RAJ #6 - The Search Begins

Short scene (that isn't actually done) but I'm throwing it out there akin to the way you throw a piece of raw meat at the wolves and then run like hell.

(For the record, I don't know if that works)


PS - This picks up right after the last snippet left off. Chuck just scaled a drainpipe, now what's Sarah doing?

Well, the NSA hadn’t been here.

Sarah could tell that much just from one glance. The NSA clean-up teams she’d tended to work with in the past had been very careful, but they’d always left things just a little bit too clean. Most people wouldn’t notice, but years of working both with and around other intelligence agencies gave her opportunity to learn the ins and outs. The NSA was fastidious to the point of fussy. The CIA tried too hard. And the FBI left the room smelling faintly of cherries. Why that was, she had no idea.

She’d let herself into Nick Tucker’s luxurious hotel suite by way of her keycard scrambler. If he was her ghost, he was surprisingly sloppy: there wasn’t a hair in the door, a nearly-invisible piece of scotch tape, anything.

And then she realized he didn’t have the “no service” tag on the doorway. He fully expected the maid would come in and clean.


She did a quick scan over the once she was inside, noting the clothes tossed over the room’s chair—the jacket she recognized from the night before—the expensive messenger bag hanging by the desk, open luggage near the closet. The room was posh enough to match the story he’d given her—wealthy playboy gamboling around Spain—but very little of it had actually been used. The covers were only disturbed on one side of the bed, and there wasn’t any clutter around that told her he’d broken into the mini-bar.

If he was the Ghost she suspected he might be, that made sense. Maintaining that sort of personality was likely all about keeping up a healthy lifestyle.

Once her preliminary sweep confirmed that the room was indeed empty of Nick Tucker, she donned gloves and began a customary search, rifling through his luggage. He traveled with an inconspicuous amount of cash tucked away in a shoe, likely emergency funds, and his clothing and toiletries were pricy if unassuming.

It was like the man had no personality whatsoever. There wasn’t a laptop case in the room; if he had a computer, he’d taken that with him. She frowned at that as she checked the pad by the phone for the last message—something in French and likely unrelated, but she pocketed the scrap of paper anyway—used her field kit to grab a few random fingerprints off of surfaces he’d most likely touched, and checked the room for any hidey-holes.

She found none.

Four and a half minutes after she’d entered, she tousled her hair, popped the top button of her blouse, and grabbed her shoes. If she ran into the maid or any hotel staff, well, she’d worked hard at a convincing walk of shame. That should come in handy now.
Thankfully, her exit was clear.

So had Nick bailed? He’d mentioned wanting to go see the sights, and she hadn’t given away anything suspicious the night before, had she? No, Sarah thought. She hadn’t been suspicious, which was half the problem.

And if he’d bailed, leaving his stuff was...actually pretty much she would have done in the same situation. She’d been compromised a few times. It was easier to buy new toiletries than it was to risk sneaking back in. And she hadn’t seen anything that Nick would seem particularly attached to, so that increased the odds that he’d done a runner.

Well, crap.

She could do a manual search by donning tourist gear and exploring some of the local sites herself. She’d seen a wall charger in his room, though. He had to have a cell phone of some type.

She debated with herself for a moment. If she dug any deeper on Nick Tucker, there wasn’t a guarantee that the NSA wouldn’t get wind of it. Casey was willing to tolerate her because she was an asset. The minute she stopped being that, the gloves would come off.

No, no more e-digging on Nick Tucker for her. Damn it.

She used a different exit to leave—more signs that Nick was her Ghost, that he would choose a building with multiple egress routes—and, stepping into an alley for a second, donned her shoes and smoothed her hair back. She should convene with Graham, see if he was okay with her stomping all over agency lines to keep on the trail, but first, she needed to get back to her hotel room and change into more comfortable shoes.



  1. alladinsgenie4u29.4.11

    Interesting scene. Now my insatiable appetite wants to know whether Sarah will keep her appointment with Casey to get micced up or will she get direct orders from Graham giving her full authority to go on her own? And also whether Chuck will show up to meet her or not?

    Love the way each and every scene is adding to the story which quite frankly is very addicting.

  2. I have to say this is quickly becoming one of my favorite stories of yours. I refuse to come up with some sort of rating system because each one has its own claim to greatness. W&T and Fools are terrific due to their Sarah-centric nature. Greater is full of potential that IMO will really come into its own once we start to see maternal!Sarah kick in and hopefully getting to see how she tries to grapple with both that and her feelings for Chuck. Fates is amazing simply for its scale and intricacy.

    But this one's a totally different vibe, your really owning that noir-John Le Carre vibe. Combined with your terrific grasp of these characters and I'm looking forward to seeing a Chuck fic that actually feels like a proper spy story.

  3. Anonymous29.4.11

    I'm enjoying this very much but...you are still going to work on "Fates," right?

  4. Another nice scene here, Frea. No meet-up between our "Nick" and Sarah here, but I'm sure when they do meet up, it may be quite the explosive one.

  5. You know that raw meat trick you just tried - didn't work. Made me want more ;-)
    Actually feeling like the plant in Little Shop of Horrors - "Feed me!"
    But hey, thanks for trying.

  6. Okay it's a double post but I just realized what the raw meat was really all about:
    Misdirection ~ a form of deception in which the attention of an audience is focused on one thing in order to distract its attention from another.
    Dawned on me when I glanced at the progress bar.

    Still good though....

  7. Anonymous29.4.11

    ...and it happens again...damn it...just get comfortable, relaxing in my smoking jacket, slippers on feet and scotch in hand...and then the snippet ends...yeah...I knew in advance it was just that...a tease...but I allowed it to happen...I grabbed my fantasy of a really, really long snippet(is there a proper phrase for a long snippet?) and moments later, my mental boat crashes onto the rocks of heartbreaking reality...what do I do now?...I've barely touched my scotch and the slippers aren't warmed up yet...yeah, the smoking jacket looks cool, but to what end?...it's my own damn fault but it feels good to vent...a little...ah, more scotch...that's the ticket...I'll just sit here until the next update...or maybe I'll go work on swimmer...yeah, that'll have to do. JT aka jaytoyz

  8. Anonymous29.4.11

    Wow, this is really going to be one interesting courtship.

  9. centauri25200029.4.11

    Another part of the story. That's a nice Friday surprise. I'm enjoying reading about these characters in this world. I hope we get more.

  10. ladycat71330.4.11

    According to Mythbusters the best way to distract a canine (male ones anyway) is to use urine from a bitch in heat btb.

    I love these snippets and I'm eagerly looking forward to more.

  11. patty30.4.11

    Frea, what exactly have the Bartowski's been up to that has attracted the attention of the CIA/NSA? I am probably an idjit for missing this!

  12. Loving it! Thank you! :)


Please remember to be courteous to all other Castle Inanity commenters.