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Incompetent


Incompetent.

The word still rings harshly in my ears. The shock of being called such a thing sends ripples of pain through my chest.

After all I've done. After all I've sacrificed...I'm being called incompetent.

It's something I can't stand to take. There's too much involved and wrapped up in that word to accept. Or to let it slide.

Incompetent.

I've put so much blood in to this job. So much of me. I've worked hard. I've made sure I've always done my job to the best of my ability - and that my ability was better than any other operative.

I have a wife. I have a child. Neither I wanted. The idea of opening my heart to vulnerability nearly killed me at the thought. But I did it.

Simone had fallen in motherly love with a child that was orphaned after one of our missions. We took the innocent baby home with us. Decided to raise it as our own.

Section killed that baby I grew to love. I know it was Section. But I kept quiet. I let it slide. I didn't make a fuss. I continued doing my job. Obeying orders. Surviving. Even though it rapidly destroyed Simone. I had to watch her shatter in front of my eyes day by day.

And then she was killed. While Operations was giving out my orders, he told me backup wasn't needed. Simone requested it. I followed the charge of my boss. My wife was taken as prisoner. Tortured for three years. And then she sacrificed herself.

I shut myself down. Destroyed my emotions. Buried them down so deep, I never wanted to see them again.

It was the most painful thing I ever experienced. But I rose above it. I continued to be the top op.

I respected my material. She was hurting and emotional. Everything she saw gave her nightmares. I could relate. She looked for anyone to help take away her anguish. To give her comfort.

Section ordered me to do so. Not as a friend. Not as a mentor. Definitely not as anything more.

But as a Valentine operation. So she wouldn't grab the first gun placed in her hand and shoot out her brain from the horrors she'd witness.

She's only been a full operative for a few months now. But so far, I've managed to hurt her more than words can express. Already. So soon. But it was what I was told to do. So I did it.

But now this man stands before me. This man whom tried to kill me and who succeeded in killing off the one woman who looked at me in admiration and need, the one woman who I thought I could do good by and help.

I had to leave her in the aftermath of a frozen battle field.

Surprisingly, after seven years of dwelling in this place, I still have guilt that clutches at my shattered heart. I'm always plagued with guilt. Angie just added more to it. Just like Nikita did. And Simone. The baby. My sister.

Yet I still keep going.

Petrosian called me incompetent. And rage, like I've never quite known, filled me. Sent me in to action. If Nikita's calm hands and soothing voice hadn't stopped me, he wouldn't have made it out of Section alive.

All the guilt in me and all the blood that has been pumped out of my body from so many missions, just scorched my veins and muscles, sending me to see red before my eyes and a target on Petrosian's back.

I may be weak in some areas. I may have nightmares from things I've witnessed. I may allow guilt and pain and the occasional emotion to overcome me.

But being incompetent would mean I was letting down all those I've left behind. Those who deserve to be honored. Being incompetent would mean that their deaths or their agony would have been for naught.

And that's something that I could never stand for.

I'm a lot of things. But I refuse to become incompetent.

-K.S.-