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No Surrender

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This was never part of the plan. None of the roads now in front of her were ever supposed to be there. Take down Percy and stop Division. Simple enough in its complexity, as straightforward as it was difficult. But she'd never stopped long enough to think about what would happen next.

Her fight was never with the other agents. They were victims, too; made invisible, expendable; sold out by their government, brainwashed and coerced into becoming what that same government now feared. What had she thought would happen to all of them once Percy was neutralized?

She turns slowly, letting her eyes settle on each one as they mill about operations. They're ready to die here, she thinks, but they'd rather live. They deserve to get their lives back.

Taking over Division was not an option. Just the idea of it made her feel ill. She'd fought too hard, sacrificed too much, to free herself; there was no way she'd allow Percy's death to suck her back in. But with hundreds of soldiers ready to storm the bunker, ferret them out and kill them on sight - with that threat hanging over her head, she was being asked to throw her life away once more.

She'd failed to think about the future before; she wouldn't make the same mistake twice. Even if she agreed to help Ryan, even if they turned Division's resources toward cleaning up its past, what then? The only place she sees that route taking her is a carbon copy of this day. No matter what they do, no matter how they help, the government will always view them as its dirty secret, something to be removed before their existence is known. She'd only be delaying the inevitable, and giving those who would harm them time to devise plans to make sure none slip through their net.

The element of surprise was in their favor; the time for action was now.

Sonya and Birkhoff can download Division's personnel records and tracker data then wipe the computers clean. Michael can organize the collection of weapons and other immediate supplies. She'd be responsible for setting up assault teams and squads of three. They'd likely lose a few on the way out, but she guessed most would make it; there were more secrets to this place than the military could hope to decipher in the limited time available to them. But most importantly, they wouldn't go down like rabbits chased into a hole; for once the mission would be on their terms. And once they made it to safety, she and Michael would figure out how to get them new identities, help them reintegrate into society. If any went off the rails they'd track them, try and talk them down, stop them if they run out of options. All she can give them is a chance for survival, but it's better than what they're facing now.

She looks up, catches Michael's eye, and unsurprisingly she can see he suspects some of what is in her mind. She flicks her eyes toward the hall, waits for him to nod in understanding, then stands and heads for the door.

"Nikita?"

Ryan. He wouldn't understand, and no amount of explanation would help him get there. He was far too idealistic, too trusting of the institutions that had betrayed them, to ever truly see. She'd make sure his injuries were real but not too painful, make it look like he put up a good fight to stop them.

"Michael and I need to talk." Her voice is sharper than she'd intended. She blows out a breath and forces it to soften. "We need to figure out the best way of sharing this news with everyone, make sure everybody's on board before any soldiers or officials come down here."

"Fine. But we're going to have to give them something soon."

He smiles gently, and for a moment Nikita feels a pang of guilt at deceiving him. But it's not the first time she's had to keep a friend in the dark and it won't be the last. And in the end, it's for his own good. She returns the smile, then steps out to join Michael in the alcove outside. They don't have much time left, barely enough to make this work. She hopes it doesn't take much to get him on board.