Circle Game

BY : SorchaRavenschild
Category: G through L > La Femme Nikita
Dragon prints: 3011
Disclaimer: I do not own La Femme Nikita, nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Author's notes: I'd actually call this maybe a PG, but it's part of an NC-17 arc that won't make a whole lot of sense if all the stories aren't posted.

by Sorcha Ravenschild

Yesterday a child came out to wonder
caught a dragonfly inside a jar
Fearful when the sky was full of thunder
and tearful at the falling of a star

"I understand there is a problem with one of the new operatives?"

"Yes, sir. Lisa, sir. She's pregnant, about two months along."

"I see. Am I to assume that there's a reason you haven't terminated the pregnancy as usual?"

"Yes, sir. She's carrying twins, and according to the amnio, they're identical. Male."

"I see." Silence, while he pondered this.

"Sir? Shall we proceed with termination?"

"No. Keep her here. Allow her to carry the infants to term."

"And what then, sir?"

A thin-lipped smile. "Just leave that to me."


Then the child moved ten times round the seasons
Skated over ten clear frozen streams
Words , wh, when you're older, must appease him
And promises of someday make his dreams

Operations glanced up from his work as Michael entered his office.

"You wanted to see me, sir?"

"Yes. I have a project for you." Operations stood. "Come with me."

Michael followed Operations through the bowels of Section, until he came to a halt by a plain steel door. Punching in the code that unlocked it, he gestured for Michael to step in first.

The door proved to lead to a darkened room with a two-way observation mirror on one wall. Operations stood before the mirror, gesturing for Michael to join him. "This is one of Section's most interesting experiments," he said, indicating the room visible through the mirror.

Michael turned to look, and blinked. "This" was a boy of about ten or eleven, looking like a small owl behind his round glasses and frowning in concentration as his fingers flew over the keyboard of a computer. "The boy, sir? An experiment?"

"Seymour Birkoff," Operations replied, sounding almost smug. "Born in Section, raised in Section. A computer prodigy of the first water."

Michael's eyebrows lifted. "Born in Section?"

"Seymour and his identical twin, Jason, are the focus of an ongoing experiment," Operations said. "His brother was released and adopted. Seymour is being raised here."

"I see."

"Seymour's interactions with other people have been very limited. Walter has been responsible for him since his birth thirteen years ago, and I believe that he thinks of Walter as a sort of father figure."

Michael only nodded, concealing his surprise at Seymour's actual age. Operations continued, "I want you to observe him - not continually, of course, but randomly, an hour or so at a stretch. You'll also be given full access to the surveillance footage of him - review it as you have the time."

"But Walter...?" Michael let the question trail off delicately.

Operations shook his head slightly. "Walter makes regular reports on his progress, of course, but he's formed something of an attachment to the boy, and I'd like to have the input of an objective third party."

Michael couldn't help smiling a bit as Seymour, having apparently accomplished his task, punched the air in triumph. "What sort of input, sir?"

"Whatever you observe. His moods, his behaviors, how he interacts with Walter. Granted, we have surveillance, but I'd like you to form opinions and draw conclusions. Surveillance video can't do that."

Michael knew better than to ask what purpose his observations of Seymour would achieve, so he simply nodded, and Operations said, "You'll be given the code to the door of this room - I would prefer you do as much of your observation as possible from here, rather than from footage." He turned to go, then paused. "One more thing, Michael. Under no circumstances are you to make any contact with the boy. To do so would defeat the purpose of having you observe him. Is that understood?"

"Of course." Michael waited until Operations had gone, then turned back to the window. Seymour was now occupied in a computer game, tongue poking out a little as he worked the joystick with nimble fingers. There was a padded folding chair in the corner of the observation room, and Michael pulled it to the window, settling in to begin his assignment.
He observed for about an hour, during which time Walter came in and played (and lost) a game of chess with Seymour, before leaving the room.

After dinner, he spent the evening at his computer, going over the intel on Seymour that Operations had left in his office. Medical information, academic progress, growth charts - the usual mundane records.

Michael snorted. As if anything about this boy's life could be called mundane. Reading by age two, programming by seven, designing mission simulations by nine - and all in an environment that was never meant for a child to experience.

He switched off his computer. Such thoughts were dangerous; sympathy for the boy would only cloud his judgment and impair his ability to complete the task he'd been assigned. Better to think of him as just another object of surveillance, just another mission.

Still, as he prepared for bed, he couldn't help hoping that this particular mission would be short-lived. It had been a long struggle for him, to adopt Section's values as his own, and he finally felt at peace with his life.

The last thing he wanted or needed was to have that peace shattered.

We can't return we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

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