This is a side project I started (well, a side project to a side project, but anyway…). I started writing the first part of this, but wanted to get this much out there to get your feedback on the story, whether or not I should continue, and how you think it should go. Leave a comment below!
Tony Almeida (in case you don’t already know) was a federal agent working at the Counter Terrorism Unit in Los Angeles with Jack Bauer for a number of years. Tragedy struck both Jack and Tony: the death of a spouse by terrorists, imprisonment, becoming a fugitive. Each one handled their situations differently, leading them apart on different roads.
The show 24 and related writings have centered mostly on the journey of Jack Bauer. The Almeida Chronicles, will shift the focus to the life of Tony Almeida, especially targeting three transformative times in his life:
Between seasons 4 and 5 – Tony and Michelle leave CTU and remarry to start their own security company with Rick Rosen.
- Between seasons 5 and 7 – After Michelle’s death and Tony’s near-death, Tony joins David Emerson and develops a relationship with Cara Bowden as he tracks down Alan Wilson.
- After season 7 – Tony is imprisoned for eight years before being contacted by Vanessa Diaz, who delivers a way for Tony to escape.
Normal 24 style is to cover the events in real time. This will not follow this format, but will rather cover events in these timeframes. The purpose is to gain insight into the life of Tony Almeida – what happened to him and why he chose the actions he did.
One of the debates among 24 fans is whether Tony Almeida can be restored after going to the “dark side.” Restoration both in society and, maybe more importantly to 24 fans, with Jack Bauer.
Note also that Rick Rosen is mentioned here. He becomes Tony and Michelle’s partner in their security firm. He is also the one that Jack calls on in Epilogue: Part 2 of our story, 24: Countdown.
Without any further ado….
Part 1 – Day 4.5
The sun peaked through the single cloud in the sky, right into his eyes. Even though he was wearing sunglasses, the intensity of the light caused him to squint. He reached up and flipped the sun visor down, blocking the sunlight from his eyes.
The stoplight head turned yellow and then red, so he slowed the car to a stop. He looks over at his wife, glad that she had given him a second chance. He was also glad that she agreed to leave the Counter Terrorism Unit and work with him to start a security firm.
“I love you, Michelle,” he said to her.
“I love you, too, Tony” she replied, and leaned over for a kiss.
“I think you’re going to like this guy,” Tony said as the light turned green. “Rick doesn’t know a lot about security, but he’s amazing with finances.”
“Didn’t you go to the same college?” Michelle asked.
“Yeah,” Tony answered. “At San Diego State, we had a couple classes together as freshman. He was a business major, so we didn’t many classes together after that, but we kept in touch for a while. He’s doing multi-million dollar transactions now, mostly in real estate investing.”
“Do you think he’ll help us?” Michelle asked. “I know he’s agreed to see us today, but do you think it’ll go farther?”
“I’m pretty sure,” Tony said, making a turn. “He’s more of interested in quick turn-around real estate, but I think he’ll see the longer term benefit with us. He’s a numbers-guy, so as long as the numbers line up well enough for him.”
Tony turned the car into the large parking garage on the right, grabbed the ticket, and followed the path to the second level. He found a parking spot between a maroon SUV and a blue minivan. After putting the car in park, he glances at his watch.
‘9:05,’ Tony thought. ‘We have 10 minutes.’
Tony and Michelle opened their doors and got out. Tony opened the trunk of the car and pulled out a briefcase while Michelle grabbed a poster-size envelope. Tony looked around and made a mental note of their location, then looked for the direction to the elevators. Spotting the elevators to his right, he led Michelle to them and pressed the up arrow.
The sun was hot and the day was just beginning. There was a group of men standing outside the office of the oil rig, each one hoping to have work for the day. Usually, only a handful of them would get chosen and the rest would have to leave and find something else. Every once in a while, the company would hire someone for a full-time position – and that was the envy of the group.
The foreman stepped out of his office with his hard hat and clipboard. He threw his sunglasses on as the sun blinded him. He walks down the stairs and toward the group of eager men. He looks at his list and then back to the men.
“I have four positions today,” he announced after the crowd hushed. “Jose Mirando, Jim Hartford, Ed Ramos, and Frank Flynn.”
Shouts of disappointment rang through the group, followed by the others walking away. The four chosen men stepped forward toward the foreman.
“Jose and Jim, head to the refinery and report to David,” the foreman said. “Ed, take Frank to pump number ten. He’s new, so show him the ropes. If he doesn’t cut it, let me know and I’ll replace him.”
The men expressed their gratitude and headed off to their posts, leaving the foreman to tend to his business in the office.
“Sarah, I need three copies of these for the meeting this afternoon.”
Sarah turned to see her boss, Rick Rosen, holding a couple of manila folders out to her. She quickly grabbed them and scanned the tabs.
“Yes, sir,” she answered. “I’ll get this right away and get them in your box.”
“Make sure to mark all the places that need signatures and initials,” Rick reminded her.
Sarah was fairly new – hired just three weeks earlier – but she had plenty of office experience before. The simple reminder irked her spirit a little bit.
“Yes, sir,” she said, contemplating whether or not she should mention that she remembered that it needed to be done.
“Do you have that list ready for my 9:15?” Rick asked.
“Yes, sir,” she said, grabbing a folder from her desk. “There are fifty companies on the list. I’ve highlighted the contact person and phone number for each one – yellow for most of them, but green for the ones that would be the highest probability of agreeing.”
“Thanks,” Rick said, taking the folder from her. As he turned to head back into his office, “See them in as soon as they arrive.”
After acknowledging him, she walked over to the copy machine, took the papers out of the first folder and placed them in the tray of the machine. She pushed the button to bring it out of its sleep mode and selected to make three copies – collated, of course. As soon as the machine began sucking the paper in and scanning the sheets, the elevator dinged.
She turned and saw a couple walk out of the elevator. He was carrying a briefcase and she had a large envelope.
“Good morning,” she said, greeting them. “You must be Tony and Michelle.”
“Yeah,” Tony said. “We’re here to see Mr. Rosen.”
“He’s expecting you,” she replied and motioned with her hand. “Follow me.”
She led them passed her desk to his office. The door was partially open, but she knocked a few times and pushed it open.
“Mr. Rosen,” she announced, “Tony and Michelle are here.”
“Thank you, Sarah,” Rick replied. “A couple minutes early. I like that.”
“Thank you for meeting with us,” Tony said.
“It was great to hear from you last week,” Rick said. He walked around his desk to shake their hands. “Have a seat.”
Sarah closed the door on her way out and went back to making the copies – and marking them – for the afternoon meeting.
A blue Honda accord pulled out the driveway onto the street. Most people have left for work or school, leaving the neighborhood relatively quiet. The made a few turns and made its way out of the neighborhood and onto the main street. It soon blended with the traffic heading west.
The driver was a Caucasian man with short blond hair. He weaved occasionally between the lanes to avoid the slower drivers. He felt a buzz in his pocket, immediately took the phone out, and answered it.
“Where are you, Nicolas?” the question came over the phone.
“I’m on my way there,” Nicolas replied.
“We’re supposed to leave at 9:30,” the phone said. “You should have been here already.”
“I’ll be there on time,” he said, getting more aggravated. “Is everything else in order?”
“Yes. The last one was just loaded. If you’re late, we’re going to leave without you.”
“I said I’ll make it.”
Nicolas ended the call and tried to focus on driving again. The traffic was a little worse than he had hoped, but he should still have enough time – it wasn’t far away.
“I’ve been part of this from the beginning,” he said aloud to himself. “Do they really think I’m going to mess the plan up now?”
Tony leaned forward as he listened to Michelle continue explaining their plan. She had taken some simple charts out of the large envelope as visual aides. They both were used to using digital aides at CTU and it felt a little awkward to use old-fashioned poster board.
“It should take less than a year for you to recuperate your investment,” Michelle explained, pointing to the line chart. “If you continue beyond that, the profit increases dramatically.”
“You know,” Rick said, “I usually stick to real estate. I like investments with quick turn-around. It’s how I’ve built this business.”
“I know,” Tony added. “But there is a big need for better security firms. And with our experience, and your investment, it’ll be huge.”
Rick smiled. “I didn’t say I wasn’t going to invest.” He opened the folder on his desk that Sarah prepared for him. He pulled the color-coded list from it and handed it to Tony. “We’ve already done some research on companies that may be in need of new or improved security.”
Tony glanced through the pages, noting the yellow and green highlighted spots. Many of the companies Michelle and he had looked into were listed.
“I need to know two things,” Rick continued. “First of all, how much money are you looking for. And secondly, what are the details for getting started. I like to know the details of where my money goes.”
Tony looked at Michelle before answering. “Ten million.”
“Ten million?” Rick parroted. “What for?”
“We’ll need a facility,” Michelle answered. “We’ll also need to hire and train personnel. Equipment and gear. Government fees and licensing.”
Rick just looked between the two of them. He didn’t say anything for nearly a minute.
“Let’s say I agree,” Rick finally said, “what would be your first move?”
The blue accord parked in the alley next to the box truck. A few people milled around talking to each other, but stopped as soon as the car door closed.
“I told you I’d make it,” Nicolas said.
The man with dark, shoulder-length hair and a thick goatee looked around at the others around him. “Load up!” He then turned to Nicolas for his next command, “You ride with me in back.”
Nicolas walked with the man to the back of the truck and climbed in with him. Inside, he took his sunglasses off so he could see clearly. Pocketing the glasses in his jacket, he saw the cabinets along the driver’s side of the truck with seats along the other side. As he took a seat, he could see the arsenal of automatic weapons, smoke bombs, ammunition, and several other tactical devices inside the cabinets. Two men quickly closed the cabinets and secured them for transporting.
The man with the goatee sat next to Nicolas.
“Are you sure you’re ready?”
“Of course I’m ready,” Nicolas snapped back. “I gave you the idea.”
“But I brought it together,” the man answered. “You’ve been off-step lately. Should I be concerned?”
“Not at all,” Nicolas said, trying to reassure his partner. “You have nothing to worry about, Sean.”
“I certainly hope not,” Sean replied. “I don’t want any extra hindrances.”
“Well,” Tony said, “we already got the paperwork started. In fact, we filled out the Personal Identification form for you already. You just need to sign it.”
Tony pulled some papers from his briefcase and handed them to Rick.
“Hmmmm,” Rick said. “I see you’re pretty confident. I think this will work well.”
“So, you’re agreeing?” Tony asked directly.
“Why did we need to schedule this meeting?” Michelle asked. “It seems you already had your mind made up before we got here?”
“I was ninety percent sure,” Rick said. “I believe in personal presentation. That’s what solidified it.”
“You doubted that part?” Tony asked. “We’ve convinced the President of the United States to take action – we know how to present things.”
“Resumes are useless with me. I have to see things first-hand. Let’s sign the papers and get moving.”
“Any questions, Frank?” Ed had shown Frank the major parts of the rig. When there was no answer right away, he asked the same question again.
‘I gotta remember that I’m not Jack anymore – I’m Frank Flynn.’
“What’s my responsibility?” Jack asked.
“You’ll be the floorhand,” Ed answered. “You’ll just be doing whatever you’re told. Cleaning. Reparing. Anything, really.”
“Fine,” Jack answered. “What’s first?”
“You see those pumps over there?” Ed said pointing to several large pumps on a metal table. “Clean all the oil off of them so they can be inspected for damage.”
Jack nodded with a grunt and walked over to the pumps. They were covered in crude oil and dirt – a mess that was obviously not desirable work. He immediately got to work using the solvent Ed showed him to scrub the pumps clean.
‘I wish I could call Kim,’ he thought to himself. ‘I hate that I had to leave without saying goodbye to her.’
Nicolas sat quietly as the truck bounced around. Nothing was said since the drive began. There was a lot of planning that went into this day. He knew that his life was on the line, though, and that’s what kept him on edge. The Scotch he drank earlier had been helping him keep his nerve, but the alcohol’s effect was wearing off.
“You’re shaking a little, Nicolas,” Sean said, braking the silence.
“I didn’t sleep well,” Nicolas answered. “Haven’t slept well all week. Too much to do. The coffee is making me a little twitchy.”
Nicolas knew it was a lie, but it sounded believable. He just hoped that it would keep Sean off his case a little for a little longer.
“I understand,” Sean said. “Try to keep it together, though. We don’t need shaky trigger fingers.”
“Yeah,” Nicolas said.
Silence followed the short conversation. Nicolas knew they would be at their target soon. He glanced at his watch.
‘I hope the others are in place,” Nicolas thought to himself.
Tony and Michelle followed Rick out of his office and passed Sarah, who was busy highlighting and marking the documents Rick assigned earlier. They walked to the elevators and Rick pushed the down arrow.
“It was great to meet with you,” Rick said.
“Yeah,” Tony said. “We’ll get these papers turned in right away. Let us know when you have some properties to check out.”
“I have some to look through,” Rick said. “I keep a close eye on the market.”
The elevator dinged and the doors opened. After shaking hands with Rick, Tony and Michelle entered the elevator and pressed “2.”
“That went smoother than I expected,” Michelle said. “Almost too smooth.”
“Don’t worry,” Tony said. “I told you that we go way back.”
“I hope you’re right,” Michelle said. “Let’s drops these papers off and then get an early lunch. I didn’t eat breakfast, I was so nervous.”
“Sounds good to me,” Tony said.
The truck finally came to a stop. The doors were opened flooding the back of the truck with sunlight, blinding Nicolas momentarily. They all stood and assembled at the rear of the truck.
“Everyone here?” Sean asked.
“Yes,” one of the men said.
“Good,” Sean said. “Alpha team take the north entrance. Beta team to the south. Charlie team to the east. We’ll take the west. Get in position and wait for my signal.”
Everyone quickly scattered to their assigned posts, their weapons hidden inside their jackets. The cooler weather would make it easier for concealing.
Sean walked back into the truck and opened the cabinets, grabbing several supplies and shoving them into his pockets. He grabbed an AR15 and tossed it to Nicolas, who caught it and quickly checked the magazine.
Nicolas stepped closer to Sean and set the weapon down. Sean looked at him.
“No vest?” Nicolas asked.
“Sorry,” Sean said smiling. “No more left.”
“Not funny,” Nicolas said.
‘Good thing I’m wearing my own vest,’ Nicolas thought. He grabbed a few extra magazines and picked the gun back up. After jumping down from the truck, he reached inside his jacket and put his sunglasses back on. He placed his index finger inside his left ear and turned it slightly. He heard a light beep.
“We’re here,” he whispered.
“It’s time,” Chloe O’Brian said. “Nicolas just gave turned his comms on.”
“Do we have a visual?” Bill Buchanan said, walking over to her station.
“Yes,” she replied.
On Chloe’s screen, they could see the outside of Angel Stadium as Nicolas walked toward the service doors. Chloe tapped a few keys and suddenly the video was on the large screen for the whole office to see.
“Are our men in place?” Bill asked.
“Standing by,” Curtis Manning said over his comm unit. Curtis was new to CTU Los Angeles and working in field operations.
Tony and Michelle pulled out of the parking garage into the busy street. Tony navigated the traffic smoothly, more relaxed than before the meeting.
“Looks like the Angel game is filling up,” Michelle noted as they passed the stadium.
“Ha!” Tony said. “I’m sticking with my Cubbies.”
“They’ll never get to the World Series,” Michelle jabbed at Tony.
“They will,” Tony said. “They’re just rebuilding.”
“For eighty years?”
Tony looked over at Michelle smiling. He lightly pushed on her shoulder and tried to his own smile. He glanced down, grabbed his ever-faithful Cubs mug, and took a drink.
Seconds later, they heard the sound of gunfire. Tony assesses that there were multiple automatic weapons. The gunfire brought the traffic to a stop. Tony was able to stop before hitting the vehicle in front of them, but spills the coffee on his pants.
“They don’t need our help,” Tony reminded Michelle. “We left CTU for a reason. They have the help they need.”
Michelle knew he was right, but she still had the urge to do something – especially when she was that close.
“I know,” she said reluctantly.
People were dropping to the ground as the gunfire sounded through the stadium. Security and police responded quickly to the terrorists, but they weren’t quick enough. Several of them fell to the ground as the bullets hit their chests and heads.
Chaos ensued for a couple minutes as the terrorists gained control of the gates, sealing off any way of people coming or going.
The gunfire slowed and eventually came to the stop. Several men in long coats were seen walking to the pitcher’s mound with a video camera and microphone. After a brief moment, the jumbotron screen was filled with the face of one of the men.
“We have control of the stadium,” the man said. “Your government will be contacted shortly regarding our demands. We require your cooperation. If you do cooperate, you will live. If not – well…”
As the man let his sentence trail, he turned to his side. The camera zoomed out to show a man that had been tied up. He was forced to his knees.
“This is the head of the security team,” the man continued. “Let him be your example.”
A single shot to the back of his head sent the man flying forward. The screen went black and the rest of the men began walking off the field.
“We haven’t moved anywhere,” Michelle said.
“Yeah,” Tony said. “I’m here, too.”
“Are you sure we shouldn’t help?” Michelle asked.
“We’ve talked about this, Michelle,” Tony said, looking over at her. “We’re not part of CTU anymore. It’s not our job to do this anymore. I don’t to lose you again.”
“We are concerned citizens, though,” Michelle said, trying to make some kind of argument. “Plus, maybe this can help get our business going – like free advertising for the need of better security.”
Tony pushed out a short laugh. “Free advertising? By putting our lives in danger again? They brought in that new guy just before you left. I’m sure they are more than capable of handling this.”
“I’m at least going to call Chloe,” Michelle said, pulling her phone out.
“Fine,” Tony conceded. “Just a phone call. Nothing more.”
Chloe worked between toggling her screens and coordinating the communication between Curtis, Bill, and the men onsite. She was also helping to monitor the audio and video coming from Nicolas’ glasses and earpiece.
Her cell phone buzzed and she glanced to see Michelle’s name. It was the second call in a matter of minutes.
‘I don’t have time right now, Michelle,’ Chloe thought.
Chloe focused back on the video feed, where they could all see Nicolas facing the terrorists as they were making plans. The audio wasn’t very good, so she had to concentrate to try to figure out what they were saying.
“Anything?” Bill asked, walking up to Chloe’s desk.
“There’s too much background noise,” Chloe said, “but it sounds like they are planning to make a call with their demands.”
“What’s the situation look like?” Bill asked as Curtis joined them.
“They’ve taken out several of the security,” Chloe said, “including the head of security. He was shot and it was broadcast to the entire stadium live. Nicolas was there as Sean shot him in the middle of the field. It was a power play to get everyone to cooperate.”
“How many hostiles are there?” Curtis asked. “My men are in position and waiting for the order.”
“Nicolas,” Bill said into the radio. “How many hostiles are there?”
There was a series of three taps, apparently from Nicolas tapping his earpiece. Then, he looked down at his hands. On the screen, they could see him used his fingers to show the numbers three and two.
“Thrity-two?” Bill confirmed, followed by a quick thumbs up from Nicolas. “There’s five of them right there with Nicolas, so that would leave 4-5 at each gate.”
“They probably have the security entrances covered, too,” Chloe added.
Bill turned to Curtis. “Have them wait for now, we need to wait to just the right time. We don’t want more innocent casualties.”
Chloe’s phone buzzed again.
“Who’s that?” Bill asked.
“It’s Michelle,” Chloe said, glancing at the phone on her desk. “She’s been trying to call for the past ten minutes.”
“Go ahead and answer it,” Bill said. “Let her know we’re busy and you’ll call back later.”
Chloe grabbed her phone and answered it.
“What is it?” she asked. “We’re busy here right now.”
“We’re downtown near the Angel’s Stadium and heard some gunfire,” Michelle said, getting straight to the point.
“We know,” Chloe said.
“I just wanted to make sure you knew,” Michelle said.
“We do,” Chloe said quickly. “We have men in position and I need to get back to comms. Buchannan says I need to go.”
“So you’re the new guy?”
Jack turned around to see a group of five men.
“Yeah,” he said. “I’m Frank Fl…”
“We don’t care about your name,” one of the men interrupted. “We need to take you out back for initiation.”
“I’m busy,” Jack said, turning back to his work.
“You don’t have a choice.”
Two of the men grabbed his shoulders, pulling him backward. Jack anticipated the move, but tried to keep himself cool. He twisted himself around quickly.
“Don’t touch me again,” he warned.
“Or what?” the men taunted. “I don’t think you’re in a position to do anything. You’re a new guy with no background, so I don’t think anyone will really care what happens to you.”
“You might want to think about this first,” Jack said, observing that all of them were probably young enough to be his children.
“You talk big for a guy being surrounded,” one of them said.
“You only think I’m outnumbered,” he said. “I don’t want to hurt you.”
The leader of the group laughed and ordered the others to grab him and take him out back. Jack flexed immediately and twisted the two hands that grabbed his wrists. The men groaned and fell to their knees.
Another man swung at Jack’s gut, making solid contact. Jack responded by following with a right cross to the man’s jaw, making a loud crack upon contact. Jack followed that hit with a sweep to the man’s knees.
The fourth man attempted a sidekick to Jack’s gut, but Jack was able to grab his leg and twist his ankle.
The ringleader joined the fight by throwing his fist at Jack’s face. Jack blocked it and followed with a punch of his own. The man narrowly dodged it and came back with an elbow to Jack’s right kidney. Jack winced as the pain shot from his side up his back.
Ignoring the pain, Jack turned with a strong backhand to the man’s neck. The man gasped for a breath several times. Jack looked at him for a few seconds before pushing him backwards.
“I tried to warn you,” Jack said, looking at the group of men lying on the ground.
Nicolas looked around at the scene around him. He was back in the middle of the field with Sean and two others. One was holding the camera since they were about to broadcast again.
“We have contacted your governor,” Sean said after his face appeared on the big screen again. “We are waiting for his response. He has nine minutes to respond. I think we all understand what will happen if he doesn’t.”
The screen went black again and Sean turned to Nicolas.
“Are the bombs in place?” Sean asked.
“I can check to make sure,” Nicolas said.
“Make it quick,” Sean ordered. “We don’t have much time.”
‘It wasn’t supposed to go this far,’ Nicolas thought to himself. ‘What are they waiting for?’
Nicolas walked off the field and down the corridor. He looked both ways before he opened a door and walked in. He was now alone in a poorly lit room.
“Bill,” Nicolas said quietly.
“Yes,” Bill answered after several seconds.
“What are you waiting for? He’s getting the bombs ready,” Nicolas replied. “It wasn’t supposed to get this far.”
“How much time do we have?” Bill asked.
“Less than eight minutes now,” Nicolas said. “Sean contacted the governor with his demands and gave him ten minutes to respond.”
“Where are the bombs? Are they set?”
“They are ten placed throughout the stadium. I’m not sure if they’re set. But when they are, there are ten different people with remote detonators. And I don’t know who they are.”
“Find out if they’re set. We won’t move unless we know the bombs are not set. And see if you can find out who have the remotes.”
“I’ll see what I can do.”
Nicolas took a deep breath and opened the door. Seeing that it was clear, he walked out of the room to see what he could find out.
“Let’s send them in now,” Curtis urged. “We have men at each gate. We can take them out before they have a chance.”
“No,” Bill said firmly. “I think there are more than the thirty-two. I don’t think the men by the gates are the ones with the triggers.”
“Sleepers?” Curtis more said that than asked. “Good point.”
“They could be anywhere in the stands,” Bill said. “All they need is a cell phone – and that wouldn’t get caught by security.”
“I hope he finds out soon.”
“Buchannan,” a woman on the other side of the office yelled. “It’s the governor.”
“Is this traffic ever going to move?”
Tony was getting frustrated. They had been sitting there for almost twenty minutes without moving.
“I haven’t heard any shooting in a while,” Michelle said
“You’re still worried about that?” Tony said. “Chloe said they were handling it.”
“I can’t believe you’re not worried about it,” Michelle threw back at him. “What happened to your passion?”
Tony looked up at the ceiling of the car, then cracked his neck.
“Fine,” Tony said. “I do care, and there is a part of me that wants to get out of the car and help. But they have people in place already. It’s not our job anymore and we don’t owe them anything.”
Michelle just stared at Tony until he look at her. Eyes locked, she gave a slight smile.
“Stop me, then,” she said, unbuckling her seatbelt and opening the car door.
By the time Tony could react, she was already out and heading toward the stadium. He pounded the steering wheel and swore under his breath. Exhaling, he reaching over to the glove box and pulled out an extra Sig Sauger and the two full magazines. He turned the car off, opened his door, and put the gun in his waistband.
“This is only because we’re right here and stuck in traffic,” he told he went he caught up.
“Time is almost up,” Bill said. “Any word from Nicolas?”
“Nothing yet,” Chloe said. “But it looks like none of the bombs he’s check have been activated yet.”
“I hope so,” Bill said. “We’re about out of options.”
Just as Bill finished that sentence, the TV screens that had been broadcasting the news went black then popped up with a man at the stadium.
“People of California, may I have your attention,” the man onscreen said, grabbing everyone’s attention.
“That’s Sean,” Chloe said, stating the obvious.
“I have contacted your governor with a list of demands,” Sean continued. “He has failed to reply within the time limit. While he has failed to hold up his end, I will honor mine.”
Just as he said that, the camera panned to the left to capture an explosion in the stands. Pieces of metal mixed with blood could be seen flying from the cloud of smoke. Everyone in the office gasped.
“Mr. Governor, you have an additional five minutes,” Sean said, then the screen went black and the news came back on to report on what just happened.
“We need to act now,” Curtis said grabbing Bill’s arm.
“Fine!” Bill yelled. “Go!”
“All teams,” Curtis said into his radio. “It’s a go! Now!”
A man was thrown back against the wall as the bomb exploded. Tony could see him trying to keep himself up, but he couldn’t find the strength and found himself sliding down the wall.
“He looks like one of the hostiles,” Tony said, running over to him. “Cover me.”
Michelle followed Tony, firing a few shots, but there weren’t any other hostiles in sight. Tony reached the man and kicked his leg to check for movement. When he got no response, he bent down and took the man’s sunglasses off to look in his eyes.
“He’s alive,” Tony said checking his pulse.
After checking him a little more, he noticed something in the man’s left ear. He pulled it out and showed it to Michelle.
“Why would he need that when he has that radio?” Michelle asked.
Michelle’s phone rang, startling her.
“What are you doing there?” Chloe asked. “You shouldn’t be in there.”
“How did you know…” Michelle was cut off.
“I can see you,” Chloe said. “There’s a camera in the glasses. Is he okay?”
“Knocked unconscious,” Michelle said. “He’s CTU? We thought he was a hostile.”
“Undercover,” Chloe said. “Not enough time to catch you up. See if you can wake him up so we can get some information.”
“Wake him up,” Michelle said to Tony. “He’s CTU.”
“We have twenty-three hostiles down,” Curtis reported to Bill. “There are the five in the middle of the field.”
“Hurry and get the others,” Bill said, noticing the screen showing Nicolas’ camera.
“Chloe,” Bill said walking over to her. “What are Michelle and Tony doing there?”
“Right now, they’re helping,” Chloe said. “Nicolas was knocked unconscious and they just woke him up.”
“Nicolas,” Bill said over the radio. “Copy?”
“Yes,” Nicolas said weakly.
“What happened?” Bill asked. “I thought they weren’t armed.”
“I guess they got at least one of them armed,” came the reply. “I didn’t get around to all of them before it went off.”
“Are there any others?”
“We’ve taken out most of the hostiles. There’s still Sean and four others in the field, as well as a couple more unaccounted for.”
“I think there are sleepers in the crowd, too.”
“Do you know for sure?”
“No, but Sean has done some things behind my back. It would be like him to have people that were hidden.”
“They probably have orders to set them off if something goes wrong…”
“I would assume so. Hopefully the other bombs aren’t armed.”
“We need to find out and make sure they’re disabled.”
“I’ll need help if we’re going to do this in time. Tell the others where they’re located. I’ll send the locations to Chloe.”
Nicolas pulled his phone out and punched a few buttons and sent the locations to Chloe’s screen.
“Got it,” Chloe said.
“Thanks, Nicolas,” Bill said. “And tell Tony and Michelle to get out of there.”