Chuck versus Parenthood
"Yes ma'am. Just plug that blue corn into the first socket on your left and all the lights should come on. They did? Great. Now plug in the black skinny one into the middle hole. Great, great. And the green cord into the last socket on the right, and you're good. No ma'am, thank you for calling the Nerd Herd hotline. Call back anytime for assistance. Yes, ma'am. Now have a nice day. Okay. Goodbye."
Chuck smiled at the woman in front of him, holding a laptop. "How may I help you?"
"The internet doesn't work."
"Do you have it linked by a cord, or is it wireless?"
"And how does your modem work?"
"Yes ma'am, the modem."
"I don't…think I have one of those."
"Then there's your problem!" Chuck told her cheerfully, "I'll get a sales rep to help you get all the supplies you need. Morgan!"
The little bearded man came over, sipping a soda. "Yeah man? What's up?"
"The customer needs all the equipment for a wireless internet setup."
"Of course. Right this way, miss." The woman followed Morgan and Chuck watched. Footsteps approached and Chuck looked over into the newest customer's face. And a thousand images flashed before his eyes--files, photos, reports, warnings. Once it stopped, Chuck blinked, then forced a smile at the man.
"How can I help you, sir?"
"I need my camera fixed. It is digital and when I take pictures they do not go to the memory card."
Chuck held out his hand. "May I see it?"
The man held out his camera and Chuck opened the back with a screwdriver.
"Oooh. Looks like your memory card is cracked. Has the camera been dropped recently?"
"It fell out of my suitcase a few days ago, but the problem was before that."
"Has it been in extreme temperatures?"
"Yes, I took it in the snow."
"There you are. This model has a bit of a weather sensitivity. If you'll just wait a moment, I'll get a sales rep to get you a new card and I'll install it. You didn't have any photos you needed on the card, did you?"
"No. I have copies of all the ones I need."
"Wonderful. If you'll just wait here, I'll be back in just a moment." Chuck speed-walked over to where Casey was finishing up the sale of a big-screen TV. He put the TV box carefully in the customer's cart and nodded approvingly as the man walked off, pleased.
"Casey. We have a situation."
"What is it, Bartowski?"
"Well, first I need a new memory card for a man's camera. Only problem? He kidnapped the heirs to the thrones of Andorra and Monaco. Andorran heir is a baby girl, two months old. Heir to the throne of Monaco is a boy, four years old. Don't know where he's keeping them, but they were kidnapped five days ago from a party for the King of Denmark's birthday. His name is Uli Broucek. He's Czech. Wanted in most European countries for kidnapping children and holding them for ransom. Never been caught."
"We'll get a tracer on his car. I'll call Walker and get the memory. Stall him for time."
Chuck nodded, then turned towards the help desk.
"Sorry for the wait, sir. John's getting your memory card right now and we'll have it installed in just a few minutes."
"Well I have things to do, so hurry up." The man was tall, with tanned skin, and dark blond hair.
"Of course, sir. Your chip is probably in the back, which is why it's taking so long and--John! Here's your chip now, sir." Chuck accepted the memory card form Casey, gently putting it into the camera. After that, he very slowly and carefully replaced the back and fixed it into place. Chuck hit the power button, then snapped a picture of himself. After checking it, he smiled shakily at the kidnapper, and handed him the camera.
"If you'll go to the counter with this receipt," Chuck said, handing the man a yellow slip of paper, "Then you can pay for that memory card and be on your way. Have a nice day!"
The man nodded and went to the register. "Casey," Chuck whispered, "How will Sarah know which car to bug?"
A car alarm went off and half a dozen patrons put down their things to look outside. Morgan checked the window.
"The owner of the silver minivan with tinted windows? Your car alarm is going off."
Casey scowled, "Informed guess."
The kidnapper paid quickly and hurried to the doors, pointing a key fob at the van, which shut off. A moment later, Sarah wove her way between cars and walked into the Buy More.
"Hi Chuck. I was just coming to see you. Want to take a little break?"
The pair walked off towards the Orange Orange, and a few minutes later, Casey headed that way too. As they were preparing to call the general, Chuck looked around.
"Did anyone call Allison?"
Both Casey and Sarah looked a little embarrassed and Casey dialed his phone.
"Walters? We have a situation." He then promptly hung up.
"With deep conversations like that, it's no wonder you're so popular with the ladies." Chuck remarked.
Casey growled a little, but didn't respond. A moment later, Allison arrived and Sarah filled her in.
"You forgot me."
"Not exactly forgot, Allison--" Chuck began.
"Shut up, Chuck." Allison looked relatively annoyed, but didn't comment further, except to say, "Call up the general."
"Now that you've got a tracking chip on the car, track him and get those children back. Mr. Broucek is a very dangerous man."
"We don't need the Intersect, do we?" Casey asked.
"It's a simple retrieval. Chuck can go back to work. The three of you, bring those children to the castle and we'll talk. As soon as you call and say you've got them, I'll be in contact with the appropriate authorities to have them returned." The general signed off.
"I can't believe you forgot me. I've been here, what, a month and a half and you still can't remember I'm here? Unless you purposefully forgot, in which case, we'll have a serious problem."
"It was a mistake. We'll try to remember you next time. Now can we please get back to the important things, like retrieving the heirs to the Andorran and Monacan thrones?" Casey growled. Allison shot him an annoyed glance, but said nothing as Sarah pulled up the map of her tracking device onscreen.
"We've got him about five miles south of here. Private residence. 3255 Mill Pond Road."
Chuck left to return to his regular, non-lethal job at the Buy More, and the three government agents suited up, pulling on bullet-proof vests and other gear. Allison pulled a gun off of the rack.
"Wait, that's not government issue." Sarah remarked, noticing the gun.
"No, it's a type 54 pistol from the Chinese army."
"Isn't it illegal to ship those into the country…or bring them in on a plane?"
"You can either think I was allowed to bring it in because I'm a government agent with permission, or you could believe I bought it on the black market. If you assume the first, I won't get in trouble. The second, not so much."
Sarah looked a little exasperated, "You didn't buy it on the black market, did you?"
"That's the spirit!" Allison told her. "Just keep thinking that and I won't have a mark on my record."
Sarah opened her mouth to reply, but decided against it. Casey, Sarah, and Allison all climbed into Casey's government-issue SUV and headed off. They had a job to do.
I'm not sure if it is actually illegal to import Chinese firearms, but I don't recommend you try it. Hope you enjoyed chapter one. Read and review please!