Birkoff swallowed hard but simply stared straight-ahead refusing to make eye contact with Operations. He decided to try to be like Michael, no response, no emotions and he hoped eventually he could convince himself no pain but he highly doubted it.
"Tell me again Mr. Birkoff what this problem of George's was?" he began a steady pacing around the room, well enough away from Birkoff to take in any and all responses from him.
"There was a computer malfunction, a virus invaded his systems and the technical support staff he had sucked!" the last word shot out in a venomous slur.
"So he needed someone from Section. You!" he stopped but continued his circling when Birkoff would not look at him.
"That's right, you certainly don't know anything about computers now do you?" his voice was cocky.
"No'' he chuckled "but why you?" he turned when he was lined up with the front of the chair. "Hmmm?" he placed a finger on his chin. "Because I'm the best, you know it and George also knew it!" a momentary glance then the return of the blank stare. "Why are you asking me these questions, you're the one who sent me there," he shot out.
"Yes, I did, I assumed I was sending a loyal operative, loyal to Section One that is," he was laying each card on the table.
"Do I have a choice but to be loyal to Section One?" he trumped.
"No, but there has to be some other reason that George requested you specifically" he began the pacing again.
"Ask him, he showed me his computers, I did some diagnostics and cleared out the virus as he asked," he sat and watched the older man contemplating each move. "And nothing else was discussed?" Birkoff looked directly at him. "Like what?" he honestly didn't know what Operations was leading up to. "Did he ask you about Madeline?" Birkoff shook his head. "Did he ask you about Michael or Nikita?"
Birkoff nodded treading carefully for his answers. "He asked if I had any contact with them since this mission began and I told him they were on Mandatory Refusal" he sighed "That's it, there was nothing else to ask," he hoped this would end soon.
"I don't believe you" Operations moved to the COM unit. "Send in the twins please." He closed the communications channel "You could have avoided this," he turned and walked to the door.
"I don't know anything else!" Birkoff screamed at him. "You're making a big mistake," he continued while he struggled with the restraints. "Call George if you don't believe me!" he tried every which way to get Operations to call this off.
"I don't trust George, you know that," his stare was hard. "I'll find out everything you know before this is through, you know that Mr. Birkoff!" he tapped his fingers against his thighs.
"There's nothing to know, I didn't do anything, I didn't say anything. George didn't ask anything, he wanted a virus fixed and I did what he asked!" he felt his stomach turning as each minute ticked off the clock.
The twins came in and both they and Operations carried on a short but muted conversation at times tossing a glance and nod in Birkoff's direction. "Make it as painful as you have to," Operations turned to him as if giving him one last chance to come clean. "Don't kill him, just make him wish you would," and with that he turned and left the room.
The male of the twin came toward him and Birkoff pleaded with him not to do what he was about to. "He's crazy, I don't know anything, just call Oversight and George will confirm this," he rambled on and on. The man adjusted a steel harness that strapped over Birkoff's head and pulled him backward toward the chair. It's constraints allowed only his mouth and eyes to move but not his head. "Don't do this please?" but neither the man nor woman who was busy working on things in her briefcase seemed to take notice.
Birkoff noticed that she was filling a syringe with an amber colored liquid and that the man had resumed his position beside her. "We'll try the serum first that's plenty painful" he smiled at Birkoff. "Fine" she grinned then came over to him. "His arm please?" she held up an alcohol swab and cleaned a place on his forearm before finding a vein and injecting the liquid.
"Stop, please stop?" he pleaded as his arm suddenly felt like it was on fire. "I don't know anything," but the didn't' listen. When he looked up, he say Operations standing just inside the door. "Make them stop" he pleaded but Operations simply leaned against the steel structure and took it all in.
"What was your purpose for going to Oversight?" the female began. Birkoff's head was swimming but he refused to give into the drug. "I went to fix a virus on the computer system," she looked away toward Ops who shook his head to continue. "We don't believe you," he felt a tightening in his chest. "What was your purpose?" the question was asked in a monotone voice or so it seemed. "Operations made me go to help George" the room reeled and spun. "Why?" Birkoff shook his head. "This is not working, do something else" Operations shouted impatiently. The man came over and applies a gel to the temples of Birkoff's head then to points under his chin and on his chest.
The woman returned with electrodes that connected to his skin when they made contact with the gel. "What was your purpose at Oversight?" she began again as she adjusted dials and numbers. "I don't work at Oversight, I'm Section One" he answered honestly but was suddenly hit with an immense jolt of electricity that coursed through his head and neck taking his breath away.
"Noooooooo" he struggled to breath and scream at the same time. "Sto....ooo...ppp" he panted out as the pain momentarily subsided. "I ask you again?" she patiently waited. "I told you, I went to fix" but the pain returned, apparently she had raised the dose because Birkoff felt as if he would melt into the steel chair he was strapped to. "Stop, please?" his eyes locked on Operations for a moment before the older man looked away.
"Do something else this isn't working either." He was losing patience. "Perhaps he's telling the truth?" she queried. Operations looked stunned for a moment. "I do not believe that it was a simple computer virus!" he shouted and even the male torturer turned. "Surely he would have told us by now?" but Operations wasn't convinced. "Short of killing him, you do whatever you have to and make him talk," he turned away but didn't' leave the room.
The woman returned to the briefcase and came back with the 'slicer'. Birkoff often wondered how any of the victims that came out of the White Room managed to come out with cuts under their eyes. Now he suddenly knew although he hadn't a clue what was done once the cuts were made. "I can't tell you what I don't know!" he pleaded once more before the slicer's blade whirled within view of his left eye. "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" he screamed as the metal sliced into the delicate skin. After that he simply passed out....
Had he remained conscious for just a moment more he might have seen Walter enter the White Room and draw his weapon on Operations...perhaps it was better that he didn't? "Get the hell away from him NOW!" Walter pointed the semiautomatic weapon first at the twins who immediately stopped what they were doing and then at Operations. "Get over there" he motioned to an area on the other side of the room away from himself and Birkoff. "If he's dead, you're all dead do you understand me?" he screamed before going to check his friends.
Walter only took his eyes off of Operations long enough to make sure that Birkoff was still breathing. Operations took a step toward him and not only did Walter bring the weapon up but to emphasize his point he fired of a single shot that barely missed Operation's arm. "I said over there," he motioned to the spot that Paul had first been standing. "I'm dead serious here, I'll kill you," he pointed at Paul, "and you both." He turned to the twins who carefully placed their torture devices on the counter to show that there would be no resistance from them.
"Think carefully about what you are doing Walter." his voice was calm but a slight quiver betrayed the fact he was actually afraid of the older man. "This will get you canceled you know," not a question, more a statement of fact.
"Don't worry Amigo," he tenderly touched Birkoff's shoulder. "It's over, no one's going to hurt you again." he cradled the head of his friend. "Call Medlab to come and get him," he looked at the female. "Now!" she simply did as she was told.
"You won't make it out of Section alive" Paul continued.
Operations watched as two men in white coats removed the as of yet unconscious Birkoff from the restraints on the chair and carried him to the waiting gurney. "Be careful with him" he directed and both nodded apparently acting totally unaware of the situation. "Get security in here now!" Operations slammed his hand on the COM unit the moment that Walter's attention was diverted.
"They're not coming" Walter laughed as he fired off another round, this time it made its mark and Operations grabbed at the wound that was in his right shoulder
"Are you insane?" he screamed as the force of the bullet pushed him to the ground.
"No, I'm not insane, I've had enough of the way you've lied and manipulated people for years" he stood over Operations crumpled body. "I should just kill you" he pointed the weapon at his forehead. "I really should..." the twins backed away wishing they could be as far away from all of this as possible but also enjoying the fact that Operations looked like a little boy pleading for his life.
"You don't want to do this Walter" he pulled himself up against the wall as his shirt grew redder by the shear effort of moving.
"Yes, yeah I do," he smiled.
"I'm going to make sure that Oversight cancels you as soon as this is done," he screamed up into the face of a man he had seriously underestimated.
"No, no you won't," he laughed and displayed something that looked like a simple com unit.
"Who are you going to call?" Operations voice had a humorous lilt to it that Walter took as nervousness.
"Oh, you think this is to call someone?" he chuckled. "Hardly my friend" the last word sounded more like a curse. "I've wired Section from top to bottom" he wanted everything to sink in slowly. "There is not a safe place in Section One to hide" he continued. "I'm the only one who can undo it by the way" he laughed as he lowered the weapon. "If something happens to me and I'm not able to make my, shall we call them, checks?" he paced back and forth feeling very powerful at the moment. "Section One and everyone in it will be obliterated" he turned.
"You wouldn't do that to innocent..." but Walter was shaking his head. "No one here is innocent anymore," he leaned against the counter, "you've seen to that, you and that bitch Madeline, you've destroyed any innocence that these people had." He sighed. "Perhaps the best thing would be to simply destroy all of us, we're monsters that's what Section One creates, simple killing machines," he stared at the man he once respected.
"Section One might take lives but the lives we take save many more," he began.
"Don't try to quote that garbage to me, what about the lives of the operatives?" he shouted. "You don't even allow them to live somewhat normal lives," he thought about his own life.
"Is this about Belinda," he realized to late that when Walter had told him to 'never again mention her name' he had surely meant it? The weapon crashed against the side of his head splitting the side of his temple open.
"I told you not to talk about Belinda!" his voice raised higher than Operations ever remembered. "Ever!" he screamed into the man's face.
"Walter, she was in abeyance when you married her" he tried to lower his voice to a soothing tone but it only infuriated him more.
"Abeyance?" he closed his eyes. "It's just a word, place to give you a supply of people to use and loose," he bit his lip as he thought about how happy he had finally felt with her.
"We pick up these kids off the street and turn them into killing machines and we justify it in the name of world safety" he thought back to when Michael and Nikita had both come to section. "They're not innocent street kids Walter you and I both know it" he leaned against the wall trying to stop the bleeding from both wounds.
"Nikita was innocent" he tried to think back to when she had come.
"She killed a man..." Operations insisted.
"No, you set her up, you made it look like she did but the first person she ever killed was to save Michael" He grew angrier every moment. "You and Madeline played God to many times" he paused.
"Walter, you know that Section is responsible for saving more lives than we've lost." Walter knew that was true but he didn't have to like how it was accomplished and he didn't. "Why don't we talk about this after I have these wounds attended to" he decided to see if Walter might give them all a chance.
"You're not in charge anymore Paul, don't you see?" he pointed the weapon and Operations cringed. "You haven't been in a long time." Operations wondered just what he meant.
Michael and Nikita exchanged glances as Davenport moved closer to Elena. "Keep her talking." He whispered into her ear as he picked up some device that had gone unnoticed until now then connected it to the telephone and into something that looked like a speaker with ear pieces sticking out of it. "Now we should be able to hear her," he motioned Nikita and Michael to each pick up a wire as he placed on in his own hear.
"What do you mean Jurgen's not in right now?" her voice sounded tired and very cautious.
"He took Adam to a movie like he normally does on the weekends is there someplace he can call you back?" she was glad that until now, Jurgen had in fact stuck to a schedule of trying to keep Adam's life as normal as possible.
"Can you page him?" she sounded irritated at the need for such a request.
"I would imagine," she looked up at Michael who quickly nodded. "It might take a few moments," she prayed that she sounded convincing.
"Tell him I'll be calling back in two hours," she sighed and Michael thought he heard her cover the phone as if speaking to someone in the background. "That should give him plenty of time to get back I believe?" Elena checked with Michael who leaned closer "How close is the movie theater?" He whispered in her free ear.
"Two hours, would that give him enough time to return?" She shook her head. "I'll page him for you now, is there anything else?" she didn't know what else to say as she realized that Davenport must be attempting to trace the call.
"No, just make sure he's there to take my call," and the phone went dead. Davenport shook his head, the conversation was either to short to give a trace or Madeline had taken precautions, he was betting on the latter.
"How long before we can do a voice loop of Jurgen?" Michael now wished that Birkoff had been here with him. His mind wandered for a moment and a sickening feeling quelled over him. What if Birkoff and Walter were dead because he chose to continue the mission?"
Nikita must have read his thought when she came near and placed a hand on his arm. "Perhaps Walter is stronger than we know" she prayed silently as Michael looked into her eyes.
"I hope so" his voice was a mere whisper as the conflict within him surfaced. "If they don't make it out alive, I'll kill Operations myself"
Davenport's head shot up. "There's no way to know what is going on back at Section Michael, we've got work to do here keep your eye on the ball buddy." Michael knew he was right but couldn't help worrying about the two men who had so often risked their own lives helping him and Nikita. "We've got less than two hours," he checked his watch and they all left for the COM center.
It took every spare moment they had but in the end, they were satisfied that they had indeed managed to replicate Jurgen's voice. The computer had been fixed to actually 'think' ahead and simulate answers to as many questions as everyone in the room could possibly come up with.
"I sure hope this works" Blythe, one of the female operatives stated the obvious as she rolled back and forth over the bumpy tiled floor of the communication room.
"Stop that, the noise is annoying." Megan shouted.
"I'm bored" Blythe sighed as she pushed herself off a stationary object and shot across the room.
"I said that's annoying!" Megan complained in her usual whine of a voice.
"Too bad," she shot across the expanse once more only this time she collided with Michael's hip.
He silently grabbed the back of the chair catching her by the neck as well, "Why don't you two girls go outside and play!" it wasn't a question and neither mistook his low tone for less than it was, an invitation to stop their bickering and move along.
"Sure, why not?" she tried to pull her head free but Michael's grasp tightened.
"Now is not the time for games do you understand?" he squeezed a bit more for emphasis.
"Yeah, okay, just let me go before you break my neck," her eyes widened in fear of someone she knew could snap her like a twig.
"Good, now run along." He pushed her away. Nikita simply smiled at him then returned her attention to an operative working on the voice loop. "How much longer?" He looked up at her then Michael. "It should be good to go." Now it was only a matter of waiting.
Nikita went to get Elena to quickly go over what her part would be when she answered the phone. They all hoped that at the very least, this would fool Madeline into walking into their trap. All they could do now was sit and wait.