Part III

         Moon Dancer gently removed the glasses Michael was wearing, placed them on, and slowly got to her feet.

Nikita grabbed her by the arms and, in an angry voice, "What's going on here? How did you do that to Michael and what prisoner? We aren't going any where till I get some answers!"  Moon Dancer winced as Nikita's hands dung into her wounded arm, and she felt just too much fear and anger from her to tolerate her touch!

        She gently twisted free from Nikita and held her arm which was now bleeding again. Anger flashed in her eyes and Nikita involuntarily took a step back from the sudden change before her! The soft, gentle healer was gone replaced by a cold eyed warrior.

        Then that look was gone to and Moon Dancer quietly said, "I'm sorry, I did not mean to frighten you. I have healed Michael so his wounds no longer threaten his life, but he needs a few days of rest before he can be fully active. And I know we have the gunman, JT has him in the security office. I assumed you would need to come with me for the interrogation as a representative of Section One. Will you come with me now or go with Michael and see he is safely put into bed in the clinic?"

        Moon Dancer moved her hand up to the wound and the bleeding stopped.

        She then said to Nikita, "How do you turn this com unit on? I would like your people to view the session as the prisoner will not be alive when I finish with him."

        Nikita heard in her ear piece Birkoff's voice.

        "Nikita, Operations wants you to go with this  woman for the interrogation and let them take care of Michael. He will have more questions when you get there, you are to cooperate with them fully. Do you understand?"

        Nikita closed her eyes and said "I understand, full cooperation."

        She then showed Moon Dancer how to turn on the glasses by touching the stem and had her ask for a com check.

        They entered the security office and were met by a very bruised and battered JT.

        "What happened JT? How did this one get through the perimeter defenses?" Moon Dancer asked him as she also reached up to his battered face to heal the damage.

        JT stood still for her to finish and then answered, "I am not sure how he got through but I do know it was only today. The other Red Cell ops are accounted for. Two in the casino and the women went to her room and is still there."

        He walked them to a small room where a young man was bound to a chair by his arms and legs.
 Moon Dancer walked over to the man and very gently touched him and said, " I have a few questions for you. Please answer them truthfully and this will be over for you painlessly."  Her eyes went cold and the gold glittered in their depths, "Answer  falsely and the pain will be . . . well lets just say you will not endure it for long."

        Nikita shivered as she felt the room go suddenly cold with the soft words of her threat. The op started to swear at Moon Dancer. She calmly lowered her hand from his face to his side and squeezed.

        He began screaming from the unexpected pain and soon  lost all control.

        "I will also not tolerate that kind of language, do you understand me? Now the first question I have is very simple"

        The questioning went on for a short time and then Moon Dancer turned to Nikita, "Is there anything else you would like to know or ask before he dies?" Nikita asked Birkoff and received a negative, they had all they thought he could answer.

        Nikita said that Section had no other questions for him. Moon Dancer looked at Nikita and nodded then turned to the broken Red Cell op before her.

        "For daring to shed innocent blood on sacred ground you will die, now. With that she pulled out the long knife that was hung at her ceremonial belt and swiftly stabbed him in the heart. Nikita was stunned by this swift death and more so that Moon Dancer had killed him! She calmly cleaned her knife on his cloths and put her blade away.

        "Take the body and dispose of it."

         She turned to Nikita, removed the glasses and handed them to her, seeing the stunned look on her face, she smiled sadly and said, "The a-da-we'-hi can also be a 'dark angel of death' as well as healer."

        She gently took her arm and said, "Lets go see how Michael is doing and I need to change into clean clothes."

        Moon Dancer walked Nikita to the clinic and, without having to ask, took her to Michael's room. Nikita went to his side and looked into his sleeping face, and couldn't resist brushing a stray lock of hair back. He stirred but didn't wake at her touch.

        Moon Dancer said, "He will be OK, Nikita," as she reached up to touch her shoulder, she gave Nikita an added burst of peace and hope using her empathic gift to heal.

        Nikita nodded her head and, moving to the other side of the bed, took in the small room. There was a cot over by the windows that were tightly curtained. And on the bed were clean clothes!

        Nikita turned to Moon Dancer and, feeling just a little possessive, asked in her driest tone, "Planing on spending the night here Moon Dancer?"

        Instead of getting angry, Moon Dancer smiled and chuckled softly, "No Nikita! The cot is for you as are the clothes, unless you care to sleep in your blood spattered gown? Or do you sleep in the buff? I didn't think you would want to be far from Michael and he should have someone he trusts here if he awakens or if he dreams."

        Moon Dancer moved up to the bed gently touching his face, she continued softly, "He is healing but the journey will be a long one. Sleep well and in peace tonight ætlv-da-tsi'!"

        Nikita moved quickly to Moon Dancer's side and stopped her from leaving.

        "I'm sorry, I didn't think. Thank you for saving his life! I am grateful. I don't know what I would do if he..." she couldn't finish the thought of losing Michael.

        Moon Dancer, feeling her pain, took Nikita's arm and pulled her in to a hug, and said, "If you need anything or want anything, just call out and I will come to you and do what ever is in my power to help, OK?" She looked at Nikita and headed for the door, again Nikita's voice stopped her.  "The words you called Michael, what do they mean?"

        Moon Dancer looked at Michael's sleeping face and  said, "Tlv-da-tsi means panther," and she looked at Nikita, "You are called to-wo'-di . . .hawk".

        She then left the room for Moon Dancer had a long night ahead of her to prepare for the next ceremony.


            At Section, Operations and Madeline were reviewing the mission tapes. Operations was impressed by the quick  actions of his operatives, and of the way this strange young women handled the interrogation. He was also impressed by the cancellation of the Red Cell operative, this one had Section potential.

        "What do we have on this Moon women?"

        Madeline turned from the tape that had stopped at the death of the operative.

        "Birkoff hasn't found much on her, only her birth certificate. There seems to be no  other documentation that Moon Dancer exists."

        "Are the reservation records that difficult to get into?" Operations asked.

        "Not at all, Birkoff said the system was easy to break into, but she is not mentioned anywhere. No social security number or drivers licence or any paper trail of any sort. That bothers me, its as if someone were hiding her existence. I would like to have a talk with her when this mission is over."
 Madeline looked to gauge Operations'  reaction.

        He smiled and shook his head, "I feel we should pull this operation, bring Michael and Nikita in, and remove any incidentals who have had intimate contact with our people. We can deal with the Red Cell money laundering before it gets to the casino."

        Madeline tried again, "I think that would be a mistake. Michael is wounded and needs time to recover, Nikita seems to have developed a  relationship with Moon Dancer, who is related to the chief, and this gives us an advantage in infiltrating the casino for our own use. As well as Moon Dancer may have some other abilities I would like to explore. If I am wrong about her, then she can be canceled here."

        Operation knew Madeline was not telling him everything but was willing to let her have her way.

         "Do as you think best, just cut off Red Cell's funds and keep our exposure limited."

        Madeline smiled and left to prepare instructions for Nikita and Michael. She still wondered if what they had seen on the tape was real or faked, and how was Michael?

        These thoughts kept her company as she descended to her office.


        Michael woke slowly, one sense at a time, registering his surroundings. He smelled coffee! Yes that was it, his stomach growled, and fresh bread? The sheets covering him felt soft against his skin as he moved an arm up to his face. He realized he was naked.

         "Oh well," he thought, "so much for getting up and looking for the coffee!"

        He took a deep breath and felt sharp pain in his chest. He had been shot, was it only last night? How long had he slept?  The pain wasn't so bad he had felt worse, and survived.   He tried to organize what had happened to them in the past 24 hours, and found it very difficult to concentrate. So much had happened and almost nothing as profiled or planned. He rubbed his head and gently pinched the bridge of his nose feeling a sudden  wave of dizziness.  Their cover hadn't held at all, and the intel had been faulty about the lack of cooperation from the Indian counsel. They knew who and what they were from the beginning, and had given full support to the Section operatives.
 Then, there was Moon Dancer. Michael sighed and tried to put his feelings into coherent thoughts. Who was she, what was she? And, with sudden fear for her safety, what would Section do with her? Now his mind was really whirling.

        "Leave that for later," he told his tired mind, "concentrate on what happens next and on getting touch with Section to report and see if Madeline had a new mission profile."

        A sense of calmness and peace stole over him as he listened to voices outside his room.  One voice belonged to Nikita, he smiled, she was safe. The other voice sounded like JT, and the other was their little guide Running Deer.  His stomach growled  again and he felt another need that would also need to taken care of soon. The door opened and first in was the wolf, Wa-ya.

        "See Nikita , I told you he was a wake or Wa-ya  wouldn't have let us in," Running Deer said, carrying  a tray over to Michael's bedside and put it down carefully.

        JT said, "OK little brother, take Wa-ya out and find Standing Bear, and  show Nikita the com.  center so she can call out and let her people know what's going on."

        Nikita carefully looked Michael over, he seemed ok if a bit pale and the dark circles under his eyes showed the stress and pain he must have from his wound that marred his muscular chest. She had almost lost him last night! What would her life be without  him? Michael was watching Nikita's face as intently as she looked at him. He could read the emotions play over her and he so desperately wanted to take and hold her. But that was not to be, they were Section One and that had to come first, or they were both dead!

        "I'm OK Nikita," Michael softly said.

        At this point JT interrupted, "Nikita was just going to call and get an update from your people while you and I take care of a few things."

        Michael looked at JT, silently thanking for his help, and then to Nikita.

        "Let me know what they say," he smiled, "I'm not going anywhere."

        She saw the smile, a real smile, and knew Michael was healing as Moon Dancer had said.

        "Ok , I'll be back as soon as I can," and she left the room.

        JT looked at Michael and smiled, "OK Michael what first, the bathroom or the coffee?" This made them both laugh and JT shut the door and the answer was lost with its closing.

        Michael was in bed, asleep when Nikita returned from her lengthy conversation with Madeline. She didn't wake him but instead went in search of Moon Dancer. This was going to involve the healer, and Nikita did not like the role this innocent had to play. Well maybe she wasn't so much an innocent as an incidental, either way she was bait for Red Cell and that put her life in grave danger.

        She ran into Running Deer literally! She held him up to keep him from falling and laughingly asked him what was the hurry?

        "Sorry Ms Nikita I have a message for, and have to find and,"all out of breath he made no sense to her.

        "Wow, slow down a minute and can you tell me where Moon Dancer is? I need to talk with her."

         Running Deer took a big breath and said, "You can't speak to Moon Dancer right now. She is on the reservation going through a purification ceremony, again, so she can dance the blessing of the Earth and Sky and cleanse the tribe and then all the fires will be replaced at the end of her dance. That will happen in two nights from now! And everyone gets to feast after!"

        Nikita let him go on his way and she went back to the clinic. She had a lot to think about and to plan to make this profile work!


        Nikita was working on her PDA when she heard Michael stir. He knew she was near him and, without opening his eyes, asked, "How long was I asleep, this time?"

        She looked at him, struggling to get her mind to work, and softly said, "It's almost sunset and time for an early dinner if you're hungry? So, that means you've slept the whole day."

        He got his eyes to open, looked at Nikita and tried to think, mission first or food? The growling of his stomach decided the question for both of them.

        "I'll be right back."

        In the other room he heard Nikita talking to someone.

        "He's awake so could you bring some dinner and find JT he wants to talk to us. Thank you."  She walked back into the room and sat on the bed with Michael. So close and yet so far apart but maybe, not as far.

        "OK here is what Section has planned for us," and she proceeded to brief Michael on what Madeline had sent her.

        Meanwhile back at the reservation, Moon Dancer was just emerging from the sweat lodge. She was heading for the ice cold spring fed pond next it to wash in it's sacred waters to complete her purification. She was dizzy from the fasting and blood loss from the night before.  All the healings she had done also drained her energy to dangerous levels. No matter the lives of others were all she cared about now and if she died healing someone, well it was a good way to die.

        The waters took her breath away and she quickly cleaned off the sweat, and exited the pool. Above her 'Eagle' cried out a greeting!

        She made her way to the small tent next to the sweat lodge to get her clothes on when æWolf" came bounding over to greet her too!

        "Ah, Wa-ya how are you and have you come to guard my night vigil?"

        She did not wait for his answer but fully clothed headed for the Rowan grove to spend the night in prayer for the people and for the coming dance. A sigh escaped her and the thoughts of the two Section operatives entered her sensitive mind.   They were worried for her! That sent tears to her eyes. She was going to do everything in her power to keep them safe and see that Red Cell took no more of those she carried for, that included these two! No one else would ever die in her place! And Red Cell was in for a nasty surprise after the ceremony was complete.   But those thoughts were for another time and place and with "Wolf" at her side she entered the grove. Stepping to the center, she raised her arms and started to sing the song of praise and thanks to the Creator, and she turned to the four directions and sang to them. Then to Mother earth below and to Father Sky above and lastly for all her people and the life that surrounded her. Wolf and Eagle added their voices to the Song as did the rest of creation.

         JT brought dinner for Nikita and Michael and figured he might as well join them, and see what the Section operatives had been ordered to do.

        He would help them with their plan as far as he could, but he also knew Moon Dancer had plans of her own for the group that had killed her husband. And her plans would not include the taking of prisoners this time!

        Mercy was not going to be shown to any of this organization and JT was very glad she was on their side.
Part IV