It was here again, the infamous day that every UNCLE agent dreaded...Friday the 13th.
Solo had convinced his ever skeptical partner that ill luck was real, and that bad things happened to people on this particular date. After several eye opening events Kuryakin took to carrying various good luck charms, just as did Napoleon.
April Dancer as well as her British parnter were covered as well; she having a number of charms to ward off the bad luck on her bracelet, that along with several explosive ones.
Mark though initially denying it all in reality kept a four-leaf clover on his person, and it worked quite well for him, or so he claimed.
Other Section II agents copped onto this good luck charm thing, and were in such a dither as to what worked and what didn't. The research department had their hands full, to say the least, seeking out different bringers of luck around the world.
The matter was finally settled when the Old Man delayed the start of assignments on that infamous day, just to make sure his people had their minds on the jobs and not on how to ward off the evil eye, or some such.
Now the rumor that the fearless field agents had their weakness, their Kryptonite so to speak, inspiring some of the other personnel at headquarters to look for a rabbit's foot, specifically a hot pink one ...the same that Napoleon carried.
Illya cautioned one of the secretaries when she asked him about getting one.
"I have been told that the only lucky rabbit foot is the left hind foot, and then only if it was captured in a cemetery."
"You have got to be kidding me? You know for someone who's just a little superstitious, why do you have a black cat?"
"Ownership of a black cat has nothing to do with being superstitious. If one merely avoids having a black cat cross one's path on Friday the 13th, it is immaterial...wait."
"What's the matter Illya?"
"I think I need some salt."
"Because my cat Nina did cross my path this morning." He disappeared in a flash, heading for the Commissary to grab one of the salt shakers there.
Napoleon was walking down the corridor when his partner passed him in a hurry.
"Illya, where's the fire?"
"No fire, black cat...need salt!"
Solo stopped dead in his tracks, suddenly realizing what day it was.
"Hey wait for me!" He dashed after his partner, heading into the Commissary as well.
As soon as he made it inside, he found Illya, waiting in line right behind April Dancer, Mark Slate, George Dennell, Lisa Rogers and at the head of the line was Mr. Waverly himself.
Seated at all the tables were a number of Section II agents, along with a good number of ladies employeed by U.N.C.L.E.
"Why the long line?" He asked.
"It seems there's a run on salt today darling," April said. They ran out just as it was Mr. Waverly's turn."
"Right mate, and nobody wants to leave until they get their pinch of salt," Mark chimed in.
"It would seem," Mr. Waverly turned to face his people," that a superstition has shut us down...as it were. Not even T.H.R.U.S.H. has been able to accomplish that," he actually chuckled. Since there were no assignments today, it really didn't matter, but he wasn't about to say anything in that regard.
Just then Cookie, the head of the Commissary stepped out of the kitchen with a jumbo container of Morton Salt in his hands.
"Catastrophe averted! Come and get it!"
Waverly stepped forward, receiving a bit of salt into the palm of his hand.
"Remember sir, toss it over the left shoulder," Illya caution.
"Young man I am well aware which...now may I ask you why it is done in such a way? I have never been quite clear on that as it was Mr. Solo who informed me of this salt thing, as I recall."
"Sorry, I do not know. I have simply done it as per Napoleon's instructions.''
"Does anyone know?" Waverly called out?
The silence surprised him. "Well," he harumphed." If my people are going to be superstitious, I expect you to at least know the why's and wherefores. We should look into this matter."
"Beg pardon sir," Slate raised his hand," but my mum once told me that it was thanks to Judas Iscariot…. salt is associated with treachery and lies. If you spill salt, a pinch thrown over your left shoulder is supposed to blind the devil waiting there."
"Do mean to say that unless one spills the salt, then tossing some over the shoulder is meaningless?" Illya asked.
"Apparently so," Mark shrugged. "That's why I carry my lucky four-leaf clover...can't go wrong with that guv." He pulled it out of his breast pocket for everyone to see.
From the looks he was getting; he realized he'd just made a mistake and quickly stuck the clover back in his pocket and dashed out the Commissary doors; most of the women who'd been there, running after him.
April jingled her charm bracelet, strung with all sorts of amulets. "I guess this is good enough."
Illya was giving Napoleon the stink eye about the salt shaker faux pas."You were the one who started all this." He suddenly remembered he had his well-worn rabbit's foot in his trouser pocket.
Solo held up his own hot pink rabbit's foot and smiled. "Oops...I guess we're covered though tovarisch as long as we have these."
Waverly smiled, saying nothing as he walked past his agents. A little superstitious balderdash never really hurt anyone, It gave his people a diversion if for just a day from the stress of their work. As he stepped outside the door, he pulled a small donkey shoe from his pocket, holding the prongs up so the luck wouldn't run out…at least that's what they believed here in the states. At home in the U.K. it was the other way around, the ends had to be down so that witches aren't tempted to enter your house.
Waverly chuckled...witches in headquarters; that was the least of his worries.