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THE BEAST IN CHAINS 3/4

posted in 24_fanfic

Title: The Beast In Chains, Chapter 3
Author: marinw
Rating: This chapter is PG. Really, it is.
Characters: Taylor/Ethan/Tim Woods/Logan/Dalia/Meredith Reed/Chloe/Morris/Jack/Renee
Summary: A Day 8 AU in which President Taylor doesn’t lose her mind. Did I mention that this is an AU?
Disclaimer: 24 is (was?) the property of Fox. Thank you 24. It's been quite a ride
A/N: A WIP denial-fic I wrote before the Finale. After this fic I will go back and join this real Canon. Thanks to my beta cybertoothtiger, and to all of you who have been reading.
A/N 2: I promise to get back to Wounded Hospital Jack in the next chapter. But as long as I’m writing an AU I might as well allow my beloved POTUS to retain her marbles, if only in this humble fanfic.

The president studied the digital file carefully.

“Who else has seen this?” She asked. Taylor, Ethan, and Tim Woods were both standing in front of Taylor’s desk.

“Just a few agents at CTU,” Tim answered.

“We need to keep this under wraps. At least for now,” Said the president.

Tim’s phone rang. “Excuse me,” Time nodded and moved to away from the desk.

“The question is what do we do now,” Said Ethan. “If the Russians are involved than we simply cannot go ahead with the Treaty. Not in its’ present form.”

“I know, Ethan. I know.” Taylor took off her glasses and rubbed her eyes. “Dammit. We came so close, Ethan. So close.”

“I know, Allison. I know what this meant to you. I’m so sorry.”

Tim hung up his phone and approached the desk. “Excuse me, ma’am, but I just got a call from CTU. They were able to get a name off of the sniper’s cell phone. But you’re not going to like it.”

“Tell me,” Taylor ordered.

“Charles Logan.”

“What?!” Taylor exclaimed.

“It was the last number Tokorev called on his cell. The SIM card was too damaged to reconstruct the actual call.”

“Where’s Logan now?”

“He’s still in the building. I believe he just sent someone to buy him some new ties.”

“Arrest him,” the president ordered.

••••

“You can’t do this to me!” Logan protested. He squirmed underneath the grip of the UN security staff. “I’m a free citizen. You wanted me here, Madam President. You wanted me here. Don’t forget that.”

Taylor nodded towards the security staff, “Let us have the room.”

“Yes ma’am” nodded one of the agents. The security detail left, leaving Logan alone with Taylor, Tim, and Ethan.

Taylor studied Logan. The man was repulsive. She had no other word for him. Now he was visibly trembling. Logan stared at his Commander In Chief with the incandescent blue eyes that were his one handsome feature.

“Why were you in contact with Pavel Tokovav?”

“I’m sure I don’t know who your talking about,” said Logan, as he straightened up ever so slightly.

“Your private mobile number was on his cell phone.”

“How did you mange to get data from his cell phone?”

“Agent Renee Walker managed to get Tokarev to cough it up,” Said Tim with a completely straight face. “Tokarev came here a few months ago on a diplomatic Visa. He’s a security guard. Nothing more. Why were you in contact with him?”

“I have ties with President Suvarov. You know that.”

“But why a minor member of his staff?” Ethan asked.

“Okay. I’ll tell you.” Logan sputtered. “I was hoping to meet Suvarov after the signing ceremony. Maybe we could have a drink together. Catch up on old times. I dialed the number I was given. I thought it was Suvarov’s social secretary, not one of his security men. I left a message. He must have been trying to call me back.”

“Unbelievable,” Said Ethan.

“I don’t believe you,” said the President. “You ordered Tokarev to take out Jack Bauer and Renee Walker, didn’t you? Why? What do they know?”

“That is an outrageous accusation.” Logan wavered his finger. “You have nothing on me, Madam President, absolutely nothing. It’s not a crime to make a phone call.”

“You have contacts in the Russian government. That’s why I made the mistake of asking for your help in the first place.”

“I can still help you, Madam President. I can still be of service.”

“I’ve had enough of your service for one day.” Taylor pressed the intercom button, “Security, get him out of here. Make sure he doesn’t leave the building.”

The two secret service agents entered the room. “If you’ll come with me, Mr. President.” one of the agents said to Logan with barely concealed politeness.

“You can’t treat me like this!” Logan protested as he was led from the room.

Ethan looked crestfallen. “I’m so sorry. It was my suggestion to bring him in.”

“Don’t blame yourself, Ethan, it was my call to make.”

“Unfortunately, Madam President, a single record of a phone call isn’t enough to charge Logan with anything,” Tim said.

“So he’s going to just slither away.” Taylor concluded.

“I’m afraid so, ma’am.” Said Tim.

“I can’t worry about Logan right now. I have to think about the Peace Treaty.”

“I don’t see how we can have a treaty now.” Ethan said.

“Set up a meeting with Dalia Hassan.”

••••

Dalia Hassan almost literally took Taylor’s breath away. Her dark, conservative suit and black headscarf only emphasized her beautiful face, a face made all the more stunning by her large nose.

Taylor motioned to the overstuffed sofa near the desk. “Please,” she motioned.

Dalia sat down, not taking her eyes off the president. Taylor sat down on the opposite couch.

Distance. Not too much, but just enough. Their relationship was about to grow a dozen degrees chillier.

“Dalia,” Taylor began, “I know we are only a few hours away from the signing ceremony. But there is something you need to know.”

“The Russian government. They are somehow involved in my husband’s assassination.”

“How could you know that?”

“I have my own sources within my government,” Dalia said evenly.

I’m sure she does.

“Do we have any proof?” asked the newly-minted president of Kamistan.

“We have an audio file CTU recovered. An analyst was revealed to be a mole. She was planted by the Russians to destroy the treaty. And assassinate your husband.”

“I must see this file.”

••••

After viewing the file Dalia was silent for a long moment. Taylor could not help but remember the time her own husband was abducted. That time, Jack Bauer had rescued him. Today he had not been so successful.

If Dalia was feeling anything but rage, Taylor would have been surprised.

Instead, Dalia showed heroic restraint. “Thank you for showing this two me. The trust between us is so important.”

“I’m so sorry,” Taylor said, “But we simply cannot sign the treaty under these circumstances.”

“No.” Said Dalia. “We cannot.”

“Russia has more nuclear weapons than any other nation save for the United States. The treaty will be almost meaningless without their signiature.”

“This is what they want. To destroy not only my husband but his dream as well. The best way to avenge him is to sign the treaty. For the whole world to see.”

“I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying.”

“I cannot declare war on Russia. My nation simply does not have the resources.”

“My administration will stand behind yours.”

“And war will be the result. The exact opposite of what my husband wanted.”

“We can’t suppress this evidence. We would both be impeached. Those responsible must be brought to justice. Once this matter has been investigated we will continue the Peace Process. Begin again.”

“I want that as well,” Said Dalia.

“I know that it’s an imperfect solution.”

Dalia smiled sadly. “It is an imperfect world, Madam President.”

••••

An hour later the Secretary General of the United Nations made a short speech and ignored the shouts of reporters as he left the stage.

Taylor made an eloquent speech, praising the IRK and the world for working together to build a better world. A new era of peace and co-operation would surely arrive. Just not today.

Next to the two of the most powerful women in the world, Novanovich and Suvarov stood fidgety and reserved.

••••

From the exile of his hotel room, Charles Logan watched the speech of television, apoplectic that his chance at securing new place in history had vanished.

In the next few hours, the FBI began an investigation. Quietly, and without much hurry. Eventually arrests were made. One of Novakovich’s men sacrificed himself, taking the fall for his bosses crimes. He considered himself an acceptable loss. As did Novakovich and Suvarov.

••••

Chloe returned home in late that evening. Morris asked her how her day went, how she felt about being in charge of CTU.

To her great surprise Chloe admitted that she liked having the power to make decisions.

Then she offered her husband her old job.

••••

Meredith Reed published a scathing article, writing that the postponement was a betrayal of the principles that Omar Hassan had sacrificed his life for. She was unconvinced by Taylor vague promise that the negotiations would begin again. Eventually. Work had a way of expanding to fit the time allotted. In the absence of a clear deadline nothing would be done.

The American people agreed. Taylor’s approval ratings plummeted. She was lambasted for ignoring important domestic issues in order to gain stature upon the world stage. That was the price Allison Taylor paid for telling the truth. At least she was still the president, if only until the next election.

••••

At Saint Andrew’s hospital, Jack slept as Renee sat by his side.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
averita
May. 29th, 2010 09:10 pm (UTC)
I don't have time to read this yet, but let me just say that your summary is probably the best fic summary I've read in AGES, and I already have a feeling I'll be adopting this as my canon. *g*
marinw
May. 29th, 2010 09:25 pm (UTC)
You are sweet! POTUS having a massive case of Dumb was almost as sad as Jack going all psycho. Almost.
averita
May. 29th, 2010 10:00 pm (UTC)
LOL, your icon is amazing.

Ugh, don't get me started. As much fun as Logan was in the last few episodes, I choose to ignore the last third of the season.

This fic is fabulous! And it makes sense. *sigh* If only TPTB thought about more than shock value these days.
marinw
May. 29th, 2010 10:03 pm (UTC)
It meant a lot to me to hear you say that. I thought *I* was the only one who cared about the Taylor/Dalia/Logan storyline amidst the Jack Psycho Spree mayhem
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )