Hey, guys. It's Crumby again.
I've decided to enjoy my new power (it didn't take long, I know) and follow in last week footsteps, previewing Rogue Spy's next chapter (complete story: here).
It's mission time for Team B in this little snippet, and everything may not be as it seems...or is it? ;-)
Chapter 10: The Ring HQ
“You okay?” Shaw asked.
“Yeah, uh, I’m fine,” Chuck said, and readjusted his hold on his tranq gun.
Shaw turned his gaze from the door, left ajar, to him. “You seem a little tired,” he said, “and I know we haven’t had time to talk about yesterday’s debriefing.”
Chuck hoped that he and Shaw wouldn’t have to wait for the Ring Director to come back to his office—hiding in the private bathroom—for too long. He didn’t want to have to talk about Sarah, and the suspicions that she was Ring—especially with Shaw, considering how obsessed the man was with bringing them down. “Well, the Director should tell us more about this Intersect they’re building. That’s why we’re here, right?”
“Yes,” Shaw said, still fixated on Chuck. “What about Walker? Is this going to be a problem?”
He didn’t want to talk about Sarah. “What do you mean?”
“I’ve have to deal with a lot of agents being turned by the Ring before, and—”
“I don’t think she’s Ring,” Chuck replied.
“The evidence says differently,” Shaw said, somewhat colder.
“I know, but...”
“Chuck, you said yourself it’s been what? Six months since you last saw Walker, right?”
Chuck focused on not letting any signs slip, like he’d been taught. He kept both his gaze and his voice steady. “Yes.”
“I understand that you want to believe that your ex-handler,” Shaw paused briefly for some reason, “isn’t a traitor, but you never know people in the kind of work we do,” he said, and returned his attention to the inside of the office. “And people change, you’ve seen it. It can be for multiple motives: opportunity, money, fun…it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that it happens.” Shaw stopped shortly. “So until we learn otherwise, Walker needs to be considered a threat.”
The dim bathroom felt more stifling with every passing moment, and Chuck cursed the several layers of clothes he was wearing. He could feel himself sweat under his janitor jumpsuit.
“You’re almost a spy now, Chuck,” Shaw went on, watching him once again. “And we aren’t playing around here. The Ring needs to be stopped. So, I need to know: Is this going to be a problem?”
“No,” Chuck said, this time more firmly. Lies were easier when they were in some way true. “I’ll do what I have to do.”
Shaw nodded. “Good.”
The sound from the office doors opening finally reverberated. Chuck straightened himself and waited for Shaw to go inside to follow him. They heard Casey, who had been hiding in a closet closer to the door, first.
“Hands up,” Casey said. “One word and you’re dead.”
Shaw stepped into the room. “Now this is brazen,” Chuck heard the Director say as he followed Shaw inside.
“That—that was four words,” Chuck said, taking in the scene.
Casey was standing next to the door in case someone entered. A bolt-gun was resting on his back over his grey jumpsuit. It made for an odd sight. He had the Director at gun point, in the middle of the room in front of his desk. The Director’s hands weren’t up like Casey had ordered; they were both casually in his pockets.
The Director ignored Chuck, and turned to Shaw, all smiles. “Hello, Daniel,” he said. “At last, we meet.”
Shaw didn’t reply. Chuck couldn’t make out the bleak expression on his superior’s face as he walked to the private elevator on the other side of the room. Chuck had to hack the system and open the elevator’s hatch for their escape.
“Kidnapping me in my own office—impressive,” the Director went on. “But there’s absolutely no chance you’ll get the Cipher.”
“The Cipher?” Chuck heard Casey ask while he pulled out his PDA and got to work.
“The Intersect’s core processor,” Shaw said. “It’s here?”
“Oh come on, don’t play dumb,” the Director said. He still sounded completely imperturbable. “We’ve been building our own Intersect for six months, you know that.”
“So where is it?” Casey asked.
“You won’t get five feet from this door. My security will be on you in seconds.”
“We did just fine coming here,” Casey replied.
Chuck took a step out of the elevator. “Call your assistant,” he said to the Director.
“You know, your secretary, whoever you have. Call him or her, and have them bring the Cipher to you, here.” Chuck looked around the room and found what he needed, before addressing his partners. “We can have him play mini golf here,” he said, walking to the emplacement in question in the middle of the office. “That way, we can hide and monitor him and the assistant won’t see us.” He lifted his arm in the door’s direction. “One of us can even hide behind the door from that angle.”
“That’ll work,” Casey said.
“You heard him,” Shaw told the director. “Make the call.”
When the Director didn’t move, Casey stepped forward. He grabbed the Director by the shoulder roughly, and pushed him down onto one of the two chairs in front of the desk. “Sit,” he ordered. “And put it on speaker phone. You try to warn anybody, and you’re—”
“Please, I know the drill,” the Director said, looking up from his seat. He took the time to roll his shoulders, however, which was the first sign of annoyance on his part.
Shaw moved to take over Casey’s position by the door, and Chuck went back to opening the hatch in the elevator during the call. He finished, and joined them back in the room, as the Director hung up.
“So, Daniel,” the Director said. “Still upset about your wife?”