t have to impress upon you that 48 million Americans are depending on you.”
“I think you just did,” said the CO. “When can we expect assistance? We’re starting to feel like the Texas Rangers.”
“Sarah, and Chuck how’s his mission coming?” asked Alex as much as theirs was important so was Chuck’s.
“Alex I can’t comment on ongoing operations. The last I talked with Agent Carmichael he was climbing into a volcano with only one other agent, Commander to keep 112,000,000 Americans, who will never know what happened today, safe. But in the end we all do our duty. I’m sorry I’ll pass along your request for assistance. Agent Carmichael out.”
The monitor went blank and the CO stood there as if he were thinking. Alex had already figured out what he wanted to ask.
“Chuck, the other agent she was talking about, is her husband if you’re wondering how they both have the same last name.”
“So let me get this right,” said the Commander as he lowered his voice. “This same thing is going on in the Atlantic?”
“What do you people say I can neither confirm nor deny but right now we have to handle our AOR and hope other people do the same. Now let’s go talk to our mystery man,” said Alex.
In the Boar’s head the girls were having a pub dinner of fish and chips with a dill pickle on the side. They were chatting and eating with the objective to distract Sam from thinking about her parents and why they weren’t with them. Carina thought that if they could keep this up long enough Sam would get tired and go to sleep when she woke up then they could deal with the situation. But the object was to make sure Sam got a good night’s sleep.
“I have to say as pubs go the food here is good. I like the homemade fries I mean chips and they actually batter their own fish,” said Emma. “I need to talk to Jack about an English pub in the casino.”
“I think it would be a hit especially with the tourists and could generate you more business. But I don’t know where you’re going to find someone who knows how to cook it and not like this,” said Kat as she sipped on her beer. “Carina what do you think?”
“Yes absolutely,” she said as she stifled a yawn. Carina looked at Sam who looked as bored as she did but she noticed Sam was watching a man at the bar. “What are you looking at?”
“That man over there. Do you trust me enough to lend me five dollars?” said Sam as she kept an eye on the man.
“You mean five pounds. Sure I can always get it back from your mother,” said Carina as she handed it to her. “We should order takeout now for the Sarah and Cole,” said Carina as she called over a waitress and placed the order asking also for extra pickles but as she was ordering they heard a small roar for the bar then Carina noticed Sam was gone.
“Crap I’ll be right back,” said Carina as she got up and went over to see Sam flopped on a bar stool with her five pound note on the bar.
“What’s the matter are you afraid? Are you a Fraidy cat? Here’s my five pounds now let me pick a card and see if you can find it.”
“I don’t want to take your lunch money darling so why don’t you just go run along back to your Mum and get out of my business.”
“You know you eating chicken could be considered cannibalism,” said Sam as she tapped the five pound note. “I do believe I see feathers sprouting.”
“Are you sure you’re a kid or a midget either way you’re bothering me so why don’t you just move along and get out of my hair.”
“First of all I don’t know what a midget is and second of all you took all these other people’s money so why won’t you take mine that is if you can?”
“Okay but you asked for it,” said the man. “I’ve got psychic powers that allow me to see what you’re seeing so go ahead and pick a card any card then put it back in the deck.”
“Psychic powers, really,” said Sam as she picked a card looked at it showed the people behind her then she started to put it back in but as she was putting it back in she sneezed on the deck.
“Geez don’t get your germs and snot all over my cards,” said the man as he held the deck up then nothing. They waited and waited but he didn’t seem to be able to find her card and in the end more out of desperation he showed them a two of hearts.
“Nope not even close,” said Sam. The crowd roared and cheered behind her. By then she had a small group gathered around her. “I tell you what I’ll let you try to win your money back double or nothing if you let me try to find your card. That is if you’ve got the guts.”
“You sure you’re just a kid,” said the man. The men in the crowd were egging him on to accept the bet when Carina pushed through.
“Kiddo didn’t anyone ever tell you you’re not to run off like that,” said Carina. “Don’t worry I saw the whole thing. Here let’s make it even more interesting there’s another thirty pounds so the bets fifty pounds. Are you willing to put you money where your mouth is? Or are you all talk?”
“Okay, here’s the deck now let’s see what the half pint squirt can do,” said the man. He put a fifty on top of the bet then Sam fanned the cards letting the man pick a card. She watched him as he tried to put it in backwards but she caught it. Sam pulled the card then turned it over on the bar.
“Your card was the Ace of diamonds,” said Sam. The man growled but before he could do anything Carina stepped between them.
“You’re not going to be a sore loser are you,” said Carina as she got up in the man’s face.
“Okay enough here,” said the barkeep. “This ends here, children oughtn’t be playing games of chance and especially not in my pub. Carina your orders are ready to go. Rusty you lost so go suck it up the house will offer you a pint to cry in. Your niece there she wouldn’t happen to be part cockney now would she?” There was a round of laughter in the bar as Sam looked perplexed.
“I don’t think so,” said Carina as she laughed too. “Come on ladies we need to get home so I can get this food to the hungry.”
“Sam you know your mother doesn’t want you doing things like what you just did back there,” said Emma. “Jack and I are going to have to have a nice long talk.”
“Why is he going to teach you a trick? You know once you know all the cons you’ll never be a sucker besides he was cheating.”
“Sam, and that justified your cheating? Cheating is still cheating even if you cheat a cheater,” said Emma but Sam didn’t seem to get the point.
“I dare you to say that fast,” said Carina. She saw Emma’s look. “Okay, okay not helping I get it but can you tell me what went on back there? How did you know he was cheating?”
“It’s an old trick,” said Sam. The irony of what she said almost caused Carina to laugh but she stifled it but not before Sam gave her an upset look.
“Okay already I’m sorry. Continue I want to hear this so Rusty was cheating and you took a card but he couldn’t find it. If he was cheating how is it he couldn’t find it?”
“Easy because it’s right here,” said Sam. “I just pretended to put it back in the deck. The cards were shaved on one side if you pull a card then turn the deck you can rub your finger along the side to find it. But he’d cheated other people there so he couldn’t say anything.”
“You remind me of someone I used to work with,” said Carina as they walked back to her place. Suddenly a car pulled up cutting them off then Rusty and two men got out carrying bats.
“I want my money back,” said Rusty as he and his men walked towards them looking menacing. “You cheated me and I want it back.”
“You ever heard never bring a knife to gunfight,” said Carina as she pulled out her Beretta cougar. “There’s a badge that goes along with this DEA on special assignment. This just isn’t your night.”
“Oh Rusty you idiot, you told us this would be easy pickings. Just a group of old hens now look what you’ve gone and done. Hey lady this is between Rusty and you we were just on our way home,” said the one guy as he dropped the bat and so did the other man.
“Hold up and if we’d been just a group of women that would’ve made it okay? I don’t think anyone is going anywhere. Pop the hood on the trunk,” said Carina then she moved back.
“Come on lady don’t be like this. You seem like nice people why don’t you just let us...” Carina cut him off by cocking the hammer.
“I know I don’t have to do that but it gets my point across. Now shut up,” she said as she glanced inside to make sure it was empty. “Now I want all of you to pile in. Move it now or I’ll start shooting out knee caps then I’ll just take your car and leave you for the rats to feed on.”
“Chuck left some people for the coyotes to eat before we flew here,” said Sam as she yawned. “But they were bad men.” Carina looked over at Emma and she nodded her head.
“Now that’s another story I’d like to hear,” said Carina as she closed the trunk. “You guys get all comfy in there until the police arrive. You know little squirt this reminds me of what it was like going out with your mother. You look sleepy let’s get you home and into bed,” said Carina as she picked up Sam then they finished walking back and by the time they arrived Sam was fast asleep in Carina’s arms.
Back on the platform Casey and his team were clearing level after level. Casey couldn’t understand why Laszlo’s men didn’t charge them. They were numerically outnumbered as well as initially lacking in fire power. John quickly recovered the weapon from the hostiles he downed and had his team do the same.
“Grimes, don’t make me regret this,” said Casey as he handed him a Chinese type 56. “Remember to keep the barrel down and point it preferably not at us.”
“Chinese knock off AK47 you can tell by the hooded front sight and it feels a little bit light. Maybe a few ounces,” said Morgan
“Impressive but you’re still worse than Bartowski when it comes to being the bullet magnet. Morgan you’re the poster child for friendly fire. Alex will kill me if anything happens to you so stay close.”
“I know it’s because you care about me Big Guy and I just want you to know I care about you too. Underneath that gruff exterior is...”
“Is someone with a loaded weapon and remember that,” said Casey. “Down,” he yelled as he pushed Morgan to the deck. They’d walked in on a group of perps who opened fire then Casey returned it taking them out.
“Geez thanks John,” said Morgan as he got up. “I don’t know which hurts more getting shove into the deck plate or taking a round in the vest.”
“You could’ve taken the hit in the head then my ears wouldn’t have to put up with your constant whining. I don’t get it why aren’t they standing and fighting. They could push us off this platform if they wanted to.”
“John let’s not give them any ideas okay but maybe their lab rats and technicians not ardent government assassins. You know they could be as scared as you...”
“I’m not scared Troll,” said John as he shoved him to the deck again then dropped two more who were scurrying for cover.
“Okay then as scared as I am,” said Morgan as he went over and recovered their ammo. “What I’m saying is they don’t know how to fight. If you ask them I’m sure they’d love to surrender.”
“There you go Grimes,” said Casey there’s a group in front of us. You can try your theory out go ask them to surrender and let’s see what happens.”
“I just might do that John,” said Morgan as he walked out from behind cover. “Yo’dudes I know you don’t want to die and you know what neither do I, so why don’t you surrender.”
“Why don’t you surrender to us,” said the one guy. “Except we’re not taking prisoners so sorry for the bad luck.”
“Me too,” said Casey as he dropped them in a hail of lead. “I’m glad to see your plan worked like a charm. We should keep this up and we’ll have them cleared out in no time.”
“Keep what up... Oh I get it you use me as bait then they drop their guard and you take them out. Very funny John, very funny,” said Morgan. Suddenly there was a loud explosion and it felt like the whole platform shook.
“What the heck,” said Morgan then there was the sound of another explosion and everything shook again. “Are they trying to blow up the platform with us onboard?”
“No that was a 5inch/54 from the Hamilton or O’Kane,” said Casey as he was talking Morgan saw movement in front of them.
“This one is mine,” said Morgan but Casey grabbed the weapon from his hands in time as one of their agents came running back.
“Idiot you almost shot one of our own. No more bullets for you,” said Casey as the man came up to them winded.
“Colonel the Chief asked me to come up and get you. We’ve got the rest pinned down below. They’ve set up a defensive posture inside the control room. We’ve been in contact with the O’Kane and word is we need to keep them from scuttling the platform.”
“Scuttling? Like sinking this with us on board,” said Morgan. “I get claustrophobic. I didn’t even watch the Poseidon Adventure for that reason now I’m going to have to live it.”
“So they’re all inside the control room then we need to root them out.”
“Easier said than done we don’t have any flash or smoke grenades to get them out and we don’t have the personnel for a direct assault.”
“I can get them out,” said Morgan. “Go to the cleaning lockers and bring me all the Windex and Clorox you can find. I’m going to need a bucket to mix it in.”
“Grimes what are you up to,” said Casey. “We don’t have time for your crap. Leave this to the professionals.”
“Listen John I know what I’m doing and if it saves even one of our guys isn’t it worth it. This was something Big Mike used to get Jeff and Lester out of this office one Christmas after the holiday party. They drank too much and refused to get out.
Morgan and Casey went down to the control room to find Laszlo’s men barricaded inside and their man was right they didn’t have the manpower to overrun them.
“Here you go but are you sure about this,” said the Chief. “You mix that stuff together and we’re all going to be doing more than just crying.”
“That’s why I’m going to put it in that air duct up there. It supplies the fresh air inside the control room. We fill this up then place the bucket in the duct then when the blowers kick on it won’t take long before they come running out.
A half hour before on the O’Kane the CO and Alex walked out of Combat to interrogate their water rat. Alex had no intention of going easy on him and considering what was at stake the Skipper was willing to grant a lot of latitude in the forms of interrogation. However, Alex was taken aback when she saw who she had in front of her.
“Oddjob, said Alex. “Oh how the mighty have fallen. Commander this was Laszlo’s right hand man and the one who busted him out of prison.”
“Really it wasn’t much of a prison your secret lab, Los Robles in the national forest but to set the record straight I just went and picked him up. The busting he did to cover his tracks.”
“So you two know each other is this going to be a problem?” asked the Commander. “Because time is ticking and we need answers.”
“A problem? He had people trying to track me down and kill me,” said Alex. “But I have no hard feelings because he didn’t succeed.”
“Again to set the record straight I ordered my men to apprehend you. Laszlo wanted the honor of putting the bullet in your head. He felt it was some sort of family tradition after he killed your father.”
“My father, the Colonel, is over on your platform taking it from your people. Do you have anything else you’d like to set straight for the record?”
“Just that he needs to be in a hurry because it’s almost in place, here let me show you,” said Oddjob as he took them over to the chart.
“How do we know we can trust you,” said Alex. “Up until a few hours ago you where Laszlo’s most trusted advisor, his right hand man, now you’re turncoat.”
“He ordered the First Mate to jettison me with the other Techs that helped assemble the warhead like old trash. I survived because I knew where the scuba tanks were. Laszlo really thinks he’s Max Zorin now and he’s found his May Day so out with Oddjob and in with May. You can send me to Supermax I don’t care but I’m going to teach that butthole a lesson about what it means to betray a friend. The conduit is here,” said Oddjob. “By the way...”
“To set the record straight what?” said Alex. She didn’t like Paul and she didn’t mind letting him know that.
“My name is Paul and I want Laszlo to know I was the one who told you how to stop him. Now you can take me to whatever prison you want.”
“You’re planting your posterior in my chair and if you even sneeze the wrong way Master at Arms you have orders to shoot him in the head.” Alex smiled at the Commander evidently he didn’t care for Paul either.
“Sir the sub just appeared on the scope it seems they’re making a run for that breech.”
“Well it’s time for us to earn that case of beer. Man the torpedo tubes and tell the men down in sonar there’ll be a special liberty call for them if we land this fish.”