mo (janetbaby007) wrote in blood_binds,
mo
janetbaby007
blood_binds

Black Out; Chapter One; Running

Be sure to read the Fic Information before you read the chapter if you want to know when it takes place.




One
Running


Running.

One foot in front of the other, ripped sneakers way too thin - they don't fit. Snow on the ground and water in between her toes making her feet ache. No socks, but she doesn't feel the cold trying to seep in through the fleshy underside of her soles. A trip and a stumble in the middle of the night, the knee of her jeans ripping out on a jagged rock. Blood staining snow red, she continues to run.

Nothing but trees in front of her, she doesn't know how she's gotten here - or where she is. Something's missing, all she can feel in her mind is a blank empty space where a memory should be. All she knows is, she must continue to run forward, sure captivity behind her. A snowstorm, early morning she thinks, flakes swirling about in front and behind as a shiver rushes through her body. She tries to remember, but the only thing coming to mind is not being able to move. Not being able to move her legs and arms. She’s not sure what that means.

In the dark she can't tell where she is, tripping once more as she reaches to grab a branch from a tree, she can see behind her. A fire. Her eyes widen when she sees the flames. An entire building, though she doesn't know what for, burning a half mile away.

She takes a deep breath, turning forward again. Spring, she thinks as she sees the wildflowers peaking through snowdrifts. And an untimely blizzard smells funny. Copper, she observes, tripping only slightly, like blood.

Her feet landing on the frozen terrain, all she can think about is how she needs to get away. A phone. Civilization. Something. The op went wrong - the op went horribly wrong. She needs to call into the CIA.

And suddenly she stops running.

The op. The CIA. It was all a set up, she realizes now, after the fact, trying to take deep breaths and regain her composure – get a handle on where she is, what's going on. That familiar sinking, unsettling feeling, like waking up in Hong Kong, realizing it's two years later, she slowly walks now, her feet kicking at the snow piling on the ground. And gradually she begins running again, her arms bare and the cold biting at her skin. The fire... she set it. She must have. Her feet landing at a steady pace, she can feel blood seeping out from beneath her skin, her upper arm, her face. That's the smell, the copper. She's leaving a trail of blood red, marking her position for any eager captors who might be after her.

Not exactly a time for vanity, she reaches down and rips a long strip from the shirt, jogging and tying it around her arm at the same time. For some reason she thinks of her father. He's truly her only hope right now, not sure of what she's done and if the CIA is after her or not. She can't call in. She tells herself this won't be the end of her. She tells herself she'll be able to get through this, the memories of the operation gone awry becoming more clear in the night hours. Where is she? How long has it been?

She remembers Prague.

Chest heavy, she wipes her nose, continues running. She knows they’re behind her, and all she can do to keep them away is run faster, harder. But she doesn't know who, or why. And she keeps going, knowing she can't stop - knowing that if she does they might get her. Who? Her breath is light, she coughs, the air cold and thin. Stumbling once more, she feels everything get darker, her head hitting the ground first – her body following.

And she tries to move.

Prague.

---
Eighteen Days Earlier


Her hair is in a tight yet suggestive up-do, with all of her auburn brown tresses pulled out of her face. She looks eloquent and sophisticated in the black dress that vaguely resembles that of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast At Tiffany's; only of course with a much more resplendent and captivating feel. She slips on one of the long black gloves which ends a little past her elbow. She smiles as a man in an expensive black tuxedo walks into her line of vision within confines of the mirror. She watches him cross the stiff and fanciful hotel room, picking up a set of expensive cuff-links off the night stand.

He looks up at her as he slips them on, returning her smile. A resistant breeze blows from the cracked window across the room, sending unsettling chills shooting through Sydney’s warm body. The Czech Republic in April is colder than a person would normally expect. And she suddenly wishes her shoulders weren't as bare as they are. He watches as she pulls her other long black glove up her lean yet feminine arm.

She dilatorily picks up the simple strand of pure white South Sea pearls, half admiring and half examining the precious jewelry. Jack is quickly standing before her, taking the necklace from her delicate hands, placing it around her slender neck. "Sydney," he smiles he latches the clasp at the back of her neck. "I had a strand of pearls I wanted to give you when you graduated from High School," He sighs. "But when your mother left, I never relocated them." Sydney looks down for a moment. Then back up at her father, smiling, with her dimples well defined.

"This is just as nice, Dad." She leans in and kisses him on the cheek. "And," She reaches up squeezing one of the pearls. A slight click sounds in the air, but only being heard by those who know what it is. At that moment, her mind travels back to the day prior.

"See, these - they - ya know, look like a normal strand of Pearls. That ya know... one might... buy umm, at Tiffany's. Might be like 'Oh Darling, how-um lovely'? And 'Oh yes, I will... what? These are $12,000 what?' Ya know?" Marshall shook his head slightly, watching Sydney's smiling face. "But, you see, these... when you clasp them, and press this pearl." He pressed a pearl near the center; A moderately excited look on his face, "You have a visual feed on a low level close-circuit frequency, sent to Weiss and then... back to us at the CIA. And when you want to take pictures, you use..." He squeezed a different pearl, causing a flash in his eye. "This... one."

Immediately a picture of Marshall's face appeared on the computer screen, and he looked at it for a little over a second. "Oh wow, that's better than my ID card," He rubbed his eyes, and Sydney laughed only lightly, offering her thanks for his help. "No problem - it is my job... and Mitchell kept me up so I had the time to make the second feature..."


Sydney feels the pearls resting on her bare neck. She raises her eyebrows, somewhat excited, like she used to when she was younger, receiving a gift from her father upon the return of one of his many business trips. "These ones come with a camera." Jack reluctantly smiles at his daughter, hiding the guilt he perpetually feels for the way her life has turned out. He blames himself, and always will.

"Uh, sorry to interrupt your whole sweet father-daughter moment; And it is sweet-" They both hear Weiss's voice in their ears. "But I think you're about to pass the 'fashionably late' mark. I mean, just so you know." Sydney scoffs, shaking her head. They're in Prague, preparing to attend a large, banquet for a very well known medical and drug research organization.

Jack takes a preoccupied breath as he crosses back across the hotel room and pins his white rose boutonniere to his lapel, pressing the base of the flowers as he clips it on. He turns back to Sydney who is checking her indefectible make up in the mirror. "Alright," they hear Weiss's voice again, "I have a visual feed from both of you, and I'm patching it back to the CIA," they hear him type as he speaks, holding the last word out for a little while. "Now."

"We have visual." They hear Marshall's voice almost immediately, over the radio as well. Sydney smiles at herself in the mirror, before sighing.

“So Base Camp Op Tech, Retriever and whomever else is watching...” She trails for a moment. “How do I look?” She watches herself in the mirror. And in response she hears Marshall begin to stumble over his words about how she looks, as well as mentioning the visual flaws from the pearl-cam as he’s so cleverly named it. She mentally groans as Vaughn’s voice tells them they need to get to the banquet. Sydney turns to her father as he holds her coat out for her. Vaughn makes a comment in response to her very apparent eye roll. And with that Jack locks the door, and the two make their way to the elevators.

---

Marshall looks up at Vaughn for a moment, who just shrugs. He sits at the computer, waiting for Jack and Sydney to arrive at the banquet. Vaughn looks tired, Marshall thinks to himself, as he types a few commands into the computer. He's testing out the various settings for the pearl-cam, as well as the boutonniere-cam. He already knows the settings, and their capabilities, but at the present he truly wants to avoid speaking with Agent Vaughn. He never knows what to say to the man, and they don't exactly have any real camaraderie - it's all based on their common connection to Sydney.

Vaughn exhales heavily, almost dramatically, adjusting his head set. He stands behind Marshall, looking around the main room of the Joint Task Force building. It's fairly early - a little past 6 AM - and the building is not exactly empty - It's never empty, for these people don't sleep. He looks up, watching Dixon walk through room in the direction of his office. He turns back to the computer screen, observing the view from the chests of both Bristows. He takes a deep breath, waiting for the two to arrive at the Banquet Hall in the IVAX Pharmaceuticals building. He drifts back to the meeting the day prior as his psyche does a mental checklist of the mission.

Everyone listened intently, per usual, as Dixon informed of the latest news. "The CIA has known for a few years that IVAX Pharmaceuticals in Prague has a group of rogue scientists working within the organization," He stated, making eye contact with various agents. "They are working for The K-Directorate and have many trade ties with the Covenant." Will Tippin quickly stood and crossed to the head of the room. His shoes made soft sounds on the tile floor as he walked. He didn't really blend in with the other people occupying the room, lacking a sleek black suit jacket with the sleeves on his oxford shirt rolled up. He smiled graciously at Dixon, taking his position at the head of the group.

"Alright," he started, with a deep, nervous breath. Simultaneously five head shots of moderately well dressed men and women appeared on the screen. Will took a deep breath. "Franz Heyrovsky" Will's accent wasn't exactly on point with the words, but it didn't exactly stand out either. The first image quickly blew up and appeared larger and in front of all the others. The man in the black and white candid photo had a slightly bushy beard, large nose, and small beady eyes. He held a cell phone to his ear, smoking a large cigar. "He's basically the ring leader of this group - and has many ties with Nuclear scientists in the Middle East. Heyrovsky calls all the shots."

He waited a moment as two more images were enlarged, this time a man and a woman. "Gerhardt and Emmy Novotna. They're a married, have been for well over three decades and quite frankly the money behind this operation." The man had very delicate salt-and-pepper colored hair, while the woman had retro framed glasses and a very tailored hair-do. Both images were simple head shots; probably taken from ID cards. Will continued to speak. "Both are former OB-GYN's... and have been known for supporting and/or participating in stem cell research." Will looked down as the images on the screen changed.

He looked back up at the group, business savvy features spread across his normally friendly face. Two more images appeared on the screen - one of a man probably in his late thirties, and the other of a woman probably in her early thirties. "Finally Tomas Lazne and Marianske Kafka," Will stated, taking a deep breath. Jack watched the man as he prepared to speak about the next two subjects. Lauren looked around the room, before letting her eyes land on Will once more. The screen clicked over to only focus on the man.

"Lazne is the brains of this group. He has various degrees in medical science, and has been working in the research community for over a decade," Will explained. Sydney nodded, taking in the words. Vaughn glanced at her for a moment, and then turned back to the younger man standing at the head of the rotunda. The screen revealed a man with a weathered face, yet soft look. "We don't know of any Terrorist or Intelligence ties. We assume he has none and was brought in on this project for the money, and opportunity to do what has been classified as illegal research."

The image then quickly switched to the woman. She has long blonde hair, and isn't looking at the camera. "Marianske is the one you need to stay away from." Will explained. "She is the brute force behind this group. She has various known terrorist ties and is trained in practically every form of torture known to man." Vaughn watched as Weiss quickly glanced at Sydney with a concerned look on his face. "She's generally dangerous and doesn't hesitate to kill anyone who crosses her path." Vaughn took a deep breath, looking at his wife.

Will then sorted through a stack of papers, handing two stacks to Weiss and Dixon, who quickly got them passed out to everyone in the room. "Now here's the deal, these people work for IVAX Pharmaceuticals, only as a front. They have recently created a new prototype for a truth serum which actually causes paralysis to the part of the brain controlling your ability to keep from saying whatever it is that you're wanting to lie about," Will explained, adjusting his chrome wire-framed glasses slightly. "And it just so happens that the organization is having a banquet Friday evening, at their building where the labs are." Dixon nodded at Will who quickly sat down.

"Sydney and Vaughn - you will be attending this Banquet as researchers for an organization known as MediFam," Dixon explained. Vaughn looked up at Sydney to make eye contact, but found that Jack was looking at him. He quickly diverted back at Dixon. "Your mission is to break into the labs and retrieve a sample of the prototype for the CIA as well as take pictures of the lab." Sydney nodded. "Marshall will have cameras prepared for you by this afternoon. Weiss, you're on comm. You will be leaving for Prague in 18 hours." And with that everyone stood from the tables, leaving the room.


Vaughn exhales heavily continuing to stand and look over Marshall. He's quite perturbed that he isn't on the mission - however Jack received Intel that a man he had encountered in a prior mission would be in attendance. And Jack then, of course, expressed concern that his involvement might jeopardize the mission. He knows, however, that it was all a power play to keep Vaughn from attending the mission with his daughter.

"Alright." They hear Weiss in their headsets. His role on the mission, aside from transmitting to the CIA and doing comm work, is actually to be Sydney and her father's driver in a black town car. "Base Camp, we're approaching the building."

---

Sark's icy blue eyes shoot open as he hears the low comforting ring of a cell phone. He takes a deep breath, and leans over the side of the tall four post cherry wood bed, holding on to the lavish blankets. The muscles on his back contract as he reaches over the side of the bed for his black pants which lay in a pile on the floor. And he swiftly pulls his black phone from the pocket, turning it on at the same time. "Yes?" he states into the phone, easing himself back into the bed where he's been laying. The darkened room is dressed with rich reds, accented by soft gold hues. His head rests upon soft cream colored cotton sheets.

"Oh - No sexually degrading pet name this time?" He hears Lauren Reed's soft voice on the other end, and smiles. Sark scratches his head for a moment, letting his eyes hold shut for longer than a blink. He takes a long deep breath, breathing in the intoxicating scent of musk and fresh strawberries lingering in the air.

He lets a grin rest on his smug face. "Not this time, darling," he answers. Their banter is probably one of the highlights of his day. However, lately it seems to have become tired, mundane even. The point of the banter - the reason he likes it so much - is to bother Ms. Reed. But now that she's grown accustomed to it, now that she likes it, it truly lacks the same appeal it had before. He doesn't appreciate it when things he enjoys become tainted.

He waits for her response, not really wanting to talk to her at the present. But then again, he never really wants to spend a lot of time talking to her anymore. "I'm at the CIA," she states. And Sark nods, knowing she can't see him. "Sydney and her father are set to arrive at IVAX within the quarter hour." Sark grins once more, knowing the strained communication is coming to a blistering halt.

"Very well," he responds, and quickly hangs his phone up. He doesn't want to prolong this conversation any longer than it has to be. And he's thrilled that it's over. He looks to his right, seeing the long dark brown tresses strewn about the plush pillow next to him. And he takes a deep breath turning his phone on and dialing a different number. He waits until the line is activated. "They're arriving, so you're on," he states. And he waits a moment, hearing the person on the other end respond. He hangs up almost immediately.

Sark breathes heavily as he places his phone on the night stand. He then turns back to his right, a sly smile spreading across his thin lips. The woman is asleep, and looks quite peaceful lying on her back with her face turned toward him. Her left hand rests on her chest. He grins, remembering the moans made by the woman a matter of minutes before. She truly is a vocal lover, gasping his name and grasping his back. He loves that feeling - the feeling that she needs his every move and thrust as her well manicured nails dig into his strong flesh.

She seems so very peaceful and idyllic that he really doesn't want to wake her. A part of him simply wants to let her sleep, enjoying her slumber. He wants to just watch her Adonis like body move only slightly as she breathes. He wants to feel the comfort that she feels as well. But he knows that must end, considering the tasks at hand, and the patrons to arrive within the next few minutes. He never knew that demanding a job as senior management in the Covenant would involve actually managing operatives. But he should have figured such - the Covenant, falling only second to SD-6, is far more orderly than most other organizations he's worked for.

He gently places his hand on the sleeping woman's shoulder and suddenly is met with the painful grasp she has on his wrist. She is forcefully pulling him toward her and pushing him onto the bed. In an instant she is on his back, her gray silk night gown bunched up around her smooth thighs. And she holds him there, his wrist behind his back and his face smothering into the pillows as she gets a mental grasp on the situation.

Sark smiles when she lets him go, realizing what she's done. "Abigail." His voice is soft and sweet. She eases off of him, slipping back to her side of the bed. He rubs his hand up her collar bone, her skin the pleasant color of sepia toned photography. And he leans in, pressing his lips to hers. "We've got to work on this waking thing." She rolls her eyes, kissing him back, feeling as his hands run through her hair, massaging her scalp.

And Sark smiles as she slips in beside him, staring outward from the bed. He kisses her shoulder, and she simply stares forward without thought or emotion.

---

Vaughn glances up at Will as he enters the room. He has that bright trademark Will Tippin smile spread across his face. And he looks far too awake, carrying the cup of coffee in his left hand. "Good morning," He leans in, greeting Carrie and giving her a swift kiss on the cheek. "You're glowing." He gives her the compliment and she shrugs. Vaughn watches as Will then approaches them, placing the cup of coffee on computer table. "Marshall, how's Prague?" he questions.

"Umm, well all I've seen is the inside of the car, so not sure yet." The man answers. And Will nods. His clothes are neat and pressed. His shirt is a maroon and merlot color, with a matching dark red tie. His hair, though shorter than usual, holds its customary and pleasant tousled style. He looks up at Vaughn for a moment, giving him a friendly smile. Vaughn responds with a nod.

Will's attention then returns to Marshall who is rechecking the settings on his computer. "This coffee is for you." Marshall quickly looks up at him, a reasonably surprised expression painted upon his face. "So drink it, I'm sure you need it."

"Thanks, actually... I kinda do." And Will smiles, walking over to Vaughn. He rubs his eyes behind his glasses just before approaching the agent.

"So, everything going smoothly?" he asks. Vaughn finds it insanely discouraging to hate the man. He's never actually hated Will, but he doesn't exactly like him anymore; especially upon his discovery about the experience between the other man and Sydney in Poland.

For the rest of his life, Will is going deny coming back to the CIA because of that encounter with Sydney. But he knows it’s true. He still remembers vividly the look on Sydney’s face as she entered Dixon’s office, following the mission in which she and Vaughn ran into Sark on the boat in Lisbon. She was both shocked and thrilled at the same time. Her face - specifically her smile - is what sealed the deal for him. After Sydney saw him, and they went to Poland, all he could do was think about her. Yes, he went back to Wisconsin. But he couldn’t stay away.

"Patching the surveillance video now." Vaughn hear's Weiss's voice in his ear. He motions to the computer, Will spinning on his heal, grabbing a head set of his own. He revels in the heightened clearance he now has within the CIA. Marshall masterfully glides his fingers across the computer keys, typing commands.

"There's a corridor leaving from the south east corner of the Banquet Hall - and at the end of that is a bank of elevators. Once inside you'll need to remove the panel and access the security keypad - there you'll use the device I gave you so I can fabricate the code, granting you access," Marshall explains in a hurried voice. They all hear as Sydney gives a positive response, watching the video feeds. Father and daughter enter the lavish room, arm in arm.

---

Sydney accepts the glass of expensive champagne, graciously thanking the waiter in a soft Russian accent. "Alright," She hears Will's voice in her ear and smiles. He’s the only shining beacon of comfort and hope in her life anymore, and she’s thankful to have him in her ear right now. "I see Heyrovsky and the Novotnas - to your left Syd." Sydney then turns slightly, glancing in the direction of the three individuals. Aside from the images of the lab, the CIA wants to retrieve of the laboratories, they are looking to gain some kind of substantial proof from the scientists themselves. Hoping to get video of the scientists admitting their affiliation with the illegal research at hand.

She approaches the group of people, father quick to her side, and they begin a conversation, in German. "Hallo Doktoren" Her words are flawless, getting the attention of the suspected.

"Es überrascht, Sie zu treffen, habe ich auf Ihrer Forschung studiert und habe Ihre Arbeit bewundert." She listens as her father pipes in, quickly introducing them with their Aliases - Wilhelm and Ekaterina Friedrich. "Ich habe gehört, daß Sie Beförderungen in beiden Stämmenzellen und neurologischer Forschung machen."

Emmy Novotna nods with a quaint smile. "Ja sind wir sehr stolz auf die Bewegungen innerhalb der medizinischen Gemeinschaft wir haben gemacht, durch die Beiträge von IVAX." Jack frowns at the vague answer. She hasn't quite acknowledged the statements Sydney made about their medical advancements, but she also hasn't denied them. He personally wants to have more concrete proof. The room seems to bustle with noise, though he’s not listening to a bit of it. He takes a deep breath, watching as his daughter prolongs the conversation. Jack then turns away from the four people, listening as Sydney continues.

"Lanze is about five feet in front of you Jack," Will states suddenly. Jack squeezes Sydney's arm lightly, before walking in the direction of the scientist. "Tell him you recently read about him in the Euro Medi Research newsletter - mention neurological research," Will dictates. Vaughn adds a few suggestions, and Jack quickly starts the conversation with such.

"Ja! Ich war sehr stolz auf jenen Artikel. Kürzlich meine Forschungsmannschaft und ich, hat entdeckt, daß ein Weg vorübergehend einen Teil vom Gehirn lähmt, das den Patienten von Verarbeitungslügen aufhält." The scientist gushes about his most recent discovery. "Ein Wahrheitserum," Jack smiles at the last words, a truth serum. And he can hear a positive response in his ear, coming from Weiss. Sydney is quickly at his side once more as they walk away from Lanze.

"You got it?" she whispers. And all Jack does in response is smile at her. They quickly receive the 'OK' from Weiss to slip out of the party. Once in the stark white corridor, both Jack and Sydney rush down the hall. They enter the elevator, and Jack hurriedly pulls a screw driver from his Tux jacket. He removes the elevator panel, just as Marshall directed before, and Sydney pulls the tiny transmitting device from her purse, clamping it on to two of the wires at once - green and black.

Immediately they hear Weiss boldly reciting a code to them. Jack punches it in: 194-7855-63-259-6102-03. The instant following, the elevator starts up and the two make their descent to the sub-basement. On the way, Sydney glances at her father, sighing, as he slips the 7 inch Phillips Screw-driver into the pocket on the inside of his jacket.

---

Sark looks up, watching the way Allison crosses the room, her hips are a seductive sachey. She smiles at him, wearing tight black pants and a black leather jacket. God, how he used to be able to love her endlessly. She pours herself a drink at the bar on the opposite of the large dining room, before reproaching the large ebony table. She sits down, continuing to watch Sark as he stands feet from her. "Hello Allison." He smiles. And she returns the gesture, taking a slow, long sip on her Scotch neat. He always loved how she could drink anything straight.

Before Allison responds, the woman from before - who Sark calls Abigail - walks into the room. Her frame is solid and muscular, hair up in a tight messy bun, and she wears a white tank top with black pants - her red bra showing from underneath. "Allison." She smiles, instantly causing a looming sense of tension in the room. Allison doesn’t like this woman, at all.

She walks up to Sark and presses her body into his, making him bend down only slightly to retrieve her kiss. She goes by Abs, and joined Sark's team a matter of weeks prior - probably closer to a month and a half. She has, however, worked for the covenant for over 18 months. She's one of the most deadly women that Sark has ever met - and that's just the way he likes it. He loves making love to a deadly, dangerous woman, not knowing if she's going to snap. It's pure adrenaline.

Abs quietly slips into a chair across from Allison. Sark can feel the palpable trepidation dressing the room in dark tones. A few candelabra's illuminate various areas, reflecting on the shiny wood flow, but none light the entire room; leaving a mysterious tone. The essence is filled of glows with flaxen shades, caramel hues coating dark dispositions. He turns from the two women, inciting the invariable glaring match. They don't like each other. But why would they? He doesn't know why it is that he does this - but bottom line he gets sick of women and moves on. He's gotten sick of Allison, he's gotten sick of Lauren. And soon he'll be sick of -

Another woman walks in the room, this one with a hurried pace. She wears a plain light gray trench coat. Her legs are bare, shiny and silky smooth, and she wears black four inch Manolo Blahniks. She opens the trench once she's before the table, revealing a seductive black Spanish dress which ends scandalously around her milky white thighs. Sark watches as she folds the coat, instantly pulling four concealed weapons from it and setting them on the table. They’re an assortment of guns and knives.

He looks into her eyes, and right before the other women, leans in and presses his lips to her collar bone. He pulls away and looks into his eyes, licking her lips slightly. She turns, walking away from him. She then sits down at the table, not near Allison or Abs. Sark presses his lips together - no, he's not tired of Steph yet either. "Who the fuck are we waiting for?" He hears her voice, boldly ordering him to answer from the end of the table.

"Stephania, love, be patient," Sark responds. “I believe you’ll appreciate this arrival.” He watches the three women, knowing each of their bodies better than he knows his own. The looks being exchanged between the three women are intimidating, arctic icy chills shooting from eyes to pierce souls. He knows that if he leaves the room and the conditions are right, they'll all kill one another. Which of course he does not want, otherwise Lauren Reed will be the only one left. He does not want Lauren Reed to be the only one left. Period.

And so his harem shall stay as it is, awaiting the arrival of the final member of the team. A member to which Sark does not make love to once a week - the only member that Sark feels he can predict his every move, based on blood.

They turn at the sound of feet walking down the hall. And all watch as the man dressed in black on black enters the room. "I'm terribly sorry I'm late." The Russian accent slowly exits the tall man's lips as he crosses the room, sitting at the end of the table, next to Steph. "I hope I didn't miss much." She looks up at him giving him a seductive and suggestive grin. He looks at her, then back to the table as he pulls a small plastic bag from his dark pea coat pocket, before removing the piece of clothing and dropping it to the floor. He wears black pants with a matching black oxford shirt and an expensive dark charcoal tie - the only bit of color aside from onyx in his attire.

"Aiden, so lovely you could join us," Sark grumbles slightly, rolling his eyes. He means to be sarcastic, for he is moderately irritated with him. And the man with dark curly locks resting around his head looks up, his dark brown eyes staring at Sark. He is the antithesis of Sark. He is the Julian Lazarey Sark will never be. He embodies the characteristics of a Romonav. He is Russian by blood and by duty. Sark watches as the man empties the bag onto the table - rolling papers, a lighter, and a small bag of dried tobacco.

Instantly Abs glares at the man before her. "You're not smoking in here." Her words rip through the room, meant to tear at Aiden's flesh. And the man who is currently rolling his own cigarettes looks up, nodding. He’s charming should be manipulative and yet he isn’t. He’s complacent. He’s curtious. He smiles at her, reminding her of memories she’d much rather forget. Their last meeting less than pleasant.

"Sure," he stands, to leave the table.

"Sit down," Sark snaps, and he then turns to Abs who has an irritated look on her face. "He won't smoke in here."

---

Vaughn watches as Dixon finally grabs his head set, and the four men all observe the screen, seeing the views from both Jack and Sydney. They've finally reached the laboratories, and Sydney is taking pictures while Jack searches for the serum. They both work quickly, though it seems, not quick enough. "Oh... no no no." They all look at Marshall, then to the surveillance video on a separate computer. A woman in a military uniform is running down a corridor in the direction of the lab. Will squints at the screen, and quickly starts sifting through photographs on the table.

"It's Kafka!" he loudly states.

"You've got to get out of there," Vaughn adds. "She has a weapon drawn already." All hold their breath as Marianske enters the room, watching the events in black and white. Immediately she and Sydney are engaged in a fight, both attempting to over power the other. Sydney kicks the woman's gun out of her hand, the weapon landing in front of her father. And Jack retrieves it. He spots the serum prototype and grabs it, slipping the small bottle into his pants pocket.

Kafka punches Sydney, beginning to over power her. And she suddenly pulls a knife from a strap at her ankle. Sydney feels the sting as the woman slices into the flesh on her upper arm, clearly missing her neck. They struggle for the knife, before some how the CIA agent gets the other woman to drop it. Sydney then throws Marianske across a table of glass beakers, the woman landing on the floor. Before she has the opportunity to stand and continue to fight, she hears the click as her gun is cocked. Jack holds the weapon, aimed at the woman who's on the floor. He and Sydney then slip out of the room, locking it on their way out.

Simultaneously all four men watching let out a sigh of relief. Marshall continues to watch the lab surveillance, as Marianske comences trying to escape from the lab. She even throws a chair at the door in a blatant display of rage and fury.

"Weiss, get the car around the back!" Jack yells as he and his daughter run to the elevator. The elevator doesn't open and immediately Marshall tells them exactly how to get to a stair-well. Sydney and her father then begin the ascension of the three flights of stairs. Through Jack's camera, they see the blood practically pouring from Sydney's left arm. Will bites his lip as they all watch Marianske get out of the laboratory, running to the elevator.

Will leans in, squinting again. "What was that?" he asks. And All four men heard the same thing he did in their head sets, none very sure of what it was - metal bouncing and clanging on the stairs. Eyes then divert back to the surveillance footage of Marianske at the elevator. She also gives up waiting and runs to the stairs.

"Kafka is in the stairs too!" Dixon warns. Sydney and her father both exit and lock the door, before heading to the back exit. It is then that they realize the only way to the back exit is to go back to through the banquet. Jack quickly takes his jacket off, slipping it on to his daughter, before they re-enter the extravagant room. Sydney walks in front of her father by a few feet, brushing past people. And all gasp, as she is suddenly grabbed by someone, a gun instantly drawn and held to her head.

Jack halts his movements, reaching for Kafka's gun, realizing that it dropped in the stairwell.

---

A plain manila folder falls in front of each person sitting at the table, as Sark walks back to the front. They're all in one of the many villa's owned by the Covenant all over Europe and the rest of the world. This one is Dresden, Germany, a town known for expensive art and beautiful music. As he goes back to the head of the table, he doesn't sit in the chair, only moves it out of the way to stand before the four people. He observes as they all resist flipping through their folders. Sark then proceeds to open his folder.

"Alright." He begins. "Right now, in Prague, IVAX Pharmaceuticals is having a banquet. As you all know, the K Directorate has a team of scientists working for them. And they have created a prototype for a new truth serum, which causes temporary paralysis." Sark pulls a small bottle from his pocket and places it on the table. Steph quickly snatches it up, reading the words on the label. "Now why would we want this, when we have Steph?" He questions, nodding at the dark haired woman. And all stay silent. Abs pulls the first paper from her folder and reads through it - all information on the serum.

"I suppose because we're getting rid of Steph?" Allison suddenly states. And Aiden lets a low laugh leave his lips, then turns back to the woman next to him, who has rage growing from behind her eyes.

Sark shakes his head and Aiden steps in. "No,” he says slowly, his words getting the attention of the whole group. Widely known for his intelligence, he continues. “The serum can be used as regular paralysis inducer - It's very local, working only in small areas of the body, so if it were to be injected it into, say, someone's leg, arm, whatever it may be - the desired area would be paralyzed.”

Sark nods, taking a deep breath. He very much does not like this man. “Also, it's a trade commodity, especially with other organizations," he explains. Looking up, he sees Allison nod, while Aiden just stares at him, expectantly. "But that's beside the point - the CIA sent Agents Bristow and Bristow to the banquet to retrieve this. They think we have agents there as well, and they're getting the prototype before us. Obviously not, if I have it right here. The importance of this, however, is to retrieve an even more important trade commodity." Sark finishes his words, and pulls another paper from his file - it's an image. "Sydney Bristow."

Abs raises her eye brows, listening. Sark lets a sly smile spread across his face, exhaling. "Simon Walker - whom Jack Bristow believes he killed - has just entered the IVAX Pharmaceuticals banquet, and taken Sydney Bristow as a hostage."

---

Jack steadies himself, watching the dark haired, and vibrant man hold his daughter. The man he killed - Simon Walker. Jack’s blood is boiling. First this man has the audacity to take his daughter hostage, but he’s also throwing the fact that he was sloppy back in his face. Jack curses himself for not shooting the man in the head - and opting for the chest. Jack vows to himself that he will kill this man. He won’t be sloppy this time.

The people in the banquet hall scream, crouching at the site of the gun. The group parts, leaving a direct line between Jack and his daughter's fate. A direct line, only 7 feet of space, between him and Simon Walker. And Simon stands, across the room, wearing a black tuxedo, holding the gun at Sydney's head, pulling her backward. He smiles. "You!" he yells at Jack. Jack stands alone, feeling helpless. "So, we meet again, Agent Bristow." His words are cliche, but oddly suitable for this situation. Simon leans in and sniffs Sydney’s hair, keeping his eyes on Jack the entire time. “The last time wasn’t so fun, was it? Well for me that is.”

"Let her go!" Jack yells. Sydney shakes her head. In times like this, her courage always overpowers her better judgment. She'll throw her life in the line of danger, in front of anyone else. She will sacrifice herself, always, if it means there will be a better good. Jack hates that about his daughter. He wishes she would think about herself, and the risks facing her. But he knows she won't. "Simon, we'll get you whatever you want; we'll meet your demands - just let my daughter go. You have my word," Jack boldly states. Sydney is breathing heavy, searching her mind for a way to escape the man's grasp.

"No." Simon's voice is low, because he knows it doesn't need to carry - he knows Jack Bristow will listen either way. "No, I believe you'll meet my demands, and then you'll get your daughter back." Simon grins. He raises his eyebrows in Jack's direction. Jack nods. "Good, good." He continues to walk backwards, pulling Sydney with him, toward the door. "You will get the CIA to release Rene Persson and Mathias Mohrle. Your daughter will make contact with you concerning their release in...” Simon trails for a moment, thinking, “ten hours."

Sydney’s eyes plead with her father, telling him to agree with the demands. “Okay,” Jack says. And Simon continues to smile. Jack walks forward, as Simon and his daughter move backward for the door.

---

"That - those... those names, I know them," Will suddenly states, turning to Vaughn. He covers his mic. "An analyst working beneath me - I think her name is Heidi? - has been researching them." And instantly, Vaughn rips his headset from his skull, Will doing the same. The two men rush through the halls, running and pushing past people along the way. It feels like it’s taking forever to get to the department Will works in.

They turn corners, and run through the small lobby to where Will’s office over sees the four beneath him. And once they reach the appropriate door, they don't hesitate to open it. However, just as the moment that Will throws the door open, a female is about to exit the room. "Oh my God!" she yells, her cup of water suddenly spilling slightly onto her chest, but mostly dropping to the floor. "What the fuck?" she mumbles to herself, looking up.

"Heidi!" Will's breath is heavy as he tries to speak. She stares at him confused.

“Elle...” She trails slightly, brushing the water off of her blouse. Will begins to speak, out of breath, but Vaughn holds his hand up to stop him. The girl, who is clearly younger than the two men, halts as the man she’s never seen before begins to speak.

He turns to her, she looks completely shocked and confused. "Do you know who Rene Persson and Mathias Mohrle are?" Vaughn quickly asks. She nods, slowly, brown eyes behind black framed glasses full of concern. She gulps hard before speaking

"Umm yes, they work for Antonio Joakim Plassenegger and Ivan Rushkin - Rene and Mathias are half brothers, German, ties in Russia with a man named Rade Kientz. I did 40 pages in report on them a couple weeks ago - major weapon's dealers (mostly with a man named Bomani), minor drug trafficking, a lot of barbiturates in... sex fetish clubs actually-" She's cut off by Vaughn's nodding face, telling her to stop. The whole exchange is completely dizzying to her. She subconsciously bites the inside of her lip.

"Alright, we need you - right now," he forcefully states. Will grabs the woman's arm and the three then run back through the halls.

---

Simon Walker continues to hold the gun to the woman's head, practically bruising her skull, as he pulls her out of the building. Jack runs after them, but just misses as Sydney is thrown into a car with Walker. Immediately Weiss has the car to the front of the building, picking Jack up. He tosses a gun to the man as the car takes off. They drive through the streets of Prague, Jack shooting at the car in front.

The chase keeps up for a while, Weiss staying close behind the black car with tinted windows in front. Jack shoots the back window the car, obscuring the vision of the driver in front. Walker’s car swerves slightly, before it suddenly turns down a street unexpectedly. Weiss misses the turn, and drives past it slightly, before sharply turning 180 degrees and then into the street, Jack holding on to the dashboard and open window frame.

They turn down the dark black night enveloped street, spotting the red lights from the other car up ahead, turning down another street. Weiss quickly maneuvers the car to that street and turns on it, just in time to see Simon’s car turn off of it. However, the second they get down that street, Walker’s car is gone. “Son of a bitch!” Jack yells, slamming his fist against the seat of the car.

They slowly drove down the streets, keeping a look out for the car. Jack continues to curse frustrated, hoping they’ll spot his daughter. “I still have Sydney’s signal!” They hear Marshall exclaim. Weiss turns to Jack.

“That means she’s close by since this is a short range feed,” he exclaims. And Jack nods, sighing at the same time.

---

Marshall diligently types at his computer, strengthening the signal from Sydney's com. Dixon leans forward, anticipating every event and action. He looks up as Will, Vaughn, and a woman he's only seen a few times, remembering being introduced to her when he made Director. Quickly the two men grab their headsets once more. “What’s happening, Marshall?” Vaughn asks. The girl stands back, watching, almost in awe.

“Well we still have both visual and audio feeds,” he states, typing continually. “That means she’s within two hundred yards,” he explains. Will takes a deep breath and holds it in. However they all watch as the video feed gives out. “They’re still moving.”

They listen, hearing muffled words coming through Sydney’s comm-link. A loud gasp and scream comes through their ear pieces before the audio cuts out as well. Slowly Marshall turns to everyone else. “The signal is dead.”



---
Having Trouble Remembering Who's Who?

An easy to follow charater guide for this particular chapter of Blood Binds, has been posted here. Make sure you check it out if you want a visual on whom you're dealing with.
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Credits

The Chapter One; Running, banner was created by our very own member of this community - webeh. Thanks a ton!
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