They had been summoned individually to Waverly's office without the others knowledge. First Napoleon Solo. He received his instructions and was quickly dismissed. Shortly there after Illya Kuryakin entered the office. Forty minutes later he was dismissed. Waverly sat back and lit his pipe. Jack Elgin sat across from him and sighed.
“You're being extra cautious Alex.”
“I need to be after that Harry Beldon business. He came too close to ending U.N.C.L.E. Every precaution has been made to guaranty this years meeting.”
“Yes, but don't you think telling your agents what is going on is better than keeping them in the dark?”
“It is my prerogative to use them as I see fit. In this way what they don't know will not harm U.N.C.L.E..”
“ and if THRUSH doesn't find out?”
“Ahhh but there is the rub. Even if they do learn of my precautions, they will only know of part of it. And no one but the two of us know what they need to crack the code.” Elgin stood up and headed for the door.
“I hope you're right Alex. It'd be a shame to loose either one of those two.”
Napoleon stared at his watch counting down the last seconds before signalling his team to move out. A nod of his head and the explosives that had been set to the doors were blown. His men moved in quietly and quickly. The few men they came across quickly surrendered. The raid was over in less than a minute. He made his way to the back of the building, where his partner Illya had had his team come through the bay doors of the warehouse. His team had met no resistance. It looked to be that the raid may have come too late. They instructed their teams to begin clean up and called in to HQ. That done they were on their way out the door. "Symons", Napoleon called to one of the men. "You're in charge until the cleanup unit arrives. Make sure nothing is left behind."
"Yes sir Mr. Solo" Symons turned and started giving orders to the others.
The partners headed for their car, that was parked in the alley next to the warehouse. As they reached the car, a sudden flash of light blinded them. What seemed like seconds later Napoleon found himself in medical with no memory of getting there. He attempted to sit up but was stopped by a wave of nausea and pounding headache. "I wouldn't try that again for a while if I were you."
"I'm here. Trust me I know from personal experience. You need to stay still for a couple hours."
"HHHmmmph." Napoleon sighed. "Do we know what happened?"
"According to Symons we left the warehouse and twenty minutes later the clean up crew arrived and found us lying in the alley. The doctor thinks we tripped some sort of trap that used sonic vibration to render us unconscious."
"Huh! T.H.R.U.S.H. is getting sophisticated."
"Only because they steel from us." Both men dozed on and off for the rest of the afternoon and managed to talk their way out of staying in medical over night.
Solo was called to Wavely's office before he had a chance to get out of the building. Waverly was brief and to the point. He requested the password he had given to Napoleon for the code releasing the information for the meeting between the U.N.C.L.E. Heads.
“Thank you Mr. Solo. That will be all.”
It was supposed to be an easy milk run. Meet with the courier and hand off the microfilm. No problems. Except that every problem that could occur did. There had been confusion of where the drop off was to take place. They found themselves at opposite ends of the open-air market they were meeting at. A T.H.R.U.S.H. agent managed to briefly get his hands on the microfilm. Illya was shot while getting it back. Napoleon had been tackled none to gently into a bin of watermelon. He was bruised from head to toe, and Illya was lucky he had a superficial wound to his arm. Mr. Waverly had been down to medical to question them and again mentioned the security codes. He left with a hummmf and told medical to release both agents who were needed out in the field.
Napoleon slowly came to. He was once again in medical. He could feel pain. He felt nauseous and had a splitting headache. Most disturbing was that he didn't remember anything about how he got to medical. He raised his head and looked around. Illya lay to his left. There was a bandage on his head and scrapes along his cheek. He was still sleeping. Napoleon slowly sat up. He felt like he had been beaten severely. The door quietly opened and a nurse came in followed closely by a doctor Napoleon didn't recognize. The nurse seemed new as well.
"Well now young man how are we feeling this morning?" asked the doctor.
"Well, sore and confused at this very moment."
"Ah no doubt. It was a pretty good accident you and your partner had. Came out of it rather lucky as far as injuries go. Mild concussion and some heavy bruising. Nothing to worry about."
"If you say so doctor......I'm sorry I don't know your name."
"Kinkaide, Ted Kinkaide. I'm new. This is my assistant Nurse Emily Peters." Napoleon smiled and tried to sit up straighter. All that produced was a groan and a sinking back onto his pillow. The nurse produced a syringe and the doctor quickly pushed it into his I.V. before he had a chance to ask what it was they were giving him. He watched as he did the same for Illya.
"What was that for?"
"Oh, just a little something to help with the pain. It'll help you get a good night’s sleep. You'll be up and about tomorrow. Mr Waverly's orders."
"Yes. He said he needed you both for a touchy assignment. He was quite adamant that you both be ready asap"
"What about Illya? Will he be alright."
"Oh, he'll be fine. Just fine. It looks worse than it is." "But what exactly did Mr. Wav......" "Just relax Mr. Solo. Have a good night’s rest and you'll be able to talk to Mr. Waverly himself." That said, the doctor and nurse exited the room. Napoleon watched them leave slightly confused."
"Rather suspicious behavior. Or am I being paranoid? Illya asked.
"You're awake! Why are you playing possum?"
"I am not familiar with this possum game, why would I be play......"
"Never mind. You get a strange vibe from the doctor?"
"Yes. He was very illusive when you asked about Mr. Waverly."
"Yeah I got that too. And while on the subject of the old man; since when does he tell medical to get injured agents out of fast?"
"Perhaps he was just avoiding another incident like the last time you were here."
"It wasn't my fault. I swear there was a defective valve on the nitrous oxide tank."
"A tank that managed to find itself in the nurse’s lounge?"
"What about you? Leaving without letting anyone know while still under the effects of heavy sedation."
"Obviously, it wasn't that heavy. I made it home on my own.".
"Only to be brought back and caught a mother of all colds because all you had on was pajamas."
"I hate medical"
"So do I." Napoleon gave a huge jaw cracking yawn and wiggled down under the blanket. The drug he was given was starting to take effect. He turned on his side and looked at Illya. "I can't get the feeling that something is off kilter."
"I too have the same feeling. It is like there is something going on but we are not able to see it." Illya let out a yawn of his own. "I'm sure we'll figure it out in the morning. Good night Napoleon." His partner was already asleep.
The next day found them working on their own. If they hadn't known better they would have thought that Waverly was trying to keep them apart. Napoleon was on his way to the old man's office to give his report on the escort run he had just finished when his communicator beeped. He was somewhat startled that someone was contacting him via the device and slipped into the nearest bathroom. He locked the door and answered. "Solo" "Napoleon? Is that you?" There was heavy breathing from the other end of the communicator.
"Yes." Illya was whispering so quietly Napoleon was having a hard time hearing him. "Napoleon I'm in medical. Hurry. You need to....." The voice was cut off and Solo rushed out of the bathroom almost colliding with Alexander Waverly.
"Ah Mr. Solo. I was wondering where you had gotten to. I was expecting you ten minutes ago for your report"
"Sir. I need to take care of something. I shouldn't be long."
"Nonsense. In my office, please."
"Mr. Solo I am sure whatever is troubling Mr. Kuryakin can be handled by medical. Now come along." Napoleon followed him into his office and sat down. He waited anxiously for Waverly to fill his pipe before giving his report. It seemed that the old man was questioning everything he had done. When he was finished, he practically ran from the office down to medical.
The door burst open and the first thing he heard was his partners voice raised in protest. Rushing into his room , Napoleon arrived in time to see a nurse give Illya an injection. "Napoleon! We have to go!" Illya exclaimed as he tried to get off the gurney. He attempted to push past the nurse and get off the gurney but the medicine she had given him had already started to work. Napoleon jumped to the nurse's aid and got Illya to lay back down.
"Easy there partner. You need to...."
Illya cut him off. "No Napoleon! Waverly isn't himself. Everythins fake. “He was having trouble speaking. “Polya need to get way from ere." He finally sighed and fell unconscious. Napoleon turned on the nurse and demanded to know what she had given to him.
"It is a very mild sedative. Kuryakin came to us very agitated and we were concerned for his, as well as, our well being. He should be awake within half an hour." She gathered her tray and left. He turned back to his partner wondering what the hell was going on.
He decided he would have a chat with the doctor to find out exactly what had brought Illya into medical. Leaving the room, he headed down the corridor to double doors leading to the front desk of medical. He bounced into them when he tried pushing the door open only to discover it was locked. Strange. Napoleon's badge gave him access to every section of U.N.C.L.E. The doors should have slid open as soon as he was close to them. He tried again but they were definitely locked. He began knocking on them with his fist; making as much noise as possible. He continued pounding on the door until there was a loud voice from behind him.
"Agent Solo! May I remind you that this is an infirmary. You are going to disturb every patient here!" He turned around to face Dr. Kinkaide who had come up behind him.
"Well then maybe you could explain to me why these doors are locked?"
"One of our agents exhibited strange symptoms upon his return from a South American mission. We have him quarantined for observation." he explained. “Now you listen here Mr. Solo. You may be accustomed to running circles around the medical staff here but I won't allow it. I've heard plenty of stories about you and your partner getting your own way repeatedly but not with me. I have no qualms about speaking to Mr. Waverly if you both don't respect the rules here in medical." Napoleon stared at the doctor dumb struck. "Now, I believe your partner should be coming around from his sedative. If he is fine you may leave...quietly" He turned around and walked down the hall and around the corner, leaving Napoleon still dumb struck. He slowly made his way back to the room where Illya was, shaking his head wondering what had just happened.
Opening the door to Illya's room, he found his partner attempting to get out of bed with a nurse trying to stop him. When she saw Napoleon, she gave up the fight and left the room giving him a dirty look. Illya was mumbling to himself and attempting to untangle his leg from the sheet when he noticed Napoleon. "Poleon where have you been?" He managed to yank his leg from the sheet and slid out of bed. Napoleon caught him and set him on the bed.
"Where are you heading to partner mine?"
"Need to find the real Mr. Waverly."
"What are you talking about?"
"Mr. Waverly isn't Mr. Waverly." Illya was having a hard time focusing on Napoleon. He reached out and splayed his hand across his face and gave a sigh of relief. "Good, you're you."
"Illya you're not making any sense."
"Am too. I can't put my hand through you like I did Mr. Waverly. That means you're really you."
"What?!" Napoleon was getting frustrated. He watched as Illya gave his head a shake and seemed to become a little more clear-headed. Illya held his head and groaned. "Oooo my head hurts. What did they give me?"
"Something to calm you. You were only out for about half an hour." Napoleon stopped Illya. "You need to explain yourself."
Illya moved towards the exit. He signalled Napoleon to follow him down the hall and into an empty office Turning towards his partner, he began to explain what he had experienced earlier. "I went on the milk run Waverly gave me and got back without any problems. I delivered the files I retrieved and turned to leave. At the same time, he rose from his chair and began following me. I didn't realize he was as close to me as he was and I swung around to tell him something about the files. I swear my arm passed through the air and his body." Illya paused and searched Napoleon's face for any hint of what he thought. “I am not crazy. I know what I saw and I'm going to prove it."
Illya opened the office door and headed left towards the elevator. Napoleon was quick on his heels. As they approached the elevator a bright light like the one from the alley blinded them and they fell to the floor unconscious. The walls shimmered momentarily then disappeared. They were replaced with pure white walls, ceiling and floor. They were lying on the floor of a lab. A door slid open and two armed THRUSH guards entered. Following them was a tall dark figure with greying hair and sharpe features.
Andrew Bevan was an up and comer in T.H.R.U.S.H. He was cold, calculating, and would stop at nothing to make a name for himself. He was yet another man trying to capture the great team of Solo and Kuryakin to further his career. He walked over to the unconscious men and turned Solo over with his foot. He looked down at the agent with disdain. It had been so easy to capture both men and submerge them into the holographic simulator. It was the newest invention. In a single room, through hypnosis and holographic projection they could get anyone to believe anything happening to them was real. There were a few glitches; like the one with Kuryakin passing a hand through the Waverly hologram, but nothing that wasn't negligible. They had been subjecting the two agents to this treatment for five days but did not have what they wanted. The code for the information on the location of the yearly summit meeting and the names of those who would be attending. They were running out of time. The summit was to take place in two days.
Two orderlies with stretchers arrived and loaded the agents onto them. Placing them side by side, they locked the wheels and covered both men with sheets. Next Dr. Kinkaide entered and set up I. Vs for both men and attached a sack of yellowish fluid to them.
"We're moving on to phase 4." Bevan announced. "Get them ready."
"I can't rush things. I don't want to push the drug faster then necessary." replied the doctor.
"Because too much of it may cause the patient to become unresponsive. We need to make sure they are surrounded with as much authenticity as possible. We can't tell them they've been in a gun fight and received no wounds but are in the infirmary. They would question why immediately. Especially these two."
"You need authenticity?" Bevan reached into his jacket and pulled out his gun. Looking at the doctor he shot both men. Solo in the shoulder, Kuryakin in the side. "There's your authenticity. Now get moving!" He left the room never looking back.
Dr. Kincaid rushed to his patients and checked their wounds. Solo's was a clean through and through. Kuryakin was not so lucky. The bullet had bounced off a rib and was lodged somewhere near his spleen. They would have to operate. It wasn't a complicated procedure and it was done quickly. While cleaning up Solo regained consciousness and demanded answers.
"What happened?" He asked as he tried to sit up. A nurse pushed him gently back down and the doctor came to his bed side.
"You and Mr. Kuryakin were wounded during a T.H.R.U.S.H attempt to take over U.N.C.L.E. head quarters I just finished removing a bullet from Mr. Kuryakin.” He turned and pointed at the unconscious agent.” He is stable and resting comfortably. You should be resting as well.” Napoleon doubled his efforts to get up.
“I need to get to Mr. Waverly. I need to follow protocol”
“Mr. Solo, everything that needed to be done has been done. Mr. Waverly is aware of your situation and has matters well in hand. Hq is on lock down as we speak No one is going anywhere. Any and all THRUSH have been or are in the process of being apprehended. You need to rest. Mr. Waverly will be needing you to help with the clean up. Rest and I’ll consider releasing you by tomorrow morning. Disregard my advice and you’ll be here for a week. Do I make myself understood?” The doctor waited for Napoleon to reply. When he received a curt nod, he smiled and checked on Illya then left. The nurse remained for a little longer checking machines and I.V then she too quietly left.
Napoleon was attempting to get comfortable when Illya spoke. “I am concerned about this situation.” “Gees Illya! Warn a guy when you’re awake! Why do you keep playing possum?”
“Again, with the rodent association.”
“Never mind that. I don’t like this either. Something isn’t right.”
“Definitely” replied the Russian. He gingerly sat up, holding his side. “We need to get out of here and do some recon.” He swung his legs over the side of the bed. Napoleon removed himself from his own bed and went around to help his partner. Illya slipped off the bed and would have ended up on the floor if Napoleon hadn’t caught him. Illya was panting and sweat had broken out over his body but he pushed on looking for clothes. They found no trace of their clothing so opted for surgical scrubs.
They were searching for their weapons when Illya asked, “Napoleon, do you notice something strange?”
“There is nothing in these drawers. No medical supplies. No bandages, gauze, syringes. Nothing what so ever. Not even a scrap of paper or pen.” Napoleon opened a drawer and several cupboards and found them completely empty. He looked at Illya.
“I’m beginning to think that there is something very wrong in hq.” “Shall we go and have a look around?” Illya said as he made his way to the door.
Locked. They exchanged glances. They absolutely knew something was wrong now. Using one of the gurneys like a battering ram, they knocked the knob off the door. They waited several minutes in case the noise had attracted unwanted attention. Cautiously they peered out the door. They expected to see a hallway of some sort. What they did see made no sense what so ever.
Stepping from the hospital room, they found themselves in a warehouse. One that seemed to be abandoned for some time. The two men exchanged looks and then looked around. Napoleon kept a hold of Illya’s elbow in case he became dizzy or lost his balance. Both were lost and confused. What they were seeing and what they had experienced made no sense what so ever. Not until Andrew Bevan walked through the door they had just stepped through, did they finally realize, that they were in the hands of THRUSH.
Bevan was barely out the door when a guard came running up and called out. “Sir.”
Bevan turned and snarled at the young man. “What is it?” he demanded.
“U.N.C.L.E. Sir. They’ve been spotted near the entrance to the yard.”
Bevan took a step towards the guard anger colouring his cheeks. He took a moment to compose himself and took a breath. “Get head of security and tell him to circle round the building and stop them from surrounding us. Pin them in and take them out! The guard took off. “And send some guards to me immediately” Bevan screamed after him.
He turned back to Solo and Illya, taking his gun out and pointing it at them. He let a cruel smile cross his face and stepped away from the doorway. Signalling the agents with a wave of the gun, he made them re-enter the room they had left. Illya stumbled, giving Napoleon a chance to make a grab for Bevan’s gun. But he was slow because of his injury and Bevan took full advantage and struck in the same shoulder as the bullet wound. Solo went down hard. Bevan kicked Illya to the ground then slammed the door shut and locked it.
“Well gentlemen, it seems we have friends of yours coming for a visit. That creates some problems for all of us. I don’t need the aggravation of dealing with more of your kind.
“And exactly what kind is that?” Napoleon interrupted.
“The annoying kind Mr. Solo. Though I doubt they’re as annoying as you two have been.”
“We try harder.” Illya commented. Bevan grabbed at his hair and forced him up and back on a gurney. Motioning to Solo he ordered him to tie his partner down. When he was done he tied down Solo to the other gurney. Just as he finished a group of guards entered. “Okay men I want you to guard this entrance. Call more men down and have them cover the outer door as well. No one gets past this door! Do I make myself clear?” The group nodded and set up to guard the door. Bevan motioned for two men to help with the gurneys and he moved out a door on the other side of th room.
Dr. Kinkaide was coming towards them but stopped when he saw that the men were moving the patients. He fell into step with Bevan and asked what the plan was now.
“We continue with phase 4. We’ll use the actual fighting that is going on to enhance their experience. Get the program on line in the chamber in the lab. I want everything you’ve got. All of it. I want that pass code and I want their minds turned into meat loaf.” Bevan rushed forward leaving Kinkaide with the agents. He motioned the men to follow him and he led them to a large lab.
Dismissing the two guards Kinkaide stood in the doorway until they were gone. Turning back to the two agents, he threw a switch on the outside wall and quickly approached them. “ You need to get out of here.” He whispered as he undid their restraints. Solo got up quickly and went to the door to watch for any guards while Kinkaide tried to get Illya on his feet. Napoleon rushed back to his partner. He was having a hard time standing up. Both their injuries had bled through the bandages and they were beginning to feel the full effects of the pain with the meds wearing off. Before he could stop him the doctor had jabbed a needle into Illya’s arm. “What the hell are you doing! Napoleon yelled as he grabbed the doctor by the lab coat.
“It’s for the pain. He won’t get far without it!”
“Why are you doing this?”
“Let’s just say I have a problem with my employer’s policies.” They moved to the doorway; Illya leaning heavily against Napoleon. The doctor pointed to a door across the room. “That door leads to a stairwell to the garage. Keep to your right and you'll come upon a doorway that leads to the back of the building. Bevan is concentrating on the front. You should be able to get out and find your people.”
Napoleon was still unsure of the doctor but he didn't have much time. He took off with Illya and rushed across the room as the sound of gunfire erupted down the corridor. He pushed through the door and stopped to push some boxes of supplies against the door in hopes of slowing down anyone who came after them.They stopped to catch their breath at the top before opening the door to the garage. Solo listened but heard nothing. Maybe their luck was changing. Slowly he pulled the door open and slipped Illya and himself into the garage.
They could hear gun fire and shouts coming from their right. Napoleon signalled for Illya to stay put. He made his way between the cars to get a better view of what was happening. Peering out from behind a column he saw U.N.C.L.E agents in a gun fight with THRUSH agents in the ally running along the side of the building . He hurried back to his partner. They needed to get to a more secure place and wait for the out-come of the battle.
Alexander Waverly was becoming impatient. He sat in his car watching his men battle THRUSH and gain entry into the warehouse. He had been anxious since receiving word that his best team had finally been located. Solo and Kuryakin had been missing for 5 days. A captured THRUSH agent had finally broken and told them everything about the scheme to get the combination code from Solo so they could learn where the meeting between U.N.C.L.E. Leaders was located. With that information they hoped to garner access to the entire agency and bring it to it's knees.
It had taken less than half an hour for Waverly and a unit to come down on the warehouse. Another twenty minutes to force back the THRUSH agents and secure the satrap. Waverly entered the building and demanded to see Solo and Kuryakin. They had yet to be found.
It is not often that Alexander Waverly looses his temper. So the team members that were in his line of fire had come to a sudden halt and were gaping at their boss. “I want this building entirely checked from the top most corner to the darkest cubby in the basement.” He paused and looked at his men who were still openly staring at him. “I beg your pardon gentlemen.”Waverly calmly said.”I forgot to mention that I wanted the search to begin...NOW!” The men jumped into action and dispersed in every direction.
Agent Symons took his two best men and started making his way up the stairwell. He stopped briefly on the fourth floor where he saw blood drops on the stairs leading up. He instructed his men to let space between each other and move along the wall; keeping out of reach of gun fire. They heard a door open then slam shut. Symon's signalled to his men to stop and he moved ahead on his own.
There were only two more levels. He reached the door marked roof and slowly attempted to ease it open part way. He jumped back as a bullet ricocheted off the door jam near his face. He moved back down and radioed Waverly and explained the situation.
Waverly joined them quickly and sought an explanation of the situation.
“Well sir, we have an unknown shooter or shooters on the roof. There has only been the one shot. I believe their may be an injured party. We followed a blood trail up the stairs.”
“Have they tried to communicate?”
“Very well then. Let's say we find out who it is that's on the roof shall we.”
Waverly approached the door and pushed it completely open. He called out,”This is Alexander Waverly of U.N.C.L.E. Stand down.”
“Is Mr. Kuryakin with you?”
“Yes sir. We're a little worse for wear. We are going to need medical help.”
“Very well. We'll get some.......”
“Wait!” Illya yelled with what little strength he had left. Napoleon looked at him for some sort of explanation. “How do we know it's the real Waverly?” They paused to think then Solo came up with the solution. He called to Waverly and had him join them on the roof.
“You'll forgive us sir but we need to be sure you're you.”
“Who else would I be!”
“You probably wouldn't believe us.”
He looked at Illya then turned back to Waverly.
Waverly stared at him then said,”Queen's gambit declined.”
Solo's eyes widened. It wasn't the response he was suppose to receive.
Waverly turned his attention to Illya who stared at his boss. Finally with great effort he approached the man and stood in front of him. “Petroff defence.”
Waverly smiled and turned back to Solo. “Queen's gambit accepted.”
“King's Indian defence.” Solo replied. There was a collective sigh and the three men visibly relaxed.
Kuryakin's strength was waning but he had to do one last thing. He reached over to Waverly and touched his face. He gave a big sigh and promptly passed out.
Alexander Waverly was toying with his pipe while sitting at his desk. Things had gotten back to normal and his two best men were recovering nicely in medical. Already the staff had contacted him with complaints of them annoying the staff in trying to get an early release. He'd let them go in another twenty four hours. Letting them recuperate at home with each other was less stressful on every one.
His thoughts were interrupted by his secretary buzzing him to tell him Dr. Elgin was waiting to see him. He sighed and waited for the door to close behind the man.
“Doctor Elgin please have a seat.”
The doctor found his formality a little strange. He sat and waited for Waverly to speak.
“Rough go for Solo and Kuryakin.”
“Yes. But we won and they're doing fine. I guess you were right.”
Waverly harrumphed and busied himself with his pipe for a few moments.
“Something has been bothering me though.”
“Oh?” Elgin sat a little straighter in his chair.
“Yes. I can't help but wonder how it is that THRUSH knew of the pass codes I had set up with Kuryakin and Solo. No one knew but them; only to a point, and you and I”
“THRUSH has ears everywhere.” Doctor Elgin began to be uncomfortable in his chair. He stood up and wandered to the window and stood staring at the city scape.”
Alexander Waverly watched the doctor move and gave a great sigh. “Why Jack?”
Elgin laughed mirthlessly. He turned back towards his friend and looked at him for several moments before answering.
“After Jen died I realized there wasn't any plan for the future. I realized I wanted more than to retire to that small bungalow in the suburbs. I wanted more than I could ever get from U.N.C.L.E.”
“Money? You did this for money?” Elgin shrugged his shoulders.
Waverly suddenly felt very tired. He leaned on a button on the console in front of him and the door to his office opened and two security guards entered.
“Take him to reprogramming.” He turned in his chair not wanting to watch his friend being led away.