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ADEN 1/2

posted in 24_fanfic

Title: Aden, Chapter 1
Author: marinw
Characters: Jack. Pirates. Need I say more?
Rating: R for violence
Summary: A few months Pre-Redemption. Jack travels between India and Africa
Disclaimer: 24 is the Property of the Fox Production Company.
A/N: As much as I love sick!hospital!Jack, I felt the need to write some action!Jack. Thanks to my beta, cybertoothtiger. Did I mention the pirates?

The world still hadn’t found a good substitute for oil.

The Green Energy plan of President Palmer had never been implemented by his successors. It was oil that powered the huge SUVs Jack used to drive and it was oil that allowed him to eek out a livelihood while he lived as Frank Flynn.

Oil was one of the many, many reasons he was here now.

The tall Sanaglan who held the crew of Aden hostage looked down to where his prisoners were crouched on the rusted metal deck of the small tanker. He stared at the most conspicuous hostage: a wiry man with sandy hair and eyes that turned blue or green with the light. He was the only Caucasian amongst them.

“Don’t try anything stupid, American,” The man sneered.

“I’m Canadian,” Jack lied.

The pirate chief – there was no other term for him – laughed harshly. “Why are you here on this boat then, Canadian?”

“I couldn’t afford the airfare,” Jack said evenly.

Actually, Jack was on the Aden because his passport had been flagged. Official documents could be forged and air travel was still possible, but travel by boat was easier. And it gave Jack the opportunity to earn some money. He didn’t want to show up on Carl Benton’s doorstep empty-handed.

“What do you expect to achieve from this?” Jack asked “The US government is never going to pay your ransom. There are no US citizens on board. The oil is useless unless you can process it.”

“You talk too much, Canadian!”

Jack stopped talking and accessed the situation. There were twelve crew members and five pirates. And the pirates were the ones with the weapons. And the oil was nearby. There were even a few barrels of processed diseal on deck. Igniting the oil could be very, very bad. Or very good, depending on how he decided how to play this.

••••

An hour passed. And nothing was happening. The crew of the Aden sat in the full sunlight beat down on the Indian Ocean.

Jack could see that his crewmates were starting to fade. Jack could easily survive hours without water, but the captain and the other crew were not so blessed.

The pirate chief took swigs from his water bottle and grinned. Once in a while he said something in Sangalan on his satellite phone. They had remarkably sophisticated equipment for pirates. Someone was backing them.

“You may have been correct, Canadian,” the man, sneered, “As hostages, you are of little value.”

“Then you should leave,” Jack replied. “Go now, and I’ll let you and your men leave here alive.”

“We are patient. We can wait. I will call again, and state our demands more clearly.”

The man dialed his phone. In doing so, he needed to lower his rifle. Jack looked around, the other four pirate also had their rifles lowered. They were tired. They had started to take the passivity of the Aden crew for granted.

Now.

Jack sprung to his feet while retrieving his knife from the back pocket of his cargo pants. By the time the chief could react, Jack had him in a headlock. He grabbed the man’s phone. He twisted the other wrist until he dropped the machine gun. The pirate chief yowled. Jack realized that he may had broken his wrist.

“Who is this?” He demanded, yelling into the phone.

No answer. The other party had hung up. Jack threw the phone to the deck.

Now the other pirates had raised their weapons. And they were pointed directly at Jack and his hostage.

“If you want your leader to live you’ll realease the hostages. Or I’ll kill him now.” Jack pressed the knife an against the other man’s throat.

“Okay, then,” another one of the pirates said.

“What!?”

“Kill the man. That will mean more profit for us.”

Jack wasn’t sure what to say. The pirate chief used this opportunity to elbow Jack in the stomach. That hurt, and Jack bent over slightly, but didn’t lose his grip on the knife. Indeed, a few droplets of blood appeared as the blade cut through a millimeter of skin.

The other man pushed Jack over to the railing. He could feel the round surface, made a little slippery from a recent paint job Jack had completed yesterday. The chief held Jack’s throat as he was pushed through the railing. Jack head tipped back, he could half see the ocean beneath him.

Throwing people overboard never grew old.

They were many kilometers from shore. Jack was an excellent swimmer, but that distance was beyond him.

Jack managed to raised one his feet far enough to kick the chief in his own stomach. The man yelped and fell backwards.

The other pirates and crew were now involved in their own fights. So far there was no gunfire.

He had almost lost his balance and fallen overboard. They only thing keeping him on board were his thighs wrapped around the bottom rung of the railing.

For a moment, Jack was twenty years old and back in basic training, hanging by his knees from a parallel bar ten feet off the ground. The Drill Sergeant was screaming at him to complete another inverted sit-up or to go home to his mommy.

Jack hadn’t had a mommy to go home to for quite some time, so he did as he was ordered.

He lunged through the railing and back on to the deck. By now, the chief was back on his feet. He leaped at Jack with arms outstretched, reaching for Jack’s throat.

Jack still had his knife, but he didn’t want to use it.

He extended his other arm, palm outstretched with his fingers skyward. As the chief fell towards him Jack’s palm met with the chief’s chin. The chief sprawled backwards, his head hitting the deck.

Now there were other problems: The crew and the pirates were engaged in close combat. The pirates seemed to be winning. They were fewer in number, but more accustomed to fighting.

The chief’s machine gun was still on the deck near the railing. Jack picked the weapon up. It was a semi-automatic, the same type of weapon Jack had used so many times before. The weapon he hoped never to have used again.

Hope wasn’t a factor. The situation was here, and he needed to deal with it.

TO BE CONTINUED

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