Part 1

Awakening in a Section bed, with someone leaning over me, sent me in to immediate shock.

What was going on here?

"You've been summoned for your evaluation."

Blinking, I know it's time to start remembering important facts quickly. I know I'm supposed to be dead. I can remember sitting in that metal chair, strapped down.

What had happened?

"Why am I not dead?" I finally ask when I can't remember. My mouth is dry, my voice hoarse. Why is that?

The operative, one I do not recognize, flashes me a look of surprise. "You don't remember?"

It felt like I had been smacked in the head. It throbbed. It felt like I was coming out of a drug induced sleep.

And then I realized I was. Operations's had been deceiving. He had lured me in that chair.

Nikita.

Jumping out of bed and pushing past the confused operative, I start running. How long was I out? Is there still time? She can't be dead. She simply can't be.

If she was dead, I would be too. Even the fates couldn't be so cruel as to allow me to wake up if she would not.

Then I realize I don't know where she's being held. Looking back at the man, I do my best to look threatening while I tremble underneath. "Where is she? Where are they keeping Nikita?"

"In the evaluation room, of course. It's why I've been asked to bring you."

My feet, which I now notice are bare, skid to a stop. "Evaluation room? Not containment?"

A light finally came in to the operative's eyes. Not a very bright one, taking so long. "You don't know what happened? Well, you must have been out for a long time. Nikita's not dead. On the contrary, Madeline is. It's possible Operations may suffer the same consequences."

Wait...hold up. These words make no sense. A bunch of nothings pieced together wrong. "Why would Madeline be...dead?"

"The rumor is that she'd rather die than to be taken from her position. Another is that she couldn't bear the thought of Nikita running Section. Then there's -"

"Nikita running Section?" I interrupt. It was the most bizarre I had heard yet. She's supposed to be dead...but now she'd running the place?

"Really Michael, I have to get you to that evaluation room. Mr. Jones won't be happy if he's kept waiting and he certainly isn't in a very good mood. You can ask Nikita yourself if you wish."

There was no need. I started to figure it out on the way. Nikita double crossed Section. With Mr. Jones. With Oversight.

And I never had even the slightest clue. I'm not sure if that makes me a bad operative or a bad lover. Did I not pay enough attention to her, that I could have missed such a big factor of her life?

The thought of when she joined Oversight hits me hard enough to send me sprawling to the floor. By some miracle, I stay vertical, but just barely. I slip on my boots. My fingers are trembling. I can barely lace the strings. My thoughts are too far gone to register anything I physically am doing.

Had I been of some use in this? Was it possible she could have used me? Could it have been that she had managed to deceive me so thoroughly that I mistook it for love?

Thoughts were filtering too fast to keep up with. The words stopped forming. Something in my chest just twisted tighter and tighter, readying to snap. It was too much. One moment, I'm ready to die for someone I thought was already gone. The next, I'm questioning her every move. Her every smile. Her every tear.

Had there been meaning beyond my knowledge behind each of those?

She had a secret life that I had been blind to.

No matter how or when she had done this, it felt like payback to me. I had betrayed her thoroughly with my own secret life. She had found out the worst possible way. Showing up at my door. She had found out at the worst possible time. When she was about to be cancelled.

I now know how lost she must have felt. How confused.

My head aches. I can't ignore it. When I try, it just gets worse. There's so much the thoughts inside are trying to discover and unveil. It's overpowering.

And I find, for once, I'm not eager to see Nikita. Not just yet. Not until I can get suspicion for her out of my head. To clear the bad thoughts against her that may be forming.

A wondering if she had trapped me by allowing us to stay out of Section on that getaway was forming in the back of my mind. Even if it was true, I don't want to know. Didn't want to have to face it. To ruin such a perfect time with betrayal that I've already forgiven.

She did what she had to so she could survive here. Obviously, it had worked. She was alive still when she should be dead. She had made a powerful woman fall.

Change. It struck me suddenly. She was doing this for hope of change.

That gave me some hope. Hope that perhaps, not everything was a lie. It couldn't be a lie. I had too deep of a connection with her to let it be so. She just wanted security. She had looked around and what she saw needed change. She knew it wouldn't come from me. Or Operations. Nor Madeline.

The change had to be her. And she had done it.

She was a greater operative than I could have imagined. Which was saying so much.

"Right in here, Michael."

I'm mentally brought back to where I physically am. Standing by the doors. I know what is on the other side.

I know what must happen from here as my thoughts start to calm and piece together.

And if I know anything about Nikita, I will be leading my own execution. Will she be able to flat out give me my certain death orders? I have mixed feelings on the matter.

But no matter, I know what happens now. I've been here long enough to foresee my punishment for all I've done.

So it shall be like we decided earlier. I shall die so that Nikita will live on.

I used to say that if you must die, you should die for something worth while. That you believe in.

I believe in Nikita. She's worth while. I can't think of a better reason to die.

The doors open, and I walk in to greet my fate with a wavering blank stare as I see her standing there, awaiting me.

-continued in part two-