|Subject: I remember Sarah - Chapter 4
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Date Posted: Saturday, July 30, 09:40:01pm
In reply to:
's message, "I Remember Sarah" on Thursday, July 21, 11:18:00pm
In the southeast corner of the cemetery near to Sarah's family plot sat a majestic tree, its limbs so heavy with dark green leaves that the branches drooped sluggishly trying to rest on the sod beneath. The old oak sat on a rise far enough from the black clad people surrounding the white casket so that no one was aware of the man leaning against its thick trunk. However, the tree was close enough to Sarah's resting place to afford the man inclusion in the sermon being delivered by the soft-spoken priest. His distress was so palpable and his anguish so real that not even the birds nesting on the boughs dared to mock his somber moment with a song.
There was a smattering of people in attendance at Sarah's funeral services, including a tall woman wearing a black veil over her tear stained face. She seemingly grieved enough for an army of absent mourners and sobbed when the elegant box started its decent unto the ground crushing in its wake the shower of white roses filling the awaiting grave. The regally dressed cleric offered his closing words of wisdom and peace directed specifically to Sarah. "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. She is now with the Almighty, may she rest in Peace."
The man on the hill by the tree silently cleared his throat, his green eyes swimming in the anguish that seemed to follow him lately. He turned and walked away from his vantagepoint, curiously hesitating before another grave, this one marked with Arabic symbols. He cleared the stones adorning each corner of the grave and moving his hand to his lips and back to the raised letters kissed the picture of a dark child and whispered 'Adam'. As he straightened and walked away, he glanced back one more time to Sarah's gravesite and decided to return when it was cleared of visitors and pay homage to his sister in his own private way.
Adrian and George stood hand in hand next to Nikita while her father Mr. Jones stood to the left of his only daughter and was the only one who detected the dark clad stranger by the tree. Jones didn’t want anyone knowing that Michael had been there paying respect to a woman he didn’t know, but that he deeply loved. Jones was a wise man; in spite of his daughter’s perception, Jones was also a good caring man. His daughter and Michael’s welfare was the only distraction he allowed to impede his mission to keep the Planet safe.
Jones thought back to a couple of weeks before when Nikita had gone to Oversight to debrief upon learning of her mark’s cancer diagnosis. The blonde beauty found out that Sarah was her stepmother Adrian's daughter by who she thought was her Uncle George. The reality of the often complex and always secretive story of the Organization unfolded before the angry and confused blonde woman in a string of confessions by the Triumvirate that sent Jones scurrying to Med Lab with accelerated palpitations.
Nikita thought back to the day of reckoning while standing by the grave. Nikita waited in the ultramodern offices of Oversight impatiently for her father to allow her into the inner sanctum. She was distraught beyond words for Sarah had learned from the doctor that afternoon of her imminent destiny. The door opened and her Uncle George asked her to come in, he looked older and just as troubled as Nikita felt. In the fancy conference room stood Jones holding Adrian tenderly in his arms as she quietly sobbed into the man's now wet shoulder.
Nikita wavered and George prodded her forward as her heart constricted at the palpable unhappiness present in the room. Her father looked up and acknowledged her presence, but still allowed Adrian to compose herself before speaking to her stepdaughter. In a surprising artless demonstration of love, Adrian turned from Jones and opened her arms to her weeping stepdaughter, who ran to the older woman loosing herself in the lament.
Adrian spoke, "We know Sarah is dying, oh God we tried to keep all of you safe."
For a second Nikita put aside her grief, perplexed at the reaction Adrian was having to what Nikita knew as just the 'mark' in her Deep Blood Cover Mission. She separated, accepted the handkerchief her father handed her and sat down. Gone were the tears, the sadness and the confusion, all replaced by welled-up anger that was long in coming. She spoke softly, her deep rich voice full of control and aplomb as she addressed the three there present with disgust.
"I accepted this mission with such conviction thinking I would be doing the World some good.” She slapped tears from her face, “I should have known better than to expect any of what you suggested or told me, to be true." Then a pause, "Who is Sarah, the truth this time please?"
Adrian and Jones looked at each other; they had already discussed that it was time to tell Nikita the truth; well as much as they could tell. Nikita’s mission needed to continue because it was imperative that their legacy lived on. "Stop fidgeting and listen," Her father commanded referring to her old nervous habit of making the chair continuously swivel left and right.
She stopped, looked at George, who was obviously the one that had the floor and nodded, as the pudgy man began, "Most of this," he said signaling to the constantly changing image of the world in an overhead screen, "you know about – our ends are just Nikita. How we began, why we formed this institution and our means are not important right now, you should only concern yourself with the future."
Nikita quipped to no one in particular silently saying, "The future," A cynical statement that everyone could see came from the heart.
Jones’ eyes were still moist with unshed tears, something his daughter had never seen her father do, as he added, "Yes Nikita, we are old, the future belongs to Michael and you."
Nikita incorporated herself on the chair from her slouching position and asked of her father more confused than before, "Michael, and who the hell is Michael?"
Adrian answered while drying her tears with a monogrammed-laced handkerchief; she was no longer grieving, and was sort of annoyed, "Michael is my son, Sarah's brother and a Level 5 Section One Operative."
In a manner so very typical of the impulsive blonde she stood and blurted out, "Holy shit this is worse than I thought. What is wrong with you people, what is going on here, is anyone who they say they are?"
George interrupted all conversation before the place erupted in screams, "You are all getting ahead of yourselves, let me explain Nikita please, it is simpler than you think."
Jones addressed his daughter and wife saying in his quiet tone, "George is correct, let him finish please Nik - pause - Adrian."
The women settled down and George continued his dissertation pointing to Jones, "He is your father and Roberta was your mother.” George raised his brows and continued, “And Adrian is his wife, that much is true." Nikita was paying attention so George continued, "But before Adrian and your father were wed, she was married to me and we had two children, Michael and Sarah."
Nikita moved forward placing her elbows on her knees and weaving her fingers together listening intently to the now fascinating tale, "We had already formed the Organization and were very well known, especially to the radicals we were trying to eradicate. When Adrian gave birth to Sarah, a couple of weeks before you were to be born by Cesarean section, we were all driving home from the hospital. A terrorist group lead by Sallah Vacek obstructed the road, killed our security detail and kidnapped Michael and Sarah, leaving us for dead."
Nikita let out a moan and with shaky hands served herself a glass of water as George continued, "We were all wounded, actually that is where your father lost the use of his leg." The blonde girl looked at her father and then at the cane that rested next to the table.
George went on, "Your mother was killed, and you were delivered by the Grace of God for we lay on that road for what seemed like an eternity. Finally Section One’s housekeeping operatives came to retrieve us and immediately the entire Organization went underground. We became ghosts, our only way to survive."
"And Sarah and Michael?" Nikita asked drying her eyes and then proceeding, "When did my father marry Adrian?"
A now composed Adrian sat next to Nikita holding her hand as she spoke to the girl she’d help raise. "George and I had been having problems and immediately after the kidnapping he buried himself further into his work. You were so fragile and needed a mother as much as I needed a child. Eventually your father and I fell in love as George and I fell out of love."
George nodded and continued his story. "It took us many years to find the children because the kidnappers separated them. The Samuelle's, a lovely rich family had adopted Michael and we figured he would be safer with them so we left him there. After their death, which we suspect was murder by a terrorist faction, he fell in with Rene Dion and that is how we found Sarah.”
An uniformed individual brought high tea fixings and interrupted the confessions, which continued once the server left. “We also believe that because Michael knew Rene's family had Sarah, and to gain the man's trust, he became his friend. Eventually Michael took the blame for making a bomb that maimed the bomber before he could plant it and went to jail. Of course, Michael 'died in prison' and we recruited him. He does not know his pedigree; his recruitment came just as you were starting your Blood Cover Mission with Sarah, exactly because the girl was once again by herself."
Jones took over the exposition of the facts because George was too choked up to continue, "We needed to keep you shielded and once we found the children, keep them also in our..."
Nikita interrupted saying, "The word you are searching for is 'control'."
Jones gave her a reprimanding glance and continued speaking, "No, the word is surveillance... we had already lost your mother Nikita because our work does not allow family concerns to interfere with our mission."
Nikita asked directing her question to Adrian, "Then you sent me to be with Sarah as a means to keep her monitored and safe?"
George spoke next, "Our ends always have to be just Nikita, and we needed to uncover the Dion's for what they really were and with you there, we could watch over both of you and yes... keep you both safe."
Nikita asked Jones a bit perplexed and sorry she was not giving her family the benefit of the doubt, "And Michael, what about him, why not tell him who you really are?"
Adrian, sounding a bit annoyed answered the inquisitive woman's question, "Simple, Michael is at Section One, we have problems there that do not concern you, and those morons..."
Nikita interrupted Adrian asking, "Who, who are the morons you are referring to?"
George laughed and answered Nikita, "Paul Wolfe and his sidekick Madeline, they seem to think us clueless."
Nikita remarked in a loud voice without meaning to do so what everyone present already suspected, she said, "Operations and Maddy - what a pair those two make. I've always felt that they hated me although I wasn’t sure why. But now I could venture to say that who my parents are must have something to do with their feelings."
Adrian finished by saying, "And that is the reason why we can't let Michael know who he is. What if these people somehow found out his parentage, they already put him in enough peril as it is. We don't want to remove them from Section, eventually we will promote Paul to Center and he can bring that deviant Madeline with him if he so chooses, but for now they just don't understand how we work. When they suspected that Vacek had been responsible for the accident that brought us underground,” Adrian looked at Nikita, “Do you know what they did?"
Nikita shook her head in the negative and Adrian continued her remarks, "They sent Michael, their number 1 operative, into a deep blood cover in which he had to marry that annoying little roach Elena and even conceive a child out of the marriage."
Nikita brought her hands to her mouth, "Oh my God Adrian, were is your grandchild now?"
George interceded, "It is not where he is now, a boy his name is Adam, it is what is going to happen when the mission is over that concerns us; how is Elena going to react?"
Mr. Jones collapsed right where he stood and clutched his aching chest as his wife reached for glycerin tablets she put under his tongue to insure he wouldn't die. Medics were called directly to his side and he was taken to Medlab to guarantee that his speeding heart rate was monitored and controlled by the doctors who labored there. It seemed that the emotions of the day where too much for Jones to handle and his weak heart had gone into convulsions that were grave but not deadly. George, Adrian and especially Nikita realized that it was time to put a stop to the conversation and the later hoped that the topics would be revisited sometime in the future.
The future was here and Nikita could not believe that such a small amount of time had passed since Sarah had been diagnosed with her terminal decease. As the family stood by Sarah's graveside the show of security was impressive and respectful to the solemn occasion the family faced, the security stood away from the group, watching out for their safety. Sarah had lived a lie throughout her relatively young life and had never known her truths, and for that Nikita was grateful.
The funeral services were exquisite and Sarah would have loved every gentile plan. The headstone that Nikita approved was simple and elegant and did not include any markings that could jeopardize the woman’s resting-place. She wondered about Michael for the first time since learning of him and further pondered about the end of his mission. She learned from sources at Section One that Michael had lost his son and wondered how he was dealing with his loss. She thought back to her own Deep Blood Cover Mission that was now ended and concentrated on the good memories she had amassed.
The blonde was glad that Sarah and her husband Chuck lived long enough to watch Nikita blossom with her pregnancy. The couple shopped for their child's appurtenances with abandon and joy. Nikita was certain that they died knowing that their baby (they had declined to find out the baby’s gender) was going to be well cared for, loved and nurtured. Her mind traveled again to Michael and the loss of his child. And now, in that attic where Nikita had misspent her early youth she understood that the only reasonable thing to do with Sarah’s child was obvious, the blonde woman needed to share this joy with Sarah's brother Michael. The idea was a great one, but Nikita thought that the execution would be another story. It was time Nikita trusted her family with this last hurrah in Sarah and Adam's name.
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