action_antihero: (Cellphone!Jack)
[personal profile] action_antihero
July 17, 2012

Jack winces slightly as one of the medics dabs something on the cut on his forehead that makes it sting even more before applying a butterfly bandage. He hadn't noticed the cut until Bill had pointed it out to him, not that it was large enough to make itself known beyond a small dribble of blood to his temple.

"Here, hold this against that bump at the back of your head," the medic says, passing him a cold gelpack. Jack takes it gratefully, his head pounding front and back. Minor injuries, nothing to worry about, though he knows he might feel differently the next day.

Even though he's all right, there's still a phone call he has to make, though, and as the medic walks away, Jack grabs his cellphone from the desk, quickly finding Michelle's number.

There's still no answer at the house, so he goes over to Chris' cell; no answer there, either. Fuck, she's going to kill him for leaving these messages.

"Hey, sweetheart. I'm okay and CTU is safe. Most of the people here got through it all right. There's still a lot of stuff we have to do, but call me when you get this. Love you, and I'll see you when I get back," he says, flipping the phone shut.

Rubbing his eyes for a moment, Jack wishes he could just get up and leave right now. He's exhausted, not having slept for...fuck, 24 hours? 36 hours? He can't remember the last time he nodded off, even for a few minutes, and it's been days since he had decent sleep.

But there's no time for that; there are still things to be done, pieces of the puzzle that they don't have. He'll get to leave the cleanup to CTU soon enough.

For the moment, though, he has to keep going, or the unanswered questions won't let him sleep anyway.

Date: 2007-07-06 03:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Chloe rubs her hands together nervously, alternating between watching the little lines of code flash on her screen and the general unease going on around her. Christ.

The lines stop. She reads carefully, not wanting to make a mistake. "I've got the contents of the memory stick."

Date: 2007-07-06 03:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Bill looks over from where he's talking with one of the analysts, excusing himself. "Send it to the situation room," he says to Chloe, then raising his voice, "I need all the department heads in the Situation Room right now."

Date: 2007-07-06 03:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Jack isn't one of the department heads, but as far as he's concerned if anyone should be able to see what's on that memory stick, it's him. Bill doesn't make and exception to his coming in, either, standing near the glass wall as Milo, Mike, Nadia and Chloe come in.

Date: 2007-07-06 03:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Chloe opens the folder containing the data from the hard drive. "The memory stick is filled with audio files of recorded conversations. This is the most recent recording we have."

Date: 2007-07-06 03:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Outside the situation room CTU is humming with activity, but inside the air is silent and heavy with expectation. There's a slight click and a moment of empty background noise, before Henderson's voice speaks up, clearly. "You shouldn't be calling me here."

"I wouldn't have to call you if things had gone as planned. You said Bauer wouldn't be a problem! I told you to deal with Palmer, to cover it up! I never authorized you to kill him! And the nuclear bomb--" At the sound of the voice, nearly hysterical, all heads in the room come up, looking from one person to the next, everyone thinking the same thing. No, it can't be--

"Palmer knew hardly anything and he already knew too much. All he'd had to do was make one phone call and everything would have started falling apart before I could do anything to contain it. The bomb was a necessary risk. You knew there was a chance of its being used once it got into their hands."

"You told me they wouldn't be able to arm it; that they didn't have the components to make it operational. Dammit, Henderson, this was all supposed to make this country safer."

"And it will. The U.N.--and more importantly, the Chinese--won't dare side against the country that had a nuclear bomb go off on their soil, and you're free to move in and seize control of the assets this country needs. Everything leads back to Cummings, just keep playing it like he's in charge, and you'll be sheltered from any backlash."

"You haven't given me much choice. Right now the only thing I care about is keeping this entire operation from collapsing."

"I'll see that it won't, sir."

"It had better not, or you'll be the one to get the death sentence for treason." There's another click, and silence falls as everyone in the room stares at each other in shock, hardly believing what they've just heard.

Henderson hadn't masterminded the plot alone, and the voice of the other person on the line is unmistakable in its familiarity.

The person Henderson has been working with, the person who has helped terrorists get nuclear weapons is Charles Logan, President of the United States.

Date: 2007-07-06 03:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Doyle just shook his head over and over in stunned disbelief--How? How?

How was the President involved in this? It just didn't make any sense. Then, something did make sense to Doyle. They had to fight this, somehow, some way. It had to stop. There was no justifying this. Not at all--God had made a hell for this a man. Doyle was convinced of that. You couldn't lead those in your care to the slaughter-- He wasn't sure how, but Doyle knew Logan had to fall.

"God help us."

Date: 2007-07-06 03:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Bill had thought he'd felt he was in over his head when the nuclear bomb had gone off, when he'd found out it wasn't the only one. But it's nothing compared to what he feels now, knowing that the accomplice they've been searching for is none other than the President himself.

Everything they've done over the last few weeks, everything they've been fighting to's the one person who's supposed to stand for the protection of the country and the citizens in it who allowed it to happen. Whether he'd given his direct approval or not, he'd worked with Henderson, he'd authorized giving nuclear weapons to terrorists.

"Chloe," he says softly, after a moment, "What's the earliest recording we have?" Just how long had Logan been planning this, while appearing in front of his people and claiming to be serving their interests?

Date: 2007-07-06 03:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Chloe has that information already. "December tenth of last year." The voice on the recording numbed her all over- this was the President, he was supposed to represent the good- and this was the worst situation anyone could be involved with.

Date: 2007-07-06 03:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Bill nods, though he can hardly believe what he's hearing. Even with what he's heard he doesn't want to believe that the President had been in on it for months, remembering every speech Logan has made in the past few months about protecting the country.

"Play it," he says, his voice a little hoarse.

Date: 2007-07-06 03:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Jack listens to the recording, some part of him still not fully believing what he hears.

"Whoever helped Bauer fake his death by changing his records in the national fingerprint and DNA databases either couldn't get into the Special Forces database or didn't think of it. They got a hit on Bauer's records a couple hours ago."

His Special Forces file--he hadn't even realized that anyone could access that. That they would have run the samples from Toronto against it. Fuck, he never should have gone in that warehouse. If he hadn't, they wouldn't have found out he was alive, no one would have had to try and rescue him from the Chinese, Tony would be alive--

"We could control how the Chinese learn about him, use it to our advantage. ..."

Jack stops, cold realization replacing the numbness. "We need this in with the group..." "Chloe. Look for a recording made on or around March 22nd of this year."

Bill looks up at Jack curiously, but Jack waves him off.

Date: 2007-07-06 03:37 am (UTC)
chelleuncurled: (on phone)
From: [personal profile] chelleuncurled
Outside the room, Michelle's fielding logistical concerns. She's almost finished telling Division her version of events. Her back hurts, she wants to lie down, and she's coming off the fear and adrenaline of the last few hours. At least it feels like it's almost over.

The representative from Division makes a note of her statement and goes on to talk to another analyst. EMTs are treating the injured and she gets a powerful flashback to the bombing and being sure that Tony was dead before they even started. She absently touches her stomach, imagining she can feel his presence, and then rubs her eyes and picks up the ringing phone.

"CTU, Dessler."

"This is Karen Hayes with Homeland, I need to speak with Director Buchanan." She has almost no accent and sounds like a woman that doesn't suffer fools.

"He's not available."

"Maybe I didn't make myself clear. This is not a request, it's an order, directly from the President."

Michelle glances over at the conference room.

"He's in a meeting right now that's vital to national - "

"Ms. Dessler, do not lecture me about National Security." The woman on the phone breathes out. "I'm sorry. Let me try again, it's been a long week, and the sooner I talk to Bill Buchanan, the sooner I can think about this day ending."

She can understand that logic. "I think he can step out for a minute."

Date: 2007-07-06 03:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"I have one from March twenty-first, do you want me to check for any others, or just play this one?" Chloe waits for Jack's nod.

Date: 2007-07-06 03:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Just that one," Jack says, his voice shaking just a little. Please don't let this be what I think this is...

As the recording starts to play, Jack leans against the back of one of the chairs, gripping the headrest so hard his knuckles are turning white.

"This is Henderson. Are we on schedule?"

"Yes, everything's going to plan ("

Even though he's expecting it, Jack still sucks in a breath when he hears the voice: a mixture of Chinese and British accents. The General's voice, the same one he still hears in his nightmares.

Date: 2007-07-06 03:39 am (UTC)
chelleuncurled: (michelle2//_dernhelm)
From: [personal profile] chelleuncurled
She taps on the glass and since Bill doesn't wave her off, Michelle opens the door. "Bill - ," she tries to get his attention, but the next part of the tape silences her.

Date: 2007-07-06 03:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Jack doesn't notice her coming in; nor does anyone else, for that matter. They're all too riveted by the recording, the voices of the General and Henderson filling the room.

"You're sure Bauer's going to do it?"

"He's agreed; he had quite the incentive."

"What kind of incentive?" Henderson's voice asks, sounding a little suspicious. Jack turns away from the table, running his fingers through his hair as he faces one of the glass walls, closing his eyes. He can't look at everyone around the table, can't give them the context when the memories are so close to the surface.

"Do you really need to know? It might be better for you if you don't. Just don't worry, it cannot be traced back to you or your employer."

"When do you expect the operation to go down?"

"It will happen just after sunset; that will be about...four in the morning, your time."

"Okay. Keep a close eye on Bauer. Chances are he'll try something rather than be responsible for killing someone of the President's importance."

"He won't. He has too much left to lose. Operation Shu Guang will not fail."

Resting his hands on the back of his neck, Jack hangs his head, trying to push the memories away as they come back all too clearly.

Date: 2007-07-06 03:42 am (UTC)
chelleuncurled: (whoops//midge)
From: [personal profile] chelleuncurled

Michelle is barely aware that she's leaning against the glass, listening to Henderson's voice and he's talking about incentive and the plan and oh God the other man, he killed Tony, he was the one, and Henderson worked with him and -

He killed Tony. He set it up. He killed her love.

Too much left to lose.

Henderson broke her friend, he arranged for everything, he's the reason she hears muffled sobs and why Chris takes sleeping pills and why Tony's dead...

She listens and something inside of her cracks.

He's responsible.

He has to pay for his crime. Justice must be served.

And in that moment he's all the other men who have gotten away with murder. She picks up the gun that one of them left on the glass tabletop and leaves the room.

He has to pay.

Date: 2007-07-06 03:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Jack only catches the movement out of the corner of his eye, the sound of the door swishing shut. He looks up to see Michelle hurrying away from the Situation Room.

It only takes him another second to see what she's got in her hand.

Immediately he pushes past Bill and Doyle, hurrying after her. Shit he knows what she's going to do, he has to stop her.

"Michelle! Michelle, wait!" he says, opening the door out into the bullpen, trying to catch up, though she's got a head start and he can't move as quickly as he wants to.

Date: 2007-07-06 03:45 am (UTC)
chelleuncurled: (gun//indilime)
From: [personal profile] chelleuncurled
A few more yards and she'll be at the clinic door. Her hand doesn't tremble as she lifts the gun and closes the door behind her. "If you pick up the phone, I'll shoot you," she says calmly, waiting for the doctor to step away from the wall.

Her swollen belly keeps her from being too close to the bed, but she presses the gun against Henderson's forehead and watches his eyes open.

"My name is Michelle Dessler and you're a traitor that deserves to die."

Date: 2007-07-06 03:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Jack can see her through the glass walls in the clinic, watching in horror as she raises the gun and places it against Henderson's head. Pushing past the stunned security guard, he walks into the room, his hands up in a non-threatening gesture.

"Michelle, I know you're angry and hurting right now, but you don't want to do this."

Date: 2007-07-06 03:48 am (UTC)
chelleuncurled: (furious)
From: [personal profile] chelleuncurled
"Yes, I do, and you do too," her voice is even, but her expression's furious. "He's the reason Tony...he helped kill thousands of people, his existence makes the world a less safe place for my child. He destroyed so many lives and he doesn't deserve to live." She puts more pressure on the gun, ignoring the way he's struggling against the restraints, and pulling back on the slide to load the bullet.

Date: 2007-07-06 03:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Jack looks at Henderson, pulling against the wrist restraints but with a face that's so stoic, so firm that Jack just wants to punch him in the face and keep punching him until he's a bloody mess. She's not wrong about his wanting to kill Henderson.

"I don't just want him dead," Jack says, his face turning stony, "I want him to suffer, and that's what he's going to do. Don't make this easy for him, Michelle, don't let him go to his grave thinking he's being a martyr for his country."

Glancing behind him, he sees Bill appear in the doorway, a couple of security guards close behind him. Holding up a hand for a moment, hoping they'll let him try and handle this first, he takes a tentative step toward her, holding his hand out to her. "Just give me the gun, Michelle."

Date: 2007-07-06 03:53 am (UTC)
chelleuncurled: (gun//indilime)
From: [personal profile] chelleuncurled
"He won't suffer." She doesn't turn around. "They never suffer." She can end at least one threat. "You've seen it before, we've all seen it happen before," her hand tightens on the gun.

"I don't care what he thinks before he dies," she isn't listening to anything but her own thoughts. "Everything will be better once he's dead."

Date: 2007-07-06 03:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"No it won't. Everything will be pretty much the same. Him being dead doesn't make Logan less of a traitor, and it won't bring back Tony," Jack says softly, his voice wobbling just a little at the end. He takes another step closer, still reaching out for the gun.

Date: 2007-07-06 03:54 am (UTC)
chelleuncurled: (gun//indilime)
From: [personal profile] chelleuncurled
"I keep hearing him, I feel him with me, and he - he approves," she presses her lips together, her jaw trembling slightly and holds her arm straighter. "He's a threat," she's referring to the man on the bed. "He's not walking out of here." She's not pulling the trigger either, something stopping her from the slight movement needed to end his life.

"Just turn around and go away, you can't stop me." Her voice is still calm.

Date: 2007-07-06 03:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"I'm not leaving, Michelle," he says, gently, "I'm not walking out of here until you do. Please, Michelle, give me the gun." He takes another step closer, trying to think of how close he can get before he can grab the gun without her trying to shoot. If she was almost anyone else, he would have tackled her by now, but she's his friend--his pregnant friend--and he's not going to try it.

Date: 2007-07-06 03:59 am (UTC)
chelleuncurled: (furious)
From: [personal profile] chelleuncurled
She's done talking. Her wrist is locked, eyes focused on Henderson, her left hand coming up to support her right.

All you have to do
Is crook your little finger,
Hook your little finger 'round-

"I hope you never come to Milliways," she tells Henderson and as she pulls the trigger, the impact causes her to take a step back.

A gun claims many men before it's done...

Date: 2007-07-06 04:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Jack recognizes that look on her face--that look of decision--and tries to grab the gun before she fires, but he's not fast enough. The gunshot is deafening in the small room, the steady wail of Henderson's heart monitor the only sound following it, as the pillow and sheets beneath Henderson's head quickly turning red.

For a moment, he has a strong, clear flashback of the last time he'd watched someone be killed with a single gunshot at point-blank range, but the feeling of...of nothing that comes over him couldn't be more different. Then, with Tony, it had been the numbness of shock and deep grief. Now, it's just...nothing. If anything it's the regret that Henderson ever set down this path, a regret for everything Miriam has had to go through, and what she will go through in the coming days and weeks. It's not a regret that Henderson--someone Jack once trusted, once saw as more of a father than his real one--is dead.

"Come on, Michelle," he says, softly, taking her arm, "It's done."

Date: 2007-07-06 04:02 am (UTC)
chelleuncurled: (michelle3//midge)
From: [personal profile] chelleuncurled
Michelle's killed before, but never this close, and she feels drops of moisture on her hands and arms.

She doesn't lower the gun right away, the shot echoing in her ears, and she hears the alarm as though through glass.

Jack's hand is on her arm and she slowly brings down her hands.

For so long she's been seeing the world through a veil of grief and the red on the white of her blouse and the blood-stained sheets looks vibrant.

"I had to kill him," she says softly.

Date: 2007-07-06 04:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Jack takes the gun from her hand, putting the safety on as soon as he has it in his possession. He turns to take her out of the room, but the security guards are already advancing, one of them with handcuffs in hand. Jack looks from them to Bill, his expression hardening. "You can't be serious."

Date: 2007-07-06 04:03 am (UTC)
chelleuncurled: (michelle3//midge)
From: [personal profile] chelleuncurled
Actions have consequences, but she doesn't have that helpless feeling, watching events spiral out of control, instead she feels oddly calm.

She glances at Jack and raises her hands in supplication. "He had to die." She looks at Bill. "This is what had to happen."

Date: 2007-07-06 04:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The security guards move in, but Jack doesn't let go of Michelle's arm, focussing on Bill. "You're not telling me you're going to arrest her for killing that son of a bitch, are you?" he says, as one of the guards pulls him away from Michelle; he doesn't have much of a choice but to let go, as he's not about to use her as a rope in a human game of tug-of-war.

Jack shakes off the guard's arm and approaches Bill, fuming. "Dammit, Bill, he's responsible for the death of her husband and the father of her child. It's temporary insanity if nothing else."

Date: 2007-07-06 04:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Bill stares right back at Jack, not happy about this and not appreciating that he's instantly the bad guy. Not that that should be all that unfamiliar.

"I don't like it anymore than you do," he says, softly but with force, "but I've got a number of people from Division walking around and looking for an excuse to tell their bosses that they need to take over, not to mention the situation we have on our hands with Logan. I promise, I will do everything I can, but for the moment we have to follow protocol."

Date: 2007-07-06 04:10 am (UTC)
chelleuncurled: (stare//midge)
From: [personal profile] chelleuncurled
Michelle lets the guard put her hands behind her back and click the handcuffs closed. Jack thinks it's temporary insanity, but there's nothing insane about it, and she almost smiles as she looks at her reflection. Mirrors have shown her as either a broken widow or an expectant mother, but the image she sees now, she can recognize as herself. There's blood on her face, but that can be washed off, and she could be sent to jail for a long time, but none of that matters.

After searching for answers and trying to find the ones responsible, one of the planners has finally faced justice.


action_antihero: (Default)

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