action_antihero: (Whaaaa?)
[personal profile] action_antihero
July 17, 2012

Jack leans forward, rubbing tired, gritty eyes. He should try and take a nap on the staff room couch, or go back to Michelle's for an hour to try and grab some sleep. He'd given his contact at DoD--Scott Itzin--his cellphone number so it's not like he needs to be at CTU. But then that's assuming he'd be able to get to sleep in the first place, and considering the last few nights he'd lain awake for hours before finally drifting off, it hardly seems worth the trouble at the moment.

He's just about to go get himself another cup of coffee, or maybe see if he can find the door to Milliways again when his cellphone rings. He grabs it from the desktop, the adrenaline waking him as he recognises Scott's number.

"Bauer," he says, glancing around to see if there's anyone nearby to overhear.

"It's Scott, I've got what you asked for." He sounds nervous, his voice nearly a whisper.

"Can you email me the document?" Jack asks. The document itself is as valuable as the information on it; without it it'll be hard to get approval to search, or hell, to maybe even get anyone to believe him.

"Yeah, but if anyone didn't get it from me."

Jack tells him where to email the document, the passage of time before the email arrives seeming exasperatingly long. Within a couple minutes, it's there, though, Jack telling Scott that it arrived before snapping his phone shut.

Opening the attachment he skims the document, some parts of which have been blacked out, mainly to do with the source of the three suitcase nukes. But the destination of the bombs is still visible, and as he reads the name of the contractor and person in charge of disarming them, he suddenly feels cold all over.

Company: Omicron International
Project Manager: Henderson, Christopher

It goes on to list Henderson's position in the company, the arrival date, but Jack's not looking at that. He's looking at Christopher Henderson's signature, confirming receipt of the bombs. Even now, almost ten years since Henderson was fired from CTU, Jack still recongises that signature. Henderson had been his mentor, his partner, his father figure. He'd seen him sign things a hundred times, and at least from what his eye can see and remember, the signature is authentic.

Quickly he flips to the attached photos, bringing up photographs of the undetonated bomb from D.C. There's no doubt that the bombs are the same set.

Instantly, he can think of a number of different scenarios where Henderson wasn't involved with the terrorists getting the bombs, but none can dispel his doubts. Maybe it was someone underneath him who handed them over, maybe he thought he was sub-contracting the disarmament to someone trustworthy. But every scenario comes back to the same result: Henderson was the one who was responsible for the suitcase nukes. If they went missing he would have had to know, and should have reported it. If he didn't know, or didn't report it, then it's gross negligence at the very least. He doesn't want to think about what the worst case scenario is, despite his and Christopher's estrangement.

Carefully saving the document to a CD along with the document on Palmer's computer, he heads up to Bill Buchanan's office to share his findings and start the whole terrible string of events into motion.

Twenty minutes later, they have the search warrant and the field and forensics teams are suiting up to head out to the Hendersons' house. They should be leaving any minute, but there's one stop Jack has to make first. He knows that while his relationship with Christopher and Miriam has been nonexistant for the last ten years, Kim's still very close to them. He needs to tell her about Christopher's involvement, before she finds out in some other way.

Approaching her station, Jack leans over her shoulder, saying quietly, "Can we talk somewhere, sweetheart?"

Date: 2007-05-29 04:38 am (UTC)
agirllost: (working//bridget)
From: [personal profile] agirllost
It's still dark out. The lights are bright inside CTU. Chase has gone off with one of the recovery teams. He said something about being unable to sit still any longer. Her heart breaks for him out there, but she understands.

Behrooz is more distant than ever, but at least she knows he's somewhere relatively safe.

She's focused on her work, enough that her dad's voice startles her and she turns quickly.

"Dad, I don't have time right now." It's 3:30 AM, people are starting to show signs of exhaustion, and she's beginning to forget what sunlight looks like.

Date: 2007-05-29 04:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"It'll only take a minute, sweetheart. It's important," he says, a current of urgency in his voice.

Date: 2007-05-29 04:44 am (UTC)
agirllost: (phone//indilime)
From: [personal profile] agirllost
She looks up at him, recognizing his expression, and feels a chill through her body. "They found...Caiti?"

Her breath catches and she prays that she's wrong.

Date: 2007-05-29 04:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
He shakes his head hastily. "No, not that. Just...come with me for a minute," he says, gently taking her arm, pulling her to one of the hallways away from the bustle of the bullpen.

"We just got some information on where the suitcase nukes came from; they were brought into the United States as part of a nuclear weapon disarmament program. Omicron International here in L.A. is the company contracted by the government to dismantle the nukes, and the person in charge of the program at Omicron is Christopher Henderson."

Date: 2007-05-29 04:47 am (UTC)
agirllost: (hallway//fogg8)
From: [personal profile] agirllost
Kim's relieved for a moment but still a little worried as she lets him lead her away from her station.

She waits for him to speak, steeling herself for bad news, going through a mental list of possibilites.

His answer's not even in the top 20.

"That means someone stole the bombs from Uncle Christopher?" She's gotten used to using the label with Angie. No wonder he's been away from home.

But she has the feeling that if that was the case, her Dad wouldn't be talking to her in private.

Date: 2007-05-29 04:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Jack shakes his head. "He was in charge of the project and the terrorist had to have had the bombs for at least a couple days. He had to know where they were as he was responsible for them; someone else couldn't have passed them off to the terrorists without him noticing, and if they were stolen, he didn't report it."

Date: 2007-05-29 04:53 am (UTC)
agirllost: (phone//indilime)
From: [personal profile] agirllost
Her mind blanks for a moment and she quickly begins to rationalize the facts.

"I can't believe you can even think he'd...he was probably set up...does Miriam know? Is she okay? Is someone after him...oh God, Angie's staying with her..." she puts her hand out and rests it against the wall. It's too late to have this conversation and she can't afford to let him see her doubt, not if she wants him to listen. Two people set up for two different crimes would be unusual. "After what happened, how can you believe any evidence without a confession?"

Date: 2007-05-29 04:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"I don't want to believe it, Kim," he says, a little sharply. "But it's his name on that form and if he isn't involved then he has a lot of explaining to do. Trust me, I don't want to think that someone I once trusted that much has been involved in selling nuclear bombs to terrorists, but--" He stops, catching himself before he can say but it wouldn't be the first time he sold out.

Almost ten years and despite the evidence he'd uncovered all those years ago Jack still doesn't want to believe that someone he trusted, someone who was a mentor--a father--to him was capable of selling government secrets to defense contractors. There hadn't been enough evidence to charge him, but there had been enough to kick him out of CTU, and Jack's involvement in the investigation was something Christopher had never forgiven him for. It had been devastating then--Christopher's anger at him making it all the worse--but it's nothing compared to what he might feel if this turns out to be true.

"I don't want to believe that he's capable of this, but that's why I have to go talk to him. There are going to be a number of agents there, so Miriam and Angie will be fine. We're going to have to search his house--Buchanan's already got the warrant. I can't stop that, Kim."

Date: 2007-05-29 05:03 am (UTC)
agirllost: (phone//indilime)
From: [personal profile] agirllost
She doesn't ask if it can wait until morning because they're always almost out of time. A bomb two days ago. A failed attempt yesterday and today, if the pattern holds, they'll be too late.

"How do you even know you can trust your source? How do you know that they're not lying?" She glances up at her dad, knowing that he's basically asking her to betray two people that are almost family. He sounds so sure that he's right. Their voices seem louder in the dimly lit back hallway. "Christopher and Miriam were always there for me. I've felt awful about lying to them about -- and now you're telling me that you think Christopher, who has been like a - " she stops herself before she can complete that sentence. "I don't know how, but I know he's innocent." She stands a little straighter. Angie and Miriam being watched by CTU doesn't make her feel any better.

"If you're going, I'm going with you."

Date: 2007-05-29 05:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"I know my source; it's someone I worked with for years at the Department of Defense. The paperwork doesn't look like it's been altered, either."

Jack stands there for a minute, not sure he should tell her about the past accusations against Henderson, as if he's innocent in this charge, there's no reason for her to know. He's sure he doesn't want her to go to the house, in case they find something, but then if Angie's there... Besides, he should had learned by now that no matter how much he wants to protect her--how much she's still his little girl sometimes--she's not going to be dissuaded. She has his stubbornness.

"Fine. I'll clear things with Buchanan while you clear up what you're working on or arrange to pass it off to someone else."

Date: 2007-05-29 05:12 am (UTC)
agirllost: (hallway//fogg8)
From: [personal profile] agirllost
Kim nods. After CTU interrogated her, it's shaken her trust in them slightly, and seeing Behrooz made it worse.

She can't trust them to leave Miriam alone, and although she trusts her dad, shesometimes doesn't trust the person he becomes when he's on assignment. CTU believes in greater good. She believes in greater good. But her daughter and Miriam are in that house. She doesn't want to think she's going to protect Miriam, and especially not from the man in front of her.

If Christopher was set up, it could be a giant trap. "I have to make sure Angie's safe," she says, although it's not her only reason. "I'll meet you at the car."

Date: 2007-05-29 05:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"All right, the field team's leaving in five minutes," he says, turning away and heading for Buchanan's office. It doesn't take long to convince Buchanan to let Kim go, though he can tell Bill isn't happy with it, and in a few more minutes he's outside in the parking lot, unlocking his SUV.

Date: 2007-05-29 05:17 am (UTC)
agirllost: (working//bridget)
From: [personal profile] agirllost
Kim hesitates but decides to take her purse with its added weight. She has resisted wearing any kind of holster and she can get to the gun in her bag quickly. Only a small part of her's tempted to hide using a weave of folded light so that she could watch without being seen once she's sure Angie's out of danger.

"I'm ready," she says, walking over to him. The field agents glance at her, the lights above them reflected off their weapons. She knows they're wondering why she's there and she also knows they'll be smart and not ask. "Dad, I... - "

She's interrupted by one of the field agents announcing that it's time to leave.

Date: 2007-05-29 05:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Jack's climbing into the SUV when she comes up to the car, and he climbs in without a word. It's only once he's started the engine that he says, quietly, "I'm sorry I snapped at you."

Date: 2007-05-29 05:25 am (UTC)
agirllost: (unhappy//janaine)
From: [personal profile] agirllost
She looks over at him, making out his features even though his car's a little away from the nearest light. "I'm not handling this well," she glances down. "I just can't even begin to accept it. I couldn't have been that wrong. He...he told me I had your smile - he was there for me when...few people were..." she looks out the window, the streets are almost deserted.

"He has to be innocent."

Date: 2007-05-29 05:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Jack doesn't reply, knowing that anything he says is going to sound like he has less faith than she wants him to. With what she's just said, he knows he can't tell her about the accusations that had pushed Henderson out of CTU. Or until he has to, and hopefully it won't come to that.

"I know," he says, finally, unsure what else he can say.

Date: 2007-05-29 05:29 am (UTC)
agirllost: (thoughtful//janaine)
From: [personal profile] agirllost
"Promise me that you'll at least give him a chance to explain," she looks back over at him, afraid that he's already tried and convicted Christopher in his mind.

"Please, I need to..." she trails off.

Date: 2007-05-29 05:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"I promise," he says, meaning it. He doesn't want to hear that particular nail in the coffin either. "You need to what?"

Date: 2007-05-29 05:39 am (UTC)
agirllost: (looking down//midge)
From: [personal profile] agirllost
"I need to believe that I can trust you," she says softly. Although she's really talking about the greater 'you'. After what happened with Behrooz, she's not sure of a lot of things. They used him. She hates the people controlling his life. And she knows, with a sickening clarity, that she's part of them.

She felt so much more secure before that bomb went off.

Date: 2007-05-29 03:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"You can trust me," he says tersely. It hurts that she'd even have to say that.

Date: 2007-05-29 10:54 pm (UTC)
agirllost: (thoughtful//janaine)
From: [personal profile] agirllost
She folds her arms over her chest as she keeps looking out at the dark road and closed stores. Anything she says now will only make things worse.

"I want to - I do trust you, you're...we've been through...," she glances back at him. "Dad, no matter what happens, you have to keep them from hurting Miriam."

Date: 2007-05-29 11:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
She almost had him right up to that last part. "I'm not going to let anyone touch Miriam. She was like family to me," he snaps.

Date: 2007-05-30 02:17 am (UTC)
agirllost: (thoughtful//janaine)
From: [personal profile] agirllost
When she answers, her voice is soft and tired. "I want to believe you." It's not fair to put this on him, not after Valencia, but she can't take it back.

Date: 2007-05-30 02:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Yeah," he says, bitterly. She said wants to believe him, not that she does, and there doesn't seem to be much he can say on that front to convince her.

The rest of the drive to the Hendersons' is silent, and thankfully it doesn't take long. After a quick word with the lead field agent, Jack gets him to agree to send a team around back, to watch the rear entrance, but not to move in until he comes to let them in, as well as for him to do the talking. That decided, they head up to the front door, pressing the doorbell. Miriam's probably asleep, so Jack waits a minute before ringing it again, knowing she might not realise what woke her the first time he rings it.

Date: 2007-05-30 02:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Miriam's been lying awake for a half-hour after only a few hours of sleep. She'd spent much of the day before contacting friends and family to let them know that everything's fine, but she hadn't been able to get in touch with her sister Leah, and she glances at the clock, wondering if she should try again. Leah's husband lives in England half the year. A few months ago she left to spend the summer with him and she might get through while it's still early morning here. Maybe talking with her will help her get back to sleep later, too. With Chris gone, the house feels more empty than ever and she can't help but worry about him.

She's still thinking when the doorbell rings, making her jump, her stomach knotting as she realizes why someone might be at the door at this hour. Oh no, not Chris--

Sliding out of bed and grabbing her robe, she hurries down the hall as the doorbell rings again. Angie is still sleeping and Miriam hopes that the noise wouldn't wake her.

She peers through the peephole opens the door, confused by the people she sees standing on the porch but a little more relaxed. She opens the door, smiling slightly at the familiar girl, but her smile widens a fraction and then disappears when she sees the expression on Jack's face. He looks so different from the young man she remembers.

"Jack? Oh God, we were so worried -- did you come to see Angie?" she asks, though she's not sure why they'd be here this early.

Date: 2007-05-30 02:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Hi, Miriam. No, I'm actually here to see Christopher. Is he here?" Jack asks, her concern not making this any easier.

Date: 2007-05-30 02:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"It's four in the morning, Jack, can't this wait until later?" She sighs. This isn't the first time Jack's come to the door in the middle of the night looking for her husband. "He's away on business right now," she says without deception.

She stifles a yawn. "He did want to see you though, so when he comes back I'm sure he'd love to catch up. Kim told us you were dealing with a lot of problems," she says, wondering if this is part of his erratic behavior.

Date: 2007-05-30 03:00 am (UTC)
agirllost: (thoughtful//janaine)
From: [personal profile] agirllost
Kim glances over at her Dad. "I had to tell them something," she says softly and looks back at Miriam.

Date: 2007-05-30 03:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Miriam...this isn't just a social call," Jack says, gently, trying to figure out if there's a good way to say this, but knowing he needs to get it over with. "Christopher's name came up in the course of an investigation into the bomb that went off in Valencia. We really need to talk with him, and we also have a warrant to search the house."

Date: 2007-05-30 03:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"The bomb...? You think Chris...," she stares for a few moments trying to make sense of their words. Her gaze goes from Jack to Kim. "And you agree with him?" She speaks directly to Kim, her face slack with shock.

Date: 2007-05-30 03:14 am (UTC)
agirllost: (looking down//midge)
From: [personal profile] agirllost
"They're only following a lead, I promise everything will be okay, Miriam. I'm...not with them, I'm only here to pick up Angie." She doesn't believe the circumstancial evidence and it's painful to see the betrayed look that Miriam's giving her.

Date: 2007-05-30 03:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"I don't know, Miriam, that's the point. If there's something here that points us in another direction, then I want to find it," Jack says, regretfully, and signals for the other agents to approach.

Date: 2007-05-30 03:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Miriam moves aside, her hand gripping the door. "Tell them to be careful with the china."

Date: 2007-05-30 03:26 am (UTC)
agirllost: (thoughtful//janaine)
From: [personal profile] agirllost
Kim slips ahead of them, gently putting her hand on Miriam's upper back and leading her into the kitchen. She guides her to a chair and sits with her for a moment, trying not to react to the teams of agents moving around them. Miriam looks away from her.

"Are you - ?" she starts and Miriam tells her to go get Angie. Kim heads upstairs, knowing the way to the guest bedroom like the layout of her own house. She hears loud footsteps from the first floor and moves toward the bed, knowing that this could be the last time either of them are in this house.

The room is Angie's. They've spent enough time here that by the bed is a picture of the five of them.

"Angie?" she sits on the empty side of the bed and her daughter's eyes slowly open.

"Mommy? It's dark out," she mumbles, leaning on her elbows.

"I know, I need you to be a really good girl now and get dressed."

"I'm still sleepy," she whines slightly as she pushes down the covers.

"I know, sweetie, but you don't have to go very far...," Kim hugs her and Angie yawns and leans her head against her side. She's a little warm from sleep.

"But Mommy, why do we have to go at all?"

A crash from downstairs and Kim inwardly winces.

Angie almost jumps, her eyes widening and she moves to crawl back under the covers. "The monsters are here," she whispers.

Kim holds her again, whispering that it's going to be okay. "Your Grampa's downstairs, you know that he would never let anything happen to you," she soothes her, knowing that the early hour's making things worse.

"Okay," Angie says and holds onto her hand as they stand and move to the dresser.

Date: 2007-05-30 03:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Jack's talking with one of the agents when he hears a crash from another room. Hurrying down the hall, he finds the source of the noise: one of the agents had dropped a drawer containing silverware when they'd pulled it out too far.

"Dammit, will you be more careful? We're supposed to be searching the place, not destroying it," Jack snaps. Not that neatness was ever a priority during a house search--he knows that from experience as his and Chris' place is still a mess.

There's a brief moment where he feels a burst of dread at having to clean it up, when just as quickly he remembers that they're not going to be going back. Even with the constant knowledge that Caiti's gone, as well as most of the other people they knew in Valencia, it's hard not to stop having moments where he thinks of something he should do at home, something he should look for when they get back, for the brief second before he remembers.

Pinching the bridge of his nose, he heads toward the kitchen to talk to Miriam. He's definitely going to need to grab some Tylenol when they get back to CTU.

Date: 2007-05-30 03:37 am (UTC)
agirllost: (kim and dad (serious))
From: [personal profile] agirllost
"But why can't I stay here if there are no monsters?" Angie's asking as they come downstairs. Kim's carrying her because they don't have *time* for her to walk. She doesn't trust any of the agents to keep them safe.

Kim puts Angie down with a soft go say goodbye to Auntie and looks around at the teams who are only doing their job.


Date: 2007-05-30 03:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
On hearing her voice, Jack looks up as he walks out of the kitchen from talking with Miriam, or trying to. There wasn't much for her to tell. Just that Christopher hadn't been home the last couple days as he'd been busy with work. Considering Omicron was one of the leading defense contractors for the government, that's not that unbelieveable. It's also pretty clear that Jack is her least favourite person at the moment.

"You're heading out?" he asks, walking over to Kim.

Date: 2007-05-30 04:25 am (UTC)
agirllost: (thoughtful//janaine)
From: [personal profile] agirllost
"Angie needs a few more hours of sleep," she looks up at him. "Did you find anything?" Kim wants this all to be a giant mistake, she can't imagine any reality where Christopher and Miriam are not good and decent and innocent.

But she can't deny it's weird that Christopher didn't give Miriam a contact number and has been gone a lot lately.

A small inner voice whispers to her that she's been blind before, that she closed her eyes to obvious signs, trusted beyond reason, and almost lost everything.

Or maybe the truth is less horrifying than being involved with Valencia, at least to her. He could be having an affair. She finds that easier to take, but hopes for Miriam's sake that neither possibility is true.

Date: 2007-05-30 04:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Not yet, but a lot of stuff will have to be taken back to CTU to be sifted through," he says, perhaps a little defensively. "Can I say hello to her before you go?"

Date: 2007-05-30 04:30 am (UTC)
agirllost: (unhappy//janaine)
From: [personal profile] agirllost
"And if you don't find anything and you wasted all this time and because of that the third - " she doesn't stop herself before she says something she instantly regrets. "I didn't mean that," she's letting emotion overcome common sense and telling a man who blames himself for everything that it'll be his fault if more people die. After Caiti died in the first bomb. And after Behrooz was almost blown to atoms by the second. "I'm sorry, Dad, I...swear that I don't believe that."

Angie's coming up behind them.

Date: 2007-05-30 04:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
She's not telling him anything he hasn't been thinking the entire time they've been at the house, and even with her apology, it still hurts. He doesn't know what to say to that, so he takes the opportunity to not reply in the form of a certain little someone running up behind them.

"Grampa!" Angie says, running up to him, and Jack notices a few agents turn their heads to look at them curiously.

"Hey, sweetheart," Jack says, crouching down so Angie can get her arms around his neck. "How's my big girl?"

"'M tired and I wanna sleep but Mommy says I gotta go," Angie says, curling up against him.

"I know, sweetheart, but everyone here's going to be making a lot of noise, and you can go back to sleep very soon, okay?"

Angie nods, tucking her head against his neck and yawning. After a moment, she pulls back a little and frowns, poking his chest where he's wearing a bulletproof vest under his shirt. "Your shirt is hard," she says, he nose scrunched up in thought.

"Yeah, it is," Jack says, "I'm wearing it so if I have to fight any bad guys, they won't hurt me."

"Are you coming with me an' Mommy?" she asks, the hopeful expression on her face making his heart ache.

"No, sweetheart, I've got a lot of things I need to do, but when I'm done--maybe not today, but soon--you and I can spend some time together, okay?" Angie nods, and Jack stands, gently guiding her over to Kim. "You'd better go with your Mom now, sweetheart."

Date: 2007-05-30 04:40 am (UTC)
agirllost: (kim and dad (serious))
From: [personal profile] agirllost
Kim watches them together, knowing that she hurt him and as they walk toward her, she reaches out her hand, grasping onto his.

"I trust you," she tells him, her eyes slightly widened. Angie is reluctant to move away from him, but she holds onto her mom's free hand.

"Auntie Miri and I were gonna get ice cream," Angie mumbles sadly. Kim touches her shoulder, wishing she could promise her that everything would soon return to normal.

But none of them really knew what normal meant anymore.

Date: 2007-05-30 04:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Thanks," Jack says, softly. He's careful to keep smiling for Angie, though with everything going on there's precious little to smile about. "I'll ask one of the agents to drive you back, and I'll see you back at CTU."

Date: 2007-05-30 04:43 am (UTC)
agirllost: (kim and dad (serious))
From: [personal profile] agirllost
She lets go of his hand and picks up Angie again, feeling her familiar weight in her arms. Miriam won't even look at her.

"I'll see you then, be careful."

Date: 2007-05-30 04:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"I will. See you, sweetheart," he says, then turns to find someone to drive them back to CTU.


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