Several hours later, Sir John was meeting with Travers at the Bermuda office. Seated wearily behind Mr. Talredge's desk, asking Travers "Has there been any news?"
Travers took a seat. "Seems as if Harry DeBeauharnais is more popular here than the Pope," he answered. "He has a private island about three hours north. We could infiltrate, but that could take time."
"We don't have time, Mr. Travers," Sir John said, leaning forward in the chair. He pounded the desk with a fist. "We have to go in and get Larry and Brenda out of there," he demanded, his voice shaking slightly.
The sliding metal door opened and Mr. Solo walked in, asking "Is this where the party is?"
Both men looked at him. Sir John stood up behind the desk and replied "I asked you not to come, Mr. Solo."
Napoleon was undaunted. He took a seat beside Mr. Travers and answered "I was under the impression that two heads were better than one."
"Speak for yourself," Travers mumbled. "I take it you were able to find a baby-sitter," he added slyly.
"Kowalski's going to require 'hazard pay' for this assignment," he winked. Looking at Sir John, he asked "Has there been any further development?"
"We've just discovered a private island approximately three hours north of here," he answered, sighing in resignation. "We're under the impression that Harry DeBeuaharnais is there."
Napoleon sat, quietly thinking. His train of thought was interrupted by the intercom buzzing. Sir John pushed a button and asked, "Yes?"
"Mr. Kuryakin is here, Mr. Raleigh," the secretary announced.
Illya walked in, looking somewhat drained. He had a big knot on the top of his head and he looked like he was in pain, but trying valiantly to conceal it. He sat down with Travers, Clark, Solo and Sir John in Mr. Talredge's office. "I'm sorry about all this," he tried to explain. "I think I erred when we took the private plane." He looked at Napoleon and remarked "I take it you're having a solo honeymoon."
"You look like hell," Solo replied, looking closer at the knot on Illya's head. "How's your head?"
"Nicely throbbing, thank you." was his reply as he took a file from Sir John and opened it. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a pair of reading glasses and put them on. He read the file and replied "I'd hate to be anywhere in the state of Texas when Jean-Claude finds out Hamilton's a former THRUSH agent."
"I'd hate to be in the same country," Napoleon agreed. "I have a plan."
"I was afraid of that."
"What would you have in mind?" Clark asked, still in awe over being in the same room with Napoleon and Illya.
"I don't think we've met," Illya addressed Clark.
"I'm sorry. I'm Randy Clark," he answered simply, extending his hand.
"Illya Kuryakin," Illya answered, shaking hands with him. Turning back to his partner, he asked "What kind of plan?"
I thought we'd let THRUSH guess who's coming to dinner."
"Will this require a full UNCLE task force similar to what he undertook in Libya?" Sir John asked, picking up the telephone receiver.
"Yes," Napoleon answered, noticing Travers’ and Clark's mouths wide open in shock. "The sooner we drop in, the sooner we can stop them from taking over the world money supply." He looked at Illya and asked "Are you in agreeance?"
Illya looked at him. "I think it would be the best way to expedite matters." He paused as he remembered something. "Where's Jacques?"
"He's in custody in Myrtle Beach," Sir John answered. "There was a D.E.A. raid at Cha-Cha's at approximately one-thirty Saturday morning."
Napoleon arose from his seat, as did Illya. "We're going to get a head start on the rest you guys." They made a quick exit from the room.
As the pair walked through the corridor, Napoleon noticed an uncharacteristicly concerned look on his partner’s face and asked “Is there something on your mind?”
“Right now, we need to get on that island and get Brenda and Larry out of there,” he replied.
Napoleon wasn’t entirely convinced. “Since when did you become overly concerned about Brenda?”
Illya simply replied “As Brenda would explain it: Hell froze over yesterday.”
“I see,” he laughed. “And just a couple of days ago, you were trying to talk me out of getting married.” He stopped dead in his tracks and added “Hypocrite.”
Sir John came down the hall after them. “Mr. Kuryakin,” he called out.
They both turned around and Illya asked, “What is it?”
“About Malcolm Travers,” he began. “It seemed as if his tracker got diverted earlier. He was tracked down to Las Vegas at the same time that you and Brenda were.”
“He was,” Illya replied. He looked at Napoleon, then back at Sir John. “What was the version he gave you?”
“He claims to have been following a lead,” Sir John responded. “Frankly, I don’t believe him.”
Napoleon nudged him. “Are you going to tell him or should I, brother-in-law?”
Illya checked the ammo in his gun. “Travers showed up at the wedding chapel. He tried to talk Brenda out of getting married.”
He walked into a nearby secretarial station and picked up a phone. He dialed an extension. “Mr. Talredge, take Mr. Travers into custody. Have him transported to New York for interrogation.” He put the receiver back in the cradle of the phone and said simply “We’ll discuss that part later.”
A few hours later, in a side room inside the house on the island, Brenda and Larry were locked in with a rather elaborate computer system, whispering amongst themselves. "You know we can't do this," Larry said, keeping his voice low so the guard outside wouldn't hear. "That's suicide!"
“Maybe,” she simply said. She was typing something on the keyboard of the computer and hit the enter key. “Oh,” she whispered. “We’ve got 30 minutes to get out of the house.”
“What?” he asked.
“That’s not the program in the drive. It’s one of those boom-boom diskettes. More bang than boom, though. In just a short bit, that computer is going to blow this house to pieces.” She motioned for Larry to get on the ledge over the door and hid on one side of it.
The guard peeked in a couple of minutes later and didn’t see anyone. He opened the door and Larry jumped down on him, effectively knocking him down. Brenda grabbed a fire extinguisher and, for good measure, knocked the guy in the head as hard as she could with it. She quickly grabbed the rifle and darted out the door with Larry following close behind, having grabbed the backup gun that was on the guard’s hip. She scanned both ends of the hall and saw no one. "Come on," she motioned.
Larry slipped out behind her and they ran for the steps. "Can we stop by the gift shop on the way out?" he joked. He moved a couple of steps above her and before he got halfway, another guard opened the door at the top of the steps and immediately pulled his gun on them. Brenda scooted behind Larry and slipped her rifle up under his arm and fired. The bullet hit the guard in his right side and he dropped the rifle as he bent over, clutching his stomach.
The gun fell down to the next step above Larry and, as Brenda fired another round into the guard, he picked it up. He looked up to see the guard, scarlet red blood pouring from his head, lunge backwards and land on the top three steps. "Damn!" he exclaimed, his eyes as big as saucers. "I'd hate to piss you off." They crept up the steps, slowly, listening for any sounds of movement from above.
Outside on the north side of the island, approximately half a mile from the house, the two parachutes landed on the ground. A couple of minutes later, Napoleon and Illya emerged and quickly unfastened the harnesses. As they looked around, they noticed a jeep coming in their direction. They quickly drew out their guns as the vehicle got closer and the two occupants in orange spotted them. The jeep came to a screeching halt and before they could get to their guns, two shots rang out in the night air and the two guards slumped over grotesquely in their seats. Napoleon and Illya quickly ran over and pulled them out of vehicle and onto the ground.
A few minutes later, the jeep found its way to the front entrance, with Napoleon in the front seat and Illya behind the wheel, in the borrowed orange uniforms. They got out and, from the front porch, a guard approached and remarked, "I haven't seen the two of you before," as he lifted his rifle.
Napoleon grabbed the rifle with both hands and pushed the guard up against the front wall of the house. "Nice night, isn't it?" he asked as in one split second, he jerked up the butt end and knocked the guy in the neck, sending him down and out for the count.
Back inside, Brenda and Larry were creeping up into the foyer of the first floor when they came across two more guards, which they were able to quickly disable. Brenda opened a door to her left and banged the door against the wall with every bit of strength she had, only to knock down someone in the process. She pointed her gun and fired. "I don't care who you are, but don't even think about moving!!!" she growled. She peeked around to see Harry in the floor, holding his nose. "Move, asshole!" she ordered, motioning with the gun.
Harry laughed. "You're not serious," he groaned, obviously not taking her seriously.
"I said 'move'," she growled again, firing a shot into his shoulder. "Preferably before I decide to have Grilled Harry for dinner."
He quickly obeyed and went toward the desk, where Brenda forced him into a chair. "I - I - I -" he started.
"Save it!" she yelled. "You weren't roped into this by anyone, so don't irritate me further!" She heard more gunshots and saw Larry rush in, asking "Is this the catch of the day?"
"Yeah," she answered. "Now if I had some rope, -" She sat on the desk in front of Harry, her foot mashing Harry's privates. “As well as a stick of dynamite and a match.” There was an evil gleam in her eyes and she smiled wickedly.
"Gonna blow him a new asshole, are you?” he asked as he checked a closet. He rummaged through and found some chains and a whip. "Whoo-hoo!" he catcalled. "We're gonna get kinky now." He grabbed them from the shelf and, after cautiously locking the door, ran over and began harnessing their uncle.
"Don't!" Harry started begging. "I'll give you two whatever you want. I'll even let you two go free."
Larry ignored him and completed his task while listening to Brenda muse over their options. "Tie Harry up, let him go."
"Shut up," Larry groaned. "You know as well as I do that if we let him go, he'll kill us." He found a black scarf and stuffed it in Harry's mouth to shut him up. “Too bad we don’t have time to strip him and whip him.”
“Pity we don’t have time for the dynamite, either,” she replied as she gave Harry a good stiff kick in his privates that sent him reeling as far as the chains would allow. He had tears in his eyes and his anguished cries were muffled by the scarf. “May you rest in pieces, Harry,” she chirped with an evil grin as she scurried out the door with Larry hot on her heels.
There was no one in the foyer, so they made a run for the front door. From the upstairs, two more guards came out, firing. They darted into a doorway and into the living room, where he quickly hid behind the door while Brenda fired away, eliminating two more THRUSHmen. She was about to off the butler, but before she could pull the trigger, Illya entered through the front door and, with rifle drawn, fired off a shot at the butler. The butler reeled backwards for what seemed like an eternity as he gasped for breath and his hand reached out in a futile attempt to hold the staircase railing. His hand slipped and he tumbled down the steps, one by one, creating a thudding sound that echoed through the foyer until he landed at the bottom.
Brenda saw him and both she and Larry ran out into the foyer. "Illya!” Brenda hollered. “Get out of here! The computer’s about to blow up!”
“What?” he asked.
“It’s one of the exploding floppies. It’ll blow up the computer, as well as the entire house. Like totally to pieces,” she quickly explained as Illya grabbed her arm and ran with her out the front door with Larry following close behind.
Out around the perimeter of the island, a group of boats raced toward the island, each carrying six people in full UNCLE battalion gear. In perfect synchronization, they pulled up as if in a circle around the island and the two who were already exposed started firing at the THRUSH guards in an effort to distract them from what was going on inside the house. The THRUSH guards fired back and before long, several THRUSH and a couple of UNCLE guerrillas dropped like flies.
Napoleon was inside, having come in through the back entrance. He was quickly scanning the main level of the house when he heard a loud ticking and a computerized voice counting down “Thirty, twenty-nine, twenty-eight . . .” There no other sounds in the area.
His communicator went off. He quickly answered it “Solo here.”
“Napoleon!” Illya called out frantically. “Get out of the house. It’s going to blow up.”
“Oh, so that’s what’s ticking.” He hung up and, before he could start for the front door straight ahead, he heard a familiar voice call out from a side room. He quickly went to investigate and saw Harry tied up in the floor, begging for mercy. “I would offer you a hand there, Harry boy, but I see you’re a bit tied up right now.”
“Let’s make a deal here,” Harry started. “Sepheran’s not here. I know you’re looking for him, but he’s not here. I can take you to him.”
“What’s the catch?” he asked, still hearing the ticking echoing through the silence.
“I want my girls.”
He laughed. “All this over the girls.” He shook his head. “And you made it look like Sepheran was involved in this as well, didn’t you?”
“Yes, I made that part up. But I know where he is. Just give me Lynda and Brenda.”
“That will be over my dead body,” he simply answered, taking the butt end of his rifle and knocking Harry out cold with it. Noticing a side door, he heard the countdown continue “ten, nine, eight . . .” and made a mad dash for the exit.
Just as Napoleon had opened the door and ran through it, the computer in the other room exploded with such force, the entire house went up with it. Fragments of metal, glass, concrete, marble, wood flew into the air and into a zillion pieces. A thick cloud of smoke was billowing from the remains as the debris fell down like snow.
A couple of days later, back at UNCLE headquarters in New York, Napoleon walked into Sir John’s office to find that darn mannequin sitting in the chair behind the desk. He just shook his head and walked to the desk and picked up the phone.
At that moment, he heard an eerie voice from the past asking, “What do you have to say for yourself, Mr. Solo?”
He turned around and saw the mannequin’s facial expression slowly change to a smile. He slowly put the phone down and was startled to say the least. Then, he really started to inwardly panic when he saw the mannequin get up out of the chair. He felt his heart racing and he was starting to break out in a sweat as it moved toward him. He quickly backed up and ran out of the office.
He ran out into the reception area to see Lynda standing there, dressed comfortably in slacks and a yellow button down oxford shirt, playing with buttons on a remote control. Even though he was about to blow a gasket, when he saw her, his mood immediately changed. “How did you manage to get that done in two days?” he wanted to know.
She grinned. “Yeah, yeah. Missed you too.” She walked over and kissed him. “As for your question, I had a little help from the guys down in Camouflage and Deception.” She looked around. “Where’s everybody?”
He broke out laughing, as he could never seem to stay mad at her for long. “Let’s see, Larry’s with Sir John in the Bahamas for a few days. And Brenda is fine. She’s currently on her honeymoon.”
“Ah, in that case maybe we should find out where they’re at.” She winked and cut off the remote, stopping the mannequin dead in its tracks in the doorway. “Feel like crashing a party?”
“Don’t you think that would be rude?” he asked, pulling her into his arms.
“I tend to see it more as returning the compliment.” She had a thought. “Wonder if we could take Grandaddy in there with us.”
“Oh no!” He shook his head. “You are not taking that thing out of here.” He looked back through the doorway and a thought occurred. He smirked. “Okay, but if they ask, this was all your idea.”
A couple of months passed and it was the middle of June. In those few weeks, a lot had happened. Harry had been found alive, but had escaped transport to New York for interrogation. Malcolm Travers had been taken into custody and was looking at jail time for his part. No sign of Serena either. Larry was spending the summer hanging out with Brenda and Illya in their new home and getting ready for his final year at L’Academie de Lafayette. Sir John was preparing for retirement and his return to his native England and his family castle. Jacques resigned from the District Attorney’s office after the raid at Cha-Cha’s and Jean-Claude was back in Texas on his ranch, tying up loose ends before he retired. Harry’s inheritance was sitting in a bank account in the Cayman Islands, the other one point three billion was divided up among bank accounts in Zurich and London, in trust for both Lynda and Brenda. Justin Sepheran’s whereabouts were still unknown.
At UNCLE headquarters in New York, Sir John was inviting Napoleon and Illya into the office. “There’s something we need to discuss,” he began, motioning for them to take a seat.
They both sat down and waited for Sir John to continue. After he sat down, he began. “I realize that the two of you have reconsidered coming back into the family fold. However, even though this fiasco with the disk and Harry, not to mention the girls, has created quite an uproar, the remaining members of Section One have been persuaded to overlook all that. The number one position is still yours, Napoleon.”
Napoleon was stunned. “Er, I guess you need an answer on the spot.” He looked over at Illya and remarked, “I could use a good right-hand man. You game?”
Illya shook his head. “Why not ask Kowalski?”
“Well, I would. Except he’s still a bit put out over the incident with the gorillas.”
“What incident with the gorillas?” he wanted to know. “What did I miss while I was gone?” He cringed. “After that stunt you pulled with the Mr. Waverly decoy.”
“Me?” he asked. “That was Lynda’s idea. She said she was sorry.”
Illya gave him an unconvincing look. “I don’t think she’s ever been sorry for a single thing she has done so far in her life. Now what did I miss with Kowalski?”
“Oh,” he started, “well, while you and Brenda were busy in the Virgin Islands enjoying your honeymoon, it seemed that Kowalski somehow ended up stranded in the middle of an African jungle minus his clothes and being chased by a group of overly eager gorillas.”
Illya was quite surprised. “How did he end up there?”
“Apparently he was shipped via UPS.”
He snickered. “He has every right to be put out,” he responded after regaining his composure. “I guess since you can’t find anyone else, I could maybe fill in for awhile until you can find someone more permanent.”
“Okay, if you want to look at it that way,” Napoleon replied. He knew once he got Illya back into the fold, he wasn’t going to go anywhere.
Changing the subject, he remarked “I heard Larry’s staying with you and Brenda so he can finish up at Lafayette.”
“Oh yes,” Illya replied. “I take it you realize he wasn’t the only one not allowed to graduate.”
“How well I know,” Napoleon replied a bit awkwardly. “You do realize this makes for a rather interesting and delicate situation. As I understand this deal, if the three of them finish up this fall semester without causing any trouble, then they’ll get their diplomas. And Harvard is still wanting them to attend after Grad.”
“The Harvard part isn’t going to be feasible,” Illya mused. “I take it you have something in mind.”
“First thing is to get those three through this final semester. And if Harry’s still alive, as the reports I’ve been receiving are showing, that’s going to be a challenge in more ways than one.”
“Add to that the fact that Serena’s daughter is returning in the fall,” Illya mused. “I wonder if she’s heard anything from her mother.”
“She’s already been interrogated. She claims Serena put her and her cohort on a plane to the states without any mention of where she would be heading to.”
“Wherever Serena is, there’s more than a fair chance that Harry’s with her, which has me gravely concerned.”
“Needless to say, I don’t believe what she says myself.”
Sir John decided to intervene. “As I won’t be running the show much longer, I’ll let the two of you decide how you want to proceed with surveillance on Miss Jameson.”
“I have an idea on that,” Illya started. “I thought we could discuss it this evening over the grill.”
“Steaks on the grill sounds good,” he agreed. “But what do you know about gas grills?”
“At least I know enough not to let the all the gas burn out of the tank before I put the meat on.”
Napoleon thought on that for a moment. “I’ll make sure we bring the fire extinguisher,” he cattily returned.
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