Chuck vs. the Past Redux – Prologue

Author's Note: Having gone more than a year and a half without so much as touching my previous attempt at this, I went back and looked at it, and realized that, to me, it sucked. So, I ditched it.
With but a semester of my master's degree left to go, I'm hoping to get back into the mood for writing. So, I bring you my sequel to the Redux version of
Chuck vs. the Future. And yes, I'm still going to finish Fake Empire. It HAS been less than a year since the last time I updated it, which is more than I can say for the former Chuck vs. the Past Redux.

CAST (in order of appearance):
Frank Mullins – Damian Lewis
John Casey – Adam Baldwin
Sarah Walker – Yvonne Strahovski
Bryce Larkin – Matthew Bomer
Mike Tweedum – Jason Bateman
Rick Lorenz – Michael Biehn

2125 hours, Alliance Mean Time

14 February 2519

It was time.

Frank Mullins reached under the mattress on his bunk, and retrieved the shard of glass he had picked up, way back on Sihnon. Moving to the door of his cell, he pulled it open, and exited into the airlock.

Nobody appeared to be on the lower deck, which was good. Mullins looked at the airlock controls, and pushed the button that said "EQUALIZE."

A moment later, there was a hiss of air, and the airlock hatch popped open. Mullins yawned to pop his ears, and pushed himself out onto the lower deck –

Just in time to run into John Casey, coming out of the lavatory. "What the FU-"

Mullins cut Casey off, stabbing the shard of glass as deeply into Casey's gut as he could. The NSA agent doubled over in pain, and Mullins took advantage of that to bring his knee up into Casey's chin.

Casey tumbled backward, his head smacking against the wall. Satisfied that he was unconscious, Mullins moved toward Casey and pulled his Glock from his belt.

Leaving Casey floating in mid-air, Mullins navigated toward the ladder up to the flight deck and pulled himself upward. "I would advise you all be very still," he said ominously as he emerged.

Four sets of eyes turned very slowly toward him, and then four sets of hands went upward. "Where's Casey?" Sarah Walker asked quietly.

"Unconscious," Mullins replied. "And you're going to join him shortly."

Bryce Larkin frowned. "What, you're going to knock us all out?"

"Nah," Mullins said. "I'm going to kill him, and then kill all of you. Since you have oh-so-kindly entered Serenity's navsat beacon into the computer, all I have to do is let the autopilot take me there, and then –" Mullins grinned maliciously "- I use the lasers that the Alliance was so kind as to install on this shuttle, and blow Bartowski to kingdom come."

Sarah looked at Mullins for a moment, and made a snap decision. "When hell freezes over," she growled, and pushed off toward Mullins.

Whether it was because Sarah was still recovering from her head injury or due to simple poor tactics, nobody was quite sure, but Mullins was not expecting an attack from Sarah, and so was completely unprepared for her shoulder to impact his midsection.

Unfortunately, she did not hit him hard enough to dislodge his gun. Even as she got him into a headlock and grabbed at his wrist, he started firing.

"Shit!" Bryce screamed, pulling himself down as close to the deck as he could get. One bullet impacted Captain Mike Tweedum in the left shoulder, another behind Major Rick Lorenz' right ear –

And one bullet plowed directly into the center control panel, causing a shower of sparks to erupt from it. Sarah punched Mullins in the side of the head. Stunned, he let go of the gun, which Sarah grabbed.

Mullins tried desperately to move toward Sarah, but his eyes were barely able to focus. As he watched in horror, the gun came up, aimed directly at his face. The world seemed to freeze as the muzzle of the gun belched fire and smoke.

The bullet spun through the zero-G atmosphere, on a beeline toward Mullins' forehead. He felt the searing pain of the impact –

0915 hours, Alliance Mean Time

25 December 2520
St. Lucy's Hospital, Ariel City, Ariel

– and then he woke up.

Frank Mullins had, over the span of his lifetime, heard many stories of gunshot wound survivors awakening from comas long afterwards, unable to speak, barely able to see, barely able to move. Generally, they could only see fuzzy images in front of their faces, and it would take weeks of rehabilitation – and usually some serious corrective lenses – before they would be able to see properly again.

But that was not the case here. He was instantly able to see, in sharp focus, the overhead light fixture. Figuring he wouldn't be able to move, he tried to sit up nonetheless –

And was rewarded with the ability to sit up in his bed. Stunned, but pleasantly so, he swung his legs over the side of the bed and turned to look in the mirror in his peripheral vision.

What he saw there would've given pause to even the calmest man in the universe.

Of the face that Frank Mullins had seen the last time he shaved, he still had perhaps two-thirds of it. The left side, however, from his forehead down to his cheek bone, was a Phantom-esque mask of titanium. In fact, upon closer inspection, BOTH of his eyes were gone, replaced with what appeared to be telescopic video cameras designed to LOOK like eyes. And when he lifted his hand to his face –

Well, there was a barely perceptible but definitely present blue glow coming from under his skin.

"What… the… hell…" he breathed, and in hearing his voice, realized that it now had a slightly electronic quality to it.

"We rebuilt you, Agent Mullins," he heard from behind him. Spinning around, he found himself staring at a man in the doorway. Tall, well built, unruly mop of brown hair on top of his head. "Made you better. Stronger. Faster."

Mullins frowned. "Who are you?"

"That's unimportant," the man replied. "What's important is that you've finally come out of your coma, and it appears that you're ready to fight, ready to go."

"The hell it's unimportant," Mullins shot back. "You say you made me better, stronger, and faster?"

"That's correct –"

And before the man could react, Mullins had leapt the bed, wrapped his left hand around the man's throat, and slammed him against the wall. "Then what's to keep me from strangling you, right NOW?!"

To his shock and dismay, the man just smiled. "You'll never get your revenge if you do that," he whispered.

Taken aback, Mullins released his grip on the man's throat and stepped back. "Revenge on whom?"

"Sarah Walker," the man replied. "Chuck Bartowski. John Casey. I'd say Bryce Larkin, but, well, he's dead."

"It's the 26th century," Mullins said. "They're ALL dead."

The man's smile grew wider. "You're not thinking fourth dimensionally, Mr. Mullins. Time. It's relative. After all, you got here, didn't you?"

Mullins, despite now being the 26th century's very own six million dollar man, nonetheless found himself growing light-headed. Stepping backward, he found the bed, and sat down, holding his head in his hands. "You had me rebuilt. You can help me travel through time." He looked up at the man again. "You clearly have a grudge against the Intersect idiot trio, if you did all that just so I could have my revenge." He cocked his head to the side. "Are you with Fulcrum?"

"Not exactly," the man replied, his smile morphing into a frighteningly evil grin. "Fulcrum just reported to me."

Mullins' eyes went wide. He had heard stories, but they had never been confirmed before the ill-fated mission to send Chuck Bartowski to the distant future. "The Ring…"

"Bingo," the man said. "I am the Ring, the Ring is me, and we are all together." He held out a hand, which Mullins grasped.

"Agent Mullins," he said, shaking Mullins' hand, "I am the man who can not only get you home, but help you wreak havoc on the people who wrecked your world." He paused. "Admittedly, their world has been thrown into a remarkable amount of disorder lately, but it's always fun to screw with them more.

"Anyway," he continued, returning his attention to Mullins, "my name is Daniel Shaw. I look forward to helping you destroy them and everything they love."

with Brandon Routh as Daniel Shaw