(Note: My Christmas present to CBn. This is mainly a plausible concept for what may have happened to 008 before the events of Moonraker. As always I welcome feedback and honest critique.)
Bill sat alone at the back corner table of the German restaurant. The dimly lit establishment suited him. It had been a tense week and a half for him and he was glad for the time alone. He was requested by M to help safeguard the defection of a scientist who apparently wanted nothing more to do with East German politics or maybe he wanted a better way of life? The plan was easy enough: find a willing plastic surgeon brave enough to perform the operation within the scientist's own home, make sure that surgeon was heavily compensated for his time and trouble, make sure the surgeon didn't talk afterwards to anybody, then ensure the scientist's safe passage out of East Germany.
Having finished his meal, Bill slid his plate away, took a sip of beer from his glass, reached inside his coat pocket for his packet of chesterfields, put a cigarette to his mouth and lit it. He deeply inhaled, then exhaled.
"You're just providing backup 008." M had instructed a week and a half earlier. "Sanders from Station G will take point. Schienker may be a former Nazi but what he knows will benefit us and the Americans greatly."
"Will there be an American presence?" 008 had asked.
"No." M replied sharply. "Once Sanders and his team extract Schienker, he'll be on a flight directly to Canada for debriefing, then onto..." M paused, and when he paused everyone within the Double O Section knew M was choosing his next words carefully. So as not to be misunderstood.
"Sir?" Bill prompted.
"...onto Dover where'll be kept safe and confidential." M finished. "He's already been granted amnesty by the PM for past crimes."
008 understood. He even understood the hidden contempt within M's voice, but the war was over and the right people had paid. Bill took a brief moment to wonder if he'd be sent to Argentina to round up a few more?
M cleared his throat. "Anyhow, if you come up with any resistance you'll know what to do. Sanders is a good man, he's competent. But with you there I'll feel better, but watch out for the Stasi, they're nasty people."
And that was the end of it. Considering what the Section had been through previously. With Bond in the Caribbean with that American chap and the SMERSH agent, the legal claim to the gold being battled through solicitors, it had been a hectic time for the service. Bond had done masterfully, even if he had gone through hell to get the job done.
The poor bastard.
Sander's operation went off without a hitch. Although he and his men were a bit cold to him, perhaps it was for the best? Double O's meant serious business and they were viewed as either heroes or kept as a comfortable distance within MI6. Yet it was something else Bill had observed, more like witnessed that caught his attention.
Earlier in that day, as the good Professor Schienker was being driven to West Berlin Bill had caught sight of what the British media had once proclaimed as 'The Most Odious Man in Britain."
Former Lord Archibald Hawke. Traitor and seller of Secrets. The sole person who sold out a branch of the SOE to German forces on the Rhine in 1943. Bill had never forgotten him. The arrogance, the gall, of Hawke. Bill had met Hawke briefly once before in Brighton. A self righteous know it all who viewed himself above all others. Hawke was always proud of his arrogance, boasting that he was a better commander than Patton, and Churchill. He was in reality...the British version of Custer.
008 loathed him.
Yet after all this time, after he had been discovered for what he really was, after the flawless (Yes, give credit to where it was due) escape into darkness, it was a stroke of....luck to find the odious bastard swaggering down the streets of East Berlin in his expensive suit and walking stick. Bill had to blink and literally pinch himself to make sure he was awake.
With the official operation over, Bill had decided to act quickly. At Station G he sent a wire to M:
To: Managing Director, Universal Exports.
From: Representative William Stuart.
SIR REQUEST EXTENDED STAY ON GROUNDS OF RUNNING INTO FORMER CLIENT MR. ARCHIBALD STOP.
HAVE A GREAT PROPOSAL TO MAKE TO MR. ARCHIBALD TO WHICH WOULD MAKE AMENDS FOR LOST TIME BETWEEN OUR COMPANIES STOP. IF SATISFACTORY I SHALL MAKE ARRANGEMENTS FORTHWITH STOP. IF OTHERWISE I SHALL RETURN AND SEE YOU ON THE BRIDGE OF THE HAWKE STOP.
008 knew it was better to ask permission first. Even now, M would be either puzzled or astounded, reading the cable, rereading it then considering action. If M approved 008 would need Sanders' help getting back into East Germany.
No. He wouldn't ask Sanders for help, he would skip Station G completely and do this himself. For Bill, this was a matter of national pride that Hawke pay for his crimes and for Bill to put his Licence to Kill to very good use.
Bill finished his beer, stubbed out his cigarette, motioned for a waiter. He wanted to pay his bill and for the moment, be out on the town. Maybe go to a nearby Cabaret and reminisce over pre war Germany. Maybe find a quaint little nightclub, find a local woman and spend time with her in conversation, perhaps more later...
M may wire back later on tonight, or in the morning. Either way it didn't matter. Bill followed orders and if M told him to go forward then he would do so gladly. In a situation like this cooler heads must prevail. There was a world of responsibility on M's shoulders; 008 understood that. It was one of the reasons Bill had respected M so much. Because M would make the right decision, and whatever that decision was Bill wouldn't ever object to it.
008 looked at his watch, the night was young and the possibilities were endless.