Dismiss Notice
Alien Soup is a free community for fans of science-fiction, horror, & fantasy! Everybody is welcome here.


Discussion in 'General' started by Ophelia, Mar 4, 2003.

  1. Ophelia

    Ophelia Rocket Ranger

    Dec 23, 2002

    Jack looked up from the stack of field reports on his desk as Kendall appeared in the doorway.

    “Jack, don’t take this the wrong way, but what are you doing here? You just got out of the hospital yesterday.”

    “I’m fine. Dr. Turner said I should be cleared to return to active duty in a week.”

    “So what are you doing here? Take the week off. God knows you’ve earned it.”

    Jack shook his head and indicated the stack of reports. ‘Too much work to do. And it will only get worse when the agents debriefing the SD-6 personnel start submitting their reports.”

    “You think those can’t wait – or be handled by someone else? Go home, Jack. And I don’t want to see you around here for a week. Go to Cancun or something.”

    “And what would I do there?”

    “Grow a beard, get a suntan – I don’t care. Now get out of here. And that’s an order.”

    Jack couldn’t help but smile. “Well, since you put it that way . . .”

    * * *

    Irina was reading a newspaper in her cell when the buzzer went off. She looked up and smiled. “Jack. Sydney told me what happened. Are you all right?”

    To her surprise, Jack smiled back. “It wasn’t an experience I’d care to repeat, but I’m okay.”

    “I’m just relieved to see you. Believe it or not, I was worried.”

    “I believe you,” Jack said gently.

    His gaze made Irina flush slightly. “So what happens now – with the Alliance and SD-6?”

    “We’ll be busy for months sorting all this out, as will the authorities in all the other countries where Alliance cells were raided. I’ll have a lot of work to do when I get back.”

    “Get back? Get back from where?”

    “Kendall is kicking me out of here until I’m cleared to return to active duty. I’m taking a vacation.”

    “That’s good. You haven’t done that in years, have you? Where are you going?”

    “Kendall suggested Cancun.”

    “Cancun . . . it’s lovely there. You’ll enjoy it.”

    Her tone was strangely wistful, and suddenly Jack remembered that he and Irina had been planning a trip to Cancun before she disappeared.

    “I just wanted to see you before I go,” he said. “I’ll be back in a week.”

    “Don’t forget to take plenty of sunscreen.” Irina smiled. “Now go, before I decide to come with you.”

    “All right, all right. I’ll see you when I get back.” Jack was chuckling as he walked away.

    “I wish I could go with you,” Irina murmured as she gazed after him.

    Jack was thinking the same thing as he headed home to pack.

    * * *

    Two days later, Jack returned to his room from a swim in the hotel pool and opened the door to find the inexplicable.

    Irina was stretched out on the king size bed in a red lace negligee, a champagne glass in her hand. "Hello, Jack."

    To her amusement, he was, for once, struck speechless. Finally he blurted, "The HELL?!"

    She pouted. "Now Jack, that's no way to talk to your erstwhile wife. Champagne and strawberries?"

    * * *

    Almost in a single motion, Jack strode across the room to the bed, knocked the glass out of Irina’s hand, turned her over on her stomach, and sat straddling her, twisting her right arm behind her.

    “Who are you?” he hissed.

    Irina gasped in pain. “Jack, you’re hurting me.”

    He ignored her. “What was Sydney’s favorite cereal?”


    “And her first grade teacher?”

    “Mrs. Crenshaw. Jack, let me go!”

    He loosened his grip, but only a little. “What are you doing here?”

    “I can explain, but not like this.”

    Jack finally let go of Irina and helped her to sit up. She rubbed her shoulder gingerly.

    “My God, Jack, you nearly broke my arm.”

    “I’m sorry.” Jack’s expression softened. “I just didn’t know what to think when I walked in on you like this. Now explain yourself.”

    “I came down here with a Special Forces escort. They’re in the two rooms on either side of this one. And this” -- she indicated the silver bracelet on her left wrist -- “is a tracking device.”

    “You’re telling me Kendall and his superiors approved a trip to Cancun for you?”

    “Jack, there’s a reason.”

    “And that would be?”

    “Can’t we talk about that later?”

    Jack shook his head. “No, now.”

    Irina sighed deeply. “All right. I’ll be allowed to spend the rest of the week here with you. When we get back, I’m to be transferred to Langley. I’ll be there for an indefinite period while I’m debriefed more extensively than I have so far. I may not be back to Los Angeles.”

    “My God,” Jack breathed. “What brought this on?”

    “They’ve decided that having me in Los Angeles, so close to you and Sydney, is a security risk. Not so much me as the two of you.”

    “This was Kendall’s idea?”

    “No, it wasn’t. It was the top brass in the CIA and the FBI. Because of my immunity agreement, they will not try me for espionage as long as I continue to cooperate, but to be in constant contact with two CIA agents who also happen to be my husband and my daughter is just too much for them.”

    “What about that house I arranged on Puget Sound?”

    Irina grimaced. “That was deemed overly generous for a terrorist.”

    There was a time, Jack realized, when he would have shared that opinion. “So Kendall sent me on vacation to get me out of the way while this little scenario was carried out?”

    “No, they sort of blindsided him with this after you left. But he talked them into letting me come down here because of my cooperation so far. Jack, we . . . we may not be allowed to see each other again.”

    For a long moment, Jack could only sit there, rigid and silent. Finally noticing that tears were falling down Irina’s cheeks, he took a tissue from the box on the nightstand and gently wiped them away.

    “I wanted to just wait until we got ready to go back to the States. I guess I shouldn’t have come down here, but I just wanted to see you. I’m sorry, Jack.”

    He took her into his arms, stroking her hair. “It’s all right, Irina. It’s all right.” He pushed her away slightly so that he could look into her eyes. “We’ll deal with this when we get back. We’ll work it out somehow. For now, let’s just enjoy what we have. It’s the only thing we can do.”

    He began to kiss her, and she had to smile. How could he be so confident, she wondered. She herself had no illusions about what she would be facing. But she had compartmentalized with this man before; she could do it again. Hungrily she kissed him back, clinging tightly to him.

    * * *

    The week went by all too quickly. Jack and Irina slept late, spent a lot of time on the beach, and ate dinner each night in a different one of Cancun’s numerous restaurants. Twice they took day trips to visit Mayan ruins and the Xcareta ecopark. Irina thoroughly enjoyed being out of doors after having been cooped up for so long. Their escorts were for the most part invisible, but never far away, they knew. They didn’t take in much of Cancun’s lively nightlife; the nights were for other, more private pastimes.

    They also didn’t talk about what was to happen when this came to an end -- until their last night together.

    “What have you told Sydney?” Jack asked as they lay in each other’s arms after making love.

    “I told her good-bye. I told her, basically, to forget about me. I haven’t been a mother to her, and she shouldn’t think of me as such. I’ve already caused her so much pain; I don’t want her to have any illusions about me.”

    “She doesn’t. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t care about you. You can’t just brush her off like that.”

    “What else am I supposed to do -- let her watch me rot away in a cell for the rest of my life? Even if I do return to Los Angeles, that’s the way it will be.”

    “Are you really so ready to just throw in the towel? That isn’t like you. As soon as I get back, I’ll find a lawyer -- I think I know of one who’s experienced in this kind of thing -- and we’ll see what he can do.”

    “He’d better be damn good,” Irina said wryly. “But whoever he is, he’s a lawyer, not a magician. There are no guarantees. You know that.”

    “Of course I know that. But why should we just let them walk all over us? We can fight this.”

    Irina laid her head on Jack’s bare chest. Where did he get his optimism from? It had not been much in evidence up to now, of that she was certain. This was an odd time for it to show itself.

    “All right, Jack. But let’s not talk about it any more right now. Just hold me.”

    He drew her closer and kissed her, running his fingers through her hair. “Okay. I guess we’d both better get some sleep.”

    * * *

    As the sun rose the next morning, Irina awoke to find Jack still embracing her, sound asleep. How innocent he looked, she thought. That was something he had never entirely lost, even after everything he had been through. When she turned herself in, the last thing she had expected was that he would forgive her, but he had. This week had been all she had dared to hope for, and more. It would have to be, she knew -- it would have to sustain them for the rest of their lives. Here in Cancun, it had been so easy to pretend, to forget -- but in the cold light of their last morning together, reality came crashing in like a tidal wave. She gazed at the silver bracelet on her wrist. This morning she would once again be forced to leave this man. And once again, there was no way to make it easier for him. Tears stinging her eyes, she slipped quietly out of the bed and headed for the shower.

    Jack was awake and talking on the phone when she came out, wearing Jack’s robe and drying her hair with a towel.

    “All right, I’ll tell her,” he was saying. He hung up and turned to her. “The Special Forces detail will be over here in an hour. I’ll order us some breakfast.”

    “No, Jack, don’t. I’m not hungry. And we need to talk.”

    “I thought we already had.”

    “No, we haven’t. We really haven’t talked about us.” She paused and then went on, words tumbling over themselves. “In an hour, they’re coming to take me to Langley -- to prison. And where does that leave you? I want you to do something for me. I want you to find someone else . . . someone nice, someone you enjoy spending time with, someone who will love you and be with you the way I can’t. It always saddened me that you never did that. Why, Jack? Why didn’t you?”

    “I don’t know why,” he replied. “I haven’t exactly lived like a monk, you know. But casual affairs were all I could handle. I never let anyone get that close again. Not like we were.”

    “We were, weren’t we?” Irina smiled sadly. “And this week has been heavenly. We’ll always have that. But it’s over, Jack. It has to be.”

    “You’re asking me to forget you,” Jack said hoarsely. “Just as you asked Sydney. “I can’t do that, Irina. I’ve been trying for over twenty years now, and God help me, I just can’t.”

    Irina sat down on the bed next to him and wrapped her arms around him. “Jack, listen to me. You have to accept that we have no future together. I have no future, except in prison. But you do. And I don’t want to see you spending it alone. You were never meant to do that. And I think that’s the one thing I couldn’t deal with.”

    Jack stared at her miserably. “And the one thing I can’t deal with is you giving up.”

    “It isn’t giving up, Jack. It’s facing reality.”

    He sighed heavily. “They’ll be here soon. I guess we’d both better get ready.” Slowly he got up and headed for the shower.

    * * *

    A few minutes later, a knock came at the door. Eight Special Forces personnel in fatigues, led by a lieutenant, entered the room, nearly filling it. One, a sergeant, was carrying a set of shackles. Talk about overkill, Jack thought bitterly.

    The lieutenant extended his hand. “I’m Lieutenant Stewart. I guess we really should have introduced ourselves earlier, but I felt we should keep a low profile.”

    Jack nodded coolly as he shook Stewart’s hand. “Is this what you call keeping a low profile?” he asked, indicating the uniforms and shackles.

    “It’s a military flight, sir. The uniforms are required, and the shackles are standard procedure. The hallway is clear, and we will be leaving by the service elevator. It leads to the back. A van is waiting there. No one will see. We know how awkward this is for everyone involved.”

    “Jack, it’s okay.” Irina quickly stepped forward. Jack embraced her tightly, and they kissed for a long moment while their audience shifted uncomfortably. Finally Irina broke away and stepped back. “Good-bye, Jack. Remember what I said. Take care of yourself -- for once.” She turned to face the sergeant. “I’m ready.”

    She stood stoically as they shackled her, and Jack could only watch helplessly as they led her away. But as the door closed behind them, his face hardened. Maybe Irina was ready to give up. That was understandable, given the circumstances, but that didn’t mean he had to do the same. He would have to be strong -- for both of them and for Sydney as well. He wanted his family back.

    Resolutely he pulled out his suitcase out and began to pack. If he hurried, maybe he could catch an earlier flight than the one he had booked for that afternoon. He had work to do.

    * * *

    When two FBI agents in fatigues came to her cell, handcuffed her, and took her to a small conference room, Irina only idly wondered what was going on. Since saying good-bye to Jack two days before, she had taken little interest in what was to happen now.

    She was shackled into a chair and left alone, but only briefly. Two men and a woman, all dressed in nearly identical dark suits, entered and seated themselves at the table in front of her. Another woman began setting up a stenograph machine.

    Irina watched these proceedings with a sort of detached amusement. They were going to have to do better than this if they were trying to intimidate her.

    “To what do I owe this honor?” she asked finally.

    “Ms. Derevko, I am Special Agent Bell of the FBI," replied the older man seated in the middle. “This is Special Agent Thomas” -- he indicated the man to his left – “and Special Agent Carter. As you know, you have been brought here for detailed questioning about your organization and your associates. Since this will take quite some time, probably weeks at least, we would like to begin today by asking about your background in Russia.”

    Irina looked down at her shackled wrists. “All this for a get-acquainted session?”

    “The restraints are merely a precaution, Ms. Derevko,” Agent Bell replied stiffly. “And may I remind you that your immunity agreement requires your complete cooperation?”

    Irina gazed at him almost serenely. “You may. But my agreement does not require me to tolerate being treated like a wild animal. Remove these shackles, and I will answer any question you care to ask. Otherwise, I have nothing to say.”

    “Perhaps a few days in solitary confinement will put you in a more reasonable frame of mind. We’ll talk again.” Bell got up and left the room, followed by the others.

    * * *

    Three days later, blinking in the bright light after the near darkness of her cell, Irina was brought back to the conference room and once again shackled to the chair. Again, Agent Bell entered, but this time the agents accompanying him were not the same ones as before.

    “We must stop meeting like this, Agent Bell,” Irina said dryly.

    Bell ignored her. “Ms. Derevko, these are Agents Evans and Davis of the Department of Scientific Research. Are you familiar with that agency?”

    “Yes, I am.” Irina turned to glare at Evans. “You people are the ones who terrorized my daughter last year. You won’t find me so accommodating.”

    “We are concerned about a prophecy by a fifteenth-century prophet named Milo Rambaldi. I presume you have heard about it?”

    “Of course I have,” Irina snapped. “You persecuted Sydney about that. I assume I’m the target du jour?”

    “We believe that the prophecy may be about you. We wish to have you undergo some psychological and medical tests to determine if that is true.”

    “Not a chance!” Irina shot back. She turned to Agent Bell. “I’ll not consent to being treated like a lab rat by these clowns.”

    “Ms. Derevko, it may be in your best interest to cooperate,” Bell warned.

    “I fail to see how that could be,” Irina replied dryly. “Forget it. And as for the consequences, I don’t care. I’ve already said my good-byes to my family. I’m fully prepared to take whatever you can dish out.”

    “Very well. Have it your way.”

    * * *

    Late that night, Irina was awakened by the sound of the door to her cell opening. Four agents in fatigues, followed by a nurse with a syringe in her hand, entered. Irina screamed and fought back like a tigress, but the four of them were just too much for her, and they pinned her to the bed. She felt the sting of a needle in her hip, and in seconds she was unconscious.

    * * *
  2. Ophelia

    Ophelia Rocket Ranger

    Dec 23, 2002
    Irina woke up in a hospital bed, her wrists shackled to the bed frame. There was a small bandage in the crook of one elbow, and she felt another one in the small of her back. A gray-haired nurse was just entering the room.

    “Lie still, dear. You’ve had a lumbar puncture done, and you must be still for a little longer.”

    “What happened?” Irina asked.

    “You’re at Walter Reed. You’ve had a series of tests – an MRI, a CAT scan, blood work, a lumbar puncture, and others. You’re all right. There are agents outside the door, and they will be taking you back to Langley in a few hours, from what I understand.”

    That’s what they think, Irina thought grimly as she looked out the window.

    * * *
    Kendall quickly walked up to Jack as he entered the ops center. “Jack, we need to talk.”

    “I’d say that’s an understatement,” Jack growled as he followed Kendall to his office.

    As the two men sat, Kendall continued, “I’m sorry about this. There was nothing I could do. I wasn’t in the loop on this decision.”

    “I know. Irina told me. I talked to Sydney last night. She’s very upset, but I told her we’ll deal with this somehow. I’ll get Irina a lawyer, and we’ll go from there. Even terrorists have some rights. I hear that the ones down in Guantanamo Bay are praying and scarfing Froot Loops, for God’s sake.”

    “Jack, have you thought that maybe this is for the best?”

    “Excuse me?”

    “Think about it. In the back of your mind, didn’t you suspect that this would happen eventually?”

    “Maybe,” Jack conceded. “I guess this just started to seem normal – sort of.”

    “Well, it wasn’t. I was opposed to this move at first, but you have to admit that from the agency’s point of view it only makes sense. You and Sydney are CIA agents, and having you in such close contact with someone like Irina Derevko is not good for security. That’s how they see it.”

    “Well, Sydney and I don’t see it that way,” Jack snapped.

    “Derevko is a major international criminal – or had you forgotten that?”

    “She’s also my wife.”

    “And didn’t she tell you it was over – that you should move on?”

    Jack frowned. “How did you know that?”

    “She told me she was going to talk to you about it before she joined you in Cancun. Frankly, that was the only reason I let her go. I thought that at least the two of you could say a proper good-bye. Now I’m wondering if I made a mistake.”

    “You think it would have been better if I had just come back here and found her gone?”

    Kendall sighed. “No, I guess not. But just what are you holding onto? You and Derevko may be technically still married, but what kind of marriage is it? At the very least, she will never see the light of day again.”

    “Sydney and I have the right to see her.”

    “What do you suggest?”

    “That house in Puget Sound. Irina won’t be going anywhere; and she will have no access to computers, telephones, or any other mode of communication. She will be under close guard, and will be available if any information is needed from her. And Sydney and I can see her regularly.”

    “And to see her maybe once or twice a month – this is acceptable to you?”

    “It will have to be. Of course I can’t expect any more than that.”

    “All right. I can help you get a lawyer who’s cleared to deal with this type of thing, and we’ll see what happens. I can’t promise anything.”

    “Of course not. But if your family isn’t worth fighting for, what is?”

    * * *

    Six men in fatigues came into Irina’s room. Here we go with this again, she thought. But this time she was ready.

    As soon as they unshackled her from the bed so that she could stand, she lunged at the nearest of them with a feral scream, trying to rake him across the face with her fingernails. She struggled and kicked as they restrained her, literally hissing and spitting like an angry cat.

    Finally one of them drew his sidearm. “Ms. Derevko, I am authorized to use this if necessary. And I will if you won’t calm down.”

    Glaring, Irina grudgingly relaxed against the bed and allowed them to help her up, reshackle her, and lead her out of the room.

    Back in her cell an hour later, she sat down on the bed and tried to meditate, but for once the peace and clear headedness that usually gave her was absent. When a guard brought food to her, she snatched the tray from him and threw it in his face. She was left alone after that.

    She wasn’t sure how long it was before the cell door opened again. Half mad with rage and fear, it took her a moment to realize who it was.


    Trembling, she stretched out her arms. He sat down on the bed beside her and took her into his arms, holding her close and stroking her hair.

    “It’s all right, Irina. It’s all right. We’re taking you back to Los Angeles. Now.”


    “Yes, Mom.” Sydney’s voice came to her mother from the doorway. “I’m here, too.” She came into the cell and the three of them embraced tearfully, as if they had not seen each other in years.

    * * *

    They were were at 35,000 feet and well on their way to Los Angeles before Irina had recovered enough to begin asking questions.

    “Just what is going on, Jack? What have you done this time?”

    Jack grinned wickedly. “I got you a lawyer – sorry you didn’t get a chance to meet him – and I met with the DSR and the Senate Intelligence Committee. I told them that unless they want this whole sorry mess – as well as what they did to Sydney last year – all over the media, they would listen to what I had to say.”

    “And that was?”

    “That I wanted them to leave you the hell alone unless they had legitimate questions to ask you. And that the DSR was not to go near you or Sydney again under any circumstances. And that next week you will be moved to Puget Sound.”

    “I will?”

    Jack smiled. “That’s right. And Sydney and I will visit regularly. After all, as your husband, I have . . . certain rights, shall we say.”

    Irina laughed. “Sounds as though you did most of the talking, not the lawyer.”

    Jack shrugged. “After what they did to you and Sydney, a first year law student could have handled this.”

    ‘You should have seen him,” Sydney chimed in. “I was so proud. He was incredible.”

    Irina laid her head on Jack’s shoulder. “I’m sure he was, Sydney. I’m sure he was.”

  3. She'sgood

    She'sgood Rocket Ranger

    Mar 14, 2003
    OMG not the end write more, like about how they go and see her. this is really good!:D
  4. Tex

    Tex Captain

    Jan 8, 2003
    Awww, that was really good!
  5. Scarlet Crystal

    Scarlet Crystal Bibbity Rabbity

    Dec 30, 2002
    i read this before the crash and thought it was great. thanx for reposting it!
  6. Ilikesloane

    Ilikesloane Rocket Ranger

    Dec 12, 2002
    that was sooooooooooooo good :jawdrop:

Share This Page