By: Sam Lincoln
Summary: A man from Sloane's past has information that threatens Sydney's future.
Disclaimer: All characters from Alias and X-Files are the property of Bad Robot, Touchstone Television and 1013. All characters are used without permission and no infringement is intended.
Arvin Sloane walked down a dark alleyway towards an assigned meeting place. Earlier that day he had received a message addressed to him using an old code from his days at the CIA. Intrigued Sloane decided to follow the instructions and see who had sent him the message. The location itself was an abandoned industrial park outside of Washington DC. Sloane crept past the empty buildings keeping an eye out for any sign of an ambush.
He came to a stop when he smelled the unmistakable odor of cigarette smoke. Sloane turned and saw a figure cloaked in darkness drop a cigarette and then nonchalantly ground it out with its shoe.
"I should have known it was you," Sloane told the figure.
"Hello Arvin," the figure replied with a raspy voice. He paused a moment to light a fresh cigarette. The brief flash from the lighter cast weird shadows across the man's craggy face. "It's been a long time."
"Some people might say it hasn't been long enough," Sloane shot back. He eased his hand into his coat; eventually resting it on his gun.
"I hope you aren't planning on shooting me Arvin, you should know that I would take measures to make sure you would regret it, at least that was how I trained you."
"Let me guess, snipers on the roof?" Sloane asked as he eased his hand out of his pocket.
The other man smiled, "Now that would be telling."
"What do you want with me, I'm a busy man."
"Yes I know, running your little SD-6, playing petty games with your insignificant Alliance," the smoking man sneered.
"That shows you little you know," Sloane defiantly replied. "The Alliance is more powerful than you can imagine."
"Oh I don't know," the man paused to examine his lit cigarette before continuing. "I can imagine a great deal. You don't think I couldn't crush you and your entire organization if I felt so inclined?"
"Possibly, but from what I've heard your star's in decline."
The man smiled, it was about as comforting as seeing a shark chuckle. "My star is never in decline, they need me too much. Which brings me to my point. I want you back Arvin."
"We've been over this old man, I have no desire to rejoin the Project."
"I'm not talking about you just coming back, I want you to be my successor."
"What?" Sloane asked in shock.
"I'm getting old Arvin, and most of the old leadership has already passed on. There is no one I can think of who would be a better replacement than you."
Sloane nodded, "You flatter me."
"It's not flattery if it's the truth. By the way, my condolences on Emily's passing, cancer is so tragic."
"Thank-you, I'm just glad that she is finally at peace after all her struggle," Sloane replied. Left unsaid was that both men knew the truth about Emily Sloane's passage into the great beyond.
The old man took a long drag on his cigarette, "I'm sure, and you see Arvin, it's that sort of compassion that makes you the perfect replacement for me. We both understand what needs to be done, and the steps required to get there. And neither one of us will let anything stand between us and our goals."
"I've invested a lot of time into turning SD-6 into what it is today; you're asking me to just throw that all away?"
"OH, but you wouldn't have to do that. I wouldn't throw you to the wolves like that." They both knew that was a lie, but Sloane did not see the point in pressing the matter. "You can bring your whole team with you. Think of them as your very own Praetorian guard."
The wheels in Sloane's mind began to spin. "You want control over the Alliance don't you?"
"No Arvin, I want you."
"I don't think so. I think the Alliance is now a threat to your power. So you're trying to neutralize it by co-opting me."
The other man snorted. "Power, what do you know of power? You petty little Alliance is nothing. You know the work I'm doing, you know its importance. Why continue with your silly pursuit of money when you can advance the Project's goals."
Sloane leaned in closer to the older man. "Because I think the project is a lie, colonization will never happen, it's all in your head."
The smoking man dropped his cigarette and ground it out with his foot. "So I take that to be a no then?" He slowly withdrew a new cigarette from his pack of Morley's.
"That's precisely what I am saying," Sloane growled. "You can make your offers to some other patsy."
The older man shrugged, "I'm sorry you feel that way, but the offer still stands if you ever change your mind." He paused to light his fresh cigarette. "As my way of showing I have no hard feelings I will even share some intelligence with you. There are traitors in your midst Arvin. Two of them, both working for the CIA."
"I need names," Sloane demanded.
"Why Arvin, that would be too easy. You're a master at counter-intelligence, figure it out for yourself." The cigarette-smoking man cast aside his still smoldering cigarette and slipped into the shadows.
Sloane reached into his jacket and withdrew his cell phone. "It's Sloane, I want Marshall, Dixon and Sydney Bristow in my office as soon as I get back. And get me Jack Bristow immediately," he demanded as he stormed towards his car.
To Be Continued.