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Date Posted: 12:26:50 05/22/05 Sun
Author: Diane
Subject: Okay - Chapter 12 - Rewrite
In reply to: Diane 's message, "Okay - Chapter 12" on 21:56:11 04/29/05 Fri

Ken was fitting in well, thought Nikita as she looked over his 60 day Eval. True, he was no Michael, but then who was? At least he was no Madeline, either. Nikita shivered.

His profiles were excellent, though not nearly as aggressive as Michael’s, and Section’s numbers were still up. Ken could run sims and reconfigure profiles as needed from Section or onsite in the van. He had not yet led a team, but Nikita still had concerns about his physical abilities. For an average 48-year old man, they were incredible, but for a cold op, just average. He spent nearly all his downtime working out in the gym or the weight room, trying to undo the damage that 10 years of a desk job had wrought.

As if he had read her thoughts, Ken appeared at her office door. “May I speak to you a moment?”

“Certainly,” replied Nikita, ushering him in. “Would you care for some tea?” she asked, pointing to a nearby lounge chair.

“No. Thank you.”’

Ken wasn’t one to beat around the bush. Nikita knew something was up.

“Is there a problem?” she asked, craning her neck to see his face clearly.

“I wish not to spar with Snow any longer.” Silence.

“For what reason?” asked Nikita, curious. Snow was an all around nice guy. She couldn’t imagine that he could have a problem or personality conflict with anyone. Though he was smaller physically than Ken, Nikita had chosen him specifically because he was a sparring coach, and she thought things were coming along nicely between them.

Ken didn’t answer her immediately, then quietly stated, “I have my reasons.”

“And they are…?” asked Nikita, raising an eyebrow.

“Personal,” Ken returned tersely.

“Snow is one of our best sparring coaches,” Nikita said evenly. “If you can’t give me a valid reason, I’m afraid I’m not going to be able to consider your request.”

Ken blinked and looked straight ahead. “Thank you for your time,” He turned to leave.

“Oh, and Ken,” Nikita added, almost as an afterthought.

“Yes,” he replied without turning around.

“There’s a hostile in White Room 3. See what he knows about Caracas.”

“I’ll get right on it.”

“Thank you.”

I guess that’s what his file meant by ‘has trouble with authority figures,’ mused Nikita.

She knew that Snow had just left on a mission and would be in Prague for several days. She left a message that she wanted to speak with him upon his return.

Nikita switched her monitor to White Room 3. She didn’t enjoy interrogations, though she wasn’t generally as disgusted watching Ken as she was when watching Madeline, or the formidable duo of Henry and Elizabeth. Ken’s opening gambit was very different from Madeline’s He never smiled. His piercing dark eyes locked onto yours, and you couldn’t look away. The first few moments were a staring contest, which Ken always won.

Nikita waited to see which technique he would use this time. Aah. “The Machine.” This meant he expected an easy break. She turned off her monitor, knowing what would happen next.

Ken would whip a small PDA out of his breast pocked and make some notes, muttering, “Um-hm. um-hm. That’s good. Um-hm. Then he would face the hostile for the first time and smile. Then he’d pace off the room in measured steps. He would do this several times in relation to the door. He got out the PDA again. “And you are how tall?” He’d asked, distractedly. The hostile always told him. He wrote this down in his PDA and put it back in his breast pocket.

“The machine I need is being used right now, so if you don’t mind waiting a bit--?” Ken would ask, all concerned. By this time the hostile was usually totally confused. No one had even asked him a question yet. Suddenly, the White Room, and seemingly the entire building, was plunged into blackness. “Damn power surge,” would come Ken’s disembodied voice. “Happens every time they use that machine. Oh, don’t worry. I’ll make sure it’s fully charged again before it’s your turn. I’ll be back in a few.”

With that, he would close the White Room door and set his wristwatch alarm for 5 hours, leaving the hapless victim in total darkness.

Quite often, his mind games were more effective than Madeline’s cold smile, which was a good thing, since Ken could never hope to emulate it. He could often get what he needed with a broken finger and sodium pentothal. If “The Machine” ruse (it was actually a heart monitor which could be used for electroshock if necessary) was not going to work, and Ken could usually tell from intel and observation, he would resort to one of Madeline’s methods, which he had studied diligently. After all, she had been the Queen of interrogations. But even Ken hated watching the proceedings when he had summon help in the form of Henry and Elizabeth and their little yellow cases.

After Ken had set the wheels of this particular interrogation in motion, he went to his Section living quarters, which were actually Madeline’s old ones. The only room left in tact had been the kitchen, complete with dishes and cooking utensils. There was a bare, king-sized mattress on the bedroom floor, and a goose-necked reading lamp. Other than buying a pillow and bed linens, he’d not done a thing to change the apartment. The living room and dining room were complete bare, as was the room he assumed had been her office. From what he had heard of Madeline, he couldn’t imagine that she’d had a den. After watching her interrogation tapes, he wasn’t sure he wanted to know anything about her personal life at all.

In fact, he didn’t want to know anything about anyone unless it directly impacted their performance numbers. That was the main reason he want to be removed from Snow’s tutelage. Snow was a major gossip, and his favorite topic was the tragic love story of Michael and Nikita. As much as Ken had tried to block out, he knew that Michael had been Nikita’s trainer/mentor, that he nearly self-destructed when he thought she was dead, that they went on a Valentine mission where things really hated up (tapes still available—see Simon), etc., etc. etc.

Ken finally had to put his hand over Snow’s mouth to keep him from saying another word. “Look,” he told the younger man, “I’m just as romantic as you are, but these are people we know. I figure the least we can do is stay out of their personal lives.

Snow was like a dog with a bone. “So you know there was something more between them, too. I wonder what the real story is? Who would know? Davenport is dead, but I bet Walter will crack for a few shots of whiskey!”

It was at this point that Ken had walked into Nikita’s office. What kind of answer was I supposed to give her? Because all Snow wants to talk about is when, where, how often, and in what position? I don’t think so. He shook his head.

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