Trade Craft

Author: Tenhawk <tenhawk[at]>

Disclaimer: All characters belong to their rightful owners... none of which are me. If their proper owners had the slightest concept of how valuable their characters really were... I wouldn't have to write this stuff.

Summary: When this Deputy Director of the CIA makes a deal... He keeps is. No matter what.

Warning : Crossovers ahead. (Yes Plural.)

Rating : PG-13. For mature themes and all the other fun stuff that rarely makes network TV.

Feedback, It's the coin of the realm.

Chapter 1

Langley, Virginia

"Why are we being brought in, Mr C?"

"I don't know, kid." Clark replied calmly as he walked along the hallowed halls of the CIA building in Langley. "I imagine that's what the honcho wants to tell us."

Chavez nodded reluctantly as Clarke led him into a quiet briefing room.

It didn't take long before they were joined by one other.

That in itself was unusual. Even in a compartmented operation there were usually more then one briefing officer, and even the highest level operation rarely required an officer of this caliber.



"I'm glad you guys could get here so fast."

"Why don't you tell me what is so important that we had to grab a redeye out of Bogota and make for Virginia like the entire cartel was on our ass." John Clark said calmly as he took a seat. <Where the hell is Mary Pat? Why is Jack giving us our brief?>

"I have an important job I need done." Jack Ryan said softly. "And it requires the best."

Clark nodded, an expression that managed to convey the words 'go on' as well as the phrase 'don't blow smoke up my ass... sir.' into one smooth second of communication.

"I was informed yesterday that my office was bugged." Jack said calmly. "Other then the 'official' bugs I mean."

Clark leaned forward, his interest piqued. "Who pulled that off?"

"Two legal entities... they both had legitimate warrants through various congressional subcommittees." Jack grimaced, "It seems they feel that I may have certain... contacts that they want to locate... and a third one."

"A third one?" Chavez looked up, "Not a legal wiretap?"

"Not a wiretap." Jack growled, "They actually put a hard tap on my phone. Sophisticated little bastard too... better then the NRO has to play with."

"Ouch." Clark said lightly. "So who is this contact they'r after, and what does it have to do with us?"

"You know better then to ask that, John." Jack replied reprovingly.

Clark smiled and spread his hands wide, as if to say 'it doesnt hurt to ask'.

Ryan snorted lightly and smiled, "But in this case you may as well know... You met the man afterall."

"I did?" Clark asked, slightly surprised.

"Oh yeah. In Bogota... just a few months ago."

"Bruja." Chavez whispered, paling slightly.

"That's correct."

"Boy oh boy. This is getting interesting." Clark smiled, "So... the alphabet is after Harris are they?"

"And then some." Ryan confirmed.

"Why bring us in now?" Chavez asked.

"Because I received a call from Mr Harris yesterday. He was the one who informed me about the taps." Jack said. "During the call he managed to scramble all the taps so he could request something."

"Oh, what did the kid want?" Clark smiled.

"His car." Ryan said simply.

"Excuse me?"

"He left his car in a CIA garage while we went on the Bogota mission," Ryan explained. "He wants it back. Intact, with no additions... and no tail."

Clark frowned, "And you want us to tail it. Listen Jack, the kid helped..."

"No." Ryan smiled, shaking his head. "That's not it."

"Alright... Then what?"

"Immediately after the call I left my office and ordered his car to be shipped out by train to LA." Ryan said, "I want you to babysit it."

"Excuse me??" Clark demanded. "What the hell do I look like to you??"

"Harris made future contact with him the price of a clean car." Ryan said, "And for reasons you don't need to know... I want very much to have future contact with him. But I want something else almost as much."

"What's that?" Clark asked courly.

"The name of the third agency that bugged my office." Ryan said coldly. "If they're half as good as they seem to be they'll have put a flag on my request for the car... it came too soon after the disrupted call to be ignored."

"So they'll have men ready to tail whoever picks it up." Clark nodded. "Alright. I follow."

"Good. I want those men, Clark. Alive, and ready for questioning." Ryan stated flatly. "That's the number two priority of this mission."

"What's number one?"

"That Harris never knows you or anyone else was there."

Section One HQ


"What is it, Michael?" The blonde asked, looking up from her console.

"See Walter. We have a mission briefing at fifteen hundred."

Nikita just nodded and the calm, dark, man walked off. She quickly closed up her computer and made her way across the large room to where the white haird older man smiled a greeting at her as she arrived.

"Hey sugar." Walter grinned, "Here for the mission load out?"

Nikita smiled and nodded.

"Here you go." He pulled a field pack from behind his work station and handed it over. "Mostly standard stuff... just a couple specials this time."


"Yeah. Here," Walter handed her a small black box. "Three tracers in there. GPS on board, chips the size of your fingernail. You'll have to clip them to whatever it is you're tracing so you don't have to be following in plain view."

Nikita nodded professionally, examining the tiny tracers for a moment before snapping the box shut. "Anything else?"

"Just this," Walter handed her an elegant necklace.

"Why Walter," Nikita played, "I didn't know you cared."

Walter smiled at her, "You know I care sugar, and I'll show you anytime at all."

"Walter." Nikita said softly, smiling tolerantly. "The necklace?"

"What? Oh, yeah. It's just a basic camera and microphone setup..." Walter frowned, "Just in case you have to follow from a little... closer."

Nikita nodded, "Right... Well, then... I'll see later."

"Later, darlin." Walter watched as the blonde left and smiled before shaking his head and going back to work.

Train Bound from Virginia to California

"Well... I've been in worse." Clark sighed as he looked over the cargo box car he and his partner were stationed in.

Chavez looked around, shrugging. "I've lived in worse, migo. Weird jobs we seem to pull down."

Clark shrugged, "The boss wants to know who bugged his office. Can't really blame him."

"Spose not." Chavez grunted as he walked around the black and red Dodge Charger they were sharing the berth with. "Hot wheels, man. I used to know a guy who drive a car like this. He was big into the racing scene."

"Not my cup of tea." Clark shrugged, "Give me a quiet day on the lake. I get enough adrenaline on the job."

Chavez chuckled and nodded, "Yeah, man. I get you. Still... Hot ride."

"Real hot." Clark said, bringing his partner back to the realities of the situation. "I think we're far enough from the station... let's stop playing decoy."

"You got it."

Clark smiled to himself, a chilly smile that wasn't echoed in his cool blue eyes. "Yeah..." He whispered, "It's time to start playing hunter."

"Operatives in Virginia recorded two CIA guards board the train... Proceed with Caution, Michael."


Michael turned back to his team, nodding at them. "You heard Birkoff. We'll pull back for now and observe. We don't want to alert the guards."

"Why don't we just take them out?" Brandon, a new man asked.

"Because this isn't a sweeper mission." Nikita replied, mildly disgusted. "We're after hard intel on the car and it's owner. Killing the guards could spook our target."

"That's correct," Michael agreed.

"Why don't we just take their place?"

"Because we don't know if they will be meeting anyone, or if someone will know them." Michael said, staring into Brandon's eyes until the man swallowed and fell back. "Now, unless there are anymore questions?"

No one spoke.

Chapter 2

Three days out of LA, Domingo Chavez was getting a little antsy despite his experience and was getting on John Clark's nerves.

"Would you sit the fuck down, Ding." Clark ordered finally. "Shit. I'd think a Sniper would have more patience."

"It's been three days and they still haven't made their move, John." Chavez frowned. "I mean, come on migo. What are they waiting for?"

"For you to get careless and start asking that question." Clark said, not looking up at his young friend.

Ding pursed his lips, but nodded and sat down. "I just don't like being the one in the cross hairs, Mr C."

"No one does." Clark replied with equanimity. "The difference is that we know the crosshairs are on us because we *let* them put them there. Now relax."

"Hurry up and wait." Chavez muttered disgustedly as he moved back to his position.

"The credo of anyone who's ever had any contact with any part of the federal government." Clark agreed with false, yet convincing, cheer.

"Right." Chavez muttered under his breath. "Give me my rifle and a ghillie suit and I'll show the Federal Government what they can..."

"Ah ah... Those are the kind of people *we* take care of." Clark grinned, "Remember?"

"Oh yeah. Right." Ding flashed a smile to his boss. "Almost forgot there for a moment."

"Happens to the best of us." Clark smiled back, his eyes glittering with more humor then was apparent on his face. "Repeatedly."

"Am I clear?"

The quiet voice was soft, almost hiding the steel that was laden just beneath it's surface. Almost.

"You're clear." This voice was deeper, almost emotionless, yet managed to convey more information in two words then most people could manage in a year.

Nikita nodded, taking the small yet powerful electric drill from her assault gear and lowering it to the solid roof of the train car. The tungsten drill whined briefly as it bit into the steel roof and punched through the three quarter inch covering in just seconds.

She withdrew the bit, then laid the drill down beside her, ignoring the wind as it rushed past and over her while the train rumbled on. Next she pulled a small device from her pouch and unraveled a black wire from it. Then she began to feed it to the hole with slow strokes.

"Alright Nikita," Birkoff's quiet, yet eager, voice echoed in her ear. "I've got a visual from the fiber-cam. Turn it a little to the right..."

Nikita did.

"The right! The right!"

"I am turning it to the right, Birkoff." Nikita hissed.

"Uh.... The left then."

Nikita shook her head, but turned it to the left without comment. "Is that better?"

"Yeah. Yeah... just hold it steady."

Nikita rolled her eyes, but her hands didn't move a muscle. Seconds turned into a minute, and a minute turned into three before she spoke. "Birkoff."

"Huh? What?"

"Can I lock it down?" She asked tersely.

"Oh. Yeah. Sure."

She grimaced, but didn't comment as she slid the lock into place and flipped on the switch. There was a light clicking sound, and the disk attached itself to the metal as she straightened up and touched her ear. "Still good, Birkoff?"

"Perfect. Good work, Nikita."

She smiled, nodding slightly and slipped back. "I'm pulling back."

"Confirmed." Michael's soft tenor said as she began to move.

"Alright, here's the layout." Birkoff said into his headset as she shot a data squirt to the field team. "The vehicle is centered in the car at this point..."

In their temporary field HQ the Section team looked over the information as it came up on their portable screens. The rectangle of the car was illuminated by a smaller rectangle within it.

"Birkoff," Michael said softly, "Where are the guards?"

"Ummm..." Birkoff hedged. "I don't know."

"What?" Nikita asked, a sharp edge entering her voice.

"I don't know." Birkoff repeated defensively. "I can't find them."

"Birkoff," Nikita returned with a hint of disbelief. "We have thermal imaging of the car, a fiber-cam inside, and three angles with the ultrasound... How can you not find them??"

"I don't know." Birkoff sounded a little frantic and the team could hear him moving around on the other end, tapping keys. "They must be... somewhere else."

"Where?" Michael asked pointedly.

"I don't know." Birkoff said finally.

Micheal sighed, shaking his head. "We'll have to send someone in."

Nikita found herself once more on the wind washed roof of the racing train car, this time with the black clad Brandon at her side.

"Entry tool." she said, reaching back as the heavy set man dropped the device into her hand.

She swing it forward and wedged the steel bits under the steel cover, shoving hard to ensure that it was solidly intact. Next came simply pumping at a silent and small hand pump for ten strokes. That was all it took before the pneumatic power caused the riveted bolts to pop from the wood of the car.

"Entry path secured." She said as Brandon lifted the heavy cover from the car roof.

"You have a go." Michael said in his whispery voice.


"What's the team's status?"

Birkoff spun around to see Operations standing behind him. He stammered for a second but got himself under control, "Nikita is entering the car now."

Operations nodded, looking to the screens. "Where are the guards?"

"We don't know. They can't be in the car... we've got the entire place covered." Birkoff said tentatively.

Operations pierced him with a cold glare, "You lost them."

"I..." Birkoff hesitated before nodding. "Yes Sir."

"Find them."

"Yes Sir."

"I'm in." Nikita whispered, her head and body appearing in the dimly lit box car as she slid down from the roof.

"Good." Michael responded softly, "Proceed carefully. Confirm that the car is empty, then place the first device."

"Understood." She whispered, looking down as she slid lower into the box car.

Her body slowly appeared as the taught cable lowered her vertically into the eerily silent box car.

A few moments later she was mere inches above the hood of the Charger, "Alright. I'm to the car."

She reached down, her gloved hands walking along the hood and pulling her body toward the front of the car. "Brandon... another eighteen inches."

She started to slide down again, this time steered by her hands on the hood of the car. A moment later she was staring into the grill of the Classic muscle car and she spoke softly, "That's good... hold it right there, Brandon."

The cable held taut and she retrieved the first bug from a canvas pouch wrapped around her left arm. It stuck slightly to her gloved finger as she slowly reached down and placed the tiny silicon wafer on the underside of the bumper.

"It's secure."

"Roger. Move to the second location and plant the next one."

Nikita nodded, though no one could see it, and spoke to Brandon. "Pull me back up... slowly."

The cable retracted and she let herself swing slowly back along the hood of the car, moving toward the driver's side door this time.

"Hold." Birkoff said quickly.

"What is it, Birkoff??" Michael asked over the radio.

"We have motion moving toward the car from the next box car down. Pull back and await confirmation." Birkoff said.

"Do it." Michael said quickly.

"Pulling back." Nikita said, "pull me in, Brandon."

The Section agent silently rose toward the roof of the box car, waiting until she was almost there to flip around and reach up to pull herself out of the box car. A few seconds later the steel plate was returned to the roof, dislodging the slightest bit of dust as the agents locked it back into place.

Inside the car nothing moved for a long second, the monotonous sound of the train disguising any non-native sounds anyway.

And then there was a slight scratching sound, followed by a low grating noise, and a wooden section of the floor slid back from under the car to reveal a muscled brown arm that reached softly up and plucked the small GPS chip from the car's bumper.

"Nice work on this thing." Chavez said softly into his radio.

"Stop admiring it and secure it, Ding." Clark growled.

"Sir, Yes Sir, Mr C." Chavez responded with a classic boot camp responce, smirking slightly as he carefully lowered the GPS wafer without moving it laterally so much as an inch. The boards scraped back into place a moment later and he equally carefully attached the wafer to the underside of the boards.

"Nobody likes a smart ass, kid. Keep that up and I'll make you come over for holiday supper... My wife's turkey makes boot camp food look good."

"Got it." He whispered a moment later, white teeth flashing in the dark. "No more cracks about your intelligence. I guess that just leaves me with your looks, body odor, and funny way of talking."


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