The Following takes place between two a.m. and three a.m. on the day of operation nightfall 02:00 (Italian time) — 16:00 (LA Local Time)
In downtown L.A. a man of Russian origin bangs on the door of a small apartment, he shouts something in Russian, he is frustrated at the lack of response, so shouts again, but louder, drawing the attention of a few people further down the corridor of the apartment block, he pays no attention to the quizzical looks coming his way as the door slowly opens, just enough for him to slip inside, before the door shuts again with a large thud.
Inside the apartment it is dark and dreary and is occupied by several people, but the unknown man only has one thing on his mind, his superiors wanted this information hours ago. He took out a CD from his pocket and inserted it into a computer which stood on a small desk in the corner of the room. He double clicked on an icon, and the computer sprang to life revealing the contents of the disc….delta mission files…., after reviewing the information he picked up a phone at the side of the computer and dialed a number, he held the phone to the side of his face and spoke, “I Have it”……”yes, but..”…..”well there are no mission objectives logged…”…., have received orders he put down the phone and punched several keys on the keyboard of the computer, finally to a query from the computer which read “Send?”, he jabbed at ‘enter’ with his right thumb.
02:05 — 16:05
“So he was dead on impact?” asked Richard Walsh who was baffled by the mysterious mans actions,
“Oddly, no” was the reply he received from an LA CSI, which confused matters further.
“Your joking me!, because anyone could survive that fall” interrupted an L.A. police chief eager to understand the situation as he looked up at the bridge above them, the CSI tried the bring the conversation back to the facts,
“Your right, the fall would have killed him, but something else did instead”,
“What killed him instead?” Walsh asked growing more confused by the second.
“Well, to be honest I’m actually just speculating, but cyanide, if you look carefully you can see the remainder of the tablet in this throat.” The CSI answered, finally giving Walsh some answers, “That’s probably what you saw in his hand before he jumped. Of course I won’t know for sure until I get a sample of his blood to the lab” the CSI continued. Walsh was understanding events more clearly now, but the Police Chief was still having trouble
“So why bother jumping off the bridge?, I mean if he wants to commit suicide, why not just try and take his pill?”, Walsh didn’t really have time for these questions but he answered it anyway,
“Well, if any of your guys were quick enough, they would have shot him in the arm, stopping him from taking the tablet, but it wouldn’t have been fatal, and I’m just guessing, but I think it’s gonna make ID-ing him a lot harder”, Walsh looked at the CSI for agreement, which he got with the nod of his head. Walsh, having answered the Police Chief’s question, he started to walk off, with one last request to the CSI, “soon as you do get a ID, you give me a call”, he didn’t get very far before he had to turn around to deal with the Police Chief’s protests,
“Hey, any info you want, it goes through me”, he was really getting sick of this guy wasting his time, but he knew the only the way was to be nice,
“I don’t want to step on any toes, but this guy assaulted one of my agents in his own home.”, that wasn’t quite good enough for the Police Chief,
“That still doesn’t give you jurisdiction!”, his patience about to snap, Walsh got out a pen, wrote down a number on a piece of paper and handed it to the Police Chief,
“Here, this is Ryan Sealey’s number, our liaison to the police department, Call him he will verify my jurisdiction”, the Police Chief gave in,
“Okay, fine but this is a two way street, if we co-operate with you, you’ve got to do the same”, Walsh was more than happy to agree to the request
“You’ll get full co-operation”
02:10 — (18:10 DC Local)
The Palmer residence, Washington D.C., David and Sherry are in the study, talking openly about a problem which has arisen in the commerce subcommittee.
“Sherry, I just don’t know what to do, Horwell’s blocking it just because Buckingham is supporting it..” He let out a large sigh which betrayed his feelings on the matter. The phone rang, David picked it up, “Palmer Residence”…..”Oh Hi Miles, What can I can for you?”, he warmly asked his aide at the Special Operations Appropriations Committee,
“Sir, you asked to be informed when Nightfall launched”, Said the Aide at the other end
“Yes I did, Thank you, keep me informed”, David put down the phone and turned back to Sherry who clearly had questions about the conversation,
“What did Miles want?”, Sherry asked in a slightly probing tone which most people might find annoying, but which David had grown accustomed,
“Oh nothing, just some other committee business” was David’s reply, he was good at keeping Sherry of the business which didn’t concern her with making it sound rude, one of the keys was turning the subject back to business with which she could help him with,
“So any suggestions about how I’m gonna handle Horwell and Buckingham?”, Sherry looked at David and paused before replying.
“The way I see it David, Horwell while blocking it now, wouldn’t want to be seen as the reason it didn’t get through. You make sure he knows he’s the only one blocking it, give him a reasonable chance to reverse his position, and he will”.
02:15 — 04:15 (Russian Time)
In Southern Russia, three Russian men sat round a table, talking in Russian. A Woman came in and gave an elderly man at the head of the table a few sheets of paper. The talking stopped as the elderly man reviewed the information and the woman left. The man at the Head of the table was Dimitri Goetz, one of the leaders of the Russian Dissident group SG, the other two men around the table are also leaders of the group. They are Michele Alcona and Davidoff Monett former members of Russian Intelligence and Cold War veterans.
“The mission has already launched, we do not have time” Goetz announced, Alcona was displeased with this assessment
“there must be someone already out in the field, someone on a less important mission….”
“There is no one Michele, except…” Monett cut in, looking at Goetz as he did so “…you have someone in that area don’t you Dimtri, on another mission?!”, Goetz looked disturbed at what has been suggested
“Yes, but she is too valuable an agent, and she is about to go on a very important mission, No she can not be used, there must be someone else” He said in a commanded voice, very much hoping to put an end to the thought. Michele looked at Goetz
“There is no one else Dimtri, she is the only one in the area, and however important her mission, Drazen must be our priority, our entire future strategy involves him”. Goetz looked resigned to the decision but argues anyway
“Yes, but a lot of money has gone into her mission”, undeterred Alcona argued back “I understand that Dimitri, but if the mission is successful, and we have no reason to think that it won’t be, it will be over today, and then she can take up her mission”. Goetz agreed,
“Very well, but if she is late for her next assignment, I will hold you personally responsible”. Alcona did look scared at this threat, the powerful man he was, his personal power didn’t come close to that of Goetz.
George Mason arrived at the bridge where investigations into the identification of the unknown man continued.
“What on earth?” was Mason’s curious reaction to seeing the body and the bloody tarmac which surrounded it. Richard rolled his eyes, he had asked for George to come down and help him, but know that he was here, he started to regret the decision, he didn’t really have time for any of his smart lines today. “So Richard, what happened?, why should we care? And why did you call me in on my day off?”, the Barrage of questions came at Walsh at lighting speed, he dealt with them one by one,
“Firstly to you I’m Sir not Richard, what happened here?, well this unknown man committed suicide and jumped off this bridge, we care because he broke into Agent Townsend’s house took a Disc containing top secret government files at put Townsend in the hospital in the process, I called you in on your day off because I need some help to retrieve the disc, he doesn’t have it on him any more, which leads me to believe he made a switch somewhere along the line, which would be greatly helped if you would put a lid on that sense of humour of yours”, Mason was quite taken aback by Richard’s snap response. He quickly got the message and asked a slightly more sensible question,
“So how do you plan on us getting that disc back?, Sir” he added a slightly mock tone when he said the last word, to see just how far he could push, Walsh ignored it and help up a clear plastic bag inside which was a set of keys,
“the Crime Scene guys found his keys, the trusting idiot had his address engraved on them in case they were lost, we’ll start there”
SG Safe house, Kosovo, a woman of medium build is on the phone, she is the one to carry out the mission,
“I understand” and puts the phone down.
Walsh and Mason on there way to the address in downtown LA, Mason is still trying to get Walsh in a better mood with some irrelevant conversation
…”so how would you want do die then?”, Walsh couldn’t quite believe his ears, he was definitely regretting his decision to ask Mason to help him retrieve the disc. But in the interests of getting along, he went along with it,
“I’m not sure, you?”, Mason was disappointed at Walsh’s non-answer, but was happy that Walsh was at least participating in the conversation,
“Me, I always thought I’d go out with a bang, some fireworks, I want people to really know I’m gone”, Mason’s answer was just what Walsh had expected
“Modest aren’t you, you probably expect it to be the end of the world or something don’t you?”, Walsh was spot on,
“To right, the ground will probably shake, some come on what about you?”, Walsh was starting to lighten up and had been thinking about it, so he answered,
“I always imagined that the job would be the death of me, chasing Top Secret information on CD’s, Key Cards and god knows what else”
The unidentified SG agent is stood in full Russian infantry uniform in the middle of a forest, she scans through radio chatter while looking at a map of the area, obviously having found what she was looking for marked a location on the map.
Still on there way to the Downtown address, Walsh pulled up at a Drive through, he was starving and needed some food if he was going to make in through the long hours likely to be needed to retrieve the disc,
“You want a Coffee?” he asked Mason,
“I was hoping for a three course meal”, Mason cheekily remarked hoping to get a laugh from Walsh, Richard gave a wry smile as he replied,
“I might be able to stretch to a bagel”, clearly starting to relax.
Onboard the Delta transport, the Nightfall Team were playing cards, there was a roar of laughter as Jack proudly announced
“three of a kind” to wipe a smile of the face of Lilljec who was ready to declare himself the winner of a large stack of coins which stood in the middle of the table.
Roger Voss, of the Delta team was making final preparations at the extraction point, suddenly his body went stiff, and slowly his body slumped to floor revealing a small bullet entry wound, behind him a figure stalked just out of sight then it started moving forward out from the trees, it was a woman, the SG agent, she had a medium build, dark hair which was cut just above her shoulders, piercing blue eyes and she went by the name Yelena.