Word Count: 734
Prompt - Remorseless
He hated early morning patrols in the sewer. There was no telling what sort of filth you would find piled in dark corners. In the early morning hours, they washed the garbage from the streets and it always seemed to end up down here. Of course, it made a wonderful cover as anyone who they did stumble across was either ousted, shot or taken to be with the rest.
He’d be glad when they moved this new bunch. Their pick-up service would be arriving within hours and then they could all take a deep breath for a few weeks. At least until Delno Vickrey decided it was time to harvest new victims.
At first he thought it was just a pile of clothes, but as he drew closer, he realized it was a man. The stench wafting from the man was nearly enough to make him lose his last meal.
For a moment, he savored the fantasy of emptying his rifle into the lump, but Vickrey had been clear. No shooting unless it was an emergency and avoidable. It was paramount that they not attract attention.
“C’mon, buddy, you can’t sleep it off here.” There was a mumbled protest. “Get up and get out.”
With a Herculean effort, the figure dragged itself to its feet and stood there swaying. “No.”
He rolled his eyes and raised his rifle. “I said, move.”
“And I said no.” There was a flash of clear blue eyes and that was the end.
Kevin Lean moved from his hiding place a few feet away, making a face as he drew closer. “May I just say that it is a pleasure to watch you work, Mr. Kuryakin?” He pinched closed his nose and made a face. “Even if you reek to high heaven.”
“Thank you, Mr. Lean. It’s an occupational hazard. Besides a few deep breaths and you’ll stop smelling me. And all too soon, you will smell just like me. We are in the sewers, after all.” Illya glanced around and toed the unconscious heap at his feet. “We need to get rid of him.” He pulled out his Walther and shot point blank into the man’s torso.
Lean’s mouth dropped open with shock. “Okay, that’s remorseless, even for you. You really are the cold-hearted bastard everyone says you are.”
“Only half that, I’m afraid. It’s a long-term sleeper dart. I can’t take the chance of him coming to in the next half hour. Now he’ll sleep like a baby for the next five to seven hours, depending upon his metabolism.” Illya handed the weapon to Lean and quickly stripped out of the ragged clothes he wore.
“Ah, then not remorseless, just practical.”
Illya permitted himself a smile. “When it’s an option, yes.” Illya knelt to heft the man into a sitting position. “Help me.”
Within a matter of a minute, they had the THRUSH guard stripped and dressed in Illya’s costume. The Russian hurriedly pulled on the man’s jumpsuit and jammed the beret down to hide as much of his head as he could. “Okay, you are now my prisoner and let’s hope no one recognizes me.”
“You mean someone from the club? You were in disguise in disguise.”
“True, but I meant from their general briefing. If they have Napoleon, and I’m fairly sure they do, they will be expecting me.” Illya checked the rifle. “That is not always the most conducive situation.”
“No idea.” Illya paused for a moment, thinking of Napoleon, searching for him. Nothing happened. “Right, I guess. It was the direction he was coming from. He must have been on rounds.”
“Or returning from them.” Lean looked first left, then right. “I was going to suggest left, but of course, I always pick the slowest line at the grocery store and the teller with the least experience at the bank.”
“We’ll try right for ten minutes. If we find nothing, then we will retrace our steps and go left.”
For a short time, they walked quietly, doing their best to minimize the echoing sound of their steps.
Lean looked back over his shoulder at his fellow UNCLE agent. Quietly, he murmured, “Illya, what about your friend?”
Illya sighed. “If Grigory is with them, I will deal with that and him as the situation demands. No one stands between Napoleon and me. No one. Now, let’s go find our partners.”