AN: Things are about to get insanely intense. You have been WARNED.
Music for this chapter (on repeat): Nothing Else Matters (Zero Dark Thirty Version) by performed by Scala and Kolacny Brothers from Zero Dark Thirty, Da Svidanya 'Red Army Choir Anthem' by Basil Poledouris from The Hunt for The Red October Soundtrack, An Angel Falls by Gabriel Yared from City of Angels Soundtrack
Jack was in the middle of explaining what they knew to Katya when her phone started ringing. She picked it up and her eyes went wide.
"It's Sydney!" She turned to him in surprise and answered immediately. "Sydney!" She called out and inhaled sharply when the only sounds she heard were the baby's blood curdling screams. "Jack?" She burst into tears and handed the phone to a pale-faced Jack, who had no idea what to expect on the other end.
Weiss, Vaughn, Vladimir, Sark and a handful of Russian agents gathered around.
"Sydney?" He called into the phone and his breath caught in his throat when he heard his baby screaming in the background and hoarse from apparently crying so hard…so long...an unbearable scream he'd never heard come from a baby. "It's Lena." His eyes flashed up to the group who looked at him stunned and bewildered by what he meant by that. "Transfer the call to speaker phone!" He shouted to no one in particular and waited for the nod before hitting the black button on the phone on the table and the room filled with Lena's trembling screams sounding as though she was in agony and all their hearts stopped.
"Why? What is he doing to her?" Katya sobbed listening to her niece, "Why call and not talk?"
"Maybe Sydney can't talk and was able to push 'Send' so that we could pick up her signal!" Jack's wheels began to turn and rapidly flew into action, trying desperately not to break down and crumble with the sounds of his baby's wails. "Get Marshall to trace Sydney's signal!" He shouted at Vaughn who looked like he was about to vomit before dialing rapidly on his phone.
"Marshall!" Vaughn practically screamed into the phone, "We've got Sydney's signal…pick up the feed and trace the location she's calling from!"
"Ok, ok I'm going!" He spun on his chair and pushed off flying across the Ops floor to another computer as Kendall approached from behind.
"What's going on?" Kendall looked over his shoulder as Marshall typed furiously.
"They've picked up Sydney's signal and now…we're picking up the line." He spoke in a broke sentence as he pulled up the call and inhaled sharply when Lena's cries came blaring out of the speakers, stopping all movement on the floor.
"Oh my God!" Carrie gasped, dropping her stack of files and covering her mouth with her hand when she heard the baby's hoarse cries and wondering what hell she was in.
"Dear God…" Kendall hissed out as his own heart began to race.
"Marshall!" Vaughn boomed, looking for answers unable to stand the cries blaring over the speakerphone.
"I'm going as fast as I can but it's a weak signal!" Marshall panicked and sweat began to cover his brow, hearing his God Daughter in such obvious pain.
"Do you hear that?" Weiss slapped his hand on Sark's chest beside him, grabbing his tie with eyes wide, "That's a train! Do you hear it?" He asked picking up the faint warning blast of a train's whistle in the background.
"I hear it!" Sark's eyes went just as wide, listening and panicked him self, hearing Lena's cries weaken.
"Must be near a railroad crossing!" Weiss swallowed hard as his heart thumped loudly in his ears.
"This is the best I can do right now!" Marshall transmitted an image and it came up on Jack's laptop screen, "I can only narrow the signal down to the tower being used and this is it!"
"That's a ten square mile radius in Moscow! They could be hundreds of places!" Jack's anxiety was gaining desperation hearing his baby fading in the background. "We don't have time to look in all those places!" He added and they all knew what he meant, they could all hear for themselves that Lena was growing weaker with every cry.
"I'll keep trying!" Marshall said determinedly with tears in his eyes as he continued to pound at the computer, not willing to give up.
"And in the meantime we'll start checking every location near train tracks within those ten miles." Vaughn added with his own determination and Putin began assembling a mass of agents and police to start checking everywhere in that area for Irina, Sydney and the baby.
"I'm coming, too!" Katya stood and Jack followed.
"No Katya! You must stay here." Jack said softly, grabbing his jacket off the chair, preparing to leave.
"No Jack! That's my sister! And my nieces!" She cried with determination, "I know what that monster is capable of!"
"Which is exactly why you must stay here." He grabbed her arms with both of his hands, looking into her dark determined eyes. "You don't have the training to go tactical if need be and if you end up getting killed and we rescue Irina, she'll never forgive herself." He knew he was pulling the guilt card to get his way but he needed to convince her she had to stay. "Please stay with Vladimir and wait here. We'll be on Coms with you at all times, alright?" He cupped her face seeing the absolute fear there at what was happening to his missing girls.
She nodded solemnly in resignation and he leaned forward and kissed her forehead before charging out the door followed by Weiss, Vaughn, Sark and twenty Russian agents met with more outside.
They split up into teams of four, each coming from separate side of the 10 square mile radius that the tower Sydney's signal was bouncing off of as Marshall tried to pinpoint her location with no luck.
"Her signal is dying…the battery must be getting low." Marshall gulped, speaking into their Coms continually searching his screen.
"If that signal dies before we find her…" Jack couldn't continue the thought and floored it to the next train crossing, having visited multiple already.
"Take a left up here, it's an industrial area with a train yard." Sark commanded from the backseat where he was searching on his own laptop through the city for possible areas where they could be to hear the train.
Jack whipped the car onto the road and floored it into the night as they descended into a part of 'old Russia' still battered from the Soviet days. Mostly non-functional factories, and power plants…a perfect place to keep them, as it was out of the way in a part of the city no one ventured to.
"There is the car Sydney left in!" Vaughn shouted and jumped out before Jack even had the car fully stopped when they approached the tracks. They all quickly followed behind him.
"What have you got, Jack?" Kendall asked nervously hopeful on the other end, wiping sweat from his own brow, as the baby's cries became nothing more then hoarse gasps from exhaustion.
"Nothing! Goddamnit nothing!" He cursed loudly and pounded the cars window with his fist, cracking it.
"We have to be close." Sark looked around and then off into the distance. "I've got an idea. Blast the car's horn." He commanded at the bewildered faces. "Blast the horn and if we hear it come through on Sydney's cell phone we will know we are really near."
Jack's eyes flew wide in surprise at the idea and flung open the car door, blasting the horn as long and as hard as he could.
"We hear it!" Katya lit up and stood from where she was sitting, with new hope. "Jack, we hear it! Faintly in the background but we hear it!"
"Then we're really close." He jumped out and fled back to the car as the other's followed, "There are abandoned factories at the end of this road. I'm guessing they're being held there." His foot hit the gas pedal and they tore out on the gravel and down the road with a maddening speed into the unlighted distract.
"We'll direct everyone to that area." Vladimir added with determination.
"Brilliant idea." Weiss looked over at Sark, amazed that he thought to do that.
Jack had to agree with Weiss and was thankful to have people with him who, were thinking, as he clearly was not altogether on this mission that involved the three most important people in his life in the hands of the most evil man he'd ever met.
"Shit, this place is enormous!" Weiss grabbed clutched his gun tightly staring at the darkened enormity before him as they jumped out of the car, on alert.
"We'll split up into two until the rest of them arrive," Jack ripped open the trunk and threw Kevlar vests at each of them. "Sark, you're with me, Vaughn and Weiss, start on the south end." He strapped on the black vest and handed each of them another round of ammo. "Let's go." His adrenaline surging through his body as he and Sark crept quickly around the buildings, looking for a way in and spotting one just ahead. His baby's cries coming over their Coms had almost extinguished and his heart was in a vice inside his chest hoping they were going to make it in time and not accepting the alternative.
"Oh Jeezus!" Weiss gasped when they entered up the steps and his flashlight fell on the hundreds of beady rat eyes and they crawled over their feet!
"What is it?" Jack held his breath as he and Sark climbed an old metal staircase.
"Rats! Everywhere!" Weiss kicked his feet violently and trudged on through the room with Vaughn behind him.
The Russian agents had arrived and spanned out, covering the rest of the factory and on Coms with the other four.
"No one's here." Vaughn breathed in defeat at the endless darkened rooms as they went from floor to floor.
"Keep looking!" Jack commanded, "She's here, I know it." He could feel it in his heart and for once he was going to listen to his instincts.
"Jack…hurry." Katya sobbed quietly into their ears as she listened to the baby's cries all but disappeared and the squeak of rats nearby. "I can hear the rats."
Suddenly, they heard Lena let out another vicious but hoarse cry and the loud squeaking of rats and it sent another burst of adrenaline through everyone as they started running through their search. Irina and Sydney were more then likely, no longer here but the baby was and they had to find her.
*Nothing Else Matters- Zero Dark Thirty version*
"Look!" Vaughn shouted to Weiss at a dim light coming from a door on the far end of the factory on the second floor. "We see a light on the far end of the second floor! " He and Weiss charged full ahead towards the lighted doorway, jumping railings and old factory equipment to get there faster and Sark and Jack ran towards the same area.
"I can hear her!" Weiss shouted and took the steps two at a time with his body moving faster then he ever thought possible and everyone felt a small sigh of relief. He tore through the door first and scanned the room, spotting her in the corner and five rats scurrying around her, biting her and testing her flesh. "Sonofabitch!" He went flying to her side and swatted the rats away, scooping her up immediately as Vaughn fired and killed all the rats.
"Is she ok?" Jack gasped flying through the factory, not caring if anyone was there to shoot him or not he needed to get to his baby.
"Oh my God…" Weiss looked at the baby in his arms and tears came flooding forward unable to stop them when he saw the cut down the middle of her body, the blood covering her, old and new, the bites of the rats and her primal scream when he shifted her. "Mike, look." He motioned with his eyes at the sickening angle at which her little arm was bent and he was afraid to move, realizing she had broken bones.
"We need a medic! Get medic now!" Vaughn trembled and screamed into his Com, looking down and picking up the pieces of fabric that were once Sydney's shirt, his face gone ashen as he looked around the room.
Blood smears on one wall and covering the shackles on the ends of thick chains. Bloody handprints and smears on the cold tiled floor, reaching into the corner where Lena was but unable to reach her with the chains length. Sydney and Irina had been here.
"What is it? What's wrong with her?!" Jack screamed into his Com as he and Sark charged towards the end of the building, fear gripping him tightly.
"Jack, just get up here!" Weiss answered into his Com with an obvious shaking and tear filled voice that sent a wave of panic through Russian and CIA Ops as well as Jack and Sark.
"Tell me!" Jack jumped over a mess of piping into the floor feeling his heart about to explode, knowing his baby was hurt badly if Weiss was crying.
"She's broken, Jack…bleeding and bitten…her arm is definitely broken." Weiss tried to hold back on his tears at the almost lifeless tiny baby in his arms. "She's cold…and pale…Mike, give me your shirt!" He suddenly realized she was freezing from lying naked on the cold tiles.
Vaughn immediately started tearing off his vest and shirt, knowing exactly why.
Katya started sobbing hearing the damage report and Vladimir enveloped her into his arms.
"How could he hurt the baby?" She wailed softly into his chest, pounding her fists into him with hate for Cuvee.
Jack burst into the door with his eyes rapidly scanning the room and seeing the blood smears and shackles before landing on Vaughn pulling his shirt over his head and Weiss standing in the corner holding his naked trembling baby, covered in blood. He took rapid steps towards her closing the distance and saw the way her arm was lifeless and twisted at her side. The cut running down her chest and belly from a knife, he knew by its perfect straightness. He saw the cuts from the accident on her head, face and arms…and her deathly pale appearance.
"How do we do this?" Vaughn stood awkwardly with his shirt in his spread hands, "I don't want to move her, she screamed when you picked her up." He looked at Weiss, the baby and then Jack terrified with pooling eyes. "What if I do more damage?"
"Mike, she's freezing to death!" Weiss glared at him behind blurry eyes, channeling his anger any way he could.
Jack felt her skin and threw down his guns, stripped off his own vest and ripped open the buttons on his shirt, taking it off.
"She needs body heat, now! She is freezing to death." He inhaled a sharp breath as he tried to take her from Weiss very gently and she let out another strangled scream that was so weak Jack's eyes flushed with tears that immediately started pouring down his cheeks. "Help me keep her arm still!" He commanded as he moved her to face his chest and noticed her sunken shoulder. "Her clavicle is broken, too." He whispered out in realization and shivered when he felt her cold body against his warm chest, his hands gently positioning themselves to hold her still and not moved her arm as he covered her with his shirt and Vaughn's. "Shhh, Peaunut…Daddy's here, nobody's going to hurt you anymore." He tried to whisper into her ear to soothe her small cries as she trembled from the cold, from the shock and from the fear. "We need an air ambulance now!" Jack looked up feeling his baby slipping away beneath his fingers.
"It's on it's way, Jack." Vladimir answered him softly, blinking back his own tears, refusing to let them fall.
"Sydney was definitely here." Vaughn's tears spilled down his cheeks, holding up the cut fabric to Jack and then looking over to the walls with the shackles.
"This must be where Irina was…" Sark added softly, picking up a bloody shackle and seeing the outstretched, hand blood smears on the floor. "She was reaching for the baby." His eyes and everyone else's following the horrid blood path that ended just before she could reach where the baby was lying in the corner.
A Russian agent burst through the door with horror in his eyes seeing the bloody room and the state of the baby in Jack's arms. "We found tire tracks in the gravel out back. Blood drips on the rocks leading from there…to here." He spoke to Jack in rapid Russian. "They are gone…maybe an hour…45 minutes ago, I believe."
Jack wanted to scream in rage and pain at his world caving in around him. Forty-eight hours ago his life had been perfect, at home with Irina in bed, watching her sleep and laughing with her; kissing his baby good morning when she smiled at him. Sydney just hours ago in his presence now gone, too.
"The medical helicopter is landing now." The Russian agent relayed, hearing it come through on his Com, "You go…we'll stay here and look for anything that will lead us to them." He nodded at Jack with sincerity seeing the man's world was falling apart and his baby was dying in his arms.
Jack nodded back and the four of them with Lena, bounded down the steps as quickly as they could.
"You can't go, sir, we can't take the extra weight." The flight doctor informed Jack running to greet them as the helicopter blades cut through the air, stirring up dust, waiting for Lena.
"I'm not leaving her again!" Jack yelled back over the roar of the blades, nestling his face against her head, desperate to hang onto her.
"I'm sorry sir, but you can't…we'll take good care of her, I promise." He reached for Lena and Jack sobbed as he handed her over and feeling as though the last bit of his heart was ripped out. "We'll see you at the hospital."
The doctor nodded and ducked under the blades entering the helicopter and they stood there watching as he laid Lena on a stretcher bed, a hundred times her small size and place an oxygen mask over her little face as the doors closed and they took off.
"Let's go." Jack moved with a frenzied pace towards the car and they all followed. His mind was racing a million miles an hour and praying that they'd gotten to her in time; praying that Irina and Sydney were both still alive and that he would find them soon. His heart felt like glass and exploding in slow motion, feeling every shard pierce his flesh from the inside out thinking about what that evil monster had done to his baby. A little, innocent baby. It was obviously to torment Irina who was bleeding and shackled and keeping her just out of reach.
If Cuvee was capable of doing that to a tiny baby, Jack couldn't stand to imagine what he was going to do to Irina and Sydney…
"I knew the man was evil but I can't believe he could do that do a baby." Weiss gasped softly in the backseat as Moscow flew by them, Jack going well over the legal limits racing towards the hospital.
"Sydney, had to know she was walking into a trap! Why? Why would she do that?" Vaughn felt his own tears stinging and his anger taking over, he wiped at them viciously.
"My guess…is that she knew what she was walking into…but didn't want to leave Irina alone." Sark added quietly, realizing the depth of love between a mother and child all over again.
Katya and Vladimir arrived at the hospital the same time that they had and were a bit surprised to see a shirtless Jack and Vaughn step out of the car. The dried blood on Jack's chest suggested he been holding Lena…and then they remembered her need for body heat.
"Where is my baby?" Jack demanded to know when they entered the hospital emergency room and the nurse, recognizing the importance of this man, showed him immediately into the room where they were working on Lena as the others waited in the lobby. His breath caught when he saw how extremely tiny she was laying in the big bed, her arms too little for the IV so one was started in her head. She was quiet, and still as a nurse held an oxygen mask near her face, obviously sedated, while the doctors tried to assess the damage. A silver-heating blanket was placed over her tiny body and Jack stood frozen on his feet watching the mass of people fly around the room attempting to keep his child alive.
"Mr. Bristow, she is in Critical Condition," One of the younger doctors approached him as they began to prepare Lena to move, "We are taking her for x-rays, an MRI and a CATSCAN to determine the damage. Before we even see the X-ray, I can tell you her Humorous has been broken as well as her Clavicle. I need to know, what happened to her?"
"I don't know for sure." Jack spoke softly, swallowing hard as his eyes filled with tears again, "She was kidnapped…this is how we found her."
The doctor nodded in understanding.
"The tiny puncture wounds?" He looked at Jack curiously, having an idea of what they could be but not certain.
"Rat bites. She was in an abandoned factory." He inhaled a shaky breath, wrapping his arms around himself watching them with her.
"Okay." The doctor touched his arm lightly. "We'll screen her for Rabies and treat her accordingly. Right now, on top of the broken bones, she is suffering from Hypothermia, exhaustion, dehydration, malnutrition and she's in shock from the trauma. That is a great deal for such a little baby." He looked Jack sadly in the eyes, hoping to pull off a miracle and save the tiny Grand Duchess. "We're doing everything we can."
Jack nodded, unable to find his words and afraid to speak.
"You can come with us to do the tests. I know you don't want to leave her alone." He offered Jack a small smile before setting back to work on Lena.
They started to wheel the big bed carrying Lena past him and stopped momentarily for Jack. He came to the side and placed a light palm over her little head, barely touching her and leaned over, kissing her cold cheek as his salty tears fell into her soft hair.
"I love you, baby girl. Hold on." He whispered as more tears fell, when he kissed her again.
They took her through all of the scans, tests, and x-rays before telling Jack he had to step out a minute. They'd given him a doctor's scrub shirt to wear and when he entered the waiting room, found Vaughn wearing a matching one.
"Jack?" Katya launched out of her chair and into his arms, a fresh round of tears running down her cheeks seeing the exhausted man before her. "How is she?"
"She's Critical but stable for the moment…they sedated her." He spoke barely above a whisper as his hands tried to wipe the tiredness from his face. "She's suffering from exhaustion…from crying for so long…sleep deprivation and she's malnourished and dehydrated," He shook his head with the thought that her cries were that of hunger before her pain and knew how Irina must have been reacting unable to help her. "She's also suffering from hypothermia and in shock from the trauma…her humorous and clavicle bones…are both broken." He looked up and the rage filled his eyes again, "There is a deep bruise of a hand forming around the top of her arm over the break. The bone was definitely snapped on purpose and her arm was dislocated. That combined with the break in her clavicle the doctor believes they were caused by being held at one point…by just her little arm."
"Sick bastard!" Weiss hissed in horror at the thought of purposely breaking a baby's bones.
"How do they fix that? I mean she's so little?" Vaughn held his breath with concern, flooding his eyes as the tears built.
"They put her arm back into the socket and now, have to cast her arm for the humorous. The clavicle break, she just has to be kept still until it heals." Jack sighed, trying to calm himself of the rage taking him over, knowing he had to go back in there in a few minutes and not wanting that to be in his touch when he saw his baby girl. "Is there anything on Irina or Sydney?" He rubbed his tired eyes; unable to breath thinking about them and the danger they were in.
"No, but it was confirmed; Gerard Cuvee is indeed the one who abducted them." Vladimir spat in disgust of the man he knew from the KGB, never liking him or his methods. "His DNA was pulled from two cigarettes on the floor in that room. The blood on the walls, floor and shackles…is Irina's." His voice quivered in thinking about it.
"She doesn't have any insulin." Jack just said out of the blue as the random thought suddenly entered his drained mind hearing 'blood and Irina' together and his eyes flashed up. "Oh God…" He held his breath, as the stack was continually growing higher against Irina.
"Mr. Bristow?" A nurse called from behind them softly with a hint of a smile, "You can all go in now. They've set her arm and she's sleeping with the sedation."
"Thank you." Jack answered her in Russian and they followed her quietly into the hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for babies.
His eyes washed over with tears and he heard Katya gasp when she grasped his hand, laying eyes on Lena inside the plastic incubator. Her little eyes closed with padded shields, taped shut to keep out the bright light. A feeding tube had been put into her tiny nose and taped to her little face. Electrodes were stuck to her chest monitoring her heart rate and breathing. The cuts and bites on her body had been cleaned, sutured and wrapped and her arm little arm was wrapped in a full cast from her fingers all the way up to her shoulder. She was positioned in such a way that her clavicle was straightened and a padded band was wrapped around her tiny chest and arm, keeping her immobile.
"We've examined her," The said quietly with sad eyes, looking at the expectant faces flooded with worry, "She hasn't been sexually abused." Her own eyes filled with tears that they even had to perform such an examination on a three and a half month old baby.
"Oh, 'Thank God…" Katya gasped as her hand flew over her mouth and fresh tears blazoned across her eyes. Jack closed his eyes and turned his head down silently saying a prayer of 'thanks' having not even thought about that horrible possibility until this moment.
"Her heart rate has stabilized as well as her breathing and her temperature level is within normal range again." The nurse informed them with a small smile through her tears as she charted Lena's numbers on the machine outside the incubator, monitoring all her vitals. "She's a remarkable baby."
"She is…" Jack sighed in relief at hearing her steady heartbeat and the pink returning to her skin. "How long is she going to be unconscious for?" He asked in fluent Russian with his eyes never leaving his baby.
"The doctor will probably keep her sedated for at least four days…maybe longer." She offered them another small smile, knowing that was always hard to hear for parents, "With as much trauma as she's been through, she needs to rest completely to heal and build her strength up again. With infants, it's always harder to keep them calm and not crying, working themselves up if they are awake an unable to move. Sedation is really the best way at this point. When the doctor feels she's strong enough, he'll pull back the sedation."
Jack hated it but understood it, and placed his hand against the plastic encasing his baby. "I understand."
"I am afraid that only two of you will be allowed to stay with her at a time." She smiled sadly, folding her chart across her chest looking at all the sad faces, "I knew you'd all want to see her together but…the NICU rules are two visitors at a time and now, some of you will have to go. Please go home, rest. She's in good hands and I promise we are doing everything we can to bring her back to health as fast as we can. She's holding on right now and I expect this little fighter will pull through."
The nurse obviously had no idea that Lena's mother and sister were still missing. There would be no rest for them until they were found.
"I'll stay with you." Katya squeezed Jack's hand with a small smile and the others whispered their goodnights and went to wait in the waiting room.
Weiss checked in with Kendall and gave him the update on Lena and what they learned from the factory, Vaughn called his mother and father in Paris and broke the tragic news; they were getting the next flight to Moscow and Sark sat behind his laptop, pouring over everything trying to find a clue as to where Cuvee had taken Irina and Sydney.
The man was intelligent, and wealthy and had businesses and homes all around the world; finding him was no small task.
"I can't believe this is happening." Jack sighed, with a heavy heart staring into the plastic encasing at Lena. "He did this to hurt Irina; torturing her…by torturing her baby." A single tear slipped down his face and fell onto the incubator.
Katya listened quietly with tears streaming down her face, knowing he was right and terrified for what was happening to Irina and Sydney.
"I failed her last time; she was screaming for me and I didn't come for her. Save her from him, I have to now. I have to find them. I will find them." He said more resolutely with determination. "And when I do that man will die a slow and torturous death.. That, I vow…"
"She knows you'll come for her, Jack. This time, she knows." Katya wrapped her hand around his and squeezed, "And she won't give up. She'll find a way to keep them alive until you find them."
"That's what I'm afraid of." Jack turned his eyes to her slowly as they filled with tears again. Finding away to keep them both alive would no doubt involve Irina sacrificing herself for time.
Sydney woke feeling groggy and lying on a musty smelling two-inch mattress pad in a darkened cell. Slowly she got to her feet and wavered softly finding her balance made her way towards the front. The back and sides were cement blocks and the front was a row of bars as she neared the cell door her vision became clear and the light of the sun from the giant hole in the roof of the building illuminated the space around her outside of the cell.
Across the way, on the other side of the building were another row of cells…row, on top of row as she looked up and down and turning her head to the right, gasped in horror when she realized where she was staring at the giant cross at the end of the giant aisle…Kashmir.
*Da Svidanya- Red Army Choir Anthem*
Her tears came flying forth as she clung to the cold metal bars and looked down at the space she'd recognized instantly now from the videos of her mother's time here. She looked to the now broken cells and saw flashes in her mind of the screaming prisoners, hanging out of their cells as the guards drug her mother in below…like ghosts haunting she heard their faint singing of the old Soviet hymn and inhaled a ragged breath.
She looked around rapidly for any sign of her mother and found none.
"Mom?" Sydney cried, pressing her face between the bars, "Mom!" She called out again, louder as her tears surged forward wondering where her mother was and what they were doing to her. She fell to her knees, crying and gripping the bars thinking about her mother and her sister. Lena, her mind screamed and she wailed loudly thinking about her sister's death that had surely come, left alone, broken, naked and bleeding on the cold floor of the factory. Left for the rats to feed on. "Oh God, why?" She screamed loudly looking heavenward sobbing. Why would he bring them back together only to endure more loss? Why would he give them Lena and take her back, why?
A half hour later Irina shook her head slowly, pressing her palms to the sides of her aching head as she tried to sit up and focus on her surroundings. She could hear faint crying coming from somewhere and tried hard to focus, finding it too difficult with low blood sugar and the drugs. She slid off the side of the bed unable to stand and pulled herself to the bars at the front of her cell, sobbing when she realized where she was...back in her old cell in Kashmir.
"Oh God…" She gasped in Russian as her eyes flooded with tears.
"Mom!" She heard Sydney call to her from the cell next to her and more tears flooded her eyes.
"Sydney!" Irina slid to the corner and reached her arm through the bars around the cement block wall trying to find her daughter's hand.
"Mom!" Sydney flew to the corner and stuck her arm through the bars, finding her mother's bloody wrist and then hand. "I thought they took you!" She gasped in relief that Cuvee wasn't off torturing her mother.
"Sweetheart, are you ok?" Irina clung tightly to her daughters' hand, resting her throbbing head softly against the bars, shaking and trembling from lack of insulin.
"Mom, I'm ok…but Lena!" Sydney sobbed resting her forehead against the cement wall that separated them.
Irina's heart immediately broke and shattered into a million pieces thinking about her baby's death, alone in a factory, broken and crying in pain…crying for her mother and left to be eaten by the scavenger rodents. She lost the battle with her tears and began sobbing, holding onto Sydney's hand with everything she had.
"I failed. I failed to protect her…" She wailed and Sydney's cries matched her mothers, her heart breaking for her sister and her mother who blamed herself.
"Mom, It's not your fault. You tried. It was impossible to reach her…to stop him."
"Sydney, I'm so sorry…" Irina inhaled a ragged breath between sobs for dragging her daughters into this mess. "You promised me…you'd stay away from him! Why didn't you stay away, Sydney? Why?" She gasped in a breath in horror knowing what was in store for her daughter…knowing what 'game' Cuvee was going to be playing.
"Mom, I couldn't leave you alone with him! We're a team remember?" Sydney held tightly to her mother's hand, pressing her forehead and other palm against the cold stonewall. "You watch my back…I watch yours. I wasn't going to let you go through this alone." She sobbed thinking about what was undoubtedly going to happen to the both of them. "I love you. I couldn't leave you alone. Not when given the chance."
Irina shook with her cries at how brave her daughter was.
"Sydney…" She gasped quietly between her cries, "I love you, too…so much. But you have to promise me, right now, that you will do everything I tell you to do while we're stuck here. Promise me, Sydney!" Her voice changed to a desperate and commanding plea.
"Mom-" She was about to rebuff her mother's plea.
"No, Sydney! Promise me! You must listen to me if we're going to survive this and get out of here. Promise me!" Irina grasped desperately at Sydney's fingers. "I know how his mind works, you have to promise me!"
"Ok…" Sydney's face distorted as she tried to hold back a sob, "I promise, Mom." She agreed reluctantly. "Dad and Vaughn…Weiss and Julian…Vladimir, Katya…Every Russian agency and the CIA…Mom they were all looking for you. They'll find us. Dad won't stop until he does. He won't stop!" She sobbed, hoping that they found them soon. "He loves you so much. They'll come for us. They'll come for us." She repeated softly.
Irina cried silently, holding in a sob and gasping for air trying to control her emotions.
"Mom, you're shaking." Sydney suddenly realized and didn't know if it was from the trauma of losing her sister or from her lack of insulin. "When's the last time he fed you?"
"He hasn't…" Irina exhaled softly, closing her eyes trying to stop a sob, "He'll want something in exchange for that."
*An Angel Falls*
The sound of heavy footsteps pulled them both from their conversation and Sydney looked out her cell terrified when she saw the four guards approaching their cells.
"Sydney, remember your promise!" Irina squeezed her hand one last time as a guard jammed his key into her cell door, apparently only taking her and not Sydney and Irina silently 'Thanked God' for that small miracle of the moment. "I love you, Sweetheart…never forget that!"
"Mom!" Sydney screamed watching with her face pressed through the bars as the guards entered her mother's cell. Irina had no strength to stand, let alone fight off four armed men and had no choice but to let them grasp her. Two of them hauled her up by her arms and shackled her wrists and bare ankles, dragging her by the arms out the cell so that her feet barely touched the cold floor. "Mom!" Sydney cried trying to reach out to her as she was taken in the opposite direction down the cellblocks pathway. "I love you!" She cried loudly after Irina, knowing she might very well never see her mother alive again.
Irina's heart was aching as she fought back her tears knowing where she was going and hearing Sydney's proclamation. She was drug down the steps and across the big aisle in front of the cross and her body involuntarily shuttered as they passed and drug through a door and up another set of stairs…the stairs to Cuvee's old office. Her tears immediately began coursing down her cheeks when she saw the old room that haunted her in her nightmares and cried silently as they bent her over, shackling her bloody, ragged wrists into the special restraints Cuvee had always loved and then her ankles to the ones on the floor, forcing her legs apart slightly and she closed her eyes, laying her head on the cool metal desk as her tears rolled over her nose and pooled on its shiny surface.
The guards left and ten minutes later she heard Cuvee's footsteps coming up the metal stairs and quickly reined in her emotions. Locking them away and out of his reach. She had survived this before…she could do it again if it meant sparing her daughter from one of his attacks.
"Now there is a vision I see in my dreams." He smiled with a leering gaze as he entered the door and saw the profile of Irina bent over his old desk, puffing on his sickening cigarette with a cigar in his jacket pocket, something he always saved for after. "This seems familiar. We shall have fun today." He walked over to her, running his hand softly over her wild mane of long hair and brushing her swollen cheek with his fingers and she tried to pull away from his touch. "I don't know why you fight it. It only arouses me more, my vicious little Minx." He laughed deeply before taking another drag. "So, do you suppose that your precious little bastard has been completely ravaged by now? Or do you think the rats are still feasting on her tender flesh?" He leaned over whispering in her ear, trying to provoke her.
Irina fought the biggest war of her life internally at keeping her emotions compartmentalized and stopped her mind from thinking about Lena right now, knowing she would lose it completely if she did.
"I'm sure that pathetic man you call your husband has traced the car Sydney arrived in by now and found the remains of your child." He inhaled giving a dramatic pause before exhaling in her face. "If there is anything left to be found. With that many rats, its doubtful…just bones perhaps." He kept prodding into her open wound with a hot tormenting poker trying to get her to break for him. "Which is more then he'll ever find of you." His eyes bore into hers with an acute hatred and lust, "Or maybe I'll mail you back to him a piece at a time." He laughed deeply and brushed her hair off her neck to place a wet kiss behind her ear sending shivers of disgust through her body, which he only took as encouragement. "I see I still have an affect on you." He smiled as his mouth moved over the exposed flesh of her upper back. "You may act disgusted but your body doesn't lie. I can remember making you cum and scream with pleasure not so long ago."
"I was faking it, every time, you bastard." She replied in a deadly calm tone, dripping with venom, remembering those revolting times where she had to sacrifice her body to him in order to get what she wanted.
His only response was more laughter, amused by her quick, witted retort.
"And let me guess, your precious Jack is the only one who can make you scream his name?" He laughed deeply, pulling his mouth away to inhale another line of nicotine, "Well I can guarantee, you'll be screaming his name again soon but for a whole other reason, my Royal Whore." His lips bit and kissed the flesh on the back of her neck before his eyes narrowed and he pressed his burning cigarette into the back of her neck, twisting it out in her skin and making Irina's face contort in pain as she held in a scream feeling and smelling her flesh burning.
When he was finished he flicked the cigarette across the room; and smiled at the new mark he made on her body.
"I think its time we teach Sydney a little history about her mother."
Irina's eyes flashed open with his words and the sound of many pairs of footsteps came rapidly up the steps. Sydney burst through the door with her head bleeding and a split lip from trying to fight with the guards and Irina saw she had inflicted some damage to them as well.
"Mom..." She hissed out barely above a whisper, tears flooding her eyes seeing her mother bent over the desk Irina had told she and her father about from her private torture and rape sessions with Cuvee.
"This bitch is feisty!" One of the guards spat wiping his bloody lip as the other two guards shackled Sydney with her arms above her head against the wall to the side and front of Irina at an angle.
Cuvee laughed stepping closer to Sydney as the guards left, seeing the fire in her eyes and the defiance in her posture, even shackled to a wall.
"Just like her mother!" He continued to laugh and leer at her half naked body as she stood before him only in bra and pants. "Your mother was such a wild spirit when she first returned to Russia and look at her now," His gaze turned to Irina lying bent over his desk, arms and legs spread and shackled, "A sad pathetic whore. I broke her," He smiled at Irina then Sydney with a lecherous grin, running the backs of his fingers down Sydney's chest and Irina's breathing picked up rapidly watching his disgusting hands on her daughter, "I will break you, too." His hands ran up Sydney's sides and palmed her breasts beneath the sheer fabric of her black bra, running his thumbs over her nipples and Sydney ground her teeth and her heart pounded rapidly in her chest staring into the man's haunting eyes and feeling his hands on her body.