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The transition from snow to ice took both agents off-guard. Losing their footing on the slick surface, all control was taken from them as they were sent sliding across the frozen lake.

Having grabbed each other for support and then to avoid separation, the two dared not let go even as they eventually came to a halt far into the centre of the lake.

For one moment the air was still and quiet save their harsh panting, then a thunderous noise split the air as patulous cracks raced across the ice from underneath them.

The two agents exchanged a look of trepidation. It would take a great deal of care to make it safely off the ice. But with T.H.R.U.S.H. on their tail, did they have the time?

“At least we didn’t fall through,” Mark quipped, trying to lighten the mood, though his vice grip on April’s sleeve gave away his shaken nerves.

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As she traversed the upper floor, April found herself distracted from the task at hand; she couldn't keep her mind from wandering and worrying. She took a deep breath and cleared her mind but moments later caught herself wondering how Mark was faring with the outer buildings. She huffed with frustration. She'd been trained better than this and she wasn't going to let the infuriating noise get to her.

Some unseen machine within the building was bombinating constantly in a pitch which rose and fell in different parts of the corridor with no clear pattern. It played havoc with her nerves and it wasn't hard to guess that that was its main purpose.

It put her on edge. It didn't help that she hadn't encountered a single soul throughout the entire building. To all intents and purposes, it seemed to be deserted. But it shouldn't have been. Any moment she expected to see a THRUSHee turn the corner and catch her in the act of investigating the satrap, but nobody ever did.

She approached another door to a thrumming crescendo and could feel her muscles tense up in anticipation. Forcing herself to relax, she slipped through the door and into a room of pure darkness.

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*BEE-BOP!* *BEE-BOP!* *BEE_BOP!*

"April, come in."

"In a downpour like this, I wish I could! THRUSH pick the worst time of year for suspicious activity."

"And we picked the worst time of year to get into Waverly's bad-books. How're things at your end?"

"I'm bored, wet, and cold. Everything's simply copacetic."

"Copa-what?"

"Never mind, darling; everything's fine."

"I'm half-inclined to think you've had a knock to the head, but I'll believe you this once."

"How generous of you, I'm flattered."

"You should be. Using obscure terms like that."

"But here I thought you English invented the language, are you trying to tell me that you don't know every word?"

"Mich? Ein Englischer? Nein, das ist unmöglich!"

"I presume that things are fine with you too, or you'd be more serious, but I'll ask anyway. How's things?"

"Oh, everything here is tickety-boo, luv."

"... what?"

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If there was one thing that April Dancer knew, then it was that it was important to look after yourself. With a job like theirs, it would be only too easy for stresses and anxieties to become overwhelming and cause an agent to snap. As such, she always enforced regular breaks when she and her partner were confined to their office for the day, taking five minutes to do something other than the stacks of paperwork that always seemed to pile up on their desks no matter how fast they worked through them.

If anyone were to walk into their office now, they would have been greeted by dimmed lights and a calming symphony playing on the record player in the corner. April Dancer would probably have drawn immediate attention; leaning back in her chair languidly gazing through a book, she'd have quickly drawn her legs off the desk in front of her, on the off-chance that the intruder was Mr. Waverly (despite what he may think, the two agents did make attempts to seem professional around him). She at least acknowledged the arrival though; the ataraxy of the room had clearly become too much for her partner who was slumped across his desk dozing serenely.

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No matter how hard an agent worked on them, rarely would their plans escape the vicissitudes of a mission. Waverly was always proud to know that, no matter what, his agents would always adapt and pull through. U.N.C.L.E. only employed the best after all.