FOURTH NIKITA PARODY:
"You're early, Nikita," said Madeline, still holding a smoking gun as she stared expressionlessly at the body on the floor of her office.
Nikita recognized the body immediately. "Isn't that Leonard Sand, yawr former husband?"
Madeline nodded, putting the gun in her desk as she delicately sat down. She pressed the intercom and said, "Housekeeping."
Nikita frowned. "Did Operations make you kell him?"
"Not precisely," said Madeline. "He said an agent at my rank could only be permitted one distraction, and it was either my plants, or Leonard."
Nikita said, "And?"
"My plants are much lower maintenance," said Madeline. "But we're here to talk about you, not me. Why didn't you execute the terrorist you were sent after today?"
"He was holding a small child," said Nikita tightly.
"The child wouldn't have stopped the bullets," said Madeline. "I don't see the problem. And later you botched a second opportunity to get at him with a bazooka."
"He was in a school bus filled with children," said Nikita.
"When we even gave you a third chance, to blow up the place he was in with high explosives, you refused yet again."
"It was a stadium filled with thousands of pregnant women on Mother's Day!"
"All I'm hearing are excuses," said Madeline. "You know we're doing a performance review this week."
"A performance review?"
"We review the ratings of all agents," said Madeline. "Agents with the lowest ratings will be canceled."
"So that's it, I'm like a television shauw?" said Nikita. "If I don't get picked awp for anothar season, ayme canceled?"
"Precisely," said Madeline, permitting herself to blink once. "You may go."
As she left Operations and Michael entered her office.
"I blame you for this, Michael," said Operations. "You were supposed to stamp out all vestiges of humanity from her--kindness, decency, compassion. What happened?"
"She's very sensitive," Michael whispered.
Operations stood close to Michael, so close that his nose stuck in Michael's left eye. "We'll have to try harder, then," he said, to ominous music from the lower end of the piano scale. "You're dismissed," he added, not even waiting for Michael's generic "Yes."
After Michael had gone, Madeline said, "Shall we cancel her?"
"No," said Operations. "We already tried that twice last month. If we attempt to cancel her too often we end up looking like a fool in front of George. When was the last time we tried to cancel Michael, or sent him on a suicide mission?"
"About two months."
"Then it's about time; it keeps him on his toes," said Operations.
Operations led the briefing, showing a picture of this week's balding but cultured European terrorist. "We must recover Yenchenko."
"What does he know?" said Michael.
"Not much," said Operations. "But Madeline is running short on people to torture and is worrying that she's falling out of practice. Michael will take point, with Davenport, Mince, and Nikita staying at least 500 feet behind him at all times. That's all."
Michael blinked and went over to Birkoff's station as everyone dispersed.
Michael whispered, "Just do it, Birkoff."
"Uh uh," said Birkoff. "If I look up classified information for you, Operations will have me killed."
Michael whispered, "If you don't, I'll kill you."
"What's the difference?"
"I'll kill you more painfully," Michael whispered.
"They can make those painful little cuts on my cheeks, that looks like it hurts a lot," said Birkoff. Then he paused, looking at Michael. "But I also remember those Franco martial arts ballet moves you do while you prance around with your curved hands-"
"Just do it, Birkoff," said Michael.
Birkoff pressed some keys, and the screen gave the obligatory beeps. "You're right, Michael, there's a note here, a classified portion of the profile in big flashing letters that says "MICHAEL MUST DIE!!!!!" There's also a hypertext link to a list of recent attempts by Operations to have you killed, canned, vaporized, or otherwise exploded."
"Thank you," Michael whispered, walking away casually in his designer dark clothes.
In the Perch Operations glared downwards. "That's the fifth time that Birkoff has betrayed us this week. That level of betrayal is unacceptable."
"I can handle Mr. Birkoff," said Madeline, opening a drawer and taking out a jar of lollipops.
"And what about Walter?" said Operations.
"What about him?"
"When he went to the substation in Brazil, the records show he illicitly had sex with a hologram of his giant dead butch girlfriend."
"That level of betrayal is unacceptable!" said Operations. "Actually, come to think of it, any level of betrayal is unacceptable."
"Why is it a betrayal?"
"It shows human desire," said Operations.
"But it's with a hologram."
"Yes, a hologram now," Operations nodded. "But what if he sleeps with a person next? And what if that person works for Red Cell?"
"Have you seen Walter lately?" said Madeline. "I don't think we have to worry about any women being attracted to him."
"All right then, what if he has an affair with a Red Cell hologram?" Operations asked. "No. He has to learn a lesson."
"What shall we do?" said Madeline.
"Program the hologram to give him an electrical shock he won't forget in a sensitive area the next time he gets physical," said Operations. "Eventually, he'll become conditioned to keep to himself."
Operations picked up a coffee cup, drank some, and made a face. "This coffee is terrible! This level of betrayal is unacceptable. Cancel whoever makes the coffee."
Michael and Nikita geared up for the mission.
"Is anything wrong, Mikol?" Nikita said.
"Why do you ask?"
"Yawr fayce is even moar blank than usyoual," said Nikita. "Usually, aye see an occasional flickar of recognetion or humanety."
"Let's go," said Michael, said Michael, heading towards the airlock with the elevator.
"Mikol," said Nikita, "Why is it when we leave via the elevator, we exit in central Europe, but when we leave via van access, we exit in America or Canada?"
"Different exits," Michael whispered.
The mission went wrong from the start. Because Michael was isolated on point without any backup, he was easily grabbed and stunned with a bug zapper.
When Nikita returned to section and reported, Operations said, "That's very sad. Does anyone have any idea what's for lunch?"
"Aren't we going to attempt to rescue Mikol?" she asked.
"Section resources are very limited," said Operations.
"But yew have a bug planted on him, we know exactly where he es," said Nikita.
"Yes, and how would we get there?" said Operations.
"The van, the mystery machine," said Nikita.
"The 'mystery machine' as you so quaintly put it, is expensive," said Operations. "Gas, taxes, tolls, insurance." He sighed. "All right, you can attempt a rescue, but to save costs your team can only use a compact Honda." He glared at her for good measure. "And no more than two clips per weapon. Do you have any idea how expensive bullets are? If you fire a bullet, I want to see it inside an enemy body, not in a wall or a floor. Do you understand?" he said.
Nikita nodded and left.
"Can she do it?" Madeline asked.
"I hope not," said Operations.
Michael was hooked into a machine which was constantly injecting a drug into his throat, nipples, eyesballs, and testicles. The drug made him drowsy and dopey.
"Let us start again," said the cultured french terrorist. "Vat is your name?"
"Well, Mr. Samuelle, where were you trained?"
"Quebecqois... Institute of Ballet...."
"No, where was your military training?"
Michael looked blankly...
"He's resisting," said the terrorist. "Let's try an easier question. How do you get your hair to look the way it is..."
Michael looked very drowsy but smiled. "I go to a special hairdresser in Section.... he uses a special gel... not only looks good, feels good, but is laser refracting as well...."
"And where is Section?"
"Section is... wherever we want it to be," said Michael truthfully. "Sometimes France, sometimes America, sometimes Canda, sometimes Eastern Europe...."
"He's being evasive," said the cultured terrorist. "Increase the drug."
He waited a few moments, and then resumed questioning, but all Michael could do at this point was drool.
"What's going on?" the terrorist asked.
"Ooops!" said the terrorist technician. "Instead of giving him more of the 'break down his resistance' drug, I accidently gave him a 'wipe out his memory and personality drug'. So sorry, my bad!"
At that moment they heard the sounds of gunfire. "They've found us!" said the terrorist. He pointed to some lighted booths. "Release my army of bald naked soldiers while we make our escape!"
A few moments later Nikita entered the room. She saw Michael hooked up to the machine and quickly pulled out the needles.
"Mikol, can you hear me?" she said.
Michael looked at her with a dopey expression. "I can hear you fine. Who are you?"
"You don't knauw who I am?"
"No. But you look very hot. Are you single?" said Michael, speaking English perfectly in a normal tone of voice. "And who am I, and how did I get this wild hair? I look like an ape man!"
Before they returned to Section Nikita took Michael back to her apartment to train him.
"Your name is Mikol, you work for Section, and you're a ruthless killar," said Nikita.
"I am?" said Michael. "Hey, what's wrong with the way you're talking?"
"Aym Australian," said Nikita. "And why are yew speaking fluent English in a normal tone of voice?"
"I don't know," said Michael. "That's the way everyone did where I grew up in Iowa."
"Iowa??" There was no time to pursue this now. "Listen, your name is Michael, and you're a killar. Yew have to go in and report to Operations. Whatever he says to you, don't respond by saying moar than "yes" or "no"."
"Yes or no? Then how do I communicate?"
"Not very well," said Nikita. "And remember, you're supposed to whisper it." She handed him some clothes.
"Hey, these are all black," Michael complained. He put a hand through his hair. "And is there time for a haircut first? I feel like Shaggy from Scooby Doo!"
"So you didn't crack at all?" said Operations.
"No," Michael whispered.
"What else can you tell us about your captors?" Madeline asked.
Michael paused for a minute. Nikita only said to say yes or no. Then he rememered one other response that Nikita had said was acceptable.
Michael gave a blank stare.
Madeline nodded. Obviously this was an acceptable answer.
"You can go," said Operations. "But we still have to capture some eastern europeans. There's a briefing in 20 minutes."
After Michael had gone Operations turned to Madeline. "What do you think?"
"I'm not sure," said Madeline. "He might bear further watching."
"No," said Operations. "I can't add anything else to my already busy schedule. I already spend nearly eight hours a day watching Nikita on the monitors."
"Waltar, you're the armory guy, right?" said Nikita.
"Um hum," he said.
"You know awl about weapons, explosives, electronics, that sort of thing, right?"
Nikita handed him a vial. "Here's a sample of Michael's blood. He was given an unknown psychotropic drug and we need an antidote based on complex molecular biology, chemistry, and pharmacy. Please leave the antidote on my desk in the morning."
"Sure thing, Sugar," said Walter, smacking his gums.
Before they headed out for the mission, Nikita handed Michael the equipment and explained how each gadget worked. Then she handed him his pistol.
"What's that?" he asked.
"A gun," she said.
"How's it work?" he asked.
Nikita rolled her eyes. "Just shoot anything that moves and you'll mayke Operations prowd."
"I must have been a real jerk to do this kind of work," said Michael. "Tell me... before we go... were we an item?"
Nikita looked into his eyes. He looked into hers. "Sometimes," said Nikita, "Typically about one in three missions. But the most affection you could usually muster was to say "Yes" in that husky whisper of yours."
"Well... One or twice you'd twirl my hair, but you'd usually only go that far when I was about to be cancelled."
Michael gets confused on the mission and manages to get himself shot by one of the naked bald men. But Nikita goes in and kills the naked bald guards and singlehandedly captures a few cultured eastern europeans for Madeline to torture.
She looked down at Michael making weeping sounds on the ground.
"Oh, c'mon, Mikol, it's just a few exit wounds."
Back in Section, Nikita pulls the needle out of Michael's arm. She had just given him the antidote. She wondered how long it would take to work.
"Mikol?" she said. "How are yew feeling?"
Michael gave a blank stare.
"Yes," he said.
There, he was cured.
Nikita was called to the Perch.
"We now know all about what happened to Michael," said Operations. "You should have told us."
Nikita said nothing.
"It was futile to try to keep things from us. We know what you're thinking, what you have thought, and indeed what you will think." He held up a pad. "Do you see this? This is a printout of the thoughts you're going to have tomorrow. I could even take my pen and cross out one of those thoughts and you wouldn't have it." (Dark piano music). "Just a reminder Nikita; always remember, you even don't go to the bathroom in the morning unless I've signed off on it three days before."
Nikita glared at him defiantly turned to leave.
"One more thing," said Operations. "When you get downstairs, look up at the Perch and let me know if the spotlight is shining on my face. Lately, it's been off-center."
Nikita left. She encountered Michael in the lobby. She stared at him. He stared at her. Operations stared down at both of them.
Several minutes later, Michael said, "About the things I said..."
"Your expression of feelings?"
"Were they real?"
"Sometimes all we have is our perceptions of reality," Michael whispered. "What one person perceives is their reality is in fact their reality, but whether that perception is a reality for others is a matter for contemplation on an abstract plane of fluffy clouds, thought, emotions, values, and colorful little sing-song birds."
"Which is a typical Mikol way of saying we're back to square won," sighed Nikita. "Just one question, Mikol: why did your other self speak perfect English, without the whispering?"
Michael paused. "Do you remember the advise I gave you about being ruthless, Nikita?"
Nikita first shook her head, then nodded. "That if you can't be ruthless, to at least appear ruthless."
Michael nodded. "The same goes for being exotically European."
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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