A/N: I've had this sitting on my hard drive, for a few months. Cut the last 3 lines to end on a humorous note. (the next three lines took it from joke that worked to one that tried too hard and failed.) Morgan's abilities stem mostly from what we know in the show: As directly referred to, his planning skill for games translating to the 'real world', his analytical ability, cool under pressure like how he was when he found out about chuck in canon, aka 'theres a cia base and we have to do something because theres bad guys in said base'. That in the show, he and chuck were apparently much closer than two active agents simply because they were looking for chuck's mum, and apparently while morgan had the financial side to deal with. I've taken liberties in char development from this version of how he and devon find out, so that morgan joins devon on his awesome hobbies knowing how the side effects (like getting fitter) would help. and one such hobby is paintballing. combined with him viewing at 'call of duty but real but without that pesky death thing being real'. come on, that just smacks of morgan. just go with it.
Time to be Awesome
Starts off well earlier. only a few weeks or so after the intersect 1.1 went up in smoke at the least. time skip after the start to say, after suburbs, but before finding his dad /and that he was orion.
Early Season 2.
Morgan and Devon looked at each other, then around Casey's apartment.
"Woah. This is so not awesome."
"I kn... why isn't it? He's obviously some sort of super spy."
"Spying on us. Dude."
Devon went to touch something, but Morgan slapped his hand away from it.
"Could be booby trapped to lock us in here, man. And Frankly, I want to be able to tell them that we went snooping and sorry and we don't want to know why so long as you know, legit and please not to kill us."
Devon took a second, before he nodded. "Oh." He looked at the guy, "You're handling this better than I am."
"Well," Morgan started, with a slight smile as he gazed around, and lingered on the bullet impact on something with targets. "I play a lot of Call of Duty, and I love spy novels."
Then he turned to Devon, and said, "His boss probably knows we're here, if not Casey himself. And they know where we live... let's go wait in the courtyard for him to come back. He'll be angry, but we can point out why it'll be safe to let us you know... not be bunkered or wacked."
"Wacked?" Devon spoke going pale.
Morgan rolled his eyes. "Hey, you're a doctor, right? At least you can bargain from a better position."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, he's NSA." Morgan thumbed a computer screen which showed the NSA logo. "And probably Us Special forces. They like to recruit from black ops. The guns are a big indicator anyway. So he'll probably be injured on a mission at some point, and, well, we've both noticed that he had bruises every so often. Now we know about him, you can probably offer to discreetly help out with medical stuff."
Devon thought it over, and it made sense. And then something popped into his head. "But, what about you, man?"
"Eh, I'll think of something."
At that point, they both walked back out into the Courtyard, and at the same time, Casey, and Sarah, and Chuck all arrived, talking freely about a mission.
The duo shared looks, and Devon couldn't really say anything. Morgan seemed to know what he was doing, so Devon gave him a pointed look to speak.
The three paused, and were clearly not knowing what to say.
"Um... Yeah, listen, when you've all cleaned up, We need to talk. And, uh... if you need any medical stuff right now, Devon can probably fix you up."
Chuck looked between them, then at Devon's various emotions of looking between casey, then to him and sarah together, then to casey's app... oh.
"Uh... Right. Casey, you got pretty hard hit in the chest before. I definitely heard a break, and, well..."
Devon stepped forward, and spoke quickly as if afraid they wont let him prove he can help and so put him in a bun ker or kill him, "Dude, broken ribs are a right pain. You go get yourself cleaned up, and I'll grab my emergency bag."
Casey just grunted, not particularly caring why the pair are the way they are, and went to his apartment. He noticed it was unlocked, and looked at Morgan who nodded at him, as he took a step toward both Sarah and Chuk.
Casey gone, and Devon grabbing his bag, Morgan looked between the two, and had to ask. "So, Chuck. NSA, huh? Well..." He paused, and flinched and grabbed his nose. With that particular voice gained from pinching his nose while he talked, he spoke, "Go get cleaned up, talk in a bit buddy."
Chuck pulled Sarah along, giving her a keen look to get her moving and not try to kill morgan for obviously finding out.
The minute that Sarah and Chuck came out into the courtyard, Morgan stepped toward Casey's.
"Uh Morgan..." Sarah started.
"Don't worry, Sarah. Devon's in there seeing to Casey's ribs. We've already seen enough for me to figure it out. We all need to talk." After a moment, he sighed, "Thank god Ellie's working at the hospital tonight, if she were with us, you'd be so dead right now Chuck."
They went in silently, and saw Casey snoring a little, sat on a stool while Devon wrapped his ribs."
"Casey..." Sarah shot forward, and Morgan put a hand on her shoulder and made appropriate slow down noises.
"He'll be fine, Sarah." Devon said as, in his doctor's scrubs, finished tying off the bandages. "He'll wake up in a second, unless he's really tired from tonights mission."
"Oh, yeah. Uh... Since Casey's asleep, we might have to hold off on our talk, gosh." Morgan started, then clicked his fingers, "Oh right, if we don't talk now, when he wakes in the morning, he might kill us for finding out before anyone can tell him otherwise." He rolled his eyes. "Can you wake him up, Devon?"
A scant few seconds, and Devon and Morgan stood before the three.
"Alright. Devon was really worried about some things he'd heard about you following chuck, so he asked me to help him get in. We got in. He thought you were a nutter. I recognised the NSA logo. So, Casey... uh, Agent Casey."
Chuck corrected. "Major."
"Right, Major Casey." Morgan nodded, and while he didn't say anything abou tit, he did notice Sarah and Casey's various annoyed reactions at Chuck saying it. "So I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that Sarah's NSA too, and Chuck does, what, Tech work for the NSA?"
Chuck nodded, a bit too quickly that Morgan noticed. "Yeah. How'd you figure?"
"NSA is about Signal intelligence, Chuck. You know that. Signals is lots of tech stuff. Anyway, neither of us wants to know anything more. As cool as we think it is. Uh, I know Casey's probably thinking about killing us to keep the secret, whatever it is beyond that you're working for the govern... wow. Sorry, let me start again. Beyond that you're working for the government."
Morgan grinned, and Chuck automatically met his high-five.
"Man you're awesome." Morgan grinned, and continued, "So, uh... if you ever need help to cover. You know, At the buy more, or with Ellie. You can count on us. And, uh, Devon, for first aid."
"Wow... uh... Thanks, guys. Don't know what to say."
Morgan nodded, and winked, "Say that they're not gonna bunker us, and we'll be fine." He looked around, "You're boss probably knows I think. Never seen so many cameras in such a confined space before."
Chuck nodded, and turned slightly to Sarah who was the most clear-headed at the moment. "So, uh... I think we need to contact our boss, why don't you and Devon go back to my apartment."
Morgan and Devon shared high-fives as they finished up on a paintball course with the rest of Devon's buddies.
"Awesome, man." Morgan finished, as the scores were posted declaring their team the victors, and the two of them shared-first for total kills.
The next morning, their cleaned gear in the boot of devon's car, they were talking about the previous matches, and that afternoons' upcoming match, and Devon was given various tips as he had his shave in the bathroom, when they heard a gunshot, followed by several more.
They rushed out, and saw through almost closed blinds Casey stumble from a bullet wound, along with Sarah being knocked out from some guy with a syringe, and finally, Chuck being bound.
A movement as he was picked up and slung over a shoulder let the pair, unnoticed inside the house, see that chuck was heavily bruised on his face, very fresh.
Devon started to move, but Morgan held him back. "Stop dude, they've got guns." He whispered, then pulled devon down into a crouch slowly.
They watched as the group left, and began hauling the three into a van.
Morgan was quick. "Devon, you follow them in your car. Don't drive too close. Got you're mobile?" He nodded hesitantly. "Okay, and you've got sat nav?" another nod. "Good. Remember your training."
"Paintball. Just, don't be too near them when they stop and so on. I'll call their boss."
He nodded, and left looking incredibly worried.
Morgan set to task immediately, and swept the courtyard for any clues, including removing the detritus left such as bullet casings. It was quick, and he moved on to Casey's apartment, using his key that Casey didn't know he had.
As soon as he got in, he thought for a moment, what could get him in touch with their boss.
The computers. Locked down.
Chuck was important, Morgan had figured that out, and he'd seen Chuck in his room after a... that was it.
He looked at the big TV, and spoke. "General Beckman."
Okay... "Agent John Casey... Agent Sarah Walker... Major John Casey." Nothing.
He paused... and smiled. He'd seen by accident one of his missions in the local area, and the name they used when he was 'in the field'. (He'd also seen that Chuck was not a Spy, not by James Bond levels, anyway.)
"Agent Charles Carmichael."
A woman in, he recognised, US Air Force smart uniform was on the screen, and blinked and was about to cut the connection. Given the stars, he was quick to speak, "General Beckman, don't hang up. Listen, the team's been kidnapped."
She pulled a hand back, clearly this was news. "When?"
"Just now, Devon and I heard gunshots in the courtyard of our place, and saw the three of them being taken away. Casey's been shot, Sarah was sedated, and Chuck was beaten pretty bad. You need to get a team ready to move out stat."
"... Thank you Mr Grimes for alerting me." He nodded. "Until we know where they have been taken, however, there's not much a team can do." Morgan smiled, and she groaned, "Please tell me that you are not going to interfere, Mr Grimes."
"... We won't. How soon can a team be here?"
She was suspicious. "Unfortunately, the soonest we can get a team there is 24 hours."
"... but by then they could be moved out of LA," He protested, "Devon can't follow them by, by plane or boat or whatever method would be used."
She leant forward. "Are you telling me that Doctor Woodcombe is following them right now?"
Morgan's mobile answered, and he pointed at it with a nod as he anwsered. "Devon, where are you?" A pause. "One second, I've got their boss on the line." He looked up and asked, "General, can you patch this call into this and secure the line?"
She did so quickly, and a second later Morgan heard some clicks, before a nod from the General and he put it away.
"Morgan, ah... General."
"Doctor Woodcombe, where are you right now?"
Devon quickly rattled off street names, and Morgan could see Beckman work a second monitor, obviously bringing up the information.
"Devon, where are you parked?" Morgan asked.
"Far enough that I can barely see the place. I've pulled into a driveway, they think I'm just a neighbour."
"Good, get your bag out of the car and go inside the house.,."
"I can't trespass!"
Beckman called up. "Doctor Woodcombe, you are acting on current authority of the NSA. Enter the house and keep watch, from a distance. I shall have a team sent ASAP."
Morgan added when Beckman stopped, "Remember what I taught you today in paintball. Just... only difference is they have guns."
"... Recon, right."
"Stay safe Buddy."
"Of course. Uh... Devon out."
Beckman blinked, and a short nod of confirmation that he wasn't in the call. "It would seem that you have... the present situation well in hand."
Did she just look like she'd swallowed a melon?
"Not really, but thanks anyway." Morgan half chuckled, as he collapsed down on a chair, now that everything that he could do was done. "Uh... You'll contact me once you know when a team will get here, or... there?"
Beckman nodded, and with a bit of softness in her voice. "Dont worry, we'll get them back."
Beckman disappeared from the screen, and it took ten minutes, before Morgan got restless and went looking through the stuff, now sure that he'd atleast get to touch stuff without activating a lock down.
It was the book on how to trigger NSA encryption on normally unsecured lines that made him smile, and he got back in touch with Devon.
"Devon... Secure... whatever that means?"
"I found out how to secure our calls from eavesdropping. Listen buddy, you making notes like I told you?"
"Yeah, this house has a decent view, and even powerful binoculars."
"Good. I'm going to take one of Casey's laptops, and uh, some of his gear and bring it to you."
"How, you don't have a car. I don't even know if you can drive."
Morgan spied it, and almost smiled. He'd have to be really careful here. "I can, I'm not that much of a loser. Casey's car is here. Is your first aid kit in your car?"
"Just the basic pack, but I think you mean my large bag... I uh... keep it in the house now."
"Right. I'll bring it with, and some supplies."
"See you soon. Morgan out."
He spied some of Casey's stuff, and decided, what the hell.
He grabbed Casey's bags, and carefully, knowing Casey would kill him if he wasn't careful (hell, he'd kill him just for touching the stuff), he started packing the guns and supplies.
Several trips to the car later, the boot was full and he started putting more bags onto the back seat.
Finally, he picked up quite a bit of food, and then got into the drivers seat of Casey's Crown Vic.
Carefully, he drove it away. A stop at a grocery store, and a quick call to Devon for a supply list – anything that his bag didn't have that could be bought without prescription, he got from a pharmacy. It included a call to devon, who knew the pharmacist and gave a basic rundown of non-classified stuff, aka devon was on a special call out for the police and Morgan was getting the supplies to him, since he didn't want any police to be diverted from other important jobs.
Morgan wasn't sure it was believed, considering that he knew Devon was a terrible liar.
Even so, he got the stuff, and within hours he arrived at the place, and reversed onto the double-wide driveway until he was at the garage.
Devon was stronger, so Morgan took watch while Devon brought everything in.
A change later, and they were in their gear, and Morgan's phone rang.
Seeing Beckman on the screen, which was odd since Morgan hadn't had her number, he pressed answer and upon hearing the clicks he now recognised, spoke, "Morgan Secure."
"Beckman Secure." Beckman replied by rote. "Mr Grimes, were are you?"
"With devon now. We're going to trade off on keeping watch, so we won't miss it if they're moved."
"... Very well. I have managed to get several agents from other agencies sent to your location, they will arrive there in... five hours."
"Good. I've got one of Casey's computers here with me now. I'd prefer to know what the agents look like when they arrive, so I don't get any imposters."
"Very well. They are all familiar with both Major Casey and Agent Walker."
After a few seconds, a confirmation appeared and Morgan opened the first file. "Ah, got them."
"The First is CIA Agent Zondra Rizzo. She worked with Major Casey in Europe two years ago."
Morgan blinked at that distinction, but that was for another time, and he brought up the next, and froze.
"The Next is DEA Agent Carina Miller. She and Agent Rizzo are both former members of a team that also contained Agent Walker, and she had various... missions involved Major Casey over the years."
"Ah... yeah I recognise her from last year, so she already knows Chuck I'd imagine." He spoke in the pause.
"Indeed she does. The last is CIA Agent Bryce Larkin, whom-"
"Knows chuck." Morgan cut in in shock.
"You do know it's because of Bryce that Chuck was kicked out of Stanford."
"Yes, I do. He is also a former partner of Agent Walkers."
Morgan stared at the photo, and commented on utomatic, "So that's why Chuck and Sarah looked out of sorts when I said he hated him."
"Ah... Sorry, last year, Chuck, Sarah, Ellie, Devon and I had a 'who knows who best' game, and a question on a card that chuck picked was who he hates the most. I wondered why Chuck was awkward from that. So that's the team that'll be arriving soon? Is there... any more we should be aware of?"
"Agent Larkin is the reason that Chuck is an Asset, I am aware that both Chuck and Agent Casey have had several... issues with him."
"As in, he's annoyed Casey enough that Casey wanted to shoot him at some point?"
... "He already has." Beckman decided to share.
Morgan blinked, but left that for another time, if he ever got cleared for anything. "Right. Uh, General. Look, about our, participation here... I know we're probably not the best people for the job, and wouldn't have wanted us to get involved at all..."
"Mr Grimes, you and Doctor Woodcomb are eager to help in whatever capacities you can, and it is my belief that the assistance you have provided has been invaluable to the team."
"We haven't exactly done much."
"You have done more than you realise. Both Casey and Walker have noticed an improvement in... Chuck... since you and Devon became involved. One of his greatest worries has been that this spy life would ruin things, and possibly get either of your or his sister hurt. I have seen however, that in several instances where missions have taken place near either your or Devon's physical location at the time, have not resulted in disaster when you both recognised something was happening and you both stepped up to helping keep it away from innocents as well as yourselves. The incident at that restaurant last month comes to mind."
Morgan smiled. The three of them – He, Devon and Ellie whom he'd become actually close to properly since he and Devon started hanging around each other – had been having dinner with a girl he'd met, double-dating. Then of course, a mission in the same place was taking place, and it wasn't until it couldn't be aborted that Casey, as a waiter, saw them while Ellie and his date were in the bathroom 'powdering their noses'. Morgan had made a show of calling for a waiter, and in that 'lips not moving in time to what was being said' way, he'd asked if they had to fake an emergency. As Ellie and his date returned, and Casey had avoided them and called the team to tell them about the, hiccup, their target's bodyguards started shooting the place up.
Devon had body-checked one gun-man when he went to assault Ellie – given that the two hadn't even gotten to the table when it all started happening.
Morgan had noticed the movements as it started, and managed to pull one guy's pistol from a holster and hit him on the back of the head with it, and seeing Devon punch out his own gun-man, he went to his date and the four quickly left, and Morgan and Devon had both managed to keep Ellie or the date from seeing Casey, Chuck or Sarah. Morgan had shot the team a look of 'we're okay and leaving now' just as they were at the door.
If they'd been there but not know about chuck... they'd have seen casey, wondered what was going on and been there.
Their interference had been enough that most everyone there was leaving too as the bad guys were dealt with.
"Your actions were if anything, the trigger that allowed the situation to be dealt with swiftly with the only casualties... on the bad guys side."
Morgan nodded to himself. "Yeah. Aside from that, all I do is cover any, oddness about the team when it comes to Ellie, and for Chuck at the Buy More."
"Which is very important. Chuck would not be able to do as much as freely, if he had only casey to rely on for cover at the Buy More."
"... Thank you General." He smiled a bit, and continued watch as Devon arrived to relieve him.
He took the laptop and phone and finished with... "General, I'm wearing some camouflage clothes that Devon and I use for Paintballing in the hills, and the area is forested. We've, sort of gotten used to ways to stay hidden. If... If you agree, I'll see about scouting around the place, get a better idea of the lay of the land if you will, for the team."
Beckman was hesitant. He could tell.
"I've also got a paintball gun, so, if I'm caught I can just claim to be lost and separated from my friends."
Beckman audibly sighed. "You must take precaution, Mr Grimes. Do not get too close, and try not to be obvious."
It was dark, pretty much 3 am when Morgan's circling the wooded-location was almost finished, and he'd again stopped to avoid detection from a patrol.
One guard, and one he recognised from the assault at Echo Park.
Thankful for the part where he'd long learned how to 'camp' in paintball unnoticed, one Morgan beneath a pretty effective woodland gillie suit waited until the man was looking away and moving, before he shifted from his position, and moved off for his exit point onto a road.
He was nearing it when he heard his slow pursuer, but he made no motion of having heard, until he reached a nest he'd set up initially, spy books long ago read giving him tips on things to do.
He waited until the guy was close, before he used a piece of mirror to look behind, and noted the weapon was holstered, and the guy had a knife, thinking he could sneak attack for an assassination, or capture.
He put the mirror away, thankful that the night had hid it. Then he span, and fired.
The man was shocked, and barely took a step back from the centre-mass impact.
Casey had been shot by this guy. Morgan felt not compulsion to do otherwise. He took aim with his paintball gun designed for precision paintballing at this distance.
The guy was knocked over from the impact of a paint ball to the face. He approached carefully, and fired again at a clear shot at the guy's face again, this time he recognised something that had fallen from the guy's head that now opened the man's open eyes to the splash. He started to whimper, and a second later, Morgan landed a clean blow that knocked the guy out.
He quickly searched the guy, and tied him up with his own zip-ties. Hands behind his back. Back of his hands together. He'd seen movies with palm-to-palm used to break thumbs in order to escape zip ties.
With three zip ties, very tight, it was nigh impossible to escape without a blade. Which is where wrapping the guy's hands so he couldn't grab something if he woke came in. It was good to be a fan of action movies.
It was also a bad idea to try and take him all the way.
He needed a pick up. He dropped the guy in his nest, and tied him to a tree, then covered him in it, collapsing his tent-like netting nest.
He gave a quick call to Beckman to check on the arrival of the team.
"Are they near my location?" He asked, placing his purloined night-vision goggles on to see better, and holstering the man's suppressed pistol.
"Do you need a rescue?"
"No, it's just I've got some stuff I need to take back to our temporary base that they might need for the mission." He almost smirked. "And It'll be far quicker if they come pick me up."
"I shall redirect them now, Mr Grimes."
"Have them follow my GPS signal if you can. Just make sure they have Carina Miller on point when they get here, she'll know it's me, and I know her. If Bryce is on point I'd be too tempted to shoot him, and I don't think I'd recognise Zondra in this low light right now."
"Indeed. I'll contact them now. Beckman out."
Said team were surprised to get the orders, five minutes out from the neighbourhood as they were.
Bryce, in the Drivers seat, looked at the passenger working away on a laptop. "How far?"
"I've got his GPS signal locked in now... Another mile down the road, then take a right. There should be a dirt road another quarter mile down." Zondra spoke, eyes on a map showing two blips, one their target, the other them.
Carina had to comment, "I wonder why Beckman told you to put me on point?"
"You're the one that's worked with the team before."
"Yes but all three were captured, so it can't be Chuck."
Bryce glanced in the rear-view wondering why she thought it would be Chuck. "Why wouldn't it be Sarah or Casey?"
"... Actually I see your point. It could be Casey. He definitely would want to shoot me. But He'd want to shoot you more, so no."
"It's not Casey. She referred to whoever this guy as a recent asset." Zondra supplied. "Turn right here." She said, looking up as the car approached the first turn off the main road. "And Casey wouldn't call in support that takes fifteen hours to get there since the alarm was raised."
The rest of the way was done in silence, until Zondra told them to stop, and Carina and Bryce both got out.
Zondra stayed back, as she was working the computer. Bryce should have been doing it, but Beckman suggested he go with Carina, as whoever it was, was at least familiar with them, but not her.
Morgan had prepared, just in case someone from the wrong side was coming, and so was hugging a tree, gillie suit blending him into the leaves, while he held his camouflaged paintball gun on target.
He recognised whoever it was, as they approached the rock he'd put his phone under. "Carina if perimeter safe, signal all clear. Don't shoot the guy that will hit Bryce. He'll deserve it."
He could tell she held in chuckles, and he was glad that Bryce took position just in front of his tree. The thick branch he was perched on was a tree that was absolutely covered in thick leaves already, they wouldn't notice his small frame, stretched out and wrapped around it a little.
Carina looked around, and nodded to herself. It looked empty. Didn't mean it was with this guy. The handwriting was familiar. "All clear." She said, and kept watch for the guy to show himself. Bryce looked at her in confusion, wondering what she was doing.
She saw it move, and she tried to hold in the laugh, as something slowly lowered from a low branch just behind Bryce.
Then, what she recognised as a paintball gun of all things, was aimed at Bryce's back, and a whoomp, then Bryce fell forward, grimacing from pain, and pulling his gun.
"Hey Carina." A familiar voice spoke. Then, in an odd tone, added, "It's Martin."
She blinked. And smiled. She understood. "Martin. Well, what a surprise."
The guy nodded, and approached closer, and she shone a torch over him, avoiding the face.
"Neat Camouflage. What's with the paintball gun, and shooting Bryce?"
He tilted his head, as he obviously heard from her earpiece the laughter of Zondra. "Eh. He deserved it. That Rozzi laughing on your earpiece?"
She nodded, and spoke to the air, or rather, the mic that had caught the whole thing, "Hey, cut it out, you're hurting my ear, Zondra."
It lowered some.
"Eh. We'll laugh later." The guy shifted, and the guy stood a little, taller.
Bryce got up, wheezing, "What the fuck?"
"We'll explain afterward. For now, I've got a present for you. This way."
Bryce was hurting a bit, not as much as he thought he'd be, but then he'd thought he'd been shot with a bullet, not a paintball. It would still bruise though.
And damn, he hadn't even heard the guy approach. But obviously, Carina had seen the guy, given the mirth in her eyes right before the moment of pain.
He followed the guy down unto a gulley, then blinked as the short-ass pulled back camouflage netting of the type you only see with army scout snipers, to reveal a bound, gagged struggling guy who looked like he'd experienced this, Martin's, torture of paintballs. He winced. Martin had shot him in the back – and he was sure that this had some significance – but this guy had been shot in the face.
"How the hell?"
"He was going to surprise me. I heard him. I surprised him."
Carina nodded, and Bryce couldn't help be impressed again. Sounded like the guy realised he'd been followed, and by recognising the ambush, took the advantage of surprise onto his side. But he didn't look like he had a weapon except that paintball gun, so the fact he took the guy down with it was all the more impressive.
"Who the hell are you?" He muttered.
He ignored the odd look Martin sent to Carina, obviously the pair had worked together before.
"One sec." Martin then delivered a right hook that knocked the guy unconscious again. "Larkin, grab him. Carina if you wouldn't mind helping him?"
"And what are you going to do?" Larkin had to ask.
"I'll carry my stuff."
Sure enough, Martin was carrying a lot of gear, and though he wasn't as fast as most sniper's Bryce had known, he wasn't slow. Like he was used to this.
Between Carina and himself, they had the guy carried to the car pronto.
At the car, Bryce was curious, but it was Zondra who commented, "You do know that cloth is the worst thing you could bind hands together with."
The guy shrugged. "Not unless you bind them with several zip ties really tight first. The cloth is just to stop him from being able to grab anything. Particularly, anything sharp."
They all blinked.
"That's... a good idea." Bryce had to admit. The guy's estimation in his mind was rapidly climbing out of the hole he'd gotten for shooting him in the back.
Carina then helped the guy remove his gillie suit.
Bryce would have tried to take a look at his face, but Carina was all over this guy, and the guy was reciprocating.
He sighed, and said, "In the car, you two."
Carina somehow filched the keys from him, and got in the drivers seat. Zondra looked at the guy, and Martin nodded. She let him in the front.
Zondra got in behind Carina, and Bryce was shoving the unconscious guy between them in, when he realised that the guy was on his phone. He'd not caught the guy giving his name, but he'd caught the "Secure." Confirmation.
The guy was pro, for definite. Not an, 'asset' as the word had been used. This had to be an agent. NSA, given the obvious military training, although the paintball – seriously, what's with the paintball gun?
"Yeah we're loaded up and ready to head to point Overwatch." ... "Yeah, I brought my package."
"No, no problems with Agent Larkin, General." Really, then what was the paintball to the back about?
The guy shifted after a second, then said, "Oh, that. Well, I did give my reasons for Carina being on point, but it didn't stop the urge anyway."
Bryce' teammates obviously understood something then, because they both started snickering.
"Yeah well, Casey's my hero, you know?" The guy said, like he was joking, but probably not. The guy had training, that was for sure, and the shooting in the back could be explained by Casey's own dislike of him.
"Understood. Just out of curiousity, who has operational authority here?" He smiled, and after a second, passed the phone to Carina, who took it.
Bryce really wanted to know who this guy was, as there was an odd, familiarity about him that Bryce just couldn't shake now.
"Thank you ma'am. About..." She paused, and listened. "Oh. Last time I was here, they were..." She paused, and nodded, "Understood."
She ended the call and passed it back to Martin, and spoke to the team, "General Beckman has given me operational command. Martin, once we're at, Overwatch," she paused, as if amused by the name, "I want you to prepare to brief us, since you've been on site longer."
As they approached, Martin started to give directions, and got them into a back alley, and opened a gate in the back yard of a house.
As they got out, and knocked out their prisoner again, Martin went up and did something with the letter box, then opened the door and let them in.
Bryce was impressed upon realising that he'd obviously disabled an alarm or trap to prevent entry.
Martin called up the stairs, "Doc, I'm back and brought the team."
A familiar voice called down, "You didn't do anything to Larkin, did you?"
"Nah." He called out humorously. Bryce just coughed and gave him a single raised eyebrow. "Nothing permanent anyway."
"Nothing that I need to see to?"
Carina was impressed.
Morgan was different. Very different. And she liked it. The guy had a backbone, and a very sneaky side that she would swear he didn't have before.
He was very different from the sci-fi obsessed geek that still slept in a bed with star wars covers.
Wearing jungle-camouflage uniform and full-face camo paint gave him a definite soldier look. The only thing that reminded her that this was definitely Morgan at heart, was his paintball gun.
Beckman had sounded surprised when they'd talked on the phone, so she had an idea that this was a relatively new development.
He wasn't a 'nerd', like Chuck. But he knew his way around computers.
In the large dining room of the rather upscale house, he'd had set up quite a bit of equipment – clearly government issue – and the table was covered with notes and other papers, along with an enlarged map of the area.
That the map wasn't one piece of paper, but several trimmed-down A4, suggested that he'd just made it himself from several smaller sections. Proved correct, when she noted 'google maps' on several trimmings in the waste-basket.
The map was in the middle, and he placed several little toy soldiers around as she watched, amused that he was using anything and everything to get a clear briefing ready. The General had called her on her own phone a few minutes ago, and wanted to be online during the briefing to see how it went.
After he was done, he started to, of all things, make a quick 3d model of the building based on computerised architectural information from the local town records office, and placed it on the map and added several more toy soldiers to it. plenty of room provided to see all floors.
The sheer attention to detail was astonishing.
He'd make a good spy, she reckoned.
Bryce was sat in one of the bedrooms, obviously this house was luckily empty, as there was nothing to suggest inhabitation except for themselves.
He wondered what the hell Devon Woodcombe was doing here, although the 'doc' comment was enough that he figured Devon was here for discreet medical support.
The other one, well, he was talking to Beckman about.
"What is your opinion of, Martin, Agent Larkin?" Beckman asked. There was an odd tone, and he recognised it at amusement. What she was amused about, he could only guess.
"I don't like him. He did shoot me in the back."
"I was asking for your professional opinion, not your personal one." She chided after a chuckle.
Why she was asking about her own operative – and her words of 'asset' didn't make sense, although he did wonder why the team were there when this guy was obviously well-trained - he didn't know, unless she wanted to know how he worked with them. Maybe this was his first team-mission, and he wasn't authorised or didn't have the lone-operation skills for this one?
He sighed. "He's good. I didn't even know he was there when he shot me. He managed to capture an enemy patrol with nothing but his paintball gun, and came up with a rather smart way to tie the guy up and prevent escape. He's preparing our briefing right now."
"Wait, he captured one of the guards?"
He blinked. She didn't know?
"Yeah, that's why he called for pickup."
She was silent, then after a rather long pause, started to chuckle. Huh. She didn't expect that from this, Martin.
"I get the impression that he's... new to this?"
"You could say that, Mr Larkin."
"so that's why you called us in, instead of him going in himself?"
"... He's not an Agent." She said simply. "He hasn't been trained for this."
He blinked at that, and frowned. She wouldn't joke about that. Would she? "He's had training, ma'am. Although I have to wonder about the paintball gun."
"Exactly. I believe that he and Doctor Woodcombe have regular paintball sessions."
"He's a civilian? Ma'am, I have to ask, aside from Devon who knows Chuck, and is obviously here for discreet medical support, how did this Martin get involved?"
"Agent Larkin, you will be briefed on your mission in a few minutes, I suggest you spend this time getting your gear ready. General Beckman, out."
What? She wasn't going to tell? What the hell?
Morgan looked at Devon, who was looking rather tired now, but he was still aware. Zondra had thankfully taken over on the watch from him, and he'd gotten a short nap. Long double and triple shifts at the hospital had taught him how to get short naps whenever he could, and how to stay aware even then just in case. He'd go back to taking watch while Morgan briefed them.
If he were honest, he wasn't feeling Awesome. But Morgan still looked alert, and he'd been awake just as long. Morgan's answer to how had been 'I'm shorter, and I don't have an athlete's metabolism, so that one can of red bull is still keeping me awake.'
He understood. He needed rather strong caffeine to be awake for longer than ten minutes after triple shifts. His exercise routine was in fact a point against him. It didn't matter that he actually used a lot less energy than Morgan did for the same things. His body broke it down and flushed it from his system much quicker, just as it broke down and flushed the toxins from heavy exercise quickly.
"You still okay, man?"
"Yeah, I'm fine."
"You sure? If you want, I'll take watch when they run the mission, let you get some Zzz's before you have to do any impromptu operations."
He sighed, and nodded. "If they don't want you there with them."
Morgan sighed and nodded. Awesome understood. Morgan had a briefing to get to, and he'd gotten the info from Devon that he needed.
Beckman opened the link, and almost smiled to see that around the large dining table set up with a map, in addition to the control computer and a neatly organised set of notes, the three members of her spy team were waiting patiently for the briefing to begin.
Another screen, showed that Devon was at his, post, keeping watch while the briefing went on, but linked in as well just in case he needed to provide some input.
And the one she was interested in, despite her worry for the captured Team Intersect, Morgan Grimes.
She thought he was, well, a loser. Or rather, to use professional terms, an untrained, undisciplined and unmotivated man with very little clear potential. Now she was seeing a keen, professional application of skills she'd only realised he'd had when looking at the file she'd had compiled of him, that came from the very things she'd frowned on him for. Video games that were strongly angled towards team cooperation for maximum effectiveness. His high position in a gaming 'clan' was first seen as a sign of his laziness in everyday life. She'd thought it Chuck's bluff back when they were trying to build the 1.1 Intersect that allowed Chuck to delay long enough for his team, and his SWAT backup, to arrive. Now looking back, Chuck's bluff couldn't have actually worked if Morgan hadn't created his plan properly. Casey's surveillance was very complete, so she had a recording of the conversation, and listening to it, she wouldn't have believed it was for a game. It sounded like an actual, tactically-sound plan. And she'd found the irony that Chuck only made it seem real with the actual team that showed up.
She'd underestimated the little guy. It was rather, humbling.
He'd done far better than he should have, without any training.
Which brought her somberly to whom the briefing was about. Chuck. Another civilian that did better, with no training, than he'd had any right to.
Seeing Morgan about to start, she put off her thoughts, and watched.
He tapped a command on the laptop, and her third monitor showed footage from Casey's surveillance cameras.
"At oh-nine twenty three, this group of unknowns arrived without warning at our team's residence and captured them before they could put up much of a fight. Agent Carmichael was taken down first, and when he went down, one of the hostiles managed to sedate Agent Walker. A third hostile managed a shot off at Major Casey, wounding him in the shoulder, and subsequently managed to knock him unconscious. The group then took our team to this location."
"Doctor Woodcombe and I were both witness to this, however as we were not prepared for anything, and would have only gotten ourselves killed trying to stop it, I felt it better to observe and report. I immediately reported the kidnapping to the General, while the Doc followed them and took overwatch here." Morgan grabbed a note, and barely read it before it was back on the pile. "They arrived at their safe house at approximately ten-thirty, and proceeded to set up an active perimeter patrol, fully established by one-forty. Continuous surveillance of the house has shown that aside from changing of the patrols, no one else has arrived and no one has left since the initial team. We have identified at a minimum of thirty guards on location," He then indicated the rifleman infrantry toy soldiers on the map around the house in various patterns, "ten on patrol at any one time. Patrol distance, spacing and routes leave no room to sneak past during the day," he added indicators of patrol movements, "and we only have a few hours of night left."
He then pulled a set of files, and handed them out. "These are the original blueprints to the building.." He looked up, and grabbed several printed pages from the notes, and laid them on a clear space on the map near the building. "However, an NSA Satellite with ground-penetrating imaging, and infra-red capability indicate that beneath the building is a much bigger actual facility."
They all, including Beckman, blinked at that. Beckman especially didn't know that he'd used one of her birds.
"Through a, variety of sources," He smiled a little, "and matching to these images, I have a possible layout." He pulled a sheaf of paper, again scaled to the map, and overlaid around the building the facility, moving some of the pieces.
"Now, cross referencing with known intelligence, I would say that this is a Fulcrum base. Not definite." He looked at Beckman, and back, "but high probability that this is a containment facility. It is too remote for regular useage for other means. The Cold spots on the infra-red would seem to indicate several cold storage rooms, probably for long-term habitation with not exterior contact. In addition to the confirmed thirty guards on three patrol rotations, there are an additional ten heat sources within the facility. We know three are Chuck, Sarah and Casey, so that leaves thirty-seven hostiles in total, twenty seven inside, and ten outside. Correlating the movement of the heat sources leads me to believe that this possible layout is probable. Which, has several issues. There are four entrances confirmed by the contract construction work whose blue prints we have. One lift, and at least one ladder access, and one stairwell. The last one seems to be ventilation, but large enough for a person to gain entry. Covert entry to the house itself is difficult, so once inside the facility, there is the strong possibility of being flanked. We also can't determine which heat source is our friends. Unfortunately, full tactical entry by a large force is also inadvisable, due to the small space. Tracking heat sources in fact implied several doorways that were rather small, pairs moving into single file for a few moments, and moving slowly. So, while cover will be plentiful, actual movement through the facility will be, hazardous. Any questions before I continue?"
Bryce nodded. "You seem a little, happy, for such an obviously impossible mission."
Morgan's subtle smile was out in full. "Ah, yes. You see, if I hadn't captured the guy who shot Casey, we wouldn't have intel on the facility at all."
"That can't be all. What gives?"
Morgan looked at Carina, who looked a bit smug herself. She nodded to him to go first. "Thanks to Carina's interrogation, we do know that the house itself is designed to be a nightmare simply to slow down whoever plans to invade it, simply because of the appearance that it would need significant manpower but also be a very costly one in same by the end of it. But, A small team can gain entry without being noticed."
"How?" Bryce had to ask.
Carina smiled a little, and had to comment on his large smile. "You found it didn't you?"
Morgan nodded. "During my recon around the property, from a distance, mind you, I found what seemed to be a little ramshackle hut. I didn't approach, and I wasn't noticed. But from a distance, before daylight faded, I did see that it was fairly-well wired. Our friend in the basement confirmed that it's an emergency exit, and that entry can be gained through, well methods that we can get around. Bryce, your own technical skills will be needed on it."
"Now, the shack has a second entrance with it, but it is to the ventilation ducts. Someone who is small can get in, and get access to their computer network hardware to plant a tap. And I so happen to have some hardware I brought with, that I know the NSA hasn't got yet." He glanced at Beckman, and hinted, "Remember the list of Fulcrum agents that Agent Carmichael retrieved without them suspecting a thing?"
Beckman blinked at the reminder, and nodded as she figured out how Chuck did it – one of Morgan's toys.
"Now, you can plan getting in and then getting out from there. Getting there, we'll need a van since there'll be at least you three and Chuck, Sarah and Casey. Devon will be coming for medical support, and I'll be there for technical assistance and to ensure you all make a clean getaway."
"You'll be staying behind?"Bryce asked.
"Yes. I did recon the area, and while I was out there, I managed to get some spots set up after I found that shack and realised what it was."
Then he turned to the General. "The only question I have is rules of engagement for myself."
The three looked at him confused, and Beckman asked, "Having evidence of your performance from your unique, training, I know your marksmanship is decent. However, you are not proven in the field, aside from your, paintball gun."
Morgan nodded. "My father used to do clay-pigeon shooting, and took me with him. I've handled from low-power shotguns up through to air-powered sniper rifles. I may not be athletic like Devon or you spies, but you don't need to be to handle recoil, once you know what to expect. I can quickly familiarise myself with some of the suppressed weapons I brought from Casey's."
"You understand you may need to kill in defence."
"Exactly, ma'am. Many of them are rogue agents of various agencies, and some were recruited directly into the group. I can deal with the consequences."
Beckman nodded. "Then you have the same rules of engagement as the agents. And team. Take no prisoners."
Morgan nodded, and asked, "Questions?"
"You went into a lot of detail on the house." Zondra spoke up.
"Ah, well, you see while you three are getting our wayward friends, and your progress would be slow, I would be free to move about the ducts and gain access to several locations. They have a powerful computer that is not connected to their network, and I so happen to have a very large capacity device to copy all of its data to."
The three nodded.
The questions continued, and the plan gained more detail.
Devon drove the van up, and parked it near a lot of brush, next to a cliff face that they anchored camouflage netting to.
Then the team of four, Carina in the lead, moved on up.
Each were in full combat uniform, dark green jungle pattern with Kevlar vests on, plenty of ammunition, and Bryce was chosen as their 'mule' for equipment and gear for the team. Strapped to his back in a space specific for it, was his tablet that he'd use to hack into systems.
Morgan himself carried equipment, but most would be left for him to use to cover their retreat, and included one of Casey's NSA burn phones with a tracker he would activate when he was ready for pickup.
Unknown to the group, once his work was done and the team was away, he would activate his little, gifts.
No one takes his friends, and since learning about their real jobs, he had gotten close enough to both Sarah and to Casey, and it also brought him to accept Devon more, to the point that he considered them his family along with Chuck and Ellie. And If he were honest, It was fun introducing Sarah to Call of Duty. She'd kept giving considering glances after that first time she watched, when his team decimated an opposing force of 'higher ranked and better equipped'.
He and Devon had even had Casey join them once for paintballing, and Casey had learned that crotch shots hurt the most, and the person that shot him learned that a punch to the balls hurt a lot more.
Morgan had learned where Casey kept his explosives, too. And he was a fan of macguyver, one of the shows he and Chuck had marathons of. So he knew how to set them up. They didn't know he had the more, higher-explosives of the lot.
All four had the same main and backup armaments.
M4 supressed carbines, red-dot sights, and double-magazine adaptors. Government-issue suppressed pistols with two spare magazines with the pistol's own red-dot sight, and underslung laser pointer.
They differed in secondary weapons. Morgan, given his distance role for their exit plan, simply brought along an, again suppressed, bolt-action sniper rifle that he didn't care to learn the name to. Bryce had an SMG that looked similar to the MP5, but newer, smoother, this one too suppressed. Carina instead carried a large supply of throwing knives. Apparently, she'd been taught by Sarah. And Zondra was equipped with a Spas-12 shotgun, and she'd brought the heavier 'artillery' ammo, as he called the most powerful gauge.
They all were equipped with flashbangs and smoke grenades.
The girls, both because of their long hair, wore bandanas over their hair in addition to around their faces. Combined with Tactical Ops glasses over eyes they'd painted black around, their eyes were fairly well hidden.
They reached the Shack easily, and Morgan was first into the facility, through the Vents.
He had to, and wired in for Bryce' own hack to get the team proper into the facility.
Their tactical throat-mics let them all hear each other, and Morgan wished the team luck as he moved in, crawling slowly down the vent. Bryce took his time to hack, to ensure no one noticed the breach.
Team 'Two Pussies and an Ass' as Morgan called them in his head, reported entry at oh-eight forty three, according to his watch. He'd been in the ducts for half an hour by that point, and had entered the facility boundary a short five minutes previous. He carefully put one of his devices into the back of a computer without coming out of the vent itself. Quietly, he activated the device, and pulled out the small ipad-like PC that he'd filched from the Buy More and put tonnes of his brand of computer gizmos and gadgetry on.
He was in, and soon enough he disabled a security scan long enough to connect up one of his copying devices, and connected it to an NSA hard drive he'd gotten that was designed for extreme-capacity with exceptional writing speed for just this purpose.
That done, he moved on to the house.
They'd made good progress, for all the distance that they had to cover.
The long tunnel was winding, accounting for the part where it had to dip then rise again.
Thanks to Morgan's device, Bryce was able to stay ahead of the cameras, recording enough to put one into a loop while they passed.
So when they arrived at the facility, they were eager, and alert. And ready to go slower.
"Martin." Carina whispered, knowing the throat mic would keep it clear for him.
"What's your progress?"
"The Facilities' internal security was separate from the computer network, but I've wired in now. I've also noticed exterior monitoring devices, but no visual. I can trigger them from here so we are go for your distraction plan."
"Alright. Distraction time." She spoke to the others in a whisper. "Martin. Go."
A few seconds later, they heard an alert go, and Patrols mysteriously disappearing. Then they felt a shudder.
"Hm? Oh, I anticipated that we might have used distraction to divert attention from entering the house, so I'd already laid some explosives, and just triggered them along with the facilities' perimeter alerts. Didn't I tell you?"
"No." She looked at the group, amused. "We need you to guide us in."
"Well, they're sending up the standby patrol, so you've got seventeen hostiles to deal with. The first room is clear, but one hostile is in the adjacent room."
They slowly entered, and quickly used stealth to pull the first into the room, and dealt with him... quickly.
"Okay. Out into the hall to your right is a security sub-station. Bryce, connect one of the copy devices to a computer in there, and you'll need to alter their security protocols for their detention cells. I can't do that from this end."
"Understood." Bryce replied.
Carina and Zondra covered him as he entered, and followed a few instructions.
"Okay, accessing remote copy device. Hm, I've got their lockdown protocols. I can lockdown the entire facility, and manually override individual doors. No promises, but you probably won't be flanked. Together with jamming their comms, and they won't know what's going on. They'll expect their comms to be jammed in one particular one, but I can override that from here and apply our own, so we aren't jammed too."
"Alright, when we're ready to go in, do it." Carina agreed. "Bryce, status?"
"Just one more computer to copy from, and I've got the detention cells access cards."
After a minute, they proceeded out, and followed Morgan's instructions, until he hit a snag. "Guys, I need to retreat for ten minutes, they're rebooting their security systems in two minutes, get your asses to the closet down the hall on your left. Second door."
They got in, and he spoke, "Sit tight, they're applying their own lockdown. Once they've rebooted I can splice back in. Until then stay there, you'll be seen on cameras. Noth..."
The transmission faded to static, and the lights in the base lowered.
"What do we do?" Bryce asked.
"Sit tight." Carina spoke. Normally impulsive, this kept her keenly grounded in the plan.
He hated having to lie just so he had time to do the last half of planting his bombs, but he needs to make it look like a self-destruct. He was cleaning the base of intel so they were satisfied, and getting ready to destroy it. No one hurts his friends.
He climbed up and out from the vent that intersected a corridor, and placed his thermite-based explosive at a key powerjunction, which was was above the second emergency exit, one of three. He'd trap the last one this way on his way back once the rescue was done.
He climbed back into the vent, and left, unseen, unnoticed.
"Guys, back. I've took control of the lockdown, and overridden their own jamming."
Carina sighed, and looked at the others. She felt there was, more, to it, but the others didn't look like they had similar feelings. "Alright, direct us, oh Wizard."
She could hear the amusement in his reply, "Just follow the yellow brick road, Dorothy."
They shared looks as Martin/Morgan continued to guide them deeper into the large base, quickly realising that it was far bigger than they thought.
She saw their progress on the screens, and couldn't help the smile as she kept the systems from alerting her boss. She'd also noted the obvious plan from the short one she knew she recognised, but couldn't think from where.
She'd been angry when the team captured Carmichael. Or rather, Chuck Bartowski.
She was the only one in the base that even knew his real name.
But she was the only one who didn't want them here. Chuck especially.
It took a moment before she came to a decision.
Made, she stood, and triggered the self-destruct built into the device. It smoked, and grew hot quickly, the heat ensuring completely-melted hard drives.
She passed through security checkpoints in the bowels of the place, and looked at a camera, and felt that feeling of being watched. She winked, and made a 'come hither' motion, and continued down, knowing the guy was watching.
She entered the room where the base self destruct was, turned to a camera, pointed at it, then made an exploding motion with her hands, gave a wink, then held up a piece of paper she'd hastily written the activation code on.
Then she left, and intentionally used the same exit that they came through.
Morgan shuddered at the image of a woman he knew but couldn't think from where point out a bomb, and clearly told him to activate it. Even so, he continued guiding the team, and wondered what Volkoff Industries was.
She approached the Van with Devon inside, and waved hi as she got in. He hadn't expected, and clearly recognised her – and knew why.
"Not a word. Just listen. Don't tell the CIA rescue team I was here. When you've got Chuck out, tell him... tell him that I couldn't stop them from going after him, from... doing what they've done. I couldn't stop them without revealing just who he is to me. And tell him I'm sorry for leaving all those years ago, but I had to. I had my orders, just as sure as Sarah has hers. I had to leave to protect them. And I've regretted it ever since."
"No, don't. Just..." She sighed. "Tell him I love him, and wish him my best." Thens he grinned a little, and laughed, "And tell him to trust Morgan. He's... pretty good for a guy with no training." She shook her head from exasperation, "who'd have thought, Morgan Grimes..."
With that, she got back out, and parted with, "I know you can't tell Ellie without having to lie, and I know you're a terrible liar, but I hope you both the best. I miss them both..." She wiped a tear, and left her future son-in-law. "Devon... Ellie needs you and Chuck, and... even Morgan." She grinned. "She needs you three to be Awesome."
Carina winced as they hauled Chuck to his feet and cut the binders around his hands. He was in terrible shape, and clearly had been tortured.
What was odd was that the detention cells has not been entered since a few hours after they had arrived, and had been locked down for far longer than the base had. Last logged exit was someone' named Frost, and given that the only live bodies in the entire block had been the team, all the others were people who worked here, and all had been killed by point-blank shots to the back of the head, and given the evidence probably suppressed.
The dried blood showed that this had happened quite a while ago.
But it was Chuck and Casey's state that showed someone was caring for them, as Casey's bandages were far fresher than the bodies, and Chuck had ointment that was only just finishing being absorbed, healing ointment that Carina recognised by smell.
"Seems someone was not happy with them being tortured." She commented.
"Yeah... Did Martin say Frost?" Bryce asked, the name was familiar.
"Yes he did, why?"
"... Nothing, it's just I know that codename from somewhere. Come on, I've got Chuck." He said, and pulled Chuck's arm and hauled him up onto his shoulders in a fire-man carry. He'd gotten used to this at college, as Chuck never had a high tolerance of alcohol, and Bryce usually ended up having to literally carry him back to their room like this.0
And, he hadn't a choice really. Sarah had made it clear last time even without realising it that she didn't want him as a lover. She wanted chuck. Even though she almost fought this desire. It would be too awkward considering their parting words. And Casey just hated his guts, and weighed far more than Chuck.
Carina went and got Sarah, who was awake but unable to stand on her own. She didn't want to deal with Casey either, but since he seemed able to stand on his own when they get him out of his restraints, he seemed alright to accept only a helping shoulder from their last one. In fact, Casey seemed to almost smile.
And Zondra looked like this was familiar, as she passed Casey his own M4 that she'd been using, and she pulled her own Spas-12 from behind her. They both one-handed gripped their guns, while Casey had one arm around her shoulders using her as willing support.
Not that they'd need them, but if they didn't have them at the ready, they would. Murphy's law.
Casey blinked at the gun. "This is mine." He grunted.
Carina nodded. "Yes, it is. Martin figured you'd want the comfort of your own gun when we got you free."
Casey blinked at that, and grunted in slight-appreciation. Which, from Casey, spoke volumes really.
Morgan watched as the entire group made it to the van, and Casey pretty much made him check Chuck was okay first. Within minutes, they were all in the van, and Devon drove the group away. Morgan was pretty much going to be here until an NSA Sweeper team arrived to deal with the locked-down base.
He returned to the guts of the base, and began removing all his devices, and left the final care-package.
Devon pulled the team in to their 'Overwatch' house, and helped Bryce get Chuck into a bedroom upstairs, and then sedated Casey when he stubbornly refused to let him attend to the gun shot wound.
Sarah was fine, and he knew she had only been injected with a sedative. Most of her injuries were from light torture, which made him shudder, and the initial fight when they were captured.
Chuck was, Casey's gun shot wound not withstanding, the worst off.
As the infamous 'Charles Carmichael', he'd taken the brunt of things. This was so not Awesome.
But, He remembered Mrs B's words. Chuck needed him to be Awesome right now, just as Ellie needed him to be too.
Only when he'd spent two hours attending to the three, did he move on to checking Carina, Bryce and Zondra over for any injuries. They'd been in a few rather intense fights, but thankfully they were fit and healthy... if not scarred.
Bryce in particular took some shrapnel to the face. But not hard. It grazed him, giving him a large, long scar on his right cheek. It was only a very shallow cut, mostly just friction and heat burn. He hadn't even noticed it until Devon got around to them. Everyone was worried about Chuck, about Casey, and right then, also about Morgan and his damned decision to stay behind to watch the response, to make sure their dangerously-close base even as distant as it was a full hill over wasn't targeted.
Morgan smiled as he made another hill over from the place.
He'd long since expected the others to be back in Burbank by now.
If not, well, they were distant enough not to be affected.
He looked over the ridge to the distant spec that indicated a hill-side house that was a secret facility of some kind.
A glance at the watch, and he saw it's countdown function race down, less than a minute.
Less than fifteen.
Less than ten.
Time seemed to slow, as the hillside noticeably bulged, then sank back in, then inward still, then bulged out, and repeated at least six times... Then the hillside exploded outward, and upward. And from the debris cloud, plumes of incredibly hot air.
He blinked. That bomb was powerful.
He blinked again, as he realised how much land had been destroyed.
The team watched from the highway stop as the debris cloud disappated. They'd all been looking at just the right moment, while their various vehicles were fuelled up.
Casey and Zondra watched from his Crown Vic, and shared looks.
"That's not mine. Don't have explosives that powerful."
"The initial six blasts did."
In front of the Vic, Devon's van's back doors were open, and Chuck watched half unconscious, curious as to what the fuss was, while Sarah was sat beside him, not caring that obviously the base they'd been inside had just been blown up, and apparently by Morgan from Casey's comment.
She didn't care. Chuck had been hurt, and neither she nor Casey had been able to protect him, as was their job.
Across the lot, Bryce and Carina shared looks, and Carina sighed as Bryce pointedly asked her if she knew Morgan was going to do that.
Devon, inside the gas station store, hadn't even noticed as he stocked up on supplies, their next destination was a Safe House in LA that had medical-grade facilities, but no supplies. It was close enough to Burbank and Echo Park, that when Beckman gave them the address, Devon decided to ask if he'd be using it often from now on, even if only as a place for agents that couldn't be in the system, for reasons such as Bryce's 'I'm supposed to be dead', to get a check up or anything like that. She saw his point, and decided to see if he wanted to be assigned a little more permanently, although not full time. He'd answered with a 'I'll think about it'.
Morgan turned the phone on, and listened as the double-crack was followed by someone speaking a codephrase. He replied with his, and a short time later, he was in a clearing, himself in full combat gear, his backpack on and pretty much ready for extraction. His gillie suit that he'd put on for better evasion was blowing about, and he smiled as the Us Marines sent out by Beckman instead of a simple NSA team waved him over.
He boarded the black hawk, and saluted the only officer aboard. A glance at the name, and he spoke, "Thanks for the lift, Captain."
The officer returned it and asked, "What's your rank, soldier?"
Morgan decided to continue with his alias. He hoped Beckman had kept it. "2nd Lieutenant, sir."
The captain blinked at him, as the Black Hawk gained altitude and LA County became visible in the distance. "Well, Lieutenant Carmichael, Glad to be of service. General Beckman hasn't said much, but I suspect that she was not expecting a new crater in the area."
He grinned, "I think I might have been a bit too eager with placing the Thermite Explosives, sir. It was only supposed to collapse the base, not turn it into a non-nuclear mushroom cloud."
The Captain laughed, and Morgan was wondering why he'd been referred to as Carmichael. Unless, of course, Beckman decided to make him 'Martin Carmichael', 'Charles' eccentric brother.
Beckman stared at the TV on her wall, showing the news report about a mysterious explosion in the mountains near LA.
She knew two things.
First, Morgan did this.
Second, He didn't do this.
He'd admitted to thermite. Thermite doesn't do that.
He'd also told the marines that he was a Lieutenant.
Well, he wanted to play soldier...
She quickly connected to Carina and her team, and told them, "I want everyone assembled in Castle for debriefing at nineteen hundred."
Carina nodded, and it was Bryce that brought up, "General, about Martin..."
"He has already been retrieved by a team of Marines. And I said everyone. That will include him, and Doctor Woodcombe.
Morgan looked between Carina, who was sat in his lap and lightly stroking his chest and smiling, Zondra who seemed to find Carina's behaviour curious, and Bryce, who was looking like his birthday was coming.
As Nineteen Hundred rolled around, Sarah appeared from Castle's small infirmary, with Chuck in a wheelchair and awake. Casey grunted his way stiffly from the same place and into a chair, next to Zondra.
As they all took their places, Beckman finally came on the screen.
"Ah, good, you are all assembled. First, I have given authorisation for everyone here that doesn't already know, to be brought up to speed on Team Intersect."
Morgan tilted his head a little. He'd gone over a little of the intelligence he'd retrieved, and there was something called the intersect referenced, as though it was a database.
"Now, The details of the Intersect, can be shared later."
"Ah... General." Chuck began.
Beckman nodded to him. "Yes Mr Bartowski?"
They all blinked a little, as she was rather soft-spoken just then.
"Ahm, I get why devon's here, but why is Morgan here?"
Chuck noticed immediately that Bryce jumped, and stared in disbelief at his buddy. Didn't he know who Morgan was?
"It is thanks to Mr Grimes that I even knew you had all been captured. He and Doctor Woodcombe witnessed the event, and had Devon follow your kidnappers, while Morgan alerted me and got together any gear he thought he'd need. He performed all the reconnaissance they required for a successful rescue, and even managed to capture one of the patrol guards. Without a weapon, I should add."
Chuck looked at Morgan, who was blushing clearly. "This true, buddy?"
"... Sort of."
"Sort of." Chuck dead-panned.
"Well, I did have a paintball gun... Got a surprise hit, he went down more from shock than anything, then I got a closer, head shot to blind him. Followed by a right hook."
"Damn." Chuck whispered.
"Mr Bartowski, a more thorough debriefing can occur later when you're fully healed." Beckman interrupted.
"Of course General."
"Agents Rizzo, Miller, I have spoken to your directors, and if you agree, you will both be assigned to Team Intersect for the foreseeable future. You all worked well together, and I must note that it is difficult to find agents whom Casey gets along with."
"Until Agent Walker is back up to a hundred percent and Major Casey is recovered, You both will need to take over protection and reaction duties for Mr Bartowski and the Intersect. Agents Walker and Casey can brief you on what that means.
"Doctor Woodcombe has agreed to start working for us as a part-time doctor, beyond assisting Team Intersect. Agent Larkin, given recent events and previous associations, I believe you would be best off being assigned to assist him until your assignment here is complete."
"Which brings me to you, Mr Grimes."
Morgan fidgeted a little, but carina still in his lap – which everyone else was wondering why Beckman hadn't commented about yet – stopped it quickly.
"Your plan is what made this all work. And while I am disappointed that the base was destroyed, I am pleased that your... unique methods, has ensured we have all the intelligence we could have gotten from it anyway. We have questions as to how you got some of your own technology, but that can wait."
Morgan nodded, and Beckman had paused, so he asked, "Uh... so I take it you're going to uh... make me an asset or something?"
"Or Something, Mr Grimes. Or should I say, Lieutenant Martin Carmichael."
"You displayed clear military thinking in the field, and combined with obvious abilities in stealth, tactics, strategy and planning, I would like to extend an offer to join the US Marine Corps. You would be fully trained to enlisted standard, be run through the Marines' Sniper school, in addition to several other courses, and upon completion of your training, you will be assigned back to Team Intersect under Major Casey's command."
"And if I don't accept?"
"You did destroy a large chuck of US Soil, Mr Grimes." She said simply.
"I accept." He chirped with a little high voice. The spies in the room chuckled, and Beckman herself had a predatory smile that spoke of the cat and the canary.
Chuck couldn't believe it. His buddy was going to be a US Marine? Or was he going to be a spy?
What was Casey anyway? Sarah was more the spy, and Casey was more the soldier? Maybe that's what Morgan would be? And what's with the name?
"Ah, General, if I may ask,... Martin Carmichael?"
"The surname I should think obvious... agent Charles Carmichael." Beckman spoke.
He nodded after a second, and asked, "But, Martin?"
Carina coughed. "That was me. Remember, I kept calling him Martin, not Morgan?"
Morgan inserted, "But once I've got my alias, I can just say people call me Morgan because I like the car?"
Chuck blinked, then nodded. Then added, "That means you'll need to like the car."
His buddy winced and nodded.
"Now, Doctor Woodcombe tells me it will take several weeks for you to get up to speed. Agent Walker on the other hand will be back up to a hundred percent in a few days. It will take some time to get the paperwork through for Mr Grimes, so until then, he is free to assist as needed in a support capacity."
"Thank you General." Morgan spoke up.
"Now, if you'll excuse me... I need to contemplate how I'm going to write this report."
She gave them an amused look, then disconnected.
The four looked at the other four.
Morgan went first. "So let me get this straight. Bryce got you kicked out of Stanford to prevent you from being recruited by the CIA. Four years later he sends you the intersect..."
"It was that email, wasn't it? The one the night of your birthday party. With the zork thing"
He nodded again, and Bryce had to ask, "Wait, you saw it too?"
"... What? No. Chuck sent me home before he used whatever it was he'd use to defeat the terrible troll."
Everyone but Chuck and Bryce stared. Bryce just chuckled, "Attack with Nasty Knife."
"Yeah." Chuck replied.
"Wait, let me get this straight." Carina started. "You sent Chuck, government secrets, intelligence and so on, all contained in this Intersect, to him via e-mail. And then Casey shot you."
"No, Casey shot first." Bryce replied.
Morgan and Chuck couldn't help the snicker.