LFR #9: Multicoloured

La Femme Rayonlune: Multicoloured
Co-authored with Moonbeam
Written May 2001

Rated R
Synopsis: A parody fic … the story of level five operative Moonbeam and the way we wish LFN had been.
In this chapter: After Gill Bates turns up dead, both Section and his mysterious brother start investigating…

Disclaimer: The characters you recognize are property of LFN Productions, Warner Bros., and USA Network. The characters you don’t recognize were created by the authors. No infringement is intended.


PLH Apartment Complex

Moonbeam stood in her bathroom in front of the mirror, wearing her latex gloves and touching up her roots. She would have to talk to some of the people in the Section lab about making her hair dye more permanent. The phone rang, disrupting Sarah McLachlan’s passionate piano solo playing on the stereo. Moonbeam hit the button for the speakerphone on the phone in her bathroom with her elbow. “Yeah?”

Birkoff’s voice came into the room. “Moonbeam, Operations wants you to come in. They found Gill Bates.”

Moonbeam twisted her face up. “Now?”

“Yeah…”

“Crap.” Moonbeam started looking for the cap to her dye.

“What?”

“Well, I was kinda busy, but I suppose I can put it on hold. Hey, how come I don’t get some nifty French codename?”

“That was Michael’s thing. People from the mailroom don’t call operatives in.” Birkoff growled, “So I get to call everyone now.”

Moonbeam smiled. “Okay, I’ll be right in.”

***

Section One: Briefing Table

Birkoff, Walter, Moonbeam, Nikita, Ms. Jones, no relation, and Madeline sat at the table while Operations explained the latest events. Moonbeam had a black bandana completely covering the top of her head. A construction guy glanced over every now and then, installing a sparkling fountain into the wet bar.

“Gill Bates was found dead in a seedy motel room earlier this morning. He appears to have died from a self-inflicted gun shot wound to the head.” Operations flipped a picture on the screen and a few people grimaced. “However, since he had no history of mental illness and no apparent reason to kill himself, we have reason to believe that he was murdered. Especially since Glass Curtain has made themselves known again; you know, with the same old ‘We have important information about Section, we will use it to destroy you,’ blah blah blah. It shouldn’t be too hard to find them since they emailed us and didn’t bother altering the header information, which instantly gave us their location. Now,” Operations glared at Moonbeam, “we’ve tried to kill this rat twice already, but he seems to be immortal. I want his body delivered to this table, dead and motionless. I want this mole removed, permanently. Is that clear?”

Moonbeam gulped and nodded quickly.

“Birkoff will stay here in Comm. Moonbeam will head the team to take out this location. You will leave immediately; I’ve already assembled your team.”

Everyone got up to leave, but Birkoff stopped Moonbeam. “Maybe you should give me the phone number of that girl you set me up with tonight so I can call her if we run late on this mission.”

Moonbeam smiled. “You just can’t stand not knowing who you’re going out with tonight, can you? That’s why it’s called a blind date, Birkie.”

Birkoff pouted and wandered off to his station.

***

Glass Curtain Headquarters

Moonbeam snuck around the corner of the brick building with Nikita close behind her and Ms. Jones, no relation, doing her nails in the van while watching the green dots move around on the screen.

Inside, Siobhan played Tetris on her computer, occasionally glancing at Sparks sitting on his swing like a bird and pecking at seeds in his hands. Something fell in the distance and he tilted his head oddly to the right. Siobhan stood up. “What the hell was that?”

Suddenly, operatives came from all directions and started shooting up the place. Sparks squawked when a bullet hit him and sent him to the ground. Siobhan ducked and of course magically avoided all gunfire. Everyone stopped firing when a man stepped out from the shadows and shouted, “Stop! Stop it!”

Moonbeam held her hand up. “Hold fire!”

The man looked at her. “You can’t do this!”

Moonbeam raised an eyebrow. “And why not?”

“Because…” he straightened his tweed jacket, “I must take revenge on this…” he looked down at Sparks whimpering in a fetal position, “man myself.”

Moonbeam sighed. “And who are you?”

He glared at her. “Norman Bates. Gill was my brother and I know that he didn’t commit suicide!” He pointed at Sparks. “This man killed him.”

Moonbeam replied, “We know.”

Norman hesitated. “You do?”

“That’s why we’re here! Well, that and the long list of other reasons, but faking Gill’s suicide is definitely up there.”

He looked around awkwardly. “Oh…I see…”

Moonbeam sighed impatiently. “Would you like to speak to our boss?”

“Yes, I would. But they must be nearby; Mother doesn’t like for me to be gone long.”

“Someone take him to the van!” An anonymous operative in all black came forward and escorted him away. Moonbeam took aim. “Recommence fire!”

Gunfire sparked up again from all directions. Eventually, everyone ran out of targets and/or ammo and started finding survivors to take into Section. Nikita started hog-tying Sparks while Moonbeam walked up to Siobhan and dragged her to a standing position. “Get up; you’re fine.”

Siobhan took a few steps back and frowned. “You can’t touch me!”

Moonbeam rolled her eyes. “Well, look at that; I just did.”

“You’ll never stop me. I’ll never go into Section for you to torture me.”

Moonbeam raised an eyebrow. “Oh, really?”

“Yes, really.”

In a split second, Moonbeam reached over, grabbed the small ring on Siobhan’s bottom lip, and pulled down violently. Siobhan shrieked in pain and fell to the floor, clutching her hands to her mouth. Moonbeam tossed the ring away and mumbled, “That thing was really starting to bug me.”

Nikita cleared the lock of hair from her face after she had Sparks securely tied and walked over to Moonbeam. Moonbeam watched two operatives drag Siobhan away to the van. Nikita put her hand on Moonbeam’s shoulder and Moonbeam looked at her. “You know what would be really great right now?”

Moonbeam didn’t reply, only wondering what the hell Nikita was thinking when she thought she could touch her without permission.

“Let’s do it, right here, right now.”

Ms. Jones, no relation, in the van stopped applying nail polish and looked at the screen, frowning.

Moonbeam hesitated and frowned. “What?”

Nikita smiled. “Wouldn’t it be excellent? Adrenaline rushing, sweat dripping…” Nikita started caressing Moonbeam’s cheek but Moonbeam grabbed her wrist and pulled her away.

“We’re on a mission.”

“But we’re finished.”

“We have to take them in so Madeline can play with them.”

Nikita smirked. “And then we can play?”

“No, I have plans for tonight and they don’t include you.”

Nikita frowned. “But it’s been 67 hours, 23 minutes, and 13 seconds since we last-”

“Well, maybe you shouldn’t have gone off to become some actress.” Moonbeam raised her eyebrows. “I’m not in the mood anymore.”

Moonbeam walked over to the computer to strip it for intel while Nikita’s bottom lip started quivering.

***

Especia Latina Night Club

Moonbeam, Birkoff, and Ms. Jones, no relation, sat in one of the round booths, waiting for the fourth member of their double date to arrive. Moonbeam looked at her date and smiled. “So, do you have a first name or do I have to keep calling you Ms. Jones?”

Ms. Jones smiled sweetly. “Guadalupe, Lupe for short.”

“Hey, Moonbeam!” Birkoff called over the loud salsa techno music in a small attempt to be part of the conversation. “What’s your real name?”

“Moonbeam is my real name.”

“No way!”

“Way! My parents named me Moonbeam Pixie Galaxy Diamond Topaz Smith.”

His eyes widened. Ms. Jones, no relation, asked, “Were they on crack?”

“No, pot. They were two old hippies.”

“Oh…”

Moonbeam glanced up and saw someone walk in the door. “I see someone…”

Birkoff suddenly became ten times more nervous. “Someone?”

Moonbeam winked at him. “Uh huh…” She stood up in the booth and started waving. “Yo, Gwen!”

The young woman with pink and blonde hair saw her and rushed to the booth. “Hey, sorry I’m late! Taping went longer than I expected.”

“That’s okay; we ran a little late, too.” Moonbeam motioned toward Birkoff. “Gwen, this is Birkoff.”

Gwen smiled at him. “Hi, there…”

Birkoff stared at her with his mouth wide open. “You’re…you’re…Gwen Stefani.”

Gwen sat next to him. “You’re right! I am!”

Birkoff looked over the gemstones lining her eyebrows, her delicate nose ring, and her hot-pink vinyl outfit while Moonbeam sat back down. “Yeah, we met at Hot Topic one day and both noticed how there was an insane amount of Korn merchandise up.”

Gwen pointed at her, “Yeah, you haven’t bought that one shirt have you? You have a birthday coming up and it’s a bitch trying to buy for you!”

Moonbeam smiled and gave an innocent little shrug.

***

Section One: White Room

Norman Bates looked around the tall white walls while squirming in his seat, trying to fight the restraints. He froze when the large metal door slowly opened and Madeline walked in smiling. “Hello, Mr. Bates is it?”

“This wasn’t what I had in mind. I don’t know why you’re doing this.” He watched Madeline start to circle him. “I want the same thing you do. Mother won’t be pleased when I tell her about this.”

“‘Mother’? Is that who you work for?”

“I don’t really work for her. She’s been unable to run the motel due to her illness.”

“Is that the name of your group, The Motel?”

“I-I’m sorry. There seems to have been some misunderstanding. I’m not part of a group. It’s just me and my mother. I don’t have any friends to have a group. A boy’s best friend is his mother.”

Madeline stopped momentarily to think on this information. “Interesting… So your only interest with Sparks is to avenge the death of your brother Gill?”

“Yes. Th-the police told us it was a suicide, but of course we didn’t believe that.”

Madeline paused. “We were under the impression that Gill Bates was only a persona, that the man behind the name was really a spy named Simon.”

Norman chuckled nervously. “Oh, he couldn’t have been a spy. He wasn’t very good at that sort of stuff.”

“Tell me, what else does your mother want from Sparks and Glass Curtain?”

“Oh, that was all we wanted, revenge that is. Mother did have a notion that I could practice my hobby with him, but I didn’t agree with her.”

“What is your hobby, Mr. Bates?”

“Stuffing things. You know, taxidermy. I only stuff birds though because I hate the look of beasts when they’re stuffed. You know, foxes and chimps. Some people even stuff dogs and cats but, boy, I can’t do that. I think only birds look well stuffed because, well, because they’re kinda passive to begin with. I couldn’t even imagine what it would be like to stuff a human being, although Mr. Sparks looks a lot like a bird. Wouldn’t you agree?”

Madeline stopped in front of him and smiled sweetly. “You’re right; he does. I’m afraid I just remembered something that I needed to do; will you excuse me?”

Norman watched Madeline walk out of the room and the heavy door clang shut. She approached Operations waiting outside. He looked at her impatiently. “Well?”

“His psychology intrigues me. He works for a group called The Motel. He refers to the leader as ‘Mother’ and he has the ‘hobby’ of ‘taxidermy.’ I’ve never heard a group use more euphemisms in my life.” Operations nodded. “I’d like to keep him for a bit longer. His code is very easy to learn so the more we talk, the more hidden information I’ll be able to get out of him. Have Jason and Birkoff gained access into the computer the team brought back?”

“Yes, it didn’t take them long at all. They cracked it open right after it was brought here. Of course, Jason had to show off and do it literally with his eyes closed, but that only took five extra seconds.”

Madeline smiled. “Good. Have them alert me if they find out anything about The Motel.”

The two walked in opposite directions. A few seconds later, Operations rushed back, going in the same direction Madeline originally went, remembering that his office was in that direction.

***

Especia Latina Night Club

Moonbeam and Ms. Jones, no relation, sat in the booth and watched Gwen teach Birkoff some dance moves. Moonbeam commented, “Aw, they look so cute together.”

Ms. Jones, no relation, laughed and looked at Moonbeam. “Don’t you think we look cute together?”

“I dunno; I haven’t looked in a mirror recently.”

Ms. Jones, no relation, smiled and commenced making out.

***

Section One: White Room

Madeline sat in a chair across from Norman, still restrained in the metal chair. “Mr. Bates-”

“Please call me Norman. Mr. Bates is so…stuffy.”

Madeline smiled. “All right, Norman. Please, tell me more about Mother.”

“Oh, well, Mother, my mother, uh, what is the phrase? – she hasn’t been qu-quite herself lately.”

“Really?” Madeline wrote something down in her Hello Kitty notebook.

“Yes, but it isn’t an unusual thing. I imagine it must be depressing for her to have to live with a son like me. I’m afraid I’m not much use to her.”

“You must be some use if she chose you to represent The Motel.”

“Well, I run the office and uh, tend the cabins and grounds and, and do a little, uh, errands for her. The ones she allows I might be capable of doing.” Norman smiled shyly.

“What did Gill do at The Motel?”

“Oh, not much. He used to help me change the linens every week, but then that one day he disappeared. Ran way.”

“Do you know why he decided to run away from The Motel?”

“He was always talking about how he felt trapped there. We haven’t had much business since they moved the highway away, but we just keep on lighting the lights and following the formalities. People never run away from anything. You know what I think? I think that we’re all in our private traps, clamped in them, and none of us can ever get out. We scratch and, and claw, but only at the air, only at each other. And for all of it, we never budge an inch.”

“Sometimes, we deliberately step into those traps.”

“I was born in mine. I don’t mind it any more.”

“Really?”

“Oh, I do.” Norman chuckled slightly. “But I say I don’t.”

Madeline smiled. “You haven’t told me much about Mother.”

Norman shrugged. “Well, there’s not much to tell. She’s ill.”

“She sounds strong, that is, since she’s running The Motel.”

“It-it really runs itself. See, she had to raise me all by herself after my father died. I was only five and it must have been quite a strain for her. She didn’t have to go to work or anything like that. He left her a little money. Anyway, a few years ago, Mother met this man, and he talked her into building this motel. He could have talked her into anything. And when he died too, it was just too great a shock for her. And, and the way he died… Anyway, it was just too great a loss for her. She had nothing left.”

“Except for you and Gill.”

“A son is a poor substitute for a lover.”

Madeline wrote something down. “Tell me, if you’re as unhappy as Gill was before he ran away, why don’t you go away?”

Norman smiled shyly. “Well, sometimes… sometimes when she talks to me crossly, I feel I’d like to go up there and curse her and, and leave her forever. Or at least defy her. But I know I can’t.”

“Why not?”

“I couldn’t do that. Who’d look after her? She’d be alone up there. The fire would go out. It’d be cold and damp like a grave. If you love someone, you don’t do that to them – even if you hate them. You understand that I don’t hate her. I hate what she’s become. I hate the illness.”

The door opened, interrupting them, and Operations walked in. He smiled. “Hello, Mr. Bates.” He looked at Madeline. “Excuse me, Madeline. I need to speak to you privately.”

Madeline stood up, picking up her notepad. “Excuse me, Norman.” Madeline followed Operations out to the corridor and waited until the door closed before asking, “What is it?”

“Did you place Michael somewhere special?”

“No, why?”

Operations sighed impatiently. “We can’t seem to locate him. I’d send Moonbeam out but I can’t find her either.”

“She’s out tonight. Why not try someone else?”

“Like who? I don’t want everyone in Section to know each other’s addresses. We need to keep these personal affairs down.”

“Why not Nikita? She knows where he lives personally.”

Operations gave her a look of doubt. Madeline kept her face cold and straight. Operations asked, “Nikita?”

“Yes.”

Operations started whining. “But I thought we were trying to keep them apart…”

Madeline gave him a look.

Operations rolled his eyes and pouted. “Okay, fine.” He trotted off like a small child and Madeline returned to the White Room.

***

PLH Apartment Complex

Moonbeam unlocked the door and led Ms. Jones, no relation, inside. Moonbeam said, “Well, here we are.”

Ms. Jones, no relation, looked around. Everything was purple. What a surprise. She looked over at Moonbeam by the stereo. “Birkoff will be all right alone with Gwen, right?”

Moonbeam smiled at her. “Yeah, they were hitting it off. I thought it would help if we left them alone.”

Ms. Jones, no relation, sat on the couch as Moonbeam put a CD into the tray. A quiet and low song started over the speakers and Moonbeam joined her date on the couch. It wasn’t long before Ms. Jones, no relation, recognized the song as “Going Down” by Ani DiFranco. She smirked at Moonbeam and tried to remember where the zipper was on those purple vinyl pants.

***

Les Barbouzes: Apartment 7

Nikita used one of her many credit cards to open Michael’s door and silently wondered when Section’s budget would go up again so they could have actual things made for opening locked doors. She walked in and looked around. It was still deserted-looking, even though Michael still technically lived there. A small circle of clean floor was left where a trashcan once was. A shattered speaker sat in the corner. She was thinking of shooting the annoying cat clock with the moving eyes on the wall until she heard a whimper. She slowly walked toward the source into Michael’s bedroom, fingering her gun just in case. She slowly stepped toward the closet and whipped the door open and her gun out.

Michael looked up at her with his tear-stained face and took his thumb out of his mouth. “Mommy?”

Nikita lowered her gun and stood upright. Michael was curled into a fetal position in the farthest corner, clutching onto a small baby blue and pink blanket. “Michael, what are you doing?”

Michael scrunched up his face and wailed, “I WANT MY MOMMYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!”

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