A/N If you're looking for realism, accuracy, and verisimilitude, watch…um…some other spy show.

If I owned Chuck they'd have shown the Chuck movie on USA Network every other weekend.


"General, we have a situation."

"I have to make a call."

"My name, Agent Shaw, is Charles Carmichael, and this is my operation."

"The only way we can keep him from being assassinated is if we kill him ourselves."


Daniel Shaw drove like the wind to meet up with Casey's team, wondering at his own sanity. He'd abandoned his mission, abandoned her, at the drop of a word from a pixilated image on a screen. He had no business saving women, he'd failed at that already.

His phone rang. "Shaw secure."

"Carmichael secure. What's your status, Agent Shaw?"

"I'm a few minutes away from Casey's location."

"Very good," said Carmichael, more acknowledgement than praise. "I expect to receive an incursion target shortly."

"Don't worry, Agent Carmichael, we'll get your ladies back for you."

Carmichael chuckled. "That is not my concern. I expect them to leave you with little to do on that score. There will be wreckage, Daniel, and I expect you to salvage all that can be salvaged from it, primarily useful intel and our strike team's lives."

"What about the Ring agents?"

"I think we can safely say that they've brought this upon themselves. Carmichael out."

Shaw smiled, now that the safety of others was off the table. He'd done the recon, he'd done the analysis, it was time to get back in the game. Foil one of the Ring's schemes? He could do that. It's a beginning. If he could get Carmichael on board it might even be the end.


"Dirtnap, what's your status?"

"Almost at the ceremony site now, Mad Dog. Sh-uh, Stoneface was in the van when I left."

"Very good. I expect Perfection to signal me her location soon."

"How? Run her bikini up the flagpole?"

Carmichael laughed. "Nothing so risqué, Colonel, although it would get people's attention. She's got FRODO with her, that should be more than enough."

"Frodo, that little dwarf guy?"

"Hobbit. And no. FRODO is a little toolkit I dreamed up. Nothing fancy, but what spy wants to be fancy? It includes a homing beacon."

Sometimes Casey was glad Chuck was such a nerd. This was one of those times. "I've got Vera ready and waiting."

"I should have known you'd name your guns, Dirtnap."

"You named your gizmos."

"Touche."

Casey had to ask. "Graboid, are you still there?"

"Graboid will come home when his wife comes home, Dirtnap," said Mad Dog. "I promise. Proceed as planned. Mad Dog out."


"You two, in there."

"I'm going, I'm going! You don't have to push. Geez!"

"Don't you ever shut up?" asked Ian. His boss was off supervising the containment of the NSA whiz kid, leaving him with these two…bimbos.

"Not that I've noticed," muttered Sarah.

He had a handkerchief and a necktie, but Prince would hurt him if he even thought about it. "Sit."

"Ah! Cold, cold."

"Be quiet." He knelt behind them, fastening short chains to the cuffs they wore.

"You try sitting on a metal chair in your underwear!"

He clicked her cuffs a notch tighter. "Be. Quiet."

"Being quiet now."

"About time." He adjusted the blankets, making sure they were covered up, because Prince would hurt him if he didn't. Then he left.

"You think I convinced him?"

"That you're a ditzy redheaded flake? Yeah, I think you convinced him."

"That I'm harmless, Blondie, and so are you."

"I noticed you taking one for the team by flirting with the cute enemy agent, and I will so note it in my report."

"Don't feel you have to, not if you're going to put it that way. These cuffs are tight! Can you do that thing you did in the car and loosen 'em up a bit, pretty please?"

"I could but I won't. He may come back and check. Now, at the risk of sounding like an enemy spy, be quiet. I'm counting."


Alejandro Fulgencio Goya sat uncomfortably in the elegantly appointed dressing room of the small presentation hall offered for his use, getting made up for the presentation. Costa Gravas wasn't exactly a friendly nation, but it was small, and this place was the best he could get in the calculus of political advantage. He had a safe conduct, and he had his guards, but sometimes even that didn't feel like enough.

"Excellency, we have captured an American spy."

This was one of those times. "Is he secured?"

The guard nodded. "In the Lombardi room."

Goya frowned. Stupid American names. "I will see him now."The presentation would be soon and he did not need this little detail hanging over his head. Plus he was bored.

The guard opened the door and he stopped, shocked. Colonel John Casey sat, cuffed and secured to one of the flimsy chairs the room offered, with multiple guards. "The Angel de la Muerte. And in violation of your own country's safe conduct. I wonder, Colonel Casey, which would be better, to let your country execute you for treason, or take you back and execute you myself for espionage."

Casey smiled.


As expected, Ian came back and made sure that Carina's hands were turning red from the tight cuffs. He snorted with amusement and left them again.

"That was what," asked Sarah, "About 10 minutes?" She moved her fingers, activating Chuck's beacon.

"About that. Cuffs now, please."

"Sure." With miraculous ease, Sarah released herself from the cuffs and knelt behind Carina, loosening the cuffs by one notch.

"Walker! What the hell?"

"This is no time for improvising. I've got a plan." She walked away and ignored her friend's rather inventive curses as she knelt at the lock and worked it open. Carina shut up instantly, of course, and Sarah blew her a kiss as she let herself out.

Carina sat there, grumbling to herself and flexing her fingers. They'd gotten all stiff from the lack of blood flow earlier and she realized she wouldn't have been of much use anyway, whatever Walker's plan was.


Shaw's phone buzzed, a text message with just a location. "Captain!"


Sarah moved quickly down the hall, towards the little closet where one of Prince's other henchmen carried Anna's bag while Ian took care of them. This lock was even easier to pick and she soon had Anna's sticks, knife, and other things back where they belonged. She closed the door and ran down to the other room, where Anna herself had been stashed. She only opened that door enough to toss the bag on the table, and then she closed the door behind her with a thump.


Anna woke at the noise, but didn't move or betray that fact in any way as she took stock of her situation. No one seemed to be around, so she flexed her legs and arms. Her ankles were pretty tight, but her wrists…she twisted her arms and there was more give. Back and forth, forth and back, and soon the ties on her wrists gave way with a snap. Rolling over, she looked at the room, looking for something to free her legs with, and spotted her bag. She hopped over and checked the contents, and found her knife.


Sarah snuck back into their room, closing and locking the door as Carina watched in silence. "Have fun with your little plan?"

Sarah put the cuffs on the chair, draped the blanket around her appropriately and sat, putting the cuffs back on. "Oh, yes. A little shopping, visiting with friends, a phone call or two. Did you miss me?"

"Why would I miss you? Friends like you, I'm better off alone."

"Like you would ever be alone longer than you could help it."

"That's true. You're lucky you got back before Ian."

"I'd think even you would hesitate at Ian," said Sarah, as the door rattled.

"Why? He's single."

"Oh, like that makes a difference all of a sudden?" Ian walked in as her voice rose. "Suddenly you've grown some scruples since trying to seduce my husband?"

"I did not try to seduce your husband!"

"I can see where you wouldn't want to remember it. 'Try' is the right word, I know you didn't bloody well succeed."

"Is that a dare?"

Ian's radio spoke at him, and he turned away gratefully. "Ian, grab that NSA bitch and bring her up here. The show's starting."

"Thank God." He walked away, locking the door.

Sarah waited a few moments, and was rewarded by a low thump. "I think Ian's just met Anna."

A few moments later, someone tried the doorknob. "Ladies, you in there?"

"Yes, get us out of here!" called Carina.

"You're safer where you are," said Anna. "These idiots left my gear out in plain sight! `I'll be right back."

"Bitch."

"She's right," said Sarah, freeing herself again. "You're just upset because you haven't killed anyone this whole mission." She knelt and released Carina.

"How do you do that? You don't have a thing on you that isn't cloth!"

Sarah held up her hands. "Graboid calls it FRODO. It's supposed to be an acronym but I think he made it up after the fact. It's a bunch of fake fingernails with all sorts of useful stuff attached."

"Like what?"

"Handcuff key, for one." With a flick of her finger, she flipped it out and then back again. "And the razor I weakened Anna's bonds with. Lockpicks, truth serum. Homing beacon."

"Crap, when?"

"My last walkabout."


"Avoid the front, that's where the traps will be," said Shaw. "Make your entrances here, here, and here. I'll take the exit tunnel."

"How do you know there's an exit tunnel?"

"This is the Ring. There's always an exit tunnel, Captain."


"We've got to get out of here, they'll be coming through the door any second."

"Got it covered." Sarah peeled her two smallest nails off and stuck them together, shoving the wafer into the door lock.

"Keyhole bomb?"

The lock blew out. "Yep."


"What the hell was that?" yelled Prince. "I thought the rear was secure. All our traps are at the front."

"The rear is secure, ma'am."

"Then you shouldn't have any problem checking it out, do you, George? Go."


Carina led the way out the door, on alert for stray guards. "Nice. Why not pick the lock?"

"They're not the most durable lock picks I've ever worked with."

"Can I get a set of the mark 2's?"

"I'll ask Chuck to make a set with condoms."

"Nice."

They turned a corner and stumbled into the crumpled, weaponless body of George. "That bitch Anna. She's not saving any for me."

Sarah rolled her eyes, and pulled a ring off her right hand. "Here."

"What?"

"Part of the set. Nine fingers and the ring of doom!" Sarah make a pinch-and-toss motion with one hand. "Go make boom! somewhere."

"Holy crap," said Carina, looking at the ring warily before slipping it onto her finger. "You always walk around with explosives on your hands?"

"That's what the tenth finger is for, so I can press an elevator button and not blow myself up."


Premier Goya took the stage, to a polite scattering of applause. "Ladies and Gentlemen, we are gathered here today to honor a great man…"

The man looking at him through the sniper scope tuned out the words, uninterested in great deeds or valiant rescues. He had a job to do. The temptation to just pull the trigger now was strong, but his orders were explicit and he always obeyed orders.

Goya held out a hand, and a velvet-covered box was placed into it. "It is my honor, to present this Medal of Valor, Costa Gravas' highest civilian honor, to Senor Morgan Grimes." He turned to the guest of honor, sitting on the other side of the stage.


"Remember, Grimes," said Prince, "Wipe your hands on your pants like you're nervous. Get that wax off the needle."


Morgan wiped his hands against his pants and stood, turning to approach the dictator.

The sniper flexed his finger. Now.

A small bang!, and Goya's chest spurted blood and he fell back, toppling the podium in his fall. The audience sat paralyzed at the sudden fall, guards and guests on stage equally paralyzed that someone struck their leader down within their very ranks.


Prince stared at the wreckage, her goal but not her plan. "Goddammit! Abort, abort!"


Only one man moved, his gun coming up on Morgan Grimes, who hadn't moved, ready to clean up that loose end for his leader.

Casey fired, and the assassin's assassin fell.


Three separate holes blew in the walls.

"Come on, Blondie! Before the cavalry arrives and I don't get to kill anyone." The sound of gunfire came from up ahead, several short, controlled bursts. "They got here fast!"

"That's not them," said Sarah. "That's Anna."

Shaw's head emerged from the hatch of the exit tunnel.

Someone tall flung themselves through the doorway.

"And that's Prince," said Carina.

Sydney Prince sacrificed her men to save herself, running towards the two unarmed women blocking her way to the emergency exit. No time for hostages, just kill them.

She raised her gun.

Someone large and strong grabbed Sarah from behind and spun her around as Prince fired. The impact on his shoulder spun him around further and he fell on his back, Sarah on top of him. She looked up and watched as Carina stepped back and let the Ring agent run by and leap into the open tunnel hatch. "She's getting away!"

The hatch belched out smoke and flame, and lots of dust.

Carina held up her bare hand. "No, she's not."


Casey masked his face and mounted the stage, ignoring the ruckus from the floor. He walked over to the body of the fallen dictator. "Well played, Excellency. You are indeed a man of action. I got your traitor."

Goya opened his eyes and looked up. Several of his men hurried to assist him to his feet. "And you, Colonel Casey, are a man of your word. I hope that this is the last time you 'assassinate' me."

"I think I got it out of my system now. Hopefully this is the last we'll see of each other."


Sarah and Carina sat comfortably under Anna's watchful eye as emergency personnel dealt with the fire and the wreckage. All were waiting, but for different things. Anna in particular couldn't wait to get rid of her charges. The shock of the events had left them hopeless wrecks, muttering to voices only they could hear. It was creepy.

As the paramedics brought out the stretcher with Shaw on it, Sarah and Carina rose and moved forward. Anna would have gone with them but a secure call on her cell phone stopped her. "Agent Ling, I am General Diane Beckman of the NSA. Report to my office immediately for debriefing."

"Yes, Ma'am."

"I understand Agent Shaw was wounded, so acquire his vehicle for the purpose."

"Yes, ma'am. What do I do with the two ladies?"

Beckman sighed. "Agent Ling, we are not a taxi service. However, since the airport is on your way I suppose you may make a detour and return them to their own vehicle. Beckman out."


Shaw vaguely remembered the two women as they approached.

"Agent Shaw, you saved my life in there. I want to tell you personally how grateful I am. I hope you recover soon."

The wound was minor, but painful. He was glad of that pain. It was the first thing he'd felt in a long time. He would have felt more but he noticed her rings. "You're most welcome, Mrs…?"

The blonde smiled. "Carmichael, Agent Shaw. Sarah Carmichael."


A/N2 FRODO = Fingertip Resources and Other Diabolical Oddments.