Chuck vs The Evil Twin Chapter 16
Don’t own Chuck
The capital of North Korea Pyongyang translates in something like ‘flat land’. It extends over a five hundred square mile plain about thirty one miles east of the bay of Korea constructed next to the Taedong river. The flat surface makes cycling the perfect means of transportation. Kim handed a worker two months’ worth of salary for his beat-up bike. Riding through town he acquired off an unattended clothes line a Mao jacket and hat then made his way to complex on the outskirts of town.
“Here we go,” said Kim as he rode past once to get the lay of the land. The Home Office compound was actually a small only two buildings located on the bank of the river with a high wall that extended around them. On top of the two buildings he saw what looked like a sophisticated array of antennas and satellite dishes.
“There’s something off here,” he told himself. To be the Home Office the compound seemed awfully small and lacking in security. There were cameras on the wall surveilling the streets below but he didn’t see any patrols.
“Maybe everything is inside,” said Kim. The compound was located in North Korea so Mr. Y and the rest of his colleagues might not feel the need for external patrols when they had a police state to protect them. If he had his way about it he was going to teach them how wrong that assumption was.
For the rest of the day Kim made plans for his incursion. He gathered a bucket of Styrofoam then added gasoline. The gooey product he put in bottles then corked the tops with rags soaked in gas. While he was riding around the outside of the wall he saw a small electrical substation that was providing the compound with electricity. To be two office buildings they were using an enormous amount of electricity he thought.
“Smile for the camera,” he told himself as he lit and tossed the first napalm Molotov into the substation. He heard the bottle break and an alarm sound but didn’t hang around to see the reaction. There was a black cloud that rose from the power station and he could smell the stench of as the fire began to spread among to components. Quickly he went to the front gate as the lights flicker switching to emergency lighting. As he had anticipated the place had to drop back to emergency generators which had to be brought on line and a contingent of people ran out of the compound to deal with the substation.
“I’m sorry we have a small emergency going on,” said the guard challenging Kim as he rode his bike up to the gate.
“But I was told to bring this here,” said Kim as he pulled out the pack he had with him. But the man continued to wave him away.
“I told you that you have to go,” said the man as he grabbed Kim but as he did Kim shoved a knife in his throat. The second man in the shack was distracted by the alarms and didn’t understand what was going on until it was too late. Kim shot through the man he’d stabbed using him as a human silencer. Taking the guard’s Type 56 rifle he was in. He made his way quickly over to the main building where he placed Leung’s badge in the slot then his severed hand on the scanner. The door opened and he was inside.
“Hurry up,” he told himself people would be coming soon. Inside three men were standing near a scanner one looked up at Kim realized, he didn’t belong here, and reached for his weapon. Kim dropped him on the spot with a head shot.
“You two, one wrong move and you’re dead. In the elevator now,” ordered Kim as they all got in. “Okay I want Home Office, Mr. Y push the button now.” One man started to push but Kim shot him before he could touch the panel blood splattered everywhere.
“Now let’s push the right one,” said Kim. The man that was left reached for a different button and pushed it. “Turn around and face the doors. If you made the right choice you shouldn’t be afraid to be the first man off.” The bell rang and the doors opened. “I believe this is your floor,” said Kim as he stepped over the other man’s body put his gun in the man’s back.
“Wait, wait don’t shoot but there’s something you should know first,” said the man as he held his hands out and started to turn around.
“Eyes front, you don’t need to look at me to talk. I’m listening and you’d better have a good story because you’ve seen what the consequences will be if I don’t like what you have to say.”
“It’s not a question of like or dislike just what is,” said the man as he stepped out. “Come and look for yourself.”
Kim stepped off and the first thing that hit him was the room as cold as an ice box and secondly was the almost deafening hum of the thousands of computers running at the same time.
“What the heck is this? Is this some sort of trick? I ought to kill you right here and I will if you don’t start explaining. Where’s the Home Office and everyone I talked to when I called in?”
"You’re standing in the middle of it. This is a relay and the people that operate and run the Home Office work from home or other offices around the world. They come together virtually while they are thousands of miles apart. This system was put in place by Mr. Y and people like me we’re just here as caretakers.”
“So you’ve got no clue who you’re really working for do you?” The man nodded his head. Suddenly Kim realized why they needed the antennas on the roof. I want to see the master terminal.”
“What are you going to do with it?” asked the man frightened of Kim but also frightened of what the people he worked for would do to him if they knew he helped Kim.
“Do you really care or do you care more that I don't put a bullet in your head?” The man took Kim immediately to the master terminal.
“I want Mr. Y’s coordinates, show me now,” said Kim as he put his pistol barrel to the man’ head. “I said now.”
“I can't… Listen it won’t work… The machine... I need my Security Chief’s badge and hand scan or the machine won’t work.”
“Why didn't you say so before,” said Kim as he threw the man a plastic bag with Leung’s badge and hand. “I think that’s what you need. After we’re done, I want you to shut down the air conditioning.”
“But the system generates tremendous amounts of heat. If I shut the A/C off the whole place will melt down.”
“That's the idea.”
Chuck spent most of the evening writing a program to take into Langley. When this was done he’d have a job getting rid of all the viruses he was introducing. But each one was important and necessary for him to pull this off. However, it wasn’t easy to work with Ellie calling him every half hour. He chose to let it ring because he didn't want to have to lie. He just about had everything ready when his phone rang for the thousandth time.
“El, I really don't want to talk to you about Sarah,” said Chuck. But he heard the silence on the other end and knew who it was by her breathing. “Sarah is that you?”
“I’m sorry I know I shouldn't but well I’m using your father’s encrypted phone so we should be okay. I just couldn't leave the things the way we did fake or not.”
"I’m glad you called. Let me put you on speaker I’m almost done writing my ‘Where’s Waldo’ virus. I hate fake arguing with you... I mean not that I like to argue for real with you which I don’t it’s just...”
“I understand Sweetie and I feel the same. I think the only person who bought the con was Ellie and Devon. Oh and Morgan, Ellie called him. I don't know I must be slipping.”
“I don't know about that I just know I didn't like it,” said Chuck. “Sarah, I need you to tell me this is all worth it and this will work out in the end.”
“The smartest person I know is working on it. What's this about Bryce being the Piranha? Was it necessary to drag up his ghost?”
“It threw the fake Beckman off and I was able to infect her computer. Now what she sees we see. When she was alone she tried to access Bryce’s service jacket which I knew was archived in the deep database out of her reach. After she found she couldn't get at it she called West Africa…”
“West Africa? You think the real Beckman is being held there. That's a big place she could be anywhere.”
“True but I was looking for confirmation Beckman was alive. Roan and Stefan will be leaving Chicago for Freetown,” said Chuck as he looked at his watch. “Well they’ve already left.”
“Is it safe for Roan to be showing his face around so soon after Chicago,” said Sarah as she yawned. “I’m sorry but with everything going on and Walnut acting up I’m a little tired.”
"I'm sorry for I'm putting you through this. You asked about Roan. Well he once asked me is she worth dying for and I said yes. I think he's found the woman he’s willing to die for.”
“I know I’ve found that man,” said Sarah. “What can we do from here and don't say there's nothing. Casey has an itchy finger and you know how he gets.”
“I’m sorry for right now there's nothing. I hate to drop this on you like this but I’m going to have to leave the country for a bit.”
“You're going to join Roan on his hunt aren't you,” said Sarah. There was silence on the other end. “Sweetie, promise me one thing... you'll be careful.”
“If everything goes the way it’s supposed to I’ll be flying out tomorrow or the latest the day after tomorrow. I need to go now I have to run back to Langley. I love you.”
“And I love you. Just hurry home soon I miss you already. I agreed to wait here for Walnut but if you don’t come back I’m coming looking.”
"Nothing is going to keep me away from you. I’ve really got to run. I love you.”
The fake Beckman sent Connie and the Major home but she stayed behind telling them she wanted to catch up on some paper work. After she was sure they were gone she started trying to call the Home office but nothing. She tried a couple more times to reach the mysterious Mr. Y but each time her call failed so she tried to phone up all the people she knew in the Home Office getting the same message. Your call cannot be completed as dialed please check your number and tray again.
“Geez what's going on back there,” she said looking at her phone. Her only option at the that point was to wait.
[That was sometime before now.]
Looking at her watch it was finally almost four so she made her way to the elevator and rode it down to the situation room.
“General on deck,” yelled the Watch Officer as people in the room stood up. The General looked around then went over to the monitor to check the feeds basically ignoring everyone standing around her.
“As you were,” said the Watch Officer. He wondered why the General hadn’t said it herself instead of leaving everyone hanging.
“Watch Officer, that’s North Korea up there isn’t it?” The man nodded his head. “Good I want you to zoom in on the capital,” she said as the man nodded to the tech seated behind them.
“Do you have any particular area you want to look at?” said the Watch Officer. “We can zoom in and do facial recognition if you’re looking for someone in particular.”
“No follow the Taedong river go up through the city,” said the General. “There we go keep on going. Wait what’s that? Is that a column of smoke coming from the industrial park?”
“Good eye General,” said the man. “Zoom in on the General’s fire.” The Watch Officer had the tech zoomed in on what looked like a huge fire. The fire seemed out of control engulfing both buildings and still spreading.
“There General those are first responders arriving on scene. I hope they brought what they need because this fire is bad one. It’s spreading through their new business center. If those firetrucks don’t get there soon there won’t be anything to save. Do we know what’s in that building?” yelled the Watch Officer back to his tech.
“Some sort of technologies company or at least it used to be,” said the tech. The Watch Officer turned around to find the General gone.
“When did the General leave?” said the Watch Officer as Chuck walked in carrying his messenger bag. “Oh it’s you I was told you might be coming in. You’ve got the work station over there,” said the man as he pointed to a desk in the far corner.
“Boy winter has set in here early. Hey wasn’t that the General who just left? What were you looking for at? ” asked Chuck looking at the zoomed in aerial view of Pyongyang.
“If you’re looking for her you just missed her,” said the Watch Officer. He was determined to be polite but that was it.
“Was she the one who ordered you to zoom in on the capital of North Korea?” asked Chuck. He suddenly wondered if they were looking in the right spot for Beckman.
“Yes,” said the tech. “She picked up that fire before any of us. The woman’s go excellent eyesight I guess that’s what it takes...” The tech was cut off by the Watch Officer’s grunt.
“We would’ve eventually seen it. If nothing else this is the time our bird flies over North Korea and we compile data to send up the chain like you’re supposed to be doing now or do you want to hang around after we’re relieved to finish your reports?”
“I’m sorry,” said Chuck as he went over to the terminal in the corner to work. He started working in his virus but at the same time he kept looking up at the monitor wondering what the fake Beckman was looking at.
It was good that the Watch Officer gave him the cold shoulder because like that he didn’t come by to check and see what he was really up to. He opened the search perimeters and modified them a little inserting Bryce’s photo around the world at different times and locations a sort of breadcrumb trail he laid down. At the same time he set up another search perimeter for the General excluding her evil twin and having the results sent straight to himself and Roan. Once he closed the hood he just had to wait for the first photo to pop after that it would be one after another.
“Hey we got a hit on Bryce Larkin. This is an old one but a year ago he was in Mexico City,” said the tech. The Watch Officer came over and verified.
“Yeah we got a ninety-nine off of facial recognition,” said the Watch Officer as Chuck walked over pretending to be surprised.
“Hey there it goes again. Isn’t that in the Azores,” said Chuck as the tech nodded his head as he looked over at his Watch Officer. “Guys this is only three months old. I don’t want to tell you your job but it might be time to notify the General. There’s another hit Casablanca and it’s only a few days old. If you don’t call the General I will. Oh never mind I’ll go up and get her.”
The General raced back up to her office taking the elevator to her floor wishing it would go faster. What was going on? She had a small group of men with her but if they found there was no one in charge then the whole plan would crumble. No she had to sell this as an accident, a temporary setback to her men. Each location now was independent until the communications array could be brought back on line. She poured herself a drink then sat in Beckman’s chair and made a call putting it on speaker.
“Dee this is Mattie we have a problem. I was able to take that look like we talked about and the compound was up in flames.”
“What are you talking about? Home office is gone? How can that be? It was located in North Korea who could’ve gotten at it?”
“I don’t know I was thinking that maybe my hacker who wanted to show he could get to us. If I get my hands on him he’ll wish he’d never been born.”
“Any idea what we should do now? I just entered our base here and I’ve got guys unpacking as we speak. I dismissed the Tuareg scouts a little while ago. Now that we’re here, I need that silver and those components.”
“Well good news about that I talked with the Secretary of State and he’s going to intercede with the Australian government for the company I nominated. I told him it was one of our shell companies.”
“Well technically it is… just not a U.S. shell company. You don’t think he won’t figure that out eventually?”
“If he does we’ll be long gone by then so there’s nothing to worry about. I think this is the way we need to operate for now. We just keep everything thing going like normal. Who really cares as long as the money still comes in and salaries are paid.”
“True we just run on autopilot until Y contacts us with new instructions. But what do we do if Y was taken out there should’ve been some back up plan that would kick in.”
“I think there is, it’s us we keep the ball rolling until we’re contacted to do otherwise. You know once this is over Y will have to recognize the good work we did in the face of adversity,” said the General but before Dee could answer anything there was a knock at Beckman’s door then Chuck came it.
“I thought you were with someone,” said Chuck. “I could’ve sworn I heard voices. You haven’t taken up talking to yourself again have you?”
“Funny, normal people wait to be told to enter after knocking. But if you have to know I was on the phone with an operative. Is there a reason for your barging into my office at this hour or would you like another suspension?”
“Now you’re trying to be funny,” said Chuck but then he caught her look. “Or maybe not anyway we caught him. Well not caught, caught but we know where he is.”
“Chuck, slow down you’re not making any sense,” said the General as she palmed her phone and slipped it in her desk drawer. “We caught who? We know where who’s at?”
“Bryce Larkin of course, we’ve got a hundred percent recognition on him in Casablanca a few hours ago. I’m grabbing a plane and heading there now to apprehend him that is with your permission of course.”
“Hold up I want to come with you. You can arrange for a Lear then we’ll ride to the airport together. I’ll have a team standing by and we can all fly together. It is imperative we don’t let him slip through our fingers.”
“Yes General, I’ll meet you in the parking garage in ten,” said Chuck as he left for the situation room to lay on logistics. The General waited until she was sure Chuck was gone before she pulled out her phone.
“Did you hear that? It looks like things are looking up. I’m grabbing my team and taking them with me to handle Larkin and Chuck.”
“Larkin knows who you’re not and could use that against you. Chuck and Larkin can never speak to each other or you’re finished.”
“I know that and wouldn’t it be too bad if Larkin took Chuck out before he got taken but naturally after he gives me the codes to stop his virus.”
“Naturally, but we’ve gone over the two minutes allotted. However, I feel much better about the whole situation. Be careful and let me know how things go.
“Roger that I should have word on that silver soon once they start manufacturing it will be only a matter of time.”
Roan and Stefan were on the first part of their flight from Chicago to Casablanca. They had inside seats in the coach section of the plane. Sitting next to Roan was a man with a bladder problem because every fifteen minutes he was asking to get by to go use the lavatory.
“Can I see your pen,” asked Roan. Stefan handed it to him and Roan waited for the man to get up again. While he was gone Roan injected a strong tranquilizer into the man’s drink using Stefan’s KGB-model tranq pen.
“Sorry about that,” said the man as he squeezed past Roan then sat back down in his seat. He took two sips from his drink and it was lights out.”
“I hate flying coach. It’s so… so… well it’s just so. I don’t know why we couldn’t upgrade and move up to first. This flight is going to last forever.”
“No as long as a bullet to the head if you were recognized in first. We stick to the plan and keep a low profile,” said Stefan. As they were talking Stefan’s phone vibrated in his jacket pocket. He looked around and the flight attendants were all busy so he pulled out an earbud then answered.
“Anatoly, I take it there’s news,” said Stefan as he pretended to talk to Roan so the attendants wouldn’t get angry.
“Yeah your friend used her phone again. This time she stayed on the line longer and we were ready for her. I’m sending you the GPS coordinates where she called. I think this is the spot.”
“Good we’ll be looking forward to it. Oh no I’ve got incoming. I need to go I’ll talk to you later,” said Stefan as he quickly hung up. But the attendant walked past him to help a passenger with the overhead bin.”
“So what’s the story,” asked Roan as he leaned over.
“We’re in luck the Evil Beckman made a longer call and we got them… the coordinates. You can breathe easier now.”
“Only when we have her,” said Roan. “Until then we need another Martini.”
“You know in couch you pay for your drinks.”