The very last line of a long poem...
"Pudet haec opprobrium vobis. Et dici potuisse et non potuisse refelli."
("This is embarrassing for you to reproach. And to have been able to be called, and could not have been refuted)
"I hate this," Napoleon whispered out the side of his mouth.
"Me too, but it must be," Illya responded. "We have no choice."
"Why does it have to be so...public?"
"UNCLE must have it's pound of flesh I suppose? Still Napoleon, it is but a small price to pay."
"Risking our lives isn't payment enough?"
They walked to the daïs set up in the gymnasium; climbing the steps, they turned to face the crowd.
Everyone hushed as Kennedy spoke...
"In honor of meritorious service, and having gone above and beyond the call of duty, I hereby award..."
Illya couldn't believe it. He had to blink his eyes and look again. Yes, it was true. He was on a farm, but none of the animals were behaving normally.
He had to duck as two winged pigs flew right for his head, the second one carrying a couple of daisies in its mouth. On a nearby fence, a bull sat crowing like a rooster. "Cock a doodle doo! Cock a doodle doo!" Why the massive weight of the huge animal didn't crush the fence, Illya had no idea.
On the ground, chickens crept about bleating like sheep and eating the grass, which was blue. A few feet away, a trio of goats clucked and nibbled corn from the ground.
"Where am I? What is happening?" The Russian felt a rising panic as he gazed around at the bizarre scene.
"Illya! Snap out of it!" He blinked again and was no longer on the crazy farm but was in a tiny, bare cell with Napoleon.
"You ate those cookies, didn't you?" Napoleon's tone was accusatory.
"The only thing we've been given to eat in the last twenty-four hours. I knew they were laced with LSD. That's why I didn't eat
“Why is it that people, both men and women seek to control and manipulate others?” Illya said, tossing a mission report on his desk.
Napoleon was relaxing on the leather sofa in their office, reading the New York Times. He peeked over the top of the newspaper to respond.
“You’re just asking this now?”
“No, I am just voicing it now; I have always been amazed by people’s capacity to try to domineer.”
“I suppose chum it’s all about the power, it’s a formidable aphrodisiac, as well as being addictive. There’s a saying, ‘absolute power, corrupts absolutely.”
It was a relief as the two U.N.C.L.E. agents slipped into their seats on board their United flight, taking them back to New York.
It had been a rough assignment that ended up in a near disaster. Both Napoleon and Illya did not come out unscathed as each had broken arms, and their faces were pretty well beaten up from their interrogation session with a T.H.R.U.S.H. megalomaniac.
The looks they received as they hobbled through the airport terminal, and check-in were almost unnerving, and Illya turned, sounding off.
“What? You have never seen a person who had been in an automobile accident before?”
That barbed comment had people quickly turning away in embarrassment.
“Nice move chum,” Napoleon whispered, “that’ll teach ‘em to stare.”