"Sign right here, sir."
Taking the clipboard, he scrawled his name quickly, glancing at the guard's name above his. Surprised, he looked at the nametag the guard wore and that confirmed it.
"Brian Sullivan, huh? Good Irish name," he joked, handing the clipboard back to the guard. Brian gave a polite, yet empty, smile.
"You can drive on through, sir."
Greg gave a muttered "Thanks", putting the car into gear. Maybe it hadn't been politically correct to say but the guy had to get it all the time. It's not like there were many other Asian guys out there named "Sullivan".
Driving through the parking garage, he finds an empty spot close to the entrance. Perfect. The less time he spent in CTU, the better.
Walking up to the door, he spots another man by the building, half-turned away from him. Tall, with a five o'clock shadow and dressed in business casual attire of slacks and a white shirt with beige stripes, Greg figures he works here.
"Hey!" The man turns around, eyebrows raise in surprise. From his body language -- one arm curved around the corner of the building -- and where he was looking, it almost seemed as if he was talking to someone else. Or looking for someone, maybe.
"I'm Greg Shepard, I'm with the FBI. You work here?"
"Yeah," he said, his accent was remarkably bland, like a newscaster. He could have been Midwestern, maybe from Iowa or some other square state that made up the breadbasket. Raising a hand in a quick greeting and giving a friendly smile, he added, "Yossi Mayer. Could you hold on for a minute? I was sent out here to check on our satellite feed."
"Oh, I don't want to bother you." It was good to know why he was out here, however. Hopefully, he wouldn't be there long, he didn't need any complications with this. "I just have to get insi--"
The words died on Greg's lips when he saw the gun, realizing too late that Yossi was lying.
"You should have warned me." Ibrahim followed behind Mehmet, dabbing at a spot of blood on his shirt. The small stain was stark against the white and beige of his shirt.
Mehmet shook his head, sliding the keycard into the slot, opening the door. "I couldn't do anything about the agent. I was off helping the others get in, when I came back he was waiting at the gates. I couldn't shoot him in the street. I had to wave him in."
"We can't afford to be careless now." Already, the Americans had imprisoned thousands of their own people in their 'detainment centers'. All across the Middle East, their military was preparing for war, waiting for the word. Everything was falling into place, they just needed one more final push.
"I know." Before Mehmet could say anything more, a guard rounded the corner and stopped in his tracks. There was a brief look at confusion, mostly focused at the Mehmet - the stranger wearing the familiar red shirt of their uniform.
He didn't finish that question.
Gesturing towards the body with the metallic suitcase in his hand, Ibrahim said, "I'll take care of that. You finish disabling the cameras and make sure the others get inside."
Mehmet holstered his gun and nodded.
That was Mehmet's favored term for the Americans and it never seemed more apt than now. Without their guards and their cameras, CTU: LA was easily overtaken. They crumbled with the slightest pressure, raising their arms in surrender as soon as a gun was aimed at them. Zhǐ lǎohǔ. Ibrahim believed that this was a sign of larger things, this battle would foretell the war.
Leveling his gun at the director, he calmly told him, "Turn off the alarm and call it in, say it was an accident. Electrical problem. Tell them that everything is fine.
The cops would show up regardless, he knew that but it would be too late then.
Instead of complying, the older man stared back at him, his mouth sent in a thin line. "I won't."
And Ibrahim knew he was telling the truth, he knew the look of a man willing to die for his beliefs.
Out of the corner of his eye, he could spot a CTU agent, a heavyset man who had inched his way closer to his station. His hand resting just out of view, Ibrahim assumed he was reaching for a gun. Either way, it didn't matter. Turning quickly, he shot the man dead.
Ignoring the horrified gasps of the agents, he turned back towards the director. "Call it in or I will kill every one of your employees in front of you."
Nodding, the man picked up the phone.
"Fahim, Abbas," he said, waving towards the body on the floor. They knew what to do, moving forward to grab the body and drag it out of sight. Though they were enemies, there was no need now to upset them further.
His men closed ranks around the rest of the hostages as Ibrahim moved to face the group, carefully setting his suitcase on a workstation in front of him. "This does not have to be difficult. You have something here that we want. As long as you cooperate with us, you will live."
That was another lie.
Zhǐ lǎohǔ is Chinese for "paper tiger"