You Only Die Twice
Setting: The office of Chief Maxwell Smart. All was quiet, but soft sobbing could be heard, the only thing letting one know there were even occupants in the room. Maxine Smart and her sister-in-law, Tracie Lewis-Smart sat on the couch, Tracie doing her best to console the young woman, while keeping her tears to a minimum and losing out fast.
The only son of the Chief, Zachary, sat in his father’s chair, staring at the wooden door that led outside. He hadn’t said anymore after that phone call, the one that told him his father wouldn’t be coming back to the office.
He had been stoic and serious as he told his sister and wife the news, then he had sat down in his father’s chair and had remained there since. While the girls cried over the loss, Zach had just sat there. Shock could only be the word that could describe his mood.
He couldn’t believe it. Ever since he was a child, he thought his father would live forever.
As he grew older, the belief that his father, the great Maxwell Smart, was invincible never really diminished. But now, thanks to that phone call, his worse fears were beginning to play out. He had never thought the day would come when he would need to tell his sister that their father was dead.
And what of their mother, Mrs. Maxwell Smart?
As the oldest and now the only male member, it was Zach’s job to tell his mother the horrible news. But he couldn’t, he just couldn’t. If he and Maxine took the news hard, it would certainly kill Agent 99. And Zachary Smart would never intentionally hurt his mother.
“Hey Zach?” came a crackle over the intercom.
Taking his eyes away from the door for the first time, Zach heaved a heavy sigh as he pushed the button for the intercom. “I thought I said we weren’t to be disturbed, Trudi.” he replied.
“Yes you did.” she said. “But you said to tell you when your mother got here and she’s here.”
Zach sighed again, glancing over at his wife and sister. Pushing the button again, he told Trudi, “Keep her there, Trudi. I’ll be right out.” Standing never felt so hard to Zach as he stood and made his way to the outer office.
“Zach,” his wife whispered. “At least do this in private and not out there.”
“It’ll kill her.” sobbed his sister.
Zach took one last look before stepping outside.
Before she even saw him, before he even walked over, Agent 99 knew something was wrong. “What’s wrong?” she asked. When he didn’t answer immediately ~ in fact, he avoided all eye contact with her ~ she asked again, firmer. “Zachary, what’s wrong? What is it?”
“I need to talk to you.” he whispered. “Why don’t we go to lunch or something?”
“I’m not hungry.” she replied. “Zachary, look at me.” She turned him to face her. He glanced at her once and knew he couldn’t go through with it. He couldn’t tell his mother that her husband of 27 years, father of her children, former partner, her best friend was…
“It’s your father, isn’t it?”
Zach squirmed. Damn her cognitive skills. Even if he didn’t say anything, she’d find out just by the way he was acting. “Zachary, I asked you a question.” Zach gulped.
“I really think we should discuss this somewhere else…”
That’s all she needed to hear. “What hospital?”
Well, that did it. Zach couldn’t hide his hurt or his pain. He shook his head, taking in a breath. “He’s not in the hospital.” he whispered, his voice strained with emotion. “He’s not in any hospital.”
Maxwell Smart awoke to a bright light. Oh no, he thought. This is it. This is the be all, end all. I can’t believe it. I don’t think I even kissed 99 goodbye… A muffled sound caused him to turn slightly, but when he did, it hurt.
Making a small moan, he returned to his original position and stared up into the light. He did feel light headed, maybe that was supposed to happen. But he didn’t feel himself rising. Maybe he was already in Heaven and had passed out from excitement.
A face. A haggard face peered at him from above. He wore white and glasses and was looking at him. “Mr. Smart, are you awake?”
“Are you an angel?” the agent asked hoarsely.
The doctor laughed and looked to his right. A familiar face greeted Max, but not what he expected. “Is he going to be all right, Doctor?” the man asked.
Max was confused, increasingly confused. A doctor, he could understand, but the current president of the United States? What the heck was he doing in Heaven?
Max was trying to listen to what they were saying. Something about entrance wound and heavily sedated…none of it made sense. The sounds soon drowned out as he was once again asleep.
“He’s out again.” the doctor replied, checking Max’s vitals.
“But he’ll be all right?” the president asked.
“As I said,” the doc began. “He lost a lot of blood and it was certainly a very close call. About an inch more to the left, he’d be dead. It was a clean shot, but the amount of blood loss could’ve killed him as well.”
“As I said, Doctor, it’s imperative that Mr. Smart make a full, if not a stable recovery.” The President replied.
“I understand.” the doctor nodded. “It makes sense for you to use us then.” The doctor began to leave, but stopped before reaching the door. “Do you want me to contact his family? Let them know where he is?”
“There won’t be a need for it.” the pres replied. Seeing the look on the doc’s face, he amended, “It’s already been done.” The doctor, satisfied at the answer, nodded and left.
The president walked over to Max and sighed. “Sir,” his secret man spoke. “Are we really going to contact his family?”
The president shook his head. “Not at the moment.” he said. “We need Smart for this mission and knowing of his family and their name, it’ll be better for all involved if everyone believes the great Maxwell Smart is dead.”
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