First Mission
(Transcribed by Karen Hay)


Written:                        Peter Mohan and Jim Henshaw
Directed:                       Guy Magar

Vizcano                 Janet Kidder
Peter Stark                     Diego Chambers
Taylor                          Peter Mensah
Mentz                           Neno Vojinovit
Rolf Prager                     Will Corno
1st Assistant           Peter McDougal
2nd Assistant           Amanda da Silva

B = Birkoff     1A = 1st Assistant (Operative)     M = Michael     MA =
MZ = Mentz     N = Nikita     O = Operations      P = Prager      S =
2A = Second Assistant (Operative)     V = Vizcano     W = Walter


Section is jumping.  It looks like everyone is trying to do three things
at the same time.  Operations is talking to his favorite phone pal -

        [O]     We're stretched as thin as it is, George. ...  Use the
Agency. ...  I know, but they'll have to do. ....

[Doesn't George ever call and just ask "how's tricks"?]  An Operative
interrupts to announce an incoming call.

        [1A]    The Premier's on Line Three.

        [O]     George, I'll get back to you.

Operations no sooner hangs up on George, when another Operative tells
him of another incoming call.

        [2A]    White House on Line Two.

Operations quickly takes this call.

        [O]     Yes sir. ...

As Operations walks away, engrossed in the call, focus switches to
Birkoff, who is taking a call about an ongoing Mission.

        [B]     Are you sure?

Birkoff calls Michael over to update him on information he just

        [B]     Michael ..., Norwood says we've lost the entire South
African Team.

Michael doesn't stop, just slows down long enough to issue instructions.

        [M]     I want a full report before midnight.

Michael continues on, as Birkoff relays the order to Norwood.

        [B]     Full report ..., on Michael desk ..., midnight.

Michael stops in front of a keyboard located below a transparent monitor
and quickly begins keying in information.  Operations joins him.

        [O]     We need a Team Leader ..., for the Stark Operation.

        [M]     We're tapped out.

Michael calls up an organizational flow chart of all Operatives.

        [O]     Dual request, highest levels.  We'll reassign Kolcheck.

        [M]     We're still short.

        [O]     Grecko, when he returns from South Africa.

Michael meets Operations' glance.

        [M]     Grecko's not coming back.

This throws Operations for a moment, then he gives another order.

        [O]     Check contingency.

Michael calls up the Contingency List.  The face and name that appears
catch both men by surprise.


Nikita takes a seat.  Michael and Operations are standing in front of
her.  She has obviously been called in for a special reason.  Operations
initiates the reason for the meeting.  As he paces filling Nikita in,
Michael and Nikita study each other.

        [O]     You'll be leading a Mission.  Assess, plan, prep, field
command.  It's three years ahead of the usual curve, but it can't be
helped.  You'll learn as you go.  We'll give you what help we can, but
in the end you'll be judged by the same standards ... as everyone else.

        [M]     You understand this is a level of responsibility beyond
anything you've experienced before?

        [N]     I can handle it.

Operations stops next to Nikita's chair.

        [O]     It's no secret you tend to take your own approach to
things.  On some occasions it may even work.  But this is not one of
them!  Do things by the book, they're for a reason.

Nikita says nothing, but her expression indicates Operations has hit
home.  Operations resumes pacing as he fills her in on the Mission.

        [O]     A man named Peter Stark has been buying spent fuel rods
from reactors in Eastern Europe.  We want to know his methods and
sources, so take him alive.  I need a Mission Profile by 7:00 tomorrow
morning.  Staffing, logistics, probabilities, contingencies.

        [N]     You'll have it.

Operations is now standing beside Michael at the window.

        [O]     That's all.

Nikita realizes she has been dismissed and leaves.  Both men stare after
her.  Michael's protective shackles are rising as he sees problems ahead
for Nikita.  [Could he be against this for another reason?  This does
effectively put Nikita just a tad further out of Michael's total

        [M]     She has no idea what's she getting into.  I'm not sure
she's ready.

        [O]     She'll have to be.

With that short exit line, Operations leaves Michael to his thoughts.


Nikita is with Birkoff drawing up a Mission Profile.  As she keys in
data she sips from a glass cup of tea [I think].  Birkoff is seated
behind her at his computer.  As he reviews the data, she pushes her seat
back to see what he has pulled up.

        [B]     This is Stark's compound in the Ukraine.  Cameras ...
motion detectors ..., pressure sensors built in the wall.

As Birkoff speaks, Nikita happens to glance up and sees Michael stop and
briefly speak with a female Operative.  She notices that even when he
walks away, he stills holds the woman's attention.  This breaks her
concentration for a moment, before she pulls it back to Birkoff.

        [N]     A direct assault may not be the answer.  Check his
movements over the next 48 hours.

Nikita rolls her chair back to her computer to key in data, but is
distracted when Michael joins her.

        [M]     How are you holding up?

Nikita barely looks up as she answers.

        [N]     There's a lot to do.

Michael glances down at her screen to check her progress.

        [M]     Need help?

Again, Nikita only briefly looks up.

        [N]     No, thanks.  I'll ... I'll manage.

Michael seems to be struggling against his need to control.  [I don't
know if Nikita is ready to be a Team Leader, but Michael is definitely
not ready to disengage any of the controls over Nikita then he has
already.  Being a Team Leader means Nikita would choose who to work (and
interact) with, not Michael.]

        [M]     Have you picked your Team yet?

        [N]     I was just about to.

Nikita quickly accesses a screen of available Operatives and makes her

        [N]     Taylor ..., Mentz ..., Vizcano. ...

Nikita stops and looks up at Michael when she notes that Vizcano was the
female Operative Michael had just been speaking to.

        [N]     Wasn't that Vizcano you were just talking to a minute

        [M]     Yes.

        [N]     She assigned to your Team?

        [M]     No, she's available.

        [N]     Good.  She's got experience ..., I'll take her.

Birkoff walks up and hands Nikita a computer CD.

        [B]     I have a first cut at Stark's itinerary.  I'll refine it

Nikita, in turn, hands Birkoff a small CD with accompanying

        [N]     Great.  Here ..., assemble the Team.  Ummm ..., have
them meet me outside Systems in an hour.

        [B]     Got it.

Birkoff leaves, but this last instruction has Michael questioning

        [M]     Why?

        [N]     Why what?

        [M]     Why assemble the Team?

Nikita continues typing as she answers Michael.

        [N]     It'll give them a chance to meet ..., understand what is
going on.

Michael is unable to keep his thoughts on this action to himself.

        [M]     That's a mistake.

Nikita looks up at this comment.

        [M]     Tell them only what they need to know. ...  Establish

Michael turns to walk away, when Nikita, while continuing to study the
computer screen, makes a cynical retort.

        [N]     In other words, treat them like animals.

Michael turns and trades looks with Nikita.

        [M]     Animals with guns.

Michael leaves before Nikita can think up a reply.


Nikita looks over Taylor, Mentz and Vizcano as she discusses the
upcoming Mission with them.  She quickly finds that she doesn't have the
'full backing' of one of her picked Team.

        [N]     The plan hasn't been finalized, but we expect heavy
action ..., so arm accordingly.  Briefing's in thirty minutes.

Vizcano makes a skeptical sound.

        [N]     Problem, Vizcano?

        [V]     The Briefing's in thirty minutes, and the plan's not

        [N]     The time frame's very tight.  It can't be helped.

Nikita makes a point of meeting all her Team's gazes.

        [N]     The point is, if we all do our jobs, we can accomplish
the Mission and come back alive.  But we must work together. ...  Okay?

Nikita only gets a smart-alick retort from Vizcano before she walks

        [V]     That was beautiful.  Excuse me while I go find a

Nikita briefly looks down, realizing she's come out the loser in this
little get-together.  Her other Team members just smile in amusement and


Michael joins Operations, handing him Nikita's Profile on the Stark
Mission.  [I think it interesting that this episode infers that Nikita
profiled the Mission, but several past and (for the U.S.) future
episodes implied OR stated that this task is the responsibility of
Section Profilers.]

        [O]     Nikita's Mission plan?

        [M]     Yes, I thought you should see it before the Briefing.

        [O]     How's she doing?

        [M]     She doesn't take advice.  It's risky promoting her

        [O]     (SMILES) You were promoted early.

        [M]     That was different.

        [O]     Yes, there aren't many like you.

Michael looks at Operations a minute, then turns to leave.  However,
Operations has reached the point in the Profile that listed the Team

        [O]     Vizcano's on the Team?

Michael turns and answers.

        [M]     That's right.

        [O]     How much does Nikita know about her?

        [M]     Not much.

Operations and Michael trade looks - it is obvious that both men know
something about Vizcano that Nikita does not - before Operations nods
his head, dismissing Michael.


Operations has assembled the Team to discuss the upcoming Mission.  He
pulls up a blue screen of Stark as he speaks.

        [O]     Peter Stark. ...  A minor player in the arms trade ...,
but with a rapidly increasing profile.  He's moving a shipment from
storage to a sale point.  You'll intercept and acquire him ... alive.

        [V]     Ah, excuse me.  We don't have a point of sale?

        [O]     Not a precise one.

        [V]     Is that an ... Intel failure?

As Vizcano says this, she looks over at Nikita.  Vizcano is obviously
trying to cause trouble.  Nikita merely looks down, holding her tongue.

        [O]     Given the time constraints, no.

        [V]     Making an acquisition in transit is obviously a mistake.

        [N]     You don't know what you're talking about.

        [O]     Quiet, both of you!  The Mission is set.  It will be
carried out as profiled.

Operations, having said his piece, leaves.  The male portion of the Team
quickly leave the table, leaving Vizcano and Nikita to stare at each
other, before Vizcano gives her a wise-ass smile and also saunters away.
Nikita remains seated, knowing that, once more, Vizcano has come out
ahead - and wondering if she will be able to pull this Mission off.


Michael, with his returning Team, pass Nikita and her Team as they are

        [M]     All set?

        [N]     All set.

Michael has already passed Nikita, when she stops, turns and asks a

        [N]     Michael, did you happen to have a chance to look over
the Mission Profile?

Michael turns back to speak with Nikita.

        [M]     Yes.

        [N]     What did you think?

Now that it's time to go, Nikita needs reassurance - Vizcano's taunts
are starting to eat away at her self-confidence.  Michael, however,
forces her to stand on her own and refuses to give any confidence

        [M]     It doesn't matter what I think.

It's at this point that Vizcano passes by both of them, and Nikita
watches as Michael and Vizcano trade brief looks.  She realizes Michael
is not going to say anything more and follows her Team into the portal's
inner corridor.  As the door to the outside corridor shuts behind her,
she give some her Team additional instructions.

        [N]     We hit the target site in 75 minutes.  You've all seen
the Topo maps.  I need the Red Team ...

Vizcano purposely turns her head and starts a whispered conversation
with Taylor.

        [N]     ...  Vizcano, pay attention.

Mentz looks over and watches as Vizcano, once more, pointedly ignores

        [N]     Vizcano!

Vizcano, reluctantly, turns back to Nikita.

        [N]     You'll cover the southern egress and then take out the

Nikita looks at the other two Team members.

        [N]     ... Mentz, Taylor, delay ..., engage on command.

With that, Nikita joins them in the elevator accessing the van and the
door slides shut.


A canvas covered truck is traveling along a deserted road.  The
surrounding countryside is snow covered.


Vizcano is concealed next to a small bridge, holding a long-range rifle.
As the truck nears, she takes aim at the driver's head.

        [V]     Target's in sight.


Nikita is sitting inside the van, overseeing the Mission from her

        [N]     Take out the driver.


Vizcano is ready to pull the trigger when she notices something behind
the truck.

        [V]     There's a second truck.


        [N]     Proceed as planned.


Vizcano argues this decision with Nikita.

        [V]     This is outside Mission parameters, we should abort.


        [N]     Take out the driver ..., now.


Vizcano studies the jeep following the truck for a second more, before
turning her attention back to the truck.  She aims, then realizes she
waited too long and the truck is out of range.


        [V]     (VOICE)  Target out of range.

        [N]     Okay.  Taylor and Mentz, its up to you.  Go ... now.


Taylor and Mentz see the truck crossing the bridge and take aim.


Vizcano moves to join the men.


As the truck reaches the other side of the bridge the men open fire.
The truck's driver and the men occupying the jeep get out and return
fire.  The Team manages to take out two of the accompanying guards, but
Stark takes cover behind the bridge's cement frame.  [What IS it about
Section foes having no hair?]]  As he witnesses the gunplay he pulls a
cylindrical grenade from his coat pocket, pulls the pin and tosses it in
the back of the truck.  The truck, and its cargo, go up in a ball of
flame.  In the resulting confusion, Stark and his last remaining guard
manage to get away in the jeep.


Nikita sees that Stark has escaped and contacts Birkoff.

        [N]     Birkoff, Target's heading east.  We need fallbacks.


        [B]     I'm on it.


Nikita pulls off her Comm Link and leaves the van.


The rest of the Team can only stand and watch the truck burn, knowing
that they failed their main objective - to capture Stark (and the spent
fuel rods).


Nikita is getting an oral lashing from Operations due to the failed
Mission.  They both watch as a portion of her Team crosses the Common
Area below them.

        [O]     The hostile force was eliminated, but the Target
escaped.  Reason for the failure?

        [N]     The assault was poorly coordinated.

        [O]     Obviously.  I'm asking why!

        [N]     I take full responsibility.  It won't happen again.

Operations slowly walks around Nikita.

        [O]     According to the Mission tapes, Vizcano disobeyed a
direct order.

        [N]     She substituted her judgment for the Mission Profile.

Operations' back is to Nikita when he asks this next question.

        [O]     Do you recommend Abeyance?

Nikita stares at Operations' back, as she thinks a moment.

        [N]     No.

This answer has Operations turning and staring at Nikita.

        [O]     Why not?

        [N]     Because I don't think an Operative should be cancelled
for one mistake.

Operations again starts to pace.

        [O]     If  you've read her jacket ... you know it's not the
first time.  You say you take responsibility, but the truth is you're
avoiding it.  A bad Operative is worse than none.

Nikita refuses to look at Operation, just stares out over Section.

        [N]     It is possible that the Profile was flawed.  You
questioned it yourself.

        [O]     Once a Profile is activated, there are no unauthorized

Nikita and Operations are now facing one another, but Nikita is looking
everywhere but Operations' face.

        [N]     I won't order a cold-blooded murder.

        [O]     Even if she'd be happy ordering yours?

Now Nikita meets Operations' stare.

        [N]     That's right.

        [O]     This is not a scout troop, Nikita.  There are no merit
badges for fair play.

        [N]     Like I said, I'll take ... responsibility ... whatever
it is.

        [O]     Yes ..., you will.  That'll be all.

Nikita quickly swallows as she hears the threat in Operations' voice,
then leaves.  Operations' gaze is sharp and hard as he watches her exit.


Nikita and Birkoff are devising another way to complete the Mission.

        [B]     Since the attack, Stark has burrowed under pretty deep.
There's no sign of him.

        [N]     Associates?

        [B]     This is the most promising ..., Rolf Prager.

Birkoff pulls Prager's profile up.

        [B]     He's got at least three deals in progress with Stark.
He's bound to know where he is.

        [N]     So we just grab Prager and, hopefully, he can help us
find Stark. ...  This is getting complicated.

        [B]     That's what happens when the prime Mission fails.

        [N]     What do you have on Prager?

        [B]     He's based here.

Birkoff pulls up a schematic of an office building.

        [B]     It looks like an office building.  Security is tight.

        [N]     Technology or personnel?

        [B]     Both.  They have an integral alarm system that can't be
deactivated.  It'll go off the moment you breach the parameters.

        [N]     Okay.  Pull it up, Birkoff.

Birkoff punches up a holograph of the building.  Nikita slowly circles
the holograph table, studying the plans closely.  When she crouches down
to get a better perspective, Birkoff brings up another subject.

        [B]     Nikita ..., you can't afford another failure.

Nikita briefly meets Birkoff gaze, before returning to studying the

        [N]     I know.

Birkoff closes the hologram and stands, knowing he's bringing up a
touchy subject.

        [B]     ... And if Vizcano is the problem, maybe you should get
rid of her.

Nikita also stands.

        [N]     Did Operations put you up to this?

        [B]     He didn't have to. ...  I saw Vizcano's file.

        [N]     I've seen it too.

        [B]     Not the personnel file ..., the psych file.

After dropping this little 'bombshell,' Birkoff turns to leave Systems.
Nikita, however, calls his bluff.

        [N]     Well, what about it?

Birkoff stops in the open doorway and turns back to face Nikita.

        [B]     She's in love with Michael.  She's fixated on him.  She
tried to kill herself last year.

After leaving this choice bit of news, Birkoff makes a swift exit
(obviously knowing that this will bring on a confrontation between
Nikita and Michael).  Nikita is left pondering this new - and
enlightening - information.


Michael is at his computer when Nikita pays him a visit.  Before she
enters his office, she stares at him a moment through his window.
Michael looks up briefly when Nikita enters and recloses the door, then
returns to his work.

        [N]     You could have told me.

        [M]     About what?

Nikita approaches his desk, her look accusing.

        [N]     You know what!

Nikita leans her hands on Michael's desk and stares at him.

        [N]     Vizcano.

Michael says nothing, just continues to type - until Nikita reaches over
and covers the keyboard with her hand.

        [N]     Why didn't you tell me?

Nikita now has Michael's attention, but does not receive the answer she
was expecting.

        [M]     I didn't think it was important.

        [N]     Not important?

Michael is still looking at his computer screen.

        [M]     Suppose you'd known.  What would you have done?

        [N]     I'd have picked someone else.

Michael now meets Nikita's glare.

        [M]     That's why I didn't tell you.

While Nikita is still reeling from this answer, he codes off, stands and
moves toward the door.  Before he reaches it, however, Nikita leans on
the wall next to the door, blocking his exit.

        [N]     What?

        [M]     The best thing that could happen to a Team leader is tohave a rebellious Operative.

        [N]     Why?

        [M]     Because if you control that Operative, you control the
Team. ...  That's why I chose you for so many Missions ..., early on.

[I find it intriguing that Michael needed Nikita to know that this
reason for picking her had changed relatively early on.  I wonder if the
new reason for choosing Nikita was because she was a good Operative ...,
or if Mr. Control Freak just enjoyed having her under his direct

        [N]     Because if you kept me in line, the others would follow.

        [M]     That's right.

After exchanging looks with Nikita, he opens the door and walks out,
leaving Nikita leaning on the wall, eyes closed, trying to absorb what
she's just heard.  After a moment, however, Michael returns.

        [M]     Can I give you a piece of advice?

Nikita meets his gaze only briefly before staring straight ahead -
obviously preparing for another bombshell.

        [N]     Go ahead.

        [M]     It's best to be ruthless.  But, if you're not ..., its
essential to appear that way.

Nikita turns her head and meets Michael look.

        [N]     Is that your secret, Michael?  You just appear to be

Michael, of course, says nothing, just departs, leaving Nikita to try to
being some sense to the jumble of information she's just received.

        [N]     (SIGHS)


Nikita joins Walter, who is tinkering on something at his workbench.

        [N]     Hi, Walter.  Are the new scopes ready?

        [W]     Just about.  How you holding up?

        [N]     All right.  The last Mission didn't go too well.

        [W]     Well, all that matters is the final score.  You get the
fuel rods ..., all is forgiven.

        [N]     And if I don't get the fuel rods?

        [W]     All won't be forgiven.

        [N]     What do you think they'll do to me?

Walter looks up at this little 'pondering.'

        [W]     They'll think of something.

Nikita thinks a moment, then decides to picks Walter's brain about
something else.

        [N]     Walter, what do you know about Vizcano?

        [W]     Vizcano ..., or Vizcano and Michael?

With this one little aside Walter shows he knows exactly why Nikita is
asking the question.  He keeps tinkering on his gadget as he continues.

        [W]     ...  She tried to kill herself.

After this little aside, Walter briefly looks up and meets Nikita's

        [W]     Some people say it was over him.

        [N]     You don't think so?

        [W]     I ... guess if someone wants to die, one reason is as
good as another. ...  Personally, being in love always made me want to

Nikita looks off into space as she asks a question that has been
troubling her about her own relationship with Michael.

        [N]     Even in the end you knew you couldn't have the one you

Walter pauses a moment to think, then gives her a "Walter" answer.

        [W]     I guess that all depends on what you value more:  the
journey ... or the destination.

This gives Nikita pause for a moment, before she gives Walter a "Nikita"

        [N]     Walter, sometimes I don't know if you are incredibly
wise or just really full of crap!

They stare at each other, then -

        [W]     Yeah.  I have the same problem myself.  (PLAYFUL SNARL)
Get out of here!

Nikita also breaks into a smile.

        [W]     ... Back to work!


Vizcano is heading the Team members as they walk toward Van Access.
Nikita is bringing up the rear, giving last minute instructions.  Like
the first time, Vizcano is ignoring her.  This time, it is Mentz she
continues talking to while Nikita tries to brief them.

        [N]     We'll be on site in ninety minutes.  You've seen the
schematics.  The alarm will go off ...

Nikita stops and quietly call Vizcano's name.

        [V]     Vizcano.

Vizcano turns, obviously annoyed that Nikita has interrupted her

        [V]     What ....?

Before she can get more than one word out, Nikita decks Vizcano with a
right jab to the head.  When she falls to the floor, Nikita quickly
climbs on top of her and holds a knife to Vizcano's throat.  It's
apparent that one move on Vizcano's part and the knife will draw blood.
Nikita proceeds to map out Vizcano's possible 'options.'

        [N]     The Mission was planned for four ..., but if you'd
rather stay here, we'll get by with three.  You coming or not?

        [V]     I'm coming.

Nikita holds the knife a tad closer as she reiterates the question.

        [N]     Are you sure?

        [V]     Yes ..., I'm sure.

When Nikita removes the knife, she doesn't let go of the pressure, so it
leaves a thin trail of blood where it cuts Vizcano's skin.  Both men
notice and trade looks.  Nikita obviously is no one to mess around with.
Nikita gets off Vizcano and both women regain their feet, Vizcano wiping
blood off her neck.  Nikita now wrests back the alpha position, laying
down the law to her Team.

        [N]     When I talk, everyone shuts up and listens.  No one
questions the plan or any modifications I may make during the course of
the Mission.  Understood?

All Team members, including Vizcano, nod their agreement.

        [N]     Good.  Let's roll.

Unnoticed by any of the Team, several Operatives had stopped at the
other end of the hall to watch the 'confrontation' between the two
women.  Nikita lags a little behind the others as they walk through the
portal to Van Access, seeming to take a moment to gather her strength
before joining the rest of her Team.  This was a hard thing for her to


All Team members approach the door the Profile has marked for ingress.
Everyone is masked.

        [V]     (VOICE)  Okay, we're going in.

Mentz is first at the door, quickly soldering off the lock.  Once the
door is open, he waits for his other Team members to enter before
following them in.


Mentz is also first to enter the room adjoining the entrance, an general
administrative-type office, scaring the janitor on duty [NOTE:  Goateed
man is playing part of janitor].

        [MZ]    Get out of here!

The janitor quickly takes Mentz's advice and disappears into one of the
back rooms.


The Team quickly work their way down the connecting hallway, opening
each door to check for possible occupants.  Both men have removed their
masks  They reach Room 21 before they meet and draw fire from one of
Prager's men.  Mentz manages to take him out.


Meanwhile, Nikita now enters, gun drawn.


Vizcano enters the main laboratory in a crouch, letting the door give
her as much protection and camouflage as possible.  She quickly checks
the room, realizes it is deserted, and infiltrates deeper into the room.
Once she has reached the wall connecting the main lab with branched out
offices, Vizcano pulls off her mask.  She is crouched down near to the
floor when she opens the first office.  As the door slowly swings open,
it is hit by bullets coming from an unknown location.  Vizcano dives for
cover behind one of the counters and peaks around.  A man hiding in an
office across the room reveals himself as he fires another round at
Vizcano.  They both trade several rounds before Vizcano takes him out.
She has just straightened and walked a couple of steps further into the
center of the room, when she is attacked from behind.  Prager's man and
Vizcano grapple, until she is sitting on top of him holding off his
attempt to stab her with a knife.  Nikita enters, gun drawn and sees the
couple wrestling on the floor.  She turns her infrared scope on and is
just taking a bead on the man trying to stab Vizcano, when she sees
Prager peeking from behind an office door.  When Prager realizes Nikita
has seen him, he makes a dash for the exit stairway.

        [N]     (YELLS)  Prager!

Distracted on hearing his named called, Prager comes to a brief half at
the top of the stairway.  Nikita is in a quandary.  She has Prager
halted at the head of a stairway leading out, and Vizcano fighting for
her life just a couple of feet away.  She knows if she moves her gun to
shoot the man trying to knife Vizcano, Prager will try to escape.  She
looks over, repositions her gun - and shoots the man behind Vizcano that
was getting ready to shoot her.  [Hey, its our 'thugs-R-Us' guy!]  The
shot throws the man back into a glass partition.  Prager, of course,
takes this opportunity to flee down the stairs.  Nikita follows and,
once more, takes aim.  He is at the bottom of the first landing, when he
looks up and sees that Nikita has him in her sight.  When he decides to
take a chance and tries to lunge into the cover of the next stairway,
Nikita shoots him in the leg.  However, he loses his balance and tumbles
down the entire flight of stairs to hit the bottom - unconscious.
Nikita rushes down and checks his pulse, the other Team members
following closely behind.

        [T]     Is he alive?

        [N]     He better be.  Get him out of here ... gently.

Both men lift Prager and carry him out.  This leaves Vizcano and Nikita
to trade looks, before Vizcano passes Nikita to follow the men to the


Nikita is busy planning the next leg of the Mission while she waits for
word on Prager.  Operations joins her, hands in pocket, with word about
Prager and thoughts on her actions during the Mission.

        [O]     He'll live, but he's still unconscious.

        [N]     He hit his head.  It couldn't be helped.

        [O]     The Mission tapes indicate otherwise.  He was stopped,
your attention was diverted.  The lives of Operatives are secondary to
the success of the Mission.

        [N]     There was no need to choose.

Nikita's face wears a "I've had it" expression as she gets up, tea in
hand, to check information from the glassed in room housing the computer


Operations follows her inside.  Nikita ignores him, just accesses data
from the computer residing in this room.  As Operations joins her, he is
wearing a slight smile, changing tactics in trying to reach Nikita.  [I
think Operations was honestly trying to help her here, not just 'yank
her chain.'  I honestly believe Operations was trying to tell Nikita
that her current view of Section will only earn her future pain and

        [O]     You still don't understand what you're dealing with, do
you?  You think you're a lonely beacon of decency in an insane world
..., or something like that.  Isn't that true?

Nikita trades looks with Operations, but says nothing.  Operations

        [O]     Section isn't me or Madeline or Michael.  It's bigger,
deeper, smarter than any of us.

        [N]     You make it sound like its alive.

        [O]     Oh, yes. ...  And we all walk the narrow path to keep it
that way.

        [N]     A path without feeling ..., compassion .., or hope.

        [O]     Yes.

As Nikita says this next line, she turns so that she, once more, is
meeting Operations' glance.  Operations himself looks somewhat sad, as
if he realized what he's created, but knows it is needed in today's

        [N]     We die so the Section can live.

        [O]     Yes.

        [N]     I can't accept that.

Nikita goes back to keying in information on the computer.

        [O]     You have no choice, Nikita.  No one does. ...
Especially me.  Do you understand?

Nikita realizes that Operations is being 'straight' with her and returns
the favor.

        [N]     I understand that you're talking to me for once.

This leaves Operations with nothing further to say.  He exchanges looks
with Nikita, indicating he realizes they have both insightful, then
leaves.  Nikita watches him walk away before closing her eyes and taking
a deep breath.  Nikita has understood much more than she showed to


Nikita spends the next several hours reviewing various strategies for
the next phase of the Mission.  She is still sipping tea from a glass
mug and also takes a moment to tie her hair in a knot on top of her head
as she moves from one station to another.  Nikita finally takes a
breather to review the data she has accumulated and uses this
opportunity to let down her hair and put her feet up.  Its in this
position that Vizcano finds her when she enters the Common Area.  Nikita
doesn't notice her at first and it gives Vizcano a moment to study her.
Vizcano waits a moment, then joins Nikita in Comm.  Nikita watches her
as she stops just inside Comm.

        [V]     You shouldn't have done that for me today.

Nikita pauses a moment before answering.

        [N]     So I've been told.

        [V]     So, why did you do it?

        [N]     Because you're one of us. ...  You're on the Team ...
whichever way you want to put it.

        [V]     You're crazy.

        [N]     Well, if that's your way of thanking me, you're welcome.
...  Now, I've got a lot of work to do, so ...

Nikita turns back to the computer.  Vizcano, however, needs to get
something off her chest and perches on the partition separating Comm
from the Common Area.

        [V]     What's it like ... to be loved ... by Michael?

This gets Nikita's surprised attention.

        [V]     I know I shouldn't ask.  I ... just (SIGHS) can't help

Nikita thinks a moment before replying.

        [N]     I don't know.

        [V]     I was alone ..., confused ..., scared.  Well, you know
what's its like when you first enter the Section.  Michael seemed like
... a God.  Not afraid of anything.  He knew me better than I knew

Nikita's expression shows that she knows exactly what Vizcano is talking
about - because she has been down this same road.

        [N]     Yeah.

        [V]     And even then, he ..., I knew it was just part of the
drill.  Section wants you to imprint someone like a ... like an animal.

        [N]     You fell in love.

Vizcano nods yes, sighs, and leans her head back against a metal pole.

        [V]     Sometimes ..., I really thought ... that he showed signs
of caring.  (BREATHES IN)  Then, other times it was obvious that he

It is unmistakable that this conversation is very hard for Vizcano to
share with Nikita.  [Nikita must have thought she was in the middle of a
déjà vu interlude!  Vizcano's thoughts almost mirrored Nikita's own last

        [V]     And just ... when I thought I was making some progress
(POINTS FINGER AT NIKITA), you came along ..., and that's when I lost
it. (PAUSE)  If you're smart ..., you will stay just out of reach.
Michael doesn't need a companion ..., he needs a quest.

[This did bring up the question (for me, anyway) of exactly what time
period Vizcano was talking about - six months ago, or three years ago?]

        [N]     Well ..., why don't you become his quest?

        [V]     (SHAKES HEAD)  No, I had my chance.  It's too late.
(PAUSE)  Although ..., (SIGHS)  I think I'll always love him.

Vizcano gives a small, inward laugh as she reaches for her backpack.

        [V]     (SMILES) May the best woman win.

        [N]     Vizcano, there's no contest.  I'm not playing.

Vizcano just smiles and stands.  As she walks back through the Common
Area, Nikita watches her leave, realizing just how little it could take
to become a "Vizcano" if she didn't guard her feelings for Michael.


Prager is strapped into "the Chair."  Nikita is standing in front of him
coding something into her pad.  That done, she begins the interrogation.

        [N]     Where's Peter Stark?

        [P]     I don't know anybody named Peter Stark.  You've got the
wrong guy.  I'm just a businessman.

        [N]     Well, think of me as an executive with a career crisis.
And I need your help.  So ..., I'm going to break a bone, a minute.  In
three hours, you'll be a rag doll ..., except rag dolls don't feel pain.
...  You will.

Saying that, Nikita's hand moves to Prager's little finger on his left
hand - and snaps it like a twig.

        [P]     All right! All right!


A computer monitor shows Nikita's interrogation of Prager in the White

        [P]     (ON MONITOR)  I do know Stark!  (GROANS)

        [O]     (VOICE)  She's come a long way.

The screen is turned off.


Michael is sitting at his desk.

        [M]     She's learning to stay focused.

Operations is, as usual, pacing in front of Michael's desk.

        [O]     I must admit ...., I had my doubts about her original
Mission Plan.

Michael looks off, out the window - as if he knows where the
conversation will head.

        [M]     It would have worked, except for Vizcano.

        [O]     But it must be said.  Nikita still has one basic flaw.

        [M]     Compassion.

Saying that, Michael rises and stands next to his window, still looking
out and refusing to meet Operations' gaze.  As he moves toward the
window he rebuttons his jacket.

        [O]     Compassion, sympathy, a tendency to care ..., call it
whatever you like ..., it's holding her back.

        [M]     I know.

        [O]     With most Operatives ..., self-preservation takes over.
Compassion is the first thing to go.

Michael finally looks over at Operations.

        [M]     She's different.

Operations joins Michael at the window.

        [O]     Have you tried, Michael ..., really tried to crush out
her feelings?  Hmm?

        [M]     Of course.

        [O]     You've succeeded with so many others ..., why not her?

        [M]     She's strong.

        [O]     Is that the only reason?

        [M]     Yes.

        [O]     Well, you'll have to keep trying until you succeed.

        [M]     I understand.

        [O]     (NODS)  As for Vizcano ..., install the appropriate
personnel configuration.

        [M]     I have a meeting with Nikita in a few minutes.

Michael moves to leave his office, but is stopped by Operations' simple
response to his statement.

        [O]     She'll fight it.

        [M]     She'll accept it in the end. ...  She'll have to.

Operations nods his affirmation and Michael leaves.  Operations stays
for a minute looking off in space.


Nikita joins Birkoff at his desk and gives him a computer CD.

        [N]     Stark has a base on the southern border of Belarus.
He's there now.  These are the coordinates.  Punch up the satellite

Birkoff calls up the data on the CD.  Behind them Michael enters Comm.

        [M]     Operations wants me to help you with the Mission
Profile.  It's critical that Stark be taken alive.

        [N]     I'm aware of that.  I don't need any help.

Michael ignores Nikita's response, just waits as Birkoff pulls up the
satellite Intel.

        [B]     Got it.  Level-Two security.

        [M]     Someone has to backstop.

        [N]     That's a deathtrap in this setup.

        [B]     Maybe ..., but it's necessary.

        [N]     Well then, I'll do it.

        [M]     You'll be running the Mission.  Taylor and Mentz are the
flush team ..., it'll have to be Vizcano.

        [N]     He's right again, Nikita.  I'll assemble the packets.

Birkoff quickly leaves Comm.  [I'll bet one reason for the quick exit is
that he sees explosions ahead and wants to get out of target range.]

        [N]     ... Came here to kill her.

        [M]     I came here to make sure the Mission Profile is correct.

        [N]     I took your advice. ...  You know, about pretending to
be ruthless. ...  You don't pretend.  (PAUSE)  You like it.

Michael moves until he is standing close beside Nikita.

        [M]     She's a marginal performer.  She's lucky she's not in

Their conversation is interrupted by - Vizcano.

        [V]     So ..., Birkoff says we're going live.

        [N]     Yes, in an hour.

Not realizing Michael just signed her death warrant, she initiates her
campaign to overthrow Nikita in Michael's affections.

        [V]     Maybe, after the Mission, we could go out for a drink.
What do you say?

Michael responds as if she were just going out to get a pint of ice

        [M]     Why not.

        [V]     (SMILES)  Good.

Nikita doesn't hide the fact that Michael's fallacious behavior slightly
sickens her.  As he starts to leave Comm, Nikita makes a promise of her

        [N]     Michael. ...  You'll make that date.  She won't die ...,
not on my Mission.

Michael makes no comeback, just exits Comm.


Nikita and her Team (in camouflage and night glasses) are infiltrating
Stark's stronghold.  They approach the main building from two different
directions.  The entrance is being guarded by one of Stark's men.
Taylor sneaks up behind the man and snaps his neck, while Mentz
sabotages Stark's electric generator.  When the generator is blown and
the building goes dark, the Team enters.


After they are inside, Mentz and Taylor take the lead, with Nikita next
and Vizcano bringing up the rear.  They are in a vast room that is
filled with various electrical machines (look like industrial-size
motors or generators).  The Team takes up the position set by the
Profile - Mentz and Taylor in point position, Nikita close behind, with
Vizcano covering everyone's back.

        [T]     We're in position.

        [N]     Go.

Nikita turns and nods to Vizcano, indicating the next sequence is
running.  She then follows the other Team members.  Vizcano takes a
position between two large generator-like motors and watches for Stark's
men.  She doesn't have long to wait.  Stark and one of his men, both
holding flashlights, descend a side metal staircase.  Vizcano watches
their progress.  One of Stark's men spots her and gunplay ensues with
Stark's man losing.  The gun play brings additional guards, who start
shooting at her.  The only thing keeping her alive is staying between
the large engines.  Nikita hears the gunfire and checks in.

        [N]     Vizcano, you all right?

        [V]     Yeah, I'm fine.  (TAKES DEEP BREATH)

Meanwhile, Taylor shadows another guard as he searches for the Team.  He
purposely touches a pile of pipes in front of him, creating a clanking
sound.  When Stark's man shoots at the sound, Taylor comes out of hiding
long enough to kill him, then darts back into the dark.  Nikita watches
as another one of Stark's men moves past her and lets Vizcano know she's
about to have company.

        [N]     Vizcano, coming your way.

As the man walks past Vizcano's position, she puts her leg out and trips
him.  Before he knows what is happening, she jumps on him, stabs him
twice and quickly darts back into her shielded position.  Nikita has
almost attained her objective, a large metal locker situated in the
middle of the warehouse.  Unfortunately, just as she has reached the
middle of the large bare area in front of the storage locker, the lights
come back on.  Nikita quickly pulls off her night goggles and runs for
cover.  She is trapped.  Stark's men are on the catwalk above her
showering her with bullets.  As the back-up generators come on-line, all
the lights come back on and the rest of the Team hurriedly remove their
goggles and take cover.  Mentz manages to take out another guard, but is
shot by one who has crept up behind him.  As Mentz drops, Taylor falls
in front of him and takes the guard out.

        [N]     Taylor, I need cover!

Taylor, however, has his arms full.  He has pulled Mentz to cover and is
now returning fire.

        [T]     Mentz is hit!  We're pinned!

Vizcano hears the exchange and is torn, break cover and help Nikita or
stay and maintain her position noted in the Mission Profile.  Meanwhile,
all gunfire has ceased around Nikita.  She looks around, sees no one and
decides to try for the locker.  As she slowly moves out of cover, she
fails to realize that a guard has snuck up behind her and is taking aim.
Before he can shoot, a gun fired from somewhere in front of Nikita takes
him out.  Nikita first turns to see who was shot, then turns back to
check who did the shooting.  It was Vizcano.  They quickly exchange
small nods, before both return to their original objective:  Nikita to
retrieve the rods, Vizcano to hold cover.  Before she can move back,
Vizcano notices Stark making a dash up the stairs and follows in
pursuit.  Nikita also pursues Stark.  As Vizcano is treading down one of
the upper catwalks, Stark, hiding in a dark recess, hits her with his
gun as she passes him.  Vizcano falls to the floor and Stark stands over
her.  When Vizcano tries to rise, Stark holds her down by putting his
foot on her shoulder.  He cocks his gun and slowly takes aim.  Nikita
hears the gun fire and Vizcano's yelp of pain.  She then hears Stark.

        [S]     (IN SING-SONG VOICE)  Where .. are .. you?  (LAUGHTER)
Come on. ...  I've, uh ..., got your friend.

Nikita lays down her machine gun and approaches with just her hand gun.
As she takes the stairs to the catwalk she hears Vizcano panting in pain
and Stark chuckling.  When she rounds the corner Nikita sees Stark
holding a wounded Vizcano in front of him, with his gun aimed at her

        [S]     Stay back.  I'll kill her. ... Stay back.

As Nikita climbs the few steps to the landing Stark is located, she
holds both hands up.

        [N]     Okay.  No problem.

Stark just keeps laughing - even makes fun of Vizcano's panting.  Nikita
comes to a halt in front of him, arms outstretched.

        [N]     It's over, Stark.

        [S]     Call your people off.  I want a chopper ... that can
land on the roof.

        [N]     They don't bargain.

        [S]     You want me to pull the trigger?  (LAUGHS)

        [N]     Just let her go.  They'll take it easy on you ..., they
just want to talk. ...  If they had wanted you to be dead ..., you'd be
dead by now.

        [S]     Oh ..., you've got to take me alive.  Oh ..., okay!
Ahhhh ..., you know what that tells me?

        [N]     (SMILES)  Nobody needs to get hurt.

        [S]     Uh ..., no.  What that tells me is ... (CONTINUES IN
SING-SONG VOICE)  I can do anything I want to, I want to, I want to ...,
anything ... (COCKS GUN) I want to ...

        [N]     (YELLS)  Stark!

        [S]     BOOM!

Stark then laughs - it's all one big joke to him.

        [S]     Oh, sorry.

Stark drops the gun as if he's going to give himself up - then quickly
throws Vizcano off the catwalk as Nikita walks towards him.

        [N]     (SCREAMS)  NOOOO! ...  Noooo! ...  Nooo!

Vizcano's fall and Nikita's attempt to reach her is played out in
slo-mo.  Vizcano hits the ground floor, obviously dead from the fall.
Nikita grabs Stark and holds his head over the space he had just thrown
Vizcano - all thoughts of bringing him in alive forgotten.  Stark tries
to jolt her memory.

        [S]     You've got to take me alive, remember?

        [N]     I've changed my mind.

        [S]     You .. can't .. kill me!

        [N]     Watch me!

        [S]     Wait ..., the fuel rods ..., I can find them.

        [N]     (YELLS)  Shut up!

        [S]     That's what this is about, isn't it?  It has to be.  I
can bring you to them ..., 'cause I know where they are.  And ... all
those innocent people who are gonna die ..., that's what this is about,
isn't it?  Isn't it?!

        [N]     You're going to go back to Section and give us what we
need ...,

Nikita looks down at Vizcano's body.

        [N]     ... but after that, you're mine!  (EVIL LAUGH)  You're

That said, Nikita pulls him away from the edge and throws him down on
the catwalk's floor.  As she points her gun down at Stark, she again
looks over the edge and sorrowfully gazes down at a dead Vizcano.  She
briefly puts out her hand, as if to touch her.


Operations is questioning Nikita on Stark's capture and interrogation.

        [O]     Why didn't you interrogate Stark?

Nikita looks down, unable to meet Operations' gaze.

        [N]     I had Taylor do it instead. ...  Ah...

        [O]     Why?

        [N]     I didn't think I'd be able to stay objective.

        [O]     Then you made the right call  (SMALL SMILE).

        [N]     I have a request. ...

Operations looks over at Nikita, a waiting expression on his face.

        [N]     After the interrogation's completed I'd like to spend a
few moments with Stark alone ..., before he's canceled.

        [O]     The interrogation is concluded.

        [N]     Where is he?

Operations looks out over the Common Area, knowing what's coming.

        [O]     He's been released.

Nikita is so stunned, she has trouble repeating his answer.

        [N]     R - Released?

        [O]     He has a number of contacts which will prove useful to
us ..., especially in Eastern Europe.

Nikita can only nod her head in shock, as she listens to Operations
'understanding' her need for revenge.

        [O]     Your desire to exact some form of retribution for
Vizcano's death is natural.  We all regret what happened ....

Operations briefly turns his back to Nikita as he continues to explain
his reasoning.

        [O]     ... but we can't be allowed to love our friends ..., or
hate our enemies.  Some day you'll understand that ....

Operations turns back to find he has been talking to air - Nikita is


Nikita enters the Common Area and passes Michael, not even noticing him.
Michael turns as they pass, realizing Nikita is in shock and must
recover - without his help.  [I believe this is the main (unselfish)
reason Michael was against giving Nikita a Mission.  He knew that she
would not easily accept either losing a Team member OR setting a SOTW
free.  The fact that she 'connected' with Vizcano made it even worse.]
He watches her walk away until she is out of sight, before continuing on
to his original destination.  Operations, also, has watched Nikita pass
from sight before leaving his office.


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