“Can you explain to me please why a Russian and American are in Africa looking for an English girl who was kidnapped by a member of the French Thrush satire?” Napoleon complained as they hunched down in the bushes examining the building before them.
Frustrated Illya said, “I have explained this to you a few times Napoleon. It is my fault that the man, Morozov, who took Lisa the ambassador's daughter, is someone who I crossed in the past. He let the ambassador know that we would only get her back if I came to get her.”
They had been sent by Waverly to Africa to find and rescue the English ambassador's daughter. The trail led them to a small village in the Congo. Her father had received a picture showing her eating a human hand and a demand for Illya to rescue her.
“Cannibals,” Napoleon said with disgust. “What will Thrush think of next?”
“Well, Mr. Solo,” A voice behind Napoleon said as a gun was pushed into his head. “You see, my ultimate goal is to see Kuryakin suffer. Now, if you gentleman would be so kind as to lower your guns to the ground. Kuryakin, I can’t wait for you to see what I have planned for you.”
Lowing their guns and raising their hands, the two men stood to find themselves surrounded by Thrush rifles.
Shoved towards the building that they had been watching. Once they were inside, they were each thrown into a separate cell then were shackled while sitting on the ground to the walls.
In the cell next to them, they saw a child who seemed to look like the young daughter they have been sent to retrieve. She had a pan of human intestines in front of her that she was dipping her hands in and bringing the contents to mouth.
“You madman,” Illya shouted at him. “What have you done to her?”
“Just tried one of my serums on her. I’m a better scientist now than when you testified against me at the Naval board inquiry.”
“Why use a child to achieve your goal?” Napoleon asked.
“Her picture and my note brought you two here, didn't it? Now I have the method to get justice for his actions against me.”
“And what did he do that was so horrible in the past that you would use a child in your plan?” Napoleon asked.
“He is responsible for the death of my career and spending years in Serbia until Thrush found me?”
“You betrayed us. You caused many good men to die on our ship,” Illya answered the accusation.
“No, I serve my true Master, science, the men who died did so to further that goal. Enough of this talk. Mr. Solo will help me revenge the loss that you caused.”
“It's me that you are after not Napoleon. So, get it over with and do whatever it is you want to do to me,” Illya’s anger raising the longer Ivan talked.
“Oh no, that would be too quick for you. When I'm done with you, you will curse the day you were born, Kuryakin. I'm going to make him suffer and make you beg for me to stop. When I'm done, I'm going to kill you slowly, but first, I'm going to enjoy every second of your pain.”
“Oh, just quit your bragging and do whatever it is you want, but neither of us will ever beg you to stop,” Napoleon butted in.
“You're brave now, Mr. Solo, but soon you too are going to care. Your partner will not be the only one suffering,” Morozov revealed as he turned back to Illya.
“What are you going to make me one of your zombies?” Napoleon sarcastically asked.
“Not a zombie, a cannibal I've improved my serum. You will be eating hands and whatever else I give you. Then once I get you to the point where you no longer can’t ignore the desire to eat flesh, you'll have Kuryakin for your midnight snack. But that is not the improvement in my serum. I have managed to alter it so that your mind will know what your body is doing. Your body will crave fresh, and it will do as I order while your mind is shouting at you not to attack him. I won't even have to tell you to assault your partner. You'll be so hungry that you'll do it yourself.”
“Never,” Napoleon shouted in defiance.
Laughing Morozov headed toward the door, “We’ll see, Mr. Solo, we'll see. Gentlemen, give him the injection.”
Two men came toward Napoleon. One held him from moving while the other jabbed him in the neck. “Good appetite,” the one joked as they left the cell.
Illya called to his partner, who hadn’t woken up in the last five hours. “Tovarisch, can you wake up for me?”
Solo sat up. His eyes were red-rimmed, and his complexion extremely pale. Glancing around the room, he stared questionably at the blond in the next cage, “Illya?”
“It is I. How are you feeling, my friend?” Illya assured him.
“I'm hungry,” Napoleon replied. “So very hungry. I'm concerned about you with this drug in my system. I've never felt like this before. If something happens or if I get out of control, please defend yourself; however, you have to.”
“I could never do that, my friend. I will help and protect you. I will get you out of this mess, as it is my fault you are in it in the first place.”
“It's not your doing, so don't blame yourself. Morozov would have found some other way to get you here, if not this way. His hatred is burning inside him, and I think he's insane.” Napoleon groaned, grabbing his stomach due to the severe abdominal pains.
Morozov walked into the cell area and smiled when he saw the condition Napoleon was in. “I see my serum is doing its job. Would you like something to eat, Mr. Solo?”
“No,” Napoleon replied, trying to ignore the pain. The cramping almost made it impossible not to grab his stomach.
“Soon, you won't be able to refuse. And Kuryakin, I have a very nice meal for you.” Snapping his fingers, Morozov's men brought in a complete dinner, including mashed potatoes, beef roast, peas, and dessert.
“I'm not hungry,” Illya said.
“That's not a choice. We must fatten you up for Mr. Solo, so either you eat by yourself, or my men will help you.”
The two men who had brought in the meal in smiled as they started to move towards Illya. Their Thrush uniforms a reminder of who they were and who Morozov was working for. One of the men grabbed his jaw while the other man shoveled a fork full of potatoes and meat into his mouth, holding it shut until he swallowed it. The forced feeding continued until most of the meal was gone.
Napoleon drooled in his cell, watching the food going into his partner's mouth. Yet, he did not feel that was what he needed or wanted. He wanted something red and bloody. Aware of what he was thinking, he shook his head, hoping to clear it, but the more he watched Illya being force-fed, the more he wanted something raw.
As soon as most of Illya's meal was gone, two other men brought in food for Napoleon. A rarely cooked steak cut into small bits, juicy and red, almost bleeding. Without waiting for a fork, he grabbed the pieces and shoved them into his mouth, chewing until they were gone.
With the bloody mess running down his face, he glanced at Illya smiling. “I feel much better now.” Somewhere in the back of his mind, he knew this was wrong, yet he didn't seem to be able to control what he needed or his cravings.
“See Mr. Solo. I was sure you’d enjoy your supper now sleep with your filled stomach. There will be more for you when you awake.” Morozov crowed as he nodded, and the men inserted a needle into Napoleon’s neck for a second time.
Once more, Illya watched his partner sleep. He saw Napoleon’s face changing to a sickly-looking shade of white and grey and his face hallowing out. ‘He looks more like a zombie from the movies he made me watch than a cannibal,’ he thought.
As the door opened a few hours later, Morozov came in carrying a pan of cut up livers that Illya was sure were human. “Why?”
“To see you suffer,” Morozov said.
“There are many ways to do this. Why do it this way to Napoleon?” Illya looked at his partner. “He never did anything to you.”
“But he is a thorn in Thrush’s side. Besides, I needed a subject and revenge against you. So, you see two stones with one bird.”
“Even I know it is two birds with one stone,” Illya huffed.
“Laugh now, Kuryakin. Soon you’ll be screaming in pain as your partner tears you apart out of hunger. Now excuse me, I need to feed my cannibal.” Entering the cell, he laid the pan before Napoleon. “Wakey, wakey, my little cannibal. Lunch is served.”
Napoleon opened his eyes, glancing around. He seemed not to know what was happening. Then he spotted the pan in front of him. Slowly he crawled toward it. His mind was screaming not to give in to the bloody treat, yet his body refused to listen.
“Tovarisch, do not give in,” Illya called out.
Napoleon stopped, looked at Illya, then back at the pan. It seemed to confuse him, but soon the call of the pan of food had him enjoying it.
“Keep eating, my cannibal. It will be your last meal until you’re hungry enough to try fresh food.” Morozov's laugh seemed more insane with each visit.
“Napoleon,” Illya called out but received no response. When he tried Tovarisch this time, the American slowly raised his head, looking at Illya with blood dripping down his chin. “Illya?”
“Yes, it is me, my friend.”
“I know you're hungry, but what you're eating is not good for you.” Napoleon glanced down at the tray of livers, intestines, and blood then looked back up at Illya.”
“Not good for me?”
“No, it is not good for you. The more you eat, I am afraid the more the serum is going to change you.”
“Morozov gave me a shot,” Napoleon said slowly. “Trying to turn me into a cannibal? You help me?”
“I'm trying to get out, but these chains are too tight Napoleon. Morozov unchained you last time he fed you. Can you leave your cell?”
Napoleon looked at the chains, the cell and back to the food, “I'm so hungry.”
“I know, partner. If you do, it will make the hunger worse.”
Napoleon went to the door, tried it, and found it unlocked. Just as he was leaving the cell, Morozov came back in with two men.
They put him back in his cell and gave him another shot.
In the back of Napoleon's mind, he knew he needed to fight and protect Illya. As the two men grabbed him, he tried swinging, but he found himself slow and uncoordinated. Soon he was back on the ground inside his cell. The tray of food was pushed in front of him, and as he looked sadly at Illya, he felt a sting in his neck and soon fell asleep.
“And for you, Kuryakin, you won’t get away with this attempt to escape. Gentlemen teach him a lesson. As the men attacked him, Illya attempted to cover himself as he was beaten until unconsciousness claimed him.
It was dark the next time Ilya became aware. Morozov was standing there, waiting for him to wake. Looking towards Napoleon, Illya saw that he was hungrily looking for food, unable to find any.
“I hungry,” he yelled.
“Are you Mr. Solo?”
“Very hungry,” Napoleon said with a growl. “But nothing here.”
"You are wrong, Mr. Solo. Look in the other cell. There is a nice fresh human."
Napoleon turned his head toward Illya, hunger in his eyes.
Morozov opened the door to Napoleon's cell and then directed him into Illya’s cell. “Bon Appetit Mister Solo,” He said as he walked out the door.
Napoleon entered the cell. Something in the back of his mind told him this is wrong, but his hunger was driving him forward. He went towards Illya, grabbing an arm chained to the wall.
“Napoleon, you do not want to do this,” Ilya said quietly, not to scare the man. However, there was no response from his partner.
Napoleon licked his arm, “You taste good.”
“Trochaic, please do not do this.”
Napoleon looked at Illya then at the chain, alarmed confusion on his face. He knew that this was his partner and that this was wrong, but he was so hungry. In anger, he roared, then yanked one of the chains and then the other. “
“You run now,” he told Illya.
Standing up, shaking his head, he said, “Napoleon, you're coming with me. I'm not leaving you.”
“I too dangerous,” Napoleon said, “And so hungry. Run.”
“I am not leaving you,” Illya repeated. “I need to get the girl then we are leaving.” Illya headed towards the cell next to his, where the girl had been watching everything, drooling with hunger. When he opened the door, the girl ran towards Illya, grabbing his arm, and attempted to bite him. Napoleon pushed the girl off.
After tying Lisa’s hands, “Let's go,” Illya ordered, grabbing the girl by one arm and Napoleon by his hand. The three rushed out the door as Napoleon watched the girl, so she didn’t hurt his friend. Hurrying down the long corridor and exiting through the yard, they found themselves surrounded by tall trees. They hit the tree line as the alarm sounded.
During their run into the trees, the girl attempted to bite Illya, but each time Napoleon pushed her away until he finally pushed her down.
“She stays here,” he said.
Illya was sad to see how simple his partner had become. Napoleon's outfit was full of blood, his language became simple, and even his protective instincts were primitive.
Finding a hidden cave that he could protect, Illya hid Napoleon and the girl. Hungry, the girl tried to crawl to where Illya was covering the entrance with branches and tree limbs.
“No touch him. He is mine,” Napoleon warned her.
They sat quietly in the cave as the sounds of Thrush searching for them passed them.
Knowing that if he did not get the two food, they would turn on each other and him.
“Stay here,” Illya ordered as he went out looking for food.
It wasn't hard as most of the animals in the area did not seem as scared of the humans obviously from the Thrush guards’ comings and goings. Grabbing two rabbits and breaking their necks, he headed back towards the cave. He handed a rabbit to each one before recovering the entrance with sticks and branches.
Once the two finished their rabbits, Illya was able to get them to lay down and sleep, hoping Napoleon would begin to revert to himself.
Napoleon woke to look around the cave, "Where we at? Food?"
"Sorry, Tovarisch. There is no food, and it is not safe to search for dinner right now. Thrush is still out there searching."
"Thrush?" Napoleon questioned then smiled. "The bad guys, right?"
"Yes, the bad guys," Illya was weary and needed rest but knew he couldn't relax until they were safe. All he could hope was that Napoleon hadn't received enough of Morozov’s serum permanently to change, and a reversal of the serum could happen if he didn't receive more. "Why don't you sleep once more? Once it is clear outside, we will get to safety."
"Food there?" Napoleon asked, pointing to the front of the cave.
"Yes. Now sleep." Illya watched as Napoleon curled up into a ball and fell back to sleep. It seemed that Napoleon remembered more, even if it was that Thrush was a bad guy.
Listening to the silence outside, Illya couldn’t stay awake and fell asleep. He was woken by a hand on his shoulder. In front of him was Napoleon, a rabbit in his hand. "Hungry. You cook a little not too much, please.”
“Napoleon, did you leave the cave?” Illya asked, looking at the entrance to see it was covered again.
“Hungry. No bad guys around. I was careful,” Napoleon answered pride in his voice.
Ilya sighed before taking the rabbit. He had to admit he was hungry also. He placed it over the fire. He thought, ‘I hope this is a sign that the drugs are being eradicated from Napoleon’s system. “How would you like this cooked?”
Illya smiled, “Well, that is a step in the right direction.”
Napoleon grinned at him. “I better now?”
“Not quite yet, but I believe that you're getting there.”
A few minutes later, Napoleon grabbed the rabbit from the fire, beginning to wolf it down. The blood ran down his chin, joining the previous mess. He glanced at Illya and offered. “You want to eat too.”
“That's all right. I like my rabbit just a little more done, my friend.”
“I your friend?” Illya nodded. Napoleon looked at the rabbit and then back at Illya before throwing part of it on the fire. “It will be a little more done now.”
A smile appeared on Illya's face. It's not only the sharing but also, he could see a difference in his partner. He was no longer just thinking about food. He was thinking of others.
Once the rabbit was done, they woke the girl and headed toward the extraction point. “I hope they are watching for us.”
“Yes, now, shhh.”
The girl tried to get closer to Illya. “I hungry!” she demanded.
Napoleon pushed her down, “My friend said, shhh.”
“It’s okay, Napoleon. Help her up. I believe that we lost Morozov and his men.”
Napoleon looked down at the girl. “You be quiet, my friend said so. And you no try to eat him.”
Holding her stomach, Lisa stood up and followed them. Before long, she was behind them when Morozov caught up with the men. Holding a gun on them, “Going somewhere?” he asked, pointing his gun at Illya.
“You will not kill me. It would prevent you from getting the revenge you seek,” Illya said.
“You’re correct, but this loaded gun has with sleeping darts. It might not kill you, but I can put you out of commission until you’re back at the compound. Now, are you coming easily or not?”
Before anyone could answer, Lisa jumped out of the bushes next to Morozov and bit his neck, causing the carotid artery to tear open. As the blood pulsed out, she took a bite out of the flesh located there.
“Lisa, no,” Illya shouted.
She looked up at him, “He said I no eat you but not no eat him.”
Grabbing the gun from Iván, he had the three of them moving quickly toward freedom.
As they reached the edge of the forest, Illya stopped and looked at Napoleon. "Do you trust me?" He asked as he wiped off his partner's blood-stained chin.
" You, my friend. I trust you. "
>"When we get to the pickup point, I'm going to have to put you asleep."
“Why? We not friends now? "
"We are, but I am not sure if you would be able to control your hunger with all the new people around. It is for their safety and yours. I am sorry. However, it is necessary."
Once in the clearing at the resonance point, Illya shot a sleeping dart into the girl. "I promise this will not hurt," he then shot Napoleon.
The captain of the rescue group yelled, "What the hell, Kuryakin, you just shot your partner." Then he saw the girl. Her clothes were torn and soaked in blood. " And what happened to her? "
s"It is a long story that I would love to tell you. However, as I am sure the woods are crawling with Thrush looking for us, I will explain after we get out of here." Illya offered him his gun. "Here you keep it until after I explain what happened if it makes you feel better."
The captain glanced at the gun, "That's not necessary, Mr. Kuryakin."
"But you will feel better," Illya handed it to him.
As the men headed towards the UNCLE jet, Illya explained why he had shot Napoleon. Once he was finished, sitting next to his partner on the plane and slept.
"Illya," a familiar but rough voice woke him.
Opening his eyes, he saw Napoleon staring at him. Sitting up straight, "How are you?"
"Still hungry, but my body is no longer ruling me. Thanks," Napoleon said.
To someone else, it may have seemed not enough, but between the partners, nothing else needed to be said. “The doctors said it might be a few more days before the effects of the serum are completely gone, but you are getting better.”
“You mean a few more days before the doctors and psych department gets a hold of me,” Napoleon complained.
“If you can remember that, my friend, you are getting much better. Well, better get back to work. Waverly wants our report today, and once again, I am struck writing it up.” Illya headed toward the door, “And if you are really good for the nurses, I bring you back a raw steak.” He just managed to get out of the room as a pillow hit the door.