Open Cell was an international organization devoted to uncovering and publishing government secrets, corruption, and misconduct. During Day 9, a defense override module designed by Open Cell's founder Adrian Cross was central to a devastating terrorist attack in London, England, and later was used by Cheng Zhi to nearly start a war between the United States and China.
Founded by Adrian Cross in 2008, Open Cell's mission, as stated on the group's official website, was "to lay bare the secrets of the world’s governments and empower its citizens to take back control." The group maintained a proprietary encrypted network and messaging system, and encouraged those with sensitive information to contribute anonymously and join their cause. Due to its actions, many of the group's workers and their families were reportedly subject to threats and prosecution by countries around the world. As of Day 9, they operated in secret from an abandoned restaurant in London, England. (Open-Cell.org, "Day 9: 11:00am-12:00pm")
Open Cell, and Cross in particular, were infamous for releasing classified data en masse via the Internet. One of their most public successes was the publication of over thirty thousand government documents, an act which endangered the lives of U.S. agents around the world. ("Day 9: 2:00pm-3:00pm")
After serving jail time for helping Jack Bauer escape the law, Chloe O'Brian turned against the U.S. government and released over ten thousand classified Department of Defense documents. She joined Open Cell and later took part in stealing classified material from the United States Tenth Fleet and her former place of work, CTU New York. ("Day 9: 11:00am-12:00pm")
In order to finance operations, Cross made a deal with Chinese exile Cheng Zhi for funding in exchange for designing a defense override module, a device capable of penetrating most U.S. national defense systems. One of the group's members, Derrick Yates, was secretly contracted by Margot Al-Harazi to reprogram and steal the module so she could carry out a terrorist plot using hijacked U.S. military drones. Two weeks before Day 9, Jack Bauer intercepted intelligence linking Yates to an assassination attempt against President James Heller sometime during his visit to London. Jack and his partner Belcheck began preparations to locate and stop Yates. ("Day 9: 12:00pm-1:00pm", "7:00pm-8:00pm")
Three days before Day 9, Chloe was making a supply run on her own when she was captured by agents from the CIA's Special Activities division in London. For several days she was forcefully interrogated by Agent Dean for the whereabouts of her colleagues. ("Day 9: 11:00am-12:00pm")
After breaking Chloe out of the CIA station, Jack gave her a cell phone, which he then used to track her to Open Cell's home base. Minutes after she arrived, Jack and Belcheck raided the group's hideout, holding the members at gunpoint, told them about the threat against Heller, and demanded to know where Derrick Yates was. When Cross refused to help, Jack threw him against a wall and threatened to shoot him. Chloe, terrified, told Jack that she would help him find Yates. She told Pete and Chell to start monitoring CCTV feeds around the city.
Some time later, Chell brought up footage from an embedded reporter in Afghanistan showing the aftermath of a drone attack against an allied convoy. Knowing Yates' talents, Jack surmised that the incident was a dry run for what Yates was planning, and said that killing the President with a drone strike would be a symbolic retaliation. Just then, Cross interrupted to give Bauer the address of Yates' heroin dealer, Aron Bashir, whom Cross said was protecting the rogue hacker while he worked on the program. Chloe, wanting to get Jack out of their hair, offered to come with him and run technical support while he assaulted the building. Jack accepted, and left Belcheck behind to keep an eye on the other hackers. ("Day 9: 12:00pm-1:00pm")
After losing Yates' device to Simone Al-Harazi, Jack and Chloe returned to the hideout and asked Cross to help them prove to the government that the drone override existed. Pete reported that the drone pilot responsible for the first attack, Chris Tanner, was en route to the U.S. Embassy with the flight key he had been using when it happened. Jack, Chloe, and the others made plans to forge a false identity for Jack to enter the embassy and recover the key, which could then be used to prove that the drone had been hijacked.
While Chell was placing Jack's falsified record into the embassy's visitor log, Cross took over her keyboard and input an invalid field code. This resulted in Jack being discovered by the marine checkpoint guards, and forced him to incite a riot to gain entry to the building. ("1:00pm-2:00pm")
Chloe guessed what Cross and Chell had done, and furiously berated them for betraying both her and Jack. Cross replied that she was the one who had brought Bauer into their lives, and he was simply trying to get him out. After Jack contacted the group from the locked communications room in the embassy, Cross transmitted a software program to decrypt and transfer Tanner's flight key data for analysis. Eventually, with Kate Morgan's help, the transfer was successful, and Cross managed to identify the override code that Yates' device had implanted in the drone's control system. ("2:00pm-3:00pm", "3:00pm-4:00pm")
After Margot Al-Harazi released a video, threatening to attack London with her hijacked drones, Cross ordered his followers to pack up and prepare to leave, as they had been compromised by dealing with both Bauer and the CIA. Cross tried to get Chloe to go with them, but Belcheck threatened him and told him to leave with his companions. Chloe, intent on staying behind to help Jack stop the attacks, begged Cross to remain and help as well, but he simply said he loved her, and turned to leave with the others. Despite this, he later helped Chloe track the Al-Harazis down, allowing Jack to finally stop them. ("3:00pm-4:00pm", "7:00pm-8:00pm")
All of the Open Cell members (excluding Chloe) were brutally murdered by Cheng Zhi and his men later in the day. Their bodies were found by a returning Chloe and Adrian who were captured by Cheng and his men, who explained that Cross himself was responsible for their deaths as he had tried to deceive them and give away the technology he was paid to deliver to Cheng. Open Cell's hideout was then used by Cheng during his efforts to cause a war between the United States and China, by using the override device to have an American submarine fire on and sink a Chinese carrier, and he killed Cross as he had no more need of him. ("8:00pm-9:00pm")
After discovering that the CIA was tracking the device and close by, Cheng abandoned the hideout with Chloe and the override device, first having his technician use Open Cell's equipment to scramble the local security cameras. ("9:00pm-10:00pm")
While the next morning the CIA were still looking for Chloe, it wasn't with any great urgency as it was felt that with Open Cell destroyed, she was no longer a threat. ("10:00pm-11:00am")
Background information and notesEdit
- Open Cell is loosely based on WikiLeaks (), a non-profit journalistic organization that publishes secret information, news leaks, and classified media from anonymous sources. In November 2010, WikiLeaks orchestrated the release () of 251,287 confidential State Department cables, the single largest release of classified information in history.
- Open Cell is the second organization (excluding government agencies) to have their own "Previously on 24" card, along with McLennen-Forster.
- The code Chloe used to enter the Open Cell hideout was 249. This is possibly a reference to the fact it is the ninth season of 24.
- Open Cell is one of three terrorist organizations destroyed during Day 9: Open Cell, Margot Al-Harazi's group and Cheng Zhi's group. Open Cell was the only one however that wasn't destroyed by Jack Bauer.