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PATIENT ZER0 4/4

posted in 24_fanfic

Title: Patient Zero, Chapter 4
Author: marinw
Author:Jack/Jonas Hodges/Larry
Author:PG
Summary: Post Day 7 AU. Jack confronts Hodges
Spoilers: for 7.16. If you haven’t seen that episode, you may want to skip this.
Disclaimer:24 is the Property of the Fox Production Company.
A/N: And so this denial-fest reaches its not-so-logical conclusion. See if you can find the very obscure Monsters Vs. Aliens reference. Thanks to my beta, cybertoothtiger.

Jack sensed that something was wrong when the ambulance ride took too long.

The ambulance hardly seemed necessary, but it was protocol. Jack had managed a few concessions: He sat on the stretcher rather than lay on it. For the first time in a week, he was wearing his own clothes. His jeans were now too loose, the waistband hanging about his hips and displaying the top of his boxers and a sliver of his concave stomach. He should have used a belt.

In the end, the prion deterioration had caused some damage before his immune system had kicked in. Now there was some numbness in his fingertips and toes. Macer also suspected some short-term memory loss. Jack figured that anything he had forgotten wasn’t worth remembering.

Right now, the damage was more annoying than anything else. He fumbled with the envelope bearing the Presidential seal. He retrieved and unfolded the formal letter:

President Taylor thanked Jack for the service to his country and stated that she took a personal interest in his recovery. Her staff had arranged to rent Jack a small townhouse in Georgetown. He would have a housekeeper, a physiotherapist and anything else he needed. Larry Moss had agreed to deposit a respectable -- if not extravagant -- sum in Jack’s bank account on behalf of the FBI as compensation for the day’s work. Every week, Jack was to report to the CDC for any follow-up tests and treatment. Jack had already volunteered to donate as much of his blood as he could safely spare.

Eventually, the Senate Hearings into CTU would resume. Jack was still obligated to testify. But this time he would be granted full immunity from criminal prosecution.

He had rejoined the rest of the world. It was the last thing he expected.

He carefully folded the letter, placed it back in the fancy envelope and secured it in the inside pocket of his jacket.

He looked at his watch. Georgetown wasn’t that far from the hospital he had just left. And hospitals were notorious for their lax security.

Shit.

Jack stood up.

“What the hell is going on?” He demanded from the EMT. Who-Jack now realized-wasn’t an EMT at all, but rather someone wearing an EMT uniform.

Instead of answering, the man spoke into a collar microphone. “Sir, he’s on to us.”

A moment later, the metal door leasing to the cab of the ambulance opened. Jack recognized the man immediately: Jonas Hodges, the CEO of Starkwood who had escaped custody.

“Well, well, looky here. Aren’t you a bright boy.”

“What do you want?”

“I take it back. You’re not that bright. Not surprising, you are minus a few brain cells.”

Hodges reminded Jack of his father. And not in a good way.

“If I’m so stupid, then you won’t mind explaining this abduction. The FBI terminated your operation. If you were smart you would be out of the country by now.”

“Which is exactly where we’re heading. Don’t be glum, boy. You like travel. I know how to make more of my toxin. Sadly, my people were more enthusiastic about making the weapon than they were in producing the antidote. They started, but kids today are so easily distracted. Patient Zero should get us back on track.”

“So you plan to release the virus and then sell the antidote.”

“It’s a shame you aren’t running your daddy’s corporation. Annyhoo, your friends at the FBI destroyed everything I worked so hard to build. So I’m out for blood. Your blood. “

“That’s not how it works.”

“Sure it is. We’ll stick you in a lab and poke you every now and again. It won’t be so bad. We have every interest in keeping you healthy. You’ll get all your carrots and broccoli. If you’re really good we may even let you play shuffle board. It will be fun.”

Hodges signaled to the not-EMT. They man reached into a nearby bag and withdrew a huge syringe.

“This will keep you all calm-like,” said Hodges, “Now turn around and drop your drawers.”

Jack turned around and reached for the button on his waistband.

He had to time this perfectly.

During Jack’s Special Forces Krav Maga, classes, the other recruits had asked how hand-to-hand combat was possible if a solider was injured or exhausted. The answer lay in the training. Practice the techniques over and over. Build muscle memory. When the time came, the body would know what to do.

As the not-EMT held up the syringe, Jack spun around and elbowed the man in the stomach. The large man doubled over and dropped the needle, With one motion, Jack grabbed the syringe and jabbed it in the man’s neck. His thumb wasn’t quite working so he resorted to plunging the drug home with the heel of the other hand. He then punched him in the nose, just for good measure. The man slumped to the floor.

The ambulance swerved, as if the driver was stating to panic. Good.

Jack assumed-correctly-that the not-EMT was carrying a gun. Jack retrieved the weapon and pointed it at Hodges.

“I have no response to this,” Hodges admitted.

“Tell your driver to turn this ambulance around and drive it to the FBI.”

“That’s not going to work. He’s a little skittish around the feds.”

As if on cue, the ambulance swerved sharply. Jack lost his balance. He fell toward Hodges, and both man feel on the stretcher, their heads towards the door.

Lying on top of Hodges, Jack grabbed a nearby IV stand, pushed open the door, and then released the strap which held the stretcher in place. Giving the wall a very slight push, the stretcher rolled out of the ambulance.

They were in a rural area. The stretcher bearing Jack and Hodges hit the edge of the road, and then rolled over. The two men fell off and rolled into a field. The ground was soft and wet.

Jack fought a wave of dizziness as he got to his feet. He turned his head just for a second, noting the direction of the ambulance which was now speeding away. He turned his attention back to Hodges, who lay prone on the ground a few meters away.

“Give me your phone. NOW!” Jack yelled.

Hodges sheepishly tossed his Blackberry towards Jacks feet.

“Now take off you tie and your belt.”

Hog-tying Hodge’s hands with the tie and his feet with the belt proved to be remarkably difficult. He really did have some limitations with his fine motor skills. He was going to have to take the physical therapy seriously.

Manipulating the tiny buttons on the Blackberry proved to be even more frustrating. Fortunately, Jack had a direct line.

“FBI. Moss here.”

“Larry, it’s Jack.”

“Jack! Where are you? Your ambulance never arrived.”

“The vehicle was commandeered by Hodges people.”

“What?”

“I lost the ambulance, but Hodges is secure. I’m in a rural area approximately thirty minutes from West Arlington Hospital. The ambulance itself is headed due south. Can you triangulate my location?”

“No, there seems to be a GPS look on you phone. We’ll have satellite in a moment. Just sit tight, we’ll send chopper. And Jack?”

“Yeah?”

“I know Jonas Hodges caused you a lot of grief, but please don’t do anything off-book.”

“I’ll see you soon.” Jack closed the connection.

“You look like you could keel over any second, son,” Hodges noted.

“Don’t call me ‘son.’ ”

Jack’s legs felt like the Jell-O that was a permanent fixture on the West Arlington menu. The stretcher was nearby. Jack flipped the gurney right side up. He sat down. Better. He still had the gun trained on Hodges.

“It’s time you and I had a chat.”

END

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
kaitlia777
Mar. 22nd, 2010 10:57 pm (UTC)
Poor Jack just can't catch a break, can he? It's one freaking crazy thing after another....
marinw
Mar. 22nd, 2010 11:19 pm (UTC)
I just wanting to end the story with Jack achieving some sort of victory.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )