Nikita made her way from Medical back to the white room still playing over and over in her head how she intended to handle this situation. She didn't like having to cancel anyone always looking for a way around it if possible but she knew deep down inside that this time there would be no saving Rita.
She sat in the chair, not that she had any other option. Shiny steel framing her head like some type of halo as she attempted to wriggle her wrists from the restraining bands. Her attitude upon seeing Nikita was full of open hostility and defiance. "You can't keep me here!" she shrieked in a shrill tone that gave away her attempt to cover the fact that she was actually afraid of the situation she now found herself in.
"Oh but I can." Nikita first took Michael's familiar stance directly in front of her legs slightly splayed arms crossed behind her back. "Do you want to make this easy on yourself?" she asked in a tone of voice that would have made Michael laugh.
"Go to hell!" the words spewed from her mouth. "I'm not telling you anything!" she stared at the ceiling to avoid eye contact with Nikita.
"You will, it's only a matter of time and then you'll beg me to hear what you have to say." Nikita tried to sound more confident than she was really feeling.
"Don't bet on it blondy!" the voice was filled with venom. "And when I get free, you'd better watch your ass," a chuckle came fourth yet Nikita saw the real fear behind her eyes.
"First of all, you are not, nor will you ever be free from me or Section" Nikita moved in close so that they were almost nose to nose. "Second of all, I can make this so painful for you that you'll grovel for death," she kept her face in Rita's face. "You're working for Madeline" her voice was barely a whisper "That alone is your death sentence." She stayed in the other's face.
"If you're going to cancel me why don't we just get on with it?" the defiance angered Nikita past a point where she didn't feel she could control her own temper.
"Fine, have it your way!" she spun and the first bullet made contact with Rita's left knee clearly shattering the kneecap.
"You bitch," she screamed trying to writhe in pain but held in place by the metallic restraints around both wrists and ankles along with the belt like device securing her waist.
"When was the last contact made with Madeline?" she returned to the quiet whispering voice.
"Bite me!" Rita spit in her direction. The next bullet caught her in the right shoulder and yet again she was unable to either avoid it or tend to the wound. "Stop it!" she wailed in a voice that nearly broke Nikita's heart.
"Answer the questions and I will," she paced around the entire perimeter of the room now.
"I can't." Rita began to sob "She'll kill me and my family," her chest heaved with the effort of not giving in to the pain caused by both wounds.
"She probably already has." Nikita knew that Madeline usually did exactly what she threatened not waiting for the actual outcome of the situation. If she said she was going to kill this girl's family then the likelihood was that they had been murdered a while ago.
"No, she promised that I could be with them when this was all over," the hair fell over her face as she leaned forward crying. "She promised," she looked at Nikita.
"Do you remember when you were recruited to Section?" Nikita wouldn't send this woman to her death without seeing the clarity of lies that Madeline was capable of. She nodded. "Madeline told you that you would never be allowed to leave Section right?" again she nodded trying hard to stifle the sobs. "Why would you believe any of that has changed?" she crouched down gun still in her hand directly in front of the contained girl.
"Because she promised if I did exactly what she told me to that I could." The voice reminded Nikita of a little girl who realized that the world was not a fairy palace after all.
"You know that Section will make you do what they say, they never bargain" she continued studying the girl.
"But it was different. Madeline took me past their house and told me all about how Section would make it look like my death had been reported in error. How within a matter of weeks I could be back in the home I was raised in." She wanted Nikita to understand why she did what she had.
"It's all a lie Rita," she stood up trying to decide what to do next. "What did Madeline want you to do?" the woman bit her lip, shook her head from side to side still believing that Madeline would keep her promise. "Listen to me." Nikita moved back to stand over her, hands on each armrest as she moved into the face of the other woman. "You're family is already dead, believe me, Madeline isn't going to set you free, Section would NEVER allow it!" she shouted.
"Now, you can tell me what you were supposed to do for her or this is going to get worse" Nikita reached up and squeezed the shoulder blade just above the gunshot wound.
"Ouch, stop it, you're hurting me" she attempted to pull away but it was clearly in vain.
"I'm going to kill you either way. You're not going to see your family and you can go to your grave wondering if Madeline hasn't already killed them which from knowing her was probably done right after she made her little deal with you," she stood up and leveled the weapon at Rita.
"You can end this anytime you want," but the girl held firm until the next shot rang out. This time the bullet hit its mark in her upper arm. The blood pumped out in time with her heartbeats. "I've nicked an artery, you're going to bleed to death unless you tell me what I want to know do you understand?" the girl finally nodded her agreement and Nikita wrapped a belt above the wound to staunch the blood flow.
"Medical," she summoned on a com panel near the door. "Yes," came the quick reply "I have multiple gunshot wounds in the White room," she turned to study Rita who was doubled over best she could trying to absorb everything that Nikita had told her.
"White room ma'am?" came a confused voice? And Nikita slammed her fist against the unit.
"The damned interrogation room okay? Do you know where that is?" she was losing patience with the entire situation.
"Yes, we'll send a team." and the unit went quiet.
"Now, where were we?" she calmly returned to Rita's side.
"Madeline was sure that you and Michael would come after her alone so I was supposed to monitor any communications you had with Davenport," she sniffled. "I was supposed to download his panel as soon as he got any instructions from either you or Section. But I never got the chance, Davenport pulled me from the original mission and the last time I talked to Madeline was right before that," she leaned her head back trying to remain focused on the doorknob across from her. She felt lightheaded and knew it was from the loss of blood from the gunshot wounds.
"So she doesn't know we are here?" Nikita knew the girl was losing her battle to survive with every heartbeat.
"No," the girl sobbed. "That's all I know." she closed her eyes. "Would you do me a favor and cancel me now?" she looked directly into Nikita's eyes. "If what you said is true and my family is dead I don't want to live" she smiled trying to alleviate any guilt that Nikita might be feeling. "Please, better to die now then let Madeline destroy me" she whispered and closed her eyes as she began to lose consciousness.
Nikita knew that Michael would not allow this woman to live and did the only thing that made sense given the situation. She crossed the room, said a silent prayer and pulled the trigger. The bullet met its mark and mercifully ended any further suffering. "That's another one I owe you for Madeline," she whispered before crossing herself and leaving the room.
They left in the middle of the night. After watching Madeline make call after call, constantly jotting notes and arranging things, they had packed all they could comfortably take with them and disappeared into the darkness. They drove for about two hours before Madeline pulled over at an All-Night truck stop and told him to sit tight. She went inside and was gone about fifteen minutes before coming out with someone that Alan had never seen.
"Unpack the car, we're changing vehicles" she tossed him the keys. She didn't even made any attempt to help, she stood there quietly talking to the man whom she never bothered to introduce to him and kept watch to be sure no one had followed them.
"Thanks Heflen" she hugged the man, handed over her keys and quickly got into the new vehicle and drove away. Alan sat beside her with the most quizzical look on his face. "The less you know the better" was all she said to explain her apparent lack of manners. Alan turned in his seat seething from being kept in the dark.
"I thought we are working together Maddy" he knew calling her this would evoke some response.
"Madeline, the name is Madeline and let's not forget the fact that I own you," she said it with such venom that it made his hair stand.
"But remember Maddy" he saw her jaw tighten "you need me as much if not more than I need you so you'd be better not forgetting that." With that he slunk down in the seat and closed his eyes. She knew he was right but would never have admitted it to him.
They drove for another two hours and again the scene was repeated. Madeline would go in to someplace and always come out chatting with whomever yet never bothered to introduce them to Alan. He would dutifully wait outside and once the designated vehicle was pointed out, empty the first into the second and they would quickly be on their way. Most the time he only caught the first name of people and there was no way he would have ever been able to identify them from looks. Madeline was covering her tracks and Alan realized that Section would be up against a formidable foe.
All through the night, roughly every two hours or so they stopped to switch vehicles. Sometime during one of the changeovers, one of Madeline's contacts stopped to talk to Alan. "The names Dryer, I have to ask you if by any chance are carrying that damn Thermo tracking chip that Section installed in you when they inducted you?" Alan looked at the man and then Madeline.
"Chip?" he had no clue as to what they were asking him about.
"Yeah, they put it in right under your ribcage you probably were told it was some sort of vaccination." She came over and quickly lifted his shirt. It was difficult to see in the early morning light but when she didn't find a scar she backed up and stared at him. "Apparently you haven't," he didn't understand why she was looking at him in such an accusatory way.
"What? I haven't a clue what you're referring to?" he reached down to see if he could feel anything.
"You'd never know it was there by touch," the man continued. "But we are going to have to remove it or all this switching will be for nothing."
Alan didn't like where this was leading. "Remove it? How?" he backed against the car.
"It will have to be surgically removed." Madeline threw the answer at him before returning her attention to Dryer. "You can do it here right?"
Alan looked at both like they were insane "You are not doing anything of the sort" he began to back away.
"It won't hurt, that bad, I can give you something for the pain." he turned to his car and came out with a black medical bag. "I'm a doctor so I know what I am doing," he motioned them to follow him back into the building.
"NO!" he screamed "You're not cutting me open" he leaned heavily against the car.
"Alan, you don't have a choice, either you let him remove it or I am going to have to cancel you," she reached for the gun that he knew she always carried now.
"Listen, I didn't ask to come with you," he started to back up further.
"No, you listen, you're right, I need you but I can and will get along without you if you chose to remain a liability with that chip in you," she pointed to his side. "Dryer knows what he is doing and the pain will be minimal so let's just get this over with," she pointed the gun toward the building.
Alan thought about it, the two options presented to him were both something he wasn't comfortable with. "How do you know he knows what he's doing?" he was stalling for time.
"He was a surgeon at Section, now quit wasting time, we don't have much if they are already tracking you."
The surgery took a matter of minutes. Alan had squealed when the injection to numb the sight had been inserted but true to his word, the doctor did indeed know what he was doing and it took more time to open and close than for him to remove the actual chip. "There, now we need to figure out what we are going to do with this?" he laughed. Madeline refused to smile, she wouldn't be able to relax until the chip was heading off in the opposite direction of where they were heading. "All done," he finished and dressed the inch long incision. "Take two of these when the shot wears off and you should be fine" he helped Alan off the desk where he had performed the surgery.
"That's it?' he stood up and felt the dressing. "Why the chip?" he wanted to see what had been removed from his body.
"It's Section's way of tagging you and keeping track of you." Madeline smiled.
"Don't you have one?" he asked both of them.
"No, I had mine removed a long time ago," she looked at Dryer and both nodded. "But how hasn't..." he started and they both knew what he was going to ask. "I simply put one on myself whenever it was necessary." Alan now understood that Madeline had long ago planned on leaving Section, alive and under her own direction.