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Old 04-18-2009, 08:36 AM
New Fan
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 75
By skycloud86

Summary: For the characters of 24, there is life after death.
Rated: PG-13
Characters: Nina mainly, plus almost every other major character at some point
Status: In Progress
Chapter Two: Discovery

It had been a very strange few days, to say the least. Nina still hadn't gotten used to the idea that not only was there an afterlife, but that she wasn't burning in Hell like she had assumed she would be. Not being religious in life, she didn't really believe in Hell, but she had known since the day she killed for the first time that she was definitely on her way there and no amount of redeeming herself would help. So far, she liked the Afterlife, but she was troubled by a small part of her that constantly told her that she didn't belong there, didn't deserve to be living free of suffering. The scars from her numerous encounters with torturers had vanished, her porcelain skin free of the man-made blemishes she had proudly considered trophies -after all, she knew that torture was used by angry people, people who lacked the intelligence or wit to extract the information in any way that didn't involve inflicting unnecessary violence on another human being. Chuckling to herself as she realised that, in some way, she herself was a torturer - not of terrorists, of course, but of souls - she looked around the busy street she was standing in. Nueva Los Angeles was populated by people who were so different in so many aspects that the only constant was that they were dead. Noticing the CTU agent known as Gael, she wandered over to him and sat down on the marble bench next to him.

"You seem conflicted", Nina asked him, sounding strangely like a psychiatrist. She knew almost everything there was to know about psychology, but she had never imagined herself playing the part of a contemplative shrink. Gael looked at her with some confusion - the Nina he had heard about didn't seem to have time for the feelings or troubles or others, and why should she be any different now that she was dead?

"When a person lives his whole life as a devout Catholic, when he attends church regularly, when he places faith in an all mighty and all knowing God, he expects that people like him will be rewarded after death, in Heaven. People like you, at least according to my religion, should burn in Hell, suffering for their sins, but I am not in Heaven, and you are not in Hell. I have never questioned my faith, but when the good and the bad live together after death in the same place, it feels like a cruel, cruel joke", Gael replied, his eyes fixed on the cross he held in his hands. He had fashioned it out of two sticks and a string. Nina looked at him and contemplated her answer. Even though she would never understand the fervent faith religious people had, she did understand that Gael's whole belief system had been shaken. Hell, even hers had been too, what with the existence of an afterlife and all.

"Maybe this is just temporary, maybe it's like a second chance, even for the most faithful", Nina suggested, hoping that it would comfort Gael in some way. She didn't know him at all, and didn't really care much about him, but she had seen him praying, seen him holding the cross in his hands as he whispered a Spanish prayer. Gael looked at her and couldn't help but smile. Maybe he had misjudged Nina Myers, maybe there was a human within that shell.

Back in the Living World, and Jack Bauer was stood outside CTU. The sun was setting on what had been one of the more peaceful days Jack had experienced in recent years, and he was enjoying the sight of the sky and it's performance art, as the colourful clouds floated past the retreating sun. Memories of the events of a few days ago were forgotten, and he couldn't care less. Since that day, it had been painful. Trying to keep off the heroin, his crutch for months. Trying to repair the damage he had caused between him, Kim and Chase. Trying to be a friend to a distraught Michelle after Tony's arrest. Trying not to remember the few moments he had shared with Nina before he took her life from her. Although he didn't enjoy murdering people, he told himself that her death was necessary, that innocent lives could be saved if she was gone. He knew that he regretted it but then again, he had a lot of regrets when it came to Nina Myers.

The Afterlife had shorter days and nights than the Living World, and it had been night-time for a few hours now. Although sleep was no longer a necessity, the vast majority of the population still indulged in a few hours of slumber, as if it were one of the few thin strands of the rope that connected them to their previous lives as mortal human beings. Gael had slept little since his untimely arrival, and tonight was no different. Walking along the side of the gentle stream that ran through the middle of Nueva Los Angeles, he held his makeshift cross in his hands and whispered to himself in Spanish. He considered the implications of the entirety of humankind coming to the Afterlife, not being judged by a higher power, not being punished for their sins or rewarded for lives well led. He looked up at the stars that illuminated his face - the Afterlife shared the same sky as the Living World, and he could recognise the constellations - and he decided that Nina's theory could very well be right, that it was a sort of second life, second chance. He could only wonder what he had done to require such a chance.
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