Chuck vs Golden Thumb Chapter 26
Don’t own Chuck
Casey, Morgan and Alex were on the Learjet heading back to Burbank. They said their goodbyes onboard the O’Kane but before leaving the CO gave them all ball caps and mugs with the ships logo, mementos for their time onboard when they helped save the world. Morgan was so elated that he forgot about being air sick.
"John what do you think," said Morgan as he sported his ball cap in the cockpit. “I think I missed my calling I should’ve joined the Navy. I could’ve become a Captain or Admiral if I tried hard like Tennille’s husband.”
“Like Tennille’s husband yeah right you mean ex-husband. Doesn’t your brain hurt when you say stupid things? Look it takes years of hard work to become a ship’s captain. Uncle Sam isn’t going to hand over the keys to the ride to just anyone. Besides if you joined the Navy you’d have to shave your beard.”
“I thought the Navy was the only service that let you keep your beard. I saw movies with sailor who had beards.”
“Not since Carter they haven’t. The beard gets in the way of donning a gas mask but I think it was more aesthetics. So what will it be Troll your country or your beard?”
“Can I think on this for a bit,” said Morgan as he caught Casey’s glance. “Hey this isn’t an easy decision dudes I’ve had facial hair since puberty. The girls in class told me I looked like a young Tom Selleck.”
“I would’ve thought Cousin Itt,” said Casey. As they were exchanging zingers John’s phone rang a text message. He looked at the screen then over at Alex. “Can you take over for a few moments my ears need a break from all this senseless chatter.”
“Sure Dad no problem but what’s up? You got a message what did it say? I bet it was Mom wondering when we’ll be home.”
“Yes exactly… your mother Kat… Yes well you know your mother well it seems you can read your mother’s mind. Anyway I’ll be right back I just need to stretch my legs,” said Casey as he turned the controls over to Alex then got up.
“I think I’ll come back with you and get a cup of coffee,” said Morgan but Casey put his hand on Morgan’s shoulder then pushed him back down in his chair.
“I said I need to give my ears a rest and if you come with me they’re not going to get any rest because I’ll have to listen to your useless yapping and if I listen to much more... well I won’t be responsible for my actions,” said John as he cracked his knuckles. “Are we clear?”
“You know what John I think I can wait a bit on that coffee,” said Morgan. “Suddenly I don’t feel all that need for a cup.”
“Just like bran muffins Grimes, a healthy choice and don’t think I’ve forgotten. When we get back I’ll bake you up a dozen then watch you eat all twelve.”
“John, I wouldn’t want you to go to all that trouble just for me,” said Morgan as John grunted then left heading back into the cabin. “You don’t think he’s serious about that do you? I did kind of tell him that not even the rats would eat them.”
“That’s not important right now Morgan. Go back and see if you can hear who he’s talking to I would but I can’t leave the controls.”
“I’d prefer to stay alive besides you heard him he’s talking to Kat. There are things I’d prefer not to overhear, things that just can’t be erased from your brain. Casey’s version of sweet talking on the phone is one of them. That would almost be as bad as Big Mike talking about my mother,” said Morgan. Alex gave him a look. “I did say almost.”
“Morgan, you don’t understand, Dad just lied. He’s not talking to Mom because she’s flying back with Sarah and Sam. Chuck and Sarah made sure she was evacuated with them when they left.”
“But they left my Mom and Big Mike behind that’s a little cold for someone who’s supposed to be my best friend.”
“Morgan you’re getting off track. Stop freaking out they couldn’t take everyone... Oh now you’ve got me sidetracked too. Just go back and see if you can overhear anything. Besides we’re not spying on Dad we’re spying with him. We’re Dad’s backup in case he needs us.”
“Right, we’re doing this for his own good. We can’t be his back up if we don’t know what he’s up to?” said Morgan then he looked at Alex. She nodded her head.
“Exactly, we’re just watching his six for him just he doesn’t know it. So get a move on it and tell me everything you hear Morgan just don’t get caught. We’ve got this.”
“But it’s not ‘we’ back there outside that curtain. It’s me and if he catches me there won’t be a me anymore.”
“Morgan, this is your time to shine,” said Alex as she reached over and took his hand. “Where’s your courage? This is you opportunity to boldly go where not Morgan has gone before.”
“Yeah to the morgue or traction but I’m going. I just have to keep telling myself it’s for his own good... it’s for his own good,” said Morgan as he got up and walked back. “This might be for his own good but I sure hope he sees I that way before he kills me,” he said to himself.
[Back in the Cabin]
John walked back to the cabin to the comms panel then logged in. Chuck came on the monitor soon but before Chuck could say anything John held up a finger signaling him to be quiet and wait then he walked back to the curtain to make sure Morgan hadn’t followed him. After being sure he hadn’t he went back to the monitor.
“Okay I’m alone like you asked in your message. I don’t like lying to Alex, Grimes I could care less about, but I don’t like lying to Alex. Amazing is the Troll didn’t follow me.”
“It can’t be helped Big Guy. I don’t want Morgan and Alex caught up in this anymore than they already have and I don’t think you do either.”
“Roger that. It was a close one on the ship and another close call like that I’d like to avoid if at all possible.”
“Then we both agree. Just to let you know the nuke here has been neutralized but Laszlo gave us the slip. However, Beckman has taken me off the mission. Some idiots back in DC want Laszlo taken alive to go back to work for them...”
“You mean work for us until the next time he decides to burn down a lab to escape. I hope you told the General what you thought about her plan.”
“She denies any part in it but that’s neither here nor there. The decision has been made but I may or may not have misled her into thinking Laszlo was in Africa when in fact I don’t think he is. I believe he might be closer to home.”
“Why would you do that?... Oh I understand,” said Casey as a light came on in his head. “I get it smart move. Okay what do you want for me? Just tell me and I’ll get it done. It’s about time someone took down this jerk.”
“I appreciate it John but if the General finds out she won’t be happy with me and if you help she won’t be happy with you either. I think what I’m asking you is, are you sure about this?”
“I think I’m already on her list for taking off and going to Hawaii. But Chuck I don’t regret it. If I had to do it over I would do it again without batting an eye.”
“Good but before I give you the list you need to keep a sharp eye out on Morgan and Alex. Until this thing with Laszlo is resolved they could be walking targets. If I were you when I get home I’d keep them close by...”
“I should stop by when I get home and pick up Kat and keep her with me. She could be in danger too. It wouldn’t be hard for that lunatic to figure out who she is.”
“John didn’t Sarah tell you? Kat’s with her in London. We took her with us when we evacuated. You didn’t think I’d leave one of our own in harm’s way did you? The General wouldn’t let me take everyone but I wasn’t going to leave her behind. Semper Fi remember Big Guy.”
“You took her... Oh crap Alex knows I lied to her. One second and hold that thought,” said John as he picked up his coffee cup then went to the coffee machine like he was going to fill his cup but at the last minute he opened the curtain. “Grimes, what did I tell you?”
“I didn’t say anything so your ears didn’t hear me and I... well I,” said Morgan as Casey gave him the look of death. “I really needed to get some coffee. I was yawning and falling asleep and... and I was getting Alex a cup too. Yes, Alex... you know your daughter... the one who’s flying the plane right now and we don’t want her to have an accident.”
“Accident? Yeah I’m sure. We can’t have her running into a cloud bank or driving up on the curb,” said Casey as Morgan nodded his head. “Oh just get your coffee then out of my sight before I’m obliged to hurt you.”
“Say hi to Chuck for me and tell him I’m going to have to rethink our friendship. What kind of friend leaves his best friend’s mother and step-father in an apocalyptic flood?”
“Maybe I could’ve brought them with me to Hawaii so they could join the ranks of the mile high club. Just picture that in your head every time you got to the lavatory on board a plane. You know there’s not a lot of room in there especially for them. But I guess they could use the soap dispenser to lube things up and...”
“I get the picture John,” said Morgan. “Now how do I get it out of my head? I’ll never be able to use the bathroom on another plane without thinking... augh no, I don’t even want to think about it.”
“Leave now or I’ll give you a blow by blow description about what they’d do in there. Your mother is pretty flexible according to Big Mike.”
“Curse you John Casey, I’m out of here,” said Morgan then he left as fast as he could. He went into the cockpit pulled down his seat then sat down without saying a word.
“Morgan,” said Alex. “What’s the matter? You look strange.”
“Everything,” said Morgan as he made a disgusted face. “It’s all wrong.”
[Back in the Cabin]
“Okay I’m back now. The Troll and I had to have a talk. You were telling me I need to watch my six and the rest of my team. I was going to suggest letting Grimes be our goat we could tie him to a tree that’s the way you hunt tigers. There’s also a certain resemblance both physical and dietary.”
“I know you don’t mean that I mean about tying him to a tree,” said Chuck but Casey just grunted. “Okay, you’re going to land before I will so you can have certain things ready by the time I get there.”
John listened and nodded his head but as he was listening to Chuck he was thinking about what he was going to tell Alex. She knew he lied and Morgan knew he was talking with Chuck. Maybe in the long run it would be better if he just came clean.
“John, you got all that,” asked Chuck. “John oh John earth to John Casey do you read me? John what are you thinking?”
“What? I hear you Bartowski just keep it in your pants. Everything will be ready by the time you get here.”
“Good because we’re only going to get one shot at this so we have to make it count.”
Big Mike parked his car in the assistant managers spot then got out smiling as usual humming a happy tune. Why shouldn’t he be the sun was shining and the birds were singing. It was a good day he thought to himself as he walked into the Buy More. Skip and Fernando were standing around talking and doing nothing but he wasn’t going to let them drag him down. He was in too good a mood to let them get to him.
“Top of the day to you son,” said Big Mike. “Welcome back from Catalina I can see you took advantage of the sun. How’d things go between you and Alex?”
“Big Mike, there are certain things a gentleman never tells,” said Morgan looking over at Casey. “Especially when his future father-in-law is John Casey and he’s standing right over there.”
“That is probably a good idea. Listen do you mind locking up this evening I’m going to have to leave early and I might be late coming in tomorrow so don’t get worried.”
“Okay no problem Big Mike you covered for me so sure no problem,” said Morgan. Then he started to walk away.
“Your momma thanks you and I’ll see you day after tomorrow,” said Big Mike as he turned around to leave.
“Wait a minute,” said Morgan as he stopped him. “You said you wanted off early not that you wanted the whole day.”
“But if I leave now I am getting off early. Your Momma is waiting for me outside we’re going to catch the ferry and go out to Catalina too. We’ve got a bungalow on a beach near Two Harbors we’re going to spend the night in. Sun and beach along with wind and ocean but you know all about Two Harbors and the beaches.”
“No I’m sorry I don’t we didn’t do much sightseeing,” said Morgan and as soon as he said it he wished he hadn’t.
“Exactly my thinking too. That sand just gets everywhere and...”
“I think this is a good place to stop. Mom’s waiting for you outside so just go and have a good time,” said Morgan. “Make sure you pack an extra bathing suit.”
“Don’t need one the place we’re staying is a nude beach. But thanks for reminding me I should go to Large Mart and stock up on sunscreen.”
“I could’ve done without that piece of information,” said Morgan. “How do you unheard something?”
“A nine mil round through one ear coming out the other does a good job,” said Casey as he grabbed Morgan and pulled him along. “I told you to stay in Castle with Alex. What part of stay don’t you understand?”
“I’m still learning heel and roll over.”
“Well if you don’t learn stay you might learn play dead but for real. Now come on let’s go. Chuck flew in a few hours ago so I expect him here soon.”
As Casey took Morgan down to Castle a man walked in with a ball cap pulled over his eyes carrying a backpack. He walked straight over to the Home Theater room but as the man was about to enter he was headed off by Fernando.
“Do you just want a television or can I interest you in the full package deal? If you step inside I can show you something that will make you scream,” said Fernando but he caught the look of his potential client. “I mean in a good way.”
“Lead the way,” said the gentleman as he followed Fernando in the Home Theater Room closing the door behind him. Once inside Fernando invited him to sit down as he got the remote then turned on the TV.
“Let me show you what this baby can do. Plus if you decide to buy I can send my buddy Skip over to do the home install,” said Fernando as he felt a bee sting then lights out.
“I’ll take the remote if you don’t mind,” said the man as he took the remote control from Fernando hand. He pushed a series of codes but the screen wouldn’t change then an audio track started to play.
“Laszlo you can forget about accessing SAC HQ from here. I took the Home Theater offline and it’s no longer connected to an outside line so trying to access anything from this terminal is as the Borg say futile. Just have a seat and you will be served next. Your patronage of our store is greatly appreciated.”
Casey was in the break room getting ready to take Morgan back down to Castle when Alex came up. He was about to tell her to turn around when she stopped him.
“Dad the silent alarm went off in the Home Theater Room. Someone tried to access the Strategic Air Command and right before the alarm went off the cameras went dead inside.”
“Let’s go,” said Casey as they ran across the store to Home Theatre. Casey looked through the bullet proof glass and saw a stranger looking back at him with Fernando down.
“Move away from the door and keep your hands in the air,” said Casey into the mic. “You two stay here.” Casey typed in the code on the keypad and the door unlocked. John went inside with weapon drawn pointing at the man.
“If you’re wondering about your friend he’s just out. Dr. Zorin asked me to come in here to talk with a Chuck.”
“You’re early he isn’t here,” said Casey as he kept the man covered. “One sneeze the wrong way and I blow your nose with a nine mil round. What’s in the backpack?”
“It’s a dirty bomb Colonel,” Casey heard a voice say from the backpack. “You’re going to let my man go or I’ll blow it up contaminating a three mile radius. Tell Chuck I’ll meet him at eight where all this began and to make sure he comes Agent Grimes will leave with my man.”
“I could just kill your man here and be done with it containing the blast and the radiation here in the Home Theater,” said John as he raised his weapon.
“That’s only as good as if there’s only one bomb. Secondly I’ve got other men in the store so you do that then I’ll be forced to take both Alex and Morgan. Do you feel lucky John? Or better do you want to take the risk?”
“No John,” said Morgan. “I’ll go with him you just get the word to Chuck and look out for Alex. Come on jerk we’re wasting time.”
“Colonel, I don’t have to tell you not to try to follow us. I’d hate for anything to happen to your future son-in-law.”
“Laszlo, if Chuck doesn’t put a bullet in your head I will.”
The man smirked as he pushed by Casey then walked out with Morgan. Casey and Alex watched him as he took Morgan to a black SUV parked in a handicapped parking spot. They got in then drove away.
Chuck drove up to the Buy More with Mary in a taxi shortly after the incident. Casey and Alex quickly brought them up to speed about what had happened. Chuck sat there listening with Mary and what he heard made him feel even more sure what he’d decided was the right decision.
“When Laszlo said he wanted me to meet him where all this began he was talking about the Santa Monica pier. That will be where he’ll detonate the bomb and where I’m going to meet him at.”
“I don’t want to say anything,” said Casey. “But you two when you meet it’s like a lit match meeting gasoline. Are you sure about this?”
“Am I sure, no, but am I going to do it yes. “I want you and Mom to take care of his men. He won’t be coming alone I want all his men put down so we can have some quality alone time.”
“How are we going to be sure we get them all?” said Casey. “There’s always a crowd down there and we could miss one.”
“Here,” said Chuck as he handed them small tablets. “Castle got the frequency Laszlo was transmitting on when his man was inside the Home Theater. When we get to the pier you’ll see red circles around all the places that frequency is being used. It’s a restricted frequency so no civilian will be using it.”
“Okay Chuck you told Dad and your Mom what they’re doing but you haven’t told me anything yet. Don’t tell me to stay in the van because that’s not going to happen. I can shoot as good as the next person so I could be your third sniper.”
“Yes you could but I’m giving you the task I care the most about. It’s also the most delicate and the person you’ll be dealing with could become irate...”
“You want me to pick up Sarah, Mom and Sam. Oh Chuck anyone can do that. I could call the people in the downtown office and have one of them pick them up.”
“And Sarah would walk right over the top of them. No you’re the only one she won’t be able to push around. Secondly I want you to take them back out to the cabin. If this thing goes south that will be a safe place for everyone.”
“Are you expecting this to go south?”
“’Hope for the Best. Expect the worst. Life is a play. We’re unrehearsed,’ said Mel Brooks. I’m just covering all my bases.”