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Point/Counterpoint, Part 3

Discussion in 'Creative Writing & Arts' started by lenafan, Mar 5, 2003.

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  1. lenafan

    lenafan Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Location:
    So. California
    :rolleyes: Ah yes, well this was written in early February before our last Sunday's episode. Consider this softening up of our Jack, maybe I should say thawing.
    All the characters belong to JJ Abrams.
    Enjoy

    Part 3
    POINT AND COUNTERPOINT
    Moscow
    Sydney awakened five hours later to find some disco clothes laid out for her on the chair near the bed. Her mother was in the other room. She picked up the party dress, heels and accessories and began to dress. They looked like they came from the same company that made her costumes for SD-6 and the CIA missions.
    The door opened and Irina came in, wearing a gorgeous green silk outfit. It wasn’t disco, but it was tailored perfectly to fit her six-foot frame. She also wore some spectacular jewelry. Sydney glanced at her hands and noticed a rather plain gold band on her left ring finger. She caught her breath. She looked at her Mother, who gave her a tiny smile and nodded. It was the wedding ring her father had put on her Mother’s finger thirty some odd years ago. She had kept it.
    “Where are we going?”
    “To a party.” Irina looked in the mirror, applying some lipstick.
    “Why?”
    “Sydney,” she looked at her through the mirror, “one of my – um, contacts told me that Oleg Kostov, one the men whose name you got has a prisoner. I’m pretty sure it’s Jack.”
    “Dad?” Sydney gasped. “What’s he doing in Moscow?”
    “He supposedly was sent by Arvin, along with an extraction team, to find you.”
    “But why do you think he’s a prisoner? And what happened to the extraction team?”
    “My contact who works for Kostov says someone from the Alliance offered him a lot of money to get Jack. I think I know who.” She straightened up and looked at Sydney who had finished dressing. “Kostov likes to play and throws a lot of parties. We’re going to see if we can find your father.
    “— And your husband,” thought Sydney with a smile.
    “I’ve a hunch he’s at the dacha Kostov owns and where the party takes place tonight.”
    Sydney thought a moment, “ Who do you think in the Alliance is after him?” She remembered Ariana Kane with a shudder.
    Irina shrugged. “I’m not sure. Jack is getting close to being uncovered as a double agent AND that ‘s puts you in serious trouble also.” She picked up a purse, tucked it under her arm and left the room, Sydney following.
    The lights were blazing. People were driving up to the door. Kostov’s men were parking the cars. Irina had Grigor stop. She ordered him to let the man take him to the parking place, and then he was to drive elsewhere. She wanted easy exit from the parking area.
    As planned, Sydney entered the house and melted into the scenery. Her outfit no less outrageous than many others. Her job was to get to Kostov’s office and rifle the safe. Then she was to leave quickly as Irina planned to give Kostov the scare of his life.
    Sydney entered the office without being noticed. She had a communications miniaturized mike on her costume and a miniaturized hearing aid. “I’m in,” she reported.
    “I’m going off mike, but you can talk and listen.” Her mother answered in Russian. She was paused in the doorway. Many of the men were openly staring at her. She smiled. “I don’t see Oleg.” She told a man standing in front of her.
    “He’s here. Let me get him for you.”
    She stepped down inside the room. A waiter came up with a tray of vodka drinks. She took a shot, downed it and picked up another. Irina gazed about her at the other guests, some of whom were watching and others who did not care who she was. She sighed, wondering what happened to the man who was going to find Oleg for her.
    “I’m into the safe.” Sydney reported. Inside the office, she had penetrated the safe’s alarm system and pulled the override as Irina had instructed. The door opened silently. Sydney quickly went through the papers. She found the one she was looking for, took out the tiny camera from her small purse, snapped a picture. As she had a moment or two, she took more pictures of other files and papers. There was a curious looking box also inside. She took it out and opened it. “<o>” was imprinted on a dial. “Rambaldi!” She thought. She removed the box. This was something they had not counted on finding.
    “I’m out.” She closed the safe and making sure the hall was clear, left the room.
    Irina did not respond. She was watching a heavy-set man approach her, holding out his hand. He was about five seven, with greasy gray hair that he had combed over to mask his bald spot. His eyes were set close together and were sharply going over her body from top to bottom. He reminded her of a weasel. He would not like the introduction she thought, smiling.
    “Oleg Kostov,” he held out his hand.
    “Ahh, Mr. Kostov!” She smiled. “I’m Irina Derevko!”
    There was a sudden silence around them. People turned and looked.
    Oleg began to sweat. “Derevko? I don’t remember seeing you on the guest list.” My God, she was The Man.
    “I am sorry, but one of my men received an invitation. I thought I would come to see what kind of parties you give.”
    Kostov reddened as though he were a child who had been caught with his hand in someone else’s pocket. It was well known that coke, heroin, and other drugs were always available at these parties. There were women for those men who came without a dinner companion. “I could not be happier to have you as my guest.”
    He beckoned a waiter over. “Would you like some caviar? A drink?” Then he saw she had one in her hand. ‘”Sorry.”
    “I want to see you in your office immediately.” She leaned forward and looked down, dominating his gaze so much he had to look away.
    He nodded and gestured to the back of the room and then led the way to a door located close by. Oleg opened the door. She entered looking around.
    She smiled, “Do you know what happened to your predecessor?”
    “No, “ he answered nervously.
    “He died suddenly when he refused my offer. Now I’m here to make the same offer. You will make plenty of money and never have to worry about ending up dead.”
    “You, you cannot come to my home and – and threaten me.”
    “Threaten?” She stood over him. “I have not threatened you, Oleg Kostov. If I had threatened you, you would not be standing.” She gestured
    at him. “I am going to give you until tomorrow morning to make up your mind. After that, we’ll see.”
    “I found Dad!” The words came as a relief to Irina’s ears.
    “I will think about it.” He said nervously. Then he thought, “The ----- I’ll show her. She is not going to steal my business.”
    “Good, I’m glad to hear that.” She smiled at him again. It was a cold, deliberate smile.
    Out in the barn, Sydney had found her father bound and gagged in a storeroom. As far as she could tell he had been beaten, but not severe enough to prevent him from walking. She had already disposed of two guards. Jack bled from the mouth and he held his sides as though his ribs hurt.
    “My God, Sydney!” He cried.
    She put her hand to his mouth. “Don’t talk.” She helped him to his feet. She made a tiny adjustment on her miniaturized mike. “Grigor, bring the car to the left side of the dacha.”
    Irina walked out of the office, her arm around Oleg’s shoulders. People stopped to look. She seemed to be having a very friendly conversation with him. He grinned, nodding. She stopped by a waiter and took another shot glass of vodka. She downed it in a swallow, handing the glass back to Oleg as though he were a waiter. At the door, she turned and touched his cheek that was wet with sweat. “Remember, Oleg,” she said softly, “I will be seeing you tomorrow.”

    Moscow
    Making sure that no one had followed, Irina and Sydney with Grigor’s help, got Jack up to the apartment. Irina told Grigor to pick her up in the morning. She had a couple of errands to run. She glanced at her watch as he closed the door behind him. It was twelve midnight. Sydney had her father on the bed, checking him for other wounds not visible. Jack was not being cooperative.
    “Sydney, let me,” Irina said softly. “You sleep on the couch tonight.”
    Her daughter looked at her, then at her Dad. She knew he was going to have excellent care. She smiled too. “I put out some bandages and other stuff you might need. He’s a bit snarly.”
    “I know.” She nodded toward the door. Sydney left.
    Irina turned to Jack who seemed to be sleepy, almost groggy. She gently turned his head from one side to the other. She felt the lump. Someone had hit him hard on the head. He groaned and tried to push her hand away. There was no blood there. Sydney had put some water in a basin and a washcloth was lying near by. Irina swiftly used it to cleanse Jack’s bloody face, neck and chest. She undressed him carefully, making sure she didn’t cause him more pain. There were bruises along his rib cage, stomach muscles and thighs. Someone had kicked him several times.
    “Kostov will pay for this, Jack, I promise.” She pulled the covers over him. She took the basin of bloody water into the bathroom. Moments later she turned on the shower.
    Sydney heard the water. She tiptoed to the door, gently knocking, and looked inside. Her father was asleep.
    Sometime in the night, Jack tried to turn over. He grimaced in pain. Then he realized someone was in bed with him. An arm was gently lying across his chest. He put his hand on it. It was a woman’s. Then his tactile senses told him she was naked next to his body. He wondered who it was, but sleep once again overcame him. He drifted back to sleep comfortably aware it was someone he knew.
    When dawn arrived, Sydney got up, stretched and walked into the kitchen. As quietly as she could, she turned on the gas under the teakettle and rummaged around for the tea. She again walked to the door to the bedroom and opened it a crack to look inside. After moment, she shut it quietly, a tear rolling down her cheek. She leaned against the door trying not to sob. Her mother’s head was cradled by her father’s left arm and her arm lay peacefully across his chest. It was as though the past terrible twenty years had never happened.
    The teakettle’s whistle brought her back to the present. She ran to turn it off before it awakened everyone. She poured herself a cup. She sat sipping the hot tea. The tears were rolling down her cheeks. A few minutes later, the door behind her opened. She quickly wiped her face, struggling to maintain composure, as her mother came up behind her, putting a hand on her shoulder.
    “Good morning,” she said quietly.
    “Ummm,” answered Sydney not daring to speak yet.
    “Did you sleep all right?”
    “Um, hum.” Sydney mumbled, then yawned, successfully hiding her feelings. “How about you?”
    “Just fine.”
    Sydney felt she had herself under enough control to look at Irina. “How much time have we to get back?” she asked.
    Irina looked at her watch. “I have two errands to do first. You get your father up in another hour. I should be back by then.” She stood up, looking out the window to the street. “Grigor is here. I have to go. I will be back!”
    Jack awakened about an hour later and the door opened. Sydney stood there looking at him happily. “Dad, you’re feeling better?”
    “Yes!” He looked around. “Where are we?”
    “Mom’s apartment.”
    Now he sat straight up, wincing at the sudden pain in his rib cage. “Her what?” Suddenly he remembered last night. The comfortably familiar body next to him.
    “Irina’s here?”
    She nodded, a little concerned about the tightness in his voice. “Well, she’s due back any minute.”
    “Where’s Vaughn?”
    “Michael’s in Warsaw, waiting to hear that we’re on our way.”
    “Where’s the pickup point?”
    “A town on the border, Karscow.”
    “Sydney, where are my clothes?” He looked around for them.
    She opened the small closet and found them hanging up on a hanger. She pulled it out and laid it on the chair.
    “I’ll get you some tea. Could you eat?”
    “Yes, whatever. I’ve not eaten for at least 24 hours.” He waited until she closed the door. Jack took a shower and toweled off with some difficulty. After dressing, he entered the livingroom just as the door to the apartment opened. Irina paused a moment as she looked at Jack, then shut the door behind her.
    “Jack? Are you feeling better?”
    “Yes, thank you.” He stared at her not quite knowing how to act or what to say. He felt strange and conflicted.
    “Dad,” Sydney said, “your breakfast is ready.”

    Warsaw
    Vaughn waited by the laptop, watching the tracking point beep, knowing it was the only connection he had to Irina Derevko. She had been on the move during the past hour, but had returned to her apartment.
    The phone rang. He jumped by the suddenness and shrillness of the ring. “Vaughn!” His face broke out in a grin. “Hey!” He smiled. “I’ve been waiting for 24 hours to hear from you. Are you all right?” He listened. “Oh?
    What? Jack? Yes, we have a big enough helo. How soon?” He nodded. “I’ll let them know in Langley and they’ll tell Los Angeles. Glad everyone is O. K. Bye!”
    He dialed the cell phone. “ Mother Hen this is Boy Scout, Voice I.D. Alpha Frank 878. We have three to pick up. Will download debriefing from Reinsdorf!” He listened. “Yes sir, she’s with them.’’

    Germany
    Six hours later, the copter landed at an American airbase. It had been forty-seven hours since Irina Derevko had left the custody of the U. S. Joint Task Force Intelligence Center. She had kept her promise. Two U. S. Marshals waited for her and then handcuffed and shackled her.
    “Damn it,” Sydney said, “is that necessary?”
    “You know the protocol,” Vaughn reminded her.
    “It’s all right, Sydney.” Irina said quietly. She looked at Vaughn. “Remember you and I have a date when we get back.” She gave him a small smile.
    He nodded.
    She turned around and was led off by the marshals.
    Sydney came up beside him. “A date with my Mother?”
    “Yes, it’s personal.”
    Jack suddenly fell to his knees. Sydney ran to him. “Dad, what’s the matter?”
    “I guess I’m not as fit as I thought.” He coughed.
    Part 3
    POINT AND COUNTERPOINT
    Moscow
    Sydney awakened five hours later to find some disco clothes laid out for her on the chair near the bed. Her mother was in the other room. She picked up the party dress, heels and accessories and began to dress. They looked like they came from the same company that made her costumes for SD-6 and the CIA missions.
    The door opened and Irina came in, wearing a gorgeous green silk outfit. It wasn’t disco, but it was tailored perfectly to fit her six-foot frame. She also wore some spectacular jewelry. Sydney glanced at her hands and noticed a rather plain gold band on her left ring finger. She caught her breath. She looked at her Mother, who gave her a tiny smile and nodded. It was the wedding ring her father had put on her Mother’s finger thirty some odd years ago. She had kept it.
    “Where are we going?”
    “To a party.” Irina looked in the mirror, applying some lipstick.
    “Why?”
    “Sydney,” she looked at her through the mirror, “one of my – um, contacts told me that Oleg Kostov, one the men whose name you got has a prisoner. I’m pretty sure it’s Jack.”
    “Dad?” Sydney gasped. “What’s he doing in Moscow?”
    “He supposedly was sent by Arvin, along with an extraction team, to find you.”
    “But why do you think he’s a prisoner? And what happened to the extraction team?”
    “My contact who works for Kostov says someone from the Alliance offered him a lot of money to get Jack. I think I know who.” She straightened up and looked at Sydney who had finished dressing. “Kostov likes to play and throws a lot of parties. We’re going to see if we can find your father.
    “— And your husband,” thought Sydney with a smile.
    “I’ve a hunch he’s at the dacha Kostov owns and where the party takes place tonight.”
    Sydney thought a moment, “ Who do you think in the Alliance is after him?” She remembered Ariana Kane with a shudder.
    Irina shrugged. “I’m not sure. Jack is getting close to being uncovered as a double agent AND that ‘s puts you in serious trouble also.” She picked up a purse, tucked it under her arm and left the room, Sydney following.
    The lights were blazing. People were driving up to the door. Kostov’s men were parking the cars. Irina had Grigor stop. She ordered him to let the man take him to the parking place, and then he was to drive elsewhere. She wanted easy exit from the parking area.
    As planned, Sydney entered the house and melted into the scenery. Her outfit no less outrageous than many others. Her job was to get to Kostov’s office and rifle the safe. Then she was to leave quickly as Irina planned to give Kostov the scare of his life.
    Sydney entered the office without being noticed. She had a communications miniaturized mike on her costume and a miniaturized hearing aid. “I’m in,” she reported.
    “I’m going off mike, but you can talk and listen.” Her mother answered in Russian. She was paused in the doorway. Many of the men were openly staring at her. She smiled. “I don’t see Oleg.” She told a man standing in front of her.
    “He’s here. Let me get him for you.”
    She stepped down inside the room. A waiter came up with a tray of vodka drinks. She took a shot, downed it and picked up another. Irina gazed about her at the other guests, some of whom were watching and others who did not care who she was. She sighed, wondering what happened to the man who was going to find Oleg for her.
    “I’m into the safe.” Sydney reported. Inside the office, she had penetrated the safe’s alarm system and pulled the override as Irina had instructed. The door opened silently. Sydney quickly went through the papers. She found the one she was looking for, took out the tiny camera from her small purse, snapped a picture. As she had a moment or two, she took more pictures of other files and papers. There was a curious looking box also inside. She took it out and opened it. “<o>” was imprinted on a dial. “Rambaldi!” She thought. She removed the box. This was something they had not counted on finding.
    “I’m out.” She closed the safe and making sure the hall was clear, left the room.
    Irina did not respond. She was watching a heavy-set man approach her, holding out his hand. He was about five seven, with greasy gray hair that he had combed over to mask his bald spot. His eyes were set close together and were sharply going over her body from top to bottom. He reminded her of a weasel. He would not like the introduction she thought, smiling.
    “Oleg Kostov,” he held out his hand.
    “Ahh, Mr. Kostov!” She smiled. “I’m Irina Derevko!”
    There was a sudden silence around them. People turned and looked.
    Oleg began to sweat. “Derevko? I don’t remember seeing you on the guest list.” My God, she was The Man.
    “I am sorry, but one of my men received an invitation. I thought I would come to see what kind of parties you give.”
    Kostov reddened as though he were a child who had been caught with his hand in someone else’s pocket. It was well known that coke, heroin, and other drugs were always available at these parties. There were women for those men who came without a dinner companion. “I could not be happier to have you as my guest.”
    He beckoned a waiter over. “Would you like some caviar? A drink?” Then he saw she had one in her hand. ‘”Sorry.”
    “I want to see you in your office immediately.” She leaned forward and looked down, dominating his gaze so much he had to look away.
    He nodded and gestured to the back of the room and then led the way to a door located close by. Oleg opened the door. She entered looking around.
    She smiled, “Do you know what happened to your predecessor?”
    “No, “ he answered nervously.
    “He died suddenly when he refused my offer. Now I’m here to make the same offer. You will make plenty of money and never have to worry about ending up dead.”
    “You, you cannot come to my home and – and threaten me.”
    “Threaten?” She stood over him. “I have not threatened you, Oleg Kostov. If I had threatened you, you would not be standing.” She gestured
    at him. “I am going to give you until tomorrow morning to make up your mind. After that, we’ll see.”
    “I found Dad!” The words came as a relief to Irina’s ears.
    “I will think about it.” He said nervously. Then he thought, “The ----- I’ll show her. She is not going to steal my business.”
    “Good, I’m glad to hear that.” She smiled at him again. It was a cold, deliberate smile.
    Out in the barn, Sydney had found her father bound and gagged in a storeroom. As far as she could tell he had been beaten, but not severe enough to prevent him from walking. She had already disposed of two guards. Jack bled from the mouth and he held his sides as though his ribs hurt.
    “My God, Sydney!” He cried.
    She put her hand to his mouth. “Don’t talk.” She helped him to his feet. She made a tiny adjustment on her miniaturized mike. “Grigor, bring the car to the left side of the dacha.”
    Irina walked out of the office, her arm around Oleg’s shoulders. People stopped to look. She seemed to be having a very friendly conversation with him. He grinned, nodding. She stopped by a waiter and took another shot glass of vodka. She downed it in a swallow, handing the glass back to Oleg as though he were a waiter. At the door, she turned and touched his cheek that was wet with sweat. “Remember, Oleg,” she said softly, “I will be seeing you tomorrow.”

    Moscow
    Making sure that no one had followed, Irina and Sydney with Grigor’s help, got Jack up to the apartment. Irina told Grigor to pick her up in the morning. She had a couple of errands to run. She glanced at her watch as he closed the door behind him. It was twelve midnight. Sydney had her father on the bed, checking him for other wounds not visible. Jack was not being cooperative.
    “Sydney, let me,” Irina said softly. “You sleep on the couch tonight.”
    Her daughter looked at her, then at her Dad. She knew he was going to have excellent care. She smiled too. “I put out some bandages and other stuff you might need. He’s a bit snarly.”
    “I know.” She nodded toward the door. Sydney left.
    Irina turned to Jack who seemed to be sleepy, almost groggy. She gently turned his head from one side to the other. She felt the lump. Someone had hit him hard on the head. He groaned and tried to push her hand away. There was no blood there. Sydney had put some water in a basin and a washcloth was lying near by. Irina swiftly used it to cleanse Jack’s bloody face, neck and chest. She undressed him carefully, making sure she didn’t cause him more pain. There were bruises along his rib cage, stomach muscles and thighs. Someone had kicked him several times.
    “Kostov will pay for this, Jack, I promise.” She pulled the covers over him. She took the basin of bloody water into the bathroom. Moments later she turned on the shower.
    Sydney heard the water. She tiptoed to the door, gently knocking, and looked inside. Her father was asleep.
    Sometime in the night, Jack tried to turn over. He grimaced in pain. Then he realized someone was in bed with him. An arm was gently lying across his chest. He put his hand on it. It was a woman’s. Then his tactile senses told him she was naked next to his body. He wondered who it was, but sleep once again overcame him. He drifted back to sleep comfortably aware it was someone he knew.
    When dawn arrived, Sydney got up, stretched and walked into the kitchen. As quietly as she could, she turned on the gas under the teakettle and rummaged around for the tea. She again walked to the door to the bedroom and opened it a crack to look inside. After moment, she shut it quietly, a tear rolling down her cheek. She leaned against the door trying not to sob. Her mother’s head was cradled by her father’s left arm and her arm lay peacefully across his chest. It was as though the past terrible twenty years had never happened.
    The teakettle’s whistle brought her back to the present. She ran to turn it off before it awakened everyone. She poured herself a cup. She sat sipping the hot tea. The tears were rolling down her cheeks. A few minutes later, the door behind her opened. She quickly wiped her face, struggling to maintain composure, as her mother came up behind her, putting a hand on her shoulder.
    “Good morning,” she said quietly.
    “Ummm,” answered Sydney not daring to speak yet.
    “Did you sleep all right?”
    “Um, hum.” Sydney mumbled, then yawned, successfully hiding her feelings. “How about you?”
    “Just fine.”
    Sydney felt she had herself under enough control to look at Irina. “How much time have we to get back?” she asked.
    Irina looked at her watch. “I have two errands to do first. You get your father up in another hour. I should be back by then.” She stood up, looking out the window to the street. “Grigor is here. I have to go. I will be back!”
    Jack awakened about an hour later and the door opened. Sydney stood there looking at him happily. “Dad, you’re feeling better?”
    “Yes!” He looked around. “Where are we?”
    “Mom’s apartment.”
    Now he sat straight up, wincing at the sudden pain in his rib cage. “Her what?” Suddenly he remembered last night. The comfortably familiar body next to him.
    “Irina’s here?”
    She nodded, a little concerned about the tightness in his voice. “Well, she’s due back any minute.”
    “Where’s Vaughn?”
    “Michael’s in Warsaw, waiting to hear that we’re on our way.”
    “Where’s the pickup point?”
    “A town on the border, Karscow.”
    “Sydney, where are my clothes?” He looked around for them.
    She opened the small closet and found them hanging up on a hanger. She pulled it out and laid it on the chair.
    “I’ll get you some tea. Could you eat?”
    “Yes, whatever. I’ve not eaten for at least 24 hours.” He waited until she closed the door. Jack took a shower and toweled off with some difficulty. After dressing, he entered the livingroom just as the door to the apartment opened. Irina paused a moment as she looked at Jack, then shut the door behind her.
    “Jack? Are you feeling better?”
    “Yes, thank you.” He stared at her not quite knowing how to act or what to say. He felt strange and conflicted.
    “Dad,” Sydney said, “your breakfast is ready.”

    Warsaw
    Vaughn waited by the laptop, watching the tracking point beep, knowing it was the only connection he had to Irina Derevko. She had been on the move during the past hour, but had returned to her apartment.
    The phone rang. He jumped by the suddenness and shrillness of the ring. “Vaughn!” His face broke out in a grin. “Hey!” He smiled. “I’ve been waiting for 24 hours to hear from you. Are you all right?” He listened. “Oh?
    What? Jack? Yes, we have a big enough helo. How soon?” He nodded. “I’ll let them know in Langley and they’ll tell Los Angeles. Glad everyone is O. K. Bye!”
    He dialed the cell phone. “ Mother Hen this is Boy Scout, Voice I.D. Alpha Frank 878. We have three to pick up. Will download debriefing from Reinsdorf!” He listened. “Yes sir, she’s with them.’’

    Germany
    Six hours later, the copter landed at an American airbase. It had been forty-seven hours since Irina Derevko had left the custody of the U. S. Joint Task Force Intelligence Center. She had kept her promise. Two U. S. Marshals waited for her and then handcuffed and shackled her.
    “Damn it,” Sydney said, “is that necessary?”
    “You know the protocol,” Vaughn reminded her.
    “It’s all right, Sydney.” Irina said quietly. She looked at Vaughn. “Remember you and I have a date when we get back.” She gave him a small smile.
    He nodded.
    She turned around and was led off by the marshals.
    Sydney came up beside him. “A date with my Mother?”
    “Yes, it’s personal.”
    Jack suddenly fell to his knees. Sydney ran to him. “Dad, what’s the matter?”
    “I guess I’m not as fit as I thought.” He coughed.
    Part 3
    POINT AND COUNTERPOINT
    Moscow
    Sydney awakened five hours later to find some disco clothes laid out for her on the chair near the bed. Her mother was in the other room. She picked up the party dress, heels and accessories and began to dress. They looked like they came from the same company that made her costumes for SD-6 and the CIA missions.
    The door opened and Irina came in, wearing a gorgeous green silk outfit. It wasn’t disco, but it was tailored perfectly to fit her six-foot frame. She also wore some spectacular jewelry. Sydney glanced at her hands and noticed a rather plain gold band on her left ring finger. She caught her breath. She looked at her Mother, who gave her a tiny smile and nodded. It was the wedding ring her father had put on her Mother’s finger thirty some odd years ago. She had kept it.
    “Where are we going?”
    “To a party.” Irina looked in the mirror, applying some lipstick.
    “Why?”
    “Sydney,” she looked at her through the mirror, “one of my – um, contacts told me that Oleg Kostov, one the men whose name you got has a prisoner. I’m pretty sure it’s Jack.”
    “Dad?” Sydney gasped. “What’s he doing in Moscow?”
    “He supposedly was sent by Arvin, along with an extraction team, to find you.”
    “But why do you think he’s a prisoner? And what happened to the extraction team?”
    “My contact who works for Kostov says someone from the Alliance offered him a lot of money to get Jack. I think I know who.” She straightened up and looked at Sydney who had finished dressing. “Kostov likes to play and throws a lot of parties. We’re going to see if we can find your father.
    “— And your husband,” thought Sydney with a smile.
    “I’ve a hunch he’s at the dacha Kostov owns and where the party takes place tonight.”
    Sydney thought a moment, “ Who do you think in the Alliance is after him?” She remembered Ariana Kane with a shudder.
    Irina shrugged. “I’m not sure. Jack is getting close to being uncovered as a double agent AND that ‘s puts you in serious trouble also.” She picked up a purse, tucked it under her arm and left the room, Sydney following.
    The lights were blazing. People were driving up to the door. Kostov’s men were parking the cars. Irina had Grigor stop. She ordered him to let the man take him to the parking place, and then he was to drive elsewhere. She wanted easy exit from the parking area.
    As planned, Sydney entered the house and melted into the scenery. Her outfit no less outrageous than many others. Her job was to get to Kostov’s office and rifle the safe. Then she was to leave quickly as Irina planned to give Kostov the scare of his life.
    Sydney entered the office without being noticed. She had a communications miniaturized mike on her costume and a miniaturized hearing aid. “I’m in,” she reported.
    “I’m going off mike, but you can talk and listen.” Her mother answered in Russian. She was paused in the doorway. Many of the men were openly staring at her. She smiled. “I don’t see Oleg.” She told a man standing in front of her.
    “He’s here. Let me get him for you.”
    She stepped down inside the room. A waiter came up with a tray of vodka drinks. She took a shot, downed it and picked up another. Irina gazed about her at the other guests, some of whom were watching and others who did not care who she was. She sighed, wondering what happened to the man who was going to find Oleg for her.
    “I’m into the safe.” Sydney reported. Inside the office, she had penetrated the safe’s alarm system and pulled the override as Irina had instructed. The door opened silently. Sydney quickly went through the papers. She found the one she was looking for, took out the tiny camera from her small purse, snapped a picture. As she had a moment or two, she took more pictures of other files and papers. There was a curious looking box also inside. She took it out and opened it. “<o>” was imprinted on a dial. “Rambaldi!” She thought. She removed the box. This was something they had not counted on finding.
    “I’m out.” She closed the safe and making sure the hall was clear, left the room.
    Irina did not respond. She was watching a heavy-set man approach her, holding out his hand. He was about five seven, with greasy gray hair that he had combed over to mask his bald spot. His eyes were set close together and were sharply going over her body from top to bottom. He reminded her of a weasel. He would not like the introduction she thought, smiling.
    “Oleg Kostov,” he held out his hand.
    “Ahh, Mr. Kostov!” She smiled. “I’m Irina Derevko!”
    There was a sudden silence around them. People turned and looked.
    Oleg began to sweat. “Derevko? I don’t remember seeing you on the guest list.” My God, she was The Man.
    “I am sorry, but one of my men received an invitation. I thought I would come to see what kind of parties you give.”
    Kostov reddened as though he were a child who had been caught with his hand in someone else’s pocket. It was well known that coke, heroin, and other drugs were always available at these parties. There were women for those men who came without a dinner companion. “I could not be happier to have you as my guest.”
    He beckoned a waiter over. “Would you like some caviar? A drink?” Then he saw she had one in her hand. ‘”Sorry.”
    “I want to see you in your office immediately.” She leaned forward and looked down, dominating his gaze so much he had to look away.
    He nodded and gestured to the back of the room and then led the way to a door located close by. Oleg opened the door. She entered looking around.
    She smiled, “Do you know what happened to your predecessor?”
    “No, “ he answered nervously.
    “He died suddenly when he refused my offer. Now I’m here to make the same offer. You will make plenty of money and never have to worry about ending up dead.”
    “You, you cannot come to my home and – and threaten me.”
    “Threaten?” She stood over him. “I have not threatened you, Oleg Kostov. If I had threatened you, you would not be standing.” She gestured
    at him. “I am going to give you until tomorrow morning to make up your mind. After that, we’ll see.”
    “I found Dad!” The words came as a relief to Irina’s ears.
    “I will think about it.” He said nervously. Then he thought, “The ----- I’ll show her. She is not going to steal my business.”
    “Good, I’m glad to hear that.” She smiled at him again. It was a cold, deliberate smile.
    Out in the barn, Sydney had found her father bound and gagged in a storeroom. As far as she could tell he had been beaten, but not severe enough to prevent him from walking. She had already disposed of two guards. Jack bled from the mouth and he held his sides as though his ribs hurt.
    “My God, Sydney!” He cried.
    She put her hand to his mouth. “Don’t talk.” She helped him to his feet. She made a tiny adjustment on her miniaturized mike. “Grigor, bring the car to the left side of the dacha.”
    Irina walked out of the office, her arm around Oleg’s shoulders. People stopped to look. She seemed to be having a very friendly conversation with him. He grinned, nodding. She stopped by a waiter and took another shot glass of vodka. She downed it in a swallow, handing the glass back to Oleg as though he were a waiter. At the door, she turned and touched his cheek that was wet with sweat. “Remember, Oleg,” she said softly, “I will be seeing you tomorrow.”

    Moscow
    Making sure that no one had followed, Irina and Sydney with Grigor’s help, got Jack up to the apartment. Irina told Grigor to pick her up in the morning. She had a couple of errands to run. She glanced at her watch as he closed the door behind him. It was twelve midnight. Sydney had her father on the bed, checking him for other wounds not visible. Jack was not being cooperative.
    “Sydney, let me,” Irina said softly. “You sleep on the couch tonight.”
    Her daughter looked at her, then at her Dad. She knew he was going to have excellent care. She smiled too. “I put out some bandages and other stuff you might need. He’s a bit snarly.”
    “I know.” She nodded toward the door. Sydney left.
    Irina turned to Jack who seemed to be sleepy, almost groggy. She gently turned his head from one side to the other. She felt the lump. Someone had hit him hard on the head. He groaned and tried to push her hand away. There was no blood there. Sydney had put some water in a basin and a washcloth was lying near by. Irina swiftly used it to cleanse Jack’s bloody face, neck and chest. She undressed him carefully, making sure she didn’t cause him more pain. There were bruises along his rib cage, stomach muscles and thighs. Someone had kicked him several times.
    “Kostov will pay for this, Jack, I promise.” She pulled the covers over him. She took the basin of bloody water into the bathroom. Moments later she turned on the shower.
    Sydney heard the water. She tiptoed to the door, gently knocking, and looked inside. Her father was asleep.
    Sometime in the night, Jack tried to turn over. He grimaced in pain. Then he realized someone was in bed with him. An arm was gently lying across his chest. He put his hand on it. It was a woman’s. Then his tactile senses told him she was naked next to his body. He wondered who it was, but sleep once again overcame him. He drifted back to sleep comfortably aware it was someone he knew.
    When dawn arrived, Sydney got up, stretched and walked into the kitchen. As quietly as she could, she turned on the gas under the teakettle and rummaged around for the tea. She again walked to the door to the bedroom and opened it a crack to look inside. After moment, she shut it quietly, a tear rolling down her cheek. She leaned against the door trying not to sob. Her mother’s head was cradled by her father’s left arm and her arm lay peacefully across his chest. It was as though the past terrible twenty years had never happened.
    The teakettle’s whistle brought her back to the present. She ran to turn it off before it awakened everyone. She poured herself a cup. She sat sipping the hot tea. The tears were rolling down her cheeks. A few minutes later, the door behind her opened. She quickly wiped her face, struggling to maintain composure, as her mother came up behind her, putting a hand on her shoulder.
    “Good morning,” she said quietly.
    “Ummm,” answered Sydney not daring to speak yet.
    “Did you sleep all right?”
    “Um, hum.” Sydney mumbled, then yawned, successfully hiding her feelings. “How about you?”
    “Just fine.”
    Sydney felt she had herself under enough control to look at Irina. “How much time have we to get back?” she asked.
    Irina looked at her watch. “I have two errands to do first. You get your father up in another hour. I should be back by then.” She stood up, looking out the window to the street. “Grigor is here. I have to go. I will be back!”
    Jack awakened about an hour later and the door opened. Sydney stood there looking at him happily. “Dad, you’re feeling better?”
    “Yes!” He looked around. “Where are we?”
    “Mom’s apartment.”
    Now he sat straight up, wincing at the sudden pain in his rib cage. “Her what?” Suddenly he remembered last night. The comfortably familiar body next to him.
    “Irina’s here?”
    She nodded, a little concerned about the tightness in his voice. “Well, she’s due back any minute.”
    “Where’s Vaughn?”
    “Michael’s in Warsaw, waiting to hear that we’re on our way.”
    “Where’s the pickup point?”
    “A town on the border, Karscow.”
    “Sydney, where are my clothes?” He looked around for them.
    She opened the small closet and found them hanging up on a hanger. She pulled it out and laid it on the chair.
    “I’ll get you some tea. Could you eat?”
    “Yes, whatever. I’ve not eaten for at least 24 hours.” He waited until she closed the door. Jack took a shower and toweled off with some difficulty. After dressing, he entered the livingroom just as the door to the apartment opened. Irina paused a moment as she looked at Jack, then shut the door behind her.
    “Jack? Are you feeling better?”
    “Yes, thank you.” He stared at her not quite knowing how to act or what to say. He felt strange and conflicted.
    “Dad,” Sydney said, “your breakfast is ready.”

    Warsaw
    Vaughn waited by the laptop, watching the tracking point beep, knowing it was the only connection he had to Irina Derevko. She had been on the move during the past hour, but had returned to her apartment.
    The phone rang. He jumped by the suddenness and shrillness of the ring. “Vaughn!” His face broke out in a grin. “Hey!” He smiled. “I’ve been waiting for 24 hours to hear from you. Are you all right?” He listened. “Oh?
    What? Jack? Yes, we have a big enough helo. How soon?” He nodded. “I’ll let them know in Langley and they’ll tell Los Angeles. Glad everyone is O. K. Bye!”
    He dialed the cell phone. “ Mother Hen this is Boy Scout, Voice I.D. Alpha Frank 878. We have three to pick up. Will download debriefing from Reinsdorf!” He listened. “Yes sir, she’s with them.’’

    Germany
    Six hours later, the copter landed at an American airbase. It had been forty-seven hours since Irina Derevko had left the custody of the U. S. Joint Task Force Intelligence Center. She had kept her promise. Two U. S. Marshals waited for her and then handcuffed and shackled her.
    “Damn it,” Sydney said, “is that necessary?”
    “You know the protocol,” Vaughn reminded her.
    “It’s all right, Sydney.” Irina said quietly. She looked at Vaughn. “Remember you and I have a date when we get back.” She gave him a small smile.
    He nodded.
    She turned around and was led off by the marshals.
    Sydney came up beside him. “A date with my Mother?”
    “Yes, it’s personal.”
    Jack suddenly fell to his knees. Sydney ran to him. “Dad, what’s the matter?”
    “I guess I’m not as fit as I thought.” He coughed.
     
  2. Moriel

    Moriel Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2003
    Location:
    Mafia Headquarters
    I`M SO LIKEN THIS!!! :jump: :jawdrop: :jump: :jawdrop: :jump:
     
  3. OneofHis

    OneofHis Ensign

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2003
    Oh Jack, Irina did a good job taking care of you. You could get used to that couldn't you?

    ::::sigh:::

    Keep 'em coming!
     
  4. musically83

    musically83 Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2003
    Location:
    Connecticut
    any reason you posted it 3 times in the same message?? all kidding aside, I'm TOTALLY loving this!!!
     
  5. VaughnFan13

    VaughnFan13 Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2003
    Location:
    California
    i know,i was wondering that too
     
  6. Scarlet Crystal

    Scarlet Crystal Bibbity Rabbity

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Location:
    Narnia
    ouch! i freaked at the title...
     
  7. Gaia

    Gaia Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2005
    wow,here is old fanfics,too! did you ever continued this? Jack seemed different than usually,really soften,like you said.
     

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