Jack’s head popped up from the pillow as he heard fighting down the hallway. Not that fighting is anything new. When you live a life that consists of existing from day to day sitting on a blanket, anything new is worthy of attention.
“Goddammit I don’t know!”
In the distance Jack hears a voice louder than the others. The voice is in English. Jack wonders if there’s another American in the prison and put his ears up as close to the bars of the cell as he can and listens for more.
“Not… Working… No!”
Jack hears bits and pieces of the obviously disturbed man, but can’t entirely make out what he saying. Whoever’s yelling is behind a door, down the hall about 100 yards. Intermixed with the man’s the cries, he can also hear a group of people yelling in Russian from the same general location. What all this is about, he’s not sure, because while Jack does understand Russian, the voices are too muffled to really make out anything definitive. There’s more commotion, more shouting both in Russian and English now. As Jack tries to listen even more carefully the lights begin to flicker, as has happened a number of times before. The flickering lights are now accompanied by screams. Same man as had just been yelling. Jack knows the sounds of torture when he hears them. He wonders when it’s going to be his turn. It seems that in this place, nobody escapes the pain of being “questioned”. It is just a matter of time.
Kate Morgan spends this day the same way she’s spent so many others over the past six months: returning empty-handed, chasing down and being frustrated by another Jack Bauer dead-end.
There have been so many abandoned warehouses, legions of supposed government informants, the black market of Russian Mafia information. No shortage of leads, but a shortage of anything real. Kate can’t help but wonder why she is still here, why is she wasting her time with this. She didn’t really know Jack Bauer per se, she wasn’t his friend, and she owes him nothing. Still, Kate feels compelled to right what she sees as a tremendous injustice. In her mind, the fact that Jack Bauer saved the world, yet again, from certain chaos compels her to find him. Jack helped her uncover the truth about her husband having been framed, whether that was his intention or not. In that way, Jack helped her find a sense of balance in her life, as well as redemption. Having quit the CIA after the events in London, Kate has dedicated herself to finding Bauer and bringing him home to the United States to see his family. That task, however, is a lot more difficult than she assumed it would be. As it turns out, Jack Bauer has a lot of enemies, and a lot of people that are happy to know that he’s been dealt with once and for all by the Russians. Truthfully, she doesn’t even know if Jack is still alive, although she senses that he is. He has to be. Call it agent’s intuition, but something is compelling her forward. Something is keeping her in Moscow looking for a man that she’s only known for a few hours, but feels that she needs to help. Somebody needs her. Kate admits to herself on the long drive back to her team’s headquarters, however, that she may not be up to this task.
The commotion down the hall has ended, at least for now. Whether the English-speaking man expired, passed out, or spilled whatever secret it was that the Russians were trying to extrude from him, all is now quiet. And while compassion isn’t really what Jack Bauer is known for, he does feel bad for the poor bastard down the hall. If for no other reason, he knows what that’s like, he knows how it feels to be on the receiving end of a session of “questioning”. Jack hopes the man survived, but doesn’t dwell on it. Not like he’s in a position to change anything at this point, regardless.
With the fun and games seemingly being over for the day, Jack does his usual round of mental exercises in an attempt to keep his mind sharp. He recounts everybody he knows by name and face in his head. He recites works of literature that he’s read, does basic math problems, and scans the room every day for faults, or a new hole, or a weakness that he hasn’t seen before. On this day he finds nothing new, but the exercises he hopes will keep his mind sharp should he ever really need it again. Jack also does a light workout, some push-ups and sit-ups, squats, and other bodyweight resistance exercises. Truthfully, he’s not strong, or being nourished, enough to build any muscle, he’s just looking to maintain what he has left should the need ever arise. While Jack might have mentally given up at this point, there’s still something deep inside him pushing him forward. After Jack completes his workout, he drifts off to sleep to await the day’s next event, lunchtime.
As Jack slowly drifts off back into sleep, he is startled by a metal on metal sound in front of the cell. He looks up and sees a Russian guard he does not recognize dangling a pair of handcuffs at him. Jack stares at him intently. Without emotion the guard motions for Jack to turn around and back slowly towards the door. Jack suddenly wonders whether this may be his last walk. Maybe this is it, and the powers that be have finally decided his fate. He’s nervous but hides it well from the guard. He turns around and puts his hands behind his back as instructed and walks backwards towards the cell door. The guard applies the handcuffs roughly and then pushes Jack towards the center of the cell. The heavy door opens and two or three different sets of hands grab him from behind, spin him around and lead Jack down the long hallway. He is outside his cell for the first time in months. Jack does a quick scan of the hallway. If things go bad any clue he can gather may help him find a way out of trouble, or better yet, out of here altogether. But he finds nothing. He vaguely remembers this walk from his arrival, but only slightly.
The Russians had drugged him to keep him conscious but controllable during when he got to the prison. With the cuffs, uncomfortable yet familiar, he’s lead down the corridor to a door that he swears he’s seen before, but cannot recall exactly. The door opens remotely and Jack is led inside.
The taxi stops outside a very nondescript building in the heart of Moscow’s warehouse district. Kate gets out and pays the fare, then completes an informal sweep of the area. She knows the Russian government is onto her, and she also knows that they know why she’s here. Truthfully, although she’s been careful to make sure nobody’s following her or watching her has she enters the abandoned apartment building day after day, she’s aware that there’s really nothing she can do should the Russian government press the issue of her being here illegally.
Kate sees nothing out of the ordinary and walks through the door and up a flight of stairs into a narrow hallway. Behind a nondescript door to the left, that leads to an old Russian apartment, is where the real search for Jack Bauer is taking place. Kate swivels her head from left to right again as she puts the key in the lock and opens the door before crossing the threshold into the apartment. The sound of deadbolts engaging one after another echoes down the empty hallway as Kate grants herself a very small sense of security by barricading the door behind her.
Jack is led into a room with one table and two chairs arranged face to face across from each other. There’s a full glass of water between them.
One of the chairs is pulled back roughly and noisily just before Jack is thrust with force down into it. The soldiers attach his handcuffs to the chair through strategic rings along the sides and the bottom with a “click”. When the Russians are satisfied he’s secure, they leave the room through a door that blends into the wall behind them as they disappear. The room is designed to look like it has no exit. After it’s closed it looks like there is literally no way out. Jack makes a mental note of where the door was by focusing intently on that spot, trying to burn it into his mind. This room is designed to break those within, to make him feel like there is no escape. No way out. It’s a hellish design and, he admits to himself, surprisingly effective.
Jack sits alone. It seems as if an hour or more passes. He scans the room—nothing to see. No equipment, no weapons, no devices, just a square room with a table, two chairs and a murky looking glass of water. Experience tells him what he needs to know. How many times has he sat in a similar room having similar thoughts? Ironically, that calms him slightly. Finally, an officer in full military dress enters the room. Jack scans his uniform and notices three stars, which makes him a Polkóvnik – a Colonel in the Russian military. His uniform is pressed and spotless. Jack surmises that this man spends a lot of time worrying about his appearance. His hair is styled, but short. His shoes are polished to almost a mirror-like reflection. This could be useful info and Jack files it away. Vanity. Jack may have found a weakness already.
Because of his rank, Jack knows this man is not in charge. He is simply here to deliver a message. The officer paced around the room twice and then sat down across from him. Bauer steals his gaze.
“Hello, Jack Bauer,” he intones flatly.
Jack remains silent. This is the first English communication that Jack has directly received since his arrival at the prison. Is this likely a purposeful act meant to put a him at ease. Make him more open toward agreeing to whatever the Colonel had to say to him.
“Jack Bauer, I want you to know that if I had my way you would die.” He grins menacingly and stares straight back into Jack eyes. “You would have died a long time ago. But, some very powerful people have asked me to keep you alive. So, here you sit. Alive and well. For now.”
The cold smile lingers a moment before the Colonel drops his eyes to examine his perfectly manicured nails in an obviously dismissive gesture towards his prisoner.
Jack looks away from the interrogator, for that is what he will ultimately be, as a sign of disrespect, as if to say he’s not interested in what the Colonel has to tell him. In reality, Jack is very interested to find out what this is all about, why he’s been brought out of his cell into this room. He is trying to use every advantage, however few, he has as leverage to get more information. Jack’s training takes over.
“Jack Bauer, do not be like that,” the Colonel begins, nonplussed by Jack’s small rebellion. “Some very powerful people would like to help you.” The Colonel leans in now, speaking very deliberately so Jack understands his every word. “Would you like a chance to see your family again, Jack? Would you like to see your family again? Would you like to go home?”
The line of questioning has caught Jack off-balance. The last thing expected to hear was talk of his going home. To Jack, that was an impossibility. Still, even with the bombshell questions the Colonel has asked him, it’s obvious to Jack he’s being baited. He needs to hold the advantage throughout this conversation, to hold onto what little leverage he has. And in this conversation, all things being equal, Jack’s advantage consists of his attention. His silent attention. Then his controlled interaction. Jack sits unresponsive as the Colonel waits and gets nothing. He seems confused by this, and a little agitated.
“Do you want to die Jack Bauer? Do you want to die right now?,” he says calmly, in contradiction to the threat in the repeated question and the fact that he simultaneously pulls out a sidearm and points it at Jack. Obviously he has had enough with Jack stubbornness and inattention.
And that is exactly what Jack wants. “Let’s get all the cards out on the table,” he muses.
“Jack Bauer. I want you to listen what I have to say right now. You want to go home and see your family again or die alone in this disgusting place?” The Colonel’s thick Russian accent obscures some of the first show of emotion behind his words. Jack senses him getting angry with his apathy and unresponsiveness. He decides to push a little bit further.
“If you were going to shoot me, you would have shot me already. Why don’t we stop playing games and you tell me what you want?” Jack matches the calm tone with which the conversation had begun.
“Why did you bring me here?” Jack turns his full attention to the Colonel now, and burns a hole through the man with his gaze.
The Colonel huffs in amusement. But the feigned levity is short lived. “Do you want to die or do you want to go home Jack Bauer?” he repeats but his time his question is laced with blatant threat and aggression. “It is simple question. Make your choice, I do not have time to waste.”
Jack’s sneers and looks him deadly in the eyes. His adversary returns the acid look. The Russian thinks he’s winning the conversation, but Jack knows differently.
“I’m not five days out of the academy. You brought me here for a reason. You want something. I don’t know what that something is, but you’ll get no satisfaction from me until I find out.”
The Colonel, becoming more and more agitated by Jack’s defiance but trying, unsuccessfully Jack notes, to hide it, looks down at the table. “You want to play games Jack Bauer?” he asks with cold fury in his voice. “You want to have fun?” The Russian stands and walks towards Jack on the other side of the table. “Because I do have a game for you,” he seethes as he leans in close to his captive’s ear and whispers. “It is called, ‘how much pain can you take before you die?’”
Jack keeps his voice firm, fighting the urge to move his head away from the moist, malevolent breath at his ear, “Have you read my file? I’ve been threatened and tortured by better than you. Spare me your empty threats.”
For Andre it’s been a long night on the southern Moscow River port. Two massive freighters have come in to the port north of the city, and it’s his primary responsibility to make sure they get unloaded in a timely fashion. The freighters from China are carry beauty supplies, electronics, rations, furniture, you name it. The people of Russia don’t enjoy a particularly high standard of living, but Andre’s proud of the fact that what little creature comforts they do have, come through his watch here on the docks. He thinks of himself as the gatekeeper to modern Russian life. He enjoys his job, and makes a decent wage at it, especially for such laborious work. Has responsibility, and responsibility doesn’t often pay well in Russia.
One of the other reasons that Andre is making a decent living on the docks is that he’s not opposed to turning a blind eye to the occasional black market parts or parcels that routinely come off of the boat and find their way into an unmarked car or van. Regardless of what the government thinks, the Russian Mafia are the real owners of the docks. People like Andre can supplement their income quite handsomely by looking the other way, and taking care of the interests who wish to remain in the shadows.
Andre’s supervisor, the southern dock manager Boris, is in on the action too. Boris is the money man, the man who makes the deals. He and Andre share in the rewards, although Boris keeps more for himself. Saying no to the Russian Mafia is not an option. With the current deal everyone makes a little more money—it’s that simple.
Andre would like to be the man in Boris’ position someday, although he is content with his career for now. And on this night, like so many others, there is a special package among the nameless and faceless shipping crates. Andre expected it, and has been instructed by Boris to look for a specific marketing on a small shipping container, and to alert him when the container is ready to be lifted off the boat, as is standard procedure. Andre finds himself wondering what’s in the container, which is no larger in width than a queen-size mattress, and about four feet tall, but tries not to obsess about such details. People who ask questions don’t seem to keep their jobs very long, and Andre makes a handsome bribe for looking the other way and making sure that the special packages make their destinations, so he swallows his curiosity. He finds the container marked with number “CSQU5789997” and notifies Boris over the dock phone when this particular container is ready to be lifted off.
Boris calls on the phone and instructs him to put the container on to the flatbed that’s been sitting to the left of the crane for a couple of days. “This is a big one. Do not get cute Andre. Just do as I instructed as quickly as possible. You know the drill Andre.”
“Yes sir,” Andre answers a bit annoyed that, after all this time, Boris feels the need for the extra instructions.
Andre does as Boris instructed, ruminating on the unusual nervousness in his boss’s voice, and maneuvers the crane above the container marked with the correct number. As he moves the crane into position to lift the container off, as he does hundreds of times per night, Boris cracks over the intercom once again. “Please be careful with this one. This is very, very special cargo. Don’t shake it, do not drop it, be very smooth and deliberate with your actions Andre. Trust me on this.”
Andre does as he is told, albeit a little more nervous now than he was before, and gently lowers the crane over the container and hooks onto it. He lifts up the container and slowly swivels the crane around 120°, and gently places the container onto the flatbed truck as instructed.
The moment the container is on the flatbed, two men in expensive looking suits exit from Boris’ office and head towards the truck. Andre thinks that the men look fairly menacing. He’s beginning to think that this must not be your typical black market delivery which causes Andre to wonder even more about what’s in the container. His curiosity is definitely piqued. What’s so special about this container that Andre had to be so careful when removing it from the freighter?
The two men take a moment to look around at their surroundings before entering the truck, and once satisfied that they are alone, climb in and pull off, out towards the exit of the docks and into Moscow proper. Andre gets out of his crane and climbs down the ladder to ground level, quickly met by Boris who is clearly nervous. Boris pulls out a humungous wad of cash, significantly larger than the usual fare. He counts off Andre’s share and hands it to him, without saying a word. Andre looks down at the wad of cash. He counts it again and again, and realizes that whatever was in that container, those men wanted it off the truck very badly.
“Boris…” he begins to ask, his curiosity finally overwhelming his caution. But Boris interrupts quickly. “I do not know, Andre. But I know that this is the last time we will speak of it. There was something off about those men. Honestly, they gave me the creeps. I’m glad they are gone.”
Silent and with shared unease, Andre and his supervisor stare off into the distance, down the path the truck travelled just minutes ago. Both a bit taken aback by what has just happened and distracted by conjectures about what could’ve been in that container that was so valuable. They share an uncomfortable glance.
“This freighter is not going to unload itself Andre,” Boris breaks the tense quiet. “Get back to work.”
“Yes Boris,” Andre says, pocketing the large wad of money and throwing one last glance down the now dark and empty road.
Andre climbs up the ladder into the crows nest as he resumes unloading the freighters. The bulge of money in his right pocket makes him think about how happy his wife will be when he comes home and shows her. How his kids will celebrate. Subconsciously he frets that something about this transaction was different for sure, it wasn’t a normal black market delivery. Andre takes a deep breath and decides to relax and enjoy thinking about the reward. He swivels the crane around 120 degrees to address the next container on the freighter and lowers the hook exactly like he’s done thousands and thousands of times before.
Jack is on the floor having met the butt end of the Colonel’s pistol yet again. He’s been enduring the beating for a while now—punched, kicked, pistol-whipped, and verbally assaulted. The Colonel is trying to make a point that he’s in control of how this scenario plays out, not Jack. Bauer lies on the ground bleeding and still chained to his over-turned chair. The Colonel comes around to Jack’s side of the table and stares down at him. After a moment, with control, he reaches down, lifts Jack and his chair with surprising ease, and places him upright as he was before. Transiently, Jack wonders why the Russian bothers when he knows going to end up in the same place in the same position fairly soon again. His interrogator walks back to his side of the table, pulls his uniform shirt taught, and sits down across from him as he has done after each round of the beating. He says the same thing he says every time. He begins again, for maybe the fourth of fifth time.
“Do you want to die Jack Bauer? Do you want me to end your misery?”
The intensity of the moment does not overwhelm him, but he also understands that he doesn’t have a whole lot of time left to play here. This cycle is just going to continue until Jack gives the Colonel what he wants. The Colonel wants a yes. He wants Jack to admit he wants the misery to end. Honestly, Jack sort of does, want the misery to end, that is. Death had certainly been the expected outcome all along, but damned if he’s going to let this bastard win. Besides, even if he says yes, please end it, he knows that will just open up round two. In round two he will be the broken man who must submit to the needs and whims of his captors. He doesn’t like the idea of round two anymore than he likes round one. On the other hand, if he tries to hold out much longer, whatever point Jack is trying to make, whatever information he’s hoping to glean, will be a moot. He’ll be unconscious or dead.
The Colonel gets up to commence another round. Jack turns his head to look at him. Rather than rot for months in a tiny cell and then beat him to death they could have given him at least some honor with his death. He’s surprised by the fury he suddenly feels. Pain from about every muscle, tendon, and joint in his body threatens to distract him. His head is awash in vertigo and nausea. To his own surprise, then, he hears himself say the words “Water. Please.”
The Colonel is taken aback by this, almost as surprised to hear the plea as Jack was to say it. He stops in his tracks and looks at Jack with a hint of confusion in his eyes. Jack says again “Water. I need…water. I don’t want to die. Water. After that I will answer your questions.”
The Colonel pauses to process this information for a moment, and then an amused and self satisfied look appears on his face. He has done it. He has broken Jack Bauer. Contrary to what Jack assumed when they first met, the Colonel had read Jack’s file. He knew exactly what he was getting himself in to. He knew all about Jack’s legendary toughness, and his ability to withstand torture, his willingness to die rather than submit. With the history of this man, now submitting to him, inflates this Russian’s already outsized ego that much more. The Colonel picks up the glass and takes it off of the table. He stands still for a second, soaking up the moment. Enjoying it. Reveling in his moment of victory. The Colonel walks over to Jack and offers up the cup to Jack’s lips, almost feeling sorry for this broken, and yes he must begrudgingly admit, ex-hero of the American people. Suddenly feeling generous in victory he admits that Bauer must be very proud, and this is likely a terrible moment for him. He grants him a secret moment of compassion, warrior to warrior, hero to hero.
Jack moves his head down and takes a sip of the water offered by the Colonel, fully cognizant of the distraction his capitulation has caused. Instead of swallowing, Jack spits it out on the Colonel. The Colonel peers down at the disgusting liquid on his uniform and shoes and automatically bends down to wipe it off before he vents his rage on the prisoner.
Almost casually Jack gets up off the chair and takes the glass out of the Colonels hand. He enjoys the brief, almost child like look of confusion that passes over the Colonels’ face before Jack smashes the glass on the table and slits the Colonels neck from ear to ear with the broken shard in his hand.
The Colonel looks at Jack, still confused by what has just transpired, seemingly unaware that he has just had his throat cut, and will be dead in seconds. The Colonel begins to slump and Jack catches him. Too weak to hold him up with his arms, he uses his own battered body to hold the dying one. Coldly, Jack stares into the dying eyes, making the Russian, in the last moments of his life, contemplate the knowledge that he’d been bettered. Before he loses his last bit of strength, Jack’s un-cuffed right hand snakes into the Colonels right pocket and fishes out the key to the cuffs. He lets the body fall.
Jack knows he has little time, and his swollen right hand is clumsy, his wrist purple with fresh bruising from roughly shimming it out of the shackle. The guards had been more concerned with looking and acting threatening than noticing he had slipped his fisted right hand into the shackle just before they’d clamped it on his wrist, creating just enough room to wiggle it free while the Colonel had been preoccupied with beating the crap out of him. Finally, Jack steadies himself enough to release the shackle from his left wrist. The old, heavy iron relic shackles fall, a length of rusted chain still attached, and land, not with a thud, but with a soft plop on the Colonels still chest, on the front of the starched white shirt.
‘That’s going to stain,’ Jack thinks flatly, too exhausted to appreciate the irony of the thought. It was the Russian’s vanity and ego that enabled Jack’s victory. That and the fact the colonel had done his job perhaps too well. The last time the chair toppled, the force of the blow behind Jack’s falling weight had splintered the wood around the anchor of his restraints.
Turning his attention to the rest of the room Jack notices the darkened panel in the ceiling that most likely obscures a camera. He looks up at the glass twelve feet in the air and screams at the top of his lungs, “I’m not the one playing games here! If you want me, come get me and we’ll talk. No more of this bullshit. Tell me what you want.” He looks around the room for anything to use as a weapon, but only has the shard of glass in his hand. He notices the Colonel’s side-arm in the holster on the hip of his corpse. He lunges for it and checks the clip. Empty. The chamber? Empty.
“Dammit!” he shouts and frantically looks again for a weakness in the room—a window, a hole, the seam of the door that he thought he had committed to memory, but finds nothing. He has no choice but to brace himself in what he thinks is the back of the room and wait for events to play out.
Jack Bauer has made his choice. He’s going to fight. He’s going to try to get out. He knows there’s no going back after what he’s just done. Either he’s going to escape from this prison or he is going to die trying. He takes a moment to assess his injuries, and finding nothing broken or life threatening, then stills himself and thinks about who, or what, is going to come through the door next. Are they going to shoot him immediately? Subdue him? Jack doesn’t know, but based on the fact that somebody wants him alive, he assumes, and of course hopes, that they would not try to blindly kill him, no questions asked, no mercy given.
Without any sound to tip off the moment, the invisible door swings open into the room and an army of Russian foot soldiers swarms in surrounding Jack. “They’re not shooting.” Jack thinks with relief. “I might have a chance.” The Russian soldiers take position and form a half circle around Jack, with the wall becoming the rear barrier. Slowly moving on Jack, rifles drawn and pointed at his head, they attempt to overwhelm him with numbers. Jack realizes that if he doesn’t do something quickly he is going to be right back where he started. He lunges at the soldier to the left of him. He swings the shard of at the soldier’s face, but the soldier is able to duck away in time to avoid what could’ve been a lethal strike. Another, bigger soldier pushes Jack against the wall and Jack responds by rebounding with force and speed in the direction of a third green clad solid body, grasping for one of the guns trained at his head. Jack knows if he fires a shot they will likely return fire, but he’s out of options. He pries the gun away while five or six others move in, proceeding to beat on his back, kick him in the legs, and try to hold his arms away from taking aim with the gun. The instinct to survive and thirty years of training have taken over Jack’s body, and he feels no pain, no fear. He is solely focused on using the gun to make a final stand. He swivels around to point at the next closest soldier to attempt to shoot his way out, but, suddenly, everything goes black and he crumples to the floor in a heap.
All the adrenaline in the world is no match for the butt end of a Soviet rifle to the back of the head. As Jack Bauer lays on the floor half unconscious, the soldiers that were wrestling with him slowly back up to reform the semi circle formation that had begun this dance. They wait patiently as he slowly opens his eyes. Jack is not unaware that the attack has stopped and he is still alive. They do want him alive, that much is clear. Jack’s senses slowly return as the cloud lifts from his consciousness. He’s still laying on the ground absently counting the number of times he’s taken a head shot today, not fully aware enough to stand up as of yet nor get an accurate count of the blows. This was his best chance of escape, as shitty as the opportunity was, and he has failed. He no longer has control. It’s over. As Jack pushes himself up to the sitting position, a new Russian in a freshly pressed suit enters the room, splitting the formation of soldiers down the middle as he makes his way towards Jack. The soldiers readily make way and follow the new man with their eyes as he comes to a stop a foot or two in front of Jack, looking down on him, smiling.
“Very good Jack Bauer. Very good.”
Another Russian accent, although not as pronounced as the dead Colonel’s almost comic book intonations. Jack surmises this one has spent some time in the west, or at least, is versed in Western culture. He has that look about him—the suit, the hair, the well groomed English. Jack can’t help but wonder why he’s just been complemented for killing a Russian Colonel and attacking a group of foot soldiers. Jack’s head swirls from the attempt at looking up and he is forced to close his eyes to alleviate the vertigo. The voice above him continues. “Clean him up. Feed him. Treat his wounds, and then bring him to me.”
With that, he hears the heels of the man’s shoes turn and recess as he leaves the room. In his wake, the soldiers descend on Jack to follow their instructions. Jack decides to go along with it. He needs to save his strength, and live to fight again. Admittedly, he wants to know what they want. They’ve offered him a chance to go home. While he knows it is a trick, or more likely an out right lie, he can’t help the hope that wells up at the thought.