Illya hated to leave Napoleon again but it was necessary for he and April escort the Old Man back into headquarters. Angelique, much to Illya’s distaste was brought along as well.
There were things to do and damage to survey.
Hours later they were seated in Waverly’s conference room. Everything had been cleaned up, though there were sheets of paper that needed drying out that belonged to files that had been on the table and had been soaked.
The easiest way was to hang them up from a clothes line stretched across the length of the room, with the sheets of paper held in place by wooden clothespins. It looked rather odd to say the least.
“It was a job well done everyone,”Waverly held up a glass of his private stash of Aquitaine; he’d given a libation to each person there. Kuryakin, Dancer, joined by her partner Mark Slate, George Dennell as well as Angelique.
The doors to the conference room opened and in hobbled Napoleon; he ducked beneat the line of hanging papers, giving them an odd look.
"Mister Solo," Waverly looked up," what the devil are you doing out of Medical so soon?"
"It was only a .22 caliber...minimal damage. Doctor Greene said as long as I use the crutches, he'd let me go." With that, Solo leaned them against the leather sofa, and limped over to the conference table.
After raising one bushy eyebrow Old Man poured a drink for his number one agent and passed the glass to him.
"As I said just before you arrived, here's to a job well done.
They raised their glasses and downed their drinks, much to the dismay of Alexander Waverly. "Aquitaine should be sipped, but oh why not?" He smiled mischievously before swallowig the rest of his drink.
“Mlle. Le Chien," he addressed her directly," though you are a member of T.H.R.U.S.H. you comported yourself most admirably in helping us. I am taking you at your word that you had no foreknowledge of what Reuter had done to our prototype portable telephone. That being the case, I will let you go...this time. Miss Dancer, Mister Slate if you’d be so good as to escort the young lady from headquarters and see her off in a taxi?”
“With pleasure sir,” April smiled. There was no love lost between her and the THRUSH seductress. She knew she was romantically linked to Napoleon, and though April had broken off her own affair with Solo, she still didn’t like the idea of Angelique in bed with him. Was it a tinge of jealousy or just worry that one day Napoleon would end up dead at the hands of Le Chien? Still he was a big boy and it was his decision.
Waverly waited for them to leave before he spoke again.
“Mister Kuryakin were you and Mister Dennell able to examine the device within our prototype?”
“Yes sir, but I am afraid the water shorted it out completely, and much of the circuitry quickly degraded. It will take some time to repair, if that is at all possible.”
“So we won’t know how he was able to overcome so many with the signal it emanated?” Napoleon asked.
“I’m afraid not,” George said. “To put it simply, it’s a mess.”
“As is headquarters,” Waverly said,” still none of our people were killed.”
“ Mister Kuryakin and Mister Dennell, I’d like you to continue to work on reconstruction Reuter’s device. We need to come up with something more powerful than hearing aids to counter the effects of a such a signaI. One can only hope thatTHRUSH can't replicate it.”
“Yes sir, “they answered in unison.
“Repairs on our systems and equipment are underway as we speak sir,” Napoleon added.”They should be completed within the next forty-eight hours. I’m afraid the Masque Club however, will be out of commission for a bit longer than that.”
“Fortuitous in a way, THRUSH did is a favor in that respect,” Waverly smiled.
“How so?” Illya asked.
“The Club was beginning to look a bit shabby but Accounting was refusing to authorize refurbishing it. Now they have no choice but to approve it.”
The Old Man filled everyone’s glasses again. “Here’s to small favors,” he said.
“And here’s to big ones too. We’re all alive,” said Napoleon. He looked to Illya as he raised his glass.
“Yes, to live to fight another day,”Illya added.
“Hear hear,” grinned Dennell before he giggled. Apparently the Aquitaine was going to his head.