01x18 - Masquerade

"Masquerade" episode #1.18

(Open to Mt. Sebacio in Italy. Sydney rock climbs her way up the side of the mountain. She moves up, and stumbles a bit, but makes her way to the top of the mountain just as the sun is setting. She sits down, panting, to see the sun disappear behind a mountain. She takes off her sunglasses and wipes the sweat from her face. Looks around. Yanks out a sat comm phone and dials.)

VOICE: Agent King.

SYDNEY: Agent Utley, please.

VOICE: Who's speaking?

SYDNEY: Tell him it's about a fugitive the FBI has been looking for. The fugitive is me.

(She looks out at the sunset.)

(Los Angeles. Thunder rumbles. Inside a parked car in the middle of a rainstorm, Sydney and Jack sit.)

SYDNEY: I don't know how to thank you for helping me.

JACK: Don't thank me. Devlin said the FBI's focusing their investigation where it should have been all along. Instead of persecuting you, they should have been searching for your mother.

SYDNEY: But they were convinced she was dead.

JACK: No. While you were in Italy, I did something I've never done before.

(Cut to a room with aisles and aisles of filing cabinets. Jack frantically looks through one of them.)

JACK: (voice over) I violated the CIA's trust. I broke into Langley's classified archives.

(Back in the car.)

JACK: I pulled the operational file on your mother to see if I could find anything that might prove your intuition correct. Apparently, after the accident, an internal commission was formed to assess the damage she'd done to United States intelligence.

(In the room, Jack flips through the report and looks up, astonished.)

JACK: (voice over) The commission was comprised of people I'd worked with since I'd joined the Agency, but one name stood out in particular.

(Sloane's office. Jack stands before Sloane.)

JACK: Twenty years ago, back at the CIA, you were on a commission that investigated Laura's death. When I heard that, I couldn't imagine why you never told me. Unless the commission discovered something it didn't want me to know about. Laura didn't die in the accident, did she?

(Back in the car.)

JACK: Given my state at the time, they thought it was best that I wasn't told. They don't know what happened to her. Where she went. She could still be in this country, for all they know.

SYDNEY: Dad... I'm going to find her. I have to.

(Jack explodes.)

JACK: Searching for that woman will accomplish nothing! No good can come from it!

SYDNEY: I need to know where she is.

JACK: Sydney, we don't even know if she's still alive!

SYDNEY: I know.

JACK: Even if she is, it doesn't change what she did!

SYDNEY: Dad, I know!

JACK: Do you expect her just to say... "I'm sorry"?

SYDNEY: I don't know what to expect!

JACK: Well, you better know exactly what to expect!

(He pauses, breathing deeply.)

JACK: What could she ever say... that would satisfy you?

(When he says this, his voice breaks a little. Sydney watches him.)

(In her bed that night, Sydney stares at the ceiling, wide awake.)

SYDNEY: (voice over) I have this memory of my father. I was maybe five-years-old. We were camping with my mother. I broke my leg.

(She sits up at the edge of her bed.)

SYDNEY: (voice over) And he picked me up, and carried me miles back to the car. And I remember looking up at him and thinking he was the strongest man in the world.

(She dials the phone.)

(Self-storage. In the middle of the night, Sydney and Vaughn sit across from each other.)

SYDNEY: Seeing him there in the car, looking so damaged... I've never seen him like that. The idea that I want to find my mother... it scares him.

VAUGHN: (sighs) Well, I don't exactly have a neutral point of view on the subject of your mother, but your father's got a point.

SYDNEY: I know, and maybe I'm being reckless or selfish... or masochistic. But if my mother is alive, then I just have to know that. Can you help me get everything the CIA's got on her?

VAUGHN: Actually, I can't. All information concerning her has been classified omega 17 by the FBI, including her connections to the Rambaldi prophecy.

SYDNEY: Dozens of agents must be looking for her, maybe hundreds. And they're not going to let me be a part of the operation, are they?

VAUGHN: Sydney, I know you need help but this time... I just don't have it to give. I'm sorry.

(Sloane's house, that night.)

SYDNEY: Please apologize to Emily for me if I woke her.

SLOANE: No, it's all right. It's not necessary. Emily is used to the phone ringing in the middle of the night. You've been avoiding me.

SYDNEY: When I found out that my mother might still be alive, I just needed some time to sort it out.

SLOANE: I understand. Now you want to know how I could have hidden the truth from you.

SYDNEY: No. I don't want an explanation. I came here because I need you to help me find her.

SLOANE: Mmm. Sydney... how much do you remember about the year after you were told that your mother died?

SYDNEY: I remember... just feeling disconnected from everything. My father was away on business for most of that year.

SLOANE: No. Your father spent six months in solitary in a federal prison. He was suspected of being in collusion with Laura. The FBI almost tried him for treason and even though he was vindicated, the damage was done. And he began to unravel.

SYDNEY: Unravel...

SLOANE: He drank. He started taking unnecessary risks. Come on, Sydney, you know the father he was to you all those years. He took a long time to fully recover and I was under direct orders from the DCI not to let him know that Laura survived the accident. Unfortunately, that also required lying to you.

SYDNEY: Well... now that I know the truth, I am removing myself from active duty until I find out what happened to her.

SLOANE: And I am in no position to allow you to go off on what appears to be a rogue operation that would compromise the Agency.

SYDNEY: Every day you send me out on operations that could compromise this Agency, but as long as it's for SD-6, the risk is acceptable. It is time that SD-6 took a risk for me.

(Sloane gets up and moves closer to her. He rubs her shoulder.)

SLOANE: A daughter has a right to know her mother. I'll help you find her.

(Sydney and Francie's house, that morning. Will eats chocolate chips out of a jar. Francie fries up some pancakes.)

FRANCIE: Okay, seriously, we are not putting chocolate chips in the pancakes.

WILL: I got news for you. Oh yes we are.

(Sydney walks in, wearing her jammies.)

SYDNEY: Hey, guys.

WILL: Hey.

SYDNEY: Good morning.

FRANCIE: Oh, you still live here?

SYDNEY: I know.

WILL: Hey, did that finance seminar take a whole week?

SYDNEY: If you have any questions about offshore tax shelters, I'm your girl. What are you guys doing today?

WILL: Francie's going to take me to look for a new tuxedo.


(Sitting at the table, she pours herself something to drink.)

WILL: For the, um, the awards thing.

SYDNEY: Can we come?

WILL: Not a chance in hell.

FRANCIE: He's too embarrassed.

SYDNEY: We're definitely coming.

(Francie comes over to Sydney with the pancakes and spots a large bruise on Sydney's arm.)

FRANCIE: Oh, my God. What happened to your arm?

SYDNEY: Oh. Oh. On the flight back from Seattle, this guy hit me with his carryon, pulling it from the overhead.

FRANCIE: (not convinced) Oh.

SYDNEY: Are these chocolate chips?

WILL: Thank you. Thank you very much.

(Conference room at SD-6 with Dixon, Sydney, Jack and Sloane.)

SLOANE: As you know, we've identified Alexander Khasinau as the person referred to in underground intelligence circles as The Man.

JACK: He controls more assets than the Russian mafia, and thanks to his old Cold War connections with foreign intelligence, he has the legitimacy of a fledgling government.

(Marshall bursts in, his face covered in welts.)

MARSHALL: Hi. Sorry I'm late. And sorry that I have hives. I'm developing a dermal pigment capsule and, you know... not quite right. It reacted... you know, just nevermind. And, y'know, it'll be gone in a couple hours so... excuse me.

(He sits down sheepishly.)

JACK: For the last five years we've had two deep cover agents in the Russian embassy in Vienna. One of them is this man. Kyle Wexler. We recently received a priority one communique from Wexler, indicating that Khasinau has just converted two hundred and fifty million dollars worht of assets into cash.

SLOANE: We need to know what he's spending that money on.

JACK: He did manage to include that he's acquired evidence of Khasinau's transactions, which he's encoded onto a microchip. He's scheduled a brush pass Saturday night at the embassy. They're holding their annual Maslyanitsa celebration, and we've arranged for you to attend.

(Sloane's office.)

SYDNEY: I told you, I can't focus on active duty when I'm looking for--

SLOANE: Khasinau has become this Agency's top priority, and I promise you, he'll become yours as well.

SYDNEY: What I have to do can't wait!

SLOANE: Sydney, I understand how you feel. I want you to listen to me.

SYDNEY: I don't understand what Khasinau has to do with my mother!

SLOANE: He has everything to do with your mother. He was her superior. When you first identified Khasinau as The Man, I recognized his name from your mother's investigations. I thought, "This has to be a coincidence." I did some checking. He was her superior back in his days at the KGB. This is the only clue I have to offer you. Get the microchip. The more we find out about Khasinau, the closer you get to your mother.

(In the garage, Sydney hits a button and her car alarm chirps. Jack runs out, following her.)

JACK: Sydney! I saw you leave Sloane's office.

SYDNEY: I was planning on telling you...

JACK: You've asked Sloane to help you find your mother, haven't you?


JACK: I thought by now you'd know not to ask Sloane for a favor. You'll spend more time than you care to paying it back!

SYDNEY: What choice do I have?

JACK: You can choose not to go!

SYDNEY: Dad... Khasinau was Mom's superior.

(In Vienna, it's a masquerade ball and it's very glamorous. Balloons are in a net on the ceiling. People with masks on dance around. A small orchestra plays. Dixon and Sydney, with masks on, enter the room.)

DIXON: May I have this dance?

SYDNEY: With pleasure.

(They bow and walk to the cneter of the room, and start dancing.)

(Jack enters Sloane's office. Sloane's on the phone, speaking French, and hangs up.)

JACK: I'd like to talk to you.

SLOANE: Of course, Jack. What's on your mind?

JACK: Interesting development about Khasinau.

SLOANE: I see. So, you spoke to Sydney. Well, you have every right to be angry, but I was under orders to keep the commission's findings confidential.

JACK: That I understand. What I don't understand is why you agreed to help Sydney find her mother without consulting me.

SLOANE: Well, she's a grown woman. She was going to pursue this with or without our blessing.

JACK: She'll only find disappointment, whatever the outcome.

SLOANE: Well, that depends on what she's expecting. You are different people, Jack. Are you sure this isn't affecting you more than you would like to admit?

JACK: I assure you, my concern is only for Sydney.

SLOANE: Yeah. Well, your assurances notwithstanding, I think it would be best if you took a break from active duty. Just, what, a few days... to clear your head.

JACK: I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving Sydney alone right now. If she were your daughter, I'm sure you'd understand.

SLOANE: You should know by now that my interest is in protecting Sydney. It's always been my pleasure to fill in for you when you were... indisposed.

(Back at the masquerade ball, Dixon and Sydney are dancing.)

DIXON: You ready?

SYDNEY: Ready.

(She flicks her earring. Flashback to Marshall briefing.)

MARSHALL: Okay, these are going to make you look radiant. And I mean that literally because once you activate them, they will emit an infrared pulse that is invisible to the naked eye. But thanks to our SOP for high-visibility brush passes, the agent you're meeting will know to wear IRC-capable contacts and, uh, that's how he'll identify you.

(Back at the ball, Dixon twirls Sydney while an agent walks in, wearing a tuxedo and a mask. He spots the red glow from the earrings that no one else sees. He watches Sydney for a moment, a flicker of recognition in his eyes but he kind of shakes it off and approaches Dixon and Sydney.)

AGENT: Excuse me. May I cut in?

DIXON: Of course. But I should warn you... she likes to lead.

AGENT: Oh, that's good. Maybe I'll learn something new.

(Dixon leaves. Agent and Sydney bow and start dancing.)

AGENT: Listen to me carefully. Wexler's dead.


AGENT: We can't stay here. It's only a matter of time before my cover's blown, too.

SYDNEY: Who are you?

AGENT: Wexler's partner.

SYDNEY: That's my ring you feel on your neck. It's a jet injector for a neurotoxin.

AGENT: I can give you the old bona fides.

SYDNEY: How do I know this isn't a set-up?

AGENT: Credit Dauphine is SD-6's front company. Marshall runs the op tech division. And Sloane... is a humorless son of a bitch.

(He nods. She nods. He takes her hand in his and they jog out. Sydney talks to Dixon, who's getting a drink, via her transmitter.)

SYDNEY: Dixon, change of plans. Wexler's dead. He may have talked. I'm going for the microchip.

DIXON: Copy that. I'll have the car brought around front.

(Dixon leaves to fetch the car. Sydney and the agent are walking down a hall to find the microchip.)

AGENT: Is that ring you're wearing one of Marshall's new toys?

SYDNEY: I was bluffing. Were you recruited right out of college?


SYDNEY: Which?

AGENT: Berkley.

(Sydney stops, frozen. She takes off her mask. He takes off his. Agent's name is Noah. Sydney is shocked.)

SYDNEY: Oh, my God.

NOAH: Oh, my God.

(Two guards are about to come in. Sydney grabs Noah and kisses him.)

GUARD: This is a restricted area.

(They continue kissing.)


(Sydney and Noah take the two guards down. Noah looks at her.)

NOAH: How you been?

(Noah enters a storage room. Sydney follows.)

SYDNEY: I can't believe it's you.

NOAH: Yeah.

SYDNEY: What are you doing here?

NOAH: Wexler was undercover as executive secretary when he was compromised. The ambassador's on Khasinau's payroll. So is embassy security.

SYDNEY: What are we looking for?

NOAH: This.

(He walks up to a chamber and punches in a code.)

NOAH: Khasinau ships everything through the embassy so he doesn't have to deal with police, or customs inspections.

(He opens the door of the chamber. Inside, is Wexler's frozen body.)

SYDNEY: God, it's Wexler.

NOAH: The ambassador did not know he had a chip, so I'm guessing he stashed it someplace.

SYDNEY: Or he swallowed it.

(Noah tears open Wexler's shirt and takes out a knife. He cuts open Wexler's chest without thinking twice.)

(Outside, Dixon approaches the driver of their limo.)

DIXON: Okay, what--

(He touches him and the driver slumps over, dead. Dixon stands up and a man from behind him cocks a gun pointed at Dixon's head. Dixon takes him in a choke hold, punches him in the throat, and has him backed up against the car. He takes the man's gun and shoots him twice in the gut with the help of the silencer. Dixon puts him down on the ground and speaks to Sydney.)

DIXON: Sydney, abort! They knew we were coming. They'll be looking for you. I'll meet you out front.

SYDNEY: We need another minute. We almost have the microchip.

(Noah is going through the contents of Wexler's stomach. Dixon turns and sees that the front tires of the limo are slashed. Noah rifles through Wexler's stomach.)

NOAH: Aw, dammit. His stomach's empty.

SYDNEY: It could be lodged in his esophogas.

(Noah takes his knife and points it to Wexler's adam's apple. He slices it open. Sydney looks a little squeamish, but Noah doesn't seem to be bothered by it.)

NOAH: You want to give me a hand here and spread?

(Sydney does so, hesitantly.)

NOAH: Little bit wider.


NOAH: You been good, generally?

SYDNEY: Yeah, you know the work.

NOAH: Yeah. There it is. You see it?

(Sydney reaches in.)

SYDNEY: Got it.

(Out at the ball, the orchestra plays. Sydney and Noah try to exit. They stop when they see two burly men coming their way. Noah stops at the wire holding up the net of balloons on the ceiling and takes out his knife yet again. He slashes the rope and he keeps walking with Sydney as all the balloons fall on the guests, obstructing the view of the two men. The party guests gasp and oooh and ahh. Sydney and Noah run out as Dixon pulls up with a horse and carriage outside. The horses neigh.)

DIXON: Woahhhh. Get in!

SYDNEY: I'm not going to ask...

NOAH: Dixon.

DIXON: Noah?!

SYDNEY: Let's go, let's go.

(They ride away from the party as fireworks go off in the sky above.)

(On the plane, Sydney and Dixon sit.)

DIXON: I'm not real anxious to see Sloane's face when he hears we had to pull Noah out.

SYDNEY: What choice did we have?

DIXON: Do me a favor, Syd. Tread carefully here. Until he goes through debriefing, I wouldn't get too friendly.

SYDNEY: It's ancient history. It was five years ago.

(Speaking of the devil, Noah walks up.)

NOAH: Anybody have change for a hundred rubels? There's a lady back in coach who's about to kill me.

DIXON: I was about to stretch my legs anyway.

NOAH: Really?

DIXON: Yeah.

NOAH: Thanks.

(Noah sits down next to Sydney, Dixon leaves.)

NOAH: Ah. Hi.


(Noah watches her intently. Sydney tries to read, biting her lip. Noah watches. She feels him watching her.)

SYDNEY: I should get some sleep.

(She leans her head against the plane window.)

NOAH: Syd, if you're mad, that's fine. I understand. But, really, you don't want to talk, it's okay. You don't have to be polite. I just--I just want you to know that I'm not mad anymore and I don't think you should be, either.

SYDNEY: You're not mad?

NOAH: Mm mm.

SYDNEY: What do you ever have to be mad about?

NOAH: Listen, I understand it must have been hard for you, personally, when I left. But come on, you didn't even put up a fight!

SYDNEY: What kind of fight was I supposed to put up?

NOAH: I waited for you for six hours.

SYDNEY: What are you talking about?

NOAH: You didn't show up. You didn't even call.

(Here is where they start to talk over one another.)

SYDNEY: I didn't even know where you were going--

NOAH: --Any effort, whatsoever!

SYDNEY: I showed up for work and Sloane said you'd been transferred abroad--

NOAH: I wrote to you! I wrote.


NOAH: I told you to meet me in San Pedro.

SYDNEY: I never got a letter.

NOAH: I didn't send you a letter. I wasn't allowed to discuss my reassignment. I encoded a message in a junk e-mail. You should've been able to pick it up from the subject line.

(Sydney stops.)

SYDNEY: I always set my computer to filter out junk e-mail.

(Back in Los Angeles, in front of an unhappy Sloane in Sloane's office, Dixon, Noah and Sydney stand.)

SLOANE: This constitutes a major set-back. By extracting Agent Hicks, you've squandered a five-year investment.

SYDNEY: We didn't have a choice.

NOAH: C'mon, Sloane. It's not her fault. Your investment was burned. If they didn't get me out of there, the exact same thing that happened to Wexler, would've happened to me. As far as I'm concerned, the fact that we even got the microchip means he didn't die in vain.

SLOANE: I'll listen to your report after you've been evaluated by security section. Dixon, will you escort Agent Hicks to McCullough, please?

(Dixon and Noah leave.)

SLOANE: Now, I have done you a favor, Sydney. So, should the need ever arise... I'm sure that I can count on you to return it.

(Interrogation room. Noah wears monitors and censors on his forehead, while McCullough watches the results from behind a computer.)

NOAH: In '97, I was admitted as a graduate student to the Moscow Institute for Intellgence Relations. Worked as a courier for the Russian embassy in Baghdad. On the visa desk at the consulate in Capetown. In November of 2001, I was put on as an attache at the Viennese embassy and given a low-level clearance.

MCCULLOUGH: While you were under alias as a member of the Russian diplomatic corps, were you approached by any othe agencies for recruitment?

NOAH: Yes.

MCCULLOUGH: Which agency?

NOAH: K-Directorate.

MCCULLOUGH: Did you accept their offer?

NOAH: Yes, I did. They're listening to this conversation right now.

(The meters go wild.)

MCCULLOUGH: Please answer the question truthfully.

NOAH: Of course not.

MCCULLOUGH: Why did you volunteer for prolonged undercover assignment to begin with?

NOAH: I fail to see how my motive are relevant. My reasons are my own.

MCCULLOUGH: Unfortunately, Agent Hicks, they are not.

(Noah nods a little.)

NOAH: Okay. Um... ahem. Because I was in love. And I was afraid to admit that to myself. I saw that as a sign of weakness in this work. So, I left.

(Sydney is watching behind the two-way mirror, her arms folded across her chest.)

NOAH: The only reason that I am able to speak with any kind of perspective about that now, is that I've had five years to regret that mistake.

MCCULLOUGH: May I have the name of the person to whom you are referring?

NOAH: Absolutely not.

MCCULLOUGH: You are aware that I have the authority to take steps that will compel you to answer.

NOAH: Yes, I am. And I am also aware that the only other deep cover agent anywhere near Khasinau is dead, which makes me somewhat of a valued commodity. So, I suggest we keep the questions limited to subjects that SD-6 really needs to know about. Besides, where I come from, a gentleman doesn't kiss and tell.

(Meeting with Vaughn and Sydney, in the middle of a clearing.)

VAUGHN: Our station chief in Vienna got your dead drop. I read your debrief, I'm sorry you had a rough time at the embassy.

SYDNEY: Thanks. If anything turns up on the microchip, I'll let you know.

VAUGHN: The agent you extracted -- Noah Hicks -- you mentioned him in the initial background report you wrote when you first made contact with the CIA.

SYDNEY: We met when I was a trainee.


SYDNEY: We actually dated for a while.

VAUGHN: Really.

SYDNEY: We kept it under the radar. SD-6 discourages, you know, fraternization among agents.

VAUGHN: (pointedly) So does the CIA. There's one more thing. Do you know where your father's been lately?

SYDNEY: I talked to him an hour ago. Why?

VAUGHN: Kretchmer's left two call signals for a meeting, but we haven't received confirmation yet. Is he okay?

(At a bar, Jack sits at the counter and takes a drink from his glass of what looks like scotch. Sydney enters and sits beside him.)

SYDNEY: Club soda, please.

JACK: How'd you find me?

SYDNEY: Your car was still parked in your garage. I thought you might've walked somewhere close. This is the fifth place I've looked.

JACK: Mike, can I get the check?

MIKE: Yeah, sure.

(Sydney takes a drink from her club soda.)

SYDNEY: Dad... it's two o'clock in the afternoon. What are you doing here?

(He says nothing.)

SYDNEY: I think you might want to talk to someone.

JACK: Noted.

SYDNEY: Six months ago, I wasn't... I didn't even know how to talk to you, but now I feel like at least I feel like I can come to you and say--

JACK: What's happening between us, Sydney, is temporary.

SYDNEY: I'm not suggesting the person you talk to should be me. It shouldn't be. But the CIA has counselors. I think you should see one of them.

JACK: Sydney, you are responsible for no one but yourself.

SYDNEY: (loud) It's not irrational for me to be worried about you!

JACK: Please... keep... your voice... down.

(He takes another drink.)

SYDNEY: I didn't think you'd listen to my advice. So I made it official.

(Jack looks at her, alarmed.)

SYDNEY: I came here to pass along an order from Devlin. You're going to see a counselor for trauma evaluation.

(She throws some money on the bar and leaves.)

(Noah types on a laptop. Sydney enters.)

NOAH: Hey, Syd. I'm sorry you had to come down. It's my fault, really. We're uploading the microchip. There's ten thousand files in fourteen different languages. Linguistics needs all the help they can get.

SYDNEY: So, you're cleared.

NOAH: Yeah.

SYDNEY: You survived the debriefing.

NOAH: (laughs) Yes. I did. You know, and I forgot how much I missed McCullough.

SYDNEY: Let's get started.

(They sit together and go through some of the files, translating them. A file is up on the screen. Later, Noah has his jacket off with the sleeves of his shirt rolled up. They translate a grid document. Noah laughs at something. Sydney smiles and takes off her glasses, rubbing her eyes.)

SYDNEY: So, how long are you planning on staying?

NOAH: I'm not exactly sure. It's somewhat complicated.


NOAH: Long story. Remember when you just got back from endurance training? Before you were sent out as a field op, and you came back... and you had this incredible glow. And I remember--

(Sydney smiles, embarrassed.)

NOAH: Yeah, you did. I remember thinking, "Man, this girl's really having fun." And I remember getting worried about that, because I knew, inevitably, one day you would not feel that way. That you were not aware of what you were getting yourself into.

SYDNEY: You thought I'd get myself killed.

NOAH: Maybe.

SYDNEY: Is that why you left?

NOAH: No. No.

SYDNEY: Well, you were right about one thing. I'm not having fun anymore.

(At Francie and Sydney's, Will waits out near the door, holding his tuxedo on a hanger.)

WILL: Come on, we're going to be late!

FRANCIE: I can't find my jacket!

WILL: I know, I just don't want to miss the previews, though. They're, like, my favorite part.

FRANCIE: I'm just going to borrow one of Syd's.

(Francie comes out, putting on one of Sydney's jackets.)

WILL: Hey, do you think I bought the right tuxedo?

FRANCIE: Yeah, for the amount of money you wanted to spend.

WILL: What's that supposed to mean?

(Francie empties the pockets of Sydney's jacket and finds something.)

WILL: What?

FRANCIE: Didn't Syd say she went to Seattle?

WILL: Yeah. So?

FRANCIE: Well, why is there a return ticket from Italy in her pocket?

WILL: Probably from another trip.

FRANCIE: It's dated for last week.

WILL: Why wouldn't she tell us about a trip to Italy?

(Conference room with Marshall, Noah, Sydney, Dixon and Sloane.)

SLOANE: What you are looking at are schematics of a Westbury 23 supercomputer. It's capable of making five hundred trillion calculations per second. Khasinau bought two of them.

SYDNEY: What for?

SLOANE: These computers are ideal for simulating theortical engineering designs for someone. For example, if Khasinau has acquired enough Rambaldi artifacts, he may be able to assemble these artifacts correctly and extrapolate what missing piece remains from the overall design.

MARSHALL: And that's why you need to steal the datacore. Heh. How are you? May I?


MARSHALL: Thank you. Thanks to the microchip we have an image of the datacore and trust me. This core? Hardcore. I mean, it's a photorefractive crystal cube. It acts like a sponge. I mean, this has got enough capability to serve as a backup archive for both computers. But you see, the problem is, in order for this little puppy to work, it's got to be kept in a cyrogenic chamber halfway to absolute zero. Which is cold. I mean, it is cold enough to freeze your skin to stone in under a minute. Even if, like, a millimeter is exposed.

SLOANE: In addition, Khasinau's computer complex in Arkhangelsk is a mile underground. The surrounding forest are protected by private security forces. I'd like to point out that given this high-level of security surrounding this computer network, it is likely that Khasinau is using it as his primary archive. Account numbers, old contacts. Every agent who's ever worked for him. This is a two-person operation.

DIXON: (to Noah) You've been on assignment a long time. I'll go.

NOAH: Actually, I know the area pretty well. I did a lot of recon there when I was a courier.

SLOANE: Well, Noah's right. We need every advantage on this one. You leave in an hour.

(Dixon looks upset.)

(In Arkhangelsk, Sydney and Noah walk in the woods, pretending to be tourists.)

SYDNEY: Mah feet hurt.

NOAH: Yup.

SYDNEY: Can we stop?

NOAH: Nope.

SYDNEY: I gotta take my boots off!

NOAH: No. Leave 'em on. You take 'em off and your foot will swell up.

(Guards come out of the woods with guns, yelling in Russian.)

NOAH: Hey, hey, hey!

SYDNEY: We're Americans! We're Americans!

NOAH: Whoa!

SYDNEY: We're Americans!

(Therapy session with Dr. Barnett.)

BARNETT: You were speculating that perhaps Sydney's desire to find her mother could be interpreted as criticism of you as a father.

JACK: I suppose it's understandable. Much like a normal family after a divorce, when parental jealousy is stirred over a child's affections.

BARNETT: And how would you define a "normal" family?

JACK: I suppose it's one in which the family members aren't under order to lie to each other. I see what you're getting at. Maybe there's no such thing as a "normal" family.

BARNETT: (smiles) Well, okay, Mr. Bristow, I guess we can call it a day.

JACK: I prefer Jack.

BARNETT: One more thing, Jack. I don't believe a single word that you've said to me over this past hour. Don't get me wrong, I think you are a master. You have all your subconscious tells under control. You're smart enough to struggle with words. But I think you told me wha tI wanted to hear so you could get out of my office as quickly as possible. I also think that someone so skilled at deception is in danger of deceiving himself. I am going to recommend that you see me once a week.

JACK: You haven't got a clue what's required to lead the kind of life I lead. To maintain a balance between two lives and protect my daughter in the process. The kind of person who does that, the kind of person I have to be, is not the kind of person who would come in and talk to you.

BARNETT: Well, then, I guess we're making some progress. See you next week.

(At the archive, the guards drive up with Sydney and Noah in the backseat. She climbs out the back with her hands up.)

SYDNEY: Is there any chance we can contact the American embassy?

(She's pushed inside with Noah. Inside the cabin, the guard comes up to them.)

GUARD: What were you taking pictures of?

SYDNEY: Just the scenery. Just the scenery, I swear.

NOAH: Why don't you just take the film, sir, and give her back her camera.

(The guard takes the camera from around Sydney's neck.)

SYDNEY: Just the scenery.

(Noah and Sydney slip on sunglasses. The guard hits a button on the camera and a bright blue flash blinds the guards. They fall to the ground. Noah and Sydney move to the cabinets, looking for the button to get into the archive. Noah finds a set of keys as Sydney finds the lock in a cabinet.)

NOAH: Keys, hey.

(She inserts the key and turns. A door opens. Noah and Sydney take the guard's rifles and their backpacks. They get in an elevator and go down. They enter the room outside the frozen chamber. A guy sits behind a computer. Noah and Sydney come in wearing suits and carrying the rifles. Noah yells in Russian to the computer guy.)

NOAH: Move, move, move, move!

(Sydney types on the computer while Noah points a gun at the guy from the computer. She types in her mother's name, but the name Irina Derekov pops up. She stares. Noah's been watching her the whole time.)

NOAH: Let's go, Syd.

SYDNEY: I'm disengaging the core.

(She types on the computer and the core is taken out of the vat in the room in front of the glass ahead of them. Sydney takes the case and enters the room.)

SYDNEY: I'm in.

(She opens the case.)

NOAH: All right, Syd, don't forget to keep the core temperature constant. You must keep the core temperature constant.

SYDNEY: Got it!

(She takes the controller and moves the arm to get the core out.)

NOAH: How we doing?

SYDNEY: Almost there.

(The core drops in the case. Outside, a car drives up and yet another guard comes out.)

SYDNEY: Got it!

(She closes the case. Upstairs, the guard walks in and sees the other fallen guards. He hits a button for the lockdown procedures. The computer guy that Noah was watching starts to quickly type on the computer to lock it down. Noah hits the guy with the end of the gun. The electronic arm that was taking out the core hits Sydney and she falls to the ground. The glass on her helmet begins to crack. She gasps.)

SYDNEY: Noah, I'm freezing...

NOAH: Syd, hang on! The system's in lockdown!

(She tries to get up, but falls again. He shoots the glass with the rifle and moves the glass out of the way. He shoots the glass of the second entrance and moves more glass away. He picks Sydney up and takes the case. He takes her out of there and takes off his helmet and then hers.)

NOAH: Come on, wake up, Syd. Wake up. Come on...

(He gives mouth-to-mouth. She coughs.)

NOAH: Good girl. Come on. Good, good. Come on. Up, up, up, up, up.

(Coughing, she gets up with Noah's help. The guard comes down the elevator. Noah buts him in the stomach with the gun and then takes him by the neck and flips him. Noah takes Sydney into the elevator.)

NOAH: Come on, Syd. Come on. Come on, babe. Move, move, move.

(Restaurant after the movie. Will and Francie sit across from one another at a table.)

WILL: It's just weird. I don't know. Italy.

FRANCIE: Okay, okay, what if she met somebody on one of her business trips?

WILL: Yeah, but why would she keep that a secret?

FRANCIE: Maybe she doesn't want to talk about it. She's embarrassed by it.

WILL: Oh, come on, why?

(Francie thinks of something.)

WILL: What?

FRANCIE: The bruise. What if he's beating her?

WILL: Are you kidding me? Sydney would never put up with that.

FRANCIE: Maybe she's sleeping with her boss.

WILL: (coughs) Sloane? No. No.

FRANCIE: Should we just forget that we even found the ticket?

WILL: You really think she's in trouble.

FRANCIE: When she gets back from... where did she say she went?

WILL: San Francisco.

FRANCIE: Which I'm sure she did. I think we're just blowing this out of proportion.

WILL: There's an explanation.

FRANCIE: So we'll ask her when she gets back from... San Francisco.

(At a safehouse in the middle of nowhere, Sydney sits on the sofa drinking something hot and curled up in a ball. Noah enters.)

SYDNEY: Did you get through?

NOAH: Yeah. It was almost impossible to get a signal, but we got an extraction set for 0800.

SYDNEY: That's, what, six hours.

NOAH: Yeah.

SYDNEY: We should prepare in case Khasinau's men show up.

NOAH: (loads gun) The floorboards in the corner over there lift up. This safehouse has saved me a couple of times.

SYDNEY: You know what would be great right about now? A fire in that fireplace.

(Noah takes off his jacket, walks to her, and puts it around her shoulders. He takes a spot across the room and sits down.)

NOAH: I heard a chopper making rounds. If it's thermal equipped it'll pick up the heat signatures. What were you looking for in that database, anyway?

SYDNEY: It's, um, it's a long story.

NOAH: Well, we got six hours, so that's good.

SYDNEY: I was looking for information about my mother.

NOAH: Your mother?

SYDNEY: A lot's happened since you left. And I want to fill you in but... I don't know if I feel comfortable doing that yet.

NOAH: Right. You're still mad.

SYDNEY: No. When you left and you just disappeared, it was a kick in the stomach, and I carried that around for a long time.

NOAH: You were the last person that I ever wanted to see again... ever. And you were the only person that I ever wanted to see again.

(She looks up. Eye contact. He nods. She gets up and walks to him, slowly. He takes her by the waist and he moves in for a kiss.)


(But then they kiss. She unbuttons his shirt. He takes off her shirt. They continue to kiss.)