|Subject: Chapter 7
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Date Posted: Wednesday, October 03, 04:39:45pm
In reply to:
's message, "TMTC" on Tuesday, July 24, 12:04:39pm
After the debacle that had left the Agency minus several key command positions, Center was moved out of England and into Switzerland, not far from Geneva. The trip to Center from Section One consisted of an armored limousine ride to a very private nearby airstrip. That was followed by a short plane ride to another secluded runway and another brief armored limousine ride. Security on these not infrequent trips was always airtight.
Nikita may have not known much about the hierarchy of the organization she worked for while toiling under Paul and Madeline, but she had made damn sure she learned once her father died and she took over Section One. Once she took over the Section, Nikita learned that her father had essentially been the “managing partner” of the triumvirate that combined to head Center.
The same day that her father had been killed, he’d been replaced by the more senior of the remaining two. Two days later, the leaders were back up to three and Nikita was called in to meet them.
The triumvirate hid their feelings about her father’s decision for her to take over well. But whether they were friend or foe didn’t matter. Knowledge was power and the more you knew about those you worked for or against, the better you were able to protect yourself.
Two years later, Nikita still didn’t know much about her bosses. But now, if things went according to plan, there would be two people in Section she trusted implicitly – Michael and Walter. With Michael’s assistance, they’d be able to devote the needed time to covertly research their bosses’ background.
Nikita used the hour or so in the air to mentally review the little she did know about the
members of the Agency’s ruling triumvirate.
Her father’s successor was a brash, fifty-something former CIA operative named Daniel O’Neill. The only opinion he held back was of her competency. Anything else was fair game. The first time Nikita had met the group, Mr. O’Neill had held the floor for the majority of the meeting. He had barely let the other two members speak, preferring to do the talking for them.
Mr. O’Neill had told her he’d had tremendous respect for Philip Jones but the sacrifice he’d made at the end had been “foolish.” He had then went on to tell her in no uncertain terms that he expected her to live up to the legacy Nikita’s father had left her and to bring Section One back to what it used to be.
Lastly, he’d informed Nikita that Oversight was still in chaos and moreover, once they were fully functioning again, they’d be responsible for the other Sections only – not Section One.
From now on, Section One’s direct superiors were the triumvirate. The reason that Mr. O’Neill had given Nikita for the change was that because of her young age and little experience she needed their close supervision.
To say that Mr. O’Neill had a superiority complex was putting it mildly. However, Nikita had found that for all his impertinence, he was probably her best ally in the group though she had yet to figure out why.
The second most senior member of the group was a serene sixty-ish Belgian who reminded Nikita of Michael. They had the same quiet but authoritative manner. Etienne Lacroix had been an outstanding Interpol agent for two decades before going to Center. Mr. Lacroix had no qualms about allowing Mr. O’Neill to run most of the meeting. He was content to sit back and ask a pertinent question every once in a while or interject significantly here or there.
The newest member was a fifty-something English woman named Elisabeth Giles. She had the distinction of being the first female to join the triumvirate. She also had the distinction of being the first member to have come up through the Agency. She’d spent her entire adult life in the Agency, starting in one of the Sections then moving up to Oversight before finally moving to Center where she’d been the last fifteen years.
Even though she was the newest of the three, Ms. Giles was no wallflower. She made sure her opinion was heard and counted. The other two, for the most part, let her speak her mind and found that they agreed with her more often than not.
The triumvirate members would never be friends, but they got along professionally and ruled cohesively.
At first they had approved many of Nikita’s changes but she’d been smart enough not to lull herself into a false sense of security. Her days of trusting anyone in the Agency were long behind her. However, she did believe that they were if not pleased, then at least content, with her efforts.
Six months ago, the other shoe had dropped though, and Nikita was ordered to bring up Section’s efficiency by twenty percent. They gave her a one year deadline to accomplish that task and didn’t want to hear any excuses.
The lack of viable resources that Nikita had tried to explain to them would hinder Section in attaining that goal was what brought her to Michael in the first place. She felt that he was the last piece of the puzzle needed to complete the picture. And now Nikita had to convince her superiors that Michael was indeed the missing resource needed to achieve their objectives.
*Author’s note: As some of you know, I’m a huge Pretender fan. I liked the idea of a triumvirate ruling their evil machination filled Centre. I ‘borrowed’ that part from the show for my version of LFN’s Center rulers. I felt that three was a good number. One would be too powerful, two could be deadlocked so three to break a tie.
Also, in case anyone is interested I picture Richard Dean Anderson’s Stargate SG-1 character Colonel Jack O’Neill as Mr. O’Neill, Judi Dench (“M” in the James Bond films) as Elisabeth Giles and an older Jean-Claude Van Damme (not a favorite actor, but he somehow fits) as Etienne Lacroix.
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