Jim Phelps goes to a specified place and time and finds an envelope and tape recorder and presses the play button.
"Good morning Mr Phelps. With the cold war seemingly dead and buried and, the west too caught up in the political diplomatic ties of the war on terror to care about Russian views and their current weapon development on the Russian/Polish border. You are looking at pictures taken from one of our satellite cameras in space of earthwork developments being created to support an industrial scanner situated in an underground vault that the Polish state government have reportedly complained is breaching their own territory in several areas. The head of the home division of the KGB, Wilhyame Hansen, has recently taken over a town close to the Polish border to oversee the area and is in constant contact with his guards positioned right up to the border with Poland and, as reported, within Poland itself to try and stop anyone getting too close to whatever works Russia has on-going in that sensitive border area.
Your mission Jim, should you decided to accept it, is to breach Russia's border and discover what this scanner is being used for and report its location and plans to the authorities as soon as possible.
Of course, if you or any of your group are caught or killed, the secretary will disavowal any knowledge of your actions.
This tape will self destruct in five seconds. Good luck Jim."
Jim stopped the tape and watched it smoke and fizzle away.
Back at Jim's apartment, he walks out of the kitchen and moved over to his sofa and sat down. He now grabbed the IMF folder and went through it and picked out the usual operatives and then sat back pleased with his choice.
Within days, his team had met up with him in his apartment and he explained the plan to discover the secret of Russia's scanner and just what they were planning that close to Poland.
Jim had found a hotel thirty miles from the area that was under scrutiny and his team checked in to this hotel as separately as they could to not raise any suspicions.
Jim pulled into the car park of this hotel just as an American family had arrived. Jim was pulling out his suitcase from the trunk of his car just as the children of this family started to run around the car park screaming. One of the children from this family noticed Jim and moved up to him.
"Don't tell me, you're American, right?" The child said looking at him.
Jim looked around at the three other children still running around the car park screaming and, then to the girl in front of him.
"I beg your pardon."
"Your clothes, the airport business car, I'd say defiantly American." The child said folding her arms around her in a protective manner.
Jim watched this then bent down and grabbed his case and looked back at the child and raised a smile towards her.
"Yes, I'm American, like yourself and," He now looked at her parents trying to grab the rest of their family. "As are you and, the other members of your family, hmm?" He said finishing on looking at her.
She now stepped back slightly.
"I'm Claira, Claira Reese." She said then stepped forward to hold out her hand.
Jim looked at her small hand and then shook it and then looked at her beaming at him.
"I'm Jim, Jim Phelps."
"Are you staying at this hotel? I mean, of course you're staying at this hotel. Err, I mean, what would you be doing here if you wasn't?" She said looking down to her feet.
"Yes, I am staying here at this hotel although I haven't made up my mind for how long, yet."
"Claira!" Her mother said behind her. "Would you mind not going up to everyone and asking them what they are doing here? The poor man is probably on holiday to relax or something, just like us."
"No, he's not on holiday mum, Mr Phelps is on business here, isn't that right Mr Phelps?" Claira said looking back to him.
"Well, I..." He stopped as Claira's mother pulled her back from Jim.
"I'm so sorry if my daughter has upset you Mr, what did you say you're name was?"
"Mum, I said his name was Mr Phelps and I don't think he minds me talking to him. Do you Mr Phelps?"
"It's Jim and no, I do not mind you talking to me, in a hotel car park of all places." He added looking around.
"See, you've insulted him, come along Claira, I will not ask again." Her mother said pulling her away.
Jim watched as Claira was pulled back to the rest of her family by her mother. He shook his head and slowly went into the hotel and signed himself in.
Jim managed to get a room down the hall from the family and made himself comfortable as he waited for the rest of his team to sign in and get allocated separate rooms.
That evening his team met up and Jim got on with the rest of his briefing from within his room where Barney would be making a tunnel of his own to run along with the Russian version to find out exactly why the Russian's have been breaching the Polish border and why.
"It would be a good idea to find out what the Russians have at the border on a daily basis." Jim said looking at the map.
"How are you expecting to work that one out? I mean they will not allow you to just walk up to the border and ask them to view their plans right there and then." Rollin said showing him the exact border guard layout.
"I have been working on that one Rollin. I guess you can put this one down to a family that I met in the hotel car park earlier today. I'm just a businessman that has a few days to spare around the border gates. Who says that I can't be just a little curious in a tourist's kind of way? Rollin, take this mobile phone and call me when you go on guard duty." Jim said handing him a phone.
"I get it. When I call I just happen to forget that the gate is unmanned for a while." Rollin said checking the phone.
"I just need to wait for your call."
Jim now headed down to the hotel's restaurant to check out the local Polish cuisine. He started to get buried into the pages of choices available.
"If you want to wake up in morning like you did this morning, I suggest you stay away from the main menu and try the side meals, you'd be safer that way"
Jim moved the large menu away from his face and focused in on Claira holding the other menu in her hand.
"Claira." He said taking the menu from her. "Thank you, I'll try that." He added checking the menu.
Claira now looked back then jumped up onto the seat across from him.
"Hide me, quick!" She said ducking in next to him.
Jim watched her move up next to him and buries her head into his side.
"Claira, what are you doing?"
"My dad, I bet he's been looking for me all afternoon."
"Why, what have you done now?"
"Nothing Mr Phelps, honest, I..." She stopped and watched her father walk past Jim's table.
Jim now looked up to see the rest of Claira's family sail past. He now looked at Claira with her head into his side.
"You know their probably worried about you."
"You think? My mum and dad are, well ever since..." She looked down.
A waiter now appeared next to Jim waiting for his order. Jim looked at Claira now checking her parents seating area.
"Could you send four sausage sandwiches and a bottle of pop to room 454 and add it to my bill. Is that alright, Claira?" He said looking over to her.
"You think that you can handle a couple of sandwiches?"
Claira looked at Jim then at the waiter.
The waiter marked his pad then left them alone.
"Come with me." He said moving out of the seat and allowing Claira out.
"Where are we going?"
"Back to my room."
"Oh no, I can't."
"My mum and dad told me that I shouldn't go with strangers."
Jim stopped and looked at her.
"Yes, mum said..."
"Did she? Strangers, indeed." He said taking her hand and leading her out and up to his room.
Within a few minutes or so a waiter arrived with Jim's order and brought it into the room as Claira sat on the sofa watching Jim sign for it and letting the waiter out.
"Right, let's see if this kills us or not." He said lifting up the tray to reveal four freshly cooked sausage sandwiches.
"Wow cool, can I?" She said moving forward in her seat.
"Of course, and the drink is yours too as I have my own drink cabernet.
"I guessed you would have. My dad has the same set up just down the hall but, I think mum uses it as well." She said grabbing a sandwich and sitting back in the chair munching.
Jim grabbed a sandwich and went up to the drinks cabernet to make himself a drink then moved back to the sofa and sat down to grab his plans to check over them again.
Claira snuck in next to him and watched him reading the plan.
"What have you got there?" She said pointing to the folder.
"It's private. No fear Claira but, you may think that falling out with your mum and dad is the number one priority around here but to me that doesn't even come close. I'm just keeping you here to make sure you don't go and do something stupid while you're not on speaking terms. Besides, I left word at the reception to inform your parents exactly where you are."
"You what?" Claira said looking at him.
"You really think I would help you over a 'whatever' in your life just because I'm a fellow American whom you just decided might be around to cover your ass when you're parents have it number one on their spanking lists? I've seen kids like you many times before and you are not going to get one over me like you do with your parents."
Claira looked at him then there was a knock on the door.
"Ah, there you go." He said putting his file down and moving to the door and opening it to find Claira's mother and father standing there.
"Oh Jim, thank you so much for telling us where Claira was, I really thought we wouldn't have any problems with her this trip but, I guess, we were aiming our inspirations to high again. Come on along Claira; thank Mr Phelps for taking the time to look after you." Her mother said coaxing Claira towards her.
Claira looked at Jim as she reached the door.
"Thank you so much, Mr Phelps." She said sarcastically.
"Here, don't forget your dinner, I mean, it was the least I could do." He said handing her the tray platter and her bottle of pop.
Claira made a fake grin and followed her parents down the hall looking back to Jim waving her goodbye. He then went back inside his room and laughed.
The next day Jim met up with his team again and Barney had managed to secure some sensitive equipment that would be able to obtain precise measurements and graphic detail of Russia's movements.
"How close would we have to be in making this work properly Barney?" Jim said checking the equipment was working fine.
"After the first initial programming, I would be able to take this machine straight into the main tunnel."
"Where would we have to be for the initial programming?"
"I'd say, between three and five hundred yards, either way of the border, to be certain of a proper reading being obtained." Barney said looking towards Jim.
"Three hundred yards in daylight before you can use this in the tunnels?" Jim said looking at him.
"To, at least get this to read and work properly the way we want it, yes." Barney said looking back to the machine.
"Alright, I'll contact you when this is ready for you."
Jim packed up the machine and left it by the door ready for him to put into his car and head towards the border.
The next morning Jim came down with the machine and went out to his car and put the machine in the boot and then went back into the hotel to have some breakfast and studied the local maps for a route up to the border crossing.
He looked across to see Claira walking in behind her two sisters and brother with her parents bringing up the rear. Jim sipped at his coffee as he watched the family sit down and again making their parents life hell as they all went through the breakfast menu as loudly as they could.
Jim soon finished his breakfast and moved out to the reception and then out into the car park.
He got into his car and noticed Claira running out of the hotel and across the car park.
Claira made it to a big tree by the entrance of the hotel.
Jim started up his engine and drove over to her and caught her attention. She now moved away.
"Claira!" He said calling over to her.
Jim looked away then turned off the engine and jumped out of his car and moved up to her.
"Are you still mad at me because I called your parents to tell them where you were last night?"
Claira did not answer him and moved away.
Jim looked back to his car.
"Look, I'm heading up to the border for the morning."
"Good, bon voyage."
"Claira, you don't mean that."
"Yes I do, after all what do you know about me?"
"Nothing but, if you're interested in a drive with me, I won't tell your parents where you are this time."
"Oh whoopee, let's get the flags out for that one." She said looking back.
"Okay, well I don't want you saying I didn't ask." He said getting back into his car as Claira looked back. "See you later, Claira." He added starting up his engine and starting to move away.
Claira looked towards him then jumped out in front of him.
"Wait!" She said allowing him to pull up next to her and she opened the rear passenger side door and got in. "I don't do this for anyone you know." She said closing the door.
"I'll keep reminding myself that as we go." He said looking at her through the rear view mirror as Jim drove off following his map drawings to the Polish Russian border.
Claira looked around as Jim got closer to the border as a lot of heavy plant machinery was moving around the whole area.
Claira jumped forward as the border now appeared.
"Wow, this is some border."
Jim looked at her as he pulled off to a private car park.
"I want you to stay here for a while." Jim said as he got out.
Claira quickly jumped out.
"Don't leave me here." She said grabbing Jim's hand.
"Claira, I'm not going to leave you anywhere. I just need to do something on my own and I would like you to wait for me in the car."
"Claira, I need you to trust me again and this time; I'm not going to let you down. Just stay there." Jim said closing the door and he moved back towards the boot and opening it up to reveal the machine.
Claira noticed other people in the car park moving around.
"Is there any problem with us being at the border, Jim?" She said noticing some official men.
Jim was too engrossed in the workings of the machine.
"Jim, can you hear me?" She said moving further back into the seat.
"Can I ask what your business at the border today is, Mr?" A guard said moving around the car.
Jim looked up and over to the guard who had now noticed Claira in the back seat.
This gave Jim the chance to lock the boot and move away from it as the guard now looked at him.
"Jim Phelps." He said looking at the guard.
"Dad?" Claira said as she moved over to the other side of the car to get out.
The guard now noticed her and grabbed his gun.
"Now wait a minute. She's a kid, and she's just scared, that's all. How do you expect her to behave when she see's you coming towards me?"
Claira ran to the front of the car and looked around for the exit.
"Dad?" She again said trying to get her way out of the situation.
Jim and the guard looked at her.
"Excuse me. My daughter needs me." Jim said as the guard reluctantly stepped aside and watched Jim head to the front of the car and grabbed her.
"Sweetheart its okay daddies' right here." He said touching her.
Claira now looked at him and allowed Jim to hug her.
"It's alright, I'm right here." He said kissing her.
The guard now went up to them.
"I asked you what you were doing at the border today. You have no business reason to be here."
"We wanted to see the border. Well, I guess I wanted to see the border." Claira said looking at him.
"And wherever my daughter wants to go then I will duly take her." Jim added looking at Claira as they both agreed and looked at the guard.
"You are an American businessman on work here for a local conglomerate financial team. You and your daughter have a room at the international hotel thirty miles from the here."
"That's right. This is my business car and I have all my legal documents in the glove box, if you would like me to show them to you." Jim said moving to open the driver's door.
"That is not necessary. All the information we require was forwarded to us some weeks ago, otherwise you wouldn't have been able to stay anywhere near this sensitive area.
Jim watched the guard check the car.
"What were you doing in the boot of this vehicle when I first approached you?" The guard said heading for it.
"My daughter was tired. I was just getting her a blanket so she could get some sleep. Claira's not one to sleep on strange beds and she finds this hired car more suitable especially when I'm driving." Jim said moving up to him.
The guard tried to open the boot.
"Alright, but all that is in there is the standard issue spare tyre, jack and." Jim opened the boot to reveal the blanket. "One special blanket that my daughter uses to sleep with, as I explained."
The guard lifted out the blanket and checked underneath.
Claira now moved up to Jim and the guard and noticed the blanket.
"That's mine." She said grabbing the blanket from the guard and putting her head into it to smell the newness.
The guard watched her do this then looked at Jim.
"Well, if there is nothing else."
"I have just one request from you to agree with, Mr Phelps, and that is that you do not come to this border area again. The whole area is guarded and CCTV is watching you're every turn, even at the hotel." He said putting down the boot and walking away from them.
They watched him go and Claira stepped back into Jim and he held her.
She now looked at him.
"Are you alright?"
She nodded and allowed Jim to help her into the car and put the blanket around her.
Jim drove slowly back to the hotel and parked up. He looked into the back and found Claira asleep on the blanket and smiled.
He got out and opened the door and gently shook her.
"Claira, Claira we're home." He said as Claira stirred.
"Dad?" She said then realised where she was and sat up. "Hur, their gonna kill me." She added and jumped out of his car then stopped and turned back.
"Thanks for the drive" She said then ran off to the hotel.
Jim chuckled and watched her.
"My pleasure." He said then looked in to see the blanket and then remembered the machine, so he grabbed the blanket and moved to the boot and opened it up. He now pressed a button in the boot as a false back fell down to reveal the machine and put the blanket back in its place. He then secured the car and headed back into the hotel and back up to his room.
That evening, Jim met up with the rest of his team to discuss plans further. Barney showed exactly where he was with his tunnel and that he was now ready to work with the machine Jim had.
"Time is short here guy's. This machine will need to be calibrated just as Barney can receive it." Jim said checking the plans.
"Jim, I need to have a picture of the whole area or we could never prove what the Russians are planning on the border."
"I know Barney and I am the only one who can get those readings for you. I wasn't expecting a border crossing guard to be interested in a private car park. When Rollin is ready I will do my best to get over the border for the machine to work better but, I have to tell you now that I believe I am already being watched, especially after today and I think I may have put an innocent family in jeopardy."
"If that is the case, then what are you going to do about it?" Barney said looking at him.
Jim looked at him then turned away.
"I don't know how serious it is yet, but I've got to do something for them." He said thinking of Claira.
The next day Jim came down to breakfast late and saw Claira's mother battling to control her children as Claira stood by her and then noticed Jim and waved to him. He returned the wave then tried to attempt some breakfast.
"I have the morning paper which has been kindly translated into English, if you're planning on reading something other than a stupid book today, Jim." Claira said as Jim looked up at her beaming at him and handed him the paper.
"Thank you." He said scanning the headlines.
"Mum's going to be ages sorting out my sisters and, I think my brother will be with my dad all day so, I was wondering if it was alright if I hung out with you again today Jim? I think you're business trip yesterday was fab!" She said jumping in next to him.
"Fab?" He said looking at her.
"Aha." She said looking at him.
Jim folded up the paper and went back to his breakfast. Claira sat there as good as gold as everyone staying at the hotel walked past them to carry on with whatever they would be doing that day.
Jim soon finished his breakfast and looked at Claira trying to get interested in the paper.
"Where's your father?"
"Your dad, where would he be at the moment?"
"I don't know. It all depends if they had a row this morning or not. Do you know I read a book once that said that parents are more likely to divorce six years into a marriage with children than any earlier."
"Where did you read that, you're parent's marriage counsellor magazine rack?"
"How did you know that?" She said looking at him.
Jim laughed and kissed her.
"You're a good girl and I'm sorry I got you involved in all this." He said getting up from his seat and heading out past the reception area with Claira in tow with his paper.
"You forgot your paper, dad!" She said after him.
Jim stopped and looked back.
"Thanks." He said as Claira drew level with him and he took the paper from him.
"Where are you going?"
"To find you're, father." He said quietly as he allowed Claira to walk with him over to the lift to take them up to their floor. They walked over to her parent's room and Claira allowed Jim in to their room.
"Ah, I see Claira has found the fellow yank, as I believe my daughter has said on several occasions." Her father said shaking hands with Jim.
Claira sank into the background as Jim and her father started to talk to each other.
Later that day Jim was given the green light to approach the border where Rollin was making sure that all the guards and the important CCTV operator was not present at the time Jim needed to get the machine calibrated for Barney to use. Jim managed to complete the calibration as requested and returned to the hotel after dark where Claira had been waiting for him by the main gate entrance.
Jim pulled in as Claira came running up to him.
"Hurry up Jim, I'm freezing. Where's that blanket you had yesterday?"
"In the boot." He said handing her the keys as Claira grabbed them from him and ran round to the boot and opened it.
"How long have you been waiting out here?" He said taking her hand.
"I don't know. Not long, I guess." She said pulling out the blanket.
"Was it light when you came out?"
"Sort of, we had lunch, I remember that."
Jim stopped her.
"Lunch, not dinner?"
"Of course not, that's still to come."
Jim looked at his watch.
"Claira, its seven o'clock!" He said grabbing the blanket and wrapping her.
"Seven? He's going to kill me."
"If I don't first, come on." Jim said picking her up and carrying her into the warm hotel.
"What am I going to say to him?"
"Start thinking." Jim said as they waited for the lift to arrive by the reception area.
"I know, sorry daddy I lost all track of time."
"That's possible sweetheart, I mean who was the one who said that time stands still around here?" Jim said making sure everyone heard what they were saying.
"But dad, I'm only saying this because I haven't got a watch."
The lift now appeared and they walked in.
"I'll buy you a watch of your very own when we get home." He said kissing her as the doors closed in front of them and whisked them to their floor.
"I'm not going to hear the last of this. Mum will go ballistic and dad will blame me, as usual. We'll be in counselling for years to come, hey Jim, where are we going?" Claira said looking around.
"You can sweat it out in my room while I clear this with your father."
"Dad won't accept having to have another dinner just because of me."
"No, that's why you can stay here and have dinner with me."
"Good luck in trying to pursued him with mum around."
"Have trust in me." He said putting her on the sofa and putting the blanket over her. "It will take a while for this room to get warm so keep this with you. I'll be back soon with some dinner." He said kissing her then went out.
Jim sorted out the problem with Claira and dinner and returned to his room to find Claira asleep on the sofa so, he had some dinner while Claira slept.
The next day Claira woke up on the sofa that she had fallen asleep on and looked around. Jim walked out of the bathroom and noticed she was awake.
"What am I doing here?"
"Well, I certainly wasn't going to take you back after you had fallen asleep."
"I didn't mean to sleep here last night, honest."
"That's nice to hear. Did you want to shower before you go down for breakfast?"
"Your mother supplied me with some extra clothes this morning, so you're more than welcome to have a shower, because there is an hour or so before breakfast." He said checking his watch.
She looked at him then jumped up and into the bathroom and closed the door behind her. Jim chuckled to himself and carried on getting dressed.
An hour or so later Jim was leading Claira down to the restaurant area to meet the rest of her family. They got to the reception area when Claira caught sight of her parents.
"There they are. You don't mind if I go and have breakfast with them, yes." Claira said standing there waiting for an answer.
Jim looked at her approvingly and flattened down her top.
"Go on then. Don't upset them."
"Upset them, me?" She said looking at him.
"Yes, you!" Jim said kissing her and allowing her to go to her parents for breakfast.
He now took his seat in his normal way to have his breakfast and Claira spent her breakfast and part of the day with her family.
Jim returned to his room and Barney met up with him to acquire the calibrated machine and he made the final plan arrangements to get the information they required and to get out with that information safely.
Barney carried the machine out and to an awaiting car to take him back over the border and to start scanning the area.
Jim stayed in his room and moved over to his window and noticed Claira going out for a walk with her parents and brother and sisters.
Jim now started to pack and check his plane ticket home and moved his suitcase to the door when the phone started to ring and Jim looked back.
An hour or so later Barney was in his makeshift tunnel heading parallel with the Russians tunnel and finally entered the sensors in to the tunnel to get a reading. An alarm now sounded in the main command room of the local KGB office at the border and a team was dispatched to the area.
Jim moved back to the phone and picked it up.
"Jim it's Rollin, Barney has tripped a sensor in the command room and I haven't got the authority stopping it getting out. Their sending a team to search for him now and there's nothing I can do about it."
Jim looked at his watch.
"Barney would have only just got there. We don't have enough time to scan anything especially if they have found out where Barney is. Get through to Barney and pull the plug."
"But Jim, if I can't get there in time."
"Don't tell me that, stop them finding Barney before I get there." Jim said dropping the phone and running out leaving his suitcases by the door.
Jim ran out into the car park and into his car just as Claira and her family was walking back.
"Well Jim, that's the fastest I've seen anyone run away from their hotel. Is the place on fire or something?" Claira's father asked.
"I hope not. I still have all my clothes waiting for me. Sorry to leave you so soon, but I'm needed somewhere."
"Don't mind us; we've just had a nice walk out which I believe has done us the world of good."
"I'm happy for you." Jim said as he got in and started up the car.
"Are you alright Jim, you look worried." Claira said moving to his car.
"I'm fine." He said then sped away.
They watched him leave the hotel as they walked into the reception area.
It took Jim twenty minutes to get to the border area where everything was quiet on the outside. Jim pulled into the private car park under Rollin's surveillance cameras. Jim moved over to one of the areas that Barney had set up and checked it for any signs of life. Rollin now appeared from the main camp and met up with Jim.
"Where were the main guards when you last saw them?"
"Main tunnel heading for Barney and, I don't think that he would be aware of them being around him at his position." Rollin said showing him pictures of the tunnels that he had caught from the CCTV cameras.
Jim went back to his car and grabbed a torch.
"Stay here. If anyone comes you can handle them." Jim said going into the tunnel.
Rollin looked around to the CCTV then back to Jim.
Jim headed down the tunnel towards Russia's main tunnel as the KGB worked their way to Barney. Jim looked around for the machine that Barney would be using as he came up to his station. Barney now appeared next to him as he came out of the main tunnel.
"Barney, we've got to pull out. The machine has been recognised and we have Russian border guards heading to this point." Jim said trying to collect the machine from the wall.
"I have only made one scan Jim, if we pull out of here now the world will not know what the Russians have down here. They could easily have something radioactive down here especially if they have read this machine within the hour." Barney said collecting the data.
"We can't take a chance not with the KGB so interested in this place. Maybe someone will be able to take these readings to someone who's interested but we've done our job Barney, and that's all we can take from this." Jim said grabbing the machine and started to head out of the tunnel.
"Halt! Stand where you are!" A guard said entering the tunnel.
Rollin moved up behind him.
"It's alright soldier, I have these two." Rollin said moving forward.
"I'm sorry sir but, my orders are to stay with anyone seen in the tunnel suspiciously." He said pointing his gun again.
Rolling now grabbed him and pulled the guard to the floor and knocked him out.
"He must have called this in." Rollin said checking his gun.
"Then we have no time left. Come on!" Jim said heading out towards his car.
Jim started to load the car as a truck pulled in and some men ran down the tunnel. The guard that had seen Jim earlier in the same car recognised him and jumped out to confront him.
"You, I thought I told you not to come here again." He said pointing his gun at him and radioing his position.
Jim now noticed him and jumped into his car as the guard did his best to stop the car. Jim did his best to get away from the hail of bullets. Jim looked back at the guard grabbing his radio.
"Their heading for the hotel, alert the guards there." The guard said as Jim sped away.
"Are we heading for the hotel, Jim?" Rolling asked.
"Yes, I have my suitcases waiting for me at the door of my room." He said heading down the road that led only to the hotel.
Back at the hotel, someone had alerted a KGB source there new exactly what he had to do. He went up to Jim's room and checked it for anything that would show what and why Jim was staying at the hotel for. After checking his room and finding nothing the man decides to set the room on fire to destroy everything of importance to Jim and then came back out and noticed Claira with her brother and sisters playing in the hallway corridor. Claira noticed him coming out of Jim's room and looked at him, so he decided to use the hallway phone to alert more men to the fact that Claira was at the hotel and not with Jim at the border and, that he needed more help to deal with her. Within minutes some more men arrived and they grabbed the children including Claira along with her parents and pilled them back into their room. As her father was arguing with one of the men over their treatment Claira managed to get out and headed back to Jim's room and the ensuing fire.
Jim arrived some moments later and looked to see people rushing away from the fire which had now taken over the middle floor where Jim's room was.
"I can't see Claira anywhere. I don't even see her parents."
"Jim, we have to leave, the authorities will be here any minute." Rollin said looking on.
"I must know Claira is alright." He said heading for the entrance.
Jim ran past the lifts and through into the stairway as the smoke became heavier. Jim moved into a toilet and wrapped a towel round his face and headed onto his floor and went towards Claira's room that she was in with her parents. He went into the smoke field room and came face to face with a blood bath of Claira's family dead in front of him. He looked around for Claira but she was not with them, so he ran back out and shouted down the corridor to no avail. Jim now took his chance and headed for his room now totally well alight.
"Claira!" He shouted into the blackness of his room.
Jim saw that his room had been trashed but he ventured as far as he dared into the room as he noticed Claira on the floor by the bathroom unconscious and with superficial burns all over her body.
"Claira!" He repeated as he picked her up and carried her under the rising smoke and down to the reception area as the local authorities arrived to tackle the blaze.
Jim moved out into the car park and Rollin run to him.
"What about her family?" He said checking her.
Jim looked at him and shook his head and then they looked at Claira.
Jim, Rollin and Barney left the carnage of the hotel and headed back to the states with Claira. Jim admitted Claira to a private doctor that Rollin recommended who could help heal her burns and scars and to get her back on the road to recovery.
Claira awoke some days later and looked around. She noticed a nurse checking her vital signs and guessed she was in a hospital.
"Where am I? What hospital is this? Are we still in Poland?" She said as she realised she had a bandage on her face and hands. "What happened?"
"I'll get the doctor for you. I believe you're father is also waiting to hear that you're finally awake."
"My dad?" She said watching the nurse go out and the door closing behind her.
Claira looked at the closed door then jumped out of the bed and moved to the window and pulled the curtain to reveal the sun beating down on her face as she touched it.
"I wouldn't suggest full sun rays on that face for a few weeks yet, Miss Phelps, if you wouldn't mind returning to your bed so that I can talk to you for a moment please. I have called your father and he will be with us very shortly." The doctor said as a nurse moved her away from the window and back into her bed.
"Where am I?"
"You're in a private hospital, in New York." The doctor said moving towards her to check her face.
She leaned away from him moving any closer.
"Claira, let the doctor check your face, please sweetheart." Jim said behind her.
"Jim!" She said jumping down to him and moving to his side. "I'm in New York, New York in home?" She said looking up at him.
Jim now put the flowers he had for her down and picked her up and carried her back to her bed.
"New York is your home now, yes, home." He said kissing her. "Now let the doctor do his job." He said stepping away as the doctor approached her again.
"Is my mum behind this?" Claira said as the doctor took off the bandages.
"Behind what?" Jim said sorting out the flowers.
"Why you're here and not mum and dad. Did they finally get divorced or something?"
"Miss Phelps please, you need to sit still." The doctor said checking her face under the light.
"Sorry." She said as the doctor made his notes.
"Skin pigmentation will settle into the background once the swelling reduces. I don't think there will be any problems with the fingerprints as the hands still have some time to grow and most of the burns will settle into skin lines." He said as the nurse started to reseal her face and hands.
"Burns, hur, I remember now! Jim there was a man who was in your room and when he came back out I noticed a fire and then these other men appeared and they grabbed my mum and dad and my brother and sisters."
"What happened?" Jim said moving to her.
"They stopped me trying to do something about putting the fire out. I heard mum and dad shouting at them and I didn't know what to do. I thought that you were in the room, but you weren't. What happened, why did this man want to destroy your room?"
Jim moved up to her as the nurse finished and the doctor left them alone.
"I never asked or wanted to get you involved in this, entirely, sweetheart."
"Involved in what, Jim? I thought we were having fun, but I couldn't understand what was going on with the fire in your room."
"I have a team and I had a job to do. I guess someone at the hotel really did think that you were my daughter. I made enquiries and in the official book for the hotel your name is listed with me and not with your parents."
"What does that mean?"
"Claira, I believe that because you and I were seen together at the border and that you became scared and wanted your father that the guard really believed that you were my daughter."
"But back at the hotel the receptionists must have seen me with my brother and sisters and sometimes my mum and dad when they were talking to one another." She said looking at him.
"That's what I would have been led to believe but thanks to what my team and I were there for I guess that they would have forgotten that just to get at me."
"Well, what are you going to do now? I mean I'm back at home now and my mum and dad are going to be here any minute with my brother and sisters, probably laughing at me all the here, yes?" Claira said looking at him.
"Claira," He stopped and looked at her. "You're here because I'm going to take care of you from now on."
"Take care of me now? Well, what does mum and dad say about that?"
"Sweetheart, you're the only one I managed to save from the fire. When I entered the hotel I found your entire family had already been shot and left for dead."
"Mum and dad?"
"You're mum and dad, you're little brother and sisters too. I believe that if they would have found you first you wouldn't be sitting here now."
"Why didn't they kill me too?"
"Because, I understand that you tried to find me I guess, thinking that I was in my room and they must have lost you in the smoke from the fire. I found you unconscious by the bathroom and you were in a pretty bad state with burn marks all over your face and body. I carried you out and brought you back home to the states with me and I'm going to take care of you from now on."
"Because, I feel responsible for what happened to you and, that I wasn't there to help save your family, I want to make it up to your parents by taking care of you." He said looking at her trying to make sense of what Jim was trying to tell her.
"Taking care of me, how?"
"By being your father and making you a part of my team." He said touching her face and watching her reaction.
Claira slowly looked down as she tried to make sense of everything Jim had been saying to her.
"I know this is going to be hard for you to take in. One minute you're with your family in Poland on vacation and the next you wake up here, back home alone, with me but, you're not alone." He said moving to touch the flowers.
"Oh, have you got children too?" She said looking at him.
"No, as I said, I have a team that, to me are as tight as a family could ever be and, I'm going to look after you Claira, have no doubt about that. You have a new face and you're fingerprints now match that of my daughter." He said turning to look at her.
"Wait a minute; I thought you just said you haven't got any children."
"If you'd let me finish! I was about to say, you're fingerprints match that of my daughter, Claira Phelps."
Claira looked at him.
"I guess that name will still sound laughable to you for a while, if not somewhat scary too."
"I hope that you don't expect me to call you dad over night."
"Of course, I shall leave that up to you, but I hope you realise that nothing will happen to you in my care. I'll make personally sure of that. When your facial scars heal the doctor said that you will then be ready to go home."
"Home?" She said looking at him.
"Yes to my, our apartment here, in New York." He said watching her reactions.
"Well, how long will that be, exactly?"
"I will talk with your doctor and find out exactly when. I'll see you later." He said then kissed her and left.
Claira watched the door close then looked to the dark curtain hiding the strong summer sun and looked away thinking of her lost family as a tear fell from her eye.
Please refer to Mission Impossible continued for the rest of this story.