Napoleon's communicator woke him early in the evening and Mr. Waverly began without an introduction. "Miss Dancer and Miss Kuryakin will be arriving at 0500 tomorrow morning. Mr. Solo, Miss Kuryakin isn't to be actively involved as a Section 2 agent. I'll leave it to you to ensure this," with that Waverly ended the conversation with a click.
Napoleon looked at the dead communicator in his hand, "Yes sir," he retorted, "And how do you suggest I do that," he asked the dead instrument.
Mark, who had been awaken by the beeping, grinned at Napoleon, "Glad it you and not me mate. Between April and Jo, you'll have your hands full. Oh great CEA."
Returning the grin, he said, "So true, and as the CEA, I delegate your partner to you to keep out of trouble."
Now awake, both men dressed and headed back to the control room to see how much of Arizona had been eliminated now.
April and Jo arrived the next morning and were met by Bill. After their suitcases were stored in the trunk, Jo climbed in the back seat, closed her eyes, and was asleep immediately.
"I wish I could do that," Bill comment to April, "I've never seen anyone fall asleep that fast," he chuckled looking at the strawberry blonde-haired woman in the back seat.
"We all wish we could do it. It's a Kuryakin trait. Illya's even faster," April smiled, "Any place, any time, even in a Thrush cell, those two can sleep."
As they pulled out of the airport, Bill looked in the rear view mirror. "What's up?" April asked seeing how uncomfortable he was.
"We've picked up a tail," he informed her.
She pulled out her special and yelled back to Jo," Company!" but was not surprise to see Jo was already awake and had her special out. "Some day you are going to have to teach me that trick."
Bill raced through the open country attempting to lose the tail. Bullets began to hit the car and the two female agents fired back.
"You know Waverly isn't going to be happy that you're "actively" involved," April yelled back at Jo as she ducked a bullet.
"Then we will not tell him," Jo shot back.
"Right" both agents said together as if he won't find out.
The next curve Bill took too sharp, and the car rolled down a small cliff. All three agents were unconscious when the second car arrived. Jo was pulled out by the KGB agents, and placed in the second car leaving the two unconscious agents in the overturned car.
Mark rushed into the control room, "The highway patrol's office just called Napoleon. The girls' car was attacked on the way here. The two agents in the car are on their way to the local hospital. From the description, it's April and Bill. No sign of Jo."
Illya was surprised a few hours later when he was untied from the poles and returned to Vitya's office. After he was seated, he was given water and then his arms and legs were bond to the arms of the chair. Although still uncomfortable, at least it would give his shoulders a rest.
"To what do I owe this honor, Vitya Ivanovich?"
"I want you alive when our other guest arrives. After all you wanted your questions answered, so once she gets here your curiosity will be satisfied,"
A few hours later, Illya watched as two guards entered dragging in an unconscious Jo.
She was bond to the chair next to him.
After the guard had left them alone, "Josephina, wake up," he called quietly. When she didn't respond he spoke sharper, "Josephina Nichovia Kuryakin, open your eyes."
"Could you please lower your voice? There is a full band playing in my head," Jo responded slowly opening her eyes. "And they are playing a very loud march."
"Sestrenka , kak ty? (Little sister, how are you?). Vy sil'no postradal? (Are you badly hurt?)"
"YA v poryadke , starshiy brat. Prostotreshchiny golove, slomannoye rebro ili dva, i ushiby i porezy. (I am fine, big brother. Just a cracked head, cracked rib or two, and bruises and cuts.)"
"I ty starshiy brat. Kak sil'no ty ranen? (And you big brother. How badly are you hurt?)"
"YA v poryadke . Prosto nekotoryye ushiby, ozhogi i resnits znaki , chtoby dobavit' k svoyey kollektsii . Nichego plokhogo. (I am fine. Just some bruises, sunburn and lash marks to add to my collection. Nothing bad)."
Switching to English, "You are a liar Illya, but I will believe you. Where are we and who is our host?"
"Ah, Josephina Nichovia Kuryakin. It is a pleasure to meet you at last," Vitya entered the room with his guards at that moment.
"The pleasure is all yours, I assure you," Jo sarcastically responded.
This earned her a backhanded slap from Vitya, "I see you have your brother's smart tongue."
"Josephina, let me introduce our host. Vitya Ivanovich Alexandrov. The KGB sent him here because they did not feel he was much of an agent," Illya introduced their host.
"I see. Means nothing to me. Cannot be very important," adding to Victor's smothering anger.
Both agents were backhanded again by Vitya, "You both will pay for your interference into my family's lives."
"Look Vitya Ivanovich, you said you would answer our questions. Why are we here and why do you want us destroyed?" Illya demanded.
"Did you wonder why you were separated as children and never knew of each other?"
Although neither agent answered him, they had attempted to discover why this had happen to them since their first meeting.
"That was my uncle's revenge on your father. He was responsible for the execution of my father for treason. My father trusted your father with his secrets and your father betrayed him for the good of the Motherland. His friend!"
"My uncle ordered your farm burnt and family killed-your mother, your brother, and your babushka. He had you two taken and separated, sent to different labor camps. Then made sure your father knew what had happen to his family before my uncle killed him.
"However, you lucked out again. They found both of you to be exceptionally intelligent and sent you to special schools further frustrating my family."
"Our family watched as you two were treated as not as children of a criminal but as special children. My uncle was able to keep you apart from his position in the government, and whenever possible saw to it your superiors, treated you harshly. "
"You two stole so much from me. I should have been the one sent to school out of the country, not you two."
"Finally my uncle and I decided it was time to eliminate the rest of the Kuryakin's but you Illya Nichovetch disappeared behind UNCLE doors. So we let it be known that Josephina Nichovia was still alive."
"My uncle ensured that your Mr. Waverly knew about her, and he helped Waverly by bring her to UNCLE. Now you both will be eliminated and the Kuryakin name will be history."
Illya looked over at Jo. Since Vitya had started his story, she never looked up. He was concerned about her, but knew he could do nothing to help her. "Why wait a year after she came to UNCLE?"
Vitya grinned, "I wanted you both to suffer. I let you get to know each other so your deaths will distress you even more. You have established a relationship, which as you watch each other die will make death harder to face."
The deep blue of Illya's eyes changed to steel blue and fire leaped from them. His voice was cold and dangerous as he looked into Vitya's eyes. "Vitya Ivanovich, you had better hope that I die here before I am rescue, because if I do not, you will die badly by my hand," Illya promised.
"And you little girl. Have you withdrawn into yourself like the rest of the cowardly Kuryakins, or do you also have a threat?" Vitya used the tip of his riding crop to raise her chin.
As her head slowly lifted for the first time since Vitya began his explanation, her eyes examined him with a piercing, steel glare. The fiery and angry in her voice made him to take a step back, "And if he doesn't, I will." lowering her head again.
"Do you know how long it takes to die from dehydration? It will be interesting to find out, don't you think?" The brother and sister were tied spread-eagle on the pole less than 10 feet apart facing each other in the center of the yard with the sun beating down on them.
When left alone, Illya whispered, "Josephina are you okay?"
She nodded, "I am alright Illya. Revenge" she spit the word out as if it left a vile taste in her mouth, "I do not understand this thing."
"It is a way of life for many, my dear sister. We fight against it in UNCLE but it exists even there."
"Illya, my brother, I am glad we found each other. I use to be afraid of only one true thing, dying alone. Having no one care that I had existed. UNCLE has taught me that someone will remember me."
"Da, they also taught me the same," he wished that he could hold her to let her know how much he cared, "Neither of us are alone anymore."
After a few minutes of silence, Illya began to softly sing a song that their babushka sang to them when the war frightened them as children. Soon Jo joined in, each giving the other comfort.
It was late that evening when "I'm tired of just looking at maps and photos. We need to find them and get them out now," Mark demanded.
Mark had been attempting to keep Napoleon from exploding but found his own angry getting the best of him.
As Napoleon was about respond, an agent came quickly into the room waving a photo. "We found it. Surrounded by hills and desert. "
Napoleon grabbed the paper and instructed Mark, "Get the helicopter ready. You're going to do some surveillance. I'll get the attack teams ready. If it's truly the site, we'll go in at dawn."
Mark and April boarded the helicopter, "Mark do you think we really have found them?" April was concern that they had little time left.
"If not luv, I don't think that I want to be the one that tells Napoleon. I hear Greenland isn't very warm this time of year," Mark commented.
Napoleon watch the two agents take off then turned to assemble the assault teams. This site had to be it. He won't think about how little time the two agents had left.
An hour later, Napoleon was at the communication desk when the answer came in. "Bravo, Able 3652 reporting in."
"Mark, what did you find?" Although very anxious for the report, Napoleon used all his years of experience to maintain a profession front.
While Mark continued to fly, April took over the report. "Napoleon, the compound is there okay. However, the site will be hard to get into unseen. The only place to set down this bird down is about five miles away, and there are hills of sand to cross with little or no cover."
"How about if we set down right outside the site?" Napoleon suggested.
Mark piped in, "Well mate, too dicey. It would be curtains for anyone trying that. How about if April and me set this bird down and take a little stroll to see what we can."
"Okay, but do not-I repeat-do not endanger your lives. You have 4 hours to get there and back with the information before we will be coming that way."
"Bravo, Able 3652 out. Let's go see if we can spot the Russians luv," Mark looked over at April who already had their equipment out and checking its readiness for action.
As April and Mark lay in the sand beyond the compound, each using their binoculars to evaluate the situation and the best way to proceed. Mark thumbed his communicator, "Open Channel D. Napoleon you there?"
Napoleon grabbed the microphone from the communication agent, "What did you find, Mark?"
"Four stone walls about 12 feet high, with only one entrance in the front. One guard posted on the top of each side of the wall with machine guns. Unable to determine how many guards inside the site."
"Oh, oh," Mark heard April comment. He followed her finger to into the center of the site.
"Napoleon, bad news. Illya and Jo are bound spread-eagle to poles in the center of the site. Jo looks in bad shape, but Illya looks serious. If we don't come in carefully, they'll be the first to go."
"Can you two safely hang out there and wait for us?" Napoleon asked.
"Will do gov." The communicator went quiet.
Two helicopters were loaded with supplies needed for the rescue and medical supplies. The sun was just coming over the horizon when the copters took to the air, Napoleon piloted one, Bill the other.
Arriving just after sunrise, both copters landed just outside the view of the compound. April and Mark joined the rescue party updating Napoleon on other details that they had observed waiting for the rescue party.
Quickly the guards atop the walls were taken out, and the agents were over the walls. Bill and April took a group of agents into the building, while Napoleon and Mark headed their group to clear out the yard.
After the yard was clear, the two men headed toward Illya and Jo. "You two are more trouble than you're worth at times," he greeted them.
"Late as always my friend," Illya threw back, "Do you plan on getting us down? Or do we need to do it ourselves?"
Napoleon took off his shirt and laid it on the sand. He carefully undid Illya's bonds and laid him gently on his stomach avoiding the back injuries and blisters. Mark did the same for Jo lowering her down beside her brother.
"How are you two doing? Will you be okay while we finish up here?" Napoleon asked knowing the typical Kuryakin answer already.
The two injured agents said, "Fine. Gun", reaching up for the guns that were taken from the fallen KGB agents.
"Finish it up," Illya moaned as he spoke, "We can defend ourselves, go."
Mark and Napoleon took the agents at their word. They helped clean out the buildings and round up the KGB agents in the compound. The fight from those inside was weak at best. Most had been sent to the compound as punishment and didn't feel they needed to give up their lives for its protection.
"Turn around. You've come to the end of the line," Vitya approached from behind the two injured agents, holding them at gunpoint. "It ends here."
Both agents turned over as told with the gun hidden under them. At the same time, April, Mark and Napoleon arrived. Before Vitya could get off one shot, five bullets fatally hit him.
Napoleon hurried to his down partner and friend. "Guess we'll never know whose bullet really finished him off," Illya commented as he let darkness and the pain finally take him.
"I do not think it matters," Jo stated. "He is dead," she smiled, "We won." and followed her brother into darkness.
After the round up was completed, the FBI showed up to take over the prisoners.
"Always on time," Napoleon sarcastically said to April and Bill, "Right after we make it safe for them." The agents joined Mark in the last copter to leave and headed for HQ.
Jo was kept in medical for three days for dehydration, second-degree burns, a concussion, and a recracked rib. Meanwhile, Illya had suffered dehydration, malnutrition, second-degree burns that had become infected, and a few broken ribs, which all earned him a week and a half in medical.
As April, Mark, Jo, and Napoleon entered medical, they heard Illya demanding his release. April smiled and began to mother-hen him, fluffing his pillow and straightening his blankets, while the other three agents laughed. "Stop it, I do not need a mother, I am well."
April then attempted to straighten his hair, "Stop." He growled.
"Now, now Illya- April's just trying to make you feel better," Napoleon informed his partner.
"Then you lay here. You know you still have not told me how you managed to narrow the search down to Arizona?"
"A contact helped," was all that Napoleon told his partner. None of the other agents were ready to take it further than that.
"What contact? By the way where are you going all dressed up?" Illya looked over Napoleon's eveningwear.
Centering his cuffs, brushing his suit, and straightening his tie, Napoleon continued, "I have a thank you to give. Don't wait up, partner. I'll see you in the morning."
"Angelique! Napoleon do not tell me it was her? You trusted her, how could you?" he guessed and moaned.
As the agents left, Napoleon turned around, "Okay, I won't. I'll just give her your love," and all four of them managed to get out the door before the pillows hit it with a yell of 'Napoleon' as the door closed.
Later that night, Jo approached the woman sitting before her.
"May I sit down for a moment?" Jo requested of the woman.
Looking up a little surprised, "I am waiting for someone," she responded. If not for the light red hair on the person standing before her, the black clothes and sparkling blue eyes could be the Russian's himself.
"Napoleon will be here within 5 minutes. He is parking the car. I have someone picking me up then. I will only take a few minutes of your time, and I promise my gun has its safety on," Jo assured her.
"I am Josephina Nichovia Kuryakin," offering her hand to her.
Shaking her hand, the woman said, "I know, sit down. Why are you here?" surprised that Jo of all people would search her out. She noticed that Jo sat down slowly and in obvious pain. "Are you okay?"
"Just a little reminder left over from last week's affair. I want to thank you for helping Napoleon find Illya. I know you and Illya are not friends, but I do appreciate what you did for him. Thank you."
"You're welcome. I surprised you would come to thank me. Don't you feel the same as your brother?"
"I may not approve of your employer, but I am in your debt. I know Napoleon plans on thanking you in his way. However, I felt that I also needed to thank you. I hope your help did not caused you trouble with Thrush."
"No, there was no trouble."
"I do pay my debts, Angelique. As with Napoleon, I have my limitations. However, if you every need help within those limitations, you just need to ask. Well, here comes Napoleon. I will be leaving now. Enjoy your night." Jo stood slowly and began to leave.
Angelique went to stop her by almost grabbing her wrist but thinking better of it at the last minute, "How is that dour little Russian?"
"He will be out of medical in a few more days. Angry that he needs to stay there, but doing well otherwise. Thank you again." Jo started across the room.
Napoleon stopped her, "You okay?" seeing her moving very slowly and carefully.
"Fine, enjoy your night." Jo waved as she began to turn away.
Napoleon gave her a small peck on the cheek, "You too".
As he approached the table, he noticed the tear in Angelique eyes, "Are you okay my dear?" he asked sitting down.
"Yes fine, darling, just something in my eye" Angelique answered.
"Hope Jo wasn't unkind. She's a great agent, but can be outspoken at times," trying to determine what the women had discussed. A tear in Angelique's eye was a rare thing to see.
"No. I'm not use to UNCLE agents thanking me." Angelique found Jo almost as much of a mystery as the other Russian.
"She's a very different person my dear, honest, loyal, and caring. Let's order," Napoleon suggested.
Yes, his partner's sister held many surprises within her. Something he was getting more and more interested in exploring. However, for tonight, he was going to thank Angelique for Illya and Jo's life in his own way.