6:00 pm (Washington, D.C.)

President Hayworth impatiently paces in the Oval Office, creating a triangle between his desk and two of the couches. A knock on the door causes him to turn quickly.

“Mr. President,” Kanin says as he opens the door slightly, “you called for me?”

“Yes, Ethan,” Hayworth says. “Any update on the Bauer situation?”

“No, sir,” Kanin says regretfully.

“It’s been thirty minutes since I spoke to Bauer,” Hayworth says. “I don’t appreciate his defiance. And I want to know who he’s working with and what they’re doing. I don’t like being in the dark about this.”

“Yes, sir,” Kanin replies. “I’ll call Erik and see if he’s heard anything.”

“Make it quick,” Hayworth adds as Kanin excuses himself.


4:01 am

Kate is crawling on the floor, looking for the bullet that hit the chair and Jack, by the window, is still trying to scout the sniper. Seminov is over by the door, keeping lookout. They all hear the roar of the truck engine and the almighty crash which shakes the entire house.

Jack runs towards the door, following Seminov, who is already charging down the corridor and he can hear Kate close on his heels behind him. Seminov reaches the top of the stairs and runs down them, firing off shots. From the mezzanine, Jack sees the man in the truck cab take aim and shoot and Seminov is immediately sent tumbling down to the bottom of the stairs into the hallway. Jack crouches down, taking cover behind the banister and carefully aiming at the visor in the driver’s helmet, takes him out with a single head shot.

Jack calls down to Seminov. “Captain?”

“I’m okay, it’s just a graze.”

Jack makes his way down the stairs, his gun poised, covering all the gaps in the rubble on either side of the truck.

Seminov is back on his feet and is checking the hallway. “Clear!”

Kate has come alongside Jack and he directs her to go around the other side of the truck to be with Seminov.

Jack steps over the rubble and round the half buried body of the doorman. His lifeless eyes show Jack there is nothing that can be done for him.

Jack continues round, covering his position and checks the cab, but there is just the driver. He’s dead, his body draped over the wheel. He checks further round the truck and can see the side of the truck has been ripped open by the impact. He peers into the gloomy interior and can see there’s something inside. ‘I need to get in there.’

He can hear Seminov and Kate round the other side of the truck engaged in a full scale fire fight.

Jack, using all his strength, tries to pull down the ripped truck side, hollering with the effort, but he can’t make enough of a gap to get inside. Looking around, he spies a piece of iron pipe, drags it out of the rubble, and uses it to lever a large enough gap so he can get inside the back.

He hauls himself up and clambers across to the device. It’s bolted to the bed of the truck and there is no obvious method of getting inside it to attempt to disarm it. The timer screen, which is relentlessly counting down, shows there’s just over four minutes left. Jack thinks quickly. ‘There is not enough time to get the guards protecting the President down here to prove this. If I can’t move the President then I’ll move the bomb.’

Jack leaps back out onto the ground and runs round to the other side of the truck.

He can see Kate and Seminov have made it out to the driveway but they are pinned down behind the low brick flowerbeds. He yells to them, “It’s a bomb. Set to go in four minutes. Fall back! Kate! Get Chloe safe!”

Kate, ducked below the wall, looks at him and nods her understanding.

“I’m gonna try and move the truck.”

Seminov, raises his head over the wall, fires two shots and then ducks down again as a flurry of bullets destroy the flowers where his head just was “I’m not leaving Jack. I’ll cover you.”

Jack climbs into the truck and tries to get the engine to turn over, but it won’t start.

“Dammit. Come on!”


4:04 am

The hood is stifling and Elizabeth is fighting motion sickness. Just as she thinks she’s going to pass out, the car comes to a stop and the engine is switched off. She hears the driver and her guard get out and shut their doors and then she hears her door open and she is pulled roughly out of the car. She is led quickly by her arms, one person on either side of her, and she stumbles slightly on the rough ground.

She hears a door shut behind her and then the acoustics change. She’s definitely inside. Maybe a corridor? They continue walking and then the hands holding her arms pull her back and turn her to the side. There is the sound of a door opening in front of her and then she is pushed forward and then down into a hard chair.

Her captor stands behind her and removes her hood and she blinks at the sudden harsh light. Before her eyes are fully accustomed, she hears the door being locked behind her, and she is left, handcuffed and alone.


4:05 am

With his gun drawn and ready, Jack reaches the top of the stairs and turns to the left. At the end of the hall, there are two guards standing in front of a set of double doors. That must be it. He runs over and the guards instantly raise their weapons on sight.

He immediately puts his hands up. He continues walking towards them, not wanting to waste any more time, and in Russian says, “There is a bomb downstairs. A truck came through the wall, you heard it. It has a bomb in it. You’ve heard the shooting? We need to get the President out.”

The guards stand their ground impassively.

Jack knows he needs one of the guards to open the doors, so aggression isn’t the answer. He slowly bends down, lays his weapon on the floor, and then slides it across the smooth marble tiles towards the guards’ feet. He stands upright again, hands raised, trying to convey as much urgency into his voice as he can.

“We are running out of time. Open the doors and get the President out of there or he will die and it will be on you!”

The guards look at each other and Jack hangs back while they consider their next move. They briefly confer and then prepare to open the doors.

One of the guards taps in the code to the keypad whilst the other keeps his firearm squarely aimed at Jack and as soon as the doors start to open, Jack moves forward as quickly as he dare without alarming the guards, to stand in the doorway in case the President tries to close them again.

Once the door is fully open, he steps forward into the safe room where Putinov is sitting. He looks up and sees Jack and says, “You!”

Jack takes his arm and pulls him up, leading him towards the door. “Mr. President, I am not here to harm you. I am unarmed. Your guards are here, they will protect you, but we need to go right now.”

Putinov, remains silent, but looks to the two guards. Inside the room, he heard almost nothing, but he can see in his men’s faces that something happened. He decides to follow Jack out of the room.

“Mr. President, is there a back way out of the house?” Jack doesn’t get an answer and he stops and stands in front of the President, holds both his arms and forces the President to focus on what he is saying. “Is there a back way out?”

“Err yes, there’s stairs over there.”

The four of them run towards the stairs, one guard leading the way and one behind them with Jack pulling the President by his arm.

As they reach the top of the staircase, the leading guard stops, preparing to scout for enemies.

“There isn’t time, lay down cover fire, just keep moving, watch for a sniper out the back,” says Jack. His internal clock is telling him there is less than a minute left.

The guard runs down the stairs, the other three follow. As the lead guard passes the picture window halfway down the stairs, he doesn’t duck low enough and his head is shattered by the sniper in a mass of blood and brain matter.

Jack immediately pulls the President down even lower, and they shuffle down the stairs, well below the height of the window. Seeing the red mist spread over the walls and staircase, Putinov slows down, transfixed by it.

Jack shakes him “You’ll end up like that if we don’t keep moving.”

Putinov is shocked out of his trance and hurries down the remaining stairs, pointing the way, directing Jack.

“Is there a side exit Mr. President?”

Putinov shakes his head. “No, the only way out is through the conservatory, by the pool.”

“We’ll go that way then,” says Jack, hoping that Belcheck has managed to take out the sniper.

“Mr. President, I need you to take your jacket off. I don’t have time to explain, please just do as I ask.”

Putinov shrugs his jacket off and hands it to Jack.

Jack opens the door which leads out to the conservatory and peers round. He extends his arm, holding the jacket out in the open and it’s almost immediately ripped from his hand by a sniper bullet.

In an ill judged attempt to protect the President, the guard pushes past them both with his gun raised.

Jack yells, “No!” and tries to pull him back. Before Jack can do anything else, a bullet rips into the guard’s torso and he collapses, dead before he hits the ground.

Jack’s internal clock tells him they are down to the last fifteen seconds – they have run out of time.

He tells the President his plan and grabs him. Trying to keep Putinov shielded by his body as much as possible, Jack and Putinov dive into the pool.

6:08 pm (Washington, D.C.)

Kanin shuts the door to his office, pulls out his phone, and hits a speed dial. He walks to his desk and sits down as the other side picks up.

“This is Ritter.”

“Erik,” Kanin says, “What’s going on? The President is asking about the Bauer situation.”

“I haven’t talked to him since the President did,”

“So you don’t know who he’s working with or what he’s doing?”

“I know he’s with Kate and this former CIA agent, Hejduk,” Ritter says.

“Bauer said he was working undercover with a Russian,” Kanin presses a little more.

“I don’t know about that,”

“I sense that there’s more to this,”

“Off the record?” Ritter asks.

Kanin leans forward and speaks quietly, “Ok…”

“Kate called a little before the President spoke with Jack,” Ritter starts. “She and Chloe were requesting access to a satellite.”

“For what?”

“President Putinov’s residence.”

“What? Why?” Kanin demands angrily.

Ritter calmly replies, “I don’t know all the details, but apparently there is an attack planned soon. They need coverage to assess the situation. They’re going in blind otherwise.”

Kanin, bringing his emotions under control and matching Ritter’s tone says, “I don’t know if I like this.”

“The President can’t know about this,” Ritter adds. “At least not yet. If something goes wrong, he needs to be separate from this.”

“Fine. Have you heard anything since?”

“No, I was about to call for an update.”

4:08 am

Belcheck is creeping up on the sniper from behind. The sporadic shots have allowed him to pin down the sniper’s position. He sees the guard go down and then Jack and Putinov diving into the pool; seconds later, the bomb goes off.

The sound wave echoes around the stone garden wall, and Belcheck uses the distraction to his advantage and moves directly beneath the sniper. He looks upwards and fires three shots and then two more for good measure and then jumps to the side as the sniper’s body slowly slides off the tree bough and drops to the ground with a thud, bringing the rifle with it.

He quickly disentangles the rifle from the dead sniper and looks through the scope. He fires off a shot as a terrorist comes round the side of the house and the target immediately crumples to the ground.

He looks for Jack and the President but they are still submerged. He starts running towards the house.

4:09 am

Jack is holding onto the President under the water. Putinov tries to go back to the surface but Jack pulls him back down again. Taking advantage of the deep water, Jack makes sure they stay near the bottom to reduce the chance that any bullets and falling debris will reach them. Jack looks at Putinov under the water and exchanges a thumbs-up with him. Eventually, they have no choice but to go back up for air.

They break the surface of the water and they both take great gulps of oxygen to replenish their starved lungs.

The house is completely devastated. Small pockets of fire burn in amongst the rubble all around them.

Jack can hear distant gun fire and knows that the President is still in danger.

“Take a big breath,” he orders and drags the President back under the surface, hoping all the while that the others managed to fall back to a safe distance before the explosion.

4:11 am

Elizabeth hears the door being unlocked behind her but refuses to give her captor the satisfaction of her looking round. She stares resolutely forward, waiting for him to walk round in front of her.

Eventually, he does just that. The man in front of her smirks at her. “Elizaveta.”

“I wondered how long it would take you to show yourself Morozov.”

“I wanted to be the one to tell you about your precious Jack Bauer. Then, as you’ll be staying with us, I thought I’d personally show you to your luxury suite.”

Elizabeth has to fight every urge not to ask about Jack. Morozov has no idea that Jack is her son and he must never know. It would put Jack in even more danger than he is in now.

Morozov takes her down to the cell block and once inside, leads her to the cell that just a few hours earlier had been Bauer’s.

He unlocks the door and pushes her forwards into the cell. “Your new home. Unfortunately, it’s the maid’s day off but I didn’t think you’d mind, as Bauer was your friend.”

Morozov shoves her around, undoes her cuffs, and then closes the cell door, locking it from the outside.

Elizabeth turns and looks at him, wondering about Morozov’s use of the past tense about Jack.

“Bauer is dead.” says Morozov smiling cruelly, waiting for the words to hit home, determined to pay back the woman for blackmailing him.

Elizabeth looks down, the grief consuming her.

“…..and if he isn’t, he will be by the end of the day. There’s a big price on his head because of these bombs. And that’s all on you, Elizaveta. ”

Elizabeth looks up at Morozov. She clings to the hope that his words have given her. She can’t help but let a small smile reach her lips.

“You are at my mercy, Elizaveta. Remember that.”

Elizabeth waits for Morozov’s footsteps to fade away to nothing and then sinks down onto the cot. She thinks back over the day and tries to remain positive. While she finally got the opportunity to meet her son, she considers that maybe it would have been better for both of them if she had timed it better

She lies down, resting her head on the pillow. She breathes in and realises that the pillow is impregnated with Jack’s scent. She gives no thought of the grimness of her plight and instead, hugs the pillow tighter to her, burying her nose, but doesn’t even try to stop the silent tears flowing from her eyes.

4:12 am

Yury makes his way along the side of the house. He stays close to what is left of the ravaged house walls. Staying low, he makes it round to the back. He knows that all his comrades at the house have perished. He can’t get Mikhail on the radio. ‘Maybe I am the last man standing. I need to make this count.’ He crouches down, watching and he sees the two men burst through the surface of the water. He stays down low and fires a shot, but his aim is off, he’s hit the wrong man.

4:13 am

Jack is thrown back under the water by the force of the bullet hitting his right shoulder. His brain immediately registers the burning throb of the bullet wound, the chlorinated water doing nothing to help.

He ignores the pain and pushes through the water with his left arm and grabs Putinov again. They both take a gulp of air and go back under and Jack does another thumbs-up to Putinov. The water around his right side is quickly filling with swirling trails of red as blood pumps freely out of the top of his arm and he realises he is in big trouble.

Putinov pulls up to the surface, dragging Jack with him. “You’re bleeding!” he gasps.

Jack manages to croak out the words “It’s fine” all the time panting for air and he looks around urgently for the gun man.

He tries to keep the President moving in the water as well as protect him at the same time, but there is such a wide angle to cover it’s impossible to shield him from every angle.

“Down again,” he wheezes, pulling on Putinov’s shirt.

“No, I can’t.”

Jack risks turning away from the open to look at him. The President is looking grey.  Jack turns back to the gardens and sees the shooter off to the right, raising his weapon to aim.

Jack is on the wrong side of Putinov to get between them, and he is starting to feel the symptoms of his significant blood loss. It is all he can do to try and pull the President down, back under the surface.

Back under the water, Jack does a thumbs-up but he can barely see the President as the water is now a dense red. Jack feels across his shoulder for the wound, trying to stem the blood pumping from his axillary artery.

Jack’s lungs feel like they are on fire after repeatedly holding his breath, but he knows they both have to stay down while the gunman is there.

He feels Putinov slipping out of his grasp as the President kicks his legs and goes up to the surface for air. Jack tries to grab him to pull him back, but he can’t seem to keep up with Putinov. His clothes are dragging him down.  Jack knows it’s due to oxygen deprivation: partly due to holding his breath for so long, but mainly due to his blood loss.

He can no longer move in the water, any effort he makes is completely ineffective. He is just drifting.

‘Come back! Don’t go to the surface!’ Jack directs his thoughts toward Putinov, willing him to return.

Only then, does Jack’s brain fully register his predicament: ‘I’m going to die.’

His head immediately fills with the faces of all the people he’ll regret never seeing again. Kim and her family, Elizabeth, Chloe, Belcheck and Kate. These images immediately fade away and are replaced with those of all the people that he has known and cared about that have died; Audrey, Renee, Teri,  Bill, Curtis, Michelle, David Palmer, Mason, Chappelle. The portraits increase in number and speed, there are so many and the images become dark and twisted, interspersed with short bursts of memories of terrible things that he has seen and done. ‘Maybe it’s better this way, the nirvana of nothingness?’

Jack feels a gentle bump against his hip and then his elbow.

The final thought that goes through his mind is, ‘I’m at the bottom of the pool.’