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IMMUNITY 1/2

Posted in 24_fanfic

Title: Immunity, Chapter 1
Author: marinw
Rating: R for violence and torture porn
Characters: Action!Torture!Jack/Ryan/Moss/Cheng/Heller/Surprise/
Summary: Post Day 6. Jack interferes with a prisoner transfer.
Disclaimer: 24 is the property of the Fox Production Company. Etc.
Notes: I have always been fascinated by Jack’s ability to compartmentalize, to collaborate with enemies such as Nina and Henderson. How far can that ability be pushed? Thanks to my beta sardonicynic for saving us all from some truly clunky dialogue.

Average eyes
Blur the lens
Focusing militant
More and more
Less and less
I look to come and visit
Bring up the matters in which you speak

May we see the hostage?
Has he been tortured or maimed?
It seems to matter less
Lasting longer the blamed
No time left to think
Or speak of the same

~ “May We See The Hostage?” by Guided By Voices



He had been here before.

It had been over nine years since Jack had visited the so-called Saugus ‘Nature Preserve’, the class-three detention facility that didn’t (officially) exist. A facility such as this one was too useful to abandon. It was still here, maintained but unmanned.

The facility was designed for prisoners who didn’t exist. This prisoner existed.

Chloe had contacted him when she had hacked into the file: Cheng Zhi was being transferred. He had told his interrogators absolutely everything. Now he had immunity.

Except that China didn’t want him. Too much of an embarrassment. Cheng was a traitor who had given up state secrets in return for leniency. There was now a rather large price on his head.

Ironic.

So Cheng would be held here, quietly, until he could be extradited to a nation that would take him. Many interests claimed to offer him safety, but no one could be trusted.

Jack waited. It was almost 3 am. The chopper would be here soon.

He attached the silencer to his nine-millimeter. Tucked the gun into the waistband of his black jeans and quickly assembled the M4 Carbine hidden in his courier bag. Slid the Halo Microtech into his boot, then pulled out a third, small handgun.

He heard the whirl of propellers as the Bell Jet Ranger came into view, illuminating the ground with a spotlight.

Jack yanked the ski mask over his face.

Now he was ready.

The door to the chopper opened. Two black-clad agents emerged from the helicopter and carefully pulled out their charge: Cheng. He was wearing an orange jumpsuit - a garment designed for maximum visibility and maximum humiliation. His hands were shackled in front of him.

Jack drew no satisfaction from seeing him this way.

The chopper left, stirring the leaves of the deciduous trees in its wake.

Jack emerged from the doorway and squeezed the trigger. The two agents fell silently. They both looked to be of medium build: Jack had fifteen, maybe twenty minutes before they came to, althought the effect of the tranq varried from person to person. He still had plenty of time.

Cheng glanced to the night around him furtively, unsure of what to do.

As Jack approached the prisoner he noticed that the agents were Moss and Ryan. Jack felt a small pang of regret for the latter. Ryan had been good to him.

“What is the meaning of this?” Cheng demanded.

Jack grabbed Cheng’s arm. He wasn’t about to start talking now. He led Cheng through the door, down the stairs, and into the underground warren.

Jack felt afraid. For reasons he didn’t want to analyze.

He pushed Cheng roughly through the dark hallway and into an interrogation room, the very same room where Victor Drazen had been held almost a decade earlier. He forced the prisoner into a metal chair and retrieved the universal key. He unlocked one of Cheng’s wrists just long enough to thread the chain through a handle bolted to the metal table. Then Jack stood in front of his hostage.

Only then did he take off his mask.

Cheng didn’t seem surprised. Jack was wearing fingerless gloves but Cheng still recognized his people’s work.

“Are you here to kill me, Mr. Bauer?” Cheng asked evenly.

“I haven’t decided yet.”

“Then what do you want, Mr. Bauer?”

“I’m the one asking the questions now, Cheng. You’re the one who’s going to talk.”

“I have already talked. There is so much to be gained by co-operating. I gave you the opportunity to co-operate, but you declined. Unfortunate. Your stay with in China could have been so much more pleasant. For both you and Miss Raines.”

“I know what you’re trying to do. It won’t work. There’s no emotion here. I want the facts.”

“If you want information, why not ask your superiors?”

“I need to hear it from you. I was traded for something. Or someone. It wasn’t just money. You’re going to tell me.”

“I am not at liberty to divulge that information to you, Mr. Bauer.”

Jack retrieved his Halo. He released the switchblade.

“You will be.” Jack waved the knife slightly. “I had a lot of time to observe you, Cheng. I know how you think. Breaking you is going to be easy.”

Jack leaned across the table until his face was inches away from Cheng’s.

Interrogation could be so intimate.

Jack put the blade just above Cheng’s cheekbone. “Tell me what I want to know. Now.

The blade pierced the folded skin below Cheng’s right eye, producing a drop of blood.

“Very well, Mr. Bauer. I will tell you. My people agreed to return you to your government in exchange for…”

“Drop it, Jack. Cheng is mine.”

With the knife still pointed at Cheng’s face, Jack turned his head to see James Heller standing in the doorway. He was pointing his own nine-millimeter at Jack.

“Sir, I don’t know how you got in here, but you need to leave now.”

“I don’t think so. Jack. I’m here for my pound of flesh. From Cheng.”

“Mr. Secretary, you don’t want to do this.”

Heller ignored the fact that no one had used that honorific in over two years.

“Audrey is more coherent now, Jack. She starting to tell me what happened. She tells me how Cheng’s people tortured you and made her watch. And then today I heard that Cheng was being granted immunity, that he would be freed. I can’t let that happen”

“I’m sorry for what happened. But I need him alive.”

“Dammit, Jack, I don’t have time for your Stockholm syndrome.”

“That’s not what this is. Cheng has information that I need. What you want is revenge. I understand that, but that’s not the right call.”

“Mr. Bauer feels compelled to extract information that his own government is keeping from him,” Cheng offered. “I wouldn’t trust him with the information either.”

“Shut up!” Jack yelled.

Then Jack turned to Heller. “Drop the weapon. You’re not going to shoot me.”

“Don’t be so sure,” said Heller.

“If you kill me, you’ll have to go home and face your daughter. Someday she’ll find out that you killed the man she went to China to save.”

Heller considered the logic. His hold on his gun wavered.

“Drop the weapon,” Jack repeated, more softly this time.

“Yes. That’s a good idea. Drop the weapon.”

That was a new voice. Familiar. And female.

Mandy had appeared. Her own Carbine was pressed against the back of Heller’s head.

“Cheng Zhi is mine now,” Mandy announced.

“Who are you working for?” Jack demanded.

“The highest bidder,” Mandy replied vaguely.

“There are a lot of people who want Cheng dead. Or as a hostage. So who hired you?” asked Heller.

“You don’t get it, do you?” Said Mandy. “I’m not here to capture Cheng Zhi. I’m here to rescue him.”

TO BE CONTINUED