Written by Ilya Graifer
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Thursday, 15 February 2007

7:43:00 AM

Jack Bauer's hands grip the wheel of the Escalade, white knuckles steering the way toward CTU. "The Mark Has Been Made" is blasting from six speakers, providing Bauer with sweet and addictive adrenaline. A low rumble from within Jack's stomach reminds him of how his characteristic craving for efficiency had forced him to altogether skip breakfast this morning.

Checking his watch (a simple, electronic Timex doubling as a flamethrower), Jack sees that he has seventeen minutes to get to work and begins to scan the surrounding area.

"Damn it," Jack whispers under his breath as he sees no fast-food joints. Then, something familiar in the rear-view mirror catches his eye - it's a Subway
restaurant.

Jack wastes no time and stomps on the break, pulling a wild U-turn in the midst of heavy traffic. He accelerates toward the Subway, maneuvering into the drive-through lane, coming to a screeching halt beside the ordering window. The driver's window of the black SUV cracks, gives and shatters from the inside as Jack's fist comes flying out of the car, rapping twice on the restaurant's ordering window on the other side of which Jack sees no one ready to take his order.

A male employee's voice rings out of the intercom perched up five feet behind Jack's parked vehicle. "Welcome to Subway, may I take your-" The SUV is in reverse and Bauer's head is thrust from what used to be a window, Jack's low, crackling voice cutting off the employee before he's able to complete the rehearsed greeting.

"Listen to me, this is very important," Bauer begins to explain. "I need a foot-long meatball sandwich, extra pickles, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, lots of pepper, no salt and - this is crucial - absolutely no mayonnaise. Do you read me?" Bauer takes another glance at his watch.
"I'm sorry sir, could you repeat that-"

"Damn it, how much clearer can I get?" Jack says. I'm running out of time. Shifting the car into "D" and pulling back up at the drive-through window, Jack leaps from the car and, breaking into a jog, circles around to the entrance of the restaurant, whipping out his gun in a quick, natural motion. Bauer runs inside, sprints toward the drive-through clerk, grabs the teenager by the collar and presses the gun's nozzle to his chin.

"Who are you working for?" Bauer demands.

As soon as Jack realizes that the employee has been rendered speechless, he throws the blubbering boy to the ground, reaches into his back pocket and produces a pair of handcuffs, proceeding to throw them into the employee's lap.

"To that pole," Bauer nods, leaps over the counter and runs into the employee room. "Everyone remain calm," he says. "I need to speak to the manager!"

A round, fish-faced man wearing a shirt and tie steps to the front and declares that he is the manager. Jack tucks the gun into the back of his pants, grabs the manager by the collar and pulls him toward himself.

"My name is Jack Bauer. I am a federal agent, and right now, I need you to make me a sandwich. Any questions?"

The manager cautiously shakes his head.

"Damn it, I need to know we're on the same page!" Jack bellows and the manager quickly replies that yes, he understands. "Good," Jack says, loosening his grip on the man's collar. "Now listen carefully. Foot-long meatball, extra pickles, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, lots of pepper, no salt and if there is an ounce of mayonnaise on my sub, I will put you in custody and personally torture you." Bauer peers through the man's eyes into his soul. "You will curse the day you met me. Do we have an understanding?"

The manager nods, gets released by Jack, regains his composure and says, "Before I do this, I'll need guaranteed immunity directly from the president."

Jack, slightly perplexed by the request, raises his eyebrow. The manager shrugs and mentions something about overdue parking tickets. Jack checks his watch and says, "Fine. I'll make the arrangements while you prepare the sandwich. But make it fast." Jack goes on to remind the man that he's running out of time.

Jack produces a cell phone from his belt and places a call to the White House while keeping an eye on the manager and the now self-handcuffed employee in the dining lounge. As soon as he gets through to President Logan, Jack begins to speak.

"Listen to me Mr. President, I don't like you and you don't like me, but right now, we have to work together. This is a matter of personal preservation. Listen carefully-"

"Wait, Jack," Logan cuts him off. "Now what would give you the impression that I don't like you? We've had our differences, sure, but by golly, I think you're a stand-up character." The President's voice then fades out and Jack thinks he hears a mumble resembling, "No, Martha, get off," but decides he doesn't have the time to decipher the hidden presidential message.

"That's great Mr. President, but we're running out of time." Jack proceeds to explain the situation to Logan, and once the arrangments for the manager's immunity are set in motion, Jack hangs up and strides up to the manager.

"How much longer is this going to take?" Jack says. The manager proceeds to assure him that the sandwich will be ready in a few moments. Immediately after Jack's fist collides with the manager's jaw in a request for precision, the fish-resembling man swears to no longer than forty seconds.

"Son of a bitch," Jack mutters and stares outside through the window for a good long while at nothing in particular. He is shaken out of this trance by the manager, sandwich in hand.

"That'll be five ninety-nine," the manager says as Jack rips the sub from his hands and reaches into his back pocket.

"Just take the wallet," Jack says and throws his wallet at the manager, proceeding to shatter the drive- through window with one steel-toed boot and leap outside into his SUV. As he peels off towards CTU, Jack hurriedly tears the wrapping from the sandwich and devours it in two viciously enormous bites, arriving at work at 7:59:59 AM.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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