Spoilers: None

OK, this is kind of a pathetic little snippet meant to answer a challenge issued in one of the chats over the weekend. The challenge was to chronicle the intelligence tests that Michael was supposedly being subjected to as part of his training. My hope is that this start will spur others to write more snippets adding to the idea. Please don't make me write another one of these by not writing yourselves. It would be far too painful for you and me. Besides, the longer I spend on this, the less time I have to write Katie's J.D. fic (yes, I'm still slowly working on it) and Cassie's Vin fic (over which she has threatened my life).

P.S. No offense is intended against the teachers of this nation. Theo's quote just sounded so "Theo-ish" to me not to use.

Intelligence Tests I

by Jewel

"I still don't understand why I have to be tested," Michael muttered, following Theodore Morris into yet another sterile, sparsely-furnished room in the condo.

"Your work will require you to possess the most trivial of knowledge, the most specialized of skills, the most complex of etiquette," the doctor's smooth baritone voice replied. "In other words, Mr. Wiseman, you'll be required to be no less than intellectually perfect. To know how to get you there, we have to know from where you are starting."

"I know how to spell 'potato,' if that's what you mean," Michael smiled, sliding into the chair Theo pointed to. Three sharpened No. 2 pencils rested on the desk in front of him, making him feel a bit like he was in grade school again, waiting for the next air raid drill.

Silence answered him and Michael lifted his head to look at Theo. The man was trying to give his best that-was-not-funny look, but a smile tugged at the corners of his mouth, telling Michael that he'd once again amused the hell out of the scientist. Theo never seemed to laugh outright, but Michael knew this was the next best thing with the man.

"So, what? Are you looking for me to be some sort of James Bond or something?" Michael tried again.

"American-made, Mr. Wiseman," the doctor said as he walked over to pick up a testing booklet. "Remember, you are American-made."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah," the man muttered as he suddenly became nervous about the idea of a test. This truly was a little too much like being in school. "And American educated."

"No," Theo grimaced, putting the booklet face down in front of him. "We have higher standards than that. Now, this portion of your testing will evaluate your analytical reasoning skills. You will have 30 minutes to complete the questions to the best of your abilities. If you find yourself unable to answer a question, you would be better off not attempting to answer it at all and moving to another question rather than guessing at what the answer might be. If we are truly to understand your mental limitations, you must answer this as honestly as possible. Do you have any questions?"

Michael swallowed hard, looking down at the booklet before him. "Yeah," he said softly. "Is it multiple choice?"

Laughter burst from Theo's lips, startling Michael. "Multiple choice," the scientist said when he'd regained his composure. "That's a good one. Now, if you'll ready your pencil."


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