Welcome to the Madhouse

AllTheBest

Cadet
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Location
Texas
Irina arrived at her next meeting with Kozlov frantic with worry. She threw down a stack of papers on the table in front of him. "They've started an investigation!" she hissed.

Kozlov looked up, unphased. "We know," he said, finishing the paperwork he was working on.

"What do you mean 'you know'?" she shouted. "Why didn't you tell me?"

"Agent Derevko, if you will kindly recall, this was our first meeting."

"You could have contacted me! You should have warned me!"

"Agent Derevko, calm down. There was nothing to tell you. What good would it have done to tell you? Nothing can be done about it. Besides, we have it under control."

"What do you mean you have it under control?" she spat, pacing back and forth before his desk. "How can you have it under control? It's the CIA."

"No," Kozlov corrected her. "You are mistaken, Agent Derevko. The search is not under CIA control. It falls under the discretion of the FBI, which luckilly, handed the task of to one of our own."

"Caulder's KGB?" Irina stammered.

"Yes, Agent Derevko, he is. Had you waited, I would have told you that."

Irina finally settled herself in the chair across from him. "So, what are we going to do about this?"

"We're taking care of it. You do not need to think of it. Instead, concentrate on Project Christmas. We need that information, Agent Derevko. Begin to push Jack about his work. We need to know it. I'll contact you in a week with our next meeting."

Irina nodded, and left the room. She returned home to her growing daughter.
 

AllTheBest

Cadet
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Location
Texas
Irina relaxed as she let the warm water and the suds wash over her body. The tears rolled freely down her cheeks, the salt mixing with the soap. When they had approached her on the street in Russia so long ago, Irina had never imagined her life as a spy to turn into this. She could deal with sneaking around, the occasional murder, but the deep cover operation was going to get to her. She could tell. She had no way of knowing when they were going to take her out, no clue when she would have to leave her daughter behind.

The tears began to fall faster and faster, and Irina had to struggle to keep from screaming. As a last resort, she slipped under the surface and let all her breath flow out in a silent scream. She sat there for a moment; she had been trained for staying underwater. At that moment, she was struck by the utter simplicity of it. She could just stay there, let it all float away from her, let herself sink to the bottom and never come up. Her lungs began to crave the oxygen above, but she couldn't rise. She felt the cold floor of the tub beneath her bare back. She listened to the water as it settled itself around her. Still. It could be still forever.

She didn't know what made her return to the surface, but as she felt the top of her head break through the surface of the water, she felt a splendid relief wash over her body. That wasn't the way she wanted to go.

Irina slid out of the tub, wrapping her body in the artificial warmth of the towel. She patted her eyes dry. She knew she was strong enough to do this. She had come this far already.

With a new sense of determination Irina dressed and strode into Jack's office, careful to keep her damp hair from dripping on the hardwood floor. She had her camera with her. This time she was going to do better, she wasn't going to just read the papers. The KGB needed documentation of Project Christmas. The sooner they got the information that they needed, the sooner they would be able to get her out of this lie. But if she were unable to go through with this, they would take it out on her. Her life would be at risk.

The drawer was not locked this time; it slid open easily with her touch. She removed the file on Project Christmas and spread it on the desk in front of her and began to take the pictures. She glanced at the words as she snapped the photographs, but they all seemed extraordinarily vague. Towards the end of the file was a sample test that the CIA planned to distribute to school-aged children. Spatial reasoning, intense science problems, questions Irina could not see a young child being able to answer. She looked at the graphs that followed. One in ten thousand children. Irina couldn't see the purpose of this intense recruitment program that would produce maybe a handful of children. And of those handful, how many would accept recruitment when they were old enough? But regardless of her thoughts, Irina took the pictures. She carefully rearranged the papers and slid them back into the desk drawer. She looked at the other files, labeled in Jack's meticulous handwriting.

She removed them and glanced at the contents. There were countless details of operations to take place. How stupid was he to leave these files at home where they were in easy access of any intruder? Thinking that they might help the KGB in some way, Irina snapped pictures of the operation files. She then closed the desk and left the office. She replaced the camera in her bedroom and went to check on Sydney.
 
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