Chuck vs. The Kid General

Time frame - Chuck: Between 3x16 and 3x17

Author's Note: This has not been beta read. All of my readers are either too busy or seem to have dropped off the face of the Earth. So, if you see any flaws, please let me know! I'm also in the market for some readers in this and other fandoms, so if you're interested, please let me know about that, too!

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Ding.

"Welcome to the Buy More Nerd Herd. I'm Chuck. I'll be with you in a moment," Charles Bartowski said by rote without looking looking up from the phone in his hands. After completing a few delicate solders inside the body of the phone, he set the iron down and looked up at the customer in front of the round Nerd Herd counter in the center of the giant retail store. Standing before him was a gangly young man who looked barely out of his teens. If the t-shirt he was wearing was to be believed, he was a student at Caltech.

The young man pulled out a smart phone from his back pocket and handed it to Chuck. "Name's MacGyver, but you can call me Mac."

The sight of the phone triggered a flash. It was from the latest generation of Air Force encrypted communication devices. As the specs flew threw his head, Chuck was shocked to see that it wasn't designed to use a cellular network but rather some sort of subspace communication.

Before he could even begin to consider the ramifications of that, the kid's voice caused a second flash. The highly censored service record for Lieutenant General Jack O'Neill popped up in the Intersect. Connected as well were CIA reports from an Agent Kerry Johnson concerning operations at "the SGC." A copy of the most recent commendation and promotion record, listing him as head of the Department of Homeworld Security and signed by the President himself, closed out the information dump.

The name MacGyver triggered a third flash. Records from the DXS (a group that Chuck had never even heard of) about MacGyver's exploits both domestically and abroad during the end of the Cold War came up. Interestingly enough, there was neither a first name nor a photo in the information.

Chuck shook his head and blinked several times to regain his composure. He realized that the kid was gone just as he felt a hand on his left shoulder. The shock triggered another flash, of the ability variety this time. Acting instinctively on the judo moves he'd just learned, Chuck spun around, sweeping the arm off with a raised left while he delivered a knockout chop to the neck with his right.

Except that it didn't work.

Chuck was able to shrug off the hand on his shoulder, but the chop was blocked. Before Chuck could react, Mac countered with a body blow. For 30 seconds, they traded attacks and defenses before Mac was able to sweep Chuck's legs out from under him. He managed to grab Mac and pull him down with him, but when they landed, Chuck got the wind knocked out of him. While he was still trying to catch his breath, Mac pinned him down.

"OK, what's going on?" Mac demanded.

"You attacked me!" Chuck complained.

"I did not!" Mac protested. "You looked like you were having some sort of seizure, so I came around the desk to make sure you were OK."

Chuck stopped struggling against the hold. "Oh. Yeah, I'm fine. Sorry about that."

"Think nothing of it," Mac replied.

"Um, would you mind letting me up?" Chuck asked. "I think we've already created a big enough scene."

Without another word, Mac hopped up and offered Chuck a hand. As Chuck was pulled up, both men surveyed the store. Incredibly enough, no one seemed to have noticed the commotion at the Nerd Herd desk.

"Did, uh, General O'Neill give this to you?" Chuck asked as he picked up Mac's smart phone.

Mac frowned. "Who?"

Chuck gulped. "Uh, never mind. So, why did you bring in your Air Force encrypted communication device? And why do you even have this?"

"Why I have it is classified," Mac responded in a hard tone that clearly said that he wouldn't talk about it. "As to why I brought it in here, I was told in no uncertain terms that I was not to open it up or quote unquote 'fix' it myself. They said that you're the man in the area that'd have the ability and clearance to handle any minor hardware issues."

"I don't know about that," Chuck commented as he examined the phone. "I've never even seen one of these before."

Mac tensed up. "Then how did you know what it was?"

Chuck noticed the sudden wary look in Mac's eyes. He quickly tried to cover up for his earlier statement. "Oh, I've got all the specs and I've seen pictures of them. I just have never actually worked on one."

Before the other man could move, Mac snatched the phone back from Chuck's hands and started towards the exit. "Well, in that case, I think I'll just send it back to the base and have them look at it. Sorry for the trouble," he said over his shoulder as he headed away.

After a few steps, Mac stopped, turned around and walked back up to the desk. He reached in his pocket and pulled out a business card. Handing it to Chuck, he added, "If you're ever in the mood, give me a call sometime and we can do some sparring."

"Uh, sure," Chuck responded after a few moments when he got over his surprise. Mac gave a sloppy half-salute, half-wave before spinning on his toes and walking away.

Several minutes later, Chuck was still sitting at the desk, trying to figure out what the flashes he'd seen really meant. The phone was really just that. And the flash on MacGyver must have been about the kid's dad, since the name on the business card said Jon A. MacGyver. But the stuff about General O'Neill really had him perplexed. Who was this man that was listed as head of Homeworld Security? What did that mean? And why did Mac's voice trigger the flash?

Pushing those thoughts out of his head, Chuck returned to working on the cell phone still in pieces on the desk. His last thought on the subject was to hope that this wasn't another example of the Intersect going crazy in his head...

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For more background on Mac, see my story "Preserving the Fragile Balance."

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Published 07-01-10