Author's Note – I had a lot of ideas on how to end this and two possible endings, but I'm going to go for COMPLETE CLOSURE here. Another explanation at the end. This is probably one of the more emotional episodes I've written in all of my stories.
LIVE ANOTHER DAY ALTERNATE FINALE PART 2
THE FOLLOWING TAKES PLACE BETWEEN 10:30 PM AND 11 AM. MOST EVENTS OCCUR IN REAL TIME
AIRBORNE OVER SOUTHAMPTON
The lights of Southampton, England appear as the CIA helicopter flies at top speed toward the coastline. Ahead they see the pitch black of the English Channel dotted with the bright lights of commercial shipping vessels along with the Isle of Wight in the background.
"We're the only assault team? Where's Kate Morgan?"
"Chloe, we lost her. Cheng Zhi had a second team that ambushed us after we had rescued Audrey."
Tears start falling from Chloe's face. "I was so wrong about her. Adrian convinced me to hate her and intelligence agencies in general. I never got to thank her for what she did. And she must be so devastated about her husband."
"We honor her memory by finishing this job, Chloe," Jack says as they overfly downtown Southampton and approach the docks then go over the water. "After this we can go home, but I will end this right here and now. Are you sure you want to come along? I can't stress how dangerous it is."
"I'm the only one who can disable the override and make sure Cheng's attacks are aborted, and besides I need to run point with the scanners."
Jack nods. "Thank you for always being there with me."
"Jack, we need the final briefing. We have a visual on the Leticia. We have 10 minutes after they launch the cruise missiles before the first cruise missile hits its target.
"Once we land on board, we will secure an area in the center of the ship," Jack briefs the team, "We believe Cheng Zhi is holed up in the superstructure, most likely on the bridge or in the Captain's quarters. That will be our primary target. Chloe will activate the sensors and accompany me to secure the device….."
"I'm fine, I'm sure, doctor," Audrey tells the physician who had just patched her up. "My father and Jack Bauer need me at work right now."
The doctor gives up on arguing. "Alright, Mrs. Boudreau. Let me know if anything changes about your condition, anything at all."
"Just call me Audrey," she says. Audrey walks past another medical room where Simone al-Harazi is still in a bed recovering. Audrey takes a look at her.
"Audrey…." Simone says softly, "I don't it won't mean much, but I'm so sorry about everything that's happened today."
"You're right, it doesn't mean much," Audrey says harshly, yanking the door open, but then she softens up and the look on her face changes from that of loathing to more pity. She goes back and nods. "But at least it's something."
CIA STATION, LONDON
"Mr. President, we have confirmation from British military HQ that Cheng has launched the missiles. There are four missiles targeting major British cities in addition to a Royal Caribbean cruise ship off southern Ireland. First projected impact will be at a 20-story housing residential lofts in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in northern England. Most people will be home at this time, we're looking at well over a thousand casualties plus destruction across the entire waterfront area. Glasgow and Edinburgh have also been targeted, in addition to a Royal Caribbean ship off the southern coast of Ireland." General Coburn tells President Heller and Audrey, who is safely back at the CIA station. In a split screen we see Mark Boudreau being taken into a holding cell by CIA agents and American soldiers.
"Any luck with the Chinese?" Ron Clark asks.
Audrey shakes her head. "The ultimatum to Davies wasn't delivered by Cheng himself. It was given by his Russian friends."
"Are you sure we can count on Jack Bauer?" Ron Clark says.
"More than I can count on anyone else, Ron," Heller says with confidence. I want a live update on the situation on board that ship and a direct line with Jack."
LETICIA CARGO SHIP, IN BETWEEN SOUTHAMPTON AND THE ISLE OF WIGHT
"Engage them!" yells one of the Russian mercenaries. Several machine guns open fire as gunners on the helicopter respond back. Three Russian mercenaries are killed instantly by a rapid blaze of gunfire. More men approaching the center of the ship as the helicopter lands on top of a large shipping container. Erik Ritter takes his gun and fires a long hail of bullets in the direct of the large superstructure, mowing down four hostiles. There is shouting in Chinese and Russian as the hostiles prepare to engage the intruders on the ship.
"Okay, the sensors are working," Chloe says. She gives updates to the positions and the CIA team quickly takes down most of the terrorists suffering no losses as they approach the superstructure.
"We have six minutes," Chloe says as in a split screen we see the trajectories of the cruise missiles from the Margaret Thatcher heading toward their targets.
Cheng Zhi yells in a rage as he hears the updates of his men. The CIA team is now swarming toward the superstructure. "Go! Kill Jack Bauer!" He turns to his lead technician. "Make sure the targets are destroyed. The West will pay for its treachery especially Heller and Bauer!"
"Comrade Cheng, if we are to escape…." His man begins.
"There is no escape!" Cheng screams in Chinese, "We will kill Jack Bauer and attack the Western imperialists! We will lay down our lives for the Communist Revolution! Now go!"
"Yes, Comrade! Long live the Communist Party!" another of his goons screams and runs out with his gun.
Jack and Ritter take positions outside a door leading into the superstructure. Jack kicks open the door and is met with a hail of gunfire, then Ritter tosses a grenade inside. There is an explosion and the screams of several men. Jack charges through the door and sees two more enemies coming down the hall. He sprays the area with automatic gunfire, killing both of them instantly.
"Jack, you have four terrorists on the second floor and one on the stairs, the rest of the team is engaging more hostiles outside!" Chloe radios.
In a split screen we see muzzle flashes on the exterior of the ship as the CIA agents hold their position on top of some shipping containers, shooting back as Cheng's men. One terrorist is shot and falls overboard, splashing into the sea. Another one is shot and collapses on the deck. "All clear outside!"
Jack emerges at the base of a stairwell and sees a Russian terrorist coming down. Jack takes his pistol and shoots the man twice through the heart, his body tumbling down. Ritter goes into the engine room and engages several terrorists, shooting them down.
Two of Cheng's men burst into the mess hall the same time Jack does. Jack steps to the side and kills the first one, then slides along the floor as the other hostile manages to fire a few shots. Jack shoots the man in the foot and the man falls screaming. Jack puts another bullet through his head.
Jack shoots down another man and charges onto the bridge of the ship. Cheng Zhi yells and takes out his gun, firing at Jack.
Jack elbows one of the Russian crew members and brings his body forward, using him as a human shield. The Russian mercenary is shot six times then Jack reaches Cheng and kicks the gun out of his hand. Another Chinese terrorist comes through a doorway from the Captain's quarters. Jack kicks Cheng hard into a control console then whirls around, shooting down the last of Cheng's man. Cheng attacks Jack visciously but Jack kicks him in the groin, then shoots him twice in the leg. Cheng falls to the ground.
Then Chloe runs into the room. There is now just 90 seconds to impact.
"Chloe, deactivate the device, restore control of the Margaret Thatcher to its crew!" Jack orders then slams Cheng into a wall. He sees a samurai sword hanging on the wall and holds it to Cheng's neck.
"Mr. President, per your orders we've already retreated to well within the 12 mile limit. The Chinese forces are now within sight of Okinawa," General Coburn says.
Suddenly he gets an alert from Jack. "I have Cheng!" Jack says, "Connect us with Beijing also."
On the screen, Jack is holding the sword to Cheng's neck. "Tell them who you are you son of a bitch! TELL THEM!"
"My name is Cheng Zhi!" Cheng screams. "Death to America and Wei!"
"Did you get that?" Jack asks.
"Loud and clear," Heller replies. "Get me on the line with Wei immediately."
MARGARET THATCHER, IRISH SEA
"We're back in control!" Captain Johnson exclaims. "Aborting missiles now!"
Admiral MacDonald looks intently as the screen as he authenticates the command, typing codes into his computer terminal. A split screen shows the cruise missile flying low over Newcastle, England. Suddenly the missile rises high into the sky and self-destructs.
"Sir, we've confirmed the destruction of all the missiles," Johnson updates him as his screen shows the final missile disappearing from the screen in southern Ireland before reaching the coast.
Jack looks at Cheng in a rage. "You should have stayed hidden like a rat you son of a bitch. You're going to pay for your crimes just like your friend Anatol did. And I guarantee you, you will never come near me or Audrey again."
Cheng laughs evilly at Jack. "You sure about that? Mr. Bauer?"
Jack brings down the blade and decapitates Cheng. "Yes, I'm sure."
CIA STATION/BEIJING, CHINA
Heller is on a videoconference with Wei.
"President Heller, you must understand how difficult it was for us to believe Cheng was still alive, but I accept this as proof," President Wei says from his office in Beijing.
"There will be a further investigation about how this happened," Heller vows, "I will also call my friends in Moscow, and see to it that Yuri Suvarov's sentence is extended given that he was not completely forthcoming about his friends."
"I fear there will be more trouble," Wei says, "As you can see, people like Cheng and Suvarov will never learn that the world has moved on. Both China and Russia must deal with this fact."
Heller nods. "I'm glad a crisis has been averted and as my final international act as President of the United States, I pledge that the United States stands by to provide any assistance necessary in dealing with the Shenyang tragedy. We will also send you proof that Cheng Zhi will stay dead this time."
"I appreciate that, Mr. President."
James Heller hugs Audrey as he gets up from his chair. He and Gavin Leonard get up and go into the holding cells, where Mark Boudreau.
"Mark, not only did you betray your country, your betrayed me personally. And don't tell me it was for the good of the country. Like many people have said, I'm a very perceptive man, even in my current condition," he says.
"Mr. President, I…..in light of my cooperation….."
"Yes, the prosecution may seek some leniency, but you will be in prison until you are an old man. You are hereby charged with treason against the United States and conspiracy to murder a federal agent." He looks around. "Enjoy this room while you're here, Mark, cause I assure you it's pretty nice compared to Leavenworth."
He walks out with Gavin Leonard, going past the medical area.
"What about her?" Gavin asks, nodding toward Simone.
"I'll let you all worry about that."
"Me and Ritter have discussed something, actually. Regardless of what Simone Al-Harazi really thinks of today, she's a martyr in the eyes of radical jihadi groups in the Middle East and she's spent quite some time in Gaza. The only member of her family that hasn't been martyred. If it can be done sensitively, that can be used to our advantage. She can be an important asset, especially in light of the Hamas terrorist group's increased power in that region."
"Well this office has my trust. You've earned it today," Heller replies.
12 HOURS LATER
10:45 AM BRITISH TIME
WASHINGTON, D.C. – 5:45 AM EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME
We see a beautiful sunrise over the National Mall, with the Reflecting Pool basked in gentle orange light then in split screens we show a military hearse driving into Arlington National Cemetery while in another shot we see the White House, then President Heller finishing up a speech. Vice President Mike Novick is ready to be sworn into office. Aaron Pierce is watching the proceedings. We hear Heller's speech through the split screens and then the screen focuses on him alone.
"My fellow Americans, even as I leave you, the promises I made to all of you stay the same. This includes my commitment to continued economic growth, a business-friendly environment that maintains our country's global competitveness, respecting the sanctity of life, staying true to the Constitutional ideals of our founding fathers, securing our borders, and above all, a commitment to protect our nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic. As you should already know, Vice President Mike Novick stands for the same American values that I've stood for. We've stood shoulder to shoulder through some of the darkest and most tragic days in our nation's history, and we have pushed forward together. I have been touched by your support throughout my years in office, and I ask that you now give this support to Mike Novick and to his Vice President, Tom Lennox, who has himself given years of dedicated service to our country."
We see that Jack Bauer is sitting down in a private area watching the speech, along with Kim Bauer and her husband Stephen and her young daughter Teri.
"President Reagan once said that America is the last best hope on Earth, the greatest country in the world, and I believe that from the bottom of my heart. I see it in the restaurant owner I met during my campaign in Savannah, Georgia, who started out when he was 20 years old with nothing but a simple food truck and his grandmother's most delicious Southern recipes. I see it in the coal miner from Pikeville, Kentucky who kisses his wife and carries his Bible with him as he descends into that mine every morning for another honest day's work. I see it in the young girls at the lemonade stand in Johnstown, Pennsylvania who promised to keep me in their prayers, and in the single mom I met late that night in Amarillo, Texas working her way through college so she can achieve her dream of becoming a nurse and making a difference in the lives of others. And above all, I see it in the men and women of our armed forces and intelligence agencies who make all of this possible. The American Dream is paid for by the blood of men and women who lay down their lives on foreign battlefields, some known, and some unknown..."
We see the hearse in a split screen and Kate Morgan's coffin with an American flag draped over it. In a split screen Heller's speech continues "…..the sacrifices that they have made to defend our freedom, our democracy, and our American way of life. Because that is worth fighting for. President Mike Novick will fight for it, and in whatever capacity I can, I will continue to fight for it. May God bless you all, and may God continue to bless the United States of America."
WHITE HOUSE GROUNDS, EXTERIOR
"Jack, wait!" Audrey says, running over to Jack as he is about to get into a car with Kim, Stephen, and Teri.
Jack stops and Audrey comes up to him. She hesitates at first, but finally speaks.
"Jack, earlier today you told me you didn't know where to begin." She holds his hand and leans closely toward him. Jack has a look of embarrassment and exhaustion after the events of the day, and of the past few years.
"I think I have an idea," Audrey says, "After we attend Kate's funeral, I want to return to Los Angeles with you. I want to make up for all the time that we've lost. I'm so sorry for everything Jack. None of this was supposed to happen."
Jack looks at her. "You don't have anything to be sorry about. And I guess that's a start." The two share a long hug and a passionate kiss.
Jack gets back in the official White House vehicle and gets in the back seat with his family as they head toward their downtown Washington hotel before Kate's funeral the next day. Kim finally smiles at him as a tear falls from her eyes.
"Uncle Jack!" Teri says, taking out her iPad. Kim smiles.
"Uncle Jack do you know how to play chess?" Teri says opening up a chess program on her device.
Jack pauses and blinks, then finally smiles slowly. "I think I can manage."
The official car pulls out of the White House gates and enters the wide tree lined stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue. The shot then widens and we see the American flag flying over the White House as the sun rises behind it as a new day begins in America.
Final Notes – So this is my ultimate finale and I personally prefer it to the real one or else I obviously wouldn't have written it. I thought about an open ended one, like with Simone vowing revenge on Jack or showing Tony Almeida again but I decided not to go there. I also planned to have a song playing in the end but I already did that with 2 of my other stories and it didn't really fit here. I also had initially planned to have a final action sequence where the CIA rescues Jack at the exchange with Chloe but I wanted to give them enough time to fly back to the United States and have everything set up for the ending. Also wanted to give President Heller a fitting farewell from office So hope y'all enjoyed it.