It was a swirling mass of young people, caught up in the pulsing rhythms and cacophony of sound inside the trendy discothèque. Napoleon looked out over the sea of bleached blondes in search of a head of naturally blond hair; that of his partner.
Illya was lurking in the corner of the noisy establishment, cursing beneath his breath at the bad luck that had brought him here. The interrogation of Henry Jones had gone badly. Very badly. Instead of the disclosures hoped for by the Russian agent, Jones had instead refused to talk and then, without warning or time to intervene, had bitten down on a hidden cyanide cap in his left lower molar.
Jones was history before medical could be summoned, his writhing transformed into a still and very dead villain. Kuryakin had cursed then as well. Whatever Jones had been hiding from the UNCLE agents was lost forever; whatever nefarious plan Henry Jones had envisioned, perhaps left undone, would remain a mystery.
The only good news in this was that Jones had been unable to unleash the second phase, something that did little to solve Illya's current problem. With Henry Jones gone, Napoleon had immediately set out to try and catch the only apprentice to the man's madness, and here was apparently where she was said to be most nights.
Napoleon heard his partner's voice coming through the small earpiece, recognized the ire even in the noisy disco.
"Just hang in there, Illya. I have it on good information that Carla Daily will be here any time."
A roll of the blue eyes was not difficult to imagine.
"Any time? That could mean, quite literally, any time. I hope we aren't looking at an entire evening in this … establishment.''
Napoleon understood Illya's disappointment in losing Henry Jones. That cyanide was bad business, and still in use by THRUSH. It was a shock to see it in action.
"Hang in there, tovarisch. If we can take her in for questioning, we still might get that second phase you're convinced was in the planning. In fact… wait, I see her. Commence operation Carla."
Both men closed their communicators and zeroed in on yet another bleached blonde, this one a dangerous THRUSH operative whose information about Jones' operation might be the answer to halting any more explosive encounters.
Before Napoleon could reach the woman, another man came out of the shadows. Illya saw him point a weapon just as Carla Daily turned to look into the stranger's eyes. It didn't faze him, or stop him from shooting the blonde, striking her down with one bullet.
Illya was rushing between screaming patrons as Napoleon sprinted after the gunman. At the door were two more UNCLE agents, ready for action as they brought down the man who had killed the only person who could solve this riddle.
Carla was left to the care of the management as Napoleon and Illya both headed towards the trio of men now outside of the discothèque. Napoleon had not been able to see the assassin's face inside, and as he approached there was a shocking recognition. A memory of riding in a jeep over rough terrain while explosions rocked the night took the agent back to his time in Korea. Seated next to him in that jeep was a fellow officer, a man known for his abrupt manner and lack of humor.
"Jake Spencer. You work for THRUSH?"
Napoleon was shocked, although the image he had of the brusque young man from Montana was cold and ruthless. The face that turned to him now was emotionless, his words clipped.
"I don't know what you're talking about, Solo. I just needed to take care of some personal business.'
Spencer looked warily at his former brother in arms.
"You a cop?"
Napoleon shook his head, disbelief now evident. Illya watched this, wondered but didn't ask how the two men knew each other.
"Why did you shoot her, Jake? Why Carla?"
Jake Spencer looked around at the four men surrounding him, heard the sirens as they screamed their approach. Why?
"She cheated. I got even."
Illya bit back another curse.
"Are you saying that this was a matter of… a love affair?"
Spencer looked from one to the other of the four men in front of him. How had he gotten himself into this mess? Why had he cared so much for that woman, anyway? She was…
"Yes. We … she cheated on me. With some squirrel of a guy named…"
Illya and Napoleon spoke the name simultaneously, causing Jake to stop in mid sentence, his wary expression not yet relaxed.
"She was not cheating, she was merely in business with the man. You have made an error, a very serious one."
Napoleon winced at the finality of Illya's statement. This man was someone the older agent knew, had at one time trusted in the day to day drama that had been Korea. How could this be salvaged without degrading the principles of the U.N.C.L.E.?
"Jake, this woman, Carla Daily, was a known agent for a criminal organization. We were here to try and take her in to our headquarters for questioning. She has, we believe, been part of a plot to achieve some very great damage through violent means; we just don't know how."
Illya could see where this was going. Although not partnered for a very long time, he had learned to read Napoleon Solo, and this was spelling out some type of mercy for Jake Spencer. He would learn why later.
"I suggest we take this conversation back to headquarters. Perhaps Mr. Spencer can shed some light on Miss Daily's activities."
That last was said with a smirk unique to the Russian. He had planned on solving this mystery, and now all he had was a jilted lover who seemed to possess a history with Napoleon.
The orchestrated chaos of the discothèque faded behind the men as they headed towards their cars, and hopefully some answers.