November 22, 1963
Napoleon Solo, Illya Kuryakin, Lisa Rogers and Alexander Waverly sat glued to their seats in Waverly's office watching the television Illya had wheeled inside. They were silent except for Lisa's soft sobbing. It was mid – afternoon on November 22, 1963 and President Kennedy had been shot and the announcement had come that he had been declared dead.
The Old Man looked at his employees, two of whom were suffering because their country's leader was dead and the other one, like him, suffering because people he cared about were hurting. Damn J. Edgar, he thought bitterly, Why couldn't he set aside his ego and accept my offer of a security detail? This never would have happened if UNCLE Los Angeles had sent a few Section IIIs to enhance the President's protection as I had wanted.
"Miss Rogers, please tell Communications to let you know immediately if there is an uptick in chatter from THRUSH or any of the US's enemies. Mr. Solo, Mr. Kuryakin, I suggest you go back to your office. I think the best way to honor the man is to carry on with our duties."
All three of his staff stood immediately and took their leave. He sighed deeply and pulled out his bag of custom – blended tobacco and began to fill the bowl of his pipe. Once he had it properly lit, he picked up the phone to call his counterpart in Europe. Assassination is a nasty business; I hope this one doesn't lead to war like Archduke Ferdinand's lead to World War I.
Napoleon paced the office as Illya watched him. "Napoleon," he asked, "do you want me to get you some coffee? Or maybe, something to eat?"
"No, Tovarisch, thank you. I just can't believe he's dead, Illya. I voted for him! I truly believed his presidency was taking us to a better place. I believed in him. The way he handled the Cuban Missile Crisis, the way he believed in equality for all, the speech he gave in Berlin…" He stopped pacing and Illya could see the unshed tears standing in his eyes. "We've all been made poorer by the passing of this great man."
Illya came to stand next to his partner and said, "I am very sorry for your loss, 'Polya. I know how passionate you are about American politics and this is indeed a horrible blow for you and your country. But you are both strong; you will both recover. Mr. Waverly is right; the best way to honor the man is to continue to do our jobs to the best of our abilities."
Napoleon wiped his eyes quickly and nodded. He clapped the smaller man on the shoulder and went back to his desk. Wordlessly, he picked up Mission Assignment sheets and began to match teams with jobs.
After watching his partner for a few seconds, the Russian moved to sit at his own desk. Reaching into his bottom right drawer, he pulled out his notes from his latest experiments to review. There will be dark days ahead for the US, but like my partner, it will soldier on and become stronger.
"We are partners, 'Polya. It is what we do for each other."