Disclaimer: Nothing in the Alias world belongs to me.

Poison

The outside of the compound was in stark contrast to the inside, as different as dark and light or hot and cold. The fields that surrounded the two storey, grey, concrete building was green and lush, each blade glistening and wet due to the rainfall that had started and continued pretty much non-stop for the last two days. The sun was shining brightly though and the air was warm, if a little bit clammy at times. A wooden fence around four feet high surrounded the building which upon first glance looked more like a bizarre cross between a warehouse and a miniature prison, there were flowers that looked to have been tended to recently, bright yellow Daffodils that danced to and fro in the light breeze. The only sign that the building must have been occupied came from the guard station to the right of the double gates, that were the only entrance, a gravel path led from these to the front door of the house.

The station itself was small, just enough to house a TV, table, two chairs, mini bar and the two security guards that looked to be bored and half asleep. That was a façade however and it was plainly obvious to the trained eye. The two men knew only how to deceive the casual observer. The ground floor of the house itself looked to be perfectly normal, leading off from the left of the entrance hall was the living room and dining room, a door connected them both and another led to a sizeable kitchen that would have made the greatest chef happy. To the right of the entrance hall was a furnished corridor that led to two bedrooms, bathroom, study and the staircase. It was all perfectly normal.

On the next floor there were two large rooms, the first was full of computer terminals, surveillance equipment, weapons, and gadgets that would have kept Marshall occupied for the next three months. Then again, many of them were copies of hardware he had designed while at SD-6. Unlike the lower level, which was carpeted, the floors of these rooms were stone tiled. No wallpaper was present on the cold, grey walls; the room was not there to look nice it was just for operational reasons. The only light came from the computers, when they were switched on, and a bare ceiling light.

The second room, also cold, grey and bland was even darker as the only light came from the corridor. Inside was a chair, leather, soft and comfortable looking, it had undoubtedly been taken from the ground floor where it would not have looked out of place. There was a dent in the seat, it was well used. The chair was set against the wall, beside the metal door; it faced three cells; one of which held a thin mattress that had been pushed against the far wall. A plate was beside it, the food untouched, as was whatever liquid filled the glass nearby. The cutlery was made of plastic, blue in colour and easily broken; the steal knives and forks could obviously have been used as a weapon. The last sign that anybody had occupied the small space was a thin black coat that had been folded at the centre of the mattress; it had been used either as a blanket or a pillow.

The door to the cell room was pushed open and a middle-aged woman, black and grey hair pulled of her face into a tight bun, walked in and made straight for the recently occupied cell. She tutted upon seeing the untouched food and picked up the plate and glass before exiting. As the room was empty it was pointless locking the door; anything of value was in the next room, a room which she had been forbidden to enter and this of course made her extremely curious. As the woman turned towards the stairs she heard the voice of her boss calling her back.

"Ola, I won't be requiring your services again for quite some time, after tonight. If you would stop by my study on your way out Mr. Sark will give you your pay check" the man smiled and turned to walk back the way he had come, signaling the end of the conversation.

Until she called him back. "Your..." Ola paused thoughtfully. "Your guest, is leaving?" she enquired innocently. It was plainly obvious the woman that had been kept in the cell was far from being a guest; the fact that she had been, toward the end, held on the first floor was evidence of that.

Sloane smiled again, there was no warmth there. He was warning her "now Ola, what did I say about questions?" without waiting for an answer he led her back towards the staircase and pointed toward the door.

"Of course, Sir" Ola answered meekly. "I will be leaving soon." Satisfied that the woman wasn't going to start snooping around, the former head of SD- 6 left her alone and disappeared back inside the other room.

There was another floor. It was less used than the other two, the access to the sublevel was either through the hidden door in Sloane's study or via the door under the stairs, inside of which, if not examined closely looked to be mere storage space. If anyone wanted to gain entry to the downstairs room they would have to know where they were going. Immediately below the stairs was another door, metallic and double locked. It was quite dark and it one didn't know where they were going they would walk into the wall below the stairs. The door was on the right hand side and the room behind looked like a twin of Sloane's old 'conversation room'. It appeared to be the only room down there.


The brunette groaned and pushed her hair back off her face to see where she was. He could tell straight away that she was no longer in the first floor cell, it was quite a bit colder here, there was also no mattress, the light in the room came from a bulb that swung slightly from the ceiling which was too high to reach. It illuminated the centre of the cell where she was lying and the edges were cast in a dim glow, the bulb was flickering though and would soon go out altogether. She reached for where the coat would have been and realised it would still be upstairs.

She saw pictures in her mind but these were blurry, she could only just remember who she was. It was an unexpected after effect of whatever Sloane had given her, but no doubt he would find a way to use it to his advantage. No, the expected effects were already starting, albeit slowly. The dull pain in her stomach would grow, as would the headache that was at present a mere annoyance. She remembered with a little smile how she had interrupted Sloane's plans; at first he had actually believed she was helping him. She would have laughed, remembering the furious look on his face as he found out what she was really up to, if her chest didn't hurt so much when she tried.

She pushed herself to her knees and looked around the cell; it was perhaps a foot wider than the other one. She looked carefully at the ceiling, was there a camera up there? Was he watching to see if she would break? If he was he would be waiting for a very long time, she would never tell him what he wanted to know.

24hrs earlier

Los Angeles

A shadow loomed over the computer that Sydney Bristow was sat at, she pushed back from the desk to see who it was that wanted her. It was her father, he indicated for her to follow him and with a puzzled glance stood up and followed him as he led the way into the conference room. "What is it?" she questioned once the door was closed. A cough alerted her to the presence of other people in the room and she turned her head to see Dixon and Vaughn, the latter sat at the table while the former stood and waited for Syd to sit down. "What's going on?" she took the seat across from Vaughn and waited for someone to answer.

It was Jack that did so, his presence silently demanding attention. "You remember Jacque Bourrett?" at her nod he continued. Jacque was twenty- eight; the last time Sydney had seen him he reminded her of some kind of Sark wannabe, he had been spotted with the younger man and Sloane recently. Having those two as mentors wasn't going to do anything for his personality, or his popularity. "He has agreed to help us."

Before he could speak further, Vaughn interrupted. "Why would he want to do that?"

The look that the older agent shot his way silenced him. "As I was saying, he's agreed to help us" not giving anyone else a chance to repeat Vaughn's question, he pressed on. "Apparently the only reason Mr. Bourrett was helping Slone was because he had been led to believe his sister would be in danger. Either he didn't think to check or he was too scared to second- guess Sloane, but yesterday a relative contacted him. It appears his sister was simply travelling and was unreachable" he paused for breath and to give the others a chance to process the new information. "He will lead us to Sloane and Sark's new property, according to Bourrett they're residing in Ville Neuve, France."

Dixon continued the briefing as the elder Bristow took a seat beside his daughter. "All he wants in return is protection for his sister and himself and considering what he's offering we were willing to accept."

"Please don't tell me we're going to sit on this information for God knows how long until we have confirmation that he's telling us the truth" Sydney was getting ready to protest, if that turned out to be the case. She looked across the table at Vaughn, whose eyes were already on her, he was thinking the same thing.

Dixon immediately allayed their worries. "We received confirmation half an hour ago; Sark was sighted close to the location Bourrett gave. You leave in one hour" he saw the two younger agents' relief and shared it "good luck."

The three other agents left the room, Vaughn excusing himself and passing by the other terminals to return to his own, where Weiss was standing. Sydney watched him leave until she realised her father was watching her; before he could say anything she started talking. "What about mom?" no matter who Sark seemed to side with, he eventually returned to Irina Derevko, he might wander off at times but Sydney suspected, in his own way, Sark was still loyal to her mother. Jack didn't need to reply or shake his head; she saw in his face that there was no news. She was disappointed; whenever Irina was around things grew turbulent but she wanted to see her again, to talk and though Sydney would never admit it to anyone, she wanted to see what Derevko would do next. She could turn things upside down with hardly any apparent effort. Sydney pushed a few stray strands of hair behind her ear "I'd better get ready."

She turned to leave when she heard Jack speak. "Irina will be found when she wants to be, I have no doubts that sooner or later she will show herself" that thought both delighted and unnerved him at the same time, that happened a lot in regard to Irina. She was like a crashing sea during a fearsome storm, nobody knew which way she would turn next.

Ville Neuve, France

It was around 13 hours later when Jack, Sydney and Vaughn arrived in France with their contact, Jacque was no longer acting like Sark number 2, they were glad of that, as one was more than enough. Instead the black haired, green-eyed man appeared skittish, like a small animal that was unsure whether to stay or flee. Seeing Jack's stoic look did nothing to calm him, he paced up and down the living room of the small, one bedroom farmhouse. "If you don't stop walking up and down I will be forced to glue you to your seat" there was something in Jack's voice that made Bourrett think he would act upon his threat.

Sydney and Vaughn wore matching smirks, it half looked like the enemy turned informant might sit on his hands to keep from fidgeting. "What can you tell us about the building?" Bourrett turned to the man that had spoken. He appeared glad to have a reason to look away from the man that watched him like a hawk. It was Vaughn that had asked the question.

Bourrett didn't speak for a few moments. "I think the original building was built around –"he stopped when he saw, out of the corner of his eye, Jack abruptly stand.

"You've got to be kidding me" he spoke angrily. To Bourrett, Jack now seemed like a furious guard dog preparing to rip an intruder limb from limb.

The Frenchman wisely darted from his seat and took several hurried steps back to distance himself from the other man. Sydney came between them "he meant surveillance wise" the brunette explained. This guy actually thought he could have been the next mastermind? Maybe Sloane had scared all the intelligence out of the guy. Finally understanding Jacque began to give the ins and outs of the house; in a few hours it would all be over.

Just a little note here, an Alias Roleplay site has recently opened, main characters are available. The RP is set during season 2. http:www.avidgamers.com/DescendDarkness/