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For Your Toys Only (Episode 19)


Episode Nineteen
S Branch
Directed by Guy Hamilton with special guest director Quentin Tarantino

For a long time, K and Collier just sat looking at each other. Unicorn and Lion hadn’t actually been smashed after Operation Royale with Cheese. Jack leaned back and looked at his watch to catch the time.

“So.” Jack said. “Mrs. White is still around.”

“It seems so.” K nodded, his face still shocked.

“I think I know what I can do.” Jack’s right hand moved up and down the chair.

“What’s that?”

“I know a guy in Budapest, he knew just about everyone in the old days.” Jack looked at the ceiling and then at K. “If anyone would know where The White Queen is, it would be him.”

“What do you need?”

“Me and Alice and go talk to him.” Jack said and K watched him for a long time before nodding.

“Alright.” K said. “Go see S-Branch for whatever gear you need and go right away.”

“Yes sir.” Jack got up and started out of the office.

“Seven with One?”

“Sir?”

“Just leave the Berretta.”

“Sir?”

“I don’t want you accidentally shooting anyone on your way there.”

Jack slid the slip from the gun and put it into his pocket. He left the gun on a table near the door and left. He nodded to Miss Cashnickle as he passed through and walked out into the corridor. He walked down to the workshop where S-Branch kept its equipment.

“Ah, Seven with One.” Major Hutchstreet said as Jack entered. “I’ve got something new for you.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Yes.” Hutchstreet said grabbing a small box. “It looks like a pen, but it’s really a nuclear furnace.”

“Major.” Jack spoke quickly and held up a hand. “The last four times I took your gear, I came back with a load of stuff I didn’t use. The pants that turned to jam were funny, but useless. I have a quick list I’ve scrawled here and I need a Beretta 418.”

“We hardly stock those, why do you want it?” Hutchstreet asked.

“Because I need to load it with this clip.” Jack said showing him the magazine. “K suspects what I’m up to, and he doesn’t approve.”

“I’m not sure the Beretta company would approve either if they knew.” Hutchstreet said examining the magazine. “Since it’s you though Jack, I’ll get one. Can I have your list?”

He opened a couple of drawers until he found the one he wanted. He pulled out a new Beretta 418 and placed it on the table between them. Jack pulled the gun out, loaded it and slipped it back into its holster.

“This doesn’t have any tracking devices on it, does it?”

“No, I’ve got a Walther that doesn’t either if you want.” Hutchstreet put another boxed gun between them and then looked at the list. “You’re really going to war this time, aren’t you Jack?”

“We had that line once already.” Jack said.

“Sorry Seven with One, I’ll just get the rest of this then.”

“It wouldn’t be quite so long but I need Liddell outfitted too.”

“Ah, that makes more sense now.” Hutchstreet said. “I do have an invisible car if you need one.”

“Let’s not go there.” Jack said.


Budapest

“We should have fucking machine guns for this.” Alice said as they got out of the car in front of a non-descript apartment building that looked pretty much like all the other buildings on the street.

“Couldn’t get them through fast enough.” Jack said. “There should only be one or two guys there though.”

“How many might there be though?” She asked.

“I dunno, there could be as many as ten I guess.” He said looking up. “They used to be a pretty tight group.”

“We should have fuckin’ machine guns.” She grumbled.

“Well, let’s not worry about it too much right now.” Jack looked at the building and started towards the door. They went up the stairs Jack leading and Alice following.

“So who is this guy anyway?”

“Just a depressive idealist.” Jack said, “His buddies are an idiot savant who needs a blanket to feel secure and a guy who thinks he’s a world war one flying ace.”

“Shit, a room full of crazies.”

“Nah, it’ll be fine, you’ll see.” He assured her as he looked at the door. “This is the place.”

Jack knocked on the door and stood himself up straight as he waited for it to swing open. The guy who opened the door had a blonde crew cut and a fairly ugly yellow shirt with a single zig-zagging stripe going around him like an equator drawn by a spastic cartographer.

“Good grief.”

He looked nervously at the two of them and then opened the door wider to expose the two others in the room with him. One of them was sitting in the fetal position on a couch, rocking himself and sobbing into a baby blue blanket. The other was sitting on the small card table with a plate in his hand like he was driving something. He was wearing a leather flight cap with goggles, a green silk scarf and nothing else. At least he was sitting cross legged which prevented too much of him being exposed.

“Hi Chuck.” Jack looked at the other and then at Chuck. “Still keeping the same company I see.”

“Hey Spearmint Jack. How are you?” Chuck said stepping back a few steps. “How are you doing?”

“I need some answers Chuck.” Jack pushed him aside as he walked into the small apartment. “Where is Mrs. White?”

“I don’t know what you mean.” Chuck said. “I never know what anyone means.”

“The White Queen.” Jack said slipping his hands into his pockets. “The boss down at Unicorn.”

“Oh shit.” The one with the blanket said sitting up suddenly.

“Sit down.” Alice said drawing her gun out suddenly.

“CURSE YOU RED BARON!” The one sitting on the table screamed suddenly.

From what was probably the bathroom two women jumped out with guns in their hands. One of them started shooting before they were actually all the way out of the room and cut the one on the couch nearly in half. Alice fired at the one who had started shooting as Jack drew his gun and pushed Chuck to the ground.

The second one raised her gun and her bullets caught Alice in the right shoulder, sending her to the ground. Jack aimed and fired twice at the second one, but only managed to hit her nose. Blood exploded from her face and she fell to the ground screaming. The naked one on the table suddenly leapt down, picked up one of the weapons and ran to the kitchen where there was a small counter separating the kitchen from the living room.

The one who’d had her nose shot off started to get up, so Jack shot her twice in the head, counting off the number of bullets he had left. The first one reached for the nose less wonder’s gun while the naked one stood up from behind the counter aiming the gun.

“I’m the Great Pumpkin mother fucker!” He screamed and started to fire.

Jack fire four rounds into him, emptying his gun, which left him pointing an empty weapon at the first shooter from the bathroom. Her first burst went wild, but it caught the barrel of the Walther and sent it sailing from Jack’s hand. She stood up and got a more centered shot of Jack, who stood waiting for the shots to come. They did, but from Alice’s gun. She had enough presence of mind to grab the gun with her left hand and put four rounds into the first shooter. Jack ran to her when all the shooters lay dead.

“Why didn’t you draw your back up?” She managed, and then passed out.

“Come on Chuck, help me here.”

“What?” Chuck asked.

“If we don’t get her to a hospital now, she’ll die. If she dies, you will live for as long as I can keep you alive.”

“Screaming?” Chuck asked.

“Screaming.” Jack confirmed.

An hour later a doctor that could speak English came to explain the situation to Jack, who was still keeping Chuck in custody. Chuck had spent that time explaining exactly where Mrs. White was and how he wanted to be protected after giving up everyone he knew to The Agency.

“Spain huh?”

“Spain, that’s right.” Chuck said.

“Okay, you tell everyone you told me Germany. Bonn in fact. Tell them that too.”

“Why?”

“Because they’d only fuck it up.”

“Okay.” Chuck said as three Agents stationed in Europe came to collect him. “What do I do now then?”

“Go with these two.” Jack said aiming a finger at two of them. “I think Jim here has a few things to tell me.”

“How is she?” Jim asked.

“Doctor?” Jack asked turning towards the man in white.

“She’ll live.” He told them. “She’ll need a new shoulder and will have years of physical therapy to regain the use of her hand, but she will live.”

“Good.” Jack nodded. “How is my cache in the office?”

“You were right.” Jim nodded. “They tired to make a run at Baby New Year. However you were also right that Ralph was able to get their shooter with that old lever action gun of his.”

“Delightful.” Jack said. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to Germany.”

“Why?”

“That’s where Chuck told me.” Jack said.

“You want help?”

“Nope.” He shook his head. “I think I’ve got to take care of this alone.”

“Jack.” Jim tried but Collier merely shook his head.


“Nope. If they see you lot coming they’ll just blow up the whole city and start running. You’ve got to trust me on this.”

“Alright.” Jim nodded. “I hope you know what you’re doing.”

“I do.” Jack said and walked out of the hospital.

“Jack?” A familiar voice called to him as he walked out of the hospital into the biting cold.

“Anja?” He asked turning towards the young woman from Sal Malena’s deliveries.

“I’ve got a package for you.” She told him holding out a box. “A rich woman told Sal to get it to you right away.”

“Mrs. Freedom already sent me a hat.” He said tapping the hat.

“It’s not a billionaire, just a millionaire.” She told him.

“Okay.” He took the box from her and started off towards his car, he then stopped. “Do you have a car here?”

“Just a rental.” She said.

“Would you mind swapping with me? I don’t trust my bosses.”

“For you Jack? Anything.”

Jack got into the borrowed car and started away. It wasn’t until he was passing through Italy that he decided to check the box. He pulled over at a rest station and opened the tape on the cardboard. There was a wooden box that could only hold one thing really. The card on top of it had his name on it in a familiar script, he reflected that if a man ever needs something, he need only go to a woman. Women were possibly the single best thing anyone had ever thought to put on the planet, and he had no idea where he’d be without them.

“Dear Jack,” The note on the card read, “I found a supply of scales for this, so if you break it again I can still fix it. Take care of yourself and go save the day. Hugs, Debbie.”

Jack opened the wooden box and saw the most wonderful site he’d ever witnessed. His Webley had been repaired and returned to him in perfect order. His fingers caressed the stamp that read “Mark VI” like a parent smoothing the brow of a favored child. He had a sudden and over whelming feeling that everything was going to be alright now, he was going to be able to save the day.

As his hand reached down and picked up the revolver… I decided it was time for me to start telling my own tale again.

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