ok but I’m so not here for the headcanon that the corruption within overwatch was overlooked by jack simply because he’s a stupid, block-headed idiot refusing to listen to gabe telling him the truth

like nah son give me a jack who actually listens to one of the most competent, level-headed guys he’s ever worked with and does his own digging, who is politically and personally threatened when he learns the truth and is choked by inaction bc he’s just some kid from indiana and the people turning him into a puppet are too powerful for him to stop. give me jack telling gabe he’s crazy and he’s gotta keep his mouth shut not bc he believes gabe is rocking the boat for no good reason but bc he knows he’s right and he’s terrified of what might happen to gabe if the wrong people hear him. give me jack smiling pretty for cameras and saying what the men in suits want him to say, becoming their propaganda poster boy bc if it keeps the people he loves safe he’ll dance to any tune they want. and for the love of god give me jack being too incensed with the injustice of it, too fucking disgusted by it all to keep it entirely under wraps, that they retaliate by fabricating information leaks that implicate jack. entire briefings for morally bankrupt missions that never took place find their way onto news sites, reports of horrific prisoner abuse, needless financial expenses being skimmed off the top of government funds. every little scrap of paperwork bearing jack’s signature at the bottom. they turn the public – the people he’s trying to protect – on jack like their own personal attack dog.

give me a jack so fucking disillusioned by the end that even the notion of a politically free overwatch repels him, bc for him overwatch is the site of his manipulation, where autonomy was stripped from him through the weakness of caring too much and he lost it all anyway.

Jack held political hostage in the name of his own people is my JAM.

Think of Jack fighting a protracted battle for years, trying his best to make Overwatch something worth being proud of, something that will help the world despite what his masters want.

Imagine him cultivating the image and visibility of himself and his team to turn their public popularity into a weapon he can use to protect them.

Imagine him slowly, silently trying to run his own investigation, dig up dirt on these people all by himself so that he can finally have ammo to fire back at them with but unable to show it or enlist any kind of help or even TELL anybody.  Because if the Powers That Be find out, they’ll…do exactly what they eventually do.

Imagine Gabe getting angrier and angrier because he thinks Jack is just letting this all happen.  And Jack can’t tell him for his own good, because what Gabriel would do would destroy himself and take down all of them with him and he doesn’t deserve that.  And Jack just has to watch as he slowly loses his best friend.

Imagine him as Soldier: 76 sitting on all that information he could never tell anyone, with no one he can even take it to.  Using his knowledge of the people who owned him and following those threads back to try to do what he can to shake the power of the ones who brought down Overwatch, because he knows they did it for a reason, and now they’re sitting in power with no one left to oppose whatever their plans are.

Imagine him nearly choking on his own tongue when he hears about the Recall, because Winston’s just painted a bullseye on all their backs.  Their enemies are still out there, and as far as Jack knows, nobody alive even knows they exist but him.  And he’s “dead” and has no hard evidence to bring against the names of people who serve at the highest levels of government and enterprise.

Imagine that Jack wears the mask because he’s still got one of the most famous faces in the world, and if they figure out who he is, they can still rain hell down on what’s left of Overwatch.  Because he can barely even stomach thinking about Overwatch anymore, but the people who served with him are still the best people he’s ever known.

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