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For Your Toys Only (Episode 08)

Episode Eight
Some Travel Budget
Directed by William Friedkin

Before he went to the office, before he checked in, he went back to Freedom's Memory and stalked down to the basement. The doors were opened and he went down to the end of the hall unannounced. He was still standing there, standing calmly with his hands behind his back. Collier stood nearer the glass than someone who was talking to a serial killer normally would, but his dander was up.

"What a pleasant surprise Mister Collier." Grunch said as Jack put his hand on one of the metal supports that held the Plexiglas in place.

"You knew." Jack poked the glass with his finger, jabbing at him with it. "You knew he was in danger and you tried to get me there to see if I could get him there first."

"Whatever could you mean Mister Collier?" Grunch asked with his mouth twisted into a smile. "I've been locked in here, without the sun on my face or a breath of fresh air."

"Don't give me that shit." Jack shouted.

"Ask them." Grunch pointed a lazy finger in the direction Jack had just come from. "They will tell you how much outside news I get."

"You want me to come in there and beat it out of you?" Jack asked smacking the glass.

"You'd be surprised how many people have offered to come in here, and how few would dare." Grunch said taking another step towards the glass.

"Hey!" Collier shouted down the corridor. "Get down here with the key to Grunch's cage."

"But sir." One of them called.

"Now!" Jack shouted as he pulled his shoulder holster off and tossed it across the hall. "He and I have to have a face to face conversation."

When the walking mountain came down the hall, there was a small pile consisting of two guns, coat, wallet, belt and pocket knife. He looked at Dr. Grunch through the glass and then at the lunatic who he didn't have the luxury of keeping behind two layers of bullet proof glass. He looked at the key in his hand and then at Grunch who stood in the center of the room.

"You know the rules Dr. Grunch." The walking mountain said.

"Why yes Charles." He said, stood in a corner and then crouched down.

"You sure about this sir?" The walking mountain asked. "He's not normal crazy."

"I've dealt with crazy before. In fact I've dealt with crazy with extra crazy sauce." He then drew the one thing he still had in his pocket out. "Seven with one blow and all that."

He tossed the keys to the floor, enjoying the fact that they landed in the circle his belt formed. The guard looked at him and then the door and shrugged. He opened the large steel door with his left hand, his right placed on his hand gun. Collier walked in through the door and heard it slam and click behind him.

"You can go." He turned to tell the guard and found Grunch almost on top of him before he knew the mad man was moving.

His right arm came up swiftly, his elbow striking Grunch under the jaw. His left hand grabbed the back of the lunatic's head his right hand took hold of the shirt and he shifted his weight to make a place. His knee came up to Grunch's middle and he yanked the lunatic's face forward to bang against the Plexiglas. He got behind Grunch twisting the mad man's right arm behind him and smacked him into the glass again, then kicking his feet out from under him and taking four quick steps back from the fallen man.

"C'mon." Collier said raising his hands. "You think you're hot shit? I was short for most of my school years so I can hear a sucker punch coming a week away. I only let you get that close to get you thinking you might win for a second."

"Really?" Grunch asked sitting up and leaning against the glass. "I know a look of surprise when I see one."

"So got a good look at yourself in the glass a second ago?" Jack asked.

"You sure can talk tough." Grunch admitted.

"I said you can go." Jack told the walking mountain. "This is not for your ears."

The guard walked away, and Jack waited until he heard the clang of the gate before he started to discuss with Grunch. He leaned against the wall of the cell and watched the man who had nearly laid a hand on him. There was going to have to be a reckoning between these two one day, but for the moment they both knew who had won the extremely small field.

"So what do you know?" Jack asked finally.

"I ask again what makes you think I know anything?" Grunch said smiling again.

"You want me to come over there and smack you again?" Collier asked.

"My lawyers get me a certain amount of information. They make sure to slip me pertinent news about the war."

"Which war exactly?" Jack asked.

"Oh come on!" Grunch frowned and demanded. "Are you going to tell me you've fired shots in this war and you didn't even know there was one?"

"Yeah." Jack nodded. "Which war?"

"This Holiday War Jack." Grunch said and smiled again.

"This that stupid War on Christmas that doesn't exist?"

"It exists." Grunch showed his teeth. "We've been fighting the tyranny for years."


"Which side has been trying to make sure that it's just Christmas?" Grunch asked.

"Christmas is dead." Jack informed him. "She's been dead for two years."

"And yet the fight goes on." Grunch said. "They're trying to make sure Santa only services those who watch Christmas's show."

"So what's to be done about it?" Jack asked.

"Stop them." Grunch said. "Get me out of here and I'll go back to doing the good work."

"No." Jack shook his head.

"Why not?" Grunch suddenly was within twenty inches of him and Jack threw his arm up to stop him. "Are you with them? Get rid of everyone that isn't Christmas?"

"No." Jack shoved Grunch back. "It's because you're a serial killer."

"Oh." Grunch hung his head and then looked up at Jack. "But you're not. You can still get out there and find Santa, he has a tracking chip in his leg and there is equipment at the pole."

"The poll was destroyed when they went in there." Jack told him.

"If you can find his sleigh, there will be equipment there too."

"I'll keep that in mind." Jack watched the walking mountain running towards his coat and fish his phone out phone out of the pile. "I think it's time for me to go."

Jack walked past the lunatic towards the door, sure that he wouldn't suddenly leap and try to eat his face or anything. The door swung open as he approached it and slammed shut as he walked through. The walking mountain handed him his phone which he answered.

"Collier." He said.

"Jack." Alice's voice sounded agitated and excited. "They found Ricco with his brother and brought them in, but then some idiots handed them over to Bauer and his crew."

"What?" Jack demanded. "He'll just torture them to death. How the hell did he get our witnesses?"

"Mikelson is making a power play."

"Mother fuckers." Jack growled and looked at his watch. "Meet me in Quantico in about an hour."

"It would take three hours to get there." She said.

"The way you drive, sure." He hung up and walked towards the Plexiglas. "If anything you've said is true, there may be some kind of loosening of the reigns. Maybe!"

"If I'm a good little psychopath you mean?" Grunch asked.

"If." Jack said and started to gather his things.


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