Non-Player Character (theredshirts) wrote,
Non-Player Character

Bill watches the door close behind Agent Doyle, his stomach churning. This doesn't feel right; interrogating Jack Bauer's daughter just because she spoke with someone connected with her father--probably Chris Chappelle--doesn't feel right. It's a weak case, they have no proof of her actually helping him.

But Division doesn't care. They know as well as he does that there are a number of people who are loyal to Jack, who will help him. They want an example made out of Kim, to scare the others off. It's only the fact that if he doesn't do it they'll take over and he'll have lost any control over it that is making him give Doyle his orders. Though considering the reputation Doyle has, he's not sure how much control he really has. Unfortunately, when Curtis went undercover and they needed a new Field Ops Director, he wasn't given much choice.

He's interrupted from his worrying by a page over the intercom. "Mr. Buchanan? Wayne Palmer is on line three for you."

"Thanks," he says, straightening in his chair and picking up the phone. "Mr. Palmer, this is Bill Buchanan. Please let me express my condolences to you on the loss of your brother. It's a loss for the entire country."

"Thanks, Mr. Buchanan," Wayne says, perhaps a little dismissively. "I want to know where the investigation stands."

Bill hesitates for a moment, wondering how much he can safely say. But then Wayne Palmer had been David Palmer's right-hand man for years; he could help the investigation, if there's any information he can help with. "We have a suspect in your brother's death."

"Who is it?" Wayne asks, urgently.

Another hesitation before Bill spits it out: "It's Jack Bauer."

There's a long pause on the other end of the phone, and when he finally speaks, Wayne sounds shocked, not surprisingly. "Jack Bauer? Why on earth would you suspect him?"

"We recovered the weapon at the scene; Jack's prints were on it. Witnesses saw a man of Jack's description entering the building just before the shooting." Bill thinks for a minute, leaning back in his chair. "Is there any reason--anything from before Jack faked his death--that you might think Jack would have a grudge against your brother?"

"I don't know. David told me a little about the Chinese embassy, and about what he's done for Jack to get his name back. I guess Jack could be angry at David for asking him to go on that mission, but that doesn't sound like Jack."

Bill looks through the data they've brought up on Jack and Chris as well as Palmer, looking for some connection. "It says here that you have a Caitlin Chappelle on her staff--do you know if she's had any contact with her family recently?"

"Caiti? I'm not sure; we've been pretty busy with campaigning. Why?"

"We believe one of our agents is working with Jack; that agent is Christine Chappelle, Caitlin's sister. Is it possible that Caitlin could have told her sister where Palmer was staying?"

"I guess it's possible, but we only got in late last night; she would have had to call in the middle of the night." There's a pause, and then Palmer asks, his voice shaky, "You said Caiti's sister is working with Jack?"

"Yes," Bill says, something in Palmer's voice raising his suspicions. "Why?"

Palmer doesn't speak for a moment, then, his voice softer, he says, slowly, "There thing. Is this a secure line?"

"Just a minute," Bill says, tapping a few keys on his computer to tap into the phone line and scramble it. "Okay, we're secure, what is it?"

"What do you know about the demands Stephen Saunders made, back in September of 2008?"

Bill blinks, not expecting to hear that name again. "Just that he made a number of demands of your brother."

"Bill, before I tell you anything, I can't stress how classified this is. It appears in no official record, and until this morning only three--well, maybe four--people knew about it. With David gone, that's down to three people. You can't mention this to anyone else, and if it ever comes out I'll swear on my brother's li--I'll swear that it's a lie."

"What is it, Mr. Palmer?" Bill asks, the hairs at the back of his neck prickling at the thought of something this classified; obviously something terrible.

"One of the demands Saunders made was for Ryan Chappelle to be killed, and his body delivered to a trainyard in downtown L.A. We had no idea where Saunders was, or where the couriers with the vials were. David had no choice but to give in, and so he called the one person he trusted to do it."

Bill doesn't say anything, doesn't move, numb with shock. The same person he trusted to get Lee out of the embassy. "He called Jack," he says, finally, his voice sounding distant even to his ears.

Oh God, Jack killed Ryan Chappelle. Does Chris know? If she did it might explain why she was helping Jack; it could be a way of her getting back at the man who'd chosen her father's life over refusing to negotiate with a terrorist. But if she knows then why in the hell are she and Jack living together?

Palmer makes a noise of confirmation. "Between that and the embassy, and maybe even going back to the day of the primaries and losing his wife while saving David..."

"...That might be enough for motive," Bill finishes, though his mind is still on the revelation he's been given.

He manages to finish the phone call, promising that he'll keep Wayne updated, though his mind is elsewhere. Not surprisingly, he can't quite absorb the information that Jack was the one that actually pulled the trigger, not one of Saunders' faceless goons. He hadn't wanted to believe that Jack was capable of this, hadn't been sure that just the embassy raid was enough justification, even when he can't be certain of how his time in China could have changed Jack... Maybe once Jack's resentment toward Palmer for the embassy raid started, it picked up on the other things Palmer had had him do. Separately they might not have been enough to make Jack want revenge, but maybe together...

For a few minutes, he just sits in his office, stunned, trying to process it, before he finally shakes himself. He can't do this right now; there isn't time. He needs to see what's going on with Kim, how the manhunt for Jack and Chris is going.

Pushing himself out of his chair, he quickly strides out into the hallway, heading downstairs and toward the interrogation rooms. Whatever his motive, however surprising it might be, right now the most important thing is finding Jack.
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