Napoleon and Illya need to discover why agents are dying before they even can get started on their affairs before the witness to a traitorous exchange or more agents are killed. Thanks to yelizaverta52 for her beta work
John Ritter laid in his cell in a UNCLE jumpsuit. He had been searched, and his poison capsule found although he knew he would’ve never used it. He might work for Thrush, but he wasn’t willing to give his life for it. Hopefully he could make a deal that would at least let him live.
“Up Ritter, some people want to talk to you.” Gibson, an agent from his former department scowled at him from the other side of the room.
Ritter crossed to the open door and offered his hands for the cuffs to be placed on him. As he headed toward the interrogation rooms, he felt a shove sending him to the ground.
“You need to be more careful John otherwise you could get hurt.” Gibson said yanking him up and pushing him forward.
When they reached the room, Ritter was tightly cuffed to a table then left alone. He sat back trying to look like he had nothing to worry about.
Napoleon, Illya and William entered the room and before anyone could stop him Evans punched the prisoner.
“You betrayed UNCLE and me,” he shouted heading toward him again.
Illya grabbed the Security Chief pulling him back.
“Either sit down or leave,” Napoleon demanded.
William shook off Illya and sat in a chair across from Ritter, arms crossed over his chest, glaring at him.
Looking up at the men around him, Ritter brought his head down so he could rub his jaw and grin, “I see they sent in all the big guns. So how’s Jo? Alive?”
“She’ll be able to testify at your trial and execution,” Illya said through clinched teeth, his hands in fist by his side.
Napoleon and Illya joined William sitting at the table. A file in his hands, the CEA took a few minutes to study it hoping to make Ritter squirm. Instead he began to whistle.
“Come on Solo we both know the routine. You try to make me nervous than offer me a deal. Let’s skip all that. I don’t want to die, so what deal are you offering me to give up the rest of my team?”
“So there are more moles here? Why would you want to help us?” Napoleon calmly asked although internally he was boiling with rage.
“Well either way you need to know don’t you? Are they only in New York or in other sites also? So why shouldn’t I help you out? Thrush doesn’t take well to failure. I’m already on thin ice with them because of the trouble his sister caused me.”
“You’re responsible for the death of at least six agents if not more, and you want to deal?” Evans spit out starting to stand up
Napoleon placed his hand on Williams arm to silence him and return him to his chair. He wanted to wipe the satisfying grin off the traitors face instead he leaned forward.
“You realize that if we do deal the rest of your life will be spent in jail with no hope of ever being released,” Napoleon mentioned.
In another interrogation room, April and Mark were interviewing the nurse. She had tried crying but when it didn’t work she began begging.
“I didn’t know what he wanted. He just said she was a threat to UNCLE. He told me it was my duty to stop her.” She batted her eyes at Mark hoping for some sympathy from him.
April ignored her attempts and asked, “Then explain why you didn’t make a move until she was about to identify Ritter.”
“I was frightened. I know Section Two agents are dangerous. Please, I was just doing as I was told.”
Mark looked up from the file he had been examining taking over soft voice. “I understand a few other agents have died under your care.”
“People die,” she sobbed.
“I notice these agents had information for us but were unconscious at the time they brought in and never regained consciousness before they died. Now I’m done humoring you. Who else is working with you?” He said slamming the file in front of her.
The tears stopped immediately as she looked angrily at him. “I have nothing more to say except I’m sorry I didn’t kill her.”
The teams of interrogators met and gave their reports to Waverly. He looked over the information they had written up for him raising an eyebrow every few seconds.
“So we may have all the moles or there may be a few out there yet. Your suggestions,” Waverly asked the group.
“I don’t believe the nurse knows any other members of the team.” April said and Mark nodded in agreement.
“Ritter, on the other hand, is heading up the group. Whether or not there are other moles and where they are located, only he would know. I’m not for making deals, but we do need this information.” Napoleon expressed his concern.
Waverly looked at the others around the table.
“He’s responsible for the death of our men, lie to him, get the information we need, then terminate him that’s all he deserves,” Evans said bitterly.
“Then we’d be no better than he is,” April shook her head. Although she agreed with Evans, it would go against everything UNCLE stood for.
Illya sat saying nothing but seemed to be thinking.
“Mr. Kuryakin you’ve not gave your opinion yet,” his boss said.
“Sir. I have listened to everyone’s suggestions. I agree we need the information, and that Mr. Ritter should sacrifice his life. He will not talk unless we give him life in prison instead of termination,” Illya began.
“Yes, yes we know all this Kuryakin,” Evans interrupted lividly.
Illya continued ignoring the outburst. “Perhaps we can offer him, an injection by us if he cooperates or to let him go to jail. The word of what he did would spread very quickly and some of the men in that prison had friends who died because of him. As he already said, they are not forgiving about failure.”
The Russian never failed to surprise Napoleon. His suggestion was a perfect offer and even in a way humane for the man who was responsible for all the deaths.
“Gentlemen, Miss Dancer I’ll discuss all your input with Section One. Tomorrow we’ll proceed. Get some rest. I have a feeling it going to be a long day. Mr. Solo, stay.”
After the others left, Napoleon waited for an explanation.
“Mr. Solo you know I’ve been training you to take over this chair when I retire although I hope it won’t be a while yet. I believe you should be included as an observer in this discussion. These decisions aren’t easy but at times unavoidable.”
Saying nothing, the future Section One sat beside the present one and waited for the conference to begin.
The next day Napoleon, Illya and Williams met in Waverly’s office. The decision had been difficult and the discussion when on into the night. When the final offer was announced Napoleon wasn’t sure he could have made it. He killed when needed and deserved, but he was glad this time he didn’t have to make it.
“Gentlemen, Section One has made their decision. We’ll offer Mr. Ritter incarceration in the general population of an UNCLE prison if he cooperates.”
Each agent knew that if placed any place but solitary either Thrush or a confined agent who had a friend murdered because of his actions would find a way to kill Ritter.
“Mr. Solo tell Mr. Ritter we’ll accept his condition. He’ll be placed in prison not terminated. As for Miss Jasmine , Section One has sentenced her and she’ll be taken to the prison. Dismissed.”
The agents left to speak to Ritter.
Ritter sat smirking at the Napoleon and Illya. He was sure they would accept his ultimatum. He’d be safe from his bosses and from UNCLE. Lonely in solitary true, but there was always a chance of escaping.
“Well what did Waverly said?” His voice was gloating.
“You have your deal. Now who else is in your group?” Napoleon wanted to put a fist through his face but held back as they needed those names.
“How about we look at less time for the name? I mean you really want to close this down don’t you?” He offered sitting back the smirk getting larger.
Illya stood moving toward him, an expression so deep it scared even Napoleon.
“Okay, okay. Boy you can’t take a joke. Well you already have Jasmine . There are two others, Mark Murray from maintenance and Pam de Pablo from communications.”
Napoleon wasn’t surprised at where the others worked. Murray would be responsible for cleaning up in the Section two and three offices. Although agents were responsible for destroying sensitive materials, there were always things that slipped by. And de Pablo would have been able to misdirect messages from agents.
“How many agents in Medical did you order Jasmine to kill?” Illya asked anger tinting the question.
Ritter’s showed a moment of surprised. “Oh so you figured that out did you. Well as long as we’re being honest here, three before they could speak. Any other questions?”
Napoleon and Illya stood, “You’ll be taken to prison later today.” The CEA informed him as they turned to leave the room.
“Solitary will give me time to think,” Ritter laughed.
Illya turned, “You are not being put in solitary, but the general population. Good luck with that.”
Ritter jumped to his feet. “You can’t do that to me. They’ll kill me.”
Neither man said anything as they exited the room to the prisoner’s ranting and raving.
A Month Later
Illya and Jo entered Napoleon's office to meet him for a drink after work. They saw the CEA staring at a communication shaking his head.
“What is it?” Illya was unused to seeing his partner in this type of mood.
Napoleon handed the slip to the Kuryakins who read it.
John Ritter was found dead in his bunk today from an overdose of heroin. It’s unclear at this time if it was self-administered or not.
“We knew it would happen. You could have done nothing to prevent it.” Illya handed the paper back.”
“Someday I’ll have to make these decisions. What if I can’t do it?” Napoleon looked once more at the paper. “An injection would’ve been much more humane.”
“His choice my friend.” Illya stated.
There was nothing to be said. Each knew that this would be the outcome. It really didn’t matter if it was self-inflicted or not. The moment he was sent to prison he was a dead man.
“Time for a drink my friend.” Illya offered.
“For more than one I think.” Jo added.
The three left knowing that Ritter deserved to die for what he did, but knowing and accepting was something none of them wanted to think about. Hopefully a few drinks would help them erase this feeling for at least tonight