Happy Valentines Day danamulder! Hope you like the stuff, there are quite a few icons, a fanfic that is really long sorry, and a few blends and random stuff or something. *shrugs* the rest are all behind the cut! ^_^
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Play on Words
The morning started in Lensin,
The previous night he had become well acquainted with his new fury friend. The cat must have been made for him, for, and as his father observed, the two became instant companions as the kitten reacted with no anxiety toward the small boy. Michael’s favorite feature of his little creature, and perhaps Fuzie’s (for that was her name) favorite of Michael, were the eyes. It was as if the gray eyes of Fuzie were mystically transfixed to gaze into his. He could not wait tell his schoolmates of this enchanting cherub.
Michael shrugged off all of the normal morning duties: the brushing of teeth, bathing, and even agonizing over his wardrobe choices for the coming school day. No, he simply brushed his hair, snatched his coat, and ran out the door, chirping to his parents as he ran a quick, “Bye!” and then disappearing.
Michael walked to school almost everyday. The school was not far from his home, perhaps only a few miles distance, and he loved the excursions through vacant lots and cemeteries that could be found along the way. This day was perfect. The sun was rising over the beautiful
Michael gazed upon the scene in awe, and felt an inward joy, which brought an awareness of his place in the world. A tear almost manifested itself in his eye, but lacked the strength to develop fully and run down his cheek. “It’s perfect!” he exclaimed, as he turned and ran to the faint laughter of his schoolmates in the playground. His day had begun.
* * *
Jack Bristow walked into the briefing room in the
“I’ve just received some disturbing intelligence reports from
“I’ll take one of those” Vaughn said, with a touch of laughter.
“I would too” said Jack, “Only there is one problem. The device not only acts as an incredible healing device, but paradoxically, it also acts as mechanism of death. I think most of you in this room are familiar with the Kladova massacre, which occurred in what is now
Khan chirped in, “Yes, 1591...a renegade Serbian military unit slaughtered over 900 civilians in a matter of hours.”
“Ah, forgive me.” Jack said, and pointing with his hand to Khan, said: “This is Khan Baru, a regional expert in Slavic and Islamic affairs, and this is Lu Chang,” pointing to Lu, “an expert on Rambaldi artifacts and literature, and a former member of the Chinese Red Army.” He then introduced Sydney and Vaughn to Khan and Lu.
“Anyway,” he continued, “That’s the official history of the event. The truth is much more...unpleasant, however. Two monks belonging to an occultic Christian sect found the device and began experimenting with it. At first they had used it to heal small animals that they infected with an unknown bacteria – possibly bubonic plague – and they were quite successful in their application of the device. That is where the details become vague because-”
“Because of a lack of survivors?” Vaughn interjected, with a cocky grin.
Jack was amused, but somewhat irritated. “Exactly. Their aim was to heal several members of their convent and some of the townspeople who had contracted bubonic plague, thereby preventing another outbreak in
“My God” said
Lu Chang, who had been silent throughout the entire briefing, spoke up, “I wish I could,” he replied, “but I’m afraid that’s impossible.” He took a quick glance down at his watch, and looked up. “There was one survivor.” He began, “A man known only by the name of Chaim ben Mirari. He was a 16th century Jewish Kabalist, Christian Mystic, and even follower of the Islamic faith – a nice hodgepodge if you will – who also believed he was under the protection of the Devil.”
Vaughn couldn’t resist another witty escapade, “Whoa, sounds like this guy’s got all his bases covered.”
Jack saw the interchange, but switched his glance back at Lu: “Continue.”
“His name literally means ‘Life is the son of Illusions,’ It is a mix of Ancient Hebrew and Latin...and...we have been unable to ascertain the significance of this name. But, we know that he was born simply as Daviore on a road between
“That we do know.” replied Lu, “The device was kept by Mr. Mirari until he could find three extremely ascetic and stoic Christian monks to take the device to what is now
“Until now.” Jack interjected. “We believe the device is in
Jack replied: “The fun part is, all of you in this room are going to Kasakhstan to get that device the-hell-out-of-there.” His last words clearly emphasized his desire to get this device out of Khazakhstan. The unthinkable was possibly and unknowingly about to become a reality in a remote region of
* * *
That night at around 16:00 hours, Vaughn was preparing dinner at his home in the hills just outside of
Lauren was sitting on a couch reading. She had offered to aid in the preparation of the meal, but her husband had gently refused her help. She knew that something had come up. His solemn demeanor gave it away the moment he had walked in that evening. He saw her sitting there, and closed his eyes for a moment, his thoughts drifting to the happy moments in their life together. He opened his eyes and met hers, and smiled. “Dinner is ready,” he said.
“It smells wonderful Michael.”
“Yes, it does. Thank you.”
He escorted her to the table, and was completely gentlemanly in his conduct. The meal was on the table, as well as several candles, a bottle of wine, and decorative ring of red and white roses in the center of the table. He served her first, then took his portion, and began to eat. He figured that this would as good a time as any to tell her the news.
“I have to go.” he said to his wife, in an undertone.
There was a rather long pause. “Work related?” she finally replied, looking into his eyes.
“Ah.” She replied with an air of understanding. She too, worked for the Central Intelligence Agency, and she understood what his words meant. They meant days, weeks, possibly months away from her, without the slightest perception of where or what he would be doing. She too had spoken the same words to him, and he too had responded as she now was.
“It is an interesting life we lead, Michael.”
“Perhaps when you climb the ladder a bit, we’ll have more time together.”
“I will...long for you, while you are gone.”
“I know you will...as I will for you.” he replied, and added with a touch of melancholy: “I love you Sy-so much, Lauren.” He almost erred in a most forbidden manner. Why he had been thinking of
“I love you too Michael.” Her words expressed the same feeling as his; yet, hers were deeper.
They finished their meal, and retreated to the confines of sleep.
* * *
Two days later, at 21:00, Michael Vaughn, Sydney Bristow, Lu Chang, and Khan Baru, were in a plane flying low over the border between
“Your team is going in two miles outside of Ekibastuz in
The agent continued with details: “Alright, from Ekibastuz, you will proceed northeast to
At 01:00 they left the safety of their plane and had hit soil of the foreboding land. They had met up with their contact without any problems, and were now on their way toward
Vaughn could no longer sit silently next to
“You have compromised me, Sydney.” His voice trembled, “No...not you...I have compromised this mission.
Vaughn was somewhat surprised at this response. He had expected condemnation, not the likewise feeling that was now apparent.
“Sydney, a few days ago I was having dinner with her – with my wife – and I almost spoke your name when I was talking to her...I almost said that I loved you, right to her face. The memories I have with her are as the memories a schoolboy has of his excursions into the woods...they are only lukewarm...but they aren’t satisfying. But you...you are as a kitten I once had...a beautiful kitten. Her eyes...the kitten’s eyes...
“Vaughn” she said, “I love you, you know that...but what we have here can never be.” her voice, was also trembling. “Vaughn, it wasn’t meant to be. You have something very special with your wife...Vaughn”-
Khan interrupted them; he had opened the back window of the pickup and handed
“Thanks,” responded Vaughn, with a bored tone, for his thoughts were elsewhere.
They both put the transmitters on,
“I guess we won’t get lost now, at least from the people back in
Khan interrupted again, “Alright, we need to get off the main road, we are almost to the base, check the equipment.”
The moment would have to wait. Vaughn and Sydney began checking the equipment as Khan had asked. Nothing would be easy from now on. A great awkwardness would now exist between Vaughn and Sydney. The road they were on became very narrow and run down. Khan opened the window again, Vaughn heard, and became instantly annoyed: “What the hell is it now-” his words were cut off by a quick turn of the vehicle into the trees. Something was wrong.
“There’s a military convoy coming!” Khan said, in a horror filled voice.
A paramilitary convoy was indeed coming down the road. Several troop transports went by, as well as three tanks. The entire garrison at the base had been sent out to on a training exercise. The team was beside themselves with glee. There would only be a minimum number of guards and troops left at the old base.
The team was ready. By the layout of the base, and the predictability of the drunk guards at the gate, the team saw a direct entrance as most appropriate. The white pickup came up to the gate, and stopped next to the guard house.
The guard got up, and opened the window, and said dully: “Eedenifikatsia eele razreshenye...pazhalusta.”
Vaughn, who was now in the driver’s seat, responded: “Zdyes!”
The Guard received two pistol shots to the head, the two other guards sitting in the small building got up, and reached for their Kalashnikovs, but it was too late, Khan and Lu had taken them out with short bursts from their own AKs. The gate was secure, now the road to the rest of the base was clear. Trees surrounded the road and the main compound, giving the agents perfect cover of movement. The truck went up the road till the main compound was in sight, Vaughn and Sydney jumped out and headed toward the front entrance, while Khan and Lu ran to the utility building on the left to the cut the power going to most of the camp.
Dawn was approaching, and the sky was beginning to brighten up with the rays of the morning sun.
Sydney and Vaughn headed down the main hallway, which led to a second about 20 or 30 yards down from the entrance. If their intelligence was accurate, at the end of that hallway would be a stairway, leading to a bunker. They came to the end of the hall, and tried to open the door; it was locked. Vaughn put a small explosive charge in the door just below the handle, and seconds later, the obstacle was no longer a problem. The power went out 10 seconds after the explosion, Khan and Lu had been successful. Vaughn and Sydney ran down the staircase, coming upon two soldiers going in the opposite direction.
Lu ran out of the utility building in time to see a Soviet built T-72 blow their only means of transportation 50 yards into the air. The convoy had returned. Lu ran back into the utility building with a sense of horror. “Shit!” he yelled.
The other two members in the bunker heard the explosion, but continued with their mission. Surprisingly, the inside of the bunker was absent of any guards.
“They must have tested it!” Vaughn yelled to
They were both searching with the room with night vision goggles, and both came upon a metal box in the middle of the room. “That must be it!”
“Alright! We got it,”
“Let’s get the h-e-l-l out of here!” he replied.
It didn’t take the leader of this small paramilitary unit to realize that someone had sabotaged the power to almost the entire facility. Heavy smoke was coming out of the facility. He had 30 young Kazakhs storm the utility building to drag Khan and Lu out. A small gun battle took place in the building, the two men who had volunteered their services to the CIA were both badly wounded in the fight, and were eventually taken, but not without inflicting some 14 casualties to their captors. Sydney and Vaughn reached the front of the building just in time to see Khan and Lu summarily executed.
“They blew up the truck!” Vaughn said.
Just at that moment three soldiers ran out of a room toward Sydney and Vaughn. Vaughn turned around just in time, and shot one of the soldiers with his pistol, but fired sporadically at the other two and ran out of ammunition trying to hit them. Sydney and Vaughn ran toward them to engage in a hand to hand battle for survival. One of the soldiers managed to get a shot off, which grazed
They thought they heard soldiers slowly approaching the front of the building, so Vaughn grabbed a smoke grenade from his belt, pulled the pin, and left it on the floor. They started back toward the other end of the building, when an RPG round came in and detonated right in front of Vaughn. Shrapnel went in every direction, and the two were dazed for several seconds. Vaughn was screaming; several pieces of hot shrapnel were in his right boot.
Several soldiers saw and reached the back of the compound just as Sydney and Vaughn were ducking into the forest. The two soldiers fired at the fleeing agents. Whiz! Sydney and Vaughn heard the shots go by their heads just as reached the safety and protection of the forest.
“That was a close one! Vaughn said, almost out of breath.
“They don’t get much closer than that!” replied
They could hear faint voices in the behind them. The renegade Kazakhs were not going to give up their artifact without a fight. Sydney and Vaughn conferred what their plan of action should be.
“We need to get to the extraction point...” Vaughn said, “It shouldn’t be in the direction that we’re going now – only eight miles from here.”
“Yes! But we can’t get there with them on our backs!”
They were a few hundred yards away from the compound now, in a densely forested area with no underbrush. They had slackened their pace somewhat because the voices they had heard several moments before had ceased. They came to a sharp rise in the terrain that extended about ten yards, and then dropped off slowly. It opened into a woody area where the ground looked as if it had recently been torn up for some reason.
“Ouch!” Vaughn had stepped on a sharp stick in the ground, “Damn it!”
“Oh my God!” yelled
Just at that moment, two soldiers appeared on the rise behind them, and opened fire. Sydney was hit the in the right leg below the knee. Vaughn kneeled, and turned aro