Chuck vs Golden Thumb Chapter 24
Don’t own Chuck
Sarah was pacing in Sir Reginald’s office. There was little if nothing she could see from above now from the spy sat. Most of the camp had cleared out but the big event that everyone was waiting for hadn’t taken place. Carina and Cole watched her pace like a wild animal in a cage and they had even asked her to sit down but she just couldn’t. She’s sit down for a few minutes chew on a stirring stick then she was up pacing again.
“You’re going to have to buy Sir Reginald a new carpet if you keep this up,” said Carina. “If you don’t stop the stress is going to make you go into labor. You need to calm down and relax.”
“Relax how? Chuck’s buried in a cave with an armed nuclear device that for all we know could explode at any moment and a sociopath’s girlfriend. Tell me how to turn that frown upside down?”
“I’m not saying you have to be happy with it. But you have to master it or it will eat you up. We’ve lost people before and we’ll lose more before it’s our turn.”
“Carina, that’s supposed to be a pep talk,” said Cole as he looked at the two of them from a corner. “I love you but with a talk like that why don’t you hand out razor blades too. Sarah, think about Sam and your baby Walnut. Prioritize starting with them.
“No maybe Carina’s right it’s me that’s the problem here. What am I supposed to do now? I lost my whole team. Casey, Alex and Morgan are in the Pacific and Chuck and Mary are on La Palma. There’s no one left I’m alone.”
“You’re not alone you still have us and if Zondra hears you whining woe is me she’ll kick your butt pregnant or not. You need to snap out of this bout of self-pity and pull yourself together. This isn’t like you... I know exactly what you need you need to throw yourself into something like payback.”
“Laszlo needs to bullet in the head. No that’s too good for him be needs something nice and slow like an acid injection burn him from the inside out. But only after I sever all the appendages he doesn’t need then serve them to him as a snack.”
“Remind me not to piss you off,” said Cole as Carina smiled thinking they had the old Sarah back. Langston Graham’s enforcer was ready to take care of Laszlo like only she could do.
Suddenly the monitor began to roll then the sound crackled before the picture stabilized. At first she thought it was Chuck connecting but after the image cleared she was staring a Casey. She’d let herself build up hope but now she felt a knot in her stomach.
“Oh it’s you,” said Sarah as Cole and Carina looked at her. “I’m sorry that came out wrong. I was hoping you were Chuck then you came on the monitor.”
“Well he’s the one I was trying to get a hold of because we’re a half an hour past X hour and nothing has happened. I was wondering if he knew if we’re on borrowed time or if this thing’s a dud.”
“We’re rooting for the dud,” said Morgan as he stuck his face in next to Casey. Casey palmed his face like a basketball then shoved him away. “Ouch, watch the eyes.”
“Adults are talking Troll just chill out and wait. Yes we’re all hoping for the later but how long do we have to wait before it’s officially declared a dud? Do you have any idea?”
“Maybe it’s not John,” said Sarah as she remembered what Chuck had told her and now suddenly she understood what he meant.
“Geez, so we are on borrowed time. How long do you estimate we have before... well before the thing goes off?”
“What? No not that you’re okay. You all are. It’s something Chuck said before I lost comms with him. He said he’d seen this bomb before. At the time I didn’t think anything about it but now I think I understand. Remember John when we got stuck with being the B team and your A team activated that nuke?”
“Yeah, I remember it that was the one that Chuck deactivated with fruit juice. You almost get blown up along with over a million other people because of a nuclear device that kind of sticks in your memory... Oh I get it you think this warhead is like that one. Salt water... so if it were put in salt water and the casing wasn’t water tight then it would deactivated itself.”
Suddenly they heard Paul burst out in laughter. With everything going on they’d forgotten about him but now he was busting a gut laughing so hard he was crying holding his side in pain but still laughing.
“Can someone ask laughing boy over there what’s so funny? We all could use a good chuckle right about now and remind him we’re in this predicament also because of him.”
“I can do better,” said Paul as he reached into his pocket and pulled out two wing nuts. “We were riding the techs hard to finish the ordinance and when they told me they’d finished I was going to ask them what these two wing nuts were doing left over. I knew they were for the outer housing but the First Mate flooded the compartment before I could say anything.”
There was a round of cheers she heard over the monitor. She saw Casey watching Alex and Morgan as they looked at each other. It was clear what they wanted to do but Casey was growling.
“Oh John let them kiss,” said Sarah. “You guys dodge a bullet so they have a right to kiss. Morgan kiss her and if John says anything let me know I’ll handle him. John I mean it let the kids have this moment because the next time they might not be this lucky.”
“You think you can handle me sister? I think you’ve got something else coming. What’s going on with Chuck,” asked Casey as he realized what was really going on. “You sound... well like you do when he’s in... well when things aren’t going right.”
“Chuck was buried alive earlier in a shaft with a similar nuclear ordinance and with Laszlo’s homicidal new girlfriend, May Day. I’ve been trying to raise him but all comms with him are... well they aren’t working. Mary is trying to find another entrance into the tunnel so I lost comms with her too. But John, he’s not near salt water or the ocean nor do I think he has any fruit juice with him.”
“I’ll be on the next plane there,” said Casey. “You can count on me. I’ll find him if I have to dig him out by hand.”
“On ‘us’ you mean Big Guy,” said Morgan. “Alex and I are coming too. Don’t think you can stop us either our minds are made up.”
“Just hold on guys. Right now there’s nothing you can do so the best thing now is for you to go to Castle and try to track down Laszlo. Hopefully, I’ll know more soon Ginger and Stanley are supposed to be brought to me today so maybe they know something we can use to find him.”
“Just thinking about Laszlo, I get an itch in my trigger finger that needs to be scratched. A fifty caliber round through the face and they’ll be scooping his brains up with a spoon.”
“To quick I want quality time with our perp,” said Sarah. He messed with the wrong woman’s man and he’s going to regret it. I’ll make waterboarding seem like a dip in the pool.”
Chuck was in a dilemma of epic proportions and to say he was navigating up a toxic waste run off in a Native American means of transport without out a method of locomotion was an understatement. He with the help of Maria aka May Day had disassembled the nuke. As they removed the detonator the nuke armed itself and had started a countdown to detonation. They were thirty seconds out and Chuck was looking for salt water or a liquid with sodium in it.
“Saltwater?” said Maria. “Chuck, look around you, I don’t see any saltwater. We’re doomed. Oh I so want to get my hands on Laszlo and shove a can of his cherry coke down his throat.
“Cherry coke, that’s it,” said Chuck as he ran over to the cases Laszlo sent down to the workers then ran back.
“I’d prefer a good rum myself at times like this,” said Maria thinking Chuck had lost it, “or maybe a good Scotch for a nice sendoff. But certainly not a hot coke and especially not cherry.”
“No you don’t understand the last nuke I deactivated I used apple juice now I need to check for sodium... hum,” said Chuck as the timer ticked.
“I don’t want to hurry you along there, but the timer isn’t standing still” said Maria as the indicator read fifteen seconds and counting down.
“There’s thirty-five milligrams roughly the same as saltwater,” said Chuck as he popped the ring and started to pour.
“Chuck, are you about to disarm a nuclear bomb using cherry coke,” asked Maria. Chuck smiled and nodded back. “Okay, do it.”
Not that he could do anything else the timer was at the two second mark when he poured ever so gently a drop of the carbonated drink in the detonator mechanism. There was a loud crackling sound smoke and a spark then the timer went dead along with all the lights on the bomb.
“It worked… It actually did,” said Maria as she threw her arms around him and kissed him on the cheek. “I can’t believe that worked I wish Laszlo knew we used his cherry coke. He’d have a real fit then.”
“Yes he would,” said Chuck as he turned beet red then he took Maria’s arms off him. “Well we’re still in the same situation trapped in a ventilation shaft of a dormant volcano. But I’ve got an idea on how to get us out.” He picked up a couple of the C-4 charges he’d shot out of the shaft then put his finger in his mouth then held it up.
“Maybe we could find something to do in here before we try to get out,” said Maria as she put her arms back around him.
“Sorry Maria but I’m married and right now as tempting as your proposition might be to some, I’m only thinking about how to get home to my wife then settling a score with Laszlo. There’s a current of air blowing in this direction follow me.”
“You know Chuck what they say what happens in the air shaft stays in the air shaft,” said Maria as she followed behind him. “Boy is it hot in here,” she said as she started unbuttoning her top.
“I don’t play that game so you’re wasting your time with me. My wife is five months pregnant with our second child and all I want is to be with her. I’m not saying you’re not attractive it’s just… well I’m not looking anymore. There up ahead I see some light.”
“It looks like the ceiling caved in and blocked most of the exit,” said Maria as she surveyed the rubble. “Maybe we could find another exit?”
“No I can clear this out. Do you mind passing me your boot knife,” asked Chuck. Maria passed him her knife then let her hand caress his arm as she pulled it way.
“Maria, please I said no and no is no,” he said as he took her knife. He opened the electronic part of the detonator adjusted the frequency to match his radio. Then he planted the charges putting them under the rubble close to the bedrock trying as best he could to direct the blast outward.
“Okay let’s get back inside and find cover. You’re cold,” said Chuck noticing she was shivering. “If you’d buttoned up your blouse you’d feel warmer. Oh here take my jacket,” he said as he wrapped it around her then they got back in the tunnel.
“Well here goes nothing,” he said as he switched his radio on that set the detonators off. The two charges blew out the rubble and from the outside a small cloud of smoke drifted away. Slowly the smoke cleared and evening light came shinning inside.
“Come on let’s get out of here,” said Chuck as he took Maria by the hand and led her outside. The sun was setting but the smell of the fresh sea air was invigorating. Maria was really invigorated she jumped on Chuck and kissed him.
“Off of me Maria we talked about this,” said Chuck as he turned red. “Come on why can’t we just have a nice firm hand shake?”
In the distance Laszlo was returning to the airport when he head to explosion then saw the pillar of smoke rising up from the bottom of old summit. He radioed forward for the pilot to wait then circle round.
“Something is happening down there I want to see if this is it. Circle the summit and let’s take a closer look,” said Laszlo. The pilot knew it was useless to argue that if it was the nuke the whole summit would soon be gone taking them along with it.
“Crap what’s going on down there. Wait who’s that… May Day and Bond? What’s she doing with him? That two-timing… I’m going to teach them. Hover in position,” yelled Laszlo as he took out a gun case from the back. He pulled out a Blaser Tact 2 inserted the five round clip then popped the caps on the scope. “Hold the chopper steady now.”
“Make sure you’re strapped in back there before you open the side door,” radioed the pilot back. “I wouldn’t want you to fall out before you sign my paycheck.”
“You just hold us steady,” said Laszlo as he opened the side door. “Just like playing hitman,” he said as he lined up the shot in the crosshairs of the scope.
Chuck pushed Maria away but when he did she caught sight of the helicopter and knew it was Laszlo’s. She saw the side door open on the chopper and knew what was about to happen.
“Chuck look out,” she yelled as she leaped on him. He started to grab her to push her away but she went limp in his arms. He felt something warm on his hands it was then he knew she’d been shot. He looked up to see Laszlo lining up his next shot but before he could fire two shoot rang out in rapid succession. Two rounds passed through the cabin making Laszlo jump. Then a third one hit the motor and the bird began to sputter and smoke. The chopper banked then ran away disappearing leaving a trail of smoke as it heading for the airport.
Chuck looked up and there was Mary with a type 56 she recovered from one of the guards walking down towards him.
“Chuck, Chuck are you still there,” said Maria in a low voice as he knelt down next to her. “Chuck, are you there?”
“Yes I’m still here just save your energy and we’ll get you to a doctor. You’ll be well in no time. You can take my word for it so just relax.”
“You’re a terrible lair you know that. I can read the concern on your face. Hold me please just this one time I feel so terrible cold. Chuck I’m dying.”
“I know you are. Just relax it will be over soon. I’m sorry I can’t do anything. Here,” he said as he pulled out of his jacket pocket a flask. He opened it and gave her a sip. “It’s not rum but it’s good Scotch.”
“You’re trying to give me a nice send off,” she said as she laughed and cough. “There is one thing you can do for me Chuck.”
“What is it? If I can I will,” he said as he saw the life flowing out of her. They started out enemies then became friends. Although she’d been clear she would’ve liked to have added benefits.
“Chuck, can you give me a kiss? One last kiss before I pass I’d like to know for once what it feels like to kiss one of the good guys.” Chuck looked up a Mary she shrugged her shoulders.
“This one time,” he said. He kissed her and as he kissed her felt her take her last breath then it was over.
“Charles, I know you’re going to have this desire to come clean with Sarah and tell her that you kissed this woman but if you do make sure you premise it with this was her dying wish and that she passed in your arms. Personally, I don’t see a need to kiss and tell but I know you.”
“Mom, my pistol I gave you, I want it back. Then we need to get to the airport. I’ve got some unfinished business I need to take care of with Laszlo.”
Back in London Stanley and Ginger were brought into Sir Reginald’s office where Sarah, Cole and Carina were waiting. General Beckman was observing from her monitor as they walked in and sat down.
“Stanley, Ginger can I get you anything before we begin,” said Sarah. “First of all Laszlo’s plans for Hawaii and the west coast have been foiled and it’s becoming apparent that Chuck has thwarted his plans for the east coast. The only problem now is Laszlo’s gone back into hiding. Do you guys have any clue where he might be? Or what his next move might be?”
“No,” said Stanley as he looked at Ginger. She shook her head too. “We were drugged for most of the time. He showed us his plastic models but other than that layover in Mexico he only talked about his plans to cause those two tidal waves.”
“That layover in Mexico City wasn’t it,” Sarah asked. They both nodded their heads. “Do you know why he stopped there? Was it only to refuel for the Atlantic crossing?”
“No he had some big powwow in the air terminal with men that were supposed to help him bring about a new world order.”
“That’s right,” said Ginger. “He came back happy about the fact that everyone was on board with it and then he said something strange that he didn’t have to throw any one out of a dirigible.”
“That was a ‘View to Kill’ reference he was talking about,” said Stanley as he caught the perplexed looks around the room. “In the movie there was one executive who didn’t go along with Zorin’s plan to flood Silicon Valley so Gray Jones that is May Day tossed him out.” But I think there’s more going on I think Laszlo is having some sort of schizophrenic episode where he really thinks he’s Max Zorin and Chuck… well he sees Chuck as James Bond.”
“Then he’s certifiably crazy I think we’re all in agreement here,” said Carina. “But these people in Mexico what was their angle.”
“First of all they weren’t Mexican but men of power looking to take over in their respective countries. They saw Laszlo’s Tsunami as a way to gain control. He even used the word new world order.”
“We need to get the CCTV feeds from the airport in Mexico City to see who was meeting with him then General I think it’s up to you and Sir Reginald how we deal with these people. But I can’t see them being happy with Laszlo now that his plans have gone bust. They could be worried that he’d give up their names to avoid the needle.”
“Laszlo won’t have many places he can hide not from the people that will be looking for him,” said Cole. “Even if we don’t find him one of his new friends will.”
“Yes of course you’re right,” said the General as she intervened in the debriefing. “Dr. Fitzroy when you said Laszlo was suffering from a schizophrenic episode you meant he was out of touch with reality living in his own dream world. Just to get things straight that’s what you’re saying right?”
“Yes absolutely,” said Stanley as he looked around the room. No one liked the way this debriefing was going and especially not Sarah.
“General, do I have to remind you that Chuck’s still missing and it’s because of this lunatic. I don’t know what you’re getting at Laszlo is a menace to society. The man just tried to destroy half our country.”
“We’re well aware of that,” said Dr. Dreyfus as he walked in front of the monitor. “However, if the man is mentally ill we can’t hold any of this against him. Dr. Mahnovski was and is one of my patients and when he’s taking his medications he’s a very gentle and caring soul…”
“This gentle and caring soul sealed my husband in a shaft with a nuke and his homicidal girlfriend. Need I remind you he blew up the Los Robles labs with how many people inside?”
“All because he was off his meds if he were on them none of this would’ve happened. In the future the doctor will be given his meds under direct supervision.”
“Sarah I don’t much like this either but the directors of the NSA, NASA FBI and Homeland along with other agencies that I’ve never heard of have appealed to the White House and President has given the order that Laszlo is to be brought back in unharmed to work for us again.”
“Well I guess I can only hope that one of his cronies or I get to him first.”
“Sarah, don’t do anything rash…”
“Oh General it won’t be rash it will be well thought out. That you can bank on,” said Sarah as her phone rang. She looked down it was Mary. “Here, it’s Mary; you can tell her your plan to rehabilitate Laszlo. Sarah put it on speaker.
“Sarah love it’s me Chuck.”