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Date Posted: 21:28:39 04/29/05 Fri
Author: Diane
Subject: Okay - Chapter 10
In reply to: Diane 's message, "Okay" on 11:00:56 04/04/05 Mon

It was only Ken’s superior reach and better-than-average reflexes that kept him from being a mere grease spot on the mat. Nikita’s sparring was phenomenal. Even after two weeks of rigorous training, he clearly had a lot of work yet to do if he simply wanted to keep from being massacred by his boss. He was almost embarrassed to go to the men’s locker room to hear Section’s opinion of his lack of fighting skills. To his surprise, the guys were fairly charitable.

“Hell, I’d never have had the nerve to go up against Nikita, even before she was Operations!” exclaimed one of the men. He extended his hand to Ken. “Jennings,” he said by way of introduction, “and this here’s Snow,” gesturing over his shoulder, “and back in the corner there is Finnegan.” A tall redhead raised his hand.

“You’re all cold ops?” Ken ventured.

“That’s right,” answered Snow proudly.

“Have any of you sparred with Nikita before?” Ken asked.

A long pause and some murmuring before Finnegan’s voice rang out, “Shit, no, man. Now just suicidal!

The other ops all laughed, and Ken smiled.

“Since she was promoted to Level Two, the only one who’s ever beaten her is Michael,” pronounced Jennings. The other ops nodded in agreement with the smaller man. “And even then, he took a fall or two,” he added. “Not often,” he quickly amended, “but once in a while.”

“Their matches were almost a thing of beauty,” added Snow. The others turned to look at him. “Well, they were. Especially considering how they felt about each other.”

Ken picked up his gym bag. “See you later,” he called as he left the locker room, leaving them to own opinions and arguments.

Of course, he knew about the legendary Michael Samuelle. Even Spec Ops didn’t live in a vacuum. Michael was a prodigy. The best this; the best that; the best everything. Now and again, someone like that comes along. It just happens. Ken was not jealous. He felt no need to try to uphold Michael’s impossibly high standards. He listened to Michael’s exploits, and tried to learn from them. He would just do the best job that he was able.

He had always shut down, though, or walked away from, rumors about Michael’s and Nikita’s personal connection. Ken had been hoping for an administrative position in Section One for years—he didn’t really care whose. He didn’t need gossip of personal relationships to cloud his judgment and keep him from achieving his goal. Ken was not ambitious to the point of stepping on other people; he just wanted has path to be clear and uncomplicated. His wait had paid off.

Michael Samuelle was gone. Some said set free; some said cancelled. Not his problem. Madeline was dead—that had been confirmed. Ken’s path was clear, and he had been chosen. He would work side-by-side with Nikita. He would not let her down.

* * *

Megan Little was meeting with the members of Center. Gone were the jeans and bubble gum. Her blonde hair was swept back into a professional hairdo, and she was wearing a charcoal gray business suit with a red “power” blouse.

“So you were the one who made sure that Mr. Lockett was selected for the position?”

“It wasn’t difficult,” replied Megan, lifting her chin. “Once I confided to ‘Joanie’ that Nikita likes a long, gossipy chat, the job was pretty much his.”

“Good work, Ms. Little. You may go now.”

Megan stood firm. “You are still considering my request for transfer from Oversight to Center?” she asked calmly.

“Of course.”

Megan Little, satisfied with the empty promise, was ushered out and returned to the secretarial pool at Oversight. She was no threat to Center, but they did not expect to see her again.

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[> Okay - Chapter 11 -- Diane, 21:38:14 04/29/05 Fri

Adam did not like his new school, though he would never burden his father with this problem. The other boys did not tease him about his accent--they ridiculed him and mocked him endlessly. They grabbed his backpack and threw it on a high shelf where he couldn’t reach it. They stole his lunch. The fact that he was the smallest boy in class and already fluent in English with no trace of an accent pissed them off.

There were no spots available on the intramural hockey teams, and no one wanted him on their team for street hockey during recess or after school.

And now, as Easter drew near, the boys would shoot him murderous looks and taunt him for being Jewish. Adam was confused. He didn’t even know he was Jewish. He asked his father about it the first day this had happened. Michael had smiled, winked, and said, “It’s just pretend.” Great.

* * *

Michael’s paintings were beginning to sell, and a small, new newspaper, “Scoop” got the exclusive on the opening of the gallery where some of this art would be shown. Michael had wanted to avoid publicity, but he didn’t want to have to hide away with Adam forever. It wasn’t healthy. Besides, he had cut his hair quite short, was sporting a full beard, and would speak only Québécois French; he bore little resemblance to the man for whom the Collective was looking.

He and Adam sported matching tuxedoes, and only stayed for half an hour. Adam pretended severe shyness and refused to speak—his accent was still too Parisian. Besides, the only things they had to eat were calamari, stuffed mushrooms and artichoke hearts. Had these people never heard of peanut butter or mini-weenies?

* * *

The next morning, Adam informed his father that he was much too sick to go to school. Michael was concerned. They had been out a little later than usual, but Adam had seemed fine. With hurried steps, he walked to Adam’s room and threw open the door.

“No!” shouted Adam. “Don’t come in! I have an infekteeus dyseez.”

Michael was perplexed until he saw a medical journal on Adam’s nightstand. Apparently, Adam had taken some time to prepare for this one.

“What infectious disease do you have, Adam?” asked Michael, his voice full of concern.

Adam flopped back on his pillow listlessly. “I have the Ebola virus.” He’d read all night, and this looked like one that could keep him out of school for months.

Michael quickly ducked his head and put a hand over his mouth. A coughing fit covered his laughter. “Do you have a fever, Adam?”

“I’m sure I do,” came the quick response. Stupid book. Every disease in there said you had to have a fever, but it never explained what a fever was. Well, if he was gonna have Ebola, he might as well have a fever, too.

“Adam,” Michael said, shaking his head as he walked into the room and sat on the edge of Adam’s bed. “you do not
“How do you know?” Adam asked suspiciously.

“Because you don’t live in Africa, and you aren’t bleeding from your eyes, ears, mouth and rectum.”

Gross! thought Adam.

“My diagnosis is that you don’t want to go to school today. Am I right?”

Adam rolled away from his father and looked at the far wall.

“Won’t your friends miss you if you skip school?”

Adam snorted.

Michael turned Adam over so he could see him, so he could really look in his face. My God. Why had he not noticed before? The boy had visibly lost weight, and there were dark shadows under his eyes that hadn’t just popped up from last night.

“Do you have any school friends, Adam?”

Adam slowly shook his head from side to side.

Michael’s voice dropped even lower. “Has it been pretty rough on you?” Again, Adam turned his face to the wall. He didn’t want to make things harder on his daddy than they already were. Michael patiently turned Adam back over to face him again. There were tears in Adam’s eyes. “Do you hate your school, Adam?”

For an answer, Adam simply sat up and hugged his father fiercely. Michael could feel his son’s small body shake with silent sobs. Michael wanted to cry himself. Six weeks, and Adam hadn’t said a word.

“Well, today is Wednesday. Why don’t we go pick up your things, and we’ll take the rest of the week off. I’ll make a few phone calls, and we’ll find a better school for you, okay?”

“B-But what if we can’t, Daddy? What if every single kid at every single school still hates me?” It was clear that Adam’s concern was very real to him.

“Hate you?” scoffed Michael. “You, Adam Samuelson, are the most loveable kid in the world. I should know. I made a mistake when I picked out the last school. It was my fault, not yours. I’ll do better this time. I promise.”

“Do we have to go back to my old school?” asked Adam plaintively.

“Yes—just to return your books and pick up your gym shoes and things. I bet those bozos will be so jealous when they see you strolling in there wearing jeans. And I bet none of them are having lunch at Dairy Queen.

Adam wiped his face. “I bet not,” he concurred, almost grinning at his dad’s use of the word ‘bozos.’ He never remembered had dad being this funny when he was little.

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[> [> Okay - Chapter 11 Read this one, please -- Diane, 21:41:27 04/29/05 Fri

Adam did not like his new school, though he would never burden his father with this problem. The other boys did not tease him about his accent--they ridiculed him and mocked him endlessly. They grabbed his backpack and threw it on a high shelf where he couldn’t reach it. They stole his lunch. The fact that he was the smallest boy in class and already fluent in English with no trace of an accent pissed them off.

There were no spots available on the intramural hockey teams, and no one wanted him on their team for street hockey during recess or after school.

And now, as Easter drew near, the boys would shoot him murderous looks and taunt him for being Jewish. Adam was confused. He didn’t even know he was Jewish. He asked his father about it the first day this had happened. Michael had smiled, winked, and said, “It’s just pretend.” Great.

* * *

Michael’s paintings were beginning to sell, and a small, new newspaper, “Scoop” got the exclusive on the opening of the gallery where some of this art would be shown. Michael had wanted to avoid publicity, but he didn’t want to have to hide away with Adam forever. It wasn’t healthy. Besides, he had cut his hair quite short, was sporting a full beard, and would speak only Québécois French; he bore little resemblance to the man for whom the Collective was looking.

He and Adam sported matching tuxedoes, and only stayed for half an hour. Adam pretended severe shyness and refused to speak—his accent was still too Parisian. Besides, the only things they had to eat were calamari, stuffed mushrooms and artichoke hearts. Had these people never heard of peanut butter or mini-weenies?

* * *

The next morning, Adam informed his father that he was much too sick to go to school. Michael was concerned. They had been out a little later than usual, but Adam had seemed fine. With hurried steps, he walked to Adam’s room and threw open the door.

“No!” shouted Adam. “Don’t come in! I have an infekteeus dyseez.”

Michael was perplexed until he saw a medical journal on Adam’s nightstand. Apparently, Adam had taken some time to prepare for this one.

“What infectious disease do you have, Adam?” asked Michael, his voice full of concern.

Adam flopped back on his pillow listlessly. “I have the Ebola virus.” He’d read all night, and this looked like one that could keep him out of school for months.

Michael quickly ducked his head and put a hand over his mouth. A coughing fit covered his laughter. “Do you have a fever, Adam?”

“I’m sure I do,” came the quick response. Stupid book. Every disease in there said you had to have a fever, but it never explained what a fever was. Well, if he was gonna have Ebola, he might as well have a fever, too.

“Adam,” Michael said, shaking his head as he walked into the room and sat on the edge of Adam’s bed. “you do not have the Ebola virus.”

“How do you know?” Adam asked suspiciously.

“Because you don’t live in Africa, and you aren’t bleeding from your eyes, ears, mouth and rectum.”

Gross! thought Adam.

“My diagnosis is that you don’t want to go to school today. Am I right?”

Adam rolled away from his father and looked at the far wall.

“Won’t your friends miss you if you skip school?”

Adam snorted.

Michael turned Adam over so he could see him, so he could really look in his face. My God. Why had he not noticed before? The boy had visibly lost weight, and there were dark shadows under his eyes that hadn’t just popped up from last night.

“Do you have any school friends, Adam?”

Adam slowly shook his head from side to side.

Michael’s voice dropped even lower. “Has it been pretty rough on you?” Again, Adam turned his face to the wall. He didn’t want to make things harder on his daddy than they already were. Michael patiently turned Adam back over to face him again. There were tears in Adam’s eyes. “Do you hate your school, Adam?”

For an answer, Adam simply sat up and hugged his father fiercely. Michael could feel his son’s small body shake with silent sobs. Michael wanted to cry himself. Six weeks, and Adam hadn’t said a word.

“Well, today is Wednesday. Why don’t we go pick up your things, and we’ll take the rest of the week off. I’ll make a few phone calls, and we’ll find a better school for you, okay?”

“B-But what if we can’t, Daddy? What if every single kid at every single school still hates me?” It was clear that Adam’s concern was very real to him.

“Hate you?” scoffed Michael. “You, Adam Samuelson, are the most loveable kid in the world. I should know. I made a mistake when I picked out the last school. It was my fault, not yours. I’ll do better this time. I promise.”

“Do we have to go back to my old school?” asked Adam plaintively.

“Yes—just to return your books and pick up your gym shoes and things. I bet those bozos will be so jealous when they see you strolling in there wearing jeans. And I bet none of them are having lunch at Dairy Queen.

Adam wiped his face. “I bet not,” he concurred, almost grinning at his dad’s use of the word ‘bozo.’ He never remembered had dad being this funny when he was little.

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[> [> [> Re: Okay - Chapter 11 Read this one, please -- Shanola, 19:33:12 05/18/05 Wed

Only one thing.

Adam doesn't know what a fever is but he has no problem with the word 'rectum'? I found that hard to believe. Plus, most kids who are school age have been sick a few times and have had their temps taken by Mom. Why wouldn't Adam know what a fever was?

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[> [> [> [> Re: Okay - Chapter 11 Read this one, please -- Diane, 19:56:02 05/19/05 Thu

Adam doesn't know what a fever is but he has no problem with the word 'rectum'? I found that hard to believe. Plus, most kids who are school age have been sick a few times and have had their temps taken by Mom. Why wouldn't Adam know what a fever was?

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I can leave out 'rectum.'
I didn't know what a fever was until middle school--my mom always (incorrectly) called it a 'temperature.' But I see your point. Would the scene lose any of its cuteness if I took that bit out?

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[> [> [> [> [> Re: Okay - Chapter 11 Read this one, please -- Shanola, 19:14:26 05/20/05 Fri

No, I don't think it would lose anything by taking it out.

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