Josephina Kuryakin arrived at Waverly’s office feeling like a child caught doing something wrong. It was unusual for him to call down and ‘ask’ an agent to come up to his office. Trying to figure out what she might have done, she sat waiting to be called in.
Entering the office, she found it empty except for herself and Waverly who wasn’t examining a file, as was his normal practice, but looking at her.
“Sit down Miss Kuryakin.”
“Sir, is there a problem?”
“No but I do want to talk to you about the upcoming assignment I’m assigning to you.”
Jo didn’t understand where this was going. Usually she was given an assignment and orders.
“Doctor Phillippe Germani is a dangerous member of Thrush that has designed deadly drugs in the past that we’ve managed to stop before they spread but each one has been increasingly more dangerous than the last. All our operatives we have sent to stop him this time have been found dead. I need an agent who isn’t known in San Diego but can get close to him.”
“Yes sir, when do I go?”
“Not so fast, there are a few things you need to hear first. Mr. Germani is a violent man who enjoys controlling women with aggression and violence. His last girlfriend was found dead yesterday. His favorite type of women is weak and submissive. He prefers blue eyed women with long hair, especially redheads.”
“I understand sir, what do you want me to do?”
“You’d have to change your demeanor completely to be his type. Let me make this clear, you don’t have to accept this assignment, as his cruelty would be directed toward you in all areas of your relationship.”
“Sir, I am assigned to UNCLE to do as I’m ordered.”
Waverly raised his head quickly and stared her in the eyes. “Miss Kuryakin it’s time you and your brother realize you’re no longer only Soviet citizens. You’re also American citizens and therefore you have a right to choice.”
Jo said nothing as for a second then. “Not meaning any disrespect sir, may I ask you a question?”
A smile appeared on Waverly face. “I’ll answer it without you asking. No I wouldn’t be asking a male agent the same thing. Sex is something that is very powerful in our business. Many in Section 1 aren’t sure women should be in the field. However, this is a program I strongly believe in. They are watching how you and Miss Dancer perform under this type of situation. I want to see it succeed but not at the unnecessary expense of my agents. Now if you have no other questions, can we continue?”
Jo nodded feeling as if she had been reprimand.
“Mr. Solo and Mr. Kuryakin will be following up with the storage areas after you discover their location. Your assignment will be to find out where the samples of this drug are stored in the various cities through the country and find the formula. What we know is that Germani has a number of locations hidden in different locations. Finally, the doctor can no longer be left free to develop another drug. He’s to be dispatched with extreme prejudice. Any questions?”
The last request was seldom issued but clear. She was to ensure Dr. Phillippe Germani was dead at the end of the assignment.
“I understand completely sir.”
Arrangements made, Jo was on the next plane to San Diego.
Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin entered Waverly's office and took their regular seats. Waverly had a number of files in front of him, and the men waited while he finished placing them in piles.
“Gentlemen,” he said looking up at them while he spun the table around to place the files in front of them. “Miss Kuryakin has been able to determine that Thrush has one of its manufacturing and storage areas here in New York besides the home lab in San Diego. Although she doesn’t have the exact location, she has obtained the phone number of the man the doctor has been calling.”
“Just the phone number, sir?” Illya asked looking at the file in front of him. The information about the drug made him nervous. If successful it would condemn a person to a life with no will of their own.
“How sure are we about this drug, sir?”
“To your first question, we have just a phone number. The location is for you do determine. As for the accuracy of our information about the drug, you’ve both visited the medical section and seen the two men who were injected with it. Until we find an antidote according to the doctors they’ll just sit in a room as vegetables. To this point, our labs haven’t been able to develop an anything that makes a difference. We need pure samples of the drug and the formula. You assignment is to get a sample for us.”
“Gentlemen it’s important that we find the place and any other site Miss Kuryakin comes up with and destroy them. Unfortunately once you put each one out of business the next will be harder to destroy and more traps will be set for you. Good Luck.”
The dismissal was obvious.
Looking over the next folder, Waverly looked up to Napoleon clearing his voice.
“Yes, Mr. Solo is something not clear?”
“I was wondering how Miss Kuryakin is. She’s been undercover for two weeks now and we haven’t heard from her.”
“She’s doing her job as expected. I recommend you do the same. Now if you have nothing else, I suggest you get moving on your assignment.”
Napoleon left without another word until they were in their office the door closed.
“Sometimes I wonder if he has a heart,” his voice indicating his displeasure with his boss.
“My friend, you would do the same if an agent asked you a question like that.” Although worried about her, himself, he understood Waverly's position.
But she’s your……”
“Do not go there Napoleon. I am very concerned about her but this life is her choice and we do not have the right to interfere with her decision.”
“What happened to the man who told her he didn’t want her to be a Section Two agent?” Napoleon demanded.
“I learnt that you cannot change what one believes they must do. You have made the decision to wait until after you are forty to marry admitting you cannot stop doing what you feel you were meant to do. Do not ask Jo to give up her beliefs.”
“I'm just worried,” the American admitted.
“We both are. The sooner we get started, the sooner she will be back.”
Napoleon took his file and soon the two were designing a plan to close up the New York lab and storage area.
“The number is from a phone booth in Park Slope, Brooklyn.” Napoleon showed his partner the slip of paper that Section Four tracked down for them.
“And where is Park Slope?” Illya asked while putting his glasses on to read the information handed to him.
“Park Slope is a neighborhood in northwest Brooklyn. Remember that plane crash in 1960 where the plane cartwheeled up Sterling Place. That’s the Park Slope neighborhood.”
The phone booth was on a corner outside a florist shop on Flatbush Avenue. The men sat in a 1967 Plymouth Belvedere watching for the booth. Jo’s message had said that Germani had called his man in New York every day at 4 am California time.
“Couldn’t you check out a better car that this. It’s not exactly flattering my image,” Napoleon complained.
“According to Section Four research and their State Assemblyman this area is a neighborhood in serious trouble. Even the residents say that its rat-infested buildings are a serious blight and a breeding place for “prostitution, crime, vice, narcotics and immorality’. Your idea of a convertible would not be appropriate for this stakeout.”
Napoleon mumbled something about always putting the best foot forward that made Illya roll his eyes and smirk.
As the sun rose over the area, the men were able to see the area they were in. The once beautiful Edwardian and Victorian row houses were pockmark with peeling paint, broken windows and missing stoop stones.
“The sign for rent on that building advertises eight units. Even in Russia that would be considered going too far,” Illya said watching children spilling out the front door.
The children ran into the street playing tag around the car not paying attention to the dangers around them.
“Leave it to Thrush to set up their operations in a location that’s already in need of help. The lady over there is opening her flower shop. Let’s see if she can help us out.”
As they entered the shop, the woman behind the counter reached under it and left her hand there. “What do you two want? You’re not from around here.”
Napoleon flashed one of his most dazzling smiles. “We’re wondering if perhaps you could help us out.”
“Are you two from that group trying to get rid of us and here to threaten me? I’m not one of these frighten rabbits who you men have been trying to coax or even scare into selling their homes and businesses. There is nothing worse you could do to me than take away what is mine. Now get out of my store and tell those monsters you’re working for I’m not selling.”
While Napoleon was keeping the woman’s attention, Illya managed to get behind her. He grabbed her hand Just as she brought up a can of lye behind the counter.
“Give me that you…you…”
Napoleon looked at the can of lye, “Why do you have that behind there?”
“I’m gonna protect myself again them young hoodlums out there from stealing me blind. Or anyone else who tries.” She gave both of them a look that dared them to try something, her accent getting thicker as she talked.
“We are not here to harm you. We might even be able to help you,” Illya said his English accent becoming deeper.
“You’re a limey?”
“I studied in England.” Illya explained.
“Well ask your questions but no funny stuff.”
Continuing to smile, Napoleon said. “I’m Napoleon Solo and this is my partner, Illya Kuryakin. We work for an organization that is trying to put a stop to what has been happening in the neighborhood. There’s a man who come to that phone booth out there every few days about 4 am and answers the phone. We’re trying to find out where he goes.”
“About your height, blond hair and he limps?” She asked.
“We really do not know what he looks like just that he answers the phone there.” Illya explained.
“That’s the Harason’s boy. Always was a troublemaker. Now he thinks he’s some big shot that can push the people in the neighborhood around.” She spit at the picture. “Well he doesn’t scare me.”
“Do you know where we could find him?”
“Him and those other varmints hang out at the broken down building on Seventh Avenue and Sterling Avenue. You can’t miss it. There a big V out of the top floors.”
Napoleon kissed her hand before setting it down causing her to blush. “Thank you. And we’ll clear out some of those varmints for you.”
Chapter 2 http://mfu-canteen.livejournal.com/1399160.html