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FOLLOWING ORDERS

posted in 24_fanfic

Title: Following Orders
Author: marinw

Rating: PG
Characters: Rick Burke, Senator Blaine Meyer, Chloe
Summary: Spoliers for Day 7. Burke is questioned by the Senate committee. A follow-up of sorts to Tool Of The Trade
Disclaimer: 24 is the property of the Fox Production Company. Etc.

A/N: Thanks to my beta, cybertoothtiger

As you from your crimes would pardoned be,
Let your indulgence set me free.
~William Shakespeare, The Tempest.


What was that about? Senator Meyer thought as Agent Walker escorted Bauer out of the room.

First CTU. Now the esteemed FBI. Another agency who considered itself above the law.

Unfortunately, Bauer’s release into FBI custody wasn’t going to make Meyer’s day any shorter. The bailiff was seating the next witness now. At least this witness had the good sense to bring along legal council.

Meyer cleared his throat. “Will the witness please state his name.”

“Erik Burke.”

“Mr. Burke, will you please describe your position at CTU Los Angeles.”

“I was in charge of medical interrogations.”

“Medical interrogation? Could you describe how that works?”

“When conventional interrogation techniques did not prove fruitful, I was instructed to administer certain chemical compounds via intravenous or inter-muscular injection.”

“Was one of these chemical compounds hycocine pentothol?”*

“That was one of the chemical agents at my disposal.”

Meyer shuffled his papers, “I have an abstract of the drug here. Its main effect is to cause pain. Excruciating pain.”

“The drug does act primarily as a neural-muscular stimulant.”

“People who have been subjected to this drug have described it as feeling like ‘every nerve of the body is on fire.’ “

“Objection, hearsay,” Said Burke’s lawyer.

“The drug is designed to cause discomfort,” Burke admitted. “It is one of several non-lethal chemical assistants.”

“So this drug as non-lethal?”

“If used correctly, its effects are short-lived. I take pride in my work, Senator.”

“I wouldn’t brag about that. There are documented cases of these interrogation drugs resulted in lasting harm or even death.”

“An incorrect dosage can result in a cardiac event. But an excessive amount of any drug, even over-the-counter analgesics, can have fatal repercussions.”

“Let’s stay on point, Mr. Burke. There is one case of death from the admistration of this drug in particular I wish to discuss. I am referring to the interrogation and subsequent death of one Mr. Graem Bauer. Where you not present at his interrogation? Did you not administer the drug that caused his fatal heart attack?”

“I was following orders.”

“Whose orders?”

“Jack Bauer.”

“Let me get this straight: Jack Bauer ordered the chemical interrogation of his own brother? What the hell is wrong with you people?”

“Objection! That’s a rhetorical question,” said the lawyer.

“The hell it is. Why did Mr. Bauer order such an interrogation?”

“You would have to ask him that.”

“I was going to. He was sitting in that very chair not fifteen minutes ago. Unfortunately, he was subpoenaed by another agency.”

“Figures,” muttered Burk.

“Right now I am not questioning Mr. Bauer. I am questioning you: Exactly who ordered the fatal dose of hycocine pentothol?”

“That was Bauer. I refused. It was one of the very few times I refused an order.”

“Yet Graem Bauer died anyway.”

“In very rare cases, a subject can have a reaction to a lower dose of the drug, due to an underlying cardiac issue or other factors. It was an unfortunate incident.”

“Unfortunate?”

“Senator,” Burke said, “I am a professional. I am not ruled by my emotions or any personal agenda. I am merely an agent with very specialized training. I follow the instructions of my superior agents. I can give you the names.”

“Please do.”

“The late Tony Almedia. Erin Driscoll. Bill Buchanan. The afore-mentioned Jack Bauer. John Ramirez…”

“Stop right there. Is it true that you assisted Agent Ramirez in the interrogation of Jack Bauer himself?”

“It was more of a debriefing.”

“A debriefing that required handcuffs and chemical assistants?”

“Mr. Bauer is a special case. He is highly resistant to conventional forms of questioning. He can lie. Manipulate. Agent Ramirez felt he couldn’t take any chances.”

“So you drugged him?”

“I didn’t do anything. Mr. Bauer somehow got out of his restraints and left before I could get started. Agent Ramirez then determined that any subsequent questioning would prove pointless.”

Meyer resisted the urge to tear off his glasses and rub his eyes.

Here is where things get complicated.

Of all the interrogation tapes Meyer had forced himself to watch, the truncated interrogation of Bauer had, somehow, proven to be one of the most disturbing.

Torturing so-called terrorist suspects was bad enough. But when they started torturing each other? That was, well…

What the hell is wrong with you people? It was more than a rhetorical question. It had become Meyer’s anthem, his rallying point, the crystallization of his moral outrage.

“This committee will be questioning Mr. Ramirez at a later date. Now I want to hear your version of the event. Why were you interrogating Mr. Bauer?”

“As I’m sure you’re aware, Bauer was detained by the Chinese government for a period of twenty months. After two months in custody, one of our undercover agents in the area - one Marcus Holt - was found dead. Agent Ramirez and I were trying to determine whether Bauer was responsible for giving away Holt’s identity while being interrogated by his Chinese captors.”

“So: you were planning on torturing Bauer to find out what information he may have given up under torture? Is that standard procedure?”

“As I said earlier, Bauer is a special case. We tried asking nicely.”

I DIDN’T TALK!!

Bauer’s proud, desperate proclamation was still replaying itself in Meyer’s mind. No matter what the Chinese had done to him, he didn’t talk. (Or he didn’t think that he talked. Or he didn’t remember talking. There was just no way of knowing.)

Until Meyer had seen the recording, it had been easy to dismiss Bauer as rouge agent with no conscience or soul. But now Meyer was forced to see the man as more of than a perpetrator of torture. He was also a victim. He had suffered. That made any simple characterization impossible.

His stay in China wouldn’t count as time served for any new indictments. The law didn’t work that way.

Four years later, just minutes ago, the same dishevelled, haggard agent on Division’s interrogation recording had sat before Meyer, as tidy and presentable as the situation demanded.

Meyer was determined that the judgment of Bauer and all those like him would be fair. Harsh if necessary, but fair. It was why he had encouraged Bauer to seek legal council. Bauer wasn’t impressing anybody. Refusing legal council wasn’t noble. It was stupid.

Don’t be such an ass. Get yourself a lawyer. Meyer had wanted to scream

Bauer had been defiant, strong, not asking for pity or leniency, not pointing to his own wounds, asking only to be judged fairly.

Jack Bauer is a complicated man. Very, very complicated.

As for Eric Burke? Meyer got no sense of the man. None whatsoever.

“Senator Meyer,” Burke’s lawyer asked, “Are we done?”

“Just one more question: do you feel that the end justified the means?”

“The question isn’t relevant, Senator,” Burke answered. “My job is not to wrestle with moral quandaries. My job is to follow orders.”

“You may go for now. But this committee may very well have more questions for you later. So don’t leave town.”

Burke nodded, picked up his briefcase, inclined his head to the lawyer, and left without saying a word.

••••

“Will the witness please state her name?”

“Chloe O’Brian. Look, is this going to take long? Because I need to pay the babysitter.”

Meyer took a moment to massage his aching temples.

It was going to be a very, very long day.

END

*Secrets of 24, page 240

Hycocine pentothol" is a fictional drug that exists only in 24land.

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Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
May. 26th, 2010 09:39 am (UTC)
DilyaverMametov
Посоветуй таким методом сайт реально в траст вогнать? Хочу раскрутить сайт но не знаю как Яндекс постояно меняет алгоритм уже и незнаю как правельно сделать.Вот ссылка на метод раскрутки zero57.ucoz.ru
marinw
May. 26th, 2010 10:30 am (UTC)
Re: DilyaverMametov
I don't read Russian, but thank you.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )