99's Failure and Triumph
Before boarding the plane home, 99 sat in the airport terminal arguing with herself and also amazed that she was able to go home at last. Well, I failed for once in my life, but Chief understood. Now Andrei or the fake Andrei is still on the loose and the scientists are still being held captive. I know the Chief sent another female agent probably the former Natasha Boulvinaya or Larissa Bulifant as she is now known. She at least isn't married to anybody. Now I will have to do one of the worst things in my life….lie to my husband. I canot let Max know how much danger I was in or that I had suspected I was pregnant while I was on the mission. If the Chief lets anything slide, Max will force me into retirement and I do not really want to do that. It will be soon enough after this one is born. I am looking forward to going home, though. I hope everyone ate well. I know how they are when I am not home.
There was a car waiting for her when she arrived back in Washington.
"Hi Larabee," said 99 when she spot who the driver was.
"Hi ya, 99. Boy we have missed you around here," responded Larabee.
"Well, I missed being here. Mission did not go to well in case the Chief had not told you."
"He mentioned it but no details. I am to take you right to headquarters so you can be debriefed. Then you can catch a cab home."
The remainder of the trip was silent as the car wended its way through the DC traffic.
Upon arriving at CONTROL, 99 alighted from the vehicle and pretended to pay Larabee as she would any other cab driver. The door of the cab closed and Larabee summarily drove off swiftly. With a deep breath and picking up of her luggage, 99 entered CONTROL's secret underground entrance and went straight to the Chief.
"99, I am so glad to see you alive!" Chief said as he hugged 99 tightly. "I know someone else who will be happy to see you alive and well."
"Of course, Max! He has not stopped calling me since you left pumping me for information."
"What did you tell him?"
"Well, you know he knows the routine. I did not have to explain much. Come, sit down, 99, and let me tell you of the latest developments."
99 did as she was told and sat down in the brown chair in front of the Chief's desk. He sat down and opened a folder and began to read the transcripts of the reports made so far. 99 had not had time to complete her last report yet. The last 24 hours had been consumed with escaping and making it home safely.
"I would like to apologize for my failure, Chief. Tara was killed you know."
"Yes, I know, 99. It was not a failure. In the last 24 hours the local CONTROL agents were able to pick up the trail that the fake Andrei had left. All the scientists are now back in a secret CONTROL location awaiting departure for the homelands."
"Oh, I am so glad, Chief! So I am not on suspension or anything for failing?"
"Nonsense. However, I am sending you home for a good two weeks rest. Max has a surprise waiting for you at home."
"Well, I think I have one for him, too. If there is nothing else, Chief, I am going to get to my office and drop some stuff off. Then, I am gratefully getting into my car and going home to my husband and children."
"No problem, 99. ….99?" The Chief said as he rose from his seat and came around the desk. He put each of his hands on 99's upper arms and looked sincerely into her baby blue eyes.
"I am so glad you are home. When I had to send you on this mission, I felt like I was sending my own daughter to her death."
"Thank you, Chief," responded 99 lowering her eyes. She kissed the Chief on his cheek and then left his office.
99 walked the short distance to the office she shared with Max. She unlocked the door and could immediately detect her husband's sandalwood aftershave scent. She ran her hand lightly over Max's desk and noticed a fresh report on what his latest mission had been. She walked over to her desk on the other side of the room and plopped her file on top. In the morning she would come back and type her report. She picked up the picture of Max she kept on her desk and kissed it. I'll be home soon. I have missed you, Max.
She put down the picture, closed the door behind her as she left. All she could think in her mind as she ventured to her car in the secret CONTROL parking lot: Max, my love, I'm home and boy have I got a surprise for you!