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DON'T KNOW WHY?

Discussion in 'General' started by lenafan, Jun 18, 2003.

  1. lenafan

    lenafan Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Location:
    So. California
    In Indicator Irina was suddenly and without warning chained and removed from the Op Center in L.A. and sent to Camp Harris...just as Will was being taken in "Second Double"...So let's explore what might be meant by the ominous words...Unrestricted interrogation.
    The characters are the property of JJ Abrams and his writers.
    Enjoy Part 1 of

    DON’T KNOW WHY…

    Irina sat on her bunk in a meditating pose. Her hands were lying flat on either side of her body, her eyes closed. Sydney had gone to Madagascar to recover her “Bible.” When she heard that Klaus was in the hands of SD-6 she knew that wherever he put it, it was not in Madagascar. Klaus was one of her original cartel. He knew her from the beginning. He had sent them on a wild goose chase, as the Americans would say. She, therefore, had been comfortable decoding the map cipher and telling Sydney the house was safe.

    She thought she was about ready to “go away” when the doors to the cell block opened. She wondered whom it was…Jack? The cell door opened. Her eyes flew open as four men stormed into the room. Two held guns, the other two pulled her into a standing position from her bunk. What was going on, she thought? She was totally confused. One man took a belt with handcuffs dangling from it. He quickly put it around her waist, then locked free cuffs to her wrists. They pulled Irina out of the cell and then out through the hall.

    The outside door slammed open. The Van! It was backed up to parking space. One marshal opened it, the other two on either side of her, pushed her inside, slamming her against the wall. They then put the ankle fetters on as before, removed the belt and cuffs and then secured her to the cuffs on the wall of the van. This was the way they had brought her to the operations center almost three weeks before. They said nothing to her and probably wouldn’t have even if she had asked.

    So Irina said nothing. The marshals left her alone. She couldn’t move. What had happened? She had done nothing to break the immunity agreement with the CIA. Had she underestimated Mr. Devlin? She went over everything from the time she turned herself into CIA, nearly four weeks ago.

    She had made a phone call from Madrid. She had just sent Klaus out to get rid of the book before she called the U. S. “You know what to do?” She had asked.

    “Yes, Irina, perfectly. As we discussed.”

    She kissed him on both cheeks. “Take care, Klaus! If you get caught..?” She left the thought unsaid.

    “Yes,” he smiled up at her.

    “And you are willing—“

    “Yes, for you and for the motherland.” He kissed her hand.

    As soon as he left, she picked up her cell phone and dialed the CIA in Langley, Virginia. The reception of her offer was stunned silence. She knew she had to extract the promise from Director Devlin before she set foot in the United States again.

    She flew into Dulles, using her married name, Mrs. Laura Bristow. It had been twenty years since Laura had fled. The chances of that name being on the wanted list were small, but still she had the fax from Devlin. She had the original safely put away. She had made a copy, which she had with her now.

    The passport was perfect as always. She left Dulles and took a taxi. When she told the driver where she wanted to go, he was surprised. She told him there was a large, substantial tip, if he got her there by noon. He was there by eleven-thirty. She gave him her last hundred dollars. Irina turned and looked at the building. Her future and that of Sydney’s depended on the next few days.

    The receptionist had been startled to see her, especially when Irina told her that Director was expecting “Irina Derevko.”

    Two agents appeared within minutes of the receptionist’s call. They arrested her on the spot, handcuffed her, and led her to the interrogation center where she was stripped, searched and all personal items removed. She was given CIA prison garb: underwear, blue pants with a matching jacket, a black sleeveless tee, slip-on shoes. Then they handcuffed her again, leading her to a room with a table and three chairs. They put her into the chair facing a wall with a one-way mirror. She knew she was being observed. She didn’t know by whom. She sat with her hands in her lap, waiting.

    The door opened an hour later to admit the man she knew to be Director Arthur Devlin and one other man. They took the two chairs opposite her. They didn’t say anything for a moment, then Devlin spoke.

    “So you want to help us take down The Alliance and SD-6?”

    “Yes.”

    “May I ask why?” Devlin was curious. Irina Derevko had disappeared off the
    U. S. map twenty years ago. The CIA knew about some of her activities outside the States. They had an extensive file. Still there was a lot they didn’t know.

    “My daughter.”

    Devlin looked incredulous. “But, but you shot her!”

    “Did I kill her?”

    He shook his head, “No, but—why?”

    “That’s something I will tell her when I see her.”

    “I wasn’t aware you planned too!”

    She looked at him. “We have an agreement. I will help the CIA, but I will be debriefed only by her.” She lifted her hands up onto the table in front of her. “Do you think I put myself in the hands of the CIA and wear these,” she indicated the handcuffs, “on a whim? I want to help you destroy The Alliance and the only way is to send me to wherever Sydney is.”

    There wasn’t much else he could say. She had the original agreement. He had hoped to get information before he sent her to Los Angeles, but she had not said more. So he made the arrangement and she was flown to L. A., put into a van, and delivered to the U. S. Intelligence Joint Task Force operations center.

    …Irina examined everything that had happened to her from the moment she had been brought inside. She had been careful. Sydney was beginning to trust her. Vaughn hated her, but he knew the Intel she had given the CIA was helping…a lot. She caught her breath…Jack! That had been a shock, seeing him standing there, staring at her with absolutely no emotion. Twenty years had changed him…she shook her head…no, she had changed him to be totally honest. He told her he would kill her if she involved Sydney in any way in, what was it he said, “your endgame.” She knew he meant it. Was this his way of getting her out of Sydney’s sight?

    She wondered how long it had been since they put her in the truck. It had been late morning she thought. The van was hot and, of course, there was no air conditioning. She couldn’t move. She closed her eyes and began tracking her mantra. Meditation had been her way out of intense situations before. There were several levels her mind and body responded to whenever it was needed. It was needed, now…

    The van’s driver jammed on the brakes. Irina’s head banged against the wall. Her eyes opened. She heard the doors slam. A moment later, the rear door to the van opened and two marshals were inside unlocking the cuffs on her wrists and ankles. They pulled her up and out of the van, marching her over to a post in the center of a yard. They backed her up, put the belt around the post and her waist then locked her wrists to the belt cuffs. They turned and walked over to what seemed to be an office, disappearing inside.

    Irina looked around. There were two undistinguished buildings facing each other. They were built of plain cement blocks and painted a dull white. One was larger than the other. It had no windows that she could see. The other, because the two marshals went inside, was probably an office of some kind. The post she was tethered to was in the center of the space between the two buildings. In the open areas at either end, she saw desert landscape in both directions. Behind the building she faced, there were the tops of trees that looked a little forlorn. And it was hot! She thought it might be about three o’clock

    Behind her, the door to the office opened and the two marshals came out, each with what looked like a coke. They passed by her without saying a word, climbed into the van and drove off. Irina waited, thinking whoever was in the office, would be out. No one came.

    Four hours passed. The sun had finally dropped low enough behind the building in front of her so it didn’t beat down at her. She was thirsty, very thirsty. She had made her mind up four hours ago that they had done this deliberately to get her ready for whatever it was they were going to do. She was about to be interrogated and it was not going to be pleasant. However, she had survived twice previously in circumstances just like this.

    The door to the office slammed open. A lean, tall man stalked out toward her holding a piece of paper in his left hand. As he came closer, she saw he had irregular features including rather muddy-colored eyes. The eyes were not kind.

    “I’m Mark Hanson. I am going to be your own worst nightmare,” he looked at the paper, “…Irina Derevko.” He looked at her. “DOJ has authorized the toughest interrogation needed to get the information it wants. Do you understand what that means?” She looked at him calmly, but didn’t answer. Evidently this had happened before, because he didn’t look surprised. “Tough lady, huh? Well, there’s been a few tough ladies and a lot tough guys here and in the end they all spilled their guts.” He chuckled. “So we’ll start now.” He snapped a hard right fist into her abdomen. She gasped, as the air left her body and she tried to bend over, but couldn’t. The belt held her to the post. Her knees buckled and she started to slide down, gasping and struggling for her breath. He turned and walked back to the office. “Have a nice night,” he called over his shoulder.

    The door closed behind him. Irina’s head fell forward. Tears rolled out of the corners of her eyes. She was struggling with the pain and the frustration of trying to breathe. “Sukin sin – son of a *****,” she thought in Russian. She hadn’t expected the suddenness of the blow. It looked like she was going to spend the night chained at the post.

    The next morning Hanson came out of his office. The prisoner was sitting now back to the post, legs straight out. She didn’t move. He had a water bottle in his hand. “Morning, Derevko!”

    She didn’t answer and didn’t move.

    “I said, Morning!” He kicked her on the ankle.

    She shook her head and looked up at him. “Is this your usual wake up call?”

    He laughed. “Want some water?”

    “Yes. I’m sure the DOJ wouldn’t want me to die of thirst.” Her voice was dry and hoarse.

    He pulled at her right arm, lifting her up onto her feet. He unscrewed the top of the bottle, holding it to her lips. She drank it all without stopping. He hit her again just as she finished. The water and air from her lungs came out of her at the same time. He grinned, watching her as she slid down the post again, gasping for air, struggling and in pain. He went back to his office, leaving her alone.

    It took Irina thirty minutes to recover. Every time she took a breath, the pain from the blows Hanson had given her was reflected in muffled groans. “That son of *****!” She was furious at herself. If he left her out here another day, she was going to be very thirsty. She had to do something. She made herself calm down.

    At six that evening, Mark Hanson came outside. He stood looking at the prisoner. He had another water bottle with him. He walked slowly toward her. He knew he wasn’t going to surprise her again. She would be wary of him. He chuckled softly to himself.

    “Ms Derevko!” He looked down. She was hunkered over away from the sun as much as she could manage. Tethered to the post made it impossible for her to hide her face. He kneeled in front of her, putting the bottle down. “Derevko!” he snapped. She didn’t move. He took her chin and pulled it up so her face was to him. He frowned. She looked asleep. Mark took both shoulders and shook her. She moved like a rag doll. He stood up and looked at the office, calling, “Hey, Johnson, get out here.”

    His assistant came on the run. “Yeah, what is it?”

    “Help me get her up and unlock the cuffs.”

    The two men dragged Irina to the large, windowless building. They went up the steps. There was a steel door that Hanson stopped at and looked inside. “Hey, Marconi, let us in.” A man appeared at the door. Seeing who it was, he opened it.

    “Help Johnson get the prisoner into a cell,” he directed. He turned to leave. “Cell 4 will do just fine. Put her in the bunk.”

    Johnson and the guard dragged Irina to the fourth cell, dumping her into the bunk. “Boy, she’s a tall one,” said Johnson.

    “Not bad looking,” said the guard.

    “Yeah, but she’s supposed to have killed 12 CIA agents.” Johnson locked the cell. “She’s one bad ass woman.”

    The next morning, Hanson appeared in the cell’s doorway and entered, carrying a bucket. He dismissed Marconi, who left. Johnson was following, watching his boss walk over to the bunk. He dumped the bucket’s contents over Irina’s body from head to toe. She woke up instantly, sputtering. The water was ice cold.

    He grabbed her by the hair and pulled her erect. “Morning Ms. Derevko!”
    She watched him warily. “I like to exchange pleasantries with my guests each morning. How are you?” He sounded concerned.

    She stood back, her clothes were sopping wet and clinging to her body. Her long hair was dripping. Water was running down her legs and seeping into her shoes. She was shaking. “F-fine,” she answered.

    “Well, now that you’ve had your water for the day, we’ll be taking you to the interrogation room.” He nodded to Johnson. He took a pair of handcuffs from his pocket and snapped them around her wrists.

    They marched Irina back down the hall, turning to the right down a short hall with two rooms on either side. Johnson opened the door on the right and pushed her inside. Irina looked at it. It was like all other interrogation rooms, sparsely furnished with a table and a couple of chairs. The room was painted a hideous yellow green. There was a stapled ring in the wall. She almost laughed out loud, but thought better of it.

    “Sit down.” Johnson handcuffed her to a ring that was drilled into the table in front of the chair. That was something she’d never seen. He left the room. Hanson took the chair opposite her. He had another sheet of paper, which he placed on the table in front of him. What she couldn’t see was a voltage control box. The table and chair were wired. He looked at her and she looked back waiting.
    “I have here a list of questions the DOJ would like answered.” He looked at her. “I don’t suppose you’ll be cooperative and answer them right here and now?”

    She shrugged, saying, “I don’t know what the questions are?”

    “It seems like the house in Madagascar you sent your daughter to, blew up big time. A couple of people were killed.”

    She gasped, stunned by his words, “Is my daughter…”

    “Yeah, she escaped your trap. A couple of other guys though didn’t escape.”

    “I did not do anything to that house.” She snapped.

    “They figured you would say that.” He smiled expectantly. “I don’t suppose you would consider changing your answer?”

    She shook her head. Almost immediately she felt a moderate shock to her body. She tried to rise up to escape, but couldn’t. She was tethered to the table, which, in turn, was bolted to the floor. The wet clothes she had on didn’t minimize the shock they increased it. Hanson gave her two more jolts, each one a little worse than the one previous. She was gasping, shaking her head with the pain. The trouble was she was feeling the after effects still from his hitting her earlier.

    “Are you considering a change in your answer?” He asked.

    “I didn’t do anything to the house. How could I? I was locked up.” She answered quickly. “Have you seen the op center’s holding cell? I never got a phone call. How could I get anyone to wire a house I’d never seen.” Her voice was low and insistent.

    He frowned. He looked at her and then at the paper. “DOJ wants to know who did wire it?”

    “I have been in custody for a month. I have talked with no one outside of the CIA. I didn’t even know about the house in Madagascar until my daughter told me. So, what the hell does the DOJ think I am, psychic?”

    Hanson looked at her. She was serious. Derevko’s voice was calm and sounded truthful. Her eyes didn’t leave his face. “Why would I jeopardize my immunity agreement?” She said.

    Hanson stared at her. “Immunity agreement?”

    Now she had him interested. “I told the CIA I would help them get rid of an enemy of the United States. I wanted to see my daughter who is a CIA agent. Look, what else does the Department of Justice want to know?”

    “How you found and killed each agent,” he looked paper.

    “Am I going to be tried?”

    “Yeah, before a military tribunal.”

    Irina’s heart sank. Sydney! God, she didn’t want her to know everything and a trial …it was why she had run twenty plus years ago. She had to think.

    Hanson slammed the table with his fist, startling her. “Why did you kill them?”

    “I didn’t!” She said. She screamed as she was jolted again with an even higher voltage than before. Every nerve in her body was effected. She fell face down onto the table, groaning. Her body heaved in an effort to control its functions. The bottoms of her feet burned. The top of her head felt as though it would explode. She gripped the edges of the table in front of her. She was sweating. Her chest heaved again. Christ, she thought, he’s going to kill me.

    “Do you want to re-think your answer?” asked Hanson, smiling.

    Irina could barely lift herself off the table. She stared at him. She’d better be careful how she answered. “It’s been over twenty some odd years. I can’t remember now who they were and when—they were killed.”

    He got up, brought a piece of paper over and lay it down in front of her. “Here’s the list. Read it.”

    Irina stared down at it. The names, all but one, were unfamiliar. But Bill Vaughn…1983, that name she knew all too well. There was no location for his place of death. She could tell them that. She had to tell him something concrete. “Vaughn was executed at a secret KGB prison in Kashmir.”

    “You admit to this?”

    “Yes.” She nodded slowly. She saw the room, similar to this one, in Kashmir. She saw the interrogators, the gun and Bill.

    “And the others?” He was persistent. “DOJ wants to know who gave you your orders.”

    “Ivan Valenko, he was my handler.” She answered, knowing Ivan had not ordered her to assassinate the agents. Ivan was dead.

    “Who would have given him the orders?”

    She knew she could keep the answers honest as long as he asked in terms that she did not need to fabricate. “Nickolay Petroffskiy, my case supervisor.” Where he was now, she did not know, although he had assumed an alias, Gerard Cuvee.

    “Where is he?”

    “I don’t know.” She saw him smile as the jolt of electricity shocked her again. She screamed and collapsed.

    Irina came to in the chair, her head down on the table. “I don’t know,” she whispered over and over…”I don’t know…” She was exhausted by the pain her body had absorbed. She coughed, winced as even that hurt. She pulled her head up and looked toward the other side of the table. Hanson was gone. A moment later, Johnson and the other guard entered. They took off the cuffs and helped her up, her legs buckling as she almost fell. They supported her down the hall to her cell. They left her there on the bunk. On the floor near the door, was a bottle of water and a sandwich. She looked at it warily. She needed the water and the bottle was capped.

    She saw the video camera was on, so that meant Hanson could be watching. She wondered where—in his office, or in the guardroom nearby. Still, she was thirsty, very thirsty. She would have to chance it. She gripped the edges of the bunk trying to get the strength in her legs to stand up and move. Her body was shaking. She took a step, then another. She bent down and picked up the water bottle. She examined it turning it upside down squeezing to see if there was a minute pinprick that would reveal it had been tampered with by someone. There were none. Irina uncapped the plastic seal. She turned and took two steps back to her bunk. She sat crossed legged and slowly sipped. Her body wanted her to gulp it down, but she resisted.

    As she sipped, she examined her cell. It was the first time she had had time to do so. It was standard, somewhat worse and starker than the one at the op center. There was no pillow, and now, she realized, no blanket. That had been removed and no mattress. It was a no frills cell. That didn’t matter now. She had lost track of time. They had taken her watch away when she turned herself in at Langley. Here, there was no window. There had not been one in the interrogation room either. So she had absolutely no concept of the day or night. How long she had been here could only be a guess. Three days, maybe, she thought.

    Irina finished the water. She wondered about the sandwich. She could do without the food, although her stomach thought otherwise. It might be a risk. Prisoners in this place obviously were not treated as regular prisoners elsewhere. This was interrogation by the CIA. She knew what the KGB did to spies and traitors. She expected nothing different here and so far, she was right.

    She looked at the sandwich again, then up at the camera. The red light showed.. She stood and walked over to the plate. She picked it up, turned and walked back to the bunk. Again she sat crossed legged and regarded the sandwich. She hadn’t eaten since they took her out of the op center. She tried to think, but was at a loss. What time was it? How long had she been here? She looked at the plate. Sighing, she decided she wasn’t hungry. Irina put the plate on the floor.

    “Go away,” said her mind. She closed her eyes. She was remembering the Master’s techniques he’d taught her. Irina smiled, thinking about him. What she had learned was incredibly valuable to her. That year she had spent with him in the Urals had been worth it. She needed to find a way to relieve her stress, the intensity of her work and of her life. She had found him in a stark, hidden monastery. A priest in small town near the Urals had told her about a wise man who lived somewhere in the mountains. He was a teacher of and about Life.

    “He is at peace with himself and with the world. You could learn much from him.” The priest had been a friend of her mother’s, before she married. They had known each other from childhood. Irina had gone to tell him of her mother’s death.

    There was one technique, however, that had eluded her—a way to completely disassociate her from outside world until she dissolved into a restful, deep, absorbing sleep. No thoughts, no activity, and absolute silence inside her mind. No one or anything would be able to penetrate the depths of her “wandering.” She needed to call upon her memory.

    “You can,” the Master said, “disappear from the reality of Life. But you need to practice, my dear Irina, in order to let it happen.”

    She hadn’t had time to practice until the last few weeks while in the custody of the CIA. Little by little, she was going over and over the technique. She hoped she could teach this to Sydney.
     
  2. Archangel_dj

    Archangel_dj Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2003
    Location:
    New Zealand
    WOW!!!! :woot:
    great fic!!
    I love how you tie your fics in with eachother
    keep going!!!!!
     
  3. LightTraveller

    LightTraveller Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2003
    Location:
    holland
    this is awsome, i read this at the c.i.a. headquarters before but it wasn't this far ahead, thanx for posting it here it's a great story hope you write more.
     
  4. IrinaDerevko

    IrinaDerevko Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago!
    I like it!! :) Great job!
     
  5. lenafan

    lenafan Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Location:
    So. California
    ABC is playing Salvation tonight which ties in with the end of this story...so you get both Part 2 and 3. Enjoy.

    *** Part 2

    She sat on the bunk, trying to clear her mind. The door opened. Hanson came through it with Johnson following. She opened her eyes, watching him warily. He opened her cell door.

    “Get up!” He ordered.

    She stood. Johnson came over, put the handcuffs on her then pulled off her shoes. He pushed her out of the cell. She said nothing. Hanson grabbed the other arm propelling her through the door and out into the hall. This time they turned left walking about thirty feet to another steel door without a window. Hanson opened it and stepped aside as Johnson pushed her inside. Before she realized it, the two men had lifted her up onto a hook. The point was then pushed into a small hole in the wall. There was a click as it locked into place. She could barely touch the floor with her feet, which had been secured to shackles. The room was about three feet square. There was barely enough room for the three of them. Johnson turned and left.

    “You can go back to your bunk,” Hanson said, “if you answer those questions I asked earlier.”

    She didn’t answer. Bill Vaughn was the only one. She had told him what happened to him and where.

    “What reason could there be for us to build such a small room?” He asked as he checked ankle shackles.

    She shrugged as best she could, but didn’t answer.

    “Suppose you think about it. Something will come to you. I’ll be watching if you decide to talk.”

    The door slid shut behind him. The lights went off. She twisted to the right and just over her shoulder she could see a red light indicating a camera mounted in the ceiling. Then she heard something. Water came crashing into the little room with fire hose strength pummeling her in the back, her left side and in the chest, splashing her from head to foot. She almost choked. In less than five minutes, the water was to her mid-calf.

    “felgercarb,” she cursed, barely avoiding a mouthful of water. She was pinned to the wall and there was no place to go, to hide. Now the water was at her mid-thighs. She couldn’t pull herself up or out of the way of the stream hitting her chest. There was no escape. They would probably stop short of drowning her, but the discomfort and the terror she would experience in this claustrophobic tiny room was their objective.

    What was it the Master had said, “You can live through almost anything as long as you have no fear of Death. If you can find the higher plane of your existence, you will survive. Irina, you must practice to attain the experience.”

    “Don’t know why…”

    “Because,” he interrupted her, “you are too rooted to the head instead of the soul.”
    He had smiled his gentle smile. “Your life has been hard and perhaps your soul has stayed hidden from you. I know the power you have. You must believe in yourself; you must always believe in yourself and the reasons for your existence.”

    Irina closed her eyes. She felt the water at her hips. She concentrated hard to dissolving her fear, knowing the Master had been right. She would survive anything because of the reasons for her existence. She thought of Jack. The warmth and love they had while they were married. She knew within a few months that she was falling for the tall, shy American agent, in spite of the job she was doing for her rodina, her motherland.

    She thought of Hawaii and the night Sydney was conceived. She had nothing to do but love her husband then. No handler, no “job.” The entire week was filled with romance. She smiled.

    She thought of Sydney, of the little girl she had had to leave so suddenly. She wanted to hold her daughter in her arms again. The Master had said to her “you will. Just believe.” In her mind she felt Sydney as a little girl sitting in her lap, listening to the stories she read her. She felt Sydney’s arms around her neck, hugging and then kissing her on the cheek. It was the most peaceful she had felt in a long time.

    Her daughter, her beautiful intelligent daughter Sydney! She closed her eyes visualizing her. Sydney whom she had watched grow up from a distance. Sydney and Jack had never known about photographers who took pictures for her. The photos were at her home in Moscow. Some were on her dresser and some in a photo album. Some she had shared with her father, Sydney’s grandfather. A dark thought was trying to make its way into her mind. She didn’t want it to come. She concentrated on Sydney and Jack and the happiness they had had so many years ago.

    She felt nothing other than that love, that happiness. The emotion enveloped her. Her body relaxed as she slipped away.

    The water was at her mouth.

    Hanson watched the screen carefully. It was getting to the critical point now. Irina Derevko would drown in another minute. He could see only her profile in dim light extracted by the camera lens. “Johnson, stop the flow!” He was out of his chair and thru the door. “Let the water out and re-pump.” He saw Johnson pull the lever. He knew the floor under Derevko would slide back a foot, sending the water back down the sluice. The pump would then move it back into the holding tank.

    A minute later, it had drained out. He opened the door. Derevko turned her head, barely breathing. Her dark eyes were luminous in the light from the open door. He had the uncomfortable feeling that she didn’t even see him—she had, somehow, gone away from the present. There was no fear and no terror. The peacefulness on her face suddenly terrified him. Who was she?

    “Don’t know why she’s so damn stubborn,” he thought as he took a step inside. He reached up and snapped open the hook. He squatted and unlocked the shackles. Hanson bent down and came up with her over his shoulder. For a woman of her height, she was light. He backed out of the tiny room. Johnson was just outside.

    “Is the post ready?” asked Hanson as he carried Irina down the hall.

    “Yeah,” Johnson hurried around him and at the door, opened it. The sun was high in the heaven. It was bright and almost white hot. He figured about 115 degrees. This would dry her out in a hurry.

    With Johnson’s help, Mark chained Irina once more to the post. As soon as he had finished, Irina slowly slid down into a seated position, looking like a rag doll. She was totally relaxed. Both men squatted in front of her, looking at her carefully. Hanson gently slapped her face, attempting to get response. Nothing! He looked at Johnson, who shrugged. Hanson thought a moment then hit her hard, clipping her jaw. It snapped her head back against the post. A small trickle of blood appeared at the corner of her mouth where he had hit her. That was all, no groan or cry, no sound at all.

    He stood up, frowning. What had happened in that room? She was alive. He knew that, because she was breathing. This was her fourth day at Camp Harris. He was to report to DOJ and also Langley about the progress he was making. He wondered what he should do.

    “Leave her here until evening, then we’ll take her to the other room. I want to make a phone call.” Back in his office, he looked up the phone number of the CIA shrink, Dr. Barnett.

    “Yes?” It was the doctor who answered. “This is Dr. Barnett.”

    ‘Doc, it’s Mark Hanson at Camp Harris.”

    There was a pause at the other end. “Yes, Mark?” She knew who he was and what he did for the CIA.

    “Doc, you know Irina Derevko?”

    “Not personally. I’ve spoken to her daughter and her ex-husband.”

    “But never interviewed her?”

    ‘No,” she said, “Derevko speaks only to her daughter.”

    “Doc, I got a problem. I’d like you to come down and tell me what’s going on with this prisoner.”

    Again silence at the other end. “Why?”

    “There’s somethin’ funny goin’ on and I need someone like you to explain, especially since I have to make a report to the CIA and to DOJ tomorrow morning.” He paused. “Personally, I think any shrink would jump at the opportunity.”

    “Why specifically?”

    “Look. You come down. I’ll show you somethin’ unusual.”

    She hesitated and then said, “I’ll be there about five o’clock? Is that reasonable?”

    “Yeah. I’ll have her ready for you to see.” He hung up, swiveled in his chair and looked out the window into the yard where Derevko was chained to the post. What was going on with her?

    Back in Los Angeles, Dr. Barnett obtained the case file on Derevko. She wanted to know everything that had happened since her arrival at the operations center. She saw Michael Vaughn first and asked him to get her the file. He brought to her what looked like about two inches of reading material.

    “This all happened since she arrived?”

    ‘No, this is the entire file. Just front part is about her being here.” He handed it to her. “You can’t take it out of here.”

    She nodded, turned and walked to her desk, leafing thru the pages. She finally stopped at the point where Derevko had been brought to the center. She read everything for about an hour. She sat back, drumming a pencil on top of the open file. She also was remembering all that Jack had told her, asked her, pled with her to help him. What was it he called Derevko, an opportunistic sociopath? She thought he was a bit over the top with that description. She had not, however, met his ex-wife.

    Judy Barnett looked out her window thinking. What was going on at Camp Harris? She knew the facility and she knew Hanson. He just never failed to get what DOJ or the CIA wanted. She was not happy that they had to resort to such a place, but it was a part of counter intelligence work. She was glad she did only work that involved the agents. Judy pressed the intercom on her desk.

    A minute later Michael Vaughn entered. “Are you finished with the file?”

    “Yes. Sit down.” She looked at him. According to the file, he had interacted with Derevko twice now. She had read his reports. “I want you to tell me about your feelings toward Sydney’s mother.” She had couched her request using Sydney instead of Irina Derevko as the striking point.

    He sighed. “I know you have read the story about my father and what she did to him. But she’s Sydney Bristow’s mother. She –“

    “I read all of that in this file.” She tapped it with her finger. “What I’m interested in is your feeling about her value to the CIA and,” she paused, “why she is so interested in helping Sydney Bristow?”

    “Don’t know why…” then he stopped, “No, I think I might know, but I can’t be sure. I think she’s here to help Agent Bristow. Since she’s arrived, we’ve scored a couple of major victories against SD-6 and she’s saved Sydney once so far.”

    “Saved her? Then set her up in a trap?” Judy frowned. “That sounds a bit far fetched.”

    Michael stood up. “Listen, I’ve got to go. Is there anything else? I can take the file back if you’re finished with it.”

    Judy stood up and handed it to him. He was hiding something. She didn’t want to press him, but perhaps later…

    “Thank you. I may need to read it again.” She paused. “Do you approve of her being taken to Camp Harris?”

    “No!” He turned and left before she could respond.

    “Interesting!” She walked to the closet. She put on her lightweight jacket, turned out the light and left the office. Minutes later, she was in her car, heading for Camp Harris. She glanced at her watch. It would be five o’clock easily before she got there.


    ***Part 3

    Five o’clock and Dr. Barnett drove up to the gate at Camp Harris. The gate was opened. She drove to the office and parked. Hanson came out to greet her.

    “Thanks for coming.” He said. “I’ve got her in Interrogation One.”

    Dr. Barnett thought a moment and remembered, grimacing. They crossed the porch and entered the larger of the two buildings. Hanson led the way to the room and opened the door. The psychiatrist stepped inside. Irina Derevko was seated at the table. She was tethered to the ring. Judy hadn’t seen the prisoner before, but knew something was different now. Irina was not present. She had “gone away” somewhere. Judy had seen that catatonic look in patients at asylums. However, in this context, it was rare.

    “Have you ever seen this before?”

    Hanson looked relieved because he had not, in all his experience as an interrogator. Now the shrink confirmed something was different and she had seen it for herself. “No.”

    Judy took a seat where she could look at Irina. The woman’s dark eyes glistened, but were not focused. She seemed to be looking inward. The skin on her face was deeply tanned, not burned, yet Hanson had said she had spent many hours in the sun chained to that post, which Judy knew was a part of the interrogation technique. Irina’s lips did not seemed burned or parched either, yet Hanson had told her on the walk across from his office she had had very little water.

    Dr. Barnett studied Irina. She was fascinated, simply because of her history. There was no written data on her meditation ability or techniques. She wasn’t catatonic, but she definitely was not in the present world. She was way below the surface of her captivity. For some reason, she couldn’t explain why, Judy reached out her hand and touched Irina’s face. It was cool. The skin was not parched, but smooth. She put her hand on Irina’s arm and shook it. There was no response. Judy hadn’t expected any, but she had to be sure.

    “When did she get into this state?” She asked.

    “In the water chamber.”

    “How long was she there, before you extracted her?” Judy did not like any of the methods used here at Camp Harris and the water chamber was high on her list.

    “I got her out before the water reached her mouth.” He stared at the doctor who was shocked. Usually prisoners reacted by the time the water reached their chest.

    “Let me show you somethin’ else,” he said, now sitting across the prisoner. He motioned Dr. Barnett to move away from the table. She got up and went to stand behind him so she could watch. Hanson had a voltage control in his hand. He pressed the button and hit Irina with a jolt. Nothing! She didn’t move, cry out or swear. Hanson raised the voltage. Irina’s body jumped, but that was all. She did not scream and collapse as she had done at the other sessions.

    “Don’t do that again,” said Dr. Barnett. She looked at Irina. “She’s meditating and is almost catatonic.” She touched Irina’s arm again. Now it felt warm, almost hot. She wondered if the electric jolt had caused it. “You can’t do anything but kill her if you continue any type of unrestricted interrogation.” She couldn’t bring herself to use the word torture. She stepped back looking at the prisoner.

    Judy grinned to herself and not where Hanson could see her. The prisoner was remarkable. Where had she learned the technique? Judy had heard of some fantastic things about meditation, but this was the first time she had seen it. She studied Irina, remembering what she had read in Derevko’s file. This woman was supposed to be a cold-blooded killer, assassin, a spy and criminal. Judy didn’t think anyone with that background could ever be so at peace with themselves they could “disappear” into their soul.

    “I’ve seen enough,” she said, turning around to face him. “I strongly urge you not to continue the interrogation, at least as long as she is in this state.”

    “But CIA and DOJ want a report tomorrow.”

    “Tell them you’ve been advised not to continue this questioning. It is entirely possible you could kill her.” She didn’t think this was the case, but might as well give him something to think about. “You can use my name and they can check with me.”

    He sighed. “I don’t think they are going to like it.”

    “Before she got into this state, did she confess to anything?”

    “Yeah,” he brightened. “She said she killed Agent William Vaughn at a secret KGB prison in Kashmir.”

    “Then go with that for the present.” Judy looked around at Irina. She wondered why the woman admitted that one killing. She would have to read the file a little more carefully. “Do you need anything else?”

    “No. I appreciate your coming out, though. I never seen anything like this.”

    “And you probably won’t again. She,” Judy looked at Irina, “is a remarkable woman.”

    The next morning, Mark Hanson sat down and wrote a report on the current status of prisoner Irina Derevko. He noted all of the methods used to extract the information and what information had been obtained. He included details of each procedure. He then emailed the report in encrypted code to CIA headquarters and the Department of Justice, with a copy memo to the operations center in Los Angeles. He also emailed Dr. Barnett a copy so she was aware what he had said when she was questioned.

    In the meantime, in cell 4 across the compound, Irina Derevko was in her bunk, but “away.” Marconi and Johnson had left the handcuffs on dropping her down and leaving.

    Irina felt nothing. She was with the Master. She could hear him so clearly. She felt herself meld into the Irina sitting before him. He was gently chastising her for not practicing the highest level technique he had wanted her to learn.

    “It is this dissolving into total peace, letting yourself release your mind from anything and everything, that will help you sustain control once you are there. First, Irina, you have believe that nothing, nothing will hurt you or cause you pain. That must be the only thought you have as you meditate…” He looked at her kindly. “You are going to be needed, desperately, by your daughter…not at first, but later. However, you must get your meditation to the highest level.”

    “It is hard for me,” she said softly, “I—I have a hard time letting go of my past and thinking of what I have become…”

    “It was preordained.” He answered. “You had to travel this path to get here.”

    “But I have killed…” she hesitated, then continued, “…murdered, lied…”her voice dropped.

    He reached out, took her hand and looked into her eyes. “Irina, it was all part of your training! Sometimes we do things that are a choice, and sometimes no matter what that choice is, we end up on the same path.”

    There were tears in her eyes, “I betrayed my family…”

    “I’ve told you, please pay attention.” He reached up and wiped the tears from her cheek. “It was necessary, even though you didn’t know it, for us to meet. Think about it.”

    She sighed. “Yes, I know, but it’s hard. I loved Sydney so much and my husband that…”

    “And if it hadn’t all happened, you wouldn’t have met Bill Vaughn,” his voice began to get sharp, decisive. “Irina, believe in what I say to you. Your daughter was chosen to be the woman who will stop Arvin Sloane. You have been chosen to be her guardian. It will be hard for you. Many things are going to happen within the next eight years that you must be prepared at the right time to reconnect with Sydney.”

    “Then I shall have to practice.”

    He smiled…”and start now…”

    Irina felt her body slam against a wall. She shook herself, trying to move. She couldn’t. She opened her eyes. She looked around. She was in a moving vehicle. She glanced down. She was in the van again. What happened? She looked to her right. There was a guard there now. She closed her eyes. She could feel her ankles and wrists were chained to the van. Where were they taking her?

    The van slowed to a stop. She heard voices. A gate rolled back. The van started up again. She felt queasy. Now the van stopped. The guard on her right stood up, anticipating. The back door opened and another marshal jumped up inside. Irina opened her eyes. She saw two more guards standing outside. The two marshals unlocked her, put the belt on her and cuffed her wrists. As the marshal pulled her up, her eyes met his.

    “She’s awake.” He announced to his partner and the men outside. They took her out of the van. The two guards outside grabbed her arms and marched into a building. It was the federal prison in San Pedro.

    After she was processed, two other guards took her to her cell, unlocked the cuffs and belt and left her. She had said nothing during the entire time. The marshals wouldn’t have answered, probably not knowing what to answer. She wondered how long she had “gone away.” Irina looked at the cell. It certainly was nothing new, but it did have a mattress, a blanket and a pillow.

    “All the comforts of home,” said a voice from behind her.

    She turned to see a man in civilian clothes looking at her. He looked like an official of some kind. “You are?”

    “My name is John Cazzario. I’m the federal prosecutor. You go on trial two days from now.”

    “Two days…” She was surprised. “What day is this?”

    He told her. She did not respond. “Do I get a lawyer?”

    “Of course, we have a court appointed one for you.”

    “Sorry,” she shook her head. “I believe I have the right to chose one myself?”

    “Yes, but you…” Cazzario shrugged. “Who do you want to see.” She told him. His eyebrows raised in surprise. “I will have someone from my office call him.”

    “Thank you.”

    That night the lawyer Irina had named showed up at the prison wanting to see her. Cazzario had left written instructions that the lawyer to be admitted to see Irina Derevko as soon as he got there. He was taken to an interview room where he sat down. She was brought into the room several minutes later. The guard stood outside.

    “Irina Derevko!” He said. He opened his briefcase and took out a yellow pad. “What can I do for you?”

    “You have my retainer?”

    “Yes, two hundred fifty thousand!”

    “And you know why I am here?” He nodded. “I do not want a trial. Tell the prosecutor I plead guilty. No trial.”

    He was shocked. “But you’re facing the death penalty?”

    “I won’t be executed.”

    “Are you crazy? The government is not going to bounce you out of here a free woman—not with what you’ve been accused of—murder and espionage.”

    “They will not execute me. Just do as I ask.” She stood up. “I will expect to hear from you tomorrow.”

    She moved to the bunk and sat on it. Her cell was much smaller than the one at CIA op center. Painted dull gray with the standard fixtures. Irina smiled to herself. She was becoming a connoisseur of prison cells. She’d been in four during the last month: one at Langley, Los Angeles, Camp Harris and now the Federal prison. She really wanted to be back in L. A. She missed seeing Sydney. She had been making some progress. She closed her eyes, took the open position for meditation and drifted.

    Irina felt herself again in a mist that soon cleared. She waited. Looking around she saw no one. Then, from behind her, came his voice.

    “Are you well?” The Master came around to face her.

    “Yes.”

    “And how have things progressed.”

    “I have seen my daughter and my ex-husband. Both were not easy encounters.” She paused, remembering. “But I think I’m getting Sydney to trust me, although it is hard for me and for her.” Tears formed in her eyes. “Now this—“ She sighed. “I think Jack set me up. He hates me so.”

    “Irina, cleanse your mind of any bad thoughts. We’ve talked about this. It is an emotion you will have to bear unless you can change his feelings. But remember everything is preordained. It is Sydney that you must be concerned about, not Jack.”

    She trembled. “I love him.”

    He reached up and touched her cheek, wiping the tears away. “I know.” He put his arms about her. “Irina, the next few years are going to be difficult ones. They are all leading toward one cataclysmic event and only Sydney is going to be able to stop it. You must see to it that nothing interferes, even your own happiness.”

    She pulled back. “Yes, I know.”

    He smiled at her. “Who knows, you may yet be able to give him your love again.”

    The mists separated them. Irina’s eyes opened. The lights were off in the cellblock. She noticed that there were shafts of moonlight filtering through the barred windows. She shifted, turned and stretched out on the bunk waiting for sleep to come as she thought of Sydney who was not even close to knowing what was going to happen to her. What she did know was that Sydney would find a way to keep her mother from being executed.

    EPILOGUE

    The van pulled up to the LA operations center of the CIA. The doors opened and two U. S. marshals entered. Minutes later, they pulled out the woman. She once again was wearing the chains tethered from wrists to ankles. She looked exhausted. They entered the center taking her down the corridor as the cell doors opened and closed until they reached the cell door.

    Inside, they removed the cuffs and chains. They turned and left. Glancing back at her, they saw her stumble to the bunk, which had no mattress or blanket, and drop into it. She seemed to fall asleep instantly.

    As they left, they saw the daughter walk toward the cell carrying a chair.

    Sydney sat down.
     
  6. smegheadalways

    smegheadalways Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Location:
    U.K, Liverpool
    That was brill, post more ASAP :D

    Hannah
    ---------
     
  7. lenafan

    lenafan Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Location:
    So. California
    Working on a J/I romance which will follow my story GHOSTS. Be sure to read it so you know what goes on, besides the romance part.
    Also have another one that's partially done having to do with Jack's problems with the FBI after his wife died/ran in 1982.
    And Death In Kashmir ... on going, and waiting for Kylo4's next chapter.

    :cool:
     
  8. smegheadalways

    smegheadalways Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Location:
    U.K, Liverpool
  9. Alias_Freak

    Alias_Freak Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    May 28, 2003
    Location:
    Canada
    OMG!!! YOU ALWAYS WRITE THE BEST STORIES!!!! GREAT GREAT GREAT!!!!!!!!
     
  10. LightTraveller

    LightTraveller Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2003
    Location:
    holland
    wauw there's no words to describe this story it's just to good.i'm not lying either it's fantastic and so are your other stories which i enjoy reading as well but this one tops them all.
     

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