It was the best day of my life... or maybe it was the worst.
I was hung up on the door with no possibility to free myself. Worse was that I was there because of the Chief. The very worst was that it was my and 99's wedding night, but 99 was sleeping alone.
Let me explain the entire situation.
In the day before our wedding, Dr. Madre had met me at a place where hippies hang out. There was a little restaurant upstairs and the doctor had added some potion to my drink. He had said that after drinking this potion the map of the Melnick uranium mines would be revealed on my chest. But I had been forbidden even to try to sit — the potion would lose its power if I didn't remain upright. By this way CONTROL would have this map and the location of the mines before KAOS. Unfortunately, KAOS had gotten wind that the map was developing on my chest and were the first to put me on a door hook in my apartment. After I escaped their clutches, I made it to our wedding in the nick of time.
The wedding had been great, except for the fact that my feet hurt from standing all day and the fact that KAOS decided to crash the party. It was a crazy scene when my beautiful bride came down the steps and had to step over some unconscious KAOS jerk. My legs also had hurt as never before. 99 had supported me, but with every minute I felt heavier. The only thing that had helped me through all the day had been the thought about the wedding night. I would be holding 99 in my arms, kissing her and ... other things. This thing had helped me, since we had never done it before the wedding. But I hadn't taken into consideration that that crazy map still had to develop.
All guests had gone to their homes, leaving me and 99... with the Chief. He had hung me to the door of the bedroom and had left two agents to "watch" me while he had laid himself on the bed: Larrabee and Henderson. 99 had gone to sleep in the nearest room. I had been left like a coat hung up with my dark thoughts.
Now I thought: "This is unfair! They ruined my wedding night!" A thousand thoughts ran through my mind, but there was no good one except this: "I am now married to 99!" That was all. However, good agents should be able to get out from any situations, even if they (situations) are hopeless. I was the best agent. I had been told that on many occasions. That should mean that I should try to escape to 99, but by that time I didn't know how.
I looked at the men in the room — no way. The Chief had been a very experienced agent — he was a light sleeper and could wake on every rustle. The two agents at the different corners of the bed were glad for me because of my wedding, but the map of Melnick was more important to them. No way would they be of any help with getting me off this literal hook. They were the ones who had hoisted me up on it. Maybe I could free myself from this hook somehow, but 99 should be fast asleep. She could help me, but... I didn't know, maybe she also put national security, not beloved husband, first. Oh no! It looks like I'll be stuck here all night.
I should have been thinking about ways to escape, but something strange happened. I began to think about chloride (!). That was something like: "Disulfur dichloride is an orange/yellow liquid that smokes in air due to reaction with water: 2 S2Cl2 + 2 H2O SO2 + 4 HCl + 3/8 S8. It is synthesized by partial chlorination of elemental sulfur: S8 + 4 Cl2 4 S2Cl2 ΔH = −58.2 kJ/mol". But it was one part of mind that thought about chemistry — another part looked to the first with wonder: "Are you crazy, Max?" Then it became worse — I started to meditate about a giraffe's stomach and its complex system. Maybe it was the anger in my soul that drove me wild, maybe I was really tired, but it certainly wasn't me. However, I still couldn't sleep that night — thoughts about poor little 99 alone on her wedding night ate me inside.
I really got smarter — it was very strange. Moreover, my body itched badly. I wanted to scratch where it itched, but Madre strictly prohibited it. I couldn't tolerate it, it was over my possibilities.
And unexpectedly my mind was amazed with one thought. It was unbelievable, almost impossible, but it could be! I thought this thought again, now more closely. Yes, it could be probable. I remembered other events of this and previous crazy day: some flavor in my mouth, food we had eaten at wedding, Dr. Madre, lovely and dear 99. Yes, all the facts fit in a perfect system. Now it was a time to do something, or my 99 would be not kissed.
I couldn't sleep anyway; the Chief snored loudly. I could never sleep with him in the same room — it would be impossible! However, he had to be awakened. I called softly to him:
— Chief, wake up, please!
I suppose he quickly opened his eyes. It confirmed my supposition about what an experienced agent the Chief was. The Chief wasn't glad that I interrupted his dream, so he angrily said:
— What, Max?
— Chief, are you sleeping?
— Of course, you dunce! What do you think I have been doing for the last two hours? Tell me you want and leave me alone. I'm still sleepy.
Our conversation wasn't starting out well, but time was of the essence. I began to speak to him, trying to get his attention.
— Chief, I urgently need to speak with doc Madre!
The wedding day made both me and the Chief tired. He wanted to sleep, and only something important could rouse him. That something was not me.
— Max, I understand that it was your wedding today. I'm happy for you and 99. But now you're on a very important mission, and I won't let you fail it because of your tender love for 99. You will be there on that door hook till the map appears completely. And now let me sleep!
This manner of speaking annoyed me. And I didn't want Chief to see me furious - I'm horrible when I'm angry.
— Chief, I beg you; I pray to you, I plead with you: let me talk for five minutes with Dr. Madre! If you want, I would kneel to beg you.
— Max, you can't! - This answer struck me like lightning. But I was persistent.
— I can't do what?
— You can't kneel! You're forbidden to sit and lie down. — My boss sighed. — OK, I'll let you to talk with the doc, but it will not help you. Do you understand?
— I understand. — At that time I was willing to understand everything Chief wanted me to understand. For the telephone call to Madre I would do anything.
— Where is your shoe phone?
— It is still on my foot. Don't tell me it doesn't work!
Chief found my shoe, carefully examined it and said:
— It works, Max.
— I asked you not to tell... What?
— It works. — The chief replied irritably.
Dr. Madre had been pretty drunk after the wedding. I had been afraid he couldn't go home by himself. But the Chief had told me CONTROL would solve this problem. Now he dialed Madre's number. I was wondering where he learned this number, but the Chief said nothing about it.
The next part of this story was told to me by Madre himself. He slept with dreams about Patty Brews walking with him. (Don't ask me, I don't know who Patty Brews is.) And when he told Patty that he loved her, she answered him: "Di-i-ing!" He didn't understand - it didn't fit Patty's personality. And only when she repeated "Di-i-i-ng" he came to realize that it was a telephone call. Madre quickly awakened, opened his eyes and picked up the phone receiver. It was his turn to listen to the very annoyed Chief:
— Dr. Madre, excuse me for waking you. Max wants to talk with you. — The Chief said with an intonation that meant: "Excuse me, but I have nothing to do with this. It's only Max, blame him, not me".
Doc looked at his wristwatches that weren't and answered:
— I understand. Wait for me, I will come to you.
Chief hung up and calmed me:
— Don't worry, Max. Doc Madre is going to be here soon.
My anger nearly exploded:
— Madre is staying on the opposite part of town! When will he be here? At five o'clock? I have to talk with him right now, and you know me, I am persistent, we have to speak with Madre now!
I was interrupted by a sudden knocking on the door and was starting to get a headache to add to my other problems with the itching and twitching. The Chief nodded as he opened the door:
— Dr. Madre. You're welcome.
Madre entered. I widely opened my mouth in astonishment:
— How? How did you get here so fast? You must be Batman!
— Oh no, I was just sleeping on your couch. Your chief was so nice to let me do that.
I looked at the Chief and understood who left Madre in my house. He smiled:
— You know me, Max. I knew you wouldn't mind.
Madre interrupted the Chief:
— Max, what do you want to talk with me about?
I gathered my thoughts in a second and began:
— Doc, this might sound a little crazy, but have you recently invented a potion to boost mental capacity of a person for some time period?
Madre looked surprised:
— Yes, as a matter of fact, I have invented one. I don't know how you learned of it, but I have. I call it "Magic-Super-Boost".
My theory was possible in principle. "Max Theory" worked!
— I guess that the "Boost" and "Uranium Map" potions look alike, don't they?
— They do.
— Are they so similar you can confuse them?
— Yes, they are. I have confused them many times, but not yesterday.
Now it was the time for me to use my spy senses.
— I bet they are similar in ingredients, aren't they?
The Chief understood what was I getting at and now smiled more and more. Madre still looked at me with an astonished expression.
— They are, but I didn't confuse them. It's impossible for me! I am a serious scientist! I wouldn't confuse the formulas like a kid. Never!
But my theory was still right. I developed an idea:
— But doc, I think you have used disulfur dichloride there, changing only some molecules in the map. It must leave some relish in a mouth when it is S2Cl3. However, it leaves bad taste in a mouth when it is S2Cl2. S2Cl2 was used in creating of the map, am I right?
— But Doc, I drunk "the map", and it left only a bad taste of some carrot in my mouth! It is not S2Cl2, it is S2Cl3! I know what that tastes like. It has nothing in common with the sweet S2CL3 taste. It means you have confused these formulas.
Madre looked thoughtful and meekly answered:
— I think you're right, Max.
It was an additional proof to my theory.
— It means I drank "Mega-Super-Boost", not "Uranium Map"! It means there will be no map developing on my chest! It means I can spend this night with 99! And it means the map is safe somewhere!
Doc surprisingly looked at me:
— But if you haven't drunk the map but the boost, what did I drink yesterday?
The doc, suddenly feeling an itch, opened his robe and revealed... a full map of the Melnick uranium mines on his chest. After seeing it the Chief couldn't help but laugh. It was so weird! And just when Madre decided to look at his chest he didn't understand why the chief was laughing at him.
But the happiest person in the room at that time was me. My wedding night was saved! And 99 wouldn't cry a lot of tears and be alone on her wedding night. Now it was all right. All today's… I guess I would have to say "yesterday's well wishes to me and my new bride were now fulfilled. It was wonderful!
But the Chief had another question for me that probably could spoil my good mood.
— Max, I don't get it. All your symptoms showed you had drunk the "map". If you have drunk the boost and not Melnick potion, why were you itching?
Thanks to doc's Boost drink I had an answer to every question, including this one.
— It's elementary, my dear Watson...er, I mean "Chief". Dr. Madre, is there a carrot in this potion?
— Yes, there is. I have added a carrot extract to both drinks.
— That's it! You see, Chief, I'm allergic to carrots! That's why I have been itching badly like some wild animal. My body is highly sensitive to any carrot. I felt it even though it was a very small portion of carrot juice that was added to the map potion. And it became worse — the caterer made "Green Bay" salad, and he added carrots! That's why my chest looks like somebody painted it with red paint.
I stopped to take a breath. The case was closed!
— OK, I believe you. Hey, Larrabee, redraw Dr. Madre's map on his chest to a piece of paper. Max, I'll help you get off the hook.
And he helped me. I was down in no time.
Now there was nothing that held me from joining 99, except that my legs had fallen asleep. I took my shoe phone and called 99 who was in the next room. When she picked up the phone receiver, I asked stupidly:
— Ninety-Nine, are you sleeping?
— — —
— It's so great to have such a smart husband! — 99 said excitedly when we went to the next room. The feeling was starting to return to my legs.
— Yes, I'm so smart! I know that a man's body has 206 bones, that the highest mountain in Colombia is Nevado de Huila, and that it is 1650 feet high.
— 1656 feet, Max. — 99 corrected me.
I looked at her with surprise. She is still smarter than me? To avoid further embarrassment because of 99's intelligence over mine, I started to kiss her passionately, to kiss like husband kisses his wife at wedding night. And 99 wasn't indifferent to my kisses. Her lips closed to me, and before colliding with mine she said: "I love you, Max". "I love you too, Ninety-Nine" answered I.