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Crashdown - Teh Plink Plink
February 2005
Teh Plink Plink
Sun, Jan. 23rd, 2005 02:58 pm

I've arrived at CTU and officially taken over for Adam. I know that's probably resulting in the resurrection of voodoo dolls or something else, but I don't care. The guy can get back to what he's comfortable dealing with, and I can do something not involving paperwork, phone calls, or bitching out incompetent people. Because sometimes I wonder why I chose to work here.

Then I remember.

I always wanted to do something with other people. That was always in my head, trying to do one better than was done to me. I'm not playing the 'I had a miserable life' card, because I didn't. I just saw things differently. Wasted time. Wasted potential.

So I joined the military, the all-American thing to do. I felt like I was doing something but it wasn't enough. I had to get out, so I did - and joined the CIA because of one man:

Chris Whitaker. God rest his soul.

We met while I was considering joining the FBI. He was there for some meeting. My interview was taking forever to get underway. We talked for a while. He told me I should call him. When the interview didn't reassure my nagging self-doubt, I called him -- simultaneously the smartest and stupidest move I've ever made in my life.

Soon enough I was working under him, first as a senior field operative, then as Regional Director. He gave me enough rope to hang myself, and sometimes I hung myself pretty well, but he was always there to cut me down, explain it to me, and make me do it again until I got it right.

For the first time in my life I believed in something.

It figures that then something would go horribly wrong and shoot it all to hell.

The bullet pierced just above his heart and went through him. He went for his gun, damn him, even as I was trying to get him the hell out of the way, and the second shot killed him instantly. Panic and insanity and here I am holding my dead boss's body in my arms.

Something snapped in me and I've never gotten it back. I don't want it back.

I spent the next months, the next year, I don't even really know how long, trying to hunt down the man that had killed Chris. That was all it was about. Sleeping, eating, spending time with my family - everything else went by the wayside. I was ruthless. I did some things that could be considered outside the lines. I did some things I regret and some things I don't. But I caught Chris's killer -- and he was one of ours.

That was when the slide began. I didn't really care about anybody but myself after that. I didn't know who to trust, didn't want to trust anyone, didn't want to believe anymore. I'll never Believe again. That's when I threw my hands up and let myself become the total asshole I became. I knew what I was doing, at first, what road I was going down, but as time went on it just seemed to be my reality. The world I'd made. It just happened that way.

Then along comes the California Presidential Primary of 2001. I walked into CTU that day not giving a fuck like I had all the other days before. But things changed that day. Jack and what he did and what he stood for, I looked at him and the others around him, and realized not only had I misjudged them, but that I needed to hold the mirror up. I did that very night. Got on the phone to Chappelle trying to save his life. I failed, but I tried.

It took me a while to completely shake the man I'd been. I know I'll never shake him completely. Too much went by for that. But I spent the year and a half after that wondering who the hell I was. I'd started out with a goal to help people and I'd become an embittered, corrupt man with a lousy son and a broken marriage. I had nothing to show for anything I'd done. And maybe that was the point that drove it home. Because here I am now, standing at CTU with my hands on the wheel.

Learning to drive.

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