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At Liberty, Part 3

Discussion in 'General' started by lenafan, Mar 2, 2003.

  1. lenafan

    lenafan Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Location:
    So. California
    Part 3 as promised ^_^
    All characters belong to JJ Abrams
    This part is where Jack goes to Moscow to pluck Sydney out of jail -- with Irina's help.

    AT LIBERTY – Part 3
    Los Angeles
    Asst. Director Kendall was not happy. There was the possibility that Derevko had been on the helicopter when it was shot down. Vaughn was distraught. Sydney had been all right, but then had disappeared.
    “I thought you talked to her?”
    “I did. She was the one who asked how her Mother was.” He swallowed. “I cut off communication because even I didn’t know.”
    “Did she indicate she had seen her mother when she got to the center?”
    “No sir!”
    “Someone told me they spoke to her when they were leaving.” Kendall was suspicious. “I know you like the girl, Vaughn, but remember your job! Tell me, do you think she might know where Derevko is?”
    “Anything’s possible,” Vaughn was unhappy. “Have they found any evidence?” He was thinking about Derevko being dead. Somehow he didn’t think she was.
    “The blast and crash pretty much blew everything to smithereens and that, unfortunately, included those on board.” Kendall grimaced. “We’ll know in a day or so.”

    St. Petersburg
    Irina led Sydney to an apartment building a couple of miles from The Hermitage. They walked up two flights of stairs. Sydney shivered a little. She was cold. She had not expected this to happen and one did not wear a heavy coat while doing some breaking and entering. She waited as Irina inserted a key and opened the door for her.
    “My apartment in St. Petersburg.”
    Sydney stood inside as her mother closed the door. “My gosh, it’s beautiful.”
    Irina had simple tastes, but she liked nice things. As The Man, she owned many apartments all over the world and was not ashamed of any of them. It did not matter what the building looked like. She nodded to the table and one of the chairs. “Sit there. Would you like some tea?”
    Sydney looked around, nodding. “It really is very nice.” Irina put on the water and stood in the doorway. She enjoyed looking at this young woman who was so much like her.
    “What next?” asked Sydney, looking back at Irina.
    “Humm! I could call the police and have you arrested.” She saw the look in Sydney’s eyes. “Well, we won’t think about that now.” The kettle whistled. Moments later a cup of hot, steaming tea was put in front of Sydney. Irina sipped from hers. “No, I’m glad we can talk to each other without a pane of glass between us.”
    “Yes, I like that too!” She had another thought. “Are you as bad as they’ve said?”
    Irina smiled, “Yes and no. However, I do not want to talk about my past, yet.” She sat down at the opposite end of the table.
    Sydney looked at her. “Ummm, well, okay, but you know, as a Mom, you are unique!”
    Now Irina laughed out loud. “That I’ll agree with. Now, how about getting some sleep. I’ve a few things to sort out, then tomorrow, I’ll tell you what we’re going to do.”
    “Okay.”
    Irina got up and walked to a door and opened it. “Bedroom and bath. Sorry, but we’ll have to share the bed. Do use the shower. I’ll be in shortly.”
    Sydney left. Irina closed her eyes for a moment, then she turned on the laptop computer, entered a password, and opened her financial files. She read from the entries, made some notes, processed payments to her creditors, then thought about Sydney and what she was going to do with her. Sighing, she stood up and walked to the bedroom. Sydney had fallen onto the bed; her clothes still on her, too tired to undress.
    Sydney woke up the next morning to find herself under the covers, naked. She felt comfy. Irina had evidently undressed her and put her there. She sat up, looking around. Her clothes lay on a chair. They looked freshly cleaned and pressed. There was a robe lying across the foot of the bed. She pulled it to her, stood up and put it on. There was an open door next to the bed. She walked into the bathroom, closing the door behind her.
    A few minutes later, she returned, toweling her hair dry. Dressing quickly, Sydney decided her clothes had definitely been freshly laundered and ironed. She opened the bedroom door and stepped out. Irina sat at her computer working.
    Her mother smiled. “Tea in the pot. Toast in the oven.” She nodded toward the kitchen.
    When Sydney had her food, she sat down opposite the woman she was becoming closer to than she knew her father wanted. She couldn’t help it. She sighed.
    “From now on,” Irina said in Russian, “you are to speak only Russian.”
    “Da!”
    “We are going on a trip to see some men and women I want you to meet. They are NOT to know you are American. I will introduce you as my daughter, Annya Derevko!”
    “Why?”
    “You will see.”
    An hour later, Irina maneuvered a black Mercedes into a parking lot at a small airfield. A Lear jet sat on the tarmac. Sydney recognized it as one of the new faster models. Her eyes caught her Mother’s. “Yours?”
    “Among others! Come on, we’re going to Helsinki.”

    Stockholm
    Not only did they go to Finland; they finished the day in Stockholm. Sydney had said very little, but was astounded when her Mother told the two men who headed up her organization in those two cities that they would extend any help she would need at anytime she asked for it. They looked at Sydney with new respect. She was dressed in black like her mother and there was a strong resemblance.
    That night as they got ready for bed, Sydney asked, “Mom, why are you telling your men to give me help if I ever need it?”
    “These men and women you will meet the next few days are the core group of my organization. They have known me since the beginning and they trust me more than anyone else, including Khasinau and Sark. You will be able to count on them if ever you need too!”
    “When do I go to jail?” Sydney knew she couldn’t stay free.
    “When we finish our trip. Don’t worry, Sydney, the men at the jail are in my pay and will do as I say. No one knows about them, not even Sark.”
    “How is SD-6 to know I’m still alive?”
    “Don’t worry. Not only will they know, but the CIA will also.”

    Langley, Virginia
    Communications agent Sam Marsden entered his office to find the red light blinking on his special ops phone. A message was waiting for him. He punched in a special code on the keypad. The digital read out started across the screen. He quickly made notes. He erased the tape. Then hurried to the office of the Director.
    Entering the office, he waved the paper in his hand. “Black Falcon.”
    The director took the paper. “Sydney Bristow is in jail in St. Petersburg for burglary at the Hermitage.”
    “Lets get the information to Jack on the secure phone.”

    Los Angeles
    Sloane sat at his desk wondering what to make of the message from The Alliance. He looked up as Jack came into the room. “I just got this from the Alliance headquarters.”
    Jack looked at it, and suddenly seemed to relax. The past two weeks had been hell for him, not knowing where Sydney was and not knowing what had happened to Irina. She had not been found. Nor had there been any DNA evidence of her death in the helicopter.
    “The Alliance wants us to get her out of jail?” Jack looked at Sloane.
    “Yes! They say she’s too valuable to waste. We’re to put a plan together see to it.”
    “I’m going!” Jack said.

    A few miles away, Vaughn was called over to Kendall who was reading what his computer screen pulled up. Kendall turned and told him Sidney was alive but was a prisoner. “Are we going to get her out?”
    “No, we can’t! We have to hope Jack will see to it.”
    Vaughn had a thought. “Send him a signal to meet me at the pier.”
    It was dark when Jack arrived at the pier where Sydney usually met her handler, Michael Vaughn. Now it was he who was meeting Vaughn. The younger man was waiting almost impatiently. He brightened when he saw Jack.
    “Sir, do you know about Sydney?”
    “Yes. I’m going St. Petersburg to get her.”
    “Isn’t that dangerous? I mean you might get caught too.”
    “You have a better suggestion?”
    Vaughn stared at him. “We could use an expert!”
    Jack stared back. “Do you know where Irina is, because she isn’t at SD-6. Sark is going nuts trying to find her. I’m worried.”
    Irina Derevko had disappeared. Vaughn had hoped, then he sighed. “We have no idea what happened to her. I left her in the care of two Marshals when Kendall called me into operations that day.”
    Jack rubbed his forehead, then started as he had an epiphany. “You don’t suppose….” He frowned, thinking harder. “Vaughn, have they really searched the center?”
    “Well, I thought they had. Should I check?”
    “No, we’re going to look now.”

    Across town, near the park, Jack and Vaughn, walked quickly to the underpass, found the phone and the abandoned shipping carrier. They went to the back where a secret door had been built. Jack had a jack handle with him. There was a slight crack in the door. Fitting the handle in it, he and Vaughn pushed hard. Moments later, they were inside. Vaughn took out his flash. They made their way to the cellblock. It was still and almost spooky. Their shoes stepped on broken glass. The sound made them check to see if anyone heard. They knew no one could hear from the front of the building.
    “The cellblock doors are open,” whispered Vaughn. He waved the flashlight which showed them to be up and not down.
    Jack glanced into the Marshals’ office as they passed. They continued down the corridor. They stopped in front of the cell itself. Jack tried the door. It was locked. He nodded at Vaughn, who turned the flashlight inside the square room that had been his wife’s prison the past six months.
    Suddenly, without warning, a body dropped from the ceiling. Facing them was Irina. “Jack?”
    Vaughn audibly gasped in shock, almost dropping the flashlight. Jack blinked and his heart beat faster as he looked at his wife. “Irina!” He smiled just a little.
    “Sorry about scaring you, but I would like to get out of here.”
    “Why didn’t you try to break out,” said Vaughn, then realized why.
    “Everything is bolted down and, “ she held up her wrists that were still manacled, “your Marshals didn’t leave me the key.”
    Vaughn looked at her guiltily. Jack put his hand on Vaughn’s arm. “Go back to the Marshal’s office and open the door.”
    Seconds later, Jack pulled her through the door. “We have a problem. Sydney’s in jail in St. Petersburg and we’ve got to get her out.”

    St. Petersburg
    Jack was driving through the St. Petersburg in a Mercedes sedan Irina had arranged for him to pick up. He stopped a block from the jail where Sydney was being held. Sloane and Sark had no idea Jack was hooked up to a special CIA line. Irina was on the other end.

    Los Angeles
    She was brought to the downtown FBI office through a secret entrance in a parking garage two blocks away. They knew SD-6 had men watching for her. Kendall had been almost emotional when they brought her into the main office. Everyone had stopped what they were doing to watch. She looked none to worse for the two weeks she had supposedly spent hiding at the Center.
    “How come you didn’t yell or something when our men were checking the Center a couple of days after the bombing?” His tone was accusatory. He did not want to admit the FBI had forgotten her in the excitement of the raid.
    “I didn’t want my head blown off if they weren’t your men.” She stared him down. “Immunity and protection was what I was promised, and, once again, you failed.”
    Kendall was about to make some retort, when Jack intervened. “What matters is Sydney.” He looked at Irina. “We need to know if you are familiar with the jail in St. Petersburg.”
    Now Irina was sitting at a view computer with earphones and mike. The camera that Jack wore on the frame of his glasses showed the street and its occupants, as well as the buildings. She recognized the jail where she had left Sydney to a week ago.
    “The jail is the building on your left. Go inside, up three steps, to a desk where an uniformed man is sitting. He’s the one in charge on this shift, usually a sergeant for the night shifts.
    Jack muttered, “ If I’m lucky, I will be out with her in a half-hour or less.” He was wearing a uniform of a Captain. Irina had told him where to call to get one. Remembering, he shook his head.

    Los Angeles
    “The uniform will be one of the Russian intelligence service, SVR. You will find papers in the inside coat pocket that will explain why you are picking up the prisoner. She is suspected of being a Chechnyan terrorist and SVR has first call on her.”

    St. Petersburg
    Jack came up the stairs walking briskly toward the Sergeant. “Good evening, Sergeant.” His Russian was perfect. He pulled the papers out of his pocket. “I understand you have this prisoner here?”
    “Da!” The sergeant took the papers from him.
    “I need to get her to headquarters in Moscow by tomorrow morning and it’s a long way to drive.” Jack looked officious.
    “Standard travel procedure?”
    Jack nodded.
    Minutes later, Sydney was led out wearing leg irons and handcuffs. She didn’t blink when she saw her father. She tried to look non-committal.
    Jack thanked the Sergeant, taking the keys to the irons from him. Then helped his daughter down the stairs. “You O.K.?” Jack looked at Syd’s face. It looked tired.
    “Yes, thanks.”
    He smiled and passed the keys over so she could unlock the handcuffs and leg irons.

    Los Angeles
    The new facility for the U.S. Joint Intelligence Op Center had been relocated underneath an apartment building about two miles from the other center, now destroyed. The building had been gutted. Equipment had been moved in overnight so that no one knew what was going on inside. The under-ground garage had been sealed. The door was plastered over and shrubs planted so that in a few days no one would even think there had been cars going in an out. Of course, this had been done to create another cellblock where Irina Derevko would be held. Super-computers, much smaller now, were installed. Communications were even better. On the roof was what looked like a dish to receive cable TV but which, in reality, was the most sophisticated of electronic listening and radio signal devices on this side of the country.
    Two nights later around 3:00 a.m., a car drove up. Two men and a woman got out, the car pulled away. The three proceeded into the building. Moments later, Irina was led down some stairs and thru the cellblock doors that seemed all too familiar. At least she wasn’t shackled. One of the Marshals opened the cell door. She stood just inside as he unlocked the handcuffs. The door shut behind him, the cellblock doors dropped down
    AT LIBERTY – Part 3
    Los Angeles
    Asst. Director Kendall was not happy. There was the possibility that Derevko had been on the helicopter when it was shot down. Vaughn was distraught. Sydney had been all right, but then had disappeared.
    “I thought you talked to her?”
    “I did. She was the one who asked how her Mother was.” He swallowed. “I cut off communication because even I didn’t know.”
    “Did she indicate she had seen her mother when she got to the center?”
    “No sir!”
    “Someone told me they spoke to her when they were leaving.” Kendall was suspicious. “I know you like the girl, Vaughn, but remember your job! Tell me, do you think she might know where Derevko is?”
    “Anything’s possible,” Vaughn was unhappy. “Have they found any evidence?” He was thinking about Derevko being dead. Somehow he didn’t think she was.
    “The blast and crash pretty much blew everything to smithereens and that, unfortunately, included those on board.” Kendall grimaced. “We’ll know in a day or so.”

    St. Petersburg
    Irina led Sydney to an apartment building a couple of miles from The Hermitage. They walked up two flights of stairs. Sydney shivered a little. She was cold. She had not expected this to happen and one did not wear a heavy coat while doing some breaking and entering. She waited as Irina inserted a key and opened the door for her.
    “My apartment in St. Petersburg.”
    Sydney stood inside as her mother closed the door. “My gosh, it’s beautiful.”
    Irina had simple tastes, but she liked nice things. As The Man, she owned many apartments all over the world and was not ashamed of any of them. It did not matter what the building looked like. She nodded to the table and one of the chairs. “Sit there. Would you like some tea?”
    Sydney looked around, nodding. “It really is very nice.” Irina put on the water and stood in the doorway. She enjoyed looking at this young woman who was so much like her.
    “What next?” asked Sydney, looking back at Irina.
    “Humm! I could call the police and have you arrested.” She saw the look in Sydney’s eyes. “Well, we won’t think about that now.” The kettle whistled. Moments later a cup of hot, steaming tea was put in front of Sydney. Irina sipped from hers. “No, I’m glad we can talk to each other without a pane of glass between us.”
    “Yes, I like that too!” She had another thought. “Are you as bad as they’ve said?”
    Irina smiled, “Yes and no. However, I do not want to talk about my past, yet.” She sat down at the opposite end of the table.
    Sydney looked at her. “Ummm, well, okay, but you know, as a Mom, you are unique!”
    Now Irina laughed out loud. “That I’ll agree with. Now, how about getting some sleep. I’ve a few things to sort out, then tomorrow, I’ll tell you what we’re going to do.”
    “Okay.”
    Irina got up and walked to a door and opened it. “Bedroom and bath. Sorry, but we’ll have to share the bed. Do use the shower. I’ll be in shortly.”
    Sydney left. Irina closed her eyes for a moment, then she turned on the laptop computer, entered a password, and opened her financial files. She read from the entries, made some notes, processed payments to her creditors, then thought about Sydney and what she was going to do with her. Sighing, she stood up and walked to the bedroom. Sydney had fallen onto the bed; her clothes still on her, too tired to undress.
    Sydney woke up the next morning to find herself under the covers, naked. She felt comfy. Irina had evidently undressed her and put her there. She sat up, looking around. Her clothes lay on a chair. They looked freshly cleaned and pressed. There was a robe lying across the foot of the bed. She pulled it to her, stood up and put it on. There was an open door next to the bed. She walked into the bathroom, closing the door behind her.
    A few minutes later, she returned, toweling her hair dry. Dressing quickly, Sydney decided her clothes had definitely been freshly laundered and ironed. She opened the bedroom door and stepped out. Irina sat at her computer working.
    Her mother smiled. “Tea in the pot. Toast in the oven.” She nodded toward the kitchen.
    When Sydney had her food, she sat down opposite the woman she was becoming closer to than she knew her father wanted. She couldn’t help it. She sighed.
    “From now on,” Irina said in Russian, “you are to speak only Russian.”
    “Da!”
    “We are going on a trip to see some men and women I want you to meet. They are NOT to know you are American. I will introduce you as my daughter, Annya Derevko!”
    “Why?”
    “You will see.”
    An hour later, Irina maneuvered a black Mercedes into a parking lot at a small airfield. A Lear jet sat on the tarmac. Sydney recognized it as one of the new faster models. Her eyes caught her Mother’s. “Yours?”
    “Among others! Come on, we’re going to Helsinki.”

    Stockholm
    Not only did they go to Finland; they finished the day in Stockholm. Sydney had said very little, but was astounded when her Mother told the two men who headed up her organization in those two cities that they would extend any help she would need at anytime she asked for it. They looked at Sydney with new respect. She was dressed in black like her mother and there was a strong resemblance.
    That night as they got ready for bed, Sydney asked, “Mom, why are you telling your men to give me help if I ever need it?”
    “These men and women you will meet the next few days are the core group of my organization. They have known me since the beginning and they trust me more than anyone else, including Khasinau and Sark. You will be able to count on them if ever you need too!”
    “When do I go to jail?” Sydney knew she couldn’t stay free.
    “When we finish our trip. Don’t worry, Sydney, the men at the jail are in my pay and will do as I say. No one knows about them, not even Sark.”
    “How is SD-6 to know I’m still alive?”
    “Don’t worry. Not only will they know, but the CIA will also.”

    Langley, Virginia
    Communications agent Sam Marsden entered his office to find the red light blinking on his special ops phone. A message was waiting for him. He punched in a special code on the keypad. The digital read out started across the screen. He quickly made notes. He erased the tape. Then hurried to the office of the Director.
    Entering the office, he waved the paper in his hand. “Black Falcon.”
    The director took the paper. “Sydney Bristow is in jail in St. Petersburg for burglary at the Hermitage.”
    “Lets get the information to Jack on the secure phone.”

    Los Angeles
    Sloane sat at his desk wondering what to make of the message from The Alliance. He looked up as Jack came into the room. “I just got this from the Alliance headquarters.”
    Jack looked at it, and suddenly seemed to relax. The past two weeks had been hell for him, not knowing where Sydney was and not knowing what had happened to Irina. She had not been found. Nor had there been any DNA evidence of her death in the helicopter.
    “The Alliance wants us to get her out of jail?” Jack looked at Sloane.
    “Yes! They say she’s too valuable to waste. We’re to put a plan together see to it.”
    “I’m going!” Jack said.

    A few miles away, Vaughn was called over to Kendall who was reading what his computer screen pulled up. Kendall turned and told him Sidney was alive but was a prisoner. “Are we going to get her out?”
    “No, we can’t! We have to hope Jack will see to it.”
    Vaughn had a thought. “Send him a signal to meet me at the pier.”
    It was dark when Jack arrived at the pier where Sydney usually met her handler, Michael Vaughn. Now it was he who was meeting Vaughn. The younger man was waiting almost impatiently. He brightened when he saw Jack.
    “Sir, do you know about Sydney?”
    “Yes. I’m going St. Petersburg to get her.”
    “Isn’t that dangerous? I mean you might get caught too.”
    “You have a better suggestion?”
    Vaughn stared at him. “We could use an expert!”
    Jack stared back. “Do you know where Irina is, because she isn’t at SD-6. Sark is going nuts trying to find her. I’m worried.”
    Irina Derevko had disappeared. Vaughn had hoped, then he sighed. “We have no idea what happened to her. I left her in the care of two Marshals when Kendall called me into operations that day.”
    Jack rubbed his forehead, then started as he had an epiphany. “You don’t suppose….” He frowned, thinking harder. “Vaughn, have they really searched the center?”
    “Well, I thought they had. Should I check?”
    “No, we’re going to look now.”

    Across town, near the park, Jack and Vaughn, walked quickly to the underpass, found the phone and the abandoned shipping carrier. They went to the back where a secret door had been built. Jack had a jack handle with him. There was a slight crack in the door. Fitting the handle in it, he and Vaughn pushed hard. Moments later, they were inside. Vaughn took out his flash. They made their way to the cellblock. It was still and almost spooky. Their shoes stepped on broken glass. The sound made them check to see if anyone heard. They knew no one could hear from the front of the building.
    “The cellblock doors are open,” whispered Vaughn. He waved the flashlight which showed them to be up and not down.
    Jack glanced into the Marshals’ office as they passed. They continued down the corridor. They stopped in front of the cell itself. Jack tried the door. It was locked. He nodded at Vaughn, who turned the flashlight inside the square room that had been his wife’s prison the past six months.
    Suddenly, without warning, a body dropped from the ceiling. Facing them was Irina. “Jack?”
    Vaughn audibly gasped in shock, almost dropping the flashlight. Jack blinked and his heart beat faster as he looked at his wife. “Irina!” He smiled just a little.
    “Sorry about scaring you, but I would like to get out of here.”
    “Why didn’t you try to break out,” said Vaughn, then realized why.
    “Everything is bolted down and, “ she held up her wrists that were still manacled, “your Marshals didn’t leave me the key.”
    Vaughn looked at her guiltily. Jack put his hand on Vaughn’s arm. “Go back to the Marshal’s office and open the door.”
    Seconds later, Jack pulled her through the door. “We have a problem. Sydney’s in jail in St. Petersburg and we’ve got to get her out.”

    St. Petersburg
    Jack was driving through the St. Petersburg in a Mercedes sedan Irina had arranged for him to pick up. He stopped a block from the jail where Sydney was being held. Sloane and Sark had no idea Jack was hooked up to a special CIA line. Irina was on the other end.

    Los Angeles
    She was brought to the downtown FBI office through a secret entrance in a parking garage two blocks away. They knew SD-6 had men watching for her. Kendall had been almost emotional when they brought her into the main office. Everyone had stopped what they were doing to watch. She looked none to worse for the two weeks she had supposedly spent hiding at the Center.
    “How come you didn’t yell or something when our men were checking the Center a couple of days after the bombing?” His tone was accusatory. He did not want to admit the FBI had forgotten her in the excitement of the raid.
    “I didn’t want my head blown off if they weren’t your men.” She stared him down. “Immunity and protection was what I was promised, and, once again, you failed.”
    Kendall was about to make some retort, when Jack intervened. “What matters is Sydney.” He looked at Irina. “We need to know if you are familiar with the jail in St. Petersburg.”
    Now Irina was sitting at a view computer with earphones and mike. The camera that Jack wore on the frame of his glasses showed the street and its occupants, as well as the buildings. She recognized the jail where she had left Sydney to a week ago.
    “The jail is the building on your left. Go inside, up three steps, to a desk where an uniformed man is sitting. He’s the one in charge on this shift, usually a sergeant for the night shifts.
    Jack muttered, “ If I’m lucky, I will be out with her in a half-hour or less.” He was wearing a uniform of a Captain. Irina had told him where to call to get one. Remembering, he shook his head.

    Los Angeles
    “The uniform will be one of the Russian intelligence service, SVR. You will find papers in the inside coat pocket that will explain why you are picking up the prisoner. She is suspected of being a Chechnyan terrorist and SVR has first call on her.”

    St. Petersburg
    Jack came up the stairs walking briskly toward the Sergeant. “Good evening, Sergeant.” His Russian was perfect. He pulled the papers out of his pocket. “I understand you have this prisoner here?”
    “Da!” The sergeant took the papers from him.
    “I need to get her to headquarters in Moscow by tomorrow morning and it’s a long way to drive.” Jack looked officious.
    “Standard travel procedure?”
    Jack nodded.
    Minutes later, Sydney was led out wearing leg irons and handcuffs. She didn’t blink when she saw her father. She tried to look non-committal.
    Jack thanked the Sergeant, taking the keys to the irons from him. Then helped his daughter down the stairs. “You O.K.?” Jack looked at Syd’s face. It looked tired.
    “Yes, thanks.”
    He smiled and passed the keys over so she could unlock the handcuffs and leg irons.

    Los Angeles
    The new facility for the U.S. Joint Intelligence Op Center had been relocated underneath an apartment building about two miles from the other center, now destroyed. The building had been gutted. Equipment had been moved in overnight so that no one knew what was going on inside. The under-ground garage had been sealed. The door was plastered over and shrubs planted so that in a few days no one would even think there had been cars going in an out. Of course, this had been done to create another cellblock where Irina Derevko would be held. Super-computers, much smaller now, were installed. Communications were even better. On the roof was what looked like a dish to receive cable TV but which, in reality, was the most sophisticated of electronic listening and radio signal devices on this side of the country.
    Two nights later around 3:00 a.m., a car drove up. Two men and a woman got out, the car pulled away. The three proceeded into the building. Moments later, Irina was led down some stairs and thru the cellblock doors that seemed all too familiar. At least she wasn’t shackled. One of the Marshals opened the cell door. She stood just inside as he unlocked the handcuffs. The door shut behind him, the cellblock doors dropped down
    AT LIBERTY – Part 3
    Los Angeles
    Asst. Director Kendall was not happy. There was the possibility that Derevko had been on the helicopter when it was shot down. Vaughn was distraught. Sydney had been all right, but then had disappeared.
    “I thought you talked to her?”
    “I did. She was the one who asked how her Mother was.” He swallowed. “I cut off communication because even I didn’t know.”
    “Did she indicate she had seen her mother when she got to the center?”
    “No sir!”
    “Someone told me they spoke to her when they were leaving.” Kendall was suspicious. “I know you like the girl, Vaughn, but remember your job! Tell me, do you think she might know where Derevko is?”
    “Anything’s possible,” Vaughn was unhappy. “Have they found any evidence?” He was thinking about Derevko being dead. Somehow he didn’t think she was.
    “The blast and crash pretty much blew everything to smithereens and that, unfortunately, included those on board.” Kendall grimaced. “We’ll know in a day or so.”

    St. Petersburg
    Irina led Sydney to an apartment building a couple of miles from The Hermitage. They walked up two flights of stairs. Sydney shivered a little. She was cold. She had not expected this to happen and one did not wear a heavy coat while doing some breaking and entering. She waited as Irina inserted a key and opened the door for her.
    “My apartment in St. Petersburg.”
    Sydney stood inside as her mother closed the door. “My gosh, it’s beautiful.”
    Irina had simple tastes, but she liked nice things. As The Man, she owned many apartments all over the world and was not ashamed of any of them. It did not matter what the building looked like. She nodded to the table and one of the chairs. “Sit there. Would you like some tea?”
    Sydney looked around, nodding. “It really is very nice.” Irina put on the water and stood in the doorway. She enjoyed looking at this young woman who was so much like her.
    “What next?” asked Sydney, looking back at Irina.
    “Humm! I could call the police and have you arrested.” She saw the look in Sydney’s eyes. “Well, we won’t think about that now.” The kettle whistled. Moments later a cup of hot, steaming tea was put in front of Sydney. Irina sipped from hers. “No, I’m glad we can talk to each other without a pane of glass between us.”
    “Yes, I like that too!” She had another thought. “Are you as bad as they’ve said?”
    Irina smiled, “Yes and no. However, I do not want to talk about my past, yet.” She sat down at the opposite end of the table.
    Sydney looked at her. “Ummm, well, okay, but you know, as a Mom, you are unique!”
    Now Irina laughed out loud. “That I’ll agree with. Now, how about getting some sleep. I’ve a few things to sort out, then tomorrow, I’ll tell you what we’re going to do.”
    “Okay.”
    Irina got up and walked to a door and opened it. “Bedroom and bath. Sorry, but we’ll have to share the bed. Do use the shower. I’ll be in shortly.”
    Sydney left. Irina closed her eyes for a moment, then she turned on the laptop computer, entered a password, and opened her financial files. She read from the entries, made some notes, processed payments to her creditors, then thought about Sydney and what she was going to do with her. Sighing, she stood up and walked to the bedroom. Sydney had fallen onto the bed; her clothes still on her, too tired to undress.
    Sydney woke up the next morning to find herself under the covers, naked. She felt comfy. Irina had evidently undressed her and put her there. She sat up, looking around. Her clothes lay on a chair. They looked freshly cleaned and pressed. There was a robe lying across the foot of the bed. She pulled it to her, stood up and put it on. There was an open door next to the bed. She walked into the bathroom, closing the door behind her.
    A few minutes later, she returned, toweling her hair dry. Dressing quickly, Sydney decided her clothes had definitely been freshly laundered and ironed. She opened the bedroom door and stepped out. Irina sat at her computer working.
    Her mother smiled. “Tea in the pot. Toast in the oven.” She nodded toward the kitchen.
    When Sydney had her food, she sat down opposite the woman she was becoming closer to than she knew her father wanted. She couldn’t help it. She sighed.
    “From now on,” Irina said in Russian, “you are to speak only Russian.”
    “Da!”
    “We are going on a trip to see some men and women I want you to meet. They are NOT to know you are American. I will introduce you as my daughter, Annya Derevko!”
    “Why?”
    “You will see.”
    An hour later, Irina maneuvered a black Mercedes into a parking lot at a small airfield. A Lear jet sat on the tarmac. Sydney recognized it as one of the new faster models. Her eyes caught her Mother’s. “Yours?”
    “Among others! Come on, we’re going to Helsinki.”

    Stockholm
    Not only did they go to Finland; they finished the day in Stockholm. Sydney had said very little, but was astounded when her Mother told the two men who headed up her organization in those two cities that they would extend any help she would need at anytime she asked for it. They looked at Sydney with new respect. She was dressed in black like her mother and there was a strong resemblance.
    That night as they got ready for bed, Sydney asked, “Mom, why are you telling your men to give me help if I ever need it?”
    “These men and women you will meet the next few days are the core group of my organization. They have known me since the beginning and they trust me more than anyone else, including Khasinau and Sark. You will be able to count on them if ever you need too!”
    “When do I go to jail?” Sydney knew she couldn’t stay free.
    “When we finish our trip. Don’t worry, Sydney, the men at the jail are in my pay and will do as I say. No one knows about them, not even Sark.”
    “How is SD-6 to know I’m still alive?”
    “Don’t worry. Not only will they know, but the CIA will also.”

    Langley, Virginia
    Communications agent Sam Marsden entered his office to find the red light blinking on his special ops phone. A message was waiting for him. He punched in a special code on the keypad. The digital read out started across the screen. He quickly made notes. He erased the tape. Then hurried to the office of the Director.
    Entering the office, he waved the paper in his hand. “Black Falcon.”
    The director took the paper. “Sydney Bristow is in jail in St. Petersburg for burglary at the Hermitage.”
    “Lets get the information to Jack on the secure phone.”

    Los Angeles
    Sloane sat at his desk wondering what to make of the message from The Alliance. He looked up as Jack came into the room. “I just got this from the Alliance headquarters.”
    Jack looked at it, and suddenly seemed to relax. The past two weeks had been hell for him, not knowing where Sydney was and not knowing what had happened to Irina. She had not been found. Nor had there been any DNA evidence of her death in the helicopter.
    “The Alliance wants us to get her out of jail?” Jack looked at Sloane.
    “Yes! They say she’s too valuable to waste. We’re to put a plan together see to it.”
    “I’m going!” Jack said.

    A few miles away, Vaughn was called over to Kendall who was reading what his computer screen pulled up. Kendall turned and told him Sidney was alive but was a prisoner. “Are we going to get her out?”
    “No, we can’t! We have to hope Jack will see to it.”
    Vaughn had a thought. “Send him a signal to meet me at the pier.”
    It was dark when Jack arrived at the pier where Sydney usually met her handler, Michael Vaughn. Now it was he who was meeting Vaughn. The younger man was waiting almost impatiently. He brightened when he saw Jack.
    “Sir, do you know about Sydney?”
    “Yes. I’m going St. Petersburg to get her.”
    “Isn’t that dangerous? I mean you might get caught too.”
    “You have a better suggestion?”
    Vaughn stared at him. “We could use an expert!”
    Jack stared back. “Do you know where Irina is, because she isn’t at SD-6. Sark is going nuts trying to find her. I’m worried.”
    Irina Derevko had disappeared. Vaughn had hoped, then he sighed. “We have no idea what happened to her. I left her in the care of two Marshals when Kendall called me into operations that day.”
    Jack rubbed his forehead, then started as he had an epiphany. “You don’t suppose….” He frowned, thinking harder. “Vaughn, have they really searched the center?”
    “Well, I thought they had. Should I check?”
    “No, we’re going to look now.”

    Across town, near the park, Jack and Vaughn, walked quickly to the underpass, found the phone and the abandoned shipping carrier. They went to the back where a secret door had been built. Jack had a jack handle with him. There was a slight crack in the door. Fitting the handle in it, he and Vaughn pushed hard. Moments later, they were inside. Vaughn took out his flash. They made their way to the cellblock. It was still and almost spooky. Their shoes stepped on broken glass. The sound made them check to see if anyone heard. They knew no one could hear from the front of the building.
    “The cellblock doors are open,” whispered Vaughn. He waved the flashlight which showed them to be up and not down.
    Jack glanced into the Marshals’ office as they passed. They continued down the corridor. They stopped in front of the cell itself. Jack tried the door. It was locked. He nodded at Vaughn, who turned the flashlight inside the square room that had been his wife’s prison the past six months.
    Suddenly, without warning, a body dropped from the ceiling. Facing them was Irina. “Jack?”
    Vaughn audibly gasped in shock, almost dropping the flashlight. Jack blinked and his heart beat faster as he looked at his wife. “Irina!” He smiled just a little.
    “Sorry about scaring you, but I would like to get out of here.”
    “Why didn’t you try to break out,” said Vaughn, then realized why.
    “Everything is bolted down and, “ she held up her wrists that were still manacled, “your Marshals didn’t leave me the key.”
    Vaughn looked at her guiltily. Jack put his hand on Vaughn’s arm. “Go back to the Marshal’s office and open the door.”
    Seconds later, Jack pulled her through the door. “We have a problem. Sydney’s in jail in St. Petersburg and we’ve got to get her out.”

    St. Petersburg
    Jack was driving through the St. Petersburg in a Mercedes sedan Irina had arranged for him to pick up. He stopped a block from the jail where Sydney was being held. Sloane and Sark had no idea Jack was hooked up to a special CIA line. Irina was on the other end.

    Los Angeles
    She was brought to the downtown FBI office through a secret entrance in a parking garage two blocks away. They knew SD-6 had men watching for her. Kendall had been almost emotional when they brought her into the main office. Everyone had stopped what they were doing to watch. She looked none to worse for the two weeks she had supposedly spent hiding at the Center.
    “How come you didn’t yell or something when our men were checking the Center a couple of days after the bombing?” His tone was accusatory. He did not want to admit the FBI had forgotten her in the excitement of the raid.
    “I didn’t want my head blown off if they weren’t your men.” She stared him down. “Immunity and protection was what I was promised, and, once again, you failed.”
    Kendall was about to make some retort, when Jack intervened. “What matters is Sydney.” He looked at Irina. “We need to know if you are familiar with the jail in St. Petersburg.”
    Now Irina was sitting at a view computer with earphones and mike. The camera that Jack wore on the frame of his glasses showed the street and its occupants, as well as the buildings. She recognized the jail where she had left Sydney to a week ago.
    “The jail is the building on your left. Go inside, up three steps, to a desk where an uniformed man is sitting. He’s the one in charge on this shift, usually a sergeant for the night shifts.
    Jack muttered, “ If I’m lucky, I will be out with her in a half-hour or less.” He was wearing a uniform of a Captain. Irina had told him where to call to get one. Remembering, he shook his head.

    Los Angeles
    “The uniform will be one of the Russian intelligence service, SVR. You will find papers in the inside coat pocket that will explain why you are picking up the prisoner. She is suspected of being a Chechnyan terrorist and SVR has first call on her.”

    St. Petersburg
    Jack came up the stairs walking briskly toward the Sergeant. “Good evening, Sergeant.” His Russian was perfect. He pulled the papers out of his pocket. “I understand you have this prisoner here?”
    “Da!” The sergeant took the papers from him.
    “I need to get her to headquarters in Moscow by tomorrow morning and it’s a long way to drive.” Jack looked officious.
    “Standard travel procedure?”
    Jack nodded.
    Minutes later, Sydney was led out wearing leg irons and handcuffs. She didn’t blink when she saw her father. She tried to look non-committal.
    Jack thanked the Sergeant, taking the keys to the irons from him. Then helped his daughter down the stairs. “You O.K.?” Jack looked at Syd’s face. It looked tired.
    “Yes, thanks.”
    He smiled and passed the keys over so she could unlock the handcuffs and leg irons.

    Los Angeles
    The new facility for the U.S. Joint Intelligence Op Center had been relocated underneath an apartment building about two miles from the other center, now destroyed. The building had been gutted. Equipment had been moved in overnight so that no one knew what was going on inside. The under-ground garage had been sealed. The door was plastered over and shrubs planted so that in a few days no one would even think there had been cars going in an out. Of course, this had been done to create another cellblock where Irina Derevko would be held. Super-computers, much smaller now, were installed. Communications were even better. On the roof was what looked like a dish to receive cable TV but which, in reality, was the most sophisticated of electronic listening and radio signal devices on this side of the country.
    Two nights later around 3:00 a.m., a car drove up. Two men and a woman got out, the car pulled away. The three proceeded into the building. Moments later, Irina was led down some stairs and thru the cellblock doors that seemed all too familiar. At least she wasn’t shackled. One of the Marshals opened the cell door. She stood just inside as he unlocked the handcuffs. The door shut behind him, the cellblock doors dropped down
     
  2. Chanel

    Chanel Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    htis is excellent. i think u posted it twice in the same post though.. i love it and cant wait for more!
     
  3. Scarlet Crystal

    Scarlet Crystal Bibbity Rabbity

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Location:
    Narnia
    whew! that was a great, long, part 3! will there be a part 4? or is there and i just can't see it?
     
  4. Ilikesloane

    Ilikesloane Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    good job
     
  5. kylo4

    kylo4 Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2003
    Location:
    Canada
    I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!
    kylo4
     
  6. freelancer2bootcamp

    freelancer2bootcamp Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    great story! cant wait til u post the next chapter! keep writing! i love it!

    <3, Kailyn
     

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