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By Jkkitty“Miss Kuryakin. I found your ability to instruct me in the use of these new computers excellent, and would like our agents to work with the terminals for information gathering and reports. I want you to design and teach a class for our people to help them achieve a working knowledge of computers as it’s imperative that our agents keep up with new technology. You’ll start with a few of the top agents as long as you’re on desk duty due to injury.”
A week later, Napoleon Solo and his partner Illya Kuryakin had just returned from a difficult assignment when they received a message to report to Waverly office immediately after being cleared by medical. When they entered the office, they were surprised to see the table without a file in front of their usual seats.
“Gentlemen. Be seated, please. I understand both of you are cleared physically for the field, though the doctor believes a few days of downtime would be beneficial.”
“If you need us sir, we’re able to go back out,” Napoleon volunteered although he hoped they would have the time to relax with a few decent meals to make up for the ones they’d missed during this recent imprisonment by Thrush.
“Not necessary. Instead of going back on assignment, you along with some of our other agents and Miss Rogers will be attending a computer literacy class this week. This up and coming technology needs to be incorporated into our efforts against Thrush.”
Illya gave Napoleon a knowing grin. His partner disliked typewriters much less any piece of modern technology.
“Sir, I think that would be an excellent addition to our arsenal of weapons.”
“Personally sir,” Napoleon broke in, unhappy with the suggestion. “I don’t see why field agents need this. Isn’t that why we have our computer people?”
“Mr. Solo you’ll be attending the class along with the others I have assigned to the class. Be in classroom adjacent to the computer section at 0800 tomorrow morning. I expect you to cooperate completely with the instructor. You’re dismissed.”
Napoleon headed out of the room quickly with Illya close behind him. When they entered his office, the CEA plopped down onto his chair.
“You’re a big help. An excellent addition to our arsenal of weapons, bull. You can’t be serious.”
“Napoleon, it is the wave of the future. Just think what we can do with the speed that we can gather the information we require.”
Mark Slate entered the agents’ office, a scowl on his face and a piece of paper in his hand.
“Say Napoleon, can’t you talk the old man out of this new idea of his. I mean why do I need to know about computers. I’m not a technology person if I was I’d be sitting at a terminal.” Mark complained.
Andreas walked in right after Mark shaking his notice in his hand, “I see you also received this directive.”
He looked at Mark. “Isn’t there a way you can get Waverly to rescind this order Napoleon?” Andrea asked.
“I do not understand the three of you. Mr. Waverly is offering you a great chance to be in on the ground floor of breaking technology, and you are complaining. What is the problem with improving your skills?” asked Illya shaking his head at the negative attitudes of the agents.
“Nothing wrong with us, we’re just not a science genius like you. We fight with our guns and fists, not a keyboard,” Napoleon shot back at his partner.
“And what is wrong with keeping up with scientific advances? Are you suggesting I do not pull my weight when we are on assignment because I use science at times?” Illya complained.
“Of course not, it’s just when we aren’t on assignment you have nothing else in life to keep you occupied other than a microscope and test tubes. Now you are adding computers,” Napoleon answered with annoyance.
“And this insult comes from a man who cannot write his own mission reports legibly, much less is able to type them,” Illya countered.
“Wow guys, let’s not go after each other. We’re not the enemy it’s these computers,” Mark suggested as Jo and April entered the office.
“Having a party we weren’t invited to?” April asked.
“No, we’re discussing this new idea of Waverly’s,” Napoleon informed her as he threw the written order down on his desk.
“New idea?” Jo questioned. “Yes, he wants us to learn computer basics. Some scientific egghead will be teaching it and probably knows nothing of what Section Two agents really need."
Napoleon was still on a row and seemed to dislike the idea increasingly by minute.
“And how do you know it is a so-called scientific egghead and their needs. Who is this person anyway?” Jo waited to see what he would say.
“Well I don’t know who it’ll be, but it can’t be anyone we know.”
“And why would that be?” April was curious as to how he had come to that conclusion.
“Who in their right mind would want to sit at a glorified typewriter all day when they could be out in the field?” Andreas and Mark agreed with Napoleon.
“I think if we all stick together and give the nerd a hard time, he’ll tell Waverly it not worth it.” Napoleon suggested.
“Well gentlemen, I believe you will have to change your thinking or Mr. Waverly will not be happy with you. And I am sure the nerd, whoever HE is, will not appreciate your behavior.”
Jo said as she turned to leave, saying she would see them tomorrow in class.
“I see you got roped into it too,” Napoleon said with some sympathy in his voice.
After she left, April smiled at Napoleon, “I hope you plan on taking your foot out of your mouth by tomorrow morning or else you may find it hard to type. After all, don’t you won’t be the apple of the teacher’s eye?”
Napoleon looked at her, not quite sure of what she meant. “I’ll have an apple for the teacher alright.”
He smiled wickedly.
With that, the group broke up as they made their way to their own offices; some laughing as they had a good idea of what Solo was up to.
The next day Napoleon, Illya, April, Mark, Andreas and Lisa Rogers sat waiting in the classroom, but there was no sign of the instructor. Then the door opened and Jo walked in.
“Just in time, our nerd isn’t here yet.” Napoleon laughed, “I saved a spot for you.”
He patted the seat of the chair next to him.
“No Napoleon, I was not roped into it, I am the “nerd” who will be teaching it,” she said with an amused look as she saw his face change to the realization that he had just offended her.
She smiled knowingly, seeing an apple sitting on her desk. A quick look around showed Mark and Andreas sitting at their desks in the back trying to hide smiles.
“Thank you gentlemen. I hope you do not think this will eliminate your responsibility in the class,” she said reaching for the shining red piece of fruit.
“Wait! Don’t touch that!” Napoleon barked as he ran forward, grabbing the apple.
He had rigged it with a tiny explosive. Nothing dangerous, but enough to make it pop, and startle the teacher.
“Napoleon?” She snapped.
“Sorry, I ugh saw a worm,” he said tucking it safely into his coat pocket, straightening his cuffs and tie before sitting down.
“Ja, mein lehrerin (yes my instructress),” he said looking wide-eyed and grinning at Mark and Andreas as they sat nearby.
“I hope your ability to use a computer is better than your ability to speak German with a decent accent,” April observed.
“Ouch that hit home,” Lisa said.
“Or any language for that matter,” Illya muttered just loudly enough for his partner to catch.
Napoleon’s smile slipped just a little before he recovered. “Can we start now?”
“Mr. Waverly has asked that I give you a basic understanding of computer usage and terminology. This class will include various methods of retrieving information and creating reports while understanding the terms associated with it use.”
“Why learn how to write reports, isn’t that what the secretarial pool is for?” Napoleon wisecracked. Mark snickered at the comment and Illya huffed.
Lisa glance at him, “Wait to next time you need a rush job.”
Napoleon knew he would have to make it up to Lisa for his statement or face a few weeks of typing his reports himself.
As Jo began to explain how to begin to use the computer, she noticed that the three agents in the back were just staring at their monitors.
“What is the problem?” she asked them.
“Well,” Andreas said a small smile on his face. “There is no blinking cursor on my screen like you told us there should be.”
Jo walked back by the men and saw the problem immediately. “You need to turn it on first,” she said, slightly amused.
“Oh,” Mark said. “I thought seeing the computer could think for us, it would definitely be able to turn itself on.”
He smiled at her innocently. Jo walked back to the front of the room counting slowly in Russian.
“Pyatʹ chetyre tri dva odin”
When she turned back towards them, she noticed that Napoleon had his mouse on the floor and was just about to place his foot on it.
“What are you doing?” She demanded.
“Well I figured it’s a foot pedal, so I was just waiting for you to tell me how to use it. I mean my grandmother operated her sewing machine this way.” Napoleon gave her a mischievous smile.
“If you three have finished with your fun and games could we get serious for a while?” Illya turned and faced the three men. “Some of us are interested in what is going on here,” he said in a threatening tone that he customarily used only on agents of Thrush.
“Teacher’s pet,” Napoleon whispered loud enough for him to hear.
The cold look he received from his partner put an end to the joking.
At lunchtime, Napoleon approached Jo with a seductive smile, “How about a fast lunch then we’d have some time to retire to my office for some private tutoring time.”
“The only private tutoring I would give you is a lesson in manners. Your behavior in class can only be compared to a two year old who did not get what he wanted. Go find someone else who is you own age mentally—maybe Mark or Andreas would do.”
Jo turned, heading toward the table where April and Lisa were sitting.
“They’re really giving you a hard time,” April said shooting a disapproving look across the room toward her partner.
“They’re like little boys who had to put away their toys and do something they didn’t want to, and can’t see a reason for doing it.”
“I don’t know about them Jo, but I find the class very helpful, and the work it’ll eliminate will be very much appreciated,” Lisa encouraged.
As the women glanced to the table where the men were sitting they saw Illya shaking his finger at the agents and from the look on his face, he was giving them a lecture. Jo sauntered over, not saying a word and smacked the pocket that Napoleon had tucked the apple into, and watched in amusement as there was a loud pop and a puff of smoke coming from his favorite jacket. Then walked away smirking.
After lunch, everyone settled down and class began once more. Jo started the hands on portion of the lesson.
“We will move on now. Each of you have a report in front of you and will type it in the computer. You will find you can change errors without having to redo the whole report by moving your cursor, yes Napoleon the little black thing on the screen,” anticipating his question.
“Move your cursor to the wrong word then backspace and delete what you did wrong before retype what you intend to type. It will save some of you a lot of time.”
Jo looked straight at Napoleon as she said it. He shook his head, silently mimicking what she had just said.
“Is there something you would like to share with the class, Mr. Solo?”
She asked, frustrated at his continued disgruntled attitude at being there.
“Nothing that wouldn’t get me sent to Waverly’s office,” he mumbled in response.
As he worked on the report, he continued to mumble.
“I never learned to type. I’m an agent, not a secretary,” he complained.
“From what I understand Napoleon, your writing leaves a question as to whether you learned to write suitably as well,” April kidded him. Lisa Rogers shot him a dirty look.
“And we secretaries are glad you aren’t one of us.”
He buried his face deeper into the report, ignoring those around him, still annoyed. He asked himself the question. ”Why did he have to attend this class? Instead of being cooped up bending over a computer, I should be available to be out in the field.”
Earlier that morning before coming to class he stopped in his office, seeing the list of agents and their current assignment locations. Wilson and Harper had been sent out by Waverly to track down a Thrush Lab in Austria. That would have been his and Illya’s assignment if they weren’t struck in that class. He stopped daydreaming about that, continuing on the assignment he’d been given by Jo.
After he finished typing the report, he was surprised to see everyone except his partner was still working. She came by his computer and was amazed to see that not only was his report was completed but after a quick spell check, only one word was incorrect.
“Very nice job, I knew you could do it if you really tried.”
She meant it as a compliment, but he was in no mood to accept one from her. “I’m capable of following orders when needed,” he told her.
Then whispered, “I just don’t think this is necessary.”
A smile appeared on Jo face, “It will be.”
The following morning a box of chocolates was on Jo’s desk with a note attached. We would have gotten you another ‘apple’ and ‘cookie; but a ‘mouse’ was found taking a ‘byte’ out of them before running into a ‘file’. ‘Data’ showed that a ‘bug’ was also in the area and has been accused of spreading a ‘virus’. Hope you like the candy. .
April, Lisa, and Jo laughed over the note.
“You know if they’d put half the time into learning that they did in setting up this note, they could be experts.” Lisa said.
“Well at least I know they are learning something, even if they use it to make jokes.” Jo agreed.
“I could talk to them, if you would like sestrenku (little sister). They just do not understand how much this will help them in the future yet,” her brother offered.
Illya sat through the class not speaking or becoming involved in the joking. Education was vital to him, and knowledge was always to be treasured.
Jo declined his offer, “I will deal with them, but thank you.”
The next day she worked on how to retrieve data from UNCLE’s files and those of other users including different governments. She asked them to locate some files inside the organization then later a file from another user outside UNCLE.
In the back of the room, Jo noticed that Napoleon, Mark and Andreas were finally showing interest in the computer, constantly give each other information that the other two would type in. Curiosity getting the better of her, Jo quietly walked up behind them, being so involved with what they were doing that they weren’t paying attention to her.
“Mr. Solo, Slate, and Petros, how could you?” she barked when she saw their screens.
“Well I guess that is a stupid question. I know how the three of you could but really!” They had the New York Playboy database pulled up.
“You said to try to connect to someplace we found interesting,” Napoleon defended his choice with Mark and Andreas agreeing with him.
“Well at least you got into a site. I suppose I should be grateful for that,” she sighed.
Jo was asked to update Waverly as to how the class was going, but when she arrived at his office, she wasn’t sure what to say. Although everyone was progressing, she wasn’t quite sure how far because of all the mischief making and jokes. As well as the fact that there were still grumbles about it.
“Ah, Miss Kuryakin, how is the training going?”
He asked, not letting her know he was aware of some of the antics of his agents.
“They are getting it sir, another day and they will have the basics. I think that we should be able to roll the program over to include other agents when a few instructors are ready to take over the class.”
“Good, before you go, I do have a question about a function of my computer if you don’t mind,” he said as he turned on his terminal.
As the screen came up, they were surprised to see that it showed a picture of a gift-wrapped box. The graphic began to unwrap slowly and once completely opened, it exploded, sending sparkles all over the screen. When the image faded the words--We came, we saw, we conquered—appeared on the screen then Veni, vidi, vici materialized.
“Miss Kuryakin,” he demanded. “Do you have any idea as to how this appeared on my computer?”
“I am sorry sir, I am not sure how this happened, but I do have to admit at least someone understood how to do it,” she said as she used a few key strokes to clear the screen.
Though she knew full well there was only one person in that class who was capable of doing it. Jo left the office swearing that when she got a hold of her brother, she would make him sorry for what he had done. Most people saw him as a serious, no nonsense agent who was frequently cold to those around him. She knew that he had a sense of humor that he seldom let others see or let out, but when he did, it resulted in something like this. As she walked toward the classroom, she saw him standing outside the door, with his nose in the workbook she had designed for the class.
“ʹYa ya mogu govoritʹ s vami na sekundu u menya v kabinete? (Illya may I speak with you for a second in my office)?”
Once they entered the office, she turned her anger on him.
“Kak vy mozhete eto sdelatʹ? Pochemu? (How could you do it? Why?)”
“Why what?” he asked innocently.
“Do not play Mr. Innocent with me. I know it was you who placed that graphic on Waverly’s computer.”
“Oh that,” he gave her a thin grin. “I thought he would appreciate the incentive that it took to design it.”
“I thought you at least were taking what I was doing seriously,” she said showing the frustration she felt.
“Sestrenku, Mne ochenʹ zhalʹ . YA ne khotel podorvatʹ vas. (Little sister, I am sorry. I didn't do it to offend you.)”
“It is not you, it is the other men. I am wondering if this was such a good idea.”
He held her for a moment, feeling her start to shake. Believing she was crying, he was surprised when he heard her begin to laugh. “You should have seen Waverly’s face,” she told him after getting control of herself.
“Come on we need to get back to class. Please do not do something like that again? I had a hard time not laughing right there in his office.”
She knew her brother hadn’t meant to embarrass her and to see him letting down his guard to joke was well worth it.
The day after the class had ended, Jo and the others sat with Lisa in Waverly’s office.
“Well ladies and gentlemen, how do you think the new computers will help you in your job besides for writing reports?”
Waverly asked, needing to defend the instruction of his agents to the rest of the continental chiefs who were unsure about the idea.
“Perhaps, Mr. Solo could give us his answer,” Jo suggested hoping to put Napoleon on the spot after his making wise cracks and teasing he had been responsible for during the class. “
To be honest sir at first I felt that it wasn’t a worthwhile use of my time. But after completing the course, I believe that the light pen of the sketchpad software will be very helpful. As an input device, it emits an electronic pulse with the current location of the electron gun; it was easy to pinpoint exactly where the pen was on the screen at any given moment that will help agents to draw ideas to ensure proportional accuracy.”
Napoleon gave Jo an innocent smile. “Excellent Napoleon, I am very impressed with your understanding of the computers usefulness, and I agree with you completely,”
Illya smiled at his partner knowing that he had just avoided Jo’s attempt to get even with him for disturbing her class.
“Yes, Mr. Solo I’m glad to see you approve the inclusion of this new training for our agents,” Waverly agreed.
He knew Napoleon had surprised even Miss Kuryakin with his explanation but he suspected Solo was up to something, but given that he was being positive about the computer usage, the reason behind it wasn’t important, only the fact that the other agents would accept it because the CEA had.
A few days later, Illya walked into Jo office to find her sitting at her desk, elbow resting on it with her chin in her hand.
“What is it sestrenku that has you so down?”
“I just am not sure the class was worthwhile. Our fellow agents seemed to spend more time fighting the lessons rather than learning them.”
Illya gave her a grin. “I know something you that you do not. Come with me.”
Jo followed her brother to his shared office, with him placing his finger to his lips when the door opened. Napoleon had his back to the door and was bent over his computer terminal.
“It is only me,” Illya said before his partner turned around. As Jo watched, Napoleon entered some commands and pulled up a connection.
“I think I found the information we need. This will actually be very useful when we become more familiar with it,” he announced excitedly.
Jo silently approached him, draping her arms around him. He stiffened immediately, but then relaxed when he realized who it was. She kissed him softly on his neck while Illya left them alone. It was then she realized that he was pretending that he couldn’t be bothered learning the system, and had actually understood what she taught.
“Maybe, now I can give you a little of that private tutoring that you were talking about the other day,” she whispered.
His responded with a smile, making it clear that he would be available for any type of tutoring she’d offered, and hoped it wouldn’t end with the computer.
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