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do i dare or do i dare? [userpic]

Chaos fic: A Change in Strategy 1/1

June 11th, 2011 (03:22 pm)
Tags: ,

Title:  A Change in Strategy

Disclaimer:  Not mine.

A/N:  Written for eviinsanemonkey .  Her prompt was Michael, Casey, and Billy pre-Rick.  Again, this is unbeta'ed so be warned of likely typos.  When I have a bit more time, I hope to give it another read to see what I catch :)

Summary: They’ve had six good years and Michael would like to think they could have another six on top of that.

-o-

At the end of the mission, there’s one last exit to make.

The problem is, it’s the most important one.  One last stretch of road between them and freedom, with only several dozen terrorists flanking their path with high powered guns and other sundry weaponry.

They’ve gotten the documents they need to ensure that no further damage is inflicting by this cell in the near future.  They have the evidence they need to turn over to the South Korean officials to ensure that proper prosecution can be completed.  In all, they’ve really done a remarkable job getting the mission done, so much so that Michael almost forgot to consider their escape.

Usually the plan changes so much that planning for the exit is a moot point.

Now, while hiding behind a car and taking heavy fire, Michael isn’t so sure it’s a moot point.

“You know,” he says over the barrage.  “This would be easier if we had backup.”

Casey is craning his head to get a look at the situation.  Billy is crouched close to Michael, trying to keep his tall body ducked under the temporary cover.

“We don’t have backup,” Casey reminds him curtly.

Michael frowns.  “It really seems like we should have backup,” he says, more thoughtfully this time.  One more man on the team would make all the difference here, would open up their escape and let them pull one more ace out of the hole.

“Sadly, all three of us were needed on the inside,” Billy laments, wincing as a shot comes particularly close.

Michael knows this.  He needed Casey to take out the security team at the entrance and he needed Billy to flush out the hallway and he needed both of them to keep watch while he raided the necessary offices.  Without all three of them, they never would have gotten their information at all.  “Maybe we should have called in the backup,” Michael says.

“Higgins would never have approved,” Casey comments tersely as he sidles back down, back pressed against the car next to Michael.

“Still,” Michael says, shrugging one shoulder as more glass shatters above them.  “This would be easier with backup.”

Casey looks across Michael to Billy who just shrugs.  After six years together, Michael doesn’t need to ask them what they’re thinking and he doesn’t need to check with them as he puts his latest plan in place.

Michael sighs, letting the question of backup slip to the back of his mind for now.  “Okay, okay,” he says, gathering his wits for the only escape he can think of on such short notice.  “So a suicide charge?”

Billy makes a face but isn’t surprised.  “I prefer the term last ditch effort myself.”

Casey grimaces and presses his lips together, sparing a glance over the car during a lull in the fire.  “I don’t care what you call it,” he said.  “I’ll take center.”

“And I will pull left,” Billy agrees, checking the ammo in his clip.

Michael gives a simple nod, mentally going over how many shots he has left himself.  “So that’s the right for me.”

“It would be better if we had someone in the back,” Casey snipes, even as he turns, squatting low and squinting out toward the firefight.

Billy nods, a little wistful.  “A little less like suicide, anyhow.”

“I know,” Michael mutters again.  It’s not a good feeling, making an oversight.  Even worse when it could cost his team their lives.  He’s grown so accustomed to close scrapes with the ODS that sometimes he forgets what it’s like to plan a mission without near death as an escape strategy.  “When we get back, I’ll look into backup.”

“At this point, I think if is a more accurate term,” Casey grumbles, pulling another gun from jacket and poising himself to move.

“If we don’t, I dare say we won’t have to worry about it much,” Billy says, his body tensing to move.

They’re right, but there’s no condemnation in their voices.  Michael doesn’t know if he should be concerned that they’ve come to accept the peril.  The problem with taking the missions that no one else will dare to bother with is that it often leaves them in situations just like this.  They’ve had six good years and Michael would like to think they could have another six on top of that.

Which means he needs to change his strategy.  Think in terms of four instead of three and reduce the risks despite the cost.

Later, though.  Right now, three is all they have and it better be enough.

Collecting a breath, Michael lets it out, decided.  “So on three?” he asks.

Billy nods; Casey hoists both his guns.

Michael wets his lips and nods back.  The self doubt is gone now; the uncertainty of his choices can take a back seat.  “One, two--”

By three, they’re already running, shooting and charging with a blind fury and dogged determination that Michael can only hope will carry them all the way through.

-o-

On the flight home, Billy’s arm is in a sling.  Casey has a bandage on his forehead and Michael’s ribs are wrapped.

“All things considered,” Billy muses somewhere over the Pacific, “I think that went rather well.”

“We almost died,” Casey reminds him blandly.

“But we managed to hold off the entire force,” Billy points out. 

“After sustaining a myriad of injuries.”

“None of which were life threatening,” Billy counters.

“We still need backup,” Michael interjects warily. 

Usually he can talk himself out of that kind of thing on the flip side of a mission, but this one was too close.  He doesn’t like to admit it because he doesn’t want to deal with it.  To train another operative, to gain their trust and trust in them--it’s a crap shoot.  Michael’s been in the CIA long enough to know that traitors are never the biggest risk; it’s the half-assed, half-committed agents that are most problematic.  If they manage to convince Higgins they need a new team member, he’s likely to provide them with some out of place transfer who will be more trouble than he’s worth.

“Higgins will never approve it,” Casey says.

“Not with all the talk of budgetary cuts,” Billy agrees.  “We’ll be lucky if we can get our travel expenses reimbursed for this one.”

Michael considers this and nods.  “I know,” he says.  He pauses and tilts his head thoughtfully as a plan comes to him.  “So if he won’t give us the backup we think we need, maybe we just need to convince him to give us the backup he thinks we need.”

Casey snorts.  “He doesn’t seem overly concerned with our safety.”

“He did basically provide us with nothing more than a shoestring budget and a cold pat on the back before this one,” Billy commiserates.

“Exactly,” Michael says, feeling his excitement buoy his spirits.  “He wants to get rid of us but he’s looking for a way to do it.”

“Which is why we have been especially vigilant to keep the more colorful parts of our plans underwraps,” Billy says.

“But maybe that’s the wrong idea,” Michael continues, his mind working furiously.  “Maybe we need to give him more reasons to question us.”

Casey’s eyes narrow at him.  “You think he’ll have to send someone in to check up on us,” he presumes.

Billy raises his eyebrows.  “A mole.”

Michael grins, almost overwhelmed by how simple it seems.  “AKA our backup.”

Casey sits back, considering. 

Billy just laughs.  “That’s bloody brilliant.”

“If it works,” Casey says skeptically.

“He’ll have to recruit someone new for the job,” Billy says.

“Fresh blood is easier to manipulate one way or another,” Casey says reluctantly.  “We could easily turn him in our favor.”

“But how do we convince Higgins to place a mole in our midst?” Billy asks.

Michael leans back contently, the details settled in his mind.  “I can take care of it.”

Casey doesn’t look so sure.

Michael ignores him.  “Trust me.”

“You do realize the last time we trusted you, we nearly got blown to shreds by terrorists,” Billy reminds him.

“But we didn’t,” Michael says.  “Now get some sleep.”

Casey gives him a disapproving look before he settles back and closes his eyes.  Billy’s gaze lingers a little long, more curious than skeptical, but he knows better than to ask questions where Michael isn’t ready to give answers.  After a few moments, the Scot closes his eyes.

Michael watches them both a moment longer, then considers his plan again.  A fourth member will be a complication, that much is sure, but he needs to protect his team.  At any cost, he needs to protect his team.

Settling back, Michael closes his eyes and goes over his plan, a smile on his face.

-o-

Usually Michael views reports as creative writing assignments: a little embellishment, a few key selected details, and a sparkling resolution.  This one, however, reads like an autobiographical incident; there are no tenuous details omitted. 

Higgins is almost apoplectic.

“You violated almost every agency policy while in the field,” he says in utter disgust.  “Not to mention a handful of international peace treatises and the integrity of a sovereign nation!”

Michael shrugs, making minimal effort to seem apologetic.  “We got the job done, sir.”

Higgins opens his mouth, ready to protest.  Then he stops and seems to think about it.  Face red, he opens his mouth wider and launches into a fresh tirade about protocol and loose canons and why departments like the ODS are a dying breed.

By the time Higgins finally dismisses him, the director has called his assistant for two aspirin and Michael can barely contain his smile.

-o-

Billy and Casey are waiting for him in the office.  Casey is clicking at his computer with his usual pretense of focus, but Billy makes no such effort and nearly jumps up to greet Michael when he comes back.

“So how’d it go?” Billy asks eagerly.

Michael takes his time to get to his desk, sitting heavily in his chair before looking at his team.  “Higgins is very upset,” he explains finally.  “He does not approve of the loss of life or the sheer risk of exposure during this mission.  He chewed us out for being foolhardy and he questions how we managed to secure entrance into the dispute area of South Korea at all.”

Billy grins.  “So it went splendidly,” he says.

“Right according to plan,” Michael tells him.

Casey sighs.  “So can I assume we’ll have our new recruit by the end of the month?”

“Try next week,” Michael says.

Casey sighs again.

“Oh, come now,” Billy quips.  “It’ll be nice to have someone new around.  Keep us on our toes.”

“We just need someone to make sure we don’t get shot in the back,” Casey tells him back, a little pointed.

“So it’s a win-win,” Billy says.  “Someone to help spread out the ever-glowing targets on our backs and someone to provide fresh stories during long stake outs.”

“You forget we have to turn him, first,” Casey reminds him.

“Somehow I’m not concerned,” Billy says.  He turns to Michael.  “We have a plan, I presume?”

Michael inclines his head.  “What do you think?”

Casey just rolls his eyes; Billy grins even wider.  As they get back to work, Michael settles in and looks at the empty desk in the room.  He tries to imagine someone sitting there; he tries to imagine another member of his team fitting in just like the rest.  It’s hard to see, but he thinks maybe--just maybe--that he can.

Comments

Posted by: lukadreaming (lukadreaming)
Posted at: June 11th, 2011 08:48 pm (UTC)
Billy

Heh! Very cunning plan on Michael's part -- and very plausible, especially when Higgins blows a fuse *g*.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 11th, 2011 10:18 pm (UTC)
billy

I sort of enjoy thinking about the team actually wanting Rick more than they let on.

Thanks!

Posted by: Evil Insane Monkey (eviinsanemonkey)
Posted at: June 11th, 2011 08:57 pm (UTC)
CHAOS: Martinez

This is absolutely fantastic! I love how you write the team - you capture their dynamic so well - and this whole cunning plan is just brilliant. :D

(and you are up!)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 11th, 2011 10:17 pm (UTC)
stephen skeptical

I enjoy thinking that the ODS is almost too clever for its own good. They just amuse me that way. Thanks :)

(And I've tried to think wide and hard but keep coming back to the same prompt: four men and a baby. I blame the fact that I'm currently six months pregnant--hormones and all.)

Posted by: Evil Insane Monkey (eviinsanemonkey)
Posted at: June 12th, 2011 12:11 am (UTC)

Well, of course they are, that's why they're the ODS :)

(Oooh this shall be fun...and may decide to morph into something long and complicated, we'll see)

Posted by: Evil Insane Monkey (eviinsanemonkey)
Posted at: June 12th, 2011 06:53 pm (UTC)
CHAOS: Martinez

(here you go!

Posted by: nietie (nietie)
Posted at: June 12th, 2011 07:47 am (UTC)
Chaosketeers

Wow, I love it how you manage to catch the vibe of the show and of our four CHAOSketeers. A very plausible scenario of why Rick became the fourth team member.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 13th, 2011 12:20 am (UTC)
CHAOS team

Thanks :) It's nice to know that how they sound in my head is communicate well in fic.

Posted by: blackdog_lz (blackdog_lz)
Posted at: June 13th, 2011 04:29 pm (UTC)

You are evil. Made my fall in love with a show that has been cancelled far, far too soon. Watched all the episodes in one go and read through all of your amazing Chaos fics.
And now I need more. Can you point me to some?

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 13th, 2011 09:04 pm (UTC)
billy approves

I don't try to be evil, but I am amused to have helped you fall in love with this show. CBS never gave it a chance and I've resigned myself to enjoying the remaining eps that CBS decides to air and hope against hope for DVDs to be released.

As for fic, it is a bit sparse, but you can check here for the majority of what this fandom has had to offer:

http://chaosfanfic.livejournal.com/

Posted by: blackdog_lz (blackdog_lz)
Posted at: June 14th, 2011 02:03 pm (UTC)

Evil is good. Especially if it points me to good shows (or good looking guys :))
Thanks for the link, will read my way through as soon as I have the time to.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 15th, 2011 12:23 am (UTC)
chaos team 2

(Good looking guys, especially those with accents, make a huge difference.)

And after you read a bit, maybe you can be convinced to write some, too :)

Posted by: sophie_deangirl (sophie_deangirl)
Posted at: January 5th, 2012 06:27 pm (UTC)
What a great theory!

This is a brilliant theory on how they got Rick! It makes PERFECT sense and has that stamp of conspiracy that is so the trademark of the ODS. I LOVE Billy's enthusiasm at the end at the idea of new blood. It's downright "boyish, recklessness".

Fav Parts:

Billy makes a face but isn’t surprised. “I prefer the term last ditch effort myself.”

--I LOVE Billy's "interpretation"


“If we don’t, I dare say we won’t have to worry about it much,” Billy says, his body tensing to move.

--Billy's quick-wittedness is delightful in disarming tense situations.

“All things considered,” Billy muses somewhere over the Pacific, “I think that went rather well.”

“We almost died,” Casey reminds him blandly.

“But we managed to hold off the entire force,” Billy points out.

“After sustaining a myriad of injuries.”

“None of which were life threatening,” Billy counters.

“We still need backup,” Michael interjects warily.


--Again, Billy's "glass half-full" outlook is just so tirelessly lovely!!!


Casey’s eyes narrow at him. “You think he’ll have to send someone in to check up on us,” he presumes.

Billy raises his eyebrows. “A mole.”

Michael grins, almost overwhelmed by how simple it seems. “AKA our backup.”

Casey sits back, considering.

Billy just laughs. “That’s bloody brilliant.”

“If it works,” Casey says skeptically

-- Just too cute!!

“Oh, come now,” Billy quips. “It’ll be nice to have someone new around. Keep us on our toes.”

“We just need someone to make sure we don’t get shot in the back,” Casey tells him back, a little pointed.

“So it’s a win-win,” Billy says. “Someone to help spread out the ever-glowing targets on our backs and someone to provide fresh stories during long stake outs.”

--Again, Billy just sounds downright giddy.

LOVE THIS!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: January 6th, 2012 01:29 pm (UTC)
Re: What a great theory!
billy guitar

I was happy with the way this one turned out. And I really do think Billy loved the idea of new blood from the start, especially given his quick affinity for Rick. I think he always wanted to believe in Rick, even when he was smartly skeptical or supporting Michael's plans. I adored him in this Pilot, seeming truly regretful at being a right bastard and being out voted two to one. He's just so lovable!!

Why did this show get cancelled?!

At any rate, your reviews are always awesome. Thanks!

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