Previously on "24: Back on the Saddle"
The terrorist group Greenfire has been attacking the city of Seattle all day and has killed well over a hundred people and injured hundreds more. More recently, they have set fire to the Washington State Capitol building.
Jack Bauer and Chloe O'Brien have identified the leader of Greenfire as Liam Green, and another of their members as Giovanni Benito.
Washington Governor Chris Stuart has taken refuge in an underground bunker in downtown Seattle, but an undercover Greenfire member has set off tear gas and killed almost everybody in the bunker and kidnapped Governor Stuart's family.
The following takes place between 8:00 PM and 9:00 PM
One inch of bulletproof glass and an airtight seal is all that separates Washington Governor Chris Stuart from the fresh bodies of a dozen brave policeman doing their jobs to protect him. They didn't deserve the fate thrust upon them.
"What coward could do this?" he thought. "When will it all end?" His knees were shaking. His heart was racing fast. He could barely stand up, so he leaned against a wall and slowly sulked to a sitting position as tears began to run down his face.
His aid and Chief of Staff, Ron Daniels, was on the phone in the office room they were in, calling the police above ground, but with no answer. The shooter must have got the jump on and killed them as well. Ron hung up the phone and tried calling again. No answer. All Ron could do was look at the Governor and and shake his head. This made him cry even more.
The air conditioning outside the room had basically cleared the remaining tear gas from the hallway. A few more minutes and it would be fairly safe to leave the room. With no more security above or below ground the two were now on their own. This was uncharted territory.
A mile away, Jack Bauer and Chloe O'Brien were in the Seattle Police Department Headquarters building analyzing the footage of Greenfire videos posted on YouTube. They had already used facial recognition to figure out the name of their leader Liam Green.
Chloe was running through a database to try and find out as much information about Liam Green as possible in as short amount of time as she could. Jack watched her as she did her work. She was like a computer herself in the way she moved. Every step in the process was memorized in her brain. It felt like it did years ago when Chloe was working at CTU. Jack was usually in the field and couldn't see Chloe at work, but when he did it was a very unique experience. Had it not been for Chloe's expertise through the years Jack would definitely have been dead and America would have suffered from multiple terrorist attacks.
"I think I've got something here, Jack," she told him. Two clicks of the mouse and a map popped up on the large TV monitor on the wall. "Liam Green's house isn't even here in Washington. It's a house just outside of Portland, Oregon. According to a police report it burned to the ground six weeks ago. No bodies were found as the house was apparently abandoned. No car is registered to his name."
"He must have been planning the attack for a while," Jack said. "Any recent credit card purchases?"
"One second," she said. A few more clicks. "No, nothing really. Most recent purchase was to buy gas in Tacoma and then a withdrawal of $300 last Friday, but that's it."
Although it was a lead, Jack knew going after that would yield nothing. They might be able to find the car he was driving but by the time they could track it down it would be too late. For all sense and purposes they were at a dead end. Chloe continued to search for Giovanni Benito.
"Says here Benito has an apartment in Madison Park, east of here, by the Botanical Garden. Might be something of value, I don't know. They're probably smart enough to not go back there."
Jack thought back about the live-streamed video of the destruction of the Washington State Capitol Building and the video posted to YouTube just minutes before that.
"Chloe," he said. "Go back to the announcement video. I need to rewatch something."
She clicked back to it. Jack studied it as they saw the masked figure dressed in dark speak his words of horror. With a little more attention Jack could see there was only one light on him and it was coming from behind the camera. They knew it must have been recorded recently, but the question was how recent. The sound quality wasn't the best as they were only using the built-in microphone from the camera. It didn't pick up sound very well, but what it did pick up was the wind noise, and there was quite a lot of it.
"He was outside," Jack said. "With the cover of darkness and wind noise he must have been outside. See there, in the background?" he asked, pointing to the screen. "You can see a slight difference where the hills and the night sky meet. But what's that under it?"
Jack got his face closer to the screen, when it dawned on him what he was seeing - water.
"Chloe, that's water."
She didn't understand what he meant.
"If they were in Olympia to blow up the building that means they have to have been near water when they recorded the video. And with the roads shut down the only way to leave quickly could be using the water. They must have been on a boat."
Now Chloe understood. She took the map that was showing the location of Liam's now burned-down house and moved it over the the Capital Grounds. A river ran just to the east, and to the north of it was Puget Sound. That's when Chloe caught what she was looking for. Just slightly to the north of the building there was a small marina next to Percival Landing Park with easy access to both the Sound and the Capital. It must be the getaway location of fast-movers like Greenfire.
"I'll be damned," Jack said. "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
All day they were one mind, so her answer was clear: "Oh, yes."
Marinas have security cameras to make sure no boats are stolen. Almost every security camera in the world can easily be hacked in to. That's probably the easiest thing to get into, really, especially for an expert like Chloe. Any teenager with a laptop and a bit of brains could get in. She got to work right away.
It was already past 11:00 PM in Washington, D.C. where the President of the United States, Greg Andrews, and his Joint Chiefs of Staff were gathered in the Oval Office. They'd been there for hours monitoring the situation happening on the other side of the country. The Secretary of Defense had the biggest load on her shoulders. She oversaw the end of CTU and now a terrorist attack would be blamed on her removing safeguards to protect against events such as this.
The Army Chief of Staff had been deployed to Iraq and fought in the early stages of the Second Iraq War as a Major before being promoted. He knew first hand what it was like to see the enemy up close, and what it was like to gather intelligence in order to find a hidden enemy. The future of warfare was no longer meeting the enemy on a battlefield, but one of guerrilla warfare and cyber terrorism. They were experiencing the fist one today and were worried about the second happening during their period of vulnerability.
Being in his mid-forties, the General aged the Secretary of Defense by a good five years. The President, however, aged both of them by another five himself. He had just turned 50 a few weeks before the day's attacks... What a way be over the hill.
The President laid out a quiet yawn, trying to hide it as best he could. It didn't work so well, as everybody in the room was watching him. They wanted to as well. He had been standing for quite some time and decided to sit down behind his desk.
"Could anybody use some coffee?" he asked.
Several heads nodded but before they even vocally answered the President hit the button on his desk phone.
"Charlie," he said, talking to one of the workers outside the room. "Have some coffees brought to the Oval."
"How many would you like, sir?" Charlie asked over the intercom.
The President counted the people in the room. Secretary of Defense, Generals from the Army, Marines, Air Force, and Navy, his Chief of Staff, plus himself, made seven people total.
"Seven," he replied.
"Thank you," the President said, hanging up the phone. He didn't even remember to ask about the cream and sugar.
Chloe had the video from the marina on the main screen. Hacking in didn't take long; not that it should have.
"Okay, Jack, use your eagle eyes and find him," she said.
Jack had to look at her and smirk. A little playful remark during a tense situation never hurt anybody.
After the sun had set the marina was quiet. Speeding along in the video caused them to almost miss it. The small boat pulled into the dock and the men quickly got out and ran with their gear. The boat itself just sat there, bobbing up and down until the men came back, which was just a few minutes before the current time.
"Do you think you can I.D. the boat to see who owns it?" Jack asked.
"I have a better idea," Chloe answered. "How about I just track it?"
"You can do that?" Jack asked. He believed her, but he had no idea how exactly she planned to do it in the first place. But he trusted her. She was the only person he trusted.
On board the Green Flash, the exact boat that Jack and Chloe were looking at, the men of Greenfire sped along going north back up towards the locked-down city of Seattle on their way to the safe house.
They were about to begin phase three of their master plan. Outside of the men on the boat and Bird, with the kidnapped family of Washington's Governor, nobody on the planet knew what was coming next. The only problem for them is that the ride back up to Seattle would take nearly half an hour more of riding on the boat, hitting waves, and not seeing much in the dark and on open waters. For them it was absolutely worth the cost.
Liam was on the phone with Bird. So far everything was going according to plan. While Bird was in the elevator going up from the bunker with the Governor's family he used a sedative on them to knock them out. It wouldn't last too long, but just long enough to get them to the safe house. It also made it easier for him to leave them safely in the elevator while he killed everybody in the lobby before stealing the car. Being dressed as a policeman made it easier for him to drive through the city undetected with roads closed to civilian traffic.
You can't say Bird was completely evil, though, because at least he had the decency to put both women's seatbelts on. Governor Stuart's wife Jenny was slumped over in the back seat, still wearing the same pink top and knee-length black skirt that she had been wearing all day. Their daughter Caitlyn was slumped over as well, also wearing the same blue vest and knee-length black skirt that she had been wearing all day. The only difference was their clothes were covered in snot and saliva from having been exposed to the tear gas in the bunker.
Caitlyn didn't even want to be on the stage with her father at the Washington State Fair earlier, having felt uncomfortable during the drive up from Olympia. Instead she chose to sit near the front row with her mother. Had they been on the stage it was possible that the two of them would be dead right now after the explosion. The alternative was what they were experiencing right now: unconscious in the back of a police car being taken to some unknown location by an unknown terrorist with unknown intentions.
But on the boat Liam's intentions were crystal clear in his own mind and in the minds of his men.
The Asian man, disguised in a suit as Young Soo-Ding, was sitting quietly across from Liam and next to Gio. He was used to riding on boats, especially after being smuggled across the Pacific Ocean and into the United States. To him this was nothing. For the last three weeks he'd been transported across the world for this one goal of his: to fulfil his part of Greenfire's plan.
In the bunker, Governor Stuart and Ron Daniels are still in the airtight meeting room. National Guard troops from down the street finally made their way to the bunker. One of them is Lieutenant Bryson, the Army officer who drove Jack and Chloe to the police station. This young 24-year old man never thought that defending his country would literally mean fighting on American soil, but as times change so must we change with them.
Lieutenant Bryson came straight back from the police station after dropping off Jack and Chloe. He didn't get back until after Bird had set off the tear gas and killed everybody in the bunker roughly thirty minutes prior. If he had been in the lobby or outside the building when Bird made his way out with the Governor's family then there's a possibility that he might be dead now as well.
The elevator door opened for the first time since Bird escaped. Those above ground waited for the teargas to clear and as a precaution for the possibility of an ambush or more shooters. Guns at the ready, Lieutenant Bryson and two other soldiers made their way carefully out of the elevator and into the hallway littered with a dozen bodies of people just doing their jobs to protect the Governor. As a member of the Washington National Guard, Lieutenant Bryson was immediately beginning to feel a sense of survivor's guilt as his boots were leaving bloody footprints after every step he took on the clean parts of the floor.
Ron Daniels was standing in the window watching the three men check the bodies one by one. Governor Stuart opened the door to the room and was met with a small whiff of leftover tear gas which caused him and Ron to cough a few times, but nothing more than that.
"Are you okay, Governor?" Lieutenant Bryson asked as the Governor stepped out of the room and into the hallway.
"I'm fine," the Governor answered.
"Me too," Ron added from inside the room.
"Do you know where they took my family?" Governor Stuart asked.
Lieutenant Bryson paused a moment. Although he didn't know where the Governor's family had been taken he still felt bad about having to deliver the bad news.
"No, sir... I don't know. We're trying to figure that out right now."
Governor Stuart closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He knew that his family was in grave danger and that there was nothing he could do about it. But he understood the pressure on everybody involved. There was nothing Ron could do about it and there was nothing Lieutenant Bryson could do about it, especially since all three of them were in the bunker.
But there were two people that Governor Stuart could trust, two people not in the bunker - Jack Bauer and Chloe O'Brien. They were the only two people that could find and save his family now.
The Governor walked back into the room and picked up the phone on the table.
"Get me Seattle P.D.," he said. "And fast."
In the computer room at the Seattle Police Department, Jack and Chloe - well, mostly Chloe - were busy trying to track down the boat that Greenfire's men sped off in after blowing up the Washington State Capitol Building.
Chloe had first attempted to see if they had access to any satellite feeds giving recent surveillance of the area but she had no luck. Her next idea was to contact the U.S. Coast Guard and see if they could send patrols out into Puget Sound and look for anything suspicious. That only got her the information that Coast Guard patrol boats were already doing just that, at the order of Governor Stuart when National Guard troops were mobilized a few hours prior. The fact that Greenfire's boat hadn't been caught yet told her everything she needed to know about how useful that plan would be.
Her third and final option, which would take the longest, was to use her security camera hacking trick and look at every marina from Olympia to Seattle and see if they could spot the boat in the background. But with literal dozens of marinas on both sides of the water doing that was pure chaos and a waste of time. Greenfire could just have easily landed on the shore and fled on foot. Finding them would be nearly impossible at this point, especially at night.
Suddenly there was a knock at the door. Jack and Chloe were hesitant to answer it out of fear they may be kicked out or arrested.
The door opened and the same police officer that accompanied them and Lieutenant Bryson from the bunker to Seattle PD walked in the room.
"Mr. Bauer," the officer said, addressing Jack. "Governor Stuart has informed me to give the two of you authority over whatever you need to stop these terrorists. My Chief has been notified as well."
"Thank you," Jack told him. As happy as Jack was to hear this he was equally worried. Now more people, including the Seattle Chief of Police, knew that he was here. All it would take would just be one person to recognize him and go against orders and he'd be in handcuffs and off on his way to federal prison.
"As I said before," the police officer continued, "let me know if you need anything. I'll be in the hallway just outside."
Jack nodded. The police officer closed the door. Chloe was already back to doing everything she could to find the boat.
Suddenly Jack's phone rang.
"Hello?" Jack answered, putting the phone on speaker.
"Jack, it's me Governor Stuart," the Governor said on the other side of the line.
Chloe looked up from the computer and towards Jack. Whatever it was he needed to call them about must be important.
"Jack, did they tell you what I told them?" Stuart asked.
"Yes, sir. They've informed us you've given permission for us to do what we need to find and stop these bastards."
"Good," Stuart said, pausing for a moment. Jack could tell he was trying to hold back some emotion. "Jack," Stuart continued, "You and Mrs. O'Brien are the only people I trust right now outside of this bunker. I have some information that might help you. The man who took my family was dressed as a police officer. Men on the street above told me there was a police car missing. It must have been the one he took my family away in. If you can track that car you might be able to find them."
Chloe was immediately on it. One of the main programs on the computer was a feed showing the location of every Seattle Police Department cruiser and vehicle. All she had to do was wind back the clock and see where the car left.
After about a minute of looking, sure enough, just after 8:00 PM one of the six cars in front of the Seattle Art Museum left in a hurry heading south down 1st Avenue away from downtown. No doubt it was the car Bird had stolen. Chloe clicked to the current time and saw where the car was currently at.
"Governor," Jack said a few moments later. "I think we've found the vehicle. It's currently heading south on I-5 just past of SeaTac."
"Find them, Jack. Get my family back safely."
Driving south on Interstate 5 in the stolen police car with the Governor's kidnapped family unconscious in the back seat, Bird took an exit and got off the highway. He wasn't far from the safe house now.
Bird knew the plan was to get there and wait for Liam and the rest to show up.
What Bird didn't know was that Jack and Chloe now knew exactly where he was.
Des Moines is not only the capital of Iowa, but it's also the name of a city in Washington just south of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, right on Puget Sound. There's nothing too too special, mainly a few restaurants here and there, but what it does have is a big marina - the City of Des Moines Marina. Liam and his men were on their way there now and judging by Liam's estimates would be there in about fifteen minutes.
Liam looked at his men on the boat, all getting a bit tired of hitting the waves for the past half hour.
"Don't worry men," Liam told them. "We're almost there. Then we begin the next phase." Liam looked over at the Asian man. He nodded at Liam and Liam nodded back. Frankly, Liam was surprised that things were going well so far. He didn't want to jinx himself, but there was no denying the obvious.
The Green Flash passed under the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. As Liam looked out the window of the boat and saw the bridge all he could think about was the history of the bridge and knowing if he was in the exact same spot back in 1940 then Galloping Gertie would be collapsing right on top of him. At least this night wasn't a particularly windy night, in fact the skies were clear. For the benefit of Greenfire it's a good thing engineering has drastically improved since World War II.
Bird pulled into the parking lot of a small motel there in Des Moines. Before turning the car off he looked around to see if there was anybody around… and there was nobody he could see, at least not in the parking lot. He looked back to see if the Governor's family was still knocked out, which they were.
He was parked right in front of the downstairs room they were using as their safehouse. They chose downstairs because it's easier to drag the bodies into a downstairs room than an upstairs room, especially when you're trying to lay low and not draw much attention.
Bird got out of the police car and walked up to the door. He took out his key card and swiped it on the lock. Nothing happened. Bird tried it again and the light flashed red on the lock.
"Son of a bitch," he whispered to himself.
He was getting frustrated but knew he needed to keep his cool. It's not like he hasn't already killed a dozen people today or anything. After taking a deep breath Bird tried one more time…
The light turned green and the door unlocked, allowing Bird to turn the handle and enter the room.
It wasn't a big room per se, but it was adequate: two queen beds, a flat screen TV, a mini fridge, a microwave, and a few bags of equipment that he had left there in the room the day prior so it would all be in place for their big day.
He used one of the chairs in the room to prop open the door and started the process of getting the Governor's family into the room. He started with Jenny because she was bigger, knowing it's better to get the hard things done first so the easy stuff is left at the end. Bird was strong enough to carry each of the two women, so neither would really be an issue. Before opening the car door he did another look around the parking lot. Still nobody around. Jenny was in the seat behind the driver's seat so he started with her. Bird was debating in his head whether he should drag her body, fireman's carry her, carry in his arms, throw her over his shoulder, or what else. He opted to carry her in his arms since if he was spotted it would look the least suspicious. He could always say she was drunk and passed out and he was taking her back to her hotel room.
It only took a few seconds to get her from the car and into the room and onto the bed. He laid her down on her back on one of the queen beds and rested her head on a pillow.
He then went to get Caitlyn, carrying her the same way and setting her down next to her mother and also laying her head on a pillow.
The sedative he gave them was only supposed to last about an hour, so he figured that some time within the next twenty minutes or so one or both of them would wake up and, apart from being scared out of their minds, probably feel physically ill and have the possibility of needing to vomit.
In the White House, the President had already been briefed on what happened in the bunker.
"This day just keeps getting worse and worse," the President thought to himself.
As a security precaution, the President, his Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his West Wing staff were moved to the emergency shelter below the White House. This had been used occasionally throughout the years when other matters were at hand and the safety of the President and other White House personnel was a top priority.
There was a large table in the middle of the main room of the shelter. It had about twenty chairs surrounding it, with one chair at one end of the table and no chair at the other end. On the end with no chair there was a few feet of distance between the table and the wall. On that wall was a projection coming from a projector sitting on that end of the table. The room wasn't big, per se, maybe about twenty five feet long and barely wide enough to have the chairs scoot out from the table just enough to have the person sitting in the chair stand up comfortably. Even though it was a sophisticated bunker they still had to keep the costs low.
"We're establishing a secure connection," one of the aides in the room stated. He was sitting at the far end of the table closest to the projector. In fact, the laptop he was using was connected to the projector.
The President sat down at the other end of the table in the main chair meant for him. That chair even had the presidential seal embroidered on the headrest. Even though they tried to save money on the budget there were still some things they felt wasting taxpayer money on was necessary to include.
"Very good," the President replied. He wasn't quite sure what to make of the current situation. After finding out what happened in the bunker in Seattle and to the Governor's family he wasn't quite sure that being in a bunker was the safest of places at the time. Then again, neither was being on the surface.
Each person that was with the President in the Oval Office earlier was now in the bunker, plus the aid setting up the computer.
The room had a musty smell from not being used too often. The only other smell was that of all the coffees that people brought with them while coming down.
Jack and Chloe had been tracking the stolen police car that Bird was driving and were waiting to see if it was moving, which it wasn't. At this point they were fairly sure this is where Bird was. On their screen they could see the police car's location to be parked in the parking of that small motel down in Des Moines.
Chloe zoomed out the map a bit and noticed something that caught her eye.
"Jack," she said, pointing at the map.
"Bingo," Jack replied.
She was pointing at the City of Des Moines Marina. It was big, and not more than a couple of blocks away from the motel.
Chloe immediately went back to her program to hack into security cameras and looked up the marina there. With any luck she hoped she'd be able to get the feed up in just a couple of minutes.
Jack was pacing around the room thinking about what to do. He knew that just him and Chloe going down there, or him by himself, would be suicide, especially if a bunch of heavily armed men were there waiting. He needed to think of a way to do it stealthily. But at the same time needed to remember that getting down there would take a good twenty to twenty five minutes, even with the roads closed.
"Got it," Chloe said, snapping Jack back to reality and getting his attention.
On the screen Chloe had a live feed of the security camera at the City of Des Moines Marina. The footage was really choppy and low quality, but at least they had it. Jack started scanning the boats they could see to try and recognize Greenfire's boat, but he didn't see it.
In the hotel room, Bird had opened the bags of equipment he left behind and had set up a camera on a tripod connected to a laptop. The camera was pointed at the wall next to the bed where the still unconscious bodies of the Governor's wife and daughter lay. The only difference now is that Bird had tied both of them up with rope, gagged their mouths, and blindfolded them as well.
Sitting in the chair by the room's desk, Bird was having trouble connecting to the hotel wifi… just his luck. We've all been there.
From across the room he heard a small cough coming from one of the women laying on the bed. It wouldn't be too much longer now before one or both of them would fully wake up from the sedative. Bird was hoping that Liam and the others would get there before that happened.
Back to the wifi situation, the speeds were pretty slow. Bird was trying to load YouTube in order to get ready to start their next livestream but every website was taking what seemed like forever to load.
"This could complicate things," he thought.
Reloading the page wasn't helping it any. Bird needed to calm himself down so he got up and took a bottle of water out of the mini fridge in the room. He had squeezed an entire 12-pack of water bottles in there earlier in the day so they were plenty cold by now and quite refreshing to drink. Greenfire figured they would need the water to keep themselves hydrated after everything they've done over the last several hours. Bird was also planning on giving each of the women a bottle once they were awake as well.
The Green Flash slowed its speed as it neared its final destination. Liam was feeling a bit tired and so were all of his men. However, they were still focussed and ready to begin the next phase of their master plan.
At the City of Des Moines Marina there was an open dock where the boat pulled in. As the board slowed to a stop the men down below were gathering their gear and taking it up top to get ready and leave the boat.
In the distance they could see a Coast Guard patrol boat go by but it didn't see them. They'd been dodging them all night, especially since they blew up the state capitol building.
As the men exited the boat one by one they lined up on the dock standing next to one another. Liam was the last person off and walked to the front of the group. They only had a few blocks to walk to get to the hotel.
The boat itself was no longer needed, however they figured with how things were going it would be hours before the boat was discovered, and by then they'd be long gone and it wouldn't matter.
"Let's go," Liam said, leading his men away from the boat that was slowly rocking back and forth by itself on the dark waters of the night.
The camera feed that Chloe had hacked herself into wasn't entirely live, but had a few seconds of delay.
Little did Liam and his men know that one of the security cameras as the City of Des Moines Marina was looking right at them, and even though it was nighttime the grainy camera was picking up their every room.
Jack and Chloe were watching their every move from the second the boat pulled up into the dock and for the first time in hours they felt like they had the upper hand.
"That's them," Chloe said to herself, counting the men with their bags.
It was hard to exactly tell their faces, both due to it being dark out and the camera being low quality. All they could tell from the camera was that they were walking away from the marina. To where? They didn't know. But it was a start.
Deep down Jack knew what he had to do. Things were about to become old school. He knew he was going to have to go into the field and leave Chloe behind to be his eyes in the sky behind the computer screens.
But before that was to happen they needed to know where Liam and his men were going. It doesn't matter that they knew where they were right now, they had to know where they were going to be able to intercept them.
Chloe zoomed out on the map of them tracking the stolen police car. The location was pinging from a parking lot not too far from where the marina was. The police car had been stopped in the parking lot of a hotel for the good part of half an hour at this point. The men were walking away on foot and it was only a few blocks down the road to the police car.
"Could it really be that simple?" Jack asked.
"Should we call the Governor?" Chloe also asked, looking back at Jack.
He continued to look at the screen for a moment and think the whole thing through. It made sense, really, them choosing a hotel. There would be basically no way for them to know what room they were hiding in and hotels have people coming and leaving all the time so a group of people carrying in bags wouldn't draw too much attention. On top of that any of the unknown members could have booked a room as obviously Liam's debit card hadn't been used recently. The only thing that didn't make sense to Jack was what their next move was, as hiding in a hotel waiting to be found sure wasn't it.
Jack took out his phone to call the Governor, but paused.
"If that's them and they're in the hotel it suddenly becomes a hostage situation," he said. "These men have killed dozens of people today to get where they're at. They won't give up the Governor's family without a fight."
Chloe deep down knew Jack was right. She cared about the Governor's family, truly she did. And so did Jack. But they also had a loyalty towards one another and both of them didn't want to let the other person down. If the Governor's family was to die then everything they've tried to do to help today would have been for nothing.
"Still," Chloe said. "We should at least let him know."
Jack still stared at the screen.
"How long did it take him to drive down there, about twenty minutes?" Jack asked again, formulating a plan in his head.
"Something like that," she replied.
Jack hit the redial button on the phone to call back the Governor, putting it back on speaker so Chloe could hear. Hopefully for them the man was still in the bunker. And luckily for them it took only two rings of the phone for somebody to answer.
"Hello?" said the voice on the other line. "This is Ron Daniels speaking, assistant to Governor Stuart."
"This is Jack Bauer, I need to speak to the Governor."
In the bunker, Ron handed the phone to Governor Stuart. "It's Jack Bauer," he told him.
The Governor quickly got up from his chair and walked over to take the phone.
"Jack," the Governor happily answered, "Do you have anything?"
"Yes, sir," Jack told him. "We believe we've tracked the boat that Greenfire was using once they left after attacking the capitol building. We also tracked the stolen police car you told us about that your family was kidnapped in. Both of them have ended up in the same location about twenty miles south of here. We don't know for sure where they're at but Chloe and I believe they're somewhere in or near a small hotel in the city of Des Moines."
The Governor breathed an audible sigh of relief. It wasn't much to go on yet but it was a good lead.
"But sir," Jack continued. "I hope you understand that if we try to block off the city or surround the hotel that would be putting your family at a huge risk. And that's if they're even in there."
Governor Stuart thought for a moment and knew Jack was right. There wasn't any real safe move to make.
"What do you think we should do, Jack?" he asked.
"Well, sir, with your help I have an idea on how to find them."
Chloe didn't know what Jack's exact plan was so this was news to her as well.
"I'm listening," Stuart replied.
"First things first we need to make sure we know exactly where they're at. I'm going to drive down there with a few police officers and stake out the building. Chloe will stay here at Seattle P.D. and monitor everything from here. We might finally be one step ahead of them but none of that will matter if we lose the element of surprise."
"I agree," the Governor said quietly to himself.
"If we can get the opportunity to rescue your family safely then we'll do it. But I don't want to risk their lives or the lives of any more police or any innocent people if it isn't absolutely necessary to do so."
"Do whatever you have to do, Jack. You have my help with anything."
"Thank you sir. I'll be leaving here in a few minutes to head down there. If you need anything then call Chloe here and she'll be our go-between. I'll call you again with more updates as we have them."
He hung up the phone and Chloe sat there looking at him with an equal sense of worry and admiration at Jack's perpetual heroism.
"What are you going to do, Jack?" she asked.
"Whatever I have to."
Jack walked over to the door, opened it a bit, and waved to the police officer in the hallway that they talked too earlier, the one who told them to let him know if they needed anything.
"Yes, sir?" the police officer greeted.
"We found the Greenfire terrorists," Jack explained. "I'm going to need a car."
In the hotel room, there was a knock on the door. Bird walked over and looked through the peephole, recognizing Liam, Giovanni, and the others. He opened the door and they walked in.
Each man set their bags down on the floor by the wall under the window as they came in.
"Gotta take a piss," Gio said as he pushed past the others and ran into the bathroom.
"Everything okay in here?" Liam asked Bird.
"Yep," Bird replied. "The girls are still out... I'm honestly surprised they haven't woken up yet, but they're okay and comfortable. The sedative I gave them was supposed to last an hour so they'll be up any second now."
Liam walked over and quickly looked them over, still tied up, blindfolded, and gagged, laying on one of the beds.
"One thing," Bird added, getting Liam's attention. "The wifi here is pretty spotty. I'm not sure if it'll keep up through the whole stream."
Liam took a second to think, then answered.
"We've had luck on our side so far. If the wifi fails… well, then… we'll improvise. Help me with them."
Two of the other Greenfire members walked over to pick up the two women and move them over to set them on the two chairs in the room, which were placed next to one another in front of a wall with the room's lamp placed in such a way to shine enough light on them for the camera set up in front facing them.
"Anybody want a water?" Birds asked, opening up the room's mini fridge. Several men nodded, including the Asian man who was sitting quietly by himself on the other bed. Bird handed them out, leaving a few more in the fridge for the women… once they eventually wake up, that is.
Liam sat down behind the laptop.
"Other than the wifi issues," Liam asked, "Is everything else ready to go?"
"Yep," Bird gladly replied. "All we have to do is push the button."
"We go live in ten."
I would like to thank everybody who's still following this story. I think it's been around 5 years since I published the first chapter and over 3 years since I published the last one. I can promise you all one thing - it's not over yet!