Disclaimer: I don't own Yassen Gregorovich or John Rider! And this first bit is slow... I'm sorry but it had to happen, it'll get better!

Yassen Gregorovich stood on deck, his hands tucked behind his back. The biting December wind whipped around him but he seemed oblivious. As he stood there he swept the port with his ice blue eyes, looking for something, anything. He loved to do this, just standing, watching. He noticed things that others didn't. Like the man.

He was standing a little way away on the pavement, looking at the ferry as it came into Dover, but his face wasn't moving, it remained focused on the front deck, where Yassen was stood. As Yassen stared down at him, the man suddenly moved, darting under cover and vanishing.

Yassen started slightly as a tinny voice rang out over the deck, warning people to get back into their vehicles. He sighed and turned away from the white cliffs, ducking through the door and finding himself looking down on a corridor packed with people, all of them talking to each other.

He moved slowly down the steps, his eyes darted everywhere, searching for anything suspicious. It would be ridiculously unfair if he was shot now. He didn't see anyone looking his way and ducked into the corridor where he was instantly swept away by the press of people.

Yassen had long ago memorised the map of the ship and now made his unerring way to the blue staircase. He stood by the gate and waited.

The girl appeared from nowhere, grabbing his arm and pulling him down the steps, Yassen was surprised, he had expected someone else. When they made it to the car deck he followed her to a dark blue Vauxhall Vectra. He saw a man sitting in the driver's seat and opened the back door quickly, sliding across to sit directly behind the driver.

"You ok?" he asked quietly.

"You keep that Russian mouth of yours shut until we're out of here. Or I'll shut it for you," The man growled, waving at the girl to get her attention. She turned towards him and nodded, then slid into the passenger seat of a car in front.

Yassen was impressed, SCORPIA had arranged this perfectly, no one would be able to track him and the Vauxhall was totally unremarkable.

The man in the front seat, who's only name was Spider, started the engine and they rolled out into the golden sunlight. They got out of the port without incident and were soon accelerating down the motorway. Yassen leant forwards.

"Where are we going?" he demanded, Spider ignored him, his mouth working rhythmically as he chewed on a piece of gum, "Hey. I asked where we're going!"

Spider glared at Yassen in the mirror, "And I didn't answer. Tough luck, mate. And I'm not telling you where we're headed until you've been checked." Yassen sat back, frowning slightly.

He turned his head to the window and gazed moodily out at the darkening landscape. They drove in silence for another hour or so before puling in to a petrol station. Spider led Yassen into the men's toilets and directed him to a door at the far end. The sign said "Staff only" but, although Yassen hesitated, they didn't stop. Once the door had clicked shut behind them, Yassen had a look around; they were in a gleaming room, certainly no cleaner's cupboard; there was a table in the centre of the room but no other furniture except a single chair at a desk.

"Ok, you need to strip." Spider ordered. Yassen hesitated but complied, placing his clothes on the table and shivering as his feet rested on the cold tiles. Spider checked his entire body for bugs, and then each item of his clothing before Yassen was allowed to dress again.

"Well, I'm impressed, you're in excellent shape. A bit malnourished but that's to be expected. The Mafia aren't the kindest people." Spider glanced down at a sheaf of paper and flicked through quickly. "It says here that you're quite hot-headed. That stops now. There isn't room for emotion in our job, and definitely not anger." Yassen opened his mouth to protest but decided against it and nodded.

"Will you tell me where you're taking me now?" he asked. His eyes were darting around the room, he was naturally wary of the man in front of him; he seemed to have no feeling at all. Spider was a name that suited him; he looked just as deadly as one. Yassen had already chosen the name that he would go by, Cossack.

"Yes, you're clean. We're going to a facility in Cornwall, a sort of half-way house before you go to Venice." Yassen nodded, Spider hadn't told him the exact location but what did he care? He would find out soon enough.

Spider led him back out of the room and, a few minutes later, they were climbing into another car. This one was an Audi A4, perfect for the long drive ahead, and considerably speedier than the Vectra. Yassen sat in the passenger seat this time. Spider dug some food out of a bag on the back seat and gave him an apple to eat as they pulled onto the motorway. Yassen ignored it and leant his head against the cool glass of the window.