A formal dress reception at the United Nations required the presence of Alexander Waverly.
It was black tie for all around, and that included his security team, led by Solo and Kuryakin. For once the Russian was not relegated to the role of waiter or manservant. His fellow Soviets would be present, and therefore his identity would be known to them.
This time he had lead along with Napoleon.
Backing them up were two more agents from Section II, John Masterson as well as William Judd, both seasoned men.
It was at Kuryakin's insistence that the team consisted of more than just tow agents, as didn't trust his fellow Soviets, and he was sure some of them didn't trust him either. Kuryakin's reason for the extra men was in response to recent intelligence. One of Illya's old contacts back home hinted at an assassination attempt, but Waverly dismissed it and insisted he would attend the meeting of the security council.
He had been offered a rare privilege with such an open invitation to attend these United Nations meetings, and was not about to snub them because of a threat and a minor one at that. He received death threats all the time, and they'd never stopped him from doing what needed to be done.
While the member nations gathered, chatting and greeting each other before entering the room in which the meeting would be held, the UNCLE agent's eyes darted everywhere as they were on edge. They weren't the only ones with security teams present, so it made for quite a crowd of tuxedo men, and women in tea length evening dresses...though there were very few of them present.
"Anything out of the ordinary?" Solo spoke into a microphone cradled in the palm of his hand. Each agent was wearing ear buds, allowing them to hear all the conversations between each other.
"Negative," Masterson chimed in, followed by Judd, but nothing from Kuryakin.
"Illya, where are you?"
"Sorry Napoleon I was preoccupied with one of the members of Soviet team."
"What's that supposed to mean."
"Nothing Napoleon. Just an old acquaintance by the name of Yegor Sokolov….let us say, we were never on good terms at GRU and leave it at that."
"I think we can relax for a moment once the members of the council are being seated and the doors closed,"Masterson said.
"We never relax," Solo and Kuryakin chimed in at the same time.
The team watched as the last of the delegates disappeared into the secure room. There they were under the protection of the United Nations Police at that point as they acted as internal security.
The UNCLE agents gathered together, breathing a momentary sigh of relief. The tension in the room had decreased substantially among all the security people present.
There was a murmur of conversation, cigarettes exchanged and lit (everyone liked the American cigarettes)
One of the Soviet agents stepped up to Illya. It was a blonde-haired woman,and not particularly attractive. She looked more akin to the stereotype of a Russian woman and that was being built like a shot putter.
He didn't recognize her, but greeted her in Russian with a not of his head. "Comrade."
She spoke in Russian as well. "So how does it feel to be traitor to Mother Russia?"
Kuryakin huffed, not dignifying the question with an answer. He merely turned his back to her but as he faced Napoleon, his eyes went wide with surprise.
Crowley dove forward, tackling the woman, and that sent the Soviet rushing into the fray.
Illya staggered forward, and reaching behind his back, his hand came back bloodied. He'd been stabbed and fell against Solo, who held onto him.
Crowley jumped into the scuffle but it was already over.
The Soviet agents handcuffed the woman, taking her into their custody.
"She is one of ours, and since Kuryakin is still Soviet...well you understand, it is crime of one citizen against another. Better not to have it look like international incident."
"Not quite but what choice do I have," Napoleon said as he cradled his partner in his arms.
Illya was taken by ambulance to Bellevue hospital, and went immediately to surgery.
He woke up, groggy from the anesthesia, it was to the sight of Alexander Waverly as well his partner standing at his bedside.
"Welcome back young man," Waverly smiled."Apparently your informant was a little bit off, as you were the target of the assassination attempt. The woman who attacked you was one Nadia Ostapchuk. She is a member KGB and is of Ukrainian origins. She is also an associate of one Viktor Karkoff. Does either name mean anything to you?"
"No sir, " Illya lied. Of course he knew Karkoff quite well. The man was his sponsor to GRU when he was just a teenager, the woman he did not know at all. An incident had occurred in Paris, early in Kuryakin's career which caused Viktor to lose face. He left GRU and became a member of KGB with a vow to get even with his former protegé Illya Kuryakin.*
Waverly's bushy eyebrows raised; he knew the Russian was lying. Still that was no surprise as the man's past was a highly guarded secret. He reminded himself to take another look at Kuryakin's private file as the name Karkoff did ring a bell. It wouldn't have surprised him that his Soviet agent had lied to him, that was the way of life for the young man...lies and deception, even to a superior. That was how these agents were trained. Trust no one...
"Well just so you we have been assured by the Soviet Ambassador that Miss Ostapchuk will be punished for the attempt on your life. You were lucky in that her aim with that knife was a bit off, and she missed any vital organs. May you have a quick recovery Mr. Kuryakin."
Alexander Waverly left, but Solo remained behind.
"So why did you lie to Mr. Waverly?"
"Me lie, why would you think that?"
"Because when it comes to your past, pretty much everything you say is a lie...that's I've learned."
"Napoleon, just leave it be." Illya turned his head away, closing his eyes.
That as they say was that; Napoleon knew better than to try to weasel anything out of his stubborn partner once he shut down…another time perhaps?
Ref to: "First Kill"