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May 18
44th Street Syndicate Offices, New York

She watched him on the security footage.  He stood calmly, working the lighter.  Two soldiers approached him, and he calmly glanced up at them before touching the lighter to the fabric that hung from the bottle.

She watched in surprise as he picked it up and threw it into the file room to his left.  The soldiers kept coming.  He stepped back just as a fireball erupted from the doorway.  One of the soldiers was in the wrong place.  His clothes caught fire.  The security camera caught the edge of his feet thrashing about as he tried to put himself out.

The sprinklers turned on.  Tried to turn on.  They sputtered for a short moment, and there was no more water.  She switched to a different camera to watch him come down the hall and turn in at an office.  Another camera let her watch him work, while the second soldier stumbled down the smoky hallway.

He pulled open the desk drawer, and found the key there.  With the key, he opened the file cabinet and pulled out a plastic case.  He set it on the desk, flipped the lid open.  He smirked, pleased with the contents.

He checked the other file cabinet drawers, and pulled out several handfuls of files.  He put a rubber-band around the bundle and put it in a briefcase, along with the case which he now closed.  He had his gun out just as the second soldier got to the door.

Blood spattered the wall, and the soldier dropped.  He dragged the body into the office, stepped over him into the hallway, and shut the door.

She switched to another camera - more soldiers were coming.

In the hallway, she saw him duck into the blazing file room.  He emerged a few moments later, his stolen uniform burnt, and his face covered in soot.  He lay on the floor, coughing.  One of the new soldiers stopped to speak to him.  He seemed to answer amidst breaks in his coughing fit.  He pointed down the hallway.

The soldiers went past him, down the hall.  He was on his feet as soon as they were out of sight.  He grabbed the briefcase from the file room and moved quickly down the hall, toward the exit.

He stood outside the lab where the experiments were conducted.  Another cocktail came from seemingly nowhere.  Thrown into the lab itself, the fireball was even bigger than the last.  He stood in the doorway long enough to see that his job was done.

She looked at the clock - 6 minutes had elapsed.  She switched cameras again, and watched as he paused outside the building.  He shifted the briefcase to his left hand, and reached into his pocket.  The camera shook, and cut out.

She glanced back at the Smoking Man, “I was able to identify the young man as Comrade Aleksander Krycek.  He’s 19, he works for the Spetznaz, and he’s very ambitious.”

“And this was one of our installations in Siberia?”

“It was, yes.  Reports say there’s nothing left to salvage.”

“Go find him, and bring him to me. I hate to see talent like his wasted.”

“And if he won’t come to you?”

“Kill him.  But first, try to find out what he puts in his Molotov Cocktails.”

She looked at the picture on the screen, “I’ll see what I can do.”


May 30
Teashop in Moscow

“Diplomat?”  He looked over her ID, and sneered at her, “You’re not here for the United Nations.”

“Of course I am.”

“The United Nations does not talk to the Spetznaz,” his thick Russian accent would have made him hard to understand to someone less familiar with the language.  He glanced around, “You want to talk, yes?”

“I need to talk to you, yes.”

“I need to make a delivery.  We can talk in the truck.”

She looked at the military vehicle.  She looked at him.  His face was young, and his expression was cold.  She remembered how he had shot that soldier without hesitation.  This was a dangerous man.  She nodded.

He opened the door for her, and she climbed into the truck.  Her suit skirt made the tall step difficult, and she could feel his eyes on her as she fixed her clothing.  The door slammed.

He got in the driver’s side a minute later, and started the truck without a glance at her.  She started to speak, and he decisively gestured for silence.

Over an hour later, he stopped the truck and turned off the engine.  He got out and walked around the front to open her door.  Without a word, he held out his hand to help her down.  She took a deep breath, and accepted it.

His skin was warm, and his hands were not as rough as she’d expected.  He shut the door, and went to the back of the truck.  She watched him disappear from view, and when he emerged, he carried a small crate.

He walked off the road, onto a faint path, “Come along, Covarrubias.”

“Where are we going?”

“I have evidence to dispose of.”

She stopped, “I don’t want to be a witness to anything like this.”

He looked back at her and sneered, “The woman, she does not recognize a joke.  I’m delivering supplies to my comrades on stakeout.”

She took a deep breath, and followed him.  He was the first to speak, “You’re here about my work at the lab?”

“I’ve been sent to discuss your work, yes.”

He chuckled, “I was sent to remove the Americoski facility.  But when I saw the size of the operation, I knew someone would notice it missing.  I told the Spetznaz that the facility was abandoned when I got there.”

“You have the paperwork?”

“Da, I have paperwork.  I have lab samples I stole from the doctor’s office.  I have fun with big explosions.  Lax security made the job easy.”

“We want those papers.”

“I’m sure you do.  I want money.  Rubles.  Make an offer to me.”

She sighed, “I don’t have bargaining power.  I was told to bring you back to discuss it with my contact.”

“You must have some bargaining power, or you would not be sent.  For the samples, I ask 50,000 rubles.  For the papers, I ask more.”

She walked alongside him, her pumps sinking into the soft dirt.  “50,000?”


She nodded, “They want to meet with you.”

“Not in America.  We meet in Turkey.”

“I think my contact will agree to that.”

“Good.  And the samples?  50,000 is a steal.  Wait here, think about it.”  A factory was visible through the trees, and he disappeared into the woods.

She stood patiently.  He was gone long enough for her to have considered the proposition several times.  He leered at her as he approached, “What you say?”

“The samples are useless without the papers.  Negotiate with my contact for everything.”

He nodded, “Very good.  Let me take you back to Muskva.  I’m sure you have a job there.”

He had a way of making her feel insignificant.  She nodded, “I do.”


June 13
City park, Istanbul, Turkey

She saw him coming.  His cocky, purposeful walk was impossible to miss.

He sat at the picnic table across from them.  He opened a thermos and poured a steaming hot cup of tea.  “You’ve considered my offer?” he asked with a sneer.  He spoke perfect English, with a thick British accent.

The Smoking Man nodded, “We’re prepared to pay the price you ask for the samples.  What do you ask for the papers?”

“150,000 rubles.  This is a bargain - everything that should have been destroyed for only 200,000 rubles.”

The Smoking Man inspected his cigarette, “We’re willing to meet your price, on one contingency.”

“And what would that be?”

“We would like to contract your work.”

A hint of a smile tugged at his lips, quickly contained.  “I would like to expand my horizons.  Give me a job, and I’ll prove myself.”

“We believe that you will.”


October 17
Hotel in Saint Petersburg

Marita wished she hadn’t agreed to come up to his room with him.  He was leering at her again.  But he said he had microfilm of the information he’d been assigned to get.

He drank from his flask, and produced an envelope from the table at the side of the bed.  His fingers lingered on her hand for too long when he handed it to her.  His hand closed around hers.  His other arm was around her waist.  He pulled her close, and his lips were on hers.

It happened so fast, she didn’t have time to object.  She tried to push him away, but the feel of his warm lips on hers melted her resolve.  He tasted of expensive vodka and he smelled of aftershave, and a musky scent that could only come from his own skin.

She held her head back as his lips met the skin of her neck.  Her hands were on his shoulders, pulling him closer.  He unbuttoned her blouse, and down her bra, exposing her breasts.  She was no virgin, but she’d never felt anything like this before.  His lips on her neck, his hands on her breasts - she never wanted it to stop.

His hands found their way up her skirt, and her quickened breathing encouraged him.  He chuckled, and pulled away her stockings and panties.  His rough fingers teased at her, pressed against her, she heard herself moan.

He lifted her, and tossed her down onto the bed, as though she weighed nothing.  And then it was his lips and tongue teasing her, working at her, incapacitating her ability to object.

Time lost all meaning.  He teased at her, and worked her flesh mercilessly, bringing her to heights of pleasure that made her other lovers seem insignificant.

Just when she thought she had no more energy, he pushed himself into her.  She moaned louder at the feel of his lips on her neck, and pulled him closer.

He nibbled at her skin, “You are perfect, Marita.  Such passion in such a delicate body.”  His English was perfect, without a hint of accent to her American ears.

She felt herself blush at the compliment, “You have unexpected passion, too, Alex.”


October 18
Hotel in Saint Petersburg

He ordered room service for breakfast.

His hand set on her leg, like it belonged there.  Like he owned her.  “You’re going back to America?”  The thick Russian accent was back.

“I am.  I have a flight this afternoon.”  Her eyes traveled to the scratches at his shoulders, and she was a little embarrassed.  She needed to break the tension between them.  “I was supposed to find out what you put in your Molotov Cocktails.”

He sipped his tea.  She thought maybe he would answer.   “Sorry, it is an old family recipe.  My father would never want me to give it away.”  He looked at her for a long moment.  His dark green eyes rested on her lips, then found her bright green eyes, “Ask me again when I come to see you.”

She didn’t think before she spoke.  The prospect of a repeat of last night was too much.  “You’re coming to New York?”

He didn’t seem to notice what she had let drop.  He nodded, “I will be coming to your New York in the February.  I hope you’ll have me as a guest, Diplomat Covarrubias.”

She smiled slightly, “I would like to have you as my guest, Comrade Krycek.”

Step 1. Serve
Step 2. Resist from Within

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