Spoilers: None, really.
Disclaimer: Not mine. Sad but true. No money
is gained or intended to be gained.
Timeline: A good ways before the beginning
of the current season, probably more towards half a year after
Sydney's disappearance. Sark is still in custody.
Feedback: Yes, please. No, really. Please.
Thank you: To Rez, Auburn and murron
Love to: The LJ Alias crew & murron.
Because you broaden my horizon and send my head spinning nicely
with the specualtions and the wonderful stories / art you
A/N: Written roughly 2 months ago, so no
connection / brainchild whatsoever to / of episode 3.11
Gaze long into the abyss, and the abyss gazes into you.
The more time passes, the
more inventive they get. They’ve tried almost everything
on him: Long interrogations, threats, torture. When that doesn’t
bring the desired results they resort to sleep-deprivation,
malnutrition, and drugs until he’s dizzy and weak; and
now, to solitary confinement and darkness. There are no rules.
Human rights don’t exist here, and even if they did,
who would apply them to him? Terrorists and assassins aren’t
human. Yet they try to break him like a human. In the beginning
the irrationality of it had made him laugh. He’s too
weak for laughing now.
He last saw light when they’d
opened the door and put a beaker of water inside the cell.
They’d blinded him with their torches; the rays pierced
his eyes and burned into his skull. No food. He can’t
remember the last time he ate properly. The hallucinations
of food come to haunt him from time to time, images of a simple
loaf of bread and cheese, some plain Italian wine. He would
take anything, his taste has already been reduced to that.
But the longer the hunger stays with him, the more futile
the wish for nourishment seems, the less often the hallucinations
He knows their scheme. They’re
trying to reduce him to something animal, only working on
survival instinct. And maybe it’d all make sense somehow,
if he hadn’t already given them all the intel of value
to them. But they want more, always more. Doren, Derevko.
Where are they? What are Derevko’s plans? What lies
behind her obsession with Rambaldi? Who killed Sydney Bristow?
He doesn’t have any
answers. It had been a shock he had hidden well, hearing about
Sydney’s death. The world is duller with her out of
the game. And maybe his chances of ever leaving this prison
alive have sunk closer to zero with her death.
Michael Vaughn had been present
during one of his last drug sessions. The agent’s ashen
face with the hollow eyes had swum in and out of proportion
under the influence of the drug altering Sark’s state
of awareness. He had stared at the man with a smile only in
his eyes since his faced refused to cooperate. ‘Poor
bastard,’ he had been thinking. Since he answered
none of their questions, Vaughn had finally snapped, like
a cello-chord stretched too tight, and had sent a crushing
blow to Sark’s jaw. Pain had made the younger man’s
eyes water. "Does this bring her back, Agent Vaughn?",
he remembers asking with uncooperative lips. Another blow,
and Vaughn’s face had vanished; Sark’s mind, overpowered
by the drugs, drifting off when his eyes had rolled back into
his head and his body had slumped like a rag-doll.
Vaughn hasn’t been back
since. Was that days ago? Weeks? Months? He can’t fathom
it and doesn’t want to.
The residue of the last drug
session are still in his bloodstream; he can feel them eating
their way into his mind.
In the darkness it’s
hard to concentrate on anything but himself. The outside world
has ceased to exist after what he supposes is the third day.
There’s only the sounds he makes to subdue his own heartbeat:
Tapping his fingers against the bare, rough walls, his feet.
But his heartbeat is always there, the last reminder of his
strength, but mocking him too often. He’s sworn to himself
that they won’t break him, won’t have him admitting
things he doesn’t know anything about and hasn’t
done. But now there are the drugs and the sleep-deprivation
and the darkness.
He knows the methods, had
been taught to administer them himself. But having to endure
them is something else entirely.
At first he had welcomed the
quiet of the dark cell, had meditated and had tried to put
order to his thoughts. Had tried to recite Greek and Chinese
philosophers but grew tired of the sound of his own voice,
even in his head. Soon, not even hate was enough to occupy
his mind which wasn’t used to being this idle. He couldn’t
stay ahead of their game and tried hard to ignore the feeling
Time has gone by and he finds
himself waiting for the time of his next injection, simply
because it means light, however painful to his eyes, and seeing
another human being, although they don’t speak anymore.
From scouts around the cell
he has found out about a bucket for waste and a package of
baby-wipes. No additional water for washing and drinking.
The stubble on his face is no longer just a stubble, and he
despises them for that maybe more than for anything else.
The lack of decent hygiene makes him feel truly animal. The
He tries not to think about
what he has lost, simply because he doesn’t consider
it lost, not yet. But a part of him howls like a beaten beast
whenever they close the door again, and the drug begins its
malignant yet impassive work on his mind and body. Every time
it happens again, he finds it harder to suppress this side
of him, more exhausting to keep it from surfacing. Not many
layers are left to cover it anymore. They’re being scraped
away from session to session, with cold precision. What lies
beneath isn’t who he is, he thinks. And yet it is a
part of him, no matter how much his mind protests that he
doesn’t want to be reduced to something Freud would
have called Id. He has always considered himself Ego, completely
in control of his inborn basic drives and wants, needs to
stay aloof. But in the neverending night of the cell, the
weak part of him is whispering for someone to talk to him,
for gentle touches, for some kind of light in the abyss he’s
He doesn’t know how
much longer he’ll be able to fight it. If he’ll
be able to take the whisper that is louder than any scream.
He is cold. The drug is working
well, leaving him shivering, breaking out in cold sweats,
making him dizzy and tired, yet too overwrought to sleep.
So because there is nothing
else to do, he lowers himself onto the cold metal bunk, draws
his knees up and fights the urge to wrap his arms around himself
in order to have at least some warmth, some kind of touch.
He refuses to heave a sigh in frustration. It’s nothing
he has done before, he won’t start now. Tells himself
over and over again that he doesn’t need any of this.
That he is stronger. That he won’t give them the satisfaction
of showing weakness.
"Are you really that
strong?" He’s heard the voice before and it always
goes away. He chalks it up to drugs. He’s stronger than
But it comes back.
"Are you?" In the
darkness, he hears the voice echoing dully in the cell, then
the tearing of plastic and a papery click, the rustling of
paper unfolded and torn. Hears the opening of a Zippo, metal
clank, and the swish of the gas when the fire devours it.
The flame is bright, carving a face out of the darkness before
it is snuffed again.
So this is it, finally,
he thinks, grimly saluting the drugs.
The cigarette gleams red and
casts an eerie glow on the beautiful face of the woman holding
it between her lips.
He drops his head to his drawn-up
knees and laughs, a raspy, hollow sound that is not his voice.
She exhales the smoke between
her teeth, a hissing sound. Her smile is audible when the
full lips reveal a line of what he knows are perfectly small,
white teeth. "With pleasure, love."
It has happened before. It always goes away again. He is stronger
than the drugs. It’s what he has kept telling himself
for the last twenty minutes. But there is no use. The apparition
He can smell the smoke of
her cheap cigarettes, her perfume, the familiar and yet unfamiliar
scent of her body. Still Francine Calfo’s body. Why
he’s seeing her as Sydney Bristow’s flat-mate,
and not as the real Allison, he can’t fathom.
She is on her third cigarette
by now. He has never told her how much he hates it when she
smokes. Maybe now would be a good time to start.
She comes closer, blows the
smoke in his face. He endures it without moving, but thinks
that he might as well have grimaced, the darkness would have
hidden it. It’s on principle that he doesn’t.
Some things shouldn’t change. Ever. "Don’t
you like it?"
He doesn’t reply, considers
his silence answer enough.
"You never complained
She settles down next to him
on the bunk. "And you’re not actually in a position
to complain now." Her hand reaches out and she flips
on the Zippo. He closes his eyes reflexively against the brightness,
feels the light sting his sensitive eyes.
"Look at you," she
says, not quite hiding a mocking snort. "You look like
shit." She laughs and touches the fingertips of her right
hand to his shorn scalp and his facial hair. Her fingers are
freezing cold. "Not quite the same Mr. Sark you once
were, are you?"
Indignation flares and he
opens his eyes to stare at her icily. Her words cut deep.
"Nothing has changed, Allison. I could still --"
"Teach me a thing or
two? Fight me and win?" She interrupts and gives him
an impertinent, entirely Allison-like once-over. "Excuse
me if I find that hard to believe."
The Zippo casts its flickering
glow on her face. She is beautiful, even as Francie. Her eyes
have always been Allison’s, though, no matter how good
the genetic change of her body was, no matter how much she
trained herself to act and walk and move like the other woman.
He looks into those eyes now, tries to find something that
might explain ...
"Why I’m here?"
Her ability to finish his sentences has always been uncanny.
It’s reassuring to see that at least this hasn’t
"You made a promise once,
He doesn’t. He’s
made so many promises he never kept that he’s lost track
of them. He’s never lied to her, though, so he decides
to be blunt. "I don’t."
She laughs, a thoroughly amused
sound that doesn’t fit the situation. "You son
of a bitch. I should have known you wouldn’t."
"Look at me. We’ll
get you back." Her imitation of his voice has always
been good. She loved to mock his accent, back when she had
her own face and this urge to move all the time, never once
be still, not even in bed. But it’s different this time,
something dark reverberates in her tone, and her body is perfectly
still. Her eyes - Allison and Francie, yet more Allison -
are colder than his cell. He fights the urge to shiver.
She closes the Zippo with
a flick of her wrist. "You knew it, didn’t you?
That changing me back wouldn’t be possible?" Her
voice is soft, almost gentle.
He’ll be damned if he’ll
sound apologetic. "Would it make any difference if I
said I did?"
She laughs again, a low, intoxicating
sound that used to arouse him, brings her mouth close to his
ear; a chill exhalation. "No. It wouldn’t."
She runs her cold tongue along his ear and sends the promise
of pleasure shooting through his mind. He finds it hard to
suppress a groan. God, it’s been so long. His hands
reach out for her in the dark but don’t find her. Her
voice is close, but the sultry tone has changed to something
sub-zero: "It wouldn’t because you’d still
rot here. As you should."
His hands hit the metal of
his bunk. The smell of the cigarette has vanished with her.
to read the sequel