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For Your Toys Only (Episode 18)


Episode Eighteen
Paranoia
Directed by Erik Skjoldbjærg

When Jack Collier, agent of the Agency who is known as Seven with One to his fellow agents, woke up he didn’t actually know where he was. He could tell instantly that he wasn’t in his bed because there was only one pillow. Since the age of ten he’d always slept with two pillows and here there was only one. The sheets were harsh and cheap linens, no where near the 750 thread count Egyptian cotton that he usually bought for himself. He pushed himself up off the surface of the horribly lumpy bed and reached around for a lamp or light switch. His hand touched something cold and hard which felt like a lamp. It turned out to be one of the cheap hotel style lamps in one of the cheap hotel style rooms that the Agency kept in the headquarters for agents who weren’t local.

Jack stood up and rubbed at his eyes and face, only to discover that he couldn’t do a proper job of it. He turned towards a mirror and found that someone had packed his nose and put tape over half his face. There were bandages on his forehead, over his left cheek and of course there was the small canvas worth of white material over his nose. He looked down at his left arm to find that it also had been wrapped and probably stitched up. Some one had clearly gone to a lot of effort to put him back together after the Red Water Nazis had tried to take him apart.

He was at least wearing one of his t-shirts and had a pair of his own sweat pants on. This told him that Alice had probably told them enough about his sleeping patterns to get some of his clothes together for him. He looked around the room for the rest of his clothes and discovered a clean suit sitting on its hanger on a chair. He looked at the suit and then at the two guns on the table next to the chair. His Walther had been found and presumably his Berretta had been found on him. He picked up what other people had so often called “A lady’s gun, and not a very nice lady at that” and checked the clip. The weapon had just been taken and put on the table. They hadn’t even actually checked it, just tossed it in with the rest of his things, because no one would have let him keep the gun with what he’d loaded in it. He looked down at the floor and found that his back pack also seemed to have survived the trip. He opened it and found that indeed no one was in a mood to search anything of his. He still took everything out of the bag and checked it for any finger prints beyond his own carefully placed prints. It was sometimes easier to make sure he touched things in a specific way and just see if anyone smeared his prints than to go through all the other ways to see if anyone had been through his things.

He got dressed and when he picked up the Walther he decided to take it apart. It wasn’t that he distrusted Agency people so much, but his gun had been on the floor for a while and anyone could have swapped it out. It was his gun, the numbers matched up along with the small scratches that he’d long ago memorized. He still couldn’t help himself though. He took his small set of tools out and started to take the gun completely apart. It wasn’t just stripping it, he took the gun completely apart to check for any foreign object that he didn’t instantly recognize. There was a small patch of something inside one of the scales, which had been slightly ground out to hold this something. He didn’t even pout the gun back together and simply shoved the entire works into the garbage can. He looked at the Berretta and decided that maybe there was a chance they had looked at it.

His nose started to hurt and his head began to ache. He could tell that it was just the stress of the moment, but he was going to have to work through such pains. He put his hands palm down on the table, closed his eyes and took in a deep breath. He concentrated on the places that were causing him pain and focused on them while breathing. The pained areas, conscious of the attention, became embarrassed and ceased to hurt after a few minutes, leaving Jack able to continue his work. He took the small gun apart completely, but this time found nothing. He then searched through the kit again and was satisfied that the only thing they’d decided to tamper with was the gun. Still, he would have to abandon the bag somewhere, just to be safe. In fact, he decided to remove the clip from the Berretta and tossed it into the bin as well. He checked at the clip and looked at it hard, and then decided that no one had messed with it.

He picked up the bag of items that he had deemed important and decided that it wasn’t worth the risk. He put the clip into his pocket, grabbed his watch and left the room with the bag still on the floor. He had thought about leaving it behind, but it would only have given them a signal that he was on to them. He picked the Berretta out of the bin, put the Walther back together and put them all in their places to make it seem like everything was okay. He picked up the bag and started out of the room again.
“Hello Miss Cashnickle.” He said as he entered the outer office where K’s secretary sat.

“You poor thing.” She said looking at him. “Does you’re nose hurt much?”

“Yes.” He nodded. “But I’m pretty sure I’ll get over it soon.”

“They’re waiting for you.” She said pointing at the door.

“They?” He asked.

“They’ve been waiting for you to wake up for hours.” She smiled.

“So they haven’t been watching me sleep or anything like that?”

“You are so paranoid sometimes.” She shook her head.

“That’s not an answer to my question.” He said turning towards her.

“You know how they are.” She said.

“They’ve got cameras in the rooms?”

“Motion sensors.” Her eyes flicked and he saw a small spot on the wall. He walked towards it and put his thumb in his mouth. He then put his slobbered thumb over the place where the tiny camera lens was.

“Any thing else?” He asked.

“I don’t know what you mean.” She said pointing a descrete finger towards the filing cabinet. “It’s not like we check up on you guys every third Tuesday or anything.”

He opened the third drawer and found a small wireless microphone in the first folder marked with a T. He took it out and looked at it and then dropped it on the floor before crushing it with his heel. She nodded to him and he leaned over, still not wanting to expose them too much.

“Just the motion sensors and a couple of microphones.” She said. “They knew when you got up and started looking through your bag. They think you might have checked your guns, but they’re not sure.”

“Okay.” He nodded. “Why do they want me?”

“To tell you what a good job you did.” She smiled. “To tell you how nice it is that you saved the day and how you can relax now that it’s over.”

“It’s not over.” He said. “They’ve got another target, and I know who it is.”

“Jack?”

“Tell Jason, Jim, and Tom Quinn to start putting a perimeter around Baby New Year.”

“Um, I’m not sure.”

“And tell Ralph to get that rifle of his because he’s going to be needed for counter shooting.” He said looking at his watch, once again making sure the extra button was there. “There isn’t time to argue, I’ll get K to approve it, just get started now.”

He walked through the door, dropping his bag unceremoniously at the door as he crossed the threshold. He walked towards K’s desk and watched as the man’s smiling face became a mask of concern. He couldn’t see much of Jack’s face because of the bandages, but he could see enough in his body language to become uneasy. K tried to regain his smile and start where he was though as Jack sat down in one of the chairs between Alice and the Secretary for Secret Affairs.

“Ah, Collier.” K’s smile was a mask, his eyes were worried that Jack was about to leap across the table. “We were just discussing how well you’ve done and how you deserve a break now that this is over.”

“It’s not over sir.” Jack said. “They’ll be going after Baby New Year next. We stopped one part of the operation, they’ll have a back up plan.”

“How can you be sure of that?” The Secretary asked in a more indignant voice than Jack liked. “Our evidence clearly states that…”

“Yeah, cause you were there.” Jack cut him off with a voice like ice. “I remember seeing you there right next to me the whole time. It was good you were there otherwise I might have been thrown off that sleigh loaded with explosives and we might never have stopped them.”

The secretary tried to meet Jack’s eyes, but they were too hard and cold. He turned instead to K and gave an exhasperated sigh.

“How you can put up with him I have no idea.” The secretary said as Jack’s right hand swung up and cuffed him on the back of the head.

There might have been a squeak of indignation, but it was cut off by Jack’s left fist striking him across the mouth. Collier was in fact out of his chair and pulling the Berretta out before anyone knew what was going on. Jack pulled the secretary to his knees and screwed the barrel of the Berretta under his chin.

“They couldn’t have gotten as far as they did, with and as close as they did without help.” Collier’s voice was loud enough for the room to hear, but only just. “There had to be a lot of people on the inside, helping.”

“I’ve not had your report yet Jack.” K said.

“You know what I’m talking about K, you suspected this from the start. Isn’t that why you asked me to go talk to Doctor Grunch?”

“You’d better start talking Charlie.” K said.

“You’re both going to burn for this.” The Secretary for Secret Affairs growled. “When I get back to my office I’ll put you both down for this.”

“That sounds like a threat against a couple of federal agents.” Jack smiled and screwed the barrel into the Secretary’s neck a little harder.

“Who says you’ll make it back to your office?” Jack asked. “Mikelson can’t do anything for you, not now. He over played his hand trying to take over The Agency and as soon as K gives me the go ahead I’ll go arrest him for ordering Bauer to kill witnesses and being part of this whole conspiracy.”

“No Jack.” K said. “I need you stopping this whole thing. Alice, go lead a unit to take Mikelson and tell Miss Cashnickle that I endorse whatever orders he gave on his way in here.”

“Yes sir.” Liddell stood and walked from the room.

“Charlie.” K sighed. “If you start talking now I can probably make sure that you’re not just put into a deep dark hole somewhere.”

“They’ll kill me if I tell you.”

“And I’ll probably kill you if you don’t.” Jack said. “The difference is a quick shot in the back of the head or what I’ll do when I come back all pissed off.”

“It goes to the top.” Charlie whined.

“I’ll start at the bottom.” Jack smiled. “With your little toe.”

“Oh God.”

“Don’t bring people into this who have nothing to do with it.” Jack growled.

“Okay.” Charlie held up his hands. “I’ll tell you, but you’ve got to protect me.”

“Done.” K said. “Not get started.”

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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
farmishtphoenix
Dec. 18th, 2007 06:07 pm (UTC)
Off-topic: LOVE Red Peters.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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