Waverly looked to Angelique, “Mlle. Le Chien is right. Someone will have to go into headquarters wearing those hearing aids and hopefully be able to make their way down to the labs where the device is and put it out of commission.”
“Mister Waverly sir,” George spoke up.” I volunteer. It’s not like I get to do anything out in the field and at least I can help with this.”
“Very well Mister Dennell.”
“But sir, I think I would be better equipped to disassemble the device and render it harmless,” Illya protested.
“Like you did with this one Mister Kuryakin?” He pointed to the broken pieces still on the floor. The Old Man’s retort hit home, and Illya backed off. He was embarrassed at the primitive method he’d chosen to disable it, still it was done as a last resort.
“It’s settled then, Mister Dennell will enter headquarters. We will maintain constant contact with him via communicators…”
“And if I start to lose it, you’ll know.”
George suddenly felt a bit queasy; not that he was having second thoughts. He liked the idea of playing the hero for once, and at least no one would be shooting at him. There was no explosive Waverly ring on his finger to worry about, what was the worst that could happen? He’d fall asleep. That wasn’t so bad.
They all returned to headquarters and gathered outside of Del Floria’s, all remaining on the sidewalk in front of the tailor shop. Angelique was being guarded by the capable hands of Miss Dancer, Napoleon and Illya remained by Waverly’s side, guarding him as well.
Some the agents remained behind to clean up the mess at the hotel, while the remainder of them returned to headquarters though they remained in their vehicles. There they stood watch against any sort of attack from THRUSH given headquarters was so vulnerable.
That was a major concern, though according to Angelique, she thought Reuter had not shared his plans with them. He wanted to inform the Council after the fact that the U.N.C.L.E. headquarters in New York, as well as Napoleon Solo no longer existed.
Still, Waverly was only willing to trust her word so much.
“Here goes,”George said as he stuck the hearing aids in his ears with the volume level turned on full.
He slowly descended the steps, and opening the door to the little tailor shop he heard the brass bell ring, though he had to cover his ears as the normally gentle tinkle was like the bells of Big Ben booming in his ears.
He daren’t adjust the volume.
No one was there in the shop and he lowered the steam press twice, though why he did that he didn’t know. No one in Security would be watching as they were all probably out.
Stepping into the dressing room and turning the hook, he waited as the door slowly opened to the reception area.
Wanda was sound asleep at her desk, and though he knew no one would answer if an alarm went off, he lifted her hand, touching her fingers to the small chemical pad there and placing his badge in her fingers allowed them leave their imprint on it.
George pinned his ID to his jacket but paused for a second, holding his hand to his swollen jaw. The painkiller the dentist had given him was wearing off.
The secondary door opened with a soft woosh, and Dennel made his way down the grey corridors littered with sleeping personnel.
He spoke into his communicator,“I’m inside and am making my way to the elevator.”
George suddenly yawned. “Oh boy, I’m starting to feel really tired.”
“George, don’t you go to sleep on us,” Napoleon said.”Concentrate on what you have to do.”
“Concentrate? Sure yeaaah, I can do that,” he yawned again.
Making it to the elevator, He stepped over Heather McNabb as she lay asleep on the floor of the elevator in a not so flattering position with her legs spread apart.
Feeling embarrassed for her, he laid his jacket over her before he hit the button for the floor where the labs were located…
“Gotta keep going, gotta keep going. Gee, Napoleon I really need to take a nap.”
“GEORGE stay with me!” Napoleon raised his voice.
It took all of ten minutes before they lost contact with him.
“Chyort!” Illya cursed. “I should have gone as I surely would have lasted longer.
“Mister Kuryakin will you please curb your language,”Waverly chastised him.”Your propensity for cursing is only outdone by your partner’s libidinous liaisons with the fairer sex.”
That suddenly made them all laugh, including the Old Man himself.
“If we can not turn off the device, then it must be destroyed,” Kuryakin regained his composure.
“And how can we do that?” April asked.
Illya thought for a moment before he drew his cigarette lighter from his suit pocket and lit it.
“Mister Kuryakin surely you’re not suggesting we set headquarters on fire, that would be preposterous,” Waverly huffed.
“No sir, but I might be able to trick our sprinkler system into thinking there is a fire. The device, if exposed to water just might short circuit.”
“Not to mention the other electronics in headquarters,” Napoleon said.
“Yes some, but most of our equipment has shielded wiring and covers that move into place when the sprinklers are activated. There would be minimal damage, and nothing irreparable.”
Waverly sighed heavily this time. Accounting was going to have a field day with this expense. Still it was a necessary evil to free Headquarters and those who remained captive within it.
“Very well Mister Kuryakin, proceed.”
“Mister Waverly,” Napoleon said. “I suggest we move to the Masque Club in the meantime. Better to have you off the street in the event of an attack...”
No sooner had Solo uttered those words when gunfire began.
Waverly’s agents gathered round him, protecting him with their bodies, as well as Angelique’s; they returned fire as best they could until finally making it to the club entrance at the end of the block.
There was an grunt from Solo just before they went inside; he’d been hit in the thigh but still he soldiered on with the others as they scrambled to get Waverly to safety.
The door was locked and quickly barricaded; given there were no windows, that was in their favor at the moment, unless their attackers decided to use explosives to get inside.
One of the waitresses grabbed several bar towels and quickly saw to Napoleon’s leg with the help of Angelique.
April ushered Mr. Waverly behind the bar and into a safe room, ignoring the few scantily clad waitresses in scanty little black costumes that resembling those worn Playboy bunnies. The girls had removed their black lace masks and drew their guns, though for the life it Dancer had no idea where they could have hidden them.
She reminded herself to have a talk about these risqué and rather demeaning outfits once this situation had been dealt with.
The club itself was decorated with large palm trees, paneled walls and old oil paintings which had no particular theme. There was oriental pottery along with brass and ivory trinkets as well as carved statuary in every nook and cranny of the place. To April it looked rather ramshackled even for a men’s club; she’d already made up her mind that it was going to eventually be q co-ed establishment. Perhaps the shoe would be on the other foot if there were male waiters dressed in skimpy outfits too.
Those remaining in the front of the club, including the waitresses and bartenders, all of whom were employed by the U.N.C.L.E, readied themselves for the invading Thrush agents. There was no doubt in their minds they’d be coming; they knew Waverly was here.
The agents remaining who’d been outside in their cars, exited them and began returning fire at the attacking Thrush who’d blocked off both ends of the street with their vehicles.
Kuryakin locked eyes with Solo, a silent farewell passed between them as this could be it, yet there was hope in those looks that they’d see each other alive again.
Illya ducked behind the bar and walking through a door that led to a supply room, he entering his access code in a keypad at the next door.
There was no one manning the desk and he grabbed an ID badge being sure to coat it with the chemical agent to prevent the klaxons from sounding.
He entered the maze of corridors leading from the club; his destination was the machine room where the air conditioning, heat, electrical panels and the fire control systems were located.
There was no way THRUSH knew how to penetrate this area as it was deep beneath headquarters and not accessible from the outside.
The roar of the machinery and steam hissing from pipes assaulted Kuryakin’s ears as he headed to fire control.
Once there he lifted a panel and after punching in his security code and looking over the controls, he realized there was no override to have the sprinklers kick in without a real fire.
Illya stood, and after scratching his head for a moment he looked around for a sprinkler head that was within reach; there were none as the ceiling was to high.
Not thinking twice about it, he began shimmying up one of the nearby pipes, and as he neared a sprinkler he lit his cigarette lighter and held it beneath it.
Seconds later the water shot out, drenching him as well as everything around him. Sliding down the pipe, he headed back to the club, hoping everyone was all right.
He didn’t like having to leave his partner after being wounded but he did what he had to...they always did and hoped for the best, that they’d live to see another day.
The water was still coming down from the sprinklers as he entered the club and Illya found debris everywhere; the Thrusies had blown open the door.
The sprinklers going off left a coating of wet dust on everyone and everything, but it cleared clearing the air enough for Napoleon and the others to defend themselves from behind the bar.
Illya joined them, coming to his partner’s side.
“Good to see you are still with us,” he said as he got off a shot before ducking down again behind the bar.
“I don’t think we’ll last much longer if this keeps up.” Napoleon shook his head.
They were running out of ammunition when suddenly everything stopped.
Solo’s communicator came to life, breaking the silence.
“Napoleon are you there, it’s George! It worked, the water shorted the thing out. Everyone’s back on their feet and defending headquarters. Thrush made it inside but they...I mean, we fought them off. They surrendered! It’s over!” Ebullience filled Dennell’s voice and a cheer went up among those in the Masque club.
Kuryakin went to the safe room, giving Dancer and Waverly the all clear.