Author's note: Um, apologies. I realize it's been more than three months. What can I say. Shortly after I wrote the last chapter, I descended into six weeks of hell, during which I had a big handful of exams – finals included – and about 150 pages worth of writing that I had to complete for my various classes. My Christmas break was brief, as half of it was consumed by a Jan-Term class. On the bright side of things, however, I am now on the down slope of my Master's degree.
There may be a couple moments in this chapter that are not entirely true to the characterizations as I've portrayed them so far in this story; however, I am writing this chapter specifically to serve as sort of a farewell and thank you to Chuck, as the last episode of the show will be airing just a few short hours after the publication of this chapter. To that end, I have also made the air date of the series finale of Lost a little different in this universe than it was in the real world.
A final note on the end of Chuck's completely improbable four and a half year run: it's been amazingly fun. I'm sure I'll continue to write this story, and hopefully, without new episodes barging in to upset the balance, I'll be able to finish my other open stories. Either way… going all the way back to when I wrote Chuck vs. the Alien, in November of 2007… thanks for reading!
June 2, 2010
"What fresh hell is this?" Kate Beckett sighed, staring up at the roof of the Viper, where a UH-1H Huey had landed just a moment earlier. "Are we being invaded, and somebody forgot to tell us?"
"Uh, they're yelling –"
"JESUS!" Beckett nearly jumped out of her skin at the unexpected sound of Morgan Grimes' voice next to her. Whirling on the diminutive man, she fixed a glare on him. "Where the hell did you come from?"
Morgan cocked an eyebrow. "It's a long and fairly sordid story involving my parents, a bottle of Jose Cuervo, and the back seat of a CHP squad car –"
"Right. Uh, they're yelling 'Get to the boss,' and 'Make sure we get Woodcomb alive'."
"Oh, dammit all to hell," Kate groaned. Drawing her Glock 19 from its holster, Kate ran after the SWAT team that was preparing to enter the building. Catching up to the team commander, she tapped him on the shoulder. "Sergeant Harrelson?"
The veteran SWAT cop turned a weary glare on her. "Sheriff Beckett, may I help you?"
"I think this just turned into a hostage situation," she replied. "A helicopter just landed on the roof, and a Spanish-speaking civilian just told me that they're shouting about getting Walter Woodcomb alive."
"Shit," Harrelson growled. He turned to the officer behind him. "Street, stand the team down… we may need to rethink this."
"Yes sir," Officer Street replied, turning back toward the team and ordering them to stand down.
"Okay," Harrelson said, as he turned back toward Beckett. "We're going to need to formulate a whole new – WHAT THE HELL?"
Beckett whirled around to see Morgan Grimes go charging into the casino. "MORGAN!" she shouted. "MORGAN, STOP!"
"Can't, Kate!" he shouted, waving his iPhone above his head. "Chuck's in trouble!"
And before either Beckett or Harrelson could stop Morgan, he had disappeared into the casino lobby. Harrelson groaned. "Motherf-"
Morgan knew the interior of the Viper like the back of his hand. He had long since formulated a plan where – if he could get enough of his Chumash people together – they could occupy the casino. However, he had only managed to get five people onboard, and two of them were Jeff Barnes and Lester Patel.
So that plan had been put on hold, but right at the moment, Morgan knew exactly where he was going. As he charged down a corridor, he saw the crash door coming up on his right, and without losing a step, charged through and bolted up the stairs beyond.
Morgan was breathing heavily by the time he reached the executive level, but the text he had gotten from the Fulcrum Vita-Tracker system had told him that Chuck had pretty much been tased. "It's a good thing I made you set that up, Chuck," he muttered as he approached the fire door.
Morgan gave the handle of the door a good tug, and it flew open. The corridor beyond was deserted, but Morgan could hear a distinct commotion at the end of the hall. Dropping to his knees, Morgan did a somersault, and then began an assault crawl down the hallway, as low to the ground as he could get on his hands and knees.
Had one of the members of Sgt. Harrelson's SWAT team seen Morgan in action, they would've started laughing helplessly, but Morgan was just doing what he had seen on Burn Notice. And it always worked out for Michael Weston, didn't it?
When Morgan reached the end of the hall, he slowly peeked around the corner. Chuck and Sarah were unconscious on the floor of the elevator lobby, and there was quite a commotion coming from Woody Woodcomb's office.
"Damn," Morgan sighed. He intended to pull his head back, then make his move to get to Chuck and Sarah –
"¡¿QUÉ ES ESTO?"
Morgan looked up to see a very angry Latino gentleman glaring at him. "Uh, me llamo Morg-"
The tazer leads hit Morgan straight in the center of his forehead. The last thing he heard before falling unconscious was the stun gun's distinctive sizzle.
John Casey was hard at work in his appropriated office at the Parker Center, trying to make sense of what appeared to be a major conspiracy – albeit one that could fall apart with the beating of the wings of a single butterfly. He had not yet heard back from Walker or Bartowski about their plan to take down Woodcomb, although it had only been twenty-four hours since he made contact. The question, of course, was whether Walker would play ball, or if she was so hell bent on destroying Woody Woodcomb that anybody who got in her way would pay a price.
If it was the former, then so much the better, but if it was the latter, he was going to have to call in the big guns, and if he could avoid that, then even more so much the better. While he had to admit that Clyde Decker was a good enforcer, he did not like him or his personal sleazeball of an assistant, Nicholas Quinn, and it would be a cold day in hell before John Casey would enlist the assistance of those –
A commotion outside of Casey's office shattered his concentration, and standing from his desk, he crossed the office, opening the door and looking out toward where a cluster of LAPD officers had gathered around a TV. "Micah, we're hearing that an LAPD SWAT team is getting ready to enter the Viper," the voice of KTLA airborne reporter Mark Kono said, a helicopter shot of the Viper Casino showing on the screen. "It appears that a Huey helicopter has landed on the Viper's helipad, and has been discharging personnel, who are rumored to work for Costa Gravan cartel overlord Alejandro Goya. Preliminary reports are that they may be holding Woodcomb Entertainment owner Woody Woodcomb, as well as COO Chuck Bartowski and CSO Sarah Walker as hostages; however, Los Angeles County Sheriff Kate Beckett has refused to confirm or deny any of these reports –"
"CREWS!" Casey barked, causing every head in the room to turn toward him, and one in particular – that of homicide detective Charlie Crews – to pop up.
"Agent Casey," Crews replied, crossing the room toward him. "What can I do for you?"
"You know anybody in the Goya Cartel?"
Crews frowned. "I'm homicide, not narcotics," he replied. "Why would I know –"
"You were in Pelican Bay," Casey interrupted.
Crews fell silent, and glared at Casey for a long moment. Finally, he sighed, and said, "Fair enough. Yes, I know people."
"Call one of them," Casey ordered, "and find out if that's Goya's people in the Viper."
"I don't believe I report to you," Crews shot back, "and I'm not particularly inclined to do you any fav-"
Casey growled and reaching out, grabbed the homicide detective's jacket lapels in his hands. "As of right now, you are deputized by the National Security Agency," he hissed at Crews. "We are conducting a major investigation both of the Goya Cartel and of Woodcomb Hollywood Entertainment. Drop everything else you're doing, and make the DAMN CALL."
He released Crews, who stepped back and glared at Casey again. "My captain will need the paperwork."
"He'll have it. Make the call."
Crews nodded. "I'll be back in a minute."
There was a five hundred pound gorilla sitting on Chuck Bartowski's head.
Or at least, that was what it felt like. He managed to force his eyes open, wincing at the light, but he couldn't focus on anything. All he saw was partial darkness, broken by a bright spot at one point.
What the hell happened? Chuck thought to himself. I was in my office, going over the plan with Sarah… we got a call from Tristan… there was a tac alert… Goya cartel in the building…
Dammit. That explained why he hurt so badly. Getting tased was never good for anybody.
As Chuck's eyes began to focus, he realized that he was in his own office, handcuffed to his desk. In one direction, he saw that Sarah was handcuffed to the desk as well – and judging from the bruises on her face, he was pretty sure she must have woken up and fought back while the handcuffing was going on, before being knocked out again. He winced at the sight of the angry purple bruise under her right eye and the gash across her forehead, but there was nothing he could do about it. Anyway, she seemed to be breathing normally, so she should be alright –
A groan from behind Chuck startled him, and he turned over to see –
"Morgan?" Chuck croaked out. "Morgan, what the hell are you doing here?"
"Vita… Tracker…" Morgan groaned. "Sent me a text…"
Chuck sighed. "I knew that was a bad idea."
"Yeah… well… hindsight is twenty-twenty, huh, Chuck?"
"Yeah," Chuck replied. "Still. You shouldn't have come up here."
"Well, I'm up here now, Chuck," Morgan shot back, "and we better get out of here fairly soon."
"I'm sure we'll be fine," Chuck replied. "Somebody will come get us. I'm sure that Kate has a SWAT team coming up, or John Casey will send federal agents –"
Crap, Chuck thought. Morgan didn't know about Casey. "I'll tell you later," Chuck said. "It might be a few hours."
"No," Morgan replied, his voice starting to sound a little panicked. "No, no, Chuck, we have to be out of here by 8:00. Actually, before that. I have to be HOME by 8:00."
Chuck frowned. "Morgan, aren't you a little old for you to be worrying about when you get home? It's not like your mom gives you a curfew." Chuck stopped and thought for a moment. "Wait, Morgan, your mom DOESN'T give you a curfew… does she?"
"No, Chuck, my mom doesn't give me a curfew," Morgan shot back. "It's Lost, man! Tonight's the series finale!"
Well, that was true. But… "Morgan, that's what DVR is for. I know you have a DVR. I know you set it up to record tonight's episode weeks ago."
"It doesn't matter!" Morgan complained. "It's the very last episode EVER of Lost! I have to see it when it airs!"
"I think you're blowing this a little out of proportion, Morgan –"
"Oh, PLEASE," Morgan shot back. "I remember how depressed you got when The West Wing went off the air –"
"I did not get depressed!" Chuck replied indignantly. "I mean, yeah, I wasn't real happy about such a great show ending –"
"Chuck, you sobbed like a little girl during Leo McGarry's funeral!" Morgan interrupted. "You said that it might as well be the funeral for network TV, because there was never going to be a show as good on the air ever again!"
"I was drunk during that episode!" Chuck defended himself. "And you're one to talk – when Battlestar Galactica ended, you made such a big deal out of no new Katee Sackhoff 'material' that I had to make a concerted effort to NOT call you Wollowitz – or did you forget about that?"
"I will see your Battlestar and raise you Arrested Development, Charles," Morgan growled. "Or did you forget about standing outside of Fox's offices on Pico Boulevard, setting kerosene-soaked chocolate-dipped frozen bananas on fire and throwing them at the building?"
"YOU WERE RIGHT THERE WITH ME!"
"IT WAS YOUR IDEA!"
"Well, if we're going there, let's not forget about your personal vigil for Alias outside of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner's house," Chuck said. "I mean, come on, a shrine to the show? On a Bel Air sidewalk?"
"It was a good show!"
"You spent two days in jail because of it!"
Morgan narrowed his eyes. "You want to talk to me about being locked up at the end of a show? Because we can do that dance."
Chuck looked at Morgan, confused, and then his eyes widened. "Oh, no. You promised never to talk about that."
"You started it."
"And I'm finishing it!"
"Just like you finished your senior year –"
"- of high school, locked in your bedroom for a WEEK, despondent over the end of Deep Space Nine?"
Chuck's face was almost purple with rage. "I swear to God, Morgan, when I get out of these handcuffs, I am gonna kick your –"
Morgan and Chuck both looked up at the door to the office in surprise. So engrossed had they been in their conversation that neither had noticed the door open, a large man silhouetted in the doorway.
As the man stepped into the office, Chuck realized that it was John Casey. "Uh, Agent Casey, a little help?" Chuck said.
"Help?" Casey growled. "I'm tempted to not only leave the two of you handcuffed, but duct tape your mouths shut! Don't you nerds EVER stop talking?"
Then he sighed. "But, I suppose I at least need Bartowski to help me get Walker out of here," he grumbled. "However, I don't need the little gnome –"
"Hey!" Morgan objected. "That's BEARDED gnome."
"Carnival freak," Casey grunted. Nonetheless, he bent over, unlocked Morgan's handcuffs, and then Chuck's. "Alright, Bartowski, we need to get Walker out of here –"
"What about Goya's men?"
"Taken care of," Casey replied. "Goya's still in Woodcomb's office with him, but the two of them are welcome to kill each other as far as I'm concerned."
Woody Woodcomb looked nervously across his desk at Alejandro Goya. "Alright, so I'll rehire Mr. Gaez," he acceded. "But he can't work at my Las Vegas casinos anymore."
Goya narrowed his eyes. "That's not what I want to hear, Walter," he hissed. "You hire him back for his old job."
"Not possible, Alejandro!" Woodcomb snapped. "The man VERY PUBLICLY violated the privacy of two people staying in one of my hotels, and that can't happen, no matter WHO those people are!"
"Then what do you propose, Walter?" Goya shot back. "Do you propose making him a simple security guard? Because that is unacceptable."
"No, not that… um…" Woodcomb thought for a moment. "Listen, I need somebody to oversee security at the server farm down on La Cienega. You think he'd be alright with that?"
Goya stared Woodcomb down for what felt like ten minutes, but was realistically only about ten seconds. "That… will be acceptable," he finally said.
Woody was so relieved that he nearly slid out of his chair and onto the floor. "You'll tell him, then?"
Goya shook his head, a small smile forming on his face. "No," he replied, drawing a gun from the waistband of his pants and aiming it at Woodcomb. "You're going to tell him."
Woody's relief suddenly disappeared – or at least, the mental relief did, because he was quite certain that he had in fact just relieved himself, if the warm stream running down his right leg was any indication. "Walter," Goya said, amusement in his voice, "did you just piss yourself?"
Without waiting for an answer, the drug kingpin stepped to the door and opened it –
To be greeted by all of his men, unconscious in the elevator lobby. "Madre de dios," he hissed, almost immediately forgetting about Woodcomb. "Los federales –"
And that was all Woody heard, as Goya disappeared into the stairwell. This time, Woodcomb's relief was so great that he actually collapsed to the floor of his office.
Kate Beckett heard the unmistakable sound of the helicopter rotor spooling up, and looked away from the R.A. unit treating Sarah Walker's head injuries. "Shit!" she yelled, keying her radio as she ran toward the building. "Sergeant Harrelson, get your men into that office suite now!"
There was nothing for a moment, and then Harrelson's voice came back over the radio. "We've got six Costa Gravan nationals, including Eduardo Perez," Harrelson reported. "Woodcomb is safe, but there's no sign of Goya."
Beckett turned back to the ambulance, jogging over to John Casey. "I can call the people at Los Angeles Center, get them to track the chopper –"
"Don't worry about it," Casey told her.
"Trust me on this one," Casey said, cutting her off. "I don't just want Goya. I want to totally destroy his cartel." He smiled humorlessly. "And believe me, we're going to destroy the cartel."
Sheriff Kate Beckett – Stana Katic
Morgan Grimes – Joshua Gomez
Sgt. Dan Harrelson – Samuel L. Jackson
Officer Jim Street – Colin Farrell
Chuck Bartowski – Zachary Levi
Sarah Walker – Yvonne Strahovski
Eduardo Perez – Eduardo Antonio Garcia
Agent John Casey – Adam Baldwin
Detective Charlie Crews – Damien Lewis
Woody Woodcomb – Bruce Boxleitner
Alejandro Goya – Armand Assante