THE STORY CHALLENGE


At the Arundel Affair 18, four teams were given just 90 minutes to each write a Man from U.N.C.L.E. story - but before they could begin, each individual was given a Kinder egg. The teams then had to incorporate the toys from their eggs into their story.


Title: The Something Queer in the Camp Affair


Co-Conspirators: Gavin, Chris, Andrzej and Rosie


Props: Purple Dinosaur, Android Scorpion, Yellow Research Car, Doll in a Pink Flower.









Teaser: ‘Somewhere in Texas’

Dust and debris were blown around, as the yellow research car sped through the sandy terrain. Solo coughed and spluttered as he waved the dust away from his face as the car called Bullet was put through its paces.

Kuryakin was in the driving seat and increased the speed to really see how fast the Bullet could travel. “She is really running well.” Illya remarked

Napoleon coughed “Do you have to kick up quite so much dust!”

“Mr. Waverly wants a full report on the car’s ability and how the new fuel formula is performing.” Illya replied.

“How much fuel have we used?” Napoleon asked.

“Hardly any,” Illya commented “the car is ok.”

Suddenly the Bullet comes to an abrupt halt, shaking both Napoleon and Illya in their seats, rendering them unconscious.

**************


Act 1: ‘Dem Bones, Dem Bones, Dem Dry Bones.’

Close by in the desert, a hive of activity was taking place. The remains of a purple dinosaur had been discovered and its’ remains were being excavated.

Professor Ivor Goodfeel was in charge of the Dig, his daughter the beautiful, auburn haired, Verity, accompanied him.

The work was going slowly and many areas of desert had been excavated to see if there were any other purple dinosaurs. Or that was what Verity had been told.

Recently Verity had become suspicious of the armed guards posted at certain parts around the camp. She noted her father’s attitude was one of malevolence and he was determined to keep digging. Verity was also finding him in long discussions with other members of the excavation team, from which she was excluded. He was also taking lots of messages through an electronic communication system, which he also kept from her.

Verity became very concerned when android scorpions were brought to the camp and seemed to patrol the area.

“Keep away from the android scorpions.” Prof. Goodfeel informed Verity one day. He gave her a vial and syringe and said “Keep these with you always and if a scorpion should sting you, inject yourself immediately!”

“What’s going on Father?” Verity demanded

“It’s not your concern!” was his reply.

Verity was a curious girl and one day looked in her father’s tent. Searching through his papers she found information that made her realise it was not a purple dinosaur dig her father was leading but something rather more evil. She saw blueprints for weapons of mass destruction.

Frightened by her father’s wickedness, Verity fled from the camp. It was the same day Napoleon and Illya were testing the research car a few miles away.

**************


Act 2: ‘Take us to your leader.’

Slowly Napoleon and Illya regained consciousness, a painful experience. Needing to check their situation they got out of the car and slowly walked around surveying the damage. The car was imbedded in the sand.

“Mr. Waverly will not be happy you tried to break his new car.” Napoleon commented.

“It was the ground. It just gave way!”

“Are you sure you put air in the tires this morning?” Napoleon teased.

“Yes!”

“Well we are stuck here. I’d better signal headquarters.” Napoleon sighed. “Waverly won’t be happy.”

Napoleon made contact and explained the situation and as predicted Waverly was not impressed but he did agree to send rescue.

Meanwhile Illya was on his hands and knees testing the ground, suddenly a scorpion rushed toward him and stung his hand. He yelped in pain and surprise, Napoleon was at his side in an instant.

“I don’t feel well” Illya whispered “I feel woozy.” His expression became vacant. “Napoleon. There is a female emerging from a pink flower.”

“You’re hallucinating.” Napoleon answered worriedly but as he looked in the direction Illya was now pointing to, he saw a beautiful woman standing by a pink, exotic, flowering plant. “Hey!” Napoleon called to her “I need help!”

The woman rushed over. “What’s happened?”

“A scorpion has bitten my friend!”

The woman looked to where the scorpion now stood and recognised it to be an android scorpion. Without saying anything, she quickly drew up the contents of a vial into a syringe.

“What are you doing?” Napoleon asked urgently.

“It’s the antidote!”

Knowing there was no time to argue, Napoleon didn’t stop the woman injecting Illya, trusting she knew what she was doing. “How do you know it is the antidote?” he asked.

The woman burst into tears. “I just know it is. My father warned me the android scorpions would attack anyone who came near the Dig.”

“Just tell me who you are and what you know!” Napoleon demanded.

“I’m Verity Goodfeel and my father is Prof. Ivor Goodfeel. I thought he was running an archaeological dig, for a purple dinosaur but he has blueprints for super weapons! I feel he is into something evil! I just ran away!” She sobbed again.

Illya was now getting better. He demanded an explanation to current events, which Napoleon supplied. “We’d better find this Dig and discover what is going on.” Napoleon concluded.

It didn’t take long before they reached the outskirts of the camp. Illya and Napoleon crept closer to the tents to get a better look.

“Does anyone know you have left the camp?” Napoleon asked Verity.

“I don’t think so.”

“Good. You’ll need to get us the blueprints, so we can find out how to destroy this operation.” Napoleon instructed the girl.

“I don’t think so?”

“You can,” Napoleon said, shaking her. “It’s your duty to the World!”

Pulling herself together, Verity set off alone toward her father’s tent. As before it was unoccupied, quickly she grabbed the blueprints and hid them in her blouse, then quickly left the tent. She met the U.N.C.L.E agents outside the perimeter of the camp.

Verity was amazed at how fast they scanned the blueprints, she was also amazed when Solo spoke to his pen and was even more amazed when the pen ordered, “You must destroy the camp. Now!”

“Is there a way we can get into the camp unnoticed?” Illya asked.

“I can show you a way in, where we won’t be seen.” Verity answered.

“Take us to your leader” Napoleon ordered, kindly.

Verity led the two U.N.C.L.E agents around the edge of the camp. A few anxious moments occurred when the android scorpions made another appearance. Now that they knew what they were they were able to avoid their stings.

Once inside the camp, Verity led them to where the excavation was going on. A lot of drilling machines cracked into the terrain.

“What are they looking for?” Verity asked. “Certainly not a purple dinosaur.

“It’s an ore.” Illya answered. “Deep in the ground. It will supply the fuel for weaponry that will destroy the World.

“How do you know that?” The girl squealed.

“The blueprints told me,” Illya answered simply.

“And now we must demolish this operation.” Napoleon ventured, looking at Illya.

“I suppose we ought to set some explosive charges,” Illya was already removing the buttons from his jacket. He saw Verity looking at him. “My tailor always adds explosives to my garments.”

Placing the explosive charges at strategic places and setting the timer so they could escape to a safe distance, the two U.N.C.L.E men worked at a fast pace. As soon as they completed their task Illya and Napoleon grabbed Verity and pulled her away from the excavation site.

Their luck ran out however when Prof. Goodfeel stopped them in their tracks. “Just who are you?” He addressed the U.N.C.L.E agents.

“My friends” Verity answered her father. “I invited them here.”

“Unlikely!” Prof. Goodfeel was cold in his reply to his daughter. Then brandishing his gun, “Please accompany me. All of you!”

**************


Act 3: ‘All tied up.”

Verity, Napoleon and Illya were tied to chairs in Prof. Goodfeel’s tent.

“Father! Why are you doing this?” Verity implored.

“Money. I never made enough money as an archaeologist. Thrush pays very well.”

“Thrush again.” Mused Napoleon, “They are everywhere,”

“So it seems are U.N.C.L.E agents.” Goodfeel countered.

Soon after being captured Illya and Napoleon were relieved of their guns, communicators and identity cards.

“I suspect you have done something to sabotage my operation.” Goodfeel glared at Napoleon.

“Perhaps” Napoleon answered “Perhaps not.”

“Let’s consider that you have. Would you care to tell me what?” Goodfeel continued.

“No.” Illya announced.

Prof. Goodfeel pressed the gun into the Russian’s chest. “Yes, would be the better answer.”

“Shoot me! You won’t get information if I’m dead.” Illya glared.

“Good point.” Goodfeel removed his gun from Kuryakin’s chest and took a few steps towards Verity and pointed his gun at her.

“Father!”

“Would you let her die?” Goodfeel addressed the two U.N.C.L.E agents,

“Father! You wouldn’t...!”

“Sorry Verity but...I will,”

Tears flowed down her cheeks.

“I don’t think you shoot your own daughter.” Napoleon challenged, staring at Goodfeel.

Goodfeel looked at the sobbing, young woman. “You’re right. I won’t.” The professor abruptly left the tent.

Left alone Napoleon and Illya struggled to untie their bonds but before they were able to loosen the ropes, Goodfeel returned.

In his hand he held an android scorpion, “I have the perfect way to ensure you will tell me what I want to know!” He set the scorpion on the floor and sent it in Verity’s direction. Goodfeel turned to leave the tent. “Just shout when you are ready to talk.” He invited, confident the U.N.C.L.E agents would call him back before the scorpion reached Verity.

The android scorpion manoeuvred forward, slowly toward the girl.

“Keep absolutely still!” Napoleon ordered. “I think they are attracted by movement.”

Verity stayed very still, her heart thumping in her chest. “Father wouldn’t hurt me?” She trembled.

“Sssssh!” Napoleon urged, trying to keep the girl calm. Once again he worked on loosening his bonds, stopping each time his movements attracted the scorpion, causing it to race towards him.

Eventually Illya was able to get free, his wrists red from friction burns sustained through his efforts to break free from the ropes. As he quickly stood the android scorpion attracted by his movement raced toward him.

*************


Act 4: ‘How fast can you run?’

Illya leapt onto his chair, took off his jacket and threw it over the scorpion. Illya then jumped down and ran over to Napoleon and freed him from his ropes. Illya then ran over to Verity and quickly untied her.

“How are we going to get out of the camp?” Verity asked, aware that the guards knew of their presence.

Thinking quickly Napoleon answered Verity. “We’ll pretend to still be tied up and you will scream as if the scorpion as stung you. That will attract your father.”

“But what will you do when he comes in?”

“Disable him” Illya spoke coldly.

After taking their seats again, Verity screamed loudly.

In a moment, Goodfeel rushed in. “Are you going to talk?” he yelled at the U.N.C.L.E men.

“No!” Napoleon shouted.

“I have the antidote. I will use it but only if you talk!” Goodfeel brandished a loaded syringe.

Unseen, the android scorpion was slowly emerging from under Illya’s jacket.

“We won’t talk.” Napoleon repeated.

“I will let her die!” Goodfeel assured the agents.

Napoleon and Illya prepared to attack the professor but the android scorpion raced at Goodfeel and stung his ankle.

Illya and Napoleon were on their feet in an instant. Illya stamped on the scorpion, while Napoleon seized Goodfeel.

“He needs the antidote!” Verity screamed.

Goodfeel was beginning to become woozy and vacant.

“We have to run!” Illya ordered “The explosives! If we go now we may just get clear in time!”

“But he’s my father!”

Napoleon wanted to leave the evil man to his fate but Verity’s pleading, touched his humanity. He plunged the syringe into the professor’s neck, than let him go of him. Goodfeel fell to the floor.

Illya grabbed Verity by the arm and dragged her out of the tent, Napoleon followed. At full tilt they ran, ignoring the guards dogging the bullets that the guards fired at them. The trio raced into the desert like the devil was at their heels.

A loud boom rent the air followed by a second then a third. Sand and debris showered them but at least they were clear of the explosions,

Looking back toward the campsite, Verity cried “My father! He could be dead!”

“He was evil” Napoleon spoke, “he was prepared to let you die.”

Verity sat on the floor and sobbed. Her life had crumpled around her.

Napoleon and Illya sat quietly beside her, comforting her as they waited for rescue.

**************


Epilogue.

“Well gentlemen, a successful mission, though an unexpected one.” Alexander Waverly addressed Kuryakin and Solo as they sat around the table at U.N.C.L.E headquarters, in New York.

“It’s a shame for Verity Goodfeel. Her life has changed so much.” Napoleon mused.

“U.N.C.L.E will look after her, Mr. Solo.” Waverly assured his agent.

“I’m pleased to hear that sir.”

“Now gentlemen.” Waverly narrowed his eyes. “I am rather disappointed that my research car is still stuck in the desert!”

Napoleon and Illya gulped, dreading what Waverly was going to say next.




The End

The Cute and Cuddly Affair


By Bridget Calvert, Gwyn Gillett, Delyth Hickman and Ann Manwell.


(Based on ‘Kinder Egg’ novelties:– strange fluffy animal (Kute Kritter), blue hot rod car (Newest U.N.C.L.E. car), strange spinning top (Energy machine) and a padlock (Safe holding government plans).




Act 1:

Somewhere in Washington.

The halls of the ‘Mechanical Toy Expo’ were very busy. Everyone was very excited as ‘Toy House Rush’ were due to unveil their new mechanical pet. Everyone fell silent as local Science Minister, Henry Wilstead took the stage and welcomed everyone, while his young daughter jumped up and down in anticipation. After a short talk he handed over to the next speaker.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, ’Toy House Rush’ are proud to announce their new toy for this Christmas Season and here is their Managing Director, Mr Lance Soames, to tell you all about it.”

The minister stood to one side and Soames took the podium.

“We at ’Toy House Rush’ are thrilled with our new product, ‘Kute Kritter’. Every child will want one. They walk, they talk and could be the best pet your child ever had. Come in and see them work.” He then turned to Harry Wilstead. “Sir, will you accept this ‘Kute Kritter’ for your daughter.”

The minister took the gift and the crowds surged through into the Expo.


Act 2:

New York, three months later.

“Science Minister accused of stealing plans on new government energy project.”

Waverly dropped the newspaper on the table in his office and rotated it to stop in front of his agents, Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin.

“Gentlemen, Henry Wilstead is a friend of mine and it is not possible that he would be a traitor. You two are to travel to Washington and find out what is happening.” As the agents were rising he continued, “Perhaps this may be a good opportunity to test the new U.N.C.L.E. car, which incidentally runs on the new fuel. I will arrange for an agent to meet you at Washington, when you land, with the vehicle. Thank you, gentlemen.”

The two agents headed for the airport immediately.

“Oh well,” Napoleon grumbled to himself. “Perhaps I can get out of trouble with June for missing our date, by promising to take her for a ride in the new car, when we get back.”


Act 3:

Washington.

Napoleon enjoyed the trip from the airport, the car handled well and he was in a far better mood when they arrived at the Minister’s house. The two agents were shown into the office straight away.

“Thank goodness you are here,” The Minister cried. “I am innocent of the charges and Alex must know that, otherwise he would not have sent you.”

“Now calm down, Mr Wilstead.” Napoleon replied. “Show me where the plans are kept.”

As the two heads bowed over the safe, Illya began to explore the room. There were no recording devices hidden under lamps, behind pictures or among books. Suddenly his attention was caught by a strange looking toy, sitting on the corner of the Minister’s desk.

“Excuse me, Sir.”

Wilstead and Solo turned to look at the Russian, who held the toy in his hand.

“What is this?”

“Oh that’s just my daughter’s ‘Kute Kritter’. The novelty ran out two months ago and it has sat on my desk ever since.”

Kuryakin’s hands roamed over the toy and he detected a slight hum.

“How does it work?” He asked.

“The switch is on the bottom,” Wilstead answered.

“Illya operated it and watched as the toy roamed around the table.

“No time to play now, Illya,” Napoleon chided, as he turned back to his examination of the safe.

Turning the toy off, the Russian began to fiddle with the casing and part of it came away in his hands. Immediately his eyes were drawn to what looked like a very unlikely piece of equipment for a children’s toy.

“Um, Napoleon.”

“What?” His partner snapped.

“I think we are being watched,” the Russian replied as the lens he had found, within the toy, moved.

The other two men whirled round and as they did the toy began to splutter in Kuryakin’s hand. Quickly, Illya dropped the toy into a metal waste basket, where it burst into flames.

Once the fire was out, Napoleon turned to the Minister.

“Where did that come from?”

“It was a gift from a firm called ‘Toy House Rush’.”

“I think we need to visit them and quickly,” Illya interrupted. “It would appear that their little monster has been filming your work and transmitting it somewhere.”


Act 4:

Toy House Rush.

After contacting Washington Headquarters for back up, the two U.N.C.L.E. agents headed out to ‘Toy House Rush’. On arrival they were met by a young, very beautiful lady.

“Can I help you gentlemen?”

Napoleon did a double take at the vision before them, which left him speechless for a moment and with a roll of his eyes and a shake of his head, Illya stepped forward.

“We need to speak with your manager please.”

“Can I tell him what it is about?”

“There is a safety issue with your ‘Kute Kritters’.”

“Just a minute, Sir.” She picked up the phone on her desk, rapidly spoke to someone and then smiled at the agents as she hung up. “Please come this way gentlemen.”

The receptionist led Illya and Napoleon down a corridor and stopped outside an office.

“Mr Janes will be with you in a few moments, please take a seat.” She opened the door and led them in, shutting it behind herself. “Can I pour you a drink while you are waiting?”

Napoleon was about to answer, but found his mouth felt strange, then the room began to move around.

Solo opened his eyes and looked around him. Through his blurred vision, hundreds of strange eyes seemed to be looking at him. As soon as he could move he sat up and shuffled backwards, knocking into a shelving unit behind him, which was attached to the wall. Things began to fall from the shelf, landing on top of him. He raised his arms to fend them off, to no good, and within minutes he was buried beneath them.

“Napoleon.” Illya’s voice filtered through the pile and a light suddenly appeared over his head. Shortly he was free of the offending objects and found that they were all different kinds of ‘Kute Kritters’. He turned his head to orientate himself and discovered that they were in a storeroom full of the dreadful things. His eyes rested on his partner, who was hysterically laughing, more than he had ever done before.

“Thanks a lot friend; very funny.”

Illya wiped his eyes.

“Sorry, I could not resist.”

Solo pulled himself to his feet, made a quick check of his gadgets, which of course were missing and moved to the door, which he discovered had no internal handle, lock or hinges.

“Well looks like we just sit and wait for them to come to us,” he remarked as he looked around the room again. “Not many places to hide if they come in shooting. Um, perhaps we can build a barricade with these monsters?”

He moved quickly and began to stack the ‘Kute Ktritters’ up into a wall, which fell down twice before he got the balance right, then looked over his shoulder at the Russian. Illya was dismantling one of the toys.

“As I said before, no time to play. Help me!”

When Illya did not look up he threw a toy at the man, who caught the offending object and threw the one he had been fiddling with back. Solo mistimed the catch and the toy whizzed past him to hit the door, where it exploded. Neither of them were hurt, due to Napoleon’s toy pile, and the American threw a stare at the Russian.

“What did you do to it?”

Kuryakin shrugged.

“Well whatever it was, do it again. I think we can use them as weapons.”

“If we don’t blow ourselves up first,” Illya replied as he attacked another ‘Kute Kritter’.

Three destroyed ‘Kritters’ later, the pair were free and armed with several more of the toys. They made their way out into the corridor, which strangely was empty.

Solo looked at his partner.

“They must be clearing out, otherwise somebody would have been here to investigate the noise we made.”

They raced down the corridor to the door at the end, opened it a crack and peered out into a loading bay. Lorries were loaded, with engines running, and Lance Soames was sitting at the wheel of the front vehicle. Bending almost double the U.N.C.L.E. agents moved quickly between the lorries and suddenly appeared in front of the closed gates.

“You are going nowhere,” Solo called.

Soames laughed as he saw the ‘Kritter’ the agent was holding.

“You are joking,” he sneered as he inched the vehicle forward. The toy left Napoleon’s hand, flew towards the lead lorry and exploded, shattering the windscreen on impact. At that moment cars screeched to a halt on the other side of the gates, disgorging a host of U.N.C.L.E. people to round up the T.H.R.U.S.H. group.


Act 5:

Back Home.

Safely back in New York Headquarters both agents moved towards their respective offices. June was pleased to see Napoleon and welcomed him home with a kiss. He slipped his arm around her and began to head for the exit, reports forgotten. That is until Waverly’s voice brought him back to reality.

“Reports before you go, please, Mr Solo.”

The American shrugged, kissed June goodbye, turned into his own office and came to a dead halt. On his desk stood a ‘Kute Kritter’, staring at him with its strange black eyes.

“Illya!” he shouted.

The End.





Title: The very well educated dolphin affair


Co-Conspirators: Kendra, Amanda, Debbie, Michael, Rosemary


Props: Barbie, Dolphin, Motor car, Motorbike, ‘boat’, Kinder egg ‘pod’

------------------------


Act I – The view from the bridge

The UNCLE car rolled to a stop on the bridge.

“This is your fault, Napoleon,” said Illya, frowning at his partner.

“And just how do you arrive at that conclusion?” asked Napoleon.

“Because it was *your* turn to fill up the car with gas.”

Napoleon pointed at the dashboard where the tank showed to be almost full. “Not *my* fault.”

The sound of the communicator interrupted them. “Gentlemen,” said Mr. Waverly. “How close are you to the East River Bridge? The vibrations we’ve been picking up are getting stronger.”

“We are currently sitting right on top of it,” said Napoleon.

“And going nowhere fast,” said Illya.

“We appear to be having a bit of car trouble,” said Napoleon. “It may be related to the vibrations.”

“Or it may be related to that giant yellow pod that has just surfaced in the river,” said Illya.

“Well you had better get a move on and have a closer look. This is the fourth pod that has appeared following reports of vibrations. All of the others exploded; fortunately none were in populated areas unlike this one.”

“I suppose we had better go and take a look,” said Illya when Waverly had closed communications.

“What do you mean *we*?” said Napoleon. “As you just reminded me, it was my turn to gas the car.”

“Which makes it my turn to climb down the side of a bridge on a rope,” said Illya.

-----------------------------


Act II – Outside the pod

Napoleon braced himself against the railings as he lowered Illya down towards the pod – which was floating gently on the river, like an egg dropped by a twenty-five foot tall over-enthusiastic Easter Bunny.

Illya had almost reached the level of the pod when the vibrations started up again.

“Hold on, Illya,” Napoleon shouted at him.

Illya did his best to cling to the rope, but the vibrations appeared to be coming from the pod itself. The rope slipped through his hands and he landed heavily in the water beside the pod.

Standing at the railing, Napoleon watched in horror as a hatch on the pod cracked open and Illya was swept inside. Seconds later, the hatch closed and the pod started moving away down the river.

“Illya!” yelled Napoleon.

Napoleon ran back to the car and cursed under his breath as it failed to start. He wasn’t the only one with car trouble. As far as he could see in both directions, the road was filled with static vehicles.

“A boat,” thought Napoleon as he watched the pod move down the river, before running towards the nearby marine.

Napoleon stopped the first person he saw at the marina. “I need a boat,” he said, his voice fast and urgent. “Is your boat working?”

But everybody had the same response. All the boats had stopped working only minutes earlier, following the last set of vibrations. Napoleon was growing more desperate by the minute, knowing that every second meant the pod was getting further and further away and Illya with it. Finally, Napoleon’s eye was caught by a large purple sign announcing “Marina Gill and her amazing educated dolphin – Delph”. But it was the illustration of a smiling dolphin pulling a rowboat that really drew his attention.

“Worth a shot,” he told himself as he ran towards the entrance.

----------------------

“Are you sure you want to come with me, Miss Gill?” asked Napoleon as they prepared to cast off. “This could be a dangerous voyage.”

“Delph won’t obey anybody but me,” said Marina, “If you want to save your friend, I’m coming too.”

-------------------------


Act III – Inside the pod

Illya slowly opened his eyes. The pain in his ribs was excruciating. As his vision came into focus, he realized to his horror that he was inside what looked like a control pod, with no apparent means of escape. Struggling slowly to his feet, Illya painfully made his way to the control panel. Just as he was about to start pushing buttons, a voice from behind froze him in his tracks.

“An UNCLE agent, I presume. I didn’t expect such a speedy response to my little plan.”

“We aim to please,” said Illya as he turned around. “THRUSH, I presume?”

“Doctor Hydra Swan,” said the woman who was pointing a nasty looking gun at Illya. She gestured with the gun and Illya moved away from the control panel. Behind Hydra, he could now see what looked like an escape hatch.

“Well it’s of no consequence,” said Hydra. “You’re still too late. My team are on steam powered motorbikes. In less than half an hour they’ll have cleaned out the entire financial district. The economy will have collapsed and THRUSH will rule!”

Clutching his ribs, Illya doubled over in apparent agony. Hydra stepped forward, unsure whether or not her prisoner was faking. Illya lunged forward and tried to grab the gun but didn’t quite succeed. They struggled wildly, and suddenly there was the deafening sound of a gunshot in an enclosed space.

“Damn you!” shouted Hydra as sparks flew from the control panel. “If this pod blows up, all the others will self destruct, taking us along with it.”

“You should have had a health and safety assessment done on these pods before you launched,” said Illya as he moved towards the escape hatch.

“Even if you get out of the pod,” snapped Hydra, “You’ll never be able to swim far enough away before the explosion.” She ran towards the console. There was another explosion and both Hydra and the console disappeared from Illya’s view in a cloud of smoke.

Illya staggered towards the escape hatch.

---------------------


Act IV – Told you there was a dolphin

Gasping for breath, Illya broke the surface of the water, only to come face to face with a dolphin who was harnessed to a boat.

“Are you enjoying your swim, or would you like to hitch a ride, my friend?” called out Napoleon.

“I think I’ll take a lift and quickly,” said Illya. “The pod is going to explode any minute. I hope your little fishy friend can swim fast!”

“He’s a mammal, not a fish,” said Marina, as Napoleon pulled Illya into the boat.

“Just so long as he’s a fast one,” said Illya.

-------------------

They were only halfway to safety when there was an explosion, followed by a large wave which almost swamped the boat.

“I think Delph is a better driver than you are, Napoleon,” said Illya.

“And he’s better educated than you are,” said Napoleon.

-----------------------


Epilogue

Napoleon and Marina walked along the dock later that evening.

“So our Mr. Waverly managed to shut down the area and round up all the THRUSH agents,” said Napoleon, “And he’s going to pay for a brand new boat for Delph.”

Turning a corner, they saw Illya crouched down at the edge of the pier, feeding some fish to Delph.

“I see you’ve made a new friend, Illya,” said Napoleon, with a smile. “Taught him any tricks?”

Just then, Delph sprayed a jet of water over Napoleon.

“You were right, Napoleon,” said Illya, “He *is* a very well educated dolphin!”

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The End