The Perfect Agents
Mirax Terrik

Note: Standard disclaimers apply. If you recognize a character from 
another series, he or sheís not mine. If you have only heard of him or 
her in my previous story, he or she is mine. I know Nikkita is spelled 
with two kís, but I think it looks better this way. Thanks to Asbjoern 
Grandt for corrections. This is Part 2 of the Julie Yamada series. In 
Part 1, *The Watchers*, Julie Yamada, a high school senior in sunny 
Southern California, follows her classmate Jack to an Immortal 
challenge. Jack loses his head, and the Watchers, who have been taken 
over by Section One, recruit Julie. She trains as a sniper for a 
special operations team, but before her training is complete, 
terrorists take her school hostage, and she is forced to team up with 
the mysterious Josh, a Tomorrow Person, to rescue fellow Watcher and 
classmate Quinn. When we last left our intrepid (if somewhat reluctant) 
heroes, Julie had just seen a mysterious vision after sharing a brief 
kiss with Josh...

*The Perfect Agents*

So obviously, this kiss thing was turning up some unexpected results. 
Okay, whom was I kidding? A mysterious vision of some random girl 
whenever I kissed tomorrow boy was pretty freaky. Hopefully that would 
explain why I was physically drawn to this guy, because I donít think 
we would have done to well as a couple, even without this Watcher/ 
Section/ Tomorrow Person business. We really didnít think the same at 
all. I guess it was never meant to be, no matter how hot he was. Too 
bad.

So I sped off to Andrewís house. As we drove past Joshís street, I was 
reminded of his mother. Oops. "Hey, Josh," I said, breaking the uneasy 
silence. "What are you going to do about your mom? Sheís gonna be 
worried, since you didnít come home last night and all."

"Oh, yeah. Uh oh. Hmm.what if I just didnít go home?" he suggested 
quietly. I looked at him. He was dead serious.

"What? Are you psycho? If you do that, you canít ever come back. Ever. 
Do you really want to do that?" I asked, shocked. Sensitive Josh wanted 
to just leave and disappear? And I thought I was messed up!

"Yes. Look, I know in my heart that I canít lie like you. No, that 
isnít a diss. Iím serious. I just canít do that. So if I go home, 
sheíll find out sooner or later. I know it. If that happens, Section 
will come and kill her. Me, they might want to keep because Iím a 
Tomorrow Person, but sheís of no use to them. If I go back, I just ruin 
her life as well. Besides, Iíve been thinking. I need to find her. That 
girl in the vision. I want you to draw her, and Iím going to the island 
to wait for her. I think sheís a Tomorrow Person, which means I have to 
be there for her when she breaks out. I canít let her go through what I 
did when I broke out. It was horrible; feeling so lost, confused, and 
abandoned. Iíve never felt so alone. But sheís going to break out soon,
I know it," Josh said, his blue eyes shining with intensity. Mentally, 
I gagged. This guy was too good for his own good!

"But what if she isnít? What if youíre wrong and youíre just throwing 
your life away for a feeling? You arenít even the one seeing it, 
anyway. How do you know this, from my descriptions alone?" I asked, 
trying to poke holes in what I knew to be the perfect solution to our 
problems. Besides, I figured he was going to do it anyway, no matter 
what I said.

"I know, Julie. I canít explain it. I just do. Please, donít stop me. 
All I need is a description of her," he said, leaning over to give me 
another kiss. Of course, he blocked my view of the road.

The car swerved dangerously. "Iím driving for Godís sake! Can you keep 
your hormones under control for a few minutes?" I yelled.

He backed away. "Iím sorry. I donít know what got into me. I was just 
talking to you, and suddenly, I felt this urge. Iím sorry. I donít know 
what else to say. Are we almost there yet?" Like a little kid.

"Yes, and no kissy-kissy till after the briefing. Got it?" I said, 
rolling my eyes. Yes, things would be a little simpler with that guy 
gone. He turned me into a walking hormone.

"Um, yeah, sure," he said, turning a bright red. I smiled, wondering 
idly if he did that a lot. I hadnít really noticed it before, but then 
again, I hadnít noticed him. We soon arrived at our destination.

I ran up the steps, not even waiting for Josh. I rang the doorbell, 
letting Andrewís fingerprint scanner scan my thumb thoroughly. The door 
opened, revealing Nikkita. "Hey, trainer!" I said, cheerily. A bit too 
cheerily, it seemed.

"Hmm, I see someone had a nice night as well," she observed. "Come on 
in, the briefing is about to begin." Cold, as usual. She was only nice 
to Michael, I think.

We quickly took seats near Andrew, who looked as if he had stayed up 
all night. "How are you?" he mouthed. Immortal he may be, but 
indefatigable, he wasnít. He did look pretty yummy, nonetheless.

"Fine, but a little sandy," I said quickly, blushing. That Josh was 
turning me into a walking hormone!

Michael coughed to get our attention, and we looked at him sheepishly. 
"Okay, as some of you may know, Rainbow Six is coming in on a flight 
from New York in about two hours. They will be met, and arrive by van 
after a change into gear at the local middle school. ETA three hours. 
Our job is to make sure this goes down all right. The government is 
using Rainbow Six to look good to NATO, but the higher ups want us to 
keep an eye on things in case anything goes wrong. Nikkita and I will 
be posing as the CIA and NSA liaisons to the operation, making sure 
that the right ears only hear the right information. Birkoff, you will 
be monitoring the operation here at the house with Madeline (Michelle), 
Andrew and Josh. Josh, if you get the wrong impression from anything, 
tell them. Team A (these were the older, more experienced ops), you 
will be running back up for the mission. If anything goes sour, I want 
you to go in and finish the job. Team B (this was the other junior ops 
and I), you will run damage control. We cleaned up all traces of Julie 
and Josh, but I want to make sure all loose ends are tied up. I want 
you to pose as reporters and run surveillance. Pick up your profiles 
for this mission from Birkoff and be ready to be in position in two 
hours. That will be all." Of course, he made goo-goo eyes at Nikkita, 
as usual. Birky and I gagged. Now that they were together, they were 
sickeningly sweet.

I felt slightly inadequate, being unable to go save my friends myself, 
but their assignments made sense. I didnít have much real experience in 
this field, and it was risky for me to even participate in this op. I 
quickly showered in Andrewís bedroom, and changed into my photographer 
outfit. I quickly visited makeup and ammunitions. Unfortunately, my 
only weapons allowed were some pepper spray and a pocketknife. No much, 
but any more would be suspicious. I looked at myself in the mirror. It 
was amazing what a little hair dye and makeup could do. Gone was Julie 
Yamada, typical Asian-American teenager. In her place was Riko Anjin, 
artsy, twenty-something photographer. "You look nice," Josh said, 
starling me out of my reverie. He looked pretty nice too, changed into 
Birkoffís video game T-shirt, but I didnít tell him.

"Uh, thanks." I stuttered, surprised. Usually, I heard people coming. I 
decided that being a Tomorrow Person made you quieter, too.

"My kiss?" he asked, hopefully. Like a little doggie!

"What?" I asked, confused. Hey, it happens.

"You promised, remember? Címon, itíll only take a second," I obliged 
him by giving him a quick peck on the lips. I drew back as I saw the 
girl again. A cute little lovey-dovey scene played out between the 
annoyingly sweet blond and her handsome lover. Actually, he was very 
attractive, as I soon found out. He looked like a god- every single 
part of his body was fine. Needless to say, I was treated to a very 
graphic love scene. Not the thing one needs before a mission.

"Hey Julie? Julie? Earth to Julie! Hey, Julie!" Birkoffís voice quickly 
brought me back to reality. He was shaking me, panicked. Figures. 
Birky, not Josh. I guess I had really freaked him.

"Huh?" I asked. "What happened?" I was still a bit confused.

"You like spaced out on us. What happened?" he asked, concerned. "You 
know, you donít have to go on the op if you donít want. Nikkita wonít 
mind." Yeah, but Operations would, I felt like telling him.

"No, thatís okay. Iíll tell you about it later. Letís just get this 
done with, okay?" I said, hugging him. "Iím fine." I just had lots of 
descriptions for that poor Section artist!

"If you say so," he said, returning to his usual Section coldness. I 
sighed and walked to the van. Birkoff was the only one I really 
confided in. Andrew was nice, but he was often too distracted. He was a 
nice guy, and fairly cute, but he was always busy- it seemed as if he 
was avoiding me except for training. And there he was all business. 
With Birkoff, though, I could at least open up to him a bit. And he was 
like me, in a way. We both had this amazing ability to detach from 
things; like Michael did sometimes. Take the school thing, for example. 
I should have been a wreck (like Quinn, it turned out later), but
instead, I had taken on a logical point of view. Very cold, and 
precise. Not terribly humane, but very logical. Emotion wouldnít help 
me, and was thus illogical. Of course, Madeleine closely monitored 
almost all communication, but that was to be expected. She was 
Madeleine, after all.

For this mission, I was dumped off a few blocks from the school. I 
jogged towards the school, ignoring the cameras and reporters. I stared 
at the school as if it were for the first time. In a sense, that was 
the case. I mean, I had never seen my school surrounded by police and 
media. It was like a circus. I soon set up camp, and started snapping 
away shots of the windows using my telephoto lens. Not much. Then I saw 
it. It was Ned Beckman, signaling with a mirror from a second story 
room. Of course, it would be only someone as clever as Ned who would 
think of actually doing something. Unfortunately, the pigs (I mean, 
coppers) didnít know how to read Morse code. Mentally, I thanked 
Andrew, who had insisted that I learn this dying skill. It was good to
know that someone not Immortal still knew it. I quickly translated the 
flashes. His message, of course, was pretty predictable.

"SOS (stop) AM HIDING IN SCIENCE LAB (stop) SAFE FOR NOW (stop) TWO 
INJURED (stop) ALL FRIENDS (stop)" Ned signaled. It seemed to be
a standard message, as he repeated it.

I quickly took out an extra lens to signal back. "NED THIS IS JULIE 
(stop) HELP IS COMING (stop) YOUR CONDITION (stop)." Okay, I know that
sounded unprofessional, but come on- this was not World War Two, after 
all.

Ned looked around, but gave no indication he saw me. Good, he was 
smart. "FAIR (stop) CAN PICK UP RADIO FROM HERE (stop) ARE GOING TO
SECURE FREQ BUT CAN HEAR (stop)." He had to be a bit surprised, though. 
Like Birkoff and I, he was very, well, logical. One might say cold, 
perhaps, but everything he did was completely and utterly logical.

"BRB." This was a bit of net slang, but he was a techie, so I knew he 
would understand it. I quickly pulled out my cell phone and called 
headquarters. The phone beeped for a while as a secure connection was 
established. Obviously, Section couldnít allow government scanners to 
pick things up, so we had to use major encryption.

"HQ." It was Birkoff, of course. No one else usually answered the 
phone.

"Listen, Mathew. Ned Beckman is trapped in the science lab with two 
injured friendlies. Can Newbie (that was Josh) pop in and do a rescue? 
Also, Beckman is picking up communications via a radio. Please 
advise," I said, trying to sound calm. Birkoff had to be surprised, 
too, I knew.

"Riko, this is Michelle." That was Madeleine, using her old code name. 
"Newbie will enter room with Jones (Andrew) and extract. How reliable 
is the Intel?" Well, at least Madeleine was ready for this unplanned 
contingency. It seemed that she thought of everything.

"He is signaling me using a mirror. No one else seems to be in the 
window. He is not communicating any reason for me to believe that he is 
doing this under duress. Also, no one else has spotted this yet," I 
said, looking carefully through my pocket scope. Ned was holding up 
surprisingly well for what was happening. Madeleine would certainly be 
pleased. As Birkoff often noted, Section liked calm people. Calm, 
ruthless killers, preferably.

"Acknowledged. Over and out." I continued to shoot photos like everyone 
else until Rainbow Six arrived. At that point, we media people were 
escorted off the premises, and I returned to Andrewís house. Actually, 
I got a great picture of one of them, a pretty decent-looking Mexican-
American. He saw me, but I didnít think much about it. After all, the 
guy probably saw tons of people in the crowd.

Luckily for Section, Rainbow Six proved to be as good as they were 
supposed to be. It was actually pretty amazing that they were able to 
succeed with that archaic technology they were using. Actually, I 
should note that while it was ten yeas ahead of commercial technology, 
it was also ten years behind Section equipment. Which, of course, made 
me wonder why it was so advanced, but I didnít think about it much. One 
doesnít question those things, after all.

After the op was over, I was quickly whisked to Sectionís headquarters 
for debriefing. Section, much to my surprise, was in relative chaos. 
Other operatives besides me had quickly sniffed out an inconsistency 
with our briefing, and now it was time for clarification.

"Michael, why did the government send Rainbow Six to take care of a 
domestic problem?" Andrew asked, voicing our thoughts. The rest of us 
looked expectantly.

Michael glanced over at Madeleine, who nodded and spoke. "We wanted to 
wait until we got back to tell you. Your high school, Julie, is one of 
the best public schools in the country. For this reason, many powerful 
foreigners choose to send their children there, in secret. There are 
many reasons for doing this- safety, politics, etc. The U.S. government 
knows this, and uses it often as a kind of international witness 
protection program. They are placed with foster parents, and are raised 
right here, in this typical suburban community."

"So thatís why it was an international problem!" said Birkoff, finally 
getting it. Brilliant he may be, but only if itís on a computer screen.

I looked at Andrew. He was clearly thinking the same thing I was 
thinking. There was no way this was a coincidence. "How do Ned Beckman 
and I fit in?" I asked, almost afraid to hear it.

Operations cleared the room. "This does not go outside this room, you 
hear?" Andrew, Birkoff, Nikkita, and I nodded, while Michael and 
Madeleine looked on. "Okay, Ned Beckman is actually a Section 
experiment. He is the first genetically enhanced human to be raised in 
a civilian environment. We figured the best public school would be 
good. His parents- you actually know them. Theyíre myself and 
Madeleine."

"What!" screamed Nikkita. At least one Section person was actually 
shocked. To me, it made sense. Ned was always just little too cold, a 
little too logical. Figures, I thought.

"Calm down, Nikkita," soothed Michael, grabbing her. Normally, that did 
the trick. Not this time.

"Calm down? How can I? Thatís terrible, mutating your own child. And 
who were his foster parents? Section ops, I bet!" she said bitterly. 
Michael looked at Madeleine and dragged her out of the room.

"Iíll take her to my place to cool down," he said closing the door. 
Birkoff and I snickered and looked at each other. Cool down indeed. 
Things were probably going to be pretty hot tonight.

Andrew rolled his eyes, not amused. "Anyway, to get back to the 
question, what does Julie have to do with this?" Sometimes, he had a 
one-track mind.

"Thatís the interesting part," said Madeleine. "This doctor, Benjamin 
Adams, actually found her and sent her to be raised here, again by 
foster parents. Except these parents thought she was theirs, due to 
some trickery on his part. When her aptitude tests reflected the second 
highest scores in the area- after Nedís, of course- it was decided that 
she should be raised alongside Ned, as a sort of companion. Everything 
was perfect for a while. You two quickly became friends in preschool- 
and stayed that way. It was Sectionís idea that the two of you would 
make a nice couple. Unfortunately, you both seemed to want to just be 
friends, despite our efforts."

"Ugh. Well that explains it!" I said, unable to contain myself any 
longer. I knew Section was manipulative, but this one took the cake.

"What do you mean?" asked Operations, genuinely confused.

"Well, first of all, Iíd just like to point out that Ned and I are 
friends- and just friends mind you. We both know that weíd make a 
terrible couple and we both didnít want to ruin our friendship. But to 
get back to the point, that explains why weíve always been in the same 
classes, partnered together, etc. In fact, I remember quite a few times 
when we would get locked up together, or I would be slipped that date-
rape drug while working on a project with him. Hey, was Section 
responsible for any of that?" I had to ask, even thought the answer was 
obvious.

Madeleine looked a bit guilty. "Er, yes. We tried to induce sexual 
intercourse many times, but you two always managed to avoid it! How did 
you do that?" Great, so I was a study, too.

"Umm.... fairly simple. Ned is an in-the-closet homosexual. Itís not 
that I havenít wanted him, itís just that heís gay. Problem solved." I 
couldnít believe they hadnít found that out yet.

Neither could Operations, who glared at Birkoff. "Looks like it 
is...now." Apparently, Birky had fallen down on the job. Not that 
monitoring science projects would have been that interesting.

Driving Andrew home, I noted that he had been curiously silent after 
the mention of Benjamin Adams. Okay, I know, he was normally kinda 
aloof, but totally silent- not my Andrew! "Hey, Andrew?" I asked 
tentatively.

"Mm?" Yes, he was definitely distracted.

"Whatís up with this B-" I started to say. Suddenly spurred into 
action, he quickly covered my mouth.

He leaned over and whispered in my ear, "Play along if you want to find 
out." Of course, I obliged. Curiosity is my middle name.

"Uh, this Birkoff. Why do you think Operations shot Birky that look?" I 
asked, trying to cover up my original question.

"I donít know and I donít really care," he said, suddenly moving to 
give me a kiss. I turned. This time, the car didnít swerve. Please note 
that this was the second time a guy had pulled this stunt. In one day. 
I wondered if it had been featured as move of the month in some 
magazine.

Andrew simply moved to my ear again, licking it. "Section has the car 
tapped, silly. Weíre going to play at lovers for a while so I can tell 
you, k?" This was rather unfair, since he knew my ear was ticklish.

I giggled in response. We quickly arrived at his place, and immediately 
went to the shower, the one place Section couldnít tap very well. This 
was the awkward part, being naked together. I had seen him naked 
before, and he had seen me, but there hadnít been this strange 
underlying sexual tension. This was going to be very interesting.

He grabbed the bar of soap, and began to pretend to rub me down. "Okay, 
Benjamin Adams is Adam Pierson, my mentor. He became immortal in the 
19th century, but Section thinks ĎAdam Piersoní became immortal during 
his time here in the Watchers."

"Wait a second. Adam Pierson joins when I was born. If he was immortal, 
he could only stay for ten years, tops. If you were his student, then 
you must have been here for what, a few years before that. Yet, youíre 
only in your early twenties," I said, trying to think about the 
conversation, and not him in the shower with me. "Iím eighteen." Of 
course, I didnít mention that this meant that I was an adult, and not 
subject to statuatory rape laws in this state. Not that I was thinking 
about that or anything.

"Okay, confession time," he said, pulling me close to him. "Iím 
immortal too, and I was before I entered the Watchers."

"Josh told me- he sensed it," I confessed.

"What? Who else did he tell?" Andrew dropped the soap. We continued to 
stand there, staring at each other, the soap forgotten.

"No one but me. Now, I want the whole story. What exactly happened?" I 
asked.

"Okay. So Adam Pierson has just been created, and has joined the 
Watchers as the head researcher of the Methos Project. One day, a baby 
just shows up on his doorstep out of the blue. Now this got him 
thinking. He realizes that he wonít be able to stay in the Watchers 
forever, but wants to keep tabs on other immortals. So he decides to 
raise you, and someday induct you into the organization. Now hereís 
where things go wrong. He becomes friends with Duncan MacLeod. Being 
friends with him, as you know, attracts a great deal of trouble. Adam 
decides his cover is getting pretty shaky so he does two things. First, 
he finds a couple whose infant is ill. The girl dies, but they donít 
know that, as Adam switches babies, and the coupleís girl is suddenly
better. A little adjusting of the records and all is well on that end. 
Second, he recruits me. Now, I was just kicking around after the 
intelligence cutbacks in the 80ís, so I agree. Besides, Adam destroyed 
my old cover by killing me in public, so I kinda needed something else 
to do. My function is basically to keep Adam informed after heís gone, 
and to recruit you. Meanwhile, Adamís cover is broken, and he flees to 
Tibet. This sets into motion a chain of events that allow Section to 
take over the Watchers. Madeleine actually pinpoints you as a possible 
recruit, and actively begins her little matchmaking scheme that 
ultimately fails. So I suggest that we recruit a group from Nedís 
school to do expressly Watcher activities. She agrees. Meanwhile, Quinn 
accidentally hacks into the system, so he is recruited early. Then, you 
followed Jack, and we had to move to recruit you."

I leaned against the side of the shower. "Oh my God. Wow. That's why 
Adam would go through so much effort for some little baby he found on 
his doorstep. That's why my participation was so necessary, I'm a pre-
immortal !" I was in shock, but I was still thinking at least a little 
clearly.

He hesitated for a second. "Josh told you that too?"

"No. He did say something about how I felt- psychically, that is. Iím 
different somehow. Put together with the foundling thing. Shit. 
Figures, right before the Gathering. You sure?" I had learned enough 
about immortals to know that it was not a nice life. Swords, death- 
ugh.

"Yep. Sorry to disappoint you, but youíre going to die soon." Andrew 
knew as well as I that with the Gathering so close, I didnít stand a 
snowballís chance in hell.

"Okay. Thanks. But everyone dies, eventually." Right on cue, the hot 
water ran out. I reached over Andrew and turned off the water. We stood 
there, dripping with water, just looking at each other. I donít know 
how long we were there. We didnít speak. We didnít need to. All we had 
to do was look at each other and we knew. Things were not looking up.

We both remembered about the surveillance, of course. There was so much 
more to say, but after a shower like that, it would set off quite a few
alarms if it werenít followed by the expected. So of course, we did it. 
To not do it was unthinkable. So we put on a great show for Birky, 
whose wonderful duty it was to watch this shit. It was just what we had 
trained for, after all. But of course, we had other things on our 
minds. The sex was secondary. Actually, I should note that it was 
pretty good sex. As I had suspected, immortality led to the good sex 
techniques. It just that we were putting on a show, that everything was 
false. It scared me that my life had come to this.

The next morning, I found a trail of footprints leading down to the 
beach. I pulled on one of his shirts (I had lost my clothes last night 
somehow) and ran down there. I found Andrew waiting for me. "You up for 
some skinny dipping?"

I nodded, seeing immediately why- Section wouldnít be able to monitor 
our conversation, even with their numerous bugs. We immediately 
stripped and went into the water. We swam out to a buoy and resumed our 
conversation.

"Iím sorry about last night. I had to tell you, and I wasnít thinking 
clearly. Itís my fault for putting you in that position," said Andrew.

"Itís okay, I guess. I canít think of any other way as well. I mean, 
look where we are. Besides, I kinda enjoyed it," I said frankly.

"You did?" He was clearly surprised.

"Didnít you?" I asked.

"Well, yes, but I...oh. You did?" The truth finally dawned on him.

"I said that already," I laughed.

"Hmm. You want to do it again?" he asked mischievously.

"Yes- but I want it to be real this time. Not just for Birky," I said.

"Agreed," he laughed. "Okay, now where we?"

"You. Tell me about your past."

"Well, I was born shortly before the turn of the century. My parents 
were archaeologists on the East Coast. We traveled here and there and
everywhere, but after Mum died, me and Dad kinda drifted apart. When I 
heard about the war in Europe, I had to join in. I went to Belgium and 
joined the Belgian army, even if I wasnít quite 18- okay I was barely 
17...." He spent the rest of the afternoon in major flashback mode.

That night, of course, we got the call. Section was done with the rest 
of the interrogations, and wanted to start things moving. Michael and 
Nikkita came to pick us up, so Andrew and I had no time to say anything 
else. We were practically dragged into the meeting room. Ops and Maddy 
awaited us, it appeared.

"Birkoff tells me you two had aÖrelaxing day to wind down. Okay, hereís 
whatís been happening. Josh has told Nikkita his plan for locating the 
Tomorrow Person. Operations and I agree that his plan is sufficient. He 
will be stationed on the island, subject only to your control. You two 
will be responsible for locating the girl, and bringing her under our 
control," Madeleine said, handing us Joshís profile and control pad.

"Second, Ned will work with Birkoff on communications. Though we feel 
Birkoff may have other intentions, it is true that his workload is 
getting to be too much, even for Birkoff. Ned is intelligent enough to 
assist him in monitoring our main communications. Michael will train 
him as well to be a field op, as his genetic enhancement renders him 
more capable of field operation communication than Birkoff," added 
Operations coolly. I wondered if it annoyed him to have to be number 
two behind Madeleine on this.

"How did Ned react to learning of his genetic enhancement?" I had to 
know this, even if it wasnít my business.

"Actually, he took it rather well. His genetic enhancements also 
included modification of his emotions, so that is no surprise as well. 
He is exhibiting mild shock, but that, too, is to be expected," 
admitted Madeleine. She seemed to be in an especially good mood about 
this.

"Quinn is in the med-center, recovering from his injuries still. We 
have decided to transfer him to communications under Birkoff, in order 
to beef up his section," continued Operations. "Erin and James, on the 
other hand, will continue according to our previous plans, training as 
part of your special unit of Watchers. Julie, you are promoted to the 
position of the teamís XO."

"And as for your sexual relationship, it will be allowed. Michael and 
Nikkita have shown us that we do have to loosen up a bit around here. 
And now, we have to ask you- how are you reacting, Julie, to the 
incident?" asked Maddy, who was, after all, the people person.

I flinched. "Um, okay, I guess. As long as I donít think about it, I 
can emotionally detach. I havenít really dwelled upon it." I left it at 
that. There was more to it than that, but they didnít need to know 
that.

"That was expected. You may go now, but if you have any emotional 
problems, come talk to me," Madeleine said, smiling coldly. I wondered 
if she was ever really happy. I left her office and went downstairs to 
the communications center, where Birkoff and Ned were busily at work.

"Hi guys," I said, sitting down in a nearby chair. "Whatís up?"

Birkoff yelped. I had never seen him yelp before. "Uh, hi Julie. I was 
just, er, showing Nick the system. For his new job." His agitation was 
very evident.

"Yeah, sure. You expect me to believe that? You guys look like youíve 
been here all night. What are you looking at?" I pushed his hands away 
from the screen, revealing live video feed of Michael and Nikkita, 
still at it.

"Thatís amazing. How long have they been at it?" Section had been 
especially thorough at Nikkitaís place- there were four different 
angles on his screen. I wondered if it was because of her 
rebelliousness or because she looked like a model. Probably both, I 
decided.

"Ever since they got to her apartment, with brief breaks in between." 
Birkoff knew the jig was up.

"How was the coverage at Andrewís?" I knew by the look on their faces 
what else they had been watching, and it was useless for anyone to deny 
it.

"Not too good. You guys like it hot. The water, I mean. The steam 
fogged the bathroom cameras up. But the bedroom, er, activities were 
covered by two cameras. Youíre not disturbed by any of this?" asked 
Ned, clearly disturbed.

"Not really. I sort of realized Birky would be watching. It was rather 
illogical of me to assume that you would not see it as well. And you, 
how are you doing, Ned?" I said, turning off the monitors. Our 
superiorsí antics would only serve as a distraction, and they could 
review the info later. If there was anything there, which I highly 
doubted.

"About Michael and Nikkita, you and Andrew, Section, the Watchers, Josh 
being a Tomorrow Person, Quinn, Erin and James, or the terrorist event?
Quite a lot has happened since we last talked, you know. Itís good to 
know thereís a reason why you have been blowing me off recently," he 
answered. We all walked to the cafeteria without a word. The halls were 
bugged, of course. The cafeteria would be too loud to be overheard, and 
less suspicious than the communications room. Besides, it was 
dinnertime at Section.

"About all of that, actually," I said, glad of Nedís precise 
categorizing of everything. Again, we remained silent while we loaded 
our trays. Selecting a table, we continued our conversation.

"Well, the Michael and Nikkita thing was no shock. They have an almost 
animal magnetism. You and Andrew, I have to admit, was a bit of a 
surprise. Birkoff told me that you two were not a couple, yet you were 
very intimate last night. Why?" Of course, he proceeded methodically 
through the list. This was one of the reasons I got along with both 
Birkoff and him. They both were very intelligent, and had the same sort 
of cynical sense of humor as I.

"I suppose it was just waiting to happen. He is rather cute, after all. 
And I wanted to talk about what happened. It was my first kills, you 
know," I said, biting into my roast beef sandwich. Although Birkoff 
prefered junk foods, and Ned prefered nutritious, I liked a mixture of 
both.

"We assumed as much. Congratulations on your kills, by the way. That 
was better than some experienced Section snipers do. That Andrew was 
assigned as your trainer implied that the inevitable would happen 
sometime," said Birky, expertly breaking an Oreo into two equal cookies 
with crŤme on top.

Ned choked on his lowfat milk. "You mean Iím supposed to sleep with 
Birkoff?" he asked, trying to regain his composure.

I snickered. "No, not right now. Being assigned someone as your trainer 
means that you are uniquely suited for one another. This relationship 
also leads to many teacher-student sexual relationships, some of them 
at the behest of Maddy," I answered, noting that Birkoff had obviously 
not though about that yet. Despite his experience at Section, Nikkita 
had said that he had never had a student before. Also, his similarity 
in age was also contributing to his discomfort.

By now, Birkoff had also recovered. He quickly changed the subject. 
"How do you feel about Section and the Watchers?" he asked, after 
taking a long swig of Pepsi. Nothing like caffeine to keep you going.

"I think Section is a good idea, especially in light of the widespeard 
corruption in the governenment. Their methods are a little unorthodox, 
but they are in a way very logical. Also, the Watchers is a very 
interesting concept. I would like to examine the archives sometime to 
learn about the real past. I also would like proof that these people 
exist. It seems a bit impossible to me," he said, thinking hard. He too 
seemed to have mixed feelings, but for lack of anything better to do, 
here he was. I idly wondered what that said about our society in 
general. Did we have no real purpose in our lives?

"And the others?" I had decided that the curry chicken salad was 
especially good today, and wanted to eat it.

"Josh is a bit of a puzzle. Despite having irrefutable proof that he is 
what he says he is, that is a bit hard to believe as well. I agree with 
his idea though. It would be more logical this way. Speaking of which, 
have the Section movers relocated your things yet?"

He asked, telling me he knew that I had been moved to Andrewís house. I 
was not complaining or anything.

"I think they are scheduled to do that tomorrow. Joshís stuff takes 
priority, as I have to send him off tomorrow morning. What do you think 
of Quinn and the others?"

I asked. He was in a surprisingly candid mood, and I was determined to 
get as much out of this as possible.

"Well, Quinn is okay, I suppose. It was a bit of a surprise to find out 
about him, but he seems to be fine. Does he know?" he asked, anxiously 
nibbling on a carrot stick.

"What, that youíre gay, or that youíre genetically enhanced?" Birkoff 
asked, biting into a nacho.

"You know?" Ned asked me, surprised at my absence of reaction.

"I found out about it last night," I said, meaning the genetic bit. I 
had known about the other since ninth grade.

"Oh. Well, both I guess," he said, thoughtfully.

"No, on both counts," said Birkoff. "No one but us and the top brass 
know about us." The sugar, obviously, was starting to take effect. His 
sentences were getting illogical.

"Huh? Donít you mean just him? Iím not gay," I said confused. Did this 
mean Birkoff was gay too? Maybe Ned would sleep with him after all.

"No, but youíre genetically enhanced too. Just like us. You didnít 
know?" asked Birkoff, confused. Clearly, this was news to him. Maybe he 
thought I ranked higher than him or something.

"Hell no! Youíve got to be kidding, right? How long have you known 
this?" I asked, freaked. This was too weird. I wondered if there was 
something in my iced tea.

"Since last night, actually. But we assumed thatís what Andrew was 
telling you in the shower. Operations declassified those files about 
Nick. I noticed some similarities and hacked into the general genetic 
enhancement files. We three were all enhanced exactly three months 
apart. Me first, then Ned, then you. There was another girl, but she 
was overly psychic and died from too much input a few days later. At 
that point, Section decided to discontinue their enhancements, and 
study us. I was placed in Section to be raised in this atmosphere. You 
two were placed on the outside. And here we are again. Reunited," said 
Birkoff bitterly, ceasing his attack upon a pizza. "except for that 
other baby girl, lying dead in her grave because of Sectionís 
meddling."

"Thatís pretty sick, even for Section. They probably cremated her, 
though. Itís the law, you know. With babies, I mean. I donít know what 
else to say. I think this is more shocking than anything else I have 
ever heard. Are you sure of the veracity of this document?" I managed 
to say, thinking hard. I too had stopped eating abruptly.

"One hundred percent. Besides, we can see it without it anyway. We all 
think alike, are very logical, and have little emotional response. We 
all are very intelligent, creative, and athletic. The perfect agents," 
concluded Ned. "Section made us the perfect agents, you realize."

END