Dies Deus Irae

Remember the virus Illya and Napoleon were injected with? What if it's not gone?

"You want me to what?" the slender red head stared at Diamene with huge round eyes of an icy pale green.

"You heard me," Diamene answered her. "I want you to go to New York in the United States and join the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement," she reiterated in her honeyed tones.

"Why would you wish me to do this thing?"

"Because you owe me. Because it fits your talents. Because I need someone to keep an eye on two of their agents and because you will enjoy it so very much," she answered with a broad smile, her sleepy eyes crinkling a the corners in pure joy.

"Oh. Well. If you put it that way."

"Oh, my dear Irae, I just have."

Irae struggled not to be ensnared by Diamene's good humor and lost, a grin answering the blonde's smile. "All right. New York? As in Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building with giant monkey, hundreds of skyscrapers New York?"

"Is there another one?"

"Uh .. no?" Irae regarded her warily.

"Then you have the right one. The General has graciously made arrangements for the train to Budapest and air travel from there to the United States. Here are your papers." She handed a thick wad of items including three passports and several other identity/visa originals to the red head who sorted through and then stowed them in the pocket of her leather coat. "You will contact their Number One Section One when you arrive. He is expecting you."

Irae raised her eyebrows. "He … knows?"

"Let's say he … probably knows more than he allows himself to think he does. He has now and again expressed a desire to see how we would work with his field agents."

"Ah. He does not allow himself to think of the reality, just the usefulness," Irae translated with a nod. "And the Old Ones? Do they approve?" The answer to that would tell her a great deal.

"They do not disapprove. The two agents concerned helped rescue the Drakoci boy."

"Ah … He is doing well," she agreed with a thoughtful nod. "And without the two, young Radu would not be with us. So, I am to … monitor their health?" she asked with another grin.

"Exactly. Corporal Andreski is waiting to take you to the train. I took the liberty of packing your bags for you."

Irae scowled for a moment. "So thoughtful of you, Domne." She gave the blonde a nod, turned on her heel and left.

Diamene continued to look after the younger woman long after she was out of sight. "I do hope this was the right choice," she remarked in her soft Southern style drawl.

MFUMFUMFUMFU

Napoleon Solo, the dark debonair ladies man and CEO of the New York headquarters of the UNCLE, sat leaned back in his chair, fiddling with a pencil and thinking; his dark eyes vaguely unfocused as his usual partner walked in with an armload of files, his white lab coat streaked with chemicals and a frown on his face.

"Napoleon," he started ominously, dropping the stack of files on Solo's desk. "You were supposed to sign off on all these reports two days ago. Not to mention finishing up the commentary on the top two."

Napoleon regarded the more slightly built blond for a long moment before sitting up and taking a quick look at the files. He frowned at several of them, pulling them out and flipping through the pages. "I swear I signed off on these two days ago," he echoed the time element his partner had stated. Quickly he pulled out a pen and scrawled a signature in the appropriate place, tossing the files into his outbox. "And where did you find these? They should still be cluttering up my desk if I haven't signed them."

"Chase had them. They were in your outbox. It wasn't until she dropped one and had to retrieve the scattered pages that she realized they were not complete." The somber blue eyes regarded him seriously, the question the Russian did not want to ask out loud simmering in the background.

"I'm fine," Napoleon answered the unspoken query. "Or, maybe not," he added with a sigh. "I keep thinking about our Romanian jaunt for some reason."

That got a quick grin from his partner. "Possibly a tall blonde woman with dark eyes and an infections smile?"

Napoleon shuddered. "Not fond of the word infectious these days," he admitted. "Not that Diamene isn't a striking woman, competent, intelligent, terrifying ..." He met Illya's gaze and saw a reflection of his analysis there. Why had he said terrifying?

Illya nodded. "Terrifying is somehow very accurate. I don't suppose you're related to the General?"

Napoleon shook his head. "Not that research can determine. Just a random resemblance. The old "everyone has a twin" issue, I guess. Glad he isn't Chinese, that would be disconcerting ..." he added with a laugh. He looked at the files. "I guess I'll get these done for real, this time. I wonder what it says about me that I apparently dreamed I finished them ..." He pulled a couple of files from the stack, glanced through and signed off.

Illya went to his desk, stripping off his lab coat as he did so. "Perhaps we should … consider some of the vacation time Mr. Waverly mentioned. It is not often he … gives one a choice in the matter."

"True. Usually he's enforcing medical's decisions," the other answered absently, flipping open the next file and tossing it across his desk abruptly. A large, sluggish tarantula staggered a couple of steps and then scuttled for the door. "What the hell?"

Both men scrambled to their feet and dashed for the door. The spider was gone. A couple of personnel passing in the hallway looked at them curiously, but there was no rash of people avoiding a large, hairy arachnid. Where had it gone?

Napoleon met Illya's pale gaze. "There was a tarantula … wasn't there?"

Illya nodded. "I saw it. There is no way it could have vanished like that …" his tone ended in doubt.

They turned back to the office and stopped again. The file was not on the floor. Nor was it on Napoleon's desk and Illya's remained as empty as it was when he entered the room.