No Time for Spies
Max took a deep breath and, on instinct, pulled out his gun and took a quick glance around the supply room. His partner was about to hyperventilate and his contact had been shot to death. In the event that One’s assailant was still lurking in the shadows, Max wanted to take every precaution necessary to avoid the same fate. Lucy then quickly got her emotional bearings back in gear and pulled the chain to the room’s solitary 40-watt bulb. She could not help but again cringe at the sight of One. Max then moved over to One and knelt down beside him.
“One!” shouted Max, shaking One. “Who did this too you?”
Lucy knelt down and tried to take One’s pulse. There was, however, no pulse to take. Lucy laid his hand down on his chest and shook her head. One, and the secrets of the remnants of Kaos and Control were forever lost.
“Forget it, Max,” sighed Lucy. “He bled to death.”
“Lucy, he had something to tell us!” insisted Max, searching her eyes. “It had to be important. If you were One, what would you say to me?”
“If I were One right now, then I think I’d tell you to get your knee off my chest,” smirked Lucy.
Max gave Lucy an icy glare and moved his knee off of One’s chest. “Nobody likes a smart-alecky agent, Lucy.”
Lucy sighed and looked around the room for anything the killer may have left behind. For the most part, though, the supply room was the definition of destruction. Cartons of copy paper and toilet paper were broke open with their contents strewn about the room. Several shelves against the wall had collapsed and left their contents of Government Issue peanut butter oozing across the floor. This was of no real surprise to her since One had never been one to weasel out of a fight.
Lucy then picked up a magazine that was lying on the floor. She noticed that it was opened to an article on Aldrich Ames. There was also a smaller article at the bottom of the page on John Travolta11.. Max, who had been watching Lucy, stuffed his gun back in its holster and gazed over her shoulder at the magazine. He snatched the magazine away from Lucy and gave her a stern glare.
“Agent Bently, we have a murder on our hands! This is no time to be reading up on your soaps!” scolded Max.
“Max, I think One left us a message here,” said Lucy as she swiped the magazine away from Max.
“Lucy, you only think that because it fits the scheme of things. You’ve watched too many TV mysteries!”
Lucy rolled her eyes. “Then why would One have had a magazine with him in the storage room?”
“He probably wanted some light reading while he waited for us,” reasoned Max. "or maybe he had just stopped at the W.C. on the way here and... you know."
“I think One knew that somebody was on to him and was going to nail him. One was one to think ahead,” explained Lucy, opening up the magazine to the page that she had been looking at.
Max tried to be more objective and glanced at the magazine from over Lucy’s shoulder again. He was not sure whether it was the trivialness of the magazine article or if it was the view from Lucy’s shoulder that affecting how the apparent clue was failing to click with his mind. He was, however, certain that One’s magazine had little relevance to their case.
“This is all well and good, but what does this John Travolta guy have to do with Kaos?” asked Max. “Further more, why is the word ‘Vinnie’ circled?”
Lucy studied the magazine again and noticed that a red circle was drawn around the ‘Vinnie’ in Vinnie Barbarino. She thought about the significance of that for a second and then a light poured into the darkened corners of her mind. She was now plunged head first into the most golden of all Ah-ha moments.
“Of course!” smiled Lucy, reveling in her sudden burst of insight. “The connection in "Vinnie" is that Vinny the Vulture is the Kaos amusement park mascot!”
“Ah-ha! One must believe that Kaos is hiding something at the amusement park! In that case, I say we go to the amusement park!” suggested Max.
“But which one?” cried Lucy. “There’s ten Vinnyvilles in the United States and one in Guam! This could take forever, Max!”
“Guam?” asked Max, making a face as he glanced down at the magazine again. He then noticed that certain letters in the John Travolta article had been underlined in red. Max wrinkled his nose at the defaced magazine and pointed it out to Lucy.
“Hmmm…” mumbled Lucy, studying the underlined letters.
“You know,” remarked Max, “I sure hope that wasn’t from the library, because One’s a candidate for a pretty sizable fine.”
“Wait a minute,” smiled Lucy, looking back up at Max. “This is another clue! He underlined the letters H-O-C-I-G-O-C.”
"Is that some new dental adhesive?" asked Max.
"I think the letters are out of order," said Lucy in a somewhat tired tone.
“Well, since we’re playing scrabble…” mused Max, “Chicago?”
“Exactly!” nodded Lucy. “One must want us to check out the Chicago park.”
Lucy started for the door, but Max hung back. There still seemed to be something incomplete about this series of clues. He wondered why, of all the periodicals that could have had an article on a ‘Vinny’, One had selected this particular magazine.
“Incidentally,” began Max “why do you think One picked out this magazine?”
Lucy responded with only a shrug and then flipped to the cover to see the date. It was actually quite dated, as it was an issue from April of 1994. She wondered what One was doing with a five year old news magazine and then flipped it back to the article.
“Lucy,” continued Max, “who is the guy in the other article?”
“Aldrich Ames12. was a CIA mole,” explained Lucy. “He got busted and thrown in the slammer back in ‘94”
Max’s livid eyes shifted from One’s limp body to Lucy’s confounded expression. The two then exchanged a glance that asked the same question: was there a spy in the NEA? Such a question made little sense since the NEA was the essence of security. From the outset, it was doubtful that there could be spies in an era of stainless steal doors and pinhole video cameras at every turn. Still, they both wondered how it was likely for there to be a spy in a time without war –even a cold one.
“I have vital information!” announced Max, as he walked into Admiral Dushinka’s office.
“It’s about time,” frowned Anté. “Spill it!”
“He can’t just come in here spilling information!” huffed Dushinka. “I have three important Pentagon officials here and they could care less about vital information!”
Max then noticed that three granite faced high-ranking military men were standing behind Dushinka’s desk. He also noticed that they were either quite occupied with staring at the light fixtures or smoking. One of the men, a sleepy-eyed General, then caught wind of the commotion and nudged the others out of their respective trances.
“You must be Smart,” observed the General. “I’m General Hanke of the Army. This is General Handke of the Air Force and our Navy representative is Admiral Hapke at my right.”
Max nodded at the men, then studied them closer and twisted his mouth in confusion. “General Hapke-"
“Hapke’s the Admiral, Max,” whispered Lucy.
“I thought Handke was the Admiral,” whispered Max.
“No, Max, you want Hanke,” hissed Lucy, who was starting to lose her patience.
“I hope, for your sake, that you’re right about this,” snapped Max, glaring at her. He then turned to Hanke again. “General Hanke, where’s the Marine representative?”
“They’re on leave,” answered Admiral Hapke.
“Some things never change,” muttered Max, shaking his head.
“What was this vital information?” asked Hanke?
“We’d like to hear it,” added Handke.
“Well, gentlemen,” began Max in a grave tone, “this is a very inappropriate place for a discussion of such a sensitive nature. I demand the Cone of Silence!”
“The what?” barked Dushinka. “Anté, tell him to spit it out and forget about his cone of whatever!”
“Not with out the cone!” retorted Max, stomping his foot for emphasis. “No cone, then no top secret info for you!”
“Anté,” interrupted Lucy, “I think that Mr. Smart would like us to implement an SSS device”
“SSS?” asked Max, wrinkling his nose. “I hope that has nothing to do with the S.S13..”
“It’s a Super Secret Security device,” explained Anté. “Why, Miss Bently, do you feel this is necessary?”
“Uh… well, Anté, there’s a bullet hole in the window,” explained Lucy pointing to the window behind Dushinka.
Some minutes later, the group made their way into the SSS department of the NEA. The SSS division was nothing like Max had been exposed to at Control. It was, much like the rest of the NEA, a sterile business-as-usual type of environment –and that was just in the waiting room. They could see through a window behind the receptionist that various engineers and scientists were darting about the workroom and were in the process of creating numerous unimaginable devices.
The sound of a door creaking open diverted Max’s attention from the preoccupied workers to a side door. Emerging from it was a lab coated, sandy headed, and mustachioed man that appeared to be in his mid-thirties. He gave Lucy a smirky smile as he brushed past Anté and sneered Dushinka.
“Ok, boss, what’ll it be today?” asked the man. “Bugging equipment? More surveillance for the officer’s washroom?”
“We need a transportation device,” growled Dushinka, who then turned to Anté. “This is your mess –you explain it!”
Anté pursed his lips and narrowed his eyes at the man in the lab coat. “Inspector 3, aren’t you supposed to be working back behind? What happened to Inspector 1?”
“Bought out by the Japanese,” explained Inspector 3.
“What about Inspector 2?”
“He went with Time Warner.”
“And you?” prompted Anté.
“I’m waiting for you to get to the point.
“3,” interrupted Lucy, “This is Maxwell Smart and I’m sure you know General Hanke, Admiral Hapke, and General Handke.”
Inspector 3 nodded at the officers and then pumped Max’s hand. “Pleased to meet you Mr. Smart!”
“We need a security device,” explained Max, who discovered that 3 was still shaking his hand. “I recommended the Cone of Silence, but I’ve been informed that there aren’t any available.”
“Well,” said 3 as he continued to pump Max’s hand, “the defense department uses it as a planter, but I don’t think they’d be keen on giving it up. We’ve got something better than the C.O.S. anyway. It’s called the Quiet Car.”
“The Quiet Car!” breathed Max, still shaking Inspector 3’s hand. “Of course! What an ingenious device! What other alternative do we have but the Quiet Car! Just one question, 3, what is the Quiet Car?”
Inspector 3 snatched his hand away from Max, puffed out his chest with pride, and smirked all at once. “My ticket to a Nobel prize!”
He lead them out to the back parking lot where they found a rather dirty and rust lined black 1985 black Chevy Caprice station wagon. He then opened up the back, pulled down the back seat, and motioned for everyone to hop in. Hanke, Hapke, and Handke crawled into the back of the station wagon without as much as a batted eye. Dushinka, however, peered inside the shabby vehicle and turned back to Inspector 3 and sniffed.
“Are you trying to tell me I have to go into that bucket of bolts and sit on that filthy shag rug like I’m on a preschool field trip?” snapped Dushinka.
“You bet your sweet bippy!” said 3, noticing that Dushinka was turning an odd shade of maroon. “Hey, don’t have a thrombosis. It’s not my fault that you, Smart, and Anté decided to let the rest of the Boy Scout troop tag along. I had to… amend things.”
“Your amendments are off!” snapped Anté. “There’s still not room for Agent Bently in there!”
“I know,” smirked 3. “That’s why she gets to sit up front with me.”
Anté poised to deck 3 when General Hanke poked his head out of the wagon to see what the delay was. “Are you turkeys getting in here or are you afraid of getting carpet stain?”
Dushinka growled and crawled into the back of the wagon. Anté and Max followed suit, but at the exact same time. As a result, they found themselves stuck in the back door of the station wagon. Inspector 3 promptly gave Anté a shove that caused him to fly head first into Dushinka’s lap. Max, however, wound up falling backwards onto the ground. Max jumped back up as if on springs and began to dust himself off. In the process of his careful dusting, Dushinka grabbed him by his shirt collar and yanked him in so that he managed to end up in Anté’s lap.
After some untold amount of time later, they were outside of the city of Arlington and on the beltway. Max noticed that the speedometer seemed to be set at 95. He then looked out the window and noticed that while there were trees and farms whirling by, there also happened to be no other vehicles on the road. He leaned over Lucy’s seat and fixed his eyes on Inspector 3.
“Is there a problem back in steerage, sir?” smirked 3, noticing Max in his rearview mirror.
“Yes! You’re driving like a maniac, 3!” insisted Max, peering at the speedometer again. “We could all get killed or –even worse, we could get a traffic citation!”
“Smart,” sighed 3, “nothing’s going to happen, so just sit back down and continue with your thumb twiddling.”
Max made a nasty face at Inspector 3 and slumped back down. He then noticed that Anté was staring at the back of Lucy’s seat. Curious, Max turned and looked at the seat to see exactly what had captured the jay gee’s attention, but the only thing that was worth noticing about it was the large amount duct tape that had been used in lieu of vinyl.
“Smart,” said Anté under his breath, “what are those two doing up there?”
“Speeding!” frowned Max in disappointment. “That goes against Article 78 of the Control Morality Code in section J-27 of the Control Handbook. I suppose your organization doesn’t care about that sort of thing, though.”
“Heck no!” scoffed Anté. “See, Smart, speeding doesn’t matter because this is the Navy’s very own section of the beltway14.! We can go as fast as we want, and unlike on the real beltway, we’ll never get lost on it!”
Max opened his mouth to make a remark but 3 interrupted him with a call for everyone’s undivided attention. Hanke, Hapke, and Handke all sat up straight while Anté rolled his eyes and tossed a dirty look in 3’s direction. Dushinka, who had been glaring at General Handke shifted his chilly gaze to the front of the car.
“Okay, kids, said 3, “I’m going to activate Quiet Car, so be ready!”
“How’s he going to do that?” asked Max.
“Dunno,” shrugged Anté. “This is very new, very secret, and very high tech technology.”
“Okay, Lucy,” barked 3 from the front of the Wagon, “roll down the windows!”
Lucy rolled down the power windows and a small electric light that read “SSS Device On” lit up above their heads. Hanke, Hapke, and Handke simultaneously grunted and exchanged impatient glances while Dushinka turned to Max and narrowed his eyes at him. He then mouthed something at Max, who immediately responded by raising an eyebrow in confusion.
“I’m sorry sir, I can’t hear you,” said Max.
“I’m not leering at you!” shouted Dushinka. “Would you say what you have to say?”
“What are you doing today?” asked Anté.
“That’s not what he said!” interrupted Hanke.
“Who’s dead?” asked Hapke.
“Agent One,” answered Max.
“No, we’re not done!” snapped Dushinka.
Lucy moaned and rubbed her temples. The misconstrued and misconstructed conversation from the back of the vehicle proved that an SSS device was not worth the fifty grand that was spent to build it. Seeing that there were no other alternatives, Lucy took a deep breath and pushed the window button. The windows all shot back up and the SSS light flicked off.
“What happened?” snorted Dushinka. “Bently, why did you turn off the SSS device?”
“Because Max’s recipe for Perogies is not vital to national security,” retorted Lucy. “There’s too many bugs in this… thing. You’re going to have to talk in the open.”
“But Lucy,” cried Max, “this situation is top security! We’ve got to take precautions! I can’t just tell them there’s a mole in the NEA and that Agent One has been murdered out in the open!”
Max then realized what he had said and wished he could take it back. Hanke, Handke, and Hapke, along with Anté, exchanged concerned glances while Dushinka filed his nails. Anté then turned to Max and narrowed his eyes.
“Who was killed?” he asked.
“One,” said Max.
“One what?” demanded Anté.
“Agent One!” exclaimed Lucy. "He left us a message too! He says there’s a-"
“Lucy,” interrupted Max in his best nasal squeak ever, “I’d like to handle this myself. One left us a message that leads us to believe that there is a spy in the NEA!”
The three Pentagon representatives reacted with a gasp. Anté responded with a tired moan and Dushinka’s reply was a snort. His snort, however, turned quickly to laughter.
“Hockey!” scoffed Dushinka. “We are the most secure security facility in the nation! How can we have a mole without my knowledge –unless perhaps you are the mole, Mr. Smart?”
Max the Mole? Find out in Segment 2 of Part
Six right here!
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