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THROWN TO THE WOLVES

Posted in 24_fanfic

Title: Thrown to the Wolves
Author: marinw
Rating: R
Character(s): Jack
Summary: The last few minutes of Day 6.1and the first few minutes of
Day 6.2, from Jack’s perspective.
Warnings: Violence
Disclaimer: 24 is the property of the Fox Production Company, etc.
A/N: Can Jack’s astonishing metamorphosis from Traumatized Prisoner back into
Super Agent be described as “stunningly dramatic” or “completely unbelievable”?
Or both?



He spat out a mouthful of human flesh. He freed himself and quickly found a place to hide.

Crouching below the sewer grate, he wiped his bloodied mouth on his sleeve, knowing that he only had seconds to consider his next move.

Dammit. He had thought it would be over by now.

“You will die for nothing,” Fayed had taunted. That had been the trigger. It was the one thing he wasn’t able to accept.

And then one of Fayed’s henchman had made the fatal mistake of looking the other way. Amateur.

He could feel the change within himself. The wretched creature he had been only an hour earlier was rapidly slipping away. The prisoner who never spoke or looked his jailers in the eye and who recoiled at the slightest touch. The prisoner who had passively accepted his death sentence. (Bill had used the euphemism ‘sacrifice.’ They both knew what that meant.) That man had served his purpose and was no longer needed. He couldn’t go back to being that person even if he wanted to.

He didn’t consciously decide on any of this. He didn’t even think. He had been given far more than enough time to think during the long periods that Cheng had left him in his dark cell between interrogations. He had thought about everything he had ever done, he remembered the faces of everyone he had ever hurt or killed. Including Fayed’s brother. He was done thinking. It was time to act.

He had learned that no one would ever come to rescue him. He would have to rescue himself. He ran. He could hear Fayed and his men close behind, already chasing after him, their harsh voices of English and Farsi echoing through the sloping, closed wall of the sewer. Their bright flashlights pierced the darkness. He didn’t need a flashlight, he could see in the dark. He hid behind a corner, staying still and staying silent. He had been silent for a very long time, and he could stay silent for a while longer.

A few moments latter the men abandoned their search. He wasn’t valuable enough to distract Fayed from his operation. He had only been there to serve as Fayed’s plaything. Playtime was over.

It didn’t take him long to run through the sewer, to literally see the light at the end of the tunnel. He didn’t appreciate the symbolism. Outside, the bright morning sun hurt his eyes. He wasn’t used to the light.

The car he found was an older model. I can jump-start it without a key, he realized. The driver had even chosen to leave his cell phone next to the steering wheel. He didn’t thank his sudden good luck or a god who no longer existed. The car and the phone and even the can of paint he employed to break the window were simply things to be used.

Once in the driver’s seat, he allowed himself a moment to clutch his injured shoulder, wincing. He realized that at least some of the blood staining his clothing wasn’t his. Good. The acid must have cauterized the wounds. But there was the pain. He couldn’t control the pain, but he could control how he reacted to it. That lesson was one of the few things from his time in China that was worth keeping.

He studied the phone. It was a model recent enough to have GPS functions. He could program Assad’s location into the map.

Just like riding a bicycle. He trusted himself again. He had already discovered that he could still kill. Everything else would follow.

So this is how it’s going to be. Fine. His return to America had not been the way he had imagined it. There would be no quiet stay at a hospital being poked at by doctors and nurses. No listening to the patronizing platitudes of the shrinks who specialized in such things. No tearful reunions with Audrey and Kim. At least not yet. He knew the standard protocols for treating people who had been imprisoned and abused for long periods. Those procedures were for other people, not for him. It was better this way. In some ways it was easier.

He still remembered the phone number. He dialed.

“CTU Los Angeles,” a woman answered. He had hoped it would be Chloe.

“This is Jack Bauer.”

Somewhere a clock was ticking. The day had barely begun.

END

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