Chuck vs The Evil Twin Chapter 12
Don’t own Chuck
Roan looked around the drab apartment box in by four walls. He couldn’t believe this had suddenly become his future, his new life. No he thought... he wanted scream. No there had to be a plan B and this... well this wouldn’t work for him. They saw there are some things worse than death this was certainly one of them.
“Plan B, there has to be a plan B in case Charles doesn’t believe you or us. Where do we go from there and don’t tell me back here.”
“The only thing I can do is continue to try to unmask this Beckman impostor. However, my chances of doing that before she does some permanent damage are slim.”
“And what am I supposed to be doing in the meantime? You can't expect me to sit around on my hands and wait?” said Roan as he looked around the bleak apartment.
“I’m afraid at that point you’ll have a choice turn yourself in and risk getting shot on sight or coming and living either in the Consulate in Toronto, or if we can get you out, living in Moscow.”
“Defecting? No never but if I had to pick a spot to live I’d choose Cuba. Havana I think. I could open something on the beach in Havana and call it Roan’s Place. Maybe a bar slash casino put a piano out front and every evening sit around it with a drink.”
“Well you’re dressed for the part,” said Stefan as he pointed out Roan’s his white dinner coat and black bow tie. “What are you going to tell your pianist, ‘play it Sam... you played it for her you can play it for me.”
“Her,” said Roan as if someone had turned on a light in his head. “We’re forgetting the most important thing. If the Diane in Langley is an impostor then where’s the real Diane. If those bastards hurt her they’re going to answer to me I can promise you that. No, I can’t go into exile. I need to find Diane but to do that I need to free my hands.”
“Now that’s the spirit. We need to talk to Chuck about this tomorrow. Roan he has to believe us because without him my friend we’re lost.”
"No it might not be easy but I will find her and when I do her captors had better find a place to hide. I will give them no quarter and they’ll be mine.”
“We'll let see what tomorrow brings for now let’ eat something the get some sleep. I think the guys said there was some cold borscht in the fridge and bread on the table.”
“Borscht,” said Roan as he shook his head. “To think last week I was eating blinis with caviar now this… well there's a little difference.”
“I guess as a last meal it wouldn't be that bad. I heard there was Sterlet and Beluga,” said Stefan as he checked the fridge.
“Last meal? I hadn't thought of it like that but the Sterlet was to die for,” said Roan as Stefan looked over at him.
“Look in the cupboard and find us another bowel. I know where they got this and it may not be to die for but it is good if you like borscht.”
“I took some of the Beluga back to Langley and ate it with Diane in her office. We didn't have blinis but a package of saltines. She liked it. I don’t want to think of that as our last meal together.”
“Come on drink vodka with me like a Russian,” said Stefan as he poured two glasses drank his then threw the glass against the wall breaking it then he handed Roan his glass. “It might not help but it will dull the pain. Then we can eat our supper.”
In Langley the impostor wasn’t sitting around. She had all her assets out looking for Roan, the unsuspecting agents from the agency as well as her employer’s people. So with all that manpower one person was bound to get lucky and that was how one of the company’s field agents discovered Roan and Stefan had boarded a ferry for Chicago from Milwaukee. The impostor immediately recalled the Station Chief from Toronto and set him on their trail.
“I don't want to hear excuses I want results Chief. If you can't do your job I’ll send someone to replace you who can. Do you understand your orders, shoot on sight and aim to kill.”
“I understand ma’am but this goes outside our mandate. General, you're ordering us to hit a U.S. Citizen in country. There will be repercussions from this,” said the Chief. He wanted to tell her he wanted the order in writing but he didn’t know if he dared. But if crap hits the fan would she remember this conversation or would it just be him heading for Supermax.
“I think I’m more than justified but it’s not your place to question me. You follow my orders and if you can't or won't I’ll find someone who will.” With that the impostor broke off communications so even if the Chief had gotten up the courage it was too late now.
“You heard the General let’s pack it up here and head out. Where going home sort of. When we get back have feelers put out in Little Russia that would be where they’d go to hide.”
[Meanwhile back at Langley]
“But General,” said the Major. “Don't you think you should call Colonel Casey and let him know you’re bringing the Chicago people back across the border?” The Major was cut off as the General snapped back.
“Why? The Colonel can’t stand a little competition? The more people that join in the hunt the more likely we’ll get lucky and the last thing we want is for them to skip across the border then disappear.”
“And the more likely our agents will get caught up in crossfire. Besides General you don't want to risk taking out that Russian under any circumstance. It would be better if we took him then gave him back as a good will gesture. We could cash in on it later.”
“Like I just told the Chicago Chief I’m in charge and I make the decisions. I don’t see your name on the door. Major, you're making me have second thoughts about your promotion.”
“General if you take him out you will break an unwritten agreement we have with the Russians. You kill one of ours we kill one of yours. Mayhem will result from your decision as we spiral trying to balance the death toll. If you're insistent in this you should at least pick up your direct line with Director Trotski and give him a head’s up. He might even be willing to recall his agent on his own.”
“I don't need you telling me what I ought or ought not to do. Major, you're dismissed and I don’t want to hear another word. You can leave now.”
The Major turned and was about to leave when he was almost run over by Dr. Fitzroy who came barreling past him into the General’s office. Connie even tried to stop him but he charged by her like a linemen at the snap.
“I need to talk to the General now it’s urgent,” said Stanley. General, I need to talk to you it’s an emergency we’ve been hacked.”
“What?” said the Major as he did an about face. “How’s that even possible? How’d they breach all our firewalls?”
“I don’t know but they did. As of right now it seems he’s scrambled our DNA data base which means we’re all locked out of the deep database until we can reenter everyone’s DNA in the master computer.”
“No one can get at the database, does that include me,” asked the General. “Not that I need at it right in this moment now... anyway this is unacceptable. I want this taken care of and corrected right away. You said ‘he’ like you know who did this.”
“A hacker that goes by the name Piranha,” said Stanley. “He was active on the net some years ago and did some pretty impressive things,” he said as the Major and the General looked at him. “No that I was that impressed but you know.”
“No I don’t but if I were you I’d continue with your explanation before you get yourself in trouble or more trouble than your in right now for letting this happen.”
“Right the Piranha well he seems to be back. I don’t know what brought him out of retirement but he’s got something against you General.”
“What do you mean? I don’t even know any Piranha,” said the impostor. Trying to think how this was going to wash with Mr. Y.
“Well you need to see this then,” said Harvey as he brought up the security mask for the computer network. “Watch this,” he said as tried to enter changes into the system. A video clip played traffic cam footage of the General in a black sedan driving out of Chicago heading for Midway International airport with a running banner below that read, ‘When is a general not a general? Ask Beckman’.
“Any idea what he’s talking about,” said the Major as he tried to figure out what the message meant. “If we did maybe it would help us track him down.”
“It’s just the work of some nutjob looking for his fifteen minutes of glory. It’s not worth our time to look into and that would just give him what he wants attention. I want it taken down now and deleted. No copies are to be save I want it erased completely.”
“But if we study the clip maybe we can figure out where it was taken and that would help us figure out who this Piranha guy is,” said Stanley as the Major nodded his head.
“You’ve got your orders I expect them to be followed out. What's everyone's problem lately with following orders? Do I need to clear house? Everyone dismissed that means out if you need a translation.”
The impostor waited for everyone to clear out then she went to her door and told Connie she didn't want to be distributed. She disappeared back inside closing the door after her. She dreaded making this phone call. Mr. Y had already told her to hurry up and now she was going to have to try to explain yet another delay.
“Wait maybe you don't,” she said to herself. “At least not yet you can still call Dee and have her ask the real Beckman about this Piranha. It might be a long shot but it was worth it.” She took out her phone and dialed.
The Love boat with the General onboard was sitting off the coast of Africa. The General had a rough idea where she was at but she wasn’t exactly sure. Tensions were high now between her and Dr. Dee after their last run in and she hadn’t come back to visit with her since. So when the door opened and the Doctor walked in the General expect one of two things. The Doctor was going to try to get more information out of her or execute her either way she was prepared.
“My dear General I’m sorry if I’ve neglected you these past few days but I’ve been rather busy so I set aside time for you today,” said the Doctor. The General knew at least she wasn’t about to be executed and it looked like they were about to begin a new game of cat and mouse.
“Exploiting the oppressed and spreading world tyranny is a very busy occupation. I don’t want to take you away from your evil plans for world domination so can we cut to the chase and you tell me what you want.”
“Simple and direct as always, very well Mattie, the woman who replaced you, called and asked me to find out what you knew about a hacker that goes by the name ‘the Piranha.’”
“The Piranha? I remember there was something about him some years back but I don’t know why I’m telling you this. Why? What’s happened? Oh I see he’s back and he’s targeted your operation. Well if he has then more power to him.”
“You said you knew of him a few years back. What kind of hacker was he and why do you think he’s been in hiatus all these years then suddenly picks now to come out.”
“I think you know why but now you want something for me so let’s play a game of deal or no deal. You offer me something and we go from there. If I like it then I’ll tell you what I know but if you don’t or hold back well needless to say any subsequent request for information will be met with a request that you go pound sand so what will it be Irene?” The Doctor paused and walked around the room thinking then went to the porthole.
“Do you see the land mass? We’re anchored off the coast of Sierra Leone,” said Doctor Dee but General Beckman interrupted her.
“I’d have to be blind not to but yes. Actually to be more specific we’re off the coast of Freetown an ironic name for the city if you considering my position on board this ship, don’t you think?”
“Okay let’s do this I was going to give you a sedative before taking you off the ship. We were going to put you back in the box you came on board in then transport you with us via caravan to our final destination.”
“’Final’, I don’t know if I like that but where do you plan on going? Maybe to Mali then on to Timbuktu,” asked the General. “I’m only guessing but that war torn area would be a no man’s land where people like you could operate undisturbed.”
“Very good Diane now that’s the reason you’re the Director or used to be. Okay the deal is we won’t use the sedative but you will be handcuffed during the trip.”
“Can I get a window seat in the nonsmoking section too? Oh and you might throw in a free headset and a bag of peanuts also. I hope the inflight movie is something I haven’t seen yet.”
“I’m being serious. This is a onetime offer and I’m about to take it off the table if you don’t stop. So what will it be General in a box or a nice ride into the desert?”
“Okay, what I know about the Piranha was he was a mercenary hacker looking for information... any information he could use for profit. The only thing I can tell you is that he’s put a bull’s eye on your operation. He’s made the first contact and is now waiting for you to offer him something. I suggest you offer him something to make him go away because if he’s locked on to your scheme then he won’t let it go. Like the fish he calls himself he can smell blood in the water and he’ll keep attacking until he gets what he wants.”
“Which is what exactly,” said Dr. Dee wondering if she had to keep her word considering the General wasn’t giving her much to work with just some vague threats.
“The Piranha swims in the digital stream and is looking for information and intel to feed on. I guess you could try cash but he never took any money we offered him. He just up and quit one day that was the last I heard of him but now you say he’s back. You could just wait and call his bluff to see if he really knows anything or you can try to offer him something. My guess is if you don’t try and contact him he’ll fire another volley soon.”
“Thanks we’ll be entering port soon so you’ll need to be ready to pull out. I’d say get your things together but you don’t have any,” said Dr. Dee as she turned around and left.
“Chuck what are you up to,” said the General looking out the porthole. She saw land coming nearer and nearer but all the time she was thinking about Chuck. It was funny that the Piranha stopped hacking around the time Chuck was being kicked out of Stanford. She even had an IP address traced back to the campus computer lab but the user log was missing along with all the video from the campus for that day.
“Chuck, does this mean you’re coming for me?” Diane asked herself. “Geez you’re never going to let me live this down are you?” The one thing that made her feel better was someone presumably Chuck knew she was she and the woman in Langley wasn’t.
Sarah tossed and turned most of the night she just couldn’t find the position and sleeping with Emma didn’t help. It just wasn’t the same being in bed without Chuck and his quirky little habits like watching her sleep. She woke up many mornings to find him lying in bed staring at her. When she asked him why he said he just wanted to make sure he wasn’t dreaming. At first it bothered her but after a while she began to like it and now it made her feel safe. She had someone watching out for her. Finally she just got up and went to the kitchen only to find Kat sitting in the dark with a cup of coffee.
“Why are you doing up,” said Sarah as she flicked on the light switch then got a pot of water going. “I take it you couldn’t sleep.”
“I laid on the couch and tried but when it became apparent that the effort was futile I got up. That’s my excuse now what’s yours?”
“I’m pregnant I don’t need an excuse. No I guess if I had to tell you the truth I’m a little worried about Chuck,” said Sarah. But she could tell Kat was worried about John. “Hey, I said a little. John and Chuck are together so I’m not that worried. I guess I’m a little jealous that I’m not with them but you’ll see everything with work out today. “I’m taking the kids to the Navy pier today why don’t you tag along. You can help me deal with the humongous belly ache Sam is going to have if she eats all the cotton candy she intends to eat.”
“You just can’t tell her ‘no’ can you? You know you’re her mother and it’s your responsibility to set boundaries. I look at Alex and wonder what I did right. But what am I telling you, I could never tell Alex ‘no’. She takes after John in that when she wants something she’ll do whatever it takes to get it,” said Kat as Sarah made herself a tea.
“From what I’ve seen,” said Sarah as she took a sip. “John isn’t the only one with that trait in Alex’s family.” Kat laughed.
“I guess me being here proves your theory. But Sarah why am I here? I’m a civilian as John has pointed out do I really belong here?”
“You belong where you feel at home. It took me a long time to figure that out. I used to watch over Chuck and see him with his family through the window. I wondered what it would be like to be on the other side of that glass... if I belonged there, if I was worthy. But now that I am I don’t know how to explain what I feel other than loved.
As they were talking they heard the sound of little feet getting up going into the guest bedroom. Then they heard Emma say something afterwards the little feet came running towards them.
“Here you are,” said Sam as she ran up to Sarah hugged her. “We're still going to the park, aren't we? Please, please say yes.”
“Yes we are Sweet Pea,” said Sarah as he kissed her. “Here put your hand here.” Sarah put her hand on her stomach so Sam could feel baby Walnut moving around. “Your sister wants to go too.”
“Sister, I’m going to have a sister,” said Sam as it set in that they finally knew for sure. She stomped her feet in joy then ran back to Clara screaming. “I’m going to have a sister.”
“Well if everyone wasn't awake before they are now. I should've waited for Chuck but it must come out,” said Sarah as Sam dragged a sleepy Clara into the kitchen. “Sweetie you shouldn't drag people out of bed.”
“No I didn't… Well maybe I did a little but Clara wants to feel Baby Walnut move. Can she please,” said Sam and she took Clara’s hand and put it on Sarah’s stomach.
"Love this isn't show and tell,” said Sarah as she took Clara’s hand from Sam and held it. “She's saying hi to you. Can you feel her?”
“And it’s a she?” said Clara as she nodded her head.
"What’s going on here,” said Ellie as she walked out in her housecoat. “Girls let’s give Sarah some air. Clara why don’t you help me make pancakes.”
Devon came out yawning already changed to go running. Sarah, do you mind if I make you mother a power shake? I don't have enough Kale for three.”
“No not today hun,” said Ellie as she kissed him. “Clara and I are making pancakes for everyone.”
“Maybe we can put kale with them. Our bowels will thank us.”
“No one else will,” said Ellie as Sarah excused herself then disappeared into the bathroom. Emma met her in the hall and followed her in.
“What's the matter,” asked Emma. “Don't tell and nothing you have the same face you used to have when Jack disappeared.”
“Everyone is so happy… I can't help but wonder where Chuck is and if he’s okay.”
“Come here,” said Emma as she hugged her”