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DREAMLAND

posted in 24_fanfic

Title: Dreamland
Author: marinw
Characters: Jack/Sunny Macer/Ben Landry/Bill/Tony/Renee
Rating: R for violence
Summary: Post Day 7. Jack hallucinates
Disclaimer: 24 is the Property of the Fox Production Company.
A/N: Because delirious!Jack is too tantalizing a concept to ignore. Thanks to my beta, cybertoothtiger. Thanks as well to Renee expert leigh57.

For the first time he was awake.

Until now there had been sleep and not-quite sleep. Dreams and memories. The virus wandered through his mind, randomly deciding what to keep and what to let go of. He was in a hospital, a weapons lab, a prison, undercover, in hiding, traveling through India or Africa, at home in bed with Teri or Audrey. He was in all those places at once.

This time was different. His eyes snapped open and his world came immediately into focus. The pain was well defined by a pounding in his head. He brought a trembling hand to his skull and felt a square of exposed skin, maybe two or three inches, where his head must have been shaved.

What the fuck had they done to him?

He needed to get out of here. Now. Before the Starkwood bio-chemists returned.

He yanked the IV from his arm and the oxygen tubing from his nose. He turned off the monitor so that the alarm wouldn’t sound when he ripped the leads from his chest.

He threw off the sheets and blanket covering his legs to discover a new problem: A thick plastic tube disappeared through a hole strategically cut into the seam of the scrub pants he wore. He gritted his teeth as he pulled out the catheter, spilling yellow liquid over the mattress.

He sat up in one motion and swung his legs over the side. The bed was too far off the floor. He put his feet on the polished linoleum floor and pushed himself off.

He immediately collapsed on the floor. Shit. Was he paralyzed? No, he could see his feet move. Maybe he was just weak. How long had he been here? Long enough for the chemists to extract the virus? Then why was he still alive? Maybe they were taking his organs one at a time? He must still have one working kidney, judging from the contents of the clear bag that hung from the railing.

He made a mental note to check himself for new scars later.

He grabbed the edge of the bed and finally pulled himself to a standing position. His legs trembled in protest. He willed himself to stay upright.

Slowly, he walked to the door, and found it was open.

This weapons lab had terrible security.

With his bare feet, Jack glided down the hall almost gracefully. He entered an empty surgical suite and grabbed a scalpel. Peeking out the door, he saw two people wearing lab coats walking down the hallway. One Male, one female. Jack could hear snippets of their conversation.

“So far Patient Zero has only achieved a state of semi-consciousness," the female said. “But he is clearly experiencing delirium.”

“A symptom of the virus,” said the male.

“Or a side-effect of the treatment. Until he’s more alert there’s no way to know.”

Jack had no idea what they were talking about. He waited until they were gone.

Once he reached the stairwell, Jack needed to decide whether he should go up. Or down. There would be security at the entrance to this building. The roof would have a helipad, and the helipad would have a helicopter. The roof it was.

••••

The sun was rising over Washington. A cool morning breeze penetrated the thin fabric of his scrubs. From the roof Jack could see the White House in the distance.

From behind an electrical shed, a tall figure emerged, a man with white hair and black clothing.

“Bill!”

“Jack, I’m sorry. You needed to be sacrificed. That’s was the only way to find the location of this lab.”

“Yeah, fine. We have to get out of here. Have all the canisters been destroyed?”

“I’m afraid not. Tony still has one of the containers.”

“Dammit! We need to find him. Do we know his location?”

“I’m right here Jack.”

Tony emerged from behind another shed. He pointed a handgun directly at Jack and Bill. Both men raised their arms.

“You need to get back downstairs, Jack,” Tony ordered “You need to let them finish what they started.”

“No!” Bill moved in front of Jack to protect him.

Tony fired his weapon and Bill fell to the ground, his eyes still open.

Tony reached into his bag and pulled out a canister with a bio-hazard warning symbol.

Jack turned his eyes from Bill’s body to gaze at the canister. To the thing that was killing him.

“This is meant for the President,” Tony declared.” I’m taking this to the White House. And there’s nothing you can do about it.”

“No!” Jack screamed and lunged at Tony, the scalpel in his hand.

But Tony had already jumped over the wall and off the roof.

As Jack ran after Tony he lost his balance. He stumbled and fell to the roof, the knife still in his outstretched hand.

He had to stop Tony. He was running out of time.

“Jack!” That was a new voice.

Jack pulled himself to his elbows and saw a woman with dark red hair standing before him. She was dressed with utter simplicity: dark jeans, a black t-shirt and a black leather jacket. Her beauty required no embellishment.

“Jack, I’m Renee. You know me.”

“I need your help.”

“That’s why I’m here.”

“The White House is the target. Starkwood wants to kill the President. I have to stop them. I have to stop Tony. I have to go to the White House and stop Tony. The White House is the target…”

Renee knelt down in front of Jack.

“The White House is secure.” She spoke slowly and calmly.

“I have to get the President to the lock-down room.”

“You did get her to the lock down-room. Taylor is safe now.”

“Tony has the pathogen…”

“Not anymore. The pathogen has been destroyed. Tony is in custody. It's over”

“He was just here. Tony and Bill were just here.”

“There’s nobody here but us.”

“Bill…” Jack looked around. Where was Bill’s body? Where had it gone? He had been right next to it.

“Jack, listen to me!”

“What?”

“You’re confused.”

“Tony and Bill…”

“They’re not here. What you saw isn’t real.”

“Then you can’t be real either.”

“I am real. Look at me, Jack.Look at me!

Jack stared at her large turquoise eyes and the thin face generously sprinkled with freckles.

She held out her hand. “Give me the scalpel.”

Jack didn’t loosen his grip, but his hand was shaking so much he would soon drop his only weapon.

“I need your help,” He repeated. He pulled himself to a sitting position, backing away from Renee slightly with his grip on the scalpel still secure.

“Give me the scalpel and I’ll help you.”

“I was in a weapons lab. I escaped. They wanted me to make more pathogen. I remember now. They extracted it from my brain. The drilled a hole in my skull to extract the pathogen”

This memory was clear to him: He couldn’t speak or move, but he knew that he was in some sort of surgical suite, his head bolted to a metal contraption designed to keep him immobile. He heard the drill and smelt the bone dust and felt the vibrations.

There had been no pain. That was weird.

His free hand touched the shaved section of his head. It was proof that this one thing had been real.

“You have it backwards. They weren’t extracting anything from your brain. They were injecting something. Engineered stem cells. They were treating you,” Renee explained.

“There is no treatment.”

“There is now. And it’s working. You wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t working.”

“I…”

Renee leaned forward and placed her hands on either side of Jack’s face. She stared at him without blinking. “We’ve worked together. You can trust me.”

“I…”

“Trust me!”

It was more of a demand than a plea. Jack dropped the scalpel. With one hand Renee picked it up and carefully secured it in her jacket pocket.

“Right now I don’t have a choice,” Jack admitted.

“I can take you somewhere safe.”

Jack tried to stand up.

“My…my legs don’t work.”

“Yes they do. You came all the way up here by yourself. Come on. We’ll go slowly.”

Renee stood up first. She then pulled Jack up and put his arm around her shoulder. She had been right, Jack’s legs still worked, but they had grown exhausted from their recent activity.

Renee half carried Jack towards the stairwell.

He didn’t see the orderly with the military haircut and the huge syringe until it was too late.

END

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Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
alwaysashipper
Sep. 6th, 2009 09:53 am (UTC)
I really enjoyed it! I love how reality mixes with hallucination.
marinw
Sep. 6th, 2009 11:00 am (UTC)
Thanks for reading. This was fun to write.
century_fox
Sep. 6th, 2009 08:54 pm (UTC)
This was great! I really like your writing style- you have such a great balance between description and action.

Her beauty required no embellishment. Awww. :) That line made me smile...and so did the part when Renee put Jack's arm around her shoulder. *flails* (Sorry. I'm a dork and that made the shipper in me happy. XD)

GAH I felt so bad for Jack when Renee was telling him that he was hallucinating, and how he wasn't even sure if she was real or not. And then his legs not working...and the ending. Just...aksnjdlkasjdas.
marinw
Sep. 6th, 2009 09:03 pm (UTC)
I am taking horrible liberties here: Jack is going on pure adrenalin, he doesn’t realize how weak he is until he stops moving. That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.

Delusional! Jack would be very dangerous, especially if equipped with any kind of weapon. So Renee would have to show enormous balls to try to talk him down. Gentler then an orderly guy (or two)coming at him with the needle.

Renee rescuing Jack just doesn’t get old.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )