action_antihero: (Waugh!)
[personal profile] action_antihero
July 10, 2012
7:54am


He's up at the same time Chris is, as he had been every morning since the attacks started; some days, it was the only time he really got to spend with her, before she was exhausted by a long day at CTU.

A cup of coffee in his hands, he turns on the TV, almost dreading what he'll see on the news networks. Every day, there's something: another attack, increases in senseless violence against anyone who looks Arabic, destruction of mosques and businesses. Things just seem to be getting worse, spiralling rapidly out of control.

None of it prepares him for what he sees when he changes the channel to CNB, however. Nothing makes him suspect that it might become so personal.

PALMER ASSASSINATED IN L.A.

His eyes spots the banner at the bottom of the screen almost at the same time the rest of his brain saw the stock footage of Palmer, registering as something not quite right. For a moment, he stares at that word--assassinated--trying to make sure the word is really the one that he thinks it is.

"Chris, you should see this," he calls distantly. She needs to see the television report, if only to tell him that he's seeing what he thinks he's seeing.

David Palmer is dead. The thought echoes numbly through his brain, as the solemn platitudes of the anchor gradually fades into his consciousness.

"After two attempts on his life on the day of the Califormia primaries, President Palmer not only won the nomination as Democratic candidate, but went on to become the first African-American President in United States' history. Palmer was widely commended for bringing integrity and honesty back into the Oval Office--"

As it starts sinking in, Jack lowers his head, his shoulders sagging. Though he's never been entirely comfortable calling Palmer his friend--the man is the former President of the United States, after all--he had trusted Palmer, because Palmer had trusted him. Palmer had tried to give him time to find evidence the the Cyprus recording was faked, he had put his faith in Jack. Sometimes that had been a thought that was more frightening than heartening, true, but it had meant a lot to him. Even when he'd asked Jack to do things Jack hadn't wanted to contemplate. Following Saunders' orders and killing Ryan. Taking on the raid on the Chinese consulate, even though he knew that if they were caught the government couldn't be implicated. In both cases, the only person he could trust with those acts was Jack, and that meant something to him, even if they were more of a curse than a blessing. Even if Jack would have given anything to not have been the only one who could do the job in Palmer's eyes. They still meant he had the trust of someone he respected, greatly.

He lowers his head for a moment, the weight of it falling on him, rubbing his eyes as they started to water. Palmer is dead, and the country seemed somehow diminished by the loss. Palmer might have damaged his campaign with his stance on internment in the last few days, but he still had the power to do good; still some hope that somehow the country would come to his senses and start following his lead.

Now that power is gone, forever; a voice of sanity in the midst of chaos, now gone silent.
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