The Derevko Journals


Jan 22, 2003
So. California
Sydney Derevko Bristow wrote:
Although how you portray Irina in this fiction isn't compatible what I have in mind regarding her, I loved how she destroyed the Rambaldi book. The next chapter will be the re-appearance of Sydney I guess.
I think everyone has their own ideas about Irina, but this is mine as we evolve her story. Remember this is not Sydney's story nor Jack' things you might want to see, you won't because Irina had no interaction with her family except on specific occasions, i.e. the hunt for Sydney with Jack and later, her rescue by Sydney and Nadia and Jack. Oh yeah, that stupid ending in Season 5. :mad:

Jun 19, 2006
I think everyone has their own ideas about Irina, but this is mine as we evolve her story. Remember this is not Sydney's story nor Jack' things you might want to see, you won't because Irina had no interaction with her family except on specific occasions, i.e. the hunt for Sydney with Jack and later, her rescue by Sydney and Nadia and Jack. Oh yeah, that stupid ending in Season 5. :mad:
No I wasn't expecting to see things on Sydney's or Jack's sides. What I meant is my perception of Irina is different than your version in regards to her emotions, motives etc. but still we agree on the stupid ending :LOL:


Jan 22, 2003
So. California
6. Prague

It took us two weeks to get to Paris, but that was fine with me. We hiked through some pretty country, met some friendly peasants, farmers and small townspeople who made us welcome. I was careful to spread my friendship around not wishing to become entangled with any of the others on the tour.

Fran was the only one that I spent more time with and then only when we had dinner or breakfast. She was in her early thirties and had been doing these tours for some time. I told her that I was familiar with many of the countries, but had never visited them in this manner. We discussed some of the political issues and it was interesting to get someone else’s point of view.

We were having a beer on the last night before we entered Paris and she wanted to know if I was going to fly back with the group.

“No, I’m going to Prague. It is a very beautiful city and I think going by foot will give me a sense of the country, rather than flying.”

“Want some company?” She asked and then explained. “I don’t have to go back with the group. They are actually flying home from here and can manage to get themselves off the plane. I have some time off before I take the next group. I’d like to go with you.”

I considered this and saw no reason not to have her along. It certainly would be a lot less lonely and probably safer. Fran looked like she could take care of herself. “Not a problem.”

“I have to see the others off first.”

“Good. I’ll get tickets on the bullet train to Metz and we can leave from there for Saarbrucken and then into Germany. We’ll go through Heidelberg which, I understand, is a beautiful university town.”

“Great!” She grinned and hurried off to call her bosses.

When we arrived in Paris we did the standard touring of all the right attractions. I’d been here before several times, so I begged off, and instead went to the nearest internet café hoping there would be a message from Jack.

It had been a month since I’d seen Jack and he helped me escape the MI5 agent. I’d tried to contact him twice and still there was nothing. I didn’t have a good feeling about this at all. He was prompt within two or three days of returning my message. I had a sudden chill. Did the CIA find out he was working with me? I decided to try once more and I left a message on his email.

I figured it would take another two weeks or so to get to Prague. I did not want to hurry because Fran told me her bosses gave her two weeks. Then she had to go back to take another group on a walking tour. She would provide me cover and companionship during the walk. I checked my map and decided we should take the train from Metz into Germany. Then we’d walk to Prague or use any transportation available if we were late getting there in time for Fran to fly home to England.

Getting to Heidelberg was easy and we encountered no problems. We spent a day touring the castle and old city. We spent the night in a cheap hotel, my treat, before leaving the next morning for Nurnberg. The weather was cool and pleasant. We made good time and found that the kilometers went by quickly. We broke for lunch and then continued on our way until it was dark, camping in an old barn.

We got up before dawn and we on our way to the nearest town where we purchased coffee and pastry. We ate an apple as we walked eastward, paralleling the highway. We walked until dark, stopping along the way for a short rest period. By nightfall, we found ourselves too far from the next town. We would have to spend the night again in our sleeping bags.

In four days we covered over two hundred kilometers or more. The walk was pleasant and we didn’t do much talking except when stopping for a meal or rest period. Fran filled me in with the details of her semi-bohemian life style. Touring was fun for her and she made a decent living with her employers pay and the tips. She said she’d had a couple of bad experiences, but, in general, her walkers were genuinely honest and good.

Our fourth night was spent in a hotel, again my treat. It was good to take a hot bath and a hot meal, washed down with beer. I didn’t trust the vodka here in the country.

“Have you ever had to be physical in defending yourself,” I asked, sipping the beer.

“Not really. Most of the time, I talked my way out of those situations.” She seemed confident in her limited ability.

I smiled. “Have you had any defense training?”

She shook her head taking a long drag on the beer. “No, nothing formal, but a couple from Israel gave me some tips on fighting with whatever is at hand…bedding, rope, walking stick…whatever I could lay my hands on at the time.”

“Ahhh,” I said knowing Fran had been given a brief Krav Maga talk. However she’d not had to use it.

We took a bus from the next town because of the hills ahead. We wanted to be sure that Fran could leave from Prague on time. We were in our eighth day, which left her about six days or so. We decided to take the bus from Plzner and get off until it left us an easy couple of days’ hike away from the big city. We left the bus and covered a good amount of road before deciding to camp again as the next town was nearly ten kilometers away.
We headed into a forest which would offer us cover from anyone on the road.

Fran fixed some coffee after I found some wood and built a fire. We had apples, a couple of pastries and some venison jerky. We chatted for a few minutes before rolling up in our sleeping bags. I calculated we’d get to Prague in three days. I had a lot to do when we arrived. Getting in touch with Katya was at the top of my list.

I don’t know what it was that woke me up, but it was very dark, probably well after midnight. I heard a noise about three or four hundred meters away approximately near the road. Someone was coming toward us. I glanced to my right and saw the glowing embers of what was left of our fire. It was a beacon, drawing in whoever was out there.

“Fran,” I whispered, crawling silently toward her. I put my hand over her mouth. “Wake up. Someone’s out there.”

Her eyes flew open. “Who is it?”

“I don’t know, but they made enough noise to waken me. Get out of the bag. You need to have your hands and feet free. Get your walking stick.”

“Where are they,” she whispered, rolling out.

“That direction,” I pointed. “Move back into the darkness. I want to see who they are before challenging them. Stuff your jacket inside the bag, so they think your still in there.” I’d already fixed my bag.

She slipped back to me when she was finished and we melted into the darkness. I could sense she was afraid. From what she’d told me, she’d never been accosted in all of her travels. I was capable enough to handle a couple of strangers if need be, but if there were more, that was something else. I had to count on her help.

I heard the sound of whispering voices coming closer. I tried to see how many there were, but it was too dark. I could hear wind at the top of the trees which interfered with my catching the voices and what they were saying.

“Fran,” I whispered, “Can you see anything?”


She sounded scared. I put my left hand on her arm. “Take a slow deep breath to calm yourself.” I peered out across the dying embers. They gave off enough light to see about twenty feet beyond our sleeping bags. I withdrew my stiletto with my left hand and waited.

“When I see them, I want you to slip over to my right about twenty feet.” I held onto her arm, hoping some of my strength and will would give her some of her own. I watched and then I saw. There were three. I gave her a slight push and she slipped away as I’d asked.

The first man immerging was about six foot and 250 pounds. Tough going in a hand to hand with him I judged. The next man looked to be about five six and skinny and the next one was about five ten and maybe 170 pounds. There were enough shadows to keep their faces from being seen and identified, but I knew it was the three we’d walked by at the last town. They made a few snide remarks and one I took to be dangerous.

I knew taking them by surprise would be to our advantage. I waited to see how they would split up. The big one headed for my sleeping bag. He had a knife in his fist. I had no doubt what he was planning. He kneeled by the bag and pulled his fist up and drove it hard down into it.

I slipped from my hiding place at that moment, covering the ten feet or so in swift silent steps, my stiletto in my right hand. I could not take my eyes off him to see what the others were doing. Coming up behind him, I reached for his hair, pulled it back with my left and drew the stiletto across his throat. His blood spurted out and he dropped the knife reaching for his throat to stop the blood flow. It was too late. He would be dead in minutes.

His knife was driven into my sleeping bag. I reached for it while looking up to see what the other two were doing. They were staring at me and their dying friend. I stood and threw the knife into the chest of the small man. He fell like a stone. He was dead.

The third man turned.

“Get him,” I cried. Fran stepped out of the shadows as I ran toward her. She swung her walking stick and jabbed hard, catching him in the stomach. He cried out and fell back to the ground. I was on him in the next second and the stiletto was at his throat.

“Who are you?” I spoke Russian.

“frack you,” he gasped, answering in the same tongue.

“You’re a dead man if you don’t tell me.” My legs pinned his arms to his sides, the stiletto’s point at his throat.

“Ilya Gregonov.”

“Tell me Ilya, why did you try to kill us?”

“Because of who you are,” he said.

My blood ran cold as I leaned down close to his mouth. “And who might I be?”

“Derevko,” he said. “They said dead or alive.”

“How did you know I was here?” I nicked his skin and let him feel the blood flow.

“Satellite.” He answered.

“Who are you working for?”

“SVR,” he said.

“Govno,” I swore quietly. I looked up and saw Fran staring wide-eyed at me. “Sorry I didn’t tell you I could speak a foreign language. It’s Russian by the way.”

She looked white as a ghost. “Who are they and…and…”

“Go get my back pack. We’re leaving.” She moved away slowly, somewhat in a daze. I turned back to the agent. “You should have stayed in town.” I stabbed him in the heart. He died instantly. I stood removing the stiletto as Fran made her way back to me.

“What are we going to do?” She stared as I placed the weapon back in its sheathe.

“Pack your things. We’re going to take their car and drive to Prague. We have four or more hours of darkness and I think we can make it by morning.”

“But…but won’t someone miss them?”

“I doubt it. They were here to rob us.” I lied. “They’ll be found eventually. The most important thing we have to do is get you back home. Is your walking stick okay?” I didn’t want to tell her the truth. She would be gone as soon as we reached Prague.


“Good, then pick up the backpack and start back to the road. I’m sure we’ll find their car there. I will search them for the keys and be right behind you.” I bent down over the SVR agent, Ilya, and went through his pockets. He had the keys.

She was out of sight in a minute. I had to set a scene up that the police might believe. I knew they were not all SVR because they came armed with only a knife, so I decided to make sure the police would be satisfied with the scenario I would paint for them. Then I stopped. Where the hell had they gotten my name?

I searched the first man and found a wanted poster in his inside coat pocket. It was a recent one too. Evidently he had seen me and knew who I was. Bad luck. I removed it and stuffed in my pocket. Moving fast, I dragged his body over to his companions. If they were as disreputable as I thought, I knew the police wouldn’t think too hard about how they died. I wiped my prints off the big knife, placing it in the last man’s hand. I put the stiletto into the hand of the small man. I hoped this would keep the police off my tail so I could get to my destination without any further trouble.

“It’s me,” I called to Fran who was standing by an old car.

“Laura, did we kill those men?” She was shaking.

“It was either them or us.” I answered walking her to the passenger side.

“Shouldn’t we report it?”

I shook my head. “No. We’re foreigners. We might have a hard time explaining what happened. Just get in and let’s move. When we get to Prague, I’ll drive you straight to the airport.”

“You have blood on you and your clothes,” she said staring.

“Okay, one extra stop at the nearest river.”

We made it to Prague by early afternoon. I had to buy gas once, but that was after I’d spent a few minutes at a river cleaning up and changing clothes. Fran was not very talkative which was alright by me. I took her into the airport and she purchased her ticket.

I walked her to the terminal gate and waited. I put my arm around her. She needed comforting. It had, I suspected, been the worst 24 hours of her life.

“Will they be looking for us,” she asked, sipping on a can of coke I’d bought her. Her hand was shaking a little.

“I seriously doubt it. I don’t think you have a thing to worry about. We were attacked and we defended ourselves. The police will eventually find them although I don’t think it will be right away. I’m sure they were hooligans of the worst order and we had every right to fight for our lives.” I hugged her. “I’m glad we met and had time together. I don’t think we’ll ever see one another again. That wouldn’t be wise.” Of course she had my name, but it wasn’t the real one. I doubted anyone would ever connect her to the three deaths.

She nodded. “I know.”

The announcement came over the intercom that her plane was loading. I watched her enter the gate and disappear from sight. She didn’t wave good-bye. I left the terminal and headed to where I caught a taxi. I was leaving the old car with the keys in it. Some enterprising man would spot it and take off. It would relieve me of worrying what to do with it. If by chance the police were looking for it, the car would be so corrupted that there would not be any incriminating evidence left.

The taxi dropped me off at an old hotel I’d used before. I was close to home…and Katya.

7. Katya

I had to get to Moscow. I was not going to fly due to the security measures that were in place at all airports. If those men in that small town had a poster of me, it was possible that there were more of them than I knew and especially at the airport. I’d gotten through security at the airport using my passport as Laura Donohue and since I wasn’t flying out, they had cut me some slack. Fran had to go through security with the complete shakedown.

That would happen to me and I’d be caught. So I decided to drive. It was a few hundred kilometers, but I was well acquainted with back roads and no border guards. It might take me a week, but I thought I could get there with a modicum of trouble

The next morning, I went to my bank in Prague and withdrew several thousand Euros. I thought the best idea would be to pay cash thus eliminating paper work that would be tedious as well as informational. I would buy from someone who was not averse to accepting cash.

By noon I’d found a dealer who sold me a car that was two years old. I checked it over and thought it was in reasonable condition. He even threw in a full tank of gas which I was pleased to accept. I had changed my back pack for a suitcase which I tossed into the rear seat. I stopped for some food supplies because I didn’t want to risk being seen again.

A change of wardrobe was needed, so I spent some Euros upgrading to skirt, blouse, sweater and coat. Sensible shoes with stockings completed the outfit. Now I looked like a housewife which was fine by me. I threw a woolen stocking cap over my head and applied some lipstick. I looked innocent. I had no doubts that I would get to my destination within a few days.

It was very cold, but the heater in the car worked as I entered the suburbs of Moscow. I pulled over the side of the road and took out my last unregistered cell. I dialed in Katya, hoping she was there.

It rang three times before she answered. “Hello?”

“It’s me.”

“How nice to hear from you?” She said.

“Are you alone?”

“No,” was the answer.

“Anyone I know?”

“Yes, but that’s all right. I can meet you later. I’ll call you.” She hung up.

I stepped outside the car and crushed the phone. Then I tossed the pieces into the busy street. It wouldn’t take long for every part to be reduced to rubble. I entered the car and sat for a moment, wondering who would be visiting Katya. Yelena! I decided that was the only person Katya would not name. If there was one person I didn’t want to see or to know I was in Moscow…it was my bitch-from-hell sister. She, fortunately, did not know where I lived.

It took me two hours to get into the heart of the city and home. I had to leave the car where it would be found by some enterprising young man and removed. I pulled out the suitcase I’d traded for the backpack and left the car a mile from the apartment. I was not averse to walking to get home. I left the keys in the car, making sure no one saw me.

I entered my apartment, warm from my walk, but immediately turned on the heat. There was wood next to the fireplace which I tossed in and lighted to help heat the place up. I knew Katya would call as soon as she could. I checked the answer machine and saw that there were no messages. The only one who had my number besides Katya was Khasinau and he wouldn’t be calling anytime soon.

There was a knock on the door. I was shocked; then realized only one person could be there, Katya. I opened the door.

“Rishka!” She entered and kissed and hugged me.

I shut the door and hugged her back. “Katusha! Why didn’t you just call?”

“I haven’t seen you for so long…I needed too!” She tossed her coat on the sofa and ran to the fire. I joined her.

“Yelena was with you when I called, wasn’t she?”

“Da,” she answered. “She’s been looking for you.”

I stared at her, “Why?”

“She didn’t say. She wanted to know if I’d talked to you lately.” Katya studied my face. “Did you do something to cause her to look for you?”

“Not that I know of.” I walked to the kitchen. “I’m going to have some tea. Do you want some?”

“Da.” She removed her coat. “Where have you been? It’s been months since you and I talked.”

“I know.” I sat the teapot on the stove and turned it on. Getting mother’s tea cups and saucers down, I thought about how much to tell her. I decided not to say too much. Katya liked to gossip. I didn’t want Yelena to learn anything that way.

“I…I’ve been in hiding. I had a deal go bad. Arvin Sloane is looking for me.”

Katusha studied my face and then nodded. “I heard the Alliance was destroyed. You have anything to do with that?”

I grinned, “A little, but I came home for a specific reason.” The kettle whistled and I put tea into the teapot, pouring the water over the leaves to let it seep.

“I know.”

“You do?”

“You wanted to know how your investments were going.”

I was relieved, but nodded. “So…”

“Excellent.” She was preening…satisfied with herself and her business sense. “We both have made some money.”

“I need you to do something for me.” I poured tea into our cups. “I don’t have any cream, but there’s sugar.”

Katya rolled her eyes, “Sugar.”

I pushed the cup at her and got the sugar bowl from the cupboard. Grigor’s wife had kept the apartment clean and free of bugs for which I was grateful. No sign of ants anywhere. “Here.” I watched her spoon three teaspoons of sugar into the hot tea.

“So what do you want me to do?”

“Join the Covenant. You did say they wanted you, didn’t you?”

Her eyes widened in disbelief. “Great Rasputin’s ghost, why now?”

It was the one thing that I would tell her. “I think they took Sydney.”

“What?” She nearly dropped her cup.

I told her about Arvin, Mexico, and then Sydney’s disappearance when she returned home. I’d been looking for her ever since…Jack and I. Sydney had dropped completely out of sight. Katya looked stricken. She was remembering the little girl she saw that day in the department store years ago.

I explained everything that happened. Everyone thought she was dead, but Jack said she wasn’t…he knew that if Francie’s clone had been taken, so had Sydney no matter what the DNA said. I went on to tell her how we had been hunting for over a year and that now Jack wasn’t answering my emails. I was afraid that the CIA might have discovered he was working with me. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was in prison. We had discussed the possibility that the Covenant had her…perhaps brainwashing her in order to have her working for them.

“She is a superb intelligence agent.” I said.

Katya’s dark eyes never left my face as I spoke. “Rishka, what makes you think she was taken by the Covenant?”

“We’ve searched everywhere and she’s dropped completely out of sight. The CIA believes she’s dead…all of her friends…everyone. The only place I’ve been unable to penetrate is Covenant. Will you do it?”

“Yelena is the head of that organization.”


“Da…and she’s wanted me to come with her. I turned her down, because I understood why you didn’t want me to be there. What about now?”

“Are my assets hidden from anyone, including her?”

“Yes, as well as mine.”

“Then don’t touch them and join up.” I put my hand on hers. “I need to find Sydney.”


“I’m her mother and I need to know she’s alive.”

She sat back and stared, a smile forming on her face, “Chyort, you love her, don’t you?”

“Da,” I said softly.

“Then I will do it. I never thought of you as a loving mother, Rishka, but I think it must be the eighth wonder of the world.” She finished her tea.

“Don’t tell Yelena I’m in town.” I warned.

“Of course not. I’m sure you won’t be here long, will you?”

“Nyet…” I planned on leaving after seeing Grigor and his wife, Maria.

“Where will you go?”

“I won’t tell you, so you won’t have to lie to Yelena. It’s for your safety. I’ll contact you in a month. Hopefully you’ll have some word, but be careful. I don’t want to lose my favorite sister.”

She nodded, putting on her coat. “You too, Rishka.” She hugged me.

“You do the same.” I touched her face. “I need you.”

Chyort – damn
Da – yes
Nyet - no

8. Julia Thorne (1 ½ years since Sydney was taken)

It had been six months after Katya joined the Covenant before I heard from her. We communicated by cell phones that were untraceable. I’d gone through five of them before she gave me positive news. Sydney was alive, but had been turned. She was working for the Covenant. I was elated. Jack was right. Still I was concerned about the information she was a Covenant agent.

I warned Katya not to mention Sydney at all to anyone, especially Yelena. I didn’t want her to know we were interested in Sydney’s whereabouts. Katya told me my daughter was a part of a team, supposedly freelancing her services, but in reality working for Covenant business. I was puzzled by that because Jack was so positive that Sydney having gone through Project Christmas training would not be turned.

However, thinking it through, I knew he was probably right. She was not brainwashed, but was pretending in order to gain some freedom. I wondered if Oleg Madrczyk suspected it or if he believed she’d been turned.

“Where is she?” I asked Katya.

“Right now she’s on a job in Rome.” She gave me the bar where the ‘gang’ hung out in old Rome. “You might run into her there.”

“Spasibo, but I won’t contact her—I just want to see her alive.”

“Good idea and be careful. You know how to get in touch.”


I was in Vienna now and Rome wasn’t that far away. I could get there by plane, but it was safer by car because I would not run the risk of being seen on cameras that every airport these days had scanning the passengers. I rented a car and drove south.

It was nearing May and the roads were not yet clogged with tourists and tour buses. The autobahn was relatively free so I made time from Vienna to Bolzano and from there to the city I loved the most outside of Russia, Florence. I spent the night at my apartment and left the next morning for Rome.

In Rome I went to my apartment which was located next to a church. Like most Romans, I owned the apartment and had it comfortably furnished. If Sydney needed some place away from the ‘gang’ she was welcomed to it. I just needed to get the information to her in such a way that no one would suspect me. I had an extra key and wrote the address on a piece of paper. However, I would have to be careful how I gave it to her.

Two nights later I was in Pietro’s Bar on the Via Maricopa. I had the paper and key with me ready to pass if and when I saw her. There was always the possibility that she was no longer in Rome, but that was the chance I had to take.

I purchased a litre of red wine and took it to a booth which was located in the back of the room. I could see the door from that point. Would I know her that was the question. Katya had provided no description, but I was Sydney’s mother and I was sure I would recognize her.

It took three nights of drinking lousy wine, before a group of people entered the bar already somewhat drunk. There were three men and a girl and it was the girl I focused on immediately. She was tall, slim and blonde. Her hair trailed down her back. Her eyes were dark and expressive. Her mouth was wide and her lips full and luscious. It was Sydney. Her disguise was not enough to fool me, nor would it Jack if he were here. She wore leather pants, shirt, boots and a leather jacket with pockets.

The man in charge of the group was chatting with the bartender. The others stood on either side except Sydney who was standing behind him. I stood and made my way, playing a slightly tipsy scruffy barfly, along the bar. There wasn’t much room between her and the table behind.

I slipped past her, bumping her slightly. “Sorry,” I mumbled hiccupping and slipped the paper and key into her pocket unnoticed. I knew she was smart enough not to disclose them to the others when she found it.

I returned to the apartment, changed clothes, packed and left. I had no way of knowing if and when Sydney would come. Then I remembered something I’d left behind…a piece of paper with coordinates on it. A contact of mine had sent me information about a possible Rambaldi artifact hidden at those numbers. I used my cipher ability to change the numbers and had pasted them underneath my desk for safe keeping. Hopefully it wouldn’t be found.

Unfortunately the coordinates were located in California. I wouldn’t be going there for a very long time. I was on my way to Armenia to check on some property I wanted.

TBC :cool:


Mar 30, 2005
Wow she saw Sydney! And that Yelena is a dog and up to no good. I wonder how she takes Irina out!


Apr 26, 2007
Seems like i'm catching up... Loved the idea of how Jack was caught - i trully didn't think of that idea - well, that's really funny for the 2 of such good spies to have the dinners in a public place - but well, looks like Jack prefered to give himself to the jail instead of irina (i don't believe he thought they'd not know he helped her to escape). Suppose, if he just knew what captivity his wife will expirience in just a short time after that escape - i guess, he'd prefer her to go to the MI5:)
Good updates anyway, and i'm now to read the last one:)!!!


Jan 22, 2003
So. California
MariaPurt wrote:
Suppose, if he just knew what captivity his wife will expirience in just a short time after that escape - i guess, he'd prefer her to go to the MI5:)
Unfortunately Jack couldn't even guess Yelena would capture Irina. He knew MI5 and he wouldn't want her in their hands.



Jan 22, 2003
So. California
MariaPurt wrote:

I'm wondering what he'd choose (Yelena or MI5) if he could only choose one and not prevent all of it:)
He didn't have a choice at that moment. Remember he knew nothing about Yelena's actions in all of this. All he did know was that MI5 would probably make Irina 'disappear' where he couldn't find her. He does love her in spite of everything! SHe was helping him to find Sydney. He did not want to see her caught in this instance. :love:
I think any other time, he'd not care so much. :dry:



Apr 26, 2007
And, speaking of the last update, i never thought Yelena would look for Irina so...mmm... openly? I mean, then, when Irina dissappeared, wouldn't Katya thing Yelena had smth to do with it?


Jan 22, 2003
So. California
9. Armenia

I made my way to Amasia in Armenia, where I made arrangements to transfer ten million
dollars from an offshore account in the Bahamas. I knew Katya would probably have a fit when she found out, but it was my money. The bankers were elated with the infusion of the money and I became their best customer and friend. I knew they would do anything that I asked of them.

I purchased a home in the city as a base of operations. I became Lara Donhujian and even obtained a passport and birth certificate; adding a driver’s license, two credit cards. When all of my papers and identity cards were in place, I went to City Hall to meet with the Mayor.

Introducing myself to his secretary, I indicated I had an appointment. His secretary nodded and stood up. She went to the door and opened it, saying, “Lara Donhujian is here, sir.” It was obvious that the Mayor’s office was in serious need of updating their equipment.

At her nod, I entered the office. For this I was dressed in a black business suit. The skirt was short and came to my mid-thigh. The heels were three inch and I towered over the man behind the desk. My makeup was perfect: red lipstick, soft gray eye shadow, face
powder that lightly covered some of my aging lines around eyes and mouth. I thought I looked spectacular and so, evidently, did the Mayor whose eyes widened as I entered. He indicated the chair in front of his desk.

“My dear Mrs. Donhujian, how nice to see you. I’ve heard you’re looking to buy some property.”

“Da, my late husband was very fond of his country even though he never visited it. He lived in Kiev before moving to Moscow where he worked for various government agencies.”

“But certainly he would have had time to visit when on holiday,” said the Mayor.

“We did, but never here. We actually planned to visit next year, but sadly,” I held a handkerchief to my eyes, “he was killed in a car accident six months ago.” I shifted my legs, allowing him to catch sight of my red bikini panties as I did.

He flushed with obvious pleasure. “I am so sorry. What can I do to help you?”

“You are very kind.” I flashed him the warmest smile I could muster. “I want to buy property, a lot of it, and thought you could help with the sales. I would even pay you a commission.”

“Do you know what land you want?” He preened with importance.

“Paradise Valley, all of it!”

His eyes widened. “All of it???” He seemed shocked by the answer.

“Da, all of it. Is that a problem?”

“There are several families living there.”

I flashed him another smile. “I want the land, not the homes. They can stay. I promise I won’t evict them. How many families?”

“Ten maybe and scattered. I take it that you will pay them?”

“Of course. I may even hire some of them.” Again I smiled. “I should warn you that I know what the land is worth and I will pay a fair price. Gouging will be dealt with severely.”

The Mayor was surprised by the vehemence in my voice, but I meant it. I knew how some of these small town bureaucrats acted, especially when tempted with money. However not with mine. Of course, if he thought I was a woman who didn’t know how to manage it, he would try, but would fail. Still I thought I could handle him.

I stood. “Let me know, sir, who I need to see about the land. I want the names and location of each land owner. I should warn you that I am also aware that the bulk of the valley is for sale, so play no games.”

The Mayor was paid a ‘finders’ fee and did well.

Everything went smoothly and I soon had possession of the land deeds. The people on the land became tenants and some became employees. I fast-tracked supplies and began building a home. I ordered an electronics package from a high-tech company that I owned, thanks to Katya. I hired a contractor and gave work to over a hundred men from the valley and the city. I wanted the home up quickly and efficiently without any future problems resulting from poor workmanship.

I lived in a small trailer for three months as the home became a reality. It sat on a low cliff overlooking the valley by some fifty feet. It was U-shaped with two bedrooms and a bath on one side and a master bedroom/bathroom and office on the other. In the center was a huge living room, dining area, kitchen and guest bathroom. Solar heating was installed on the roof. A garage was also built and was big enough to hold four cars and a workshop.

It was completed to my satisfaction and thoroughly cleaned. The furniture was delivered on the date specified. When the last van had left, I was alone in front of the house that now was fully landscaped and ready for occupancy. In the garage was a black Mercedes sedan, a Ferrari, a black Hummer, and a Corvette. Buried in the ground on the far side of the garage was a ten thousand gallon tank for gas. I planned to hide out here in Armenia for as long as it took for the intelligence world to forget Irina Derevko.

In the office built next to my bedroom was a bank of security screens, a computer that controlled them and a work computer for communication. It was here I planned to wait for word about Sydney and keep out of sight so that no one would suspect Irina Derevko was alive.

Irina is 53

10. Sydney

It was only a few months later that I realized I had not spoken to nor seen Jack for almost a year. I knew in my heart that something drastic had happened to him. My guess was that he was in prison because of me. I’d heard nothing from Katya regarding Sydney. Evidently Yelena was keeping a tight rein on her whereabouts or—I hoped—my daughter had escaped.

I lived simply keeping myself active on a rigid schedule. A five-mile run every morning, weather permitting and a two hour workout in the early afternoon kept me in shape. Interspersed with that were an occasional workout with one of my men. I’d come across a couple of ex-Red army men, who were in good shape by doing heavy construction work. I inquired at the bank about the two and found that they had a reasonably good reputation for hard work and respectability.

I wished I could have Grigor with me, but that was impossible now. I needed a couple of men I could trust, one to do my driving and the other to go with me when I needed to go to town. They agreed to my offer and settled into a routine which included hand to hand fighting. Thinking of Sydney, I was aware that I’d lost a couple of steps because of my age, but I decided to hit fast and try to end my encounters within two to three minutes or less. The workouts were designed to do just that. I also kept my knife throwing in a groove that would be useful.

I spent an hour each day at a rifle range, firing both hand guns and rifles. My two ex-army men were impressed.

“You are good, very good,” said Koukurian, the older of the two. “Who trained you? Army?”

I smiled. “No. You don’t need to know.” I knew they were curious about me, but the less they knew, the safer they would be. “I’m a dangerous person to cross. My advice is to enjoy the job and the money you make. If I find out that you’ve talked to anyone about me, I’ll kill you.” To emphasize my point, I fired my hand gun five times. The bullets hit the bull’s eye in neat circle.

“Da, we understand.” Stepan, the younger, nodded as did his companion.

“Good.” I unloaded the gun and began cleaning it.

One day I glanced at the calendar and realized that it had been nearly two years since Sydney had disappeared and one year since I’d seen Jack. I sat at my computer with a cup of tea going through my email. There were not many messages. Just a few messages from my banking interests in Hong Kong and in Amasia. I usually heard from Katya once a month.

I scrolled down to the London Globe notice and clicked on the personal ads link, although at this point I didn’t think I would ever find anything. Then my heart stopped. There was a message from Jack. I exited from the link and went to my IM box to see if there were any stored messages. There was...from distinguished music lover.

I typed: “I couldn’t believe it when I saw your ad in the London Globe.” Even though I was in Armenia now, I kept tabs on newspapers that Jack and I agreed to use as message drops.

“Glad you’re alive,” he typed back. “Our daughter is alive.”

My heart gave a lurch and I smiled happily. “My God. How is she?”

“Recovering although she doesn’t remember the last two years.” He typed. “I need your help getting background on a man named Andrian Lazarey.”

I thought about it; then answered. “Will upload all intel to our FTP drop site.” I hesitated again. “I miss you.”

“Miss you too.” Then he was gone.

It was the truth, I did miss him. Sydney was back and not hurt. I know he had to be careful and wouldn’t been giving me long messages, but he could have said a little more. I would have liked to know what happened to him the past year. I wondered if Sydney had told Jack about the apartment in Rome. Damn it, I would have liked to know more about what happened to her too!

There was someone I could find out information. I wrote an email to my special contact in L.A. We had not communicated since Sydney’s death/disappearance. He was my one friend at the CIA. His only job for me was to keep me informed about Sydney’s whereabouts and about what she was doing. For two years he’d been paid monthly prior to her so-called death and also during the two years she was missing. He owed me and I wanted information. I received an email two days later.

“Sydney has been gone for two years. She doesn’t remember anything that happened to her. Consequently she is frustrated and desperate to know something. She is also upset that Vaughn has married.” I was surprised but also knew Sydney must have been hurt by the knowledge.

“Jack was in prison the past year for consorting with a known terrorist—you. NSA released him when Sydney recovered a chip with vital info they wanted. Vaughn has returned to work at CIA and his wife, Lauren, is here also as the liaison officer from NSA. There seems to be an uncomfortable relationship between the three of them…naturally.”

That was all, but it was enough to assuage my curiosity. At least she was safe and Jack was back on duty. I had a book to send to Sydney. I knew she’d lost everything in the fire and it was the only thing I could think of that would remind her I was still thinking of her…a first edition copy of “Alice in Wonderland” in which I’d written ‘To Sydney Anne on her 5th birthday. Love, Mom.’

I spent a day obtaining information on Andrian Lazeray. He was a Russian diplomat, but had been killed by a blond who came to see him. I knew it was Sydney, but I believed Jack when he said Sydney could not be turned. That meant the possibility she knew Lazeray and that they concocted his murder. Sydney evidently got rid of the body, but what was the reason? I forwarded the information to Jack, but wasn’t sure it would be useful until Sydney regained her memory.

11. The Passenger

Nadia is alive!

Moy bog, my missing child is alive! Katya called me and told me the news. She wanted to meet me, but I was in Armenia and she was in Moscow. Finally she said we would meet in Paris. She had to go there on business for the Covenant. I was to find a table at the Café L’Estrange near the Louvre Museum. I had to be there in three days. I agreed and although I didn’t tell her, my bodyguards would also be there near by.

I spent two days waiting. Stepan and Koukurian were always near by, reading newspapers and eating or drinking. I always had an espresso. There were dozens of people around us, mostly tourists who were waiting to get into the museum. I was willing to be patient and watched for Katya.

On the third morning, she showed up. “Rishka,” she said.

I stood and we kissed. “Katusha,” I said. “I am happy to see you. You look good.” I waved to a waiter, pointing at my espresso and held up two fingers. He nodded.

She laughed. “How are you?”

“Skip the preliminaries. Where is Nadia?”

“I don’t know!”

“But I thought...”

She shook her head. “No, Rishka, I haven’t seen her. She has disappeared according to Yelena. By the way, I bet you didn’t know Yelena not only knew where Nadia was, but helped to bring her up.”

My eyes narrowed and my blood turned cold. “What?”

“Yes, but don’t worry. She loved the child. She was very upset when Nadia went missing. She told me about her ten days ago. Yelena and I were having dinner and she had two drinks more than she should. She told me Nadia was raised in an orphanage in Argentina.”

I stared at her in shock. My hands were shaking. “ did she...”

“I don’t know those particulars just that she ended up as the head mistress of the orphanage. The KGB ordered her to find Nadia after Bill Vaughn took her. There was a man who was a member of the Followers of Rambaldi group that Vaughn was a part of. He told the KGB that Nadia had been taken to Argentina, but he didn’t know where.”

“Why was she so important to them?” I shook my head trying to remember anything about that time.

“She is The Passenger.” Katya stared at me. “I thought you knew?”

“Why would they tell me any thing? I was a prisoner and suspected of treason.” I frowned, trying to remember Rambaldi’s book. I remembered the prediction written next to the picture of Sydney. For years, I tried not to think about its meaning.

The waiter came with our espressos. We said nothing.

“Does anyone else know about this?” I asked as he left.

“Anyone that Bill Vaughn might have told.” Katya leaned forward, not wanting to be overheard. “Irina, its impossible to track Nadia now. No one knows if she’s alive or dead. Yelena says that she lost track after Nadia joined Argentinean Intelligence. The man who headed up the group is dead.”

Suddenly my memory opened up and I remembered. I did read the book and did see the mention of The Passenger. It said there would be a fight between herself and The Chosen One and that only one would survive. I didn’t believe Nadia was alive at that time and simply skimmed it, but the possibility was assured. All that was needed was proof that she was alive...somewhere.

“Can you use your resources to hunt for her?” Katya said.

“I’m trying to stay out of anyone’s line of sight,” I said. “Too many people are looking for me.”

“What about Jack?”

“I haven’t heard from him in almost a year. I think he might be in prison.” I lied simply to keep Jack away from Katya’s eyes. She didn’t know him.

“How about Arvin Sloane?”

“No! He gave the CIA all the Rambaldi artifacts he had in order to cut himself a deal. He’s in Zurich. I won’t contact him.” I glanced around and saw that Koukurian and Stepan were still in their seats. “At least until I know more, but perhaps not even then. I don’t trust him.”

“Then how are you going to find her?”

“I don’t know, but I’ll start in Argentina with my contacts there.”

“They’ll know you’re alive?”

I heaved a sigh, nodding, “I know, but...” I was trapped. My purpose was to stay out of sight. Only Jack knew I was alive, perhaps he told Sydney too, but he didn’t know where. I trusted Katya to a point. She liked to gossip. Secrets sometimes were dangerous in her hands. “I’ll have to think about it. What else do you know about The Passenger?”

“Yelena is not sure about Nadia’s place in Rambaldi’s well as Sydney’s.”

“Really? Does she have another scenario in mind?”

Katya glanced away, staring at the traffic rushing by; then she turned back to look at me. “I think she’s toying with the possibility that you are The Chosen One and she is The Passenger.”

“Does she?” That was a surprise. I didn’t believe it, because that picture looked a lot more like Sydney than me. “Sounds as though she’d like us to do battle.”

“Da,” answered Katya with a smile. “But then you two were always at odds from the time you were born.”

I sipped my espresso, finishing it. “Poor Katya, always in the middle too.” I laughed. “If there isn’t anything else I should go.”

“No, but I wanted to see you. You look good and rested. What are you doing with yourself?”


Katya’s mouth opened in shock. “You must be joking.”

“Yes,” I lied again. “I am, however, catching up on my reading.”

She stood, laughing. “Very well, Rishka, stay well.”

I kissed her on both cheeks. “Take care, Katusha, and know that I love you.”

“If you need me, you know where I am.” She put her hand up to my face for a moment; then turned a walked up the street.

“And be careful,” I whispered, watching her.

12. Capture

It was several weeks later that I heard from Jack again. He seemed frantic even though it was only an email.


Long time, Jack. What brings you to my door?




“Alive?” Oh please, I thought, be alive.

? Was what he typed.

“How can I help?”

NEED ALLIES IN NORTH KOREA. His word brought a chill to me. Damn it, I would have to bring Katya into this.

“I may know someone who can help. I’ll be in touch.”

When we had finished, I took out a cell phone and dialed Katya. Glancing at my watch I saw that it was evening in Moscow also and hopefully she would be home.

She answered on the fourth ring. “Hello?”

“Katusha, it’s me.”

“It’s about time. It’s been weeks.”

“I know, but there was nothing more to report—until now.”


“Sydney has been captured in North Korea. I know you have contacts there. Can you make arrangements to get her out safely?”

“Perhaps, but my contact is in L.A.”

“Yes, I remember. Jack will help. Would you meet him at Sydney’s apartment at 8:00 p.m.?” I asked.

“Why not! I would love to meet this man of yours.”

I was silent for a moment, thinking about Katya and her love of men. She knew I cared about him still. It couldn’t be helped. Sydney needed rescuing and quickly. “Good. Two nights from now.” I gave her the address.

“Well, that’s pretty fast.”

“We don’t have much time.”

There was a long sigh and then, “Very well. I’ll let you know what happened.”

“Just that Sydney is safe.” I said. I didn’t embellish on the remark and ended our conversation. “Spasibo. Safe trip.”

I went to my computer and opened it. I entered Jack’s private code and typed: SYDNEY’S APARTMENT. 8 PM

I didn’t expect a reply yet.

The days passed and I kept busy overseeing the construction of a storage warehouse on my property, but located nearer Amisha. On the third day, I opened my computer email and found an email from Katya. I opened it to find that she was waiting for me to contact her. I made the phone call.

“Katusha, it’s me.”

“I know.”

“And Sydney?”

“She’s safe. Why didn’t you tell me she was in North Korea with Vaughn to pick up a Covenant defector?”

“I didn’t know that!” I said.

“If Yelena finds out…” She left the rest of the sentence unsaid.

“Well, I’m not going to tell her. Spasibo, Katusha. And Jack…?”

There was silence at the other end. “He’s very distinguished looking. Has nice eyes. Ears are a bit large.”

I almost snapped a retort, but caught myself. I didn’t want to give her any reason to doubt my attempt at not being jealous. That just might cause Katya to think it was a challenge to her.

“I kissed him.” She said next.

I was silent with surprise. “…and?” I probed.

“I told him it was for you.”

“Spasibo,” I said softly. “When are you coming home?”

“In a day or two…I have some things to wrap up with my Korean contact first.”

The weeks passed by slowly and although I received a few messages from my CIA contact informing me of Sydney’s actions, nothing very exciting was the result. I decided to make a trip to Moscow to see Grigor and review my financials in place there. I took precautions: disguise and bodyguard, Stepan, leaving Pietr back home. He would have free time to be with his family.

Stepan had never been to Moscow even though he’d been in the Army. He was excited and thrilled to be going. I’d cautioned him to think about his job first. This was a dangerous place for me and he needed to be on guard 24/7 when he was with me. I planned to spend only four maybe five more days at the apartment before returning to the ranch. Katya would miss me if she didn’t get back by then.

I had been there for a couple of days, enjoying the sights and sounds of my birth city, while waiting for Katya to return from whatever errand Yelena had sent her. Grigor picked Stepan and me up and drove to his apartment where Maria was waiting. Grigor was my supervisor on the apartment buildings, but his wife did the book work.

Grigor, Maria and I went over the books and I’d approved needed repairs.

“Grigor, I trust you and Maria to do what’s right. If I’m not available, don’t wait for me. Do them.” I looked into his rugged, but handsome face. He blushed. “But you are boss.”

I grinned. “Yes, I am, but now I’m telling you to do these when it is necessary. Do not let the tenants worry about when. Just do them. There is plenty of money in the bank.” I kissed him on both cheeks. “Now I’m going home.”

“When do you leave?” He asked.

I shrugged. “I don’t know. I want to see Katya before I do. That is if she returns soon.”

“Be careful. Too many bad people want you dead...” He put his hand on my shoulder; then I left.

The next morning I finished my run and was checking my emails when I found one from Jack. What did he want? Sydney was okay. She and Vaughn had returned from North Korea with their Covenant defector. I opened the email.


Wonderful, I thought. I really was interested as to what Yelena was up to since Katya still had been kept in the dark.

“What do you need?” I typed.


Govno, govno, govno! I froze thinking about my next move. I knew Yelena was after Nadia, but now the CIA?

IRINA? He pressed.

I pulled the plug. Damn it, he was not going to get any information from me. I typed in the necessary codes and closed the account with my server.

The next day I went out at dawn to run. I decided not to go to any gym while I was in town. Jack said it was too dangerous as there were too many people around anyone of whom could be involved with one or more intelligence agencies. The run, however, also proved to be dangerous; more so than I ever dreamed.

It was nearly six in the morning when I stopped to look at my watch. I was about to turn around and go back the way I’d come, when I saw four figures walking toward me. I’m not sure why, but I sensed they were coming for me. There was purpose in their stride and one of them was looking directly at me.

“Stepan, come with me.” I didn’t want to use my weapon or Stepan’s. We were in the heart of Gorky Park and already there were several people out walking or jogging.

“Chyort!” I looked around. Another two were coming from that direction. “felgercarb!” I didn’t hesitate, but took off running to the left heading for some buildings. Stepan followed. One of them was a pavilion I thought if my memory served me right. I wondered fleetingly if they were MI6 or even CIA, but it was only momentary because I had to concentrate on outdistancing them if at all possible.

I didn’t look back.

I ran by two buildings and heard a gunshot as the bullet missed me by inches. Then I heard another, followed by a grunt from Stephan who fell to the ground. I knew he’d been shot, but I didn’t stop. They were after me and not him.

I turned left into the biggest building, running up the stairs and inside. The room was empty and fairly large. I looked around. There was a door to my right and I ran for it. It opened into a closet that was empty also. The door I’d just come through, slammed open and three figures entered.

There were three males, one of whom was small, but looked fast, very fast. One male was black, well over six two, solid muscle and a long reach. The third one was Asian, black eyes like marbles, and the lithe sort of build that told me he’d be as quick and agile as a lizard.

The smaller man came first, a graceful handspring that scissored by my face. To counter, I dived, swept out his legs, and landed the first blow on Asian, who was caught off guard while watching the first man. I gained to my feet and blocked a blow with a forearm.

I felt the smack of flesh to flesh vibrate as well as resonate.

I parried, caught a movement out of the corner of my eye and spun to meet the small man stamping on his instep, and followed that with a hard elbow jab to the jaw.

I took a blow that knocked me down, used my hands and quads to flip back up before the next landed. The Asian spun in, caught me with a flying kick to the kidneys that sent me skidding over the floor on my belly. Breathing through my teeth, I pushed up on my arms, kicked back and took the black guy down with two hard heels to the groin. He’d been stupidly watching while his two smaller friends were doing the work.

Outnumbered, and in two cases, outweighed, I was holding my own. I took a hard blow to the face as all three came at me at once. I blocked one by flipping him over my back, evaded the smaller one with an agile shoulder roll, but the Asian caught me with a sharp backward kick that sent me down again. I rolled over and up to my feet, noticing the black was winded and the small man was favoring his left leg.

I went for the black guy again. He might have been the biggest, but the groin shot had hurt him. Using the small man as the decoy, I flew into a double spin, a snapping side kick, easily blocked, and used the momentum to carry me around, push me forward so that my upper body, head and fists all connected with the black man’s crotch.

This time he went down, and stayed down.

Rolling away and somersaulting to my feet, I blocked blows with my forearms, my shoulders, taking the defensive and drawing both my opponents in close. A short arm punch to the jaw snapped the small man’s head back and the elbow I jabbed into his throat took him out. I shoved the falling body into the Asian.

He had to spin away, but came back at me. We were both puffing now, and the sweat stung my eyes. I doubled over when his foot landed in my gut. And he was fast—but not quite fast enough to snap his leg back before I grabbed his ankle and heaved. He used the move to carry himself over into a flip, punched the landing with a grace I admired, even as I was hurtling toward him, springing up into a flying kick. My heel landed on the bridge of his nose, and I heard a satisfying crunch as the bone was shoved into his brain. He dropped to the ground dead.

“Impressive, Irina,” was the last thing I heard as my head exploded and everything went black.

TBC :(


Apr 26, 2007
Noooo, not on the most interesting place!!! :( Grrr... Nice update, but that's only that i want moooore!!!!
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