Take me back Home!

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No Time for Spies

by

Amanda Haverstick

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Part Eight

MMMMM

Max shuddered as he looked down into the murky liquid just below his feet. He was about to make the Big Drop Out into a jar of pickling juice and he was certain that would make him the laughing stock of spydom. He looked over at Lucy’s crestfallen expression and then glared at Seigfried. Lucy, for the rest of her brief life, was going to have to live with the fact that she killed Maxwell Smart simply because she could not hit a target.

“For your information, Schmart,” smirked Shtarker, interrupting Max’s thoughts, “this particular preservative will not only kill you but will turn you into a Kosher Dill!"31.

“Can I call my Anté?” asked Lucy.

“Why?” demanded Max, impatiently. “Does your auntie have a recipe for pickles?”

“The Anté that Miss Bently wishes to speak to is presently tied up,” smirked Seigfried, pointing to a trailer on the opposite side of the midway.

Max and Lucy both simultaneously turned to see that Seigfried was pointing to a sailor tied to an overstuffed armchair. Max did a double take and blinked. Anté was bound and gagged to none other than the putridly upholstered time machine.

“Jack!” cried Lucy. “How could you allow yourself to fall into a situation like this?”

“He drove into it,” explained Max, dryly. “Well, Seigfried, since Mr. Anté’s holding my seat on the time machine for me, I’m going to be on my way.”

Max moved to run off of the platform, but Shtarker grabbed him by the arm and pulled him back. Max brushed Shtarker off and stuck his nose in the air as if he had been insulted by the thug’s manhandling. Shtarker then pulled a Lugar from his coat and pressed it into Max’s arm. Seigfried gave his henchman a nod of approval and then pulled out a gun from his leather jacket and pressed it against Lucy’s head.

“Abrupt movements are not advisable, Schmart,” sneered Seigfried. He then turned to Lucy and handed her a baseball. “The same goes for you –no quick moves or I’ll blow your pretty little face off.”

“Then do I get plastic surgery?” asked Lucy, eagerly.

“Stop stalling and throw!” shrieked Seigfried.

“Don’t yell at her!” protested Max, “That’s my job!”

“Okay, that’s it,” snapped Seigfried, pulling his gun away from Lucy and aiming it at Max. “I’m going to shoot you right now!”

Seeing that Seigfried’s attention was diverted from her, Lucy poised to give him a judo chop on the back. Just as her hand was about to make impact, something caught her eye. She then looked up at the platform to see a slack-jawed Maxwell Smart point off into deep space just as Shtarker ducked out of sight. Lucy looked back at an un-phased Seigfried and blinked at what she saw standing behind him.

“Look, Seigfried!” shouted Max. “It’s Mr. Spock!”

“I’m not falling for that old trick, Schmart!” scoffed Seigfried. “No, Schmart, it’s—“

Before Seigfried could finish his sentence, he fell to the ground at Lucy’s feet. Lucy turned to the pointy-eared man standing behind her and looked back down at Seigfried. She then did a double take and blinked. Shaking her head in hopes that her current mental cobwebs would fall out, she noticed that Max was now standing beside her with a notepad and a Sharpie marker.

“Mr. Spock,” smiled Max, with his broadest grin, “can I have your autograph?”

“Max!” gasped Lucy, "That’s not Mr. Sp-"

“Of course he’s Spock!” retorted Max. “He gave Seigfried the ‘old Vulcan nerve pinch trick!’”

“Why?” cried Lucy.

“He stole federation property,” explained Spock as he took the notepad and the marker from Max. “I don’t understand this human fascination with signatures.”

“I don’t understand why Kirk isn’t here,” snapped Lucy under her breath.

“He had a date,” explained Spock, looking up at her and raising a single eyebrow. He then finished signing his name and looked around the park. “This is a most fascinating place. What exactly goes on here?”

“Not a lot,” shrugged Max. “Seigfried just tries to kill you.”

“Interesting,” nodded Spock. "When Mr. Scott locates the dilithium crystals, we will be beaming Mr. Seigfried aboard our ship where he will-"

It was then that Mr. Scott, as if on cue, marched up to the group with Hymie following behind. “I’ve taken care of the dilithium crystals, Mr. Spock. Since I’ve got the robot working, can I please take him back with us?”

Max and Lucy exchanged looks that were a mix of disappointment and disbelief. It was bad enough that another government was capturing the archenemy that they were hoping to arrest. The threat of taking Hymie, however, would not be tolerated if Maxwell Smart, Agent 86 for Control, had anything to say about it. Max swaggered up to the Scotsman and looked him square in the eye.

“Forget it you over-grown bagpipe blower!” sneered Max, stepping in front of the robot. “Hymie is the property of the U.S. Government! You’ll have to get through me first!”

“That can be arranged,” smirked Scotty, fingering his phaser.

Just as Max was considering apologizing to Scotty for perhaps being out of line with his crack about being an over-grown bagpipe blower, a phaser flew through the air. Scotty looked down at his empty hands and turned to Spock who raised an eyebrow and looked over at Lucy. Max turned to Lucy and blinked. Scott's weapon had become a captive of her magnetic wristwatch and she was now aiming the phaser at his chest.

“Lucy!” hissed Max. “Don’t play with phasers –somebody could get hurt!”

“Then tell these two clowns to get their own cybernaut!” snapped Lucy, glaring at Mr. Scott. She then smiled at Hymie and wrapped her arm around him. “Hymie’s spoken for!”

“Mr. Scott,” interrupted Spock in a curt tone, “While a robot of this era is a fascinating piece of technology, it is highly illogical for it to go back to the Enterprise with us.”

“First you won’t let me wear the blue shirt and now you won’t let me keep the robot,” pouted Scotty. “Tell her to give me my phaser back!”

Spock shook his head. “No, Mr. Scott, since you wouldn’t play nicely with your toys, consider this a ample lesson in etiquette.” The Vulcan then flipped open his communicator and looked up at the sky. “Mr. Sulu, please beam I, Mr. Scott, and the prisoner up –quickly!

MMMMM

After Max and Lucy finished gaping at the empty spot that Spock, Scotty, and Seigfried had been positioned in, they decided to regroup and find the time machine. That, however, was a much tougher task than Max had anticipated due to the fact that the recliner had again vanished with Anté strapped to it. After yet another careful search of the park, they concluded that they were wasting their time.

“If only there were some way to track them down,” sighed Lucy, plopping down on a park bench. “Anté, Shtarker, and the recliner couldn’t have just vanished –even though it appears that way.”

“Yeah,” nodded Max. “If only I had a homing device for that bug I planted on Anté.”

“You planted a- Max!” cried Lucy jumping up.

“Huh?”

“We have a homing device,” she said, looking over at Hymie. She then proceeded to press a button on his wristwatch, which was the receiver to his external homing device. After experimenting with several different frequencies for Government Issue bugging devices, the robot’s tracking system picked up two paths. One path was headed west while the other was traveling east.

“I wonder if this is a case of eenie-meanie-minie-moe,” pondered Max, as he studied the miniature radar screen embedded in Hymie’s watch. “Hymie, where are they headed?”

“From the path they’re taking, I would say your choices are Sheboygan and Washington,” said Hymie, turning off the homing device.

“How could one little bug take two paths?” asked Lucy.

“Maybe it split in half,” suggested Max.

Lucy wrinkled her nose and shook her head. "Hymie, why don’t you go over to Sheboygan while Max and I—"

Hymie frowned and crossed his arms across his chest. “Sure, wind up the robot when you lose your leader. Suppose this robot just doesn’t want to find that leader!”

“But Hymie,” purred Lucy, looking up at him, “I want you to. Won’t you do it for me?”

The robot relented and the trio then dispersed to head in their separate directions. Some time later, while Hymie was en route to Sheboygan, Max and Lucy were sitting in a private helicopter, staring down at the swirling acres of land below them. Max studied Lucy as she reset the gage on her NEA Issue magnet-watch. He did not want to admit it, but he was a tad annoyed with the girl. He decided that it was not so much the feeling of irritation that Larabee gave him, but was more of the feeling of stress that 99 gave him when she went off on a mission with out him. The grounds for this particular peeve, he decided, were rooted in a certain mechanical man.

“Lucy,” began Max, "you do realize that Hymie is a robot and robots… well robots just can’t… robots are-"

"Max, I know what your thinking. You think that I have a crush on Hymie,” said Lucy, looking over at Max’s scowling expression.

Max turned to Lucy. “Well do you?”

“Awe, don't be silly!" said Lucy giving him a playful punch in the arm. "I could never hook up with Hymie -he's a robot! He's cute and sweet and all, but I think of him more as the brother I never had."

Max shot Lucy a funny look. "Lucy, I thought you had a brother?"

Lucy frowned and looked down. "Well... yeah, I do. I'd rather trade him for Hymie, though."

"Why's that?" asked Max in a concerned tone.

"He's an idiot because he ditched me a few months ago, leaving me with all his bills and no forwarding address. He's all bent because our mom did all this government stuff when she was young and kept it from us," explained Lucy with a downtrodden look. "The last I heard from him was that he was working on some radio station's news program as a street reporter"

"That’s too bad," frowned Max, patting Lucy’s hand. "You think he would've at least tried to go straight. I'll have Anté reprogram Hymie into the 'Brother' mode for you."

MMMMM

That evening, Max and Lucy returned to Washington only to have the pleasure of once again scowling at the electrically charged door to the Kaos room. After the duo had picked up another homing device in the NEA’s Research and Development department, they came to discover that their bug was right under their nose –or rather behind the rubber door. Max moaned inwardly at the idea that he was now back where he had started. He could not fathom how he would get into the room and he knew from the harsh after burn of experience that the doorknob was loaded with high voltage. Max gulped. His star-spangled heart was now in his throat. That being the case, he decided that he had two options: choke on cowardice and failure or risk his sensitive skin.

“Hmm… I had a feeling we’d have to come back to this at the end of the test,” remarked Max, reaching for the doorknob.

“Don’t do it Max!” cried Lucy. “It’s not worth it!”

Max looked at her in a reproachful manner and then turned back to the door. “Of course it’s worth it, Lucy! If I don’t try to get the door open, then I’ll die choking on cowardice and failure –and frankly, I’ve choked before on mashed potatoes and it wasn’t much fun.”

“No, Max,” said Lucy, stepping in front of him, "I won’t let you do this! We’ll get a bunch of explosives and-"

Max nodded, smiled, and then gently pushed Lucy aside. He properly got on his mark and then charged into the door. He could feel his face crashing against its clammy surface just as it seemingly retaliated out of its own will. It matched Max’s blow by crashing its hard exterior against Max’s pain stricken cheek. He felt himself soar backwards through the air as if he were a bird that had flunked aviation. His back cracked against the wall on the other side of the room and he slowly looked up to see Shtarker standing in the open door way of the top secret, ultra-secure, and electrically enhanced Kaos Room.

“How did you get here?” demanded Lucy. "That door is loaded with—"

“I took the liberty, Ms. Bently, of cutting off the electricity to the Kaos filing room,” explained Shtarker. “It seems that you have discovered my plans.”

“Now just a minute, Shtarker,” protested Max as he crawled up off of the floor. “I thought you were sucked up into that spaceship –if we can call it that. Was that a Kaos ruse?”

Shtarker smiled a grin of childish glee. “That, Schmart, was my ruse! Now, you see, I am no longer Kaos’ second banana! It was all a matter of time, Schmart. I knew they would return and I would have my chance to not only rid myself of Seigfried, but also have my golden opportunity to step out of his shadow!”

“Really? You were stuck in Seigfried’s shadow?” asked Max, densely. “It must’ve been tight in there.”

Lucy looked at Max and rolled her eyes and then turned to Shtarker with a fire and ice glare. “I have a feeling, Shtarker, that you’re going to find that the limelight isn’t all that pretty. Incidentally, who is this they that you are speaking of?”

Shtarker responded with a sniff. They are members of Starfleet and they arrived here in 1930s!”32.

“As if you remember that,” muttered Max. “Were you even in knee britches then?”

Shtarker glared at Max. “Not funny, Schmart. They did arrive in the 30s, as well as in the 60s, and they also visited a San Jose In and Out a week before you and Seigfried arrived. Seigfried, if you are interested, is now trapped on their pathetic little ship. That, aside from my present and permanent control over Kaos is all that matters now!”

“How –no what makes you think you’ve pulled this off?” demanded Max. “I’ve never known you to have a greedy or power hungry, bone in your body. Granted, you’re a killer, but you’re not malicious.”

“That, Schmart,” replied Shtarker, smugly, “is where you are wrong in your character assessment! I can’t believe that you of all people don’t get it! It’s the dumb ones that keep their jobs and get promoted! The smart ones are dangerous to production –they know too much. That, Schmart, is why we play the fool –but don’t play dumb with me and act like you didn’t know that.”

“I suppose you’re an expert at playing dumb,” remarked Lucy.

“The finest in all the world,” smiled Shtarker, puffing out his chest.

That I’d like to contest, however, I have other concerns –namely, where’s the time machine?” demanded Max.

“I don’t think that is any concern of yours, Schmart,” retorted Shtarker, aiming his Lugar at Max’s head. “Your concerns are over!”

Max winced. He could not let Shtarker kill him –especially after all the trouble he went through during this mission. It would be wrong to subject Lucy to such trauma and it would also be wrong to allow Kaos’ second in command to murder Control’s top agent. Furthermore, decided Max, permitting bullets to enter his body was simply bad for his health.

“Can’t I call my Anté first… before you shoot me?” pleaded Max.

“No!” groaned Shtarker.

Suddenly, the doors flew open and half a dozen Navy Seals plowed into the room. Swathed in camouflage and armed with M16s, each of them poised themselves so that they were aimed at Shtarker. Max took this opportunity to allow a smirk to cross his lips.

“Would you believe I’m surrounded by six Navy Seals and that you’ll never get away with this?” asked Max.

Anté then entered the room and proceeded to snatch Shtarker’s Luger away from him. The Seals kept their distance, but also prepared for any sudden change in the choreography of the moment. Anté waited for one of them to handcuff Shtarker and then turned to look at Max and Lucy.

“Would you believe I wound up at Kaos’ Wisconsin Headquarters in Sheboygan and the only reason they left me go was because some idiot put a bug on me?” asked Anté.

Max rolled his eyes and watched the last of the Seals march out of the room. He then turned back to Anté and wondered if tag line theft was a crime. “Anté, just what happened to that bug?”

“It split in half I think. I guess this is over,” he remarked.

“Not quite,” replied Max.

“Yes, I know you still don’t have the time machine,” moaned Anté. “It got put on the wrong plane. Instead of going to Sheboygan, like Kaos wanted, it got shipped back here and should arrive at the bargain basement sale on W Street at the corner of 34th Street in… oh… about ten minutes.”33.

“Actually, we were more concerned with the contents of the oversized filing cabinet, Jack,” smirked Lucy, pointing to the Kaos room.

“What is in that room that is so top secret, Anté?” asked Max.

“Actually, Smart, this room was a mistake,” explained Anté, with a slightly embarrassed look. “It’s not a filing room. It was supposed to be used to clean… um… official Naval Espionage Association attire and remove offending particles from the fine fabric that the uniforms are made from.”

“You mean this is where the officers get their dry cleaning done,” corrected Lucy in her bluntest tone.

“Uh… yeah…,” nodded Anté.

“Why did you give a Laundromat the name of Kaos?” asked Max.

“The painter read the work order backwards. It was supposed to say ‘SOAK’,” explained Anté.

“SOAK?” asked Max and Lucy in unison.

“Yeah… SOAK,” smiled Anté. “That name was all my idea!”

MMMMM

After hailing a cab and arguing about which route to the corner of W and 34th was quicker, Max and Lucy found themselves standing that front of a stately and imposing building with the words “Hall of Justice” engraved on it. Max, certain that he had been in this particular locale before, grabbed Lucy by the hand and led her into the building.

They marched down a staircase and made their way through a set of sliding doors only to be confronted with a seemingly endless stretch of hallway. At the end of the hallway, they found themselves staring up at another set of metal doors. Max held his breath as the doors swung open to reveal yet another set of doors. As those doors slid open, they walked up to a fourth door that shot up in the air like a common garage door. Max then led Lucy over to the next two doors, which promptly slide open and, after they had passed through, promptly snapped back shut. Expecting to see another door, Lucy looked up to see that a phone booth was positioned at the end of the hall.

“All that just to get to nothing?” huffed Lucy as they reached the end of the hallway.

“I just can’t shake the feeling that I’ve been here before,” remarked Max. “It’s uncanny. It’s a strange sensation. It’s—“

“It’s déjà vu,” sighed Lucy finishing his sentence and looking over at a phone booth at the end of the hall. “I’m going to go call Jack from that pay phone over there and inform him that his directions stink.”

“But you’ll ruin my déjà vu!” protested Max.

Lucy said nothing and walked into the phone booth, not bothering to shut the door behind her. She noticed that this payphone, unlike all the rest of the payphones across the country, did not require 35 cents. Instead it required only a mere dime. Lucy smirked at her luck and popped a dime into the machine. As she dialed Anté’s cell phone, she almost wanted to laugh at the fact that there was a phone booth in the District of Columbia that AT&T had forgotten to keep tabs on.

“I’ve got it!” said Max running up to the phone booth. “That’s the secret entrance to Control!”

Lucy responded with a shrill scream and then vanished from Max’s sight. Max looked down into the phone booth and watched Lucy plummet to the bottom. He then jumped in after her right before the floor closed back up.

After picking themselves up off of the floor, they made their way into what looked like an outlet store rather than the Control Headquarters that had once been familiar to Max. He scanned the rows of clothes, appliances, and furniture for the time machine as they headed for the recliners. Considering that the bulk of the Lazyboys looked as if they had each been beat with an ugly stick as part of the manufacturing process, Max and Lucy had their work cut out for them.

“How are we going to find it, Max!” whined Lucy, “They all look the same!”

“How about this: we both sit down on the recliners, pull the lever on the side as far back as it goes, and then, when one of us goes back in time, we’ll know which recliner the time machine was!” he suggested.

Lucy shot Max a curious look and wondered if he was serious. “Do you have a plan B?”

“Plan B,” repeated Max. “Ah, yes, Plan B! Here’s what we do: when I sat in the time machine back in 1969, I had a dollar and forty-six cents in change in my pocket. When I arrived here, the change was gone!”

“The old change eating recliner trick,” nodded Lucy. “That could take all day –and, frankly, there is very little of that left.”

Max was about to respond with a snide retort when a beeping sound interrupted him. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the homing device. He followed the path of the bug as the beeping became more shrill. Within seconds he was practically on top of the bugging device. Smirking, he reached behind the seat cushion of the recliner that was positioned directly in front of him and pulled out a pile of change and a broken Government Issue bug.

“Lucky for you, Lucy, that the other half of Anté’s bug fell in here! Otherwise you would have had to search each one of these chairs,” said Max in a smug tone. Then he added in a noticeably stiff voice, “It was nice working with you.”

“Yes,” agreed Lucy, “it was. . . an experience. Gee, Max it’s too bad you have to leave…”

“Yes, well it’s my duty as a husband to return to 99 and my duty as a Control agent to go back to 1969 and change the past so that I can prevent the future from turning into some sort of pandemonium! Are you sure you don’t want to come back with me -just for a visit or, more importantly, to see that Professor Croaker gets returned?” asked Max, allowing a small twinkle of hope to enter his eye.

“I’d better not,” decided Lucy, hesitantly. “Besides, Dr. Croaker should make it back fine on his own without the threat of ending up anywhere else. Jack -er- Anté informed me, before you and Seigggfried arrived, that the crystal will most likely die after the next two trips if they involve anything more than a thirty year span.”

Max pouted. Even he knew bringing Lucy back in time would be good for Control and the rest of the free world. “Awe... come on! Just a little trip to 1969 won’t be so bad. The future of Control, Kaos, and the rest of the free world lies in your hands!”

Lucy smiled a small smile of regret. “I’d like to, but I can’t go against my mother’s wishes. She has this thing about time travel.”

Max blinked at her in disbelief. “You don’t say. . .”

“Back in 1969, shortly before I was born, my father hopped into a time machine and never returned,” explained Lucy.

“No note? No forwarding address?” asked Max with a note of concern in his voice. “Why would he jump in a time machine? We don’t have time machines at our disposal in the 60s -just nuclear weapons.”

“Well, dad and mom both worked for a counterespionage organization and one day they came across this nutty professor that went back in time to look for the keys of his Impala. . .”

“And an enemy agent hopped in the time machine and stole it,” finished Max in a dry voice.

“Great guess!” marveled Lucy. “My father followed the guy, but as far as we know, they're both still floating in space.”

“Well,” admitted Max, “mothers, according to the Control Handbook do override just about everything -including obtaining covert information from a futuristic entity.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. It’s in Section 57-A1, also know as the Heinz-Kraft clause,” explained Max in a rather departmental tone. “I suppose I’d better get going.”

Max then waved and proceeded to trip over the already extended footrest of the recliner. Acting as if nothing had happened, he sprung back up and stepped over the footrest with one foot and, in a last ditch effort to preserve his failing sense of balance, he stuck his other foot in between the recliner and the footrest. Max shot a nervous smile at Lucy as he tried to extract his foot.

Two selections of Muzak and a blue light special announcement later, Max finally freed his shoeless foot. Satisfied, he nestled back into the seat. As soon as he was done nestling, he slammed the footrest down and sprung back up. Lucy eyed him with curiosity.

“Lucy,” he began in all seriousness, “before I leave there is one thing that I need to know.”

“Yes?”

“It’s been eating at me this whole assignment,” he explained.

“Go on!”

“I don’t know how to ask this but...”

“Max!”

“Okay, well, Lennon’s dead, Morrison’s dead, and even Dean Martin is dead.”

“Riiiiiight,” nodded Lucy.

“How did Herb Alpert make out?” asked Max quickly.

Lucy shot him a funny look. “He turned out rather nicely. He kept himself busy over the years -philanthropist type stuff. He sued A&M records while he was at it.”34.

“At least one thing is stable,” sighed Max, sinking back down into the recliner.

The two stared at each other as if there was something more they had to say. Lucy bit her lip and Max drummed his fingers on the arm of the recliner. He then hopped back out of the time machine and marched over to Lucy.

“Lucy, there’s something I really need to say to you,” said Max, looking her in the eye. “You’re not real.”

“Of course I’m real, Max!” retorted Lucy, shooting him an annoyed look.

“Well, OPAL says you’re not,” frowned Max, “—unless you really exist as someone else.”

Lucy hung her head and frowned down at the designs in the linoleum. “You’re right, Max. I’m not Lucy Bently. I’m Lucy Somebody Else. At least Jack knew his father! I’ve got nothing to go on!”

Max looked into her deep, but teary dark eyes. She was looking at no one with a haze of complete disappointment lining her eyes. Max had seen that look before. He had seen it the very day that 99 had told him that she was going to run off and marry a wealthy casino owner.35. He saw that look when he looked in the mirror at his own eyes that day.

“Lucy,” he said as he pulled out a handkerchief from his pocket and started to dry her tears. “I’m going to find your father when I go back to where I came from and then we’re going to know exactly who you are.”

“Really, Max?” breathed Lucy. “You’d do that?”

“You bet, kiddo,” nodded Max as he watched the girl’s eyes light up. “Just one question, Lucy, how did you get the last name of Bently?”

“Oh, well,” said Lucy, “we were under something like the witness protection program for Control agents. My brother and I don’t know our real last names and our mother won’t tell us because it’s classified.”

“I suppose she never slipped and mentioned her first name,” pondered Max, looking over at the time machine.

“Sorry about that, Max,” said Lucy, shaking her head.

Max hid a smile and then looked back at Lucy. “I guess I’d better get going.”

“Max, you do realize what you’re getting into?” questioned Lucy.

“And loving it!”

Without any gaffes or blunders, Max settled back into the recliner for a third time. He, of course, went through the usual do-si-do of setting the buttons on the arm of the chair and cranking the recliner lever. The recliner, of course, went through its do-si-do of sputtering, spitting, and spinning. Before Max could respond with a nauseated moan, he found himself in strangely familiar surroundings: the Chief’s office.

“MAX!” cried the Chief. “How and why are you here in my office with this disgrace to upholstery?”

Max blinked at him with confusion. “Chief! I went back in time!”

The Chief scowled at him with an extra stern scowl. “How, Max? There’s no such thing as time travel! Even if there were, the Navy forbids us to speak of such incidents!”

At that moment, Larabee barged into the Chief’s office. He was about to speak to the Chief but stopped when he saw Max in the recliner. Max threw him a look that resembled that of an annoyed older brother.

“Larabee,” began Max in an annoyed tone, “what are you doing?”

“Yes, Larabee,” added the Chief, “what do you need?”

“Oh. . . well, Chief, I was going to tell you that I was going to send Max in here, but I see you’re already talking to him. I’ll go tell the other one to get lost.”

Larabee then marched from the room and, in all earnestness, proceeded to send the other one on his way. What Max heard next was a rapid firing of shouts and complaints in a nasally voice that matched his own. What he saw next was an extremely perplexed expression cross the Chief’s face.

“Chief, what’s today’s date?” asked Max.

“September thirteenth.”

“What year?”

“1965!” cried the Chief in a fit of impatience. “Now, what happened to Dante, the Inthermo, and Mr. Big?”36.

“Uh-oh,” frowned Max, resetting the dials on the arm of the chair. “I went back too far. Later, Chief --and give my love to 99.”

Max and the chair, again, disappeared into a swirling vapor. The Chief, again, made an expression of perplexity. Larabee, again, walked into the Chief’s office, but this time with an irritated Maxwell Smart and a frazzled Agent 99 behind him.

“Max,” began the Chief, “do you still want me to give your love to 99, or would you rather do that yourself?”

MMMMM

“Max!” exclaimed 99.

Max reluctantly opened his eyes and looked around. He was again in the middle of the Chief’s office. This time the office was Chief-less and occupied only by 99 who was standing in the doorway. He was glad to see that she was not dressed in a chauffeur’s uniform, but he was also worried that he was still in the wrong place. He drummed his hands on the desk in front of him and then jumped back as if he had touched something hot. He looked down at the desk, which was clearly the Chief’s desk and then looked at the back of his chair. He was now seated in a rather corporate looking high backed leather chair rather than the refugee recliner he had been in before.

“99, what day is this?”

“It’s October 6th –1969,” said 99. “Why are you still here, Max? We’re supposed to go met the Chief at the new secret location for the new assignment!”

“He fell asleep on the job, 99,” announced Larabee, walking into the room with a box of cigars in his hand.”

“What job?” asked Max.

“Max, you were supposed to be here when the man from AT &T came to fix the hotline to the White House,” 99 reminded him.

“Of course!” said Max, snapping his fingers. “Larabee broke the hotline the other day with a bowling ball!37. Gee… I must’ve dozed off –which means it was all a dream…”

“What was?” asked 99

“The dream,” explained Larabee.

“No, what was all a dream?” insisted 99.

“I don’t know, 99,” shrugged Larabee, “whatever it was that Max was dreaming about.”

99 rolled her eyes and then turned to Max. He was now busy crawling around on the floor next to the Chief’s chair. 99 sighed and tapped him on the shoulder. Max looked up at her with a slightly embarrassed expression and then jumped up as if nothing had happened.

“Max, what are you looking for?”

“The universal remote,” sighed Max. “I think I lost it.”

“Huh?”

Max frowned at the idea that his venture into the future had been nothing more than a product of fantasy. “99, I had this dream just now that I went to the future. It was a strange world -everyone of any notoriety is dead. Herb Alpert is the only person we can count on.”

99 blinked. “What was the future of Control like?”

“Control was liquidated and taken over by the Navy –all that was left from it was Hymie,” explained Max. “Our superior was Larabee’ son.”

“Larabee has a son?” asked 99, looking over at Larabee who was staring blankly at his box of cigars. She then watched a smirk cross his face as he walked over to them.

“Have a cigar,” smiled Larabee, handing each of them a cigar. “It’s a boy!”

99 wrinkled her nose at the cigar while Max unwrapped his. “I didn’t know your wife was expecting. When did this happen?”

“Six years ago last Thursday,” explained Larabee walking over to the door. “The whole thing kind of slipped my mind.”

Max shook his head as Larabee walked into the outer office. “I still can’t believe it was all a dream. Where’s our new secret location?”

“The periodical room at George Washington University,” she said, tugging on Max’s arm and leading him out of the office.

As they were walking down the hallway, Max stopped abruptly and turned to 99. Even if it was a dream, there was still something he had to know. He looked at 99 and gave her the most charming smile he could muster –the one that he knew made all her common sense turn completely to mush. He figured that if her answer was not what he had been expecting, he still had a shot at helping her change her mind.

“99,” began Max, “if our kid is a girl -what would we name her?”

99’s eyes lit up at the thought of baby names. Being the intelligent and resourceful woman that she was, 99 had already put a handle on the situation. She had narrowed down the limitless to only one possible solution.

“Lucy!” she grinned as she watched Max smile rather smugly to himself. “Max, I have a question for you.”

“Yes, 99?”

99 bit her lip and looked him up and down. “Where did you get that strange monochrome looking suit?”

THE END

Updated 9-11-01

COPYRIGHT ©1999-2016 BY AMANDA HAVERSTICK.

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