Mission Debriefing Report (Form MR-6073)
Name: Illya Kuryakin
Section: 2 Number: 2 Office: New York
Date: 17 June 1967
PROVIDE DETAILS OF MISSION HERE. Use other sheets of paper as necessary.
The mission began exactly three days ago on Wednesday, 14 June at nine a.m. Napoleon Solo, Section 2, Number 1
“And don't you forget it, Mr. Kuryakin,” Napoleon interrupted Illya as he read aloud what he had written down so far.
Illya's reply from the other bed in the hospital room was dryer than a very good dry white wine. “As if I ever could, Napoleon.”
Napoleon Solo, Section 2, Number 1 and I were sent to check on Doctor Thaddeus Crabtree. He was developing a new gadge in which many nefarious organizations and individuals were interested, and Mr Waverly feared that Dr Crabtree and/or his lab would be assaulted by any one of these groups.
However, when we arrived, we found everything as it should be and Dr Crabtree working obliviously on his project.
“Oh yes, very good idea, Illya.” Napoleon shifted restlessly in his bed. “Everything's utterly calm, hunky-dory until the very moment when we arrive. Are you trying to get us fired?”
“I am merely explaining the situation as it happened,” Illya's tone was remarkably patient, and Solo shot him a look. His partner, however, did not look up from his report or the hospital bed table the nurse had wheeled over for him. “Would you prefer that I lied?”
“At least that way we might not sound completely incompetent.” Napoleon honestly tried to keep the sour note out of his voice, but judging by the way Illya's pen scratched across the sheet of paper, he thought he'd failed.
“This mission was not our most shining hour, I admit,” Illya said. “It can stand as a lesson to future agents.” He added wryly, “And to ourselves.”
Mr Waverly had not informed us upon what project exactly Dr Crabtree was working. “You'll see,” was all he had said, with an enigmatic smile. When we arrived at the lab, we did in fact, see. Or not see, as the case may be.
“It's an invisibility device!” Dr Crabtree explained in excitement. There were no chemicals or Petri dishes in this lab; he worked with computers and machinery alone. He was holding a small, rectangular box out toward us as if it would explain everything. It had straps attached to it, like a--like a rocket pack.
“A rocket pack?”
“Do you have any better way to explain what it looked like?”
“…No, I can't say that I have. I apologize, do go on.”
“Oh, thank you, I'm so obliged.”
“Invisibility?” Mr Solo sounded dubious. “As in, it turns you invisible?”
“Not exactly,” Dr Crabtree said. He was a short man, somewhat stout, dressed in a shabby lab coat and no tie.
“Do you always have to put so much detail into your reports?”
“Do you mind?”
“Light waves,” he added.
“Light waves?” Mr Solo raised his eyebrows.
“Of course,” I said as the idea dawned on me. “If you can deflect the light waves so that it appears as if they go through you, instead of around you, you would seem to be invisible to the naked eye.”
“Excellent!” Dr Crabtree clapped his hands, almost dropping his contraption in the process. “You have a very clever mind, Mr Kuryakin.”
“Yes, very clever. Is all this really necessary?”
“Would you rather write this report, Napoleon?” Illya looked up from the paper and across the room at the other bed, meeting Solo's gaze directly.
Napoleon hated it when his partner did that direct, unwavering thing with his eyes. It was an underhanded thing to do, and Illya knew it.
“Go on,” Napoleon said, grudgingly.
Dr Crabtree was continuing to explain his intriguing idea about bending light waves in order to turn a person or object invisible when a pane in one of the lab's windows shattered as a small incendiary device was hurled into the lab. “Get down!” Mr Solo shouted to the doctor even as noxious smoke began overtaking the entire room. “Dr Crabtree, are you alright?”
“I'm fine!” the doctor coughed. I could not see either him or my partner through the smoke, though I could hear somebody breaking down the door and more bodies pouring into the already-cramped lab. I pulled my Special from its holster but could still see nothing and feared firing in case I hit my partner or Dr Crabtree. “Napoleon!” I called and then had to cough from inhaling too much of the smoke. It was a chemical composition I recognized--one patented by THRUSH. [Chemical formula #2X468, as analyzed by Section Eight some four years ago.]
“Napoleon!” I yelled again. “Dr Crabtree, can you hear me?”
I knocked into somebody else--somebody dressed solidly in black, and wearing a gas mask. When I attempted to hit him, he pistol-whipped me.
“Not your finest hour, Illya.” Napoleon actually sounded sympathetic.
Illya sighed and paused to pinch the bridge of his nose. “Worse to come,” he said.
I lost consciousness for only a minute, but it was long enough. When I awoke again, a lot of the smoke had cleared and the THRUSH troops had disappeared, along with Dr Crabtree and his device. I found Mr Solo slumped in a corner with a broken soldering iron near by. It looked as if it had been used to knock him out.
“Not your finest hour either.”
“No.” It was Napoleon's turn to be wry. “No, it definitely wasn't.”
Mr Waverly gave us the scolding of our lives, which is not the easiest thing to receive when one is a seasoned, trained agent no longer in his first youth. When we returned to U.N.C.L.E. Headquarters, Mr Waverly admonished us severely for losing both an important scientist and his project from under our very noses.
“Again with the brutal honesty,” Solo sighed. “I'm not asking you to lie, simply to varnish the truth a little. There's no harm in that, is there?”
“I shall varnish in another report, Napoleon; I feel I must be absolutely candid about every step of this particular mission.”
“Why? So we can become the laughingstock of Enforcement agents all over the world?”
“So that we remind ourselves always to be vigilant,” Illya said grimly, and that shut Napoleon up again, as he shifted uncomfortably in his hospital bed.
He then instructed us to use any means necessary to find Dr Crabtree and ensure that his invisibility device did not fall into THRUSH's hands, even if it meant destroying the device itself. We had very few clues with which to work, but they proved to be enough.
One was the gas mask. I'd managed to pull it off my assailant's face as he hit me with his weapon. The other was a business card that Mr Solo discovered near him when he awoke from his own attack. It was for a synthetic rubber production plant. The stamp we discovered in a discreet place on the mask matched the company logo on the business card.
“Surely this is too easy,” I said as we drove up to the plant, located on the outskirts of the city, surrounded by a surprising amount of parkland. I would have expected developers to have been crawling around all this potential prime real estate.
“Surely we deserve a little ease once in a while?” Mr Solo retorted, and while I agreed that it would be both useful and preferable, I remained uneasy.
“Always so pessimistic, Illya.”
“With very good reason, wouldn't you say, Napoleon?”
Rather than approaching through the front gate, we both agreed that a more subtle approach would perhaps be appropriate. We left the car down the road amongst the trees and scaled the fence surrounding the plant. It was at this point that we split up.
This might not have been a good idea.
“It's what we always do,” Napoleon argued.
“Then perhaps we are always foolish,” Illya snapped, throwing his pen down onto the table and glaring across the empty space between their beds at his partner. “If you haven't noticed, it usually lands us in a great deal of trouble.”
“And even if we remained together to investigate we would still land in a great deal of trouble,” Napoleon pointed out just as irritably. “It is the nature of the job, in case you hadn't noticed.”
“I'm not the one who always falls for the pretty girl, Napoleon.”
“I'm not the one who always gets captured, Illya.”
Illya folded his arms across his chest. “I wouldn't say that, actually.”
Damn. Napoleon glared at his partner. Illya, at least, had the grace not to look smug.
“I suggest we finish this discussion at another time,” Napoleon tried not to grit his teeth. “Why don't you continue writing your report.”
“Certainly.” Illya was at his most regal as he picked up the pen. “If you will allow me.”
Napoleon made an abortive gesture that might have included making a fist at his partner. “Hmph,” he said at last.
Napoleon Mr Solo went round the front, while I went round the back of the complex. I quickly discovered an artificial pool of water, actually a small pond, into which the factory appeared to be pumping at least some of its waste. I was investigating this pond, to see if it could provide an alternative means of entrance or exit into or out of the plant, when two THRUSH guards discovered me. While I put up as much of a fight as I could, they were able to raise the alarm, and four more of their men joined the original two.
I would've been fine if I hadn't already been pistol-whipped.
“Six men, Illya,” Solo said. “Six. I believe Mr. Waverly will forgive you in this case for succumbing.”
“I think I had residual concussion,” Illya replied, stubbornly.
for the second time that day once again knocked unconscious. When I awoke, I found myself in the typical plain white-walled, windowless cell, a single guard standing watch over me. I began devising a way out of my confinement.
Meanwhile, Mr Solo had discovered a pretty girl.
“Don't,” Napoleon warned, and his teeth were definitely gritted. “Do not start with me, Illya.”
“I am merely reporting the facts as you told them to me.” This time, Illya was radiating smugness. “Honesty, remember?”
“What about a little dignity?”
“Then you can write your own damned report.”
He had found his way into the (I later discovered) underground secret lair underneath the rubber factory in which I was already being held prisoner, through an ingeniously-concealed elevator on the plant's grounds. While investigating this base, he stumbled across a young woman working in one of the apparently numerous labs. [See Attachment #1, THRUSH Secret Lair #127 Floor Plan, for more details about the layout and usage of this base.]
Her name was Doctor Elizabeth Hodgins, a prodigy in quantum physics with, I believe Mr Solo described as, “fiery hair and a white lab coat with go-go boots to match.”
“You are not putting that into an official U.N.C.L.E. report,” Napoleon objected.
“If I can admit to being pistol-whipped and overcome by six THRUSH guards in the span of approximately four hours,” Illya replied, “then you, Mr. Napoleon 'Wanna Shag?' Solo, can live with one more feminine indiscretion in your file.”
“Maybe I should write this report. And what exactly does 'shag' mean?”
“You must learn to keep up with the latest vernacular, Napoleon.”
Dr Hodgins, Mr Solo later informed me, told him that she was working there under duress and had no willing part in what THRUSH was planning. Which, she also told him, was to duplicate Dr Crabtree's work on the invisibility device in order to create for themselves an entire invisible army.
“You know, THRUSH never do anything by halves, do they?” Illya mused aloud, setting his pen aside for a moment in order to pour himself a drink of water. “Why just steal the prototype when you can build yourself an entire army of them?”
“They do like to think big,” Napoleon agreed, settling himself back against his pillows. “I think I need more painkillers.”
“Don't be a baby.”
“Says the man with the nurse call button at his fingertips.”
“Only because the nurse put it there. I think she like me.”
Solo couldn't help grinning a little as his eyes drifted shut. “They all do, Illya. They all do.”
Mr Solo was attempting, in his usual fashion, to persuade the young lady to help him find Dr Crabtree and Crabtree's device and escape, when two THRUSH guards entered the lab in which they were talking. Dr Hodgins then pulled a gun on Mr Solo.
He should perhaps have remembered that the female can be as deadly as the male of the species.
“Yes, yes, have a laugh at my expense.” Napoleon testily opened his eyes. “Can we please get on with it?”
“You forget, Napoleon, in this narrative I am currently sitting about in a cell attempting to come up with a brilliant plan of escape. It's probably a good thing they'd confiscated my communicator pen; I'm sure if I'd actually tried to contact you, you would have been 'busy.'”
Napoleon hated it when his partner got sniping like this. “Section 8 needs to come up with a silent version of the communicator. Perhaps one that can vibrate instead of making noise?”
“Don't be ridiculous, Napoleon.”
I had not, unfortunately, discovered a brilliant plan of escape by the time Mr Solo joined me in my cell. It is a point of interest that THRUSH (and many other individuals and organizations with whom we have had dealings) never seem to understand that putting two UNCLE agents together in one cell is a very, very bad idea. After checking each other to make sure that we were both (relatively) unhurt, we were quickly able to come up with a clever little incendiary device to blow our way out of our cell and knock the still-single guard (again, another foolish misstep that THRUSH almost invariably makes) unconscious without endangering ourselves. It involved Mr Solo's tiepin and sacrificing some parts from the tiny lock picking kit out of the heel of my shoe. [See attachment #2 for diagrams about what the device looked like and how it functioned. Please forward onto Section 8 for possible future improvements.]
Unfortunately, the explosion set off a number of alarms, and neither of us had any better an idea where THRUSH was keeping Dr Crabtree and his prototype. We discovered the underground complex was a warren of gleaming white corridors that all looked very similar.
“Funny how they always do that, too,” Napoleon remarked. “You're not going to mention that we got lost, turned around, and ended up back at our cell twice before we found the good doctor, are you?”
Illya considered. “I think perhaps a small amount of discretion might be in order. After all, we don't want anyone getting any ideas.”
“Especially not any future agents who might end up working under us,” Napoleon added.
Due to unerring senses of direction, we were able to methodically search the base while eluding capture long enough to find Dr Crabtree--or rather, Dr Crabtree's invisibility device, which he had put on in an attempt to hide from and thwart his THRUSH prisoners. What he had neglected to tell--everyone--was that he had not yet perfected a way to turn the device, as well as the individual wearing it, invisible.
Dr Crabtree took off the device and, relieved to see us, gladly followed us as we made our way back to the lift Mr Solo had discovered. Unfortunately on our way there we were surrounded by THRUSH agents and so had to backtrack. In doing so, we discovered an outlet into the waste pond I had seen earlier.
“Why do we always end up getting wet? I realize the planet is two-thirds water, but it does seem a trifle ridiculous.”
“At least it is usually easier to launder wet clothes than burned or torn clothing,” Illya pointed out.
Neither Dr Crabtree nor Mr Solo were particularly pleased with the prospect of hurling ourselves into that duct and washing up into a pond filled with a variety of noxious and unpleasant byproducts from the production of rubber. However, none of us could see another way out of the situation, as THRUSH personnel--including Mr Solo's no-longer-new-friend, Dr Elizabeth Hodgins--were closing in on us from all sides.
We made our way through the pond safely, though it was in the course of these maneuvers that Mr Solo broke his arm and sprained his knee, Dr Crabtree's device was irreparably damaged (he says he is already starting work on another prototype), and I caught pneumonia. [See attachment #3, reimbursement request for new suits and shoes for both Mr Solo and Mr Kuryakin.] Despite these injuries, the three of us made our way safely to the car that Mr Solo and I had left on the outskirts of the rubber factory's grounds and drove away before the THRUSH agents could catch up with us.
Mr Solo had managed to retain his communicator pen, so we called for backup to take care of the rubber plant and the secret lair underneath, while we safely delivered our charge to Mr Waverly at U.N.C.L.E. HQ.
This ends my report.
Illya N. Kuryakin
Illya laid his pen aside and laid back in his bed, closing his eyes in exhaustion. “Next time, broken writing hand or no,” he said without opening his eyes, “I shall make you write the report.”
Napoleon shifted again in his bed, wincing when he jarred his knee--at least this time it had not involved any run-ins with the office cat--and wished that his cast didn't itch so much. Illya coughed.
“I hope it isn't catching,” Napoleon said.
“Thank you for your sympathy,” Illya ground out through another cough.
“You're not really going to turn in that report, are you?”
“Don't be ridiculous,” Illya said. “This was only a rough draft. I often have to write them, in order to clear my thoughts.”
“Good.” Napoleon tried not to sound too relieved.
“I am still going to mention the bit about her go-go boots.”
“Thank you for your sympathy,” Napoleon glared at his partner.
Illya smiled sweetly. “You can still learn to write left-handed,” he pointed out.