Transcripts - Forever Dreaming

03x07 - Prelude
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Author:  destinyros2005 [ 11/12/03 04:50 ]
Post subject:  03x07 - Prelude

(Cut to a strange congomeration of strangely colored winged birds and a strange angel statue, holding a bowl. Bells ring. Then a bright white light flashes and then dims to show a surgical light. We pan down to Sydney, waking on a stretcher in what could be something like an emergency room. She's dressed only in a white hospital gown and underwear. She sits up groggy, then stands up gingerly. She walks over to the door and tries to open it. It's locked. She bangs on the door with her hand.)

Sydney (hoarsely): Hello!

(She turns away from the window and starts to walk, looking around, then stops as a wave of pain hits her. She looks down. There's blood seeping through the hospital gown in the spot where her scar is now. She leans against a counter and lifts the hospital gown to reveal an angry seeping wound. She sticks her fingers inside the wound, pulling out the end of a thin plastic tube (think, the kind of thin plastic tube often used for aerators in aquariums) She holds up the end of the tube, shocked, her hand covered in blood. She starts pulling and more tubing comes out. It's freaking her out. She starts pulling faster and faster, but the tubing doesn't end. Blood is splashing everywhere, covering her, splashing the walls. She holds up a fistful of tubing and screams. We cut to a scene farther out. There is a pile of tubing at Sydney's feet in a puddle of blood. Blood is spattered all down her side, on her hands, her face, the wall behind her.)

(Cut to Sydney, sitting up suddenly in bed, gasping and sweaty. She's had a nightmare. She's really freaked out, can barely breathe. She pulls up her tank top to reveal her healed scar. She fingers it, gasping and crying. She lies back on the bed, pulling the covers up to her neck, crying and gasping in anguish.)

(Cut to Sydney walking through a set of double doors. US STAFFORD NAVAL HOSPITAL. She approaches the doctor who runs the “lost time” peer group. He notices her standing next to him as he hands a nurse a medical chart he's just signed.)

Doctor: Oh, Sydney. (to nurse) Thank you.

Nurse: Thank you, doctor.

Doctor: Nice to see you.

Sydney: I know that I haven't been to group in a while.

Doctor: That's okay…We have another session here tonight…

Sydney: I actually came here to talk to you about something else.

Doctor: Is it your dreams?

(Sydney nods.)

Sydney: I've heard about a procedure used to recover lost memories: neurostimulation therapy.

Doctor: Oh, Sydney…before we discuss this, let's give group a chance…

Sydney: Some of those people have been that group for ten years, and none of them seem to be any closer to finding out what happened to them.

Doctor: Well the point is to accept what's happened, that you may never remember, and in so doing, free yourself to move on.

Sydney: With all due respect, the one thing that you don't know is what it feels like. You have clearance, so I can tell you that unlike anyone else in that group, there's a terrorist organization trying to find out the one thing that I can't remember. My point being, I don't have the luxury of waiting for acceptance.

Doctor (walking): Come with me.

(Sydney follows. Cut to look into the window of a padded cell. A man with a shaved head wanders around inside in a straitjacket.)

Doctor: This is Kenneth Blake. He joined Central Intelligence in 1981. He was missing for five years…finally turned up in a South Korean hospital with severe injuries and no memory whatsoever. Blake volunteered for the same procedure you're asking for. The procedure was carried out. Blake soon learned that he'd been in custody of the North Koreans all that time, exposed to torture so intense, so prolonged, that his conscious mind blacked it out. The invasive nature of the surgery left him with permanent brain damage. You should know, Sydney, that the National Security Council considers Blake a successful test case for neurostimulation therapy. (starting to get choked up) I'd consider death an option before this procedure.

(Off Sydney's look, we cut to… NOGALES, MEXICO. Children play soccer in the dirt street. Suddenly shooting breaks up the scene. Cut to a pair of feet running in the street. Pan up to a man's back as he runs by. Cut to reverse angle; we see two police officers chasing the man, shooting at him. Police cruisers block off the other direction and the man raises his hands. It's Javier Perez. He kneels while they handcuff him. Cut to Javier, sitting in a jail cell.)

Police Chief (offscreen): You've been a busy man, Javier Perez.

(Cut to Chief leaning against the wall of the cell, accompanied by another armed officer. He is looking in a file folder.)

Chief: Epidemology lab in Cannes; Disease Control Ministry in Spain; Genetic engineering facility in Cuba…

(Cut to Javier as he sighs and leans his head wearily against the wall, closing his eyes. Cut back to Chief.)

Chief: Do I turn you over to Cuba, to Spain, to France? To me there is no difference. For you, there is at least one significant difference: France and Spain do not believe in the death penalty.

(Cut to Javier, worried and nervous. Cut back to Chief.)

Chief: So here's where we help each other. You provide me with a bigger fish, say…who commissioned you, for instance…and I allow you to choose to whom I place my call.

(Cut to Javier.)

Javier: What if I told you that I had information that would be very interesting to the Americans? Regarding a Central Intelligence agent…and a murder.

(Cut to Chief, who laughs and looks at the other officer also laughing.)

Chief: A CIA agent committing murder…Hardly newsworthy.

(Chief starts to walk away.)

Javier: It is when its done on behalf of an international terrorist group…and the target is a Russian diplomat.

(Chief stops walking and looks back at Javier.)

(Cut to aerial scene of LA by day. Cut to Dixon walking through the JTF.)

Dixon (loudly): People, listen up! We've got non-cleared personnel en route! Deactivate the wireless network and put all secure servers on lockdown. I don't want to see anything on these screens more revealing than a weather map!

(Cut to armed agents escorting a handcuffed man with a black drape over his head. Cut to an officer inside the JTF.)

Officer: Level three security procedures in effect. All computer monitors and LCDs on safe mode. Routing PDX to administration.

(Cut to hooded man and guards entering elevator. Cut to computer monitors as they all go to safe mode. Cut to the feet of the man and his guards entering the JTF. They're walking and enter the main rotunda area. Dixon stands waiting for them. Other agents gather also. Dixon nods, and the officers remove the man's hood, who's no longer hand cuffed. It's Arvin Sloane. Dixon walks toward him. They spend several moments staring each other down.)

Sloane: I always knew you were destined for great things.

(Dixon's only reaction is a tiny grimace and he swallows.)

Dixon: Follow me.

(They turn and enter the conference room, where everyone but Lauren and Vaughn are seated.)

Sloane: Marshall… (said kindly, smiling, as if happy to see him)

Marshall: Mr. Sloane… hi. It's been a while…and a lot has happened. I mean, at first you were evil, now you're good…so you claim…not that I don' you, it's just… How are you?

Sloane: Very happy to see you, Marshall. (He shakes Marshall's hand and sits down.)

Dixon: Given the sensitive nature that Arvin Sloane is about to present to us, I thought it best if he did so here.

Sloane: So, is everyone here?

Dixon: Agents Vaughn and Reed are prepping a separate assignment under the direction of the NSC.

(Cut to Jack and Sydney as they give each other curious looks.)

Sloane: Ten hours ago, I had a meeting with Mr. Sark…

(cut to flashback)

Sloane: I assume we're here because the Covenant requires something of me?

(Sark pulls a mini disc case out of his coat and holds it out to Sloane.)

Sark: Your new assignment…

(end flashback)

Sloane: Seems the Covenant is no longer satisfied with using my organization merely as a front for their illegal activities. They've now tasked me an operation.

(cut to Sydney's reaction then back to Sloane)

Sloane: I presume you know what a maser is…

Marshall: You mean a microwave laser? Well, yeah…

(Both Sloane and Dixon turn to look at him.)

Marshall (looking at Sloane): You, uh…want me to explain…?

Dixon: Marshall: Sloane has no authority in this room.

Marshall: Sorry. I didn't mean to offend you, sir. I know you're definitely the main…do you want me to…?

Dixon: Yes.

Marshall: It's a microwave that gets focused into a pinpoint beam, very similar to how light gets focused into a laser.

Sloane: Tomorrow night, I'm scheduled to attend a charity function held by the Chinese Government at one of their Ministries…The Covenant has acquired intelligence that China has designed a working maser unit, the prototype of which is held there. China intends to mount a maser array on one of their defense satellites. It is an assassination program.

Weiss: Wait…are you saying this weapon is capable of killing from space!?

Jack: Pulse microwaves are capable of causing tissue damage, heart failure…even brain hemorrhage. This weapon could make it appear as if the victim died of natural causes. You could imagine the potential threat if the Covenant were to acquire this technology.

Sloane: I've been tasked to steal the maser's operating system, which is in the Chinese Defense Minister's office.

Dixon: I want Strategic Services to review your plan, and I'll assign an agent to go along.

Sloane: I'd presumed that would be the case. Therefore, I propose that Sydney accompany me to the function posing as my assistant, and then together we acquire the operating system, corrupt the maser, and pass along the faulty data to the Covenant… That is, assuming the CIA still intends to use me as a double agent.

Sydney: Why me?

Sloane: Because this mission cannot be done alone. I will not risk my life unless I am going in…with the best.

Jack: Do you really imagine, given your history with Sydney, we would ever order…?

Sydney (cutting Jack off): I'll go. (to Sloane) You know I don't trust you, and that I believe you have an endgame beyond this operation. But I also know that if we're caught, we'll be standing side by side in front of a Chinese firing squad, which means…this time our interests are in line…and if you betray me? I will just kill you myself.

(Cut to Sloane's satisfied smirk. Cut to Black. End of Act One)

~ ~

(Cut to Vaughn, arranging a file on his desk. Jack approaches him.)

Jack: I understand you've been loaned out to the NSC…

Vaughn: Yeah. I leave for Mexico in an hour. Lauren requested me; she's briefing me en route.

(Vaughn and Jack start walking)

Jack: A contact of mine in Nogales informed me that Javier Perez was apprehended by Mexican authorities.

(Vaughn stops walking and turns to face Jack.)

Jack: I'm sure you remember him as part of the freelance team that Sydney infiltrated several weeks ago.

Vaughn: Yeah, sort of…He almost killed me.

Jack: He's offered to trade information to the NSC in exchange for leniency. Our problem is this: He knows about Sydney…that she murdered Andrian Lazarey under the alias Julia Thorne. You can imagine the consequences if he were to share this information with your wife. I think, Agent Vaughn, that you should tell her that you know the identity of the man you've been sent to interview and that conflict of interest requires both of you to remove yourself from this case.

Vaughn: Are you asking me to interfere with my wife's investigation?

Jack: Yes.

Vaughn: No. I've kept the truth about Sydney from Lauren because Dixon ordered me to; a situation you orchestrated.

Jack: You understand the consequences to Sydney if this information leaks out?

Vaughn: Yes, of course I do…

Jack: The NSC will subject her to invasive brain surgery.

Vaughn: Okay, stop. I don't need a lecture from you on the risks she faces.

Jack: Then I don't understand your resistance.

Vaughn: Because the NSC will send other operatives! Either way, they're gonna find out.

Jack: It'll provide us the time to plan our next move.

Vaughn: Look, I think it's safe to say that I know my wife a lot better than you do.

Jack (dripping with sarcasm): I would hope…

Vaughn: Lauren may be our best chance of keeping this information from the NSC.

Jack: And, Mr. Vaughn… What if you're wrong?

(Cut from Vaughn's reaction to Jack's reaction.)

(Cut to Marshall, holding up what appears to be a retooled Matchbox car.)

Marshall: Okay, it's the latest in cloaking technology. It's called optical camouflage. Now basically, if you take a look right here, it's surface is covered in microfilaments, which interpret the UV waves generated by its surroundings, which means…that…(places the car on his desktop and starts driving it across the top of his desk using the controls)…once you drop it off in the Chinese Ministry, I will be able to guide it undetected past the security cameras to the central alarm controls, which I'll then deactivate, using the internal modem.

(Cut to Sydney's reaction. She's amazed and impressed.)

Sydney: So, once you disable the alarms, I'll be able to access the Minister's office where the maser is being kept.

Marshall: Right. Once you get to the maser, you will access the motherboard, and then…you will attach this…(Holds up a cellular phone.)…to the EPROM chip. Now, press one and you'll be connected to me, and I will access the maser's operating system and corrupt it and then (taking off the back of the phone's case to show Sydney the inside), a copy of the corrupted version will be stored onto this. (Holds up a small memory card.)

Sydney: Which I will give to Sloane to pass on to the Covenant.

Marshall: Right. (Stops, looks around) Actually…where…did the car go?

(Puts down the cell phone and starts looking around the desk.)

(Cut to black. BEIJING. Push through the N. A night pan of the city. Cut to Sydney dressed in a long black evening gown (could be a two piece skirt/shirt set, hard to tell) and Sloane in a tux, waiting in line to pass through a metal detector.)

Sloane: By the way…you look beautiful.

Sydney (giving Sloane a dirty look): Spare me!

(Sydney and Sloane walk through the metal detectors. Sydney's goes off. She immediately hands her small black purse to the guard, who opens it to reveal a metal makeup case. He zips it back up and hands it to her.)

Sydney (in Chinese): Thank you.

Guard (in Chinese): Thank you.

Sloane: I would encourage you to take my arm if we are going to bluff our way through this…

(Sydney's face says it all. She finds that idea about as appealing as having teeth extracted forcefully. Very reluctantly, she takes his arm and smiles at a passerby. Cut to Sloane and Sydney entering the ballroom. Cut to the orchestra, cut to dancers, cut to Sydney as she surveys the guards in the room. Sloane looks at Sydney and then at a Chinese man wearing a tux and a sash, who waves at Sloane. Sloane and Sydney approach him.)

Minister: Mr. Sloane, we're honored you could attend.

Sloane: The honor is mine, Minister Woo. And this is my Executive Assistant, Christina Myers.

Minister: A pleasure. (nods his head toward her)

Sydney: Pleasure… (she smiles at him)

Minister (to Sloane): Your organization's compassionate work…is the model of humanitarian achievement.

Sloane: Thank you. Thank you. (turns to Sydney) Ms. Myers, would you give us a moment please? I have a private matter to discuss with the Minister?

Sydney: Certainly.

(She flashes the Minister a big smile. He nods and smiles at her and she turns and walks away. The Minister watches her leeringly as she leaves.)

Minister: Your assistant is lovely. I presume she does more for you than type?

Sloane: Oh, our relationship is strictly professional.

Minister (doesn't believe him): Of course.

(Cut to Sydney, entering the bathroom. She takes out the metal makeup case while she waits for another woman to finish primping. The other woman leaves and we see Sydney opening a lipstick tube and rolling it up. The door closes behind the woman, and Sydney pulls the top off the lipstick to reveal the camera lens for the Invisicar. She opens the make up case, removes the top and underneath is the rest of the Invisicar. Cut to Sydney leaving the bathroom. She takes a champagne glass and sits down in a chair on the edge of the room, near the hallway. Surreptitiously, she leans down to place the Invisicar onto the rug next to her chair. She speed dials a number on her phone and waits.)

Marshall (over telephone): Hello!

Sydney: You're on.

(Cut to Marshall and Dixon on comms in Marshall's office.)

Marshall: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!

(Marshall starts moving the joystick. Cut to the car as it starts to move and we see it blend into its surroundings. All we can see are the wheels moving underneath the shield because the camera's at floor level. Cut to Marshall's view from the cam attached to the side of the Invisicar as he steers through the feet of people in the hallway.)

Marshall (steering the car): Okay…

Dixon: Promise me again that they won't hear it.

Marshall: The noise output is .04 dbs, which is inaubible to the human ear, sir. A cockroach thinks louder than this car.

(Marshall continues to steer the car, finds a pair of military boots walking and follows behind them.)

Marshall: Looks like a nice party…All right…we'll follow this guy. It looks like he knows where he's goin. Security.

(Cut to Sydney, sitting in a chair with her champagne glass, checks her watch. Sloane approaches her and sits in the seat next to hers.)

Sloane: Are you all right?

Sydney: As long as Marshall can shut down the security system.

Sloane: You know, Sydney…we should dance?

Sydney: Like hell.

Sloane: The minister assumes we're sleeping together. Despite my protests, he remains unconvinced.

Sydney: I could care less.

Sloane: Well, neither would I…if he wasn't constantly looking in my direction…Normally I would suggest we remain discrete. I suggest we feign an argument on the dance floor that will give you sufficient time to slip away. And, Sydney, given the way you feel about me… (he smirks) I doubt it would take much acting on your part.

(He stands and puts his hand out to her.)

Sloane: So, my dear…Shall we?

(Sydney reluctantly puts her hand in his and stands.)

(Cut to the security guard the Invisicar is following as he walks down a hallway.)

Dixon (voiceover): We have to get to the security room.

(Cut to Marshall and Dixon.)

Marshall: All right. Following him.

(Cut to guard, turning a corner. Cut to video from the car as it fails to negotiate the turn and bumps into the wall.)

Marshall: Oooh…sorry, sir.

(Marshall makes the turn. The guard is now several feet ahead of the car.)

Dixon: Hurry up.

(Cut back to Sloane and Sydney as they begin to waltz around the dance floor. Cut back to the view from the Inviscar as the guard turns another corner ahead of it.)

Dixon: Marshall…follow that guard. Turn to the right.

Marshall: Okay, you got it.

(The Invisicar gets to the end of the hallway and turns to see the guard about to access a door.)

Dixon: Good. He's approaching the security control room.

(Dixon sits down next to Marshall, watching the monitor.)

Dixon: Hurry!

Marshall: Petal to the metal, sir.

(The car whizzes forward as we see on the monitor that the door is opened and the guard starts to step inside. The door is starting to close…it looks close, but the car makes it inside before the door shuts.)

Dixon: Eaaaassssyyyy….

Marshall (as the car makes it through the door): Piece of cake, sir.

(Dixon nods as Marshall moves the car about the room. Cut to the security guard as he greets the other one who is watching the monitors. The guard sits also. Cut to the Invisicar as it stops near a desk.)

Dixon: Hurry…Marshall…under the desk!

Marshall: Yeah, yeah, I got it.

(The car backs up and turns and then slides under the desk.)

Dixon: Well done.

Marshall: Okay, now I will activate the RF modem and hack into the security system.

(Screens pop up on the monitor, as Marshall works.)

Marshall: Okay, alarms are down…surveillance is…off.

(Cut to security guards as their monitors show nothing but static.)

Guard: The security is down. Give me a minute.

(Tries to fix the display to no avail.)

Marshall: Should take them weeks to get back online…maybe even months.

(Cut to Sloane and Sydney waltzing. Sydney's cell phone rings. They stop dancing as she answers it.)

Sydney: Hello? (pause, listening) Thank you.

(She turns off her cell phone and puts it away.)

Sydney: Marshall says the security system is shut down.

Sloane: Well, then I propose you make this fight look real.

(Sydney screws up her face and then slaps Sloane hard across the face. Sloane holds his face as Sydney stalks off. The Minister was watching and appears amused.)

(Cut to a jeep driving down a dirt road. MEXICO. Cut to reveal Vaughn driving. Pan to Lauren in the passenger side. They slow and stop the jeep as they see a boy on the side of the road. He appears unconscious, his bicycle lying on top of him.)

Lauren: Oh, God…It's a boy.

(Vaughn and Lauren get out of the jeep and begin to approach the boy. Suddenly the boy jumps up, gets on his bike and starts to ride away. Vaughn realizes suddenly this is a set up.)

Vaughn (urgently): Get back in the car!

(Suddenly men from every direction appear from the brush, brandishing guns. The leader of the group walks forward.)

Leader (in Spanish): Hands up. Now!

(The members force Vaughn and Lauren to kneel in the street with their hands up.)

Vaughn (in Spanish): We have 500 dollars. Take it!

(One of the group rushes forward and hits Vaughn hard in the head with the butt of his rifle, giving him a bleeding gash.)

Leader (in Spanish): Keep your mouth shut.

(The members tie Vaughn and Lauren's hands behind their back. The leader steps away from them, places a phone call.)

Leader: We have them.

(Cut to a fan blowing. In the background is a blurry figure of a man speaking (with Jack's voice))

Jack: The payment will be left in the confessional of the Sun on the Hill church, as instructed. Hold them for at least two hours, then let them go.

(Leader nods, and turns off his cell phone, turning back to face Vaughn and Lauren.)

Leader: Vamonos, muchachos!

(The other members drag Vaughn and Lauren up, forcing them to move. Cut to Javier Perez, watching as two men speak at the doorway of the police station. He watches as a man with his back to Javier hands a large roll of cash to the police chief. The chief hands Jack the keys and then strolls out of the station, closing the door behind him. Javier watches carefully as the man starts to approach. He backs up, frightened as he sees the man approach him….It's Jack Bristow…and he doesn't look happy. Cut to black. End of Act Two.)

~ ~

(Cut to Sydney locking the bathroom door. She strips off her long black evening gown to reveal a black catsuit underneath. She hides the evening gown underneath the sink. She turns on her comm. link.)

Sydney: Marshall, I'm goin' in.

(Cut to Dixon.)

Dixon: Copy that. Security systems are off-line. You're cleared for entry. Keep your face covered. You can't afford to be recognized.

(Cut to Sydney putting on a black ski mask that leaves only her eyes visible. (same kind of mask they used in the SD-6 raid) She enters the Minister's office, sets her cell phone on a table in the room. She finds the hidden safe behind some wood paneling. Sydney uses a lock descrambler that appears to be some sort of makeup case. The lock unhitches and she opens the door.)

Sydney: Checking for sensors…we're good.

(Sydney removes a large metal case from the safe and places it on the table. She opens the case. Inside is the prototype maser. She removes it from the case, removes its outer cover, removes the back cover of her cell phone and connects the cell phone to the motherboard of the maser.)

Sydney: Okay, Marshall…uplink established.

(Cut to Marshall and Dixon.)

Marshall: Copy that, Mountaineer…give me two seconds to corrupt the code…

(Cut to Chinese guards. One of the security camera feeds flashes to life for a split second and loses picture again, but the feed is from the Minister's office. In that split second we could see Sydney in the room.)

Guard #1 (in Chinese): What was that?

(Cut to Marshall and Dixon)

Marshall: Uh oh…

Dixon: What's the matter?

Marshall: Security system's back online. I don't know how they did it, but it's up.

Dixon: Well, can you get it back off-line?

Marshall: Give me two seconds…

(Cut back to security room. The security screens remain off, but Guard #1 is convinced he saw something.)

Guard #2 (in Chinese): I didn't see anything.

(Guard #1 gets up with his gun drawn. Guard #2 follows him. Cut to Dixon.)

Dixon: Sydney, you may have been compromised. Get out of there.

(Cut to Sydney)

Sydney: Marshall, how much longer?

(Cut to Dixon)

Dixon: No! Get out of there now!

(Cut to Sydney)

Sydney: How long!?

Marshall (over comms): Just give me one minute.

(Sydney hears the guards coming. She runs over to the window and grabs a rope tieback from the drape. As the two guards enter the room, she kicks them so they fall back into each other. She uses the rope to knock the first guard's gun out of his hand. She kicks the gun out of the other's hand. She uses the rope to wrap around one of their legs to yank him off his feet. She turns to fight the other. He ends up trying to punch her. She grabs his fist and flings him over her shoulder. Cut to Marshall and Dixon listening worriedly on comms. Cut back to Sydney. One guard grabs a ceremonial sword off the wall and tries to attack her with it. Sydney evades the sword, knocking a wooden arm off a piece of furniture. He goes to slice her with the sword and she blocks with the wooden armpiece and then hits him in the face with it. The other guard jumps at her, knocking the wood out of her hand and causing her to fall over. She falls next to a small table with a pair of sais on them (the special three pronged long knives that Elektra used in Daredevil). She grabs them and fights off the first guard (the one with the sword). The other guard gets up, also with a sword now. Sydney is in the middle of the two guards, fighting off both of them with a sai in each hand. She does this very cool windmill move with her sais which throws both men off balance so she can kick one and elbow the other. The one she kicks comes back first and she trips him with a sai to the boot. The other guard comes running at her. She takes out his sword, flips the sai in her hand so the butt end of the sai is up and punches him in the face with it, then roundhouse kicks him in the chest when he's down. The other guard gets up and charges her. He takes out both sais so they are fighting hand to hand. She punches him in the face, kicks him and then does this completely awesome kick where she almost runs up his front, kicks him and does a back flip. She lifts her mask and says over comms)

Sydney: Marshall, are you done?

(Cut to Marshall)

Marshall: Yeah, go, go, go!

(Cut to Sydney, her mask up around her forehead. She checks her cell phone and detatches it, pulls her mask back on and takes off.)

(Cut to Lauren, Vaughn and the police chief entering the police station.)

Chief: You are very lucky they let you go. Crime on the highways has become an embarrassment. If you'd like to file a report, I will see that it receives the highest priority…

Lauren: No, thank you. We'd like to extradite Mr. Perez as soon as possible.

Chief: Very well. (grabs cell keys) This way…

(They walk toward the jail cell. Pan in the cell from feet hanging upward. Perez is hanging from a homemade noose in the cell. Cut to Vaughn and then Lauren's reaction.)

Chief: Aye is me. (does the sign of the cross)

Vaughn: Who else has been to see Mr. Perez since he arrived here?

Chief: No one. I am truly sorry you came this way for nothing.

(Lauren looks at Vaughn. He looks away, looking very upset, as if he believes something is up, and he knows why.)

(Cut to a limousine driving down a Chinese highway. Cut to inside the limo. Sloane sits on one side, Sydney on the other. She removes the backing to her cell phone and removes the memory chip.)

Sydney: You'll give this to the Covenant. It contains the corrupted copy of the operating system. The Covenant will track it back to the Chinese prototype, which has also been corrupted. They won't suspect that you've betrayed them.

(Sydney turns and looks out the window, her hand on her forehead as if she's nursing a headache.)

Sloane (smiling wryly and nodding): I see. I wonder how many times your handler said something like that to you before you were about to give me something like this? A small object of tremendous value that I asked you to steal for SD-6 that you then rendered useless in order to prevent its exploitation by the Alliance.

Sydney (still looking out the window, sarcastically): It happened on occasion.

Sloane: There was a time you trusted me…

Sydney: That was before I knew who you were…That was before I knew who I was…

Sloane: Oh, no, it was more recent than that. The day you were found in Hong Kong, your…resurrection, as it were…this letter arrived at my office.

(He removes a letter from inside his coat jacket and holds it out for Sydney. She takes it from him to look at it.)

Sloane: My analyst confirmed what I recognized instantly, what I'm sure you'll verify on your own…the handwriting is yours.

(Cut to a close up of the letter addressed to Sloane in Sydney's handwriting. She opens it and finds a small manila key envelope that says “For Sydney” on it. She opens that and finds a key and a small piece of paper with a set of numbers on it.)

Sloane: I'd never seen that code before. I didn't want to offer it to anyone else. Unfortunately, I couldn't decipher it myself. But since those items were once in your possession, I thought you might want them back.

(Sydney stares at the key in her hand and then at the code.)

(Cut to aerial shot of LA by day. Inside the JTF center, Vaughn approaches Jack.)

Vaughn (walking by him as he speaks through gritted teeth, not slowing down, his voice full of repressed anger): Let's talk.

Jack (in falsely innocent voice): Of course.

(Jack follows Vaughn into the conference room and closes the door.)

Vaughn: You killed Javier Perez, you son of a bitch!

Jack: You've just returned from a traumatic experience, Mr. Vaughn, you're understandably emotional…which would explain your baseless accusation.

Vaughn (visibly angry): You're right, I am emotional. I get that way when I see a gun pressed to my wife's temple!

Jack (so completely unimpressed that he's almost amused): Ours is a risky business…

(Jack starts to walk away, but turns back when Vaughn starts to speak again.)

Vaughn: Armed rebels take us hostage and then let us go out of the kindness of their hearts? You didn't think I'd see through that!?

Jack (his face still carefully blank, but his voice is slightly more annoyed): Thankfully…you were graced by a stroke of luck.

Vaughn (starting to get up in Jack's face now, very angry): You really expect me to believe that a man on the verge of bartering for his freedom just decided to hang himself!?

Jack (annoyed now): Mr. Perez had a price on his head. He most likely knew his days were numbered…(angry voiced now, almost yelling) What part of this doesn't have a rational explanation!?

(Vaughn grabs Jack by the lapels of his jacket and shoves him roughly up against the wall, snarling at him, eyes flashing)

Vaughn: If you ever put my wife's life in danger again, I will kill you!

(Jack and Vaughn stare each other down for a moment before we focus in on Jack's face. He's shaking with controlled anger. Through gritted teeth, he spits out…)

Jack: Then perhaps…you finally understand the moral compromises you'll make…when someone you love is in danger…

(Jack shoves Vaughn away from him roughly. They stare at each other for another second and then Jack turns on his heel and stalks from the room, leaving Vaughn to glare at his receding back. This last comment obviously hit some kind of nerve with Vaughn. Cut to black. End of Act Three.)

~ ~

(Slide cut to Lauren in a parking garage, getting into her car. She tries to start her car, but it won't start. After trying a couple of times, she sighs, she pops the trunk and gets out. She opens the hood and finds that something's unattached (sorry, not a car buff…I don't know what it is). She reconnects it and starts to close the hood when we hear a clicking noise. Pan out to Sark, holding a gun to the back of Lauren's neck.)

Sark: Get in the car… please…

(Lauren carefully puts the hood down on her car and gets into the driver's seat. Sark gets into the backseat, still pointing the gun at her head.)

Sark: I've jammed the feed of the CCTV cameras, so let us speak freely. You know who I am?

Lauren: Yes. (she looks up in the rearview mirror at him)

Sark: I understand your investigation into the Lazarey murder has hit a dead end. What a pity…

Lauren: How do you know about that?

Sark: I know because I framed Javier Perez, assuming he'd be extradited to the United States, and that once he was in custody, he'd be forced to confess what he knows…namely, the identity of Andrian Lazarey's murderer.

Lauren: This is the second time I've had a gun put to my head; I don't particularly like it. Now, I'm going to assume that if you wanted me dead, I would be; so if you have something to tell me, do it!

(Sark smirks in admiration of her guts, then grabs a portfolio and hands it to her. Lauren takes it, looking at him questioningly in the rearview mirror.)

Sark: A wedding present. A touch informal, I know, but everything else on your registry was taken. (beat) Open it.

(Lauren opens the portfolio to a series of black and white photographs. They are photos of Lazarey's murder.)

Lauren: Where did you get these?

Sark: Where is not important. What is important is who.

(Lauren begins to slowly look through the photographs as Sark speaks.)

Sark: Her name is Julia Thorne, merely an alias. She goes by another name, a name you're quite familiar with…

(Lauren flips to the next picture. It is a close up of “Julia's” face, clearly proving that she is Sydney Bristow.)

Lauren (shocked, mortified): Oh, my God…

Sark: Now you should understand why I'd risk coming to you like this. I recently learned that Sydney Bristow murdered a father I never had a chance to know.

(Cut to Lauren's face, openmouthed in complete shock at learning Sydney is Julia Thorne.)

Sark: I suspect you have your own reasons for disliking her; therefore I'm confident…that you'll relay this information to the appropriate parties.

(Sark opens the car door, then stops.)

Sark: By the way…I've rigged a weight sensitive charge to the underside of this vehicle. Once I leave you, I'll activate it. If you attempt to get out of the car before thirty minutes has elapsed, the charge will detonate. (pause) It has been a pleasure, Ms. Reed.

(Sark gets out of the car. Lauren's face shows a mixture of apprehension, and anger. Sark stands in front of the hood and uses a device to activate the charge. He nods and walks off.)

(Cut to more of Sydney's dream. Multicolored birds flying, the angel statue with the pitcher and plate. She is awakened from the dream by the ringer of her cell phone. She's on the CIA jet flying back to LA.)

Sydney (slightly out of breath and panting from the aftereffects of her dream): Hello?

(Cut to Jack at JTF Center)

Jack: It's me.

(Cut to Sydney)

Sydney: Dad…

Jack (voiceover): Are you all right? You sound upset.

Sydney: Yeah…no, I'm fine. Did you receive my transmission?

(Cut to Jack)

Jack: Yes. Sloane gave you a key, which he claims was sent to him some time before you woke up in Hong Kong.

(Cut to Sydney)

Sydney: Yeah, his claim was pretty convincing…it was written in my handwriting.

(Cut to Jack)

Jack: The cyphertext as well?

(Cut to Sydney)

Sydney: Yes. Why?

(Cut to Jack)

Jack: Remember when I told you that during the time you were missing, I contacted your mother? That ciphertext was encoded using a method that she devised.

(Cut to Sydney)

Sydney: What does this mean? That I was in contact with Mom during the two years I was gone?

(Cut to Jack)

Jack: If that's true, she failed to mention it during our last communication.

(Cut to Sydney)

Sydney: Can you break the code?

Jack (voiceover): Yes, I learned the code from your mother last year.

(Cut to Jack)

Jack: It's an address in Rome: 1124 Piazza Barberini, the penthouse apartment…does that mean anything to you?

(Cut to Sydney, shocked)

Sydney: No.

Jack (voiceover): I had a local contact pull up the property record.

(Cut to Jack)

Jack: The apartment was purchased a year ago. The buyer chose to remain anonymous.

(Cut to Sydney)

Jack (voiceover): Get some rest.

(Cut to Jack)

Jack: When you get back, you and I will go to Rome together.

(Cut to Sydney)

Sydney: Okay.

(Cut to Vaughn, running out into the parking garage. An agent talking on the telephone puts out a hand as to signal he should slow down. He slows, sees Lauren's car lit up with bright lights and yellow caution tape surrounding it. The bomb squad is there; they are taking pictures of the scene. Pan over to a spot about 30 feet away, where Lauren is standing next to a pillar, her arms crossed, looking out into the darkness of the empty parking garage. As soon as Vaughn spots her, he goes running toward her. As he approaches, Lauren turns slightly. He wraps his arms tightly around her, letting out a sigh of relief. She holds him as well.)

Vaughn (anguished): Are you all right?

Lauren: Yes.

Vaughn (still out of breath and worried): Did he hurt you?

(Lauren shakes her head no. Vaughn pulls back.)

Lauren (looking down, whispers): No…

(Vaughn runs a hand down the side of her face.)

Vaughn: I am so sorry… (his face hardens slightly, more determined) We'll find him.

(Lauren looks at him. For a moment she looks uncertain, then she says, bitterness lacing her voice.)

Lauren: He told me that Julia Thorne is really Sydney Bristow…

(Instantly a look of guilt and remorse floods Vaughn's face. He swallows hard and takes an infinitesimal step backward. Lauren looks down and shakes her head, almost it tears.)

Lauren (painfully): I wasn't sure if you knew…now I know…

(Vaughn turns and walks away from the men working on Lauren's car, pulling her along with him.)

Vaughn (intensely, trying to explain): I was under orders not to say anything, just as you were.

Lauren: Whose orders!?

Vaughn: Dixon's.

Lauren (indignant): Dixon knows!?

Vaughn: Yes.

Lauren: And Jack, Weiss…everyone!?

(They stop walking. Vaughn turns to face Lauren.)

Vaughn: That's not the point!

Lauren: It's exactly the point!

(Cut to Lauren's face. She's angry, hurt, feeling betrayed by everyone.)

Lauren (emotionally): Everyone at that office kept secret from the NSC the one thing I've been desperately trying to learn! How long have you known!?

Vaughn: (pauses and then) Three weeks.

Lauren: For three weeks you've been trying to derail my investigation!

Vaughn: Lauren, Sydney doesn't remember any of it…

Lauren (cutting Vaughn off angrily): Do not defend her to me!

Vaughn: I am explaining why Dixon issued the…

Lauren (cutting him off again, pain lacing her face and voice): I am your wife! You kept Sydney's secret from me! You protected Sydney over me; something I refuse to do with you!

Vaughn: It's not that simple!

(A look of almost fear passes across Lauren's face.)

Lauren (softer, painfully): Do you still love her?

Vaughn (angrily): Oh, damn it! That's not what this is about! She is [/i]not my wife[/i]!

(Lauren stares at him pain in her eyes. She wants to believe him. She nods just slightly as if saying she understands.)

Vaughn (still upset, less angry, more earnestly): You can't punish her for the fact that she and I had a past. If you report this to Lindsay…Lauren, he's gonna want to know everything she did over those two years…

Lauren: As well he should.

Vaughn: Look, the only way to access her memory is through a dangerous, invasive procedure that…

Lauren (cutting him off): I'm aware of the procedures, none of which they would force on a US agent.

Vaughn: Lazarey was a Russian diplomat. All Lindsay has to do is form an extradition agreement with the Russians and she will be shipped to Moscow where she has no rights as an American. He'll run the procedure there.

(Lauren shakes her head. She doesn't want to believe what she's hearing could be true.)

Lauren: He can't do that… She's a CIA operative…

Vaughn: Think about it! You know better than anyone, Lindsay will not hesitate to break the rules.

(Lauren looks down. What Vaughn is saying is starting to sink in. Worry and fear begins to bloom on her face.)

Vaughn: If he learns about this, Sydn…

(Vaughn stops talking when he sees the look on Lauren's face. She looks afraid…and guilty. Realization dawns on Vaughn's face. He stares at her in shocked disbelief.)

Vaughn (hoarsely): Oh God, Lauren…you already reported her.

(Lauren's pain also becomes hard edged.)

Lauren: You followed your orders…I followed mine.

(Panic blossoms on Vaughn's face. He stares at Lauren with a “How could you do this?” expression and takes off in a run.)

Lauren (calling after him): Michael…

(He doesn't stop or look back. Lauren blinks back tears, looking away from his retreating form and then back, pained and shocked that he would just take off like that.)

(Cut to the CIA plane landing in LA. Cut to Sydney, walking inside the airport terminal, carrying a small bag of luggage. Her telephone rings. She retrieves her phone from her coat pocket.)

Sydney: Hello?

Vaughn (voiceover): Sydney, it's me. Don't go home; the NSC knows everything.

(Cut to Vaughn in the JTF on his cell phone.)

Vaughn: Meet me at terminal one. I'll explain everything once I pick you up.

(Cut to a car driving down a road behind a chain link fence.)

Sydney (voiceover, breathless with worry): How the hell did they find out?

Vaughn (voiceover): Sark told Lauren.

(Cut to Sydney and Vaughn inside the car.)

Sydney (gasping): [I[Sark!?[/i]

(She puts a hand to her head nervously.)

Vaughn: I have a plane waiting for you at the Dover airfield. It will take you anywhere, but you have to tell me where you want to go…someplace you know well, so you can disappear…

Sydney: If the NSC wants to find me, they will. Look, I was someone else for two years, Vaughn…someone I don't even remember! What am I supposed to do now, just spend the rest of my life in hiding?

Vaughn: Between that and a lobotomy, there isn't a choice!

Sydney: I can't keep running forever…

Vaughn: I'll do everything I can to make sure you won't have to.

(Sydney looks at Vaughn with renewed resolve)

Sydney: Rome. I'm going to Rome.

(Vaughn takes out his cell phone and starts dialing a number. Cut to Vaughn's car pulling up in front of the small airfield. Sydney and Vaughn climb out, Vaughn's still talking on his cell phone.)

Vaughn (in Italian): Thank you.

(Vaughn hangs up and meets Sydney on the passenger side of the car.)

Vaughn: There's a café a the corner of Via del Corso and Via Condotti…Café Ruby. There's a payphone with a false bottom; you'll find money and a new passport.

Sydney: Good thing I'm already packed… (She's trying to make this moment easier…lighter, but its not working…the pain shows on her face.)

Vaughn: You should go. (Pain shows on Vaughn's face, too. He's trying to hold it together, be strong for her, but his eyes tell her this is affecting him.)

(Sydney looks down for a moment. Tears gather in her eyes. She looks back up to meet his eyes.)

Sydney (an almost whisper, pained, grieving, baring her inner thoughts with Vaughn for perhaps the first time since she's been back): Vaughn…why are you doing this? My life is already a disaster…now yours is, too. (She's trying not to cry.)

(Vaughn follows suit. His eyes are full of pain, grief, sorrow, and yes, love. His voice is soft, honest, increasingly emotional.)

Vaughn: What happened between us…everything…the way it is…isn't anyone's fault, Sydney.

(Cut to Sydney's face. Tears pool up in her eyes. She looks as if she could break down crying at any moment.)

Vaughn (voiceover): And even though everything's changed…

(Cut to Vaughn. He shakes his head slightly. His eyes are so full of his emotions. He looks pained, grief stricken…and loving.)

Vaughn (his voice hoarse from emotion): …some things don't.

(Cut to Sydney. She bites her lip and looks down, tears about to roll down her cheeks. Cut back to Vaughn who has the same intent look on his face.)

Vaughn (choked up): I'm not gonna lose you twice.

(Cut to Sydney. She closes her eyes. Hearing this hurts so much…but it's a good hurt. For the first time, she knows that he still loves her, that she's still important to him…and she needed to hear this. She looks up at him, tears overflowing, and searches his face, as if looking for confirmation there that he's meant what he said. She steps forward and puts her arms around him. Vaughn puts his arms around her, holds her, closing his eyes and burying his face in her hair. Cut to Sydney. As she feels his arms close around her, she closes her eyes. Cut back to Vaughn. His eyes are still closed. He moves his hand from her hair to her shoulder in an almost reverent way, savoring every last moment of her in his arms. Finally, they pull apart, overcome with emotion. Their heads are so close together. Cut to Sydney as she pulls out of his hug. She sighs, looks at his lips and for a fleeting moment, leans slightly toward him before pulling back. Her eyes are so full of love for him, its obvious she's struggling against these emotions, to not give in to what she wants, because she knows he's not hers anymore. Cut to Vaughn. He's full of these same emotions and has a similar reaction. He stares at her lips and leans slightly forward, wanting so badly to kiss her… He waits, doesn't make the final move. Cut to Sydney. Love and pain blend so seamlessly in her face. Then…she swallows, tries to gather up her courage, and she pulls back from him slightly, sobbing, nodding, almost as if in silent acknowledgment…an “I wanted to, too…”)

Sydney (in a choked whisper): Thank you…

(Vaughn straightens up. Pain blossoms on his face, as if he knows she was right to pull back, but part of him didn't want her to. Also, he realizes he's about to lose her all over again. He nods slightly as if to say, “Okay, I understand. Let's do what we have to do.” He leans down and picks up her bag for her. She is still trying to get a handle on her emotions, sobbing quietly and blinking back her tears. Vaughn straightens, schooling his features to be strong for her. She sees this, and smiles sadly. She bends her head a little and walks away. The moment Sydney is past him, Vaughn closes his eyes briefly in pain. Cut to a wide-angle shot of Sydney walking away, leaving Vaughn to watch her go. Cut to black. End of Act Four.)

~ ~

(ROME. Push through the M. A scene of Rome at night. Cut to Sydney as an antique type elevator stops on a floor and lets her out.)

Sydney (to elevator attendant): Grazie.

(Sydney walks down the hallway toward the apartment, passing an Italian man speaking on a cell phone. He passes her and keeps walking until he gets to the staircase. Then he stops, turns, and looks back at Sydney.)

(Cut to helicopter flyover of LA by day.)

Dixon (voiceover): Sydney didn't check in this morning…

(Cut to Dixon in the JTF center, speaking to someone)

Dixon: …and she's not answering her cell phone.

(Cut to Vaughn, trying to remain passive faced. Dixon is obviously speaking to him.)

Dixon (voiceover): Do you know where she is?

Vaughn: I don't know.

(Cut to Jack, who's standing next to him. He gives Vaughn's face an assessing look, as if he knows something is up. Vaughn glances at Jack for a split second. Lauren walks up from behind them, giving Vaughn a hard look, as if saying she knows what he's done, before turning toward Dixon and giving him her full attention. Her arms are crossed and her chin is tilted upward slightly in a gesture of defiance. Cut to Vaughn, meeting her eyes. There's pain and a bit of betrayal in his eyes, as well as a bit of apprehension, as if this is the first time he's had to face her since running away from her in the parking garage the night before.)

Lauren: Director Dixon, I need to speak with you in your office, please.

(Dixon looks from Lauren's face to Vaughn's, slightly taken aback, but answers politely.)

Dixon: Of course.

(Cut to Vaughn, glancing again at Lauren. Now his apprehension is growing, as if his look says, “Oh God… now what has she done?” Lauren gives him another hard look before stalking off. Vaughn watches her leave, his face a mixture of regret, pain, irritation, anger. He aims a sullen look at Lauren's back. Once Lauren is out of earshot, Jack addresses him. His tone is a bit more civilized and respectful than he usually uses with Vaughn.)

Jack: The NSC knows that Sydney is responsible for Lazarey's murder, don't they?

(Vaughn just stares at him, not answering.)

Jack: I presume you're the one who helped her disappear last night…

(Vaughn still doesn't answer Jack, but his eyes tell the story. Vaughn's jaw is slightly clenched stubbornly, as if he's expecting to get reamed out by Jack at any moment.)

Jack: Tell me, what else are you willing to do to see Sydney through this?

(At the mention of Sydney's name, Vaughn gets a momentary faraway look in his eyes, blinking rapidly. But just as quickly, the look is gone, completely replaced by a defiant “Balls of Steel! Vaughn” look. Meeting Jack's eyes head on, he says…)

Vaughn: What did you have in mind?

(Cut to Dixon and Lauren entering Dixon's office. Lauren still has her arms crossed, but there's less defiance in her stance now. She's still strong, but not looking forward to what she's about to do.)

Dixon (gesturing to the couch): Please, sit.

Lauren: No, thank you. (beat) Director Dixon…

(Dixon stops and turns to face her.)

Lauren: You have always been direct and fair with me, which is why I take no pleasure in what I'm about to say.

(Cut to Dixon's reaction. His face appears carefully, purposefully blank, waiting what he is starting to realize is coming.)

Lauren: Under authority of the National Security Council, Robert Lindsay has instructed me to relieve you of duty as director of this task force until he arrives to assume control.

Dixon (features still carefully schooled): On what grounds?

Lauren: Obstruction of justice. Willingly conspiring to impede an international investigation into the murder of Andrian Lazarey.

(Dixon reacts to this news. He looks upward, sighs impatiently and gives Lauren a surly look.)

Lauren: I have photographic evidence Sydney Bristow was his killer.

(Dixon turns away and starts walking around his desk.)

Lauren: We've learned you've known about this for some time.

Dixon (leaning across his desk, not in a threatening way): It is within my purview to compartmentalize information, Lauren. If Bob Lindsay has issue with that, he can take it up with the Director of Central Intelligence.

Lauren: He has. Feel free to call DCI yourself for confirmation…although I suspect your phone will be ringing any moment. These premises are to be locked down until Lindsay arrives with Federal Agents.

(Cut to Dixon's reaction. He's really not pleased with what he's hearing. His face is almost one of defiance, but not quite.)

Lauren (voiceover): That means, until such time, nobody leaves.

Dixon (his stare unwavering): I take it you have Sydney in custody.

Lauren: Not yet…but we know where she is.

(Cut to a close up of Sydney's hand as she inserts the key she got from Sloane into a door lock. It fits. She turns the key and opens the door. She turns on a light just inside the door and lays the key on a table there. She looks around, amazed. The apartment is decorated with expensive paintings and sculptures…a leather sofa. She wanders through the room, touching objects as if hoping they'll give her some clues. She rubs her hand across a black table. A thin layer of dust appears on her fingers. She rubs it off absently. The apartment obviously hasn't been vacant for long. She wanders into another room and turns on the light. Cut to her entering the bedroom and turning on another light. She takes off her coat, lying it absently on the bed. She sits on the bed, fingers the tapestry of a bed pillow, then lays back on the bed with her eyes closed, letting out a long sigh. She looks up to a chilling sight: out of a large skylight over the bed, she sees several white doves flapping around and behind them, is the same statue from her nightmare, atop the spire of what appears to be a church. The church bells ring in the background. Cut to Sydney's wide-eyed reaction to the statue. Focus in on the statue, which appears to be coming every closer… Cut to Sydney splashing water on her face in the bathroom, obviously spooked. She looks up at the mirror over the sink, face still dripping with water, and then, as if a sudden thought crossed her mind; she pulls the medicine cabinet open, searching. She grabs a prescription bottle, pulls it out and closes the cabinet. A close up on the bottle reveals it belongs to Julia Thorne. She opens the cabinet again to see if there are any more clues in there and slowly closes the door again. As it closes, we see a man who appears to be a policeman right behind her. He grabs her from behind and drags her out to the living room where five or six armed police officers stand in a circle around her.)

Officer #1 (en italien): Get down on the floor!

Officer #2 (en italien ): Quick! Handcuff her!

(Sydney is slammed to the carpet as they handcuff her. Close up on Sydney's still wet face as the police officer says…)

Officer #1 (en italien): In conjunction with the N.S.C of the United States of America, you are under arrest!

(From Sydney's panicked face we… Cut to Black. ALIAS. End of Act Five.)

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