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Prologue

 

“This is going to be perfect.” Agent 99 said into the phone.

She stood in the dimly lit living room of the house she shared with her husband, Maxwell Smart. The dinning table was set with two lit candles and two plates. Off to the side was a bucket filled with ice, where a bottle of champagne sat being chilled. 99 herself was clad in a lovely nightgown. “Are you sure you guys will be busy for the rest of the night?”

The scene quickly changes to a remote baseball field. The camera goes over to someone dressed in shorts and wearing a baseball jersey. The back of the jersey says ‘SMART’ with the number 24 on the back. The person turns around and we see it’s Maxine Smart, agent 24 of CONTROL, talking on her cell phone to her mother.

“Don’t worry, Mom,” Maxine said. “Practice is going to be extended tonight. We got that game next week and we need to set up and tear down the field before and after.”

99 still had a problem with her daughter and son being CONTROL agents, but sometimes it worked out well. She’d planned this evening for just her and Max and she especially didn’t need their son Zachary to call or drop by unannounced like he usually did. Thank goodness both Smart twins were excellent athletes and on the CONTROL baseball team.

“So what time is Dad coming home?” Maxine asked, drawing 99 back in the conversation.

“Any minute now.”

As 99 mentioned it, Max’s black porsche came roaring down the street and turned into the driveway. Max hoped out of the car and ran towards the door, but stopped short, remembering something.

He turned around and went back to the car, grabbed the keys that he had left in the ignition and took off for the door again. He came storming in, right as 99 had hung up the phone. Max was totally excited about something. He rushed in, closed the door, looked around at the dimness of the room with curiosity and turned on the lights.

“Max, what is it?” 99 asked, in concern.

“Bogart…6 hours…movie…must leave now.” Max stuttered, gasping air as he went on.

99 put her hands on his shoulders and he started to calm down. “Max,” she said, staring at him in concern. “Start from the beginning, very slowly.”

Max took a couple of deep breaths before starting his story again. “They’re having a 6 hour Humphrey Bogart movie marathon at the Cineplex. It starts in about twenty minutes, so in order to avoid the lines and find good seats, we need to leave now.” 99’s arms dropped from Max’s shoulders in confusion and shock.

“Max,” she said, still not sure what she had heard him say. “Don’t you notice anything?”

Max looked around the room and the moment seemed to trigger something. “Of course, 99,” he said finally. 99 smiled in relief. Max walked over to the table, blew the candles out and then came back over to where 99 stood.

“Don’t want to waste candles you know.” Max said, nodding about the job well done. “Especially when our lights work. Now, come on, 99. We’re wasting time standing here.” Max turned to leave, but was stopped by 99.

“Max,” she said, doing her best to control the anger that was building up. “Don’t you notice anything different? The room, the candles, the table, the champagne…me?”

Max once again surveyed the room and turned back to 99 in confusion. “What are you trying to tell me, 99?” he asked.

99 took a deep breath, mentally counting to ten and started to explain. “Max, I just thought that maybe tonight we could stay home and have a romantic dinner.” She ran her hand through his hair and smiled at him. “We have the whole house to ourselves.”

Max got a big smile across his face and pulled her in his arms. “Normally, 99, I’d jump at the chance of spending some time with you, just the two of us alone.” He said, giving her a kiss on the cheek.

“But…” he looked at her with this sad puppy dog look. “It’s Humphrey Bogart. For six straight hours. We can a romantic dinner any old time, but this, darling… is Humphrey Bogart.”

99 was getting more annoyed every passing minute. Not only had Max disregarded the romantic setting, but to choose Humphrey Bogart over his wife was hitting below the belt.

“But Max,” she insisted. “This was supposed to be a romantic dinner. Tonight’s a special night, you know.”

“Don’t I ever, 99,” Max exclaimed, letting her go and heading for the stairs. “Do you how special a night it must be for them to be showing three Bogart movies back to back? Granted, they’re a little less than two hours, but still. They never show this kind of stuff in the theaters. Just my luck I went pass there coming home. Can you imagine if I hadn’t?”

Max continued up the stairs, but stopped when he noticed 99 was still standing there. “Well, what’re you waiting for, 99? You certainly can’t go to the movies dressed like that. What will people say? Besides, we’ve wasted way too much time already. We now only have like twelve minutes to get there.”

Max hurried up the stairs to change, leaving a disappointed and highly annoyed 99 in the living room. She managed to control herself from screaming at the top of lungs or even going in to the kitchen to grab something she could kill her husband with. She grudgingly went upstairs to change and get ready.

 

 

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Welcome , today is Wednesday, April 26, 2017