An Alex Krycek backstory for the Sanctuary universe
Attempting to access the vaccine
Naturally, the Brit was on board with my plan; he was as eager as I was to access the vaccine. Miguel Ansbach seemed a little reluctant, though, or maybe just overwhelmed, given everything that had happened. Added to his concerns about the distribution program, he'd just started a risky cold-based course of treatment on Marita, hoping, pretty much as a last resort, to try to kill the temperature-sensitive Oil without losing Marita in the process.
And me, I was going to be walking on eggshells. I needed Ansbach's cooperation, but he wasn't ever going to believe Marita'd up and turned on me for no reason, and I was going to have to live with the fallout from that. He was frantic to cure her not only because she had the code, but because she was like family to him--at least in his eyes. And much as I would have liked to wipe Marita and everything that had passed between us out of my mind, it wasn't going to happen because I'd be hearing about every effort they made with her, every little change in her condition. I'd just have to suck it up and do what I had to.
So I spent a lot of time putting out feelers, looking for infiltration candidates, following up leads, setting up little tests to see whether people were trustworthy, checking backgrounds. Did I mention that they either had to be Columbian or able to pass as a native of the region? Needle in a haystack, but at least it kept me busy. It kept me from thinking too much about how far I'd fallen, or the possibility of imminent alien invasion, or the Brit's little digs. The honeymoon, such as it had been, was over, his bitterness over what I'd done to Charne-Sayer back close to the surface. He wanted me to know I was getting my due for what I'd done. His insinuations were wrapped up in that genteel exterior of his, but they were there all the same, little razor blades waiting to slit the skin. I kept reminding myself not to get distracted, just to keep my eye on the goal, the way you pour your focus into pinning the crosshairs to a target at a hundred yards.
About two weeks after I'd started searching for potential infiltrators for FarmaCol, Ansbach scored his big victory. The entity that had been pooled inside Marita expelled itself, finally dead. For a week or so it was touch and go, but ultimately Marita stabilized and finally regained consciousness. If we could get the access code out of her, I could drop this project I had going, but she wasn't coherent enough to talk, and who knew whether what she'd been through would have caused some kind of brain damage. It would take time before we'd know anything.
When I went looking for Ansbach a day or two later, I found out he'd taken off for a well-deserved break and flown home to Peru for a few days. But the next time I saw him, he seemed as haggard as before. They were waiting for Marita to regain a little more strength and coherency before they tried to get the information out of her, he said. In the meantime he'd thrown himself into working on the topical vaccine in his off-hours. I should have suspected something, but I took him at his word.
I didn't see too much of the Brit for a while, either, which was okay by me. The group was busy with their hybrid project, probably showing off their hard work to the Colonists and kissing ass to highlight their loyalty in the face of the recent Rebel attack, while at the same time a contingent of their tech guys was searching for any sign of more rebel incursions. But the attacks seemed to have stopped cold. It would've kept me awake nights--okay, it did for a while--the feeling that they were just regrouping and waiting to hit us again, but if they did attack, in the end there was nothing I could do about it. Better to keep focused on something that might get me some results, so I continued to work away at my little project. I had three potential candidates to infiltrate FarmaCol and needed to narrow it down to two.
Three weeks later, the Brit and I got together. He'd just come from Fort Marlene and he wasn't happy. He'd talked with Marita the day before to find out what she knew, but she'd seemed to only vaguely recognize him. Evidently she was coherent enough to cover herself, though, because later he found out that earlier in the day she'd told a couple of visiting elders she'd taken the boy to keep me from manipulating the group. Right: good old loyal Marita. Anything for the organization.
Well, as far as they knew.
So the Brit had gone back and had Miguel inject her with something designed to elicit a little more unfiltered information, but he didn't find out anything new. And no access code. It was a letdown, but what wasn't these days? I shrugged my shoulders and went back to work.
By this time I'd narrowed it down to one guy who I figured really fit my requirements for the FarmaCol job. But halfway through going over the final details of his assignment, the fucker up and vanished. I waited a few days, hoping he'd surface, but eventually I resigned myself to having to track him down. All I found was a room he'd rented, vacant. At the back of the closet was a single T-shirt I'd seen him wear a couple of times. Everything else had been cleared out.
Like a sucker punch, I hadn't seen it coming. At all. I went over and over our meetings in my head, looking for clues, but I couldn't pull up a single red flag. The more I wracked my brains over it, the more I just wanted to shoot something. Actually, I did go to an indoor range that afternoon, and I put one hell of a lot of lead through a half-dozen targets. Shooting can be great stress relief, but this time it didn't help the way I'd hoped it would. Then again, there was no way it was going to change the hard facts: I was back to square one, a couple of months completely wasted, the vaccine still locked away. Marita'd survived, but if she had the access code in her, she wasn't giving it up.
And who knew what the hell the damn Rebels were up to, how soon they'd strike again? They'd beat the Colonists in the last encounter, a fact nobody seemed to want to face. They'd gotten their man away from an alien enforcer, and everyone knew the Bounty Hunter was stronger and had more powers than any other alien we knew of. Even if by some chance we defeated the Colonists, we might just find ourselves lined up against a stronger enemy.
I wasn't sleeping well, and I'd started having stomach pains at night. Somebody I mentioned it to said maybe it was an ulcer. I had to laugh. Cut down on the stress--isn't that what they always told you? Like that was going to happen in my lifetime.
I went to report to the Brit only to discover that he was out of town. He never went anywhere without telling me--or at least checking in to give me one of those steely-eyed gazes and let me know I'd better keep myself in line while he was away. I should have realized then that something was up, but my mind was hung up on my MIA operative, on what I'd like to do to him, and on generally trying to scramble up the down staircase
In a crazy stroke of luck, within a few days I stumbled across somebody a lot better suited for the FarmaCol job than my previous guy. I put Raul Cisneros through a lot harder training, but he handled it well and in the end I felt pretty confident about him. Eventually we flew to Cali, spent some time snooping around, finding out who worked in the warehouse. Got buddy buddy with our target and offered him a whole lot more money than he'd ever seen before to tell his employers he'd had a sudden family emergency and desperately needed a couple of weeks off, but that he knew of someone capable who could fill in for him while he was away. Raul was gone for a good half hour talking with their HR people; I figured he was in for sure. And he almost made it. But when they went to have Arizábal sign off on him, all of a sudden they decided they could get by with the personnel they already had.
I wanted to put my fist through Arizábal's face and squeeze him until he agreed to hand over the goddamn vaccine, but I knew that even if I succeeded, he'd alert the authorities and we'd never make it out of the country with the stuff. Worse, the vaccine and our program would be exposed, and that was something we absolutely couldn't afford. Getting to Arizábal would mean tracking down his family, knowing exactly who to threaten and how. It would take time and careful prep work. I retrieved Cisneros and headed back to New York.
But if I thought I'd hit bottom, I was in for a big surprise. While I'd been away, something had come up that nobody could have foreseen.
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