Fandom - Man from UNCLE
Rating - PG 13
Word count - 1781
It didn’t look scary. It was just a piece of painted wood. There were letters and numbers on it, along with a few words.
After all, he’d beaten, tortured, shot and killed innocent people on a whim. Later, as a THRUSH agent, he just about done and seen it all. He’d also endured his own share of pain and suffering. It took more than a pile of paint and wood to scare him. However, judging from his cousin’s behavior, Miro Grimaldi wasn’t so sure
Not that Arnett ‘Arnie’ Dunham was made of stern stuff to begin with. He was never going to be much of an agent, good or bad. No, he was destined to be one of the nameless minions that did THRUSH’s bidding and never asked for much else.
“It’s a board game,” Miro said, lacing the words with as much distain as he could muster.
“You’re wrong.” Arnie refused to even look at that board. “It’s cursed. I can’t keep it anymore. You, Miro. You get rid of it.”
“Why don’t you just burn it if it’s bothering you that much?”
“You can’t. It will scream and if you hear the scream you’ll be dead within 32 hours.” Arnie was shaking and pointed staring at a spot on the wall. “The only way to get rid of it is to sprinkle it with holy water, break it into seven pieces and then bury it.”
“And that’s what you want me to do?”
“I… I can’t.”
“Okay, if that’s what you want, I’ll talk to Father Francoise this afternoon. He owes me a favor.”
“Thank you, thank you! But you have to swear that you won’t use it. Not when you’re like this.”
“The way you are now, mad, stressed out.”
“Why wouldn’t I be pissed off? Cummings got the promotion I was supposed to.”
“Even so, swear to me.”
It looked like Arnie might start crying. Instead, he backed out of the room and then ran.
“Whatever.” Miro repeated, looking at the board again. “What’s to be afraid of? It’s just some painted wood.”
Then the plancette started to move. Miro watched, open mouth, as it slowly crawled over to the word, No.
“You aren’t just a game?”
The plancette didn’t move.
“Are you a spirit?” he asked, loosening his tie.
The plancette moved across the board to yes.
“You aren’t pulling my leg are you?”
Miro grinned. “Are you evil?”
The plancette whipped across the board to Yes.
Miro laughed. “Excellent. I think we’ll get along just fine.
Napoleon came into the room, his attention on the newspaper he was reading. Out of habit, he navigated his way through the office he shared with his partner. Reaching his desk, he paused until he felt the chair against the back of his legs and then sat.
“Must be something good.” Illya had watched all of this with an air of faint interest. Anything was more interesting that duty rosters.
“Something very peculiar. Don Cummings was found dead last night.”
“As were a few other people. We are a large city.” Illya pulled off his glasses and dropped them to the blotter. He hated that he felt so blasé about death, but it was a result of their work.
“He was a recently appointed THRUSH chief.”
“It says that in the papers? Wow.”
“No, of course not. However, the fact remains.”
“You know as well as I do that there is no honor among thieves and the best way to get promoted is to eliminate your competition.” Illya half stifled a yawn and then blinked rapidly to try and wake up.
“That’s the whole thing. He had been arrested for D&D--”
“Drunk and disorderly. Anyhow, they put him in a holding cell. He pleaded with the officer not to leave him alone. The next time the officer checked on him, he was dead from an apparent heart attack. Then thing is, I knew this guy. He was as healthy as a horse.”
“Apparently, it was a very sick horse then. Napoleon, heart attacks happen. You know that.”
“It just… this is weird. The timing is bad.”
Illya nodded and returned to the roster. “Do you think Williston is ready to be out in the field?”
“Why would you think he wasn’t ready?”
It was a fair question and one Illya didn’t have an answer to. “No reason, really.” Illya added his name to field duty.
Miro Grimaldi stormed into his apartment and threw his coat down on the chair. He had been this close to success when it was snatched away from him by a still-wet-behind-the ears UNCLE agent. He tromped over to the cupboard and pulled out a bottle of rye and a jelly glass. Pouring himself a stiff drink, he carried it to his bed and sat down.
“I was so close,” he muttered. A faint scratching told him that the pointer thing, a plancette he’d learned it was called, was on the move. Getting up, he watched it move across the board to Yes.
“All I need is a break, one lousy break.” He carried the board back to the bed and flopped down. He downed the rye and poured more into the glass. What he really needed was for everything and everyone to just leave him the hell alone. He’d thought when Cummings turned up dead, he would be a shoe in. It didn’t happen that way. THRUSH seemed to think he needed to reassure them that he wouldn’t end up like Cummings. “It’s never enough, is it?”
He didn’t mean to fall asleep, but it overtook him before he even before he’d finished his third drink. His drinks were dark and disturbed. There was a demon, black and horrifying, chasing him. He couldn’t outrun it, but it never seemed to attack him. Just the opposite, in fact. It seemed to be following him.
Miro woke up to a rumble of thunder. Lightning suddenly illuminated his room and he swore he could see that same demon there, but it was gone almost as fast.
Hand trembling he reached for the board. He knocked over the glass in his haste and he ignored it as it tumbled to the floor. “Is that you?” he asked, staring at the Ouija board.
Miro smiled. UNCLE was about to take it in the shorts.
“I can’t believe this.” Napoleon ran a hand through his hair and moaned. “Two more agents were killed last night. What is going on?” He sank down into his usual spot at the conference table and sighed. Waverly had called a special meeting of all the sections heads. Napoleon had a pretty good idea what was coming next.
Illya shook his head and pushed a report towards Napoleon. His partner didn’t open the folder. “It’s like an epidemic. Pretty soon there won’t be enough agents to even function.”
“Even Mr. Waverly is concerned. He has decided to press some of our Section Three agents into service. I’m certain that’s what this meeting is about.”
“They aren’t trained for our work.” Illya gave the folder another encouraging push towards Napoleon.
“Considering how poorly we’re doing currently, I’m not sure if that’s good or bad.”
“There is a bit of good news. In that last attack, as many THRUSH agents were killed as UNCLE. They must be feeling the losses, too.”
“When were you going to tell me that?”
“The report in is front of you. You were too busy proselytizing.”
“I don’t proselytize.” Napoleon flipped open the front cover and began to read. “Are you sure these figures are correct?”
“As sure we can be without calling THRUSH directly and asking. I’m fairly certain they would not give us a straight answer.”
Napoleon smirked. “What the hell is going on, Illya?”
“I wish I knew.”
Miro paced the length of his small apartment. “That last attack was too much.”
“And I say yes. You weren’t supposed to take us out, just UNCLE.”
“Don’t forget who’s in control here.”
For the first time, the plancette moved to the alphabet and pointed to first the ‘m’ and then the ‘e’.
Miro laughed. “In your dreams. One splash of holy water and it’s all over for you.”
Miro felt a chill run through him as a shadow seemingly detached itself from the others. “I’m not afraid of you.”
You should be
He shook his head. “No.” Then he laughed. “So when am I going to die then, big scary monster?” When he read what the plancette spelled out, he began to scream.
“What happened?” Illya asked as they approached the tenement house.
“One of the residents said he heard screaming. Consider how close this is to HQ, Waverly wanted us to check it out personally.”
“Our agents are being wiped out en masse and we’re making house calls. Marvelous.” Illya checked the note Napoleon had scrawled. “Five B is straight ahead.”
They stopped at the door. Napoleon reached up to knock and Illya caught his hand. Blood was oozing out beneath the bottom, staining the warped floorboards a dark red. “Better call the police.”
“Agreed.” Illya pulled out his communicator and made the necessary request. They waited in the hall until a trove of police cars, the fire department, and an ambulance pulled up. By then, all the residents were milling about in the hallways, blocking their path.
“What’s the problem?” Illya recognized a detective that they had worked with before.
Illya pointed. The detective nodded, drew his weapon and kicked out the door. He took one step in and then retreated, gasping. He fell back a few steps, bent over, and began to retch. Illya frowned and hazarded a look in. He gritted his teeth at the carnage that decorated seemingly every inch of the room. Blood was splattered everywhere.
“I didn’t know the human body had that much blood in it.” The detective whispered as he straightened. “I’ve seen some terrible things, but nothing like this.” He wiped his face with his handkerchief and adjusted his shoulders as others joined them. “Block off this entire area,” he told the two uniforms.
“What could have done this, Napoleon?” Illya asked from the door way as his partner carefully negotiated around the room.
“No idea.” Then he spotted the Ouija board. Strangely enough, despite everything else in the room, it was clear of blood and other matter. As he watched, the plancette lazily started to move. His eyes widened and he backed out of the room. “We need a priest and some holy water! Right now.”
The plancette said merely, Hello