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24 Minutes

Short story By: drlost

Ever watched 24? Well heres the spoof. Jack Bower must stop an assassination attempt on David Palma, and he only has 24 minutes to do it. Can Jack Bower be anything near as good as his real counterpart? Read to find out!

Submitted:Feb 7, 2010    Reads: 92    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   

8:00 am --- 8:24am
My name is Jack Bower, I am a Federal Agent, today there is a Presidential Election and someone has conveniently chosen to attempt an assassination of a Presidential Candidate. It is my job to stop this.
The following takes place between 8:00am and 8:24 am.
Events occur in real time.
Jack Bower
Jack drove fast. He was in a hurry to arrive at his new destination, the traffic was busy, but he weaved his way in and out of the confused, slow drivers trudging along with no care in the world. Jack took the opportunity to pap his horn at everyone who got remotely in his way, and stuck two fingers up at anyone who tried to cut him up, or maybe even a lucky one-finger if they actually made contact or distracted him long enough when giving the two-finger salute that he went off course.
Jack was desperate to make a good impression when he arrived, which would be fairly shortly now. Today he was starting a new job-not a job as such, he had worked as a government operative for twelve years, but now had moved over to work for an anti terrorist unit called Anti-Terrorist-Unit.
A red light.
"Fucking hell!"
Jack rapped his fingers to the steering wheel impatiently as the red light hovered and seemed to purposely hold off from changing, it once went down to amber and quickly returned to red before anyone could place their foot on the gas. He looked to his right and saw the traffic around the corner flowing like a river, with such an ease. He was tempted to stamp down on the gas and blast his way through the onrushing traffic (as his car was almost twice the size of anyone else's, it was compulsory for anti-terrorist unit members to drive around in gigantic cars which could fit up to eight people in, even when there's only one person there)-but then he thought this probably would not be the best idea on a new day of work, when working for an anti-terrorist unit.
Finally, at 8:02am, the traffic halted to the right, and the lights went green again for Jack, he stamped his foot so hard on the gas to move that he nearly broke the pedal; he raced off quicker than the car to his left.
Red light.
Jack had got approximately ten yards from the last stop; he slammed his foot on the brake and halted the car.
Gregory Mace stood at the top of the narrow set of stairs. He looked down at his busy work force, they were all working their hands and feet off, all gaining weight munching on their McDonalds and KFC's whilst on a break from a heavy load of work sitting on their arses typing into a computer. He hated to interrupt them on their busy schedule of type, eat, type, eat and type, followed by more eating…but he had some important information he had to tell everyone about a new member who would be joining them from the Homeland Security Department.
"Everybody listen up!" he shouted out to his workforce, at first it looked as if none of them were even listening, but it was then made much clearer that they were actually all finishing a bite of their food and then they all turned around to face Gregory.
"What's up Gregors?" someone jokingly called up from behind a desk. This man was a fat man and fitted almost exactly to the stereotype of Americans, the only difference was, he was British.
"Be quiet, Eddie. I have news people" Gregory answered, unscathed by the disrespectful remark from Eddie the fat British American-stereotype. He began walking down the steps towards the workforce, who looked worried and eager at the same time. "Homeland are sending a man over to help us with today's terrorist threat. His name is Jack Bauer; he is to be assigned to the protection of Senator David Palma. We all know of the threat to the possible future President, so we will give Mr Bauer what and all he needs to keep the investigation going smoothly. Today is going to be a long day, so if you need the toilet, I suggest you go now. And all of you hurry and finish your meals, it will be your last one for a while, we're going to be busy for at least, say, twenty-four hours. So I'm going to ask you all now, to focus, it's going to be a long day."
He then turned and headed back up the stairs, into his big glass-windowed room, which was high above everyone else so he could look down on them, but they couldn't see him. In the middle of the room sat his desk, as he reached the desk, he picked up a remote and pointed it to the window, and like a TV, they turned black. He quickly then dived into a Happy Meal and scoffed his face.
David Palma
David Palma sat in his big black leather chair, tapping his fingers on his bald head. He was thinking about his speech later on in the day which he would be giving to get people to vote for him to become President. There was an odd thing about David Palma. He was running for President of the United States, he believed in things most other Presidential electives believed in, he did the same sort of things that all the others were doing, but there was something different about him to other President electives. There wasn't anything odd about him such as he only had one eye or one arm or he had three heads or anything. The thing that was different about David Palma was that he was black…and running for President, something that until now had never happened because Barack Obama wasn't ready yet.
David had a wife, Cherry, she was his assistant, and she helped him with speeches and public outings and things. The room in which they were both sat in was dark, and only lit by a dim light hung in the corners of the room, the window showed the bright, bustling city below with car lights sitting on the road in huge traffic jams, and lights from buildings coming out where people were finishing off their day of work or in some windows, people desperately trying to snap pictures of David Palma and his wife before the Election speech.
"Cherry" David began, he stood up and looked out of the window, and began to pull faces so the snappers could get a good photo of him, and then turned back to his wife, who was sitting behind him with her legs crossed, arms folded in a leather chair.
"Yes, my dear?" she answered.
"Why are the roads so busy? And why is it so dark? It's eight in the morning" Mr Palma asked curiously.
Cherry was slightly puzzled and annoyed. "To be honest, I think you have more fetching things at the minute, than worrying about traffic and the light."
David turned around and faced his wife once more and sat back down in his leather chair. There had been a lot on his mind over the last few days; he had been very stressed of late, going from city to city desperately trying to get a few more votes for the election vote that was soon to be happening. He had just arrived back from Philadelphia after giving a speech to a very boring crowd who booed him for a while, and then decided to cheer him at the end.
"I know it isn't important, it just frustrates me that there are people out there who aren't obsessed about me, I mean look at those photographers, they're a good bunch of people, today is the day of the election, people shouldn't be going to work, they should be completely focused on voting for me" Mr Palma explained.
Cherry ignored this babbling idiot and started talking some sense.
"I know, Hunny, I know. Listen, I've written you a speech, because I know you struggle to dot your I's and cross your t's at times. So I have done it for you, if you read it exactly how it is, you will undoubtedly become President" Cherry Palma answered patronisingly.
"Oh, thank you very much" David answered, he was easily distracted and easily pleased, he didn't particularly like all the attention he was getting to be President, and really had no interest in becoming President. He had initially ran for President as a joke, as he believed a black man would never get this far, and now he was worrying that he would actually have to be the President of the United States.
"There's something else you need to know, David. There has been a leak from the Anti-Terrorist Unit about a possible assassination attempt on your life, so watch out for anyone with any kind of weapon…even if they're holding a banana!" Cherry warned seriously, she handed a phone to him, out of no where and said: "It's Gregory Mace, the ATU leader, he has some news."
David took the phone and walked to the window. He saw the photographer still taking photos of him, so he slammed the shutters shut.
"This is David Palma."
"This is David Palma."
"Hello?...Is anybody there?"
"Yes, you idiot, I am David Palma."
"I don't think anyone is there, do you think the stupid moron accidently pressed the hang-up button?" a voice answered in the phone:
"It's possible; maybe I just didn't click two-way conversation though…"
"Hello?" Gregory tried again.
"Hello, this is David Palma."
"Ah, we're in business Clo. Mr Palma, my name is Gregory Mace; I am in charge of the Anti-Terrorist Unit. We have had rumours and reports of a possible assassination on you later today. We will be sending a man over to protect you through the day" Mr Mace explained through the phone.
"How do I know this man can protect me from what is going to happen? How do I know he's trustworthy?" Palma asked.
"This man has worked for the government for a number of years, he is the best at the job he does. He will keep you safe" Mace answered reassuringly.
"Good. Well, keep up the good work" David Palma answered, and then quickly fumbled over the phone for the hang-up button.
Kim Bower
Kim was a young woman, the daughter of Jack Bower, she was a very disobedient young woman who would always ignore her parents. What she was doing up at six minutes past eight in the morning, she would never know, she didn't work, she didn't go to college, she just lolled around at her parents' house, eating their food, using their electricity, wasting their water and just generally being a slob. But nevertheless, she had woken up, and could not return to sleep, so she was now up, and for the first time in her entire life, she began to clean the kitchen.
She turned around and looked at the counter, it was spotless. Bloody hell, I'm good she thought. But as she looked properly at the desk, and not at the work she hadn't done, she noticed a hamburger sitting there, all the fat oozing out like blood from a wound, the giblets of the poor cow that had been slaughtered sat in its rendered animal fat, slobbering all over the desk.
"Where did that come from?" she asked herself. She looked on the table in front of her (having completely looked past that to see the desk with the hamburger on), it was now full of every single pot and pan, plate, piece of cutlery and trays that she had used the night before but not washed up.
"I can answer that for you, young lady" a deep mysterious voice said from behind her.
Kim span round on her heels to see a man dressed like a clown. He stood there, nearly six feet tall, wearing a banana yellow suit from neck to just below the knees, it was zipped down the middle with a huge letter "M" on his left breast. The top was sleeveless, and underneath he wore a red and white hooped shirt and bright yellow gloves on his hands. He wore blood red flipper boots which were clearly too big for his feet. His socks were very much the same as his under shirt, which had red and white hoops. His face was a typical clown face, as white as a tin of white paint (the inside), with red lipstick around his mouth and an afro-like hairstyle which was also red.
"Who are you?" Kim demanded.
"My name is Ronald" the clown answered, "Ronald McDonald."
"Okay, Mr McDonald. And what would you want in my house?" Kim asked fiercely.
"Funnily enough," he began, and the huge clown smile around his mouth became even wider as he started to actually smile. "You."
"What do you want with me? I'm not a five year old who has booked a clown for my birthday party" Kim said.
"Oh, my mistake. Eat that Big Mac anyway" Ronald suggested calmly. Kim stupidly fell for the 'mistake' by Ronald McDonald and began to munch on the more-filthy-than-a-toilet-seat Big Mac sitting on her counter.
After nearly four full bites, Kim began to feel sleepy and dizzy, the clock on the wall began to spin around, but the hands stayed where they were. She then fell back and hit her head on the floor.
Ronald then put his right hand in his pocket and dialled a number.
"King, I have her, make sure the Colonel is set for the rest of the plan."
ATU and Jack Bower
Jack walked in the building, it was very tightly secure, the car park alone, his entire car hand been searched, he had been stripped to his underwear and searched, and then parking his car had been a nightmare. He had to drive all the way to the top of the car lot to find a parking space. Once he had finally found a parking space, he then had to walk down five flights of stairs, and eventually met security.
"I'm Jack Bower, I'm here for a meeting with the ATU leader, Gregory Mace" Jack told the security guard. The guard was fat, and eating a donut, he didn't even look up until he had finished eating his donut.
Considering the amount of security the car park had had, the amount of security surrounding this man was extremely low. He just pointed his thumb down the hall to glass doors. Jack accepted this as an invitation to just walk on, so he did. He walked down the boringly covered walls, with no windows and now paintings, just pure blue paint.
He was met at the end of the corridor by a man; he was tall, with very little hair on his head, he wore a ground brown suit and black shoes.
"My name is Gregory Mace, are you Jack Bauer?" the tall man asked.
"No. I'm Jack Bower, not Bauer" Jack answered frustratingly, he was often getting confused with this Jack Bauer, but he had no idea who he was, he liked his name of Jack Bower, and did not like it when people assumed he shared the name with the character he had no idea about called Jack Bauer.
"Oh, that is my mistake. Anyway," he began, turning to his right, another man approached, as well as a woman. The man had dark black hair, and wore a dark navy suit, the woman was just in a white blouse unbuttoned three or four buttons down. Her face was very pretty, but she had a sort of evil look to her. The man was clearly of an Asian origin, as he had wide eyes. "This is To Knee, and Nina Mimers" he said, pointing to the man and then the woman.
"Hi" they both said together.
"Oh, and that man there, dressed in the funny animal suit, is Larry. Don't take any notice of him, he likes to dress in animal clothes every now and then because he's an animal lover, I think he's sporting some kind of mole today" Gregory explained, Jack looked over, and this man was sat behind a desk, clearly outstanding, sitting there in a huge mole dressing.
"Oh" was all Jack could say.
"We have reports that the Presidential candidate is going to be assassinated today. We believe that this has been helped by someone in a Government agency, like ours. We believe someone on the inside of the Government is helping the masterminds behind the assassination attempt. We are under the impression that there is a mole in this very terrorist unit" Gregory began to explain, at this very moment, every body but Gregory slowly turned their heads to Larry the Mole with a slight suspicion. Gregory noticed that they all turned to Larry and looked puzzled. "What's so interesting about Larry?"
"Has it occurred to you that Larry is the mole?" Jack asked sarcastically.
Gregory ignored this remark and continued talking. "We believe the final assassination will take place at some point today, we are not sure when, but the Elector-to-be has a speech in approximately fifteen minutes. So we are suspecting the terrorists may attempt something then. We are going to allow you to interview our workers, you may use whatever technique you like, we must find the mole within our ranks, in order to find out who is behind the hit and then we must do our best to save David Palma's life."
"Right, let's get started" Jack said, he looked directly at Larry. "I'm going to start with that man" To and Nina both had cheeky grins across their faces.
"Once you have found the mole, Jack, I'm going to need you to run down to the town hall where Palma is giving his speech" Gregory added hurriedly, before walking off.
The Mole
To and Nina dragged the Mole loving moron into the questioning room and sat him down. Jack sat opposite him and crossed his arms. The fat man (Jack was sure he would be fat underneath the suit) was trembling with fear.
Jack simply asked one question.
"Are you the mole?"
The man trembled with his answer, but eventually it fell out of his mouth, along with a ball of slobber.
Jack nodded, and signalled To and Nina to return, they took the man in the mole suit away.
The door shut and locked behind them. It was at this moment the day began for Jack, it was the moment which would involve him in more ways than he would wish to imagine. The phone rang.
Jack picked it up.
"Hello?" the voice said.
"Hello, this is your mum speaking, you're dad forgot to bring the washing in again, can you not have a word with him?"
But Jack hung up, as he thought this was not important enough to matter, and then the important moment actually arrived for him. The phone rang again, and he picked up.
"Jack Bauer" the voice said. Jack was very irritated at this.
"Bower!" he snapped.
"Jack Bower, I know who your mole is, and I have your daughter hostage. My name is The King; I am part of a group that does not want the waste-of-space to be elected. If David Palma is elected President, it will be the biggest shame we have ever seen. We require this man to give a speech about our products, once this is done, we will release your daughter unharmed. Once the message is delivered to the public, it will be too late to stop us, and there will be nothing the great Jack Bauer can do about it" the voice spoke.
"Jack Bower!" Jack screamed.
"No, no, I mean Jack Bauer" the voice answered, correcting.
"Oh, okay. Fair enough. What do you want me to do?" Jack asked.
"We need you to get to Mr Palma," the man began, "Send him one of our freshly made products. You will find one of our products hidden away in the draw you are sat at. The Mole positioned it there for us. We want you to take this item to David Palma and make sure he reads the message inside. You will then make him deliver the speech and sell our product. The latter will of course be easy, because the food contains a drug which will make him do anything you say. So all you have to do is get the message there to him, and he will do the rest. Do not open the package until you get there."
Jack pulled the draw out quickly and saw a Boneless Banquet sitting there, still warm. Jack quickly picked the package up and stormed out of the room (it had in fact not been locked, Jack had just thought wrong). He quickly walked up to Gregory who was talking to a colleague. Jack looked on the tables around him and thought how sorry he was to be American; he saw wrappers and rubbish all over of fast food junk which had obviously been consumed by all the soon-to-be fat people working for Anti-Terrorist Unit. He grunted in disgust.
"Gregory, I haven't found your mole" Jack began, but then he looked closer at Gregory's face. "It's there under your nose."
"Not that mole!" Gregory answered, annoyed.
"Anyway, that's not the point. I haven't found them; I think I can give you information you need though. I just received a phone call, I can't tell you anything about it, but the man addressed himself as The King, I think you should look up all known addresses of people called King, and any other link you can think of. The future President is in danger, I must get to him before he does his speech" said Jack.
"Why are you holding a KFC Boneless Banquet?" To Knee asked.
"I'm hungry" Jack answered and he walked away from the meeting back to his car.
David Palma and Jack Bower
Jack pulled up at the town hall where he was meant to meet David Palma. There, again, was a lot of security, but Jack showed a badge, which basically meant he was allowed to go on without being checked or searched. He reached David Palma within a minute of arriving there. He was alone, reading the speech his wife had written him earlier in the day.
"Sir, my name is Jack Bower" Jack began, Mr Palma didn't look startled, it was as if he'd been awaiting him.
"They told me your name was Jack Bauer" Mr Palma told Jack.
"No, no, no. Just Jack Bower" Jack answered. Before the idiotic President-to-be could get into an argument about Jack's name, Jack spoke. "Sir, I have a parcel for you, it is from people I know."
"Hang on one minute, Jack. I need the toilet" David Palma said, and he quickly ran out of the room.
David Palma returned a minute or two later, and sat back down again. Jack tried to continue with his speech, but David Palma just took the Boneless Banquet and opened it.
"You wish me to read a message about making all Americans eat McDonalds, Burger King and KFC?" David Palma asked suspiciously.
"Not me, Sir. They have my daughter hostage. Hang on…"
Jack took another look at the box, and then recalled what he just said, and then something occurred to him. He quickly pulled out his phone, but before he could start dialling a number a ringtone started calling out.
"I dance
I dance
I dance
Around a Mexican hat
I dance
I dance
I dance
And that's the end of that
Or is it I guess I'll keep singing
My cell phone appears to be ringing..........."
"Oops…that's me" Jack told David Palma. He answered the phone; it was Nina from the ATU.
"Jack, we have found the King you spoke about. We are sending a team to them now. They are all at your location, the King, Ronald McDonald, and The KFC Colonel. We sussed out their plans, do not let David Palma give the speech about the food, you must hold off the speech for as long as you can, until we arrest the terrorists."
"Sir, don't-" but it was too late, David Palma had taken several bites into the banquet and clearly loved every bite of it.
"This is delicious, where did you get it?" Palma asked, desperate for more.
"Never mind that, Sir. We need to stay in here for now, you can't go and give your speech until I have authority" Jack answered dismissively.
"My speech is in exactly four minutes, I have to be out there in four minutes" Palma told him.
Another call came.
"Get him out there now!" the voice said, this was a joking voice, which Jack suspected was that of a mad seductive evil clown.
"I'm on my way out now, don't harm my daughter" Jack instructed. "Come on" he said to David Palma, helping him up.
"Make sure he has the speech prepared---oh buggar," the clown began, but he halted at the sound of screaming behind. "Don't shoot, or the girl gets shot!" Jack heard a gun shot, but then he heard screaming from a girl, so he knew Kim was fine.
"Daddy!" she screamed pathetically into the phone, "Step away from the phone young lady."
"Kim, are you safe?" Jack screamed.
Jack turned David Palma to the left, towards the place where he would give the speech, but he was halted by a woman standing there, he dropped the cell phone. The woman was holding a gun, and pointing it at Jack and David Palma.
"Damn" Jack said.
"Out the way, Jack. You've found your mole."
It was then that Jack realised who this woman was. It was Nina, from the Anti-Terrorist Unit. What was she doing?
"I hired those buffoons to do my dirty work, to get me close to David Palma, so I could assassinate him myself. And when I got you here, all I needed was to tip the authorities off, and get here myself" she began to explain, Jack interrupted.
"That's a point, how did you get here so fast?"
"Everything in this state is two minutes away from everything else" she answered dismissively, still wafting the gun in their faces.
"I'm not going to let you shoot David, Nina" Jack insisted.
"Oh" she replied sadly, "just in the leg?"
"Then I will have to shoot you too" she answered. But whilst Jack had distracted her with this question, he pulled his own gun out and fired at Nina. She wasn't badly injured, just a bullet to the arm. The gun in her hand fell to the floor and so did she. She quickly picked it up and ran out of the building. Jack ran after her.
"Stop!" he screamed.
"Never!" she answered back. She reached the main doors, and shot at the window in the door, it shattered everywhere, and the guards either side fainted with shock. Jack followed her.
She froze on the steps, and turned to face Jack.
"Don't move, Nina! You're surrounded" Jack looked up, and saw that she was surrounded, but not by the thing he'd want. She was surrounded by the crowd awaiting David Palma's speech. Nina quickly turned again and shot randomly at the crowd. A woman collapsed to the floor.
Nina disappeared into the crowd.
Jack ran down to the crowd to see if the woman was hurt badly.
"Jack!" she called out as he approached.
"Terry?" Jack answered, as he recognised this voice. It was his wife. His wife had been shot between the eyes, but was still breathing slightly.
"What are you doing here?" he demanded.
"I came to see David Palma" she said, but then her head collapsed on the floor.
"Noooooooooooooooooo!!!" Jack screamed into the air.


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