03x08 - Breaking Point

Pan over a mountain to a remote compound. A helicopter flies toward it. Inside are four armed guards and a prisoner in blue drab uniform with a black head covering over his/her head. Cut to helicopter flying over barbed wire fence and landing in a courtyard. Guards climb out and bring prisoner, hands and feet chained, with them. They walk into the facility, apparently some kind of jail. One soldier shows his badge and they are buzzed inside. The prisoner is brought through several locking doors. At the end of a hallway of jail cells, the prisoner's hood is released. It's Sydney. She looks at the prisoners in their cells as she is walked to the very end of the hallway and shoved into the end cell. They remove her cuffs and lock her in. Close up on Sydney's face. She looks stricken and lost.

Cut to flyover of LA by day. Cut to Lindsey followed by several NSC officers entering the JTF Center.

Lindsey: (to man on his left) If you find anything, you let me know…Lauren!

Pan across room to Lauren on telephone.

Lauren: I'll call you back.

She hangs up telephone and falls into step with Lindsey.

Lindsey: Dixon spoken with the DCI?

Lauren: Yes.

Lindsey: Good. I want to make sure we have access to all computer accounts, emails, and correspondence seen in this office in the last two years.

Lauren: Yes, sir. I've already put a request in through Langley.

Lindsey: Who'd you talk to over there?

Lauren: Brandon. I'm on it.

Lauren and Linsdey enter Dixon's office. Dixon stands behind his desk. Vaughn and Weiss stand in front of it. All turn toward Lindsey and Lauren as they enter.

Lindsey: I understand the Director of Intelligence has already conveyed his desire to transfer authority over this task force from your agency to mine. I expect you to cooperate fully.

Cut to Vaughn giving Lauren a really upset ‘How could you do this!?' look.

Dixon (voiceover): No. Not exactly.

Cut to Lauren giving Vaughn a stubborn look and then addressing her eyes toward Dixon.

Dixon: I explained to my superiors that the decision was mine…to withhold information from the NSC regarding Sydney Bristow's involvement in the Lazarey murder.

Cut to Vaughn and Weiss as they turn to assess Lindsey and Lauren's reaction to this news.

Dixon: And that the members of my staff in question were acting working under direct orders from me.

Lindsey: I see.

Dixon: My staff will remain on active duty and cooperate in any investigation…

Lindsey: They're not your staff, Mr. Dixon. Not anymore.

Cut to Dixon's defiant stone face.

Lindsey (voiceover): I'm pulling your clearance until further notice.

Dixon: Mr. Lindsey, I would expect nothing less from you.

Lindsey: One of my men will escort you to a facility for questioning.

Cut to Dixon. He removes his badge and places it in a small manila envelope on his desk and walks toward Lindsey, anticipating his next statement:

Lindsey: In the meantime, you'll need to surrender all credentials and access…cards…

Dixon hands Lindsey the envelope and walks out of the room, taking the steam out of Lindsey's sails in his speech. Vaughn gives Lauren another dirty look. She still looks defiantly back, her arms crossed. Lindsey moves to stand behind Dixon's desk to address Vaughn and Weiss.

Lindsey: Well, of course, you'll be questioned as well. Let's not make this any harder than it has to be.

Vaughn: It's too late for that.

Vaughn turns to leave saying to Lauren as he walks out:

Vaughn: I need to talk to you… right now…

Cut to Lauren and Vaughn walking down a hallway. Vaughn is in front and Lauren is walking behind him, trying to catch up.

Lauren: Before you start, know that I did what I thought was right, given the information that I…

Vaughn turns back toward her and gets right in Lauren's face, obviously agitated.

Vaughn: Sydney is in Lindsey's custody because of you!

Lauren: The Lazarey murder was my assignment! Sydney murdered a Russian diplomat!

Vaughn: Okay, stop! Don't act like this is your first day on the job!

Lauren: Sydney is in NSC custody not…!

Vaughn (cutting her off): No, she is in Lindsey's custody.

Lauren: You think Lindsey's unaccountable!?

Vaughn: Lauren, his operation is funded by black money. What the White House expects from him is results…

Lauren: What you're suggesting is that I willfully participate in an orchestrated cover up!

Vaughn: No, but I would have hoped you'd be a person about this!

Lauren: While you clearly underestimate not only my ability to do my job but also, apparently, my humanity, you should know that not only do I believe I did the right thing, but the more you talk, the more suspicious I get! (beat) You're the one who got her out of the country, aren't you?

Cut to Vaughn. He doesn't answer, but she reads it on his face.

Lauren (not as angry, more worried for Vaughn): Do you know what would happen to you if it becomes known that you helped a fugitive evade the Federal Government?

Vaughn (very snarky): I'm not concerned about myself right now…

Lauren sighs and looks down before looking back up with a bit of new defiance.

Lauren: If what you're suggesting is right, that to learn what happened to Sydney over the past two years Robert Lindsey intends to have surgery performed on her which will render her brain dead…why would he have me write the White House brief?

Vaughn looks shocked…and worried by this new development.

Vaughn: What!?

Lauren (more confident she's right now): He's asked me to go with him…as an observer of Sydney's interrogation.

This information disturbs Vaughn. Instead of being relieved, it's clear he's more worried.

Lauren (voiceover): Clearly, he's got nothing to hide…

Vaughn looks up to meet her eyes. It's clear he's disbelieving of her outlook on the matter.

Lauren: Michael…for whatever reason, you're overreacting to this.

Cut to Vaughn. He's got that stubborn, annoyed face back in full force.

Lauren: I don't know how long I'll be gone… So I guess I'll see you…

Lauren turns and walks away. Stay on Vaughn's face, worried, annoyed, determined. Cut to slo-mo of Jack walking across a hallway entrance leading to the main rotunda. He's staring intently at someone. He stops walking. Cut to Lindsey leaning over another agent at a desk. Pan to closeup of Lindsey's face as he realizes someone's eyes are upon him. He looks up and makes eye contact with Jack. They stare each other down for a long moment. Jack's stare is cold, and downright scary…it says something akin to “You mess with my daughter and I will kill you…” Lindsey tries his best to stare back, but just hint of apprehension is in his expression. Jack coldly dismisses him, turns his head and walks away.

Cut to Jack walking down the hallway. Vaughn hurries behind him to catch up to him.

Vaughn: Jack, I wanna be a part of it.

Vaughn falls into step with Jack.

Jack (with a hint of his classic sarcasm): If I knew what you were talking about, I'd refuse anyway.

Vaughn: Come on…I've thought of a half dozen scenarios to help Sydney… Lindsey has to be shut down! He…

Jack suddenly stops and turns toward Vaughn.

Vaughn: Did your scenarios take into account that helping Sydney at this point will require breaking at least a dozen federal laws?

Vaughn (in an intense half-whisper): Just the fact that you're telling me this means you have something planned! Damn it, let me help!

Cut to Jack. He looks like he's undecided as to whether to accept Vaughn's offer. Cut back to Vaughn, looking more determined than ever.

Vaughn (still intense): If anything happens to Sydney… (he shakes his head)

Jack stares at Vaughn for a second, blinks, and then says:

Jack: Meet me in the parking garage in three minutes.

Vaughn nods slightly as Jack walks away.

Cut to pan up of Sydney's cell. She's walking around, feeling for any crack, indent, anything she might be able to use to eventually escape. Another prisoner who can see her from his cell 90 degrees addresses her.

Prisoner: Whatcha doin'?

Sydney looks up at him, surprised.

Prisoner: Were you lookin' for somethin'?

Sydney stares at him for a moment. She's wary of him.

Sydney: Maybe…

The prisoner crawls to the end of his bed to speak at her through the bars of his cell.

Prisoner (whispering): Hey…if you find any…I'll have some. If it's candy…God, I'd love…candy.

Sydney looks at him almost pityingly for a moment and then gives a hint of a smile.

Prisoner: I'm Campbell.

Sydney: Sydney.

She smiles again.

Campbell seems like he's a bit slow, or else is so broken from torture that he's become almost childlike.

Campbell: Syd…ney… (as if trying out the sound of it)

Campbell crawls along the bars to stand close to her.

Campbell: Hey…Hey… Don't leave, okay? Please? Been a long time without someone to talk to…

Sydney just looks at him.

Cut to an overpass over a drainage canal. Pan to Jack and Vaughn on the side of a road.

Vaughn: So this contact we're meeting… Former NSC?

Jack gives Vaughn a sideways glance, his arms crossed.

Jack: No.

He turns to look at Vaughn and then back at the road.

Vaughn: How are they gonna help us locate Sydney?

Jack looks back at Vaughn.

Jack: We're waiting for Sloane.

Vaughn's surprised and a bit annoyed by this news. He crosses his arms across his chest.

Vaughn: You called Sloane on this!?

Jack doesn't answer, he just turns to look down the road. So does Vaughn. Cut to a black sedan driving toward them. Cut back to Jack and Vaughn.

Jack: You and I will be the prime suspects behind any intent to free Sydney from NSC custody. Sloane has agreed to make it seem as if it were the work of the Covenant. Do I trust him on this? Not necessarily.

They both turn toward Sloane's car as he gets out and walks toward them, hands in his pockets.

Sloane: Gentlemen. According to my sources, Sydney is being held at Camp Williams.

Off Jack's reaction, we cut to Vaughn.

Vaughn: Camp Williams is a Naval training facility, why would Lindsey take her there?

Jack: Because it's home to an unacknowledged NSC detention center used for the interrogation of suspected terrorists whose captivity the government won't admit to.

Sloane: So to help her, we'll need a tactical team. At least eight men, transportation, weapons, specialized backup… I would suggest Brill.

Jack: I thought he was in Freetown?

Sloane: Oh no, not since the government fell. If he's available, Domier would know.

Jack: We'll need to get a hold of blueprints to Camp Williams…

Vaughn (cutting in, both men turn to look at him): The FEMA Central Office downtown. They should have a set of blueprints on file.

Jack (impressed): Good. We'll prep infiltration into the FEMA building. Meet back here in three hours.

Cut to Sloane. He suddenly looks amused by something.

Sloane: I told you, Jack… We'd work together again.

This statement seems to really burn Jack. He gives Sloane a look of death, and walks away, Vaughn following him. Pan over to Sloane, still amused.

Cut to a hallway in Camp Williams. Pan to Sydney, being rolled along on a stretcher, bound hand and foot. Cut to another helicopter flying towards Camp Williams. Cut to Lindsey and Lauren inside the copter. Lindsey looks out the window, Lauren surveys Lindsey as if trying to figure out which version of this man is the real truth, hers or Vaughn's.

Lindsey: Just so we're clear… It's in all our best interests to make sure that no one on the Hill questions our ethics, Lauren. That's why I'm counting on you to write a thorough report chronicling our investigation to date, and our fair treatment of Sydney Bristow. Understood?

Lauren stares at him.

Cut to Sydney being wheeled into what appears to be a cross between an emergency room and a torture chamber. Cut to the ‘doctor' who looks decidedly creepy. The guards start to remove her restraints and Sydney starts to fight against them, but they keep her overpowered and transfer her to a table in the room and restrain her to it.

Cut to Lauren in the helicopter.

Lauren: But Sydney's made it very clear she doesn't remember anything.

Lindsey: But when we searched her flat in Rome, we found a coded message taped to the underside of her desk. Now, if she can decode that message, it may help us infiltrate or even take down the Covenant.

Lauren: What if she doesn't recognize the code?

Lindsey: As long as she demonstrates a willingness to cooperate, that surgery will be nothing more than a threat.

Cut to Sydney in the midst of being given electroshock by the evil doctor. The treatment stops. She takes in deep, gasping breaths. The doctor holds a sheaf of papers in front of her face.

Doctor: Ms. Bristow, we know you know how to read this code… Do you recognize your handwriting?

Sydney (panting): No…I…draw little…hearts over my Is…smiley faces sometimes…

Doctor: What you're feeling now? The pain from shock therapy? It's nothing… There's another procedure…neurostimulation… We could use it to find out where you've been the last two years…

Cut to Sydney, still panting with pain. His barb does affect her a little.

Doctor: Decypher the text and we won't have to…

Sydney: Don't bother negotiating with me! You better make sure I'm a vegetable when you're done with me…

The doctor turns his head and looks toward a slatted window where Lindsey stands watching, his arms crossed, not happy. Pushing a button to broadcast his voice into the room, he says:

Lindsey: Try a higher setting…

The doctor turns up the setting and shocks her again. Smash cut to black. End of Act One.

Closeup on Sydney's shackled right hand as the evil doctor undoes the cuff after apparently more electroshock.

Doctor: The human body…is an amazing thing. A couple of hours…you'll almost feel human again.

Cut to Sydney's face. Her eyes are closed, her face clammy and sweaty. She's obviously weak, in pain and exhausted. She opens her eyes and then we see a sudden determined look cross her face. The camera follows her gaze to the sheaf of papers the doctor had shoved in her face earlier. It's held together by a large paper clip.

Doctor: You have a strong heart, though. You could survive another five…six sessions.

Sydney takes a sideways glance at the doctor. When his back is turned, she reaches out and palms the paper clip off the sheaf of papers.

Doctor: That'll be a new record…for both of us…

The doctor turns and Sydney just gives him as nasty a look as she can currently manage.

Cut to Lindsey exiting the torture area. Lauren comes up from behind him.

Lauren: I thought I was supposed to be observing?

Lindsey turns around to face her and plasters a humoring smile on his face.

Lindsey: And you will…as much as possible. But my interrogation of Agent Bristow includes a discussion of classified material.

Lauren: How can I report on an investigation I'm not part of?

Lindsey: We can talk about it… Come on; I'll brief you on what I can…

Lindsey reaches out a hand to Lauren's arm as if to invite her to walk with him. She's having none of it.

Lauren: No, I'm sorry…but if I'm going to chronicle our treatment of Sydney Bristow, I need to see how she's being treated.

Lindsey's face immediately loses the patronizing smile and hardens.

Lindsey: How do you suppose it was that Sydney Bristow knew to flee the country before she was even aware the NSC wanted to take her into custody?

Cut to Lauren's reaction. She's definitely afraid of where Lindsey is going with this line of discussion.

Lindsey: With plane tickets? Fake passport? I doubt you want me looking into who it was that aided and abetted the escape of a wanted fugitive.

Lauren looks shocked, betrayed. Her eyes are opened to Lindsey's true character for the first time. She shakes her head slightly, as if she can't believe she didn't see it before.

Lauren: That's…why you asked for me. Legally, you needed a witness…

Lindsey: Get to your office. You have a report to write.

Lindsey turns and walks away, leaving Lauren to stare at him, wondering what the heck to do with the mess she's in.

Cut to Sydney being slammed down upon the mattress in her cell. She's gasping and her body twitches involuntarily as an aftereffect of the shock treatments.

Campbell (whispering): Sydney…they didn't give you one…

Sydney looks up to see Campbell holding out a wool blanket to her through the bars of his cell.

Campbell: It's cold at night.

Sydney takes the blanket.

Sydney (whispering): Thank you.

She wraps the blanket around herself.

Campbell: This is…not the best place.

Sydney snickers at the extreme understatement. She lies back down, this time on her stomach. Her body still twitches.

Campbell: They wanted to know about…Iran…when I was there…assigned. What do they wanna know about you?

Sydney looks at Campbell with almost tears in her eyes but doesn't answer.

Campbell (in a whispering determined voice): Don't give it to them!

Sydney nods and then lies down on her side, facing away from Campbell. She opens the palm of her hand and we see she's still holding the paper clip. Her body still twitches. She touches it with her other hand and then clutches it tightly, as if it were a lifeline.

Cut to a chessboard complete with timer clocks. A black man's hand moves a piece on the board, taking a white piece. Cut up to the man's face. He's probably in his 50's, mustache, wearing a cap and a green army jacket, smoking a cigar.

Man: That's checkmate in three moves. Do you wanna give me my 50 bucks now…or do we go through the motions? I got all day.

Cut to his opponent, a young white man in his early 20's. He looks down at the board, disgusted and then pulls the money out of his pocket and throws it on the table. As the man gets up to walk away the winning man asks:

Man: That's not tuition money, is it?

The man snickers as the young man gets up and leaves. The black man starts to reset the pieces on the board. He's almost finished when we see a 100 dollar bill laid onto the center of the board.

Jack (voiceover): I'll put you in checkmate in ten moves.

The man looks up at him assessingly and then answers:

Man: Yeah…if I play with my eyes closed.

Cut to wider angle. Jack sits down opposite the man; Vaughn sits in a chair to the side of Jack. Jack starts resetting the pieces on his side of the board.

Jack: Long time…

Man: Chile, '73. Should've never helped overthrow Allende.

Jack: Thomas Brill, Michael Vaughn.

Vaughn and Brill make eye contact. Vaughn nods once at Brill. Brill leans back in his chair a little, assessing Vaughn.

Brill (a little bit of surprise in his voice): You Bill Vaughn's kid?

Cut to Vaughn's reaction. He's surprised this man apparently knew his father.

Vaughn: Yeah, he was my father.

Brill: He was a good man.

Vaughn: Thank you.

Jack: You interested in a high-risk extraction?

Jack makes a move on the chessboard and clicks the button on his timer.

Brill: Always. Paint me a picture.

Jack: Camp Williams Detention Center.

Brill: Blind?

Jack: Blueprints. Sloane's designing the op.

Brill (amused): Well, look who's putting the band back together?

Vaughn gives Jack an annoyed look.

Brill: Rules of engagement.

Brill makes a move on the chessboard and pushes his timer button.

Jack: The facility is protected by two dozen DoD personnel. Lethal force is not an option.

Brill: Well, if were going to use tranqs, I'm gonna need another 5 freelancers. It's not gonna be cheap, Jack: 250K per hire…another 9 for the chopper…

Brill moves a piece on the chessboard and clicks his timer button.

Brill: …and for the non-lethal gunmetal? Add another 6.

Jack: Done. Meet me at this address it two hours.

Jack places a business card down onto the table. He moves another piece on the chessboard.

Jack: Checkmate.

Jack smiles at Brill, who looks surprised. Cut to Vaughn and Jack walking away from the table.

Vaughn (apprehensive): You just agreed to pay him 2 million dollars…

Jack (unperturbed): Three.

Cut to the inside of a dark room as Jack opens a sliding metal door, shedding light into it. He hits a light switch illuminating the room and enters. Vaughn walks in behind him looking around. There's a large stockpile of automatic weapons, bombs, flak jackets, medical supplies, etc.

Vaughn: What the hell is this?

Jack: Storage.

Jack drops an empty black backpack onto the table and then bends down to type in the combination on a safe. Vaughn closes the door behind them. Jack opens the door to the safe to reveal huge stacks of cellophane wrapped cash. Jack starts grabbing the cash bundles and depositing them on the table behind him in front of Vaughn, who picks up the first couple of bundles to look at them and then starts to load the money into the backpack.

Vaughn: The fact that you're letting me see this place means…it's not your only one, is it?

Jack deposits more money on the table and gives Vaughn a glance.

Jack (with the barest hint of amusement): You're smarter than you look…

Vaughn half smiles and continues to load money into the backpack.

Cut to an external view of Camp Williams through the fence. Cut to a computer screen as the words “I, Lauren Reed” are typed onto it and stop. Cut to Lauren. She's still obviously torn and not sure what she should do. She's pretty sure now that Vaughn was right about Sydney's treatment, seeing that she isn't being allowed to view it, and that she's being blackmailed to write a whitewashed report. But at the same time, she doesn't want her husband to get in trouble. She leans her elbows on the desk and leans her mouth into her hands, closing her eyes.

Cut to Sydney's gurney pushing through a set of doors. Again, she's shackled to the gurney. As she's wheeled into the “interrogation room”, the doctor greets her:

Doctor: Miss Bristow! You look better.

The guards have wheeled the gurney parallel to the table.

Sydney (sarcastic): Yeah, I feel great…thanks.

Doctor: I hear you're making friends with your cellmate!

Cut to a closeup of Sydney's right hand. She's bent the paper clip out straight and uses the point to unlock the restraint on that hand. The doctor signs the transfer paperwork for the guard.

Doctor: He's a journalist you know…in the Middle East. Story is he died in a car accident. Truth is he was protecting his source. Hee hee… He thought the 1st amendment would protect him…

The guard undoes the left shackle on Sydney's hand.

Doctor: He's strong though, like you…

Sydney takes the opportunity to swing across and hit the guard in the nose with her right palm, kicking out with her foot at the other one at the foot of the gurney. She gets up and kicks out the second guard again and then ducks as the doctor swings a long metal pole at her. She kicks the doctor in the stomach, knocking him over. The 1st guard picks up a tranq gun, but Syd kicks the gurney into him, knocking the gun out of his hand. It clatters to the floor. The doctor and Sydney both jump for it. They struggle over the gun and then Sydney shoots the tranq dart into the doctor's abdomen and makes a run for it.

Cut to Sydney bolting from the room and down a corridor as an announcement blares over the loudspeaker: “Code red. Prisoner loose in corridor mark three three. Initiate lockdown procedures.”

Cut to Lauren, typing on her laptop. She looks up as two guards run past her window.

Guard: I'm on it!

Cut to Sydney as she bursts through a set of doors. She's immediately brutally clotheslined by a guard with a clubbing stick. Sydney drops to the floor. Other guards come running. Syd flips the first guard, but before she can run again, she's grabbed by each arm by other guards.

Guard #1: Hold her!

Guard #1 viciously shoves his baton into Syd's stomach. Cut to Lauren running from the room into the hallway. Cut back to what she sees at the end of the hallway: The two guards holding Sydney's arms slamming her face first into the wall and then a guard from behind her yells:

Guard: Quiet!

And then he tasers Sydney in the back. Sydney screams as her legs give out from under her. As Lauren watches, the guards drag a limp and whimpering Sydney around the corner out of view. Close up on Lauren's face. She looks down and nods as if to say, “Yep I knew it…I've been played…they are torturing her… She looks back up and her face hardens with resolve. Cut to black. End of Act Two.

Cut to Sloane, sitting inside a van in front of a laptop computer. The sliding door to the van opens and Vaughn climbs inside, dressed in a workman's jumpsuit. He sits down next to Jack.

Vaughn: I found the junction box and planted the video scrambler. When you activate this (hands Jack a small item, looks like a remote car starter) it'll lock down the security system for as long as it takes for you to copy the blueprints. Any word from Brill?

Jack: He should have the team hired and equipped in time for tonight as long as we're successful and get the blueprints.

Cut to the computer screen as Sloane works.

Sloane: There we go…Okay, I got us into the trunk exchange. Now every incoming and outgoing call to the FEMA building will be rerouted through this number. (to Jack) You're ready.

Jack hits the button on the scrambler. (This great 70's type funk song “What Do I Have To Do To Prove My Love For You?” kicks in.) Cut to the front desk as the security guard watches the monitors turn to snow. Guard turns to official looking guy next to him.

Guard: Sir, we lost picture.

Official guy puts down the paper he was reading and picks up the telephone and dials a number.

Cut to Vaughn in the van as his cell phone rings.

Vaughn: Weller Security, can you hold?

Official: No, I can't. This is the LA EOC. All my screens just went blank.

Vaughn: Did you reboot?

Official: We're doing it now.

Vaughn: Well, I've got a man in the area; I'll send him over.

Vaughn turns off the cell phone and nods to Jack. Cut to Jack as he swaggers into the FEMA building. He shows his ID badge. With a very blue-collarish almost New York accent, he says.

Jack: Yeah, I got a call. You guys down?

Official: Where's Stuart?

Jack: Sick. Got a nasal infection…freakin' nightmare!

Cut to Vaughn and Sloane climbing down a ladder inside a manhole. Vaughn is carrying a large briefcase.

Sloane: I've been doing this longer than you. Jack could've taken a camera in there.

Vaughn: If they sweep him a find a camera? This is all over…

Vaughn opens the case and pulls out a laptop and a long cable with a tiny camera lens on the end. Cut to inside the FEMA building. The security guard rounds the kiosk toward Jack.

Guard: Federal security measures require that we make a thorough search…

Jack: Hey, I'm new, but I'm not new all right? I know the protocol.

Guard uses a handheld metal detector on Jack. He's clean.

Official: Then you know I gotta stay with you at all times.

Jack: Right. Right. Just give me the tools and show me the way.

Official hands Jack a small zippered tool folio. Cut to Vaughn starting up the laptop. Cut to Jack and Official walking toward the computer room.

Official: It's right over here.

Jack: This shouldn't take too long. In the meantime, you might wanna make sure your data files are backed up.

Official: I already did.

Jack: Right.

Jack starts to unscrew a panel on one of the mainframe computers. Official guy sits down to watch. Cut to Vaughn, who has connected the laptop to the camera. We're seeing snow on the screen.

Sloane: Having spent a significant amount of time with your wife over the past year, I think it's safe to say that you're a lucky man.

Vaughn pauses, then says:

Vaughn: Yes I am.

Sloane: I imagine that all of this is something of a…strain on your relationship, hmm?

Vaughn looks very annoyed but refuses to rise to Sloane's bait. He feeds the camera into a hole that wires are coming out of at the junction box.

Vaughn: Terminal twelve will take us up…

Vaughn gives Sloane a dirty side glance. Cut to the computer screen as the camera lens climbs higher. He looks up at Sloane.

Vaughn: Make the call.

Cut to the telephone ringing at the main kiosk. The security guard answers.

Guard: Federal Emergency Management.

Sloane: Yeah, this is Director Blackman. I've just been pulled from a meeting with the Secretary of Defense to find out that your branch has been dark for the past thirty minutes.

Guard: Yes, well we're working on it. My supervisor's in with the technician now…

Sloane (cutting him off, very pompous sounding): Whoa…son, son… Now I'm sure you're aware that the chances of a terrorist attack on the city of Los Angeles are extraordinarily high. And if, God forbid, something like that should befall us, I would expect that the central office tasked with the management of such an emergency would be prepared!

Cut to Vaughn as he continues to feed the camera wire up the hole.

Sloane: So, why don't you get your supervisor on the line right now?

Guard picks up a walkie talkie.

Guard: Sir, Director Blackman's on blue. You need to speak with him now…

Official looks annoyed and nervous.

Official: I'm on my way… (to Jack) You wait here.

As soon as the Official leaves the room Jack starts hurriedly searching through blueprint drawers. Cut to Vaughn, still feeding the camera. Cut back to Jack still searching drawers. Focus from Jack to the security camera on the wall behind him. Suddenly a small cable comes out the bottom of it and turns in Jack's direction. Cut to the laptop screen as the camera on the cable turns and sees Jack.

Vaughn: There he is.

Cut to Official, picking up telephone. He turns to security guard and says:

Official: Go check on the alarm guy.

Guard: Yes, sir.

As guard gets up and leaves, Official answers phone.

Official: Director Blackman…

Cut to Jack searching more drawers. He finds the stack he's looking for. He starts holding them up to the camera while Vaughn snaps pictures of them.

Sloane (on phone to Official): As I'm sure you're aware, the people of Los Angeles face a myriad of disasters…

Cut to Jack, holding up blueprints. Cut to guard, walking down the hallway toward where Jack is. Cut back to Jack holding up blueprints. Cut to Vaughn, studying them and taking pictures.

Sloane: No, we're not just talking about terrorism. In case you haven't noticed, we're due for another earthquake…(cut to Official looking flabbergasted and can't get a word in edgewise) Plus, because of the recent forest fires, we're susceptible to mudslides.

Cut to guard, unlocking the door leading to the hallway where the room where Jack is.

Sloane: Not to mention the fact that there seems to be a riot breaking out every time the Lakers win!

Jack holds up the last blueprint and Vaughn gets a copy of it. He looks up and nods at Sloane.

Sloane (with a brush off tone): Just make sure you get it done. (He hangs up.)

Cut to guard as he enters the control room. Jack is just screwing in the last screw in the computer mainframe. He looks up at the guard.

Jack: That'll do it…Should be back online.

Jack zips up the tool case and hands it to the guard.

Guard: Great.

Cut to the main kiosk as the monitors blink back into life. Pan up to Official, nodding with satisfaction. Jack and Guard round corner.

Jack: Take it easy.

Jack starts to walk away.

Official (to guard): Get Blackman. He'll wanna know we're back online right away.

Cut to Jack's look of panic at this announcement. He walks a little swifter toward the door.

Guard: Director Blackman, please. (pause, listening) Out of the country!? I just spoke with him; he said he was in Washington!

Guard looks over at Official with confusion. Official looks up at Jack suddenly with suspicion.

Official (yelling at Jack): Hey!

Jack has just exited the door and keeps walking briskly as the van hastily pulls up into the drive. Official and Guard rush out after Jack. Jack starts to run for the van.

Official: Stop where you are!

Sloane gets out of the van waving Jack toward it frantically.

Official: Stop where you are!

Guard draws a gun.

Guard: Hands in the air!

Cut to Sloane, still waving Jack on, gives him a hand up into the van just as the guard takes aim and shoots. Sloane purposefully uses his body to shield Jack's and is shot in the chest, falling backward into the van. Jack looks shocked as the van screeches away. Cut to black. End of Act Three.

Opens to black. Suddenly there's light as the door to Jack's “Storage” facility opens. Jack and Vaughn are supporting a groaning Sloane between them. Jack shoves papers from the metal table.

Jack (to Vaughn): Get him down on the table.

As Vaughn gets Sloane to lie on the table, Jack grabs a wool blanket to prop up his head. Vaughn rushes to the door to close it behind them. Jack goes over to the medical supplies across the room and wheels a rolling chest of drawers up next to him.

Jack (to Vaughn): Get me 4 by 4s.

Vaughn opens a cabinet to grab a handful of gauze pads. Jack opens the top drawer of the dresser to reveal medical scissors and other sterile supplies. Jack pulls out the scissors and starts cutting Sloane's T-shirt away from the gunshot wound. Sloane is moaning and grimacing.

Jack (to Sloane): Just breathe! Just breathe!

As Jack moves the shirt aside to reveal the wound, Vaughn hurries over to the other side of the table.

Vaughn: Okay.

Jack: Keep pressure applied to the wound.

Vaughn takes the gauze and places it over the wound and applies pressure with both hands. Jack takes a needle and starts to fill it from a small bottle.

Vaughn: What is that?

Jack: Morphine.

Sloane: No! No morphine! I'll go into anaphylactic shock!

Jack: Arvin…We have to dig the bullet out.

Sloane: If you give me morphine, I'll be dead before you get to the bullet…(cough) And don't get any ideas…

Jack puts down the needle and bottle and grabs a nylon strap that one would use as a rifle strap and starts to bind Sloane arms down to the table.

Jack: I have to do this…to keep you from thrashing.

Sloane (whispering): Okay….okay.

Vaughn and Jack bind Sloane to the table in two places.

Jack (to Vaughn): Gimme your belt to bite down on.

Sloane (groaning): Oh, I don't need a belt…

Jack (to Vaughn) Do it!

Vaughn pulls off his belt and puts it between Sloane's teeth.

Jack: I need some light.

Vaughn carries a spotlight over and shines it right down onto Sloane's chest. Jack puts the clamp into the wound and starts digging around for the bullet. Cut to Sloane grimacing badly and biting hard on the belt until he finally passes out from the pain.

Vaughn: He passed out.

Jack: Good. (pulling on clamp, which is presumably now holding the bullet) Almost…

Jack gives a final tug, and the bloody bullet is removed. He drops it into a metal container with a clang.

Cut to Sydney, lying in her cell as she starts to wake.

Campbell (off screen): Morning…

Sydney (not moving yet): Hi…

Sydney moans and then struggles to sit up. Cut to Campbell.

Campbell: Think about the ocean…When I don't feel good, that's what I do. My son liked boats…He…was…six… Maybe he's still six…I think…I think he's older…now.

Sydney (almost in tears): What is your son's name?

Campbell (tears crowding in his eyes): His name was Benjamin… (nods) Benjamin.

Sydney nods and gives him a tiny smile, empathizing with Campbell.

Cut back to passed out Sloane on the table in Jack's storage facility. Cut to Jack, clamp still in gloved hand, using a needle to sew up Sloane's wound.

Vaughn: I can't believe I'm actually going to ask this, but is he gonna be all right?

Cut back to Jack, wearing small oval almost half-moon type spectacles on the end of his nose and continuing to sew.

Jack: He'll recover. The bullet nearly pierced his axillary artery.

Vaughn studies Jack for a moment and then says:

Vaughn: I didn't know you wore glasses…?

Jack looks up over the top of his spectacles and gives Vaughn a dry look.

Jack: Only during surgery.

Vaughn: (beat) Well, I'm gonna go download the blueprints from the digital camera, but we're still gonna need security codes to get into Camp Williams.

Jack: Try Marshall. He should be able to log onto the NSC archive from his station at the rotunda.

Vaughn: That's gonna be a little tricky with all the NSC agents crawling everywhere.

Jack (with a hint of pointed sarcasm): Yes…If only Marshall had a well-trained CIA operative to assist him.

Vaughn stares at Jack for a long moment and then a hint of a smile blooms on his face.

Vaughn: You're starting to like me again.

Jack gives him a short, dry look over the top of his glasses, but says nothing. Vaughn gets up and moves to the door.

Jack: Vaughn.

Vaughn turns around to face him.

Jack: With or without those codes…We'll be infiltrating Camp Williams in five hours.

Cut to Lindsey as a jail gate opens and he walks through it. Lauren walks up behind him from the side and says to his back:

Lauren: Here's your draft…I think you'll like it.

Lindsey opens the file and begins to look it over.

Lindsey: If I was tough on you before, I apologize.

Lauren: I'm not naïve. I understand that under certain circumstances, unorthodox methods may be required…but that doesn't excuse your blackmailing me by threatening to arrest my husband.

Lindsey (clearly having not listened to a word Lauren has said, instead reading her report): Yeah… Don't mention Vasson…his reputation precedes him. And nothing about Campbell or the other prisoners, just…stick with Bristow. Yeah, the rest is fine. Deliver this to Miller; he has operational control of the Rotunda while I'm here. We'll want you back in, uh…(checks his watch) six hours to report on the results.

Lindsey walks off and Lauren gives his back a significant pissed off look.

Cut to the NSC officers crawling over the Rotunda, peering over people's shoulders, etc. as Vaughn walks in and heads straight to Marshall's office.

Vaughn: Marshall…If I needed you access class…

Marshall turns around. He's wearing huge horn-rimmed glasses with really thick lenses that magnify his eyes.

Marshall: Hey, check it out…look…Telephoto lenses based on an owl's eye. Now, let's say you're…out in the field, doing…and you need to get in…you just press this button and…Whoa! (beat) Nice pores… You exfoliate?

Vaughn shakes his head.

Vaughn: Look, if I needed you to access classified documents on the NSC's computer network, could you do it?

Marshall: Oh…I don't have access.

Marshall turns away, cleaning the owl-eye glasses on his shirt.

Vaughn (pointedly): I know.

Marshall looks over his shoulder at Vaughn. They exchange a significant look and Vaughn nods slightly.

Marshall (whispering): Forensic guys are monitoring the network…

Vaughn: Isn't there any way to bypass that?

Marshall: Of course…it's me, but…

Marshall and Vaughn share another look, then Marshall goes to the end of his workbench and unearths an Xbox console.

Marshall (excitement showing in his voice): I give you the codes, you're gonna bust her out, aren't ya….kick some NSC booty? Can I just say? Love…

Marshall grabs a small flatscreen monitor and begins connecting it to the Xbox and then grabs a keyboard down off a shelf.

Cut to Sloane, who is now awake on the same table. Jack is administering a pint of blood intravenously.

Jack: I've been trying to think of a single reason why you saved my life… The only conclusion I've come to is that it would incur some feeling of debt on my part.

Sloane: As usual, Jack, you're in danger or outsmarting yourself. The US Government has pardoned me for my crimes. The international community regards me as a humanitarian. But you and Sydney still believe I am pursuing some hidden agenda. Now, whatever you may perceive that agenda to be, clearly it would be easier to attain if you were both dead, given that you're my most vocal detractors, my most capable antagonists.

Jack: Or you need us for something…something you believe only we can provide.

Sloane: Well….Well, you're right about that. No humanitarian endeavor can ever fill the void left by my past crimes…like the death of my wife. You and Sydney are my absolution, my penance. You're all I have left.

Jack stares at Sloane.

Cut to Marshall and Vaughn in Marshall's office. Marshall is busy working on accessing the NSC network via his Xbox.

Vaughn (looking over his shoulder): Anything?

Marshall: Just about…should be…

Cut to screen as Marshall types “Find CampWilliams” and gets back a negative reply. His face shows his shock.

Vaughn: What?

Marshall: Well, the file that would have the access codes has been deleted.

Cut to Vaughn's reaction; it's grim.

Marshall (in disbelief): All files pertaining to Camp Williams have been…removed.

The door to Marshall's office opens and they both look back quickly. It's Lauren, looking frantic.

Lauren (breathless): Michael…

Vaughn looks back at her with a “Holy Crap, this is Bad” look. Marshall is looking very unnerved and isn't sure how to react. Lauren gives a sparing glance at Marshall and then back at Vaughn as if to say to Marshall, :I need to talk to him.” Vaughn is still staring at Lauren.

Marshall: Actually…I'm gonna…Uh, take off ‘cause this is definitely something I should not…(beat) Pardon me…

Marshall gets out of his chair and bolts from the room. As Marshall leaves, Lauren says to Vaughn, distressed:

Lauren: You were right about Lindsey. I thought I could exercise some degree of control over the interrogation, but he just wanted me to write a report whitewashing the whole thing.

Vaughn has slowly walked toward her until he's standing right in front of her.

Lauren: I know you're working on something. (beat) I wanna help.

Cut to MPs walking down a hallway in Camp Williams. Gates open before them as they pass. Cut to Sydney with a resigned look on her face. She assumes they're coming to get her again. She's shocked when they turn and instead open Campbell's door.

Guard #1 (roughly): On your feet, let's go! On your feet!

The guards grab him roughly and yank him to his feet.

Sydney (worried): Hey…

The guard elbows Campbell in the stomach and then the other punches him.

Sydney: Hey! What are you doing to him!?

Lindsey (offscreen): That all depends on you…

Cut to Lindsey as he walks toward her cell and stands in front of her.

Lindsey: Help me out, Syd.

One of the guards pulls out a hollow bladed knife and holds it up menacingly.

Sydney: Wait!

Lindsey: There's no time to wait.

Lindsey nods toward the guard and the guard stabs Campbell in the upper leg. He drops to his knees in pain and screams.

Sydney: You son of a b****! Leave him alone! He's got nothing to do with this! You leave him alone!

Linsday (talking over Sydney): You can stop this by deciphering the code.

Sydney: He has nothing to do with this! I will kill you for this!

The guards stab Campbell in the stomach.

Sydney: Oh my God! Okay, stop..stop…I'll tell you what it says. (beat, Lindsey looks at her expectantly) They're coordinates.

Lindsey: To what?

Sydney: I don't know. For the hundredth time, I don't remember anything about those two years. All I can tell you is what they are.

Lindsey: Tell me.

Sydney looks over at Campbell, sobbing with pain.

Sydney (her eyes on Campbell): North 34 degrees, 09 minutes, 55.9 seconds; (her voice rising with distress) West 118 degrees, 17 minutes, 15.3 seconds!

Lindsey looks toward Campbell's cell, and nods.

Lindsey: Get a team prepped.

The guards drop Campbell's arms and walk away. The camera stays on Campbell, then back to Lindsey who is still looking at him.

Lindsey (to Campbell): Well done.

Cut back to Campbell and then to Sydney. “Campbell” straightens and stands, clearly not in any pain at all. Lindsey turns and gives Sydney a significant look. Sydney suddenly realizes she's been duped.

Sydney: Oh my God…Oh God…

“Campbell” comes out of the cell and faces her.

Campbell: I'm not Campbell; I'm Shaptner. Your personality profile revealed your one major weakness: empathetic suffering is harder for you to sustain than physical torture.

Cut to Sydney, crying.

Campbell: So…thanks for carin'.

“Campbell” turns and walks away.

Lindsey: There's just one procedure left, Agent Bristow. We'll have the neurostimulation prepped in about an hour…and we'll finally know what happened to you in the last two years.

Focus in on Sydney's face through the bars. She's crying and she lets out one gasping sob. Cut to black. End of Act Four.

~ ~

Pan up from a drill-like machine to a man's hand holding a device, to Dr. Vasson's smirking face.

Vasson: This is a cranial shunt. After I drill a hole in your skull, I'll use it to drain the water from your brain panel.

Cut to Sydney, whose head is being affixed with a metal plate across her forehead. She is trying to maintain her composure in the face of this horror. Cut to Lindsey, leaning against the wall, blank faced, watching.

Vasson: Once you're unconscious, we'll remove your skull cap and begin neurostimulation.

Cut to a military type transport truck driving down a road at night. Cut to interior of truck back where Jack, Vaughn, Brill and his team are riding. All are dressed in black.

Jack: We have an operative inside who will gain access to the security room and initiate a reverse lockdown protocol, thereby containing the bulk of the MPs in their patrol areas.

Brill: Once entry is made, we'll proceed to the restricted cellblock where Agent Bristow is being held. (to Jack and Vaughn) Hope your man inside knows what he's doing.

Vaughn: She does.

Cut to Lauren being let into the security room by an MP.

MP: I have Lauren Reed here to see Director Lindsey.

MP#2: Wait here. I'll let him know you're on base.

MP and MP#2 leave room, leaving Lauren alone with a lone MP across the room, watching security cameras. Lauren sits down on the counter right next to the control box and surreptitiously connects a device to the side of it and activates it.

Cut to the exterior entry to Camp Williams, still locked and being guarded by two guards.

Brill: I hate to ask the obvious, but what's taking so long?

Jack: The override program has to be placed within five inches of the central control station. Once that happens, it'll lockdown the internal doors and open that main gate. Then we move.

Cut to the security room where Lauren is still waiting. The back door opens and in walks Shaptner (aka Campbell) now wearing a sharp three piece suit.

Shaptner (to MP#3): I'm gonna need a chopper to Fort Lewis.

MP#3: Yes, Sir. I'll check with the duty officer.

Shaptner approaches Lauren with a knowing smile on his face.

Shaptner: Lauren Reed…Director Lindsey's told me all about you; says you're gonna write a stellar report for us…

He shakes Lauren's hand, which she returns reluctantly. Suddenly, the security monitor loses picture. Shaptner turns around to look at the snowy screen as Lauren looks worried.

Cut to the exterior of Camp Williams main gate as the access door begins to open. Brill lifts his rifle and aims.

Brill: Okay, here we go.

Brill fires tranq darts into the two guards at the gate. They drop to the ground and then the team, with face masks on, climbs down the hill and enters Camp Williams.

Cut back to the control room.

Shaptner (offscreen to MP#3): What is it?

MP#3 taps on the computer keyboard; nothing changes. The picture is still just snow.

MP#3: Something's overriding the system.

Shaptner heads toward the door he came into, but finds it's locked. He turns suddenly and stalks across the room at Lauren.

Shaptner: What did you do!?

Lauren: Nothing.

Shaptner punches Lauren right across the face. She falls into the table she'd just been sitting on and falls to the floor, apparently unconscious.

Cut to the team, entering the restricted cellblock.

Brill: Secure the perimeter. We can't afford to have any hostiles on this floor.

Cut back to Shaptner and the MP#3 in the control room. Shaptner is trying to hotwire the door open. It works, and he enters the hallway.

Cut to Vaughn tranqing a guard as Jack runs down the narrow corridor toward the end cell where Sydney was being held.

Jack: She's not here!

Cut to Lindsey and then pan to Dr. Vasson's hand, holding a facemask. He slowly, almost sickly lovingly starts to place the mask over Sydney's nose and mouth, when the door to the room blasts open. Vaughn takes out the MP in the room, while Jack gets Lindsey right in the chest with his dart. Vaughn gets Dr. Vasson and then bends over and starts undoing the restraint on Sydney's right wrist. Jack starts undoing the restraints on her ankles. Once Sydney's hand is free, she brushes at the clamp that held her head in place, as if eager to get the heck out of there. Jack looks up and then suddenly…

Jack: Sydney!

Cut to Dr. Vasson wobbling to his feet, aiming a gun right at Sydney and about to shoot. Sydney reaches for a scalpel with her freed right hand from the table beside her and whips it at him. It gets him right in the throat and he falls over. Vaughn and Jack pull Sydney up from the table as she's still coughing from the little effect she'd had from the sedative. Jack pulls his mask up so Sydney can see his face.

Jack: Sydney…

Sydney: Dad!

Jack helps her to her feet and puts her arm across his shoulder to help her out.

Jack: Sydney, you're all right, sweetheart. You're all right.

Cut to the team and Sydney running down a cellblock hallway. They turn a corner and suddenly at the end of the hallway appears Shaptner from around the corner, shooting at them (with a real gun as opposed to tranqs, I might add...) Team members take cover and attempt to fire back. Shaptner appears to have the upper hand when suddenly, he is shot from beside him and he collapses to the ground. The camera pans sideways until it rests on Lauren, in shock, the gun she just used dangling loosely from her fingertips as she lowers it.

Cut to a heliocopter on the landing pad and pan to the team running toward it for their escape. The pilots door swings open and there is Arvin Sloane waving the team toward him. Sydney looks back at her father in confused shock.

Jack: He's with us; get in!

Sydney and the rest of the team gets on the chopper as Sloane gives them a hand up. Brill's team leaves in the same convoy truck they came in. The helicopter takes off as the truck drives away. Sydney stares listlessly out the window. Cut to Lauren sitting with Vaughn. Lauren has both her hands on her chest. She appears to be in total shock over just having killed someone. Vaughn looks on worriedly. Cut to Jack, watching Sydney with concern.

Sydney: They wanted a code deciphered…That's what all this was about; a code.

Jack: Well, what was it?

Sydney: Coordinates. I gave Lindsey the wrong coordinates; I didn't know what to do.

Jack puts his arm around Sydney and pulls her to rest her head on his shoulder.

Jack: You made it, Sydney… (beat) You made it.

Jack turns his head and looking back is Sloane, who appears to be showing true happiness and almost triumphant pride at the reunion of father and daughter. Cut back to Sydney and Jack. Camera pulls in on Sydney's desolate, exhausted face as she closes her eyes wearily. Fade to black. End of Act Five