Jun 30, 2013

Mission X - Fan Fiction

Hi folks.

Yes, I'm back. Well, actually, I was never away, I just wasn't posting anything, because I lacked the time (poor excuse, I know!). I recently joined a Facebook group of/for writers and have been sucked up in that, working on several projects all at once (writing my own and beta-reading other people's work), so I have been very busy, but it really isn't an excuse for not posting anything here.

So, today I make amends.

This here story, is one I just cooked up and it's kind of a request. I say 'kind of', because it's not really a request per say. We were discussing this in the Fiction Writer's Group (that's the one on FB) and I mentioned some of my readers (at Kieferland forum a few years ago) had told me I should be writing 'on' 24. One of the other members commented that he would want to write an episode for 24 as well, act in it and be killed by Jack. So, I offered to write a story for him to which he replied with "Kill me, Moody, kill me good."

And so it shall be.

Enjoy your demise, my friend!

Mission X.

It was a simple task. Find the person of interest and bring him in for questioning. If that could not be achieved, terminate the subject.
He wasn’t happy about the assignment at first, because he didn’t like the idea of censorship, but after reading some of the man’s works, he agreed it was the only course of action. This man had to be stopped. By any means necessary.

The first part of the job was the boring one: determining the man’s location. It meant countless hours of going over all the available information, checking video material, pulling up surveillance footage and running face recognition on all of it. It took hours, thankfully it didn’t take him hours, he had people to do the boring work for him. He kicked into action once their work was done. Once they had a possible location, he would strap on his flak, get behind the wheel and get out there to apprehend the subject. That was his job.
For now, he waited, impatiently so. He hated sitting around doing nothing. Twice, he picked up the phone to get an update. Twice, he was told they had nothing new and couldn’t work any faster than they already were. He paced his office, eyeing the phone on his desk, but he refrained from using it again. It took a lot of energy to keep from yelling at his people to get a move on. Data simply didn’t work as fast as he would’ve wanted it to.
When his phone rang, his eyes went down into the bullpen, trying to determine who was calling him even before he saw the caller’s name on the display.

“Yes, Chloe?”

“I have a possible location.”

“Talk to me.”
She gave him an address.
“Send it to my PDA.”

“Already did.”
The device bleeped in his pocket.

“Good. Send an assault team to that location but tell them to wait for my orders. I don’t want them barging in and spooking the guy.”

“Got it.”

“Thank you, Chloe.”

She blushed but didn’t respond and hung up without another word, only to pick up the receiver and dial another number.
He hung up, turned to his locker and slipped his flak on, checked the weapon on his hip and secured it and turned back to get his jacket.
“What do you want, Chase?” he asked, as the young man was standing in the doorway.
He hadn’t bothered knocking, which was a habit he wouldn’t mind knocking right out of him.

“Chloe said you had a location.”

“Possible location.” he corrected.

“Can I come?”

“Why would you want to come, Chase?”

“I’m a field agent, no?”

“Yes. So?”

“Shouldn’t I be coming?”

“Do you think you should?”


“Then why aren’t you geared up?”
Three weeks on the job, but the kid was giddy as hell and he knew it would take a strong hand to guide him.
“Flak, weapon and spare ammo.” he stated, “Cell phone, PDA and handcuffs. I’m not waiting for you.”
He slipped his jacket on and walked out of his office, down the stairs and across the bullpen to the security desk. A swipe of his badge logged him out and he greeted the men on the way out of the building. He was halfway to his car when Chase caught up.
“Did you log out?”


“Did you?”

“They called me back.” Chase admitted sheepishly.

“You’ll learn.” he commented with a grin he couldn’t hide.

“Can I drive?”

“No, I’m not suicidal.”
He got in behind the wheel and drove off seconds later. There was no way in hell he would let the rookie drive the powerful –and fully loaded- SUV through downtown LA in rush hour traffic. It was bad enough negotiating it when you were accustomed to both the vehicle and the traffic, he wasn’t willing to die just yet.

Thanks to the siren and flashing lights, they made good time, arriving on the scene mere moments after the assault team. He issued his orders, having the team stand by until further notice, and took Chase into the building. He checked in with a reception clerk and was quickly directed to the conference room, hosting the critique event. Armed only with a pixilated photo of their subject, they entered the room and started scanning faces. He sent Chase off to one side, while circling around the other side himself. Their subject was nowhere to be seen, or at least no subject resembling the grainy photo on his PDA was to be seen. He approached the host of the event, quietly separating him from the main group of attendees.

“My name is Jack Bauer, I’m with CTU.” he said, discreetly showing his badge, “Do you know a writer by the name of Dave Perry?”

“Well, not personally.” the host replied, “I think his name is on the list, though. Would you like me to check?”

“We’ll check it with you.”

“Of course.”

The man’s sudden agitation put Jack’s senses on alert and he followed closely behind him, trying to locate Chase in the crowd. When they passed by a service door, the man turned, shoved him hard enough to throw him off balance and blasted through the door.

“Dammit!” he cursed, struggling to find his footing.
The helpful hands weren’t helpful at all and he shrugged them off as they held him back.
“Chase!” he bellowed, dashing forward now that he was free of the crowd’s assistance.

He shot through the door, banging his shoulder harder than he would’ve expected and went down the stairs, taking them three at a time. He turned the first landing before Chase even made it to the door.

“I don’t know where he went,” he called, “check upstairs, I’m going down.”

“Got it, Jack.”

Taking the stairs faster than he knew was healthy, but determined not to let the man get away from him, he tried to focus on footsteps other than his own. A door banged and he used the railing to slow himself down. Judging from the sound, it had come from below, but he wasn’t ready to put all his eggs in one basket, so he continued alone instead of calling Chase to join him. He did call the assault team, informing them someone might try to break out, probably from the underground parking lot. They moved into position to intercept and he acknowledged that as he pushed through the door and into the parking area. Being on the radio and assuming his quarry was on the run, he didn’t see the threat until it was too late. A bright red flash, then a skull-splitting impact and he went down hard, darkness enveloping him.
The fire extinguisher clanged to the ground and his assailant ran off now that his first pursuer was out for the count. The blood on the agent’s face didn’t stop him, even though he felt more like throwing up right now. Instead, he turned and ran, trying to locate his car. He found it just as booted feet ran down the ramp and into the parking lot, guns at the ready. He slipped inside and locked up, staying low and out of sight. Hopefully. Through his rearview mirror, he kept an eye on the men at the ramp and cursed softly when the group broke up, leaving two men with automatic weapons to guard the ramp, while the rest of them started searching the area. He would never get away from them. They would gun him down before he got anywhere near the ramp.

“Agent Bauer, come in.”
“Agent Bauer, do you copy?”
They got no reply.
“Agent Edmunds, do you copy?”

“Edmunds here.”

“Do you know where agent Bauer is, sir?”

“He went downstairs.”

“We’re in the parking lot, but he’s not responding to our calls.”

“Find him. I’m coming down.”

“Copy that.”
“You two, stay here and don’t let anyone out. You, with me. You two, take that side.”

Minutes went by, but when Chase came through the door, he found Jack’s body, unconscious and bleeding from a gaping wound across the forehead. The fire extinguisher lying nearby told the rest of the tale. He summoned the assault team and together, they managed to rouse Jack.

“What the hell happened?”

“I don’t know.” Jack grumbled, “The sonofabitch was waiting for me.”

“You took a bad hit, Jack. Stay down.” Chase suggested when Jack started struggling.

“I’ve taken worse.” Jack growled, shoving Chase’s hand away from him, “Did you find him?”

“We found you.”

“There’s no APB out on me.” Jack replied grumpily, “Find him.”

“The exit is covered, sir.” the team leader said, “We didn’t see anyone leave, so he’s still here. Somewhere.”

“Get a few more teams in here and find him.” Jack ordered, raising a hand to his face.
It came back sticky with blood.

“You need an ambulance.” Chase said matter-of-factly.

“No kidding, Sherlock.” Jack huffed, once more shoving Chase’s hand away, “Go find the bastard.”
Shaking his head in disbelief, he moved to a nearby car and sat on its bumper.
“I can’t believe I asked him.”
He pulled out his PDA and checked the picture on the device again. It didn’t look anything like the man he had spoken to. What a fuck-up.

It only took the extra teams –and the ambulance- a few minutes to get there and –despite two paramedics hovering around him- Jack orchestrated the search of the underground parking lot, setting the teams in motion before allowing anyone a medical time-out, especially himself. One of the medics dabbed at the blood on his face while the other checked his vitals.

“This will need to get stitched up.”

“Patch it up for now, I’ve got a job to do.” Jack grumbled angrily.
Those two weren’t going to stop him from getting the job done.
Not today.

“You may have a concussion, you need to go to hospital and get checked out.”

“I’ll go to the clinic when we get back. Just stop the blood from running in my eye.”

“That’s easy for you to say. Did you see that gash?”

“No.” Jack admitted.
It had felt pretty nasty when he touched it.

“What did they hit you with anyway?”
Jack nodded his head toward the fire extinguisher on the floor.
“Then I’ll make the call myself. You have a concussion, you need to go to hospital.”

“I’ll go when we’re done in here. Now stop the bleeding or I’ll do it for you.”

“Have it your way.” the medic huffed, pressing down on the wound and making Jack hiss in pain.
It took a long moment, but then the bleeding finally went down to a minimum and they quickly applied some surgical tape to keep the wound closed and put a bandage over it.
“That won’t last long. You need to go to hospital.”

“I heard you the first time.” Jack grumbled, pushing up and past the medics, “Chase, give me a sit rap.” he snapped into the microphone.

“I think we found his car.” Chase’s voice came back.


“Lot C 154. Straight ahead and to your right.”

“Copy that.”

He left the paramedics behind and went off to find lot C, the congregation of agents telling him where to go.

“Dave Perry, show us your hands.” he called, approaching the vehicle from the side.
There was no response, but he could see the figure huddling inside.
“I’m not going to ask again,” he warned, “show us your hands and exit the vehicle. Slowly.”

Instead, the engine turned over and the car shot away from its parking space, going backward with the intent of plowing through the group of agents. These men were well trained though and opened fire even before stepping out of the way. The bullets bit into the metal frame and punctured the tires, causing the car to come to a screeching stop mere feet from where it had been parked.

“Show me your hands!” Jack bellowed, moving in on the vehicle with his weapon drawn, “Last warning!” he added menacingly.

His eyes met his quarry’s and in that instant, he knew this was one subject he couldn’t apprehend.
His finger curled around the trigger, tightening in a slow but controlled way, squeezing off a first shot as the man in the car threw it into drive. If he gunned the engine, Jack would end up on the bonnet. Or worse. His bullet bit into the windshield and smashed through, changing its angle only slightly, ending its course in the backseat cushion, blood and brain matter spraying in its wake. A second bullet followed a slightly altered path, adding another hole to the windshield as well as to the man’s head and the front and back seats. The lifeless body slumped in the seat and the assault team moved in, killing the engine for everyone’s safety first.

“Chase, you wrap this one up.”

“Sure thing, Jack. Where are you going?”

“To hospital.”
He needed to get that wound stitched up and he needed to lie down.

He still couldn’t believe how messed up this ‘simple’ mission had been.
And all of that because of some damned anarchist writer.

Jun 1, 2013

This is not the OK coral - Writer's Weekly spring 2013 submission - all audiences

Hey guys and gals.

This was the first time I participated in this writing contest and I had loads of fun doing it. The wait for the results is now over and I promised myself I would post the story on my blog as soon as the 'votes' were in. I didn't win anything, but hey, I had fun and that's what's most important about these things. Having fun doing them. I've already registered for the summer edition, so you'll be seeing more of these coming up as time goes by.
Contest date for summer is July 13th, I'll have to keep that weekend 'free' and to myself. Good thing is that I'm in a different time zone, so I get the email with the topic at 7 pm. That means I have all evening to focus on the topic and I don't have to worry about getting the shopping done, cooking dinner and whatever else needs to be done during the day, that could keep me from getting started on the contest.

Anyways, enough of my rambling already.
Here's the topic:

She sat in her favorite spot on the porch of the weathered beach house, the salty air sticking to her skin, the oncoming storm blowing sand across her bare feet. The crisp envelope bent beneath her fingers as she laid it on her lap, and reached for the pen in her dress pocket...

Enjoy the read!!

This is not the O.K. Corral.

There he was, sitting at the edge of the field, looking out at the wasteland beyond the barrier. It still amazed him to see how abruptly nature could change. How suddenly fertile lands turned to barren, dry and useless stretches of dirt. To him, it didn’t look like dirt, even though he knew it was. It looked much more like sand and he knew it would feel the same should he take off his boots and test it. He didn’t take off his boots though, and he didn’t set a foot beyond the barrier.
They knew he came out here at times. He didn’t mind, he had other places to go if he wanted to be alone. Now, he just needed a moment to himself. A moment to prepare.
One last time, he checked the envelope in his pocket. One last time, he pulled it out and checked the contents. One last time, he double-checked himself. There was no room for error today, failure was not an option. He had worked too hard, too long to fail. If he failed now, he would be letting himself down in the first place.

Six months today.
It was almost like a birthday, but he didn’t feel like celebrating.
Not yet.
The cake would come later. It wouldn’t be a tasty one though. It would taste of tension, stress and fear. It would taste of blood, or bile, or both. It would taste of sweat, the salty taste of sweat, almost as salty as tears. Or the ocean. He missed the ocean. Hadn’t seen it in … How long had it been? He couldn’t even remember. It had probably been several years since he had last seen the ocean.
He made a promise to himself then and there. Once he was done here, he would get in his car and drive until he reached the ocean. He didn’t care which way he went and he didn’t care which ocean he reached, all he cared about was getting there, hearing it, feeling it, tasting it. If he closed his eyes, he could easily picture it, picture him, her. He shook his head. No time for that now. He lowered his eyes to the papers in his hands, reading the words he had written on them.
Everything was there.
Everything he needed.
Everything they needed.

With a satisfied grunt, he returned them to the envelope, closed it and reached for the pen in his pocket, scribbling his signature across the seal. A smile played on his face when he thought of hot wax and a ring, but then his mind came back to his own century and he slipped the envelope into the small backpack, dropping the pen in with it. He slung it onto his back and turned away from the wannabe beach.

The horse waited where he had left it and he whistled softly. It raised its head, ears pricked, but continued to grind down the bite of grass it had taken, before setting in motion.

“Good boy.”
He heaved himself into the saddle and pulled gently on the reins.
“Are you ready?”
The horse’s ears went straight forward.
“Let’s go home.”

The big horse leapt forward, almost throwing him off, but he leaned closer and tightened his legs, holding on with more conviction.
It only took minutes to reach the house and he sat up, digging his heels down before they reached the gate.

“Easy now.”

He guided the horse to the stable and jumped down, leaving it to the youngsters to take care of it.
He went to the house, entering through the kitchen door.

“Hey, Luis,” he greeted, “where’s your brother?”

“What’s it to you? You’re dealing with me, hombre.”

“Not today, Luis.” he replied, “Where is he?”

Luis glared at him, but his icy blue gaze remained unyielding.

Without wasting another word on Luis, he crossed the kitchen and took the stairs, hearing them whine in complaint at his swift ascension.
“Jorge.” he called at the top.

“What do you want?”

“I need to talk to you.” he said, entering the large study.

“No, you don’t. Unless you’re ready to kill for me, you’re dealing with my brother, little man.”

“I have my reasons.”

“But you won’t tell me what they are.”

“I’ll tell you now if you want.”

“Sure, little man,” Jorge replied sarcastically, “tell me why you come to me asking for work, but then refuse to do the work I give you.”

“It’s really simple.” he said, nonchalantly reaching into his pocket.

Suddenly, the quiet day exploded into chaos when dozens of men in combat gear poured into the house, smashing through doors and windows to gain quick and easy access. Jorge’s eyes went wide in shock at the violent intrusion into his home, but when he looked back at his ‘little man’, they went wider still. The shiny, silver badge clasped in his left hand stalled his breath; the small, powerful gun aimed at his head, nearly stalled his heart.

“I’m a Federal Agent, that’s why.”


“You’re under arrest. Put your hands on your head and turn around.”
Men in combat gear approached and he shrugged the backpack off.
“Everything you need is in here, six months worth of it.”

“Thank you, sir.”

“If anyone asks, you don’t know where I went.”

“Where are you going?”

“To the beach. I need a vacation.”

He walked away, his job finally done.
Now, the beach awaited.
Everything else could go to hell for a while.

Did you enjoy that?
Please let me know in the comments.
Thank you!

Party poopers - poppers - peppers - ... errrr. Friday Fiction Challenge - all audiences

Hello again, my lovely readers.

This week's challenge is a Non-Fiction story around the topic "Party Personality".
I hope you'll enjoy the read, but if you don't ... no sweat.

Have a great weekend!!

Party poopers, poppers, peppers, … errrr.

Party personality.
That’s an easy one to write about.
I don’t have one.
Or two.
Or three.
I know some people do, depending on the kind of party they’re attending, they will dress and act differently. I don’t.
That’s simple: I don’t play games. I don’t pretend. What you see, is what you get. I don’t have multiple personalities … well, maybe I do, but not for partying purposes. Besides, I don’t like to party. There’s too much noise, too many people - most of whom you don’t know or don’t want to know – and too much alcohol. There always is, no matter where you go or who you’re with, there is always, always, too much alcohol. Sometimes only 1 person will have too much of that, but it’s enough to ruin the whole evening/party.

I’ve never liked to party. I’ve never been interested in going to these kinds of events. I like a good concert every once in a while, but not parties. Not even birthday parties when a lot of people are invited, or wedding parties, or graduation parties (which we don’t really have here).
So, I don’t really have the problem of having (or not) a party personality. I don’t need one since I don’t attend parties.
Even at work, all those ‘social gatherings’, they just give me the creeps. Half the people there, are people you don’t even know because they work in different departments, or on different floors, different buildings, whatever, but you’re all slapped together in one big room and ‘have fun’. It’s not my idea of fun, that’s for sure. I prefer to be at home, in my lazy chair, reading a good book while listening to music I actually like, or watching a movie for the gazillionth time, or – which happens more often – sitting at my computer, writing or playing games.

And even if I did attend parties, I still wouldn’t need an alternate personality for it.
Why should I?
Why should I pretend to be different at a party?
Why couldn’t I just be me at a party?
Why would I have to play it sexy, or tough, or hard to get, or easy to get, or whatever?
Why do people even feel the need to be different at a social gathering?
Why do people feel the need to play games?
Is it because they think they’ll find mister right (or mrs right) by playing a game of make-belief? How could you? How could you possible find the right partner, if you’re not being true to yourself? How does that make any sense at all?
If people don’t like me for who I am, why should I pretend to be different to make them like me?

I know I tried that, way back when I was still young and innocent (blah). I wanted to be part of the popular group of girls in school, like everyone else. So I tried to act like them, talk like them, walk like them, dress like them. Who was I trying to fool? They could see right through the charade and – honestly – I know none of them really liked me, they tolerated me in the area. And you want to know why? I’ll tell you why. Because I was the pitbull, the guard dog. The one they turned to whenever a boy/guy was bugging them. The one who took action and didn’t think twice about going up against a guy twice her size. That was why they tolerated me around. Because I would defend them against attack or bullying.
They never liked me, I know that now. I didn’t know it then, until one beautiful Friday evening in May 1990 when I found out … the hard way.

It was my 18th birthday and my mom and stepdad allowed me to throw a party.
I invited everyone. All of my ‘friends’ from school, and everyone on my volleyball team. I was excited and looking forward to having a great time. The night of the party, our doorbell rang once. Just once! When I got the door, my entire volleyball team was there. They had rendezvoused at the training complex and a couple of the parents had driven the whole group over to my place from there.
I had an awesome, fabulous time with real friends. People whom I didn’t have to pretend with. People who knew me and who appreciated me for who I was. We all had a common goal: be better than the opposing team. Because of that common goal, there was no need to pretend, no need to fake. With them, I was me. No need for an alternate personality.
When I got back to school on Monday, I started telling my ‘friends’ how awesome my party had been and how much fun I’d had and I could see them, looking at each other, trying to figure out who broke the ‘oath’, who had betrayed the others by coming to my party.
I knew then and there, that they didn’t give a damn about me. Either because they knew I was faking it, or simply because they didn’t care either way.
It was a lesson learned and I remember it to date.

And I really like to quote Kiefer Sutherland when asked ‘What is the best advice your father ever gave you?’. His answer: “Don’t get caught with your pants down.”

There is absolutely no reason WHAT SO EVER to fake your way through life.

Be true to yourself because people will either see through the charade, in which case they won’t like you because you’re lying, or they will find out, sooner or later, and they won’t like you either, because you lied to them. It’s a lose/lose situation, every which way you want to look at it.

With me, it’s very simple: You like me? Great! You don’t? Fine by me.
What you see is what you get, I don’t do special treatment and I don’t care what people think.
I am free to be me.
We all are.

Live and let live.

So, seriously, my party personality is the same you’ll see at work, at home or when I’m grocery shopping.
Party on!

More entries can be found over here