The Dog Who Came to Dinner

Chapter 1 - The Mission

A man of average height with short, jet-black hair and wearing a trench coat with the collar pulled up around his face, enters a bookshop in Washington, D.C. Surreptitiously, he glances around. He walks down an aisle and takes out a book and opens it. Glancing down at the book as if reading it, he keeps his back to the hole in the shelf created when he pulled out the book.

"It's raining cats and dogs," he says in a matter-of-fact voice.

"But the sun is shining in Toledo," comes the reply from the other side of the bookshelf.

"That you, Agent 5?" asks the first man.

"Agent 86?" says the hidden man.

"What have you got for me?"

"KAOS is running a smuggling ring in the Eastport area of Virginia. The Chief wants to see you right away. Agent 99 too."

"Right, 5." Agent 86 puts the book back on the shelf and walks to the door confidently, looking to both sides of him, scanning for enemy spies. He takes the door handle in his right hand and bangs the glass door into his nose. Recovering quickly and holding his nose, he leaves the bookshop.

Maxwell Smart and his wife, Agent 99, walked into the outer office of the Chief's suite at Control. Larrabee looked up from his desk, and said, "Wait!" while running over to the door of the Chief's office with his arms outstretched.

"You can't go in there." He said matter-of-factly.

"But the Chief just called us in to brief us on our new case…" said Max.

"Larrabee, let us by!" said 99.

"No…the Chief said he is not to be disturbed by anyone. He is waiting for a conference with two of his top agents. I can't let you go in there."

Max pressed a button to the side of the door and the door opened automatically behind Larrabee.

"Larrabee, let them through! They ARE the two top agents I've been waiting for!" came the Chief's deep resonant voice from the inner office.

"You said not to let ANYONE disturb you."

"Larrabee," the Chief said, with a definite irritation showing in his voice, "I mean that you should keep everyone ELSE out of my office while I'm discussing this case…it's Top Secret!"

Max walked by Larrabee and entered the Chief's office, 99 following."

"Chief, why can't I get a shoe phone like Agent 86? …I never know what's going on around here!" Larrabee pouted.

"Larrabee, you have a DESK phone…now get out of here or I won't let you go to the Control Agent's Banquet this year. And, Larrabee, please hold my calls."

The Chief was holding his head in his hands sitting at his desk. 99 sat down across from him.

"Chief, you look terrible!" said Max. "You need to get more sleep!" He sat down on the edge of the Chief's desk…a little too close to the edge. He slid off the desk and onto the floor abruptly, but picked himself up and sat down again with no more than an adjustment to his tie.

99 smiled; she was used to Max's lack of coordination. He always had something important on his mind…that must be why he didn't always watch where he was going. Or maybe not…

The Chief didn't even look up to notice Max's mishap. "That Larrabee…I don't know what I am going to do with him…I don't want to fire him, but why can't he understand a simple request?"

Max leaned over closer to the Chief and said knowingly, "Maybe he doesn't understand English!"

The Chief gave him a scowling glance, then said, Agents 86 and 99, we have to get down to business, KAOS is…

Max interrupted the Chief, pointing to the ceiling. "Chief, you know the rules…if this is Top Secret, we have to use the Cone of Silence!"

"Max, the Cone of Silence isn't working…I can't even get it to come down out of the ceiling! The mechanics should be here later today, but until then…"

"Wait, Chief, I can get it going," stated Max confidently. He pushed the button on the Chief's desk and nothing happened. He tried another time. "This calls for drastic measures!" Max climbed on the Chief's desk, knocking over the ashtray. The Chief stood up. "Max, watch where you're stepping…" Too late! Max knocked the phone and two books on the floor. But he didn't notice; he was too busy trying to reach the inside of the Cone of Silence with his pocket screwdriver.

"99, hand me something to step on…I just need a couple more inches…" Max glanced at the bookcase…"99, I think 'War and Peace' should just about do it…" She placed the book under his feet and Max turned a couple of screws and bolts.

The Chief was turning a lovely shade of red. "Get down from there immediately, Agent 86…we don't pay you to do repairs…" he yelled. Then his voice trailed off…"or destroy things either…."

Max stepped down and 99 replaced the ashtray, phone and books on the desk. "Chief, how are we going to talk without the Cone of Silence working? What's our alternate plan?"

"Max, I was about to tell you, it's sign language. Now have you studied your signs?"

"We went over them the last few evenings," 99 chimed in. "Max is doing very well!"

"Yes, I'm doing very well!" said Max, with a not-so-confident look on his face.

"All right, let's begin." His fingers formed the words: Our intelligence reports indicate that KAOS operatives are planning to steal nearly 10 million dollars worth of museum artifact, mostly jewelry and precious gems, and sell them on the black market in Russia to finance a plan to infiltrate the US government. We don't know the exact details yet. Max, it's up to you and 99 to find out how they are smuggling the gems out of the country and the details of the plan.

99's fingers flashed back, Right, Chief! What exactly will we be doing?

99, this is a dangerous assignment. We have another agent that I would like you and Max to work with on this case.

Through the whole exchange, Max didn't say anything, but narrowed his eyes and watched their hands carefully. The Chief said out loud, "Max, any questions?"

"Eh? Oh, yes Chief, just one…could you repeat part of that?"

"Certainly. Which part do you need repeated?"

"Everything after "Our intelligence reports…"

The Chief rolled his eyes…"Max, 99 can fill you in later." He stood up as did Max and 99.

Just then the Cone of Silence crashed down on the Chief's desk, scattering everything and cracking itself in a few places. The Chief stood up, turning red again. "Max, what WERE you doing up there?"

"Oh, I just made a few minor adjustments to see if I could make it lower itself as usual." He leaned over closer to the Chief and said in a confidential tone, "It DID lower itself!"

The Chief ignored him this time. "99, I would like you to go down to the lab…I want you to meet the new agent I mentioned before. She is specially trained to help you and Max on this case."

"Right, Chief." 99 headed toward the door, then turned around abruptly. "She? A female assistant? You know, Max and I usually don't need any other agents with us on our cases, Chief."

"Yes, Chief, when can I, eh, we meet her?" Max looked interested.

"Soon, Max…I have a few more things to discuss with you…99, Professor Carlson is waiting for you right now." 99 made her exit.

"What does she look like, Chief? Is she pretty?"

"Max, she's female, but not a woman. Never mind about that."

"Hmmm, she's in the lab…but not a woman" Max got his "thinking hard" look. "Did they build a robot girlfriend for Hymie?" asked Max, narrowing his eyes and thinking out loud. "Or wait…have they resurrected the Bride of Frankenstein? Hmmm, she wasn't too beautiful…"