You Only Die Twice

CHAPTER FOUR

Max sat in his hospital bed, unable to move. He wanted to go home, that's what he wanted to do, but he couldn't. In the last couple of hours, he came to the realization that he was dead. His friends thought he was dead. And worse, his family thought he was dead.

So? a small voice asked. Years ago, it wouldn't have mattered.

But now it does, he responded to himself. And it was the latter that was the important factor.

His family.

Before, his family (or what was left of them) wouldn't matter that much, but this time, they were everything to him and to know they were sitting somewhere, mourning him...

Unbelievable.

He was still fuzzy on what exactly happened, but from what the doctor had said and what the President had said, he had a picture. He had been ambushed, of course, at the warehouse. All of his training as an agent should've made him more cautious, instead he had made a mistake that nearly cost him his life. That only put him in more of a foul mood than before.

That mistake...that mistake had landed him here, in this hospital he didn't even knew existed. The President had told him this was a facility for high security personal. It had been built with the intention if any high ranking officials ever got injured and needed to recover without the world being aware of their injuries.

Or even deaths.

The President then went on to tell Max that everyone now thought and knew to be fact that he, Maxwell Smart, was dead. Shot in a warehouse stakeout in the early morning hours. When Max protested, the President had told him of the plans that he had for the former agent turned Chief.

A martial arts group known as the Crazy 88s had made camp, so to speak, in Washington, DC. The group was bad enough, but it seemed KAOS had also caught wind of the group's arrival, way before the government had and was currently financing their living expenses and what not. The President believed they were held up at the warehouse Max had been staking out. It would be assumed that Max's shooter was one of the members of the Crazy 88s.

As the President went on about how his death would now make it easy to spy on the warehouse, Max was growing more and more angry and frustrated. How in the world would he be able to tell his family about his situation?

He wouldn't.

But what about his wife? She'd go crazy.

She'd get over it.

It was out of the question.

It was his job. As Chief, as well as a former agent of Control, his duty was to serve his country first. No questions asked.

And that was the end of THAT conversation.

So the President had left Max in his room, assured the man knew his duty and was to adhere to it, which of course Max would have to. It was fairly common knowledge that if not for his wife in Congress, Control would've gone down the drain of loss years ago. It was partly 99's backing that got him to the position he was now. Together they had made sure the twins could be active agents.

Max shook his head. He'd be adament the next time the President came calling. He wouldn't do this assignment, not if it meant his family would suffer believing him to be dead. He couldn't put them through that. He knew what it was like when a family losses one of its members due to the violence of being a Control agent. Hell, he'd been to the majority of the funerals! He hated the looks on those faces.

Swinging his legs over the side, he felt some minor stiffness. With determination in his eyes, he decided then and there.

He would be talking to his family.