Jun. 18th, 2017
Frantically searching for his partner, Napoleon Solo knew there were only a few minutes left on the clock before the bomb would take out half a city block and everyone on it. He had last seen Illya Kuryakin in a cell, but that was before a round of drugs and several beatings. For some reason the guy in charge of this hell hole had separated them, by several floors it now seemed.
"Illya! Illya Kuryakin!" Napoleon was yelling at the top of his lungs, no longer fearful of the enemy. Most of them were gone now, fleeing to get distance between them and the potential disaster planned by the the chief lunatic, Lester Pinchot. The Frenchman was a madman of THRUSH proportions, and his plan to blow up a section of Brooklyn was on track at the moment.
A rattling noise caught Solo's attention. It was just a few yards away and it had to be Illya. He hoped it was. Running now as fast as his weary legs could manage, Napoleon came to the spot and, sure enough, Illya was inside banging a chain against the iron rods that separated him from safety.
"Illya, just hold on, I'm gonna get you out of there. Napoleon had been searched, beaten and otherwise thoroughly interrogated. But the THRUSH goons hadn't found the one thing that would change everything. He pulled a button off of his shirt and motioned for Illya to stand back, as did Solo; aiming for the lock he tossed the first button with precision accuracy, causing a small explosion. The cell door swung wide with the impact of it, allowing Napoleon to enter and set about freeing Illya from the shackle he had used to summon his partner.
"Okay my friend, this is going to hurt a little." Napoleon placed the button on the wall where the chain was secured. Hopefully the length of it would allow him and Illya to avoid any serious damage. He threw another length of chain towards the wall, intending to hit something as he did so.
Bam! Smoke and bits of old brick spewed out from the explosion, pelting the two agents with bits of it, and successfully separating Illya from the wall. He would have to drag the remnant of the chain until they got back to Headquarters or found a key, but for now they had to get to the bomb and disarm it. Napoleon knew he would have to explain to his friend why he hadn't disarmed it first before rescuing Illya, but the reprimand would be minor compared to the grief he would have endured had he failed at both.
The bomb was located in the basement of the old building. Illya quickly disarmed it while Napoleon called Headquarters from a telephone handily located on a desk in the room; it had served as an office of some sort by all appearances. The bomb squad would finish up here, and a ride was coming to take Solo and Kuryakin back to give their report to Mr. Waverly.
As they were riding back towards Headquarters, Illya finally asked the question.
"So, why didn't you just disarm that bomb before you came to find me? You risked doing what should have been your primary objective." Illya wasn't mad, or disappointed. He was grateful, as he always was when his partner came through for him.
"You know why. Tell me you wouldn't have done the same." Napoleon looked straight into Illya's
eyes, searching for any kind of disapproval or recriminatory attitude. He was relieved to find neither.
Illya nodded his head. His throbbing head. THRUSH drugs were the bane of his life.
"Of course I would have done exactly the same thing. But, you knew I would ask."
Napoleon had to smile. Yes, of course his partner had to ask. They would always save each other, and save the day.
Solo and Kuryakin, best team on the planet.
Gone. Everything was gone and no one or nothing could bring it back.
Illya Kuryakin stood in the middle of what had been a house, a home. He knew the people who lived there and were now… gone.
"Hey Illya, I think I found something." Napoleon was there, searching through the rubble of a fire ravaged structure that had once been a family home. He knew Illya was acquainted with them, immigrants from Russia whose family had once known Kuryakin's, before the war.
"I don't see that it matters. At least it seems that no one was here when the fire started, but why did it start…' His voice trailed off before his question was complete. Illya stooped down and looked more closely at something beneath a pile of charred books.
"Napoleon, over here. I think there's something of importance." Napoleon stopped what he was doing, still holding the medallion he had found.
"Look at this." Illya was pointing with a blackened piece of cutlery, poking at something. Napoleon knelt down to get a better look.
"Well, what do you know." With gloves on and his shirt sleeves already rolled up, Napoleon pushed aside some burnt fabric and pulled up on the object Illya had found.
"What is this?" Napoleon could see what looked like cyrillic writing on the front of some type of notebook. He looked at Illya, whose face had turned ashen. Something was definitely not right.
Illya took the notebook, his heart sinking as his memories of service in the Soviet Navy brought back images of similar bound texts and assignment ledgers. Only this one wasn't GRU, it was KGB.
"They were spies." Napoleon looked confused at hearing those words.
"Spies? You mean, they were Soviet spies? I thought you knew these people."
"So did I." Illya's response was icy, his mind racing with scenarios and memories that now skewed with a new revelation. He wondered if one or the other of this couple had been responsible for his father's imprisonment. They had known his family before the war, before his musician father was taken as part of the great purge of the Russian creative communities. His mother had died because of betrayal, and now he had to wonder if these people had been part of that misery.
"Meeting them here was purely chance Napoleon. They must have reported it and been instructed to … disappear. We will never find them, they're gone."
Napoleon knew there would be repercussions to this, both from Mr. Waverly and from the Soviets. Of course the KGB couldn't admit that they had spies or that those spies weren't really victims of this fire. But they would be watching Kuryakin to monitor his actions now.
"You're not going to go looking for them are you? I mean, what would be the point?" Napoleon could only hope his partner, his friend, would just let it go. No matter what the past was in regard to these people, it wasn't worth risking the Russian's future.
"I'm fine Napoleon. I am not intending some rash action. I know what is at stake, so rest assured I will not rock this boat. At least not now, not while everyone is watching me."
It would do for now. This family of spies was gone, but Illya's past would always color his present.
"Holy Cow Napoleon! That's a centrimetrical atmospheric diodal manipulator. Where did you get it?" Brandon Lightner was from the labs at UNCLE New York.. He was very excited about the gadget brought to him by the CEA, Napoleon Solo.
"I mean, I expect stuff like this from your partner, Mr. Kuryakin. I mean, he's the scientist and sort of the brainiac… ' Brandon talked fast and sometimes he overshot himself.
"I mean, you are a smart man, Mr. Solo, um.. Napoleon. I just mean that,well, with his degrees and all, well… I mean, Mr. Kuryakin is, um… well, Doctor Kuryakin. Right?" The hold wasn't quite as deep as Brandon feared, but he was in danger of falling into something.
"Look Brandon, I know Illya is a doctor of physics. But sometimes I get to bring home the goodies, you know what I mean?" He smiled, that charming Solo smile intended to put people at ease and, in some cases, make them stop talking.
"Illya will be down in a bit, but I wanted to find out what this thing does. We recovered it at a THRUSH agent's apartment, and it seemed like an odd thing for him to be carrying around on his own. What does it do?" Brandon was taking it all in, his eyes glued to the 'gadget' in question.
"Didn't doctor, um… Mr. Kuryakin explain it to you?" Surely Illya knew what this thing is.
"Illya was a little out of commission, he ran into something big and very solid." In truth, the THRUSH whose apartment they had broken into had arrived back at the scene, taking out the Russian with one punch as Napoleon shot him with a sleep dart. Both of them were now in Medical, one in the agent's section, the other in restraints.
"Oh… Okay. Well, let me explain it to you then." And so he did, a long and meandering speech about weather and pulses and something totally incomprehensible to the otherwise 'smart' Mr. Solo.
"That's great Brandon. You hold onto that, investigate it and write a report. I'll let Mr. Kuryakin know it's in good hands." Napoleon was relieved to leave the lab behind him as he headed towards Medical to check on his partner.
Illya was awake, his face turning blue from the punch and the ice pack on his cheek. He groaned a greeting to Napoleon.
"So, did Brandon fill you in on the device?" Illya could tell from the look on Napoleon's face that most of it had been like a vapor to the disinterested man. Napoleon liked to know the gist of things, but he didn't insist on understanding all of the science behind it.
"Brandon is a good kid, but I was glad to get out of there. You can go down and check on things when your head clears."
What Illya wanted was a stiff drink and a long nap. That guy had delivered a wicked left hook.
"Fine by me. For now, I'd like to go home. Get me out of here and I'll buy dinner." Napoleon feigned a shocked expression. He intended to take advantage of the moment however, and quickly arranged to take his partner home. Dinner was a nice end to an otherwise hectic day, including the science talk from Brandon.
"Thank for dinner Illya, it's always good when it's from Luigi's. Now, take some aspirin and get some rest. You'll need it to spend a day in the labs with Brandon." Illya had to smile at that. He had once had that kind of enthusiasm for science, although it had waned slightly with his involvement in enforcement. Perhaps a day with someone whose intensity ran with the same curiosity and enthusiasm as he had once possessed would be good for him.
"I shall make the best of it, my friend." The two friends said their good nights and mentally prepared for another day.
Illya got into his bed and fell asleep almost instantly. In his dreams, he was once again a young man with a dream of exploring the secrets of the universe, or even the multiverse.
He slept very well indeed.