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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: 24 Hours (01/27/11)

TITLE: Jack Bauer: 24: The Cover-Up
By Gregory Kane


The following takes place between 6:00pm and 5:59pm. All events are in real time.

06:00:00 Mr President, I have just arrived in Gaza and will be meeting presently with my liaison from the Italian Security Service. Local reception appears to be patchy so I shall endeavour to send you regular text updates from my PDA.

06:25:46 Sergio has briefed me on a significant threat. He has been monitoring a terrorist cell that may be plotting an attack within the next 24 hours. Telephone intercepts have highlighted the expression, "Fire from Heaven," leading Sergio to suspect the use of a ballistic missile. We have not ruled out the possibility of a nuclear or chemical warhead.

06:37:04 Sergio's colleague, Aldo, has revealed that they have turned a member of the cell under investigation. The man, a Palestinian national, has agreed to provide information in exchange for money. There's a cell meeting scheduled for this evening at an undisclosed location. Our informer has agreed to wear a wire.

09:47:14 Having reviewed the recording, I note certain key phrases: delusions about perceived mistreatment within society; exhortations about martyrdom and a promised heavenly reward; worries about the cause being misrepresented to the wider public. There was also the usual collection of cryptic sayings, incomprehensible to the outsider, but typical of such extremist groups. The ringleader then started ranting about a traitor in their midst, whereupon our informant panicked and left the meeting.

10:45:31 We still have no hard evidence as to the precise nature of the threat. The ringleader led his followers in some form of ritual purification, which could be taken as a sign that they see death as imminent. They are to meet again at midnight in a secluded area just outside the city. Our informer has agreed to guide a strike team to this location.

11:02:00 Unbelievably there is NO satellite available for the next six hours! Neither do we have any useful CCTV coverage. We'll simply have to go in blind. The Sheriff's department has been designated lead agency for the raid but I will accompany them as an observer.

00:12:05 What a shambles! Everything was going well right up the point when our informer identified the ringleader. Rather than moving in with overwhelming force, two deputies then ran forward and started waving their weapons in the air. A scuffle ensued with one of the deputies receiving a stab wound. In the ensuing chaos most of the terrorists disappeared. Realising what was happening, I drew a bead on the ringleader and, had he not immediately surrendered, I would have taken him out. Formal interrogation will commence just as soon as we return to the city.

03:15:54 Talk about jurisdictional mayhem. The local authorities have spent the past three hours shuffling the suspect from one court to another. He's been tortured repeatedly but thus far he hasn't said a word. I've asked them to give me fifteen minutes unrestricted access but, as Aldo loves to remind me, my status is only that of observer.

05:47:02 I'm starting to have serious doubts about this whole operation. Needing some fresh air, I stepped outside and literally stumbled across Simon, who was the ringleader's right hand man. There wasn't any need for coercion: the man was huddled in a corner, sobbing his eyes out. According to Simon they're not terrorists; the group's objectives call only for socio-political and religious reform.

08:25:17 I am now convinced that this has been a put-up job. The prosecutor is calling for the death penalty but the evidence has clearly been fabricated. I appeal to you, Mr President, to contact your counterpart in Rome. Someone needs to put an end to this madness right now.

10:15:20 It's too late. They've lynched him.

03:10:06 I've just been to see the body and to confirm the man's death. The authorities here are boasting about preventing a major terrorist attack. I plan to track down the informer and have a quiet word in his ear.

04:35:01 Surprise, surprise, our snitch is dead. Suicide, according to the lieutenant who cut him down.

05:50:42 The case is closed and everything's being swept under the carpet. Sergio doesn't even want me to file a report. The guy's not exactly gonna rise from the dead and complain about how he was treated during detention.

There's a flight out of here on Sunday morning. God willing, I'll be on it. It's not as if anything earth-shattering is likely to happen between now and then.

This is Jack Bauer, signing out.

24 created for the Fox Network by Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran
The non-standard 12/24 hour clock format is characteristic of the TV show

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This article has been read 516 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Anita van der Elst02/03/11
I've never watched the TV series but this seems to play out authentically. I enjoyed the Biblical tie-in. Nice writing! (Wish we could see Jack Bauer's surprise at the resurrection.)
Glynis Becker02/08/11
Wonderfully done! The format is perfect and your word choices made this seem detached and logical, just like I would think Jack Bauer would have done it.
Verna Cole Mitchell 02/08/11
Oh...how cleverly you matched this timeless story to 24. Excellent writing.
Amanda Brogan02/09/11
I always enjoy your brilliant creativity. Love this secret agent/CIA take on the arrest of Jesus. Two thumbs up!
Rachel Phelps02/09/11
Awesome take on the topic. I've never seen 24, but I know the premise. What an excellent way to go with this. Love it!
Loren T. Lowery02/09/11
Loved it! I think Fox should be contacting you anytime now to sign you up as one of their serial writers!
Colin Swann02/09/11
I found this an interesting read which was put together very intelligently. Thanks!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/09/11
I've never seen 24, but your story was a fun read. You did a great job with the limited word count.
Noel Mitaxa 02/10/11
Brilliant parallel narrative that only occasionally lets the original story slip through, Gregory, you are very gifted writer. Yet I'm surprised about the lack of satellite connections. Didn't you know they had radio back then? Well, all their ruins were wireless! But seriously, I really love your work.