It had been a while since Dr. Smythe had shown his face around
Billy's corner of IFF. After all, Amanda was still in Arlington
General and his popularity, never very high, had dropped to an all
time low. He didn't think the level 4 background check the agency
had run on him after the Rostov fiasco was very funny. Nevertheless
he had a job to do and headed over. After going through the usual
checkpoints and receiving the now customary glares, he arrived in
Billy looked up. "What can I do for you?" The question was a
perfunctory courtesy, and Billy's tone of voice and expression made
it very clear that was all it was.
"Good to see you as well, Mr. Melrose. We've decided to find out who
caught our little Jack Horner's thumb in the Christmas pie. Now, our
first step is to replace Amanda." Billy's eyes went wide and his
face went red in an instant. He started to speak when Dr. Smythe
held up his hand. "Only temporarily, my boy. Our first order of
business is to break the connection between our agency and the
defection. If the KGB starts seeing Amanda running around, they'll
think it was only someone matching her description that was shot.
I've arranged to 'adjust' the paperwork at Arlington General to say
that Amanda strained her shoulder and was kept for observation.
She'll be moved back to the agency hospital and our double will take
Billy had relaxed considerably. "What about the staff at the
"We managed to put operation Red Cross into effect. Only agents
cared for her. This has been kept air tight so far."
"What about her family?"
"There's a sticky wicket. We'll have to convince them to go along
without killing the golden goose, as it were. All they have to do,
however, is go about their business and keep their mouths shut."
"I'll brief them, but how are we going to get a double for Amanda?"
"I have an old OSS chum who re-opened his detective agency a few
years ago with some of the original operatives. All of his agents
have top secret clearance or better. As a matter of fact they've
done work for our military. He tells me one of them would pass for
Billy had to admit that the plan seemed reasonable. This worried
him. There was nothing to do, however, but go along with it and see
what developed. "So what do you want me to do?"
Dr. Smythe noticed that Billy's tone had become somewhat more cordial
and decided to build on this. "At this point you know as well how to
proceed as I. Charles is sending an operative over to assess the
situation. He wasn't clear as to whether he was sending the double
or not. Just have Scarecrow pick the operative up at Dulles airport
and proceed as you see fit. Once here, Amanda's double is to be
treated, at least outwardly, as if she were Amanda. Whoever it is is
flying in from Los Angeles in a private airplane call sign 7511T and
will be looking for Scarecrow."
Billy knew Dr. Smythe too well to assume that 'as you see fit' really
meant 'as you see fit'. "What will the role of your office be in all
"As far as my office is concerned, it's business as usual. Amanda is
back on the job after a slight injury. If there's something you
need, feel free to ask, but otherwise there will only be routine
Billy couldn't believe this. "What about budgeting?"
"Just make the numbers come out believably, Mr. Melrose. After all,
nothing out of the ordinary is going on, is it?" Dr. Smythe's eyes
twinkled as he gave Billy one of his characteristic smiles. He loved
intrigue, and even he had to admit he had a lot of respect for
Billy. He deserved to have the reins once in a while.
Billy gave a guarded smile. "We all care a lot about Amanda. We'll
do our best."
Dr. Smythe rose and offered his hand. "I've always benefited from
your success rate Mr. Melrose."
Billy rose and shook Dr. Smythe's hand. "Thanks for coming over."
Lee had seen Dr. Smythe go into Billy's office and had timed his
approach so that he would just miss Dr. Smythe but catch Billy still
in the office. As he came through the door he was amazed to see
"Lee! Just the man I wanted to see."
"You're awfully cheerful. What's up?"
Indeed, Billy's mind had already started working on a plan to avenge
Amanda, and the thought of Dr. Smythe staying out of the way was
intoxicating. "How would you like a crack at whoever got Amanda
Lee grinned and reached for his gun. "Where?"
Billy smiled. "Dr. Smith has a old friend who is sending us a double
for Amanda. She'll help us smoke out the leak. We've got a green
light, with support and ownership."
Lee was incredulous. "Support AND ownership?"
"Support AND ownership. I guess he's trying to make amends."
"So where do we start?"
"First you're to pick up an operative at Dulles, they'll be in a
private aircraft call sign 7511T. They'll assess the situation and
we'll take it from there."
"How will I know the operative?"
"Apparently they'll know you. That's all for now. Good luck."
"Thanks." Lee headed for his computer to find out what the flight
plan for 7511T was and headed for the airport. He saw a green and
silver Cessna 172 land, taxi, and come to a stop by the tie-downs.
Then woman got out, chocked the wheels and secured the wings with the
ropes provided. He walked over and as he approached, he noticed that
she had long brown hair and soft brown eyes. She was beautiful, in
fact she could do clothing commercials, but she was far from Amanda's
double. She looked at him with recognition however, and opened the
"Hi! I'm Kelly Garrett. Charlie sent me to check out the situation
before he commits any resources."
Lee helped her carry her bags and ushered her to the Vette. As they
drove back to the agency Lee filled her in on the basics of what had
happened to Amanda. Kelly remarked lightly that one of the other
operatives would love his car. He found himself feeling very
comfortable with Kelly. It was almost as if they had a mutual
friend, and her charm was certainly affecting him. As they went into
the bullpen Francine's eyes went a little wider and her tone became a
bit more edged. She knew competition when she saw it, and Kelly was
serious competition. "Hi Lee, who's this?"
Kelly answered with a sweet smile. "I'm Kelly Garrett."
Francine went on the attack. "You don't look a thing like Amanda."
Kelly countered. "I'm not supposed to. I'm just here to find out
what's going on. My boss trusts your boss about as far as he can
Francine smiled involuntarily. They had a mutual enemy. "You'll
have to tell me more about that one. For now, Billy wants to see
Kelly nodded and followed Lee. She hadn't expected the reaction she
got from Francine concerning Dr. Smythe. Maybe there was something
to her after all.
Lee arrived in Billy's office with Kelly in tow. "Billy, this is
Kelly, Dr. Smythe's buddy apparently sent her as a point man …
Billy smiled. Lee was usually smoother. "Ok, so take her over and
introduce her to Amanda. I want to get moving on this as soon as
They left IFF and headed for the agency hospital. Lee quickly found
Amanda's room and ushered Kelly in.
Kelly was unprepared for what she saw. It had to be Sabrina. Her
hair was different but it was her. There was no recognition in her
eyes at all. "Bri?"
Amanda saw Kelly's face go immediately from pleasant to alarmed,
nearly panicked. "I'm Amanda King."
Kelly stepped closer and looked deeply in Amanda's eyes. "You've
never heard of Sabrina Duncan?" Kelly's hand reached inside her
purse. It was partially unzipped deliberately. Her hand closed
around the .38 special inside.
Lee saw Kelly's alarm and saw her hand go into her purse. His hand
edged closer to his holster.
Amanda realized what was going on. "I'm Amanda King. I live here in
Arlington. I don't know Sabrina Duncan."
Kelly couldn't believe it. The voice was Sabrina's. The woman
calling herself Amanda seemed relaxed and sure of herself, however,
and she couldn't imagine a brainwash job so complete that there
wouldn't be any trace of her previous identity, at least not in the
amount of time available. She'd seen Sabrina the day before
yesterday. Also, Amanda didn't appear to be any more drugged than
would be expected given her injuries. Kelly pretended idle curiosity
while looking very carefully at the bandages. "Does that still hurt
much?" The injury looked very real.
Amanda smiled. "Only when the pain killers wear off." She noticed
Kelly's inordinately close examination. "It's real. They're going
to change the dressing in about 5 minutes if you want to see." She
smiled again. "Trust me, you don't."
Kelly looked in Amanda's eyes again. There was no hint of
deception. She could read Sabrina like a book and if Amanda were as
much like her as she appeared, Amanda wasn't lying. It occurred to
her that Amanda's demeanor seemed a little softer than Sabrina's.
Kelly came to a decision. "I need to make a few phone calls. I'll
be right back." Lee relaxed considerably as Kelly's hand left her
purse. Kelly half expected to start hearing the "Twilight Zone"
Kelly opened her cell phone and called Sabrina turning on the
scrambler and setting to "pass code required". The ringing stopped
after the third ring. Kelly held her breath as she waited to see if
the code would be entered. Sabrina answered, Kelly exhaled. "Bri,
this is going to sound strange, but bear with me."
Sabrina didn't like the level of stress in Kelly's voice, "Kelly,
"I'll explain in a minute. Where are you?"
"I'm at home."
"Describe what you see."
"I'm in the living room. I have my TV, chairs, nick-knacks."
Sabrina was worried. Kelly was sounding really strange. "What's
Kelly realized that anybody this good would have pictures of
Sabrina's house. "Please tell me something so I'll know it's you."
"When I took you to the airport I told you you were crazy to fly for
24 hours in a Cessna when you could buy a ticket and get there in 6."
Sabrina had to admit it sounded a lot like Sabrina, and things seemed
awfully real. "Bri, I'm calling Charlie. Get everybody to the
office and I'll tell them all at once from a secure line. Don't
worry. I don't think anything's wrong. Call me when you're ready."
Sabrina relaxed. Kelly's voice sounded a lot better. "Will do."
Kelly headed back to the room. Lee and Amanda were waiting. "I'll
need to call my boss in a few minutes, is there a secure line I can
Lee tensed. "What were you just using?"
Kelly showed him her cell phone. "It's ok. I didn't compromise
Lee ushered her to a soundproof room. There was a phone on the
desk. "This is secure unless they're listening at his end."
They headed back to Amanda's room.
As they waited the nurse came in to change Amanda's dressing. Kelly
was now very convinced that the wound was indeed real. She sat down
almost involuntarily. She looked at Amanda, her voice was almost a
whisper. "What happened?" Lee had mentioned that she'd been shot,
but Kelly was unprepared for the extent of the damage.
Lee answered. "It's a long story."
Amanda smiled. "Only about 10000 words."
Lee grimaced, "KGB sniper. 900 meters."
Kelly was still absorbing what she'd seen. "What did they hit her
"12.5 millimeter Makarov"
Kelly was confused. "I haven't heard of that one."
Lee explained. "The round is basically the KGB equivalent to our .50
Kelly looked at Amanda's shoulder. "Please don't misunderstand me,
but why is her arm still attached?"
Lee answered, "She had some pretty good body armor."
Just then Kelly's phone rang. She looked at it, opened it and put in
her pass code. She began talking into the phone. "This is Kelly.
Ok, I'll call back in a few minutes." She excused herself and headed
for the secure line. When she reached the room she closed the door
then dialed the secure office number. Bosely answered. "Bosely,
this is Kelly. Is everyone there?"
"We're ready, Kelly. I'm putting you on speaker."
Kris and Sabrina looked toward the speaker. It would be kind of
strange not to hear Charlie's voice over it. Kelly began. "I'm
here. Everything seems ok. Sabrina, there's a woman here named
Amanda King who could be your twin. It's really spooky." Kelly's
voice softened, "Bri, She's been shot by a large caliber sniper
rifle. I saw the wound. I don't know who these people are, but they
play rough." Her attention turned to Bosely. "Bosely, I think we
should pass on this one. Sabrina will be up against the KGB, they're
using big guns, and they're playing for keeps."
Bosely responded. "Hang on Kelly. I'll conference in Charlie and
see what he thinks." A few minutes later Charlie was on the line.
"Sabrina, I have a full report. This is all highly classified, but
heart of the matter is that the government needs you to help them put
up a smoke screen, and you may be the only person in the world who
can help. Now I know it's dangerous, so it's up to you."
Sabrina spoke up. "Charlie, you've already told us you don't trust
this guy, and Kelly's scared. I'm going to need to see that report."
Charlie replied. "I don't think that's going to be possible,
Sabrina. I wasn't even supposed to see it."
Sabrina wasn't budging. "I'm sorry, Charlie." Sabrina grinned
almost involuntarily. If the moment had been any less serious, she'd
have had to make a crack about Starkist. "I have to see that report,
or I have to pass."
Kelly couldn't help being a little relieved that Sabrina was taking
this as seriously as she was. Kelly almost hoped that would be it.
Charlie's voice was next. "Hang on angels, I'll conference in the
agency." Kelly smiled. AT&T had to be loving this.
A few moments later Dr. Smythe came on the line. "Smythe here."
Charlie spoke next. "Austin, we have a problem."
Dr. Smythe grimaced at the thought of someone who was allowed to use
his first name. "Yes, what is it Charles?"
"I've spoken with my operative, and we're concerned about the danger
involved in this case. She wishes to see the case file of the woman
she's replacing before she makes a decision as to whether to take
this assignment or not."
"Charles, you're not trying to hold us up for more money, are you.
Your fee has already been negotiated."
Charlie was a little miffed. "It's not the fee. You know I don't
work that way. Sabrina wants to know what she's getting into."
"YOU know what she's getting into old boy. I had to pull several
very important strings to get that information to you. Now, you've
decided to do this, so tell the little tart to get going and be done
with it. I won't compromise this mission just to coddle to some
field agent's sensibilities."
Sabrina's expression went flushed. Kelly grinned. Obviously Dr.
Smythe didn't know he was on speaker. She hoped that nobody would
say anything to change that. She heard Charlie's voice next. All
evidence of social grace was gone from his voice.
"See here, Austin. I value Sabrina and her opinion. I won't force
her into anything she's uncomfortable with. She will have access to
the file or our business is concluded." Sabrina found a new respect
for Charlie. She'd never seen or rather heard him like this.
Dr. Smythe found himself in the uncomfortable position of being not
only out of control of the situation but at the mercy of someone
else. His mind quickly ran through the list of "alternative
persuasions" he could use, but realized that the usuals such as
blackmail and extortion would be useless. Charlie was squeaky clean
and well respected within the business community. Also, Sabrina
would have way too much opportunity to blow the operation. He had to
have her full support. He decided a strategic retreat was in
order. "Very well, you may show the file to whomever you deem
necessary. But if there's a fox in the henhouse yours is the first
the farmers will go into."
Charlie was still ticked. "I'll get back to you with our decision.
As for your 'farmers', we are prepared." The 'angels' and Bosely's
eyes widened. In their line of work defying government agencies was
usually very bad for business. They reasoned, however, that going
after innocent well-heeled businesses was usually bad for government
Dr. Smythe was similarly taken aback. It occurred to him that
Charlie's friendship could be valuable both now and in the future,
and making good his threat would be risky at best. He changed to a
conciliatory tack. "Oh, I don't think that will be necessary my
boy. I have confidence in your judgment or I wouldn't have bothered
with you in the first place." He realized that getting approval for
a few more eyes shouldn't be much harder than for what he already
had. He hung up, unaware of his earlier indiscretion.
Charlie's voice came over the speaker. "I apologize for Austin's
behavior, Sabrina. You don't deserve that."
Sabrina had calmed down a bit. "Thank you, Charlie. Are you sure we
want to deal with these people?"
"Don't worry Sabrina. Austin needs us, he knows it, and he never
holds a grudge." Charlie turned his attention to the matter at
hand. "Bosely, you'll find a top secret folder in the floor safe.
Get it out and give it to Sabrina. You three go over it and get back
to me. Kelly, you're still in D.C. aren't you?"
Kelly responded. "Yes, Charlie. I want to see that folder."
"I'm sorry Kelly, I'm afraid you're out of the loop on this one. Go
ahead and get back to their operatives and find out what you can.
Bosely will call you back and you four can make a decision. Remember
Sabrina, you have the final say here. Good luck angels." Charlie
hung up, Bosely spoke to Kelly. "Don't worry Kelly. We'll check it
out and call you."
Kelly responded, "Thanks, Bosely."
She hung up and headed back to Amanda's hospital room. Lee and
Amanda looked up expectantly. "We don't have a decision yet.
They'll call me back. Is there anything more you can tell me?"
Lee spoke up. "I'm sorry, Kelly, but until we have a decision we
can't give you any more information."
Kelly nodded and smiled. "I understand."
Lee smiled involuntarily. If Amanda's left arm had been working
properly, she would have given Lee a pretty pronounced jab in the
ribs. Kelly interpreted the expression on Amanda's face and sat down
on the side of the bed to talk to her. "Do you have any children?"
Amanda's eyes lit up as she began telling about Phillip and Jamie.
Kelly listened intently. She had guessed that Amanda was a mother
from the way Lee had talked about her in the car, and Kelly loved the
way mothers lit up when asked about their children. The situation,
not that volatile to begin with, defused quickly. Amanda began to
see in Kelly the gentle nature of a friend. All too soon Kelly's
phone went off again. Kelly excused herself once again and headed
for the secure line.
She switched to the secure line and conferenced with the
other 'angels' and Bosely. He spoke first. "Kelly, what have you
"Nothing really, Charlie. Amanda, the woman Sabrina's replacing is a
mother of two boys. Bri, you wouldn't believe how much she reminds
me of you."
Bosely responded. "Kelly, we've gone over the file here. It looks
like they tried a sneak attack and got caught. They sent her in with
minimal support to catch a really big fish. One Billy Melrose and
some other agents acquired extra equipment that wasn't in the
original plan. That was the only reason she got out alive."
Kelly was shocked. "And we're going to let them do that to Bri?"
"Austin was in charge of that operation, and got a serious hand
slap. Mr. Melrose is in charge of this one. That's the only reason
we're considering it. Something we need to know though, is whether
this looks genuine to you."
"I don't know about the details, but there really is a woman here
that looks like Sabrina, she really has been shot. It looks pretty
Sabrina spoke up. "Kelly, is this worth risking my life for?"
Kelly became very serious. "Bri, I'm not sure any of this is worth
risking your life for. All I can tell you is that they seem like
good people." As she thought about what she'd said she thought of
Lee and smiled. "If you do come here, though, you'll get to work
with a cute secret agent."
Sabrina smiled and said brightly. "I'll do it!" She chuckled at the
incredulous stares she was getting including the one she was
imagining from Washington D.C.. She became serious. "This seems
really important, and I don't think they'll make the same mistake
Kelly's voice, a little shaken came over the speaker. "Please be
Sabrina responded. "Every day in every way."
Kelly smiled. "Hey, that's my line."
Kris looked at Sabrina. "Are you sure?".
Sabrina grinned again. "Who are you, Microsoft?"
Kris gave her a mock grimace.
"Don't worry, Kris. I'll be careful. Besides, YOU'RE the thug
Kris giggled. She had to admit Bri had a point.
Bosely had waited until the decision seemed final, then he spoke
up. "That's settled then. I'll tell Charlie. Kelly, you tell them
on your end. Sabrina, I would say start packing, but everything
you'd be taking is already there.
Sabrina patted the .38 in her purse. "Not quite everything."
Bosely nodded. "I hope you won't have to use that."
Kris spoke up. "Amen to that Bosely."
The three began preparations, and Kelly headed for Amanda's room for
the final time. Lee and Amanda were still there. Kelly
spoke. "We're going to do it." There was no joy in her voice.
Kelly looked in Lee's eyes. "Watch over her. She's a good friend."
Lee looked into her eyes. "Don't worry. I'll watch over her as if
she were Amanda."
Given Amanda's current condition, normally that wouldn't have been
much comfort, but Kelly could see the depth of the conviction in
Lee's eyes. Kelly looked over at Amanda. She was getting that look
again. Lee looked over and smiled impishly at Amanda. "All part of
her cover, of course."
Amanda gave Lee an look of mock anger. "That cover had better not be
TOO good, Scarecrow." Kelly grinned at the exchange. She felt a bit
better about Sabrina.
What came next was basically a shell game. Kelly and Lee flew back
to Los Angeles in the Cessna. Sabrina and Lee returned with Sabrina
disguised as Kelly. Kelly bought an airline ticket, but it was
Sabrina that boarded. Lee bought his own. The agency arranged for
the metal detectors to malfunction and allow Lee and Sabrina to board
with their weapons. After they landed, Francine picked them up and
took them to Amanda's room. It was Lee and Amanda's turn for a
shock. Sabrina had already been disguised by one of Charlie's
friends in Hollywood, so she looked like Kelly when Lee first saw
her. Once at the hospital, she stepped into the bathroom, took off
her disguise and made herself look like Amanda, borrowing some of
Amanda's clothing, and her makeup. Their only warning of what was to
come was Sabrina's sharp intake of breath at the sight of Amanda, and
the fact that Sabrina's voice sounded like Amanda's. When she came
out of the bathroom Lee and Amanda felt like they were looking at a
ghost. The resemblance was eerie. Amanda looked at Lee. Lee
reassured her and himself at the same time. "She's dead. I saw her
fall, I identified the body. She's dead."
Sabrina was a little confused and definitely uneasy. "Who?"
Lee explained about another double for Amanda who'd killed some of
their agents. As Lee looked closer, he couldn't stop himself from
looking for surgical scars. Of course there were none. "Dr. Smythe
wasn't kidding. I knew he'd found a double, but this is scary."
Sabrina laughed. "How do you think I feel, with ME over there lying
in a hospital bed?" She walked over to Amanda and sat on the edge of
the bed. "How are you doing?"
As Sabrina came nearer Amanda noticed a difference in her manner.
She was definitely not their would-be assassin. "This is really
strange. I'm not sure I like being replaced."
Sabrina looked at Amanda's wound. "Believe me, I don't want a job
where I get in this kind of trouble."
Amanda grinned. "I think this was kind of a one-shot deal."
Sabrina couldn't help grinning. "I don't know if I can do this. Do
I have to be able to come up with such terrible jokes?"
Amanda laughed. She was thankful that laughing didn't hurt as much
now. Lee spoke up. "I'm sure the jokes are optional." He gave
Amanda a look of mock sternness. "VERY optional."
Sabrina grinned. She agreed with Kelly. These were good people, and
yes, Lee was cute. She decided to get to the business at hand. "Ok,
so what do I have to do."
Lee, Amanda and Sabrina spent the next several hours teaching Sabrina
to be Amanda. Things were going well until Amanda's aversion to guns
came up. Lee had noticed the partially unzipped purse and wasn't the
least bit surprised when Sabrina pulled a .38 special out of it.
Amanda's eyes went wide. "Please don't take that into my house. I'd
rather the whole KGB be in there than that gun."
Sabrina looked at Amanda. "The KGB would bring guns. If there's
going to be one, wouldn't you rather it be in the hands of one of us?"
Amanda couldn't escape the logic of the statement. "What if one of
the boys finds it. Children are shot every other day."
Sabrina had heard that one. "You realize that includes all age
groups under 20, right? More than half are over 15. The numbers get
much smaller as the children do. It's also true that a minor who's
given a gun by their parents is far less likely to use it to hurt
somebody. What I feel we should do, is rather than try to hide it
from the boys, show it to them, teach them about it, let them fire
it, and show them what it does so that they'll know not to shoot
people with it." Her voice softened. "Besides, it's going to be
near me all the time. If they do find it I'll find out pretty
Amanda hadn't thought about the possibility of gun statistics being
skewed. She wondered if other gun death statistics included things
like criminals in the commission of a crime and self-defense. She
looked into Sabrina's eyes and decided this was someone she could
trust. "Please be careful."
Sabrina took Amanda's hand. "Don't worry." They finished
Sabrina's "Amanda" lessons and Sabrina got ready to leave, taking
A thought hit Amanda as Sabrina started for the door. "Hug the boys
Sabrina smiled back. "I will."
Amanda couldn't help thinking that if anybody could give the boys a
hug from her, Sabrina could.
Sabrina and Lee left the hospital and headed over to IFF. He
couldn't wait to see the looks on everybody's faces. The first stop
was the front desk. Mrs. Marston buzzed them through without a
second thought. Lee thought she wasn't paying attention until just
as they entered the elevator he saw her do a double take. Sabrina
caught it as well and laughed. As they got out of the elevator they
saw Francine. Francine looked up. "Hello Ama-" Then it hit her
this couldn't be Amanda. Her mouth dropped open and she stared for a
good minute. Sabrina cracked up. Francine laughed, still wide
eyed. "We've GOT to show her to Billy." They headed for Billy's
office. Sabrina got more than a few curious looks from those in the
bullpen. Francine headed in first. "Billy, there's somebody I want
you to meet." With a flourish she ushered in Sabrina.
Billy's reaction was priceless. If all the color could have drained
from his face it would have. He walked over to Sabrina slack jawed.
As he looked more closely he could see as Lee already had that she
had no surgical scars. Also there was no wig, no makeup out of the
ordinary. Sabrina had been waiting to say this for some time and
this seemed the perfect opportunity. "Hello, I'm Amanda King."
When Billy found his voice he replied. "You could fool me." He
looked at Lee. "There's got to be a security risk in here
somewhere. This is just plain nuts."
Sabrina smiled. This was fun. "Don't worry sir. I'll do my best on
It was perfect. She even sounded like Amanda. Billy was ready to
step out of the 'Twilight Zone'. "Ok, so who are you. Really."
Sabrina smiled again. "I'm Sabrina Duncan. I'm a private
investigator from L. A.."
Billy was slowly getting his mind back to business. "Do you carry a
"Yes I do." She retrieved her .38 from Amanda's purse.
Billy looked at it. "Now if we could just get Amanda to carry one.
Are you looking for a job?"
Sabrina smiled. "Sorry, I have one."
"Is Amanda ok with your having that?"
Sabrina became serious. "I talked to her about it. She decided it
would be alright."
"All right then, let's introduce you to your family." Billy
grinned. He noticed that there was a copy of a dossier in his
inbox. He went through it quickly. It contained Sabrina's
Billy and Sabrina drove to Amanda's house. Billy suggested Sabrina
wait in his car while he explained the situation.
Dotty was sitting at the table when the doorbell rang. When she
opened the door she was somewhat surprised at seeing Billy and
wordlessly ushered him into the living room. Billy sat down and as
Dotty sat down across from him Billy gave his most disarming smile
and began with his explanation. "Mrs. West, you've been told that
Amanda was hurt on the job. That's basically correct. As it turns
out the film company she works for walked into a matter of national
security. Now I can't give the details, but what it boils down to is
this. In order to find out how Amanda was hurt we need to have a
double replace her for a while so as to confuse the people who hurt
Dotty's mouth came a bit open. "I don't like the sound of this."
Billy smiled reassuringly. "I know this all sounds strange, but I
assure you we wouldn't do this unless it were necessary."
Dotty wasn't sure what to think of all this but figured more
information wouldn't hurt. "What do you want me to do?"
Billy was glad for the chance to explain. "It should be very easy.
In the car I have a double for Amanda. All you have to do is pretend
that she's Amanda." He couldn't help smiling at the effect he was
about to get.
Dotty looked out the window and saw Sabrina. "I'd better get the
boys." She called for Phillip and Jamie. The boys came running down
and Dotty sat them down. "Boys. This is Mr. Melrose. I don't know
what you're mother's gotten herself into, but they want to have
somebody be her for a while."
Phillip and Jamie just stared.
Billy looked at them. He really hated bringing them into
this. "Look boys. Just pretend like she's your mom until your mom
gets better. She's a nice lady. She's a lot like your mom. I think
you'll like her."
The boys looked at Dotty, unsure. Dotty answered the look in their
eyes. "She's outside. We can at least talk to her." The boys
Billy walked to the window and motioned for Sabrina. She got out of
the car and came in. As she walked into Amanda's house, she noticed
the unmistakable feeling of a home. Amanda's influence was
everywhere. She saw Mr. Melrose in the front room and went in.
Phillip and Jamie saw Sabrina and sprinted for her. "Mom!" Sabrina
couldn't help giving them a collective hug. "No, I'm really not, but
I sure look like her don't I?". The boys realized that something
was different. They were slightly taken aback at having just hugged
a stranger, but then something within them told them they could trust
Sabrina smiled at them. Their upbringing showed in their polite
manner, already evident. "Your Mom told me to give you each a hug
from her. I guess we got that out of the way, didn't we?"
The boys began talking excitedly with her. Dotty realized the
decision had been made pretty much without her. As they both grabbed
Sabrina's arms and started leading her upstairs to show her the
house, Dotty looked at Billy. "I guess we're going to do it." A
resigned sigh followed. "When will I see my daughter again?"
"Soon Mrs. West. As soon as Amanda's well enough to come home she
will. In the mean time try to help Sabrina fit in."
Dotty looked at Billy questioningly. "Sabrina."
Billy nodded. "Her real name is Sabrina Duncan." He handed over the
folder. "Keep this safe. This is the information we have on her."
Billy smiled. "At least I can let you know who you're letting into
For the first time Dotty smiled. "Thank you."
Billy smiled back. "You're welcome. I'm really sorry this is
necessary." He meant this on more levels than Dotty could know
about. "Do you have any questions?"
Dotty gave a resigned sigh. "I'm sure we'll pick it up as we go
Billy got up. "Well, I'd better get going. I shouldn't be here any
longer than necessary."
Dotty ushered him to the door. As he drove away she couldn't help
thinking he wasn't quite the hard-nosed government official she'd
As Billy drove back to the office he began arranging for Sabrina to
show up at another Embassy ball. The KGB was in for a shock. The
first step was to have National Security Advisor Jeremy Logan, the
official American liaison to the Russian Embassy, contact them.
Yuri, the Russian Ambassador met him in his office.
"Now Yuri, I heard there was a big to do at your boys' Embassy. Now
our government would like to know what all the shooting was about,
given that some of the gunfire came from U.S. property."
Yuri gave a look of indignation. "We would like to know what
American spies are doing on sovereign Soviet property."
Jeremy gave Yuri a withering look. "And you're trying to imply that
KGB agents aren't on sovereign U.S. property?"
Yuri shifted uncomfortably. Both men knew better. He gave up that
tack. "We have the right to apprehend them."
Jeremy shot him another look. "And what agents were you trying to
apprehend from nearly 1000 yards out?"
Yuri looked smug. "We have a full dossier on your Amanda King." He
didn't, of course.
Jeremy pretended to be surprised. "Who?"
Yuri gave him a grainy picture of Amanda from a security camera.
Jeremy picked up the phone and dialed a number. "Hey John, could you
check the computer and see if we have an Amanda King working for us?
Just call me back."
Jeremy and Yuri exchanged pleasantries as they waited for the reply
Jeremy knew he'd get. As expected the phone rang. Jeremy picked it
up. "John? Yes, ok. Ok, thanks."
"As a matter of fact an Amanda King does work here in Arlington. We
can probably meet her for lunch if you want."
Yuri smiled smugly. "I wouldn't want to get her out of her hospital
bed." He was a little surprised. The KGB had presumed her dead, but
he knew Jeremy wouldn't have offered a meeting unless he could
deliver on some level. She must have survived, but would probably
never be able to work for the agency again. He smiled at that
Jeremy smiled to himself. He had been waiting for the chance to set
the hook on this one. "Hospital bed?" He made another phone
call. "John? Me again. That Amanda King you found. Has she been
in the hospital recently? Well, what's her address? Ok, try
Arlington General, then any others in the area." He knew giving the
correct hospital first was a little risky, but given the size of the
hospital, not that risky.
Jeremy smiled back at Yuri. This was going to be such fun. The
phone rang again. "John? You're getting quick. She was? Ok,
Jeremy gave Yuri a look of surprise. "As it turns out She was in the
hospital for a strained shoulder, but that would hardly require bed
rest." He gave Yuri a suspicious look. "I'd like to know how you
knew that. Stalking is a crime here, you know."
Yuri laughed. "I don't know what you did with the paperwork, but she
was in there for a lot more than a strained shoulder." He wondered
what the Americans hoped to gain by saying she was less injured then
they both knew she was.
Jeremy gave a look of indignation. "She was released from Arlington
General yesterday. I don't know what you're up to, but we don't
appreciate your spying on American citizens."
Yuri knew that Amanda couldn't possibly be healthy enough to stand up
to close scrutiny so he decided to call the American's bluff. "We
must have made some mistake. We would like to make a gesture of
apology by inviting the President to a ball at our embassy, and would
like Amanda King as the guest of honor." He gave his most
Jeremy smiled back. "Why thank you Yuri. We'd like that. If Mrs.
King is agreeable, we'll be there. Go ahead and set up the
arrangements and let us know." He thought to himself 'hook, line,
Yuri was somewhat taken aback. Again Jeremy had made what would have
to be a bluff. Still he thanked Jeremy and left to make the
arrangements. It would be interesting to see what the Americans came
The arrangements were made and as the Russians expected, the
President wasn't able to make it. As this would be of no real
importance they graciously settled for the Secretary of State. Much
to their shock they were told Amanda would be there.
The State department arranged for the Secretary and as many 'aides'
and 'press' as possible to be invited to the ball, of course, most of
them would have day jobs in the intelligence community, not to
mention not having ever set foot in the Secretary's office, but since
this was not supposed to be business anyway it was doubtful this
would be caught, and even if it was they could explain that this was
a precaution given recent events. Sabrina would be officially
invited. The agency had arranged for Sabrina to wear a modest formal
evening gown, but she would not need the armor. This time she was in
no danger. Attacking her with the Secretary of State in attendance
would definitely be an international incident. The State department,
on the other hand would be embarrassed if she were to fail to
Sabrina had taken the boys on a 'picnic'. They had driven out to a
little known wooded area designated as a national forest. Designated
as such it was legal to target shoot there and many agencies used it
for that purpose. Sabrina taught Phillip and Jamie about gun safety
and let them fire her .38. Phillip described it as "way cool" where
Jaime simply described it as loud. He was, however intrigued and
decided to add something about guns to his reading list. Much to
Phillip's chagrin Jamie proved the better marksman. His careful
methodical manner lent itself well to target shooting. Sabrina had
brought along a few milk jugs filled with water to shoot at. As
weapon caused them to explode the boys quickly learned why they
shouldn't even point real guns at people, let alone fire at them
without good reason. Sabrina was convinced they understood the
importance of what she was teaching them. She couldn't help thinking
that if she were attacked that she would want Jaime to find her purse.
When she returned home she retrieved the mail. In it, as expected,
was an official invitation from the Russian Embassy to a celebration
in which she would be an honored guest. This time it was much easier
to explain to Dotty. Sabrina couldn't help smiling. Dotty went
through the exact same speech she'd gone through with Amanda except
for the opening line "Now if you're going to impersonate my daughter
at one of these," Sabrina couldn't help thinking that she and
Amanda's mothers were a lot alike. In all reality she'd rather
enjoyed having a family, although a bit more sleep would be nice.
Francine arranged to get her a gown. There was just a tinge of
jealousy as Francine helped Sabrina for what would be a rather grand
event. Sabrina wished this could have been under better
circumstances. The entire entourage arrived at the ball. Sabrina
wasn't searched but she knew there would be metal detectors.
Unbeknownst to them there was a Glock with a ceramic barrel and
caseless ceramic ammunition in her purse. It wasn't as effective as
lead for lack of weight but the bullets were Teflon coated to make
them better against armor. It was certainly better than nothing. It
was hoped that none of the weapons would be necessary, but they
weren't taking chances. The ball ostensibly went normally. Sabrina
was introduced to a large number of people, including Victor, the man
who had originally invited Amanda. The agents were wired to the
teeth and had positioned themselves so as to be able to pick up sound
far beyond the confines of the party. There were news crews there,
in fact more than the situation warranted. There was a reason. The
agents scrambled and piggybacked their surveillance transmissions on
the news crews' normal camera feeds. Bug detection was useless as
the transmitters on the news cameras were the biggest "bugs" in the
place and weren't being quiet about it. A lot of stories were about
to be "leaked" to the press as they were working with IFF to strip
the surveillance signals off of their own live feeds. The press in
turn agreed to keep a lid on anything that would compromise the
operation until well after the fact. Sabrina smiled as she saw
Victor ushered into a back room by two smiling but very intent
gentlemen in ill-fitting suits. The KGB had taken the bait. An aide
who was interviewing one of the guests in the area picked up the
"You said you invited Amanda King to the ball."
"Then who is that?"
"I don't know."
"You deny that she is Amanda King?"
"I don't know."
"Perhaps you invited other agent to embarrass us?"
"How long have you worked for the CIA!"
"I don't work for CIA. I told you she was an agent."
"You take us for fools! You told us to trap us!"
"There was no trap!"
"How much did they pay you!"
"I don't work for CIA!"
"Who do you work for!"
The agents in the van winced as the interrogation degraded and they
began to hear blows fall. Victor revealed the only IFF contact he
had. His inability to reveal anyone else led his interrogators to
believe that he was truly a double agent defending his cover. As
such what he did reveal was not believed. The agents breathed a sigh
of relief as they realized the KGB wouldn't go after the only agent
that could have been jeopardized had they believed Victor. The ploy
had worked perfectly. Victor would be branded as a traitor, as in
fact he was, and would be never seen again. This was confirmed as
much later they heard silenced gunshots and no more from Victor. The
ball ended normally, but it was not over. The KGB had one last
desperate card to play.
Sabrina walked out of the ball at the end of the evening. She handed
the weapon back to Billy and retrieved her own. She couldn't help
thinking she'd like a weapon like that for next time she flew. She
knew she'd feel a lot safer on an aircraft if she were armed. She
went 'home' changed into pajamas and plopped down on the couch to
tell Dotty, Phillip and Jaime all about the ball. She, of course,
left out the more clandestine parts of the evening. Dotty was
fascinated. Suddenly the door flew open and two men with guns
appeared. "You! You will all accompany us for a drive in the
country." Sabrina recognized a couple of ill-fitting suits from the
party. She'd left her purse in the master bedroom. Jaime sprinted
for the stairs. One of the agents raised his gun but the other
shouted "No! Not here. Too many eyes and ears. I will get him."
The other agent proceeded to handcuff Sabrina and proceeded toward
Jaime with youth and on full adrenaline rush flew up the stairs at a
speed he hadn't thought himself capable of. The agent followed but
somewhat more slowly, being on the short end of home court
advantage. Jaime was in the master bedroom. Sabrina's purse was on
the bed. He had the .38 out in an instant. He'd heard heavy steps
behind him and turned to face the door in a classic Isosceles
stance. The agent burst through the door. He saw Jaime, grim
determination on his young gentle face. Jaime hadn't had time to
cock the hammer, but even shaking with adrenaline he wasn't going to
miss at this range. Jaime fired. The agent saw the flash then felt
the concussion from the explosion and a blow to his chest as though
it had been hit by a prize fighter. He was knocked back and was just
starting to recover when he saw another flash. He didn't see the
Jaime saw the agent fall back with the first shot, but realized he
was recovering. His second and third shots were to the head.
Adrenaline and shock mercifully kept him from completely
understanding the situation, as they had kept him from feeling most
of the recoil. He just knew he heard more footsteps above the
ringing in his ears.
As the second agent moved toward Dotty he heard three gunshots.
Something was wrong, but before he could react Phillip raced for the
stairs. Not being able to control Dotty and chase Phillip at the
same time he quickly handcuffed her to a chair and followed Phillip.
Jaime realized the footsteps were too light and fast to be the other
agent. He lowered Sabrina's gun. He naturally followed the motion
with his eyes and saw the agent's weapon. He picked it up as Phillip
came through the door. Still in adrenaline shock mode he handed
the .38 to Phillip. His mind had gone into automatic. "Three
bullets. Hide across the hall."
Phillip had never seen Jaime like this but was in too much shock
himself to argue. He took a similar stance aiming toward the door
but behind a dresser along the wall.
Jaime looked at the agent's gun and realized from his reading that
being a semi-automatic it would have to be cocked. He pulled the
slide back and saw an unfired bullet fly out of the ejection port.
He let go and saw another chambered. As he heard the quiet creaking
from the hall floor he waited behind the bed, gun again aimed at the
The agent, gun out slowly came up the stairs having reasoned quite
correctly that the gunshots hadn't come from his companion. He tried
the 'lie your way out of it' approach. "Come out and you will not be
harmed. You can't win."
Jaime just waited. 'He's just past the bathroom' he thought to
The agent saw the blood stains on the right side of the hall and
realized that the shots had come from the room on the left. He
approached keeping careful watch on the open door. The other door
was also open but he could only see the inside in his peripheral
vision and the light was off. He slowly approached along the wall to
the master bedroom. He saw a flash from the other bedroom and was
hit in the back. The wall had braced him somewhat and he spun to
face his attacker. He was rewarded with several more shots to the
back as he had stepped slightly away from the wall into view of the
master bedroom. He was thrown into the wall he was facing, the
breath knocked out of him. He struggled to move. There was a
second's pause then one last shot. The agent crumpled leaving a
bloodstain on the wall where his head had just been.
Jaime saw the agent fall and knew it was over. The gun fell from his
hand as he crumpled to the floor tears pouring down his cheeks. He
didn't even hear Sabrina and Dotty calling.
Phillip had seen the agent sneaking along the wall to the master
bedroom and had fired. He'd seen the agent knocked against the wall
and was bringing the gun down for another shot when the agent spun
toward him. He'd almost pulled the trigger when the agent had been
thrown forward and out of his view. He'd heard several shots in
rapid succession followed by a pause then one more. Then there was
silence. The next few seconds crept by slowly but there was no
movement from the second agent. He heard Dotty and Sabrina calling
but was more worried about Jaime. He walked in to see him collapsed
against the bed crying. He hadn't seen Jaime cry in years, but
teasing him didn't even occur to Phillip.
Jaime dimly heard footsteps beside him then felt an arm around his
shoulders. He looked over to see Phillip with a rare empathetic look
on his face. Phillip spoke first. "Are you ok?"
Jaime had come out of shock somewhat. "I killed him."
All Phillip could think of to defuse the situation was to make a
joke. "And look at the mess you made on Mom's carpet."
The absurdity of the statement appealed to the sense of humor in an
innocent mind that desperately needed a laugh. Jaime let out a
slight chuckle. He felt a little better. They both heard Dotty and
Sabrina. Their voices were beginning to sound desperate. Phillip
called down. "We're ok." They headed downstairs.
Dotty breathed a heavy sigh of relief as she saw Phillip and Jaime
coming down the stairs at a casual pace and apparently unharmed.
Sabrina was first to see the gun in Phillip's hand. As he came
closer she pointed with her free hand. "I don't think you'll need
Phillip had forgotten he was still carrying the .38. "You can have
it. I don't think I want it any more." He handed it to Sabrina.
Sabrina took the weapon and noticed the look in both of the boys
faces. Shock was still mercifully keeping them from completely
realizing the enormity of the situation, though the tears on Jaime's
cheeks indicated he was coming out of it. She sympathized. She
remembered wanting to throw up the first time she'd shot
anyone. "Boys, I hate to ask you to do this, but they probably have
the keys to these." She indicated the handcuffs.
Jaime's eyes pleaded with Sabrina. Phillip spoke up. "I'll get
Sabrina realized that Jaime had had the worst of it. "What happened?"
Jaime sat down on her lap, something he hadn't done with anyone in a
long time. "I got to your purse. He came through the door. I shot
him. I gave Phillip the .38. Phillip shot, he went after Phillip
then I shot him and shot him but he didn't fall. I had to shoot his
head." Jaime burst into tears again and crumpled into Sabrina. She
realized why Jaime was having a harder time of it. She just held
him. "It's ok. We're alive. You saved us." She felt Jaime nod.
Phillip came back with the handcuff keys, gave them to Dotty then
promptly took the other available lap. "I never want to do that
again." Dotty had to uncuff herself around him but didn't mind. She
tossed the keys to Sabrina who undid her cuff. They both held the
boys for a while until they'd calmed down somewhat.
Sabrina spoke first. "We'd better get somebody over here before
things get too busy."
Almost as if on cue Lee burst through the door, gun in hand. He
looked at Sabrina. "Is everybody ok?"
Sabrina was in too serious a mood to rib Lee for showing up after it
was all over. "We're ok. We have a mess upstairs that needs
Lee ran upstairs and saw the dead agents. He pulled his walkie-
talkie. "Billy, we need a clean-up at Amanda's house. Two stiffs
KGB, multiple shots fired." He came back down the stairs. "We were
closing down when we heard on the police band about shots fired. I
got here as fast as I could."
Sabrina couldn't help wondering how much of the Arlington police
force had reported a silver blur going by them.
The next several hours were spent in debriefings and explanations to
the police. Everything was covered up, of course. The official
story was that some wise apple had lit off some firecrackers.
Amanda and Sabrina were exchanged again, Charlie was paid.
Amanda came home to an exceptionally clean house, particularly the
carpets. Jaime and Phillip gave her extra long hugs when she came
through the door. She noticed Jaime especially was a bit more
reserved than usual. When she read the reports she understood why.
As well raised children do, however, Phillip and Jaime proved quite
resilient. In Sunday school then next Sunday Jaime was most grateful
when his teacher referenced "Thou shalt not kill" in the Ten
Comandments to Jesus' interpretation of "Thou shalt do no murder". A
few days later a package arrived addressed to Phillip in care of
Amanda. Amanda opened it. It was the agent's pistol. In taking
care of the matter themselves IFF had keep it from being destroyed.
Phillip had his Makarov. Phillip thought it was cool. Jaime wanted
no part of it at least for a while. Amanda grimaced at the thought
but gave in. As always, Jaime proved the better marksman with it.
He still refused to shoot at man shaped targets except for those with
pictures of people pointing guns at him. These were met with an
almost maniacal accuracy.
Yuri sat nervously outside Jeremy's office before he was ushered in
somewhat curtly. Jeremy went on the attack. "So tell me. What's
the PARTY'S explanation of what happened THIS time."
Yuri was perspiring heavily. "Two of our agents were overzealous and
completely without our approval took this action upon themselves.
Their failure indicates their lack of support."
Jeremy wasn't buying. "This was no personal vendetta, and your
agents don't sneeze without permission. Now I have this straight
from the White House. If you EVER go after the family of one of our
employees again, we will close your embassy."
Yuri had often tried to guess when Jeremy was bluffing. Sometimes
Yuri could tell. Every fiber within him told him this was no bluff.
He, of course, had to try to salvage what dignity his country had
left. "Obviously we're deeply sorry for this turn of events, and
will strive to keep from similar misunderstandings."
Jeremy realized he wouldn't get much more assurance than this, but at
the same time saw the fear in Yuri's eyes. It was a pretty good bet
these weren't idle platitudes.
When Lee and Amanda saw the reports, it occurred to them that Dotty,
Phillip, and Jaime would be safe from the KGB once and for all.
Disclaimer: Scarecrow and Mrs. King belong to WB and StM
productions. Charlies Angel's belongs to Aaron Spelling Productions.
Story written by David (Steph's brother-in-law)
productions. Charlies Angel's belongs to Aaron Spelling Productions.
Story written by David (Steph's brother-in-law)