Jigsaw Puzzle

Joined
Feb 7, 2005
Location
United Kingdom
A/N: This is my first Alias fanfic. Faced with a summer without new episodes I thought I would try my hand at writing one myself. Any feedback will be gratefully received. If people like it, I will try to do further chapters. I’m British, so although I’ve tried to make this as authentic as possible, I have probably not completely succeeded. If any US readers think that something isn’t quite right, please send me a PM suggesting an alternative and I’ll amend the offending part.

Summary: This takes place after “Before the Flood”. It assumes that the crash took place some months after the rest of the events depicted in the episode. Jack is in charge of APO, Sloane has been exonerated of any wrongdoing, mainly on the testimony of Sydney and Jack. He continues to work at APO but as a consultant, outside of the line management chain. Dixon is almost fully recovered and is back at work and Nadia is also cured, thanks to the efforts of Dr. Liddell (“Mirage”) but is still recuperating at home.

Disclaimer: The rights to Alias, its related characters and items belong to JJ Abrams, ABC, Touchstone Television, Bad Robot and Buena Vista. I do not own anything related to Alias. I have, however, created a number of my own characters; I think you’ll probably recognise them when they appear.

<span style='font-size:21pt;line-height:100%'>JIGSAW PUZZLE</span>


Chapter 1

The gurney crashed through the swing doors of A & E. The duty intern hurried forward, “What have we got?” she asked the paramedic.

“Car crash victim. She’s unconscious, has a simple fracture of the right tibia, several cracked ribs, various minor cuts and contusions but is otherwise stable.” he responded.

“OK, take her to examining room 3; I’ll look at her there. Is that her purse?” When the paramedic nodded, the doctor picked it up and put it on the counter. “Nurse, see if there’s any identification in here and try to get in touch with her folks.”

She then followed the gurney into the examining room leaving the nurse to open the purse and begin checking its contents.

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Arvin Sloane sipped his coffee. “That was a great lunch, honey. Do you need a hand with the washing up?”

“No thanks Dad. That’s what dishwashers are for” Nadia replied.

Sloane was just about to say something else when he was interrupted by the phone.

“I wonder who that could be?” Nadia asked as she went over to answer it.

“Weiss, asking you out for an evening at the Magic Castle?” her father teased.

“More likely Sydney. She and Vaughn should have reached Santa Barbara by now.” Nadia waved her hand to indicate the room, congratulations cards decorated every surface and engagement presents and wedding shower gifts were neatly stacked in corners. “She’s probably ringing to say she forgot to cancel an appointment with the wedding planner and wants me to do it.”

She picked up the phone “Hello? Yes this is the residence of Sydney Bristow …. I’m her sister.” Nadia tensed “How is she? What about Vaughn… her fiancé … they left together …. I see …. I’ll be there as soon as I can!” Nadia put down the phone and turned to her father who was looking at her intently. “That was the Santa Barbara General Hospital. Sydney was involved in an accident. She’s injured and unconscious. I’m going there now!”

Sloane flipped open his cell, “I’ll let Jack know. Then I’ll drive you. You’re still recovering from your ordeal. “Jack? Sydney’s been in an accident …. no, I don’t know how bad it is …. she’s unconscious …. she’s at the Santa Barbara General …. they must have found her address in her purse …. I’m driving Nadia there …. we’ll see you at the hospital.”

He turned to Nadia “What was that about Vaughn?”

“Sydney was brought in alone. They have no record of him as a patient.” she replied, picking up her purse and making for the door.

“I see.” Sloane said, as her followed her out. “Well, it’s too early to draw any conclusions from that. He could have been taken to another hospital or, maybe he wasn’t badly hurt and is being questioned by the police.”


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Sloane pulled his car into the parking lot of the hospital, recognising, as he did so, Jack Bristow’s back climbing the steps to the entrance. He’d driven at the maximum allowed by the speed limit all the way there, breaking it when he felt safe to do so. He knew that Jack must have driven hell for leather to get there before them. That didn’t surprise him in the least. He and Nadia entered the hospital’s reception area to find Jack in conversation with a doctor. He turned to acknowledge their presence.

“Sydney has a broken leg and a couple of cracked ribs. She got a bang on the head and she’s been unconscious since they brought her in, but Doctor Milos assures me she has not suffered any brain damage. He says we can sit with her”. Jack gave Sloane a hard stare as he moved forward, “Family only”, he added.

For a moment Sloane felt hurt and disappointment, he pushed it down, hoping it hadn’t showed in his expression. He’d expected relations between himself and Jack to have improved since he’s saved Sydney’s life but, despite the fact that Jack had testified for him at his hearing, he seemed, if anything, even more antagonistic. His relationship with Sydney was currently better than the one he had with Jack. “Well,” he said, with a slight smile, “in that case, I’ll see if I can ascertain the whereabouts of Mr. Vaughn… He was unaccounted for when the hospital phoned us earlier.” he explained in response to Jack’s questioning look.

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Sydney Bristow felt herself slowly drifting back to consciousness. As she did so, she became aware of a dull ache throughout her body and a feeling of foreboding. Something unexpected and horrible had happened, but what? If only she could remember! Finally, reluctantly, she opened her eyes, “Dad, Nadia?”

“Hi, sweetheart.” her father said as he tenderly smoothed back a strand of hair that had fallen over her forehead. Her sister smiled back at her in relief. “How are you feeling?”

“I’ve felt better.” she replied, “but I’ve also felt a lot worse. Could I have a drink of water please? What happened? The last thing I remember is driving to Santa Barbara with Vaughn.”

Her father and sister exchanged a worried look and turned to the nurse who was in the room with them.

“Short term memory loss.” she said, “It’s very common with head trauma injuries and doesn’t indicate any underlying problem. Miss Bristow may begin remembering the events immediately before the crash in time, but even if she doesn’t, it’s nothing for you to worry about.”

“We were in a car crash?” asked Sydney, “what about Vaughn is he alright?”

She saw the glance exchanged between her father and sister, just before Jack turned away to pour her a glass of water from the carafe by her bedside. “What’s happened to Vaughn … is he …dead?”

Her sister moved to place a soothing hand on her arm, “Vaughn wasn’t with you when you were brought in. We don’t know what’s happened to him yet. My father drove me here and he’s outside now making enquiries. You mustn’t worry; he was probably taken to another hospital.”

Sydney felt a droplet of water hit her arm as her father leant over her with the glass of water, “Sorry honey,” he apologised, as the nurse raised the bed so she could sip it.

There was a knock on the door and Arvin Sloane walked in. “I’m glad to see you are awake Sydney” he said. Sydney nodded her acknowledgement of the greeting. He turned to her father, “Jack, we need to talk.”

“If this is about Vaughn, you can tell me now. I want to know.” Sydney said, firmly.

With a glance at Jack, he did so, “No person by the name of Michael Vaughn, or anyone matching his description, has been admitted to any hospital in Santa Barbara or the surrounding locality. I’ve spoken to the paramedics and Sydney was the only person in the car when they arrived on the scene. The Highway Patrol have checked the area around the crash site in case he was somehow thrown clear but with no success. They are hypothesising that the driver fled the scene for some reason. We know that that would not happen. Michael Vaughn, therefore, seems to have disappeared.”

The sense of foreboding she had felt earlier came back to Sydney, she turned to her father “Dad, when I came to, I felt that something terrible had happened but I couldn’t remember what. I’m sure that it somehow relates to Vaughn and his disappearance.” She turned away and began sobbing.

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The man commonly known as Michael Vaughn awoke to realise that every part of his body was sending messages of pain to his brain. His forehead felt wet and sticky, he went to move his hand to wipe it and found he couldn’t. He tried to move his other limbs and found them equally unresponsive. Opening his eyes slowly and moving his head as gently as he could, he looked down to find that his wrists had been restrained by leather straps secured to the sides of the cot on which he was laying. He assumed that his feet had been treated similarly.

He began to assess his surroundings. He was in a dimly lit room, natural light entering from a small window high on one wall. It appeared to be quite large because the other walls were in shadow. He heard the rumble and squeak of tyres moving over a concrete surface and turned in the direction of the noise. A familiar, bespectacled man emerged from the shadows, propelling himself in a wheelchair.

“Good evening, Ulysses,” said Dr. Jong Lee, “I have been retained to treat your physical injuries. Later on, if you do not co-operate with my employers, I may be required to perform other treatments upon you. May I say that I hope that you do not co-operate, because, although I have always taken pride in my work, in your case it will also give me the greatest pleasure.”
 
Joined
Jan 4, 2005
Location
England
This is really good!!
I really love it!!
I can't believe Sydney can't remember. I can't wait till she remembers!
Poor Vaughn. He's going to be tortured!
Can I get a pm when you update, please?
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
Location
United Kingdom
The next chapter. I hope to regularly update, either weekly or fortnightly.

Hope you enjoy.

Chapter 2

Slightly over 24 hours after the crash Jack Bristow walked into the APO conference room. He was as alert and neatly dressed as ever, despite the fact that he and Sloane had returned directly to APO after leaving Sydney, pausing only to view the crash site on their way back.

He looked around to see that all the senior agents and staff apart from Nadia, who had stayed in Santa Barbara to keep her sister company, were already assembled. The atmosphere was sombre. Dixon sat as dignified and inscrutable as ever, with the stick Jack had lent him hooked over the back of his chair, Marshall was fidgeting slightly, his concern for Vaughn clearly evident, Weiss looked serious and focussed, not trying to live up to his reputation as the office joker, for once. Jack remembered that Weiss and Vaughn had been friends since college.

Sloane was sitting, apparently relaxed, but Jack recognised the nervous tension coiled within him. As he glanced at Sloane, Jack felt the same surge of conflicting emotions he had experienced since Sovogda. Sloane had saved Sydney’s life and, indirectly the world, by shooting Nadia, but Jack couldn’t get Irina’s hint about Nadia’s true paternity out of his mind. Had she lied for some reason of her own, had he misunderstood her, or was Nadia really his child?

Over the last few months, he’d had plenty of opportunities to find out for sure, one way or the other but he hadn’t taken them. What would he do if he found out she was his? How would it affect Arvin, or did he already know? If he didn’t, would the knowledge plunge him deeper into the abyss from which he was slowly climbing? If he did, what was his endgame? Arvin’s freedom and possibly his life hung by a thread, as witnessed by the presence of the final person present at the meeting.

Sloane noted Jack’s eye on him and acknowledged it with a slight rise of one eyebrow and an inquiring look. Jack turned quickly towards the new senior staffer. Milton Purcell, parachuted in as Deputy Director during the re-organisation. The ostensible reason for his appointment was to take the routine administrative tasks off Jack’s shoulders. However, Director Chase had privately informed him that Purcell also had other, less obvious duties. She had said that Langley was not completely convinced by Sloane’s explanation about his involvement with Elena Derevko. This was the reason he had been removed from a leadership role within APO. Purcell would be monitoring Sloane’s activities closely in addition to his overt duties.

Since then, Purcell’s actions and attitude had also convinced Jack that Sloane was not the only person being surveilled. Purcell seemed as interested in his and Sydney’s actions as in Arvin’s, leading Jack to conclude that Langley had suspicions about the circumstances surrounding Irina Derevko’s escape as well.

Purcell spoke, “Director Bristow, I must protest the presence of Arvin Sloane at this meeting. The protocols clearly state that he is not to be privy to details of operational matters.”

“Your objection is noted Mr. Purcell,” Jack replied “this, however, is an investigation into the circumstances of a car crash which injured a senior agent of this unit and led to the disappearance of another. Mr. Sloane made the initial inquiries, so he stays.”

“How is Sydney?” asked Dixon.

“As well as can be expected, given her injuries. The doctors tell me that she will make a full recovery, in time.”

Weiss spoke, “Does she remember anything about the crash yet?”

“No. I’m told that she may never remember. We must proceed on that basis.”

“Yes, that’s right,” interrupted Marshall “it’s called dissociative amnesia, …the mind tunes out events that are too painful to remember, …sort of like wiping a video tape after you’ve watched say “Psycho”. Only of course, if you did that, you’d still remember say, the shower scene …so maybe it’s not exactly like that …” Marshall stuttered into silence at Jack’s look.

“What do we have so far?”

Sloane glanced at the papers before him “Inquiries into Vaughn’s whereabouts have been extended to cover hospitals, private nursing homes, doctors’ offices, morgues and jails within a hundred miles radius of the crash site, with no success.”

“I hacked into the Highway Patrol’s computer system,” reported Marshall “and their forensic examination of Vaughn’s car shows that it was struck by another car just in front of the driver’s door. They took some specks of green paint from the impact area and matched them to an SUV. I did a computer simulation of the crash and the other vehicle must have driven directly into the side of Vaughn’s car at like a zillion mph...or very fast at least.”

“Officers attending the scene say that there were no skid or brake marks on the road so they clearly made no attempt to avoid the collision. In addition, the vehicle and its’ driver left the scene before assistance arrived. There are no reports of a green SUV having been stolen or abandoned in Santa Barbara or nearby counties.” said Weiss.

“So, we can take as our premise that the crash was not an accident.” said Jack.

“The driver may have been drunk or on drugs. They may have driven off and hidden the car somewhere to avoid prosecution,” said Purcell, “and Agent Vaughn may have simply wandered away from the scene in a daze and collapsed from his injuries. It’s a lightly populated area so it’s perfectly possible he simply hasn’t been found yet. It is premature to assume anything else at this stage. We should be encouraging the local authorities to conduct a wider search of the area for him.”

“I disagree,” Dixon said, “given the damage to the driver’s side of the vehicle and the amount of blood discovered there, Vaughn is unlikely to have been in any state to just wander away. On the Director’s instructions I have been reviewing Syd and Vaughn’s caseload. Things have been comparatively quiet since Sovogda and they were winding down for the honeymoon. It’s all routine stuff, but, in this business we know not to take anything for granted.”

“Which brings us to the question of motive.” Sloane observed.

Ignoring Purcell’s outraged glare, Jack nodded. “Sydney was left at the crash, so Vaughn was clearly the intended target. If the motive was assassination, Vaughn would have been killed immediately; most likely Sydney as well because she was a witness. This operation was intended to kidnap Vaughn, but why, for Intel, leverage, what?”

“And by whom?” asked Dixon, with an imperceptible glance at Sloane.

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Dr. Jong Lee looked up at his employer, or their representative, at least.

“Is Agent Ulysses well enough to be interrogated yet?” the grey haired man asked.

Jong Lee shook his head, “No, he has sustained a number of serious injuries and is drifting in and out of consciousness. I have given him high dosages of painkillers.”

“Dr. Lee, you come to us highly recommended as both able and discreet. Your past relationship with the patient, however, is also well known to us. If we find that you are, in any way, failing to offer him the proper treatment and, therefore, delaying our interrogation, you will find our response …extremely unpleasant.

In the past, Jong Lee had worked for international criminal organisations and terrorist groups but the arrogance of the man before him was something he had never experienced before. The man was of average height and build, wore a business suit and would be indistinguishable from any other executive or bureaucrat if he were seen in a bar or restaurant. His demeanour, however, spoke of absolute belief in his own invulnerability. Others Lee had worked for had acted as if the law was irrelevant to them, this man acted as if he were above the law.

“There is one thing.” he offered, “During one of Ulysses periods of consciousness he indicated that he had told his companion of his covert activities.”

“That is no cause for concern.” the man replied, “Our information is that the individual in question has no memory of the events leading up to Ulysses’ extraction.”

Lee shook his head, “Many patients suffer from traumatic amnesia after a shocking experience,” he said “however, there is no guarantee that this condition will continue. The information remains in their subconscious and can be accessed with the correct stimuli.”

”I see. Please don’t let me keep you further from your duties.” As Jong Lee wheeled himself out of the room and the door shut behind him, the grey haired man pulled out his cell. When it answered he said “Ulysses may have told the Bristow girl about us …I see …yes I’ll arrange it.”

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It was night and Nadia had returned to the motel room she had booked, promising to return the next day. Sydney Bristow was dozing, the dull ache in her ribs and right leg, the uncomfortable position she was forced to lie in and her worry over Vaughn preventing proper sleep. As she dozed she saw jumbled images of Vaughn in the car before the accident. He was saying something, she couldn’t hear what it was but she knew it was important. The sound of her room door woke her. She opened her eyes, expecting to see a nurse doing the rounds. Instead there was the outline of a man standing at the foot of her bed. He raised his right arm and she saw the gun in his hand, pointing straight at her.

T.B.C.
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
Location
United Kingdom
Here is the next chapter. Sorry but I may not be able to update next week. I mainly write over the weekend and I'm having an end of season party for Doctor Who on Saturday and going to my Aunt's for lunch on Sunday. I'll see how we go.

WARNING There is some very mild bad language in this chapter but nothing I havn't heard in the show itself.

Previously on Alias – Jigsaw Puzzle

The sound of her room door woke her. She opened her eyes, expecting to see a nurse doing the rounds. Instead there was the outline of a man standing at the foot of her bed. He raised his right arm and she saw the gun in his hand, pointing straight at her.


Chapter 3

Sydney knew she was seconds away from death. Her training kicked in, using the adrenaline coursing through her veins to best effect. She stared past the gunman and simulated relief.

“Nadia,” she cried, “thank God.”

The man half turned towards the door. While he was distracted Sydney’s hand snaked out and grabbed the water carafe off the bedside table. She threw it at the intruder. It hit him on the shoulder, the impact causing him to fire wildly. The gun made a whooshing sound, it was silenced. With a curse, he turned back towards her but Sydney was already moving. Ignoring the agony from her ribs and leg, she twisted towards the bedside table on the other side and found the scissors Nadia had left there after she had arranged the flowers that Dixon, Marshall and the others in APO had sent. They were sharp and looked as if they had been liberated from surgery. Grasping them firmly, Sydney aimed quickly and threw them, like a dart. They flew straight and buried themselves deep in her attacker’s neck. With a groan he fell to the floor, the gun slipping from his fingers.

Fighting to stay conscious, Sydney hit the button for the nurses station. She was barely conscious when the nurse arrived. She saw her look down at the man on the floor in amazement.

“Call my father and sister.” she gasped before everything went black.

The next few hours were a dreamlike kaleidoscope of images. Sydney recognised Nadia standing alert and determined by her bedside, her father’s anxious face bent over her, she heard the sound of his voice, tense and angry, issuing orders and gentle hands lifting her into an ambulance. An IV was inserted into her arm and she slipped back into full unconsciousness. Once again, she dreamed of the crash and Vaughn but this time she could hear his voice and the shocking confession that he’d made.

She awoke to see her father hovering over her and recognised the familiar surroundings of the APO medical facility. She reached out and grabbed her father with both hands.

“Vaughn!” she cried.

“Don’t worry sweetheart,” her father comforted her, “You’re going to be fine. I had you brought here for safety. As for Vaughn, we’re doing everything we can. We’ve tasked Echelon, we’re using every contact we have and calling in every favour. We’ll find him.”

Sydney shook her head, still trying to come to terms with “Vaughn’s” duplicity, “Dad, he told me he wasn’t really Michael Vaughn!”

Sydney watched as her father’s face slowly turned into an emotionless, ice-like mask.

“Tell me everything you remember.” he said in a flat, cold voice.

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The grey haired man entered the makeshift hospital room. His threats had obviously been effective because Dr. Lee had called to say that Agent Ulysses’ condition had improved sufficiently for him to be questioned. Now that he saw Ulysses he admitted that he was, indeed, in a bad way. His body was encased in bandages, cuts and bruises were visible on his face and arms, IV tubes were feeding plasma and painkillers into both arms and monitors connected to his vitals beeped softly.

Although the man would have preferred speaking to Ulysses alone, Dr. Lee had insisted on remaining, claiming that the patient might be at risk if he were not there to deal with any emergency. The man reminded himself that Lee could be disposed of if he became a liability. He looked down to see the patient staring back at him and recognised the defiance and contempt clearly written in his expression.

“Where’s Sydney?” he asked.

“Well Ulysses,” he said, ignoring the question,”how are you? I hope Dr. Lee is looking after you?”

“My name is Michael Vaughn and I repeat, where’s Sydney?” spat out the other man.

The grey haired man shook his head sadly, “We both know that is not true.” he said, responding to the first statement.

“I have been Michael Vaughn for most of my life,” responded the other, “that is who I think of myself as, who I am!”

“An interesting concept for a philosophical debate, but this is not the time or place for it. In any case, we made it possible for you to become the man Michael Vaughn is and when you indicated that you wished to terminate your association with us, we respected that decision; you owe us for that.”

“You sought me out when I was young, offered me a future and an opportunity to serve my country that I would not otherwise have had. It was only later that I realised you really wanted me for my family’s connection to Rambaldi. You lied to me.”

“Ah, yes. Now we come to the reason for your …extraction shall we say? Our sources in Russia inform us that the clean up crews in Sovogda have found no trace of the Sphere of Life and a number of other Rambaldi artefacts. We know Derevko had them and they were not used in creating the Circumference. You were one of only six people in the area. You’re a trained observer, tell us who took them, Sloane, the other Derevko woman, who?”

Vaughn laughed weakly, “Sorry, but I was a bit busy at the time. I can’t help you.”

“That is not the attitude you should adopt if you want to leave here alive and in good health. Dr. Lee has many ways of encouraging people to assist, most of them unpleasant. Co-operate voluntarily, however, and we will guarantee that you can leave here alive and pick up the threads of your life and career as if nothing had happened.”

“Listen, you SOB,” snarled Vaughn, “I don’t know anything about the Rambaldi artefacts and if I did, I wouldn’t help you. If you’ve done anything to harm Sydney, I’ll kill you. And if I can’t, Jack Bristow certainly will.”

The man smiled, patronisingly, “And, how will he find out about our involvement?” he asked.

“You think I’m a fool? I never trusted you so I hid evidence of my association with you in my apartment. If anything has happened to Sydney, Jack Bristow will tear the world apart to find those responsible, and my place will be one of the first places he’ll start!” The effort of speaking and the emotional drain proved too much and Vaughn lay back exhausted.

With a final look at him, the grey haired man left the room and took out his cell. When it answered, he reported the conversation to the man at the other end.

“Yes, he could be bluffing,” he agreed “but we can’t take that chance. I’ll arrange for the situation to be dealt with at this end …yes, I agree the hospital incident was unfortunate, but I had to act quickly …we employed the assassin through a number of sub-contractors …he cannot identify us …very well, if that is your decision, I’ll leave to deal with this development …yes, I’ll keep you informed of progress.” With than, he flipped the cell closed and returned to the room.

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Later that night Jack parked his car round the corner from Vaughn’s apartment. The passenger door opened and Arvin Sloane slid in.

“Hello Jack,” he said, “this is just like old times.” Sloane looked at Jack and his manner changed. “What is it?” he asked.

Jack told him, “Sydney has remembered the crash. She says that Vaughn confessed that his name was an alias, that he worked for someone other than the CIA and that he manipulated his assignment as her handler when she walked in from SD6. She hasn’t reported this officially yet. She wants to know more before she decides what to do.”

Jack knew that Sloane would process the implications as quickly as he had done.

“You also want it kept off the books, but not necessarily for the same reasons as Sydney.” he said “You can’t trust Weiss, he’s known Vaughn, or whatever the hell his name is, for a long time, he could be involved. Marcus is too by the book and his intimacy with Chase raises questions about his discretion. Nadia isn’t well enough for a field assignment. Well, I suppose I should feel some degree of gratitude that you came to me before Marshall!”

“We told Nadia,” Jack said, shortly, “and she’s investigating Vaughn’s background. You and I are going to check out his apartment.”

Sloane nodded and got out of the car. The two men walked round the corner and approached the apartment block. Sloane leaned casually against the wall hiding Jack as he picked the lock. They walked up the stairs and along the corridor to Vaughn’s apartment where they were surprised to see the door slightly open. With a quick glance at each other they drew their guns. Despite their recent differences, their long partnership allowed them to act seamlessly without a word being spoken. They flattened themselves against the door, Jack pushed it open and they dived in, fanning out to bracket the intruders.

“Don’t move.” Jack ordered, softly but clearly.

The two men they had surprised looked up and went for their guns. Two shots interrupted the quiet of the room and the intruders fell dead. The noise alerted neighbours in the nearby apartments and Jack and Sloane heard the sound of raised voices calling for the police. They found the fire escape and quickly left the building.

Back at the car Sloane turned to Jack, “One of those men was a witness at my execution?” he asked calmly.

Jack nodded, “Yes, he was security for Marlon Bell.” he replied.


Next Chapter: Mr. Bristow and Mr. Sloane go to Washington. Ms. Santos makes some astonishing discoveries.
 
Joined
Jan 4, 2005
Location
England
Oooooooooooooooo interesting!
Marlon Bell is working with the people who took Vaughn?
Who is Vaughn working for exactly? :unsure:
Vaughn is connected to Rambaldi!! Well that makes sense.

Ms. Santos makes some astonishing discoveries.
What? What discoveries? About Vaughn? :woot:

Thanx for the pm
Update soon
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
Location
United Kingdom
Hi everyone. Here is Chapter 4. Sorry for the delay. I hope you feel that it was worth the wait. Please let me have your feedback.


<span style='font-size:21pt;line-height:100%'>Chapter 4</span>

Nadia sat hunched over her laptop in the living room of the apartment. She’s been shocked to learn of Vaughn’s deception, but the more she thought about it, the more she could see that the signs had been there. He had always talked about his family, for instance, but, with only weeks to go before the wedding and Sydney still hadn’t seen or spoken with any member of it, not even his mother. The oldest photographs he’d shown them had been of Eric and him at college. It was possible that the others had been destroyed when he had fired his house but, if so, where had the college photo’s come from, and why hadn’t he got others from his mother or other family members? Sydney had when her old apartment had been destroyed.

It’s always the ones you don’t suspect who are the most dangerous, she thought, bitterly. I should know, look at me and Sophia Vargas aka Aunt Elena!

APO policy had changed in the light of recent events and she could no longer access their network from the apartment. Not that she needed to, Jack had downloaded a copy of Vaughn’s file for her before she’d left the facility and a package containing a copy of William Vaughn’s personnel file had mysteriously appeared in the mailbox, showing that Jack’s contact in the Records section at Langley had come through as promised. She had the computer skills to obtain anything else she needed. Besides, she didn’t want anyone finding out what she was doing, nor did she want to see Eric while the shadow of suspicion hung over him. Not that she believed he was involved in whatever it was; she just didn’t feel right about interacting with him, knowing what she did.

The first thing she had done was cross reference the biographical information in Vaughn’s file with that in William Vaughn’s. There were no discrepancies. That didn’t surprise her. She then read the background check done when Vaughn had applied to join the CIA. It was extremely comprehensive, covering everything from his time in Mrs. Galliani’s home class at age five, through his career in junior league ice hockey to his college graduation, all evidenced by statements from teachers, coaches and peers. Nadia was surprised by the detail. Although she knew as well as anyone the importance of ensuring national security, she would have expected the writer to have taken much more on trust when dealing with the son of a certified CIA hero.

She had checked the name of the writer, Edward Montague. Probably some neurotic petty official she had thought, but she’d typed the name into her search engine anyway and learned that he was currently number three at Homeland Security.

Hardly the profile of some obsessive bureaucrat. she had thought. Had the man been suspicious of Vaughn’s bona fides?

She considered contacting the people interviewed but the addresses were likely to be out of date. However, the internet had provided details of Vaughn’s High School graduation class reunion organiser. She had been able to provide information of a negative kind, she did not remember a Michael Vaughn and there was no-one of that name on the mailing list for class reunions or listed in the class Yearbook.

Nadia had gone on to hack into a number of official and semi-official databases. Michael Vaughn certainly existed according to these. His birth had been registered, he had started to pay taxes, obtained a driving licence, applied for a passport, all at around the normal age people did those kind of things. Finally, she had typed the names “Michael Vaughn”, “William Vaughn” and “Yvonne Vaughn, nee Delorme” into her search engine. Despite this attempt at refining her search there were still a large number of hits. She began to go through them methodologically. Half an hour later she gasped with amazement. The screen showed an extract from an old newspaper, dated 29 March 1983.

“<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>Local Boy in Fatal Accident</span>” read the headline. The story below described how Michael Vaughn, the son of William and Yvonne Vaughn had died while out swimming. It noted that this was the second tragedy to strike the family as the boy’s father had been brutally murdered some time before.

Nadia feverishly hacked into State records, but, despite the most careful search, could find no record of a death certificate or an Inquest. She sat back to consider the implications of her discovery and was just about to contact Jack and her father when the door buzzer sounded. She quickly logged out of her laptop and hid William Vaughn’s file in a secret compartment under the sofa, then went to the door. Two heavily built men stood on the doorstep. They showed their badges, identifying themselves as Federal agents.

“Nadia Santos,” one of them said “We have orders to take you into custody.”

As she stared, the familiar figure of Marcus Dixon elbowed his way past them.

“Nadia, warrants have been issued for the arrest of Jack Bristow and your father on charges of murdering two federal agents. They’re fugitives. Purcell has been appointed Acting Director and he’s ordered you and Sydney to be detained.”

Nadia shook her head in disbelief, “It must be some mistake!” she exclaimed.

Dixon looked as angry, confused and frustrated as she had ever seen him.

“They have an eye witness.” he replied, “But because of Sydney’s injuries and the fact that you are still convalescing I have been able to convince Purcell to confine you both in the APO medical facility rather than the Federal Detention Centre.”

Nadia looked at Dixon and nodded, she picked up her purse and, with a contemptuous glance at the two agents swept out of the apartment, forcing them to follow behind as she walked to their car.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Vaughn listened to the raised voices outside. When he had told Montague that he had hidden evidence in his apartment, it had been in a spirit of bravado. There was no evidence but he’d figured that anything that inconvenienced the Trust must be a good thing, and, maybe it would provide a lead for APO. Vaughn knew that, after what he had told Sydney, Jack would be looking for him, probably with murder in mind!

Judging from recent activity his plan had worked better than he expected. He lay back to conserve his strength. His condition was not as bad as he’s let Dr. Lee and Montague believe, but he was in no condition to fight his way out of wherever he was. His only hope was to avoid being tortured for as long as possible and slowly build up his strength. Only then could he hope to get out of here and find Sydney!

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sloane checked the status of the telephone intercept as he mentally reviewed the events that had transpired since he had, once again, become a fugitive from justice. After leaving Vaughn’s apartment he and Jack had gone to Jack’s storage unit where they had learned from police chatter about the murder warrants. They had strategised their next move. Since, for whatever reason, the Trust was interested in Vaughn’s disappearance, a visit to Washington seemed indicated. The use of regular air services being denied them he had contacted a client from the SD6 days; a defence contactor who made frequent visits there. After Sloane had explained in, graphic detail, the plea bargain he would offer the authorities to, once again, buy his freedom and the unpleasant consequences this would have on the individual concerned, the man had been more than happy to give them the use of his corporate jet. Jack, in the meantime, had packed money from his stash into a couple of holdalls and called contacts of his in Washington to have op tech and Intel ready for them on arrival.

The jet had landed at a small suburban airport some miles from D.C. without incident and they had found a van, loaded with the equipment they had asked for, a file detailing Bell’s home address, engagements and habits and plans of the telephone and electrical systems relating to his home waiting for them in the parking lot. The drive into Washington was uneventful, although both men had been grateful that they were the subject of state rather than federal warrants. Had it been known that the men they had killed were federal agents, their personal details would have been uploaded to the facial recognition software and other security systems protecting the nation’s capital and avoiding those would have been more problematic and time consuming. Sloane hypothesised that Bell had not informed the appropriate Federal authorities because he wanted to keep the Trust’s involvement low profile.

Jack’s contact had discovered that Bell was hosting a small party at his house in Georgetown that evening. The two of them had agreed that, initially at least, surveillance rather than direct confrontation was the best option. They had accordingly set up a post in a house nearby whose owners had escaped the Washington heat by going to their summer home in New England. Jack’s contact had ascertained that when the owners were away the maid came in only twice a week so they had two clear days before they needed to re-evaluate their strategy.

Sloane turned to look at his old friend. After those moments in Vaughn’s apartment, when they had worked together with all the instinctive understanding and mutual reliance of their old partnership, Jack’s manner had become guarded once again. Sloane considered whether Jack thought he was a party to Vaughn’s disappearance but rejected this. Jack’s attitude had been apparent since Sovodga. But why? Surely he had proved himself there? Had Irina said something to drive a wedge between them, or did Jack suspect something? If so, what exactly did he know for sure?

Sloane decided to test the water He sat back, set his features into a relaxed smile and schooled his voice to a light conversational tone,

“Come on Jack,” he said “At least the LA County jail will be a change from the Federal Detention Centre”.

Jack turned to him and opened his mouth to reply, probably with a put down, but just then the telephone intercept buzzed to indicate that Bell was receiving a call. The number indicated it was being taken in his home office.

“Bell speaking.”

His voice sounded clearly, reception was excellent.

“It’s me. Have you made any progress with the patient?” the voice on the other end asked.

It was a voice both Sloane and Jack recognised from their past.


Next Chapter:

Dixon, Marshall and Weiss show where their loyalties lie. Jack and Sloane call in reinforcements.
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2005
Location
*Califorinia*
omg :o thats really good I've tried to come up with fanfiction on my own but its never as dood as that wow :woot:

update soon i really want to know whos on the phone!!! pm me plz

GREAT JOB ;)
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
Location
United Kingdom
Thank you everyone whose fedback on this story. It's what keeps me wanting to go on with it.

Here is the next chapter. I’ve done a Previously on Alias and I’ll keep putting these in, because it’s not only a good idea to remind people of what happened last chapter, it’s also in the highest traditions of the series.

Hope you enjoy.


Previously on Alias – Jigsaw Puzzle

“Nadia Santos,” said one of the federal agents, “We have orders to take you into custody.”

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"It's me. Have you made any progress with the patient?" the voice on the other end of the phone asked.

It was a voice both Sloane and Jack recognised from their past.


<span style='font-size:21pt;line-height:100%'>Chapter 5</span>

Nadia swept into Sydney’s hospital room and the two sisters watched as guards took up positions outside. Knowing that Jack had scrambled the feed from the surveillance devices, Nadia moved to the bed and pretended to smooth the bed clothes as she filled Sydney in on her discoveries.

“Whoever Vaughn is, he must be working for the US government,” she concluded, “whole areas of the background check have been manufactured. There’s no way a man of Edward Montague’s ability and experience would have missed that and who else but the government has the power to change official records?

She looked down at the engagement ring, still sparkling on Sydney’s finger. “You’re still rearing his ring?” she noted. “I expected to see it lying half way across the room, under the gash you made when you threw it!”

Sydney smiled in embarrassment, “I’ve been thinking about a lot of things since Sovovda,” she said, “and I realised that I have judged people without knowing all the facts. I was wrong about our mother, I was wrong about my father, I was even wrong about your father …well, a little anyway! I’m not going to make the same mistake again. I know that I love the man I know as Michael Vaughn and I have to believe that, whatever his real name is, he loves me. I’ve seen too much evidence not to. This time I’m not going to do anything until I have heard him out. I just hope and pray that he’s alright and Dad and your father can find him in time”

“I want to know that both our fathers are OK,” said Nadia, “and what exactly happened to force them to go on the run. Do you think they could have found out something about Vaughn and been framed as part of a government cover up?”

“I don’t know, but I don’t think my father would kill another Federal agent and I don’t think your father would, in front of a witness anyway. We have to remember that they’ve both been in worse situations and managed to get out of them.” Sydney grimaced slightly, “I never thought I’d be glad to think that no-one has ever managed to capture Arvin Sloane unless he wanted to be!”

The door to the room swung open and Milton Purcell arrogantly strode in, followed by Dixon. Sydney had never liked him and the look of pleasure and triumph on his face as he looked down at her confirmed her view.

“Your fathers, what were they looking for in Agent Vaughn’s apartment? Where are they now? What are their plans?” he asked.

Sydney shrugged. “How would I know, I haven’t seen my father since he left here three days ago.” she said.

“And I haven’t seen mine for even longer.” added Nadia.

“Don’t play games with me.” Purcell responded. “Your fathers are wanted on capital charges. If you hold back any information that would assist in their arrest, you’ll both be old women before you see freedom again!”

“How can we help if we don’t know anything?” asked Nadia.

“I know all four of you are playing some sort of game. Hear this, it won’t work. You are in confinement and they are on the run. It’s over!” his voice took on a wheedling tone, “Look, there may be an explanation for their actions. If you tell me, I may be able to help them.”

Sydney looked at Nadia, “This is as much a surprise to us as it is to you.” she said, firmly.

“I’m busy trying to sort out the mess you’ve all created for APO. I don’t have time for this. Dixon, you have history with Agent Bristow, make her see sense.” With this, Purcell swept out, full of his own importance.

Dixon moved to the bed and began to speak urgently, “Sydney, listen to me. Purcell has Marshall trying to unscramble the surveillance devices in here. Marshall’s stalling until I give him the word and Weiss is helping to run interference. Something is not right about all this. Jack and Sloane supposedly killed two federal agents in cold blood, but, despite all the fuss Purcell’s making, the LAPD haven’t been informed of the victims’ status and they’re leaving the investigation in their hands. They haven’t even issued federal warrants against Jack and Sloane. What is going on?”

Sydney quickly considered her options. She understood her father’s original reasoning for keeping the information on a need to know basis, but circumstances had changed and she had never shared her father’s concern about where Dixon’s loyalties would lie. He’d been her partner for years and had held her life in his hands on countless occasions. Marshall was incapable of duplicity and she didn’t believe that Weiss could be a party to whatever it was either. She gave him the salient points about Vaughn’s admissions, Nadia’s research and her father’s plans, knowing Dixon would be able to fill in the blanks himself.

“Some powerful person or group in the federal government doesn’t want us to find out the truth about Vaughn.” she concluded. “It’s a cover up.”

Dixon nodded slowly, “That would explain why Director Chase warned me to keep out of all this,” he said “I pretended to agree, that’s why Purcell let me speak to you alone. He must also be involved.”

“What about the man who tried to kill Sydney at the hospital?” asked Nadia.

“He’s alive but he’s not going to be able to talk for a while, if ever. Records show he’s a professional hit man with affiliations to organised crime. His apartment’s been searched but no leads.”

Just then Dixon’s cell phone bleeped. He took it out and read the text message. “Houdini. That’s the warning signal from Weiss,” he explained, “Marshall can’t stall any longer. The three of us will try to carry on your investigation. In the meantime, remember that everything you say from now on will be monitored.”

The cell phone beeped again and Dixon’s voice became coldly formal “Please think over what I’ve said Sydney. You have a patriotic duty to assist the authorities to apprehend your father and Sloane. I can understand you trying to protect your father, but don’t let Sloane, of all people, ruin your life again by trying to protect him .”

With this, he turned and walked out of the room, leaving Sydney and Nadia silent and alone with their thoughts. Now that they were being monitored, they couldn’t even share the worries and concerns that consumed them.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“McKenas Cole.” Sloane spoke first, “Well, if he’s working for the Trust, I suppose that explains why he’s no longer in federal custody.”

“According to Sark’s debrief when he was most recently captured, Cole was the cut out between the Head of the Covenant and the operational cell leaders,” noted Jack. “The probability is that he knew he was working for Elena Derevko and the nature of her end game. If he was a double agent, why didn’t the Trust act to prevent it from coming to fruition?”

Sloane nodded. “And who is ‘the patient’? Could it be ‘Vaughn’?” he asked. “It’s time for a change of strategy Jack. We need to have a long conversation with Director Bell.”

“Bell is a senior official at the DoJ, as well as a member of the Trust. A security detail accompanies him everywhere. Lethal force is not an option. We’ll need tranquiliser guns, stun grenades and overwhelming numbers to ensure a clean extraction.”

“Brill is in Virginia, at a Soldiers of Fortune convention,” Sloane noted “He’ll be able to provide the necessary op tech and men.” He nodded towards the holdalls in the corner. “I hope you brought enough cash. Brill is the best but he doesn’t come cheap.”

“I can pay. I’d like to review Cole’s profile, as well. It’s unfortunate that I can’t access CIA files.”

Sloane smiled modestly, “Before I …resigned from the Alliance, I made backup copies of all SD6 files. I have the one on Cole.”

“Then please get it Arvin.”

When Sloane left the room Jack opened his laptop and connected with the internet. Despite everything that had happened over the past year and the pact he had made with Sloane, too much had happened for him to be able to trust his old friend entirely yet. The issue of Nadia’s paternity was an added complication, raising questions about Sloane’s motives and intentions. Fortunately he knew someone else who would have Intel on Cole. Someone he had agreed new contact protocols with before they had parted in Sovogda. Of course, there were doubts about her veracity also, but cross referencing between the information provided by Sloane and her would provide the necessary checks and balances.

He began typing, Keats lover seeks person of similar interests for discussion on the Romantic poets .


Next chapter

Dixon, Marshall and Weiss make their mark and a bad day begins for Marlon Bell.
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
Location
United Kingdom
Hi. Here is the next chapter. I hope you like it. I notice that no-one has reviewed the last one. I hope this doesn't mean that you don't like it any more. Please let me know!!

Previously on Alias – Jigsaw Puzzle

“McKenas Cole.” Sloane spoke first, “Well, if he’s working for the Trust, I suppose that explains why he’s no longer in federal custody.”

“According to Sark’s debrief when he was most recently captured, Cole was the cut out between the Head of the Covenant and the operational cell leaders,” noted Jack. “The probability is that he knew he was working for Elena Derevko and the nature of her end game. If he was a double agent, why didn’t the Trust act to prevent it from coming to fruition?”

Sloane nodded. “And who is ‘the patient’? Could it be ‘Vaughn’?” he asked. “It’s time for a change of strategy Jack. We need to have a long conversation with Director Bell.”

<span style='font-size:21pt;line-height:100%'>Chapter 6</span>

Marlon Bell slipped into the back of the limo. The bulge under the left armpit of his security man/chauffeur gave him a familiar feeling of reassurance, as did the presence of the other security men who were already seated in the cars that would precede and follow his. He was an important man in the Justice Department and, as such, had received threats from a wide variety of different sources, ranging from Columbian drug barons, through citizens militias to individual wacko’s. His role as Chair of the Trust made him even more of a target, although only a small number of his security detail were aware of this. Bell felt a sense of quiet contentment. The extraction of Agent Ulysses (the man more commonly known as Michael Vaughn) had not been conducted as efficiently or effectively as he’s have liked, but he had surmounted the difficulties of the last few days and things seemed to be back under control.

The potential security breach created by “Vaughn’s” admissions to the Bristow woman had been plugged by her arrest. Her sister was likewise incapacitated and Jack Bristow and Arvin Sloane were both on the run. As the limo pulled smoothly out of the driveway of his Georgetown home and into the road, Bell congratulated himself on how he had turned the disaster of them finding his men at Ulysses’ apartment to advantage. Although one of the men had been present at Sloane’s execution, he had not interacted with Bristow and, given the circumstances it was hardly likely that Sloane would recognise him. Even if by some chance one of them had, they would be too busy saving themselves to think about coming after him. For a short moment, Bell remembered the shock of seeing a supposedly executed Sloane walk past him and the diversion he had created, allowing the Bristow’s to steal a Rambaldi artefact. He pushed down these memories. This was a whole new ball game. Then they had been unprepared. He pulled out a file from his briefcase and began to read.

The car slowed to a halt and Bell looked up to see that they were at intersection of P and 31st Streets. He noted that the lights had changed, preventing his limo from following the lead car. Almost immediately, a large trailer pulled up directly in front of the limo, blocking the intersection and, he was jerked forward in his seat. He turned and looked behind; a small transit van had slammed into the car containing the other security detail, shunting it into his. As he watched, masked men jumped from the transit and began firing guns and throwing smoke bombs. The security detail leapt from their car, firing back. Then smoke covered the scene.

Bell saw his chauffeur jump out of the limo, only to fall back with a dart imbedded in his neck. Bell watched helplessly as four men walked unhurriedly towards his limo. Their calm confidence unnerved him as nothing else had. He threw off his seatbelt and yanked open the door, yelling for help from the security detail. There was no response and the guns had fallen silent. He got out of the car but realised there was nowhere to run. As he stood there indecisively, he felt a sharp prick in his chest. He looked down and saw the dart sticking out. Through the haze of approaching unconsciousness, he noted that he was apparently being kidnapped by Presidents Nixon, Carter, Reagan and Clinton. Then everything went black.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Vaughn lay back in his cot. His condition was continuing to improve and he was beginning to feel strength returning to his limbs but he was still managing to hide this from both Lee and Montague. He had kept alert for any opportunity to escape but so far nothing had presented itself. His hands and feet continued to be restrained. Those on his wrists were released when he ate but there were always at least two people watching him, the utensils were plastic and taken away immediately after he had finished and his wrists once again bound.

In the week or so since his kidnapping a routine had developed. Dr. Lee and a hard faced man, who appeared to be his assistant would check his vitals and administer medication every hour. Neither spoke except to ask routine medical questions. Montague would visit twice a day to question him regarding what went down in Sovogda. As a senior official in Homeland Security Montague would have had access to the reports so there had been no reason for Vaughn to lie about anything contained in the official record. He had continued to deny knowing anything about the cache of Rambaldi artefacts, however, which he knew was the real reason for the interrogation. Rambaldi had made massive advances in weapons technology, whoever had access to and control over his work would have a significant advantage over their enemies. If such power was still out there the Trust’s interest was understandable. The only problem from his perspective was that he no longer trusted the Trust to handle such power responsibly. He grimaced slightly at the bad joke.

With a start, Vaughn became aware that the routine he had become accustomed to had changed. It had been well over an hour since the last visit from Lee or his goon and he became aware of the sound of men running down the corridor outside his room and the rumbling noise of equipment being moved. He wondered what was happening.

The door opened and Dr. Lee wheeled himself into the room, followed by a number of men with packing crates and trolleys.

Lee moved towards the bed while the men began to pack up the room. He smiled at Vaughn, his eyes glinting with barely suppressed excitement.

“We are relocating,” he said, “once we have settled in to our new location I have been given permission to …discuss oral hygiene with you.”

Vaughn looked at him with contempt but said nothing as Lee turned and left the room.

Two men came towards the bed and began to unhook the monitors. One was carrying a clipboard which he laid on the bed so he could use both hands for the equipment. Glancing down, Vaughn noticed that a pen was attached to the clipboard. He felt a surge of excitement and began moving his body gently, so as not to attract attention. The clipboard slid towards his hand, gently , he thought, not too much … don’t want it to fall . He could now touch the board with his fingers but the pen was still too far away. With a slight twist he forced the clipboard lengthways. His eager fingers reached out and deftly removed the pen, hiding it beneath the bedclothes. He then shoved the board away, as far from his hand as he could and smiled the first genuine smile he had had since coming round in this place.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Sydney was in a wheelchair being propelled down the corridors of APO towards the elevator by a federal agent. Her wrists had been handcuffed to the armrests of the chair. An unnecessary precaution, she felt, considering that she couldn’t walk on her broken leg. Behind her Nadia shuffled, in full wrist and leg restraints. She reviewed the events that had led to their current position.

…Life for Sydney and Nadia had also settled into a routine since they had been confined to the APO medical facility three days earlier. They’d awake, eat meals brought to them by the guards outside the room, play card games and talk about fashion, TV programmes, bands anything inconsequential they could think of, mindful always that they were being monitored.

Dr’s Liddell and Jain would visit occasionally to check up on their condition. They kept the conversation professional but found numerous subtle ways of letting both women know what they felt about the situation. Dixon also occasionally visited but, unlike the first time, he was always accompanied by one of the guards. He maintained the fiction that he was trying to persuade them to co-operate but managed to convey that both Marshall and Weiss had asked permission to visit which had been refused by Purcell. Purcell himself had not visited them again.

It was a surprise then when, on the morning of the fourth day of their imprisonment, Purcell burst into the room, closely followed by Jain and Liddell. His cheeks were red with anger and his sparse hair looked disarranged, as if he had pushed his fingers through it several times.

“This is your last chance.” he screamed, “Where are they?”

Sydney and Nadia looked at him, not dignifying his question with a reply.

“Alright, my patience is exhausted. I’ve tried to treat you with the respect and consideration your former service to our country demanded but I’ve met with nothing but contempt. You are to be transferred to the Federal Detention Centre immediately.”

“Director Purcell,” Dr. Liddell interrupted, “Both these women are under our medical supervision. Dr. Jain and I have discussed this proposal and we cannot support it.”

Jain nodded his agreement. “Agent Bristow’s already been moved once, I cannot recommend another transfer so soon. As for Agent Santos, her condition is much more unusual, Dr. Liddell is the only doctor I know who has experience with it. It could be dangerous to remove him from her case.”

Purcell barely glanced at them, “We are not barbarians. There are perfectly adequate medical facilities at the FDC. They can continue whatever treatments are required there but in conditions less congenial than here and of much greater security. Prepare them for transport”

As Jain and Liddell looked at him, he barked, “That’s an order …unless you want to join them there!”…

As they reached the elevator, Sydney’s reminiscences were interrupted by the sound of running footsteps and the familiar voice of Eric Weiss,

“Hi, Nadia, Sydney,” he yelled as her approached them, “just wanted to say that I think you’re getting a bad break and you’ve got a lot of support from the people here.”

The agent escorting Nadia turned to push him away, just then the elevator door opened to show Dixon inside. With a swift movement he jabbed his fingers into the throat of Sydney’s escort, it was a move designed to incapacitate, not kill and the agent went down. Sydney heard a scuffle behind and half turned to see the second agent being brought down by Weiss.

Dixon and Weiss bundled Sydney and Nadia into the elevator and hit the button for the garage level.

“What do you think you’re doing?” asked Nadia, as Weiss began to unlock her chains, “how is getting yourself into trouble going to help us?”

“We had to act quickly to protect you both.” said Dixon, “Marshall’s waiting in the garage with a van. We’ll explain everything when we reach the safehouse.”


Next Chapter

Marlon Bell’s bad day gets worse.
 
Joined
Jan 4, 2005
Location
England
This is great!
Sorry it took you so long to reply.
I'm loving the story!
I'm glad Weiss, Marshall and Dixon helped out Sydney and Nadia.
Marlon Bell's day was pretty bad. I wonder what Jack and Sloane are going to do to him.
I hope they manage to save Vaughn.
Thanx for the pm's
Update soon
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
Location
United Kingdom
Previously on Alias – Jigsaw Puzzle

Through the haze of approaching unconsciousness, Bell noted that he was apparently being kidnapped by Presidents Nixon, Carter, Reagan and Clinton. Then everything went black.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Two men came towards the bed and began to unhook the monitors. One was carrying a clipboard which he laid on the bed. Glancing down, Vaughn noticed that a pen was attached to the clipboard. With a slight twist he forced the clipboard lengthways. His eager fingers reached out and deftly removed the pen, smiling the first genuine smile he had had since coming round in this place.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“What do you think you’re doing?” asked Nadia, as Weiss began to unlock her chains, “how is getting yourself into trouble going to help us?”

“We had to act quickly to protect both you and Sydney.” said Dixon, “Marshall’s waiting in the garage with a van. We’ll explain everything when we reach the safehouse.”

<span style='font-size:21pt;line-height:100%'>Chapter 7 </span>

The jolting of the moving vehicle returned Marlon Bell to partial consciousness. Although still woozy he realised he was lying on the floor of a van. He was blindfolded but he could hear his kidnappers speaking.

“Why did I get the Reagan mask? I didn’t even vote for him!” an unfamiliar voice joked.

Because Arvin insisted on the Nixon one.” Jack Bristow’s voice responded in a similar tone.

“Only because I knew no-one else would want it. It was a selfless gesture on my part!” said the familiar intonation and accent of Arvin Sloane.

Bell shivered involuntarily. It looked like he’d been wrong about Bristow and Sloane. They had recognised his man and come for him. His movement must have caught their attention because he felt his pulse being taken and heard someone say, “He’s coming round.” A needle pricked his neck and consciousness receded yet again.

When he returned to full consciousness, he found himself lying on a table in what looked like an abandoned warehouse or factory. He tried to move but discovered that his arms and legs had been restrained and a strap had been secured across his chest. He saw that IV tubes had been inserted into both his arms and that a clear liquid was passing through them into his body. He tried to struggle but found that the restraints held him firmly. The only part of his body he could move was his head. He heard two pairs of footsteps approach and turned in their direction to see Jack Bristow and Arvin Sloane regarding him impassively.

“You won’t kill me,” he said, “you daren’t even torture me.” He heard the unsteadiness in his voice and hated himself for it.

Sloane nodded, slowly and stepped forward.

“The IV currently contains a saline solution, quite harmless.” he said. He moved to a nearby workbench, picked up a syringe and held it up to Bell, “Pentothal.” He picked up another syringe, “Pavulon.” Then another ...“Potassium chloride.” Sloane grinned at Bell, “Since you seem to enjoy executions so much, we thought we’d let you experience one.”

Bristow spoke, “We also have the antidote I used on Arvin. We’re going to ask you some questions about Michael Vaughn and the nature of your relationship with McKenas Cole. If you answer them truthfully, you will remain here, under guard, for the duration of this operation. If you do not, we will inject the chemicals into the IV tube. Once you are dead, we will give you the antidote and begin the process again.”

“The process is supposed to be painless,” added Sloane, “but, according to recent research, any misjudgement in the dosage can lead to the condemned dying in agony.” He shrugged, “I felt no more than a slight discomfort myself, but then, I have a high pain threshold.”

“Let us begin with the first question.” said Bristow.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sydney sipped an orange juice in the lounge of the dingy apartment that was serving as a safehouse. Around her Nadia, Dixon, Weiss and Marshall were gathered, also with drinks in their hands. She had to admit that the extraction had gone smoothly. Marshall had handled his part well, given his lack of formal field training. But, she reflected, Marshall was extremely competent, it was just his lack of social skills tended to make people under-estimate him. She put the drink down.

“OK. Why did the three of you break us out like that? Nadia was right. How does becoming fugitives help us find Vaughn? ” She turned to Dixon, “You said you’d explain.” she reminded him.

Dixon nodded. “You weren’t being transferred to the Federal Detention Centre Sydney.” he explained, “When Purcell took over at APO, his first move, even before arresting you and Nadia, was to close down the investigation into the crash your father had instigated. We thought that was suspicious so we planted a bug in his office and intercepted his telephone calls.”

“That old Flinkman magic.” interrupted Marshall, grinning.

“This morning,” Dixon continued, “he received a call from an untraceable source, telling him that Marlon Bell from the DoJ had been kidnapped. The caller suspected that Jack and Sloane were behind it. He wanted to get leverage against your fathers so he ordered Purcell to have you moved so he could abduct you en route”

Sydney gasped at the name of Marlon Bell, “The Trust!” she said.

When the others looked at her, she explained, “The Trust is a top secret committee of the US government. I don’t know what its agenda is, but they’re interested in Rambaldi. Maybe this could explain why Vaughn isn’t Vaughn. Could he be connected to the Trust?”

For a moment, she felt relief, the Trust might not be her favourite branch of the government but, if Vaughn had been a member, at least he wasn’t a traitor or a terrorist!

“if so, he’s been working for them a long time.” said Weiss, “Boy, it was a shock to find out that the guy you’ve known since freshman year at college isn’t who he said he was!”

Nadia took his hand and squeezed it consolingly.

“Anyway,” he continued, “I did some research and the woman he introduced to me as his mother, isn’t Yvonne Vaughn. After the real Michael Vaughn’s death, she returned to France and is living in the Auvergne under her original name of Delorme.”

“Marshall has some information on who the man we know as Michael Vaughn might actually be.” Dixon said.

“Yeah, well, when Dixon told us about Vaughn, or Faughn, as in Fake Vaughn, or Naughn, - Not Vaughn, or …,” Marshall trailed off into silence as everyone glared at him, “anyway, I thought it would be cool to do a DNA trace, just to see if anything came up. So I got specimens of Vaughn’s” - his fingers sketched inverted commas in the air as he said the name - “DNA from his desk before Mr. Purcell’s goons cleared it and designed a search and retrieve programme based on its characteristics. I got a hit off CODIS, … that’s the Combined DNA Index System,” he explained.

“Vaughn is a criminal?” asked Nadia.

“His profile isn’t on file but analysis of Mitochondrial DNA shows that he is closely related to Tony Vanchetti, the nephew of Don Carlo Vanchetti, the Mafia boss. Vanchetti and the man we know as Vaughn share a grandmother.”

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Vaughn took in his new surroundings. The room had a makeshift look about it. This confirmed his suspicion that the evacuation of the old base had not been part of the original plan. He wondered what had happened to force the Trust to move their operation. During the ambulance journey here, he had tried to identify landmarks, find any clue to where he was going. While he had not been able to pin point his location, a glimpse of grapevines as he’d been unloaded from the ambulance made him think he was in California wine country.

Security at this new location was much laxer than before; he had used that to his advantage. While his captors were busy setting up their new base, he had managed to untie his left wrist. It, like his other limbs, was restrained by a piece of padded leather, secured by a buckle. He had been able to unloosen the buckle with the pen he had liberated earlier and, once this was free, his other wrist and feet were easy. Movement was still painful but, it was at least possible. He knew, however, that he had no chance of escaping from the Trust unaided and had developed his plan accordingly.

He had draped the straps back over his arms and legs and appeared, at least on casual inspection, to still be safely secured. He now waited for Dr. Lee’s promised visit. At last he heard the rumble of Lee’s wheelchair outside. Keys jangled in the lock, the door opened and Dr. Lee entered. His face was alight with malicious glee and on his lap was a wooden box.

Lee wheeled himself over to Vaughn and smiled down at him, “Open up.” he said.

Vaughn ignored him.

Lee opened the box and extracted what looked like a large pair of forceps. He leaned over to force them into Vaughn’s mouth. This was the moment he had been waiting for. Vaughn grasped the pen he had been concealing under the bedclothes tightly and, with all the force at his command, jammed it hard into Lee’s eye, angling it upwards so it penetrated his brain. Lee died instantly.

Vaughn pushed Lee’s head off his chest and got slowly out of the bed. Moving painfully, he searched Lee’s body and found the door key. He staggered across the room and locked the door, wedging some medical equipment against it, just in case there were other keys around. This action exhausted him in his weakened state but he couldn’t allow himself the luxury of resting. He went back to Lee’s body and went through his clothing again. He found what he was looking for, Lee’s gun and, even more importantly, his cell phone. It was on. This was even better.

He began dialling, but stopped suddenly. There was a flaw in his plan. He couldn’t call Sydney. He felt a sinking feeling in his stomach as he realised that she could be dead or seriously hurt. He shook himself, no, don’t think like that. She’s a survivor, she’s fine. We’ll walk down the aisle together just like we planned. Even so, he still couldn’t call her, or Weiss or Jack or anyone at APO. He had to assume that the Trust would be monitoring their communications. After a moment’s hesitation, he began keying in another set of numbers.


Next Chapter

Vaughn is under siege. Sydney goes on a field trip.
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
Location
United Kingdom
Thanks for the continuing support everybody. Here is the next chapter. For those who are interested in finding out about Vaughn, all will be revealed soon.


[<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>B]WARNING – Some crude language (only a little).[/B] </span>

Previously on Alias – Jigsaw Puzzle

Jack began typing, Keats lover seeks person of similar interests for discussion on the Romantic poets.
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“The execution process is supposed to be painless,” Sloane said to Bell, “but, according to recent research, any misjudgement in the dosage of the lethal injection can lead to the condemned dying in agony.” He shrugged, “I felt no more than a slight discomfort myself, but then, I have a high pain threshold.”

“Let us begin with the first question.” said Bristow.
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“The caller wanted to get leverage against your fathers so he ordered Purcell to have you moved so he could abduct you en route” said Dixon.
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Vaughn went through Lee’s clothing and found what he was looking for, his cell phone. He began dialling, but stopped suddenly. There was a flaw in his plan. He couldn’t call Sydney. He felt a sinking feeling in his stomach as he realised that she could be dead or seriously hurt. He shook himself, no, don’t think like that. She’s a survivor, she’s fine. We’ll walk down the aisle together just like we planned. Even so, he still couldn’t call her, or Weiss or Jack or anyone at APO. He had to assume that the Trust would be monitoring their communications. After a moment’s hesitation, he began keying in another set of numbers.


<span style='font-size:21pt;line-height:100%'>Chapter 8</span>

Nadia checked around carefully before wheeling Sydney out of the apartment block. Behind her Weiss was berating Marshall.

“You idiot.” he was saying, “Calling your wife just to find out if Mitchell had learned the first five elements on the periodic table. Of all the stupid things to do. It’s totally your fault we have to risk moving in broad daylight!”

“Hey,” whined Marshall, “I was worried about the little guy and Carrie. Besides, I’m a genius, remember? There’s no way that call could be traced!”

Suddenly, bulky men appeared from hiding places in the shrubbery and surrounding doorways, their guns aimed at the small group.

“Federal agents.” one of them yelled, “Assume the position.”

A van pulled around the corner and screeched to a halt between the four of them and the armed men. Dixon poked his head out of the driver’s window.

“Get in!” he shouted.

Weiss sprang forwards and slid open the side door while Nadia and Marshall tried to help Sydney inside. The armed men opened fire. Dixon fired back.

“Quickly.” he begged. “I can’t hold them off for long.”

“Leave me.” Sydney ordered, “Save yourselves!”

After some hesitation, Weiss and Marshall got into the van. Nadia waited a short moment longer.

“We’ll find a way to rescue you again Sydney.” she promised before jumping into the van and sliding the door closed. Dixon hit the accelerator and the van disappeared onto the freeway.

The men approached Sydney cautiously. She raised her hands to show she was unarmed. Once they reached her, they used flexi cuffs to tie her wrists to the armrests of the wheelchair.

This is getting monotonous she thought, as they pulled a hood over her head and began trundling her away. Nevertheless, she reflected, at least things are going according to plan …

“This plan to kidnap Nadia and myself,” she’d said, “It’s an opportunity. If our fathers have taken Bell, and Purcell’s caller wants leverage against them, then the Trust is involved in Vaughn’s disappearance. If I allow myself to be captured, you can track me to their base. With any luck Vaughn will be held there. At worse, we’ll have prisoners to question.”

“Syd, normally I’d agree with you, but you’re not exactly in any condition for field work at the moment.” Dixon had protested, indicating the wheelchair.

“It’s better than just sitting here, waiting for Dad and Sloane to come through. I have to do this. I’m tired of being helpless!” she’d replied. “Anyway, I’ll just be the bait. You and the others will be the TAC team.”

Nadia had given her sister an appraising look before nodding, “Sydney’s lack of mobility could be an asset.” she pointed out. “It would explain how the rest of us could get away, while she’s captured.”

“It might just work.” Weiss agreed, “Just one problem. We’re all experienced agents here. Won’t they be suspicious if they find us too easily?”

“Hey, I’m just the tech geek. I’m not field trained. They won’t be surprised if I contact Carrie to ask about her and Mitch! I can compromise my normal technical genius enough to encrypt the phone call making it difficult to trace but not impossible. Plus I’ve been working on this really cool tracking device. Insert it subcutaneously and it sends out a short burst signal every ten minutes. Practically undetectable and I just happen to have one right here!” Marshall had sat back with a Cheshire cat grin on his face …
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“Well, that was disappointing.” observed Sloane.

“Bell gave up everything.” Jack responded curtly, “Learn to live with the fact you were denied the pleasure of giving him the lethal injection.” He turned as Brill entered the room. “What’s the recording like?” he asked.

“Great quality, if it ever gets out Bell’s reputation as the DoJ’’s strong man’s goanna be ruined. He wet himself when Arvin went to insert the Pentothal into the IV. It’s all there in glorious colour.”

Jack nodded and gave Brill a long, hard look. “You didn’t know the truth about Vaughn?” he asked.

“Look Jack. I lost touch with the family after Bill’s death. You’re the one who introduced him to me as Bill Vaughn’s son. I took your word for it, and there is a resemblance.”

“I agree. There is. Probably deliberate, preparing for just such a scenario.” observed Sloane.

Jack nodded again. “Will you and your team keep Bell here until I decide upon his disposal? he asked, “You’ll be suitably remunerated.” he added.

Brill shrugged, “No problem. The Soldier of Fortune convention was a bust anyway. Full of people concerned with the latest fashion in camouflage gear and treating their weapons like extensions of their manhood.”

Jack turned and went into the room where Bell was being held, followed by Sloane. They looked down at the man lying on the cot who shied back on their entry. The contrast between the individual they had extracted hours earlier and the one they now saw was total. All remnants of dignity were gone, the dark stain on his pants leg, drying now but still clearly visible.

“If we find that you’ve lied to us we will come back and start where we left off” Jack warned.

Bell looked up at them, abject fear clearly visible in his eyes. For years he had sat behind a desk and ordered others to go out and kill or be killed. He had attended executions and watched others dying and thought he was tough. Now he realised what set people like Jack Bristow and Arvin Sloane apart from people like him. He knew that neither of them would have so shamefully lost control as he had done. It wasn’t their capacity to order the infliction of violence on others or even inflict it themselves. Any bully could do that. The true difference was their capacity to endure violence inflicted on themselves.

“Please, I’ve told you everything I know.” he whispered.

Jack and Sloane left the room, locking the door behind them.

“The Trust’s idea of using Elena’s plan to their advantage was certainly …radical.” noted Sloane, “I take we’re going to Sovogda?”

Jack looked at him, appraisingly, “I’ve changed my mind.” he said, “I want you to stay here and supervise Brill and his men.”

“Oh come on Jack! Surely you don’t think I had anything to do with the missing Rambaldi artefacts? Haven’t I proved that part of my life is over?”

“You were alone with Elena for several days. You had means, motive and opportunity.”

“So did your dear wife!” Sloane spat out, “How do you know what she did after she ‘escaped’. There was a period of almost a day between us being airlifted out and the Russians moving in, in force. She could easily have returned and removed the pieces in that time, …or maybe she’s already persuaded you that she’s as innocent as driven snow during one of the, no doubt, intimate on-line conversations you’ve been having with her recently. Yes, I know about them. Don’t treat me like a fool Jack! Oh, you came through for me at my hearing, but you’ve been distant with me ever since. I can only ascribe your attitude to something Irina said to you. Until this is over you and I are going to be like Sidney Poitier and Tony Curtis in “The Defiant Ones”. I’m not letting her whisper any more sweet poison in your ear without having an opportunity to put my side of the story.”

Jack considered. There was truth in what Sloane said. But then, there always was. Sloane’s modus operandi was to lie with the truth. On the other hand, while he wanted to believe that Irina was innocent, he had been bitten enough to be cautious. Staying together also worked both ways. While Sloane could keep an eye on him, he could keep an eye on Sloane.

“We both go to Sovogda.” he agreed, “But first we check the other part of Bell’s story, just to confirm he was telling us the truth.”

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Vaughn crouched behind the bed. It had been several hours since he had killed Lee. No-one had tried to enter the room since. He had used the time to reinforce the barricade at the door, which now included Lee’s dead body as well as more heavy equipment. He had fourteen rounds in the gun and his field training had enabled him to make a number of home-made weapons from the drugs stored in the room. He wasn’t fooling himself, however. He would be able to take down a number of his captors but, they would eventually overwhelm him with sheer force of numbers. His role was to play for time until the cavalry arrived. He wondered how long it would take them to trace the cell phone signal.

Just then, there was the sound of someone trying the door. “Doctor Lee. It’s me. Could I come in for a moment please?”

Vaughn didn’t reply. After a moment the voice spoke again, “Doctor Lee, sir, are you alright?”

Vaughn remained silent. He could hear a conversation taking place outside.

“Has Doctor Lee left?”

“Not that I saw, but now I come to think of it, it’s funny. I heard that when the Doctor gives an oral examination you can hear the patient screaming halfway across the State. There hasn’t been a peep out of the room all day.”

Vaughn grinned wolfishly, but resisted the urge to put a bullet through the door. Every minute counted now.

“Something’s wrong.” The original speaker decided, “Go get the spare set of keys and bring some of the others back with you.”

There followed ten, tension filled, minutes. Then Vaughn heard the man return. From the sound of it he had followed orders and brought reinforcements with him. A key scraped in the lock and the door knob rattled.

“It’s stuck.” someone said. Here, some of you put your shoulders to it.”

The door shuddered under the impact and jolted open several inches. Vaughn saw a hand cautiously appear and begin feeling around. He took careful aim and fired. Someone swore and the hand was withdrawn quickly.

“He’s armed,” someone noted, unnecessarily, “We need to tell the boss.”

“He’s not here.” another voice replied.

More hours passed. There were no further attempts to enter the room but Vaughn remained alert. He could hear voices outside and knew they had left people on guard.

Then he heard the familiar voice of Edward Montague outside.

“Ulysses,” he shouted, “I’m going to throw something into the room. Please don’t shoot. It’s perfectly harmless in itself.”

Vaughn saw Montague’s arm come round the door and, with a graceful sweep toss something onto the floor. He looked down and recognised the object at once. It was the engagement ring he’d given Sydney.


Next Chapter

Sydney meets the in-laws. The APO gang have a reunion.
 
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