Go-go dancing, Thrush villains, and Kolob Canyon are the backdrop of a new project by Thrush. The agents need not only to put a stop to it, but first they must find out exactly what the project is.
Heading downstairs to the ‘Best Restaurant in Cedar City’ located next door, the agents searched for familiar faces in the surrounding area but none was seen. Dinner was a success as Illya finished off his steak, potatoes, and third dessert. They were able to get other rumors about the new company and the fact that they keep the locals out of the area from their waitress who melted as Napoleon flirted with her.
“Now that your stomach is filled, are you ready for a ride in beautiful Utah countryside?” Napoleon teased.
The Russian wasn’t about to let his partner’s words to take away the pleasure of meal as they headed to their room to gather their equipment and notify Waverly of their progress.
“You are well aware that we never know when we will get our next meal so I like to stock up when I can.”
“Open Channel D.” Napoleon said giving Illya a sour look although the Russian was right as many times Thrush didn’t feed their prisoners. He couldn’t understand how his thin partner could eat without gaining a pound.
“Mr. Solo report,” brought his attention back to the communicator.
“We’ve arrived and are going to look into an unfriendly neighborhood situation in Kolob Canyon. Seems there’s a new company in the area, and they discourage any of the locals from going near it.”
“Good. Proceed with haste then.”
“Did Mr. McLaughlin and Miss Kuryakin find out anything about the phone number, sir?”
“It seems as they were leaving the apartment building they were attacked and carried out according to witnesses. So while you’re looking for whatever Thrush is up to, keep an eye out for them.” With that Waverly clicked off.
The men looked at each other, the stakes just got higher.
McLaughlin and Kuryakin stood in front of a West Village building where the owner of the disconnected phone number lived now. The building was expensive and usually not where they would find the type of woman who had owned the phone.
“Jimmy, I have a feeling that she will respond to you better than me.” Jo told him as they entered the lobby of the building.
“Just because I’m a guy?”
“Not just a guy, but also a very good looking one. Play up to her.”
“Thanks loads, partner.” He wasn’t sure about how this was going to turn out but willing to try.
They knocked on a rich brown door and while waiting for it to open Jo reached up messing Jimmy’s hair.
“It makes you more appealing,” she informed him when he frowned at her.
The door opened revealing a poorly dyed platinum blonde in a bright pink negligee and boa. She leaned against the door cigarette in hand looking the two agents up and down. Once she started with Jimmy, a large smile broke out.
Ignoring Jo she addressed him, “What can I do for you, handsome?”
Blushing he said, “Miss Langie, we have a few questions for you. I’m Jimmy McLaughlin and this is my partner Josephina Kuryakin. May we come in?”
She reached out and pulled him into room by his tie leaving the door open for Jo to follow.
“Sit down,” she said pointing to the couch and planted herself almost on top of him. “Now what questions do you have for me?”
“We found your old phone number in Thomas Johnsen’s pocket and are trying to find out more about him.” He asked while trying to move further from her.
“Oh Tommikin. Now that’s a man. Where is he and when is he coming back? Not that I’m in a rush at this moment.” She ran her fingers down his face and around his lips.
Jimmy removed her hands and tried to move further away from him but she followed him down the couch.
“What can you tell us about him?” Jo asked interrupting her attention to Jimmy.
Sitting back she glared at the agent. “Oh he just a guy I met one night in a bar. Put me up in this nice place and brought me all kind of nice things. But then my Tommikins didn’t come home one night. Now I’m so lonely.”
With that she turned back to Jimmy and tried snuggling up to him but he stood and said, “Do you know where he was before he came here?”
“Some hot state Arizona, Utah, or Texas. I really don't remember. Wouldn’t you like to talk about something else for a while? I’m sure your friend won’t mind waiting for you downstairs.” With that she tried to pull him back onto the couch. “You could ask me more questions.”
Looking at Jo pleading for her intervention, Jimmy moved further away from the woman.
“I am sorry Miss Langie but we need to go now. Thank you for your time and the information.”
As they headed toward the door, Jo stepped in front of woman as she reached out for her partner. Once they reached the elevator, Jo busted out laughing.
“It’s not funny, that’s lady is a shark and you were no help at all.”
“Ah come on, she was lonely and you are so good looking.” She said imitating the lady.
He said as the elevator door opened and knockout gas were thrown into it. Before either agent could react, both felt the sting of a dart. Between the mist and drug they were out before they could take another step. Quickly men grabbed them, threw them over their shoulders and rushed out into a waiting car. No one in the lobby had time to react and it was a few moments before the police were called.
The men stopped at a small restaurant on the outskirts of Kolob Canyon for coffee and a little gossip.
“How did they manage to get permission to build in Zion National Park?” Illya asked. “I thought your parks were government-owned.”
“They are and our office is checking it out but this way will be faster.”
“Do you really think they will just tell us about the building?” The Russian doubted this was the way to proceed.
“Just sit and watch,” Napoleon informed him as he headed toward the door.
Walking up to the cashier he flashed a dazzling smile. “Oh my sweet,” he said to the middle-aged woman. “My friend and I would like a cup of your coffee and a piece of that wonderful looking pie. We’re from the Department of Interior looking into the complaints we’ve received from the people around here. You look like someone who’d have the pulse of your community”
“Hey Charlie.” The cashier yelled out to a group of men at the corner table. “These guys are from the government about those jerks at the new lab site.”
Napoleon barely had time to sit down next to his partner before the group of men surrounded their table. Each man tried out talk the others.
“Wow, slow down. One at a time please. My name is Napoleon Solo this is my partner Illya Kuryakin. We were sent here to find out exactly what your complaints are about.”
As the men started to talk, Illya pulled out his glasses, a pencil and notebook. He wrote as the group talked.
The men complaints included facts about how the company used a little known treaty which according to the men, stated that one of the men’s grandfather had been given they land by the governor in the early 1900’s.
“But how can they build here? It wasn’t zone for that,” Napoleon asked.
“Money that’s how!” shouted one man. “They bribed the members of the zoning council and got the okay to build.”
Another one told them, “Then all the ‘accidents’ when locals came close to the area. Accidents my butt!” he spit as he emphasized the words.
They were able to discover that people had disappeared, been shot at, and beat up that had wandered too close to the area. One person had actually been electrified when they touched the fence before signs warning of the danger were posted—and then only after the coroner’s inquest ordered it.
A number of the men were able to identify Naan and Steelton from photos the agents had shown them.
“So what are you pencil pushers going to do about this?” One of the men demanded.
“We have a few other places to stop and then talk to the owners. Don’t worry we’ll get to the bottom of this.” Napoleon assured them.
“We heard them there promises before sonny,” an old man quiet up to then spoke up. He spit out his tobacco and brought his face close to Napoleon’s. “So ain’t going to believe it till I see it.”
“Sir,” Solo smiled. “I promise you, we’ll put a stop to this situation that will make you happy.”
Looking down at the agents, the old man noticed the guns under their suit jackets. “You two know how to use those things?”
“Yes sir,” Illya assured him. “And have many times before.”
“Well I’ll be watching you guys.” He turned and went back to the counter. “We’ll see.”
After a little while, the two left sure they were on the right track.
Napoleon and Illya lay on their stomach at the top of a ridge looking through binoculars down into one of the fingers of the canyon. They were able to see an old access road that climbed toward them through the Hurricane Cliffs. Looking further up canyon valley they could see small flowing, stream surrounded by sand which turned to soil. In front of them the soil turned to an overgrown area into which the stream and road disappeared.
On the other side of the stream bed was the new building housing the Thrush lab.
“I know, according to the man from the restaurant that they were able to use a loophole in the law, but could the government not take the land back.”
“It called democracy my friend. We can use the law for good or bad.”
The lab was surrounded with an electrified barbwire fence and guards patrolled outside and inside. The building itself had roaming cameras and machine guns hidden in the fake corners.
“Any idea? They are well fortified,” Illya asked after studying the building.
“Not yet, but I do find the guards around that cave right outside of the fence very interesting.” Napoleon said
Swinging his binoculars to where his partner was pointing, he saw a couple of known Thrush enforcers leaving the cave blood on their shirts and hands.
The cave had high bushes and brushwood around the front of it even though the fence was connected to it. They would have an excellent place to get through the fence without being seen if they could eliminate the guards.
“I wonder if we may have found our missing agents. I say with the security around the lab, we could use a few more hands.” The CEA said.
“And if they are too injured to help, what then?”
Napoleon looked at his pessimistic partner. “Could we address one problem at a time? We’ll deal with what we find when we find it.”
“I’m just trying to be realistic and plan for anything that could go wrong.”
Starting to move toward the cave, “Are you coming, Kuryakin?”
Illya shook his head. He knew that when his partner said his name in that tone, there was no changing Napoleon's mind. Grabbing his rifle, he followed his partner down the hill.