CHUCK VERSUS THE AMBER ALERT (Chuck 6-04)

Sequel to "Chuck Versus The C G I" (you might want to read that first if you haven't), and the fourth episode of an imaginary sixth season of Chuck.

Mysterious cyber-criminals are hacking into Southern California's Amber Alert system for nefarious purposes. Guess who they mistakenly target as a helpless victim? Bad move, bad guys!

Disclaimer: I don't own Chuck (Bugs Bunny does), and I mean no copyright infringement in continuing to write episodes for this earnest, though limited, version of a real, live Season 6.

I am happy and grateful to hear from my readers at any time!


"Hi—I'm Chuck! Here are a few things you might need to know, or maybe just forgot…."

(Flashback to Chuck and Sarah kissing on the beach, and Sarah telling Chuck, "I'm feeling it now—I mean feeling it again…I want this, Chuck. I want to be with you.")

(Flashback to the hotel in Las Vegas, and Ellie suggesting, "Maybe the solution all along wasn't to destroy the Intersect…Maybe we just need to domesticate it"…Chuck picking up the Key and admiringly saying, "Dad's last remaining invention…")

(Flashback to the secret cyberwarfare base—Deep Skillet—where CIA agent Juanita Saldana is grandly proclaiming, "You have demonstrated what a human Intersect is capable of doing….Now you can show the rest of the world how to do the same.")

(Flashback to the Buy More parking lot, and NSA agent Tameka Cliff telling Chuck, Sarah, and Morgan, "I've been authorized to build you a new secure entrance to Castle. You just need to tell us where you want it to come out.")

(Flashback to Chuck and Sarah inside her dream house, and Chuck offering, "I think we can still have this…if that's what you want"…and Sarah gently holding his hand against the words 'Sarah + Chuck' that they'd carved into the doorframe…"I do. I want this for us.")


PROLOGUE

A sunny spring afternoon, at an ice-cream parlor in Burbank

"Are you really gonna eat all of that, Molly?" asks a wide-eyed Chuck, as their server showily sets a four-scoop banana-split sundae, with mint chocolate chip ice cream, hot fudge, extra whipped cream, and topped by four maraschino cherries—all in a fancy chilled stainless-steel bowl—down on the table in front of his little blonde sister-in-law.

"Noooo—hee hee—silly Chuck!" Molly giggles at him. "I want you to help me eat it!" She holds up two spoons.

"Oh. Well then—let's git 'er done!" Chuck winks at the kindergartner, playfully slides one of the spoons out of her grasp, and starts digging into one of the generous scoops. Meanwhile, Molly lifts a cherry off the billows of whipped cream, bites it off the stem, and makes a funny face at him.

"I think you're the silly one!" Chuck tells her. Idly glancing over Molly's head and across the crowded ice-cream shop, he becomes aware of a solitary man standing near the front door with his back to the wall.

Chuck tenses as his spy training kicks in—there is something not quite right about this man—he's not there with anyone and doesn't seem interested in buying ice cream. Instead, his eyes are slowly sweeping across the room, scanning all of the patrons…casing the place perhaps?

The man looks straight at Chuck and Molly. Chuck gets his first good look at the man's face, and flashes on him: California Highway Patrol—undercover investigator.

"That's interesting," Chuck murmurs to himself. Though still alert, just in case the officer's presence signifies some problem in the shop, he turns back to the sundae that Molly is now fiercely devouring on her side.

But before he can plunge back in, his iPhone buzzes with a call from Sarah. He winks at Molly again and lifts the phone to his ear.

"Hey, babe."

("Hey. How're you two doing?")

"Spoiling our appetites in a big way."

("You'd better watch that!" Sarah fires back. "Don't you forget we're cooking our first dinner together in the new kitchen tonight!")

"No worries. I've got a six-year-old bottomless pit sitting across from me."

("Well, don't let her get a tummy ache, either!")

"Based on previous experience, I seriously doubt that's gonna happen. How did your mission go, baby?"

("Ohh, Chuck…ohh sweetie…") He can practically feel the heat from his wife's sunny smile emanating from the phone.

("We found it! Up in NoHo…Mom and I found the perfect antique four-poster brass bed! Look, I have a picture to show you...")

A second later, an image of the bed appears on his iPhone screen.

"Hmm. Does look very nice, although all that other stuff cluttered all around doesn't exactly set it off."

("Yeah—wish you'd been able to see it in person. The dealer said he'd only be able to hold it for us overnight, so we have to decide quickly.")

"Seems pretty much like a done deal already, babe. You know I always defer to you on the major decorating decisions. Just as long as it's comfortable."

("Good question. Maybe you and I should sneak into that antique dealer's place tonight and find out.")

Chuck's face flushes. "Well…I'm glad I didn't have you on speaker, what with your sweet impressionable little sister sitting right here! But I'll bet your Mom just heard that!"

(Laughing, Sarah replies, "Uh-huh—and she said to tell you that she agrees with me!")


A short time later, headed east on the Ventura Freeway toward home

(Music: "Ventura Highway," by America)

"Mom…I can't begin to tell you how happy I am that you and Molly are here—that you're helping Chuck and me get settled in our new house."

Emma, riding with Sarah in her Lotus Evora, pats her daughter on the knee.

"With so much to make up for, how could I miss it? And I've had such a wonderful day."

"Me too." Sarah beams—and then her cheerful expression turns to one of annoyance, when she sees cars and trucks abruptly stopping in all of the lanes just ahead. She hits the brakes, and they are instantly hemmed in as vehicles stack up around and behind them.

"Wonder what's the matter," asks Sarah, as she leans out her side window and finds only jammed traffic out to the limits of her vision. "Bad accident maybe?"

Emma is staring up at a digital billboard alongside the freeway.

"Maybe it's because of this," she suggests—and points to the billboard, which proclaims AMBER ALERT in big yellow-orange block letters, above a blurry photo of a smiling little blonde girl, seated behind what appears to be a heaping dish of ice cream.

"Oh, that's so awful," Sarah murmurs, as she glances up at the billboard—then fixes her gaze on the image of the little girl, who looks very familiar—

—as Emma, in an alarmed tone, asks, "Sarah…it's hard to be certain…but doesn't that girl look a lot like…Molly?"

"Yes—I was thinking the same thing." Sarah's eyes shift down from the picture to a license plate number emblazoned prominently on the screen just beneath it.

"Oh my God—Mom—that's the plate on Chuck's car!"

And Sarah immediately reaches for her iPhone.


On the same freeway, a few miles ahead

Chuck is behind the wheel of his Nerd Herder, newly repainted silvery sea-blue to cover the old red-and-white company paint and logos. Molly rides in the back, securely belted into a late-model child seat, engrossed in a Max and Ruby e-book on an iPad mini.

Chuck drives carefully and perceptively, especially with such a precious passenger aboard. Even so, it takes a few minutes and several glances into his center rear-view mirror before it dawns on him that the freeway is completely free of traffic behind him—except for a set of flashing red-and-blue lights on a police motorcycle, still a ways back but gaining in the leftmost lane. Chuck, already driving at the speed limit, eases his car over into the far right lane, to give the officer plenty of room.

His iPhone, resting on the center console, begins to buzz.

Molly leans forward in her seat to look at the screen. "It's Sarah."

"Yes, it is…but Sarah knows it's not safe to answer a call while you're driving, honey. Our exit's coming up, and then I'll pull over and call her back."

"Okay." Molly turns her attention back to Max and Ruby. Chuck looks into the rear-view mirror again, and sees that the motorcycle officer—a policewoman, he can tell now—has also moved to the right and is about to overtake him on his left side. She turns on her siren.

"Aw come on," he mutters under his breath. "It's not like I was speeding."

The woman is a California Highway Patrol officer—a petite brunette. She looks at Chuck through midnight-black sunglasses and motions to him to pull over. He shakes his head in irritation, flicks the turn signal, and glides to a gentle stop on the shoulder, just shy of the abutment of an overpass.

"What's happening, Chuck?" Molly asks him, sounding worried.

"I don't know—but I'm sure it's a mistake. We haven't done anything wrong."

The motorcycle officer brakes at the back end of Chuck's car, but makes no immediate move to get off her bike. And then—seemingly out of nowhere—three CHP cruisers pounce, screeching onto the shoulder to surround them on the front, back, and right side! A half-dozen troopers leap out of the vehicles—some with their guns already drawn.

Molly screams in terror. Chuck turns to try and calm her, but now a CHP trooper is pounding angrily on his driver-side window.

"Out of the car now! Hands where we can see them!"

Chuck fumbles with his seat belt until he manages to unfasten it, then starts to open the car door. The trooper yanks it the rest of the way open, reaches in to grab Chuck by the collar, and roughly drags him out onto the pavement, on his knees.

"Hey! Easy now, Carelli—no need for that!" chides the petite brunette officer, standing just to the side. But Carelli only snickers. He tugs both of Chuck's arms backward, preparing to cuff him. Chuck hears the throbbing growl of a helicopter hovering directly overhead: police…or TV news? He keeps his face turned toward the ground.

Inside the car, Molly is crying piteously. Still on the ground with his arms pinioned by Officer Carelli, Chuck is furious. His eyes blaze—and unbidden, the Intersect flashes and primes him for a fight. He knows he could take Carelli and at least half of the other officers out in no time at all—but then what? So Chuck clenches his jaws and allows himself to be handcuffed.

"You're frightening my little sister!" Chuck protests as he is hoisted to his feet, still keeping his head down.

Carelli looks at him with disgust.

"It's a little late to start showing concern for her—you creep!"

"What the hell are you talking about? What am I being charged with?"

"Kidnapping," the brunette motorcycle officer coolly replies. "For starters."

(Opening credits and "Short Skirt, Long Jacket" theme by Cake)