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Chuck was clearly agitated. Sarah was doing a little better but not much. Only Casey didn't seem too upset by the turn of events.
"What do you mean 'cancelled'?" Chuck cried, running down the stairs into the hidden operations room under Orange Orange.
"You heard me, Bartowski, this mission has been cancelled," Casey said in a matter-of-fact tone.
Chuck heard what he thought might be a sob from Sarah's direction, but he couldn't be sure since she had her back to him as she pulled binders of classified material down from a shelf and packed them into a mover's carton.
"But how can the mission be cancelled?" Chuck stammered a bit on the last word. Since he was having trouble believing it he apparently was also having trouble saying it.
"The agencies decided it would be for the best, Chuck. They want to try new methods, something a little more up to date, like maybe a rapper with bionic vocal cords that make him a great singer but also allow him to control people with his voice. The CIA is big on the idea," explained Sarah, having collected herself.
"I heard the NSA is interested in a woman who can perform complicated mathematical calculations based on a person's clothing choices that let her life partner analyze the type of crime the person is likely to commit. Apparently they're 99.999 percent accurate in their predictions. Oh, and very well-dressed," added Casey helpfully.
"But that's ridiculous!" Chuck shouted, scandalized. "Who ever came up with those kinds of assets? They don't even sound possible let alone workable."
"Yeah, I agree, but the Intersect is too old-fashioned, apparently. Not enough flash, if you'll pardon the pun. Gotta keep up with the times, you know," observed Casey, who shrugged his shoulders in resignation. "That's the way it goes."
"Old-fashioned? Out of date? But I've only been the Intersect for just over a year," protested Chuck. "How do they know that I'm not still the best option? They haven't given us a fair chance!"
"I'm sorry, Chuck, but this kind of thing happens all the time with no warning. One minute you're the world's most valuable covert asset, the next, well, you're just some guy who used to be," Sarah said with a note of regret in her voice and a forlorn look on her face.
"Casey, Casey, what about you? Didn't you tell them how great we all work together, how I flash on stuff and people and – and – and stuff, and you guys run in and save the day? How we laugh and have serious moments too? How things blow up real good and we all wear funny disguises and sometimes just our underwear? How great it is when I can use my freakishly extensive knowledge of Star Wars to help solve obscure metaphysical problems?" Chuck obviously wasn't going to give up without a fight.
"Relax, Intersect. Or should I say ex-Intersect?" Casey paused to grunt in amusement at his own joke. "When you've had as many missions cancelled before their time as I have, it won't be such a big shock."
"Well, it's my first cancellation of a big mission," said Sarah ruefully. "I don't think I can take it as well as you can, Casey."
"Get used to it, Walker," said the big agent as he hoisted a flat screen monitor from its hook on the wall, "it happens all the time in this business."