Logan Ranch, Santa Barbara, California
With a quick look around, expecting a Secret Service agent to pop up behind him at any moment, Mike makes his way outside. Only when he's certain he's alone, does he speak again. "All right, play it."
Over the phone, he can hear Jack moving things around, the dim noise of traffic as he races towards Logan's retreat. Then there's air and static and Mike hits the record button on his own phone just in time as the recording starts. The first voice is unrecognizable to him but the second isn't.
"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--"
And while he'd been the first to find out about Logan's plot to get rid of Bauer and he'd known Logan wasn't the malleable fool others thought him to be and that Logan wasn't to be trusted which is why he stayed on despite what he knew, this... This was beyond anything he ever could have imagined.
The recording ends and Jack is back on the phone. "I'm going to need your help."
"Martha, can I have a word with you in private?" Mike asks quietly, brushing past Evelyn without a word. The First Lady gives him a curious glance but waves off her assistant, who walks out the door, almost looking grateful for the few moments alone this might give her.
Once they're alone, Martha gives him an expectant look. "What did you want to talk to me about?"
"Some new information has surfaced about David Palmer's death," he begins after a moment, "about who was really involved. It went much higher than we expect--"
"I knew it," Martha interjects, her eyes flashing. "I knew it, no one believed but I knew, I knew there was something going on. We have to tell Charles."
"He already knows."
"He knows," Mike repeats, feeling the weight in his chest grow heavier.
She stops pacing around the room, looking at him with confusion and maybe even apprehension. "If he knows then ... then, why are you telling me?"
"The shooter, Johannes Kroeber, AKA Haas, was taking orders from a former CTU agent named Christopher Henderson. And Henderson was working with Charles."
For a moment, she doesn't say anything and Mike wonders if telling her was a mistake. Then, "Charles? My Charles," she gasps, "No, Mike. No, no, it can't be... There must be a mistake. There was no love lost between them but... you don't believe this? Do you?"
"Apparently, Henderson kept recordings of his conversations," then, rather than try to convince her, Mike takes his phone out of his pocket and plays the recording. The sound is tinny for having been copied over the air but Charles Logan's voice was unmistakable. Martha's face fell as she listened to her husband admit his guilt in the deaths of thousands of people and Mike averts his gaze.
"It had better not, or you'll be the one to get the death sentence for treason."
At that last sentence, Mike picks up the phone and shuts it off, slipping it back into his pocket after he does. The silence stretches between them and he wonders if maybe this was a mistake, maybe asking her for her help against her husband would be too much.
Before he can speak, Martha does. Tears running down her face but jaw set and eyes defiant, she asks, "What do you need me to do?"
The plan hit a snag early on. After enlisting the First Lady's help, she went to over to her husband's office, planning to keep him distracted while Mike went to work. It wasn't long before a smiling President Logan opened the door for her as they left his office and made the short trip down the hall to his bedroom. While preferring not to think about what was happening beyond that door, Mike hoped that it would buy them a half-hour or so to get ready.
Unfortunately, it was just several minutes later that the Logans exited the bedroom and Mike realized he had to come up with another plan. Trying to look like he was giving them their privacy while they quietly talked and Logan kissed his wife on the cheek, Mike waited a few moments before walking over. His mind raced as he wondered what he should say.
Evelyn beat him to the punch, however. Walking over to Logan, Mike could hear her say, "Sir? Walt Cummings just called. He asked that you call him back as soon as possible, he didn't say--"
Her words were cut short as a now-flustered Logan, brushed past her with a mumbled apology to his wife. All three watched him walk away.
At her request, Evelyn followed the Martha into her office, neither saying a word to Mike. Too nervous to do much else, Mike stayed in the hall, trying to look calm as he waited outside the President's office. He could only hope now that the call lasted long enough for Bauer's plan to work.
Finally, Secret Service agent Aaron Pierce exited the First Lady's bedroom, giving Mike a slight nod before taking his post across the hall. It was time.
Mike raps his knuckles on the door to the President's office before opening the door and stepping in. It's a good thing he's had lots of practice keeping a perfectly straight face--a lot of practice lying to people, even Presidents--so he can look Logan in the eye and keep his voice even.
Maybe it's because this is the first time when lying to a President actually feels like the right thing to do.
"Mr. President? The First Lady is asking for you. It's urgent," he says with a hint of concern.