Okay, so this is only the second multi-chapter fic I have written. The first being Rough Night, Rough Morning. I have not abandoned Rough Night, Rough Morning and will be writing the final chapter to that soon (should be up sometime over the weekend), but I thought this story up on the tube today and wanted to get penning it. It is my first entirely AU story. But I'm planning on having lots of canon references. This may seem like a short and slow chapter, but please bare with it. Anyway, read, review and enjoy. I don't own Chuck, so please don't sue me.
October 1st, 2007
Baja California, Mexico
The man tied to the chair wasn't sure how long he'd been there. Wherever there was. It felt like hours, but he couldn't be sure. The single bulb that hung high above his head was so bright it obscured any daylight that could've entered the room, making the perception of time hard to tell. There was also the bag over his head. He wasn't even sure what the room looked like – whether there were any windows in it or not. He'd had the bag over his head when he'd been carried in and bound to the chair.
But regardless of what the room looked like, he knew one thing. It was hot. Not just hot, it was humid. And he was neither a fan of heat or humidity. Then again, he guessed that few people would be a fan of this level of heat and humidity; though that was probably the point. He had tried not to struggle against the ropes that bound his wrists against the arms of wooden chair, but no matter how much he relaxed he couldn't seem to stop them cutting into his skin.
Footsteps approached from the outside of the room and the sound of rusty metal grinding echoed through the air as keys were turned in the lock of the door. The lock retracted and the metal door creaked open, causing a light draft of cool air to fill the room. The man tied to the chair once again felt the familiar sense of fear running through him.
Someone walked in.
# # #
Little did the man know that there was already someone else in the room. Someone who was not bound to a chair, or bound in any other way for that matter. He had been standing still, leaning against the wall adjacent to the door for the better part of an hour, alternating his stoic gaze between the helpless man in the chair and the dank wall opposite, trying to make patterns out of the stains on it. Unlike the bound man, who at points had been borderline hyperventilating, his breathing had remained calm the entire time. Though that had not been without a great deal of effort.
There was not much in the small room he was in to distract from the man in the chair, either. The room itself was a windowless box. Nothing in it besides the sand that covered the ground and the single light bulb that hung from the ceiling. Well, nothing besides him and the other occupant. Making patterns out of the damp on the opposite wall was the closest thing to a distraction he had found. Even though the temperature was well over seventy, he had his black jacket zipped up and his hands stashed in his pockets. He didn't feel that hot.
When the door creaked open, it took him several seconds before he turned his head leftwards to see his "partner" enter the room. He wasn't actually sure whether they were partners; they had been working together for a couple of weeks now but no-one had officially paired them yet. Introduced as only Cooper, he was several inches shorter, but his broad shoulders and ropey muscles made up for it. Cooper didn't really speak to him, other than when he gave him orders. He'd told him to watch the man in the chair.
Cooper slowly stepped in the room without turning towards him, and stepped up to the man in the chair, standing impassively before him. The light bounced off his dark greasy hair. The man in the chair began to breath faster.
"Dr Busgang," Cooper said calmly, pulling off the black bag.
Cooper paused for a second as Howard Busgang squinted through his glasses, adjusting to the bright light of the room. Busgang then saw the man standing against the wall and frowned. But his attention quickly went back to Cooper.
"I'm sorry about the unpleasantries, Dr Busgang," Cooper continued. "But you are an incredibly difficult man to get hold off."
Busgang looked up at him, sweat running profusely down his forehead, and swallowed. "You should've called my office..."
"Funny." Cooper smiled through his unshaven face, revealing several dirty teeth. "But I doubt the Department of Defence would have given me an appointment with one of the lead scientists on Project Omaha."
Busgang swallowed again. "You know about Project Omaha?"
Cooper knelt before him so he was at eye level with Busgang. He gently removed Busgang's glass from his face and tucked them into the bald man's shirt pocket.
"Howard," he said smiling, "do you know really think The Ring would go to all this trouble to get you here if we didn't know about Project Omaha?"
Cooper didn't wait for a response, but instead stood up and started to slowly walk around the chair Busgang was seated in, still not acknowledging or even looking at his partner in the corner of the room.
"Project Ohama, Howard," Cooper continued. "The intersect. The super-computer that contains all the CIA and NSA intelligence. The computer that you helped built."
"But Project Ohama was disbanded months ago... It was abandoned. The computer was destroyed, it was deemed too much of a risk."
"Yes, Howard. That's correct." Cooper laughed wryly. "However, The Ring believes that before the computer was destroyed, the intersect was downloaded. Into a person."
The man standing against the wall flinched slightly as Cooper said this.
Busgang's eyes raised from the floor, genuine surprise in them. "But that's impossible. It's never even been tested on a human before. We never even got to the testing stage when the project was disbanded. The data retention ratio would have to be in the 98th percentile..."
The man against the wall could see that his partner was paying little attention to this. Instead Cooper was drawing out his Walther P99 from under his jacket. He came round to face Busgang.
Busgang saw the gun and his eyes widened. "Please..."
Cooper smiled again, the gun hanging loosely at his side. "Howard. The Ring believes that the Intersect was downloaded into a person," he repeated. "I would like for you to tell me who that person is."
The man standing against the wall hated Cooper's smile.
Busgang's eyes darted from the Cooper to the other man. "There's no such person. Honestly. That's all I know."
Without warning, Cooper raised the Walther and shot Busgang just south of his right kneecap. Busgang cried out and the man against the wall widened his eyes.
Cooper wrinkled his nose, sniggering. "Choose the word that would best describe your pain, Howard."
Busgang was sobbing now.
Cooper sighed. "I'm going to ask you again, Howard. Who is the Intersect?"
"I don't know. Please, I really don't. I swear."
Cooper grimaced and turned to his partner. He walked over to him, not making eye contact and whispered in his ear so Busgang couldn't hear. "Well?"
The man looked over at Busgang and saw the pleading expression in his eyes. "He's being truthful."
From the sigh of relief that came from the chair, he could tell Busgang had heard him.
"That's what I thought. A pity," Cooper said in his partner's ear, before turning towards the door.
He paused at the entrance.
"Tell the guards to clean this mess up."
Both Busgang and the man looked at him, suddenly puzzled.
Cooper turned and shot Busgang in the head. The chair crashed back against the floor, taking Howard Busgang's dead body with it.
Chuck Bartowski jumped up from the wall he had been leaning against. The sound from the second shot was still ringing through his ears. He turned to see that Cooper had already left the room.
Chuck walked slowly over to fallen chair in the centre of the room. His legs were stiff from standing still for so long. He looked over at Busgang, a red flower was forming between his eyes. Staring down at the dead man, he suddenly felt incredibly sick. He forced himself to take a deep breath.
He slowly walked out of the room and looked at the two guards outside in the corridor sporting sub-machine guns.
"Cooper wants you to clean up in there."
The guard on the left nodded. "Yes, sir."
# # #
OMG! Chuck has joined The Ring! What is going on? Has our famous boy scout gone to dark side? Anyhoo, there it is. Chapter 1 of Chuck Versus The World. Hope you liked it. I promise the next chapter will be longer, better and faster. We'll also be seeing some familiar faces...