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Double Jeopardy

Chapter Two:

The End of Team Smart

 

 

It was almost seven o’clock and the Smarts were still going through the house, looking for files. 99 ran back and forth between the kitchen and various parts of the house, until the doorbell rang and both had to stop their activities.

“Come in!” Max yelled from the living room, quickly trying to put books and papers back in their proper places. Zach walked in and closed the door behind him.

“Zachary,” Max said, getting up from the floor and walking over to his son. “I see you’re the first on the scene.”

“Dad, I’m usually the first on the scene.” Zach replied.

“Oh really?” Max asked. “Why’s that?”

“Cause I’m always hungry.” Zach said, looking at his father, a look of confusion on his face.

“Oh.” Max headed for the kitchen, just as the doorbell rang again. “Get that will you, Sport?” Max asked, going into the kitchen. Zach stood and watched his father leave, before answering the door.

Maxine walked in, obviously excited about something. “Zach, where’s Mom and Dad?” she asked, quickly taking off her leather jacket and hanging it on the coat rack by the door.

“In the kitchen.” Zach said, distracted. “Hey listen, have you noticed anything different about Dad today?”

“Different?” Maxine asked. “In what way?”

“Well, just weird things, I guess.” Zach said, trying to explain how differently their father was acting.

“Dinner’s ready!” Came the call from the kitchen.

The twins looked at each other with a knowing look and decided to discuss this at a different time. The
Smarts sat down at the table and thus began the night of weirdness. First, they were seated in a totally different arrangement.

Usually, Max was at the head of the table, with 99 on his left, Maxine on his right, and Zach at the other end. But tonight, 99 was at the other end, with the twins in between them: Zach on Max’s right and Maxine on Max’s left. Next came the carrot incident.

“Mom,” Zach replied, staring blankly at the plate in front of him. “What’re these?”

“What’re what?” 99 asked, taking a bite of food.

“These!” Zach pointed to the little orange circles that topped his food.

“You mean those little orange circular things?” 99 asked, following the man’s finger. Zach nodded. “Those are carrots.”

Zach looked at his mother, then at his food, and then back at his mother. “You’re kidding.” He said, in disbelief.

“No, those are carrots all right.” Max added, shoveling another fork full of food into his mouth.

Zach turned to look at his father, then turned back to his mother. “But Mom, I…I don’t like carrots.” Zach said.

“Oh don’t be ridiculous.” 99 replied, having a laugh at her son’s expense. “Carrots are good for you.”

“I know that and that’s all fine and dandy,” Zach said, rather annoyed. “But I don’t like carrots. I’ve never liked carrots. Ever.”

“Zachary, are you going to argue with me all night or are you going to eat your food?” 99 replied. This boy was fast getting on her last nerve.

“But I don’t like carrots!” Zach insisted, staring at his plate again.

“Then pick them out!” Max exclaimed.

“Zach, unless you want to starve, pick the carrots out.” Maxine said, trying to ensure her brother’s fragile ego wasn’t bruised. He was so much like their father sometimes.

“Fine.” Zach pouted, picking carrots and placing them on the side of his plate. Maxine had been too late at saving her brother’s ego. It was bruised. Not once, but twice by Max and now even 99 was attacking him, something that just wouldn’t and didn’t happen!

Maxine didn’t like it. The behavior from Max was odd, but for her mother, their beloved mother, to yell at Zach like that and then seeing the look on her brother’s face, rang up so many red flags in Maxine’s head.

“Seconds anyone?” 99 asked, taking her plate and heading for the kitchen.

“I’ll get some.” Max said, also standing and following 99. “Then I can help you bring out the drinks, doll.” The two entered the kitchen, leaving the twins alone at the table.

“Zach,” Maxine hissed, as soon as their parents were gone. “Something totally weird is going on.”

Zach just sat there, picking at his carrots. Maxine saw the hurt in her brother’s eyes. “Oh Zach, I’m sure Mom didn’t mean to yell at you.” She said, hoping to fix the damage that had been done.

Zach looked up from his plate, a sad and pitiful look on his face.

“I don’t like carrots, Max.” Zach said, shaking his head.

“I know,” Maxine said, trying to help her brother’s shattered ego. “And that’s something our mother should know very well.”

“What’re you trying to say, Max?” Zach asked, in confusion.

“Something weird is going on.” Maxine said, staring at the kitchen door. “And I don’t like it.”

 


 

“I don’t like it.” Max said.

Max and 99 stood in the kitchen, making drinks. “That Maxine chick thinks something’s up. I bet you anything.”

“Vance, Vance, Vance,” 99 said, patting his shoulder. “Such the worry wart. If Maxine Smart is suspicious, this drink will certainly change all of that.”

“Oh yeah?” Max asked, in suspicion. “What’s in it?”

“Just a little sedative to knock them out for a while. That way we can search the rest of the house.”

“What happens when they wake up?” Max asked. 99 put her arms around the man’s shoulders.

“Then darling,” she said, smoothly. “You’re going to kill them.” Max gave his wife an evil smile. The very thought of him, the big hot shot Maxwell Smart, going up the river for killing his own kids…the headlines would be glorious!

 


 

“I wonder if anyone misses us yet.” Max asked.

It had been several hours since the Smarts had gone to the KAOS warehouse and were captured and locked into a dark cell, with one little light hanging from the ceiling.

“Max,” 99 asked, pointedly. “How can anyone miss us if our impostors look and sound like us?”

“Oh come on, 99,” Max said, looking at his wife. 99 had been pacing back and forth, trying to think of some way of getting out of their jail cell. “Someone’s gotta catch on this charade at some point.”

“Yeah, probably when they’ve killed someone.” 99 said, sarcastically. The tone from 99 changed when she
thought of something horrible. “Max!” she exclaimed. “What if they plan on killing Zach and Maxine?”

“For what purpose, 99?” Max asked.

“I don’t know.”

99 once again started pacing. She didn’t like how this situation was turning from bad to worse. She didn’t like having that fake Max and 99 doing anything to their children…her babies!

Granted, Max and Zach weren’t little kids anymore and they certainly could take care of themselves…but 99’s motherly instincts were taking over and she didn’t like the set up.

“Sweetheart, why don’t you sit down for a while and let me pace?” Max offered, seeing the look on 99’s face. It may have been slightly dark in their little cell ~ what did you expect with one measly light bulb? ~ but Max could still sense his wife was upset.

“Max, something’s up.” 99 said, pacing back and forth. “Something is definitely up.”

“I agree with you, sweetheart, I really do.” Max said, watching his wife pace up and down the cell. “But there’s really nothing we can do about that while we’re in here. If you want to get out, we have to think of something.”

99 stopped pacing and glared at Max. Couldn’t the man see the potential danger in the whole situation?
Her gaze softened though when she realized he was right.

“You’re right, Max.” she said, coming over and sitting down next to him.

“I know I’m right.” Max replied, smugly. “Besides, our kids aren’t pushovers. If something is going on down there, they’ll be the first to know about it.”

 


 

“I knew they’d be the first to know about this.”

Max and 99 stood over the bodies of Zach and Maxine, as they lay on the couch. The two KAOS agents had managed to drug the drinks of the twins, but not before they had tricked the location of the Smarts’ safe.

“They’re not going to like this, you know.” Max replied, looking at the twins.

“Sometimes you do what you have to do.” 99 said, picking up the phone.

“Who’re you calling?”

“The Prime Minister of Egypt, darling.” The woman replied, sarcastically. “Who do you think I’m calling?”

The scene moves to the home of Conrad Siegfried, Jr., where Junior is in bed, reading. “Hello?”

“Ah, Mr. Siegfried. I figured you’d be awake.” 99 said.

“Victoria,” Junior replied, his anger rising. “I know you certainly couldn’t be stupid enough to call me from CONTROL headquarters or even the home of Mr. and Mrs. Smart.”

“As a matter of fact, I am calling you from the home of Mr. and Mrs. Smart.” 99 replied, rather insulted.

“You know, Vicki,” Junior quipped, sarcastically. “I thought you were as smart as you were pretty. Let me make this perfectly clear, so that you don’t forget any of it. Don’t ever, EVER call me at my home number from anything tainted by CONTROL or its agents! Is that clear?”

“As crystal, Mien Heir.” 99 said, rather annoyed and angered by Junior’s tone. “I just thought you should know, Vance and I believe Mr. Smart has some secrets here in the house. We’ve drugged their brats and…”

“You did what?” Junior asked, unsure he heard correctly.

“We’ve…we’ve drugged the Smart twins…” 99 stated, apprehensive of what Junior’s next rant would be.

“Correct me if I’m wrong, Victoria,” Junior said, sitting up in bed and trying to take calming breaths. “But isn’t your job to get information? I don’t believe I said anything about drugging anyone at this stage!”

“Well, yes sir, I know that, but…”

“But?” Junior repeated, clearly upset. “But what? This is KAOS, Mrs. Neil. We do not BUT here! I’ll be frank with you, Victoria. My urge to kill is rising.”

“Sir,” 99 said, trying to save her, her husband, and their mission. “In order to get the information for the safe they keep in the house, we had to drug the twins.”

“Do you realize what you’ve done?” Junior asked. “You’re very close to putting my perfect plan into ruin. Now, you wake them up and explain to them why they have to go. Then I want you and Vance to go over that house and get into that safe! After that, you will go to the Pentagon tomorrow morning and get anything you can on their top secret missile bases and things along that nature. And do not, I repeat
DO NOT vary from script!”

“I think that’s something we can handle, sir.” 99 said, making little circles on the table with her finger.

“Good. After KAOS has gotten sufficient information, then you can kill the Smart twins. When the deed is done, we’ll release the real Mister and Misses and they can face the consequences. Until then, do not disappoint me again, Victoria.”

With that, Junior hung up the phone, leaving 99 a tad bit shaken.

“What did he say?” Max asked, seeing the expression on his wife’s face and knowing it wasn’t a good one.

“We’ve messed up really good this time, Van.” 99 replied, returning the ringer to its base. “It seems
we may have been a little over zealous in our decision to drug these two. Siegfreid is not happy with our performance so far.”

“So what do we do now?” Max asked, a little worried. He had heard about Junior’s temper and now his wife had experienced it first hand.

“We wake these two up and get them out of here.” 99 said, slapping Zach’s face. “Then, we go over this
house with a fine tooth comb. Tomorrow, I’m going over to the Pentagon. I suggest you find as many of CONTROL’s files as you can.

“We need to get things back on track, Vance. Who knows what will happen to us? You said it yourself. Maxine’s getting suspicious and who knows what this lunk Zachary is thinking in that pea brain of his. I refuse to go down at the very peak of our profession. It would be…un-ladylike.”

99 slapped Zach’s face harder, this time jarring him awake. “Wake up, sunshine.” She told him, unceremoniously.

“In case you didn’t know, that hurt.” Zach said, rubbing his face where she had slapped him. 99 blew out a breath. She couldn’t wait for this mission to be over. If she had to be nice to this kid for one more day…

“I’m sorry, Zachary.” She said, trying to wake Maxine. “But you and your sister have to leave right now.”

“Why?” Zach asked in alarm. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing’s wrong.” Max said, helping Zach to his feet. “Your mother and I…just have some things to do, that’s all. And we can’t have you and your sister interfere.”

“What happened?” Maxine asked, groggily. “I feel like I was run over by a Mack truck.”

“You just had a little too much to drink, that’s all.” 99 assured her, helping her to her feet. “Now, come on. You and your brother have to go. It’s very late and I’m sure your father wants to see you bright and early tomorrow.”

Max looked at her in shock and confusion and was answered by the murderous look in 99’s eyes.

“Hey, is something going on here?” Maxine asked, as her mother pushed her and her brother to the front door.

“Your father and I are just very tired and we’d like to get some sleep.”

“I’ve heard this excuse before.” Zach said, stopping to grin at his mother.

“Have you?” 99 asked, a little suspicious.

“All you have to say is you and Dad want to be alone and we’ll leave.”

“Your mother and I want to be alone.” Max said quickly.

“Done.” Maxine said, opening the door with one hand and pulling her brother with the other. “That’s all
you had to ask.”

“Great.” Max and 99 replied in unison, shutting the door as they did. Maxine and Zach stood on the other side, speechless.

“Well, goodnight to you, too.” Maxine mumbled, sarcastically.

“You’re right, Max.” Zach said, staring at the closed door. “Something weird is going on.”

“Of course there is,” Maxine muttered, eyes still glued to the door. “Neither one of us was drinking tonight.”

“Huh?”

“Mom said we’d had too much to drink,” the woman clarified. “Neither of us were drinking, so…”

“How could we have had too much?”

“Exactly.”

“So now what?” Zach asked.

“Don’t know,” Maxine shrugged. “But we need to get to the bottom of it. Come on.”

“Thanks a lot.” Max huffed at 99.

“For what?”

“For sending those two brats into my office tomorrow morning. I thought you wanted me to get into the CONTROL files. I very well can’t do that if I’ve got Smart’s kids hovering over me.”

“Think of something then.” 99 replied, sarcastically, heading towards the room where the safe was. Max
grabbed her arm and turned her around to face him.

“Let’s not forgot who the head of this team is.” Max replied, looking into her eyes.

“You are so cute when you’re domineering.” 99 cooed, smiling seductively at him.

Max grinned smugly. “I can be bossy, too.” He said. “Look,” he replied, taking the woman in his arms. “Let’s get into that safe, get those files, destroy Team Smart, and maybe I’ll buy you an ice cream cone.”

“Ooh, I can hardly wait.” The woman retorted, playfully. She moved out of his arms and headed for the safe.

“It wouldn’t be right, you know.” Max called after her, following his wife into the study.

“What wouldn’t be right?” 99 asked, leaning against the door jam.

Max raised his eyebrow and gave her a debonair smile. “You know.” He said, widening his eyes as he said it.

“Oh, Vance, you’re such a pervert.” 99 replied, looking around the room for the safe.

“Well, if we did, Siegfried would have our hides.” Max countered, also looking around the room.

“Sometimes I think you have a one track mind.” 99 said, looking behind pictures and things.

“Well, I do.” Max replied, a wicked smile coming across his lips. “That’s one reason why you married me.”

99 gave the man a flirtatious wink, before stopping in her tracks in front of something. Max came over and put his arms around the woman.

“You know,” he whispered into her ear. “No one would have to know.”

“Hold that thought.” 99 replied, pushing him away and kneeling down. “Get you mind out of the gutter and come down here.”

Max kneeled besides his wife and looked to where she was pointing. In front of them, was a small safe,
with a combination lock.

“I think our troubles have finally been lifted, Vance, darling.” 99 said, smiling. Max turned to smile at 99, then he set to work at getting that safe opened.

 


 

Maxine stood in her apartment…more like paced in her apartment…going over the events of the day. She was convinced something was not kosher in the land of Smart and it had something to do with her parents.

Somehow they had been brainwashed or something to make them act the way they were. She began to put the pieces together: Max’s earlier actions towards Zach, then him calling her kitten, and then another rant towards Zach. Those things were something that her father never did.

And to say there was something decidedly wrong with 99 was an understatement at best. She wasn’t sure how, but sometime that day, her parents had come into something bad that had turn them into these people she didn’t know anymore.

And as the brains of Team Smart ~ or at least the acting brain while Austin was gone and 99 was indisposed ~ it was her job to make sure justice would be carried out!

 


 

“The man is an idiot.”

Max lay on his back on the floor, staring up at the ceiling. His earlier attempt to break into the Smarts’ safe had worked, but the outcome was not pleasant.

“Come on, Van.” 99 encouraged. “If the thing was disguised as a safe, surely, the man was smart enough to disguise the safe as something else.”

“Who disguises a refrigerator as a safe?!” Max exclaimed. “I mean really!”

“It’s actually kind of ingenious, though.” 99 replied, still searching the study. “See, I think I’ve got this Maxwell Smart figured out. He’s only pretending to be stupid. When in reality, he’s as clever as a fox. But no worries, though. Once we find that safe…”

99 came to a cabinet door which, when she knocked on it, sounded hollow inside. She opened the door and found a safe door, with combination lock staring at her. “You see?” she said, glancing behind her at Max. “Only a genius would disguise a safe as an ordinary cabinet. Brilliant.”

“A genius or an idiot.” Max grumbled, coming over to look at the safe.

He put his ear to the door and started to listen for the tumblers to tumble. Within minutes, he had the door opened. Inside were mostly papers and upon examination, they turned out to be some of the best kept secrets in Washington, DC.

“I think we’ve just destroyed Mr. and Mrs. Maxwell Smart.” 99 gloated, holding a folder in her hand. “Their careers, anyways. Now all we have to do is destroy CONTROL and kill those brats.”

 

 

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