Chuck vs The Evil Twin Chapter 22
Don’t own Chuck
[Earlier at Rick’s Place (the name they gave to the CIA substation in Rabat)]
The Station Chief in Morocco wasn’t the type to sit around on his hands and wait for things to come to him. So when he got word that a government plane landed incognito at the airport he had to go out and check it out personally. It didn’t take him long to figure out there was something amiss with the plane. He discovered all the passenger luggage was still on board so he made a few phone calls back to Langley. He had to know who was manifested on board. Finally he was patched into Director’s office and after much running around the Major finally admitted that the General and a team was in his AOR operating a mission on the down low.
“Listen, I can understand the need for secrecy but I’ve got a group of Russian Spetznaz who have disappeared into the woodwork. Now I find out the General’s plane is here in a hangar with everyone’s luggage still in the hold. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out something doesn’t add up. You don’t think they grabbed her?”
“They wouldn’t do anything like that,” said the Major. “I mean that would be pretty bold. I don’t think they’d do that at least not before. But now I’m not so sure there was that incident.”
“What incident? What are you talking about?” said the Chief but the Major was reluctant to talk about it. “Listen Major and listen closely I need to know if I need to start a manhunt or woman hunt as it may be but I need to start things now while the trail is fresh.”
“Well Roan Montgomery was seen in the company of a SVR agent when the General put out the kill order on him and... well if the agent had tried to stop our people they had orders to eliminate him too. But that was never done at least as far as I know.”
“As far as you know crap don’t you see this could be them getting even. I need you to put a bird overhead and start thermal imaging. I’m going to do a cross check with the electrical company to see what buildings have suddenly seen a power spike in usage. Is there anything else I should know before I let you go?”
“She’s in the company of Agent Carmichael and a squad of agents she personally picked. I’m sorry but I don’t know who they are. But Agent Carmichael is special he’s as valuable as the General if not more. But this doesn’t make sense I’ve been talking with him and he’s been telling me everything is okay.”
“He could’ve been saying that under duress as far as you know. Wait one of my men is bringing me information from the electric company. I think I’ve got it. Here’s the address,” said the Chief as he read it off to the Major. “Put a bird over the top of them and relay imaging to me. I’m putting a team together as we speak and am about to go to make a house call.”
[That was earlier now they poised outside the FSB compound with charges planted ready to breach the building front and back.]
“Chief, we’re ready to go in just say the word,” said the Chief’s assistant.
“Okay get ready on the count of three, one, two... hold up someone is coming out,” said the Chief as the front door opened and a man walked out.
“Chief Livingstone I presume. My name is Agent Charles Carmichael but my friends call me Chuck. We need to talk. Tell you men to stand down then come with me inside and I’ll explain everything.”
“Hold on, your face you’ve been interrogated by the Russians, are you crazy? Is the Director being interrogated too? Wait one before we go in why can’t you tell me here? How do I know you haven’t been compromised?”
“Because you won’t believe me here and I have to limit the number of people who know what I know for everyone’s good. I’m sure you called Langley and talked with the Major what did he tell you about me?”
“He told me you were special as valuable as the General if not more. I took that to mean as an Agent. Is there more?”
“That’s above your paygrade now come with me and I’ll explain everything. He looked at him and flashed. Math was never your strong subject was it. You had to have help to get through college and that day you were suspended in high school... it wasn’t cigarettes they caught you smoking in the bathroom was it?”
“How do you know all this? My high school records are all sealed and my roommate tutored me in college when I started flunking Calculus. Are you psychic or something?”
“Let’s leave it at the ‘or something’ part. Now will you follow me inside,” said Chuck. He went to the door and held it open for him.
“You’re in charge while I’m inside,” said the Chief as he turned to his assistant. “Keep the men ready in case you’ve got to come it.”
“You can’t be serious you’re going in because he performed a party trick. You need to have your head examined. It’s not safe.”
“We didn’t sign up to do safe besides they obviously know we’re here so before I start a blood bath I want to know it’s necessary. Lead the way you can talk as we walk so take me to the General.”
“First things first,” said Chuck as he led Chief Livingstone inside. “This is Agent Anatoly Mikhailovich of the FSB. He’s running this phase of our operation.” Anatoly held out his hand and they shook.
“Operation,” said the Chief as he looked over at Chuck. “What operation? Are we running a secret joint op with the Russians? Is that it?”
“Actually they discovered what was going on before us and if they hadn’t intervened... well things could’ve been different.”
“My God, that’s the General in there and why is she tied to that chair? I think someone needs to be talking fast.”
“Watch this,” said Chuck as he played back the offer Mattie make to Anatoly. Chuck then forwarded to where she told Anatoly her name was Mattie.
“I’m sorry this is just too farfetched. You’re telling me that’s not Beckman and our Beckman is where? Being held captive somewhere?”
“Hopefully she’s been rescued by now by Agents Montgomery and Metrohken,” said Chuck looking at his watch. “That should’ve happened last night but why haven’t they called in. I’m sorry...”
“Wait Montgomery? He’s not dead but he’s a traitor and who’s Agent Metrohken? I’m getting a headache trying to sort this out.”
“Agent Metrohken, Stefan is with the SVR and there’s video that vindicates Roan. Everything that was found that said he was a traitor was planted by that woman in there.”
“Wait a minute you’re telling me our agency was... no is being run by an impostor. Chuck, there are protocols that need to be followed.”
“And you and I both know where they lead. This is why I told you that we need to limit this circle. My goal is to get the original Beckman and take her back with me with no one being the wiser.”
“If I believe what you say and I’ve got a headache you wouldn’t believe going on right now trying to but for the sake of argument I do. How do I know you are you and he is he and that what you just showed wasn’t all prefabricated to get an impostor in office?”
“You’re spiraling,” said Chuck. “I understand but...” he started to say but was cut off by the sound of his phone ringing. He looked at the caller display it said Roan.
“Good hopefully this will take care of your doubts,” said Chuck as he answered it putting the call on speaker so everyone could hear. “Roan, tell me everything went according to plan.”
“If the plan was to walk right into a trap then he succeeded,” said Dr. Dee. “Agent Carmichael, Chuck, we finally get to talk. I want what’s mine back and in exchange I’m willing to give you one of yours. The only catch is you have to choose which one you want. The others become... well redundant.”
“I want proof of life on all three first or I hang up right now,” said Chuck. Both Livingstone and Anatoly agreed with Chuck’s hardline.
“I thought you might,” said the Doctor. “Speak up or your friend won’t beg for you. Roan, don’t you have anything to say. You’re always the talkative one.”
“I’m sorry Charles do your duty and save Diane,” he said before they heard him being gagged then dragged away.
“Chuck, remember Thanatos,” said the General. That was enough to convince the Chief. The Chief nodded his head.
“Stefan,” said Chuck as he started speaking Russian. “It’s okay I understand you’d rather they break every bone in your body before you comply. I hear you breathing that’s enough for me.”
“'K Chertu, to the devil,” said Stefan as he spit at the Doctor. There was the sound of a loud whack as she slapped him back.
“I want all three alive and in good health Dr. Irene Denova. Yes I know who you are too and so does Director Trotski and now the CIA so if you don’t want one of the most massive joint ops to root you out I suggest you listen and listen closely. In a day and a half from now that’s thirty-six hours if you’re have difficulty doing the math I will meet you in Mali at a neutral site.”
“I know a Tuareg campsite that would offer us a neutral site and guarantee us the protection for the swap.”
“I’ll bring my prisoner with all the proof which includes her confession. You bring me mine we exchange prisoners and you go on your merry evil way.”
“You come alone with the prisoner. If I see anyone else then you and them are dead. There’s an oasis in the Timbuktu region of Mali. I’ll send you the coordinates and like I said come alone or else.” With that last threat she hung up.
“Agent Carmichael, the General’s orders were clear,” said the Chief as he drew his service pistol. “Either you or I have to carry them out.”
“Hold on a moment I need for you to grant me a little time. We need to keep her alive until after my meeting with the good Doctor.”
“You can’t be seriously thinking about meeting that woman,” said the Chief. At least tell me you’re going to let me send some of my men with you.”
Chuck, he’s right you should take some men with you. You’ll need back up. She’ll be bringing men with her and don’t expect her to honor any deal.”
"I don't and I’m not going to take Mattie with me. Chief, I want you to take her under custody and watch her. Listen Anatoly discovered her people had a mole in his group here. Don’t be surprised if you don’t have one too so I can’t trust anyone you send. That’s why your people are stuck with guard duty. Anatoly I’ll need your people on standby.”
“So you’re going to take the Russians with you,” said the Chief. It was his tone that let everyone understand the way he felt.
“No, when I said alone I meant alone. There are somethings I’m going to need and I’ll have them shipped into me. But Chief I assume you had a bird brought up over the city to find us,” said Chuck as he took out his tablet.
“Yes I had Langley move one and it’s sitting overhead. Why? You’re not going to access it are you with them here.”
“We don’t have a choice and Anatoly along with Stefan have risked a lot to help us so try to be a little flexible. Anatoly do you have the GPS location where Roan and Stefan thought the General was being held?
“Yes, here,” he said as he reached over and picked up a clipboard. “What are you looking for that we missed? We couldn’t put a sat over them for fear of tipping our hand.”
“That’s what they counted on,” said Chuck. “Look at the compound see those satellite dishes those tell me this is a relay. Communications come in then are disbursed so when you traced the calls they traced back here. It’s like a switchboard.”
“What kind of organization has the resources to put something like this together? Okay we know how what we need now is where… where is the place the original calls were placed from? Do you have any idea?”
“No but it should be close by. Now we need to start searching in a circular pattern using that site as our center working outwards.”
“But what are we looking for,” said Anatoly as he looked over Chuck’s shoulder. “It seems to me there’s just a lot of sand.”
“That’s why I wrote a program for the computer to find it for us. We can go now and give the Chief his prisoner but let’s let her make one more call. Chief, there are some safeguards you need to follow.”
In the interrogation room Mattie was wondering what happened to everyone. She’d made the call and got the hit stayed then she had her hands bound again. Maybe Bryce was double checking to make sure she’d kept her word but she realized she could use the same strategy she was going to use on Chuck with Bryce. When the ceiling lights came on she knew something was about to happen. She had her little surprise she’d drop on him at the right time.
“Well, have you thought over my proposal,” said Mattie as Anatoly walked in. “Okay, make the call and let me talk to this Mr. Y.”
“If you’re sure,” she said as she tried the number. There was a clicking sound then a voice recording, ‘Your call cannot be completed as dialed please check your number and tray again.’ I’m sorry but you need to be a little patient.
“Well that’s something we can’t be right now,” said Chuck as he walked in with the Chief. “Things have changed and we need to take action. Chief, she’s all yours. Oh Anatoly’s also holding her men. He’ll give you them too. You might want one of your men to get a van in here for prisoner transport.”
“You... you this was all a trick. You tricked me but if he’s Anatoly where’s Bryce Larkin? What’s going on?”
“Bryce is dead Mattie and you’re under arrest. Chief Livingstone is taking you in custody for disposition along with your men.”
“I’m going to get even if it’s the last thing I do,” said Mattie as she growled. “I won’t be making any more phone calls back to Burbank and whatever happens to your family is on you Chuck.”
“I’ve got forty-eight hours to deal with that thanks to your last phone call,” said Chuck as Anatoly cut her lose and the Chief put cuffs on her.
“Do you? I wouldn’t be so sure if I were you. I guess I’ll have plenty of time in a dark hole somewhere to plot my revenge Chuck.”
“You along with all the other scum I’ve sent there. Take her away,” said Chuck. “Just remember what I said about extra security.” Chuck’s phone rang and he answered it.
“Hey Hannah I know it’s early in Paris. At the moment I’m in Casablanca and I need some things. ... No, Sarah isn’t with me she’s back in Burbank. ... We’ve still got sometime but we know it’s a girl. ... I knew you’d be happy. ... No, that wasn’t the only reason I called I need a few things but I need for you to have then shipped super express. ... You’ve got pen and paper ready? ... Okay to start off with I need the best gunpowder green tea you can find then I need cigars, a box of the finest Costa Gravas double coronas then salt. ... Yes I said salt, a block of rock salt. Okay let me hand you over to the guy who’ll give you the delivery address. Hannah as always I don’t know what I’d do without you. You should give yourself a raise,” said Chuck as he handed the phone to Anatoly. He gave him a puzzled look. “Just give her the address here.”
[In the Dungeon under the ex-French Foreign Legion Fort]
Roan, Stefan and the General were sitting around the cell after their talk with Chuck. Beckman couldn’t help but be grateful to Roan for trying to rescue her. She was especially intrigued by Chuck’s plan to have him go dark so he and Stefan could come to her aid.
“I’ll never tell him this but he’s come a long ways since the first days at the Buy More when I thought he was a moron,” said Beckman. “He almost pulled it off. And you Roan, you came. I mean both of you came Agent Metrohken.”
“Don’t worry about it I understand,” said Stefan as he smiled at Roan. “Do you have any idea where we are?”
“We’re about twenty miles or so outside of Timbuktu. The floor is poured cement and the walls are too thick to break through even if we had anything to use.”
“Maybe we could overpower the guards when they come in,” said Roan. “One of us could stand next to the door so when they come in we could surprise them. We could even make it look like the person was in bed then they’d come in and we’d have them.”
“That’s not a bad idea,” said Stefan but as they were talking they heard footsteps outside coming closer followed by the key being turned in the lock then finally the door creaking as it opened. In came Dr. Dee with two of her armed guards.
“Evening, I thought I’d drop by and make sure everyone was all cozy. I just had to drop by after your little conversation with Chuck to find out what Thanatos is? I thought at first in might be a Greek Island that you were reminding Chuck about but when I checked the internet the only thing I came up with was about the Greek god of non-violent death. It said his touch was gentle, likened his twin brother Hypnos the God of Sleep. Much different from violent death that was the domain of his blood-craving sisters, the Keres, spirits of slaughter and disease. So are you going to tell me or do I give Roan here over to the Keres,” said Dee as she had her guards point weapons at him.
“I can tell you. At this point it doesn’t really matter. The Thanatos Protocol calls for the elimination of the director in case of compromise. Chuck almost carried it out once before if you’re wondering if he’ll go through with it.”
“You said almost which is the operative word here and for everyone’s sake what he ought to run with now. Well, I’ve got to run I need to talk with a Tuareg Chieftain about setting up an ambush for Chuck.”
“You have no intention of holding up your end of any negotiations, do you,” said Diane. “Someday things will change and you won’t be smiling then.”
“Is this what’s become of our friendship Diane? Are you making idle threats? Don’t worry all this will be over soon enough, permanently,” said Dr. Dee as she laughed leaving her laughter echoed in the passageway outside.
“I swear I’m going to love when I get her to Gitmo. I’m going to invent a whole new set of protocols to use on her.”
“So we’re agreed we try to break out no matter what and if one of us goes down the rest continue on. If at least one of us makes it out he or she can bring help back for the others.”
[In the Large Mart shopping garage]
The Ice cream truck pulled in and parked on the top floor were they had a bird’s-eye view of their target’s vehicle. One of them moved up front with binoculars while the others sat in the back out of sight to talk over the latest.
“Are you sure those were the General’s words to when you challenged her,” said their boss. “You asked her what her favorite TV program was and she said 24 or 24: Live another day.”
“I know what I heard,” said Tom. “This has nothing with that little rug rat. She said 24: Live another day. I’m sure of it why what’s such a big deal if she said 24 or 24: Live another day? What’s important is she checked in so everything is cool.”
“No it’s not in fact it’s anything but cool. If she had said twenty-four that would’ve meant she would be checking back in in twenty-four hours but by saying 24: Live another day the time table is moved to twelve hours. If she doesn’t call back in twelve hours then we go through with what we started to do this morning.”
“Twelve hours will put it at this evening so instead of hanging around here trying to get caught why don’t we head back to Echo Park to wait? We’d blend in better over there and sooner or later they have to go home.”
“For once one of you guys is using his head for something other than hanging a hat. Let’s do it come on let’s roll,” said the Boss. But as they were moving around there was a knock on the side of the van.
“Shush everyone quiet ignore it and they’ll go away,” said the Boss but then someone on the other side knock again even louder and more insistent.
“Boss, I’ve got two kids standing outside the side door banging for us to open,” said the driver as he looked in the side mirror.
“Tom, see what they want since you’re so good with kids. Then send them on their way,” said the Boss as the rest of them laughed.
“Geez thanks,” said Tom as he opened the side door. “What do you kids want?” snapped Tom.
“We want to buy ice cream Mister,” said the boy as he held out their money. “I want Chocolate and she wants vanilla.”
“Sure kid coming right up just let me check,” said Tom as he took their money then closed the door. “Drive,” he said as they sped away with the kids’ money.
“You know there’s just something not right with you,” said one of the men to Tom as he counted the kids’ change.