Billy's Case Files

By Ermintrude

See part 1 for disclaimers

Part 38

Suitable For Framing May 14, 1987

Billy sat in Dr. Smyth's office.

"Melrose—we have information that Sascha Chernov is in town and running a little operation codenamed Trojan Horse. This information," he tapped the file on his desk, "came at great trouble and expense. It's top-level KGB stuff. Out of Bulgaria."

"I'll get my people on it right away. Top priority." Billy was eager to get Chernov.

"At least. I don't need to remind you about the black eyes Chernov has managed to give this agency—and other Western espionage operations—over the years. I want him, Billy. I want this guy hung out to dry—publicly." Smyth puffed on his cigarette and got a serious look on his face. "The Soviets have been bold lately—they are still smarting over that PD2 affair. We managed to break into their embassy—drug one of their own—and get out scot-free with the antidote to their prize germ warfare bug. That effectively neutralizes it. They are looking for payback and I don't plan to allow them to get it. So tell your people to be especially careful. I don't want anyone doing anything unorthodox or outside the lines of standard operations. Got it?" He leaned forward and looked threateningly at Billy.

Billy rubbed his thigh where he had gotten shot on that mission. It had healed nicely, but he still got an occasional twinge. "Got it. I'll just take that file and get going, shall I?" He smiled benignly.

"Dismissed." Smyth waved him off and turned his chair away from the section chief. Billy took the file and left Smyth's office.

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Billy read the files and made notes—he arranged a meeting with his staff for early afternoon. He had a few things to check out first.

He made phone calls to some of his contacts who might have information about the KGB and their dealings. He didn't get anything definite—but everyone was alerted and would pass anything they knew on to him ASAP. As he was working out the final mission assignments his phone rang.

"Melrose here."

"Hey Lancer, it's me—Kenneth Wilder. At the UN."

"Hey Kenneth—what's up?"

"I got a message from one of the guys here—he wants to meet with your people this weekend—tomorrow if possible. He says he has some good dirt on the KGB and their recent operations."

"Thanks for the message. Tell your man I'll be up there with one of my best people." He checked his watch and made a mental calculation. "We can arrive this evening—we'll contact you once we've checked in."

"OK Lancer. I'll be waiting for your call. See you tonight."

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Billy and Lee were in a limo in New York—each was conducting business on a cell phone. Lee hung up his phone and waited for Billy to finish his call.

"Billy that was Francine. She talked to Andropolous. He has intel he needs to pass to us—Zulu orange. She's going to meet his contact at a restaurant reception this afternoon at 4:30. Modified Steiglitz maneuver."

"Is she going in alone?" Billy sounded a bit concerned.

"Billy—this is Francine. She can certainly handle it."

"I don't doubt that—but we need to get a better handle on this Trojan Horse thing. And I don't want anyone out there on their own. We need to be careful how we operate this time. After the PD2 thing—the Soviets are probably looking to get some heavy payback. And we can't allow that."

"She's a pro. It will be OK. She'll get the message and then we'll know what Andropolous has. Piece of cake." Lee sounded confident.

"I hope you're right, Scarecrow." Billy sounded a bit weary.

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Billy sat heavily after Lee had briefed him on Francine's escapades. 'She used a civilian to hold the information. That's Scarecrow's forte—well it was back in the fall of '83. Why do I have a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach about this?'

'Lee was very lucky with Amanda. Francine doesn't have Scarecrow's luck. She's a fine agent and great administrator—but even the great ones can be set up. And now the civilian she passed the information to has lost it—his girlfriend may have it. This doesn't look good at all. Hopefully she can get it back before Smyth finds out.'

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Billy was back up in Smyth's office.

"Melrose—what did I tell you about your people playing by the book? Now we have to attend a protest hearing."

"We?" Billy questioned.

"Of course—your people screwed this up—so you get to sit there and take the heat in person with me. Maybe you'll appreciate what I go through when your people decide to get creative."

"Where and when is the hearing, sir?" Billy decided to retreat into disciplined formality.

"Tomorrow morning. But first you and I will get together—informally—with Stetson and Desmond. I want their resignations on my desk by midnight tomorrow evening."

"Resignations!" This was a shock.

"I'm sick and tired of putting up with Scarecrow's antics. This time he's gone too far. He authorized Desmond going off alone on this—and she lost the information she was assigned to pick up. Now we have a formal protest. I won't stand for it. We need to make an example—and those two are it."

"He's my best agent and she's my right hand. You're crippling my unit by demanding their resignations."

"You should have thought of that a long time ago." Smyth pointed his cigarette at Billy. "You are the one who has allowed them all this rope. If you had maintained proper discipline and insisted your people followed procedures we wouldn't be in this mess. The Agency is taking a black eye—and I intend to show everyone here that those responsible for this will be appropriately punished. I'd put them in jail—but I don't have any charges I can get to stick. Yet." He looked menacingly at Billy.

"This sounds like a witch hunt." Billy was angry—the gloves were off.

"Only where it concerns lapses in discipline and procedure. And as long as I'm in charge I expect everyone to follow the book. Capice?"

Billy took a calming breath. Getting himself fired wouldn't do anyone any good. He nodded. "Let's get them together and you can tell them yourself."

"Oh, I fully intend to." Smyth sounded almost gleeful.

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The next day, after the protest hearing, Billy sat at his desk and fumed. 'Lee and Francine have been ordered to submit their resignations by midnight. Their clearances will be pulled and they'll be officially out. For good.'

He pounded his fist on his desk. 'Damn Smyth and his Agency pride. This it Trojan Horse—how Chernov set us up. And Sergei and his people were there every step of the way—getting it all on videotape. Don't the State people realize that? How could they be there to tape unless it was a setup? Their story won't hold water under close scrutiny. I guess someone doesn't want to allow that close scrutiny. And letting the press in.' He shook his head in frustration.

'Obviously there's a lot more going on than I'm read into. And two of my key people are taking the fall. I've gone to the mat for both of them—more than I care to count. But now it's done. I can't do anything more, They will have to resign. And what about Amanda? She will be tainted with her partner's resignation and under a cloud. Will she stay—or will she quit with her husband? Because if he quits—I can't officially allow contact between those two as long as Amanda's still employed here.'

'So I lose three people in the end. Because I would hope she'll be more loyal to her husband than she is to this Agency. Damn Smyth—this is what he'd planned all along. Francine's just unlucky to have gotten caught up in all of it. Maybe I can get their lockout orders pushed to the bottom of the pile. I'll go see Stamps late tonight. Put their stuff at the bottom of her pile. Because if I know Scarecrow—he'll keep trying to beat this. I can't do anything more for them—but I can hope and pray he can clear himself and Francine.'

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Billy was at his desk again after the final outcome of the Trojan Horse case.

'I have to deal with two weeks vacation for Stetson and Desmond. It won't be easy—but that's vastly better than dealing with their permanent absences from this Agency. It was touch-and-go with the CIA when they were caught inside. But they managed to maneuver Sergei and McCaslan into implicating themselves and got the incriminating evidence to bust Trojan Horse wide open. So we managed to break Chernov's little plan and come out on top.'

'That was way too close for my comfort level.' He smiled broadly to himself. 'It was very satisfying to watch Smyth eat crow. And it was Scarecrow who served it up for him. Maybe that will teach Smyth. He has to stop this witch hunt against Scarecrow and Amanda. I'll send my usual report up the street—and maybe I can arrange a brief meeting. I don't want to ruin Smyth—but his actions this past year are damaging to my unit, the Agency and this country.'

Billy thought a bit about the ramifications of that action. 'On second thought, I'll hold off on that meeting. Hopefully Smyth will learn his lesson and it won't be necessary.'

A Matter of Choice May 21, 1987

Billy was closing the file on Brody and Jonathan Stone. 'We've got to get better security measures in place. Brody was able to waltz out of prison and operate with near impunity. We knew he still had cells operating out there. This time he used Francine—she's had a string of bad luck—first Trojan Horse and now her old fiancée that left her at the altar. She pretends she's this heartless cold professional—but she's human like the rest of us. And Jonathan is her Achilles' heel. Brody is a master manipulator—and he played Stone and Francine perfectly.'

'Poor Francine was doubly vulnerable—though Brody couldn't have known about Lee and Amanda. Francine is confronted with their relationship every day. And naturally she wants something like that for herself. So when Brody dangles Jonathan Stone in front of her nose—she bites hook line and sinker. Now the question is—will they take up where they left off five years ago? And can they make it work? She never told him about the Agency—Brody leaked that to Stone.'

'Personally, I don't think it will work out—but I can still hope. Lee and Amanda are unique. They have some guardian angels looking out for the two of them. Francine isn't in their league—relationship-wise. And Stone is a quitter—and not a business success. Hell—he's not even mediocre in business. Francine wouldn't be satisfied with a house-husband, and he needs to get a good job with good money to keep her in the lifestyle she's made for herself these past five years. But I won't say anything—I don't meddle in my people's private lives. It's more fun to watch from the sidelines.'

The Khrushchev List May 28, 1987

Billy was in his office after the heated meeting with his nemesis Jenkins of the CIA. 'That woman should be locked up! She's a menace to anyone in the business. All she cares about is making sure her people—and she—get the most credit for whatever is going down in this town. Whether or not it's her business. Those CIA types aren't supposed to be operating inside this country. Their jurisdiction is outside our borders. But that woman just doesn't care—whatever she can get her greedy mitts on—belongs to her.'

'Damn Harry! Why did he have to get caught on film while he was in Finland? And why did he have to go there? He's retired, for heavens sake. Now I have yet another problem coming from a supposedly retired member of this organization. And Jenkins is breathing down my neck. I owe Harry too much to let anyone else handle this. If he can make it work maybe he and Christina can make some sort of a life for themselves.'

'I made a few judicious calls and managed to get exclusive jurisdiction on this for the next 12 hours. Now it's up to Scarecrow to find Harry and get a handle on what he's planning—and make sure it all turns out OK. This is a bad one—if that list still exists—and people on that list are still in government—we could be in for a lot of trouble. Lee will have to be out in the cold on this one—nobody but me, Francine and Amanda of course—will know what is going on. Anyone else could be a sleeper at this point. I hope he and Amanda can manage to get to the bottom of all of this. We'll help as we can—but it's mainly up to Lee and Amanda.'

'Good thing I managed to keep the sweep of Lee's apartment to just electronic devices. If they looked deeper—they would have surely discovered evidence of Amanda staying at his place. While we could easily explain away changes of clothing—certain items—intimate apparel and the like—would be extremely difficult to explain away. They found the bugs—top-of-the-line sophisticated stuff that came from this Agency. That shows this list could include anyone. So it is a top priority to get to the bottom of this. It's gonna be a late night for all of us.'

After The Khrushchev List May 28, 1987

Billy was at his desk finishing up the file on the Khrushchev List. 'Singer—the internal security counsel for the CIS was on the list. And now he's dead. Good riddance. We got lucky and the remaining two members of the list turned each other in. But that's the kind of security breach we just can't afford these days. There have been too many of these of late.'

'Fortunately—our involvement was above board. Harry and Christina were cleared and they can finally get married. Harry Thornton married! That's almost as surprising as Scarecrow getting married—but that has come to pass also. I wonder what's next? The fall of communism? The end of the USSR and the destruction of the Berlin Wall? Free trade with China?' He shook his head and took another mouthful of coffee. 'Better get back to business—that kind of wild musing won't get me anywhere.'

'I guess Lee is discovering the differences between married life and a swinging bachelorhood. He has to get over the bumps. Hopefully he'll take my advise, make a list and work it out slowly and reasonably with Amanda. She will help—she knows what it takes to make a successful marriage. Even if she is divorced—I've always thought it was more because of Joe's personality—he loved his job more than his wife and family. What a shame! But if he had been a better husband we all would not have been able to experience Amanda King—so I do owe the man a debt.'

'I think Lee will avoid Joe's mistake. From what I've seen he's totally committed to Amanda and her family—all of them. That's a big change for him—but he's doing his best to manage it all. They don't get very much time alone—he's at her house most evenings and weekends when the boys are with her. God knows I've tried to run interference—but the job has gotten in the way. Because they work together it is easier for them—and harder as well. It must be difficult for them to hide their feelings at work. Still—they've managed the past four years—so they have it down.'

'One of these days they have to realize they need to come clean and let the world know they're married. Agency or not—they deserve a good life together—living openly as man and wife. Until that day—I'll be here secretly helping them along and doing what I can. It's the least I can do for them. Amanda King—Stetson has made a big difference in the Agency—and we all owe her a great debt, Scarecrow the most of all.'

'It's funny—four years ago I was worried about Scarecrow and despairing for him. I knew he needed a new partner who would help turn him around. Then Providence sent her to all of us—and now the miracle has come to pass. He's turned around—happily married and half of my best team. I'm still worried about them—but for totally different reasons. And frankly—I'll take this worry over the other.'

'Now if only Francine could manage to straighten her personal life out…'

The End

AN—So that's Billy's take on the saga of Amanda King and Scarecrow. It's been a great ride. I managed to do all 88 episodes with quite a few extra pieces as well. The fourth season seems to have the longest entries on average–but then there was so much going on behind the scenes. Thank you all for staying with me, and thank you to all who have reviewed. Reviews do make an author feel good and are surprisingly encouraging. Also a big thank you to Jennifer Canon—without her nagging and encouragement and beta help this massive project would not have been finished. I showed her what I had over the summer of 2008—about 2/3 of the first season and 1/3 of the second. She has been on me ever since to finish it—and she helped with beta and suggestions. I know this has been very popular—I see the statistics and number of hits, and I appreciate all who have read—even if you didn't review. I will take a bit of a rest for a while—but I plan to keep writing. I still have stories I want to tell—so thank you and keep reading!