Chapter 1

When do you actually realize your life is about to change? Do you see it coming? Do you want it in your life? Will you be able to face the consequences? Michael was asking himself this question for some years now, he just never admitted it. He was usually good at hiding his emotions, just not when they were about…

"And then Nikki totally did this…"said Birkoff a little too loud.

"She did what?" asked Michael trying to sound casual.

"Aha, I just knew her name will help me get back your attention…my God you're too predictable Mikey", chuckled Birkoff.

"I don't know what you think you know, but I…"tried Michael.

"Yeah, yeah…it's not what my dirty mind imagines…whatever Mickey, just wanted to tell you Percy is ballistic about these black boxes&Nikki."

"Tell me something I don't already know Birkoff…anyway, you wanted to tell me….?"

"Nothing, it's just that I got bored talking all by myself…it really wears you out."

Michael rolled his eyes.

"Next time, try and be original, nerd."

Michael left the room rather quickly, only to meet Amanda in the hall.

"Michael, I was looking for you…you're needed in Operations."

"Did something happen?"

"Percy will tell you…now can you please go get Alex too? I need to care of something, can't do it myself."

"And she's needed in Operations too?"

"But of course…she's an agent now, and you're the man in charge of her training."

"I'll go get her…do you need Alex for later?"

"No, Michael…I'm finished with her for the day…now if you'll excuse me…I have somewhere else to be."

Amanda left Michael alone in the hallway, and he looked after her until she disappeared out of his sight, then he turned away and walked towards the training ground where the recruits were on a sparring session…he spotted Alex in a corner near the boxing bag, and approached her:

"We're needed in Operations…now."

Alex looked up at him with scared eyes:

"Do you think…?"

"I don't…and we need to go before he starts being even more paranoid."

Alex just nodded, and followed Michael as they approached Percy's office, he didn't even knock, just opened the door and let Alex in…Percy was reading some papers, but he put them down as soon as the door opened

"Great, the two people I wanted to see…Alex the reason why I called you here was to ask how you were doing after that unfortunate accident with Jaden."

"I'm fine; it was self defense after all"

"Roan told me you got…a little sick"

Alex looked Percy right in the eyes and said:

"It was nothing…I've just never witnessed a cleaner do his job…I'm just an agent after all."

Percy smiled at her response, and nodded.

"You can go now…Amanda will call you later for a debrief…Michael I'd like you to stay."

Alex looked at Michael a little too panicked, but he discretely nodded and she left Percy's office, leaving Michael and Percy alone.

"I'm listening" Michael said as he was looking at Percy.

"I wanted to talk with you about Sparrow, the time is approaching…fast, and I need you on board."

"I'm sorry, but will all due respect, it's too soon, and too risky, we can't have the CIA suspect something and…"

"If by CIA you mean Fletcher…I'll take care of him…it's all part of a plan…Michael…"

"Sir, you need to reconsider this…Sparrow cannot go active now."

Percy stood out and approached Michael.

"It's going to be active Michael…and you have to be here when that happens…that was all, for now…I'm giving you the day off, you can…reconsider your decision, if you want."

Michael didn't say anything…he just turned around and walked away, leaving Percy with a knowing smile on his face…as soon as the door closed, Amanda appeared through the secret door.

"So?" Amanda asked Percy as she sat in the chair.

"Nothing…I didn't see any change in him…though his eyes seem different, almost as if…"

"Percy, Michael is the best at hiding emotions…I should know, I made him that way, let's just…"

"Amanda, everything happens for a reason…Michael denied Sparrow, again…you better focus on Alex now, and she seemed awfully calm after the Jaden episode…let me be the one to handle Michael."

"As you wish…anything new on Nikita?"

"Quoting Michael: she's trained to be a ghost…we're not going to find her, unless she wants to be found. I'll tell you this: she'll pop out somewhere, I'm sure of it, especially if he'll be involved or even in danger."

Nikita was sitting at her computer, reading some CIA files, when an encrypted message appeared on her screen. She opened it quickly.

"You ok? It took you long enough to respond"

"Percy is acting all sorts of weird, he even asked me how I was after Jaden's death…like he cares…I'll stop by later, by the way, if you're interested Michael left Division rather quickly."

"Did he now?"

"Yes, again after the same talk with Percy…I should go now…see you soon Sensei."

Nikita kept looking at her screen long after she closed the dialog window, and didn't even realize when she started tapping her fingers on the table. Even deep in thought she sensed a movement behind her, and when she was about to turn around:

"I like it when you're nervous like that. Worried about something?"