THE PROTECTING THE PAST AFFAIR

Chapter 1

"Perhaps if the physician first buys you dinner…?"

"Would you mind explaining this impossible situation again, gentlemen?" asked a significantly shocked, though thoroughly thrilled at the improbable prospect, Alexander Waverly within the bomb-proofed seclusion of his singular U.N.C.L.E. office.

Still staring in palpable puzzlement at two nearly-as-old-as-he-was men from U.N.C.L.E. presently seated in two ultra-modern chairs on the opposite side of his oval oak-and-metal escritoire…

Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin.

"Go ahead, my Russian friend," Napoleon prodded while heaving a very heavy sigh over having already explained such to their owl-like leader. "This is more along your area of expertise than mine."

More than ready to do so, Illya yet again said, "Sir, we are from the future. From 43 years into the future to be more precise. We came back in time to stop a THRUSH chieftain called Darien Driscoll. Perhaps the worst since Andrew Vulcan, whom we now have assumed has been assassinated by Mr. Driscoll at some point prior to his murderously explosive assault that has left our younger selves as dead as a half-dozen others."

"And precisely why again," pressed the prim and proper Briton granted leadership status over the New York United Network Command for Law and Enforcement, while handling one of two Glocks brought back by the decades older Illya and Napoleon, "did you not opt for the more powerful weapons. What were they again?"

"Ruger P90s, sir," said Napoleon with a knowing nod toward what was being presently examined by the bushy browed Number 1, Section 1. "What you have there turned out to be much lighter to carry and, consequently, constructed in such a way so the 'time-transition', or whatever, into 1964 became much more, uh…"

"Does your return from a future period," curtly cut in Mr. Waverly while letting the subject of selected pistols suddenly drop, "mean that whatever mission affairs the two of you had undertaken before would still be…?"

"No, sir," imperturbably interposed Illya, already having analyzed such just prior to this strange briefing session designed to essentially bring Alexander Waverly up-to-speed. "Since such had initially been 'subjectified', to coin a new word, whereas time-travel has been undertaken by two who originally lived these earlier years, yet are now quite dead…meaning we, the older versions of ourselves, must remain in the past in order to protect as much of the present…your future…from potential permutations that might…"

"What Illya's trying to say, sir," suddenly said Napoleon while rolling his hazel eyes in exasperation of such elaborate explanations, "is that, thanks to 'time-travel magic', everything we would've undertaken and, essentially, 'solved', will remain that way. Which just means we get the 'joy' of an entirely new set of decidedly dangerous outgrowths of THRUSH and the like to undertake. Starting in good ol' 1964."

"Well," heaved Waverly, having already accepted the apparently possible, "that's too bad, gentlemen. It would've been exceedingly easier for you two to take on mission affairs wherein you already knew the ultimate outcome."

"Yes," Napoleon Solo sighed, "guess we're back to square one, sir."

"Yes," agreed Alexander Waverly with a look of controlled concern in his basset hound expression. "Which begs the question regarding your, uh, apparent age. To be entirely truthful with you both…you're really too old to be active agents of U.N.C.L.E. Don't you agree?"

Both Illya and Napoleon looked at one another while stifling a tense sound of derision in respects to such seeming an issue for a second time in their re-activated, in 2007, status as secret agents.

Then…

"Sir," Illya finally replied proudly, "as we've already reported, Napoleon and myself have already successfully seen several mission affairs…mostly against the THRUSH of the 21st Century…to their inevitable ends. Meaning that much of what the 20th Century now holds out…"

"What Illya's still trying to say, sir," insisted a ready-to-proceed as an U.N.C.L.E. agent Napoleon, "is that we've more than proved ourselves in a time and place much more dangerous than this. I can guarantee…as can Illya…that we are ready and able to undertake whatever you've got for us."

Contemplatively pondering the strange situation for several tense minutes, wherein Waverly leaned one well-dressed elbow against one arm of his equally ultra-modern chair, that hand rubbing past partially closed-in-concentration eyes in order to end up pensively stroking his chin…

Causing said over-the-hill and out-of-time U.N.C.L.E. agents to glare worriedly at one another for what appeared to be an eternity of slow-ticking time…

"Very well," finally offered Mr. Waverly while shifting anxiously in his seat, "but on the condition that you both meet with medical for physicals and take your new weapons, 'magnetically endowed' add-ons, and impressively-improved upon pen communicators to Section 8. If you two are to resume men from U.N.C.L.E. duties, we all must be certain of the Who and What to be employed. Understood?"

Though Illya clearly concurred, Napoleon was less-than-accepting of such constrictions, even though he was as automatically compliant with Waverly as was his Russian-born partner, as both at last replied, "Yes, sir, Mr. Waverly."

Even as Waverly allowed the heavy metallic door out of his office to open promptly and fluidly for Illya's and Napoleons departure…

"Just what I wanted at my age," Napoleon bemoaned beneath his breath, loud enough for only Illya to hear, "a God-forsaken physical. I just hope there's no 'rubber glove' exam…if you know what I mean."

Stifling an amused smirk, Illya lightly replied, "Perhaps if the physician first buys you dinner…?"

END OF CHAPTER 1