Jurgen sat behind the massive expanse of the mahogany desk that took up the center of his office. It was littered with stacks and stacks of notes, maps and various other tidbits that he had collected since starting this new area. He held the phone to his ear yet something inside kept him from dialing for the moment as he weighed the possible outcome of what he was about to do. He knew that Madeline was expecting a call to confirm that they had secured Nikita but his fear was that she might call for an immediate turn over of her and he wasn't willing to risk anything else being done to her right now.
If he didn't call, he wasn't quite sure what she could or would do to him but something inside told him she wasn't about to let anyone or anything interfere with her plans to be rid of both she and Michael. He had every intention of securing Michael as well as Nikita. But he knew that in order to take Section Ones' best operative even remotely alive was going to take more than a simple call to say "come and get her if you will" Michael was not stupid or careless even where Nikita was concerned. Jurgen was sure that even now somewhere Michael was formulating a daring and difficult plan of action. Another thing he was more than sure of was that Michael would take now prisoners when he came and he would surely come once he knew where his beloved Nikita was being kept.
Nikita sat on the overstuffed sofa and watched television for the first time since she came to Section. There they were monitored as to what they watched even though they were free to watch anything they wanted when they were in their own homes. She never bothered. She reasoned that she was quite well aware of all the nastiness in the world since it was Section's job to deal with it. And since she really didn't have time to socialize in the real world what did it matter about tomorrow's weather, sports or anything that didn't include her.
Madeline was sitting at the table drinking a cup of the French Vanilla coffee she now allowed herself to indulge in from time to time. She was reading the morning papers and thoroughly enjoying her free time. Alan continued running the office just as if she had never found out and his explanation of her absence was that she was recovering from some surgical procedure and would return in due course. The ringing phone startled her momentarily and she trudged across the kitchen tiles to answer it. "Hello?" she stood against the counter.
"It's me Madeline." Jurgen's voice could be heard on the other end and she wondered why he had called her using a public phone.
"This is not a secure line," she hissed into the phone.
"It was the one available," he retorted having decided to use one that he could bounce the signal from and scramble his location.
Madeline was fuming now. "We've discussed procedure with you once before Jurgen." she bellowed.
He pulled the phone from near his ear and laughed. "There is no 'we' anymore is there Madeline?" he knew what he was doing and was greatly enjoying himself with this little game. "You're all by your little lonesome and you don't like that do you?" he heard her sharp intake of breath on the line.
"I am not as alone as you thing Jurgen." she hissed once more.
"Madeline, one operative does not an army make," he chuckled into the phone.
"What is the reason for this call? Have you secured the package?"
He hated her even more for regarding Nikita as simply material. "No, Madeline, as a matter of fact I wasn't able to secure her just yet." he figured she had no real way of finding out and even if she did that he would have plenty of time to move her to a safer sight.
"What the hell is taking so long Jurgen, she's just one operative." she lost control and screamed into the phone.
"She was trained by Michael and myself wasn't she Madeline? That was your doing if you remember?" he taunted her more and more and could just picture her seething with rage.
"Then you should be able to gauge her next move don't you think?" she replied hoping to hit below the belt but her barbs were wasted on someone who now knew that there was little she could do without Section being her back up.
"I might have had a part in training her Madeline but didn't you also have a part in Michael's training? Or, would you refer to that as his programming?" he continued the aggravation.
"Whatever you want to call it Jurgen, it was successful." she stated proudly.
"Was it Madeline? Is that why he is out there somewhere, possibly behind you, in some dark alley waiting for you to make a mistake so he can retaliate for Nikita?" he taunted her more and more knowing he was pushing her to her limits.
"You have a job to do Jurgen, I would suggest you get to it" she changed her tone and decided to bring this conversation to a halt.
"Well, Madeline, when I get around to getting Nikita, I will be back in touch." And with that he slammed down the phone. He never realized that Madeline was walking such a narrow path until now and knowing that gave him a feeling of great power.
Madeline stood staring at the buzzing receiver. She couldn't believe how insolent Jurgen had become and reassured herself that she would be sure to take care of him in due course. She got herself dressed and decided that what she needed was to get out and grab a movie and dinner among the living instead of keeping herself holed up in the empty apartment. "But what about what Jurgen said?" her mind began reeling off thoughts she would have rather kept inside. "What if Michael really is out there?" she found herself peeking out drawn curtains trying to pick out anything out of the ordinary. "What if Operations is with him?" she was bordering on paranoia now and scolded herself for starting to let him play his mind games on her. She should recognize them, she was the expert in Section. "Damn you Jurgen" she screamed
as she knocked one of her favorite vases off the table in a fit of rage.
Davenport had finished studying the coordinates that Birkoff had laid out for him and Michael. "How do we know that Jurgen has her with him?" he sat back studying the face of a man he admired but might one day be ordered to destroy. Wasn't that how Section worked? You work as a team just about become one and then they have you turn on each other. He hoped that wouldn't be the case here because he didn't relish the thought of going up against Michael whom he deemed to be a more than capable opponent.
"Walter has her tagged." he took a sip of coffee and grimaced at the bitter taste of the now cold liquid. "Birkoff was able to trace her location with that," he took another swig before tossing the nearly emptied container out the van window.
"What if Jurgen finds the device?" he wanted to cover all the angles.
"She was also internally tagged when she came in from the last disastrous mission." Michael cringed remembering how badly she had been hurt. "I don't believe that Jurgen will hurt her." he tried to convince himself, more so for his benefit than Davenport's.
"Then why did he take her?" he didn't want Michael's personal feelings for Nikita to get in the way of completing this mission.
"He wants me, I can feel it" he turned and faced the man that he hoped would never betray him.
"But he's working for Madeline, wouldn't Nikita have been her target?" Michael shook his head. "He knows I was the one that destroyed his idea of freedom from Section," he added notes to his panel. "He's going to want to make me pay for that" he closed the device and put it into his pocket.
"He could make you pay by killing Nikita." he didn't want to say it but felt he needed to point out the obvious.
"If he does, he dies," was the simple ominous statement from Michael. "We have much to do." and with that he pulled the van out into the traffic and Davenport could only sit back and wait till he was instructed what his part in all this was.
Nikita showered then wrapping her long blonde hair into a thick bath towel and bundling herself in a terry cloth robe she quickly tied the belt than trudged barefoot across the room to the kitchen to grab a bite to eat. When she finished gathering her snacks she decided to glance at the television and see what was new. Jurgen returned and this time was gracious enough to not only knock but to wait till he allowed him to enter.
"I hope you have everything you need?" he looked at the different things she had balanced on the arm of the sofa "Did you eat yet?" he nodded to her assortment.
"No, I thought I would just nibble a bit and see what was on television" she motioned him inside to join her. "Can I get you anything?" she smiled.
"I was just about to grab some dinner and wondered if you would join me?" he sat at the table and studied her. She was an extremely beautiful woman yet she never acted like she knew.
"Dinner?" she laughed "Do I actually get to go out for dinner?" she briskly rubbed the towel and squeezed any remainder of water from her damp hair.
"Well, actually you get to come to my apartment but it's in the building" he didn't want to disappoint her.
"You live here all the time?" she folded the towel and stood across the counter from him.
"No need to leave really, I have anything I want at my disposal" he didn't' want it to sound like he was bragging.
"Maybe some other time Jurgen, I'm not feeling really hungry" she lied. She had hoped he would take her out and that she might find a way to get a message to Michael.
"Some other time it is" he smiled before rising and returning to the door. "If you change your mind I'm twelve doors down and to the right" he opened the door but didn't leave. "Nikita?" he turned back to look her in the eyes "If I had taken you outside, would you have tried to escape?" he was testing her. She didn't answer right away but carefully planned her words.
"Probably" she didn't feel that lying would have done any good. "At least you haven't lost your honesty" he smiled knowing that would have been her answer "Goodnight Nikita" and with that he left her.
Operations could wait no longer, he had a mission in the Balkans that required his immediate attention and he had wasted valuable and precious time in his pursuit of Madeline. He had just finished reading the Intel that Birkoff had sent up to his monitor and he realized that this was of the utmost importance.
"Birkoff, I need a team assembled and ready to leave within the hour" he shouted over the COM unit.
"Who do you want?" he picked up his pen to jot down the list Operations would be reeling off.
"I want Davenport at point and pick ten out of abeyance for the balance of the team" he retorted.
"Sir, Davenport is with Michael on the Madeline thing" he simply wanted to remind him but realized that by Operations calling for ten operatives from abeyance this was no ordinary mission.
"Call him in and..." but Birkoff interrupted him. "Sir, there is no way we can have him here in an hour" his voice was apologetic. "Who the hell is left Birkoff?" he screamed. He knew it wasn't Birkoff's fault but he knew that George had been monitoring all Sections lately and looking for reasons to disband units.
"Sir, we have Tyler, he has been leading missions for Davenport for the last six months and I know he's good" he tried to sound reassuring. "I could try to have Davenport rendezvous with the team when they land?" he questioned Operations knowing that he was walking a thin line lately and knowing full well that it was because of pressure from George. He had been keeping closer watch on everyone since the attempt on his life.
"Get it together Birkoff and don't fail me" and with that he signed off.
Birkoff assigned another computer operative to monitor his screens while he went to talk to Walter. "He's losing it Walter" he paced the entire Munitions area.
"Just put the team together, get them on the plane and let them handle it," the older man tried to reassure him. "You know it's a one way trip don't you?"
Birkoff spun around in dismay, "But Davenport isn't in abeyance." he pulled his palm panel and checked just to be sure.
"Davenport would have been the only one coming back" Walter had seen the profile to the mission before Birkoff so that he would have the weapons list ahead of time.
"This wouldn't happen if Michael were here" Birkoff shook his head in disbelief. Everything that he knew about Section seemed to be nothing more than a huge facade. Madeline seemed to be the brains of the outfit and Operations the leader but lately, Operations didn't seem to have a clue or maybe it had really always been that way and he had never noticed. Either way, he walked back to his work station more confused than ever.
Operations sat at his desk in his private office jotting down notes to himself. Some things just didn't add up. Michael was supposed to be at the farmhouse recovering yet Birkoff had just informed him that Davenport was now with him. The Farmhouse was accessible by helicopter in under an hour, four by car, yet he told him that there would be no possible way that Davenport could have made it back to Section in time to lead this mission. He put his pen down and rubbed at the dull ache behind his temples. Part of him wished that he had never allowed Madeline as much freedom as he had. None of this might be happening now yet he knew that she was the most level headed operative he had ever had the privilege to work with. "Privilege?" he chuckled, amused that he would consider working with any of these people a privilege. "Two of my best operatives are down, the person I always thought I could depend on has screwed up Section beyond belief and I don't even know how," he reminded himself. "Birkoff." he pressed the COM unit on his desk.
"Sir?' he heard the uncertainty in the voice responding to his call. "My office, Now!" he shut off the unit with no further instructions.