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24 Declassified: Trojan Horse

24 Declassified: Trojan Horse

4.2 8
by Marc Cerasini

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The eyes of the world are watching

A powerful world leader is expected to join the Hollywood elite at a star-studded ceremony to be broadcast around the globe. But security has been severely compromised -- and a plot is already in motion to turn the Los Angeles Chamberlain Auditorium into a gruesome slaughterhouse.

When an on-line "Trojan Horse


The eyes of the world are watching

A powerful world leader is expected to join the Hollywood elite at a star-studded ceremony to be broadcast around the globe. But security has been severely compromised -- and a plot is already in motion to turn the Los Angeles Chamberlain Auditorium into a gruesome slaughterhouse.

When an on-line "Trojan Horse" detected by the CTU cyber unit sends up red flags, rogue operative Jack Bauer is called into action. He has less than twenty-four hours to prevent an unthinkable act of death and destruction from occurring -- a televised massacre intended to topple a foreign government and bring terror into millions of American households.

The countdown is on.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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24 Declassified
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24 Declassified: Trojan Horse

By Marc Cerasini

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Marc Cerasini
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060842261

Chapter One

5 A.M. AND 6 A.M.

5:01:01 A.M. PDT
Atwater Village, Los Angeles

Jack Bauer gazed at Utopia, or so the sign proclaimed. But beyond the vacant security gate and tattered chain link fence, Bauer saw only an expanse of pitted asphalt abutting an interconnected cluster of ugly, graffiti-stained concrete block buildings.

Squinting through a telescopic imager, Jack scanned the shuttered loading docks and steel doors, the windows boarded up tight. He double-checked one particular entrance, with the number 9 painted on its flat steel door. Then he tucked the tiny device into a sheath on his night-black assault suit. Now that the sun was creeping above the horizon, he no longer required the imager's thermal or light-enhancing capabilities to pierce the gloom.

Sprawled on his belly atop a rocky brown rise that separated Utopia from another dusty industrial park, Jack lowered his head behind a clump of scrub-grass and adjusted the assault rifle in the Velcro zip holster strapped across his back. He had arrived at his position hours before, moving into place along with five members of Chet Blackburn's CTU assault team, now scattered and invisible among the rocks and low hills around him. Though Jack could not see them, he knew another tactical squad from the Drug Enforcement Agency lurked in the bluffs on the opposite side of the complex. When the signal came, the two assault teams would converge on the buildings in a coordinated two-pronged attack.

In the dead of the hot dry night, the tactical units had converged to surround the supposedly abandoned production studio, unseen and undetected by those inside. Then they waited until the sun was a hot yellow ball surrounded by hazy dust, until the arrival of the big fish both agencies were hoping to scoop up in their net.

Jack shifted position, clenching and unclenching his sweaty hands, stretching his sleepy arms and legs, always careful not to expose his position. He moved a stone that had been chafing him, rubbed his sore neck. Compared to his days as a member of Delta Force, this was not a particularly unpleasant mission. In the line of duty Jack had experienced far worse things than watching the Southern California sun rise from a quiet bluff. Perhaps it was merely his age that made his joints ache, his muscles stiff from inactivity. Perhaps creeping old age also explained why, as zero hour approached, Jack felt an uncharacteristic edginess, an impatience as he waited for the signal to move.

Or perhaps it was the fact that Jack Bauer had to wait for that command, just like everyone else. Working in tandem with the DEA was not part of Bauer's job description, nor did he appreciate taking orders from others. That's why, when Ryan first handed him this assignment weeks ago, Jack refused it. Chappelle didn't seemed surprised by Bauer's reaction; rather he advised Jack to look first, then decide.

"Go to the briefing this afternoon," Ryan said. "Listen to what the DEA has to say. It may change your mind."

To Jack's surprise, his mind was changed after the DEA briefed him and other select members of the intelligence community about the dangers of Karma, a potent new drug poised to hit the streets of America, a narcotic that had the potential to make the crack epidemic of the 1980s look like an ice cream party.

According to researchers who studied a sample of this substance, Karma was a type of super methamphetamine. But Karma wasn't merely a powerful stimulant. The drug also induced a sense of invulnerability and euphoria in the user, sometimes accompanied by mild hallucinogenic reactions. The pharmacological experts who studied the new compound and its effects on the brain believed Karma to be more addictive than crack cocaine or even heroin.

Karma was ingested orally -- dissolved under the tongue like a lozenge or simply swallowed -- and the drug's ease of consumption was an element of its appeal. Virtually undetectable, it could be dissolved in a flavored or alcoholic beverage, which made it the perfect date-rape drug.

No one knew what criminal or narco-terrorist group initially synthesized Karma, but the drug had first appeared in the streets of Eastern Europe, Russia, and the Chechen Republic nearly a year before. Karma was not available in America or Western Europe as yet, because it was difficult to manufacture. It required real laboratory conditions to be synthesized properly. Even after synthesis, the compound broke down rapidly, making for a relatively short shelf life. Complicated, well-equipped labs for churning out the stuff had to be established locally.

The upside for criminal producers was that once the network was up and running, labs would be difficult to find. No illegal smuggling was involved in the manufacturing process. Karma's ingredients were not controlled substances; they were common chemicals available commercially. Already, at least one overseas crime lord was bankrolling the establishment of Karma labs in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Montreal.

According to the DEA's best intelligence, the illegal manufacturing facility inside of the Utopia Studios complex was the first of the U.S. labs to go on line. The DEA wanted to shut it down and capture its operators before their poison ever reached the street.

His musings were interrupted when Jack's earbud chirped.

"This is Angel Three. A car's just come off North San Fernando Road. It's moving east along Andrita."

"This is Angel Two. Roger," Jack replied, voice calm.

Angel Three -- Agent Miguel Avilla -- was a twenty-year veteran of the DEA. Thin, wiry and acerbic, Avilla was positioned in plain sight, right outside the studio gate and across Andrita Street from the abandoned movie studio. Unwashed and unshaven, shuffling around wrapped in a dirty blanket, Agent Avilla had posed as a homeless man for the past nine days while he'd observed the activities at the old studio.

To better reconnoiter the facility, Avilla had taken up residence among a copse of twisted . . .


Excerpted from 24 Declassified: Trojan Horse by Marc Cerasini Copyright © 2006 by Marc Cerasini. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Marc Cerasini's writing credits include The Complete Idiot's Guide to U.S. Special Ops Forces and Heroes: U.S. Marine Corps Medal of Honor Winners and several projects for Tom Clancy, including creating the bible for the Clancy Power Play series, writing the YA action/adventure thriller The Ultimate Escape for Clancy's NetForce series, and writing a major essay on Clancy's contribution to the technothriller genre for the national bestseller The Tom Clancy Companion. Among the movie tie-in novelizations Marc has written are Wolverine: Weapon X, based on the popular X-Men series, the USA Today bestseller AVP: Alien Vs. Predator, based on the motion picture from 20th Century Fox, as well as five original novels based on the Toho Studios classic "Godzilla," and co-authored (with J.D. Lees) a nonfiction look at the film series, The Official Godzilla Compendium. Marc's other credits include the book 24: The House Special Subcommittee Investigation of CTU, which he co-authored with his wife, Alice Alfonsi, and the previous 24 Declassified novels Operation Hell Gate, Trojan Horse, and Vanishing Point.

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24 Declassified: Trojan Horse 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
PainFrame More than 1 year ago
Every second counts. It wasn't until after my favorite show ended that I found out about these books. The first book in the series is "Operation Hell Gate". I'm not sure if you really need to read them in order, although I am, but they do mention the previous book in passing a few times. Not a big deal, but if you care about chronology, this is book two. I had never heard of Marc Cerasini before these books, but he's definitely knowledgeable about 24 and a skilled writer. Each chapter in the book is one hour of time, and each sub section has a corresponding time designation. It captures the real-time spirit of what makes 24 awesome, which is just what I wanted, although you'll have to make the beep-boop ticking clock noises yourself. (Hint: you should know this is from before the first season of the show, so don't panic when Nina Meyers shows up!) Hopefully this can tide you over until the movie comes out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You got to read the books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jack Bauer rocks in this story! He must work to defeat a terrorist plot that could cripple the World Wide Web. At the same time, he must prevent a star-studded Hollywood awards show from becoming a hostage bloodbath on national television. TROJAN HORSE is a fantastic read. The book delivers great action and wonderful ¿Jack¿ moments. Bauer is not the only character fleshed out in this book. Teri Bauer, Jack's wife, and Tony Almeida are also great. Perfect for reading between seasons. If you're not a 24 fan, but you like a good thriller, this book will not disappoint you. And if you ARE a 24 fan, this book will blow you away. I also like the fact that the story explores two different forms of terror in the modern world, both of which everyone dreads. For instance, the author was ingenious in showing us how terrorists can use a Trojan Horses in two different ways: as a computer Trojan Horse but also as the wooden horse version of legend--the terrorists use a trojan horse type trick to gain entry into the awards show. Great read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed Cerassini's first 24 outing, Operation Hell Gate, and thought he did a fantastic job of capturing the show's time-sensitive nature. This latest effort, however, does not live up to the previous novel, much less the show. The storyline is quite inventive and full of the usual plot twists, but a lot of the action feels rushed, notably in the later chapters (especially the final chapter - the 24th hour, when some of the most serious action occurs in the show, is a mere 3 pages long and begins at 45 mintues past the hour!). In addition, there are MANY errors, typographical and otherwise (someone please inform the editors that Washington, D.C. is 3 hours AHEAD of the Los Angeles time zone, not behind), but they do not detract from the plot so much that it is incomprehensible. Overall a good effort, and a worthy story, but not as good as it could have been.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book I¿m reading is called 24. I choose the book because I used to see the series on FOX TV. Season 5 ended in the beginning of April. I¿m also a fan of 24, so one day I was looking in the website of 24 and it said they had a new series called 24 Declassified.I started to miss it so I decided to read the book. A powerful world leader is expected to join the Hollywood elite at a star-studded ceremony to be shown all around the world. But the security has been severely compromised-----and a plot is already in motion to turn the Los Angeles Auditorium into a gruesom slaughterhose. When an on-line ¿Trojan Horse¿(Aseemingly innocent computer program) has been detected CTU Cyber unit sends up red flags.
Guest More than 1 year ago
actio-packed, tons of action, just keeps getting better and better, with big surprises