May 23, 2004
And I'm not disappointed! I can't believe how fast this was updated right after I read the previous chpt! Thank you!

“Ya ogorchenn,” he said softly in Russian. “Laskovaya moya, ya ogorchenn.”
Just a question... what is the translation for this?

The reunion was great, they seem to be so happy to be with each other again... perhaps too happy to be true? I hope they both don't have ulterior motives...


Jan 22, 2003
So. California
PART 7 – Betrayals
1. Déjà vu

The interrogation of Angela Benton failed. The two men who were the best at their job at JTF could not budge her. Jack watched from behind the glass, not a little proud of what his daughter withstood. Of course, he would not let them go all the way. Ben Devlin told him there was to be no rough stuff and no Camp Harris. He was to let her go when the interrogation failed.

“When am I going to be replaced,” asked Jack. “I’d like to retire.”

“Good grief, Jack, when did you think about that?”

Jack rubbed the side of his left cheek, “Recently. If you’re going to retire, then I certainly ought to be allowed to do the same. I’ve put in nearly 30 years. Job’s changed a lot and so has The Company.”

“I know, but there’s a need for good men like you. You know more than most agents who’ve been on the job as long as you. Those ten years in Russia were important to us in our fight against Communism.”

Jack grunted. He wanted to say ‘at what cost to me?’ He’d lost the love of his life and his precious little girl, who was now an undercover agent for the CIA and, he guessed, the SVR. If he didn’t get out, he might have to arrest her or worse and then see her sent to prison for spying…or even treason. He did not want to have that responsibility looming over him. “By the way, are there any other crime organizations we should be thinking about beside SD-6 and the Alliance? That seems to be our total focus now.”

“There’s another, but not as well-known. It’s a secretive group run by someone known as the Man. No name. We’ve been keeping an eye on it lately. The group deals in gun running, truck hi-jacking, murder for hire, kidnapping and blackmail. We cannot get a handle on the Man who runs it. It’s one reason we’re concentrating on the Alliance. Why? Do you know something about it?”

“Not really. Where are they doing business?”

“All over the world. However, we don’t know enough to focus on them right now. We want the Alliance taken down.”

“Yeah, I guess we do have priorities.” Jack smiled. “Well, suppose you get someone else to be the Director out here.”

“We have. He’s actually going to be there late this afternoon. His name is Robert Lindsey.” Ben went on to give Jack some details, but ended the conversation with a surprise order. “I want Angela let go, but appoint someone,” he paused, “other than yourself to be her handler. Whoever it is, will be the go between…between her and the JTF.”

“Yes Ben, but…”

“I know you want to do it, but you’re too involved. I want someone fresh. Have you anyone in mind?”

“Agent Michael Vaughn would be a good handler.”

“Very well,” Ben said, “he’s her new contact between the CIA’s JTF and SD-6. As soon as you let Angela go, have her call me to confirm her new orders.”

“Yes sir,” Jack said, his mind rushing in every direction. “Goodbye and I’ll see you next weekend in Washington.”

“Thanks Jack, I’ll be glad to see you.”

“Where are you going, that is if you are retiring?”

“I’m staying home in Virginia. I’ve don’t my share of traveling. See you.” He hung up.

Jack sat back and made notes. He picked up the phone to the US Marshal’s office downstairs. “This is Director Bristow. Bring up the prisoner to my office.” He swung around to look out the window. He could swear he smelled her here in his office. He wiped his face and sighed. She was gone, where he did not know. Did she go back to Moscow?

He closed his eyes and visualized her last night in the kitchen. She was at least fifty and she looked thirty-five. Irina was stunning and everything about her bespoke money and lots of it. Her watch was a Pidet; the dainty necklace around her neck had at least a one carat diamond. The coat he’d seen draped over the sofa was Cashmere. The red dress was a Cassini. She obviously was not buying them in Russia.

What was she doing? How was she making a living?

The door opened behind him. Two Marshals escorted Angela Benton into the room. They then left the two alone.

“Your identity has been confirmed by Langley, Angela. Ben Devlin is a personal friend.”

“Thanks! Can I go?” She studied him, knowing he was her Papa.

“Your mother came to see me last night.” He watched her carefully.

The statement was totally unexpected. She caught her breath, blinking rapidly as her heart raced. “My mother?”

Jack stood and came to face her. He looked at her carefully for a long time. “Sasha…I…I am so sorry.”

She took a step back from him. “About what? The betrayal or leaving us to face the KGB and their wrath.”

He took a step toward her. “Did they hurt you? My God, you were just a child.”

“Did you ask Mama about what they did to her?”

“She said nothing about being…”

“…beaten, raped, and tortured…everything they could think of to do to her?” Angela was angry.

His eyes widened. What a blind fool he was, thinking only she’d been sent to prison for a while just as he had been. He reddened, “No, I didn’t and she didn’t offer any information.”

She hit him with a wicked fisted backhand. “Slovach! They never made her talk; because there was nothing she could tell them other than she too had been made a fool of.”

He fell back slightly, holding his jaw. “Sasha, I—I am guilty of not asking her. It was a shock to see her. Your mother…she is very beautiful still.”

“I suppose you fukked her?”

Again he reddened and then straightened. “I don’t think that’s any of your business.”

She wanted to hit him again…and again. It had taken years for her to find out what happened in Kashmir and even then, it was Aunt Katya who told her and only then, just the bare minimum. Irina never revealed to her daughter what happened during the months she’d been in the hands of the KGB.

“She lost your baby she was carrying too!”

“What?” The shock registered across his face.

She stared at him clenching and unclenching her fists. She wanted to get out of the room and away from this man she once knew as her beloved Papa. “I think you should introduce me to my new handler. I also do not want to see you when I am at the office or can I set up another meeting place?”

“That would be best anyway, since you’ll be under Sloane’s orders.” Jack was still reeling from the shock of hearing about the baby, so he just walked to his chair behind his desk, buzzing Vaughn, and requested he come to his office.

“Your anger is justified,” Jack said, pulling himself together as he stared back at her. “However, we’ve not finished talking.”

“Yes we have!”

“No, but it will keep…for now.” He didn’t say more as the door opened behind her and Michael Vaughn entered.

Angela Benton turned and her breath caught. Michael stared at her. Jack suddenly had a feeling of déjà vu. He’d had the same moment when he first saw Irina over thirty years ago. However, now he was being a father and a boss. There was a fine line between the two. Composure was necessary.

“Agent Vaughn this is Angela Benton. She is an undercover agent for the CIA in SD-6. Ben Devlin has authorized me to assign you to be her new handler. Records will be coming with the new director for you. I suggest you get to know her and her, you. You can set up a meeting place, but be sure to let the new director know where. Do you have any questions, either of you?”

“No,” said Vaughn, reddening a little as he blinked and broke the connection between himself and Angela.

“No sir,” said Angela, smiling a little shyly.

Michael Vaughn was six foot, dark blond hair, and had the most beautiful green eyes she’d ever seen. His features were perfect, at least in her eyes. A strong mouth and nose set in a strong, square face. His jaw was beginning to show a five o’clock shadow and it was only afternoon. Vaughn was dressed in the usual CIA uniform, wearing a dark suit, blue shirt and dark blue tie. His black loafers were buffed to a glassy sheen.

“Come, let me show you my workstation and you can tell me about SD-6 from a personal point of view.” Michael stood to one side; then followed Angela out the door, although he stopped and looked at Jack. “New director?”

“Yes, I was only a temporary.” He waved Vaughn out. He stared at the closed door, thinking about his conversation with Angela…no, Alexandra. He rubbed his jaw which still ached from the blow she’d dealt him.

His intercom buzzed. “Yes?”

“Robert Lindsey is here.”

“Send him in and have the staff meet me in the conference room in a half hour.” He stood up as the door opened.

TBC :mad:
Dec 28, 2004
St. Louis, Missouri
Alexandra was pissed and had every right to be.(I called her Syd at first. It's weird her having a different name). Can't wait to see what happens at her's and jack's next meeting.
Thanks for the pm.


May 23, 2004
Eehh - it's Vaugh! That's so neat! And plus that they're making googly eyes at each other!

I can just see the painful conversation that's going to happen...


Sep 15, 2005
Great chapter! Thanks fo pm.Alexandra and Vaughn finally meet! it is gonna be complicated.By the way,my Russian teacher in community gollege said,that sasha is mens nickname,not a woman.Maybe it should be saskia,or something,but makes no diffefrence.


Jan 22, 2003
So. California
Great chapter! Thanks fo pm.Alexandra and Vaughn finally meet! it is gonna be complicated.By the way,my Russian teacher in community gollege said,that sasha is mens nickname,not a woman.Maybe it should be saskia,or something,but makes no diffefrence.
I got the name from a Russian name sheet for women/girls. It's spelled Sasha which is a familiar for Alexandra. This was from a Russian web site.


Jan 22, 2003
So. California
2. Lindsey

Robert Lindsey strode into the room, full of himself. That was the first thing Jack noticed. The man stood about five ten, a good four inches shorter than Jack. He looked about twenty pounds overweight. His light brown hair was thinning. His nose was long and narrow and beady eyes were set close to it. Lindsey’s mouth was thin with almost non-existent lips. He too wore the recognizable CIA ‘uniform’ with one exception, his tie was yellow not blue and his shoes looked scuffed.

Jack stood, holding out his hand. “Jack Bristow. Nice to meet you, Lindsey.” He stepped away from the desk, a small cardboard box in his hands. I wasn’t expecting you until later.”

“Yeah, well I made them leave earlier.” He walked to the desk after perfunctorily touching Jack’s hand. “I know most of what’s going on? Anything new I need to know?”

Jack rolled his eyes before turning. “Yes, Ben Devlin called. He’s authorized a new handler for Angela Benton, our agent inside SD-6.”

“Yeah, who?”

“Michael Vaughn. Ben approved the choice. Solid man…grounded and has handled other agents well. This is a delicate job, since Benton works deep in SD-6 and has told us that the others in Sloane’s employ truly believe they are part of a black ops division of the CIA.”

“Yeah.” Lindsey sat down. “What’s your assignment now?”

“Anything, I guess. I’m considering retirement. I’ve been with the Company 30 years.”

‘Umph.” He answered without comment. “Just keep yourself handy for the next few days while I settle in and then you can retire.”

“Of course,” Jack said quietly and left the room. The man was giving every impression of being a bastard and there was going to be trouble. Making an on-the-spot decision, Jack decided not to retire just yet. He would stay on longer than he anticipated. “I’ve asked the staff to come to the conference room. It’s the day shift and the one doing most of the work. There are two other shifts and graveyard works four to twelve and the night shift, twelve to eight, but then you knew that.”

“Yeah…okay, lead the way.”

When Jack returned home he was furious. Lindsey was a huge mistake, at least from his point of view. He thought that some others felt the same way, especially Michael Vaughn and his friend, Eric Weiss. Lindsey did nothing to give the staff positive vibes about his presence. He was unpleasant and demanding. There would be office meetings every morning promptly at 9:00 A.M. and everyone was expected to attend.

Fortunately, Angela disappeared when the meeting was called. Michael Vaughn was questioned about the undercover agent. However, since he’d only just met her, he had very little to say about her. Lindsey asked if he’d set up a meeting place outside of the office, which Michael gave the affirmative. Lindsey told him that he wanted daily reports on the undercover agent.

“Sir, I won’t be in contact with her daily; only when she has something new to report.”

“I want daily reports. If she hasn’t made contact, say so. I want to be kept up to date on everything having to do with SD-6. It is our job to take that organization down and from here on out, I want to know everything there is to know about anything having to do with it. If you have the file on our agent, I want to see it.”

Jack groaned mentally. No one but himself and Vaughn was to know about Angela Benton. Now the entire office knew. Christ, what an idiot! He was going to have to talk with Ben tonight as soon as he got home. He noticed too that Vaughn went white. He too knew that Lindsey had just committed a faux pas of the worst kind. He saw Jack’s look and knew he was going to complain to Langley.

“Why did they send this idiot? Doesn’t he know anything?” Michael complained to Eric after the meeting. “Letting everyone know we had an agent inside SD-6 could have terrible ramifications. She could get killed.”

“Well, he’s not going to become the most popular around here,” muttered Eric, nodding.

“If we have a mole here as I suspect,” Michael winced, “our contact could be in severe trouble. I’m going to have to meet with her tomorrow.”

Jack hung up the phone after talking with Ben. There was nothing he could do. Lindsey was a personal friend of the National Security Advisor to the President. It was he who asked the Director to send Lindsey to the LA Office to head the JTF. Jack walked to the cupboard and pulled down the bottle of Chivas. He poured himself a full glass, walking to the black leather sofa and sitting down.

Although it was getting dark, he turned no lights on just yet. He was angry and worried at the same time. Angela had been put at risk. If anyone talked or said anything about a double agent in SD-6, word could leak in several directions. He wondered if there was any way to get in touch with Irina. He knew where Angela lived, but was she being watched? He didn’t think so, but that didn’t mean there weren’t sporadic checks made of the SD-6 agents. He didn’t want to phone her either; she’d probably hang up on him.

He sipped his drink, sorting through options and decided that Vaughn would have to warn her. He knew the young man had taken a liking to Alexandra and he was also aware of the danger Lindsey put her in by his revealing there was a double-agent inside SD-6.

Jack opened his cell and punched in the number for Vaughn. “This is Jack. Your line isn’t tapped yet, so if you can, tell Angela what happened. Do not give Lindsey your meeting place. Devlin says Lindsey is there because of high places. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

He continued sipping his drink until it was finished. By the time he’d put the glass in the dishwasher, he’d formulated a plan to get rid of Robert Lindsey before he compromised all of the work they’d done as well as their agents. He was sure that Lindsey would want to know about all the CIA agents at work around the Pacific Rim.

Unbeknownst to Jack, Angela after being warned by Michael, contacted her mother. She used one of her non-traceable cells.



“Bad news.” She told her about Lindsey and his mouth. “You have any suggestions?”

“Tell your father. He can…”

“No! He’s not the director anymore, Lindsey is…and I told him I didn’t want to see him ever again.”

Silence. “Why would you say that?” Irina knew, but she wanted to make Alexandra tell her.

“Mama, how could you?”

“Have sex with your father?” Irina deduced by the tone of her voice that she knew. She sighed. “He’s my husband and I wanted him. So it will do you no good to berate either of us. Normal desires, sweetheart. When you find that special man, you won’t need to ask.”

Alexandra reddened. It was hard to think of her parents having sex and enjoying it. Moya boje, they were in their fifties. They were too old! She really didn’t want to talk any more about that. “You still haven’t told me what to do about Lindsey. According to Michael, he’s a stick of dynamite ready to explode. If he does more damage, I…” She left it unsaid.

“I’ll take care of it,” Irina said quietly. “I will need more information.” She explained.

“I will call you as soon as I can.”

“Good, and Alexandra, be nice.” She hung up. This Robert Lindsey must be dealt with immediately. He was dangerous.

In L.A., Jack was fixing himself a sandwich before going to bed. He was mulling over what he was going to do to Lindsey in order to get him out of JTF. If he could get him to screw up royally, his cell phone buzzed. He looked at caller ID, but there was no indication who it was, other than it was from overseas.


“Jack? It’s me.”

“Irina?” He sat down. She’d barely had time to return to Russia.

What he didn’t know was she was in Barcelona. She had scheduled a meeting with her men who worked the smuggling business along the coast. It was a very profitable business especially since she let them keep all the proceeds to be divided between them. She used them to obtain information for an occasional contract killing as well as special jobs, which entailed smuggling or blackmail.

“I hear you have a problem in L.A.”

“Sweetheart, Alexandra called you?”

“Yes.” She paused. “How are you going to take care of him?”

“I’m working on it now. Don’t worry, I’ll find a way. He’s too dangerous as well as an asshole.”

“Be careful, Jack.”

He reddened at the sound of her voice which dropped another octave. It dripped with sexual overtones. He reddened. “Irina…why didn’t you tell me…?”

Oh God, she thought…did Alexandra say something? “About…?”

“What the KGB did to you.”

“What would that accomplish? It was twenty years ago and they didn’t succeed. I knew nothing about your…”

“…and the baby?” Jack’s voice nearly dropped to a whisper.

“Jack…” She could hear the sorrow in his voice. “Jack, I didn’t know until after you left. There was nothing I could do. Things that happened caused the miscarriage. I don’t want to talk about it. Understand?”

He sighed, nodded, saying, “Yes…”

“Now about Lindsey?”

“I said I’d take care of him.” Jack explained Lindsey’s connection to the White House. “I have to be careful.”

Irina smiled to herself. She could take care of it faster. “I know. I don’t want to hear you retired to someplace other than Rome or Paris. Love you. Keep in touch.”

She hung up before Jack could get her cell phone number. “Damn it.”

Lindsey was proving to be a real jackass. He was interfering constantly in the plans of the operations director. They were monitoring SD-6 using information relayed by Angela Benton. She was sent on a mission to Algeria by Sloane and she contacted Vaughn for a meet at the warehouse they’d chosen. Instead of Vaughn alone, Lindsey accompanied him. The meet did not go well as the director of JTF was demanding and almost insulting. He’d wanted to know if Angela could kill Sloane. When she said she could not, he told her that she’d better think again, especially if orders to do so were forthcoming from Washington.

“That’s not my job,” she said quietly. “Shooting Arvin Sloane will not stop the Alliance and stopping it is the task I’ve been given.”

“You’ll do whatever I tell you,” snapped Lindsey. “Your orders can be countermanded at any time.”

“Sir,” she clearly did not like him, “I am not an assassin.”

“You don’t have to shoot him to kill him. There are other more subtle ways.”

Vaughn interrupted. “Mr. Lindsey, the CIA has worked hard to get Angela into SD-6 without suspicion. The Alliance is the enemy. Killing Sloane is not going to stop them from continuing their criminal activities.”

“She’s insubordinate,” he glared at her.

Angela turned on her heel and left in spite of Lindsey’s demand that she stop and come back. She jumped into her car and drove off. She was as angry as she’d ever been and that included when she faced her father days before. Michael could contact her later and give her the counter-assignment. Lindsey was a fool and easily seen as a politician without any sense. Fortunately, she made sure her home address and phone number was deleted from every file possible. Michael assured her he memorized her cell number and it was nowhere in the system.

Lindsey was making no friends and the enemies were piling up. Angela completed her assignment for Sloane. She photographed the material for the CIA and handed it over to Michael three days after the confrontation with his boss.

“That man is an idiot. He could get me killed.” Angela put the disc in Michael’s hand.

“I know. Somehow we have to get him to screw up, so the Director can recall him without causing a rift.”

“He’d better get recalled soon or I’ll not be reporting back for a while.” She turned on her heel and left. Ordinarily she would have stayed to chat with Michael, but she was still too angry.

Watching her go, Michael thought Lindsey would get his just-rewards soon. However, Michael had no idea how soon or how it would be done.

TBC :starwars: :bond: :blowup: :sniper: :boxing: :poke: Chose one...


Jan 22, 2003
So. California
3. Irina Derevko

The warehouse district in San Pedro was located near the docks. Ships unloaded cargo that was deposited in large sometimes empty buildings waiting to be picked up. So when Lindsey, who was with a group of three agents, arrived at the site, there was a full warehouse with a couple of acres outside filled with new cars from Japan and Korea.

He’d brought the men with him because of a report from Angela, which said she had to pick up a shipment for SD-6. She did not, however, know what was in the package. Vaughn told Lindsey she would be there at midnight. Lindsey decided to bring his agents with him to watch her. He had not trusted her since the run-in he’d had weeks ago. He was certain that she was not the trusted agent the CIA thought she was. He did not tell Vaughn or anyone else about his plans. He did not tell the men he came with what he was looking for…the possible treasonous activity of Angela Benton.

The men situated themselves out of sight around the warehouse interior and waited. Fog horns moaned in the distance and then again closer to the docks. The fog itself was wispy, floating in and out through the canals and docks. It was cold, however, and everyone was wearing heavy fleece coats. Lindsey was watching the open warehouse door. The ship docked next to it seemed empty and silent although he knew there was a watchman on board.

The minutes ticked by and no one said a word. Suddenly there was a noise from the far end of the warehouse. It was not easily identifiable, but one of the JTF men whispered to Lindsey that it probably was the small door next to the huge double doors where trucks entered to pick up products offloaded from the ships.

“Watch that car.” Lindsey had been told by Vaughn which imported vehicle held the package and they all were concentrating on it.

After the initial sound was heard, no one heard anything more. Two of the agents were wearing night goggles which gave them a clear view of the vehicle they were watching. One suddenly saw movement and touched his companion’s forearm. He in turn touched Lindsey and put his mouth close to him.

“Something’s moved close to the auto. Do you want us to fire?”

Lindsey gripped the Beretta in his right hand. He’d always loved watching James Bond movies and was fancying himself as one just like the English super agent. He’d obtained one of the same guns his hero used, now holding it tightly with the safety off. He nodded to the other agent who was in charge of a powerful flashlight. He would be training it on the car in question as soon as the two with night goggles gave him the signal.

Someone was moving closer to the car. Lindsey held his hand up to make them wait until the person was visible to them.

“Lindsey, they’re at the trunk.”

“Light now,” he said, standing up.

“Get down,” cried the man beside him as the flashlight pin-pointed the car and the person near the trunk. Gunfire erupted.

Minutes before Angela and the CIA agents entered the warehouse, a black clad figure slipped through the door. A rifle slung over her shoulder, Irina Derevko, climbed to the upper steel bracing. She noted a coiled rope next to the ladder. She quickly tied one end to the metal ladder and let the rest drop to the floor below, some twenty feet. She would need to make a quick exit. She was dressed to kill…black cargo pants, Kevlar vest over which she wore a black sleeveless tee and over that a loose fitting jacket. The boots she wore were specially made with soles that moved their wearer silently over any surface. She sat down on the bracing and adjusted her night goggles. Making allotment for the weird green glow, she adjusted the sight on the rifle and waited.

Angela cursed as horrendous sounds crashed about her. She’d just picked up a small briefcase from the tire well when everything went to hell in a hand basket. She dropped it and fell to the cement, rolling under the car, and flattening herself as bullets were flying. Then there was intense quiet except for a curse. The smell of cordite permeated the air. She wasn’t hit. She thought she heard something behind her, but she wasn’t sure. The only thing sure was that those bullets were not meant for her. They came from behind and above her.

Irina Derevko stood after firing at Lindsey. She’d seen Alexandra roll under the car and the others dive for cover. Slinging the automatic rifle over her shoulder and without hesitating and using the rope, she dropped quickly to the floor, running swiftly to the car where Alexandra was hiding. Saying nothing, she lifted the briefcase out of the trunk where it’d been dropped and ran to the left disappearing from sight. She had the advantage over the CIA agents because they were busy with Lindsey. She could hear them calling for an ambulance and more agents.

Angela Benton rolled out from under the car. She’d heard the steps of someone approach her and then turn and go away. She slowly stood up, glanced at the trunk. Empty. Dammit, Sloane was going to be furious. It was supposed to be a simple job. She didn’t know what was in the package, but she had a hunch it wasn’t legal. She wasn’t going to hang around either. No telling what the CIA men would do if they found her. There had been animosity between herself and Lindsey. That would come out and he had powerful friends.

Julian heard the running footsteps coming toward the black Mercedes. He turned on the ignition as the door opened and his boss dropped into the seat next to him. “Got it?” He asked as he stepped on the accelerator.

“Yes.” Irina used a knife to pry open the lock and lifted the lid. Inside were four kilos of uncut heroin. She was staring at several million dollars or euros worth of misery and death. She shut the case. “Drive to Pier 40.”

“What are you going to do?”

“Get rid of it.” She didn’t elaborate.

Julian blinked. He was aware also of the value of the suitcase. Was she crazy? Still he knew his boss was anything but. This was the first time he’d been on a mission with her. She’d asked him to come with her. They’d flown to the US on United Airlines to Los Angeles where they were met by one of her men with the car. At her home in Malibu, Irina picked up the rifle and conferred with her man, who gave her the details of what he had learned at the CIA about Angela’s mission. That mission was now destroyed.

“There it is.” Julian turned right and drove down the empty dock.

Having slit open the heroin packages, Irina left the car and kneeled next to the edge of the dock. She took out each package, knifed it open, and carefully dropped each into the water. The salt water would destroy the white snow. She stepped back inside and Sark drove off.

“Malibu?” He asked for their next destination. She nodded. “You do realize there was almost a hundred million in what you just dumped into the ocean.”

“I do not deal in filth like that! Sloane has upped the ante. He has to go and so does The Alliance.” She said no more, but a plan was forming in her head.

The CIA was angry. A director had been killed. Langley wanted to know why he went on a mission that should have been done with field agents. Of course, his friend the National Security advisor was at the forefront of the investigation. Even worse, the package that was supposed to be picked up by their double agent, Angela Benton, had been stolen right under everyone’s nose. Angela was suspect until one of the agents who had been present testified she was under the car and that someone else removed the package.

It was ascertained that Lindsey had foolishly decided he wanted to be part of the action instead of remaining at the office. Devlin, who had retired, was contacted for a recommendation. His choice would be Jack Bristow, so he told his former bosses that perhaps the new director should be from the FBI, especially since the murder of Robert Lindsey had been in the States. Jack had retired turning in his papers the day after Devlin’s party and no one knew where he’d gone.

The FBI for once agreed with their partners in the venture and assigned one of their best agents, Matthew Kendall. He would be tough, but they thought considering what had happened to Lindsey, that he also be reminded not to go out on assignments. He was the boss and he was needed on site.

Irina heard about the change and smiled. She was working on the plan to help the JTF obtain their objective of destroying The Alliance, but first SD-6 had to crumble. She and Angela talked enough about the overall SD-6 set up. The men and women working there, at least those who were day to day agents like Angela, clerks, computer geeks and techies, all thought they were working for their country and its government. They were inordinately proud to be in the black ops division. The security division and those under McCullough had no such illusion; they were from The Alliance.

She did not tell Julian her exact plan just in case he too was greedy. Instead, she filled in those men and women who were her on her inner council that she would be out of touch for a few weeks. Julian was given a set of orders to follow and told he would be contacted at a certain time, or close to it. He was sent back to Moscow to follow those orders. Several projects needed attention. He felt a certain sense of pride that he would be ‘in charge’ while she was ‘on vacation’.

Irina made sure he was off to Moscow, before she boarded a United flight to D.C. She was taking a huge chance. She had several goals in mind, but everything was predicated on whether or not she could destroy The Alliance and get Alexandra safely out of what she considered a dangerous situation.

To put the plan into action, she had to put herself into the hands of the JTF. As they did not know who The Man was, she would have to make herself known and wanted. That would require a bit of luck, a lot of planning, and knowledge of how intelligence agencies operated.

Irina Derevko never left anything to chance. Everything she thought of was taken into consideration and either discarded or made part of her scheme.

However, sometimes t he best laid plans often go awry…

Kendall called Angela and Vaughn into his office. She had been planning to meet with Michael at their usual spot, but he’d sent her a cryptic message and she’d come into the JTF offices.

“We’ve received word that The Man is going to be in Florence, Italy tomorrow morning. Evidently someone stole his operations manual which contains names, banks, places of interest, offices in various countries…in short everything we’ve ever wanted to know about The Man is in it. Since our focus has been on SD-6, we’ve let this operator and his gang of murderous thieves survive and thrive. No longer. If we can get the book, Langley can initiate a task force to take the gang down.”

“Why are we involved?” Michael asked before Angela could speak. “After all, aren’t most of the activities focused on Europe and those countries?”

“Because The Man reportedly has ten Rambaldi artifacts. You, Angela, have been retrieving several for Sloane and The Alliance. How many do you think he has?”

“At least a dozen…but how can we know that the manual has that information in it?”

“We don’t, but if we get the two involved in the theft and return, we might know more and get close to finding them.”

“How are you going to get this manual…where is the meeting going to be?” Michael asked.

“According to our source, the meet will take place in the Uffizi Gallery in the gallery overlooking the Arno River, second floor. We’re flying you out tonight. I want whoever comes for the book taken quietly and without fuss. This is not an Italian police matter and they will not be involved.” They all knew if that were the case, they’d have no standing in that country nor could they take charge of the operations manual.

Michael frowned, “Dammit, sir, that could put us in a precarious position. The Gallery is no doubt loaded with guards. The two we’re after would have no weapons and no reason to cause suspicion.”

“We’re aware of that. Several CIA agents will be there to assist you and prevent trouble.” He handed Michael a PDA. “This will tell you where those agents are. The GPS system programmed there will locate all of them when the meeting begins.”

“But who are the two? What are they going to look like?” Angela shivered slightly because she knew one of the two would be her mother.

Kendall chucked, “I know, but our contact is sure we’ll spot them. The manual will be in a briefcase. Meet me in the conference room. Our op tech will be there with some more complete information and your weapons.”

“Weapons?” Angela said. “We would not be allowed in the Gallery with anything resembling a gun.”

“Yeah, but you know…they won’t look like a gun.”

TBC :whistle:
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