Thursday, January 10, 2008

48 days, week 4

Sunday, 11:20 pm.
Jack Bauer, the cold, hard floor pressing into his face, reflects on the events that led him to be in solitary confinement in the Glendale City Jail. Jack had never told them he was dying. What would have been the point? They wouldn't have believed him anyway. No, they thought him invincible. After he escaped from the Chinese torture chamber and found the A-train bomb, everyone thought he was immune from torture, from death, from everything. They thought he'd made a pact with the devil. The truth was, he had.

What could have been gained by telling them that death lurked around every corner, waiting for him, for them, for all of us? This they certainly didn't want to hear. Jack had taken out the Chinese guard by drinking ho made hooch with him for 14 hours straight. When the guard nodded off, Jack garroted him with his own shoelace. The man who found him said his head had nearly been severed from the force. He did what needed to be done and thousands were spared because of it.

CTU wanted results. And that's what they got. They paid him to extract information. He delivered. They paid him to find people. He delivered. They paid him to neutralize problems. He delivered. They paid him to drink. He delivered. And what did he get in return. Thanks? No. A pension? Not yet. A lawyer who could make a DUI go away? No. He got more CTU dirty work. Fuck them. He'd washed their last dirty sock and now he was languishing in jail for 48 days.

Those CTU hacks. Pussies all. They couldn't pull a confession out of their own children, their own ass, much less the terror-fucks they chased night and day. Director Mason had no idea, NO IDEA, how dangerous these folks were. They were waiting, just waiting for a chance to grace the planet with a bomb, destroy our way of life, and butt-fuck his mother.

Pity. That's what he would have gotten from CTU. Pity. Fuck that. He didn't need their pity. They could take their decaf chai lattes and their pity and shove it. He'd take a black-and-tan with a Talisker neat on-the-side, if you'd don't mind. To victory. Yes, to victory. Another round? Sure why not, got no place to be. Let's drink to Tuesday. Tomorrow's Tuesday. And then after that, Wednesday. To Wednesday.

Monday. 8:00 AM.
David Pouffe greets Jennifer Rowland as she boards the Obama bus. "I got a good feeling about New Hampshire. How about you? You got a good feeling? Or did you get more of that feel good last night."

"Fuck off, David. Beats shagging yourself. And yes, I do have a good feeling. A hopeful one."

"Hillary says hope is a bad work."

"She would. Bill's from Hope. And so is that scab Huckabee."

"Scab? He's running for President, not shop steward. Have you seen the tape of the Leno show? He's kinda likable, very pastorly."

"You're talking about Leno, right? 'Cause Huckabee is Old Testament, David. He would pluck your out eyes to get to 1600 Penn. And his wife needs a new set of china. The only that gets Hucksters more excited than a chance at free china are tent revivals and WalMart sales. Stand aside, David, or I will smite thee with a terrible vengeance!"

"You're going to hell."

"We both are. After New Hampshire, it's on to Las Vegas."

Tuesday. 11:00 AM.
The HRC caravan, which today consists of a fleet of 4 campaign buses, flanked by 5 blue Suburbans, 2 Black Excursions, 6 rented, white minivans, and 1 unmarked SS sedan, follows the lead of Bob Dimmit, Hillsborough County Sheriff, as he makes a slow turn onto Elm Street and descends into the final days of Granite State campaigning.

Bridgit Kern looks up from her coffee at Dunkin' Donuts and watches them pass, walks into the cold air, and calls Hector Ramirez. "They're here. A few minutes late, but they're in town."

"Good. You know what needs to be done. Make it happen." Ramirez says and hangs up.

Tuesday. 11:25 AM.
Hillary Clinton, working on 3 hours sleep steps from the bus, exhausted. The bright New Hampshire sun makes her squint and she almost misses the last step, stumbles just a bit, then rights herself as a small crowd of supporters begins to applaud. The applause and brisk air sends a new energy deep inside her. She smiles slightly, waves to the crowd, then moves toward the day's events.

Tuesday. 3:25 PM.
"We can't sit on this, we've got to keep moving, got to keep pushing ourselves. What have you got for me, Jennifer?" Barack Obama, voice a little stretched is reclining on the bus.

"I think you need to keep reminding people that anything is possible in America, that their Dream is Still Alive."

"What do you think David?" Obama looks at David Pouffe who's staring blankly into the falling snow. "David! you with me here? what do you think?"

"I think it's a mistake. I told Jennifer that. Stick with got you here."

"Change?"

"No. Hope."

"That's what we're doing. You OK David? Need a few days rest?"

"No. I'm good, just tired. No time for rest, we've only got a few days."

"We've got months, years maybe. Have some faith. Some hope. Dare to dream David."

"I'll dream when this is over."

Wednesday, 1:00 PM. CTU Headquarters.
Tony Alemada pulls Nina aside. "Anything from Jack?"

"This text. Although he may have been interrupted when he sent it. Either that or his battery died. Does this mean anything to you?"

Almeda reads the message, Col. SAND Fair &

"Nothing. Give it to Michelle, have her break it down. Pronto!

Wednesday, 5:00 PM.
Special Agent-in-charge Mason confronts Tony. "Anything?

"We got a message from Jack. Michelle may have found something. Salazaar had an operative, a former colonel in the S. Vietnamese Army, working for him a few years back. We think this may be the guy."

"Who is he?"

"Rilo Sand, born Nguyen Quan in Hanoi. Escaped just before the fall, now owns a dry cleaners in Omaha."

"What's his beef?"

"Thinks taxes are too high."

"Bring him in."

Thursday,11:00 AM CTU Headquarters
Michelle Dessler, special agent, has been monitoring the cellular transmission frequencies since 5 AM with a new voice recognition program that alerts her when Eddie Salazaar or Hector Ramirez uses the phone. She's reading the latest Nikke Finke blogger buzz about the writer's strike when her other monitor buzzes. She turns ups the audio, checks the log file and hears Ramirez's voice.

"Ok, it's a go. Friday at the gym." she hears Ramirez say. She tracks the other call but can only determine that it first passed through a tower near Concord, New Hampshire. Michelle pulls up the the campaign staff's calendars and discovers that Hillary is scheduled to be at Concord High tomorrow afternoon.

Alemeda and Nina have suspected that Salazaar and Ramirez had formed a cabal to interrupt the Presidential primaries with the goals of destroying freedom and our way of life. Now Michelle is certain that it's true. She takes the info to Special Agent-in-Charge Mason.

"Get on it. Be discreet. Stay out of SS's way and for God's sake, don't let anything happen to her."

"It won't. I promised Jack that nothing would happen on my watch."

"Great. Now promise me."

Friday, 2:45 PM. Concord High School Gymnasium.
Senator Hillary Clinton has just finished giving her stump speech for the third time today to a modest crowd. Unbeknown to HRC, in addition to her SS detail, audience members also include a team of CTU undercover agents, lead by Michelle Dessler, and Bridgit Kern, Hector Ramirez's operative.

Hillary's campaign advisers have warned her to loosen up, be more human, interact more with the crowd. Her SS detail has warned her of the dangers. But after Iowa, she's on the ropes; it's showtime now and Hillary knows it. She's put up with Bill's bullshit for long enough -the White House will be her payback. Hillary begins to move into the crowd, taking questions. Someone asks a question about health care. Hillary turns to address the question and moves closer. Bridgit sensing this might be her chance, reaches for her bag, places it on her lap, opens the latch and reaches inside.

Then from the back of the room there's some shouting. At first she can't understand what he's saying. "Excuse me? Could you repeat the question?" Clinton asks politely.

"Do my ironing. Do MY ironing. DO MY IRONING." the man is shouting. He reaches for a cardboard sign which says the same thing.

"Take him, NOW!" Michelle shouts into her lapel and a CTU agent 2 rows behind the man leaps over a whole of chairs and lands on the man, dragging him down. He pulls him to his feet and drags him out the door.

Michelle quickly follows them outside into the alley. The door is barred from the inquiring press. "Who are you? Who do you work for?"

"Do my ironing." the man replies.

"What? What did you say?" Michelle screams in his face.

"Do my ironing," the man calmly replies.

"Fuck you. You are going to tell me who you are working for. Now!"

"Do my ironing."

Michelle pulls her weapon and says, "three seconds." The man stares blankly at her. She jams the barrel in the man's mouth, "Two!" Nothing but fear in the man's eyes. She pulls the hammer back on the Beretta 92FS. "Then shit your pants and do your own ironing." The man shits himself. "Momma's boy," she spits in his face and walks away.

Saturday, 10:00
Omaha, Nebraska. Three blue suburbans drive down an alley and stop. A group of undercover swat officers emerge. The group, led by Special Agent Nina Myers take up positions in doorways and behind dumpsters just out of sight of the rear entrance to
the Sand and Sons Dry Cleaners. Before long, a young man emerges, looks around, pulls out a pack of smokes and lights up a Marlboro. Nina looks over and at one of the swat team members and shakes her head "No." The young man takes a deep breath, relaxes, opens the door, and then shouts something in Vietnamese. Before long an older gentlemen emerges, limping slightly. He takes a cigarette from the younger man, grabs a light from him, and inhales. He exhales, looks down, and notices the red lasers tags dancing across his chest just as the squadron leader emerges from behind the. "GET DOWN ON THE GROUND! NOW!"

Saturday, 11:00 AM
Manchester, New Hampshire.
Tony Almeda sits at the back of the cafeteria and scans the room. Barack is answering questions at the front. Folks are still trying to get into the room to catch a glimpse of him. The wait, he's been told, is close to 45 minutes just to get in the parking lot. Tony sidles over to the coffee pot, pours himself a cup, grabs a donut from the box. They're both stale, but he hasn't eaten since lunch yesterday. He hears him before he sees him. At first he thought it was laughter. Cluck. cluck. cluck. A funny laugh. Forced. Then he notices that people are turning in their chairs to see behind. For a moment Barack seems to glance in the direction, his speech slows just a bit. Then Tony sees him. A man. A large man. Dressed like a chicken. He's strutting back and forth at the back, "cluck, cluck, cluck", he says as he struts back and forth. Tony watches him closely.

People turn back to Obama trying to ignore the clucks. "Jeez. What a nut." someone say out loud.

Obama raises his voice to cover the sound of the clucking. Almost imperceptible the man begins to creep toward the stage. Because he's so loud and large, folks naturally give him some room, but he moves slowly toward Obama. Almeda stands as moves toward the man as he edges closer to the stage. Barack looks up, he and the man-in-the-chicken suit exchange looks, but Obama continues speaking as though it's normal to be clucked at by a large white chicken when giving a public speech.

Obama is just to the point in his speech. "They said it couldn't be done. That we were too inexperienced..." Almeda reaches the chicken-suited man just as he nears
the edge of the stage, grabs him, then forces him behind the speakers and toward the rear of the room. Obama continues, "today is an historic moment..."

The crowd appears more intent on the speech than the minor commotion. Almeda forces the man to behind the stage, then shoves him into a folding chair and rips off his chicken head.

"O'Reilly? Bill O'Reilly?" Almeda can't believe what he's seeing. "What the fuck are you doing here...in a chicken suit! You pathetic egg sucker."

see also:
m.o.i.: 48 days, week 3
m.o.i.: 48 days, week 2
m.o.i.: 48 days, week 1
m.o.i.: Damn it! I just can't do this anymore.

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