The Derevko Journals


Jan 22, 2003
So. California
Author’s Note: This story idea popped into my head suddenly without warning. I am in the midst of TURNABOUT, but it kept nagging me. I have to do this story because I am still angry about the ending of the fifth season. I have the complete boxed set and in the book they included with it, there was a comment made that they wished they’d been able to do more stories about/with Irina as she was such an awesome character. She is and so I decided we needed to know why she became the power-mad woman of Alias.
SUMMARY: Irina Derevko is dead. There is only one Derevko left, Katya. Jack promised to get her released from Federal Prison if she would help. Since we heard nothing more, we will assume she was released and returned to her homeland, Russia. Did she learn of Irina’s fate? Is there more to the Derevko story? Of course there is…as Sydney Bristow-Vaughn will find out very soon.
RATING: R for violence, language and sex
All characters belong to JJ Abrams and ABC Television except those I develop.

By Lenafan​


Aunt Katya

Sydney stood outside the hotel trying to decide if she was going to go ahead with the meeting. Michael was seeing to their luggage and she had two and a half year-old Isabelle in her arms. She’d received the phone call from Russia two days ago. It was her Aunt Katya who was the last of the Derevko sisters. Yelena was dead. Her mother, Irina, was dead having fallen to her death less than a year and a half ago. Now Katya wanted to talk

“You’re not going to kill me, are you?” Sydney said it lightly, remembering Katya holding a gun on her in Palermo.

Katya laughed, “No, Sydney, I won’t even have a knife with me. Please, I have something for you that you will need.”

“What is it?”

“Papers, journals, other things belonging to your…to Rishka.”

Sydney felt a chill. “My mother’s?”


“I—I don’t know.” Sydney bit her lip, forcing back the strong emotions that hit her. It conjured up the scene in Hong Kong when they’d fought and it ended with Irina Derevko falling to her death through a skylight even though Sydney offered her a hand. She closed her eyes for a second, hearing Irina saying ‘no’, and then crashing onto the floor below moments later.

“Sydney, these belong to you.” Katya said softly. “She wanted you to have them. You are her daughter. I think you need to read them.”

“I don’t need anything from her.” Sydney’s eyes clouded remembering her and her mother’s last fateful meeting.

“Just meet me. And…” she paused for a moment, “…could you bring Isabelle? I would like to see my grand niece.” She seemed to be struggling to keep her voice neutral as she pled for the visit.

Sydney frowned, “I don’t know…”

“Please,” Katya said softly, stifling the strangulated feeling in her throat. “These are your legacies…and Isabelle’s...”


“You’ll know when you go through her papers.”

Interesting? Sydney made up her mind. “Very well. Where did you want to meet?”

“Rome? I’ll send you three first class tickets.” She paused. “One for Mr. Vaughn.”

Sydney’s spirits rose. Vaughn wasn’t being excluded from this. Perhaps they could make it a vacation. “When?”

“Given you need some time to get ready…so how would next week at the Ritz-Carlton?”

Sydney’s eyebrows rose, “We can’t afford that.”

“My treat. I’ll see you in the afternoon of the 15th. The reservations will be made in the name of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Vaughn.”

“Thanks.” Sydney heard her hang up.

She looked down at Isabelle, who was staring at all the activity going on around her. Her daughter was continually surprising both her and Vaughn. She seemed to absorb everything, everyone and all the activity that happened around her day after day. When she was awake, her eyes never stopped roving unless either parent was talking. She already mastered a multitudinous amount of words. She was in the midst of her terrible twos, which, so far, had not proved so terrible. There were times, however, when Sydney felt the other ‘shoe’ was about to drop.

“Everything okay?” She glanced at Vaughn who put the last bag onto the bell boy’s luggage truck.

“Yes.” He took her arm after planting a kiss on the top of Isabelle’s head. She was sporting a thick crop of light brown hair with red highlights. Sydney’s thought her hair would darken as she grew older. Hers did as she remembered.

Inside at the check-in desk, Sydney gave the clerk their names. The clerk immediately became almost subservient in his response. “Everything has been taken care of Mr. and Mrs. Vaughn. You are in the penthouse B.” He motioned the bell boy to the desk. “Take them to Penthouse B.”

Sydney and Michael’s eyes widened. “Penthouse?” She looked at the clerk.

“Yes! Miss Derevko is in Penthouse A. We hope you will have a pleasant stay.” He smiled.

Sydney eyes widened in surprise as they entered the penthouse. It was as beautiful as she expected, but even more so. She knew Katya loved luxury and those months in Federal Prison had not been her favorite place to stay. In a flash, Sydney wondered how her aunt could afford to rent two penthouses, but then she shrugged it off. There were two bedrooms and the second one next to the master bedroom was a child’s room. The hotel had furnished it with a young child in mind.

She put Isabelle down for a nap because it had been a tiring trip in from the airport to Rome. The child was asleep almost immediately. Sydney smiled at her daughter. In the sitting room she found Vaughn who was pouring some champagne, courtesy of the hotel.

He handed her a glass. “To us,” he whispered.

Sydney kissed him. “Let’s go out into the patio.” She gestured toward double doors at the end of the room.

Outside, they saw the sun shining off St. Peter’s dome. All of Rome seemed to be before them in all its Romanesque glory.

“As many times as I’ve been to Rome, I never saw it like this,” Sydney said, her dark eyes taking in everything.

Vaughn chuckled. “Yes, and most of the time you had a gun with you or it was at night. This time you can see it the way a tourist should see it.”

“Gosh yes, I hope so.”

The phone rang. She glanced at Vaughn. “You get it.”

He grinned and walked to the phone on the small desk. “Yes?”

“Mr. Vaughn. It’s Katya. How are your rooms?”

“Fine.” He motioned to Sydney. “For you,” he mouthed.

Sydney took the phone from his hand. “Katya?”

“Sydney. It’s wonderful to hear your voice. When did you arrive?”

“About fifteen minutes ago.”

“Then suppose I give you time to settle in and come over in about…say, an hour?”

“Good. We’ll see you then.”

Sydney spent the time unpacking. When she was finished, she and Vaughn walked again outside to gaze over the city. It was beautiful in late afternoon as the sun fell in the west. The domes of the various cathedrals including the massive St. Peter’s were gorgeous as the yellow light caressed them.

“Vaughn, it’s so beautiful.”

He put his arm around her shoulders. “It certainly is lovelier than what we usually saw.” He was referring to the times she’d been in Rome on assignment for the CIA or APO. Some of them had not been particularly safe. She’d been arrested by the Italian police and sent back to the U.S. in chains, accused of terrible crimes which occurred when she was Julia Thorne…an identity she’d assumed when the Covenant had taken her.

“What’s more,” she said, leaning against him, “it’s the perfect spot to tell you we’re going to have another child.”

He picked her up and swung her around, his face beaming. “Oh Syd, what a wonderful surprise.” He enfolded her in his arms and kissed her hard. “When?”

“About eight months from now.” She grinned. “I just found out before we left. Isabelle will be a little over four…and out of diapers.”

Vaughn chuckled. “Good planning.”

“I thought so,” she responded laughing. “You know what…” She continued before he could answer. “…I wish we could stay in Florence for awhile. It was a favorite city of Dad’s.”

“We’ll see. After all, I do have a job and I only took off a couple of weeks.”

Sydney nodded solemnly, “Yes, I know. Maybe sometime later.”

“Why not our second week? Katya’s business can’t possibly take longer than a few days.” Vaughn folded her into his arms.

“Yes. Let’s wait until we see what she wants me to read or do; then we can plan the rest of the trip.”

As she finished speaking, she heard the penthouse door bell ring. “I bet that’s Aunt Katya,” said Sydney walking to the door.

When the door opened, it was Katya. In a flash, Sydney noted she had aged, there were more lines on her face and her hair was graying. Sydney thought it strange that her aunt had not dyed the gray. However, she was dressed stylishly in green dress, Jimmy Cho shoes, and wearing very little jewelry. What she was wearing, however, was exquisite and expensive.

“Sydney,” said Katya and quickly stepped forward to kiss her on both cheeks. “You look wonderful.”

Sydney smiled. “Thanks. Come in.”

Katya swept into the room and reached out for Vaughn’s hand. “Mr. Vaughn. I’m pleased to meet you. I never had the pleasure.”

He grinned. “Before I forget, I want to thank you for getting Syd and I out of North Korea.”

“I’m glad I did.” She glanced around the room. “Isabelle?”

“She’s down for a much needed nap. However, it won’t be for long before she’s raring to go.” Sydney indicated the tapestry covered sofa. “So how have you been?”

“Good. I…I’ve been busy managing your mother’s estate. I find that finance and investments are what I do best.”

“Estate?” Sydney’s eyebrows shot up.

“Yes. Your mother was not destitute.”

Sydney blushed. “I—I didn’t mean that. It’s just that I never thought about Mom and money.”

Katya laughed, “Sydney…your mother…”

Sydney held up her hand. “Sounds like Isabelle. Excuse me.”

Katya’s eyes sparkled. She had heard much about Isabelle’s birth from Irina. Her sister returned to Russia on her way to Hong Kong, telling Katya about delivering her own grandchild. Katya was surprised and asked how that happened. Irina simply said Jack and Sydney caught her in a bank and that they were waiting for extraction when her daughter’s water broke. She and Jack delivered the child. She escaped while they were ‘cooing’ as she put it, over the baby.

“Where were you when the child was born?” Katya broke the silence.

“In Bhutan recuperating.” He was trying to minimize the conversation.

“Sorry,” said Katya.

The door opened and Sydney came out allowing Isabelle to walk, alone, in front of her. She was wearing a new pair of red jeans, white tee shirt, shoes and socks. Katya saw nothing but Isabelle’s face.

“Moya boje,” she whispered. She thought she was seeing a ghost. Other than the startling green eyes, Isabelle was nearly the twin of Irina when she was the same age. “Moya boje.” She saw Sydney staring at her. Katya smiled. “Oh, Sydney, she’s…she’s adorable!” She held out her hands as the child toddled toward her.

Sydney bent down, touching Isabelle on the shoulder. “This is your Aunt Katya. Can you say hello?”

“Hwello!” Mimicked Isabelle, as she wobbled closer. She looked up and smiled.

“May I?” Katya asked Sydney, who nodded. She picked up the toddler with such joy on her face that both parents were startled. “Isabelle…I’m your Aunt Katya. I’m pleased to meet you.”

Isabelle grinned, staring at Katya, whose low accented voice seemed to fascinate her. She swung her head around to see her mother who walked over and sat down next to Katya.

“Oh Sydney, she’s beautiful.” She glanced at Vaughn. “…and has your eyes. She’ll turn some boy’s heart into butter some day.”

“Hwello,” Isabelle said again. She reached out with her hand and touched Katya’s cheek.

Katya laughed. “I—I hope you will come to visit often. She’s a charmer.”

“We’ll see.”

“I want you to be my guests for dinner tonight at the hotel. They have a private room so Isabelle is welcomed to come.”

“Thanks!” Sydney answered. “About the other…when…?”

“Tomorrow morning. I’ll come with the laptop, financials and journals.”


“Yes! It has her financial records on it. You’ll need to review those.” Katya stood up. “It’s nearly six. Suppose we meet in an hour downstairs in the Da Vinci Dining Room?”

“We’ll be there.”

When the door closed behind her, Sydney looked at Michael. “What do you think?”

“About what?”


“I think I’ve never met the woman before, so I can’t exactly decide what it is you’re asking?”

“About her…do you think she’s to be trusted?”

Vaughn laughed, pulling Sydney into his arms and kissing her. “Darling, your aunt is getting older and probably wiser. I don’t think there’s anything to worry about.”

The Will

The next morning Vaughn put Isabelle into a stroller the hotel had provided and went out for a walk. Sydney was going to start reviewing the laptop and papers Katya was going to bring. It was nearly ten, however, before her aunt showed up with a bellboy who was using a trolley to bring in a large steamer trunk. Katya was carrying a briefcase in which was a laptop.

They sat down together. Katya took a key from her purse and opened the trunk. Inside were several drawers on the bottom and small boxes stacked in the trunk’s lid. Sydney stared. It was a funny way to carry her mother’s possessions. She looked at Katya.


“Did Mom pack her papers in a trunk?”

“No, I did. She had them in a desk she kept in her Moscow home.”


“Actually an apartment…it’s yours now.”

Sydney blinked. “Mine?”

“I told you…you and Isabelle are her heirs.”

“But you…”

Katya smiled, “do not worry. She gave me a key to a vault she had at a certain bank. Everything in it she left to me. You’ll see when you read her will.”

“Where is it?”

Katya opened the top drawer in the trunk and took out a thick file folder. She handed it to Sydney. “You can start reading it.”

“But—but shouldn’t it be read by an attorney?”

“We do things differently in Russia. Irina prepared the will and I witnessed it as well as a friend of mine. He only witnessed her signature. I witnessed everything. Before you start reading it there is a letter on top addressed to you.”

Sydney flipped open the folder and saw the envelope. She had not seen much of her mother’s writing, but if Katya said it was hers…then it was.

Dearest Sydney,

When you read this, I will be dead and Katya has given this to you.

First, I wanted to tell you that I lied that night in the bank when you gave birth to your little girl. I told you that I knew it was a mistake when the nurse placed you in my arms, because I knew I couldn’t be both a good mother and a good agent. I lied because I wanted you to hate me for being your mother. I know you had romantic notions about me, but I am what I am. I was a trained assassin and a spy, working for the KGB and for my country when I was sent to the U.S.

However, now I must tell you the truth. I loved you and I loved your father. I was a good mother to you for six years and a good agent too. It was difficult at times, but I never gave up. I loved you dearly, you were my heart. You represented the only good in me.

Now that I am dead, I want you to know I would give anything if I’d been able to stay married to your father and watch you grow up. Remember at the ice rink…when I said our relationship would be complicated as it usually is between mothers and daughters? I think that might not hold true for us. We had a wonderful relationship when you were so young that I think we might not have had the trouble some expect had I been able to stay.

Sydney, you have always been my heart even when we were so far apart while you were growing up. Thoughts of you kept me alive when I was sent to Kashmir. When I was free again, I came to know all about you and Jack, because someone was watching you for me. They kept me apprised of everything—your school, your friends and yes, even your boyfriends.

When you were at UCLA, I learned about your scholarship and was thrilled when I was told you were studying to be an English Literature teacher, just as I was. I was so happy for you when you fell in love with Danny. Then Arvin contacted you and took you from the course I thought you were heading for—marriage, children and yes, even teaching. You fell under the spell he cast and that ended with Danny’s murder. Then you contacted the CIA and the rest is our history. My heart ached for you then, because I knew that someday, somewhere you and I would meet and it would or could end badly.

From the beginning, when I found out about your involvement with SD-6, it was my most fervent wish that you’d leave the world of spies and agents. When I was at the CIA, I spoke with your father and begged him to help you leave. I knew he’d used the Project Christmas protocols on you and told him so.

Now you have a child and, I hope, more children in your future. Please, if you haven’t already, please be just a mother and wife and get out of the CIA. Go back to school and finish. Get your degree.

If you are reading this, you also know you are my heir…you and Isabelle and any other children you have. Trust your Aunt Katya. She has promised me she will help you in any way possible. I have also given her my journals which are yours to read. I know you must wonder how I came to be who I am…or maybe I should say, was.

I regret that we shall never see one another again, but the night Jack and I helped you give birth to Isabelle, was the second most incredible highpoint of my life. The first was when I gave birth to you.

You are my heart, Sydney Anne.

I have always loved you,


Sydney found that she was crying. Katya sat quietly. She had not read the letter but she remembered Irina also crying when she wrote it. She waited patiently as Sydney’s tears ran their course. The younger woman ran to the bathroom and washed her face. Oh God, she thought, why did her mother continue on her own path of self-destruction? She returned to the sitting room.

“I’m sorry, Aunt Katya.” Sydney sat down. “Would you like to read it?”

Katya shook her head and put her hand over Sydney’s. “No. This is a letter written to you and, I believe, for you only. Perhaps one day you’ll want Isabelle to have it.”

“Thank you. Oh dammit, why did she…” Sydney stopped, feeling the tears beginning again. She gulped.

“Let me read her will while you dry those tears.”


Katya pulled out a document which was several pages long from the manila folder. “It’s fairly straightforward.” She began…

“I, Irina Derevko Bristow, leave all of my personal belongings, monies, properties, stocks, bonds and everything I possess to my daughter, Sydney Anne Bristow-Vaughn and her children. I have appointed my sister, Ekaterina Derevko, as my executor.

She will, with Sydney’s permission of course, take care of the financial aspect of my estate, including investing those assets. She has been compensated and shall not seek further reimbursement.

Attached to this is a simple list of my assets. All documents relating to each one of my assets are also included.”

Katya handed the document to Sydney, whose tears were finally dry. “She said that there were no strings attached and that whatever you wanted to do with those assets, she left up to your judgment.”

Sydney’s eyes began scanning the document attached. There were ten pages. As she read, Sydney’s mouth opened in astonishment. “My God,” she whispered. Multiple bank accounts located world wide, stocks and bonds from the New York Stock Exchange, as well as Tokyo and Hong Kong took up five pages single spaced. Another three pages listed property she owned, again world-wide. Another three pages listed her personal belongings including jewelry, watches, clothes and…weaponry. One page listed businesses that she owned, world-wide. The last page listed storage units, again world wide, with their contents—mostly stolen electronics of all kinds.

“Good grief, what am I to do with…” Sydney waved the pages at Katya.

“Whatever you decide.” Katya chuckled. “You are in charge of her organization.”

“The Man’s?”

Katya nodded, “Of course—however, she knew you would never take it over. I believe she wanted you to disband it and perhaps pay off her key men…and women.”

“What about all those contacts she had?”

“I’d use them whenever you can.” Katya was perfectly aware that Sydney did an occasional job for the CIA, especially since her good friend, Marcus Dixon was now the Deputy Director for Operations for the CIA. “If it were me…” she paused, “I’d pay them all a visit and secure their loyalty to you.”

“Perhaps…” Sydney said flipping the pages back to the front. “How much is everything worth?”

“Close to nine hundred million…and probably more, maybe even a billion. Each day the estate grows.”

Sydney blinked. Her voice squeaked when she repeated the amount. “A billion? You’re kidding me.”

Katya shook her head. “No, I’m not kidding. Everything related to the items she listed is in the trunk: bank books, CD’s, stocks, bonds, bearer bonds, titles to properties, everything you need to do with whatever you want to do with it. Your mother took care to see that your name was included on all the documents.”

“What are you doing with it—the financials?”

“Investing and re-investing: managing the stocks and bond portfolio. I’ve found that I’m quite good at it. I will, of course, continue if you wish.”

Sydney shook her head. “What am I going to do with all this? It’s too much.”

“Sydney, your mother said you could do with it as you wished.” Katya flipped over to the last page of the document. “By the way, these last storage units contain some very valuable assets. I would like to suggest they be moved into banks.”


“Gold bullion!”

“In storage units?” Sydney’s voice squeaked.

Katya nodded. “Don’t worry. They are packed away in regular storage boxes. No one would ever realize what is in them. However, I think it wise to put them someplace safe like a bank vault in an off-shore bank where there will be no questions asked.”

“How many bars?”

“Three hundred.” She pointed to the list. “Each unit has fifty bars.”

Sydney’s head was swimming. She was close to shock, but gathered herself. “Look, I’m going to have to think about all of this.” She glanced at the smaller boxes in the trunk’s lid. “What is in those?”

“I brought her personal jewelry that she had in her Moscow apartment. Other jewelry is in safe deposit boxes in some of the banks. Your mother always said that diamonds, emeralds and rubies were as good as cash if not better.”

“Aunt Katya, what did she leave you? I mean, you were close. Why not leave you most of this?”

“Sydushka,” again she put her hand on Sydney’s, “she left me a vault with more than I could possibly use. I’m single without any family. If there’s anything left when I die, you’ll inherit more.”

“Why did you call me Sydushka?”

“It is the Russian custom to call those closest to you by a nickname. The same goes for good friends whom one gets to know. Do you mind? I’ve always thought of you by Sydushka since your mother returned home. She called you by the same name when speaking of you.”

“No, I—I kind of like it. It reminds me of my Russian heritage.”

“Good!” Katya stood. “Why don’t I leave you until lunchtime to go through the trunk? You might have some ideas…or not. By the way, all of her journals are in that bottom drawer. I sorted them to begin from the beginning…she started when she was 14.”

“Thanks.” Sydney looked at her watch. “Oh what about the laptop?”

Katya handed over the briefcase. “The password is ‘malish devochka’.” She stood up. “I’ll leave you for now.”

Sydney stood and gave her a hug. “Spasibo. I won’t go over this today. I’ll start tonight. I’ll probably have some questions for you tomorrow.”

“Good. I plan to have an afternoon in the spa. Rome is beautiful. Enjoy your afternoon.”
Katya kissed Sydney on both cheeks and left.

Sydney sat down looking at the laptop, the trunk and the little boxes. She reached out and picked a long rectangular box and opened it. A watch…a Pidet watch that was diamond encrusted. Holy cow, she thought, where am I going to wear that? She closed the box and picked another. This was a small square box. She opened to stare at a pair of emerald cut diamond earrings.

By the time Vaughn returned with Isabelle, she’d opened them all. Her head was spinning with the diamonds, emeralds, rubies, in various kinds of jewelry: necklaces, rings, earrings, and watches. Her mother had extremely good taste…and she paid good prices for them all.

Vaughn entered the room after putting Isabelle down for a nap. “How did it go?”

Sydney smiled. “Fine.” She handed him the will. “Check it out.”

Glancing at the first page he looked at her, “Pretty straight forward.” He riffled the pages. “What’s on these?”

“Mom’s assets—ten pages. I haven’t read all of it.”

“Looks like you have your work cut out. What do you want to do?” He handed the will back, not looking at the contents. Irina Derevko had not been his favorite person as she had assassinated his father in the line of duty.

“I want to see Rome this afternoon and we can take Isabelle. I want to walk, sit and drink a latte or cappuccino. I want to listen to the sounds of the city.”

“Good, then close the trunk, put the laptop away and let’s make a few calls.”

“Yeah, let’s make it a fun afternoon.” Sydney agreed thinking that when she started reading Mom’s journals, it might not be fun anymore.

malish devochka – baby girl

Dec 28, 2004
St. Louis, Missouri
I love this...I can't believe Irina had so much...well now that I think about it I can...
wonder what Syd is gonna do with all that stuff...
Can't wait to see what's in the journals...
Thanks for the pm.
Keep me on the list please.


Jan 22, 2003
So. California
Some of the language is English idiomatic, catch phrases and colloquialisms because I don’t speak Russian, so I tried to think how someone who was learning to perfect their English would phrase things.

***** will denote a larger passage of time (a month or more) because it is impossible to tell about every day in Irina’s life. *** Means a short passage. There were times also that she was unable to write every day too. Her time in Kashmir will also be related even though she had no writing materials. Although she recalled with clarity her time spent in the hands of the CIA and the glass cage. After all, she had a phenomenal memory.
Regarding the timeline vs the one posted by ABC early before the second season having to do with Irina. According to it, they were married ten years, and she was 21 when she married Jack. I fudged just a little, because in order to be a professor of Eng. Lit. at UCLA she had to be a bit older. I’ve given her two years for her Ph.D, before she has Sydney at the age of 25. You’ll see what I mean as we travel through her life. It takes away nothing concerning acts that drove her forward to her death.

The Teens – 1965

Irina is 14

Friday – October 1, 1965

Katya gave me an empty book today. She told me to start writing a journal in order to practice my English. I think she is worried about me, especially after Mama died.

The priest said it doesn’t matter about where we put Mama’s body since it is her soul that is important. She went to church often even though Papa tried to discourage it. I miss her. She was sick last year and in much pain. The doctors said she had breast cancer, a female disease. They told Papa they could take off her breasts, but she would not live much longer anyway. She didn’t go to doctor until too late.

Katya leaves for KGB school tomorrow. Yelena, thank goodness, has left home. She works for KGB full time. I’m glad she’s gone. I hate her. Mama tried to get us to like each other, but Yelena is mean and jealous. I am the youngest, but I’m taller and stronger and prettier than she ever will be. Papa says I take after his side of the family. I have to go back to school tomorrow too. Next year, I will go to KGB school. Papa says they want me very much. I am smart and have more brains than my teachers. They are very stupid.

Katya told me that my writing will help me at KGB school in my language skills. I am writing this in English. I am studying this language because KGB wants me too. It is a funny language. Still I know Papa does not know how to read English. Katya says journals or diaries, as they say in the West, are kept secret. So it will be safe, even though I still plan to hide it.

Tuesday - October 5, 1965

Oh Mama, Mama, what am I going to do? Papa…Papa made me come to bed with him. He said it was too cold for us to be apart. Mama, he—he held me close to him. I was so frightened I didn’t sleep. He did, but never let go of me. What am I going to do if he wants me again to sleep in your bed?

Friday – October 8, 1965

He did it! Last night. It hurt a lot. Mama, what am I going to do now? He struck me when I cried out. He said you were gone and that he had needs…that I was his to do with whatever he wanted. He said he owned me. I was his daughter and he could do whatever he wanted to do to me. He said he would kill me if I told anyone. I know he will do it and I can’t tell the police. They would not take my word against that of Papa.

The teacher won’t care either. She doesn’t like me too much. Says I’m too much trouble. Oh Mama…Mama, I’m afraid.

Wednesday – October 20, 1965

I haven’t written in my journal for several days. I—I went to the police today to tell them he had not come home for two days. They said they would hunt for him. I told them where he worked and the way he usually came home. I—I have a feeling they will not find him…soon. They asked if someone was going to take care of me and I said that my older sister Katya would be home tomorrow. I didn’t tell them any more than that.

I lied about Katya. She is in KGB school and doesn’t know about him or about what he did. I can take care of myself here. There are ways to get food and money if I have too and I can do it.

Friday – October 22, 1965

The police came by today. They said they had not found him. I thanked them politely. They said they would keep looking. They wanted to talk to Katya, but I explained she was on her way from KGB school. They looked impressed and left. The police are scared of KGB. You could see it in their faces.

KGB is one reason I can live by myself. They pay him money every month, because I am third child of family to be picked by them for school. The money will pay the rent. I know because I heard him say so. I have to get money for food and clothes or I can…I’m glad I don’t need much to live on, but I am hungry.

I’m rich. I found some rubles! He had them hidden in one of his shoes. One hundred and thirteen. I can buy food!

I looked in our cupboards, but there wasn’t very much left. He didn’t do any shopping, be…before he disappeared. I need bread, cheese and maybe I can get some meat. I will shop tomorrow when I come home from school.

Saturday – October 23, 1965

Old Mrs. Pilitz next door showed me how to make soup. I purchased beans, chicken, two carrots, peas, and over a pound of potatoes. Because I paid cash, the grocery man also gave me some milk. I feel like a queen. I was careful with the food. It must last me for several days. Mrs. Pilitz wanted to know about him, because she had not seen him.

“Are you all right, child? I was afraid for you when your Mama died and your sister went back to school.”

“What do you mean?”

“I heard…loud noises and crying, especially since you were alone with him.”

I blushed and wanted her to go away. “I—I don’t, that is I didn’t hear any noises.”

She looked at me carefully and then said quietly. “Maybe it is good thing he is gone…for you.” She turned away and closed the door to her tiny apartment.

I shut the door and leaned against it. I didn’t want to think about him any more than I have too…forever. He abused Mama too much. Maybe it was good she is dead. She is at peace at last. He, I hope, will burn forever in hell.


Sunday – November 21, 1965

I haven’t had time to write for weeks now. I am very busy with school. My grades are once more at the top of the class. My teachers tell me they have given good reports to KGB education department. They say I will become a good employee, smarter than most, even smarter than my sisters.

I miss Katya. I lied to police. She didn’t come home because I didn’t want her to come. I don’t need her. I can look after myself. I left school yesterday afternoon and went to the open market in the square several blocks away. I am good at pick-pocketing. There was a Comrade bureaucrat coming at me, but looking more at vegetables and fruits of which there was very little. Winter is cold and everyone is bundled up. I lifted sixty four rubles from his wallet. That will keep me warm. I need coal. The room is very cold.

I bought another chicken from a farmer. He was so cold I could have stolen it, but I had money. I am not sure why I have these feelings…some I do not care about, I mean, I can steal from them and not care…others like the farmer, I feel sorry for so I do not take something they sell.

When I came home, there was policeman standing in the hall. I was cool and confident, asking, “Hello. What do you want?” I smiled at him.

“I am taking you to my station. We think we may have found your father.”

“Where is he?” I pointed to my door as though expecting him to be inside.

Just then Mrs. Pilitz comes out her door. “What is going on? Are you all right, Irina?”

The policeman glare at her and said, “She is to identify her father. We think we find him. She has to go to station.”

“Do you want me to come with you?” She asked.

I know she was kind and I think she knew. I glance at the policeman. He is not happy, so I say, “Yes please. I like you to come.”

The policeman, he grumbled, but he walks us to station which is not far. It is cold, so I hold on to Mrs. Pilitz and her me. The police take us to a room. We wait. Few minutes after that another man in white coat join us. He says that police found a body in deep snow nearby place where he works. His throat was cut and there was no money. They think he was mugged by hooligan.

The policeman takes us down two flights of stairs to room cold as outside. Mrs. Pilitz holds me tight and the doctor pull down sheet. It is him. I let myself cry a little. Mrs. Pilitz makes over me. We leave room quickly and go back upstairs. I know I must tell Katya what happened to him. She will come home, I think.

Monday – November 22, 1965

Katya came home late this afternoon. I told her he was at the police station. They want me to bury him, but I say I have no money. Katya hugs me and wants to know how I have been living. I tell her my wits and smile. She says she will get KGB to take care of him since Yelena work for them and she, herself, is almost ready for the Academy.

“What about you?” She says. “They won’t let me stay here with you.”

“I am fine. Mrs. Pilitz across the hall, she is taking care of me.” I lied, but I know the old woman will back me up, even though she isn’t all that well. I have been sharing my food with her. She is teaching me to cook, but I don’t tell Katya. I love my sister, but she would be upset if she knew everything I do to stay here. I don’t want to leave until I have to go to KGB high school.

Katya is going to stay until she has to go back to school after Sunday. She says she wants to have a priest say a few words at church. It is for Mama’s sake not his.

Thursday – November 25, 1965

We have a blizzard today. No one goes anywhere. I have a few pieces of coal left, but I am saving it. I have three blankets and Mama’s old goose down comforter on their bed. I am wearing my sleep wear, my school pants and shirt, as well as Mama’s sweater. Over that, I am putting on his long coat. I must look strange, but at least I am warm, especially since Katya shares the bed.

Katya was supposed to return to school yesterday, but the blizzard came and so she is staying. We are having fun even though we are freezing. I found tea in the cupboard and we melt snow on the stove. It is old, but it works. I even let the neighbors use it when I cook sometimes, but not today, just old Mrs. Pilitz.

Sunday – November 28, 1965

This was very bad day. It is still snowing. I look outside our window this morning and it is very deep outside. I do not see anyone outside. I think no one is working, especially if they must go by bus or rail or on foot. I was glad Katya would be staying longer. We had tea and old pieces of dry bread. We are trying to save the food. We waited for Mrs. Pilitz, but she didn’t come.

After we ate, both of us went knocking on her door. We didn’t hear anything, so we open the door. It is lucky we did. She was unconscious. Katya and I carry her to our room and put her in our bed. The bricks we heated last night are still warming the bed. Katya told me to fix some tea and she would keep the old woman warm. The old woman came alive in the warm bed. She thought she was dying, so she told Katya what he did to me.

I was in kitchen, heating water when Katya ran out of bedroom. She pulled me into her arms. She is crying.

“What is wrong,” I ask.

“Rishka…oh Rishka! How could Papa?”

I know what is making her cry. Mrs. Pilitz told her. “Because that is who he is…was a…a monster.” Tears flood my cheeks and we are both crying. “But he is no more. He is dead and I’m glad.”

“Did he hurt you?”

“He fukked me eight nights. He said I was better than Mama ever was.” I am crying hard now as the memories of those awful nights flood through my mind and body. “He beat me because I fought him.” My words now were harsh and cold.

Katya held me tight, pulling me to the old sofa in the other end of the room. She sat down and held me in her lap. “Ogorchenn, ogorchenn, Rishka. You poor child.”

“I am not a child. I am a woman.” I said this and hiccupped. “Í have periods.”

“I know. I know.” She lifted my head up so she could look at my face. “How are you coping with that and…” She paused. “…and being alone.”

“I’m not alone. I have Mrs. Pilitz.”

Suddenly we realized we left the old woman alone. I jumped up and tried to dry my tears. Katya pulled Mama’s old cup and saucer down and we put tea in the cup. I poured water in it. We both returned to the bedroom. Mrs. Pilitz was dead. We took her back to her apartment. Put her in her bed and left after taking most of what food she had. After all she wouldn’t need it anymore.

“Now what?” Katya asks.

“I’ll tell Gorshinski, the superintendent. He’ll take care of it.” I started down the stairs. Katya hesitated then let me go and entered our apartment.

I waited until the door was closed and went back to the old woman’s rooms. I knew she had some money hidden away. I was going to need some of it. I couldn’t take it all. Gorshinsky was a pig and he’d be happy to take whatever was there. If there was nothing, he would be suspicious. I was careful to lock the door. I put the key in my pocket. Gorshinsky would have his own passkey. I know Mrs. Pilitz would want me to have her money. She was a good person. I will miss her, especially after Katya returns to school.

I told the superintendent that Mrs. Pilitz didn’t answer her door and that I was afraid something had happened to her. I don’t think he cared much and he wasn’t in any hurry. I shrugged and returned to our own apartment. Katya was putting away the food we took. It wasn’t much except there was almost a full can of tea. Katya poured us both a cup and added a bit of sugar she found too. It tasted good.


Saturday – December 25, 1965

I have been busy with school. Little time to write, but that’s all right. I need to keep my studies up and stay ahead of everyone else. My English teacher says I am making great strides in composition and language skills. I have been working to get rid of my accent when I speak it. Sometimes it’s hard, but I can do it more easily the more I practice.

Mrs. Pilitz was taken away a day after I told Gorshinsky. He took everything she had and Katya and I were glad we left a little food and I was glad I’d left some money. He never suspected. The hospital sent men to pick up her body. We watched. They were unconcerned about her body and nearly dropped it. Idiots! I’ve decided that all men were idiots and/or fools. I’d not met one who had one iota of kindness in them. (I like that word—iota. English is strange because it uses other languages in ways they were not meant to be.)

It is Christmas in the West, although it is not celebrated here in our country. It is, however, celebrated in America and England and Europe. I have had to learn all about this holiday that celebrates the birth of a man called Christ. Then I remember Mama sometimes would pray to him and to God. Religion is forbidden in our country, but people still go to churches and cathedrals. Still, it is mostly the old people who go. No one else does or dares.

Oh, I have a boyfriend, David. He is nice and I like him. He walks me to and from school because he lives around the block from our apartment. I have been helping him with his homework. He has difficulty in math. We hold hands, more to keep warm than anything else. David is about two inches shorter than I am, but he says that makes no difference…that I am very pretty and besides he will grow taller.

Ogorchenn - Sorry



Sydney put the book down unaware that tears were falling down her cheeks for a moment. Then she sniffed and reached for a Kleenex.

“Sydney, what’s wrong?” Vaughn looked up from the book he was reading.

“Her journal. Oh Vaughn, she—she was raped by her father. She was only 14. He beat her when she fought back.” She blew her nose. “Although she didn’t say so, I think she killed him.”

Vaughn took her left hand in his. “Sorry!” He knew she was extremely empathetic and this was family.

“She was only 14,” Sydney repeated in a whisper.

“Put the book down and get some sleep.” He pulled her over into his arms and held her until her eyes closed.

Jun 19, 2006
When I think that her life couldn't had been worse (all that she had gone through in Kashmir and leaving her family behind etc.), you wrote about her father. :(


Jan 22, 2003
So. California
The Teens – 1966
Irina is 15

Sunday – June 5, 1966

I passed all my exams except my English orals which I have yet to take. I will graduate at the top of my class. I have worked hard to be the best and very hard to be able to stay in the apartment. It hasn’t been easy. Katya came home once a month for the weekend. She was surprised to see me looking so healthy. She said she was worried I wasn’t eating. I told her I earned a job and worked a couple of hours after school. It didn’t pay much, but I usually traded my pay for food. The grocer was happy and I was happy too.

Of course, that was a lie. It’s more rewarding to be a pick-pocket (wonderful English description) and see how well I can outsmart people and the police. I always have food in the house when Katya comes so we don’t have to buy food. Katya is doing well at KGB school. She is through and going to the Academy in July. I, fortunately, will be attending the KGB school then also. Unfortunately, however, I must give up this wonderful (ha, ha) apartment and my freedom.

This next weekend, Katya and I must decide what we will pack away. Some I have already given away with her blessing. We decided to keep most of Mama’s things and discard his. I want nothing to remind me of the beatings and the rapes. He will remain nameless to me for the rest of my life.

We will have a new apartment located at the Academy. Katya is in training and can have family member stay with her. She chose me.


Tuesday – June 21, 1966

I will kill him! David, I mean! That pimplely two-faced foul pig of a boy!!! He tried to rape me. I fought him and kicked him hard in the balls. Did he think I gave him permission to do to me whatever he wanted? Idiot. Men are stupid. They have no brains just balls! I showed him and quickly too! I doubt he’ll ever try that again with another girl for some time. He’ll probably walk funny for a few days. Serves him right! I should have expected it. No more boyfriends…at least for awhile.

Wednesday – June 29, 1966

I passed! Thank goodness! (This is an odd way of saying ‘thank God’, I think. English is certainly difficult at times.) Anyway I managed to get high grades in all my final tests and much to the surprise of my teachers. I found out in middle school that I think I have a photographic memory and have used it to my advantage. I can read anything and remember it word for word. I hear things and remember it totally. I am not telling anyone because it is a wonderful secret to have. Katya came home from the Academy with another boy friend, who couldn’t keep his hands off her and her, him. Stupid!

I was interviewed by KGB this afternoon, after the grades were posted. He wanted to know what my interests were. I told them I wanted to be a field agent of some kind. That is so much more dangerous and exciting that anything else. He said there was a chance I could become one, but it would depend on my training at the Academy. He insisted that our interview be spoken in the English language.

He was leafing through my file; then he looked at me and said in English, but with a terrible accent, “Did you do your best in school?”

I was surprised. “What do you mean? Of course, I did my best.”

“Did you!” He sounded skeptical.

Stung by his insinuation I said, “I don’t understand what you’re saying then.”

“Irina Derevkova, we are not stupid. Did you not know we had you tested two or three times for your IQ? Your scores in our school indicate you are intelligent, but not outstanding until you took those final exams. What were you doing the rest of the year, treading water?”

I was shocked. They knew I’d been playing a game. “How smart am I?”

“Your IQ is 170.” He closed my file. “The Academy board believes you are not honest. They believe you are waiting for something or to do something. That is cheating in their minds. Can you explain?”

I studied him for a minute, saying nothing and then said, “Sir, I am sorry, but I thought I could prove myself worthy when I got to the Academy. I’ve brought my grades up from what they were earlier in the year.” I shot him a wonderful smile. I found out men like me more when I do.

“Yes, but we projected them to be considerably higher.” He stood up. “I suggest you do not continue on this path or you may not be considered for a position as a field agent and will ‘languish’ at an office position.” He chucked me under my chin. “We want to know just how good you are.” At the door, he stopped and turned to me. “Your English, however, is outstanding. Continue working on it.” He left.

I sat for a few minutes, before leaving myself. I made up my mind I would get those grades up. I really want to be a field agent for my country.


Thursday – July 7, 1966

I have started my classes at the KGB school. The teachers are almost as dumb as those at the last school! I’m going to spend time in the library to jump ahead. My English teacher however is pleased I’m in his class. He was astounded at my English speaking, which is now without an accent. My vocabulary is three times that of any other student. Funny thing is I speak English better than he does. My other teachers have been after me to improve, but I see no reason to give them credit for my own will to be the reason I am at the top of my classes.

Math is hard. I keep myself studying calculus and trigonometry. I know if I can conquer these, I can graduate near the top. I want to go to the Academy with the ability to study and learn at a fast pace and do it right. Mama was a teacher and she did instill in me the ability to plan my study and homework. If I can, I want to be able to use the computer at the Academy as well as have access to the technical equipment.

I have decided not to date. Besides the boys at the school are…dumb. I think they wear their brains between their legs. Idiots. Katya, whenever she is home, is always talking about this boy or this man. She is as boy-crazy as she ever was. She liked men when she was three! She plans to use her ‘body’ to get what she wants at least I think that’s her life’s plan. Mama would be very unhappy with her.

We have a few days off and we are going on a trip! Our grandparents, who live a few kilometers outside of Moscow, invited Katya and me to spend a week with them. We can take a bus to the end of the line and then walk about two kilometers at least that’s what Katya says, to their house.

I am not going to think about studying or school or the future. I am going to enjoy myself. Granmama will spoil us, at least I hope so.


Tuesday – September 6, 1966

This year I will be the best student. I promised myself and Katya, I would not play games. I have new teachers except for English. Alexandriy Sorkinsky was happy to see me. He uses me as the standard the others in my class must adhere too; he did a role play with me. I was pretending to be his daughter and we had an argument. I beat him! He let his accent creep into our dialogue. He was only a little embarrassed, but proud of me.


Tuesday – November 22, 1966

I was in the library today when Petr asked me if I would like to go for a walk after school. He, in fact, suggested I let him walk me home. I thought he was being presumptuous! (Hooray, I used a difficult word properly—I am always trying to find ways to write better English.) Anyway I told him he could. He is very good looking and I think he won’t be like the others at least I hope so. Always they try to get into my pants! However, I keep hoping.


Monday – December 19, 1966

Our term is almost over and Petr it turns out has been good friend. Others think we are lovers, but we are not. He has not been fresh with me at all. I am beginning to wonder if he sees me as a woman. Maybe I’ll ask him tomorrow on the way home from school.

Tuesday – December 20, 1966

It is very cold. Petr and I walked home very carefully. There is much ice on the roads. We have to be careful not to fall, so we held each other’s arm to steady one another if we should do so. When we arrived at Katya’s and my apartment, I invite him in for hot cup of tea hoping of course that Katya bought some.

I poured him a cup and offered some sugar, but he said he took it black. He stirred the tea hoping to cool it down, but looked serious.

“What’s wrong,” I asked.

“Nothing!” He said. “I was just wondering…”

“No, I am not sleeping with you.” I said. I was kidding, because he was so serious.

“I—I wasn’t going to ask that.” He said and he blushed!


“I thought you might think it was strange of me not to try to go to bed with you? I mean, that is what most girls think about, isn’t it?”

“Well…I try not to think every boy is going to try it. I can’t say for some silly girls.” I thought about Katya.

He laughed. “I know.” He put his hand over mine. “I want to tell you something, but you have to promise not to tell anyone.”

“Stop, Petr. Do not tell me anything that I would have to report.”


I could see the fire go out of his eyes. “Sorry, but it is for both our lives.”

“Yeah…well, guess I’d better be going.” He stood up, smiled, and touched me on the arm. “Thanks for the tea.” He said solemnly and left.

I wonder what it was he wanted to tell me. No, better he doesn’t. I like him.



It was their third night in Rome. Vaughn had arranged for a guide to take them on an extensive tour of the city. He and Sydney shared caring for Isabelle: seeing she did not walk too far or have trouble finding a bathroom. They lunched on the Piazza Navano which was close to the Pantheon. They returned to the Ritz late in the day. Katya was out and so Sydney picked up her mother’s next journal and began reading it.

Vaughn was on the phone with their guide, planning the next day’s outing. He and Sydney talked about taking a look at the archeological sites including a tour of the Coliseum. It might take several hours he was told, but Vaughn said they could take two days if necessary. They finally came to an agreement and the guide would pick them up at 9:30 a.m. the next morning.

“It’s set,” Vaughn said, turning to Sydney.

She nodded, but her eyes never left the pages of her mother’s 1966 journal. She wondered what secret Petr had not told Irina about…at least her mother had warned him not to say anything that she would have to report. She wondered too if Mom would have turned him in. She was glad her mother did not have to make that choice.


Irina is 16

Monday - January 2, 1967

The KGB wants me to start the Academy soon. I am to be promoted to the high school starting now. They said I tested very high. So I am going to be in the new school beginning next week. When the Academy begins the new year, I will be sixteen. They say I will be youngest ever to begin training. I am glad I did not fool around and kept my grades up high. I think Katya is a little jealous, because I jump a year to start training.

Wednesday – January 4, 1967

It is too cold to be outside. Our sports teacher says that we must be in good shape if we train at KGB school. She made us run around the gym five times. Most of the class dropped out before the third time. I have very long legs and it took me only one time around to beat the boys and I was only one who finished. I like running. I like to play football with the neighbor kids. So I do have more stamina than some.

To be a good field agent, I think running might come in handy. I will get the teacher to give me tips to use for running. Maybe she will let me use the gym to train until the weather is better. I know she was pleased when I finished the course in the gym. I would like to run outside; perhaps by late spring I will be able to do cross country running.


Thursday – February 9, 1967

Sonya Gittelinzy made a pass at me in the showers. I am not one of those homosexuals. I grabbed her by the arm and slammed her into the wall. I yelled for the teacher and told her what happened. She was horrified. I think I broke Sonya’s arm, but I don’t care. I am not a pervert! What the hell made her think that? The only thing I can figure out is that I am much taller than most of the girls in my class and I like working out in the gym.

“Report her to the Komsomolets,” said the teacher. “I will take her to infirmary.”


“The Party needs to learn who these perverts are. They will no doubt assign her to a new school…somewhere in Siberia.”

“Good riddance,” I said, toweling myself off. “I have class. I report her tonight.”

My teacher nodded and led Sonya away. I could see she was scared. She should be. No one wants to go to Siberia. I hear it is colder than it is here. I don’t know anyone who has been there. Sonya will be the first one. Why did she think I would welcome her attentions?

Monday – February 13, 1967

Sonya wasn’t at school this morning. I guess the Komsomolets told the local Party heads about what I reported. She is probably on her way to Siberia. I’m glad because I have too much studying to do to worry about her. What a fool!


Tuesday – March 21, 1967

I was walking back to apartment, when two men tried attacked me, or at least they tried too. One had a knife and I knew they didn’t want my money because I never carry any with me. Anyway I have been reading KGB defense manual and practicing on my own, so I attacked, kicking the knife out of one man’s hand and driving my elbow into the face of the other. I picked up the knife and slashed the throat of the knife owner’s. I shoved the knife into the chest of the other.

I have been training for stamina, running five miles everyday. My speed has increased, so it was not long before I made it to the police station. I gave them accurate description. The police found them. I learned they had raped three girls in the last week. No doubt they thought I would be their fourth victim. I told them what happened. They were surprised that I got away. Later, while I was giving report, they told me one whose throat I cut was dead. The other was in very bad condition at the hospital.

So now I am sixteen! I killed another evil man and it was fun and exhilarating!

Wednesday – March 22, 1967

It’s my birthday. I’m sixteen! Katya says she is sorry we have no money for presents. I am fine with that. I am glad to be alive…and will soon be in the Academy. Yesterday I almost did not make it to being sixteen.

The head of the KGB school told me that I did a good job and wondered where I learned to fight. I told him I had been reading the KGB Training Manual and practicing. He was surprised, but I think he was pleased also. I have no doubt he will tell them at the Academy.


Friday – July 7, 1967

Oh Mama, wherever you are, think of me. We start our finals this next week. Where I place will determine my placement at the KGB high school. I want to be the best and I will be the best. If they think I am ready, they will not pass me on for more high school, but will send me to the Academy the next year instead.

Katya is studying hard too. She is in her first year of the Academy and there are so many classes. When she sleeps, I have been reading her books. I know a lot already.

We are going to see Granmama at the end of the month. Everyone has a few days off for summer holidays. Weather is getting very hot and everyone is in a good mood. There is so much cold, almost eight months of it. I swear I will retire to someplace where it is always warm.

I have been running every morning at five for an hour. I come home and we have tea and toast before we head for school. Katya likes to sleep that extra hour. She sometimes stays out partying and, I think, sleeping with men. I told her to be careful, but she laughs at me because I am the youngest yet I try to be the mother.

“Silly girl,” she said, “I’m three years older. Stop talking to me as if you are my Mama!”

I had to laugh at that too!

Oh well, just so long as she doesn’t get into trouble.

Friday – July 21, 1967

I’ve had four major finals: calculus, physical science, chemistry and I think I aced them. (I understand the word ‘aced’ is an American term for passing for sure) This next week will be the biggest and hardest one. I have English language, English speaking, and English composition. I am confident of the speaking skills—I am very, very proficient in speaking.

Composition is going to be hard because I have to know the rules and the subtleties that my teacher is going to ask for in the test. Katya, who does speak English but not as well as I do, told me she barely passed when taking the test a couple of years ago. Fortunately, she gave me some tips and how to make sure I wasn’t tripped up by the sneaky test questions.

The language test is comprehending words from the dictionary as well as the many colloquial expressions. I am sure I’ll pass this one with high marks. I know my skills are better than those of the teachers. I won’t be going out. Both Katya and I are ‘hitting’ the books, meaning studying hard.

Friday – July 28, 1967

Finals are over!!!

I know I did well on all my English tests. I have an oral one coming on Sunday. Orals are the hardest. Katya said she passed, but didn’t get high marks. Personally I think her mind was on a certain young man. Orals mean you have to carry on a conversation with at least two other people and your English must be good enough for each student to understand what the others are talking about.

I don’t have any young man. I don’t want one either, at least for a while. I am going to get Katya to help me tomorrow for a few hours. She won’t stay the whole day. I think she has a date. However, I will be ready. No one is better than I am. The teachers know this.

Sunday – July 30, 1967

I won’t tell Katya what happened! It will be all over the school tomorrow. I aced the examination. I scored higher than anyone has in the past. Good for me. I knew I was the best. And they were there too…the hierarchy of the KGB Academy…all sitting in the back of the room, especially for me. At least that is what my teacher told me after everyone left.

“I told them to be here for your final exams.” He looked at her with a smile. “You have an excellent grasp of the language and of the colloquial as well as dialects. You could be sent anywhere in America or even Canada if you are chosen. Keep up the good work Irina. I am proud of you.”

I was sitting in a chair next to his desk. I envisioned my working at a consulate or embassy. I was thrilled and smiled eagerly. Then he spoiled it all when he put his hand on my knee.

“What are you doing?” I said.

“I’m being friendly, hoping you will reciprocate in some nice way.” He smiled.

I know my eyes darkened and I wasn’t smiling at him now. “Do you know how dangerous it is…what you’re doing?”

“What?” He was surprised by the anger in my voice.

“Others have tried, but they are dead. Is it your wish to join them:” I took his hand off my knee and twisted it hard. He gasped in surprise and pain. “I do not want to kill you, but if you ever try this again, you will disappear…suddenly and without a trace.” My face was now two inches from his as I spoke. I kept his wrist in my grip. “Do you understand me?”

“Irina! I am sorry if you misinterpreted what I said.” He tried to placate me. Idiot.

Standing over him now, I let go of his wrist and snarled, “I did not misinterpret anything. I suggest you do not speak of this to anyone, or I’ll…” I reached into the pocket of my pants and took out the switch blade knife. I showed it to him then snapped it open. I liked the look of fear on his face. He will not bother me again.

Monday – August 7, 1967

There was an envelope under our door when we returned from visiting Granmama. It had my name on it and our address. It is the first letter I have ever received. I just stared at it for a long time. Katya was bursting with excitement. She wanted to know what was inside. I did too, but in some ways it was scary. Who was it from? I turned the envelope over and saw it was from KGB.

I looked at Katya. I told her about my instructor. What he did and what I did. Now I wondered if this was about that. Katya said it wasn’t, because if I was going to be punished, they would come for me…not send me a letter.

“Let me read it,” she said.

“No,” I said. “It is for me. I will read it.” I opened the letter carefully. I read it very slowly. Katya is on pins and needles (funny colloquialism). She wants to know what it says. “It says that I am to report to KGB High School at the Academy on next Monday to begin special training.” I look at her surprised.

“Let me see,” she said.

I handed her the letter almost absent mindedly. I am in shock. I thought it would happen, but not so soon.


Thursday – November 23, 1967

Important holiday in America is on this date. Thanksgiving they call it. I and the class are going to celebrate by having a feast. They promised us we would eat well. I have a feeling there is a test for this too! They always have a test when we are given something special to ‘enjoy’. I am ahead of them in this case. I have been studying everything about the holiday and how it came to be. No one will trip me up.

What a feast we had. I became almost sick eating the food. We had turkey! Where in Stalin’s mustache did they get one? We had mashed potatoes and gravy. Dressing that was made with apples and sausage with cooked carrots and sweet potatoes. Everything I read about including two kinds of pie: apple and pumpkin. I almost threw everything up because I ate too fast and too much. My stomach never had so much food in it at one time.

Who cooked the food, I wonder. It certainly didn’t have any of our seasoning or flavor. I wonder if they had cooks brought in from the West. If so, we never saw them.

I was right too! They hit us with a test. I know I got all the answers right. So far I have had no teachers who have the courage to make a test harder than any ever given. There is no challenge to them!!!

I did manage to sneak some turkey into my pocket. It will taste good later. I won’t share it with Katya. Besides she’s probably out screwing around with her latest boyfriend.

Friday – December 15, 1967

I killed a man tonight—in the blizzard. They won’t find him right away. The fool! It was some man who thought he could scare me into giving him what he wanted. It was hard to see. I had to walk from the Sciences building to our apartment which was a half mile. Still with the wind blowing and the snow, it seemed to take hours to struggle through it to get home. It was dark also, but I had a flashlight just in case.

He came at me from some bushes and it was so dark I couldn’t see his face. He said he wanted my money. I had my knife with me. I remember something Yelena said a long time ago…

“Throw whatever they want away from you. You can run away while they go for your money.”

“Why not fight?”

“Because you want to live, silly.” She was not pleasant when she said this.

So I threw my little purse behind me. The man was surprised. He did not react. I had my knife out before he realized anything. He started past me and I stabbed him in the neck. He fell to the ground, bleeding badly. I grabbed my purse and ran. I heard they found a dead man in the street. I know it was him. So now I learn that stabbing in the neck slightly below the ear can cause death. The knife is very good to use. I must be careful, however, because if KGB think I kill, they might not let me into the Academy.

Friday – December 22, 1967

I can’t believe it! I’m being let into the Academy next month. The directors say they want me in training as soon as possible. They are going to train me for special assignment. I am so happy!

Jun 19, 2006
Great update. Your fictions give us the insight of both Irina and Jack's characters that the series lack so I'm hoping that you'll write another good fic about the ten years of their marriage after you finished the Derevko Journals.


Jan 22, 2003
So. California
Great update. Your fictions give us the insight of both Irina and Jack's characters that the series lack so I'm hoping that you'll write another good fic about the ten years of their marriage after you finished the Derevko Journals.
Actually the Journals cover all of her life, including the years of their marriage.



Jan 22, 2003
So. California

Irina is 17

Thursday – March 21, 1968

Tomorrow is my birthday. I have been working hard on my studies. I know I am doing well. I got high marks on my English on all levels. The classes on communication are almost over. We will have a final technical test next week.

Katya is just a year ahead of me and she says she is doing well. She said she found out where Yelena was…in Vladivostok. What she is doing, Katya does not know, but that is fine with me. If I never see her again, all the better.

Monday – April 1, 1968

I start weapons training! I am so excited.

Today was very thrilling, at least for me. They showed us handguns first. We must learn to take them apart and put together as fast as we can. The gun felt warm and friendly in my hand. Naturally my hands are perfectly suited to holding the weapons. We are training with thirty-eight revolvers. The guys in the class were given forty-fives. I really wanted to get my hands on one of those.

They gave us one to practice on in class. I took care to memorize every part as I took the gun apart. I let my hands feel each one as I carefully put it back together. Then I took it apart again with my eyes closed. Then I put it together with my eyes closed and I did it perfectly.

I decided to try to speed up my technique. I finally got it done—taken apart and put together again—in a minute. I know I can do better.

The Director of the school called me to his office. I was scared they found out I killed that man, but it wasn’t that.

“We are considering you for a special assignment. However, we must switch some of your classes.”


“Don’t worry, you will go back into training. Ilya Karpov, your weapons instructor here, thinks you will be doing great things. He told me he watched you dismantle and put a .38 revolver together with your eyes closed in less than a minute. We are not worried about your skills there.”

I blushed.

“We are putting you in classes to advance your English skills so that you can become a teacher when we are through training you. Specifically, by the time we are finished, you will be a graduate student going for your PhD in English Literature.”

“Why?” I asked.

“It will be easy to insert you into a program at a small university as a transfer student from an equally small and relatively unknown college. But do not worry about that now. Now the KGB wants to be sure you will be able to comprehend what English Literature is and also learn to be an English Literature teacher.”

I was in shock. I simply nodded and left.


Wednesday – December 4, 1968

I finished the tests today. I think I have done well. I like the books and writing essays about them. After we took the tests, the teachers told us that these were the same ones given to American students at Princeton University which is located in New Jersey. I wish I was going to that University.

Anyway the years I have been journaling has made a difference, because I can write well and it is completely understandable. Urbanov says I have dotted all my Is and crossed all the Ts in composition. Sometimes I almost feel that I am American.

I have to speak American English all the time in class as do the other students. I heard they are picking only the best for foreign duty.

The Director called me into his office after my last class. He does nothing to make me happy. The last time he made me stop KGB weapon training. I was wary when I entered his office.

“Derevko, you are doing extremely well on your studies. I want you to know that you will be going to Moscow University this coming year for teacher training and more literature exposure. You have been studying literature of England’s writers. Now you will begin to be taking classes about American literature. I have every belief that you will be thoroughly trained by this time new year.”

‘Thank you, Director.” Was what I said to him. I know if I apply myself I will be considered for training in the Academy, especially if they have an assignment in mind for me. I hope it is in the United States.


1969 – Irina is 18

Tuesday – July 1, 1969

I was interviewed Lieutenant Alexander Khasinau today. He’s not particularly handsome, in fact, he’s sort of ugly. Still he is a strong man and works for KGB. He recruited me into the KGB. I told him I always hoped to be a field agent. He laughed a little and warned me that being an illegal was the hardest job possible in the directorate. It took very special people to become that type of an agent.

He looked at my file and smiled. He said there was a good chance I would become one. My grades were high and it looked good. Once I began Academy training, they would know more about me. There were others in the program that were undergoing training right now.

I tried not to show any disappointment. I am good Communist Party member now, so it is important to not be angry. I signed the papers. I am now in the KGB Academy, at least after I finish these courses here at the University.

I think Katya is a little jealous. I am advancing very fast. She is in the Academy and working hard. Now I am only a year behind her. She thinks I am sloughing off all the time and getting away with it. I have never told her or anyone that I have a photographic memory…at least not yet.

Thursday – November 27, 1969

It is Thanksgiving in the United States. We didn’t have a meal like we had two years ago. Still we were tested in our literature class. The teacher wanted to know all about Thanksgiving from those of us who were perfecting our English skills for future work in the diplomatic corps. Of course not all us were going in that direction, but for the most part the teacher thought we all were going to be studying to be diplomats.

I gave a history of what led to the first Thanksgiving and Julia told the rest of the class what was served. I think she should be a cook and not a spy. My God, the girl had us all drooling when she’d finished. Later I talked to her and found out she was training to be a cook as a part of her job which she hoped she would get. I wished her luck.


Friday – December 19, 1969

I passed!!!

Of course I really didn’t have any doubts. I’m good, very good. They threw a lot of different tests at all of us. I passed them all. I knew I would. If there was any test I had any concerns about, it was my orals. This time they did not tell us what they were going to test us with and so we had to be prepared for anything. It was the last test I took which was yesterday.

There were three professors in the room. Each one of us was alone with them so no one knew what would happen. I know my heart was pounding when I sat down in front of them.

Without warning they started talking in different American accents: New England, Southern and Texan. They were talking about me!! I had to figure out what they were doing and after a couple of minutes, I knew they’d want to know what they were saying about me. The accents were pretty strong, especially the southern one. But I had to jump in soon, so I did.

“Hey,” I said.

“Yo?” The ‘Texan’.

“I’m here you know and I’d just as soon get this over with, so where are you going with this trash talking about me?”

I crossed my legs and waited. They began talking to me, forcing me to interact with complete understanding. Ha! I did. I have a good ear as well as memory. What’s more I spoke to each professor using the same accent he was using. We soon began discussing various American authors: Tennessee Williams, Harper Lee, Stephen King, and Mark Twain. We all had favorites and were arguing about them in linguistic American.

We were talking about an hour when one professor signaled it was over. All three men smiled at me. They said that so far, I was the best student they’d tested. Hooray for me!

Irina is 19

Monday – January 5, 1970

Saw the doctor today for a physical before I start real training in the Academy. I’m six foot! I knew I was tall, but this is the first time I’ve been measured for a long time. I weigh 135 pounds. The doctor says I’m thin, but I told her I am a runner and have lots of endurance and strength. She checked my lungs and chest. She was pleased. My capacity is the best she’s tested for a long time.

She also told me I passed the physical with flying colors. I have 20/20 vision if not better. My hearing is at the top of the chart.

This means I enter the Academy both physically and academically strong.

Katya is being sent on assignment. We did not know when we would see each other again. I told her we would some day perhaps before they sent me to America.

“You really believe they’ll send you there?” She said

I said. “Of course. Why else would I be told to learn English and all the methodology of teaching? That is my eventual destination…I know.”

“Then perhaps this is goodbye!” She said.

We hugged each other. I helped her downstairs with her bags. She didn’t tell me where she was going, but indicated that it was much warmer than Moscow. We laughed, hugged and kissed each other goodbye.

I stayed on the stairs until the car was out of sight. I’ll miss her.

Irina is 19
Sunday – March 22, 1970

Today is my birthday and no one is here to celebrate it. I’m nineteen. I feel as though I have been school all my life. And you know what, I have. I think I will be happy to leave the country on a job as a teacher. It will be payback for all the grief I’ve had. I don’t mean sorrow, but aggravation.

Anyway I met with Major Nickolai Petroffskiy yesterday who assigned me a new American name, Laura Cain. He says he will be my supervisor during my training and that I must use that name all the time. He said I was no longer Irina Derevko, but Laura Cain, 131150 which is my assigned name and agent number. It sounds like such a simple, clean name. Nickolai is taller than I, with dark hair and dark eyes. He has a rather nice, clean look about him.

“What is my schedule?” I said.

“Your next assignment will be four months of weapons training. You will learn to handle all types of weapons: guns, rifles, bombs, grenades and explosives. Yuri Turogev is the instructor of that class. I will check on you from time to time,” he said.

“Sure.” I said and left the office.


Monday – July 27, 1970

I was given the report on my weapons class from my teacher, Yuri Turogev. As I have a photographic memory, I can write it down word for word.

“Laura Cain, #131150: All trainees are expected to learn to handle all firearms from the smallest to the biggest. They are trained to break down each weapon and put it together again in less than 30 seconds. Most exceed the 30 seconds, especially when it comes to the larger machine guns and rifles. We do expect this.

“This particular female trainee was extremely adept and quick. She was able to take apart a Glock 9 in ten seconds and put it together in five. She could do it blind-folded. This was unique in the case for most of the students I’ve trained. It was as though she saw the firearm as a puzzle with interlocking parts, no matter how many there were, and visualized how they all fit together. Put this ability along with amazingly quick hands and it was easy to see how she was so successful!

This occurred time and time again. Her fellow students were in awe of her ability to do this exercise without failing. In all, we taught the students over a hundred different weapons and she could take them all apart and back together again in under thirty seconds.

No less inspiring was her marksmanship. She proved time and again to have the ability to see the target and pull the trigger with more than a little speed. She was not a “cowboy” with a gun. There was no pulling the gun and ‘firing from the hip’ or shooting with one hand. Laura had full control of the weapon and of her ability to get the weapon on the target. She has extraordinary vision with peripheral capabilities beyond those of most of our students present in the past.

Beginning at fifty yards, she met all the requirements, with acquisition of her target whether running, walking, crawling or standing. The targets were always hit dead center. This was also true of her shoot from 100, 200 or 400 yards. I think she was astounded at her own abilities. However most impressive of all was her marksmanship from 500 yards and hitting the head six out of ten times. She could hit the body ten out of ten times.

Part of the training consisted of twenty mile hikes with a full pack to locate targets and remove them and then return. She never failed in these assignments. Laura has kept herself in fit shape for anything and everything we asked her to do.

Summary: Laura Cain, #131150, is a marksman of the first order. She could be classified as a sniper if we were at war. Although she is training as a counterintelligence agent, all of her firearms instructors believe she could be assigned to complete high level special ops anywhere in the world.”

Wow, what a nice surprise that was. However, I did deserve it. The only trouble with it is that I’m so good they might want me to stay at the Academy and teach! Oh well, guess this is only one phase of the training.

Thursday – December 24, 1970

It’s the day before Christmas in America. Here it’s January 7th. I have an early present for either date.

Boris Nazimov, the Supervisor of Technical training told me I was one of his best students EVER!

I wish Katya were here. I know she’d be proud of me. This was one training class where I could use my strength and brains. They started out with fighting. I got a copy of the Alpha Team Training Manual a year ago when Katya left it behind. So whenever I could I would go over the techniques. I knew it would not take me time to learn the moves it showed in pictures. Street fighting also was something I truly enjoyed. They gave us Mossad techniques called Krav Maga. They teach you to use anything to fight with: lamps, bottles, dishes…anything you can get your hands on. When we were tested, I didn’t lose. I’m determined I won’t lose any fight.

Communications was fun. I developed my own encryption code. No one could break it, not even the instructor. Operating the listening devices was fun too. We even got to see some of those used by the English and American intelligence services. Boris told us all that future listening devices would get smaller and smaller. Our computers are big, but I think I understand the hardware components and the software’s job. I’m sure they are going to be smaller too in the future.

We were assigned reading about explosives such as C-4, Semtex, nitroglycerin and dynamite as well as the use of bombs, land mines, grenades and other similar explosive devices. We had some assignments where we armed devices and set them off. I loved learning how to disarm them. Boris said I was good at that. It is scary though.

So I passed this phase too! Being a spy could be fun, but I know it is serious business. I will be a great agent…probably the best.

Jun 9, 2004
I love how you are telling us the story of Irina. I am glad that Sydney is able to find out everything now. Even if some of it is not t he truth.

Dec 28, 2004
St. Louis, Missouri
I love this insight into Irina....It's easy to judge people without knowing all the facts...The truth of the matter is what she did is no less than what our country trains others to do...It's a matter of what country has your loyalties and its usually the country of your birth...
Great update...
Hopefully we will see more of Syd's reaction as well as Vaughn's to all that she is learning.
Thanks for the pm.


Jan 22, 2003
So. California
Irina is 20


Monday – March 8, 1971

Oh felgercarb! Today is a International Women’s Day and there is no school. I’m spending some time getting my journal up to speed. (Boy, the way Americans use words. Sometimes I think the English language is the most difficult of any to learn, but the words are often more simpler in phrasing.)

Anyway after the holidays, my next training class was Sex Education. It seems that many of us will be called upon to use sex in our assignments. All of us had to get over being shy about our bodies. The first part of the course was to do classroom work like read books and study the human body.

After we got all the body parts down pat, our teacher explained about sex. Some of us were quite aware of sex, having participated in it willingly or like me, unwilling. I thought the whole process was ugly and degrading, especially to women. I did express that to our teacher, Maria.

She explained that sex when properly used could be not only enjoyable, but also useful in obtaining our objective. We didn’t study techniques, but instead concentrated on learning how to be seductive in advance of having sex. We interacted with each other. It was still ugly to me, remembering what HE did to me those years ago. Maria saw I was having trouble discussing the subject matter—or perhaps it was my lack of participation. I just didn’t want to talk about it.

Last Friday was the day they spent on the book part. Maria announced that we would participate in learning seduction on a target as well as having real sex. Two weeks ago, KGB sent a package to the school. There were packages of a medication called Enovid, 5 mg. They stole birth control pills and gave them to the women to use. They did not want babies born to agents who were supposed to go into action. I took the pills exactly as ordered. My profession is too important to let a baby happen.

After class, Maria gave me a piece of paper with a name on it. She said I should go and talk to this man about what was bothering me. Like hell I will…he’s a man. They are all alike. They don’t care about a woman. They want to satisfy their own needs.

Tuesday – March 9, 1971

Today the class was divided. Maria stayed with the women and the men were sent to another class where they would be given similar instructions.

Maria told us what was going to happen. She also warned everyone that they must not speak any Russian on penalty of being punished and possibly discharged from the program.

“One Russian word during your sexual lesson will cost you dearly. Do not fail yourself and end up like many have. Some of you have an extremely good grasp of English. We have talked about seduction techniques and ways to make love. Tonight you will begin the real instruction. Someone will come to your apartment. He will have been chosen to have sex with you. You will be graded on technique, response and willingness. I want you all to make me proud.

“Again I remind you to limit all conversation to English only. No Russian!” She was serious. “Any questions?”

“What kind of punishment,” asked Sophia, one of the five young women?

“That will be for the interrogation department to decide. Any others?”

I was apprehensive and still am. It is nearly eight and we were told our partner would arrive at about that time.


Sunday – March 14, 1971

I’m back in my apartment. Those frackin idiots running this program. Why didn’t they check out the men they send? That man sent to me was a pig!!! He raped me. I didn’t get to practice those so-called seduction techniques. I called him a sonofabitch in Russian, because he was hurting me. He hit me hard and knocked me out; then he finished what he was eager to do.

When I woke up, I was naked and hanging from chains facing a wall. They left me three days. No one came except to give me water to drink. They didn’t talk to me. The light was on the entire time. I don’t think I slept, but I might have dozed.

I didn’t know what time or day it was. I wanted to cry, but instead I became angry and promised myself I would kill the sonofabitch when I was free, no matter what happened. He would never do that again. He told me his name…Marco Genelli. He sounds as though he was of Italian descent.

Yesterday the interrogator came in. He said his name was Eric Johnson and that he was a CIA interrogator. I knew I could not speak Russian. I had to keep my cool.

“You were told the rules.”

“He beat and raped me. He was a sonofabitch or worse.” I said.

“You broke the rules!”

“I was not told he would rape me.” I said.

“Are you sure it was rape, or was it because you don’t like having sex?” He asked.

“It was rape! I know when I’m raped.” I said coldly.

“Turn around,” he said. He unlocked the chain on my left wrist.

I turned around. He looked at me from top to bottom for several minutes. “Do you like what you see?” I said.

“You have bruising on your face, some on your upper chest, and…” he examined her hands carefully, “you evidently fought back.”

“He was bigger than I was. I could not get leverage or else I would have…” I left the rest of the sentence up to his imagination.

“Killed him? That would have been foolish.” He said as he replaced the chain on my wrist turning me back to the wall.

“Have you been raped?” I asked.


“Then shut the fuk up!” I swore. I tried to keep the tears out of my eyes.

“Who else?”

“None of your business.”

“Tell me.”

“No.” I refused.

“Then I’ll make you.” He said.

I heard a noise like something snapping. There was a whistling and I was struck by a whip across my back. It was a shock and I cried out, more in shock than pain.

“Tell me!” He said.

I looked over my shoulder. He was coiling the whip. “No!” I screamed.

This time I knew the whip would strike me. It took my breath away, but I didn’t scream. I wouldn’t give him the pleasure of hearing me. I grunted softly, closing my eyes, knowing he was going to strike again.

“Laura, tell me who raped you!”

“No! Besides he’s dead. What does it matter anyway?” I said coldly. “Keep this up and I’ll be damaged goods. I won’t be of any use to KGB. Whip marks on my skin will be difficult to explain to my target lover.”

“Who said you were going to work for us…ever?” The whip lashed her back again.

“Idiot!” I said. “I’m the best sniper in the entire organization. They may not send me to the United States, but they can use me elsewhere.” I was beginning to wonder if it wouldn’t be more prudent to be sent off in disgrace. However, I said nothing. I would see how this played out.

There was silence behind me. I think he was concentrating on what I said.

“I’ll be back. Don’t go away.”

“I’ll try not to,” I said.

An hour later, the door opened and two men entered. They unlocked my wrists and handcuffed them behind my back. Then they each took me by the arm and walked me out of the room. I was not given my clothes and I was naked as we moved down a hallway. We passed two offices before turning into another room that had a table and two chairs. They put me in one and handcuffed to the arms and then left.

I spent the next six hours alone…waiting. I still hurt all over: from the rape and the beating, but I wasn’t going to let anyone know. I focused on the other chair and withdrew inside my mind, locking this into box I’d built there. I took several breaths and used the auto-circadian technique to sleep until someone came.

I didn’t know what time it was when the door opened and two men entered. One was the interrogator, Eric Johnson. The older man sat down. Eric stood behind him. I said nothing but they knew I was not happy.

“How are you?” Asked the older man.

“Cold. It would be nice to have clothes.”

“It is a part of our way…ummm…to get answers.”

“You will get none. I told the bastard behind you that six hours ago.”

He blinked. “I know. Still that is his job.”

I laughed softly. “It is a dangerous job.” I stared at the younger man. “What is your name, sir?” I said, looking at the speaker.

“Call me Maxim!” He looked at her. “I am pleased with you in spite of your breaking the rule.”

“Why wouldn’t you? I’ll say it once more only. I was raped by a thug who was supposed to treat me nicely and teach me. Instead I am treated like a traitor or spy. I will not forget.”

“We have sent Genelli away. “ His blue eyes were icy. “He will not return. You are being released to return to your studies.”

“Am I?” I said. “So I am still a valuable commodity?”

His eyes narrowed. “Is that how you see yourself?”

“No, but evidently the Party does.” I leaned forward. “Who have you picked out this time?”

Maxim glanced up at Eric who stood next to him watching me. “Eric, has Maria found a proper teacher?”

Eric nodded and smiled at me. “We think you will find him the opposite of Marco.”

There was a knock on the door. Two more men entered. One carried clothes and the other a tray of food. The tray was put before me and the clothes placed at the other end of the table.

“Eric, remove the handcuffs and leave.” Maxim stood up. “Irina Derevko, get dressed and eat your meal. Someone will be by in about an hour to take you back to your apartment.”

“Thanks, I think.” I still was not happy. They knew it.

It was nearly one o’clock this morning before I was home. I took a shower and washed the smell off me. The water stung, especially on my back where they whipped me. However, there were no marks that I could see. Still I will pay them back…some day when they least expect it.


Wednesday – March 17, 1971

My supervisor, Nickolai, appeared at my door last evening. He was kind and concerned about what had happened to me last week. We talked for a while, and then he told me that he was assigning himself to help me to learn about seduction and sex.

“You have had bad experience.” His English was not so good. I almost giggled.

“Yes sir,” I said,

“No ‘sir’ tonight. Tonight I am Nickolai, Laura, your friend and lover.” He smiled, taking my hand in his.

I have to admit he is very handsome and he treated me with great kindness and concern. It was a much different evening than the first one I had. We had sex! It was much different than the other. He spent time ‘heating’ me up as he explained. I almost giggled again, because Maria said ‘foreplay’ was important to a woman. It was up to us though to teach men what made us feel good and ‘ready’ for the final act. He was too quick if I am to believe what I was told. I felt unfulfilled.

Nickolai left soon after that. I will be better prepared the next time. I know he is coming back again, because he seemed satisfied and I think he liked me.

Friday – June 4, 1971

Today we were handed out assignments which will be the same as final examinations. I have been chosen to be a team leader. We have two weeks to complete the assignment. When I read what it was, I couldn’t believe our luck. We are supposed to assassinate a Party Leader in the Ukraine, Anatoly Sergeninsky. We must not be caught, nor can the police be suspicious. I asked why this man, but I was told not to worry about it. This was my team’s assignment. If we failed, then we would be dismissed from the Academy and put into the army. That is not going to happen to me…ever. The team and I meet tomorrow to plan success.

Saturday – June 12, 1971

We surprised the Academy. We returned from our assignment, successfully completing it in less than a week. No one suspects us having assassinated Sergeninsky. It was big headline news in the Ukraine.

When I arrived in Kiev, I learned he was becoming disenchanted with the leadership in Moscow. He was making much noise in their Parliament about how Moscow was using the people in the Ukraine and taking all the taxes and food. It was usual things that leaders who want more power do.

Before we left Moscow, we established that if it was by gunshot, I would, because of my being at the top of the class, be the shooter. I arranged for all of them to enter Kiev separately. We would meet at an old hotel in the heart of the city. This particular hotel was on the KGB watch list. According to the information I gleaned from hacking into the main frame computer, the hotel was a known meeting place for dissidents…those who were unhappy with Ukrainian officials.

“Why are we meeting there?” Mikhail asked.

“We want to establish that when he’s assassinated that no suspicion will fall too heavily on anyone in the hotel. I seriously doubt that any police or KGB will come to the hotel. Those already in the hotel will be angered and probably hit the streets yelling for vengeance. We will go with them, but slip away from the mob of hooligans to return to the Academy.”

I handed out tickets to them. We were splitting up and entering Kiev by different methods: bus, train, plane and car. None of us would be carrying anything remotely being a weapon. That would be picked after ascertaining how and when we would complete the assignment. I arrived first and began the first phase.

First we had to get someone inside Sergeninsky’s outer circle. We needed information on his schedule. I watched his headquarters and saw two women leave. I followed them to a bar. They were having drinks. I thought that was strange. Upon entering I saw that there were mostly women there. A secret gay bar was my first thought. I was sitting next to the two women who were chatting and sipping vodka.

They had two drinks and left. I followed a minute or so later. They separated each heading in a different direction. I made my choice and followed the blond one. It was getting dark and I saw that she was approaching a park. I was surprised when she entered it taking a path to the left which headed up a slight rise. There were all sorts of trees and bushes along the way. Running fast I took what I thought was a short-cut. I stood quietly in the birch trees waiting for her.

The next day, Viktoria joined me at the hotel. I told her there was an opening on Sergeninsky’s staff. She got the job. The next day she had the itinerary for him and gave it to me. The rest of my team was there by evening. I sent Anna and Georg out to scout four places on the list. Mikhail and I checked another three. In each case we were to pretend we were lovers or a married couple. Viktoria had to stay out of sight of the rest of us in order not to cause suspicion.

We picked the location. He was giving a speech outside the parliament building. We located an armory just outside Kiev which supplied arms and ammunition to the Red Army stationed in the Ukraine. We had to get a sniper’s rifle. Mikhail, Georg, and I broke into it. They stood guard while I found what I wanted. We left without raising any alarm. I was surprised how careless the soldiers were.

Sergeninsky was killed with a head shot from a rooftop some two hundred yards away. I knew no one had seen me. I broke the gun apart and hid one part in the air conditioning duct. The rest of the pieces I handed out to my team. Each was to deposit a part somewhere between here and home. I flew home to Moscow satisfied on a job well executed.

Everything went as we planned and we were the first team to return to school, our mission completed. Later I heard another team failed. I haven’t seen them since we got our assignments.


Friday - July 30, 1971

I’ve finished training. The next step is one I’m looking forward to. Those of us remaining in training for a job overseas in America will have to spend almost a year at Central City. We live in a city that is an exact duplicate of one in America. We will learn to do everything their way. I am told there is a high school too. Everyone lives like a citizen of the United States. It is situated a thousand miles southeast from Moscow.

First however we get a few days off to pack our American clothes and to visit relatives we may not see again. There is no guarantee that we will live safely or even return.

Katya is coming home too. She and I will travel to see Granmama who may not live to see me again. I am not to tell anyone I will be leaving for a long, long time, not even Katya. Still I know she will suspect what my being sent to a certain city means. We will not speak of it, but it will be on our minds. Yelena I care nothing about. As far as I am concerned I hope she stays forever in Vlady.


Tuesday – December 7, 1971

I am learning a lot about the United States. I live in an apartment. It has running hot and cold water; gas stove and refrigerator in the kitchen. Everything is American! We have electricity all the time. There is a super generator somewhere outside the city so we never go without electricity. That’s wonderful.

We have American telephones and television AND American TV shows! Our instructors are always giving us tests on what shows we see. We are constantly graded on our conversations and sometimes it seems too much. There are a couple of people who grumble, but generally everyone is content. There are fifteen of us from my class, but there are many more from earlier classes.

I am learning to drive a car…a stick shift. This is the first time I’ve ever driven. It’s fun, but dangerous. Two men in training here were in an accident. They didn’t follow the rules. One was taken to our hospital, which is the same as one in America. Our instructor tells us we must drive faster. No dawdling because we might get a ticket. They constructed a two mile long track for us to practice our speed. I love driving fast.

We have a movie house where American movies are shown. We have a Mc Donald’s, a Burger King, and two nice cafes. There is a night club and an upscale restaurant. We are encouraged to use them.

The women must learn to cook. I am taking cooking lessons along with ten others. Following recipes is not too difficult, but obtaining the ingredients is. The government is doing their best, but falling short. I may have to take more lessons once I am in America.

Nickolai came to see me. We had sex and I practiced some of the techniques I found out about. He was surprised and pleased, I think. He didn’t say too much, but I know he enjoyed our time together. Personally I think he should learn how to please a woman. He is not the perfect lover he thinks he is!

No one knows I keep a journal. I found a bug in my bedroom, but said nothing about it to him. I have carefully checked the air and heating ducts. So far so good. No cameras. I can understand bugging, but not photographing at least in the kitchen. So here I am at the breakfast table writing. I keep the journal, wrapped in plastic, where they won’t find it. I cannot write everyday, but do when I can. I love writing English and it will be very


Irina is 21

Wednesday – April 5, 1972

Finally I have some time to write. Its months since I did. It’s just too dangerous. Its two weeks since my birthday. I am 21 years old. I have been given my assignment!!! Nickolai called me to the office of the superintendent.

“Laura, you are leaving early July for America. Your orders are in this envelope. Open it in private. No one but I and two other high ranking officers know where you are going, and only I know who the man is you are to connect with to transfer into the U.S. There is something else. You have been selected for special ops also while you are in America. You will be tasked to assassinate certain CIA officers, but no one will contact you about that until you are situated. Your handler is Igor Valenko.

“He is already in the States. He will contact you when you arrive at your final destination. You will report to him when he asks. All reports will be filed through him, so be sure you have codes and ciphers that he understands.” Nicholai smiled. “I know you will be successful, because, in a sense, you are my protégé. I want good reports sent about your work, is that understood?” He stood and put his arm around my shoulders.

“Yes sir,” I replied. I hugged the sealed envelope next to me.

He kissed me on both cheeks. “I must go, but in two and a half weeks you are going to the University in Moscow for a final overview of your status.” He chucked me under the chin and left.

“Goodbye,” I said as the door closed. I probably wouldn’t see him again either. It is sad too because he was so helpful to me.

When I got home, I opened my orders. The man I’m supposed to meet and get to know intimately is named Jonathan Donahue Bristow, but is called ‘Jack’ by everyone. I poured over every detail of his life and everything the KGB found out about him. He is handsome in a rugged way with dark wavy hair. His eyes are dark and piercing. He has the biggest ears I’ve ever seen, but he is tall…two inches taller than I am. I like his looks.

Then I read all the information about the college which is located in Virginia, near Langley where he is stationed as an analyst. I have been registered by someone who looks like me, but isn’t. I am a graduate student in English Literature, going for a Masters degree. There is an apartment ready for me. It is located in the same building as that of Jack Bristow.

My papers will be given to me once I am in the United States by the man taking me there. I guess if I am caught before, it is better not to tip off the CIA that Jack Bristow is a target.

Tuesday – April 18, 1972

I was tested today here at the University. I was given an essay to write in English based on my English Literature courses. So far as I know I didn’t fail. I have been speaking and writing English for nearly four years and learning to speak it even before that so today when someone spoke to me in Russian I looked at him blankly and then told him I didn’t understand him. I figured it was part of my test. They won’t catch me because I’ve been living in the world of the United States for so many years.

Tonight I am studying for my Master Teaching class. They are going to be training me to be a teacher. I am not sure when I will be one, but that is their plan for me. I do not know how long I will be in the U.S., but my assignment is to gather information from Jack Bristow’s briefcase. Valenko has more about that.

I am supposed to leave some time in July. I can hardly wait.

Sunday – July 9, 1972

I leave tomorrow for Murmansk where I am to be taken by submarine. It is going to be an exciting adventure. I know I will be the best ‘illegal’ ever sent to America.

My University courses were finished last Friday. My teachers all congratulated me on doing so well. They say I can be a teacher of English Lit. in colleges or any University. I plan to go after my doctorate. I can be a full Professor if I do.

I haven’t seen Katya for several months. Nickolai told me she was on assignment elsewhere in the world. He gave me no hope of seeing her before I leave. Yelena I care nothing about.

I know one thing though. I will keep journaling.


Sydney called Katya and asked her over for a few minutes before she, Vaughn and Isabelle left for the tour to Naples.

Syd handed Katya a cup of coffee from the pot she’d ordered. “When do you leave,” she asked her aunt.

“Day after tomorrow. I have another day of pampering at the spa; then I leave for Moscow by way of Venice and Prague. I have some business to take care of there for the estate.”

“For the present, please do whatever you do for it.” Sydney smiled. “I’ve finished the journal just before Mom left for the states. Vaughn and I are going to Florence for a week and then home. By the way, thanks for the heads up about Mom’s apartment there. I have your numbers and email address, so I’ll keep in touch. Will you be able to come to the States?”

“No, my agreement with your government is that I won’t cross those borders again. However we can meet in either Mexico or Canada. Meeting there will not be a problem.”

“I know there are many more journals to read through, but how did she ever get them out of the States?”

“She sent them to mutual friends who knew it was just mail for me.”

“Did you read them?”

Katya took a swallow of coffee and then shrugged. “Occasionally, but I usually didn’t have time to read them word for word. Rishka tended to ramble sometimes and I wasn’t able to tell which day was more important…that is, until she came back from Kashmir. The KGB took Nadia from her when she was there.

“She didn’t write while she was imprisoned. They nearly broke her, especially after Nadia was born. After her first days back, I encouraged her to start a journal about Kashmir…to get it out on paper. It was to divest her of the terror she went through. I would suggest that you be in the right frame of mind when you do read it. They did terrible things to her even while she was pregnant.” Katya eyes become moist. “I read that journal and I almost vomited.”

Sydney sighed. Well, she didn’t need to worry about that…she was already queasy with her own pregnancy. Still she did have the journals to read that her mother wrote while she was married to her father.

TBC ^_^
Jun 19, 2006
Eventough everything she went through she was still capable of loving Jack and Sydney so much. That really is something. By the way I didn't get a pm, if you've sent it at all.
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