Sunday, February 08, 2009
A few days ago I opened up this blog to reader suggestions. The Jackster gets the first of these "by request" posts, seeking some "24" fan-fiction showing our favorite characters engaged in a very normal social situation. This one is set during a (not-so) friendly poker game. Enjoy:
Bill Buchanan is sitting at the card table, shuffling a deck. Also at the table are Jack Bauer, Tony Almeida, Larry Moss, Renee Walker and David Emerson. Chloe O'Brian and Janis Gold are sitting at dueling laptops at the kitchen table.
BUCHANAN (dealing out cards): Small blind is five, big is ten. No Crazy Pineapple, no Omaha High rules. This is straight No-Limit Texas Hold 'Em.
JACK: Copy that.
TONY: Yeah (drinks his Budweiser).
Jack notices this and stares at Tony for a moment. Everyone looks at their cards. Moss and Almeida throw in their blinds.
RENEE: Is it my bet? Okay, ten. (throws in her chips).
EMERSON: I'll raise that to $100.
EMERSON: What's wrong, Bauer? You scared?
JACK (sarcastic): I used to be in the military. Used to do field work for the CIA. I've been to some horrible places. I've seen some pretty terrible things. I don't think I've ever been this scared in my whole life. (throws in his chips to match Emerson's bet).
Chloe snorts to herself.
BUCHANAN: Chloe, what's the status of our pizza delivery?
CHLOE (tapping her keyboard): Give me a minute, I have to redirect the satellite to track it. Janis, open a socket and help me.
JACK: Hurry, Chloe- we're running out of time! (Tony drinks) If he gets here past thirty minutes, our delivery is free.
CHLOE (to Janis): Once we locate the pizza guy, I'll need you to hack into the DOT network and change all traffic lights to red.
JANIS: I'm going to have to check with Agent Moss to see if I should-
CHLOE: Do you want me to do your job for you?! I know you're a PC chick, but I didn't know you were this lame.
BUCHANAN: Moss, it's your bet.
MOSS: I don't know... (looks at Renee, who rolls her eyes). I, uhh, I'll just... (sighs, folds his hand).
BUCHANAN: That was painful to watch. Tony, are you in? (Tony throws his cards to the center of the table, looks at Emerson who nods back at him) Very well, I fold too. Agent Walker, do you call?
RENEE: No, I fold. (Larry sighs, rubbing Renee's back. Renee leans over to him) See how pathetic that was? Now you know how I felt ten seconds ago. (Larry removes his hand and looks down in shame).
Buchanan lays out the flop, a ten of spades, a ten of hearts and a 4 of clubs.
EMERSON: Looks like its just you and me, Bauer. Christopher Henderson told me about your card games when you worked together. He said you didn't have the guts to go all-in when it counted.
JACK: I shot Christopher Henderson's wife in the thigh and then killed him later that day. Trust me, you do not want to go down this road with me.
Silence falls over the tension-filled room.
MOSS: Hey, uh let's play a drinking game! Never have I ever... uh, drink if you've never been shot in the neck.
Only Chloe, Janis and Moss drink.
MOSS: Bill, I didn't know you've been shot in the neck.
BUCHANAN: I haven't, I just block you out most of the time. Emerson, it's your bet.
JACK: You raise the pot and then check on the flop? That's the wrong play, Emerson. Who are you working for? (Tony drinks) Dammit, Tony! (Tony drinks again) Why are you always drinking after I talk?
Jack pushes Tony against the wall and a piece of paper falls to the ground. Jack picks it up and reads it, looking up at Tony in anger.
JACK: What is this? The "Jack Bauer Drinking Game?"
TONY: Yeah. I got it from some fan blog- every time you say one of your stock phrases, we're supposed to take a drink. I figured I'd give it a try. Can you yell "GET ON THE GROUND NOW!" for me, I'm starting to lose my buzz.
Jack throws Tony against another wall and they get into a clumsy wrestle-fight. Jack is about to throw Tony to the floor.
TONY (whispers): Deep Dish.
Jack immediately stops and steps backwards. The fight is over. Everyone returns to their seats.
BUCHANAN: Alright, Jack, it's your bet.
Jack looks at Emerson and smiles.
Emerson looks down at his cards and back up at Jack.
CHLOE: Jack, we have the pizza guy! He's three blocks away, all side streets, no traffic lights. He has five minutes to spare! Jack, what do you want me to do?
Jack ignores Chloe and stares down Emerson.
JANIS (to Chloe): I have an idea.
Janis jumps up from her seat and starts to strip, running towards the door and out of the house.
BUCHANAN: Agent Walker, Janis isn't trained for that kind of field-op. Since you've folded, we're going to need you to distract the pizza guy with your nakedness.
JACK, TONY, MOSS and EMERSON in unison: COPY THAT! (Tony drinks).
RENEE: You are the saddest bunch of... (folds arms) No, you're going to have to pay for your pizza.
BUCHANAN (to Jack): It was worth a try. (To Renee) Well, we're in an active code now with Janis naked in public-- we need to reel her in. I may get kicked out of the condo association if we can't stop her.
RENEE: Fine... (sighs, pulling out her handgun). You're all going to pay for my therapy bills if this plays out like I think. (Runs out of the house).
JACK: It's your bet, Emerson. Are you all-in?
Emerson looks at Tony, who looks away from him. Just as Emerson is about to fold his hand towards the center of the table, an explosion rocks the house from outside. Jack, Tony, Moss and Buchanan all run outside.
Outside of the house, the pizza deliver car is flipped over, on fire. Janis is covering her naked body with her hands. Renee is dragging the delivery guy out of the wreckage.
BUCHANAN: Agent Walker, you secure the area. We're going to need the fire department to handle this mess. Tony, Jack- grab as many pizzas as you can, preferably those not covered in burning gasoline. Let's get back inside. And Janis... please stop being naked.
MOSS: Renee, are you ok? (touches her shoulder)
RENEE: Let's put "Sensitive Larry" on ice and try to save this pizza guy, deal?
A few minutes later, Jack, Tony and Bill return to the card table. Chloe stares at Jack, hinting at a problem.
EMERSON: I trust nobody is dead.
JACK: Not yet, Emerson. Your bet.
JACK: You were about to fold before the pizza guy exploded. Now you're going all-in? What are you up to?
Emerson flips over his cards and shows a pair of tens.
CHLOE: Jack, he's holding a four-of-a-kind. (tapping her keyboard) He has a 95% chance of win--
JACK: Dammit, Chloe, I know! TONY, PUT DOWN THAT BEER!
EMERSON: You saying I cheated? You can't prove anything, Bauer.
TONY: Jack, Emerson treated me like a brother when I thought I had nobody else. He wouldn't cheat at cards.
JACK: Tony, I'm getting tired of this brotherhood talk. Your buddy here says he's British but have you even bothered to listen to his accent? He's from Trenton, New Jersey. Chloe, explain to Tony what Emerson just pulled.
CHLOE (with her laptop walks over and puts it on the table). Surveillance footage shows Emerson swapped out his cards when you ran outside. (to Emerson) Sorry, but you're a lousy cheater.
TONY: You have surveillance cameras in your house, Bill?
BUCHANAN: Karen and I have a... blog.
EMERSON: Don't act so surprised, Bauer. You were thinking of folding too. But then you and Tony started hugging on the floor and he whispered something to you. I just couldn't figure out your play. And that's when you went all-in.
BUCHANAN: Is that true, Jack?
JACK: Tony whispered "Deep Dish" to me, which is code for off-suited cards with no pairs. Look, I have to make decisions that you may not agree with. If I folded I would be giving a known terrorist the pot he tried to buy with that ridiculous hand. I had an ace-high and I had to act fast.
BUCHANAN: Cheating at cards to stop a terrorist? Jesus, Jack, I think we've crossed the line. (rubs his forehead)
JACK: Don't forget, I shot our old boss and a few other co-workers for the same purpose.
CHLOE: And you tortured your girlfriend and killed her husband and--
JACK: Dammit, Chloe, just do your job!
Tony drinks... twice.
BUCHANAN: Alright, game's over until next week. And please, let's try to play a complete hand for once. What do you say we order Chinese next time?
JACK: You son of a bitch!
Tony drinks AGAIN!
BUCHANAN: Oh Jack, I'm sorry-- I forgot...