***This story is basically my idea of Irina's childhood. If you find something that you think is inaccurate, please tell me so I can fix it. Please understand that it is (in most cases) NOT historically accurate.*** Moscow, USSR Winter 1967 The somber streets of Moscow were lined with snow the day Irina was confronted by a KGB officer. She was walking home from the university when it happened. The man pulled her into an alleyway, covering her mouth. "Do not scream, Miss Derevko. I work for the government." Irina stared back at him with wild eyes. She was only eighteen and a university student specializing in Russian literature. Both her parents had been loyal supporters of the Soviet Union. What was happening? The government agent escorted her through the crowded streets to the tallest office building in the city. He did not speak to her as they walked and Irina knew better than to ask questions. You could not question the government. When they finally reached the building Irina was escorted to a dark room where she was seated in the only chair. She noticed mirrors on two of the four walls. The agent left the room without an explanation. At that moment Irina felt that he might be the last human being she ever saw. She had heard stories at the university that disloyal citizens were taken to this building and never returned. Even though the Soviet government knew that her parents' loyalties lay with them, Irina had never had any contact with officials. The young woman was relieved when the single door opened and a ray of light shone in her face. A sturdy man was framed in the doorway. "Miss Derevko," he said in Russian with a strong accent. "Do you know why you are here?" Irina shook her head, clearly having no idea what the man was talking about. He nodded and Irina hoped she had given the right answer, but the man had already begun speaking again. "My name is Petrovitch, Miss Derevko." Irina racked her brain for any clue of that name, but it was completely unfamiliar. "But you have never heard of me, have you?" Irina shook her head once more. "No, sir," she said meekly. "Do you know why that is, Miss Derevko?" Irina finally lifted her head and looked at the man questioning her. "No, sir," she said once again, "I do not." Petrovitch nodded. "You will know soon enough," he said, then walked out of the room. As the time passed in the empty room Irina became more and more anxious. Why were they detaining her? She was slightly reassured by the fact that she was still alive. The government did not usually hesitate in killing those thought disloyal. From what she had heard she would most likely not be alive if they thought her a threat. Later that day (atleast she thought it was still day) the door opened once again. Petrovitch entered, accompanied by a young woman and two men. "Miss Derevko," Petrovitch spoke. "These are KGB agents Romananov, Svetlana, and Stepan," he said gesturing to the agents who had entered with him. Thoughts raced through Irina's mind. KGB agents! Why had they brought in three KGB agents to see her? Without thinking she muttered under her breath, "Let me guess. You're KGB too?" She could hardly believe that the words had come out of her mouth, but could believe even less when Petrovitch responded, "Yes I am." Irina looked up at him. "What do you want with me?" she whispered. "We have brought you here, Miss Derevko," Petrovitch began, "because we would like you to join our ranks." Irina was shocked. "What?" she hissed. "Me? But I'm just a student." She was frantic. Her? A KGB agent? Petrovitch looked down on her shifting eyes. "We've been watching you, Miss Derevko. We think you could be a satisfactory employee for this agency. It is an honor to serve one's country in the elite ranks, miss." Irina nodded. She knew it was rare that a woman of her age was asked to serve her country. She nodded. "All right, sir." Petrovitch showed the slightest raise of his lips into a smile. "I think you will find that you have made the right decision, Miss Derevko." With that he left the room once again, followed by the three other agents. Irina was now more confused. Why weren't they telling her anything now? She had agreed to work for them, yet they were still leaving her in the dark room. Her back was beginning to hurt from the straightbacked metal chair they had sat her in. She tried to lay her head on her shoulder but could not stay still. She kept looking at the door, hoping that Petrovitch would return. She did not know how much time had passed, but finally the door opened. However, it was not Petrovitch who entered. An older woman strode in and pulled Irina up by her arm. "Come with me, Miss Derevko," she said, pulling Irina out of the room. Irina looked at her surroundings as the woman pulled her down the hall. The building was nondescript with doors spaced evenly down the hall. They went up three flights of stairs before the woman sat Irina in another room. This time, however, there were six chairs situated around a metal table. The woman sat across from Irina, staring at her. For about ten minutes the woman just stared at her. Irina didn't know what to do. Finally the woman spoke. "Miss Derevko, I am Agent Dariya Voronkova of the KGB. I will be leading you through your training. First we have some forms for you to sign." The stern woman snapped her fingers and suddenly a young man appeared from the hallway with a thick stack of forms. He handed Irina a pen and handed the forms to the female agent. She took the first form and set it on the table in front of Irina. "Sign here," she said, pointing to a blank line on the form. Irina nodded, only glancing at the form as she read it. She signed the others in the same form until Agent Voronkova had no more forms. "Thank you, Miss Derevko. We'll proceed to testing now." She gestured for Irina to follow her out of the room. Irina did as she was intended. The next room was already inhabited by several men and women. Irina looked around trying to take all of the sights in. She had never seen anything like this. Women and men were walking around with weapons, taking tests at tables, and groups of people she could only assume were agents were gathered in small groups. Voronkova led Irina to the first table on the right where another agent was sitting. Irina sat across from the agent as Voronkova pointed to it. The agent at the table took out a file. "Miss...Derevko, is it?" Irina nodded. "I have to ask you a few questions," the agent said, not making eye contact with Irina. Irina nodded again. A few minutes later the first agent had finished questioning about her parents and a new agent had taken over and was asking her about her experiences at the Moscow University. For several hours a variety of agents questioned her about her background and her beliefs. At several points Irina thought she just couldn't handle it anymore. Her eyelids kept drooping, but the shock of her surroundings always brought her back to reality. She answered the questions that the agents posed, but couldn't see how they related to anything the KGB would need to know. She thought the questions would never end. Finally, Voronkova took her back through the entrance to a room with a cot in the corner. "You can stay here tonight," she said, then left. Irina was thrilled and sat down on the cot. Before she could even realize what was happening, she was asleep. The shock of the day had exhausted her.