:ph34r: OK, my fingers are tired, but my brain is happy. Here's part 3 and the end of Opus 1. Hope you like it. Just one take on what happened. :ph34r: Of course, now I've got to get the other ready before the end of the week. So don't expect it as fast. Then as always these characters belong to JJ and his crazy cadre of writers. Part 3 Gotcha, Opus 1 Zurich “Don’t move,” hissed Sark, “and take off the head covering.” He turned on his flashlight His adversary slowly pulled it off, revealing Sydney Bristow. “Sark!” He grinned. “Ah the lovely Sydney. Too bad you didn’t want to be better friends. Now we’ll wait for Mr. Sloane’s return. I promise it won’t be a pleasant reunion.” “I see you’re still wagging your tail in his wake.” His eyes narrowed. “You are, after all, your mother’s daughter! Any more of those smart remarks will earn you my disrespect!” “Where is she?” Sydney said. “Asleep, I would judge.” Upstairs Jack moved stealthily along the hallway. He was checking each room, making sure Arvin wasn’t here. He finally came to a door that was closed. He used slight pressure on the door to ascertain whether or not it was locked. It was. He smiled. Irina! Ever cautious! He pulled the small spray bottle from his pocket and pressed the button. A spray hit the lock. He put a pick inside, moved it back and forth, heard a click. He heard it quite audibly and hoped it wasn’t that loud. He pushed against the door and it opened silently. He slipped inside and closed it. The bed was to his left. Someone was in it. Irina! He wasn’t smiling. Jack stood looking down at her. Naked, as usual. He remembered the last time he slept next to her. He could still feel her. Damn her! Was he ever going to be free of his feelings. He’d tried for so many years! Then she came back into his life. Even as he stood looking down at her, he felt the stirrings of the attraction he couldn’t get out of his blood. He kneeled down, gripping his gun in his left hand, leaned over and kissed her. Her eyes flew open, staring at him in the darkness. Jack!! Then she felt the gun, lying along side her cheek. “Don’t move and don’t say anything,” he whispered coldly. “You’re going back to L. A., so when I say so, get up, and dress in the clothes you wore in Panama. Nod if you understand.” She nodded. The gun moved from her cheek. Then she heard him hiss, “Do it!” Irina moved to the closet, found the clothes and quickly dressed. She found the boots and pulled them on her feet. She could feel the gun pointing at her. She knew not to say a word at this point. Her heart was beating a thunderously. How had he found her? Downstairs Sark put Sydney into a chair. He was about to secure her with some rope he had brought with him, when he heard a noise from upstairs. He couldn’t quite place it, and being that it was early morning, he thought Irina might be getting up. “Your mother will not be pleased to see you,” he said. “My mother,” she snarled, “is a two-faced,” she searched for the words she wanted to say, then, “opportunistic sociopath.” That was what her father had called Irina early on when she had turned herself into the CIA. “My, my, what brought that to mind?” He laughed. “Well, I must agree with you. She does have a way with her. I think I heard her. She may be down presently and you can tell her these things yourself.” He reached over and ran his finger down Sydney’s right cheek. “Take your hand away.” The voice was not Sydney’s. A click of the gun’s hammer being pulled back warned Sark not to move. A fisht came from out the darkness, smashing into Sark’s jaw. He fell to the ground, out. Vaughn appeared and pulled Sydney out of the chair. “You all right?” “Yeah, he wouldn’t touch me.” She smiled into those great blue eyes. “Once more, you’re my guardian angel.” She turned to the safe. “I was about to open this before being rudely interrupted.” “Do you think you can?” said Vaughn. “The combination,” said Irina, who was being led into the room by Jack, “is a double one.” She gave them the numbers. Sydney heard and the first safe opened. Then she placed the “safe-cracker” as Marshall had called it over the lock and entered the numbers her mother had given her. In moments the door swung open. Sydney reached inside and took out both manuscripts. She handed them to Vaughn. There was nothing else in the safe. Would Arvin have a fit? She thought it a wonderful possibility. “Let’s go,” said Jack, after nudging Sark with his boot. The man was out. He must have a glass jaw. Over the Atlantic Irina sat alone, handcuffed, in a seat in front of Jack, Sydney and Vaughn. They had not spoken to her since leaving Zurich. Only Jack had said anything to her. Sydney had said nothing. She could feel the loss of contact between them. Crazy, this obsession she shared with Arvin Sloane. Still the contact with Sydney, and Jack, had meant so much. Now what? They probably would take away all the privileges she had earned. It could even mean the immunity agreement would be forfeited. Then what?—prison or death? What about her father? What would he think, after giving her so much in the past ten years. She had never told him about Rambaldi. She could hear them turning the pages of the manuscript they had taken. She wanted to see it, but she had forfeited that too. She gripped her hands hard, trying not to give into her feelings. Well, she only played the hand she had been dealt. She laughed silently and looked out the window at the clouds below. Those games she played had finally come to an end and she was the loser. Irina closed her eyes and rubbing her thumbs together, trying to keep her emotions from spilling out. Someone sat down in front of her. She opened her eyes. It was Jack. He stared at her coldly. “Did you really think you could betray me twice?” “I didn’t!” She stared back and never flinched as he sneered at her. “Well, if you don’t call it that, what do you?” She shrugged. “I had to play the game the way it was dealt. Sloane was not about to be caught so easily.” “And the night before?” His voice grated. He looked past her at Sydney and Michael who had leaned back in their seats, holding hands and were talking. Neither was paying any attention to the other two. She looked at him, she hoped, as honest as she could. “For me, it was the best. It was obvious that after twenty years, you still hadn’t lost your touch. You were wonderful. Jack saw that she meant it. “Then why did you do it?” She couldn’t answer him. “It’s that damned obsession with anything Rambaldi, isn’t it?” He laughed. “You know, Irina, it was the obsession that tipped me off.” She looked at him. “Yes, your obsession. I saw it on your face in Hongkong. I knew then there might be a problem.” “You set me up, again?” “You,” he asserted, “took the bait.” “And that means?” He chuckled, “I’m thinking about it.” She thought she might negotiate. “Remember, I gave you the combinations to the safes. Without them you might still be there.” “I’m fully aware of that. How did you manage to learn them in so short a time?” He was curious. “Does it matter?” She answered. “I had them and you got both manuscripts in return.” He leaned back in the seat, looking at her. Then suddenly he made up his mind. “Very well then, when we get back, you’ll go back to your cellblock as though nothing has happened. I’m sure the CIA will be happy to not only have both books, but also you. “However, I doubt Sydney will be interested in continuing interacting with you at this point. So I will be your conduit. In order to keep your immunity agreement intact, you will continue to provide us with anything and everything we ask of you. Is that understood?” “Yes,” she answered, but then she had more to offer than he suspected. However, that could wait. “When we get to Los Angeles, they will debrief you extensively. I suggest you tell them honestly what happened to the two Delta Force guards that were killed. And tell them everything, including every nuance between you and Sloane.” “Jack, he won’t be in Zurich. As soon as he learns you were there, he will be gone. Where no one will know until he re-surfaces.” “I’ve known the man for thirty years and I wouldn’t expect anything else from him. However,” he looked at her, “we have three things he wants badly: the two Rambaldi manuscripts,” he paused, “and you.” Los Angeles The van came to a stop. The four people inside got out. The two U.S. Marshals stepped forward and took Irina Derevko by the arms. Her wrists were handcuffed. Sydney and Vaughn didn’t stay to watch, they had other plans. Jack did, however, follow the Marshals and Irina into the op center. They marched her along the corridor to the stairway, down the stairs to the cellblock. Cells doors opened and closed behind them. Rick, Weiss and others had caught a glimpse of the parade, but continued working. The Marshals escorted Irina inside. They unlocked the handcuffs. She turned to face Jack. She searched his face. It had resumed its coldness. “I have something for you,” she said, walking to her bunk. She lifted up the mattress, pulled something out, turned and handed it to him. He looked down and then up at her. “What’s this?” “The real manuscript. You don’t think I’d risk Sloane getting it, do you?