Chapter Eleven – New allies and old foes

Jack Bristow sat in the briefing room of the CIA joint task force he worked with waiting patiently for Irina Derevko, his assumed dead wife, and some of her operatives to arrive.

Surprisingly to him the CIA had sanctioned for them to work together, as long as it was together. Each side weren't allowed to go off in their own direction or withheld information if it was directly involved in the mission itself or the cause.

He saw a scurry of movement a couple of minutes later in the North West corner of the open plan office. He looked up and immediately recognised, surprisingly, all four of the IA operatives. First of course there was Irina Derevko herself in all her glory. She was wearing a navy skirt suite, her long hazelnut hair down past her shoulders and she really looked the part. Next to her, on the right, stood Julia Thorne. His daughter, his also assumed dead Sydney. He hadn't told the CIA yet that he knew the identity of the Associate let alone that his daughter was still alive. He also knew that there was no way that Irina had told her that he knew, he could just tell. Sydney, no Julia he had to remember to call her Julia, was wearing a black pant suite, black stilettos and dark make-up; with her brown hair slightly curled and waving around as she walked confidently towards the briefing room. She looked impassive and intimidating, much like her mother.

The next two operatives were both men and both people he recognised. The first stood on the right of 'Julia' and wore an expensive black Armani suite, his name was Julian Sark. Someone who had been working inside the task force for quite some time under the pretence of being a British Intelligence Officer. The next man was stood on the left of Irina; he was also British and was called Simon Walker. He was becoming increasingly noticed in the intelligence world, especially when he had done a few missions with the Associate. They all looked intelligent, intimidating and deadly. They all looked extremely powerful and he was sure the next few months were going to be interesting.

She strode into the Joint task force confidently and tried to look as intimidating as possible. If she and her mother were going to get through this unharmed and still free they were going to always have the upper hand and be with the advantage. If they didn't the CIA could coerce them into going on unprepared for and disorganised missions that would be the dismemberment of their organisation.

When they arrived in the briefing room, the place she assumed they'd spend most of their time, disclosing classified information, planning missions and debating on the best course of action they were greeted by a man that called himself Director Devlin and a woman that was from the British service called Agent Redman. Also in the room were Agent's Manson, Smith and Sloane. And of course not forgetting the ever fantastic Jack Bristow.

It seemed the room was dividing into two, on one side of the room sat the four Intelligence Association operatives and on the other sat the four CIA agents, in the centre of the two tables, at the head sat Director Devlin and Agent Redman. The briefing started and she found herself keeping check on every agent inside the room, all of the exits, any surveillance equipment and even some of the agents outside of the closed off room that walked by occasionally. She also managed to listen to every word that was being said and managed to pull it off to look like they had her full attention.

"Welcome to the CIA's joint task force in Los Angeles and I am Director Devlin. I am in charge around here. We have selected four of our best agents for this project, as I was told the same had happened on your side. This is very new to us and I hope we can work together well and efficiently to ensure the safety of America and the world against rogue terrorist organisations." After his useless speech he passed the lead over to her father. He seemed at ease with it, perhaps it happened a lot? Was he the go to guy around here?

"So our first assignment: this woman. She is a big name at the moment: Anna Espinosa. Background suggests she first started appearing on the intelligence's radar when she was approximately-"

"Agent Bristow we know who she is as do we know her background. What is the assignment?" Sydney interrupted, did the CIA really think they were that uninformed. They probably knew more about Anna than they did, after all 'Julia' and Anna were adversaries. Irina and Jack, her parents, glanced at each other and she felt like Jack, her unsuspecting father, was telling Irina to keep her agents under control. Like she ever could keep her under control. "Unless the CIA called a meeting without an assignment in mind?" She questioned seeing the tension in the room rise to a new high. The CIA obviously felt she was a threat as well as the other agents in the room. Her father kept his face impassive which she had to recommend him for.

"The assignment is simple. We have Intel that suggests that Miss Espinosa will be present at this man's," he brought up another picture. "Charity ball. He is a Russian diplomat: Andrian Lazarey. He is also a Rambaldi follower; he has the mark as they seem to fashion on his left hand." He said. Sydney noticed Julian tense and she knew the relation between the two men, she squeezed his knee under the table to show her support and he looked at her and she could see it in his eyes that he was truly grateful. "Agents Thorne and Sark will be going to the event in Moscow under the alias of a young couple with ties in the Russian government: Miss Yusupov and Mr Gratsko. You are to simply single Miss Espinosa out and capture her. We need her brought in for questioning. Is that understood?" He asked sternly and Sydney thought she had heard a slight anger when she pronounced her name. Maybe it was her imagination or maybe he knew more than she was led to believe.

"Understood, but why may I ask is the CIA trusting two IA operatives and sending none of their own along? What if this is all a rouse and Mr Sark and I run off with Anna?" She couldn't help herself from challenging the senior CIA operative. She raised an eyebrow when she saw all eyes move to her father. They had obviously let him plan the operation. "You trust me that much?" She added, knowing for certain from the glances he had been sending Irina that he knew her true identity and that she was a blood relative of his. That didn't mean they trusted each other though.

"Miss Thorne you would be misguided if you were to believe this a show of trust towards you in anyway. You, and the rest of your colleagues, are here under an oath you all took stating that you would help us with national and international security matters…just because we have other operations of a more sensitive nature going on and can not be at a shortage of any of our agents does not mean that I am willingly sending you on a mission without our supervision. We'll be on comms; we'll hear and see everything you do. There is no room for betrayal." He said heatedly. She hadn't realised she would have gotten such an emotional response from him so easily…after all this was the famous Jack Bristow – man of pure stone. "Also, your employer and Agent Walker will be kept in the rotunda until we have Espinosa in custody. Therefore, Miss Thorne, if you do run off with Espinosa then they will be thrown to Camp Harris." She raised an eyebrow at him smirking; he huffed and quickly made his way to his office. His colleagues quickly leaving the IA operatives in the room on their own.

'Miss Thorne' then, still smirking, glanced at her mother who raised her own eyebrow and did not look amused at whatever had happened between them.

Jack Bristow slammed his office door shut needing privacy and angry at himself for showing his daughter that he knew her true identity. There were only two people in his lifetime that could have this affect on him, to cause him to become frustrated and angry and they were his wife and his daughter.

Normally he was impassive and void of any emotion at all. He was a strategist and hard decision came easy to him. But Julia, or rather Sydney had been challenging him in there and he had unwillingly taken the bait.

He wondered briefly why his daughter was so intent on winding him up, what was the purpose?

As she had predicted her mother wasn't all that happy with her for baiting Jack. Well what did they expect, he was treating her like a rookie and she was far from it? She didn't like it when people underestimated her and they seemed to do that a lot.

"Leave. NOW!" Her mother ordered Simon and Sark to leave and she remained seated knowing it wouldn't do any good getting thrown out off of the team. "What was that?" She asked. Sydney looked at her.

"I don't know, he was treating us like idiots. And you could have told me that you had told him who I am." She told her whilst still reading the documents surrounding her newest assignment. "I was surprised. I was surprised when you allowed my contact within the CIA to be on the team, with what you know about his knowledge on me." She said finally closing the file. Her mother knew her cover had been broken so why hadn't she 'sorted' it? Not that she wanted her mother to kill him, but why break protocol?

"I know, but after learning that you had had a proposal before from MR Walker and turned him down I started to think that perhaps a reason for turning him down was because you didn't want to lie to him about the real you anymore." Her mother said and then left her alone with her thoughts in the briefing room. She sat there for a few moments with a passive face, she knew her mother well. She was up to something, she always saw the bigger picture and had an endgame and normally no one was privy to it. But normally Sydney was also able to figure it out, this time however she had no idea.


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