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24: Deadline

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24: Deadline is a 24 novel by James Swallow, set immediately following the events of Season 8.

From the publisherEdit

The time is 5:00 PM.

One hour ago, federal agent Jack Bauer was declared a fugitive. If he wants to survive, he must get out of the country, and he doesn’t have much time.

With his former colleagues in the Counter Terrorist Unit now dead, under arrest, or shut down, Jack has no resources to call upon, no back-up, and nowhere to go—only his determination can drive him on. One thing remains clear to him: the promise he made to his daughter Kim. Jack vows that he will see Kim one last time to tell her he loves her...before he drops off the radar forever.

Meanwhile, a hastily-assembled FBI task force sets out to track down and capture Jack, even as a covert operations unit of Russia’s SVR sets out to do the same - only the remit of the Russians is to kill on sight. As the clock runs down, Jack must face old friends and past enemies in a desperate race to stay one step ahead of the hunters, leaving them with a grim warning:

Stay out of my way, and I’ll be gone within 24 hours. You’ll never see me again. Come after me...and you’ll regret it.

Timeline Edit

24: Deadline begins at 5:00pm, one hour after the end of "Day 8: 3:00pm-4:00pm", and covers a period of approximately one full day.

Synopsis Edit

PrologueEdit

In a dark basement, Jack Bauer bursts through a door and is assaulted by two operatives. His reflexes dulled by several sleepless hours, Jack puts up a valiant fight before he is subdued by a Taser. The two assailants, a man and a woman, tie him to a chair with zipties, while their leader, a man with a Georgian accent, expresses his amazement that Bauer is still alive. He remarks that what is about to happen will be a kindness, both for Jack and those who want him dead. Jack growls at him to finish the job, and while the other agent readies a cell phone camera, the leader raises his gun and prepares to fire.

Chapter 1Edit

24 HOURS EARLIER

At a Lower East Side medical clinic, Chet Reagan prepares to start his 5:00pm shift. He greets Lindee, the receptionist on duty, who warns him of a citywide alert that they may soon receive a rush of patients. Confused, Reagan asks why; Lindee berates him for not watching the news, and directs him to the nearby television. On CNB, an anchor at the United Nations building reports that President Allison Taylor has just canceled the peace treaty talks between the U.S., Russia, and the Islamic Republic of Kamistan, citing a criminal conspiracy and her own, unspecified culpability. Chet scoffs that a politician lying about something is hardly news, and, walking away, argues that this is simply what happens when you meddle in other countries' affairs.

Entering an examination room, Reagan notices a broken window - just before a gun-toting man, shot in the gut, emerges from behind a privacy curtain. Bauer orders Reagan to lock the door, then tells him that he needs his help to treat his injury. To Chet's terrified inquiries, Jack explains that he is not a terrorist, but - pointing the gun at Chet's knee - will not hesitate to cripple him if he tries anything stupid. As Chet works, Jack asks about his family - his wife Jane and his son Petey - and suggests that Chet leave the city with them for a few days. Chet finishes replacing Jack's bandage and offers to treat his other wounds, but Jack places him in a sleeper hold before helping himself to the man's shirt, cash, and medical supplies in the cabinets. A block away, Jack hot-wires an abandoned Toyota and heads west, remembering the one promise he still has to honor: "I'll see you soon, Kim."

At the FBI's New York Field Office, Agent Thomas Hadley arrives on the floor, where his superior Mike Dwyer tells him to report to ASAC O'Leary immediately. O'Leary, after ending a call with DHS, brings Hadley up to speed: in addition to the assassination of President Omar Hassan, the city narrowly avoided a dirty bomb attack, aided in part by the Russian government. Hadley is even more shocked to learn of the death of Jason Pillar, his friend and fellow marine, in a bizarre shooting at the UN building that also left ex-President Charles Logan in critical condition. O'Leary briefs Hadley on his assignment: he is to assemble an FBI team to track down Jack Bauer, whom O'Leary says is tied to the recent crisis, although how exactly is still unclear. Despite O'Leary's disapproval of Hadley's typical methods, he says that finding Bauer is now the agency's top priority.

At the Russian Consulate General, SVR agent Arkady Bazin looks out at the news vans parked outside, reflecting on his long service to his country and his distaste for the American ethos. With his mentor President Suvarov already on his way back to Moscow and an uncertain political fate, Bazin's assignment is to apprehend the man responsible for murdering Mikhail Novakovich and his guard detail. His colleague, Agent Ziminova, enters to report that the team is ready to be briefed.

Chapter 2Edit

In the FBI briefing room, Agent Hadley briefs Agents Dell, Markinson, and Kilner on Jack Bauer's extensive training and experience, admitting that he will not be an easy mark. The FBI has a very narrow window of opportunity to stop Bauer before he escapes Manhattan, and monitoring has been set up at airports, train stations, ferry terminals, and all outbound bridges and tunnels. Kilner expresses doubts that Bauer is responsible for the crimes of which he is accused. Hadley, recalling that Kilner briefly met Bauer during the CIP device attacks several years ago, notes that his knowledge of Bauer may come in handy. After the other agents leave, Hadley impresses upon Kilner that he must be prepared to fire on Bauer if the situation arises, regardless of their history, then orders him to stake out Jack's apartment at the Hotel Chelsea to make sure he doesn't return there.

Making his way through rush-hour traffic on Second Avenue, Jack listens to President Taylor's live radio address, announcing her immediate resignation as President and the succession of Vice President Mitchell Hayworth. Immediately after the press conference, Taylor says that she will remand herself to the Attorney General for questioning on her role in the criminal conspiracy of the past day. Struggling with his mixed emotions toward Taylor, Jack reflects on Chloe O'Brian and his other allies at CTU, who will soon face arrest and prosecution for helping him escape, and on the painful loss of Renee Walker that morning. Considering his options, Jack accepts that he must disappear again for the sake of Kim and her family, but resolves that he will not simply vanish as he did before without seeing her one more time.

Arkady Bazin explains to his team - second-in-command Ziminova and agents Yolkin, Ekel, and Mager - that their mission comes directly from President Suvarov: the assassination of Jack Bauer, retribution for his murder of two Russian diplomats and several loyal agents. Zimonova and Ekel point out that the Prime Minister has called an emergency meeting of the Duma, possibly to act on the allegations against Suvarov, and that by the time they find their man Suvarov's orders may no longer have any legitimacy. Bazin responds that what the legislators and politicians decide is not their concern, and that Bauer's crimes against the state cannot be allowed to stand, as a matter of national dignity. After dismissing the three men, Ziminova expresses her concerns that Suvarov's order is motivated by personal, not political reasons, just like Bauer's murder of Pavel Tokarev. Bazin replies that, regardless, Bauer is too dangerous to be left alive, and explains that he is hiring a local contractor to assist in the manhunt.

Chapter 3Edit

Jack leaves the stolen car near Eight Avenue and walks toward the Hotel Chelsea on 23rd Street, noting the NYPD cruiser parked outside. Rather than chancing the lobby, he breaks into a second-story service window on the building's rear side and heads upstairs to his cordoned-off apartment. Inside, FBI teams have already swept for evidence and confiscated his computer and one of his emergency go-bags. Jack retrieves his second bag from the stove's steam hood, containing a Canadian passport in the name of "John Barrett" and several thousand euros and dollars. He also finds a micro-SIM card hidden in a Montreal guide book, a "black book" of emergency contacts courtesy of Morris O'Brien. Formulating a plan, he notices that a black FBI vehicle has joined the police car outside, and carefully walks past the window, ensuring that he will be noticed.

Outside, Agent Kilner quickly calls Hadley to report that Bauer is inside the apartment. Kilner asks permission to go up and try to convince Jack to turn himself in, but Hadley replies that he has already dispatched a tactical team to handle situation - with lethal force, if necessary.

Twelve minutes later, Jack prepares for the team's arrival, setting the microwave on a cook cycle and withdrawing to the bedroom closet. The agents enter in pairs, fanning out through the apartment. As one of them draws near, Jack bursts out, knocking one down with a skillet and then incapacitating the other with a punch to the throat. Just then, the deodorant can in the microwave explodes, distracting the other agents, and Jack throws a slew of smoke grenades and flashbangs into the main room. Taking advantage of their temporary blindness, Jack stuns two of the remaining men with a borrowed stun gun, and knocks out the next two. As Agent Kilner shouts for a status update over the radio, Jack begins stripping the six downed agents of their equipment.

Chapter 4Edit

In the middle of updating Agent Hadley, who is three blocks away from the hotel, Agent Kilner is surprised to find Jack Bauer in the seat behind him. Jack, remembering Kilner from D.C., orders him at gunpoint to start the car. Kilner urges Jack to consider turning himself in, but Jack says the second he does he is as good as dead, either by the U.S. or the SVR. As they cross Eighth Avenue, Hadley and Markinson catch up to them, engaging them in a firefight. As they turn onto Tenth Avenue, Jack warns off Hadley over the radio, reminding him that he has a hostage. Undeterred, Hadley opens fire on the vehicle with an M4 carbine. Presuming that Jack is making for the Lincoln Tunnel, Agent Markinson orders their backup to set up a choke point. Instead, however, Jack directs Kilner down another street near the Hudson River, before forcing the other to jump from the car.

Stopping his vehicle, Jack warns Agent Hadley over the radio to stay away from him, promising that if he continues to pursue him he will live to regret it. Jack bursts into the office at the West 30th Street heliport and orders the workers to leave. He then finds a Bell 206 Long Ranger preparing to take off, and forces the pilot out at gunpoint. He lifts off in the helicopter, just as Hadley and his team arrive and open fire. Despite a close call, Jack successfully gets the craft into the air and heads west over the Hudson towards New Jersey. Considering his next move, Jack looks at the micro-SIM card and realizes that the only person who can help him now is a dead person.

Chapter 5Edit

At an abandoned Pittsburgh warehouse, auto dealer Mike Roker, accompanied by his bodyguard Charlie Williams, arrives for a meeting with Ernest deSalvo of the deSalvo crime family. Exchanging pleasantries with Roker, deSalvo asks Williams why he is so distracted, and the man replies that he noticed one of deSalvo's men hiding in the shadows. Angry at being shown up, deSalvo orders Bobby to come out into plain view, then mockingly asks Williams how his injured hand is doing. The meeting proceeds, while Williams, knowing only that Roker launders money for deSalvo's organization, tunes out the specifics of their conversation. Afterward, Roker angrily berates Williams for interjecting himself into the meeting, saying that he only pays Williams to drive and "shut the hell up."

Williams drives Roker back to the dealership, where Roker's wife Barbara berates her husband for forgetting to pick her up, and for continuing to kowtow to all of deSalvo's demands. Meanwhile, Williams talks with two of Roker's mechanics, Frank and Josh, who are watching the news on TV and talking about the President's resignation. As he reaches for a pill bottle to subdue the pain in his hand, Williams gets a call from an unknown number. The person on the other end asks: "Hello, Chase. Can you talk?"

Stunned to be talking to Jack Bauer, Chase Edmunds listens as his former partner asks for his help. Jack texts him an address near Monroeville, then says that Chase owes him and he is calling in the favor. Roker berates Chase for talking on the phone while on duty, but Chase tells Roker that he will wind up dead, quits his job, and steals his boss's Chrysler 300, peeling out of the dealership parking lot.

At a roadside diner, Jack removes the SIM card from Agent Kilner's cell phone and erases the record of his call to Chase. He tries to subdue his guilt at upending whatever new life his old partner has built in Pittsburgh, but recognizes that he had few other options. Next, he calls another number from Morris' directory: a very old lead on another person from his past. As Jack finishes his meal, the person calls back, saying: "You have my attention, Jack."

The SVR team waits at their staging area, a barbershop in Hell's Kitchen. Agent Yolkin calls Agent Ziminova to report that Mager's NYPD informant told them about an armed pursuit in the Chelsea district and the hijacking of a commercial helicopter. Ziminova heads into the main shop, where Bazin is speaking to an asset, an employee at one of the largest telecommunications companies on the East Coast. Bazin orders the asset to provide full access to the company's logs for New York City and the surrounding 150 miles. When he balks, Ziminova mildly warns that her superior will not hesitate to kill his wife and children should he refuse.

Chapter 6Edit

Chase parks the stolen Chrysler outside the diner and joins Jack Bauer in his booth. Jack thanks him for coming and says that it's good to see him. Chase guesses that Jack is involved in the New York situation, but refuses to hear any of it until Jack explains how he found him. Jack, in answer to his unspoken question, tells Chase that Kim is alive and well, now married with a daughter. Chase, feeling mixed relief and regret, says it is good to hear.

Jack explains that Chloe O'Brian found Chase at Jack's request after the nuclear blast in Valencia, where Chase had been living at the time. Chase explains that, struggling with the repercussions of his ruined hand and the personal losses he had suffered since then, he had sent his daughter Angela to live with her aunt and was at a bar across Los Angeles when the bomb went off. Knowing that Angela would receive an insurance payout if the world believed him dead, Chase had decided to start a new life somewhere else - though he admits that four years later, he was doing worse than he had ever been. Jack talks Chase through what has happened in the last two days, and says that he needs Chase's help to get to Los Angeles. Chase agrees, saying that he knows a "specialist" who might be able to help them.

Jack and Chase leave the diner to find Josh and Frank waiting outside. The two mechanics demand that Chase return Roker's car, but he replies that their boss is living on borrowed time and they should quit too while they can. Josh attacks Chase with a crowbar, while Frank ineffectually tries to incapacitate Jack. Eventually, the fight ends, with Frank screaming from a broken leg while Jack and Chase puncture their car's tires and destroy their cell phones. As they leave, Chase warns Josh not to get up and be smart for once in his life.

At the FBI, Agent Dell finishes questioning the civilian witnesses from the heliport, while Kilner arrives back on the floor after being treated for his injuries. Dell tells him that Hadley is being chewed out by Dwyer and O'Leary for their reckless chase in Chelsea. Kilner insists that he did his best to talk Jack down peacefully, and Dell says that regardless all of their reputations may suffer from what has happened. Hadley arrives and, dismissing Dell and Markinson, furiously demands to know why Kilner failed to stop Bauer when he had the chance. From this point on, Kilner is to follow his orders or he will be removed from the mission. Agent Dell reappears to report that the stolen helicopter has been found in a field in Greensburg near the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Chapter 7Edit

Chase drives Jack down country roads toward Cedar Creek, eventually turning off onto an unmarked dirt road. He explains they are going to meet Hector Matlow, or "Hex," an eccentric shut-in who ran the deSalvos' cyber-crime activities and also adjusted DMV records to protect Mike Rokers' car dealerships. They arrive at a seemingly empty trailer in an abandoned park, containing nothing but an ice chest. Matlow's voice comes through a speaker, expressing displeasure that "Charlie" is here unannounced with a stranger. He warns that Roker has called asking after him, and tells both of them to put their cell phones and weapons in the ice chest. Once they do, a concealed hatch in the floor opens, and Hex invites them down.

Matlow searches Jack and Chase, who assures him that they aren't here to steal his MREs. Jack comments on Matlow's extraordinary security measures, and Matlow explains that he is simply preparing for the inevitable collapse of society. He turns on the TV and points at the news report, saying that considering the terrorist attacks of the last several years it's simply a matter of time. Jack is momentarily distracted by footage of Ethan Kanin and ex-Secretary James Heller arriving at the White House for emergency talks, but then tells Matlow that he is more than happy to contribute to Matlow's end-of-the-world fund in exchange for his help.

En route from their safe house, Agent Ziminova and Bazin are contacted by Bazin's contractor, who agrees to the Jack Bauer assignment - only on the condition of a 30% increase in their fee. Bazin agrees, and assures the mercenary that collateral damage is immaterial so long as Bauer is confirmed killed. Ziminova expresses concern trusting an unknown third party with this task, but Bazin says the decision has been approved by President Suvarov. Again, Ziminova reminds her superior that Suvarov may soon be relieved of his position, but Bazin replies that their mission will continue regardless.

Using a secure wireless connection, Matlow looks up the BOLO alert issued for Jack Bauer, aghast at the list of charges against him, as well as the likelihood that Russian agents are also on his trail. Jack dismisses the possibility of flying to Los Angeles and driving on back roads, which will take too long, but Matlow says he may have a chance of stowing away on a freight train, which have minimal security after leaving the station. He pulls up a train schedule and identifies one line as promising: the Union Pacific Blue Arrow, departing from Chicago. The train slows down for a wide curve near a town in rural Missouri, which may offer Jack the best chance to jump on board. Matlow, smirking, tells Jack the name of the town: Deadline.

Chapter 8Edit

On the road again, Jack wonders whether the SVR or FBI will possibly connect him to Chase, and then to Hector Matlow; Chase says that Matlow, if interrogated, will hopefully give them up without resistance, and that it shouldn't endanger them by then. The hacker has planted several false trails - plane and bus ticket purchases by Jack's better known aliases - to throw off pursuers. Chase talks about how he wound up working for Mike Roker when he was desperate for work, and again expresses his regret for how his relationship with Kim ended. Looking over, however, he notices that Jack has fallen asleep in the passenger seat.

The FBI team's plane lands in Pennsylvania, and Agent Hadley greets Westmoreland County Sheriff Bray. Bray explains that the stolen helicopter was found in a field on the property of Todd Billhight, who witnessed the landing while out for a smoke. Deputy Roe confirms that they have searched Billhight's property and are combing the local highways for any sign of the fugitive.

Jack awakens to find Chase missing, their car parked in an dusty field. Jack realizes that the gear bag he brought from New York is missing, and looks out the window to see Chase dragging it toward another vehicle. A figure steps out, and moments later Chase collapses from a gunshot to the head. Jack screams and stumbles out of the car to find Nina Myers standing before him. He expresses disbelief, saying that he killed her, but she replies that he can never kill her "up here," then raises her gun to fire a second time.

Jack bolts awake to find that he and Chase are still on the road. Waving off Chase's questions about his dream, he looks out the window to see a sign: "DEADLINE - NEXT EXIT."

Chapter 9Edit

Deadline turns out to be a decrepit wreck of a town, dominated by seedy bars and trailer parks. Chase says that they have several hours to kill before Jack's train passes through, and makes for the Apache Motel further down the main drag. While they are stopped at a traffic light, six bikers pull up around their car, identified by the patches on their kuttes as members of the Night Rangers MC. Chase lowers the window and asks what they want; the leader, Brodur, compliments him on the Chrysler, but advises him to keep passing through, as out-of-towners can get themselves in a fix if they're not careful. They ride away, but not before Brodur scratches a line in the car's paint job with his knife. Jack, recalling a past undercover mission, says the bikers are just showing them who's in charge, then tells Chase to find a parking spot hidden from the main road.

At Atlantic Cellular Systems, the SVR's asset is dismayed to find Bazin and Ziminova waiting in his office. Under duress, he reports the results of the search they ordered him to conduct, and plays the phone call between Jack Bauer and Chase Edmunds several hours earlier. Using a voice pattern provided by the Chinese government, Ziminova confirms that the voice belongs to Jack Bauer. The asset reveals that the phone on the other end belongs to Charles Williams, based in East Hills, Pittsburgh. Furthermore, Bauer's phone placed two further calls after hanging up, although these were not recorded. Ziminova gets on the phone to run Williams' name past Russian intelligence, and Bazin tells her to send Yolkin to check out his home address.

Jack and Chase check into the motel and take precautions, purchasing two rooms and rigging one to appear occupied while theirs looks abandoned. Jack watches the proprietor through the window, concerned that he might tell someone - probably the Night Rangers - about their presence. He recalls hearing about their criminal activities once or twice, though they were never on any CTU lists. Chase offers to stand guard while Jack gets some rest, but Jack says he doesn't need to sleep again, and doesn't like what he sees in there.

Chapter 10Edit

A Greyhound bus, carrying out-of-work people of all backgrounds, makes its way toward Deadline, supposedly to fill jobs at a new casino. Laurel Tenn, roped into getting on with her friend Trish, sits in growing fear, certain that the story the recruiter told them in Indianapolis is a lie. Since sundown, a gang of bikers has ridden alongside the bus, and one of the men was beaten half to death and left in a ditch for demanding answers from the driver. At the Apache Motel, Jack observes the bus pulling up at the gas station across the street.

The recruiter lets Laurel, Trish, and the others off for a bathroom break, and Laurel overhears two of the bikers talking about which of the girls they've picked out. In the bathroom, Trish, panicking, asks Laurel how they will get away, and insists that she can't go back outside. They listen as the bus's engines start up again, and Laurel says they should just stay put and hope they won't be missed. Shortly thereafter, Brodur enters looking for them, and Laurel impulsively slams the stall door into him, telling Trish to make a run for it. Trish soon collapses and is recaptured, while Laurel runs into a convenience store and begs the proprietor to help her. He simply turns away, saying he doesn't want trouble, while Brodur advances on her with a knife, taunting her escape attempt. She smashes a wine bottle over his head and flees, making for the motel.

Jack, watching the situation unfold, sees Laurel running toward the parking lot and momentarily thinks it is Kim. Torn between intervening and remaining hidden, he eventually steps out and confronts Brodur just before he can discover Laurel's hiding place.

Chapter 11Edit

Brodur attacks Jack with the knife, and proves to be an unpredictable opponent, clearly under the influence of some narcotic. As they fight, Jack manages to knock the butterfly knife away, before Brodur gets him in a headlock, trying to put out his eyes. Laurel seizes the knife and stabs him in the back, and the biker grabs for a revolver in his waistband. Before he can shoot her, Jack pulls out the butterfly knife and, pulling his head back, stabs him in the chest, killing him. Laurel furiously spits in the dead man's face, glad he is dead, then, panicking, remembers Trish and the others still on the bus. Jack calms her down, and asks her name, then says she can't risk going after them and being recaptured.

At the diner outside Monroeville, Agent Hadley questions the waitress about Jack and Chase. Agent Dell enters to report that paramedics were called to the scene after two men reported being assaulted in the parking lot. Hadley and Kilner go to question Josh and Frank, who recognized Bauer from the BOLO on the squad car sent to assist them. They tell Hadley they were sent to recover the Chrysler 300 belonging to their boss, which was stolen by their coworker Charlie Williams. Hadley tells Sheriff Bray to arrest the two for aiding and abetting a federal fugitive and get everything they know about Williams.

Chase awakens as Jack reenters the motel room with Laurel. Jack introduces her to Chase, explaining that the biker they met earlier tried to murder her, and that Chase would have done the same in his position. Laurel tells them about what she saw and heard on the road, saying that everyone on the bus was promised well-paying, short-term jobs out of state, but were clearly intended for sex trafficking or worse. Jack comments that he saw similar practices in Serbia years before, and Laurel, growing pale, excuses herself to the bathroom.

Chase, softly, tells Jack that he saw it, too - Laurel's resemblance to Kim. Jack sternly says that that wasn't the reason he helped her, but Chase warns that regardless, getting involved in the situation in Deadline may seriously endanger Jack's escape plans. Jack says that they have six or seven hours until the cargo train arrives, and that he likes to keep occupied.

Chapter 12Edit

Agent Yolkin knocks on the door of Mike and Barbara Roker's home and identifies himself as a NYPD officer. Roker says that he's not local and tells him to take a walk, but Yolkin kicks the door in and holds Mike and Barbara at gunpoint, shooting the telephone before Barbara can call the police. Believing Yolkin was sent by Ernest deSalvo, Barbara begins sobbing and blaming Mike for pissing him off one too many times. Yolkin tells her to be quiet and then demands they tell him everything they know about Charlie Williams. Neither one of them have heard of Jack Bauer. After twenty minutes, Yolkin shoots Barbara in the thigh to make sure Mike is not holding back any information. Screaming in terror and tending to his wife's wound, Roker adds that Williams would likely seek out Hector Matlow if he were trying to disappear. Confident he has learned everything of use, Yolkin executes both of them, then leaves with Roker's smartphone.

Jack, Chase, and Laurel enter the motel's lobby, where the proprietor, "Dino," leers at them, believing Jack and Chase rented the room for sex. Jack pushes through the partition and shoves the man into the apartment, demanding to know about his arrangement with the Night Rangers. To loosen his tongue, Jack shoves Brodur's knife into Dino's knee joint. In extreme pain, Dino says that he answers to the club's president Benjamin Rydell, and that the girls are taken to the Crankcase strip club down the street. The others are brought to "the works" at Fort Blake, the abandoned military base at the edge of town, and are never heard from again. Jack knocks him unconscious and restrains him to a chair.

Later, Jack and Chase drive down the road to the Crankcase and formulate a plan to break out the girls. Jack tells Laurel to hold on to Brodur's revolver, and to take the car and make for civilization if something goes wrong. As they approach the building, Chase again asks Jack why he is so dead-set on getting involved in Deadline's problems. He agreed to help get him to Los Angeles, but whatever is happening in town isn't their problem. Jack replies that simply tipping off the FBI or other authorities will not accomplish anything - the Night Rangers clearly bought favors to conduct human trafficking on this scale without any attention - and asks Chase if either of them would be able to look Kim in the eye knowing they did nothing about what they have seen tonight.

By tracing the "dead drop" digital mailbox on Mike Rokers' phone, a cyber-security installation in Minsk manages to identify Hector Matlow's likely location for the SVR unit. On a helicopter, Ekel uses a Chinese ground-penetrating radar system to scan the trailer park for signs of activity. After detecting motion below one of the trailers, Agent Ziminova fires a grenade, destroying the trailer completely. As they land, Hector Matlow crawls out of the wreckage and feebly makes for the woods. Bazin crouches down next to him and says they need his help.

Chapter 13Edit

The Crankcase is packed, the customers consisting of both Night Rangers and truckers passing through the area. As soon as Jack and Chase enter, they are stopped by a tall biker demanding to know their business. Jack asks to talk to Rydell, then tells him to get lost unless he can get him for them. To prove they mean business, Chase takes Sticks' pool cue and shoves him back. Jack says that he and Chase are down from Chicago to see Rydell. Hesitating, Sticks agrees to go find Sammy for them. Jack whispers to Chase that he simply guessed the MC would have ties to organized crime, and Chicago is the closest hub. They study the layout of the club, trying to figure out where the girls are being kept. Sammy greets them, and Jack introduces himself as "Joe" and Chase as "Charlie," explaining that their bosses in Chicago are concerned about some of the "talk" surrounding what goes on in Deadline. When they refuse to be turned away, Sammy orders Sticks to search both of them, and invites them up to his office. Suspicious, Sticks gets on the phone to the club's master-at-arms Lance and asks to talk to Rydell about their visitors.

Jack looks around Sammy's office, decorated with photos dating from the 1970s, newspaper articles about the club's exploits, and a display case containing a crushed Harley-Davidson fuel tank and a bloodstained trucker hat. Jack starts in, saying that Rydell is drawing unwanted attention to Deadline - Sammy reassures him that nothing is out of control, and that they don't sign on anyone who is going to be missed. Chase asks him how many girls are being kept at the Crankcase, but Sammy evades the question, saying that he rotates them to keep the brothers interested - those who don't earn are either sold on or given to Lance down at the works. Growing angry, Sammy says nothing going on at the Crankcase is any of Chicago's concern as long as they get their cut of the product, and reaches for the phone to call Lance. Knowing they have been made, Jack lashes out and slams Brodur's knife into Sammy's palm.

Outside the club, Sticks waits to talk to Rydell, asking Fang if he has found Brodur yet. Fang replies that he's probably just got his blonde hottie in the bushes somewhere, "gettin' back to nature." Rydell gets on the phone, and Sticks tells him about the two visitors. Rydell says that he was just on the phone with Chicago three hours ago and they didn't mention a word about an inspection. He orders Sticks to find out who they are and put them on ice until he can come deal with them.

On the plane, the FBI reviews everything they could find on Charlie Williams - he has no criminal record, and has absolutely no records before a few years ago. What's more, the Pittsburgh police recently found Williams' employer and his wife murdered in their home. Hadley suspects that he's someone Bauer knows or once worked with. Markinson suggests reaching out to CTU, but all CTU operations are being held in abeyance pending an investigation into the Hassan assassination, per President Hayworth's order. Hadley gets a call from Mike Dwyer, who is furious that Hadley bypassed him to request intel from the NCTC without authorization. As it happens, though, the request came back with a traffic camera image of Bauer driving west on Interstate 70, along with his companion - a man thought to be dead. Hadley orders the pilot to get them in the air flying west. On the phone, Rod O'Leary tells Hadley that he is starting to regret putting him on the assignment, and that he knows all about the network Jason Pillar was building - Hadley and Sal Jacobs at NCTC were both promised jobs on Capitol Hill one day. O'Leary warns that unless he finds Bauer he won't have any job for much longer.

Chapter 14Edit

Chapter 15Edit

Chapter 16Edit

Chapter 17Edit

Chapter 18Edit

Chapter 19Edit

Chapter 20Edit

Chapter 21Edit

Chapter 22Edit

Chapter 23Edit

Chapter 24Edit

Background information and notes Edit

  • Swallow consulted Manny Coto and Evan Katz on the novel's story.
  • At the section of "acknowledgments", a nod is given by Swallow to the fans of 24 Wiki and 24 Spoilers for invaluable research data.
  • On page 111, Nina Myers surname is misspelled with "Meyers" instead of Myers.
  • Throughout the book, Chloe O'Brian's surname is misspelled as "O'Brien".

Appearances Edit

External linksEdit

Preceded by:
Day 8
Timeline:
24: Deadline
Followed by:
"Chloe's Arrest"

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